I’d rather shoot a 5K than run one.

A couple of my coworkers are members of a local running club. Last week, one of these coworkers asked if I was available Sunday morning to come shoot a memorial 5K they had organized. My morning was free and I’m still in the phase of getting as much photography practice in as possible, so I happily agreed.

The race had the highest turnout of its 19 year history, so there was a lot of action going on! I enjoyed milling about the runners taking pre-race shots, and then shooting them again as they crossed the finish line and received awards. It was a SUPER HOT day (already in the 80s by 8:00 am… high humidity… no real breeze)… I was downing water like it was my job and I wasn’t even running! I don’t know how these runners did it, but everyone seemed to remain in high spirits despite the conditions and the race turned out to be a great success.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the morning.

Oh, but real quick before I get to those, I have a funny story. After the race began I followed the race officials back to the event tent. I was just chilling… drinking my water, dreaming about swimming pools and keeping watch for the first runner (aka the winner) to make their way back to the track. I didn’t notice the crowd forming alllllll the way at the other end of the track a solid 120 yards away. Then out of nowhere one of the officials (who’s coincidentally another coworker of mine) comes up to me and says, “Uh, you know this isn’t the finish right? This is just the registration tent.” He points to the crowd which I now see. I also see that they’re cheering and, looking over my shoulder, see that the first finisher is making his way down the track towards the finish line. PANIC. I had to all-out sprint alllll the way across the football field to the other side of the track, all the while watching the lead runner of the race to make sure I was out-pacing him to make it to the finish line. And I was the only person on this huge open field, so there was no hiding how insane I must’ve looked. “Oh look at the photographer girl running across the field at full speed in her flip-flops with her camera, bag and water flopping all over the place!” Needless to say, I made it to the finish line, dropped all my belongings and got my camera on just as the winner was coming down the chute. It wasn’t pretty, but I got him.

Sorry, that story turned out longer than I thought it would. That happens to me a lot. But enough chatter, here are my favorite pictures:

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Something different

Since the start of 2012 I’ve been the photographer for a local theatre. I hooked the gig back in fall/winter of 2011, when the photographer they’d relied on for the past few years had some sort of slip up and they were in a bind to find a replacement quickly to shoot one of their shows. In stepped yours truly, and after everyone was so impressed with my photos I was given the spot as “official freelance photographer” starting in 2012.

There’s no set schedule for my theatre shoots… sometimes I feel like I haven’t been there in ages and sometimes I feel like I’m spending every other night there. Anywho, a couple weeks ago the theatre’s artistic director asked me to come take photos of the interior of the theatre for its website (which currently has none). So I thought I’d switch it up on my photography blog and share some of my favorite photos from the interior of the theatre. I’ve never shared anything on here regarding my side-gig as local theatre freelancer, but I was quite pleased with how pretty some of these images came out so I figured I’d throw them out there.

PS – You’ll notice the chandeliers appear oddly low. This is because they were being removed the following day for cleaning… not because they’d fallen from the ceiling ๐Ÿ™‚

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My slump, (a tangent) and crawling out of it

I’m sure no one has noticed except me… but I haven’t been maintaining my photography blog as frequently as I was a month or so ago… as frequently as I’d like. A variety of things have attributed to this and I’m not going to bore you with them all… let’s just suffice it to say that life has been rather busy.

But that’s life – it’s busy. That’s never going to stop. And sometimes you have to take a step back and re-prioritize what’s most important.

Over the last couple months, my full-time job has given new meaning to “full-time”. I’ve logged ridiculous overtime that not only included nights, but weekends as well. My job is important to me and I care deeply about doing my best at it, but I’m realizing now that it’s caused me to neglect some of what I really want to do in life.

I want to take pictures… any day, every day, all the time. I want to become a freelance photographer. I want to maintain this blog and build a name for myself in this photography-world. I want to start dating again. I want to furnish my guest bedroom. I want to re-landscape my front yard. I want to have friends over to my house instead of always having them host me.

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t even reflected on all these things I want to do. But fortunately – VERY fortunately – I’m starting to re-prioritize now. We have finally hired another person at my job to help ease my workload, so over the next few weeks I should have less stress and more time. And with the summer months right around the corner, there’s no better time to work wholeheartedly towards all I want out of life right now.

So with that being said, I’m back! I have a photo shoot scheduled for next week and another one in the works… and I’m going to push for more and more. When I have some down time and it’s not monsoon-ing outside, I’m going to pick up my camera and snap away. I’m going to practice (luckily I have an awesome friend who’s willing to be my muse) and refine my skills to become a better photographer. I’m going to reveal to you all who I am and let everyone into my life a little more, as I’m more comfortable with this platform now than I was when I first started. Oh, and I’m going to start on all that other non-photography related stuff that I mentioned above too.

Thanks for reading my tangent… I can’t wait to start posting more regularly again!

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My first newborn shoot

A few weekends ago I did my first newborn shoot. The idea was to get a bunch of newborn baby girl, plus some with her 2-year-old big brother and their parents.

Welp, kids are unpredictable and you certainly can’t do anything about their moods! So when both kiddos were having a cranky afternoon I just had to take what I could get. It was a bit of a challenging shoot but it certainly showed me some things I need to practice/improve on. And I’m happy that I got some cute pictures despite all the screaming cries.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day. Please feel free to chime in with some feedback!

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My second shoot

When I first embarked on this photography journey, this particular friend of mine was the first person I asked to “host me” for a photo shoot. He’s got an adorable wife and an even more adorable 1-year old son, and he’s a super cool dude who I knew wouldn’t make me feel like an awful human being if I totally messed up ๐Ÿ˜› Sure, he would’ve thrown some sarcastic comments my way… but they would’ve been followed with a smile and a slap on the back as he told me to keep trying.

So last Saturday we finally made it happen! Here are some of my favorite shots from the afternoon. Not too bad for only my second “officially unofficial” photo shoot, I don’t think. But let me know what your thoughts – PLEASE! I’d love to hear some feedback.

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Creepy house adventure, Part 2

So a couple weekends ago I had a “creepy house adventure” with my friend. You can read and see pictures from Part 1 of this post right here!

After D and I poked around for a while taking shots of shattered glass, missing floorboards, holes in walls, busted up appliances and other normal things like that, I wanted to see how creepy of pictures I could get. I had previously asked D to dress in dark clothing and be my muse for a while… fortunately he obliged.

I struggled with creating a “ghost-like” effect, toying with my shutter speeds to capture just the right blur of motion/faint figure in the room. I had D walk really fast… then really slow… then really fast again. But I just couldn’t seem to get it quite right. Nonetheless, I still did get some pretty cool shots that I think evoke the eeriness of this abandoned and decrepit house… and they are below.

Here I am setting up for some spookiness in my beautiful surroundings:ย 

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And here’s some spookiness:

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PS: If you guys have any tips, tricks, advice, etc. for capturing “ghost-like” images please share them with me. Not that I plan on doing stuff like this often… I just got pretty frustrated when I couldn’t figure it out and it’d be nice to get some input from fellow photogs ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thanks for looking ๐Ÿ˜‰

E

Creepy house adventure, Part 1

So earlier this week I had to apologize to my blog… I’ve been having so much fun snapping up pictures recently that I haven’t had time to post them! But here’s hoping I’m on the road to correcting that ๐Ÿ™‚

In my apology post I gave a little preview of a post to come and I am happy to now bring you Part 1! A few weekends ago my friend D and I went to an abandoned house that was introduced to me by a fellow photographer. This place is cool. Normally, I’m not a fan of creepy places, movies, pictures, etc., but the fact that we went in broad daylight and I had a big tall man with me helped ease any of my apprehensions.ย 

Here are a few shots from the day… more to come later in Part 2 of this post!

Here’s D:

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And here’s the house:

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My first shoot

Okay you guys, this is kind of a big deal. I had my first “official” photo-shoot this past Sunday. And by “official” I mean lets-spend-a-couple-hours-on-a-shoot-to-help-me-practice-and-build-a-portfolio shoot. When my co-worker friend got engaged a couple months ago, I think I probably exclaimed, “Oh my goodness can I take engagement pictures?!” before I even asked to see her ring. Fortunately, she and her fiancee are self-proclaimed “non-picture people” so they didn’t want to pay for formal engagement pictures anyway. It was a match made in heaven! (And I mean this photo-shoot, not her and her man :-P… although they’re pretty great too)

So anyway, last Sunday we headed out to an adorable (large!) park nestled in the city to take some engagement pictures. I was both nervous and excited. Nervous, obviously, since this was my first “real” photo-shoot. But also excited since I didn’t feel too much pressure since this particular couple aren’t picture-crazy (like I am)… so if I royally messed up, they wouldn’t be heartbroken.ย 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the shoot. I’m relying on you professional photographers and “I’ve been doing this for years” photographers to give me some feedback. This was my first shoot (have I said that already?) and I’d like to hear what you all think. Did I do alright? Or did I do horribly? Do I need to work on my posing of subjects? Do you think someone would pay for these pictures? Do I need to work on my editing? Or am I just a naturally gifted photographer who is going to skyrocket into stardom within the next 5 years with my incredible pictures? (Totally kidding on that last one :-P) But seriously… please give me some feedback on these shots, as I have some more shoots coming up and I’d really appreciate some advice on how to improve from those of you who have been doing this longer than me.

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Somebody got the giggles:ImageImageImagePleaseย leave me your thoughts!

E

Dear blog… An apology and a sneak peak

Dear photography blog,

I’ve missed you. Life has been just a bit crazy for me lately so I haven’t had time to post to you as frequently as I’d like. But I’m hoping to get back on track this week because I have lots of pictures to share! Part of the reason life has been so busy is because I’ve been out and about doing a lot of photography! Abandoned houses… local parks… high-school track and field events… I’ve been hitting them all and honing my skills. And guess what tomorrow is?! My first “official” photo shoot! An engagement shoot with a friend who I’ll be treating like a client. I’m nervous, but also excited… and I think the excitement is outweighing the nerves. For now anyway. So wish me luck!ย 

– E

P.S. Since you are still a photography blog I cannot submit a “diary entry” without a little eye candy for ya… so here’s a sneak peak of an upcoming post!

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Things have been a little ‘ruff’

I’ve got to level with you guys here… the past couple days haven’t been some of my favorites.

I’m the type of person who likes to have everything planned out and when wrenches get thrown my way I’m not always the best at immediately bouncing back. So I’m feeling a bit “off kilter” right now and am hoping I can get “back to normal” by the end of the week.

Last weekend was great, particularly the 8 hours I spent with a friend on a beautiful Saturday photographing at various locations and subsequently browsing through our pictures. And then Sunday was going as planned up until around 5 pm. I was leaving the gym (after an especially good workout, if I might add ;-)) when I found 2 dogs loose in my gym’s parking lot. One was a yellow lab, the other a Doberman, and they both had collars on so I knew they belonged to someone. I spent the next 25 minutes or so chasing them around, trying to get them to come to me… and was eventually able to snatch them up and get them in my car.

My post-gym plans for Sunday evening had been to come home, shower, make/eat dinner and then spend the rest of the night going through pictures from Saturday on my couch and preparing a blog post with them. In reality, I spent my Sunday evening driving all over town with 2 giant dogs in my car trying to find an animal shelter, animal control, police precinct, etc. that was open on a Sunday. No dice. I gave up around 8 pm (by this point I was still in my sweaty workout gear from several hours ago and hadn’t eaten dinner, so my mood was pretty bad) and realized I’d be spending my night dogsitting these 2 gentle giants.

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(Please excuse my blurry iPhone images!)

Sunday night wasn’t the greatest. The lab never fully settled down – he knew he wasn’t in the right home – and threw up every 20 minutes or so. Once the lab’s belly calmed down the Doberman decided to have a massive you-know-what explosion… I guess his stomach was upset too :-\ I was then up with them at 5:30 am to get them to a shelter and get to work… but even that didn’t go as planned. I won’t bore you with the details but here’s how things ended up: I got them to a shelter where they were immediately recognized and the owners were called. They were home within an hour of arrival! I found out their names were Nitro and Teddy… I’m sure you can figure out which was which ๐Ÿ™‚

Now it’s Monday morning… running on no sleep the night before and having been at 5:30 am… it’s raining… I’m a grump. Work is busy but I’m humming along until around 3:30 when a co-worker informs me of a bombing at the Boston marathon… and my blood runs cold. My brother was running in the marathon and both my parents are at the race to cheer him on. Also, one of my best friends for the last 9-ish years lives in Boston and has partaken in Marathon Monday in years past. I’m instantly thrust from the normal reality of a rainy, sleepy Monday into a panic over my loved ones.

Fortunately, I hear from my Bostonian friend almost immediately that she is safe. But I couldn’t get in touch with my parents. I don’t know how long I was trying to contact them with no luck, but it felt about 50x longer than it actually was. I started watching coverage on my computer at work and was horrified – as I’m sure everyone was – with the images I was seeing on the screen… and knowing my family was there.

Eventually I was able to get in touch with my mom and she told me that all 3 of them were safely away from the finish line area. I found out later that phone lines had been cut for a while in case those responsible were using cell phone waves to detonate the bombs, which is why I couldn’t get in touch with my parents.

By the end of yesterday I was drained… physically and emotionally. I came home, shed some tears and was basically in a fog until calling it a night… I was in bed by 9 pm. Today I’ve still been “recovering” from my exhaustive Sunday night/Monday, but my crazy work day didn’t help my situation.

I’m hoping to get some good sleep tonight and get back on track tomorrow. I have a bunch of pictures from last week and last weekend that I want to share on here, as well as upcoming plans for photo shoots with friends, plans for my future website and even letting you all know a bit more about myself now that I’m more comfortable with this whole thing. So once I get back on track this week be on the lookout for some awesome postings… I’ve got some great pictures coming your way that I can’t wait to share ๐Ÿ™‚

But I must leave off with this… yesterday’s attacks at the Boston marathon are absolutely senseless and sickening. This was the first real instance where an attack hit me so close to home, with my entire immediate family and one of my best friends in Boston at the time. I know how lucky I am that all my loved ones are safe and I recognize that many, many people weren’t as fortunate. If you’re reading this, I ask that you just take a minute out of your day or night to be thankful for what you have, no matter how small. And make an effort to do at least one small good deed within the next 24 hours… the world could use some positive vibes right now.