Julie :-)

Well, it's been one long week. But a great one! A lot of studio lighting, new class assignments (they just keep piling up), and a lot of night photography. And because of the night photography, not much sleep. I've always been one to find sleep very important, but lately, I find it extremely exhilarating to jump on every opportunity to get a good picture, or at least have fun trying. There's an energy and rush inside of me while I'm here, and it seems to magnify with every picture I take. I used to get a "photographer high" when I did portraits back in Duncan. I loved making people feel beautiful and getting creative with color and location. My fascination in night photography has completely taken me by surprise. I see myself completing an entire night photography project, if not for school, then in the near future. Okay, so due this week were two photos using a "creative technique." This could include anything from panning, rotating your camera during a long exposure, light painting, ghosting, night lights etc. I went kind of crazy with this and took a lot of pictures. Here's just a few:

Okay, the following two pictures I can't take complete credit for. The idea was mine. It's part of a whole series I want to do on night photography. I went to the grocery store and got a bunch of cardboard boxes, cut out stars, covered them in foil, and painted them with pearl blue paint and glitter. The dress, I found at Goodwill. (which btw Missoula thrift stores are soooooo much more amazing than the ones back home.) The first picture you see I completely composed, including painting the stars with light. It was very hard to do though and also try and get into the picture. Finally, I had my night painting pal, Chad, (he's such a trooper) run around me and paint the stars (second picture.) The effect worked out great, however, It never would of worked without his help. Thanks Chad! The effects were awesome. It was quite the experience however, and very cold. lol

One night after night class this week, I walked outside and found the most amazing sunset. A group of students were going to go to the top of a parking garage across the street from the school to try and get pictures. They weren't in my group and I didn't have my tripod with me, but wanted a good view of the sunset. I often find myself lately thinking of Jim Carry on "Yes Man." At every opportunity I'm almost always saying yes. Look at all that I'd miss out on if I turned anything down? This applies to anything in life. Think about it. The sunset faded fast, so instead, I found the light on this old building quite beautiful, and photographed it instead.

This is Mindy. She's in my group. I admire her a lot. She's from New Hampshire (and she's got the accent to prove it!) She shocked everyone when she left her high-stress job of 20-something years at a soup kitchen and just up and left and went to China. She continued to travel in an RV for a year or two and while she was on the road took a lot of pictures, and fell in love with it. She changed her name years ago to a word that means "to change." I like that. :-)

We had an assignment in studio lighting to photograph a "traditional head and shoulders portrait" and exemplify techniques of lighting. They assigned us someone to photograph from our group. We had fun. This is Broad Side lighting.

Butterfly Lighting.

Split Lighting.

Alright. I had something neat happen tonight that reminded me a lot of my sister, and a lot of the reason why four years ago I decided to become a photographer, with an emphasis on people. During the summer of 2005, I took my first photography class and for practice, took my sister out for a "photo shoot."

We had the most amazing time together. She wasn't used to being in the spotlight, lots of encouragement, or feeling confident about how absolutely beautiful she is. After only a couple hours in the park, I could see a difference in her perception on herself. A light inside of her that was dim before, was bright, glowing, and radiant. The thought that I had done this for her changed me. I remember telling someone that night that a light had gone off inside of me as well. I had always loved photography, and dreamed about being a photographer, but it wasn't until that defining moment that I knew I wanted to do it for sure. And I wanted to photograph people, especially those less confident, and make them feel beautiful. Yesterday in class, we each got assigned a partner to photograph. (the pictures my friend Hal took of me will be posted later. They turned out amazing and so fun. I'll just say one thing: go go boots. lol) Anyway, I got assigned to photograph Julie. If you meet her, she's not shy to tell you she's 45 and deals with the effects of Ausburgers every day. She's brilliant however, loves photography and I'm sure could kick my ass at Trivial Pursuit if the opportunity presented itself. Everyday faces us with challenges, and from those challenges we grow. Julie helped me to remember why I want to be a photographer. The assignment was a contemporary portrait (and you could be as creative as you wanted.) I went with the (very lost) "80's American Tourist." We had fun. :-)

This is a shot of the studio we use in class. The only thing I can afford in this picture is the piece of white foam board. Aka, reflector. :-) I can't wait to see everyone's photos. It was a fun day.

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