My Love,

I have a confession.

When I was off adventuring across the country, gallivanting through mountains, torturing my hardly-ever-used muscles… I missed my significant other. So, like any other sensible artist, I made a piece.

Now you all know that I’m actually a huge sap.

When I travel, I’m really happy, but there is also an underlying casual sadness that permeates my bones. It’s like my entire being knows that what I am experiencing will eventually become a faded memory, even though I’m not actively thinking that way. Couple that subconscious feeling with missing my love, and you have these kinds of letters.

I missed him, and now I miss the mountains. Go figure.

I shot the images on my Fuji Instax Wide, using the Instax Wide Film.

Happy Shooting!

Memento Mori

The nice thing about road trips with friends is you can bring ridiculous awesome outfits for them to wear in national parks and ask them to change in the middle of the mountains.

Which is exactly what I did with my friends, Sean and Dana.

I was going for a kind of antiquated look, thinking about how time passes us by and how small we are in the scheme of things, how young we are in the presence of mountains.

I used Impossible Project B&W Film.

When I travel, I like to create a narrative inspired by the place I went. I’m super happy with how this little narrative turned out. Shout out to Sean and Dana who put up with feeling ridiculous when passing hikers were staring at us, for helping me carry the costumes, and for throwing themselves into it despite never posing for me before.

Happy Shooting friends!

Moving to Chicago: Instax Edition

I moved to Chicago. It’s a thing.

I took pictures of the process. Because I moved to Chicago to study for my Photography MFA. Photography. That’s me. Photos. Yes. Very.

Let me tell you, moving to another state is hella weird. But, I’m happy. My new apartment is right next to the el (which is Chicago’s public train system, “el” short for “elevated.) I hear trains go by all day everyday, which is amazing and not annoying, to be honest.

I had my room unpacked in a day. Yes, I have a mountain of galaxy printed pillows. That’s because I like stellar sleep. BOO-YAH.

I took my boyfriend around the city a little bit, since he’s never been to Chicago to explore, so that was lovely.

All of these were taken with a Fuji Instax Wide, because nothing says “moving is fun,” quite like instant film.

Oh, and Jafar is apparently a Disney Princess now.

Happy Shooting!

This Photo Series Is Out of This World

A kind of common thing I do is orchestrate large photo shoots with sets that take months to prepare. My last big “set” was the shoot I did with the gas masks last November. This time, my friends and I had one last hurrah before I move to Chicago and start my adventure there. We just kinda partied in outer space, or as I call it, the vacant lot near my house where people smoke joints and kids go dirt-biking. Not like that matters or anything.

I spent six months planning and gathering the things I wanted and needed for the shoot. It turned out much different than I was anticipating, but hey, when does that NOT happen? Story of my life, my friends. I was able to play with some of my lighting tricks, something I was not anticipating a few months back. Can you say SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING? Because I can.

SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING.

There.

So the idea was there were these alien enthusiasts, kind of like conspiracy theorists, who strongly believed in aliens or whatever (my eloquence is overwhelming, I know.) So one night, while hanging out at their campground for weirdos, looking out for aliens, they have a surprise encounter and everything is awesome.

I busted out the Instax Mini and some special film (Shiny Stars, I think? I got it from eBay.) I was taking pictures of the set, things lying around, and a group shot of my homies throwing up a peace sign.

Oh, and I took a picture of the pile of clothing that needed to be laundered after the shoot.

I have the Lomo Instax Mini, which gives you MX capabilities. It is seriously my favorite, and if you are thinking about getting a Mini, I HIGHLY suggest the Lomo one. Do it and be happy and live life with no regrets.

We had a blast with this shoot, it took 4 hours to set up, and we got done past midnight and went for milkshakes. I would have to say it was a great way to close my summer and days in Michigan. Shout out to everyone who was able to make it special.

Good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately for me, I can’t wait six months to do one shoot while in grad school, so, uh, wish me luck friends.

Happy Shooting!

A Romantic Adventure of a Different Kind

A long time ago, in a land far away, I came across mythical creatures, which captured my interest.

Translation: In December, when visiting my boyfriend’s new house, I found a hella old radio and TV. I was bored, and made up a story about how they were in love. Then it became a photo series about a hella old TV and radio and their odd little romance.

  Aren’t they adorable?

I used my Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera, and FP-100C film. My favorite was taking the beach photograph. While slathering sunscreen on Mr. TV, some people at a nearby picnic pavilion were heckling me to take their photograph. Apparently, the couple in the group was celebrating their anniversary, so I walked on over their and took their picture. They asked me what on earth I was doing, so I told them, “I’m an art student and I make serious work. So, in the summer, I goof off.”

I’m super eloquent.

Happy Shooting!

Even More Ideal Instances

Here we are again, with more altered, vintage Polaroids. Have fun.

There will be dozens of more posts about this, so stay tuned. If this is your first time seeing this project, feel free to click here to find out more.

Happy Shooting!

Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera

Over winter break (can you believe that was half a year ago?) I acquired a Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera from a thrift store. I found out that I could still get film for it, which is FP-100C by Fuji, and since then I’ve been playing with it. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but these photographs are so fun. I get to not only make an instant photo, but I get to peel back the negative, so I’m kind of doing something!

The first photograph I took with my new love was of our Christmas tree. Totally out of focus, but I wanted to see if the thing worked and I love this picture because, well, it was my first one. ❤

I took it around with me, and I snapped this shot on a cold and rainy day, and the film got stuck together. So, light leak on this strange and ominous road? I’ll take five.

So there’s this small restaurant near my old house that has been going through owners through the years, and the last people who owned it painted it these lovely neon colors. Well, I guess it didn’t catch people’s attention (or appetite?) because it’s closed now. But, hey, I had a cool sweater, a composition, and a boyfriend who is good at following directions.

I took a break from the camera for a little while, and I picked it up again a couple weeks ago. I was discovering that the camera has a rather slow shutter, and I was wondering if it was because I was holding the button down. So, I took this picture of my room, holding the button for about 5 seconds, and discovered the answer to my low-light problems.

Then, I was playing with bleach, and was like “omg what would happen if I put bleach on it?” and the glorious green blobs are what happened. Oh, the possibilities this experiment brings.

Then there was this one time I was working on a photo series (that you will soon see,) and something went wonky and the developer got stuck on the image. But hey, it’s cool looking.

I have a lot of plans with this camera. I bought a flash for it in Alabama (at an antique shop on the way to New Orleans– I figured I could use it for something,) and the bulbs for it still exist. I’d also like to do more low light stuff, but even when the camera is on a tripod, my hand shakes too much. So, I have yet to figure that out.

I found mine at a thrift shop, so if you’re interested in taking these kinds of photos, keep an eye out, and even check eBay. I also recommend the bleaching– it was so cool!

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!

New Orleans Cemetery #3

I had a very limited time in New Orleans. Of the four and a half days I was there, I had one day to sight-see. That day, my family and I went around the French Quarter and took one of those bus tours around the city. It was really nice, getting a crash course on New Orleans. We stopped at Cemetery #3, but were only allowed ten minutes to explore. So, naturally, I wanted to come back.

The day we were leaving we woke up at 6AM so I could go take pictures at the cemetery before driving alllll the wayyyy back to Michigan. If that’s not familial love, I dunno what is.

So, we went, and spent an hour walking around. I took a lot of pictures with my Lomo Fuji Instax Mini, and got to do some double exposures with it. It’s a neat little camera. I also took a lot with my medium format (my pitiful Voigtlander,) which I need to get developed. I love that camera because of the antique aesthetic is gives my images. Wow, that was a very hipster thing of me to say.

But yeah, antique? Old graves? I’m into that.

STORY TIME.

So my mom and I were walking at the edge of the cemetery, where there were these sort of tombs in the wall– think morgue, but lots of them. So we’re walking along, taking pictures because that’s not disturbing to do in a cemetery, and we start to hear this knocking sound. My mom and I looked at each other, made a “no freaking way there is not someone knocking in that wall” face, laughed at the ridiculousness of that idea, and continued taking pictures.

But the knocking sound continued. After a while my mom and I were like “okay, this isn’t funny,” and we were the only people we saw in the cemetery. So, who was knocking?

We weren’t going anywhere in a hurry, until I finally said, “THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DIE IN HORROR MOVIES.”

So, yeah. We left that place reallllll quick after that conclusion.

If you’re ever in New Orleans, I recommend Cemetery #3. The more famous ones are #1 and #2, but if you’re not in the mood for crowds, #3 is less visited by the touring masses.

Just. If you hear knocking… run.

Happy Shooting!

Colors of London

So remember when I was in London, oh, five-ish months ago (oh goodness it’s been that long?) Well, y’all know I made a few bodies of work, and y’all also know that I’ve kinda released a couple of said bodies of work a bit after my trip. Well guess what? I have more for you, and it was the series I created that I was looking the most forward to.

Here are my Colors of London:

I decided in spring 2013 that I was going to study in London the summer of 2014. Once my mind was set, I got to brainstorming, and this series was the first one that came to mind. I told my friend and model, Becca, about it and she was like “HeCk YeS!” and so we spent a couple months going back and forth on who was going to bring what color shirts. Ah, the logistics.

Then we spent a couple of days doing marathons around the city of London to get photos. Man, we were tired. Bless Becca for the craziness of those couple of days. Bless bless bless.

Yeah, not entirely sure what the nailpolish and thread and other embellishing is all about, but it was the idea that I had so I just kinda went with it. And the random words? Those are parts of Henry James short stories/novels. Let me tell you, it was a fun time trying to find the word “orange” in his work. Also, the word “teal” wasn’t used as a color in the English language until after 1920– the more you know, I guess?

We studied James in my classes abroad, so those are sort of relevant. And, when you read all the photos one after the other, you get a fun little narrative that has nothing to do with the images. Because I like messing with people.

Happy Shooting!