Monday, July 7, 2014

into the wild unknown

June 24, 2014 I hopped into the car and drove for two hours to a brand new location. Talkeetna was the destination, and I was so excited to see something new in Alaska. It definitely did not disappoint, and the drive with all its sights of Denali and other mountains and rivers and lakes were so breathtaking. This was a new kind of adventure, as I was driving to shoot some conceptual photos for the Emma Hill band (I will write more about it in detail when I show the final products). When I arrived to their location, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought how crazy this whole situation was, to be able to take creative photos for a band. It was crazy to think that me, Lauren, was going to shoot with talented people I had never met before. Occasionally I speak of my introversion and shyness, and every day I am stepping out of my comfort zone to do some awesome things.

Shooting bands is something that I want to happen more regularly. I've always had a close connection with music, from playing it myself when I was younger, as well as my younger brother who is pursuing it in high school and soon college, to often feeling deep connections to songs, and I have a special respect for musical artists. Emma and Bryan (and their videographer, as well as the Gentlemen Callers) were simply wonderful and it was too much fun walking around the town of Talkeetna with them, searching for cool locations.

I stuck my feet in freezing water, trespassed on a grass airstrip, and fed goats, all while walking around wide eyed and in awe of the quaint town in the middle of the woods.

On the drive back to Anchorage we read funny lame jokes and listened to Ira Glass--so beautiful and relaxing. And that evening I went to Emma's house to shoot a portrait of the full band as well as some candid photos of their practice.

It was crazy and insane and absolutely amazing, and I am thankful every day for the unique opportunities I am given.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

the 4th

Long time no outfit post, huh? Yesterday I happened to find myself with a bit of free time, no access to a computer to work on client photos, and a need to get out of the house, so for old time's sake I grabbed my tripod and remote (and camera, of course), and took some photos of what I wore for July 4th. And no, this doesn't mean a resurgence of outfit posts. My camera/lens is starting to show wear and tear and doesn't really auto focus very well anymore, so even if I did want to take photos of myself all the time, I would get too tired of the soft focus that these photos have. But I digress ...

As everything, this post is a documentation--of my style evolution, of my confidence, of my hair growth, of my general youth to look back on in later years.

Of my style evolution; I'm starting to be drawn towards simpler, modern designs. Androgynous with a feminine twist. Also occasionally with some of the 90's resurgence. This outfit isn't particularly a mirror of that, but it is certainly a step away from my old, girly ice-cream dress, hair bow, past. (Though I'm not going to ever put myself in a box.) Of course, deciding to change your entire style is no easy process, but I'm finding ways to cut corners a bit--making my own clothes (like these mom-jeans turned shorts), looking through bags of clothes I hated in junior high and love now, and reworking the things I already own in new ways.

Of my confidence; It's taken a long time for me to become generally confident with myself look-wise, and it continues to get better every day. People can say that looks don't matter, but I'll be honest, I love feeling pretty. And American society is a very visual society, so outward appearance is important to an extent. But I won't get too into that ... I'm actually attempting to grow out my bangs, which I have had since eighth grade. I got bangs because I hated my forehead and my eyebrows, and they were great and I love them,but I just want to try something else out for a change. So for now I'm rocking the elementary school 90's middle bang part and I feel fabulous. And it's awesome! Also I'm gearing up the courage to bleach my hair and try blonde. I used to have blonde hair when I was little, and my mom, brother, and sister all have blonde hair. That's what I keep telling myself to convince myself that I won't look ridiculous with it. Either I'll go dirty blonde, or bleach it to a pinkish white, ooor maybe have it light purple. We'll see. But now is the perfect time for me to be totally irresponsible with my hair, since it would be a bit unprofessional after college, so might as well!

Anyways, these words are just for me to remember. Ever since I was a little girl, I would write in my diary and imagine myself (and a million other people because I was going to publish my diaries, haha) looking back after all those years and reading it again. I found a couple of those diaries, and let's just say it's not going to get published--nor is anyone ever going to see it. But at least now that I am a little bit more aware of myself, these silly little blog posts will be interesting (and hopefully not embarrassing) to read when I'm a lot older.

So with that, I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July, whether you were celebrating America or otherwise.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June Photos


a place to hide

Here are the photos I've posted for the month of June. There were certainly others that I created, but they either aren't completed, or the timing hasn't been good to put them up.

I hope everyone had a wonderful June.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

sunburns + warm hearts

My heart has been filled to the brim with love and joy and happiness, tired knees, cameras in both hands, and iced coffees. I flew down to Oregon to photograph a wedding, and returned home with so many photos of love--not just from the wedding itself, but from dear friends, assistants, couples, family ... it was truly an amazing experience and I still am trying to process it all.

I arrived in Oregon on the morning of the 18th, Wednesday, and after settling into my friend Megan's home, which she and her housemates graciously opened to me, I roamed around town, found food to eat and coffee to drink (what else in Oregon?), and ended the evening with doing a beautiful friend photoshoot with my bride and two of her bridesmaids who flew in from out of town. I fell in love with them and their friendship, not to mention the photos we created! I'm so excited to post the final products.

Then the 19th was a relaxing day, filled with barbecues and catching up with friends and eating way too many hot dogs and cupcakes. We discussed the future school year, with its events and projects and memories, and I am so excited to be able to be a part of it all. It reminds me of how lucky I am to go to such an amazing college and be a small part of the leadership there.

The 20th held the wedding rehearsal. I fell in love with the venue and Oregon (as usual), ate pizza, met the bridal party, and went home with tired eyes and a full heart. Of course I hardly slept that night, for my thoughts were filled with the wedding in just a few hours--what could go wrong, what could go right, etc. I can only imagine what the bride and groom were feeling.

Then the big day came. My second shooters and I went to grab coffee, then drove to the venue. Thankfully we were the first ones there, so I showed them around, led them through the day's events, and we set up laptops and a workflow to get all the photos backed up (which ended up not working out--we ended up being a bit more disorganized than I intended, but lesson learned for next time!). Then people began arriving and it was time to get down to business. The previous (and first) wedding I shot was in 2012 (almost to the exact day), so I forgot how exhausting shooting one was. We arrived at 9:30 am and didn't leave until 6:30 pm, and all that time was spent on our toes (I was sore for a couple days afterwards--which shows you how athletic I really am, haha!), but every step was absolutely worth it.

I am definitely a hopeless romantic at heart, and the day was so full of love and friendship I nearly burst. I fell in love with Carrie and Brandon just by seeing the love that their friends and family had for them, and more so by seeing how in love with each other they were. It was a huge, huge honor to be able to capture that love, and I only hope I did an adequate job of doing so. I left with a sunburn and a heart that was overflowing.

Then the 22nd I headed into Portland. Went to church, ate yummy food from the natural pantry, and sat in the park amongst beautiful people. There aren't any words to describe the feeling that Portland gives me, but I love it with all my heart. It was sad to leave that evening, but I was also happy to return home for even more adventure.

If my future holds more days like these that I experienced, and the people that I shared them with, then I think I will have done okay in life.