Self Portraits

One of my professors told me last semester "We need to see more of you in the images... not what Marie knows but who Marie is."

It's been a struggle for me to really put me into the work. Not to go too much into it, but I find it hard to really put it all out there for the world to see and judge. In an attempt to become more comfortable putting myself in my images metaphorically, I've been making an effort to put myself into them literally. There are three very good reasons that pushed me to do this:

1) Since my niece was born, I have been more concerned about how my sister, my mom, and I all act the second the camera is turned on us. The "Oh no! Not when I don't have makeup on!" and "Ew, I look disgusting..." commentary has become an annoyance to me in general, but I never ever want her (or any daughter I may someday have) to feel the way I have about my own image. It's a habit passed down from Mother to Daughter, and I, for one, want to do my part in stopping this.  (Okay... off my soapbox.)

2) I'm hoping this may get me to be less... fearful? Anxious? Paranoid? (There are several words that could fit here.) ... about putting me in there. Maybe this will help bridge the gap in my work that I'm trying to fill.

3) There's something important about understanding how others feel when they become your subject. I don't think it's ever fair to ask another person to do something you aren't willing to (including being in an image).

So there you go. Still working on how I feel about these, and have found that 80% of the time I set out to do a self portrait I delete all the images from the shoot anyways. I guess like my photography, I'm still a work in progress.


Venetian Masks

Back in 2010, this blog started as a way for family, friends, and very generous donors (who were the reason I went to Italy) could see what I was up to on my summer study abroad. The experience that I had in Europe was beyond amazing and inspired me to want greater things. One of the best parts was the people I got to know as a result of our countless hours wandering the streets of Rome, strolling through the Uffizzi and other museums with pieces that left us in awe, enjoying a weekend trip to the Cinque Terre, and getting lost in the maze that was Venice.

There really isn't much to do in Venice, besides get lost. Oh, and look at masks. We would go around searching out the most beautifully crafted masks. The cheapest of these was around 25 euros, going up, up, up; depending on how intricate and large the mask became.

One mask that I kept revisiting was somewhere in the 50 euros (about $70) range--too much when I considered that I still was going to France and London. I kept debating. The mask was gorgeous, but would not be easy to travel without damaging. The price was such that I could either buy the mask and not get to do things like see a play at the Globe Theatre, or forgo the shopping.

My friend Becca, at one point, convinced me to buy the blank version of the mask (a much more do-able price of 3 euros) and we could make masks sometime when we got back. I bought two this way.

As time got away from us, the masks have sat gathering dust in a closet. A few weeks ago, Becca wrote to both myself and Lina, suggesting a night of fun and craftiness We both were on board and I got the idea to turn our project into a photoshoot after finishing the masks. Here's one of each of us in our masks.

Lina Langford

Rebecca Stuhff

Me (Photo taken by Lina)


Adventures in 4x5

Mihkel laughed at me each time I squeaked after hitting the shutter release on the 4x5 camera that I borrowed from UVU over Christmas break.

It was the semester after I took Photo II (which now uses 4x5 cameras regularly) that the school purchased these cameras. When I was registered, we had a chance to shoot one sheet of film which we didn't even load ourselves. I've never even seen the negative that I shot from that class outing.

As part of trying to become more confident in shooting, I thought it would be a good exercise to make this experience happen for myself. This round was definitely more playing than anything, but I was shocked and amazed when I started to develop the film and there were images on there! The photography gods were looking out for me!

Here are a couple of the pictures. More to come as I continue to develop them:

 More from our trip to Dodger's stadium

Vegas Valley


California Dreams

Anyone still following along may have noticed that this has changed from strictly a travel blog to my photography blog. There are several reasons for this, the first being that I don't want yet another blog to keep up with, another being that I don't have nearly enough time and money to travel and keep posting often enough.

That said, I managed to take a trip to California for the New Year and over my break . Being the last big trip until Estonia (God and funding willing), I worked on getting pictures at the beach and then moved on North to visit my brother in L.A.

First up, Ocean Beach Pier. I had to take advantage of the foggy mornings!  Particularly because there isn't nearly enough fog in Utah. Just frigid cold.

I love the hanging shoes. Some beach bum put them up there I'm sure.

When I got to L.A. I wanted to try and get into Dodger's Stadium. My brother wasn't opposed. And while he wasn't the easiest model by way of what I wanted him to do, we did have a lot of fun.

I also have been working on using a 4x5 camera and so long as I didn't completely screw up all my film, there should be some more from LA sometime soon!