Earlier this summer I photographed a lifestyle session for Sparrow Park Goods, a high quality, American made cotton goods company launching later this year. The company was started by Jennifer Andersen and her fiancé, and Jenn flew out to Los Angeles to oversee the shoot. I scouted a few locations before her arrival, and decided on the gorgeous El Matador State Beach for the views and large rock structures for our first spot. The main focus was on the blankets, which as you can see come in a variety of fun and colorful patterns. They are nylon on the bottom side, which is perfect for the sand or damp grass, and they roll up easily to carry and store. The blanket also has a corner zipper pocket, which I LOVE for storing your cell phone and things you don’t want to get sandy. Good looking AND functional! Yes, please. Our goal was warm lighting, bright colors and whites, and an overall feeling of relaxed happiness. Sounds like the perfect beach day, right? Styling: Jennifer Andersen and Carlene Moore
Pinterest is my personal black hole. Once I enter, I can get lost for many many minutes. Dan has made up a song that he sings when he catches me on Pinterest. Luckily he’s not around to sing it when he’s at work, slash, when I do the majority of my pinning. What can I say? I like to look at things! Most recently I’ve been looking at portrait photography. I started seeing the world for the first time through a camera lens when I was abroad in London during college. Shooting street photography portraits was my favorite at the time. Hanging in our apartment living room is a black and white photo I took at Borough Market. The photo is of the farmer who sells eggs. He’s wearing a hat that makes his head round like an egg and he’s placing his eggs into a carton. If you look closely, you can spot a broken shell. I love little details and secrets in a photo like that. I only have a print copy. In the photos above, I love the way light is such an important part of the portrait. How it falls or illuminates a face is part of the story and can make a simple photo so much more interesting. Which is your favorite?
A few weeks ago, the day before my birthday to be exact, I left my day job to pursue my photography and general happiness full time. It’s a leap of faith, and I’m figuring out whether it’s really going to all be possible, but you have no idea the joy that sweeps over me around 4pm every day when I realize I can keep working on what I’m doing at that moment! Again, I must emphasize that I don’t know if this can continue forever, but for the time being, I’ve given myself some creative space. That means more blogging, more photography, and more acting for pleasure and growth. So if you know anyone who is looking for a photographer, I’m available for headshots, portraits, food press, engagements, and parties! One of the best parts of making my own schedule, is being able to match my days off with Dan’s, and have a real weekend together. We spent Saturday exploring our neighborhood by bike. I’m in love with Rolling Greens Nursery. The store is so well curated and styled! Can I move in? Slash, can I have my wedding there? Not kidding, I’ve inquired. Just down the street, Jonathan Wright & Co. was having a sidewalk sale, and we picked up these cute cocktails notecards for half off. They’ll be perfect for The Whaling Club thank you notes. Have any of you ever left your day job to go freelance or start a totally new career path? I’d love to hear your story! Some great blog posts and inspiration about taking the leap here, here, and here!
Dan and I spent a day hiking in Montecito followed by dinner at Brophy Bros. in Santa Barbara. It was a gorgeous and cool day, and I brought along my new camera and Lensbaby to play around with the light and scenery on the hike. I’m still learning how to control my Lensbaby, but part of what I love is the unpredictable and creative effects it has on the images. We tried to take a self-timed photo of the two of us, but as you can see it was hard to focus the “sweet spot” without being behind the camera. Brophy Bros. is a casual seafood spot right on the harbor with awesome views of the water, mountains, and boats. We scored a table outside before the sun starting going down, and we watched the sky change colors as fishermen pulled in some serious sea urchin loot from the water. Dan insisted on closing the night with an oyster shooter before we headed back to LA. Days off really are the best! We’re hoping to go camping when the weather warms up a little bit. Any suggestions of favorite spots welcome from you SoCal folks!
I’m on the plane headed home to Chicago for Christmas where Mom, Dad, Willyman, Grandmom, and girlfriends await. I’ll be missing my best friend Caitlin who will be in CO for the holiday (we grew up across the street from each other), and of course, Dan, who’s headed back to the east coast to see him family. Last night Dan surprised me with a Pendleton blanket, and I’m currently obsessed. That guy knows me so well. With my new blanket, the tent Dan gave me for my birthday this year, and a January calendar that may actually allow for two days off in a row together (!), I think a camping trip is in order. I’d love any suggestions! I’ve heard good things about Ojai.
2012 has been an incredible year. Dan interviewed for a job on my birthday in March, got the job, moved to LA a month later, and in August we moved into our first apartment together. I took Blogshop and launched my photography business, and have been thrilled by the support and response from friends and clients. I spent a luxurious week in the Outerbanks with my family (and the weather was perfection!). I spent two incredible months writing and creating characters that culminated in a show at The Groundlings–some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Dan and I created The Whaling Club, which continues to grow and challenge my creative side. The first of my group of girlfriends married her high school sweetheart, and their wedding was beautiful and so special (we also got to eat at Next on that trip!). I pumped myself up and found courage while dancing to Beyonce. And we re-elected Obama!
2013 you have a lot to live up to! Yet there’s already so much to look forward to. I’m excited to have a strong team supporting and working with me on my acting career. My best friends, Caitlin and Emilie, are coming to visit LA in February! Dan and I are planning a getaway up to San Francisco. I hope to visit New York, see my brother’s talent in action, and visit friends and family. And there will be a lot more dancing to Beyonce, duh.
I recently took some “old Hollywood” inspired portraits of my client, Brittney, and an adorable labradoodle. His name is Bogart! Amazing. He was quite the gentlemen. This was my first time shooting a posed animal portrait (as opposed to candid). What did I learn? Just.keep.shooting. You may only have a moment to capture that perfect shot! And how glam is Brittney?
You may have noticed that the blog has been looking a little more spiffy these days. I’m thrilled that I can finally create things the way I see them in my head thanks to blogshop! Blogshop is a photoshop class for bloggers that I was lucky enough to attend a few weekends ago. In fact, I’ve had my eye on blogshop for a while now, but the class always sold out before I snagged a spot. I was beating myself up a little bit when LA sold out, especially since I knew it was the last one here for the year. The Friday morning before blogshop LA, I saw on twitter that a spot had opened up for the weekend! As in…the following morning! I was all, “Should I do it??” And Dan was all, ” Yes!! Do it!!” So I signed up, downloaded a free 30-day photoshop trial, got a shift covered at work, picked out a cute top, and the next morning I was on my way!!!
The weekend was awesome. I was a complete photoshop novice, and was craving knowledge for my blog and for building my photography business. I’m a sucker for details, and on top of learning lotsa new skills, the example work we got to practice on was top notch. I especially loved learning how to retouch photos (which I’ve been doing non-stop ever since) and creating photo templates I can use over and over.
We also got some pretty cool goodies, including a copy of Joy Cho‘s Blog, Inc. (and she stopped by for a talkback). Bri and Angela were inspiring, not only creatively and as teachers, but as businesswomen who do what they love. This post is also my entry into the blogshop photoshop contest. The winner gets a copy of photoshop CS6–swoon!! And since I’ve used my 30 day trial every day since blogshop, I’m in it to win it!
If you’re in LA or visiting LA any time between now and and August 26th, the Herb Ritts: L.A. Style exhibition at The Getty Museum is a must. And get the audio tour! It’s only $5 and totally worth it! I don’t know about you, but audio tours ususally help me engage. I love knowing details about a piece I wouldn’t normally have spotted or understood.
Herb Ritts emerged in the 1980s as one of the top fashion and celebrity photographers. Sometimes I forget that photography isn’t always about capturing a perfect image, it’s about capturing something interesting, something the photographer, subject, and environment create. You could tell Herb Ritts had an strong point of view; he was taking a picture with purpose and trying to achieve an idea he had imagined or conceptualized. His work is incredibly intimate, at times sensual, and ultimately stunning.
The audio tour was especially interesting because the narrators often spoke about what went in to the creation of that photo during the shoot. Cindy Crawford and Richard Geer both narrate about their relationship as muses and friends of Mr. Ritts. I was touched by their respect and admiration for him. Oh, I just love going to The Getty! I certainly don’t go often enough. And I was happy to have a friend in town and true excuse to go. The gardens and architecture are enough of a reason for a visit. What’s your favorite LA museum? LACMA is another favorite and just down the street from me!