Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Next Jasmine Star? I mean, The Next Jasmine Star!

As I am sure I rambled about it one of my recent posts, I spent last week online following Jasmine Star as she paved new ways for photographers to learn. With the help of Creative Live, a relatively new outlet for learning & teaching, she spent five days broadcasting live online. The first day was all business related talk, but the other 4 were seeing Jasmine in action from The First Look shoot the day before a wedding, the entire wedding from start to finish, and two days of post processing work/question and answers. It was absolutely phenomenal, and I think she needs her own reality show.

That's besides the point. Jasmine oozes personality and charisma, and just watching her made me feel like I could conquer the world. She started her wedding photography business just 4 years ago, without any photography knowledge, and is now regarded as one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world. I would settle for being one of the top ten photographers in Boston! So here I am, left with all this exuberance and excitement, but I don't know what to do with it. I feel like if I just did something with it, clients would be flooding my e-mail and clogging my website. I feel that it is within me to be as succesful as Jasmine; I suppose I am just looking for a chance to prove it. Her first year she shot 3 weddings, and her second year she shot something like 38 weddings. Well, I shot 3 weddings this year! I don't exactly have 38 weddings booked for next year...yet.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My brain and my computer are tired. I spent most of the weekend cleaning & working - actually, I only went outside to go for a walk last night with Adam. That's ok though, the house really needed some TLC, and I got some quality work done.

One of my accomplishments this weekend was writing a guest blog for MCP Actions. It is a Photoshop Tutorial, and I didn't even know if they were going to use it. Turns out they liked it so much, they asked me to be a regular contributor! This is super exciting news for me. I am constantly trying to get my name out there, and MCP Actions has nearly 14,000 followers on Facebook. However, the first post won't be up until September 16th - but don't worry, I will post a link everywhere I can!!!

September will be a very exciting time for me and my business. Not only will my guest blog (my first!) post go up, but I will be going through a re-branding process. I have so many different feelings about this - excited, nervous, worried, elated, relieved, terrified...basically the whole spectrum. It is really important to provide the designers with as much information about myself and my business as possible, so I have been doing a great deal of introspection. I am not sure when the process will begin, but you can be sure I'll keep everyone updated on my progress.

And now, to bed...after a little Super Mario World.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

P.S. My camera has been shipped off the Nikon for servicing. I miss it dearly, and hope to be getting it back ASAP! So there probably won't be too many pictures posted in the near future.

Friday, August 27, 2010

eat more cake.

"i finally remembered!" a bag of goodies, in a colorful gift bag that reads "EAT MORE CAKE!", appears in front of me.

i had already forgotten my birthday was last weekend. not for any reason really - probably because so many other things have gone through my head that the thought of last weekend has already been pushed out. i think the only thing better than presents on your birthday, is presents when it's not your birthday.

today my gift was from my coworker tracy. i don't know if i had talked about how much i love kitchen gadgets, or if tracy just knows me that well, but she got me some adorable ones! now my pirate dish scrubber has a lady friend! i will add this to my other awesome kitchen gadgets, including the frying pans with cats on them my sister gave me.

sometimes unexpected gifts are the best. you know the ones - from people who are not obligated to buy you a present*. they're not doing it because they have to, but because they want to. so thanks tracy, for making my day (and my kitchen!) a little brighter.

*disclaimer to my family: no, i don't think you buy me gifts because you are obligated. i know you buy me gifts because i am super awesome and your life would be meaningless without me!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

being dorky has it's perks...

MOST days i don't feel old. i try and appreciate the youth i have, and am thankful for my health.

with that said, i have basically given up any hope of regular exercise again. it hurts, and who has time for it? i used to get up at 5 am and go to the gym for an hour of cardio and an hour of yoga...don't ask me how.

so, in one final attempt at trying to not be a lazy sloth, i made my boyfriend buy me dance dance revolution for my birthday. totally dorky & embarassing, but who cares? after 20 minutes of playing on basic mode, with the tempo slowed down, and the breaks between songs, i am sitting here dripping sweat. hey, if i'm going to be dorky, at least i'll look good (but not WHILE i'm doing it; i look like a seizing cat trying to walk across hot charcoal while i'm doing).

i spent a good portion of today listening to jasmine star host an online workshop. she is my new inspiration, from her shooting style to her attitude. in times of chaos, i will just stop and think, "what would jasmine do?"

here is her amazing & creative blog:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

found: inspiration
august 25, 2010 | kristen schueler photography

two things you should know about me :

i love old stuff.

i believe in fate.

this past weekend, my love of old stuff crossed paths with fate.

friday night after work, i headed home to stamford, ct to see some family and friends. my boyfriend, adam, joined me for the weekend excursion, as it was for my birthday. now, i'm not one of those people who has a "birthday month", where everything is all kristen all the time. i do, however, enjoy picking out a few activities when no one can tell me no. so this past saturday, i wanted to go to some tag sales (or yard sales, garage sales, estate sales...whatever you want to call them). not an unusual activity, but it's something i love to do, and was excited! my parents handed me the paper, and let me chose a handful to go to. a particular one caught my eye immediately, and i circled that, along with three others. and we were off.

the first few tag sales were typical. adam picked up a medicine ball and a cheese platter - always so practical! i missed my chance at a decently prices aeron chair, which would have been nice, but there's always more chairs. the next tag sale we went to was the one that had first caught my eye in the paper. now, one of the things i always have my eye out for is new props for my photography. as soon as i walked up to this house, i saw one - a gorgeous, paper mache rocking horse style tiger. adorable! the woman running the show saw my interest.

"do you have a little one?"

"oh, no, but i do photograph children, and this would be a perfect prop," i responded.

"a photographer? my husband's a photographer also!"

i turn, acknowledging the middle aged man, not thinking much of it. after a few more steps, i saw a collection of vintage kodaks. i find something so fascinating about these, and stop and admire for some time. the man approaches me again, and we start a dialogue about photography. my first judgement assumed he was retired, and took pictures of trees and streams in his spare time, and called himself a photographer. then, he begins to tell me his work crosses over into CGI (computer generated imaging), and only starts out with photographs.

at this point, i become very curious, and start firing questions. he tells me how he started out as a cinematographer (what i originally wanted to do with my career), and transitioned his way into photography through cinema. he leaves out the awards he has won (including four video music awards, one for a pat benatar video!). oh, and he forgot to mention, he just found out he received an international photographer of the year award for 2010 - picked out of 175,000 other photographers.

whoa. this guy is big time. i immediately start feeling a little nervous - almost as if i am out of my element. my fight or flight response kicks in. luckily, i fight. must not look stupid! he goes on to say that he doesn't use photoshop, and can't even afford the software he uses, which has a price tag of $22,000. so he goes into new york and uses it at the school of visual arts, where he also teaches.

did i mention i have been dreaming of the grad program in digital photography at the school of visual arts for about 3 years?? i tell him this, and offers his help. we exchange contact information, and decide to keep in touch.

when i get home, i immediately go to his website. while his work is not for everyone (it involves children and blood and overall weirdness), i am blown away by his technique. when i first changed from film to digital, i was hooked on photoshop, and though my path
would lead me to commercial and advertising work. however, the clients that came my way wanted pictures of their babies & weddings, so i took what came to me. meeting this man motivated me to pursue my love of everything digital, and awakened my original passion for surreal photography. i feel there was a reason our paths crossed, if only to inspire me.

you can view his work at http://www.julianobarrotti.com/. just remember you've been warned.

oh, i also bought two of those vintage cameras! more on those later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reese, the Cutest Boxer I've Met | August 24, 2010 | Kristen Schueler Photographer

Had a great weekend home in CT for
my birthday. Met an amazing photographer (more on that later) and had a good time with family and friends. On the way back up to Boston, stopped and saw my college roommate, who was home for a few days from LA. Not only was it great to see her, but I got to photograph her family dog, Reese. She was quite the model - even held her pose until I took the shot! This was too cute not to share immediately!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A New Journey

Hello all photographers and admirers of all things photographic!

As I am sure many of you do, I often spend time on other photographers blogs, checking out their images, but also learning some things from their posts. I would love to be able to help teach others the amazing techniques I have learned - either on purpose or by accident - about photography and photoshop.

So, I've decided to start writing short tutorials and tips, with the hope of helping & inspiring others. I also feel that teaching others is how I learn best. Feel free to send any questions or techniques you would like to learn!!

And so, here is my first tip:

When getting ready for a shoot, one of the most important settings to check on your camera is your ISO. Most settings can be adjusted without damaging pixels, but there's really nothing that can make an image shot at ISO 1600 look like it was shot at ISO 100. So, what have we learned? Check your ISO, check your ISO, check your ISO!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

i came across this on a blog of one of my new favorite photographers, deb schwedhelm (http://www.debsphotographs.com/photoblog/) . her blog is very honest and inspiring, and i wanted to share this poem she had posted, in hopes that it will inspire you as well:

if there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something new,
it is now.

not for any grand cause, necessarily…
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that’s your inspiration,
something that’s your dream.

you owe it to yourself, to make your days count.
have fun, dig deep and dream big.

but know that things worth doing seldom come easy.
there will be good days…
and bad.

there will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up…
and call it quits.

those are the times when you know you are pushing yourself…
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.

because with an idea, determination and the right tools,
you can do amazing things.

and always remember…
that anything is possible.

– author unknown

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cecelia's First Birthday | Kristen Schueler Photography

Does everyone remember this little angel?

Today was her first birthday party!

She is still as adorable, if not more. Plus, she makes the BEST faces (see above)! Her party was filled with cake, food, swimming, bag toss, and good times. The reason I love kids birthdays, (besides the cake, games, kids, and general chaos), I get to watch little kids interact with each other. This is fascinating to me! To me, the way they communicate with each other is just like my cats. They play, make noises and gestures at each other, but nobody can understand them, or knows how they can understand each other. Either way, it's adorable, and I end up with pictures like these:

It has been a joy to watch Cece grow, and I am excited to see what the future holds for her.

That's it for now...I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!