Coming Up Oranges

I spent the past 10 days in the Washington DC area, visiting some friends. Of course, news of the inauguration of Donald Trump was everywhere. While I was gallivanting through the city, platforms were being set up. Roads were blocked. Police were everywhere. So many portable toilets.

And, of course, I took the opportunity to make some work. I always try to make a narrative when I travel some place, a little something that isn’t too deep and something I don’t have to explain or think too hard about. So, here, have a little narrative, in dishonor of my country:

Bless my homies Sean and Dana, for posing in really tourist-y style photos and letting me Photoshop oranges over your faces (even though I do love the ridiculous faces hiding under the fruit…)

The last image, of the swear-in, was taken from Google. I added the oranges, of course.

I also took out my Polaroid Sun600 and shot with the orange and black Impossible Project Film, to make some “orangescapes.”

I’m not happy with who we have as “president.” I’m actually terrified. I cried for a long time after the results came in, and not just because who I wanted didn’t win the election. I’m scared for my future, the future of my friends. I’m afraid my rights will be stripped from me, that I will be less than a citizen. I’m appalled that this nation elected a RAPIST to be our leader, and, quite frankly, when I see Donald’s face I feel sick to my stomach. And we have to survive the next four years, some how, some way.

Making art is part of my survival tactic. I’m in a position where I can do that– but do not get me wrong. This is not some romantic “suffering makes art” bullshit. This is my way of surviving. I’m not a martyr, I’m not making myself out to be some victim. I’m just trying to live, and the only way I know how is to create.

I also made tweets, because Donald loves to tweet. It’s like, the best, believe me.

So, there you have it. I hide behind humor to mask my pain.

Happy Shooting and Making and Hell Raising!

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!

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!

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!

 

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!