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.

SO STORY TIME

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!

 

The House I Don’t Remember

I moved out of the Home Sweet Home house not too long ago, and things have changed in that house since then. It’s not the way I remember it at all. While I was in the process of moving, the photo album of a lot of my baby pictures was rediscovered. Inside were photos of my family and I in the house– only it looked completely different from anything I recall. I lived in this house before it became the house I knew, but I have no memory of it. At all. Yet, there is photographic evidence of my early life there.

I recently re-visited the house and took photographs with this project in mind. I had the Polaroids with me and I tried to replicate the composition of my house from the early 90s with what remains of it today. The thing about both the old pictures and new is that I don’t live in either of the scenes. Technically I did live in the house of the Polaroids, but since I don’t remember, I might as well never had. It’s a strange feeling, like a nostalgia for a place I’ve never been.

I created this series in anticipation for my senior BFA show (basically my thesis for my studio art degree,) and I can say with confidence that they worked extraordinarily well with everything else in my show– which I will be blogging about very soon, so keep an eye out!

That’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! In celebration of today, here are some fall/Halloween themed instax photos!

Those cute little kids are my neice, nephews, and their friends.

And my brother makes an excellent giraffe.

Fuji Instax Wide film doesn’t have many patterned frame options, so when I saw the Halloween ones I freaked and ordered them. Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday, so c’mon, gotta indulge a little bit.

It was the first time ever I had trouble with the paralax shift of this camera, for some reason. Probably because I was shooting up close. Whatever, I made a collage.

Happy Halloween and Happy Shooting!

On the Topic of Nervous Photographs

I’m not a shy person. I’m a terrified person.

I don’t like calling in pizza. Sometimes I prefer eating toast over eating alone in the school cafeteria. I don’t answer the door when the post man knocks, and lord knows one of my least favorite things to do ever is ask for help in a store.

Sometimes this can get in the way of taking marvelous pictures.

This morning I went off on my own back to Westminster, mostly because the sky was perfect (blue and scattered clouds make my heart sing,) and because my tenacious side was still irritated it was raining yesterday when I visited. See, I have a photo series in mind that centers around London’s landmarks, and let’s be real, you can’t take a picture of a landmark people have seen thousands of times with a bleak grey background and expect to get positive reactions. Except from your mom, of course.

So, there I was, riding the tube to Westminster. I got off and went to the pier to get a good shot of the London Eye across the Thames. Before I explain my irrational behavior further, I have to show you the photograph.

I’m not sure about this composition but that’s a different tangent.

In a nutshell, I was extremely self-conscious about one, taking out my huge Instax Wide and snapping the shot, two, standing around pretending to look like I was doing something while it developed since I was standing in an ideal spot for tourist-like photos and was not sharing, and three, holding out the picture got people staring (or maybe it was the rainbow-tie-dye-skirt I was wearing but who knows really.)

I did manage to wait it out and take a lot of different compositions of this idea, so kudos to me. I plan on doing a whole series of these, so I have to get over my nervousness in taking photos in public settings. Sometimes I want to take pictures of strangers, but I don’t out of fear of making them upset, when I could just take their picture and if they ask what the hell is wrong with me, I can explain. This hesitation that crops up from time to time gets in the way of my goals. I’m thinking about challenging myself and just asking strangers if I can photograph them. We’ll see.

But I had a lovely day, and I did get the shots I needed, so all is well. I enjoyed the freedom of walking around by myself, it was more romantic that way, and while I was pretending to look busy I did manage to get a nice, ironic photograph of the Thames:

I tried doing another instax-within-a-photograph shot, but none of the photos came out like how I wanted. The place I took a photo of I pass everyday on my way to class, so I don’t foresee any issues re-taking it. I’m just glad I have the opportunity to do redo’s if I want!

Tomorrow is visiting the Globe and St. Paul’s and who knows what else. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have an inspirational tale about over coming nervous-photo-taking and I’ll be an inspiration among the masses. Or I’ll just have a cool photo, whatever works.

Until then, happy shooting!

 

 

 

California Dreamin’

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 treats you kindly. My year is off to a FANTASTIC start! I spent New Years Eve in Los Angeles, California. Actually, I spent December 29th to January 2nd. I went on the trip with the Spartan Marching Band in order to perform at the 100th Rose Bowl (thanks to our awesome football team) and the 125th Rose Parade. While we were there we also went to Disneyland and LA Live.

And.

Wait for it.

I took pictures.

Super shocking, right? I brought six cameras with me, but only ended up using four. First up is the Fuji Natura Classica. I am IN LOVE with this camera, and the photos below should give you a hint as to why.

The camera captures light beautifully. I love digital, don’t get me wrong, but you couldn’t get a photo like this without editing it in Photoshop. 10/10, would use again and again and again and… You get it.

At Disneyland I got the chance to play with my Fuji Instax- and man, I have a lot to learn on it. All my pictures were tourist photos. For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that the Fuji Instax HAD to be the camera I took to Disneyland. I had this romanticized vision of Polaroid-esque pictures of me and my loved ones. Not sure why this appealed to me so much- maybe it’s because all the pictures from my childhood are Polaroids and I was in Disneyland, a child’s dream destination. Or I couldn’t suppress my inner hipster or something. I really should stop drinking Starbucks and wearing trendy flannel shirts.

So yeah, even though they aren’t artful or anything, here they are. You are now subjected to my touristy photos. Boo-yah.

Now, I’m not the only one who had fun in Disneyland. There was another group there, a group that you haven’t heard from in a while…

THE BOXHEADS HAVE RETURNED!


And they made their creepy comeback in the happiest place on earth. Whoops? sorrynotsorry

Quick story about the Splash Mountain picture: I managed to get the BoxHeads into Disneyland in the first place because they are actually those collapsible storage drawers, so they fit in my backpack. Right before we got on the ride, I took one out and put it under my arm. I got on with no problem, and as soon as we turned the corner and were out of sight of the ride operators, I opened it and set it on my lap in the ready position. My group and I were super giddy about the idea, and when we started going up the hill to the drop I put the box on my own head. I hardly believed I had the guts to do it, since I’m not a fan of drops and I wouldn’t be able to hold on to the boat thingy because I’d have to hold the box on my head… But the box muffled my terrified screams as we went down and got soaked.

When we got off the ride, we went to the photo screens and found a group of people pointing and laughing at our picture. When we saw it, we practically fell over laughing. We ran over to the photo kiosk to buy it, but we forgot to look at the photo number. So, my friend told the cast member, “Ours is the one with the box on someone’s head!”

The cast member did NOT look happy.

“Well, that’s not allowed, so it probably didn’t end up here. We have moderators that take care of the photos and-”

“There it is!”

I guess the moderators missed our photo. The cast member still looked unhappy while she bagged our photos, but it was so worth it. Have a sense of humor, lady.

I have a shoot planned for these gems this weekend, so stay tuned for that. I have another set of photos from the trip that I took on my Horizon Perfekt, but I haven’t scanned the negatives in yet. So there is more to look forward to!

That’s all I have for now- I’m very excited to see what 2014 will do for everyone’s photography!