Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Huckleberry Ben and the "new" Foxtree

Every few months I try my best to slip in a shoot with each of my boys.  It's a little more challenging to schedule a time with my stepson Benjamin as he's only with us part of the time.  It never fails that it rains the weekends we have him.  Our weekly visits with him are too short so we play the weather waiting game.  Earlier this week I got the perfect idea for a shoot with Benjamin.  I titled it..yep...Huckleberry Ben :)  I had a pair of black suspenders but wanted something a bit more colorful so I eyeballed the black ones and made some for Benjamin.  I paired it with the cutest little Gap hat I got on clearance last year, a pair of jeans that were a little too long and needed rolling up, a tank, a stool and a basket.  I've talked a lot about the "new" Foxtree so I figured I'd do some explaining with the unveiling of the look.


1.  Theme- Each shoot will have a theme whether it be a color theme or an actual theme like I did with Benjamin and Huckleberry Finn.  When there is an official theme it's more streamlined and allows for more creativity.  


2.  I was mostly urban last year which is what I thought I wanted but it never felt quite right.  I'm not saying I won't do some urban this year but for the most part I want to stay in nature.  If the surroundings are more simple it allows for the most important part to stick out...you and your family!  I love the colors and the ideas that I have that all include bits of nature.


3. I've started using actions, Florabella to be exact.  It makes editing quicker and I'm LOVING the results!!


4. Props, props and more props!!


5.  I must admit...I'm a little bit of a control freak. Last year I gave in to a lot of what other people wanted. They didn't have a clear cut vision like I did so sometimes my shoots lacked direction. It's hard to run with a vision when it's not your own and they didn't put as much thought into as I would’ve. Because of this I ended up in a place with Foxtree i didn't want to be. I had a direction I wanted to take Foxtree and I didn't get there. While resting after surgery I reevaluated where I wanted to go and be as a photographer. These are the five things I came up with. Part of this control is taking on a more hands on a approach with the shoots. I will prop out a lot of them, staging more. Also, I've started making some of my props...headpieces and such. My next venture will be making cool funky little skirts for the younger girls in the shoots. Of course they don't all have to let me "style" their shoot out but I know some will totally go for it.  The ones that opt out for the styling, we will still work together to find something that works for both you and me.  If I know what you or your children will be wearing it’s easier for me to prepare for the shoot with props and the perfect location.




So without further ado here is the new Foxtree.






Florin & Lucia (wedding)

Florin and Lucia's wedding was on May 7th at Hanover College.  The whole experience was special for me.  I had never seen the Hanover Campus and was blown away by the New England feel, pure quiet of the campus and the natural beauty of the Ohio River flowing at the bottom of a steep hill carved out by the water.  A small side note about myself.  I am habitually early, a wonderful trait my Dad instilled in me.  I range from being extremely early to mildly early.  The times I'm mildly early it is because I've taken much effort to not show up so early.  When I arrived (early) at the Brown Chapel on Hanover's Campus I was the one English only speaking person amongst mainly Romanian only speaking family members.  Luckily I found Lucia's sweet kids and they were able to fill me in on what was going on.  Throughout the day I heard mostly Romanian but sprinkles of French and Spanish.  While I was lost in words it allowed me to soak up the environment based on their actions and by sights.  It was amazing!  The afternoon started with some light rain which was what seemed like an every day occurance in the middle of our rainy flood season at the beginning of May.  If you would like to view the album in it's entirety follow the link below.  Expect some new additions over the next few days.  Here are a few of my favorites (so far).

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.203543099685165.49262.100000884290765&l=de1cc2ccda




Here are a few of my favorites (so far).














The river was a little muddy due to the flooding and the ground was still wet from the most recent rain but I still love this picture!  The sun even decided to come out for a few minutes.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Florabella Actions!! :)

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but greater than my embarrassment is my excitement so here it goes.   My husband is my best friend, a great Hubby and an even better Daddy.  However, he's not the best gift giver in the world.  I hate to say this out loud but there were a few special events and holidays that I didn't receive a gift because he had no idea what to get me.  After much frustration, he now either has me write a list of wants or has me simply tell him what I want.  It's not as exciting but after almost four years of marriage I've gotten more used to it.  He's lucky my love language isn't gift giving lol!  All that to say for Mother's Day Gary got me a set of Florabella Actions.  I was incredibly excited.  My excitement was short lived.  Most people selling actions or writing instructions on installing and how to use actions are PC users.  I am a new Mac user and I was C-L-U-E-L-E-S-S!  One thing I run a little short on at times is patience (ask those that know me best if you dare).  After working with it for two days straight, searching for a helpful Mac user I finally put it aside.  It has sat until today.  I found within myself the patience to do more searching and to try over and over again.  I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!!!  It was like Christmas in the Middleton house when I got it to work ha ha!  I'm trying to decide if I want to unveil the new look now on an older shoot or wait for the shoot coming up with a very special little girl (GiGi).  The idea of the shoot itself has been a long time coming, perhaps waiting for the perfect person.  I've been searching and digging deep.  I feel over the last photography season I wasn't always remaining true to who I wanted to be as a photographer.  I have been harboring frustrations for months.  I felt stuck in a rut that I never wanted to be in.  My surgery and recovery time made me slow down in every way possible.  Turns out it was a giant blessing!  I started noticing a lot of things personally and professionally I wanted to change.  As silly as it may sound I was spending so much time with my beloved Mac that I was stunting my thoughts and ideas.  The internet is a wonderful invention but it has it's downfalls too.  Anything and everything is as your fingertips.  Click and it's instantly there.  I got trapped in a click and WHAM world.  It sure didn't help that lack of patience I mentioned before.  I stopped taking time outs to let my imagination run wild.  When I wasn't sleeping on the couch while recouping I was thinking, writing and drawing.  Why settled for good when you can be great?  At first I was afraid my thoughts were induced by pain killers so I made sure my sketches and ideas were written clearly so when the fog lifted I knew exactly where I was going and could know if they needed to be scrapped or kept.  Much to my excitement the ideas weren't the effects of Demerol haze.  I think what I came up with will reinvent Foxtree.  Foxtree has always been my brain baby.  It was my love of photography and the need to express myself that Foxtree was born.  Beyond the love and support of my wonderful husband, family and friends, it was just me and my creativity.  With that being said why would I want to sell myself and Foxtree short by going the directions others sought and not my own?  I want to be the absolute greatest I can be.  I want to fly off the trail of the most trodden way and blaze my own trail.  The next few shoots I have scheduled will come from this place I was just explaining.  A place where I couldn't sleep because I was drawn to a fantasy world with amazing shots and perfect propped out sets.  This past week I've gradually started working on creating some of my own props that I'll use in these upcoming shoots.  I can't wait to make these visions and hastily drawn stick figures (because that's the extent of my drawing "skills") reality.  Secondly, I can't wait to share these with you.  I'm a little anxious as this is all new territory for me but I'm ready.  I've been searching and pushing myself to this point since the birth of Foxtree in what is a few days shy of two years old.  I hope you stay tuned for the results.  I'm afraid I went off on a bit of a tangent.  This post was only to be the sharing of my Florabella experience ;).  I decided somewhere in those lines that I will wait to share my Florabella experience until those shoots I kept mentioning.  I can't think of a better way to launch the new Foxtree than with a few Florabella actions.  Oh, and if you see Gary my wooonderful husband *wink wink* pass along that I would be a very happy lady if he kept those Florabella actions coming.  Until we meet again, take care and let the light inside of you shine to all those that come in contact with you!
Much love,
Amber

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just a little time out to heal

I had surgery a few days ago so I haven't felt up to sharing about my most recent (Romanian) wedding.  It was such a beautiful experience!  I'm getting stronger each day so I hope to be back in the next few to share more.  Until then I'm collecting some great ideas and carefully planning the reinvention of Foxtree.  Yes you read right.  Things will be changing around here...for the better of course!  Stay tuned!

Amber

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sheldon & Carolina (wedding) (pt 2)

In my previous post on Sheldon and Carolina's wedding I didn't see my favorite picture from their wedding day.  I found it and just have to post it.  If you would like to view their entire album follow the link below.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.190516180987857.40407.100000884290765&l=4f63eda23e


My favorite photo.  They're so natural with one another and it's clear to see the bond of love between them.  I love it!