September 14, 2011

San Antonio Couples//Blaine & Mimi

I love working with couples… there is always a loving playful vibe. I shot with these two a while back and I’m happy to finally be able to share. I met Blaine almost two years ago when I assisted on a photoshoot for my friend Amber. A year later, she and I shot his band again together. I met Mimi through Blaine and so on.

They are SUCH a pretty couple and super fun. They didn’t mind doing anything I ask them to do.

Each photo of them was full of life and emotion. If I would have had to choose my favorite, it would have to be the b&w below. It’s perfect at showing the intensity between the two of them.

Thank you Blaine and Mimi for allowing me to photograph you guys!

On another note, the bag I modeled for Epiphanie (read post) is available for sale… click on the image below to check it out!

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September 8, 2011

You see her confidence is tragic, but her Intuition magic.

When I started this blog, I told myself that I’d keep things more professional… only share things that had to do with strictly photography. Often times, I’ve been accused of sharing too much. I really thought I could do it.

But I can’t. One of the reasons I love photography so much is that I get to tell stories with pictures; share how I see the world. Everything about who I am is about sharing. Sharing my life, sharing my experiences, sharing my perspective. Some people like to keep journals (which I do) to keep their thoughts. Some like to internalize them (I do not). Some like to share with friends and family (I do). Some don’t mind sharing with strangers as well (that’s me). I can’t help it. I don’t want to change it… so if we are all agreed that this blog will be about whatever I decide to share, I’ll start.

Lately, I’ve moved from that phase of being a mother of small children, to a mother of pre-teens. My son already thinks and acts like he’s a 25 yr old and my daughter is deeper than some adults I’ve met. I am slowly adjusting to this new phase… I’m coping by taking more photos. I don’t want to forget anything about who they are right now.

Last week, I was extremely busy and was trying to get my 7 yr old to read her homework. I was frustrated and told her “see baby, your brother is already done, can you do it like Jaden?” To which she replied “mommy, I’ll never be like Jaden.”

She’s right and I would never want her to be anyone other than who she is right now.

Today’s post is dedicated to my daughter.

Born Madison Kay Brimhall, she now writes her name a cursive “lulu “and adds a heart or butterfly to almost anything paperlike in our home.

She is:

not concerned about being an over-achiever, but she will give her heart to everything she wants to do, not concerned with being competitive (except with her brother), not the know-it-all who raises her hand first, but she will be the first to offer her hand to someone in need.

Although she got the Math award at school, she thinks math is useless to her dream of being an artist.

She is not the girl who wears name brand clothing, but she the girl who makes dresses out of my vintage shirts. She is not the girl who asks for Taylor Swift tickets, she is the girl who writes her own songs.

She is:

the girl who is still afraid of the dark, but not afraid to stand in front of 100 people and sing her heart out.

the girl who cries at the sight of true love, a beautiful melody, and when her brother doesn’t give her her way.

the girl who stands up to mean girls but loves them anyway.

She doesn’t apologize for who she is. She is not concerned with anyone’s version of what success or happiness is… she sticks with her own.

She is:

a feeler, a lover, a thinker, a giver, not a follower, a little syvlia plath mixed with a little hanna montana mixed with a little bit of me.

I believe in her more and more everyday, and in turn, she’s teaching me to believe in myself.

September 7, 2011

On the other side of the camera: Epiphanie Camera bags

Once in a while, I get a break from standing behind the camera and get to be on the other side. Yesterday, I had the complete pleasure of modeling for Maile Wilson, a local photographer who owns her own designer camera bag line called Epiphanie.

I have been a fan of Maile’s work for years now so when she asked me to model for her, of course I said yes. I think I said yes more than a few times to myself.

After months of trying to get our schedules together, we finally met and I shamelessly acted like a fan-girl. I love meeting fellow photogs and especially love meeting those whom share similar experience and passions. I had a great time and the best part was getting to know more about Maile (she is even more amazing and fun in person than what you see online). It felt great knowing that we all go through the same struggles as people/artists.

I don’t take these kind of experiences for granted and I am excited I was able to meet her, pick her brain for a little bit and hopefully help her by modeling.

Before I left, she gave me some of her designs. It felt like I was on the Oprah show walking out with presents!

Below are the bags I am blessed to call my own. I absolutely love the detail she puts into her bags. The colors, the little tags, the braided straps (with interchangeable shoulder straps) make these bags easy to use and lovely to look at. Fashion+Function makes me happy. Who says all professional photographers have to use black and grey bags?

I love that there is a bag for all purposes… laptop, handbag, courier. I can’t wait to be able to use them all!

Thank you Maile for your time and all of your encouragement! And of course the gorgeous bags:)

You can find better photos and Maile’s whole line at www.haveanepiphanie.com

September 5, 2011

SAN ANTONIO BRIDAL PORTRAITS: Stephanie Salazar sneak

I had a wonderful time with Stephanie at her bridal session. I can’t show too much until after the wedding, but I LOVED her dress and veil. She was so open to everything I wanted to do and SUCH a pretty girl. I can’t wait to share more later. Thank you Stephanie for allowing me to document this special time in your life. xo

September 5, 2011

Matt Adler (Behind the Scenes) + 5 easy tips for last minute photoshoots

I am blessed to be fortunate enough to work with musicians. Back in my earlier twenties, I was involved with music and never was able to fully chase that dream. Doing photographs for musicians allows me to live close to that dream.

Sometimes, an artist gives me a concept but sometimes they just give me a color scheme. It’s my job to closely match what they need in the photographs for the graphic designer to be able to do their album art.

When local singer/songwriter, Matt Adler asked me to do his photos, he gave me some color swatches and left the rest to me.

It’s no secret that I am from the self taught photographer generation and have always worked with what’s available to me rather than going out and spending a fortune on equipment. I appreciate more tools=more options. But what happens when we don’t have as many tools due to finances or availability? We improvise and still give our clients the best product. Sometimes having complete creative control can be intimidating but there are a few things I do when handling last minute sessions.

5 tips for last minute photo shoots
1. Choose a location with multiple backgrounds- By doing this, I am able to give my client many options. This is especially helpful for musicians who want to get the most life out of their photos. They are able to choose what’s best for their album artwork, their press kits, websites and profile photos; and all can be different.

2. Make the client comfortable first- By letting the client give your their perspective, they will be more comfortable in having their photo taken. Listen to them and they will be able to loosen up so you don’t waste time on the empty shots.
Tip: I ask my clients a lot of questions and take photos “while” they are talking so they get used to the camera.

3. Pay close attention to detail- Straightening hair, adjusting clothing, paying attention to the full composition of the shot will ensure that you don’t have to take the shot over and over or miss the “look” just because something was off in the photo.
Tip: Take your time in reviewing the photo’s composition and once you get the golden shot, move on so you’ll have time on your next location.

4. Engage your client- Just because you are the photographer and they are your subject, doesn’t mean you have to create a distance. By suggesting poses and helping explain how they can give a certain look, you will help them give the best in them. Remember photography is a recipe of the subject, your artistic and technical ability and how they mesh.
Tip: Encourage them; show them what each look shows up like on the camera. I always show my client the good and bad photo so they can adjust.

5. Have fun- I know from experience on being the subject on the other side of the camera, nothing is worse than a photographer who is not fun and engaging. You want your client to have a good “experience” not just a good photoshoot.
Tip: Ask them about their hobbies and likes and find some area to relate to. Keep your energy up and let them enjoy themselves.

Below is the “behind the scenes” of my photoshoot with Matt. All tips can be seen here:

August 26, 2011

SAN ANTONIO 48 HR FILM PROJECT 2011

What happens when you jump into something without knowing quite what you are jumping into?

It goes well or it goes wrong.

In this case, it went really well.

Over a year ago, I met Chris Pichado, a local photographer. He quickly became one of my best friends and like bffs do, we began discussing dreams of making movies and directing films. For a year now, we were not able to test those dreams to see if we could pull it off. Until Chris came to me and said we should enter the 48 Hr Film Project.

Now he nor I had ever directed a film before. I’ve shot client videos and directed a few music videos, but nothing like a film. And I had no idea what we were in for. 48 hours to come up with a short film with the theme and rules given to us, of continual thinking, brainstorming, arguing, executing ideas was what we were in for. We put together this short commercial to ask for help first:

We had hoped to get a few people to help out, but what we got was an AMAZING team. 28 awesome and creative people without egos and without attitude, all chasing their own dreams and ready to be a part of something new and bigger.

What a wonderful experience this was for me. Chris and I were co-directors and I was so nervous going in that we were in over our heads. As we got started though, I realized that we were exactly where we were meant to be, doing exactly what we were meant to do. I loved each and every minute of it. We all worked together as a team to come up with a story and pull it off in that short amount of time. There is no way it could have gone so well without each and every person’s input. I made some great friends and gained a lot of respect for myself, my husband (who acted and did production assistance) and my fellow artists.

We were given the Sci-Fi theme (one that I was not prepared for) and I was wondering how we would be able to pull that off. Especially since it was no where near the style I am used to filming/photographing. But, that’s what obstacles are for, to knock down and keep on moving to get to something amazing.

Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come out of it…

We won best film!

Not only did we win best film, but we also won:

BEST DIRECTING/BEST EDITING/BEST COSTUME/BEST MUSIC DESIGN/AUDIENCE AWARD

I was blown away that we did so well. Each and every one of us deserved the outcome because we put our hearts into it. I want to thank the amazing team I had beside me the entire time and can’t wait to see what’s to come in the future. I  know which each project, we will all become better people/artists.

Here is our film:

This film was produced by the Hidden Track Films team as an entry into the 2011 48 Hour Film Project – San Antonio, Texas. For more information on this project, check them out at- 48hourfilm.com/​sanantonio/​

Required Elements
Genre: Sci-Fi
Character: Ross/Rose Gillen
Occupation: Upholster or Furniture Maker
Line of Dialog: “I wouldn’t count on it”
Object: Wrapped Present
===================================
WINNER:
Best Costumes
Best Sound Design
Best Directing
Best Editing
Audience Award – Screening Group B
Best Film – 2011 San Antonio
===================================

August 6, 2011

15 Minute Photo shoot: Nicolette Winfield

I am in the process of changing up my website/blog, so I’ll be posting here for a while until the new design is ready:)

It was brought to my attention that I haven’t actually shown most of my work online. I get lost in the day to day shooting/planning/editing that I forget. Because of publication dates and waiting for my website, I have paused posting things online unless someone wants to use if for their profile pic. So I’m going to get a lot better about that:)

I get a lot of emails about the creative process of my shoots and what kind of locations I shoot in, etc. I don’t always have the time to write everyone back and explain that there really isn’t a science behind doing creative shoots.

If I’m going to do a bigger concept shoot, then I like time to plan and get the details of a shoot worked out. If I am working with a creative director, I work the details out with them. But sometimes, I decide I want to do a shoot, or even have things happen at shoots where I have to regroup and work with my surrounding environment.
I’ve always worked this way. When I started out, I didn’t have all the equipment others photogs had so I learned to adapt to what was available to me.

There is more to a shoot than pretty things/people/dresses/makeup to me.
If I have a beautiful model and she looks great and her hair and makeup is great, yet the shoot didn’t capture her spirit, it’s a waste to me. I want to be able to see past the theatrics to the person.
Also, when I’ve had access to amazing equipment but the shoot was just in a room with a black background and lighting, I did not feel as if the results represented “me” as a photographer.

This past Wed was such an occasion where I had not planned to do a shoot. Nicole (a friend and model I had worked with once) and I went to lunch and decided to do a shoot.

I had a commercial to shoot that night and traffic got us to my house much later than I had intended. Coming off of a mentally draining week, my brain was a bit hazy as to what we could do creatively in such a small amount of time. We had no make up artists, no wardrobing, no hair stylist, and my studio was not setup for a shoot.

Nicole being a pro and my determination to do the shoot we said we do, lead to us pushing through and deciding to do it anyway.

I keep a little notebook of quick shoot ideas and had an amazing vintage dress that I had been wanting to shoot in my bath tub so we had wardrobe.
My mom was a cosmetologist (as they called it in her day) so I knew how to do a little makeup (nothing like the pros though.)
We didn’t have time for hair so I just had her wet it down.
I chose red lipstick to add to the drama of a somewhat slim concept.

I took one light, Jonathan holding one reflector and we started the shoot. Once we started, we literally shot for only about 15 mins. She is a great model when it comes to taking direction, so I told her what to do and got the shots. About two shots in, I decided it was a bit flat visually so I went outside and got some Ivy growing behind my house to add some texture.

Now would this shoot have been better had we had more time? Maybe, maybe not, but I am glad to have been able to get the shots I got and I would have regretted not getting them because I wasn’t “as prepared” or “as inspired”.

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to think, even when we don’t want to. We have to look around and see things in a different light, from a different perspective and think about what they would look like together. I put all of my random ideas down on paper when I can manage it, because I WILL forget.

I am happy to have had this 15 min shoot with Nicole. I might just do more of these random, lets-see-what-happens shoots:)

I was able to see my work and Nicole in a different way and for that I’m grateful.

If you made it through all of this…Here are the shots I liked the most:


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June 5, 2011

"Sometimes you gotta race Saturdays": Underwater fun

School is out, kids are home all day everyday… I spend my time floating between being so happy to see them more and dying for a small break from hearing “mom… MOMA… Mommy!” every 5 mins.

 

Yesterday I had so much work to finish and yet the kids kept asking if I would spend some time with them. Real time. Not just watching a movie or getting lunch… but fun time. The kinda time I miss as a grownup.

Of course it wouldn’t be right for us to have fun without taking photos of it all so I bought a cheap underwater camera and we took turns “guessing” where to shoot. These photos were my faves.

Although I had to work more today, it was worth it to take this time to let go. This is two weekends in a row that I have spent time in my swimsuit… I think I like it:)

On a separate note, I have been wanting something different for lulu’s room, but whatever I did had to go with her Hello Kitty stickers. I decided to do some art that matched the colors to balance the cartoon-like decor.

This is one of my favorite shots:

Happy Sunday friends!

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May 28, 2011

"Sometimes you gotta race" Saturdays.

Jonathan and I are big Dave Chappelle fans… thus the title of this post.I have decided to dedicate Saturdays to sharing a few ideas on living life to the fullest in those:

spur-the-moment-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-don’t-look-back-take-a-few-risks-without-worrying-about-what-others-think… kinda times.

Yesterday I got this awesome swimsuit from Modcloth. I just love wearing new things right when I get them (even if it makes no sense practically). I decided I wanted to wear it on our road trip traveling home to see my family.I mean why not right?I chose to wear it as a top. I threw a gray flowy skirt on over it and off we went. Half way through our trip, Jonathan makes a U-turn. I had no idea what he was thinking until we pulled into this old gas station.

Jonathan: “You are going to love me for this.”

Me: “Do you think we can take photos here?”

Jonathan: “You do your makeup and I’ll ask. I mean who cares.”

We had no idea if it was okay. I literally jumped out and we did a photoshoot in about 5 mins. There were people driving by and lots of stares (I am sure people thought we were crazy), but it was worth the experience.I am so happy he made me take the time to stop and do something I could have just passed on. It was a lot of fun and for a moment, I felt like I was back in time… to the era that I wished I had been born in.I hope to do more things like this on all the Saturdays in my future. Or on a Tuesday… whatever. With the universe screaming at me to live each day to the fullest, I am blessed to have been able to listen today. And eventhough most of our day was spent driving, listening to cheesy pop/80s rock… this 5 mins was the highlight of my day.

I dare you to do something random…Something scary…something liberating. Then come share it with me…please?:)

May 3, 2011

Kimmie by day… Kimberly by night.

I love my friends. My real ones. The ones I can be my complete self around and they support me, make me laugh, make fun of me. I love that status, money, or my ability to do something for them does not dictate their love for me. I love that we are all broken, ambitious, loving and imperfect. I love that my husband is one of those friends.

Last weekend my friend Wes Harlee had his CD release party and everyone came out for it. While I was waiting for Jonathan to meet me before the show, I met up with Chris and in true Kim and Chris fashion, we got bored and decided to take photos of each other in the street.

When I’m not working on client projects, a lot of my days go like this. Kimmie gets bored. Kimmie takes photos in random places.

My nights are much different. My nights (when the kids are at their dad’s house) are sometimes a little crazy. And by crazy, I mean the weekends are sometimes filled with catching local musician friends shows and hanging with friends where I spend most of my time telling random stories or talking too much due to lack of sleep. Do I make a habit of it, not usually but on occasion I think it’s great to get out and let your hair down.

Here is an example of my day/night last Friday:)
(Most of the night photos taken by Amber Rose McConnell who oddly didn’t make it IN to any of the photos;)