Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in review | pictures!

taking a cue from my friend johanna price photography. 2009 was my year of learning. i started with a nikon coolpix, upgraded to a d80, invested in a photography class, started religiously following photobloggers, did a few engagement sessions, family sessions and a wedding (all for free... that's what you gotta do before people ask you to do anything!), made a book, entered a contest and got published in another book.

and i still feel like there is SO MUCH TO LEARN!

i've never had a "passion" for anything before, but i can say now i really do absolutely love making beautiful photographs. so i think this is here to stay!

so here's the progression throughout 2009...enjoy...

making it home before sunset, chicago. january 2009.
fake sky

a cold cold lonely day wandering around north avenue beach
yes, this is chicago

my first experimentation with depth of field
it's still alive

ahhh... paris! february 2009.
il de la cite

and a little more paris
bleu et blanc

esta colombia! march 2009.
business on the streets of cartagena

me gusta colombia!
palms de cartagena

photowalk along wells street, chicago. april 2009.
let there be light

a furious lake michigan
lake michigan

last assignment of photography class: take pictures from a different angle and tell a story. may 2009 (p.s. to remind myself in case i want to move back, it was a freaking cold memorial day weekend!)
michigan avenue

first attempt at "people" photography. my friend's son, orlando.
noah b&w

first attempt at "food" photography. june 2009.

DoF! lincoln park conservatory. (this one ended up in the book!)
lincoln park conservatory

trying to figure out suncircles/sunflare, graceland cemetery, chicago. july 2009.
angel suncircles honoré mausoleum, graceland cemetery was born! dinner party at elaine's. august 2009.

brick chicken
mmm chicken

hasma. look it up.
hasma soup

my first engagement shoot in destin, fl. it was a surprise! september 2009.

playing with a polarizing filter, picnik, and realizing i need to buy lens cleaner
~these things are me

attempt to shoot grafitti/posters, new york city
sullivan street

attempt to be sneaky and take photos of people while they weren't looking, new york city
pics of pics on bleecker

my second engagement shoot (not a surpise). attempt at shoot-through. garfield park conservatory, chicago. october 2009.

more lovehandle!
quinoa tomato

first family shoot, chicago.

second family shoot, chicago.

third engagement shoot, london. attempt at silhouettes. november 2009.

third family shoot, marietta, ga. december 2009.

first wedding! marietta, ga.
first look
still editing these pictures, so come back for more!

well i thoroughly enjoyed that! i have learned so much from following flickr photographers, some amazing wedding photographers and photobloggers, pestering photographer friends with questions and other friends to 'please! pretty please pose for my portfolio!', trying and failing and trying again.

thank you to everyone who sat on the other side of my camera, made goofy faces, got outside of their comfort zones, offered invaluable advice and guidance.

specifically, thank you:
- aimee & scott for being my first "clients"
- elaine for hosting weekly dinner parties so i could practice my food photography
- danielle & mason for being so willing & creative at the conservaory engagement shoot
- erin & joe for really getting out of your comfort zones for my camera
- margaret & cory for asking me to photograph your wedding
- jessica for letting me borrow your lenses & tripod
- shannon stellmacher for spending over an hour on the phone scaring the crap out of me before the first wedding (but i was well prepared after that!)
- johanna price, katie stoops, and ashley jones for answering my photography questions
- the gerbers and patels for letting me photograph your family
- my cousin for letting me take her kid's christmas photos this year
- my small group ladies who bought my book and supported my habit
- my own family for never telling me to 'put my camera down!' and laura & brad for making such cute kids who are the subject of a lot of my photos
- christine & michael who are flying me to houston to taking engagement photos in january 2010

- future friends and clients who will be on the other side of my camera!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in review


1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
had my first engagement shoot and my snot froze in my nose one the way to the train one morning

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
sure did, ran a half-marathon; next year's resolution: more running (maybe a full marathon?) we'll see how my foot holds out

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
yes! my sister, to a beautiful baby girl

4. Did anyone close to you die?
thankfully no. but my sister's cat, charlie, died and he was pretty cool, so that was sad.

5. What places did you visit?
london & paris, colombia (yeah - as in south america!), new york, houston, orlando, and london again!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
well, i didn't lack this in 2009, but i want to continue to grow closer to God and become more rooted in my faith letting it guide my decisions and actions towards others, continued peace about where i am in life, all that good stuff!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
the day my niece was born. she timed it perfectly for me! she was due on july 12th, so i bought a ticket from chicago for friday july 17th, thinking i would have a week with her as a small baby. then the 12th passed, and i suddenly feared 'what if she doesn't come at all when i'm down there?' but on july 17th, the day of my flight, i get a call from my brother-in-law telling me they were headed to the hospital. i went to the airport early and got on a morning flight and made it to the hospital as they were bringing my niece and my sister into their private room. i was present when my nephew was born, and it would have killed me to not be there for my niece. and she's the cutest thing that ever lived. ever!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
i was completely and 100% debt free for about 2 months. :) i paid off all my consumer & education debt in summer 2008, but in september 2009 i sold my house (at a loss, but who isn't taking a hit these days?). then i bought a car in november, so back in the debt category. felt good for a few months though!

9. What was your biggest failure?
my lack of real estate sophistication

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
i hurt my foot running, does that count? got food poisoning - that sucked.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a laptop (i call it 'compy'), first one i've purchased since my senior year of college

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
captain sully sullenberger!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
the despicable gang behavior in chicago, particularly the beating of derrion albert

14. Where did most of your money go?
my condo...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
my camera when it arrived, my photography class, first engagement shoot and a wedding, seeing my niece & nephew!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
the 'timeless' album, by sergio mendes with the black eyed peas. reminds me of wandering the neighborhoods of chicago and riding the L to work or photography class.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner :)
c) richer or poorer? richer-ish

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
been nicer to people, especially my mom

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
probably spending money

20. How did you spend Christmas?
photographing my little sister's wedding and watching my nephew open tons of presents at my sister's house

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
with dear little gabrielle lea

22. What was your favorite TV program?
i consistenly watched wgn morning news

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2009?
went to london for work, but got to hang out with my friends

24. What was the best book you read?
what i talk about when i talk about running

25. What did you want and get?
to sell my house

26. What did you want and not get?
to make a profit selling my house

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
i was most excited about seeing twilight & new moon ;) but not sure if those were my favorites

28. Did you make some new friends this year?
sure did, elaine; jill, mandy, and my small group friends; frances, erin's roommate

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
counting my blessings...daily

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
it's work clothes in layers, nike running shorts & shoes, big poofy coat & snow boots

31. What kept you sane?
my small group who met on monday nights and psalm 37:4

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
um... pass?

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
the healthcare debate

34. Who did you miss?
most definitely my niece and nephew!

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
well, i will not place a big emphasis on a city, person, or thing anymore to fill a void. it took moving to a city of millions of people to feel 'alone'. i learned and will never forget: wherever i go, whatever i do, God stays with me and my faith in Jesus can propel me to do things i never had the ability to do myself. :D

pb.3 victor sizemore | my favorites

from michael norword i was led to victor sizemore. another california photographer, but he has a different take. he's usually hired to do very elegant weddings with tons of lavish details. he's got a large (cute!) family that is the subject of some of his blog posts. he made some awesome homemade christmas gifts and sent out a really creative christmas card!

here is one of my favorite weddings. and another. and a sweet charleston engagement session.

aaaaand, he held a workshop in paris!

so, lavish weddings, travel photography, homemade christmas gifts. yeah, that's why i follow his blog!

Monday, December 28, 2009

m + c | sneak peak

an elegant affair at historic oakton
marietta, ga

first look

more to come soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

pb.2 michael norwood | my favorites

as mentioned last week, i'm going to do short write-ups on the photobloggers i "follow" and why i like them. from jessica claire, i was led to michael norwood, a wedding photographer also out of california (where apparently some of the best light shines down on the united states of america).

his photos usually involve unusual composition, rich colors and contrast (see the header of his blog & hit refresh). he's got a super cute daughter who is the subject of some of his blog entries. he offers advice about products that help him with his blogging and his business. he was hired to stalk a couple paparazzi-style to capture the actual proposal and the shots were AWESOME! he's one of the mammoth men!

to put it frankly, i really just love his actual digital and film photography and that's why i follow him!

see you next week for part 3!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

m + c | married

saturday was my little sister's wedding. it was also my foray into wedding photography! i shot in RAW and plan to spend as much time as i can editing and making the photographs perfect. so it might be a while before i could give a sneak peak.

but STAY TUNED! because they will be beautiful!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

photobloggers.1 jessica claire | my favorites

for the past year, i've been consistently following photographers all over the U.S. and the world. some of them i adore their photos, others' the site layout, and still others' insights and humor in their writing.

additionally, i've developed the ability to say what i do or don't like about certain photos. inevitably, i only keep following the photographers i like.

i wanted to document my "finds" as well as see who else out there has some blogs they follow that i should add to my list!

i think i'll make this a weekly thing.... and i'll start with the first photographer i found by googling "wedding photographer blogs" (i think).

jessica claire
i like her composition & processing style. she always challenges herself or admits when she's in a funk (which is comforting, because, hey that happens!) i followed her as she got engaged (such a romantic story), planned her wedding (incredible details) and got married (a beautiful wedding!). her home studio rocks! she's got red hair. her blogsite led me to a lot of other photographers, which led me to others, which led me to others...

in short, she's an amazing photographer and her blog is addictive!

Friday, December 11, 2009

it's NOT beginning to look at lot like christmas

so chicago just had it's first big snow. i haven't even used my winter jacket here in atlanta. my friend just emailed me and told me it was 'really effin cold.' and colleagues pinged me over the instant messenger saying 'it's -20 wind chill!'

a little reminder of what chicago was like this time around:
a dusting of snow
snow trees

it's times like these i'm glad i'm in the south.

the only thing i miss is that it does not in any way, shape, or form feel like christmas. i mean, i listen to christmas music in the car on my 1-hour-minimum-one-way commute in the mornings and evenings. and my sister and dad have christmas trees up in their houses, but it's just warm. well my southern colleagues and friends think it's chilly at 40 degrees, but it'll take a few winters before i feel like that's cold again...

Monday, December 7, 2009

tommy | merry christmas

my cousin's two and a half year old son is quite the cutie, although he usually doesn't stay still long enough to capture a smile. i tried to get some good photos for their christmas card but i basically spent 20 minutes getting shots of the back of his head.

then we figured it out. dress him up in elf pajamas and give him candy and he'll sit still for a while!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

atlanta | a hello

the last two weeks have been quite crazy. i wrapped up work on thursday, had a happy hour with colleagues and friends and topped off the night at the midnight showing of 'new moon'. no, i don't think i'm that big of a dork! i just had friends who wanted to see it with me and that was my last night in town. okay, i secretely really wanted to see it.

next morning, pick up the rental car (2010 suburban, yeehaw!), and spend about 3 hours putting my life in the car leaving just enough room for mean kitty and my friend jill. hit the road before traffic builds, wave goodbye to the city and the lake, lake shore drive, lincoln park, my favorite skyline....

ok, indiana is a long, boring state. enough said.

arrive in nashville close to midnight and crash at my good friend janna's house. breakfast at j.christopher's (an atlanta establishment that has stepped foot into tennesee) and fill up on coffee. on the road again towards atl.

for anyone making the trip from nashville to atlanta, you'll like this. for about 45 miles outside of chattanooga, we start seeing signs "SEE ROCK CITY" and "VISIT RUBY FALLS". after about 40 miles of this curiousity got the best of me, and i asked jill it she wants to take a break at see it. up, up, and up the winding (tiny) mountain roads and we get to lookout mountain where supposedly you can see seven states from the top. folks, take my word for it, you can miss it. ;)

we make it down to my mom's place just as the sun is setting. we rest a bit, unload the car, and frankly all we want is food and sleep. i promised jill a night on the town complete with a tour of the city, georgia tech, a steak dinner, and maybe dancing at loca luna. yeah right. we go to a local bbq joint, have a cold beer and a pork plate and call it a night.

jill heads back to texas and i start a new chapter.

p.s. i've also been car shopping all over atlanta (not fun), thanksgiving day gobble jog, dinner with lots of relatives, my cousin had his first kid, margaret celebrated her 21st birthday, a really disappointing georgia tech vs. u[sic]ga game, and day 1 on the new job.

p.p.s. coming up, my little sister's wedding, mom's birthday, then christmas, new year's, a trip to houston for a friend's engagement shoot, and the ING half marathon in march!

happy holidays, y'all!