Thursday, September 30, 2010

what's ahead of us

Being a single women in your mid-twenties can sometimes be a lonely task.  Which makes it extra-good when you are able to spend quality time with other single ladies.  It is refreshing to hear that not everyone has it all together, and not everyone has their paths ahead of them planned out.

I like to think that we have a lot of good to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I think that I went to 3 baby showers this month...that's crazy.  The last one was for my friend Jordan and was held in a beautiful Shotgun style house in the Shelby Park Neighborhood.  When I saw Jordan standing in front of this Art Nouveau, rod-iron door, I was reminded of a photograph Michael Winters took of his pregnant wife Mickie.  Mickie was silhouetted in a bright doorway.  I thought I would give the idea a try.

There is just something so beautiful and radiant about a pregnant form.  The curves, the tension of the body seem to be mirrored in the the background design of the photograph. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

portraits: week 3

Before I take a portrait, I like to sit and think about how I view the person to be photographed.  I like to to try and capture my perspective of that person of film.  I thought about who Audra was to me, for a while.  She is a complex little creature...the kind of complex that is beautiful.  Like an old Hollywood movie star - she has many layers - she has a little bit of mystery in her eyes.  So this is what I tried to capture...her classic beauty.

Audra's expression in this last photo, reminds me of the Andrew Wyeth's painting, "Christina's World."  In the painting, we cannot see the girl's face, but I like to think that this is what she would look like.

Friday, September 24, 2010

cinderella needs a coach

Ever since I was a little girl, the coming of Fall has always meant a trip out to Jackson's Orchard.  I have been on countless field trips where I was able to pick apples, eat a caramel apple, and drink apple cider.  To enter the orchard, you drive up a large hill, wooded and cool.  You pull out at the top amidst rows of peach and apple trees in the bright sunshine.  Past the rows, you see a modest family home sitting near a large, blue pond.  You pull in and park.  Farther back is the large red barn that houses the orchard store, greenhouse, and a few farm cats.  Pumpkins surround the barn, and red wagons wait to be pulled.  Hot apple pies, cider slushies, and fresh peach ice cream call your name.  But first, and most important, you must find it - the best pumpkin, the one who will carve well, the one who is magic.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

waiting for lucy

Babies are everywhere.  It seems like everyone just had a baby, is pregnant, or talking about having a baby.  I was anticipating this time of my life to be just as depressing as when everyone was getting married and I wasn't...but surprisingly I feel wonderful about all the babies.  I really like them.  They are fun to hold.  They smell really neat.  Sometimes they smile at you.  All around, I think they are a good idea.  I am very excited about meeting Lucy - one of my best friends soon-to-be-born little girl.  Marissa, the soon-to-be-mommy, is super-crafty and has decorated Lucy's room in a very fun way.

Well, Lucy won't be able to actually see this stuff really until a few months after she is born (bc. her eyes don't quite work that far)...but when she is able to get a good look around, I think she will be very excited by all the wonderful colors.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

milli hearts africa

I have so much respect for my friends that have made decisions to serve others in different countries.  I am also a little jealous of their gumption.  Milli is one of these such friends, whose strength and faith are outstanding.  She honored me by asking for my services to shoot her "support card" photograph.  These were shot behind the Goss Ave. Antique Mall, representing Milli's love for Germantown despite her aspirations across the sea.

I am having a hard time deciding which I like better.
What do you think, color or b/k?

Milli will be working as a nurse in Africa for about a year's time.  To leave the culture you know, immerse yourself in another world, and give your life basically for a people you have never met....that is love.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

portraits: week 2

Elizabeth Smith (aka EB) is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met.  Her energy is contagious and her creativity, inspiring.  Her facial expressions say it all.  There is only one thing I wish I could capture in a photograph - her most awesome dance moves. 

Here are some images that represent EB's style

Some alternative takes

Thursday, September 16, 2010

memories of nyc

I have a few important memories of New York City: the solitary feeling of walking around a chilly Manhattan at night, the overwhelming sounds and colors of the subway system that for some reason feel very relaxing and normal, the feeling of history surrounding the boardwalk at Coney Island (how such a desolate space can all at once feel absolutely full).


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

california coast

This is one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken.  It was taken on my film Nikon N65 in 2004 - this is a scan of the original print I made in the darkroom of the WKU photolab.  I was able to catch Andy looking out onto the bay from the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California.  In my opinion, it pretty accurately captures Andy's character.

Whenever I get depressed, confused, or just lost, this is where I want to go.  Maybe not specifically this pier, but to this idea.  A spot that makes me far, far away.  I always feel like driving and driving until I can't drive anymore and I am stopped by some vast body of water.  I think that maybe this will provide the answers, this will make everything okay.  But I know from experience, that it doesn't.  Yet still, I want to run.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Portraits: Week 1

A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?
Ernst Haas

My favorite type of photograph is the portrait.  I think this is because I love people: getting to know them, understanding them, interacting with them.  I feel like the most important moments in my life involve really experiencing another person.  There is something beautiful in everyone - to find it, recognize it, and share it - how amazing.  Our creator was very gracious to give us this.  

Over the years, I have taken portraits of my Family - the friends of significance.  I have hung them up on my wall, grandmother-style.  But recently, I have come to realize there are quite a few others who have effected me, even if just by a look.  How awesome would it be to enter into an intimate dialogue with these people, to try and understand them, to experience who they are.  What better way to do this then to take a Portrait.  So here is the challenge to myself: one a week.  Here is the first.  A very unique and beautiful, Miss Peake.

Other shots that I really like

When you go to take someone's picture, the first thing they say is, what you want me to do? Everyone is very awkward.
Annie Leibovitz

Saturday, September 11, 2010

prodigal feet

Last night I was able to see a very talented friend perform his music to a packed house.  It is such a joy to see Brooks Ritter play to a large room of attentive listeners, especially since I have so many memories of watching Brooks play in loud coffee houses all through college.  But as his following has increased, he has remained the same humble Brooks.  His lyrics are inspiring and his rhythms, invigorating.  His motivation is only to love others - and one of the best ways he does this is by sharing his soulful voice.

I talk to the kids all the time about how lines are so important in art - where do they take your eyes?  do they give a feeling of chaos or serenity?  why are they soft or hard?  The little ones seem to grasp the concept right away...but here I am, the art teacher, and I didn't even notice what the lines said in this picture for a long time.  What do you think?  Where do they lead and what does this say about Brooks?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

owning stuff

One of my close friends likes to do the "100 Things Challenge" every once in a while.  He goes through everything he owns, decides which 100 things he wants to keep, and then gives the rest away or sells it.  I think this is a marvelous idea.  Wanting to follow in his footsteps, but not ready to go all the way, I recently gave away half of certain categories of things: half my books, half my clothes, half my jewelry etc.  It truly felt freeing to give away objects that meant something to me, but was also completely unnecessary for me to have or feel attached to - like my 1999 Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds T-shirt.  I mean, it is just a t-shirt.  It was a big step.  I started to make my list of 100 things.   What topped my list?  My 1920 Gibson Mandolin, my Alvarez Guitar, and my hard drive with all my photos.  The following images are of my gibson...the one thing I own that I don't think I could lose.

I feel that my attachment to this object is ultimately negative.  I don't want any earthly object to have any sort of hold over me.  Truly, the love of this mandolin has little to do with the music it makes (which, by the way, is most glorious), but has everything to do with what it stands for.  It was a gift from my uncle who owned a music store.  I have so many beautiful memories of listening to so many musicians playing in that store.  That store and the tradition of playing music in my family makes this instrument a testament to my heritage.  It represents my home, my history.  I think it is the memory, not the mandolin,  that I really don't want to leave behind.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

busted soles

I had the extreme pleasure of photographing 2 wonderful friends that just happen to be in an equally lovely band - Busted Soles.  These photos were considered "band shots" and hopefully will be used in promoting the musical talents of Rachel and Aaron.  They have an older, more folky, vibe.  We tried to give the scenes this feel through their dress, poses, and editing.  I tried to make some of the images more grainy, like a 70's album cover.  They have many upcoming shows in October, so you should check out their schedule at

I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such creative and talented people (Rachel and Aaron are just two of many).  Their tenacity encourages me and spurs me on to do bigger and better things.  I only hope that I can encourage them back. It makes you think - there are so many people that could be great at so many things.  Some people just need someone to believe in them and help point out their gifts.  I need to be more aware - looking for the genius in everybody.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the joys of a three day weekend

One of the benefits of being a teacher is the observance of all national holidays.  This year held no long lines of tourists needing to buy a t-shirt or teenagers salivating for a frappuccino (in my world anyways...).  I mean, what's the point of "Labor" day if some people just end up working more?  I was so blessed to have 3 glorious days to spend however I wished, with whomever I wished.  The weather was in the mid-80's and everyday produced some pretty radiant sunshine.  The following are a few moments from my weekend - almost like little praises.

my beautiful friend, Kelsey, decided photographs were more important than frisbees

time spent at cherokee park is time spent well

caught Matt's game of rugby 

walked through the neighborhood

played at the waterfront

spent time with family

How often do you really get to REST?  Sometimes, when I get overwhelmed, I have a tendency to find distraction in movies, television, and naps.  But I found that a little bit of friendship, sunshine, frisbee, babies, and laughter can be more than an amusement - it can be the real thing.