Sunday, November 22, 2009


There's nothing like trying new things to prove to yourself you are living life.

Apologies to those who have missed my posts, but I apologize to myself for not updating as often as when I began this journey, this New Years Resolution to blog what I've learned every day.

Blog or no blog, I have certainly kept myself conscious of the changes I've made, the grand strides I've taken and the immense knowledge I have gained this semester, this past summer, and the year 2009 in general.

If you haven't heard straight from my mouth, or read on facebook, I'll give you an update on my life this semester and the changes I've been making. It's a long list.

1) I started eating meat again.
Over the summer I had some. I ate a hamburger two Sundays ago for the first time in six years and I liked it. I made venison burgers for my roommates and I last week. Tonight I went to Fuddruckers (another first) and had a crispy chicken sandwich (also yummy.)

2) I still stay away from drugs and smoking, but now that I am twenty one and feel adult, I feel I am responsible enough to drink. I am careful when and how much I do, so don't worry about me, but yes, I drink.

3) I love school.
I am in love with my life and my school and I have such passion and drive for what I am doing. It's a really wonderful feeling, unfortunately this past week or two I have realized that being this happy and driven can be exhausting. Only 4 more weeks left in the semester, and Thanksgiving is this week. So I shall survive.

4) Part of loving school includes the best class I've had, to date. Studio Lighting 1 with John Carlson. I love the class and the teacher is really helpful. I work really hard in that class out of my own drive and passion, and it has payed off. I was asked a few weeks ago if I wanted to come watch and help assist on a shoot at Carlson Productions Studio. I gladly accepted the offer and arrived on time, ready and willing to help out and see what goes on in a professional photography studio. That led to an assisting job this past Thursday with my teachers brother, the other half of Carlson Productions. It was kind of boring and easy work, but I'm really glad I was given the opportunity. I hope these opportunities continue.

The rest of my news is minor things that all add up to a major impact of "Hey life is great" kinda sappy crap. I'll save them for another day, or another time when they become major.

For now, I want to leave any readers with some cliched bits of advice that I believe in:

Hard work pays off.

When you're doing what you love, it doesn't feel like work.

Belief must come from within first.

Your life is what you make it.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A summer full of learning.

With three days of work left I sit at my computer and contemplate all that I have gained in the past four months. [Wow, four months? I've had four whole months of summer!] Well then, I guess that explains how I've gotten so much out of it.
I had been fortunate enough to get an "internship" job as a photographer for my hometown newspaper. Unfortunately it was low pay and limited to 20 hrs per week. None the less, I have taken somewhere close to 6,000 pictures. Or snapped that many frames. I figure I've had somewhere between 200 and 300 photos in the paper.
I've met a lot of new people, some creeps and some really nice people. I've overheard a few times, "She works for the Alpena News." And I've had little kids say, "Hey! I saw you at the carnival/fair/parade."
I've learned a lot about the DSLR, Nikon D2H to be exact. Things I should have known a long time ago, considering I'm a photo major. But I am happy to know them now. I can confidently say I know my way around the manual settings and options.
{Side note on learning about cameras, two days ago a fellow CCS student taught me a trick to use a regular lens as a macro, not easy but very clever!}
More important things I've learned are about composition and cropping. Sometimes the editor I think helped me and sometimes I feel my photos weren't done justice with the allotted space and placement in the newspaper, but the papers main priority lies in the news.
I have learned to think about the subject matter and how there are so many factors into how to take a photo to accurately portray something. I've thought a lot about the importance of including or not including certain things.
Boy I could ramble on forever about the things I've learned with this job, and the experiences I've gained, but I shan't.

Outside of work, in my personal life, I believe I have reached my goal set back in late April. I had fun.
Without a doubt this summer gave me memories, new friends, and got me closer to some now great friends. I have absolutely had so much fun this summer. I have changed who I am, moved on from some old, yet still highly respected beliefs and life styles (vegetarianism and straight edge.) This is by no means a bad thing. I was ready for some time for a change and I could not have picked a better time to make these changes.

Looking back on this summer I am, least to say, satisfied. As far as the future is concerned, I have nothing but enthusiasm. I will walk into the coming semester with open arms and a new clean notebook and ink filled pen to take notes on all the great information that is available to me.

In these last three days of work I will be spending my time getting my Alpena News Portfolio ready. Check out my other blog for that. I am also looking to print out 10-20 photos that were in the paper, on photo paper, not newsprint, and put together a hard copy. I plan for now to use this for feedback on my work, but hopefully someday I will use it to secure a job! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Safe air.

Today I went to a garage fire for work.

Fires are pretty exciting, but of the two I've now been to, the flames are pretty much gone by the time I get there.

Anyway, I got an alright photo, one I think is good enough to share.

Also, I learned that the tanks the firefighters wear to go into the smoky fires to breathe make a really loud and screeching noise. Safety first, I guess.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Power outage bike ride.

I don't feel like I have much to say lately. But I hate that I haven't been updating, so here's a quick bit.

Today the power was out for a few hours, not sure why. But thank goodness for natural gas, because I was still able to make a fried egg and toast on the stove. And I even got coffee, cold, from a little packet and milk, it was good!

Then I did something I've been wanting to do for years.

I got on my bike and rode the 9ish miles into the Alpena city limits.

But I didn't stop there, I rode to my moms work, then across town to the post office, and then to get food in another part of town. Then to the beach to eat my food and read. I kept going all around town and read 3 chapters today. I figure I biked close to 20 miles today. My legs and butt were a bit sore, but not too bad.

Then I locked up my bike in a secret hidden location (Sytek park in the trees, haha) and hitched a ride home with my dad on the motorcycle. I love motorcycles!!

So this was all inspired by Warren, and Claire. Warren biked in 2.5 days to Alpena from Lansing. And Claire wants to bike to Alpena from Ann Arbor. She's invited me to go down there and bike up with her. I'm really really thinking about it, and I think it would be AWESOME.

I love living!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Staying Sharp

You know how if you don't do something for a long time you sort of loose your strength in it and forget a little bit?

Last summer I failed to keep myself up on art stuff, and I suffered.

This summer I've been fortunate enough to get an internship being a photographer for the Alpena Newspaper.

I hold a camera basically everyday. It's been great for my work.

The other day I noticed growth in my photos and I'm pretty happy with the way things are going. Sure I have a long way to go yet, but growth is growth and I'll take it by golly!!!

Tomorrow I'm going to go in to work a couple hours early to put photos on my external hard drive for my portfolio and I'll get working on putting photos on here. I have some on Facebook already. Also I need to get around to updating my other sites. I have a myspace for my photo work but I'm thinking about deleting my account, myspace is old news.

I might work on creating a new artists website.

So for now, check out my images on Facebook, and


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Despite output, there's still input.

Based on lack of posts, one might think I have been locked in solitary or my brain has stopped learning. Not so. I just lost steam for a while, and I'm not promising I'll get it back soon. But I am acknowledging I need to get off my butt and making more out of my time this summer. 

(skip the next two paragraphs for a shorter & more meaningful read.)

I've been working for the Alpena Newspaper now for two weeks. I take photos for them. It blew at first, but I'm getting use to the cameras they have, which are Nikons like mine, but have different settings and different types of lenses. Also, I am trying to get more in the mindset of "Photojournalism" and out of the "Art" mindset. A few other struggles, if you are interested: 1 there isn't much going on in Alpena to photograph, less so on bad weather days 2 i feel like a creeper when i drive around peering out my windows for something to photograph 3 sometimes it takes a lot of courage to ask folks if i can take photos of them.

I haven't really accomplished much else since being home. I made a purse (see post below) I bought more fabric yesterday to make two more purses-I couldn't pick and there was a sale and I had a coupon, so I figured I'll make two and sell one maybe. I got some books prepared to sell online, but UPS was closed for the weekend, so it'll wait til tuesday. I've started cleaning out my bedroom and sorting my numerous belongings, but it's a daunting task.

I'm rambling.

Change is a part of life. I welcome it, and every so often reflect on how I have changed. I want to know that my changes are for the better, and if they aren't, I set out a path to better myself. [recent bad changes: laziness, gluttony]

In some of my younger years I was very stubborn in my ways. I wanted to make my own mistakes and learn everything on my own. I did things the tough way and taught myself some lessons. I've learned now to listen to others and take advise given to me. At random times in life I find elders giving me life advise and I listen carefully, remember and take into account.

Life is a struggle. Help from others is now welcomed. 

I've also learned to welcome the bad as much as the good. I think I've become an optimist. In some ways like the ones extremely portrayed on screen. When life gets tough, when I am loaded down with homework, stress, illness, breakup, hard work, penniless and the like I actually have the thought, "This is life, I am living, and I like it. I wouldn't have it any other way." See, I know that even if life is looking horrible now, it will look up, if not soon then eventually. The bad times will be in my past and life will be more pleasant again.

The lesson: I am happy.

In tough times and in smoother waters, I love life. I live. I am in control of my life. I wish this upon you.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

My first purse

I made a purse for my friend for her birthday. I used a pattern and learned a lot! In the past I've made a number of things but always with the help of my mom in sewing and measuring and pretty much I just sat there and watched her and sewed what she told me to sew. This time I did it all on my own. And I'm really proud of how it turned out. Next week I plan on getting more fabric and making one for myself.
It's not meant to be reversible, but I guess it works with the blue on the outside too.

There are a few things that I could have done better, but I don't have the experience and I didn't have the time. I did quite well on the darts, pleats, edge stitching, measuring and cutting and assembling. But some of my stitch lines are not perfectly straight, hey, I'm human. And my slip stitching is very amateur. That had a lot to do with the lack of time, and some to do with my skill level.

If you would like me to make you something, I might have some time this summer to make stuff, but I would charge you the cost of the materials and a little for labor. I'd like to think that after I make my own purse I'll make another one just to sell, but we'll see.