BTS: Insult to Injury

“I’ve wanted to be the light one, the simple one, the sweet one. Last night I learned – or perhaps was reminded – that I am none of these things. I am powerful.” -Michele Gardella Golden as the light which filtered through autumn leaves, her wounds wept for the pain callously dealt. And you add insult to injury. Behind the Scenes! Kelsie, the lovely lady in these photographs creates absolutely gorgeous ink illustrations.  One of the themes that runs through her drawings is a fox that has been struck by an arrow. A photo posted by Kelsie (@__seasonpoem) on May 27, 2015 at 1:25pm PDT I hoped to pay tribute to this theme in the shoot with her!  (Over the summer I worked on this arrow and have been dying to finally use it in a photo!)  These photos represent the pain we feel from wounds dealt by those closest to us.  Kelsie managed to communicate the emotions quite effectively. As always, have a delightful...

Accused of “Photoshop”

I use Photoshop on all of my images *gasp!* Honestly, that’s no secret, one look through my portfolio and you’ll see that I use Photoshop on all of my photos.  In fact, its one of my favorite tools to create little worlds of fantasy.  So why did it sting when I was accused of using Photoshop on one of my latest photos? (On multiple platforms!) Because I hadn’t “photoshopped” the area of the photo I was accused of. I felt hurt that I had been accused of being deceptive, of trumping a “manipulated” moon as the real thing.  I also felt discredited.  (That being said, I do see how someone might see it as an editing mistake and I do not wish to slander anyone who saw it as such.) A few nights ago, September 27th 2015, I sat out to watch an incredible natural event: The Supermoon Eclipse!  It was breathtaking, and my camera did the scene little justice.  That being said I wanted to take a few photos to take advantage of the surreal moments. In this photo, I was accused of placing the moon in between the trees and being careless enough to forget to mask the branch back over the moon. The very thing that makes the photo look fake is simply purposeful placement. I used the Stargazer App to locate the exact spot where the moon would rise, and set everything up before the it had even hit the crest of the horizon. The photo below was taken very shortly before the concept photo.  The branches can be clearly seen in front of the moon, by moving my camera...

The Color Red

The color red.  To me, red is unabashedly bold.  It is the first color that catches our eye.  It has the longest wave length and bounds toward our attention first like an eager student in class.  It is the color of life in our veins, the blush on a face, and the petals of a rose. “Red protects itself.  No colour is as territorial.  It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum.” – Derek Jarman It is passionate, it cannot be quiet.  What if Red, in all of her vibrancy, wished to be calm and subdued.  What if she wished to be a color not her own? Red searches for other colors.  Red finds Blue. Red finds Green. Red finds Yellow. Red wishes to change her color. For this shoot I really did paint myself completely red.  Head to toe.  It was quite possibly the most uncomfortable experience of my life.  Not only was it 85 degrees and dreadfully muggy… but the paint was so sticky and icky that little bugs kept getting stuck on me!!!!  Also, I looked positively terrifying and can only imagine what any passerby must have thought of the spectacle! https://www.facebook.com/Aleahmichelephotography/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/-si-tu-savais-/...

BTS: Mermaid Tail

**I’ll start this post with a disclaimer.  There are many other ways to create a tail, my choices were based on the materials I know how to work with, a low budget, and experimentation.  That being said, it was huge learning process and the next time I make a tail I will know far better/more efficient ways to create it!** Materials: Black Neoprene Gold Spandex (Swimsuit grade) Flippers Fabric Flower Petals Hot Glue 2-3 Gold/Pearl Fabric Paint Bottles Illusion Fabric in Nude   1) Create Neoprene Base Rather than purchasing Neoprene by the yard, I used an old scuba suit.  I cut the inner seam and sewed both sides together.  A simple way to figure out shape, sit on top, line up the bottom with your ankles, and trace your shape with white chalk.  Leave 1/4 inch extra along all seams for sewing. 2) Create Spandex Slip Cover Line up two sheets of spandex with the pattern side in.  Lay the neoprene base over-top and carefully trace around ( I used a red washable marker).  Place pins on the inside of the line.  Cut 1/4 inch away from the line all the way around.  Use the line as your sewing guide.  With stretchy materials, sew everything twice for strength but NEVER sew the top or bottom if you are not using stretchy thread! 3) Flipper Covers You may use either a Monofin or Flippers for this step.  Place the Flipper/Fin on the backside of the spandex, trace with marker.  I left extra fabric at the end and fluted the ends so that they could pull on like socks.  In...

The Mother Daughter Bond

“A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous.” The mother-daughter bond.  Few things are like it.  It is a bond of beauty, vulnerability, and love.  A short while back, Kristen contacted me about shooting a conceptual mother-daughter series.  She wanted to capture the preciousness of her relationship with her daughter Ruby in a portrait that would resemble fine art. The photo she hoped to emulate was a soft vintage photograph. This is the kind of shoot a photographer dreams about. To prepare for the shoot, I studied the poses of vintage photographs and old paintings.  I sketch out poses with the goal of emulating and learning from the beauty of the pose, while leaving room for individuals to make it their own. The light couldn’t have been anymore perfect or magical! These photos also represent generational love and the miracle of life.  For Kristen and James, little Ruby, living up to her name, is precious as a gem.  She was a miracle baby born at 24 weeks and weighing only 1 pound 8 ounces.  Surpassing all odds and shattering statistics, she proved that especially a life so tiny is a gift.  For Kristen, a woman who had always dreamed of being a mother; and who, as a little girl, lined up her dolls pretending they were her children; Ruby was a lifetime longing come true. Kristen explained that 7 years ago today, September 11th 2008, her water broke at 22 weeks.  Kristen, James, and the Doctors feared they would loose her. “The Dr’s told us that I should just get up and walk around to not prolong the inevitable. They had no...

The Shore of Luminescence

Darling, brilliant is the light that has carried you back to the surface. These waters are silver and the shore is gilded in gold.   There are moments when you are the light in a darkened place, and others when lights encompasses and dances around you. Has your situation ever been illuminated for you? Behind the Scenes Kristy, the lovely lady in these photographs, is one of my dearest friends.  She is such a light to be around.  I desperately wanted to take some photographs on the beach but had an overwhelming feeling that I was inconveniencing the group of people I was with.  See, it was still at least an hour before the light would be right on the beach… then add on shooting time.  Thankfully everyone was extremely gracious! If you have ever tried shooting photos at the beach, you know how harsh the light can be, even in the evening.  Unless its cloudy, there is typically only an hour in the morning and evening where the light can be glorious.   When we set out it was still extremely bright.   So we searched the island’s edge for a section in shadow.  Not too far down we found the loveliest of nooks!  It looked like a secret beach… but that’s for another post.  On out way back (and slightly discouraged) we found this magnificent patch of light! Once we hit the beach it looked as though the water was liquid silver and the shore was composed of golden stones. *Editing Hint*  When shooting a back-lit scene, make sure you are shooting RAW.  By doing so you can pull...

Light Keeper

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies, That though they never equal stars in size, (And they were never really stars at heart) Achieve at times a very star-like start. Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.” Robert Frost Tiny lights shimmer and speckle summer nights. Why do fireflies never sustain a consistent glow? They flicker to and fro. I wonder if we are all like fireflies, an incongruous brightening and diminishing light. How can you keep the light? Creating “Light Keeper” August 19th was an absolutely fantastic Wednesday!  Why?  Because David Talley brought Concept Collaboration to Buffalo for a meet-up!  Which brings us to this picture.  Meet Gus Castillo. He’s a pretty fantastic fellow and was a great model.   He went to high school  with David back in LA.  Around four and a half years ago, he joined the Air Force as a Photojournalist.  After spending a year in Florida he was off to Germany for three years, and after getting into the Newhouse School, He is now in Syracuse.  Also, he loves naps… and eating, lots of eating (his words not mine!). We went out to shoot at Akron Falls park, its was a lovely scene with photographers and strangely dressed models scampering all across the rocks and waterfall.  I wanted to create an image with an old light bulb, so of course this photo involved turning a day scene into night… as you can see below!  (Special thanks to Robert Cornelius for inspiring me to start using GIFs!) And now for a detail shot! And closer! Much...

When Life Hits (Pause) 365

Another year on pause. Another year of limbo, in between, almost there but not quite yet. This is the first fall I’m not returning to school.  In may I completed my masters degree, instead of it ending with an  “!”  it ended with a   “. . .”   now what? Now I have a confession, life isn’t going the way I had it planned. This was supposed to be the year that I got into my dream MFA program, the one that would give me the credentials and experience needed to eventually become a professor.  The program was full and I need apply again, I need to wait until next year.  This was the year I could have gotten a full time job as an art teacher.  I came in second, instead, I will be a substitute teacher again. In a lot of ways I feel like I am caught in the middle of   “. . .”   waiting for the next big thing to happen. This is another year on pause because it’s a waiting period.  Pause is a time for new beginnings. The beautiful thing about pause is that it gives you time that may not have been afforded before.  Imagine what you could do with a year that suddenly (unexpectedly) becomes empty.  Imagine what an artist can do with a blank canvas.  While in the midst of this “wait a little longer” I am going to hush my incessantly worrying mind and harness opportunity.  There is a “resume” button on the horizon. This year, every day I will post a new photograph.  Note that I said “post”...

Butterflies with broken wings.

“Today my forest is dark. The trees are sad and all the butterflies have broken wings.” –Raine Cooper There is a brevity to beauty. Every day is between two bookends of a watercolor sky. A caterpillar gives way to wings and soon after sets as the sun. The forest is dark. The trees are sad. The butterfly’s wings are broken. Outtakes I still loved the following photos, but they didn’t quite make the cut and didn’t tell the story the way I wanted to convey it.  Also, I owe a huge thank you to Lizzy for braving the insects of the forest!  Not only did she lay on the ground, snuggle a tree, and walk barefoot, but she also became an evening snack for mosquito’s (sorry dear!). Before/After Before we left the forest I caught a glint of red in Lizzy’s hair.  It was a moment that I could have easily passed by without a thought but I asked Lizzy to stay there for a moment.  When I lifted the camera, the most beautiful light leak appeared.  This series was about the butterflies and the light looked like wings!  After seeing the image SOOC I was determined to do as little editing as possible with the goal of enhancing the existing beauty....

Deep Calls To Deep

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. -Psalm 42:7   Deep calls to deep In the roar of your waterfalls All your waves and breakers Have swept over me. I had the lovely opportunity to photograph Rebecca again.  She’s effortlessly graceful and made it quite difficult to narrow down my selection.  So basically that means you get to enjoy some extra delightful outtakes! Outtakes And Extras…    ...

Pin It on Pinterest