Thursday, January 3, 2013

Print Giveaway!

To celebrate the end of my 365, I’m hosting a print giveaway to say thank you!
To win one print of your choice from my flickr ( (size ~5x8, 6 winners total), all you have to do is:

1. Follow this blog via google friend connect or bloglovin
2. Comment with your name and one thing you’re looking forward to in 2013

You can gain multiple entries by also entering on my flickr and facebook.

Also, if you were in any of my 365 photos and choose to enter the giveaway, you automatically get an extra entry for taking the time out of your day to model for me.

Giveaway ends on Monday, January 14, at 11:59 pm EST

Good luck!

2012 in review

Since I'm already a couple days late with this whole review of the year thing, I'm just going to jump right in. I've been reading all of my posts from the last year (all 500+ of them ... sheesh Lauren) and man, I was so nerdy back then! Hah, of course my current nerdy self is one to talk, and I'm sure by this time next year I'll look back on this post and think the same thing (hey future me, wassup? ... I'm gonna regret not backspacing on that one), but since keeping this blog, I've become so infinitely better at taking outfit pictures and writing up posts. For me, it's all a matter of elaborating on things, and I've become a lot better at doing it throughout the year.

Speaking of the year, here are some highlights:

January: I officially started blogging! (Which also means, Introvert's Introduction is officially one year old!); went on a date with Matt to the zoo; played in the snow; became a math tutor; turned 18 and opened a letter my freshman self sent to me; got a gold key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; got a part in the school play; went to an Owl City concert; and danced with a handsome man at homecoming.

February: I traveled to Oregon for the first time and participated in my college's scholarship competition; celebrated Matt and mine's one year anniversary; babysat some precious kids; and won a photography contest.

March: I went bowling with awesome people; did my very first blogger spotlight; received my first piece of clothing from a company; saw the northern lights; held my first blog giveaway; went on a photo adventure; was caught with my camera; and performed in the school play.

April: I took some senior portraits; watched improvaganza; bought my first business cards; made a camera strap; helped Matt with his video; and took engagement photos.

May: I kicked off the 30 day dress challenge; went to a bridal shower; was voted outstanding lead actress; participated in the senior prank; GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL; and dressed up as a vampire for a 48-hour film challenge.

June: I used my tablet for the first time; went on a photo adventure; went camping; went camping again; took pictures of miss alaska and miss teen alaska; shot my very first wedding; and changed the design of my blog.

July: I hung out with Matt; celebrated the 4th of July; took pictures for a week long camp; had one of my best friends visit me; and went to the air show.

August: I finally began talking about introverts; showed some of my editing process; made a behind the scenes video; went on a photo date; said 'see you soon' to Matt; went to college; and fell in love with a beautiful city.

September: I dyed my hair for the first time ever; went to the beach and made some beautiful friends; held a hummingbird; talked about college; and went to my first meetup (and met some of my biggest inspirations).

October: I wrote my first article for the school newspaper; took college street style photos; explored an abandoned building; went to the Bombay Bicycle Club concert; and went to the pumpkin patch.

November: I hiked Multnomah Falls; dyed all of my hair; took my first successful RAW photo; and introduced film friday.

December: I celebrated the end of the semester; took my favorite 365 photo; returned to Alaska; looked back on my first semester at college; wrote some thoughts on photography; showed off my ceramics haul; went to a New Year's retreat; and took my last 365 photo!
Wow, it's been such a crazy year. Some of the things I did in January, I could have sworn I did years ago and not just a few months ago. It's crazy how fast time flies and how memories seem like they happened a lifetime ago. It's been a crazy year full of a lot of struggles and successes, and I think I've matured a lot in these few short months.

365 day project: 2012 from Lauren Parker on Vimeo.

And here is photographic evidence of my year in (nearly) 365 photos. This video makes me so happy because even though I didn't give any effort much of the time, I made it a whole year and I have grown so so much as a photographer, even in the days that I didn't care to take a picture. I think now that the 365 is over, my work will get exponentially better because I'll have more time and I'll be able to share only things I'm proud of. But I am glad I decided to do another 365 and I will always look on these photos with fondness.

Here are some of my favorite outfits from 2012! It's so fun to look back and see how my (practically nonexistent) style evolved into what it is today. Even in such a short amount of time (relatively, of course, because this year has seemed really long), it's crazy how much I've grown fashionably alone. I'd say it wasn't until about summer before my senior year in high school that I really started to get interested in fashion. I mean, I liked dressing nice but I didn't know that much about personal style and I certainly didn't have one of my own (if you don't count jeans and shirts as a personal style). Only after did Matt (my boyfriend) show me his sister's blog were my eyes opened to personal style and a world of blogging I had never even known about. My whole life I've had some sort of diary or blog (I kept a neopets blogspot in elementary school, that's how cool I was), but I never knew people could blog about things other than random diary crap (not saying that stuff is actually crap, because we all know how much I like to post about my life, but let's be honest, my elementary stuff probably was not the best). So after posting some outfits to my tumblr, I decided to start blogging January 1, 2012 to document my last half of senior year and journey into college. Who would have even thought it would turn into so much more than that? I have made so many friends through blogging and have grown so much because of it, not only in personal style but just in general. You guys give me a lot of good perspective on life and I want to give you good perspective on life as well. I used to be so depressed and unmotivated but from blogging (which includes dressing nicely and taking photos and making new friends) I have so much more joy in life, and I hope whenever you guys read my blog that you get a little bit more joy in yours. If I don't do that, then there's no point in me continuing on. But it's a fabulous journey and I plan to stay in the game for many years to come. It's funny, I started this blog to document a major turning point in my life, but I think every single day can be a major turning point, and I don't want to miss a moment of it.

Thank you guys so so much for reading this little blog of mine. You are seriously seriously seriously the best ever and I love you so much! Let's make 2013 an awesome year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

to enter the light

day 365

Counting down to the new year always makes me emotional. A year's worth of pain, struggle, happiness, success; a thousand actions, a million thoughts, a billion memories, all finally fall behind my back as fireworks ring in a fresh beginning. I'm starting to think that New Years is my favorite holiday because it holds the greatest emotion for me. It's just so monumental to put another milestone in your life. I knew 2012 would be a roller coaster year, and it definitely did not disappoint. Tomorrow I'm doing a big year in review post, so I won't talk about all the things that happened in 2012 right now, but even just looking back through my memory, this year has been so insane. And to think that I was able to document it with (nearly) 365 photos is equally as insane.

You may or may not have noticed that I had a series going on within my 365 project, and this photo is the final image in the series. At first I was really frustrated that I would have to shoot in an unknown location with no internet for my last photo, but this one ended up even better than I could have imagined.

day one: to leave the atmosphere
day one hundred: tearing down our foundations
day two hundred: halfway home
day three hundred: and as the fog clears

Day one I wasn't in love with photography any longer and I didn't really know what I was doing with the 365 project. I felt like I was in a fog and couldn't see where I was going or what I was supposed to do. (I actually won a contest with that photo, which I find so ironic because I felt lost in regards to photography.) Day one hundred found me inspired again, thinking I could never top that photo at all. The fog was beginning to clear but I was still timid about what my personal style was and if I even had a place as a photographer. Day two hundred found me with my first wedding under my belt, with my first major photoshoot with miss alaska and miss teen alaska behind me. It found me searching and pushing through that fog. Day three hundred found me in a new place, a new state (state of mind and geographical state), with models and photographers and friends and a lot of growing up. I was trudging through the forest and I was starting to see things clearly. And day three hundred and sixty five has found me finally entering the light, finally feeling at peace with who I am currently, finding joy in pushing my boundaries and doing things I never thought I would do. I think if I were to redo this project, I would have worked even harder on it. I would have given myself more guidelines in what I could and could not create, because many days I was lazy and gave no effort, which left me frustrated and ready to quit. But now I know it is in doing the scary things that bring me the most joy. My favorite photo in the entire project would be this one, and not necessarily because it was the most well done or popular photo. It was because that photo was where I went against everything in me and did something I previously thought I would never have been able to do. I want every photo I take to make me feel the way this photo did: absolutely terrified but so so accomplished. I know that just because I write "day 365" doesn't mean my journey is done. But now I feel a little bit more enlightened and I am in love with photography again. And don't worry, I will be taking a lot of pictures in 2013.

And I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports me. I ended the year succeeding my goal of reaching 25,000 views on flickr and 365 likes on facebook. That to me is unbelievably amazing and I cannot thank you guys enough. You are the best ever. In a couple days I'm having a big huge print giveaway to say thank you, and in a few more days I'll pick up my camera again to make some more awesome images, but in the mean time, I'm taking a much needed break.

I just want to nod my head in the direction of the end of my first 365 project, because that was when I first fell in love with photography and my eyes were opened to this fantastic world of awesome people, many of which are my friends today. I still look on my first 365 with fondness, and it's great to see just how much I've improved. And let's not even try to imagine what I'm going to say at the end of 2013 that I thought I would never be able to do today! But let's make the end of 2013 be really proud and blown away by what we did in the year.

All I can say is thank you, and it's going to be awesome.

life in a frozen house

day 364

Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful new year. I just got back from no internet, so things shall resume around here as normal. I'll post day 365 in a few hours to give this one a little bit of time to shine. :)