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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

KASSIE & LIVY

Lately, I've been spending a lot of my days with my camera in my paws. Yesterday was no exception, as I ran out into the sunshine to do another photo shoot for Velma Magazine at Austin's popular Barton Springs. You guys, it was BEAUTIFUL. The sun, the water, the subject (who looked like she came out of an Estee Lauder ad), and absolutely everything was on my side that day. Cannot wait to share the outtakes!!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some shots of two beauties that I met while walking back home. Although I was eager to get home and commence working, I couldn't resist being the strange person that I am by going off into little nooks beside the water and taking photos of leaves and various other seemingly unimportant subjects. As I was bent over taking a prized photo of a thick green striped leaf, I was approached by two friends doing research for a Buzzfeed article. They asked if I would mind having my photo taken while I worked to capture my beloved photos of Austin. Despite the sad fact that I was schlepping around in workout clothes and was not quite the lovely being I would wish to look like for photos, how could I have said no?
Of course, I couldn't resist whipping around and  asking to take their photos. After all, what are you to do when two adorable subjects are standing right in front of your camera's frame? Ones who are photo shoot ready, for that matter?
Meet Livy; she's the supportive friend who is happily willing to take time out of her day to approach strangers and gather information for articles. For some reason, she reminds me of my sister. Must be the dark hair and nose? 
And this is Kassie, the creator of fashionable and worthwhile articles such as this. Can't wait to see more of her work!

I wish you could have heard and seen the happiness that these two exude in person. I think it's a huge reason why I've grown to love photography so much--having the opportunity to experience the emotions behind the photos is completely rewarding. Do you feel the same way about similar things? 

Happy Tuesday to you all! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

COLLABORATION WITH PAPERCITY, FEATURING UPTOWN PARK

Ahhh, it's really beginning to feel like the holidays! Beautiful lights are sprouting up all over downtown and around parks, and we finally put up a little Christmas tree last night! For a hilarious moment when we were trying to figure out where the tree would actually fit, I felt like Bridget Jones when she couldn't fit the "tree monster" inside her tiny flat in London.

I've been trying  to keep my mouth zipped about an exciting project that took place at the end of September, and I'm very excited to finally share that I had the honor of working with Houston's PaperCity Magazine to create illustrations for a spread featuring Uptown Park in their December 2014 issue.

Thought it'd be fun to share a little behind-the-scenes if you're interested. :)


The development of the cover for the spread was especially fun; I was asked to illustrate Uptown Park's shopping complex and show the fun of shopping during the holiday season, with a fashionista in the foreground, happily indulging in her guilty pleasure.

I ended up providing a few options to choose from as I couldn't decide on a favorite girl:


We ended up developing a spunky little lady with an equally cute pup by her side:




I still don't even know which girl would have been my top pick! Do you have a favorite?

The next illustration was one of the hardest for me to create as far as figuring out how to depict two friends shopping and walking through the street of Uptown Park. I was wondering if the women should be walking toward the viewer, but in the end, they were depicted crossing the cheery, holiday-filled streets, side-by-side:
It was so cool to see how PaperCity placed the girls within the page:
This little illustration (pictured below) ended up being the fastest to create. I love her sweet little pale pink tutu paired with that open-back cozy sweater:

Check out PaperCity's Dec 2014 issue to see her in the spread. :) 

Below is another sketch that was sent in to get further developed. Finally, I had the chance to illustrate a male for a change! I was particularly tickled with the whiskey glass in his hand. 

Ridiculous? Yes.
Here are the little loves in the finished layout:







I would like to think these two would get along quite well. The mistletoe was a ridiculous afterthought, made specially for this blog post.  
So there you have it! I enjoyed every bit of perusing the digital issue, and I can't wait to scramble through the oversized printed issue with my own two hands in the comfort of our little apartment. 

I'm waiting like an expectant hawk for this to come up in the mail:
Houston December 2014 Issue, PaperCity Magazine

Hope you guys are enjoying December so far!

Monday, December 1, 2014

CANCUN: DAY 1

I'm trying not to let this non-posting syndrome take over my life; before I knew it, almost an entire month had rushed by my face! We've been out and about--among other places, we went out of the country for a few days of R&R.
If you didn't already know, I'm completely head over heels for soft sand, clear waves, and swaying palm trees. So of course, Cancun seemed pretty fitting for my vacation. While the husband also appreciates beaches (but not to the degree of my manic adoration), he really loves the cold. I suppose we'll reach a compromise on our next journey and land somewhere in the middle of the south pole.

My old Nikon D60 camera died a very weird and abrupt death the day before our plane left Austin and ten minutes into a photo shoot for Velma Magazine (no, I did not freak out until after the fact), so this spoiled sloth got a small upgrade before we left for our trip. Okay, well I think my Nikon D7100 is about 120 times better than my previous D60, but it's almost hilarious how much trouble I'm having trying to get used to it. It's very possible that this camera is indeed smarter than I am, ha! 

Below is my account of Cancun (I had to split posts into day-by-day synopses) regarding our thoughts and my 800+ bumbling photos (no, I won't force you to look through that many photos, although Clay and our best friend did me the honor after much sulking):
Bottom photo by Clay Selby

The older I get, the extra chances I have to get nauseous on any moving object; roller coasters, elevators, and planes in particular. Now isn't that just sad? I think I spent a total of half an hour gripping onto the little navy paper bag provided in the airplane seat with clammy hands and bulging eyes. Lovely, I know. 

When we finally stumbled off the plane (huzzah!), we were driven up the strip of resorts toward our gigantic hotel. Not having much to do until we were able to check into the hotel (we arrived a couple of hours before check-in), we splayed ourselves on beach chairs like a couple of happy walruses and fiddled with my ever-confusing/amazing camera. 

The above photo was taken by Clay, who I have decided should begin following me around and take flattering photos so that I always feel this good about myself (because obviously, he has the gift of making a subject look better than it does in real life, let me tell you). 
Top photo by Clay Selby

Before leaving for paradise, we made a hilarious, rushed stop at Wal-Mart to pick up an $8 plastic wedding ring and probiotics. Don't you just love that piece of jewelry? Surprisingly, it hasn't even begun to rust after swimming around with it in the ocean, pools, and cenotes!

I, of course, had to take my hand at attempting to figure out the camera. I do believe I had a wonderful specimen to photograph. See Exhibit A with the hat and sideways smile. 
Again, we have a great specimen.
Bottom photo by Clay Selby

When we finally checked into our room, we immediately changed into swimsuits and swam around in the waves. I was elated to have my dork gear readily available (googles), and we explored the bottom of the ocean's surface, pointing out tiny and medium-sized silver fish, clams in the their beautiful polished shells, and swaying algae. I also brought along a disposable waterproof camera, but I didn't finish shooting the roll yet. I guess I'll have to find another place to take odd photos underwater so that I can finally see what the developed pictures look like. 
We finished the remainder of the day by basically doing nothing. Well, we did waddle our way to the free buffet downstairs, if that counts for anything.

Above is the view from our balcony (which was like four times larger than our tiny balcony in Austin) on the tenth floor. Ocean side? We'll take it! Is five pools on the excessive side?

Hope you enjoyed November and had a warm and happy Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

VELMA OUTTAKES: CHELSEA

Long time, no see, guys!

I didn't mention it yet, but I've been working with a talented group of women publishing the first issues of a women-in-tech magazine called Velma here in Austin. I've been part illustrator, part photographer for the group, and I gotta say, I love meeting the women who contribute to the magazine each month. 

I've been scrounging around to find the time to finish editing all of my zillion shots of each super-fun photo shoot, and I thought this little blog would be the perfect outlet to share their outtakes. Check out the Velma issues to see the photos that are featured in the magazine each month!

I have a crazy long way to go as far as editing, but umm, baby steps.

Let's start with Chelsea, who was in Issue 01:
Before meeting with Chelsea, my car conveniently overheated the day before, so thankfully, a friend chauffeured me around the city to my shoots. So very sweet, don't you think?  He quickly became my photographer assistant, proving to both Chelsea and me that he was in fact very talented at the task at hand. :) You should have seen the guy galloping around, moving iPhone cords from one counter to another and clearing the already pristine surfaces as best as any enthusiastic assistant could. 

For Velma, photo shoots of contributors take place either at their workspaces, their homes, or even a place in Austin that inspires them. Chelsea chose to have the shoot at her home, which enthralled my friend and me, of course. You should have seen us drooling around each room in her beautiful home! 
I usually try to keep photo shoots for Velma within a 20-30 minute timeframe, but if I'm having a little too much fun, I may tend to go overboard and want to hang out for 10,000 hours. This particular shoot was SO much longer than my timeframe, ha!
How can you not love the hand-crafted furniture and soothing colors on the walls?
And you GUYS. The kitchen! Don't you want to drink in that sunlight streaming from the window and use that pretty teapot perched on the lovely stovetop to make 12 cups of tea in the morning? I dooo think so, very much indeed.
As previously stated, I gawked at every room, including the kitchen. 

"Did you hire a designer to flip the house??" I barked at Chelsea, who was extremely humble and said that she picked out all of the materials by herself. Meaning, on her own. I gawked some more.
So not only is Chelsea a talented business woman (and underlying designer); she also has the exuberant, genuine personality the makes anybody want to be around her. I wish you could have been there behind the scenes! Pretty sure I chuckled and chortled continuously. But hey, it's really not my fault, seeing that I'm stuck with people who cause me to do so. 
Chair (pictured two photos above) created by Tony and Lori Linder of Litmus Industries

Well, we've reached the end of the post, sadly. 

You can read Chelsea's article in Issue 01 of Velma, and you can also stayed tuned with Mable, one of the local, creative companies she's involved in (on top of her other jobs and priorities!). 

You can also see what Velma has up her sleeve daily via Twitter and Facebook

I have so many other outtakes to share of wonderful women in Austin who were so kind to lend their time and talents to Velma! More to come--slowly but surely, mind you. 

Have a pretty night!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SUNRISE BOARDWALK

Hey guys! I've been kept busy for ages, and oh man, have I been wanting to share how pretty Austin is in the midst of it all!

Take this mooring, for example. You can start your day before the sun rises and spend an hour or two exploring before hampering down to work. You're likely to see gorgeous sights! Here were a few of the views from this morning:
I leaned out the balcony and snapped the quiet view of the city...both Austin and I were waking up together for once! 
I went around the corner of our apartment and took photos of a pretty unwilling subject at a coffee shop (i.e. husband), but also took shots of the calm sky and lake, which were much more agreeable subjects, if you were wondering.
I took shots of another subject at the coffee shop (our dear friend who is also new to Austin--freshly transplanted from sunny Florida), and I caught the dynamic views of the lake as the sun was quickly rising (i.e. I was GALLOPING to get the photos)...
...and I saw vibrant bursts of pink along with swaying palm trees in the warm light. :) 

I tell friends (old and new) that my heart is breaking from loving Austin too much. Is this normal?? 
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