Category Archives: Photography

the key to failure.

thanks to younghouselove for mentioning this quote in a recent post. i needed that.

image found here

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holiday mini-sessions.

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historic haile homestead at kanapaha plantation.

This post is LONG overdue, since I took these photos back at the beginning of the summer. It’s been fun having Jimena as a new friend, because she’s new to Gainesville…which means I get to see it through a newbie’s eyes! She had friends visiting, and they Googled “top 10 things to do in Gainesville” to find some local attractions. And lo and behold, they stumbled upon a place I didn’t even know existed! The Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation has been there all along, and I never even heard of it! And what a weird, random, interesting little place it was. Apparently paper was scarce way back when, so the family WROTE ON THE WALLS. Yep, all over the house! They had guests sign the walls during parties, people drew pictures, they made grocery lists, and they even kept a tally of all their pieces of silverware. Totally bizarre and fascinating!

There is a guest list from a part on the right side photo…

See if you can spot the words on the right…”The house was briefly alive.” Umm…eerie!


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monique | gainesville headshots

I like a challenge. And a new type of shoot is always a fun challenge.

When Monique contacted me about shooting some headshots for her, I was immediately interested. However, I’d never shot actual headshots before, so I did some reading online about what was expected. I never knew there were trends in headshots, such as whether they were vertical or horizontal, or what types of backgrounds were “in.” According to my research, these days the horizontal headshot is making an appearance (in an effort to catch a casting director’s attention as they flip through a pile of mostly vertical shots), but vertical is still ok and mostly expected–so I gave Monique both versions so she had options. The background should be unobtrusive but complimentary, so I choose the Thomas Center as our location, as it provides a variety of good, basic backgrounds (grass, brick, concrete). One my biggest challenges during this shoot was to keep in mind that I would be cropping every image to 8 x 10 inches. I usually crop-in-camera (which means when I take a picture, I am composing the shot in the camera exactly as I want it…I rarely do ANY post-cropping unless it’s to size a shot for a specific print size), so shooting with the expectation to crop was a little hard to get used to. I had to leave alot of negative space around the subject, to give me the option to crop down and still maintain a nice composition. It felt sloppy, but it turned out perfectly…I had plenty of room to crop as needed, and it was actually kind of fun to get to play with the composition some during post-processing.

All-in-all…it was a challenge, but it was fun, and I love how the photos turned out. Isn’t Monique just stunning?? :)

lovely makeup by Kara Winslow 

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PINspiration | black. white. off-camera light.

 I did it, guys. I finally bit the bullet and invested in some off-camera lighting (hereafter referred to as OCL, because I’m super cool and all legit photog like that). I am going to be slowly adding to my set-up, and I’ll share some specifics of what I bought in another post soon, but I’m just getting WAY excited about all the creative possibilities. Luckily I have a handful of friends brave and willing enough to get in front of my lens pretty much whenever I want, so I’ll be doing a bunch of test shoots as I start to learn my new equipment. I originally decided to go the OCL route when I booked a wedding for October that will have an outdoors reception after sunset. But, now that I’ve got the equipment, I’m so stoked to start playing around with portraits–outdoors AND indoors. I’ve always been a natural light girl with an on-camera flash only when absolutely necessary, but oh, the possibilities that come with this new equipment are getting my creative juices a-flowin’. Stay tuned for some of my experimenting…

These images below are just a few examples of some masterful light manipulation with OCL…so. excited.

Clockwise from top: here | here | here | here | here

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alachua county farmer’s market.

Last weekend, I finally got to visit the Alachua County Farmer’s Market. I went with Jimena and Lisa, and we spent a pleasant hour strolling about, sampling muscadine grapes, chatting with the vendors, tasting local honey, eating croissants, and of course–buying some fresh veggies. All in all, a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. The market was a little smaller than I expected, until I found out that this particular farmer’s market only sells food grown IN Alachua County. I guess the bigger ones let people bring their goods from other counties/states? I suppose they must. This weekend, Jimena and I are going to try out the farmer’s market in the Haile Village Center. I think this just might have to become a more frequent weekend occurrence!

What I came home with:

  • 2 red peppers: $1.00
  • 2 cucumbers: $1.00
  • 1 chocolate croissant: $2.00
  • honey lotion: $6.00 (a bit of a farmer’s market splurge)
  • honey soap: $.50

This weekend I’m hoping to get more veggies, some fruit, and crossing my fingers for fresh flowers…

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erin gardner photography

It’s funny how life goes. The people who come in and out of it, for this reason or that.

Back in college, I worked for three years in the College of Education. I was in the News & Publications department, and Erin worked in the Dean’s Office. We saw each other now and then, mostly in passing, sometimes stopping for a chat. Then, we both graduated, moved on from the COE, and Erin ended up in Denver, CO. We lost complete touch for a few years, knowing little to nothing about each other, besides what tidbits Facebook NewsFeed chose to share.

But then I started a photography business. Still we stayed out of touch for a bit, until Erin also started her own photography business too–Erin Gardner Photography. I don’t remember what exactly got us chatting again, but chat again we did. Now we regularly check in on each other’s businesses through Facebook and our blogs, encouraging each other, exchanging frustrations, and just enjoying having someone else to share a little of this crazy photography journey with.

Erin recently got the chance to come back to Gainesville for a visit, and when she asked me to take her photos, I was all heck yes I will! I actually suggested that we exchange shoots, since my profile photos are due for some updates too, and we made it happen. Two crazy photographers, sweating it out in the blazing August heat, fighting the gnats and trying our best to hold onto a shred of prettiness. I think Erin looked lovely the entire time…you’d never know the kind of conditions we were shooting in if I hadn’t just told you. :) Isn’t she just stunning?? Erin will be posting the photos of me at some point soon (I can’t wait to see them!), so I’ll share those when I can.

Erin, I’m so glad photography reconnected us, and I can’t wait til we get to shoot together again! :)

One lesson we learned during the shoot…Erin is excellent at jumping for pictures. I, however, am sadly not. Most of mine ended up with awkward bits and pieces of my body showing that were much better kept hidden. (dang skirt!) Yeah…you won’t be seeing any of my jumping attempts. (Right, Erin?? You best not post those suckers. No one needs to see that!) :)

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pinning fool.

I’m late to the party. But the party is still hopping, and probably will be for a looong time to come.

What party is this, you ask?

Why, the pinning party of course!

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest…well, then you probably just don’t spend as much time trolling the internet as I do. (read: you are infinitely cooler than me) I’ve been hearing about it for some time, but it was just last week that I jumped on the band wagon and started to get my “pin” on.

In a nutshell, some genius came up with the idea of “pinning” images you find online that you want to save. Previously I was just going the old school right-click-save-image route, collecting tons of images in folders on my desktop. They were somewhat arranged according to what category they fell under (in my case–style inspiration, interior design, shoot styling, special projects, etc…), but it was a royal pain in my rear to rename each image to something that would remind me which site I found it on in the first place. Just not the easiest way to access inspiration when needed. Plus, I could only get to my inspiration files when I was on whatever computer I saved the image to…mega lame.

Then, along came Pinterest.

Now, I’ll be reading a blog, window-shopping online, or just looking for some inspiration, and if I see something I want to save/remember/share, I merely click the handy-dandy “Pin It!” button on my favorites toolbar. 

Voila! I can pick which “board” I want to save it to (mine range in title from “photography” to “cool stuff +things” to “fashion + style” and so on), and it does all the work of remembering the image’s original link for me.

And, even cooler, people can follow my boards to see what’s inspiring me, and I can follow other people to see what they’ve been digging on lately.

See…all my boards in one place! So! much! inspiration! Click here to follow my boards.

Good. Gracious. Does it get much better than that??

No, no it doesn’t. This is the epitome of excitement for an inspiration-web-troll like me.

Here’s a little snapshot of one of my Pinterest boards…it’s for a little project (hence the title “Special Project”) that I’ve got in the works, so hopefully sooner than later you’ll see this inspiration actually turn into reality. :)

Happy pinning, ya’ll! :)

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insignificant. inconsequential. oh-so-important.

There is just something about my grandparents’ house that tugs at my heart. Maybe it’s childhood memories of our visits tbere, or maybe it’s feeling that so much life has taken place in that one house…life that existed before I ever did. My mom grew up in that house. She got picked up for dates there. Got ready for prom there.  Jumped on the beds and laughed with her friends there. Every corner has a story, a thought, a memory.

As I walked through the house a couple of weeks ago, I realized how much the colors, textures, and patterns evoke memories for me, of happy times and laughter. Of always getting a popsicle from the outdoor freezer…changing into my bathing suit in the outdoor bathroom…looking at the bottom of the pool and imaging my mom as a girl, riding her bike around the empty concrete cavern…chasing lizards around the pool deck…my cousin Brian always threatening to throw me in the pool fully clothed…taking luxurious naps on the seriously uncomfortable but mid-century-modern-chic couch…looking for change in grandpa’s chair cushions…sleeping on the floor next to my brother, blanket roll between us so we wouldn’t fight…playing Indians with my cousins and my grandpa…the list goes on.

Somehow the little details of the house…as insignificant and inconsequential as they may be…bring back these memories and become oh-so-important to the story of my life.

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