What I learned by Getting In The Frame

Last year I was lucky enough to stumble upon a facebook group that is devoted to encouraging photographers especially photographer mums to "get in the frame". I have been working as a professional photographer for about 5 years now and I'm telling you the ability to get lost in social media group after group that you think is a helpful way to connect is incredible frustrating. And photography can be a lonely profession! We spend many hours watching gilmore girls and editing images until 2am. There are so many groups and so much talent out there but I need to connect with people. REAL PEOPLE. People that take the time to encourage each other, people that you can be vulnerable around and people that you may never meet but can call friends. The Dear Photographer family and especially the folks in the P52 group are just what I needed. To see another rad babe's self portrait work from the group please stop by Angela Doran's blog  You will be blown away! xo 

I learned that not only am I good at capturing images but I can make art with my own self. 

 This was one of my first attempts at creative framing 

This was one of my first attempts at creative framing 

I learned that the music in my head can be portrayed in a self portrait...

 Slow Like Honey Heavy With Mood 

Slow Like Honey Heavy With Mood 

I learned how to work with prisms

 Using a prism to create a dreamlike look 

Using a prism to create a dreamlike look 

I learned how to shoot through a magnifying glass 

 I had this hanging from the ceiling fan and anchored with the vacuum cleaner 

I had this hanging from the ceiling fan and anchored with the vacuum cleaner 

I learned more about free-lensing which is quite tricky but fun 

 Light streaks and light leaks made possible with a folding chair and a lot of painters tape 

Light streaks and light leaks made possible with a folding chair and a lot of painters tape 

I learned that if I'm having a terrible day, creating a self portrait can be healing 

 Waiting for my crew to come home 

Waiting for my crew to come home 

I learned that I can work in very low light situations 

 Sunset and headlights 

Sunset and headlights 

I learned how to create a double exposure 

 This was a very meaningful portrait using my friends ashes that were glassblown into this vase

This was a very meaningful portrait using my friends ashes that were glassblown into this vase

Most importantly and the least expected was that I learned that I am beautiful. I am honestly not sure that I actually was seeing myself before. It's not that I had a terrible self esteem but I would fall into moments of self disgust especially after I had my babies. There are images of myself that I can remember hating that I now look at and and I have NO IDEA what I was worried about. I look young and happy bouncing babies in my lap. I really like these new images of myself and can without a doubt say that I look beautiful even in the strange ones that didn't come out as I had expected. I'm letting the magic just happen and trying to let go of some control because this P52 thing is wonderful and rad. I'm so grateful for the experience. Here's to 2018! I can't wait to see what I will create. 

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Follow my work on Instagram to see more P52 Radness 

Our Deep and Unending Love For Books

If you have been following my work, I'm sure that you have noticed the amount of book related images that have shown up in my stream of work. My love for reading started when I was a little kid because I not only had a family that read to me and my siblings every night, they encouraged us to read to each other when we started reading independently and there wasn't a day that went by that didn't involve a book in either one of my parents hands. We loved our local library. I spent countless hours at the library sitting under the life size giraffe reading children's books and listening to audio tapes. One of my most favorite jobs was the one I could walk to by taking a path in the woods down the street from my house to the coolest local bookstore there ever was. Books have just been my thing. GOD knows I am not a writer. My dream job would be a world famous author but...this photographing our adventures with books is a very close second. It is thrilling to see that the book bug has bitten both of my children, especially Amelia. They request to go to libraries that resemble Hogwarts, they could spend hours in old used bookstores and they read every single night. We are working on starting a read aloud YoutTube channel that features some of our favorite weekly books that we have checked out of the library. I devour any moment that we get to be lost in the magic of books. Here are some of my favorite book images from over the years. 

The Storytellers

Restoring old images is so rewarding because you get to spend time really getting to know the individuals in the frame. I was thrilled to have been asked to restore this particular image  because it is so beloved in my mother's family. I couldn't get over the details that I may have overlooked had I not had this image scanned and brought into photoshop. I love the hint of my Aunt Rita's gloves hanging out of her purse, the details on the top of my grandmother's dress and my Uncle Okie standing on his tippy toes to be taller. I can't even begin to describe how lucky I feel to be a part of this group. By hanging around them in the backyard during family parties or around the table with tea and dessert (my grandmother's house always smelled amazing) I am certain I learned how to be a storyteller. What I would give to hear just one more story, one more ridiculous laugh, one more joke that makes someone unable to catch their breath...

This is everything. Document those moments. 

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