I spent an evening this week with some of my friends and fellow photographers, Ashley, Leah and Justin. We practiced our off camera lighting techniques and flash photography skillz. :) We used a flash with pocket wizards, multiple video lights and headlights from a car to achieve the light we needed and wanted. We all tried to stretch out of our comfort zones. We each made a conscious effort to get away from our habitual shooting styles and tried to take a new approach. Our mutual goal when we get together is to grow as artists and photographers both creatively and technically. We get together regularly to encourage, inspire and help one another achieve new levels of sucess. It is wonderful.
I went home that night feeling like I had bursted through a barrier. Flash photography has always made me a little nervous. I am usually disappointed with any photo taken using the flash. This experiment was liberating and exciting. Realizing that I can take any picture I want and I can manipulate the light in anyway that I choose to is very empowering. I cant wait to explore this genre in more depth...
Matias had his birthday party on Saturday. It was a huge success. We invited a TON of kids and almost everyone was able to attend. That made for a very lively group of 5 and 6 year olds. I'm so happy that we didn't plan a lot of structured games or activities because everyone just wanted to run around wild playing rambunctiously. A bunch of boys ended up in my bedroom, making movies on my computer. (...the only room I left uncleaned before the party. My thinking was that there is no way anyone will want to be in MY room during the party...pshhhaa right I should have known better.)
The only thing I can think of is that there were so many kids, no one remembered who's birthday it actually was....
Most of the boys had a gun or a sword (or a wolverine claw) and were running circles around the house chasing each other. There was some sliding down the stairs on tummies and lots of screaming and yelling. The girls on the other hand decided that they wanted to dress up and quietly play princesses well out of the line of fire from the boys. It was a lot of fun! Steven was in charge of the games. We played musical chairs, and had a bunk pinata. (By bunk, I mean that the hook that held it on the rope broke so it was full but we couldn't hit it. It just laid there on the floor lifeless. Steven had to break it open with his hands to send the candy flying.) Leah stayed around to help me manage nearly 20 kids and I was SO THANKFUL that she was there. True to form, she swept the floor, picked up the garbage from the gifts, and basically left my house looking like I didnt just host a crazy party. What a gem that girl is. :) All in all, it was a great party.
Sophia was playing in the front seat of the car with both of her brothers while it was running. Big mistake on my part! Before you judge me too harshly, know that I was standing just outside the car but that was apparently too far away. The kids were playing and Sophia had her head out the window because it was a beautiful sunny day. Isaiah wasn't aware of this and decided to roll up the automatic window. GULP! Next thing I know I hear a blood curdling scream. Isaiah had rolled the window up on her head and it squeezed her face right under eye. (Oh when I think about what could have happened...makes me squirm a little.) Instant black eye with a huge welt to boot. I felt awful! So did Isaiah. So did Sophia!! Soon I had two crying kids. After the initial hysteria settled, it was determined that everyone was fine and I took a big sigh of relief. These pictures are from the morning after...
It was vague. ?? markings....uninhibited....face....hands....eyes....bold....gritty....emotional. ?? Not quite sure how to materialize this intention, all I could think to do was to grab some colorful makeup on my way out the door. And some Vaseline...in case the concept flourished.
Thanks to Kate, it became something beautiful, raw and vulnerable.
Now if only Kate would let me post the Vaseline pictures....you've never seen anything so funny in your whole life!
Tavia and Jared have been extremely patient with me considering we shot these photos in December. However, with Tavia being my sister, her photos get put on the back burner and thats just the way it goes. ;) That being said, when I finally pulled these images out to play with them this week I remembered how much fun this shoot was and how much I LOVED the images we got as a result.
But first, a couple of blog related changes...
1. I have been needing to address my lack of layout design for a while now and I am finally ready to figure out the best way to go about mixing it up. For now, I have decided to make all of my images 750px wide. (For those who are interested in my number.) Reasons being, I like big pictures and ever since I got my new iMac, my pix have looked so small. I hope that the width doesnt get cut off of the screen for those of you who dont have a widescreen monitor. I also really like how the images are all the same width now. I feel like the blog just looks better. The overall effect is a more clean and streamlined format while allowing me to emphasize the photos I really love which I wasn't really able to do before.
2. I have temporarily removed comments from my blog. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS, but I no longer want to feel compelled to check for comments repeatedly throughout the day. It's a ridiculous obsession that I am embarrassed to admit has consumed me as of late. Eventually, when I feel like it, I will bring them back. Until then, if you are just dying to speak your mind, you can still do so by emailing me directly. I would love to hear from you anytime. :)
Without further adieu, Tavia and Jared, aren't they a beautiful couple?
My little Matty boy turned 6 today! Or as his uncle Greg would say, he turned 666. (All coming from the Saenz side of the family of course.) ;) Matias is such a fun loving kid. He loves to play rough and cuddle soft. He has an infectious laugh that makes me laugh just listening to him. He would like to change his name to Max. Sophia happily calls him Max regularly. I forget most of the time. He loves: school playing with his friends drawing pirates, superheros, handsome guys, robots, Mario, Luigi and much, much more. shoes and clothes (he has his own unique style which I must say is pretty cool) spiking his hair in a mohawk sugar in all it's forms skulls and crossbones being mischievous but not on purpose video games (as long as we help him past the hard parts so that he doesn't get completely frustrated and start to cry) watching Max and Ruby.
For his birthday we celebrated with the family by going to Pirate Island for dinner. The kids ate next to nothing because they were too interested in playing arcade games and winning tickets. It was actually a lot of fun despite the headache I had when we finally left. The picture of Sophie describes my night to a tee! :)