Packing Tips for Photographers

Travel Photography First of all, I want to state that this blog is more for the person who enjoys photography and wants to take full advantage of their traveling opportunities. Professional photographers already know what they want to bring and why. However, on that same note, I’m a photojournalist and when I started traveling more, I used to pack everything but “the kitchen sink” (so to speak). This is why I’m writing this post.   In 2018, I traveled to Spain and Portugal to perform with the Oregon Arts Orchestra. I was excited and nervous. I had only been playing the cello for about four years, which is little compared to all the other talented and experienced professional musicians. As I was getting ready for the trip, I decided that this would be a great opportunity for me to get incredible photos. I couldn’t pack every single lens and accessory, but I sure did cram as much as I could. My backpack was so heavy that I had to see a chiropractor after I got back from the trip. And do you know what the real kicker is? My Sony camera never left the bag. Not once. I ended up […]

Tattle Tales: Making the Book

Considering the fact that Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits was first photography book, I definitely went through a learning curve. Looking back on the process, there are things that I wouldn’t do and other things that I would do again. Creating a sample book was one of the best decisions I made. I feel with most things in life it’s a good idea to really know and understand what you want, but remain flexible and open to other people’s opinions. For my sample book, I used Mixbook because it’s fairly easy to use and they frequently have sales, which makes it more affordable. There are many websites that allow people to create photo books. I just happened to hear about Mixbook, and I felt pretty happy with their quality and customer service.   My book was pretty easy to organize because each spread was about one or two people. However, I wanted to make sure that my layout wasn’t too text heavy or stylistically repetitive. Initially, I wasn’t worried about the page order. If you try to make all the decisions at once, you’ll feel overwhelmed. I created the page spreads first. Afterwards, I took a few days away […]

My Top Five Favorite Places to Photograph

In the past, I’ve been very grateful to other photographers who have shared locations they have used for their photoshoots. Location shoots are a lot of fun, but they do require some planning. For me, I’ve always looked for places that offer a variety of different looks. I also wanted to find locations in different parts of the greater Phoenix area, so that I could more easily accommodate the models or clients. So without further ado, here are my favorite places to photograph. Downtown Phoenix     I have say that Downtown Phoenix is my favorite place to photograph people. There are so many cool graffiti and other textured walls that make for some awesome backgrounds. Since there have been a lot of construction and changes to the area, I do scout the location before a shoot. For example, there was a really cool graffiti wall and, shortly after I did a fashion shoot there, the art had been painted over. The area that these photos were taken were around Roosevelt and 5th street. This is one area where I haven’t really worried about it being too crowded because there’s a few blocks of nice photographic spaces. If you’re creative […]

A Cup of Joe and a Slice of Humanity

My adventures with coffee shops   About a year ago, I wanted to create a space for myself to overcome my anxiety with writing, so I created a website called Demitasse Wanderlust where I blog about the different coffee shops in the greater Phoenix area. I’ve been writing most of my life. My degree is English Literature, so you can imagine the amount of writing I did in those four years. However, after I graduated from California College of the Arts with a MFA in Creative Writing, I noticed that I had developed a lot of anxiety when it concerned sharing my work with others. The workshops in graduate school made me acutely aware of all my weaknesses, but they also affected my confidence. The main and original purpose of this blog was to remind myself to lighten up. As my mother often tells me, “Even the longest life is a short one.”   As I’ve been working on this blog, I’ve realized that coffee shops are more than just a place to satisfy your caffeine addiction. They are symbolically significant in our society because they offer a place to gather, meet, and to feel a part of a community. […]

Robert Capa: Photographer Profile

Whenever I interview someone, I usually ask them about their greatest influence. You can learn a lot about a person from their influences. What qualities attract us? How do these individuals shape our style, workflow, methodology, and etc? Maybe this influential person is someone in our field, or maybe it’s someone we know well.   I had been involved in photography for a few years before I had learned about Robert Capa, but when I had watched a documentary about his life, I became fascinated with the way he worked, his courage, and his incredible talent. Capa was a Jewish Hungarian photojournalist as well as one of the founding partners of Magnum Photos cooperative. As a young man, Capa witnessed the violence that was consuming Europe. He was part of a generation that watched Spain fall into civil war and Hitler rise to power in Germany. Capa was undaunted by the danger all around him. For example, during World War II, Capa parachuted with American troops where they were dropped into Germany. Hundreds of paratroopers died and Capa could have easily died with them, but it never stopped him from capturing footage of the war. Because of Capa, we have a glimpse […]

Antiquing

Before I got into photography, antiquing never appealed to me. I’m actually more of a minimalist when it comes to my personal life. I’m very “right brained,” so I like to keep things as simple as possible so I have more time to do my art. However, I love taking my camera or phone into antique stores because I like taking pictures of objects from the past. It’s like walking into an interactive museum, and I get to take all these interesting things home with me, but all on my camera. Some places prohibit photography, which I always respect, but fortunately most antique shops are okay with photography. I’ve actually used these outings to practice composition and angles. I never move or touch the objects, but I will move around them to get the right photo. The nice thing about photographing mannequins is they can’t talk back. I don’t have to worry about what they’re thinking as I’m taking a bunch of pictures and trying to figure out what angle I like best. I found all these antique stores in Central Phoenix along the 7th Ave corridor, and these photos were taken exclusively with my iPhone 7. Even if you’re […]

Junkyard Photoshoot

Finding cool spots to photograph takes time, and I’m always grateful when photographers share information on new places to photograph. There’s something about junkyards and abandoned places that both terrify and fascinate me. There were so many things to photograph. The possibilities seemed endless. By the way, the entire time I was shooting, I kept thinking of the junkyard scene in “The Brave Little Toaster.”

Photo A Day Challenge

You might think that as a photographer I get behind the camera every day, but there are many days where I’m just sitting in front of the computer editing, writing, or scheduling shoots. Last year I heard about the Photo A Day challenge and for about month I tried it out until I got caught up with life. This year I joined a Facebook group where photographers are invited to post their daily photos. It sounds easy enough, right? Some of us have a closer bond with our devices than with humans. However, there are days where I’ve completely forgotten or just didn’t feel inspired to take a picture. When I saw this challenge on Facebook, I decided to give it another try. I started the challenge on New Years Day (naturally), and I’ve learned a few things about myself as a photographer. I’m very hard on myself with everything I do. Some self criticism is helpful, but too much pressure, for me at least, leads to stagnation. This challenge is forcing me to let go of some of that pressure and allow myself the freedom to try new things and even make mistakes. Sometimes I get frustrated because I’ll be stuck behind […]

A Photo A Day Challenge

About a month ago I decided to do the Photo A Day Challenge. Even though I take pictures often, photographing concerts and taking portraits, I noticed that I was falling into a pattern of only taking photos of people. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but I really wanted to push myself as a photographer and artist and try other approaches. The best part of about this challenge is that I’ve really taken the pressure off myself and I’m experimenting more. I take more risks because I know that, if the photo doesn’t turn out, I’ll just delete it. No harm done. When I was in graduate school for creative writing, I was taught that, in order to be a great writer, you have to write every day. I think the same could be said about any craft. We’re constantly evolving and getting better at what we do, and that’s mainly because of the hours we put into that form.  

Tattle Tales: Session Three

I was thrilled when I heard that Tillie was open to being a part of my tattoo project. Though I hadn’t met her yet, I had heard about her incredible tattoos. When I finally had the chance to meet her, I was immediately blown away by her body art. Her tattoos had so much color and detail that it was definitely more than your “run-of-the-mill” tattoo. Her arms were wrapped with various illustrations, including an owl, a woman’s face, and a reference to the Harry Potter books. On her thigh, Tillie had what looked like a beautiful painting of Frida Kahlo. The colors were so vivid and the face looked so real that it was almost hard to believe that all of that could be achieved with a tattoo gun. Because of all the aspects of Tillie’s body art, I had to take multiple photos to successfully capture the beauty and intricacies of her tattoos. One of the perks of working on this tattoo series is that I get to meet some amazing people. I really enjoyed getting know Tillie and hear about how she incorporated her various passions into her body art. Our bodies are a blank canvas, but […]