April Newsletter

I'm warning you now. I decided to do the newsletter just a tad different this month. It's all in black and white. Plus, I'm super tired as I write this so--lucky you--there shouldn't be too much chatter. I decided to go black and white on a whim. Lately it's just been speaking to me and I've been having a lot of fun using black and white. I don't know any of the technical things about it--I know that black and white photography is a whole art in and of itself. But man, there's just something about the way that the lack of color draws attention to the details.

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April began with the most perfect of days spent with these two. I needed to go to Des Moines sometime to look at some photography locations for an upcoming engagement session. So, somewhat spur-of-the-moment I decided to go on Monday, April 1st. Always up for a little adventure, they were quick to agree to come along with me. And goodness, we talked about everything from biblical theology to fake boyfriends (they pranked me pretty good with a story). It's days like this that I want to always remember.
The set up: 50mm f/5 1/2000 ISO 200

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Spring began to show itself by pushing up so many of these adorable grape hyacinths at the abandoned house next door. I think the cold winter must have been good for them, because I think there were more than I've ever seen before.
The set up: 35mm f/2.8 1/160 ISO 280

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I am still working several days a week as a barista. I'm slowing seeing some progress in my latte art and in my ability to converse with strangers.
The set up:35mm f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400

I was surprised when I received an email asking if I wanted to be a part of a large collaborative styled shoot that an event venue was hosting. I honestly have no idea how they got my name, but I quickly said that I was in! It turned out to be a cold, cloudy day but the models did their jobs beautifully. It was super challenging to try and get creative shots when there were 3-4 other photographers all trying to direct the same couple. But I tried to be super creative and I'm so happy with what I walked away with. And seriously, look at these two! They did so well--and had never even met before this shoot. They're the real MVPs.

Excuse me while I try to go find a way to stay awake until bedtime. Much love, Melody Rose

February Photographer's Meetup

Last summer, in an effort to create more of a local community of photographers, I talked to a couple other photographer friends and decided to form a photographer’s group. We don’t meet very often (my hopes of a monthly meetup were soon clearly unrealistic) but when we do, boy, is it fun. I planned this meetup all winter long and it was the perfect winter activity. I am only now posting these photos because…honestly, I needed a little distance from these photos before I loved them. With all of the work that went into the meetup itself, it was hard for me to also enjoy the photography part of it and to really appreciate them with the amount of effort (and investment $$$) overshadowing it. I hope you enjoy looking at these photos and gaining inspiration from them! If you have any questions about any of the items I used, I would love to chat with you about it!

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For the location, I chose to use the “lodge” building at my local state park. When rented on a weekday, the rental fee is incredibly reasonable and it has this lovely front room that is perfect for brunch. Also—WE HAVE NO OTHER VENUES. Someone please please sponsor me to create a gorgeous local venue. I had shot another brunch here in the summer of 2017 for some articles for Daughters of Promise, so I was already familiar with what was available there. If you look at my @evergreen.gatherings page, you’ll be able to see some of that very similar event.

The table setting consists of:

White Plates— Dollar Tree

Stemless Wine Glasses—Marshals

Vintage Silverware—ShopGoodwill.com

Double Gauze Napkins—Homemade and Dyed, Hobby Lobby

Placecards—Marble Velum (Hobby Lobby) and Gossamer Ribbon (Tono & Co.)

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I had quite the experience with the florals. As per usual, they did not turn out like my mind’s eye had envisioned—I have a really long way to go in that respect. Also, the morning of the event was quite frigid. To the point that between setting my arrangements into a cold car in the morning and carrying them inside, all but one anemone had turned brown from frost and the gorgeous garden roses all began to droop excessively. Sad day, lesson learned.

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For the menu, I intentionally chose items that were simple, delicious, and easy to prep ahead of time. You can find the recipes and inspiration in my Pinterest Board for this brunch—Spring Brunch.

The Menu:

Croissant Egg Sandwiches (seriously so so good and crazy easy)

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Balsamic Peach Sauce

Citrus and Mint Salad

Raspberry Baked Brie with Puff Pastry Bites

Cake (I am totally blanking on what the cake was that I made. Orange Cake with Almond Cardamom Icing I think? Who knows.)

Rosemary Pomegranate Punch

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Photographers from L-R (with their social media linked in their name, go give them a follow) Melody Rose (me, duh),  Katrina ,  Jess ,  Meghan,   Karen,   Rosy ,  Sharita,   Grace,

Photographers from L-R (with their social media linked in their name, go give them a follow) Melody Rose (me, duh), Katrina, Jess, Meghan, Karen, Rosy, Sharita, Grace,

March 2019

Wow. You guys. March was a month of food. Of good food. Interestingly, as much as I love to think of myself as a super sophisticated foodie--the things that I love making and perfecting the most are the simplest, most basic things that a baker should make. I think my subconscious thought process is that if I can't make the absolute best basic things, what business do I have trying to make fancy things? 
   This month meant that the sun sets later which gives me more time to take food photos and what a fun train ride that's been. Here's to hoping April continues on that same path. This month is when I start a lot of my tiny little seeds and hope that they grow (things are currently looking good on that front). It marks six months of working at Hub Coffee as a barista and I'm grateful for what that has taught me about practice and persistence. Honestly, I'm a little sad to see winter go. (Snow, not so much...moody brown land and grey skies is what I'm going to be missing.) I'm not quite ready for the roller coaster of spring-summer-fall to take off. But ready or not--it's here.

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This is quite possibly my favorite winter portrait yet. It had been a long Saturday--up long before dawn to help with a women's event, I had done my part, taken some photos, and then came back home mid-afternoon. It was just such a glorious moody day. (I either want days that are crystal clear and sunny or dark and heavy--no in-between nonsense.) I don't know if I can even describe to you this day--but it was beautiful. I was tired, but I just wanted to get out and photograph something. I tried on outfit after outfit to come up with something that was unique but that also fit the mood. I finally just went with this simple outfit and drove to a new spot that I'd been wanting to check out for awhile. Of course, just as I arrived, it began to pour rain. So I sat, and I waited. I listened to the sound of the rain and tried to soak in the feeling of the landscape around me. It eventually let up, and I walked over the hill to see the spot I was hoping to shoot. It was perfect. It had all of the brownness and greyness I was hoping for. I may look sad in this shot--but trust me, I was so happy. Moral of the story: if your heart tells you to go do something, do it. 
The set up: 100mm f/3.5 1/320 ISO 200

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I don't know why I made so much more pretty and photogenic food this month. I guess once the ball started rolling, I remembered how much I love doing food photography and how it's really not that hard to just add that to the baking routine. I love it, it's fun, enough said. What should I bake next month?

March had me working through so many things. Business things, personal development things, all kinds of things. I took some steps forward and I'm excited to see where those steps lead in the coming days. Here's a random thing I learned--I've always thought of myself as being bad at talking to/with people. Turns out, I'm just bad at small talk. But if you need someone to go deep with--I'm all in with that. Ugh, it's the stuff of my dreams. Also, if you happen to mention a topic I'm passionate about...you might have a hard time getting me to shut up. Soo yeah. Do what you will with that information. Much love, Melody Rose

February 2019

Ugh, don't even talk to me about February. And I'm not complaining about it being winter or it being cold--seriously, what is up with that anyways? If it wasn't cold, we would be having some serious problems. It's supposed to be cold in winter, folks! It helps things to grow better in spring. It makes spring all the more wonderful. I just don't ever remember hearing quite this much complaining about winter. 
   I am going to complain instead about myself and how I just can't quite figure myself out. (But I'm working on it, okay?) I barely picked my camera up at all this month. Instead, in my downtime, I just moped around or did non-creative time-wasting things. Why? Because I've been feeling very King-Solomon-esque and would prefer instead to just rant, "Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless. There is nothing new under the sun. I cannot create anything that hasn't been created before." If anyone knows the solution to fix this feeling, I would be more than happy to hear it. 

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Where to start with this one? I had my camera along with me this Saturday afternoon that I had come to the coffee shop just to get out of the house. We ended up sitting and talking for a couple of hours just about life and trying to understand various people in our lives (read: our parents). While we were talking, I noticed that Katrina was playing with the chain for the window blind and I surprisingly had the presence of thought to try and capture it. Of course, when I pulled my camera out, she stopped playing with it and took off the chunky lanyard that she was wearing around her neck--too much of a photographer herself to just let the moment be. "No, you were supposed to keep playing with the chain while you talked--it just looked kinda cool!" I told her. And it did. It looked cool. 
The set up: 35mm f/3.2 1/100 ISO 1100

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As a barista at Hub Coffee, I am now also going to be working with their social media some. Coming up with creative photos that aren't too repetitive is going to be a challenge, but it's definitely a challenge I'm up for.

The set up: 35mm f/2.8 1/2500 ISO 200

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One of the highlights of my winter has been planning and executing a brunch for the local photographer's group that I lead. I freaking love the planning process and if I all I ever had to do was plan things (and then never have to do the actual work of pulling them off) I would be one happy camper. Of course, being the insanely (read: overly) independent person that I am, I did everything myself--with the exception of some cleanup and carrying things to and from my car (thank you Katrina and Meghan). Aaaand now I know that I'm capable of planning and executing a brunch for 12 people. Now that I say it out loud, it doesn't sound like much. It was a ton of fun, a little load of stress, and, as usual, when I plan something, never quite as fulfilling or enjoyable as I imagined it to be. What does that say about me?  I have no idea. 

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The building that we were in for the brunch had a basement with a window that diffused the light gorgeously. Some of the other gals were down there oooing and aahhing over the light and so I knew I had to check it out before I left. Once everything was cleaned up, I combined my poor, failing bouquets (don't even get me started on the florals), wrapped it with some ribbons I had along, propped my camera on a chair and tried to redeem my day with some self portraits.

The Set Up: 50mm f/2.5 1/160 ISO 800

*deep breaths* spring is almost here, cherish these days. It's time to start some seeds and before we blink it summer will have come and gone. March looks to be a slow month, but hopefully I can still challenge myself creatively and not let laziness get in the way. Much love, Melody Rose

December/January 2018/19

Hello, hello. It's February. Did you notice we missed the December newsletter? It's been bugging me all the livelong month. But I just didn't know what to say, you know? I didn't want some cliche, "It had its ups, it had its downs. But it was a good year." I mean, it was a good year. But I just didn't know what to say about it. I don't like the passing of time--which also means that I don't like to dwell on it or think about it at all. So that's my explanation of why I didn't send out a December newsletter. Because I just knew that you all were dying to hear one.
     I chose the photo for the new banner because it is one of my absolute favorites from last year. Kinda funny, huh? Out of all of the fantastic flower photos I got, this is my favorite! There's just something about it though--I have it on my phone's lock screen and sometimes I just stare at it and the intricacies of the petals. I'm just so honored that I get to be involved in capturing such beauty. And oh my goodness--the plans for this year! I cannot wait to see what things I end up trying to grow and what beautiful things survive.
    Usually, when I write these newsletters, I look back at Instagram to see what I posted over the last month, and then I try to deviate from that at least a little. Looking back, I just could not believe that I didn't write a December newsletter--I had to check multiple times to make sure. It just felt like so long ago and it would be weird to talk about December now, right? And then that thought just spirals down into why in the world I'm even doing this anyways (I honestly don't know...I think I read somewhere that it was a good thing to do for your business or something). Anyways, it'll be a fun mix of December and January in the usual haphazard fashion. 
   By the way, thank you for following along and reading this ridiculousness. You are awesome. 

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This is pie. End of story. 

Okay, maybe not completely end of story. I made this pie because it looked beautiful on Pinterest and it sounded yummy. Then, when I tried to take photos of it, I just had the hardest time setting it up in a way that I liked. Plus, um...I may have burned it a little. Anyways, the point being that creative food photography is actually pretty hard.
The set up: 50mm f/3.2 1/160 ISO 1100

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This photo was actually taken in November. And for whatever reason, I didn't add it then so I'm adding it now. It looks super yummy and reminds me of the beautiful tall windows we had in an Airbnb in downtown Minneapolis.

March 29, note: I brought the ingredients for these on our trip and made them—just a square of parchment paper, a little container of cinnamon sugar, a round of brie, and a can of crescent rolls.

The set up: 35mm f/3.5 1/800 ISO 560

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In a desperate attempt to do something creative with the moody clouds and brown earth (side note: I prefer this to snow), I crawled through a fence into the neighbor's corn field and tried to not feel self-conscious that someone driving by on the road might be able to see me in my strange get-up. I also scoured the fence rows for anything remotely beautiful and bouquet-like and was not disappointed (it helps to have low expectations). The results were gloriously moody and yay! I have yet another self portrait shoot for no reason.

The set up:50mm f/2.8 1/320 ISO 400

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I really felt like I just hardly did anything this month. So when I finally had a day off with no long list of tasks to complete, I wasted time making yummy/pretty food. Crepes are delicious. I should make them more often. So that I can actually just eat them for once instead of making it look like they're being eaten and just photographing them instead.

The Set Up: 35mm f/3.2 1/250 ISO 560

Bonus Image: Popcorn and coffee.

Bonus Image: Popcorn and coffee.

Bonus Image: Katrina looking super good in my dress.

Bonus Image: Katrina looking super good in my dress.

Bonus Image: Fellow Stagg kettle looking good in an Airbnb.

Bonus Image: Fellow Stagg kettle looking good in an Airbnb.

Okay, so it was a slow couple of months. I should be thankful--before I know it, the sunshine will be here and allllll the busyness with it. I have some fun things planned for February though, so hopefully next month's letter will be just a wee bit more interesting. Much love, Melody Rose

November 2018

For an explanation of why I’m sharing these newsletters from previous months, see the blog post titled I Might Start Blogging.

So I'm going to try and keep this part short and sweet. I already wrote the body of the newsletter and boy, was it a wordy one! My fingers have been itching to write for awhile now and once I got started, I just couldn't stop. So, this month's letter is more about the random workings in my head and less about the things I did. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dive in. 

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Truth: I got just as much enjoyment out of taking a photo of this set-up as I did eating the chocolate and drinking the coffee.
The set up: 50mm f/2.8 1/160 ISO 800

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Everybody struggles with feelings of inadequacy in some way or another, I think. When it comes to photography, I've always had a bit of a problem with one area--getting good artsy photos of outings that weren't styled or posed. I FOR SURE want to be really good at everything and so even though I know that I'm a pretty good photographer, there's always that little voice that goes, "Hey. It's me. Ummmmm don't want you to get too confident in your abilities, so I thought I would just remind you that you're not very good at taking this one particular style of photo." And the funny thing is that I will carry my camera with me intending to take the artsy-est outing photo ever imaginable. But then, I get caught up in the moment or feel weird about whipping my clunky loud camera out and end up not taking any photos. Or, I'll snap a couple, get discouraged with the way that they look, and then forget about it.

I have a great little argument in my head that goes like this:  snobby photographer side, "A REAL photographer doesn't carry a camera around taking photos of everything, ESPECIALLY in this kind of light. That looks SO amateur and like you just want people to know that you're a REAL PHOTOGRAPHER but we who are in fact actual photographers know that you are actually terrible and are quite possibly shooting in .jpg and don't 'edit' your photos because you are a 'purist'. Ugh. NO. Just no."

But then, on the other side of the argument, we have the artist who whispers, "If in fact, you were a true artist, a true beauty-seeker, and had the eyes to see beauty in everything, you would have no struggle taking photos when you are out and about. Not only that, but those photos would be aesthetically beautiful and interesting. They would be clear representations of your way of viewing the world, and you would not need styled instances that have been strictly controlled in order to create beauty. Also, who cares what you look like? Perhaps people will view you as the artist you are and would ask about your art and it would be a conversation piece and they would have respect for you. Nobody knows you're a photographer if you just leave your camera in your bag." Welcome to the inner dialog of Melody.

All that was to say that I was super happy with this photo I took on an outing with my sister Katrina. I was like, "Whoa. Look! I CAN take an artsy outing photo that isn't styled or staged."

The set up: 35mm f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400

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Sometimes, I feel weird making things just so that I can photograph them. And when I feel weird, the inner dialog starts again and is like, "Hey. Sooo quick question. Why are we doing this photography thing again? I mean, I know it's cool and all but are we doing this just to post on instagram so that people will have undying love for us? Are we, in fact, truly passionate about photography? OR do we just loooooove it when people give us compliments and since this is currently the easiest way to gain approval by the masses then we're just using photography to get attention? Also, why is approval so important and motivating? Hmm it's probably time to do some self-work poking around in that. Man, you are one messed up kid."

And the the other side is like, "Who freaking cares? It's not costing us very much and we're not half bad at it so what does it matter if our motives are jaded? Also, folks love it. It brings light to their lives."

Then the other side pipes up again, "Okay. Interesting thoughts. Let me just ask you this--why are you good at it? Are you naturally talented? Of course, we don't believe in natural talent--we believe in hard work yielding results since 'natural talent' is too unpredictable. In that case, what if you are good at it because you wanted to be accepted and liked and loved and so you worked on the one thing that you found gained you acceptance and favor? WHAT IF the only reason you're good at this is because of a deep-seated need to be liked and loved? What then?" Welcome to the insane inner dialog of Melody pt. 2.

And then I just take photos anyways and try to think about something else. 

The set up:50mm f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400

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I made this table setting for thanksgiving because I thought it would be pretty and fun to try and put something together. I took a photo of it and then moved the plates to the bar where we always eat. I just couldn't bring myself to sit there. It would just feel too weird. (It's okay, I confuse myself too.)

The Set Up: 35mm f/2.8 1/200 ISO 800

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Sometimes I wonder if people think, "Wow. Melody is just a little self-obsessed. I mean, what's up with all of the self portraits?? It's borderline over the top." I don't think many of you here think that, and that you get why I do self portraits. I think those who would think that wouldn't be the type to read my newsletter. Either way though, I'm going to give you all a little why behind it all. Maybe I'm just super narcissistic? I've been doing self portraits since I was 11. I'm 100% going to try and do some digging to find some of the first ones that I did. Like right now. Excuse me a moment.

ALRIGHTY. I'm back. Got some supper, found some pics that I think you're going to find verrrrry interesting. It is comforting to me that I was playing with photography from the time I was 11--and I was not one of those kids that got gifted an expensive camera and I FOR SURE wasn't any good until like, last month. It's also comforting that I was taking self portraits before Instagram or Facebook were things. Granted, they both certainly helped. Who am I kidding? I wouldn't be half of the person I am today if it weren't for those platforms.

But back to the self-portrait thing...that also connects to the why behind photography thing from earlier. Ready to go deep? I've never been an interesting enough person that anybody wanted to take photos of me. I realize now, as an adult, that being interesting really doesn't have much to do with it...and it's actually because I always feel so freaking awkward in front of someone else's camera that I would either shy away from it or make a weird face--in other words, I've done it to myself. Also, I think that I have told myself that I prefer to be an observer on-the-outside-looking-in to cope with the fact that I nearly always feel out of place when I'm in the action.

Okay so here's a thought: everybody wants to be seen. Like really seen. But at the same time, everybody is afraid of being seen. We want our souls to be peered into, but we are terrified that if someone saw what was truly there, that they would not want to be with us anymore (or maybe that’s just me?). And maybe, just maybe, that's why I like self-portraits. Because it is a way for me to be vulnerable in a controlled way. A way for me to share parts of my heart without revealing too much. The self-portraiture has evolved to be about storytelling as well--especially in sets like this one. But even though that girl in those photos is a character, she's also a tiny bit of me...or at least who I wish I would be. Have I lost you guys yet? I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. Welcome to the inner dialog of Melody pt. 3.

Bonus photo:  Monday, June 18, 2007  One of the first self-portraits that I took that I thought was really cool. I had a little digital point and shoot camera and a rickety tripod. I was 11 in this photo. Oh my goodness, it’s so bad I almost can’t bring myself to post this.

Bonus photo: Monday, June 18, 2007
One of the first self-portraits that I took that I thought was really cool. I had a little digital point and shoot camera and a rickety tripod. I was 11 in this photo. Oh my goodness, it’s so bad I almost can’t bring myself to post this.

Okay then. Hope you guys survived that little tour through the complicated inner life of Melody. I will now be starting a GoFundMe so that you guys can sponsor me for counseling. I'm KIDDING. In other news, you should go buy my 2019 Bouquet Calendar! Info can be found for it on my Instagram highlight titled "Calendar". All proceeds go to a starving artist. (me.) Proceeds will actually go towards buying seeds, tubers, and corms, for next year's flower garden--because as you may well know, it's not a cheap endeavor. Thank you all so much for following along and showing up here. Let me know if you identify with some of the things that I've talked about and we can mutually be confused about ourselves together. Much love, Melody Rose

I Might Start Blogging and October 2018 Newsletter

Those who are subscribed to my monthly email newsletter know that I send out a monthly email newsletter. Everyone else? Probably hasn’t heard about it. Or has heard about it and just shied away at the word newsletter. I haven’t talked about it much online because I don’t want to be one of those people that pushes you to subscribe to everything. I started the newsletter as a way to hopefully connect better with my audience (wow, looking at me using such good marketing phrases). It’s turned into a way for me to look back over my month photographically, and to just reflect and to write wordy words.

As I sit in various coffee shops and complain to various people how I just want to be seen and discovered, I’ve realized that I probably don’t share as much of my work as I think I do. I hate self-promotion and so I’ve avoided over-sharing at all cost. I also don’t really have one specific direction that I want to take my photography and so it can be hard to know what to share and what not to share. So basically my entire approach has been of sharing what’s in my heart and whatever it is I’m working on.

But as I finished a year of newsletters, I asked myself how I wanted them to change—and if I wanted them to change. Did I want to just stick with the 70-some people who got the emails and the 50-some people who actually opened them? (It’s okay, I basically never open emails either.) Was there a way I could make them more accessible? So, I contemplated putting the newsletters on my blog. I’m notorious for not blogging—this could fix that! I’m also notorious for hopping around between thinking and feeling without skipping over to doing. So I thought about it. And I didn’t know how I felt about it. I mean, sometimes I can be a little vulnerable in my newsletter—and the blog? Literally anyone in the whole wide world could read it. Literally anyone. Here’s an honest question—what makes me more uncomfortable: the fact that anyone could get to know me or the fact that anyone could read it and reject me/my photography? Ouch.

All that was to say that I’m putting my newsletters on the blog. For better or for worse. I’m going to go back and start with October and post all of the newsletters to the current one. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my newsletter:

October 2018

Hey all. Wow, what a month. It went so fast, yet seems like an eternity long. And look at me--actually getting this out somewhat on time! While I'm still trying to find a work/creative work balance, I definitely feel like I'm adjusting to life with a job outside of my house. I'm also so so excited about a project that's actually going to happen--my bouquet calendar! I'll hopefully be placing the order within the next week or two and will let everyone know as soon as I can have them available for purchase! One thing that I have actually enjoyed this month is cooking--something I normally agonize over. (Note: cooking meals, not baking.) I got a new recipe book that I KNEW would help me to push the bounds of what I was cooking and it is seriously so fun. I feel like I have to buy completely different ingredients than what I'm used to, but it's so good for me to do that. It's called One Pan, Two Plates, and while some of the recipes are overly outrageous (for me) and some of the cuts of meat something I'll never buy, I've already made some pretty fun recipes--hot ham and cheese sandwiches with a fried egg and bechamel sauce, a keilbasa, sauerkraut, & potato meal (something I NEVER would have even considered trying), rosemary chicken quarters with an orange gremolata (it's okay, I still have no idea what a gremolata actually is), and chicken quarters with sweet potatoes and pineapple. So yeah, it's the little things. (I don't know why I said that, it just seemed like a good closer and I just ran out of words soooo yeah.)

I can only dream of having fog like this at home--on the rare day that we do have it, it seems like it's always a day that I have to be somewhere. So, when we were in Illinois for my Aunt's birthday, I had to drag Trina out into the field for some dreamy moody shots like this one. Goodness I could stare at this all day. This is what perfection looks like.  The set up: 50mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 280

I can only dream of having fog like this at home--on the rare day that we do have it, it seems like it's always a day that I have to be somewhere. So, when we were in Illinois for my Aunt's birthday, I had to drag Trina out into the field for some dreamy moody shots like this one. Goodness I could stare at this all day. This is what perfection looks like.

The set up: 50mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 280

I wanted to include this photo because this is a photo of me just looking normal--in case anyone was thinking that I actually look like a model (although I don’t normally smile so…). Without a bouquet in my hand, and looking straight at the camera, trust me--I feel just as awkward as you. Also. Why does it feel so weird? I don't know.  The set up: 50mm f/3.5 1/160 ISO 800

I wanted to include this photo because this is a photo of me just looking normal--in case anyone was thinking that I actually look like a model (although I don’t normally smile so…). Without a bouquet in my hand, and looking straight at the camera, trust me--I feel just as awkward as you. Also. Why does it feel so weird? I don't know.

The set up: 50mm f/3.5 1/160 ISO 800

So now we're at photos from the styled shoot that I photographed--because these and the images above are all I captured this month. Ugh. I hate being busy. I feel like I've been playing catch-up for the last three months and I really really hate it. I didn't realize how much I hated it until now. I like to have blank spaces of time so I can do things like baking and taking random photos and writing poetry--and those aren't just fun things I like to do, they're things that I want to be priorities. So yeah, something might have to change.   Anyways. My friend Robert from  Nephew and Co.  put this styled shoot together and it was awesome and beautiful.

So now we're at photos from the styled shoot that I photographed--because these and the images above are all I captured this month. Ugh. I hate being busy. I feel like I've been playing catch-up for the last three months and I really really hate it. I didn't realize how much I hated it until now. I like to have blank spaces of time so I can do things like baking and taking random photos and writing poetry--and those aren't just fun things I like to do, they're things that I want to be priorities. So yeah, something might have to change.

Anyways. My friend Robert from Nephew and Co. put this styled shoot together and it was awesome and beautiful.

These photos are also from the styled shoot and I thought I would share just a tiny secret about the way that I shoot with window light. When I first started out, I was taught to think, "The more light the better. Even lighting is the absolute best kind of light--shadows are bad. We want the whole person illuminated." (Haha, I almost wrote eliminated!) And to that I say, "Gross." I can't stand even lighting. It's super boring. This is what I LOVE to do (and it's a technique that I learned in a class that was taught by a really really good photographer so I know it's legit) and it's a super simple thing that makes a HUGE difference. Are you ready?  Turn her body away from the light, and turn her face back into it.  It will be incredibly slimming and highlighting--rather than just flat or even lighting. And the more of a contrast between the two, the moodier it will become. Just to prove my point, I'm going to do a comparison of the two styles below (towards the window on the left, away from the window on the right). NOW let me just say--neither of these are wrong or right inherently. But one is wrong for me. If you're a photographer--don't feel like you always need to follow the "rules". Find what looks the best to you. I mean, don't be naiive and go crazy--but learn the rules so that you can break them and break them well.

These photos are also from the styled shoot and I thought I would share just a tiny secret about the way that I shoot with window light. When I first started out, I was taught to think, "The more light the better. Even lighting is the absolute best kind of light--shadows are bad. We want the whole person illuminated." (Haha, I almost wrote eliminated!) And to that I say, "Gross." I can't stand even lighting. It's super boring. This is what I LOVE to do (and it's a technique that I learned in a class that was taught by a really really good photographer so I know it's legit) and it's a super simple thing that makes a HUGE difference. Are you ready? Turn her body away from the light, and turn her face back into it. It will be incredibly slimming and highlighting--rather than just flat or even lighting. And the more of a contrast between the two, the moodier it will become. Just to prove my point, I'm going to do a comparison of the two styles below (towards the window on the left, away from the window on the right). NOW let me just say--neither of these are wrong or right inherently. But one is wrong for me. If you're a photographer--don't feel like you always need to follow the "rules". Find what looks the best to you. I mean, don't be naiive and go crazy--but learn the rules so that you can break them and break them well.

Just notice what this one adjustment will do the shoulders, the neck, and the jaw. Will it always work? No. But when it does--it's to die for.

Just notice what this one adjustment will do the shoulders, the neck, and the jaw. Will it always work? No. But when it does--it's to die for.

Alrighty. Well we're at the end. Thanks for showing up and for following along. Fingers crossed that next month we'll have some more interesting photos and some yummy food.