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Posts tagged ‘photography’

Joyelle: What Is Good for Us

I had to laugh the other day when Sheri McConnell
posted this as her Twitter update:

Before you diagnose yourself w/depression or low self-esteem, 
first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

Clearly this post resonated with many others too,
because I saw it re-tweeted several times through the day.
And I think that we all laugh because we see
how we have done this to ourselves.
I know I have driven myself into therapy
because I wasn’t careful enough about choosing
who I had around me.

I am a highly sensitive person,
as I think most artists are.
I am also very empathic,
and have a great desire to prove my own worth
by taking care of others.
This is not a healthy combination.

I have learned to recognize this pattern in myself.

After reading The Happiness Project,
one of my personal 12 Commandments became
“When you feel the urge to do more, STOP.”
Because I know that I often over-extend myself.

I am trying to
“pick out what is good”
for me.

Some of the things I have learned in this process:
*if you want to have a good marriage,
spend time with couples who treat each
other with love and respect
*if you want to make more art,
surround yourself with artists
*if you want to have more fun,
surround yourself with people
who make you laugh

I could go on, but you get the idea.

What about you?

What do you want more of? Less of?
What can you pick out that is good for you?

Crossposted from An Artful Endeavor

Jodi: TtV — Through the Viewfinder — Love

I have found a new love! It’s called TtV (through the viewfinder) and I was hooked the minute I saw this post from Julie Bergmann, one of my FB friends and an incredibly creative spirit.

Her link intrigued me — especially with my collection of vintage cams — the main reason I started collecting them was my weird love of the way the pictures look in camera. I love the noise, the light leaks, the vintage feel and the dust! I went to her flickr stream and fell in love!

I searched flickr and found a group with 6600+ members. The pictures were absolutely breathtaking — like I’d stepped into a magical world! So, when I realized that I already had the cameras that would allow me to do this type of photography — my Brownie Hawkeye, my Kodak Duaflex and my Argus 75 — I couldn’t wait to get started!

I needed a bit more technical information about the process so I went to one of my favorite photography sites, JPG, and found this article. It really helped to make sense of it all. Another very informative and goofy site is Photojojo. Their article on TtV really simplifies the process for anyone who’s itching to try it out.

The one thing that I honestly haven’t done yet is to make the contraption that they talk about — the one that joins the 2 cameras together for added stability and so that no light is able to get in. So far, I’ve not been disappointed with any of my shots but, I do plan on rigging up something in the summer, once I can get outside and shoot for extended periods of time. I want the full TtV experience!

The first picture is what the process actually looks like. I’m aiming into the viewfinder of my Brownie Hawkeye and taking a picture of what is in the viewfinder.

The neat thing is that there is no film involved! I use my Canon 7D DSLR and my 100 mm macro lens — this gives me a nice, crisp shot of what is in the viewfinder of my Hawkeye. Here is a SOOC (straight out of camera) shot of what is downloaded from my 7D and before any editing.

The viewfinder of the Hawkeye.

I really like that there is not alot of editing involved. I crop out everything but the thick black border — the hallmark of TtV, regardless of the vintage camera that you use — and depending on how I’m feeling, I may saturate, de-saturate or run a vintage action on it.

The final TtV image. I left this one unedited to show you the dreamy, noisy
feel to the image.
My boys through the viewfinder.

I edited this one of my toddler more true to TtV. Darker, blurrier, and noisy!

Another characteristic to TtV shots is that they are reversed. I took this picture of an old telephone with my 7D and my Kodak Duaflex IV. You’ll see the letters and numbers are reversed. Some photographers choose to flip the image while editing so that it is visually correct — I don’t. I like the quirky look.

An old Northern Electric phone done in TtV and sepia-toned.
This image was my very first sale in my Etsy shop! It’s my favorite!

My third TLR (twin lens reflex) camera is an Argus 75 that I found on ebay. It was in great shape and good and dusty! All of the speckles that you see are permanently embedded in the viewfinder. I can’t imagine ever cleaning it! I took this shot in the back of our truck — I balanced the Argus on the edge of the truck and shot straight down.

Winter in Timmins, ON. All I did to edit this one was slide the saturation up a notch. The sky was beautiful that day!
My husband. Edited to have a 70s feel.
Me. My daughter took this extreme closeup. Boo!

That’s my new love, TtV, in a nutshell. It’s definitely not for everyone — if you like clean, sharp pictures, you probably never made it to the end of this article! Ha! If you’re a lover of noise, speckles and something different — like I am — go and get yourself a Duaflex or an Argus and get shooting!

Joyelle: A Toddler’s-Eye View

Yesterday my 3-year-old son discovered the camera. Now, given that his father and I are both photo obsessed (to the point that we have weekly photo dates and are signed up for a photo retreat together this March) the only really surprising thing is that Gabe hasn’t picked up a camera sooner. I do have to put in a little disclaimer here, that the camera he picked up was our point-and-shoot Fuji, not one of our two DSLR cameras. So instead of freaking out and yelling “PUT THAT THING DOWN NOW!” I was like, “Go nuts, kid.” And he did.

For the last day and a half he has been snapping pictures of anything and everything, from the pantry cupboards to our cat (many, many pictures of the cat), his grandmother, his Ikea crawling tube, rocks, and his own shadow. He especially seems to like extreme close-ups, which come out in a cool blur of color. At one point he was closing in on his sippy cup and his grandma said something like “Don’t do that dear, it won’t look good,” and I practically jumped down her throat. OK, not quite that bad. But I did tell her to let him have his experiments. We’re in the digital age, he can take as many pictures as he wants!

After a day and a half of photo taking, he had filled up the memory card. Here is where I thought the hard part would come. I wanted to teach him about the most important part of photography — editing. So I loaded all his photos onto the computer and asked him to give me a “yes” or “no” as to whether he liked each image. What surprised me was how a string of “no”s came out easily. He kept his favourite subjects (the cat, grandma, his Ikea crawling tube) and quickly nixed anything that he didn’t love. I ended up over-riding his “no” a couple times when I wanted to keep an image. After all, it’s my baby’s first photo shoot! And that shot of the cement tiles was really cool!

And what I have now is really priceless. A collection of images, literally from my toddler’s point of view. I get to see the world from his perspective. And it’s chaotic and swirly and beautiful. And it may just be that I am biased because his father and I are both artists, but I think this first venture into photography shows his already acute artistic eye. But then, all children are artists. We only cease to be artists when we cease believing in our art.

So here again I can learn from my son. I can see his joy in capturing the moments of his day, and it is a reflection of the joy I feel when I look at my world through that lens. It reminds me why I love photography so much. Because in that process of re-framing your world, you become child-like in wonder at the smallest thing. That awe, that connection to the world around me, is why I keep coming back to my camera. It is meditation in motion. And I am so excited that now my son gets to have that experience with me.

Wendi: A Writer’s Introduction

I am a WAHM, working as a freelance writer and photographer, currently in Act II of a very happy and successful professional life. Prior to taking on these creative challenges I spent nearly 20 years working for two national nonprofit children’s organizations.

Through each of my professions, the one thing I have always been committed to is helping other parents get more joy and be more successful in the hardest and most rewarding job ever. When I’m not wrangling babies I’m a writing articles about nonprofit business management for Stevenson, Inc.

As a freelance writer my works about parenting and child welfare have been published on a regional and local level. I was recently featured as a guest blogger on Fans of Being a Mom and keep my own blog, Warts and All.

On the creative front, I love experimenting with my new digital SLR camera and sharing my love of photography with others. With two young children, I have to say that most of my creativity right now goes into planning what I will enjoy doing when I have more time, including scrapping some of the 10,000+ pictures I have taken since my kids were born. Right now I’ll settle for just getting them organized.

I’m an avid reader and love connecting with other moms over all things parenting.

I live in upstate New York with my husband and our children, ages 7 and 3. I can be reached at

Jodi: My 2011 Goals — in Polaroids

I am not a “New Year’s resolutions” maker. If I want to change or accomplish something, I just do it. It seems foolish to wait until a certain date to make changes that you could, if you wanted to badly enough, make right now. But, I do look at the turn of the year as an opportunity to reflect on what I’m doing right (house clean, kids fed, husband smiley) and those things that I’m slacking off at (me time, my career, my outlets, my, my, my…). So, being a photographer who is obsessed with all things photographic, I decided to do things a little different this year. I recently discovered Jamie Ridler and her dreamboards and I really like that they put a picture to an idea. To me this makes it more real, so I borrowed this line of thinking and put my own spin on it!

I have a variety of cameras. My Canon 7D, my Minolta-35 mm, 120 medium formats, and 620 film cams. I also have a great collection of actual Polaroid cameras. They are probably my favorite of all of my ‘vintage’ cameras as they give me instant gratification (not to mention the amazing 70’s feel). So this year I set my main 2011 goals and then photographed them with my Polaroid Spectra 1200.

I recently made the difficult decision to close down my current daycare business in hopes of starting fresh with a photography business. 2011 for me is a completely fresh start and with that comes all new goals that could be set. My primary goal is to get my business established and generating some income. The first picture shows a small portion of my camera gear that is itching to be used in my new business. They also represent the vast amount of stuff that is piling up due to the fact that I don’t have a dedicated space.

Goal #1

Open my Photo Studio -- maybe 1/4 of my photo gear.

My second goal is tied to the first. I have always loved to dabble with paint, pastels, chalk, and all things crafty. I recently discovered that I have the desire to make my own textures and possibly artwork that incorporates my photos. I haven’t exactly narrowed this down — it’s a work in progress for now. All I do know is that I have two easels, sketch pads, watercolor canvases, and more paint, pencils, and chalk than one person probably needs. And they are homeless. They are currently piled up on my tiny desk in my room beside my littlest’s crib. My husband is always banging into them. He’s not very happy about this.

Goal #2

Create an Art Space -- it's piling up!

My third goal may be the one I’m looking most forward to. I am a caregiver by nature. I have run a daycare for 7 years and I have four kids. Before the daycare I was/am still a Certified Personal Trainer (ultimate career where you coddle people — exhausting) and I tried once during the 7 years to go back to work. I found work at the Red Cross doing personal care. In short, most of my adult life has involved me taking care of everyone around me. This year I solemnly vow to make more ‘me time’ and, here’s the kicker, not feel guilty that I could be doing something else. My picture shows my fave Aeropostale slippers and many Lush bath bombs that are unused. One is from Christmas last year! Yuck!

Goal #3

Make more 'me time' -- some of these bathbombs are from last Christmas!

Finally, I have always been a voracious reader. Between my cookbooks piling up in the kitchen, novels on my bedstand, photography and writing books in my office, aka the kitchen table, almost every corner of my home has a pile of books. The problem is that when I finally get the kids to bed, usually by 8, I still seem to have a million things left to do, whether for the current day or to get a jump on tomorrow. By the time I finally get up to bed, my favorite place to read, I fall asleep. I have to give myself permission to leave things for the next day and give myself that extra time to read.

Goal #4

Read more! I would love to finish any one of these!

I am hopeful. All the goals I have set are attainable — or I will make them attainable. I want my own business, I deserve more ‘me time,’ and I need to have a creative outlet — artwork and reading. I have posted the Polaroids on my bulletin board in my kitchen. I will look at them every day and when I accomplish that particular goal I will remove the Polaroid and tuck it away. I may even replace it with a new one!

2011, here I come!

Good luck with your 2011 goals — I’d love to hear about them!


Jodi: An Introduction

[Editor’s note: Please join me in welcoming Jodi to the Studio Mothers community!]

I am a wife and mom to four great kids: 14, 12, 2.5 years, and 8 months old. I live up in Timmins, ON, Canada. I have been running a small home daycare for the past 7 years while I dabble with writing, blogging, mixed-media artforms, reading, cooking, baking, and my biggest passion, photography. I am a collector of vintage cameras (Brownies, Hawkeyes, Minolta), toy cameras (4 and 8 lens), and the proud owner of a Holga, a Diana, and too many Polaroids.

I recently graduated from the New York Institute’s Full Photography course and have committed to opening up my own photography studio where I plan to offer traditional indoor studio sessions and outdoor/location shoots. I also have delusions of grandeur that include my own line of fine art prints (check out my Etsy shop), notecards, templates, and anything else I can create in my little home photo/art studio. I love my Canon 7D and Photoshop Elements 9. Whatever would I do without you?

I look forward to being a part of a community that encourages creativity and family.

Where I can be found:

Robin: Wish.Play.Create – Week 2 (went a bit differently)

So I was totally psyched about week 2 of the e-course of Wish Play Create. The instructor is Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters so I “knew” this was gonna be a fun week.
Josey has ZERO INTEREST in playing with a camera. For three days I would ask her in this excited voice, “are you ready to take some pictures of your favorite things?” and I would receive responses ranging from “um no thanks…” to a whining yet emphatic “I DON’T WANT TO!” The good news is we were giving some prompting questions to help with shaping the assignment. Things like:
“My favorite things” — pink and going somewhere
“I really like to” — do
“I am really good at” — going somewhere
“I feel happy when” — it’s good
So here’s the compromise:
She let me take a pic of her in one of her pink outfits (kind of…)
I caught her working in her journal….
Such is the life of motherhood and creativity:
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