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Euphoria

I was in a funk this weekend.

Did you think I was going to start off my first blog in several long months with this sentence?!

I couldn't really tell you why, but I was in a major funk this weekend. I wanted to do something fun on my day off work with my husband, but absolutely could not figure out WHAT that fun thing could be. And not being able to figure it out made me feel even more unsatisfied and funky.

So on Monday at the end of my work day, I started dreaming.....what photoshoot can I do that will be fun and a good creative exercise for me??? My sister Michelle had sent me a video earlier in the week of someone using an indoor set up that I knew I could also do with the equipment I have. We talked about it some more as we were packing up for the day (Yes, it is the absolute coolest that I get to work with my sister) and I got even more pumped for the idea!

The inspiration for the vibe of this shoot is a television show that I actually have never watched before. "Euphoria" has been very popular, and I love my girl Zendaya, but after reading a quick description of the show, I didn't think I would be watching it. (I need happy shows, especially before going to sleep!) So, even though I didn't really know the background, looking at some Euphoria inspiration pictures and videos made me SO excited to design a photoshoot!

The vibe is colorful lights, sparkles, rhinestones, dramatic makeup, and even more dramatic emotions. Bring it on.

I arrived home, said hello to the dog, and immediately started prepping my photoshoot area. Because it was COLD outside, I knew this particular photoshoot would be indoors, specifically in my office where all of my camera gear already was.

Well, almost all of the gear. I spent wayyyyy too many minutes searching the entire house for my camera tripod, an absolutely necessary object for self portraits!

I ended up finally finding the tripod in the closet specifically designated for all of my camera equipment. *insert face palm here*

I wanted the pictures to have as much drama as possible and started quickly putting on some make up. I got out my bucket of photoshoot make up (yes, I did say bucket) and picked out all of the glitter and colorful options. I am terrible at completing a symmetrical cat eye, but I love the look, so I faked it with some scotch tape on my face, and it worked out!

 

I am now taking a break to brag on my sweet husband. He is the most supportive and encouraging of all of my hobbies, and has been SO helpful with everything. He has gone along with my crazy ideas for

photoshoots, and has both held the camera AND jumped in the pictures with me! He has worn costumes, driven to random locations, and spent his days off work helping me with my projects.

But.

He hates glitter.

Loathes it.

Is so confused why I continue to use it.

Honestly, I can't really blame him. It somehow spreads over the entire house as soon as it is opened. But, man, does it look AMAZING in photos!

I restrained myself from using the messiest glitter for my make up, but unfortunately the sparkly dress I wore just dropped glitter absolutely everywhere. I felt like I had no choice and HAD to wear it to complete the vibe! (Especially since these would be close up portraits, so my outfit from the shoulders up really had to be dramatic.)

So, with fun make up, hair, and clothes, I started completing the set up for the actual shoot. I taped some pastel tissue paper to the wall to be my backdrop. Then I used more tissue paper over my softbox lights so they would create a colorful glow. I learned this trick from a short video on Tik Tok and was so excited to recreate this!

About a year ago I tried to get this exact effect for my "Driver's License" photoshoot and used a much more difficult set up for red and blue lights in my garage.

I set up my (newly found) tripod and got my camera settings for the low light situation. My camera has the coolest screen that can flip so I can see what the camera is seeing even when I am in front of it for self portraits. I looovvveee this feature as it gives me even more control when I am working by myself.

Originally I had the "Euphoria" soundtrack playing in the background to help me get into character. It started being just a little too much for me, soooooo I turned on Lady Gaga instead. Definitely a more upbeat, but still equally dramatic, vibe. I have found that when it's possible to have a photoshoot playlist of music playing, it really enhances the whole experience!

The photoshoot was very fun!! Nathan arrived home and was not even shocked to see my office transformed and all the blue make up, but was very sweet and helped me with a few shots that were too difficult to do on the tripod by myself! I wanted a few double exposure photos, which is two pictures stacked on top of each other. It is a super dramatic effect, and I love the way they turned out! I also have some clip on lenses that fit on my phone, so added a few of those pics too for some more very cool effects.

As soon as the photoshoot was over, I showered to get all of the glitter off, ate some food, and then went to bed. It wasn't until the next night that I uploaded and looked at the pictures. When I saw them I was shocked with how COOL they looked! Seeing the look on the big computer screen was so fun, and made me so excited to take more pictures as soon as I could!! This happens a lot. One creative idea just sparks another and I go on a run of several photoshoots with so much passion to create.

Photography has evolved for me over the years. I have learned so much about cameras and taking pictures and enjoyed the journey. I am thrilled any time my friends or family ask if I can take their family photos. Seriously THRILLED (and I do not use this word in my everyday speech, so I'm kind of surprised this is the word I chose, but it definitely fits.) It is so fun to me to help capture a season of life. It is even more fun when I can help in some tiny way for people to see themselves how everyone else sees them. The newer passion for self portrait photography has been just as fun.

I was often afraid to express myself when I was younger through clothing choices, hairstyles, or make up. I did not want attention to be drawn to me, so I tried to choose things that were easy, or neutral colors, and definitely not out of the ordinary. Now, as an adult who knows who I am, and with a medium to express, I could not be having more fun! The planning of the photoshoot is just as fun as the execution. The idea forming process is where I can think outside of the box, challenge myself with new ideas, connect emotions to art.

I love the entire process of photography, and I have fun sharing it, too. I hope that you are also finding ways to create, finding new hobbies to learn, and finding activities to do on a Monday night after work that make you so very happy.




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