Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Photographer Juliette Osen

I recently asked Juliette Osen to write a guest post about her 365 Project. I cannot say enough positive things about this mature and amazing 17 year old who aspires to become a professional photographer. I first came to know Juliette when I contacted her family about participating in my adoption portrait series and multimedia project. You can see my portraits of Juliette and her family here and here which were part of my Forever Families project. Her already large family adopted two boys from the Philippines and Juliette's mom has home schooled all of the Osen kids, including the older ones who now live on their own. Juliette also recently passed her second degree black belt test in Taekwondo. She is so very hard on herself and she pushes herself to excel in everything she does. Enjoy Juliette's post and be inspired by her work.

Project 365
by Juliette Osen

I look at the pictures I take as a way of documenting parts of my life, as a looking glass that will bring me back in my life years from now. So to me the idea of documenting a year of my life with a picture every day made perfect sense. 

I started my 365 project on New Year's day. At first the project came easily to me and didn’t seem challenging at all. It forced me to work on concepts I had thought of but had never taken the time to work on. It was exciting to photograph every day and to actually have a purpose. 

Soon though, I ran out of juice and ideas. I had lost all interest in the project and landed in a rut. I was bored with my life so taking pictures to document it bored me as well. I realized, though, that completing this project was important to me and would be a major accomplishment. I am naturally not a quitter and I'm extremely dedicated to anything I start.  So, I made the commitment to finish the project, no matter how impossible it seemed.

Before long I regained my enthusiasm for the project. I again felt that passion, and strove to make each image beautiful and to represent each day well.   

There are still days when making that picture seems nearly impossible so the result is a far from perfect picture. Other days though, I get an idea and I'm so excited I want to try it immediately. Whether or not they turn out the way I want them to, I am still trying and experimenting and delving deeper into the world of photography. 

Today is day 179 of my 365 project and I have yet to skip a single day. This project has helped me work through stuff in my personal life and is teaching me so much about photography. I can see the improvement in my work since I started and I'm so glad I've stuck with it. 

I plan on continuing the project, making a memory for every day.   

Day 54 - ©2011, Juliette Osen
Day 141 - ©2011, Juliette Osen
Day 160 - ©2011, Juliette Osen
I encourage you to check out the remainder of Juliette's 365 Project on her Flickr stream here. Also, feel free to leave her a comment with a word of encouragement to keep going.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fundraising Photo Booth

Photo booths at weddings and other events seem to be very trendy now. When I was recently asked to run a photo booth for an adoption fundraiser, I thought it sounded like a fun way to contribute. Since there was already an admission price for the music and art fair, we chose to offer the photo booth pictures for a small additional charge. Several people let us borrow costumes and accessories so people could dress up for their picture. If you are planning a fundraising event, I would highly recommend adding a fun photo booth!

Me with one of my assistants in front of one of the costume racks


Monday, June 6, 2011

The Emergence of Spring in Polaroids

Spring in Montana is really just an extension of winter. Late spring can be a cruel time of rainy days punctuated by a few warm, beautiful, and sunny days. The cruelty comes when the rest of the country is enjoying consistently warm, actual spring-like days and we are still having rainy (and sometimes snowy) days. When the sun arrives, the entire town is out enjoying the day. On one of these recent beautiful days, I carried my Polaroid SX-70 around my neighborhood to record a few glimpses of warm weather. When I lived in Memphis, Tulips and Daffodils would often arrive in February. Here in Bozeman, MT, Tulips are still in their prime now in the first part of June. The trees have just recently begun to be covered in green. These pictures are a reminder to me that on the cloudy, rainy, and cold days, the sun will shine once again. 

Blue Skies and Green Leaves
©2011, Leslie McDaniel

©2011, Leslie McDaniel

©2011, Leslie McDaniel

I chose my SX-70 for this little outing for a few reasons. First of all, I love square photographs. Secondly, I love actual prints so the SX-70 would immediately satisfy both of these things. Also, I love the color and slightly fuzzy style I get from my camera. Before I headed out, I knew I wanted to capture these glimpses of spring and summer. I also know that my style tends to be fairly "clean" in that the subject either fills the frame or is carefully and thoughtfully arranged and would work well within a square format. All of these things helped me to decide to choose my Polaroid SX-70 camera over any of the others.

It sounds like a big part of the southern U.S. is steaming hot today. Wherever you may be, what are you doing to enjoy YOUR weather?