My Summer Vibes: Week 1

When I was 15, I would go to Walmart and buy the twin package of the plastic Kodak Film cameras that could only take 24 pictures per case. This is where my photographic journey began.

I took pictures at church & family events and activities because nobody else would. I noticed something was missing. I also realized I had no photographic memories for myself to enjoy in years to come. I took it upon myself to be that person behind the camera. Whats funny is how all along it was planned to make more memories for myself and my own life, but instead I documented others and rarely was I ever in the picture.

Fast forward a couple of years: I stopped buying those Kodak Film cameras and borrowed one of the first Canon Rebel cameras to practice with instead. I began to show more interest in Portraits at this time, but being a homeschool kid who rarely saw people except at church, I had no one to practice on. I then borrowed someone elses tripod, and decided that I had no one to practice on but myself.

12 years worth of hard work, mistakes, learning from those mistakes, makes me on a daily basis appreciate with desire to experience the art that a camera helps to create. I’m nearing 28 years old, and I still use myself to create art. If I ever get married, he will have to be one special patient dude who will be willing to put up with my constant, “I need to take a picture of you,” slogans because I will finally have somebody else to shoot. Because most of the art I make is never planned…

Not that planning a shoot is a bad thing: In fact if you’re shooting a client, yes by all means make a plan. Shooting an event, make a plan.

But I also believe in learning the rules of photography just so I can break them.

This week I decided to be spontaneous with my shooting. I had nothing major going on. Sometimes I forget to take pictures just for myself. I sometimes do not take pictures just because I enjoy it. Its easy to make photography more of a job than an enjoyment at times.

The summer weather made me feel a 70’s vibe.

I do this to myself on purpose: I wait until an hour before the sun goes down and say to myself, “Okay, I have one hour of light left. What can I create in the short period of time?” Though nothing original, but the sun was brighter and I’m huge into backlighting. I was also wearing this tank top of dandelions flying off my shirt, and thought I could create myself doing it…like it is continuing off my shirt and into mid air by my blowing. Though I’m not sure if anybody who viewed this image on Facebook actually noticed this. Now that I said something, maybe you see it too.

I play a lot with sparklers this time of year. The sunlight behind my house was almost completely gone. The only light being used for this image was the porch light from above and the light from the sparkler filling up my face. I wanted something more “homely,” that related to late summer nights. I received a lot of positive feedback on this image…and to be honest…I don’t know why. I’m actually not that big of a fan of this image. I was using a 50mm lens which wasn’t what I wanted to use, but when there’s no light you haven’t the time to just go find another one. Actually, I think its like this because usually the images I am so in love with and proud to show people…don’t usually get noticed by anybody. Yet the ones I don’t love everybody loves. Go figure.

A simple photo. I’ve had a hard time getting sunflowers to grow this year. Its been one obstacle after another. I’m lucky I got this little thing, which I found elsewhere on the land, dug it up and moved it to my porch. I’m sad to say it didn’t stay bloomed very long. Its dead today.

Because it is 4th of July weekend, I really wanted to do something involving our Great Flag. However, taking photo’s of the American Flag is very difficult to when you want to pertain to the guidelines of Flag Etiquette. I love our country and I love our Flag, but it can be terribly hard to display it artfully. Someone might still be offended by it, but the message I wanted to give was the road with the Flag shows a journey of how far we have come, and must more proud I am still. God has blessed and given Mercy way more than He ever should have.

I like to create images like this to show that pictures are not just about people. This is where the art of photography comes into play: Most people think pictures are meant for people to smile and pose. While there is a place for those kind of images, I never wanted that to be my style. I prefer to create images where people are part of the image that tells a bigger story, and not necessarily the star of it.

I love this image. I was driving home from work and was thinking about what I could do once I got home with my camera. I spend a lot of time in the woods, for various reason. So I decided to try there and see what I could come up with. Still feeling the 70’s vibe mixed with the 4th approaching. Thankfully I was able to combine both into this image. This was the second shot. The sun burst was perfect coming through the tree limbs, but the first shot I was actually too short. I set up for the second one, this time I’m standing on my tippy toes. I decide for a third one, then the sun burst vanished. This is an example of breaking the rules: I’m not centered and I wanted it that way on purpose. You don’t have to have everything centered for it to be right ( I argue this with my mom all the time. This is why I stopped showing her my pictures ). But also, I got no feedback on my Facebook on this image: this I believe proves my theory that the images I am the most proud of nobody likes. Oh well.

My first thought creating this one was “Flower Child.” I literally grabbed some random flowers and draped them over my head right before the ten second shutter went off. It was the first thing I thought of. I didn’t really have a plan for this image. I often feel awkward and non-photogenic when I take photo’s. I never tell people that, but now the secret it out. So for those of you who feel that way in front of the camera, I totally get it! This dress I borrowed from the Snow White Theme Shoot I did over a year ago ( always ALWAYS buy clothing you know you can recycle later ).

I have yet to post this online, except now, this is where it is seen for the first time. It was a secondary option related to the other Flag image above, when I didn’t know which angle would be best to show. Sometime I will try the same image but at didn’t angles, or reposition the camera and tripod elsewhere. In this case, I removed my Wide Angle and placed the 50mm lens in its place. I thought it was still a good image, so I kept it.

I said earlier I will purposely be spontaneous. There have been many times where this practice was very beneficial. I encourage others if you want to create something, just go do it. See what you come up with. Can’t find anybody to shoot…shoot yourself. Find a way to what you want to do…

if you want it bad enough.

I might try to create something else for next week and blog about it. I have a huge day ahead of me tomorrow involving lots of pictures and video for my job.

Until then, Blessings y’all!

Erin G. Parker




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