Channeling Irving Penn - Alena + Akarsh

These two are some of my favorite people on the planet!!  We met in Atlanta Georgia and its been a fun journey to where we are now.  They were visiting for the weekend and were kind enough to spend some time with my husband and I.  We dropped by the studio to do some Irving Penn styled couples portraits, and I LOVE how they turned out.  Akarsh keeps the images fresh and real while Alena's unique vogue look keeps the viewer engaged.  

They were so willing to do all the unusual poses and positions I requested of them.  I loved watching them try new things and goof around in between shots.  They would laugh at each other and then suddenly turn stoic for the shot.  Attempting to emulate the great Irving Penn was definitely a challenge and pushed me outside my comfort zone, but I'm happy with how they turned out and I hope you enjoy!!

Appropriation


Artists have always appropriated in one way or another.  They would travel to see the work of another artist or to visit cathedrals to learn from architecture, sculptures, and paintings.  They would study from the masters and recreate paintings.  Today's version of appropriation is only made different by the immediate access artists have to the world, via the laptop studio.    There is endless illumination available on an endless supply of social media platforms and websites.  The lines are blurring between art, originality, and appropriation, and it is becoming more and more difficult to separate what is art and what is not art.

As I have grown as an artist, I've looked back and noticed the many times I have appropriated ideas, composition, color, or lighting.  At times I was intentionally recreating another image in an attempt to learn a specific lighting technique.  Other times, I'd pursued an idea after looking for inspiration and ended up with an image that was much closer to the original than I had intended.  Occasionally, I've created an image I felt was totally new and original, only to later find the same type of image online.  I've had teachers assign me a magazine ad to recreate as closely as possible, while I've had other teachers call a piece cliche and unoriginal.  I've participated in stylized shoots where I felt I was being creative, but others came out with the same images as me.  I've also shot for weddings where the client wanted the most cliche image in the most cliche spot, simply because it was the best possible option.

For this project, I have gathered my personal imagery and put them next to images that question authenticity.  Some images I found and intentionally recreated it, some were inspiration, some were taken by others who were creating imagery at the same place and time as me, and some images I found after thinking I had created something original.  All imagery that was not personally created by me and then uploaded and edited on my laptop studio, was found on websites in the vast internet of the laptop studio.  This project, including the other artists' works at the end, is not meant to be a deciding piece on appropriation.  It is simply meant to examine the inconsistencies in the modern art world and start a conversation in your mind as to how you feel about your own originality and appropriation.


 

This show includes the work of Christin Huntsman, Oliver Laric, Richard Prince, and Lily-Cox Richard.  It is an examination of appropriation in the modern world, and questions originality, authenticity, and ownership.  

First, Oliver Laric's piece titled 'Versions' explores the idea of "completeness in an era when any ‘original’ image is instantly and constantly copied, remixed, retouched and circulated."  Many things are changed to become new, to give it a new situation and therefore a new meaning.  Second, Richard Prince's work is displayed as photographs of has various gallery pieces, including his 'New Portraits' exhibit of other people's Instagram posts with Prince's comments.  His iPhone became his studio for half a year as he worked on this project.  It focused on social media's broad concept of what it means to "share."  The last project titled 'The Stand' is by Lily-Cox Richard.  Each of her sculptures takes on a work by Hiram Powers (whose sculptures are seen on the right), who has been considered the "Father of American Sculpture."  She focuses on recreating the elements that hold up the original sculptures.


 
 
 

Utah Fashion Bridal Photography

All of this warm weather has me thinking back to this fantastic shoot we did with Maddy.  It was such a great adventure that included pushing a car out of sand, a flash rainstorm, getting lost, and eating vegan cake at the end.  She was such a trooper to stand still for some large format film shots and hike up large hills of sand.  This confident beauty actually just got married this week, and its so exciting to see her so happy.  Enjoy this fashion bridal shoot!!

Austin + Megan - Natural Light Studio Photography

Austin and Megan were fantastic to work with!!  We set up a session in the gorgeous Hello Audrey Studio in Bountiful with the sunlight pouring in onto their copper wall and handmade decor.  This couple knows how to have fun and try new things.  When we were taking the photos with the cake, they thought it tasted so good that they came to hang out with us after to finish eating the cake!!  Enjoy these glorious photos!!

Cody + Cajin - Utah County Portrait Photography

Cajin and Cody Savage are a power couple.  Like many of us, they have such busy schedules with work, school, and great ambitions that sometimes its hard to set aside time to document their life together.  I'm glad I got to spend some time with in the snow them as the sun came out at the end of the day in Utah County.  They're so comfortable with each other and told such great stories that I found myself laughing with them many times during our session.  Enjoy!!

 

Fine Art Photography Exhibit

I recently had my first opportunity to organize my own photography show.  I exhibited work that I'd worked months on and it hung for a week in the Boxcar Studios in Provo.  We had a great turn out for opening night and the reception was catered by the Village Baker, which was incredibly good!!  

Seeing my work hanging professionally on the wall in that gallery space was exhilarating.  I showed in the space with some other amazing artists whose pieces had their own depth, beauty, and reflection.  The antique and reclaimed feel of the Boxcar Studio added to unique feeling of each piece.

I was hesitant to do a project as vulnerable as this is.  While I was brainstorming and photographing, I had to open myself up to emotions and discomfort that I usually avoid.  I worked with a variety of individuals who were brave enough to talk with me about their biggest problems, fears, regrets, doubts, and sorrows.  There was both laughter and tears shared during the duration of photographing this project.  

At the gallery, I watched strangers look at my project and reflect some of the same emotions that it took to create it.  Each person that truly studied my project found a piece that embodied things within themselves.  I hope you take the time to explore each of the images and read the statement accompanying it.

Utah County Birth Story

Whitney and Daryl just added a new addition to their family.  They arrived at American Fork Hospital, went through a grueling labor, and then experienced the magical moments of seeing their little girl for the very first time.  Little Wren is a sweetheart and has been curious about the world since taking her first breaths.  She was so alert, and was looking around and focusing on her mommy when she heard her voice.

It's amazing how many details can be forgotten from that priceless moment: her wrinkly feet, her first cry, how she looked at her mommy, how she snuggled daddy, etc.  I was privileged to be present for the whole process and to capture the small details that are so easily forgotten in the whirlwind of the moment.  I am honored to have been able to share in the occasion of Whitney and Daryl adding the roles of mommy and daddy to their lives.

Whitney is one of my best friends and to see her joy and happiness in holding her first baby was an experience I'll never forget.  Being present for a birth is a real, raw, and vulnerable experience for everyone involved.  I'm glad I get to share these beautiful and vulnerable experience with you!!

Jordan + Spencer — Utah County Couple Session

Its rare you find two people as good looking as Jordan and Spencer, who are married.  I could not get over Jordan’s beautiful natural look, and that stunning red hair!!  They’ve been married for only a couple of months, and they looked at each other like it was their wedding day.  That kind of joy and friendship is something I wish for all couples.  

Jordan and Spencer lit up Justin Hackworth’s studio with their charm and they were so great to work with.  In the few minutes we had together, we explored imagery ranging from candid to serious, and this couple rocked it all.  They were so comfortable in that space simply because they had one another to both tease and support.  I’m so glad I got to spend this time with them and I’m excited to show these!!

Kyle + Becky Jo — Central Utah Couple Photography

If you don’t already know about the quaint little towns that dot central Utah, you need to take a road trip and go visit them.  Towns like Salina and Aurora hold some of the most fun-loving and passionate people, like Kyle and Becky Jo!!  I loved photographing this couple because they had so much fun together.

I actually grew up with Kyle, and he was always so kind and thoughtful.  Those qualities have only grown since he met the gorgeous Becky Jo and married her over a year ago.  They keep each other laughing and have created a life full of adventure and service to others.

I’m so grateful they were willing to just be themselves in front of the camera.  I love the emotion and authenticity that comes through in these images!!