Wednesday, April 30, 2008

action packed

I just got some new Photoshop actions that make creating storyboards a piece of cake. I'm not talking week-old store-bought cake. It's more like mile high moist peanut butter cake made with love by your grandma.

I like to create a fun layout for family portraits, weddings, etc to throw in with all the other images. It's kinda the icing on the cake. For those not drawn to the embarrassingly obvious, I would really like some cake right now! One. Track. Mind.

Anyways...I played around and made these storyboards below using my new, groovy MCP Actions. I totally dig them, and they're super easy to use. When a cool product cuts down on my editing, it means more time that I can spend working through my Netflix list or catching up on DVR-ed episodes of "What Not to Wear" (cinch at the waist...cinch at the waist!!!).

I can't wait to play with these some more! Yay, new toys!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

ride for life

in·spire fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others. fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought influence or impel animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future. communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence guide or control by divine influence. prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility. give rise to, bring about, cause

I'm constantly inspired by the people around me who work towards something with purpose. It might be teaching children, working to help the community, donating their time, or any number of selfless acts. Just being in a room with a friend who puts energy into tasks that are more significant than fills me with a fire to make a difference in my own life. Now, imagine being in a room with 200 of these people. That was the wonderful way I spent my Saturday.

I was contacted by Anne Ehlers and Mimi Epstein, the lovely ladies of Team Forte, about photographing the Ovarian Cycle "Ride to Change the Future" event. The goal of the group is to raise funds that go directly to research for developing better ways to detect ovarian cancer early, and to work towards treatments and a cure.

The all-day cycling fund-raiser was held at the beautiful Midtown Athletic Club. Participants raised lots and lots of money for the organization, and showed up yesterday to ride for 6 hours!!! Note: I took one spinning class in 1999, and cried when it was over. These folks were unstoppable. There were people of all ages cycling. Some brought their families, some were riding in memory of a lost loved one, and some were survivors themselves.

I'm not shy about using this blog to point out what a total sap I am, and in true form, I did my share of sniffling and tear-wiping yesterday. There were signs, each carefully attached to the bike of a hard-pedaling cyclist. Several signs had photos, and included the phrase, "In Loving Memory Of...". After taking photos of the signs, I would quietly move along, but each one choked me up.

I couldn't help but think of my Grandma Bode, who has survived 3 types of cancer so far, my Dad who has survived two types, my Grandma Reif, who lived through 3 types of cancer before we lost her last year, and a number of friends who continue to fight it. Two priceless treasures in our lives are a healthy body and the people we love. When both are lost, the pain is immeasurable. So, my heartfelt thanks to anyone who donates their time or money to help eliminate such losses.

Thank you so much to everyone at the Ovarian Cycle event for a day full of inspiration that I'll continue to carry with me!

There are a few pics below, but to see a slideshow of more images , click HERE

Friday, April 25, 2008

in good company

I never quite know what to expect when I show up to photograph an event, and the first words I hear are "oh no!". I guess my friend Mike told his coworkers that I was coming to take some photos, but I'm not sure they believed him until I showed up, camera in hand.

I can completely relate. Ironically, I dread having my picture taken. So, I try to not take the fear I instill in people personally. The goal is to make the experience as painless as possible for them and reassure them that I'm here to make them look GOOD. Woo hoo!

The get-together was at the uber-cozy Krog Bar, and was held for the folks who work for Hothouse, Inc., a cutting-edge marketing company. They wanted some employee photos taken because a couple of them are going to be abroad for some time, and two others will soon be on maternity leave. Probably a good idea to catch all of them while we can. They're also going to be adding some images to their website, and wanted some modern images that show a little personality. I LOVE that! I wish more companies would allow their fun side to be exposed! Then again, there are a lot of companies that don't have a fun side, I suppose.

Everyone was really friendly, and they must share a lot of laughs throughout the workday!

I took each of them, one at a time, to take a quick portrait (possibly for their website). With every person, we had to make an effort to stop laughing so we could get the photos. Yay!

Mike was my first victim...

For some folks wary of having their picture taken, they sure are a photogenic bunch, don't you think?

Thanks so much, everybody! Best of luck to you with your travels, babies, and the whole company!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

stuff i dig - bunny feet

Pasi works her way into blogland again. This time she's featured because of her strange species ambiguity. She's some other type of animal trapped in a cat's body. She's part dog, part hippo, part battering ram. Here, she demonstrates one of my favorite animal impressions...the rabbit. She does this all the time. Lays on back, curls feet. She's either "playing bunny" or pretending that she's a woman in a cartoon who just saw a mouse.

My guess is, she wouldn't be happy as a cat, so let's not break the news to her.

Does anyone else have a cat that does this???

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

louis headshots!

I just took some headshots for a super-swell guy named Louis. We had a great time during his session, even though I made him nervous as I wobbled on my step stool. People who want me to take their headshots should know that I'm remarkably clumsy, and will probably trip and/or fall during the shoot. But, like I told Louis, if I DO fall, I promise to laugh all the way to the hospital...and do a reshoot for free.

Louis is currently rehearsing a play called "Some Men" at Actor's Express. We should all go see it. Yay, support local theater!

Here are just a couple of the pics we took the other day...

I HAD to post this one. It blows my mind that this is the FIRST shot I took! Typically, it takes about 20 to 30 frames before I see someone REALLY relax and notice their personality shine through the awkwardness of having a camera stuck in their faces. Louis had it at frame #1. Unheard of.

You know I can't end a post without a celebrity comparison, so in the smiley pic below, I'm totally getting a Billy Crudup vibe. Yes?

Louis, thanks for making my job wicked easy, and all the best in your acting career!