Our Trip to the Zoo Was, Uh…

For months, I have been itching to go to the zoo to take photographs. When I saw Impossible Project’s [Animal] Skins Edition film, I knew I wanted to go to the zoo, probably with animal masks. It all snowballed from there. In like, a catastrophic avalanche of awesome.

It was incredible.

I had seven wonderful people with me on this shoot, and each and every one of them looked absolutely ridiculous. We got plenty of stares. Just simply magical.

I was a bit nervous, thinking about the possibility of us getting in trouble for any reason, (not allowed to wear masks in the zoo? maybe?) because I had been prepared for this for forever and I didn’t want anything to get in the way. Imagine, having this idea in your head for months, gathering the things you need, and then BAM! Just kidding, no photos for you.


Me and my clique were standing in line to get our tickets, and there was a table of Zoo-Worker-People nearby, like some beneficiary group or whatnot. And they were staring us down. We were a little nervous, but when they smiled at us, we calmed down. But, just as we were walking up to get our tickets–

“Wait,” an official sounding voice said.

That was it. It was game over. Goodbye, hopes and dreams.

It was one of the ladies from the table. She walked over to us and said, “I just want to say, we really love your outfits. Your enthusiasm is great.”

I was expecting a “but, you can’t follow your hearts desire and shoot a really fun photo series in our land where the peacocks roam, because the gorillas will judge you and we can’t have that.” My heart sank, waiting for her to ruin my life.

Instead, she continued, “We love it so much, we’re going to give you free tickets to the zoo today, and a free lunch!”

Moral: Dressing up your friends as ridiculous as possible definitely has its merits.

Our lunch was in the event tent thing, I assume for beneficiaries, and we got plenty of dirty looks, but we also had people coming up to talk to us, asking what we were doing, telling us they loved our outfits, and got their picture with us. It was awesome. Some kids also wanted their picture with my posse, but they were so shy and they were standing like 5 feet away from the group. I can’t even with the cuteness.

Every now and then, it’s important to play. Doing a photo shoot just for fun without any deep conceptual meaning was refreshing, and just what I needed before heading off to graduate school in the fall.

Happy Shooting!


This Photo Shoot was Amazing

I had the most remarkable photo shoot, and it had nothing to do with the photographs.

The shoot was planned twice. The first time, stuff happened and too many people had to cancel at the last minute, which meant the shoot couldn’t happen. This time, the tremendous effort of others made it possible, and I am honestly overwhelmed.

My friends Ian and Kaiden drove about an hour and a half to come do the shoot. Ian works full time, so he’s tired, and Kaiden had an extremely busy (but fun!) weekend at a convention, and was also exhausted. And, Kaiden’s friend, Alec, didn’t know me, never met me, but was cool with coming along to help.

My friend Sarah works five jobs, is in the honors college, and always does her work on time and to perfection. She had work later in the day, but she took what little free time she had to come pose for me.

My friend Lisa is also in the honors college, takes her studies very seriously, has a job, and is going through the tumultuous process of applying to graduate programs. She has papers and lab reports and god-knows-what else due this week, but she woke up early in the morning to get started on those things, so she would have the time for the shoot in the afternoon.

I met another wonderful person today, Sheena, who knows Ian. She had never met me, but was willing to model for me. That’s a big move, especially considering the odd things I put people through on this shoot. And, she wore high heels in the mud. That’s hard core.

So, I had an amazing shoot, because most of these people didn’t know each other, they just knew me. I had friends from home meeting college friends, college friends meeting one another, and friends of friends meeting each other. Everyone got along so well, the shoot went awesomely, and it was fun. I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.

But enough with the mush. Let’s look at some pics:

Shout out to my mom for painting the boxes black. Shout out to Lisa for finding the location. Shout out to everyone for wearing tulle on their heads.

I honestly love these photos, which means a lot. Yes there are things I could make better next time I go shooting, but for now, these have my heart. I think the people in them have a lot to do with it.

Alec, bless his soul, took some behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot. I love behind-the-scenes shots. I’m in my own little world while I’m shooting, so seeing what’s actually going on around me is a treat. So here are some of those:

Forever squaring up my shoulders to take a shot.

This shoot is one of eight of a dream series I am working on. I’m focusing on that theme a lot this semester, but for this particular series I’m doing something interesting in post-process. But, more on that in a later post.

Hug your friends today. They’re important.

Happy Shooting!



There once was an under-saturated girl living in an over-saturated world.


There once was an under-saturated girl living in an over-saturated world. She loved the colors around her, but she was melancholy because she didn’t possess the amazing technicolor array herself.

She was painfully aware each and everyday of her inadequate hues in comparison to the lively ones around her. Why couldn’t she just get those colors on her own? Why didn’t she just become a spectrum of tye-dye? Didn’t she know that she was an eye sore to the rest of the world?


These thoughts plagued her each and everyday. Comments like, “Well, why don’t you just saturate?” and “You know, standing there being those bleak-colors isn’t going to change anything. You should really stop feeling sorry for yourself and go get some color in you,” were constantly thrown in her direction. But no matter how hard she tried, nothing changed. She tried saturating, but it didn’t work. She tried to stop feeling sorry for herself, but it didn’t bring the color back.

She was going to give up. She figured, “Why should I stay in a bright, happy-colored world when I am just a bleak and unsightly eye-sore? All I do is ruin the scenery. There’s no place for me here! I should just go and end all the trouble I’ve caused. And, I won’t have to feel so inadequate anymore…”

Just before she was ready to leave her world forever, she looked around one last time. She looked at the trees and the way they caught the opalescent light. She ran her pale, under-saturated hands through the grass and half-smiled, as if she could feel the colors beneath her palms, radiating in magenta, lime, cyan. She noticed her pale skin against the violet blades.

That’s when she had a realization.

Her under-saturation wasn’t a bad thing that needed to be changed. In fact, it was a gift: if she was over-saturated, how would she be able to appreciate the beautiful colors around her? They would all blend in. They wouldn’t look as bright and wonderful as they did to her in this moment. She was as spectacular as the world around her.

ImageI did this shoot today with one of my best friends. Her back yard is filled with trees and paths and other interesting nature-y things (like mosquitoes…) and when I saw her backyard a few weeks ago on a prior visit I demanded to come back (I mean, I kind of asked for permission… kind of…)

Admittedly, I completely winged it today. I had this scarf with all these different fabric scraps (pictured above) and figured I’d just work with that. Then, when I got home and started editing and got frustrated, I started playing around with the saturation and- voila! My idea hatched.  Sometimes a shoot that you don’t think is going to turn out well becomes something fun and interesting.