The Great European Adventure

I certainly don't consider myself a travel photographer, but we had the amazing opportunity to travel around Europe for most of the summer. For any of you travel lovers out there, I hope you enjoy scrolling through some of my favorites from our time on the road. If you're interested in hearing more details of the travels, check out our trip's blog - www.adventuresofsteveandjenny.com.

Tis the season for silly Christmas cards!

We'll use any excuse to take ridiculous pictures of ourselves, but it's nice to have a legitimate use every once in a while.  This year's Christmas cards just arrived from the printer today, so lucky friends and family will be seeing these gems in their mailboxes shortly.  My parents keep blaming each other for producing me, but I know that they're secretly proud of such a presentable young man. For those of you not getting cards, a hearty Happy Holidays to you!

-Cheers, Steve & Jenny

The first 100 days - My personal 365 Project

If you've ever looked me up on Facebook then you know by now that I started a personal 365 project back in July.  I still get people I haven't seen in a while coming up to me and alternating between "I love your pictures!" and "What's with the daily picture thing?"  Well, it's day 100 so to celebrate the landmark I wanted to share a little about the project and some of the work that's been done so far. The premise is simple - take a picture every day for a year.  There are endless variations on this, some giving very specific picture subjects, others very simple primers, and some that are completely unguided.  I opted for a topic list that was preset but very simple, generally having only a single word or short phrase to use every day.  Non-specific assignments give me a starting point but leave things pretty open for creative interpretation.

Why am I doing this?  The value of doing things regularly should be self evident.  If you jog every day you'll be in better shape.  If you play the piano every day you'll become a better pianist.  I call it a 365 "project" but it's just as often called a "challenge" because it's hard to do something that requires time and thought day in and day out, on busy work days, while traveling, when it's Sunday and you just want to sit around and watch football and kill brain cells.  It is a challenge, but one that rewards me by keeping the creative thoughts coming and by giving me opportunities to stretch myself in ways I wouldn't have thought to do if I didn't have an assignment.

100 days down and it went so ridiculously fast.  I'm not going to post all of them, but here are a few.  I'm really looking forward to what I get to share on day 200!

Day 61 - "Card"

 

The Zombie Cakepopalypse!

We like to have fun around here, if that hasn't become obvious yet.  When I told Jenny that I'd like some cake pops instead of a traditional birthday cake, she jumped at the idea.  But since we can't do anything without turning it into an art project, she decided to make the cake pops into little people and yes, little zombies. She disappeared into the kitchen to make various flavors of cake pops, carefully icing and placing each of their little eyes.  I set up and lit our scene so we could take a few pictures of our creations.  I always tell people that I spend a lot of time "playing" with food while I photograph it, but in this case, were literally playing with these guys, making them go after each other, picking out who we thought should survive and who should get eaten.

Dessert should always be this fun.

An Ohio kind of July

I'll be in Ohio shooting a couple of summer weddings in July.  Flights have been booked.   Plans have been made to see old friends and spend time with the family.  See you in a couple of weeks, Columbus.

Buckling down with good music

The past five days have had me running around the city in a non-stop series of meetings and shoots.  Finishing this morning's job gives me a 2.5 day break to commence a marathon editing session of some of the great stuff I've seen in the last week.  First up are pictures from a welcome dinner for Scarlett and Bill's wedding where Emily Estrella and the Fauxbarrio Billionaires had people jumping.  Turn the speakers up, close your eyes, and give them a listen.  You'll be on the streets of New Orleans in no time.

 

In motion

I'm involved in an ongoing debate about whether "gif" pronounced with a hard G or a soft G.  My designer sources tell me that it is a hard G, but I grew up pronouncing it like the peanut butter.  I don't care anymore, I'm just going to keep saying jif based on my undying love of peanut butter.  Regardless of the pronunciation, I suddenly get the feeling that I'm going to waste an afternoon making odd little animations.

UPDATE:

I have it on good authority that I'm right.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wilhite  I believe the correct pronunciation now would be "nee-ner-nee-ner."

Oddities in America - Longwood Plantation, Natchez, MS

I got to visit Longwood in Natchez, MS, a massive octagonal mansion on which the construction was halted with the outbreak of the Civil War. With only the lower level finished, the upper floors remain in the same state they were in over 150 years ago.  Apparently the deal between the current and past owners required that it remain unfinished, giving visitors a rare glimpse into the past.  The workmen's tools are still laying around.  A few of the shipping crates, including a massive one for the house's piano, serve as the only furnishings on the first level.  In it's unfinished state, you can stand in the center of the house and make yourself dizzy looking straight up through the next six stories worth or lumber and rafters.  I can't think of a better setting for a ghost story; something where you can hear workers' saws and civil war gunfire after the sun goes down.  I'd stay there overnight... I swear.

 

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Longwood-1.jpg

New Orleans Sculpture Class

Jenny, the designer half of Shoot 2, likes to exercise her creative muscles by taking figure sculpture classes in New Orleans at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts.  I got asked to take some pictures of the class in action.  Having witnessed a few years worth of these classes, I can appreciate Michelangelo's feelings on sculpture (recognizing he was working with stone).  I think I'd cry if I spent three months working on a sculpture only to have parts of it explode in the kiln.  Most of Jenny's have survived so now we've got at least five little naked figures hanging out in our house.

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Sculpture-2.jpg

Zombieland!

People in New Orleans take their costuming seriously and Halloween is no exception.  We're talking whole groups of people that spend months planning and building their costumes.  I'm usually pretty lazy about this so I was happy this year to have our friends Stephanie and Jeremy visit.  They did some pretty intense zombie makeup get-ups and I got to be the sole human  zombie hunter of the group.  Decent group costume - check.  We took the time to do a little photo shoot before hitting the streets with the rest of the undead. Zombies are apparently hungry for things other than brains because I somehow went through an entire box of Twinkies while we were out.

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Zombies3.jpg

The Blue Moon Saloon

If you need to spend the night in Lafayette, enjoy staying up late, and like unique and intimate music venues, then check out the Blue Moon Saloon.  It has a hostel-like atmosphere, being that it's just a house that was converted to commercial use.  There are a few rooms to choose from, all of which will leave you less than 20 feet from where the bands play in the evenings.  We stayed in the room that shares a wall with the stage.  Needless to say, you won't be sleeping while the music is on.  It's one of those places that forces you to go out and be social even if you're dead tired. We happened to be there on a night with some fantastic bands cranking out cajun-jazzy infused rock mutant music.  I'm kicking myself now for neglecting to catch their name.  But these guys - the ones in the pictures - check them out if you see them one the streets or something.

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/BlueMoon-2.jpg

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal

Or not, ya know, whatever.  I was passing through the New Orleans airport and noticed displays with the Tax Free brochures that I shot the cover image for.  It's always fun seeing your work in print.  I'm just imagining a foreigner traveler taking a copy home to wherever they're from.  Some place fancy and with cool accents I presume.

 

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/TaxFree1.jpg

Anniversary Fun

This is us.  We didn't go do something really fancy for our second wedding anniversary.  We stayed in with a bottle of wine, a camera, and a disaster of an apartment right before we moved. Time to start planning next year's anniversary portrait.

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Anniversary-1.jpg