Cool Compositions

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Every once in awhile when I’m setting my camera up for a shot, I'll take photo that was not my original intention however it becomes a serendipitous reveal. One of my photos from a past shoot was in fact, just that. This is one of my favourite mistakes. I love how the reds and blues pop off the page admidst the overexposed background. I've since tried to reproduce this type of shot on purpose and it's harder than I expected.

Beautiful Things

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Everyday as we go through life we have experiences that make us thankful. I just decided to blog a few of my favorites.

1. Kissing my kids good night
2. Holding hands with my husband after 20 years together
3. Chatting with my mom
4. Family.....and friends
5. New shoes
6. PJ’s
7. A rainy summer night
8. Laughing
9. Taking a picture of a meal I made because it turned out awesome.
10. Dancing
11. Kitchen parties
12. Karaoke
13. A day at the beach
14. Chips
15. Porches
16. Our Tassimo machine
17. How our cat says 'I love you' in purrs and snuggles.

Feel free to share some of yours ....

Check. 1.2.3. Check.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fact #1. There aren’t many genres of music I don’t like. I’ll play them all, dance to them all, sing them all. I’m not a super fantastic singer but I’m OK. At home or out driving, there is usually music on and I'm happily humming along with whatever song is on. I’m not fussy whether it’s a Top 40 hit or a classic blast from the past, I sing them all. I’m not one of those people who drive and TALK to themselves though. They’re weirdos.

Fact #2. I know ALOT of songs. Alot. Even if I’ve never heard a song before, I’ve usually got the chorus down by the end of my first listen. As far as my dynamic range goes, I doubt I’d get though an American Idol audition without Randy Jackson giving me a sympathetic “ I don’t know dawg, it was a bit pitchy to me” but I’ll always have a song to sing.

So when I was asked to shoot Jonathan Becker’s CD release this past week at the Manx on Elgin I jumped at the chance. Music and photography! Could it get any better? Jonathan songs are based on his personal experiences and views of the world, although he sings with the gentleness reminiscent of James Taylor. He was introduced by the equally talented Keturah Johnson who sang with a Janis Joplin edginess. She cracked up when she broke a guitar string halfway through her set but sang the next song a capella until they were able to get her a replacement. I’ve posted a couple pictures of the night. They’re both scheduled to perform at the Rainbow Club in Ottawa in the next few weeks so I would suggest you check them out if possible.

A triple bonus was that we got to hang out with Joey & Julie and devour massive chocolate brownie & ice cream desserts. Good times.

Photo Shoots and Kids. Lesson # 1.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In the past, whenever I took pictures of children, they were uaually my own two cuties or my family and friend's little ones. It was typically a casual setting and I'd snap away, standing in the background trying not to be too obvious. I'd wait until later to review the shots I captured. Actually, when my son was a baby I'd have to wait a week for the film to return from processing! I'd select a few great shots that would be framed or sent along to grandparents.

Fast forward to present day. My first ‘official’ shoot of a newborn and a young girl. The beautiful little Violet, only two months old, did not care that mom and dad were trying to capture their bright eyed beauty in a portfolio of magnificent photos to treasure as much as they do her. She really only wanted to sleep.

Abby on the other hand, was only giving up that gorgeous smile if I was able to ‘catch’ her. There would be no pose. No negotiations. She could care less about my shutter speeds. All I knew was the faster I set it, the faster she went.

And to that note, I learned a lesson about taking pictures of children 'professionally'. You have to think VERY fast, and move even faster. Slow-w-w-w-w-w right down, and then run-n-n-n-n. Expect the unexpected. Predict the unpredictable. Be creative. Be quick. Be patient.

...and I wouldn’t advise on planning a big night out for yourself to celebrate your success if at all possible. You just might need a few extra z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z’s.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Whoever thought January was a slow time of year, should follow me around for a few days. It’s been a crazy busy time for me, especially the last week, hence the lack of new blogs to read. However, it’s been so much fun getting to do all the things I’ve done, so bring it on!

First, and foremost, the studio is almost done! How great is that! I’m just selecting paint colors, doors and lights and I should have a working space by the end of the month, thanks to the truly amazing work by ServiceMaster Restore in Ottawa. The work they’ve done and the experience we’ve had has been nothing short of fabulous and I ‘VERY’ strongly recommend them if you are thinking about doing any renovation job. I’ll post some pictures of my new space soon!

Secondly, my photography classes with Harry Nowell. I’ve had some great ‘in class’ sessions and a full day workshop at the National Gallery learning creative techniques, color, and composition that just left me giddy for more. He’s SUCH a patient man and he ensures that the assignments are understood, with several recursions of technique. Add to that, a fun night out with a group of established photographers sharing successes (and some failures) which was invaluable to me, despite the fact the heat went out in the venue and we were all huddling together to keep warm. What a great excuse to strike up a conversation. I don’t think I could have planned it better.

Then there was my day out with my photography buddy/girl/friend Lou! Again, I made a few contacts with some Ottawa photographers who have been very forthcoming with helpful information trying to assist those of us ‘on the rise’. I had a great chat with Kathi Robertson, a Montreal photographer who I’ve known from Jordan’s young modelling days and has recently relocated to Ottawa. I’ve touched base with her about possibly shadowing her for a session or two, very happy to schlep her bags around and move lights just to gain more insight into the business, so we’ll see where that goes.

I hope...I hope...fingers crossed.

Back to assignments for this week. I also have my office job that I have to attend to or Steve might upgrade my pink slip to 'fuschia'.

I’ll post a few pics. I hope you like them


Things that make me go Hmmmmm?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I have always been a big believer in fate and that there is a reason why we exist in this world. I’m often musing about what my own purpose could be and the reasoning about that purpose in respect to the things I do, places I go and people I meet. One curiosity I have is.. why all of a sudden have I met so many people named Harry?!! In all my years in this world I’ve only met one person named Harry. One. Now all of a sudden my direct neighbour is named Harry, my best photography buddy/ good friend’s son is Harry, my photography teacher at Algonquin in September was named Harry and now my new photography teacher is also named Harry. Is that JUST a coincidence? Which makes me ALSO wonder “why do I analyse things so much”? Freeman Patterson, my photography mentor and fellow New Brunswicker, wrote in his book “Photography and the Art of Seeing” that the ability to see things and make connections, is to be genuine in sight. Yeah me, maybe I just have good sight? A small digression, but back to Harry. I’ve begun my classes and at first report, it’s excellent! Our group met and we had a super informative night. I’m so looking forward to the full day workshop!
....and just because, I wanted to share a night picture I took of downtown Ottawa. Every Christmas the National Capital Commission lights up Parliament Hill and the downtown core with thousands of lights. Steve and I took Jordan and her friend to see it before Christmas and I drove past it again last night. So pretty.

Winter Landscapes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Although I'm a diehard summer lover and can't spend enough time out in the sunshine, I adore the scenery during winter time in Canada. The landscapes are stunning after a snowfall, especially out in the countryside where large evergreens are adorned with snow and you can see a blanket of untouched white across acres of open fields. There have been days when I didn't have my camera with me, that I'd pull over to the side of the road and just stare at the view, savoring it like a nibble of the most decadent chocolate. Other times, I'm lucky enough to get some really pretty shots. I hope you like this recent one.

The journey continues.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I sat at my desk this morning and turned the page on my calendar. January 2010. I sat for a moment thinking of all the things that have happened in the last year and wondered what adventures lie before me this coming year. I’ve spent time this past fall planning and developing my new business, attending classes at Algonquin, deciding how I want to set up my studio and of course, taking lots of pictures.
This year I have HUGE expectations. January is already shaping up to be a busy month. Studio construction starts, I have to set up my brand new iMac that Santa brought (I heart you Santa) and I’ll start classes with Harry Nowell, not to mention all my other mom jobs and work jobs that have to get done. Steve and I sat in a coffeehouse this morning chatting over sausage and eggs about expensive camera equipment and beautiful places I’d love to visit and photograph. He assured me that we’ll take a look at what I’ll need and figure it out. Such easy words. Such comfort. Here’s to a new year of figuring it all out.
As we drove along in the snow I asked him if I could stop and get a picture.
Day 1, 2010.