Post Frame

Thoughts before and after making images along my adventures in the in the field and in the classroom.

Week 8-Collaborate with an artist

It is funny how ideas develop. With this idea I was thinking I might collaborate with a painter, of fabric artist and shoot someone in front of their art to create a dynamic portrait. I put a message out on FB and although I got plenty of likes I didn’t get any offers of interest.

Not sure what to do I quickly realized I was actually in the middle of collaborating with an artist already. I had been asked by local jeweler to shoot her jewelry.

She had a very specific look in mind. Her purpose for the images is to enter them in Fine Art Gallery showings so it wasn’t the usual necklace laying on a piece of wood or a rock she wanted something much more sophisticated than that. 

Wanting to take on the challenging and liking the idea of trading for the work, (the jewelry whore I am) I quickly started researching ways to photograph the jewelry to get the look she wanted. 

I had just completed a food shoot with fabulous Food photographer Kelsey Hansen  in which we shot 26 different food set ups in two days. I was fairly confident I could pull off 9 individual jewelry shots.

Ah.. yeah but… they are shinny and move a lot… and earring really don’t want to stay parallel… a bit more effort and patience was needed-more the patience than anything.


As I was shooting and playing with the light I was intrigued  by the shadows and shapes the jewelry made. One of my favorite artist is Alexander Calder in particular his mobiles.

I love the simplicity of them but at the same time I recognize how complex the engineering is that goes beyond the aesthetics of the pieces. I enjoy working with wire as a medium but it is a bit cheeky- and has a mind of its own often. You think if you bend it a certain way it should go but that is not always the case.  

I found this to be true with Rachel jewelry. One of the words she used to describe her work was kinetic, she wanted to focus on how the piece changes when it is worn.  Trying to photograph that energy in a studio setting was much more difficult than I expected. 

I had a great time photographing the work (except for the earrings <smile>) and learned a lot. When I was done I just wanted to play with the pieces and see what abstract images I could create. This are the images I have shoot for Creative 52.


I have broken one of my rules for Creative 52 which was to have a person in every photo. (it only took 8 weeks). I plan on doing an artist portrait of Rachel in her studio if she agrees to accompany the work and fit my self imposed rules.

I really enjoyed this challenge and will continue to look for other ways to collaborate with other artist. Personally, I think I can do Creative 52 every year, as I can see it will be different every time. 

Week 7-Go beyond the print of a digital image

Experimenting with alternative process with photographs is something I love to do. 

There are so many great ways to take photographs to another level. One technique I have wanted to try that seemed relatively simple was transferring photos to glass using transparent contact paper. The process is pretty easy actually but it does require a lot of  finesse as I quickly realized after a few tries. As with most projects, it requires more time than I allotted for, the steps you don’t figure into the equation are  finding the best photo for the project, sizing it and toning it just right, getting the supplies and the experimenting  and overcoming your failures along the way.

I will continue to work on this process as I have a series in mind I would like to create for  an alter I hope to build honoring my ancestors. 

It is fun and I do recommend you give it a try when you have a moment or few hours…

There are a few tutorials out there but this is the one I used. You can also check out my Pinterest board with other ideas I hope to experiment with.

How to transfer a Photo onto Glass


Photo DIY

Week 6-Go to a Museum



After a short visit to The Center of Fine Art Photography which I loved but did not find the inspiration in I was hoping for, my friend Katrin and I a visited a show at our local performing arts center. -'Reflections and Resolutions: Creating New Worlds in Digital Art.  The works of Daniel Fonken and Fran Forman were engaging, thought provoking and impressive.

Inspired by the work and honestly looking for a quick option to at least complete the challenge of the week,  I started to think about images I could blend together to create a photo with a message. Needing a theme I quickly landed on memories related to my Mom-who passed away almost a year ago and is on my mind constantly.

My brother and his daughter, (my namesake baby Jilly, 2) seem to have a connection to my mother, I have not yet developed or discovered. They have dreams about her and seem to have strange coincidences they attribute to visits from Mimi. I long for these opportunities but yet they still have not come. Actually, I am bit obsessed by this and look for messages at every turn.

I think any artist or lover of art will agree with me that family, dreams and the unconscious are prevalent themes in all mediums of art. It is obvious, why, it is one of the most accessible familiar themes a person has in life whether they are positive or negative.

Once I landed on the idea of “messages” from my Mom, and wishing everyday I could pick up the phone and call her, I quickly began to put the pieces together.

I have a long list of skills I want to develop related to photography and Photoshop but with a few basic technics, I was able to put this piece together.  

It is a hard image to write about with out completely dissecting it. Although it is a deeply personal I hope the “message” is clear.

Week 5-Symmetry

The inspiration for symmetry finally came to me after looking at Rodney Smith and Elizabeth Messina’s work. I have found that I really need to be looking ahead at the challenges to let the concept settle in, and the ideas start brewing. Looking at visual reference is essential to kick start my idea process. 

The idea for this week’s challenge came early but nailing down location and lighting scenario did not. Having to work with in the perimeters of using kid models and shooting on the weekend limited me. And then of course there is the weather….

The day before my shoot it snowed seven inches. I thought that would be ok but on the day of the shoot it continued to snow… not bad but enough to make it uncomfortable for my models and especially for me. I hate snow.

Once again the lessons learned are vast. I had been told about the location that I wanted to shoot at and even had seen pictures but I had not visited it myself. I made a lot of assumptions about the location the biggest one was that the pond would be frozen. It wasn’t-which I did not know until I arrived at the location

Before I left the house, I thought maybe I should cancel. Knowing I probably had a reshoot ahead of me I didn’t want to create any kind of hard feelings with the model or his parents. 

Despite this worry, the need to complete this weekly challenge overruled the other concerns. I could always make another plan but I couldn’t bring back the week.  I thought I would at least attempt my idea with the knowledge that once again, I would have to reshoot to make anything close to a portfolio image.

So as I forced my son and his best buddy into the snow along the shore of the slushy pond and attempted to execute my vision.


It wasn’t long before the complaints of being cold were heard coming from my son’s mouth. It was not only cold but difficult for all of us to move around without falling or getting cover in snow. Not only that… they were in there skates and not on the ice- a big no-no, I was reprimanded for later. 

I got a few shots that I knew would work for this week’s submission but nothing even close to what I had hoped for. 

I have a few minor rules for myself on this challenge- no cell phone photos, all photos must contain a human element and don’t over do it on the filters in post-production. Unfortunately, I broke the post-production rule on Week 1 and the seal has been broken.

I have to admit that I do not think these photos would be as strong if it were not because of the post-production work. Although I do find this post-production appropriate for the subject and it is often used with sports photography, I find it all to easy to cover my mistakes with this process.

As time allows and the weather remain cold I plan on shooting this again until I get closer to the vision I have in my head.  Luckily, hot chocolate with whip cream and a huge chocolate chip cookie quickly made up for the misery I put the boys through and they both agreed they would be willing to give it another go.