Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rest and Recovery

Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.

As a personal trainer I found this to be true for many clients. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a strong work ethic, it is even something to be applauded. In photography I also find proper rest and recovery integral to the success that I have found. I love capturing moments and I enjoy enhancing those moments in Adobe Photo Shop. I look forward to editing with music blaring, pets by my side, coffee or the occasional glass of wine in my hand.

There are however, times when I struggle to get a photo to look just right. Within those moments, I find a break to rest my eyes, stretch to recover my back and neck invaluable. I struggle with black and white images. I always have, I suspect I always will, I do however think with enough time off from it, I have gotten better.


 

Dominique's shoot was one of my favorites, she reminds me of Audrey Hepburn here, and we look forward to photographing her party in August.



 

Jessica Tyler gave me full reign to edit whatever I felt like, as a result I learned quite a bit editing her images. She also loved all the photos.




 

Successful athletes need rest and recovery to optimize their high levels of performance, I find I need proper rest and recovery in editing to clear my head, ease the frustration, and learn from the time off. The time off varies for me, a few minutes, time for a quick kettle bell swing session or an entire day. I always come back from my rest and recovery stronger and ready for more.

When you feel frustration in life, at work or in your training in any way, I encourage you to find time to rest. Your body and mind need time to recover, and your soul will thank you.


 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

"The patriot's blood is the seed of freedom's tree." Thomas Campbell

My husband and I both proudly serve in the United States Army Reserves. My husband joined the Army before the tragic events of September 11, as an infantry soldier he was in Iraq January 2003 to January 2004 for the initial invasion and then he spent the remaining 10 months in Mosul January 2005 to January 2006. He helped run convoys across the country based out of AFB Tahlil down south. I joined after the events of September 11.

As I shared in my last blog, I was able to photograph for the unit we served in every month and during a trip to Haiti with the United Nations and The Louisiana National Guard. (Just about every photo I took in Haiti is on our Facebook Photography page along with a video on YouTube.)

The sacrifices many soldiers make is often selfless or for the safety of the soldier standing next to them. Soldiers voluntarily join and voluntarily fight for what is perceived to be the right decision for the greater good. Politics is usually not on their minds, though most follow and share their opinions at appropriate times. The sacrifices of friends and family members of soldiers seem to be often over looked, their devotion and support are integral. I believe soldiers fight for people and memories of their home and for the future lives of their children.

Memorial Day is traditionally a time of remembering and honoring the fallen, it is about each sacrifice. Each soldier is unique and our gratitude in their ultimate sacrifice will never be filled. As photographers we try to capture beautiful moments in life. The photos here were taken by my groom during a trip to a destination wedding in Arizona. I edited each of these trying to capture the beauty of what I believe most soldiers see when they look at each flag.



Once the beauty in life is captured it is up to each of us to stop, appreciate it, learn from it and share what we have learned from it. I believe we are here to improve the lives of others around us, l sincerely thank each soldier and their families for their sacrifices which have enhanced ours.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Serendipity

Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it.

As many of you know, I proudly serve in the United States Army Reserves. SFC Murray asked me during drill one day last year if I wanted to be a team leader or our unit's photographer. Without hesitation I chose photographer. I immediately started hauling lenses, filters and various diffusers with my gear each month. I learned quite a bit shooting with this unit; I will forever be indebted to SFC Murray and the soldiers of the 808 Eng. Co.

I am self-taught, though I love to fumble with settings and lighting, both natural and artificial, I do read and search the internet for instructions. One day, I decided to play with aperture and I snapped a photo of a battle buddy named Taylor.


This picture was shot as is and all I did was play with the clarity and contrast; it is still to this day 1 of my favorites. He was newly married at the time and easily a soldier you would want by your side in combat.

Many professional photographers often speak of their best photos being complete accidents, I agree. This was a happy accident. I can now duplicate this look. I will always prefer gritty, high contrast edits that feel 3D, but this is a look and feel that I do like.


 

Settings and lighting aside, another photo shoot, one of my favorites to date was of a friend and personal trainer named Jessica Tyler. We literally jumped in her truck and said let's go find a place. Though, for clients I do not know I will meet and plan out outfits, locations and sometimes even poses in advance, this was an exception. She brought along a country inspired outfit. We drove for maybe 5 minutes before we found an abandoned old small country house.



 

The sun was also quite lovely that day. This photo shoot was a success for many reasons; I will share some of it with you in future blogs.

I think photography and life can teach you and I that life can be beautiful if you view it with an open mind and just take it as it comes. Embrace the pleasant accidents.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My first blog

Buddha once said,
"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

This blog was inspired and created by my groom. My photography company is about to hit its first anniversary.  What better way to celebrate its first year than to expand our business and share what we have discovered along the way.

So, what better place to begin than the beginning.

Wes and I met in late 2008. I purchased my first iPhone in 2009. I was already a texter, but quickly became obsessed with my iPhone and the technology. I had just graduated Basic Combat Training for the US Army and decided to move in with Wes.

We created wonderful memories and I loved my phone, so, we started taking pictures of everything and everywhere we went. Some of the photos were adorable and I wanted to share my joy with friends and family.

My Army friends were all over the world then, so, I created a Facebook page. I then discovered iphoneography and photo shop apps.

Then just about every free moment, I was editing with my iPhone any photo I could get my hands on.

Wes, as most great husbands would say that my "work" was good. I have always been athletic my entire life, played just about every sport you could think off since I was 6 years old. I was a full time personal trainer for just under 12 years. I am quite passionate about good health and good fitness. I, however, had not kept up with my love of art. My iPhone rekindled a fire.

Photography is my art; I enjoy creating and sharing it. I live for the moments my Nikon D5000 and I can capture. The entire photography process is enjoyable and fascinating to me and I look forward to sharing it with you.

I agree with Buddha, I have discovered my world and I am giving all of my heart to it.