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Monday, March 30, 2009

Things to Come

I've been busy working on a brand new offering for both my weddings and portrait clients with Halo Photographic, as well as my more alternative / fine art work under my own name. The results should be interesting, and I'm really excited about this!

Why post photos of photos? This is the first step in my process: Silver gelatin prints made by me in the darkroom. These are beautiful as is, especially on rich fiber base paper that completely blow the regular photo lab paper out of the water. But I have plans for this batch of curly, hand printed images. Stay tuned for more on my photographic endeavors (which involve lots of chemicals)!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

5 Myths About Wedding Photography

The ISPWP website has a great article about myths that many couples and families encounter regarding wedding photography, and breaks them down to help those planning a wedding to sort through the fiction and get to the fact.

The one I liked the best, since I have to explain it a LOT to my couples, is this:
MYTH: “It’s better to have two mediocre/inexpensive photographers than one excellent/expensive photographer”

If you’re thinking of hiring multiple photographers for the sole reason of getting lots of images and viewpoints, don’t forget that you shouldn’t skimp on quality. It’s more important for you to focus on the talent and portfolio of the photographer(s) you are considering rather than the number of photographers who will be at your wedding. Some photographers prefer to work alone and create wonderful images, while some studios prefer to work in pairs. Both approaches can be successful. The number of photographers at the wedding doesn’t matter as much as whether the photographer(s) you hire can deliver the types of images you want.

Dennis Drenner of Dennis Drenner Photographs in Baltimore Maryland says: “A lot of brides these days are looking for a second shooter, believing that two photographers are better than one and less likely to miss crucial moments. My response to that is talent and experience (quality) are more important than focusing solely on quantity. When you go in for a double bypass, would you rather have two medical students working on you, or one experienced surgeon?” For the most part, you get what you pay for in wedding photographers. That said, there are cases where two photographers come in handy. In Orthodox Jewish weddings, for example, important events happen in separate male and female sections at exactly the same time. The bottom line is to focus on your photographer’s talent. If he has a nice portfolio, it is in part because he knows where to be and when. That is, after all, half the battle.”

Since I used to be a photojournalist and am used to photographing in high-pressure situations where I do not get a do-over, I typically work alone as the only photographer at a wedding, but do offer collections that include a second photographer if it is needed. As a result, I get asked the question about second shooters an awful lot. People think they will be slighted with only one photographer. My response is to consider the quality of those photographers. Is the second photographer a pro, or simply an assistant with a camera as an afterthought? How long have each of the photographers been photographing weddings? Will you get to see examples of each photographer's specific work? Do they both know how to shoot with their cameras in manual mode (this is HUGE - if a photographer doesn't know his or her tools well enough to do this, they are not professionals)? Do they know how to stay out of each others' way throughout the day so you don't see them in the crossfire?

At bridal shows and for individual consultations, every single image in my booth was photographed by me alone. I have albums of whole weddings from start to finish where I am the only photographer. Prospective clients will not find any gaps in coverage, because I am very thorough. On the rare occasions that I need a second photographer, I make sure my seconds are highly qualified professionals who are quite capable without my constant supervision. After all, I need to be concentrating on my couples and making the best possible images for them, not on the other photographer!

Thank you to ISPWP for tackling these questions, which will undoubtedly make it easier for couples to sort through the myths when they are searching for their perfect wedding photographer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Holga Weddings Profiled!

The DC Wedding Planning Examiner ran a profile of my Holga Wedding Photography recently, which I thought was pretty cool. Leslie Weekes, wedding coordinator extraordinaire and half of Leslie Manning Events, had asked me a little while back if I would mind being interviewed for this column she will be writing to introduce different ideas to the wedding planning community, and I of course said yes! Leslie was the coordinator for the wedding I photographed last Fall that will be featured as a "Real Wedding" in this year's Fall Issue of The Knot Magazine, so I know she's great to work with.

Read the interview here: Museum Quality Wedding Photography

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I took this Holga image a month or so ago in DC at the Dupont metro escalator, and then shot the last half of the image later that afternoon at my house... and am just now getting around to posting it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A time for rest

This is just a quick post to show off my cute husband and dog, and to wish everyone a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exhibit Wave

Right now I am on the tail end of a massive exhibition wave for my Holga show entitled "Fragments & Ashes". The work from this show is so abundant that I was able to split it into two separate exhibits, and thus had exhibits in the DC Metro area as well as in Colorado simultaneously. Because most of you either live in one place or the other (or neither, and didn't get to see any of these shows), I thought I would make a post of a few snapshots I took of each exhibit so everyone could see and compare.

I think all 3 solo shows were arranged very well. In most cases, the gallery does this and I don't see it until the opening. Since all of my work is the same size and I don't have any special hanging instructions, this arrangement is fine with me, and results in a different viewing experience every time.

First up, my show at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, Virginia. This was part of a 3 person show, and we each had distinct areas for our work. My work was on the most amount of walls here compared to the other shows, as opposed to several very long walls. The gallery arranged the work in a way I had never seen before, grouping them in two and three images and leaving space between the next set, even on the same wall. I hadn't thought to do this before at a show, but liked the result. You can see for yourself:

The next show, which was happening at the same time as the GRACE show, was my exhibit at the Curfman Gallery in Fort Collins, Colorado. This was a dual show with artist Leighton McWilliams, who also shoots with a Holga but has a finished product that is more sculptural. The gallery was a great space, and it was pretty much cut in half for each of our work. They played well off of each other though, and everything was meticulously arranged and leveled. They even made custom plexiglass covers for Leighton's work because they were worried that visitors would inadvertently touch the artwork and disturb it. I was treated incredibly well by this gallery, who flew me out in order to give an artist lecture, student work critiques (the gallery is owned by Colorado State University), and of course to attend the opening reception. Some views of the gallery taken just before the opening reception began are below:

And here's a view from my hotel window. For those who live around mountains, you are probably yawning, but for me, this was so incredibly cool to wake up to!

And lastly, my exhibit that is up RIGHT NOW in Frederick, Maryland at the Delaplaine Visual Arts & Education Center. This show is all contained in one room and I'm the only artist in it - the only one of the three exhibits where I'm not sharing space with anyone. Because I work in such a small finished product, it's difficult for me to fill some of the large galleries, but occasionally I find a space like this where it's not only easy for me to fill, but I have to edit out a lot of my work so as not to crowd it. This is the smallest of the 3 shows, with 19 total works being displayed (GRACE had 26 and Curfman had 24, for reference). But still, I think the show looks great in it's little gallery. It's up for another month, so if you are in the area go and check it out in person!

And for now, that's it! I've had a wonderful time thus far, and want to thank each and every person who has come out to the opening receptions or otherwise visited my exhibits, because you helped make this experience so great.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Running Dog

Despite being almost a year old and pretty much full grown, our new dog Frida has a lot of puppy energy left to burn. Since Andy is a runner, he decided to try taking Frida to run with him. The problem: city streets are not the best places for dogs to run. Their feet are prone to all sorts of injury from rough asphalt, glass shards, heat and cold, and who knows what else. So... we ordered her a running harness and sneakers. Yes, our dog has running gear!

Many people ask us what this gear looks like, so I grabbed my trusty Canon PowerShot SD870 point and shoot camera to help illustrate for you.

The first photo below is our test run. Andy walked Frida around the block to get her used to the gear. She seemed a little hesitant and confused, but seemed to do okay with it.

The next photo is after her first 4 mile run. It's a few hours later and she's still sacked out!

For those of you wondering about the intro photo to this post, there is a handle on the harness just in case she needs to be picked up and lifted over anything (think lots of shattered glass, dangerous ditch, etc). She's almost 50 pounds, so it's a good thing Andy keeps fit! But luckily, I doubt we will have to use that feature very much. We just wanted to test it out to make sure it worked.

And for those who are interested in the gear itself, it is made by Ruffwear, and seems to be very decent, quality gear. Gotta protect the puppy digits!

And there you have it: Frida, the running dog!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Fragments & Ashes - Opening Saturday 3/7

Here is the info for my last solo show on the books, at least for a little while:

The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center - Fragments & Ashes
March 7 – April 26 (in the New Gallery)

Opening Reception: March 7, 2009, 3 - 5 PM

40 South Carroll Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

If you can, please stop by and say hello! This is not the last you will be able to see of my work this year, and I will keep you posted on those new shows and events. But it is the last time for a little while that this much of my work will be in any one place (according to my calendar, anyway). So check it out, and let me know what you think!

About Me

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I am a sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist based in the Washington, DC metro area. I sculpt with steel and glass, and enjoy people and holga / alternative processes photography best, although I experiment with many different subjects and media where I find them.

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