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.



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!

November’s Photos (or, honestly, NYC Photos)

There’s only one month left of my carrying a camera everywhere/ one roll a month project, and the month of November was pretty rad. See for yourself:

I apologize for the dust marks and weird blue lines. I had to use my Kodak Easy Scan, since I am away from my flatbed. C’EST LA VIE, AS PER USUAL. Also, the scanner auto-cropped some of my images. Jerk.

I spent a weekend in Chicago and then half a week in NYC, and a majority of the roll was shot there. My friend, Patrick, lives and goes to school there, so he showed me around. We went to Central Park, some place where there was a good pizza place nearby, the new World Trade Center, some place where there the most delicious cheesecake ever was nearby, and yeah. I’m super specific, I know. Oh and we went shopping at Forever 21 at 1AM sorry not sorry.

There’s only a month left of my project, but not really. I’m going to keep doing this, as it keeps me looking for good opportunities and those moments when I think, “Oh! This would be a great photo!” I will actually have a camera to take said photo. What a concept.

My Fuji Natura Classica, I feel, was made for night time city photography, because those photos turned out so nicely and are my favorites. I’m already itching to go back to take some more (and maybe go to grad school I mean is that too much to ask?)

So, yeah. If you’re ever in NYC, I recommend Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cheesecake. I would move there for that alone.

Happy Shooting!

London at Sunset and Planet Parliament

Tonight I went on the London Eye. It was sundown. There is not much else to be said, as the pictures speak for themselves.

It was really spectacular. If you ever go to London in the summer months, go on the eye at about 9PM. It’s so worth your time to watch the sun go to sleep and see the city lights wake.

I also did a weird little editing thing. I made a planet. What? I made a planet? Whatever could I mean by that?

My friend Kaiden told me about this cool little trick. You should really see his planets on his Flickr page, as they are a lot more eloquent than mine.

I found a useful tutorial on how to make these things, which can be found here. This is something I want to experiment with some more, especially since I’m here in Europe and I have some cool scenery at my disposal. But, these are hard to make well, so I’m going to have to have a lot of trial and error before I’m happy with the results. C’est la vie, practice makes perfect, never give up and never surrender and all that jazz.

And with that, happy shooting and happy planet-making!



In Case of No Tripod in London, YOLO

Let’s talk about cheap tripods.

Don’t do it.

So, tonight a group of friends and I went to central London for some night photography. I was going to get some great shots, because, y’know, I had my tripod and motivation. I go to attach my camera to the tripod- it’s broken. It won’t attach. My life flashed before my very eyes. It was a good life that ended with no tripod.

We were already there, there were a bunch of us, and I was tripod-less. But, never fear, I made-do, got creative, and this is what happened:

I’m thinking about getting a new tripod, but that costs money and I’m poor. We’ll see. For now, steady surfaces like cement walls and bridges will do.

I enjoyed walking around and seeing other photographers trying to get good shots of the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, and the Thames in general. Everyone was so focused with their tripods and crouching and such. It made my night.

That’s all for now though. Happy shooting!

P.S.- I mean YOLO in the most facetious way possible.

So You Want to Shoot On-Location? Well…

Today, for the first time, I experienced a certain struggle of an amateur photographer.

I’ve shot on location tons of times. I’ve had shoots where I had multiple people helping, where I had to use trucks to bring the props, where it took longer to set up that it took to actually take the pictures.

Tonight, these ordinary struggles were magnified. I did an on-location shoot with portable lighting equipment. And it was a pain. Fortunately, I had a lot of people helping me carry things and I had to do almost zero heavy lifting. The editing gave me a headache though.

First of all, only two images came out. All the images I took looked great on my itty-bitty screen on my camera, but when I got home- NOPE ALL BUT TWO WERE BLURRY. So, thanks, eyesight. Thanks a bunch. Thank goodness I shot with ISO100, otherwise there would be no way to salvage my images. But I tried, and I think I did okay.

It’ll do.

My boyfriend did me a favor and took pictures behind-the-scenes with his point and shoot digital camera. These make me really happy because I love seeing my friends and family helping out, and now I have documentation of it. Plus, you gotta admit, it’s a little fun to see the behind-the-scenes fun. I wish people would show the fun side of their work more often, and not just the end result.

And that’s how my first light-kit adventure went. I hope next time will go smoother, but for now I am content.