Tuesday, May 24, 2011


For the past few weeks, we've had our location studios at an abandoned school about 20 minutes away. Each time we go, we have a different presentation using different light sources. And each time we get a different assignment we have to accomplish and submit within a week.

I've been fortunate enough to have Rikki - my good friend at school - be in my section for this final phase, and we've greatly enjoyed working with one another on these photoshoots.

I know I haven't been posting my pictures lately...I am waiting for the big reveal after I submit my final portfolio a week from tomorrow.

But here are the ones I've taken of Rikki these past few weeks.

(this last one is my favorite)

One more week of intensity before the portfolios are done! I'm praying for strength beyond myself!!
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Graduation Keynote

On Monday, we had a portfolio preparation class, wherein our instructors gave us some final details regarding the year coming to an end.

One of the announcements was who our keynote speaker would be at graduation.....and this year, it's Joe McNally.

For those who don't know who he is.......wow! His work is unparalleled.

This is Joe:

Wikipedia says this of Joe's career:

"From 1994 until 1998 Joe McNally was LIFE magazine's staff photographer, the first one in 23 years. His most well known series is the "Faces of Ground Zero — Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th", a collection of 246 giant Polaroid portraits shot in the Moby C Studio near Ground Zero in a three-week period shortly after 9/11. A large group of these life-size (9' x 4') photos were exhibited in seven cities in 2002, seen by almost a million people. The exhibit and the book, printed by LIFE, helped raise approximately $2 million for the 9/11-relief effort.

McNally has contributed for the National Geographic magazine for 20 years. One of his photographic projects for the magazine was "The Future of Flying," a 32-page cover story, published in December 2003, commemorating the centennial observance of the Wright brothers' flight. This story was the first all digital shoot for the magazine[3]. This issue was a National Magazine Award Finalist[4], and one of the magazine’s most popular covers.

He has shot cover stories for Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Geo, Fortune, New York, Business Week, LIFE and Men’s Journal, among others. McNally’s advertising, marketing and promotional work includes FedEx, Nikon, Sony, Land’s End, General Electric, MetLife, Bogen, Adidas, Kelby Media Group, Wildlife Conservation Society, and American Ballet Theatre.
In 2008, McNally published his book, The Moment It Clicks. In 2009, McNally published The Hotshoe Diaries.

He's known for heavy usage of CLS and Speedlight."

- Wikipedia (accessed 5/19/11)

I'm super excited to hear him give us our commencement address. And what's even more cool is that the student who got selected from our class to be the student speaker is a huuuuge fan of Joe's work, and a good friend of mine: Jeff Harmon.

Here is some of what Joe has done:

Porfolio countdown is now at 12 days!!!! I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tonight I'm going to a rehearsal for a wedding I'm shooting on Saturday, then on Sat. AM before the wedding I have a family shoot. On Sat. evening I have the wedding. And on Sunday I have another family/baby shoot. It's getting close!!!!!!!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sam Abell

On Monday, we had another photographer come in as a guest lecturer - Mr. Sam Abell. Sam had a 20+ year career with National Geographic and continues to take pictures on a daily basis. He taught us the importance of layers - seeing the foreground, middle ground, and background of a picture. He talked about the 3 essentials to a documentary photograph: the setting, the gesture, and the expression. He showed us many pictures from the initial shot taken to the final image of a series of shots. His talk was very inspiring and makes me hope I can be half the photographer he is someday.

This is Sam:

(picture from Google.com)

Some of the quotes he said were:

- "Bad weather makes good photographs."
- "Do you need to see someone's face to make a compelling portrait of a person?"
(Think about it...some of the images he showed where people's faces weren't visible were captivating)
- "The right thing to do about mistakes is learn from them, but don't talk about them."

Then he talked to us about a passage that Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary in 1932:

''If one does not lie back and say to the moment, this is my moment, stay you are so fair, what will be one's gain, dying? No: stay, this moment. No one ever says that enough. Always hurry. I am now going in to see L. and say stay this moment.''

Often, I just wish that a moment would just s-t-a-y.

It was an amazing talk. Here are some of the images he talked to us about and told us how he composed them:

I think one of the most important truths he spoke was this:

"Compose the picture and WAIT!" For a photographer, this is - at times - painstaking. But seeing the images that he got after waiting for a picture to be made in front of him made me want to just go and sit and see what happens for me.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

May comes before June, and June.....

.....signifies the end of Hallmark and graduation from this intensive 10-month program in photography!!!

I have been busy, busy, busy, and realized I've neglected the blog and haven't written since the end of April. One of my very best friends - Janice - got married the first weekend in May, so I took some days to head down to Virginia and be the very best maid of honor I could be. When I got back on Sunday, I was in MA for Monday, then drove to NJ for the night, then mom and I went into NYC for the day on Tuesday, then back to MA on Tues. evening, to attend a full day of classes on Wednesday. This past weekend I had a few photoshoots....one on a farm with 3 great kids on Friday, then a family shoot on Sat. afternoon, then a day in Boston yesterday with a classmate for some shoots with friends.

So now it's Monday, May 16th and I can't believe the month is already half over.

The weather - up until this weekend - has been fabulous. We've finally seen spring in full bloom. It's amazing how quickly the buds on trees became full leaves. For one of the first times in my life have I watched the seasons change with such detail. I'm pretty confident it's because I have been forced to look beyond myself and take stock in seeing what's been going on around me.

Now this week it's supposed to be rainy and a bit chilly. But I press on. I have classes this week and location shoots, and my week ends with a wedding on Saturday for someone in the area whose grandparents I took a picture of.

I have been holding off on posting pictures of my Phase 4 work, b/c I want to show it all at once. But I did have such a good shoot on Friday at the farm that I guess I could show you some of what our landscape was. Wouldn't you just love if you called this home?

I met the owner of the farm - Kristin - through the owner of the bed and breakfast whom I've befriended. And what a connection it's provided! I've been to the farm a few times and each time I go, I am more and more amazed by the farm, Kristin and her husband Mark, and the beautiful land on which they live. They have sheep, chickens, guinea hens, 2 border collies who corral the sheep, and recently arrived baby chicks. Thanks Kristin for letting us come and take pics on the farm. Kristin is also an artist, knitwear designer, and author. She keeps a blog and writes from time to time about the farm.

In the coming days, I'll be telling you about some of the cool shoots I've had and some of the people I've met along the way.

Here's one more of a sheep from the farm. Isn't it beautiful?

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