Senior photos have come a long way since I was a graduating senior in 2004! I love the creative willingness of kids today and how they own who they are and what they love. For Belinda's senior photos, she sent me a Pinterest board of images she loved and from that I derived two central themes: Food & Fields.
We decided on two set-ups/looks: one centered around the fridge and her favorite snacks (chips and cereal) and another centered around a chair in a field at sunset. I highly relate to these two moods for I too am either in an oversized shirt snacking out of the fridge or fancy--or anyway, I used to get fancy when I places to go be fancy in. Maybe I'll be fancy again someday. Or maybe, like this photoshoot shows, you don't need anyplace to go be fancy in. You can be fancy in a field just for the joy of it.
I loved creating these! If you are interested in getting creative with your Senior photos, shoot me a message!
When I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting in 2008, one of the first places I found my "community" was in a new start-up theatre company then called A though Z. I ultimately became their first Resident Artist and enjoyed several years of helping grow the theater company that would come to be known as The Vagrancy.
That theatre company was my make-shift home away from home and family. We had weekly actor workouts, read old and new plays, and eventually started a group of emerging playwrights to write new plays each year which would be workshopped cultivating in a new play reading series called Blossoming. I always loved being a part of watching a new play be born--it's an exciting process being in the room where it happens when a new scene works for the first time, grows wings and soars.
I left LA after 6 years to come to Springfield, MO. A few years after I left, Caitlin Hart, The Vagrancy's Founder & Artistic Director, moved to Michigan where she created a Michigan Chapter of The Vagrancy. This is their first year doing their own Blossoming New Play Reading Series. While I haven't been a member of The Vagrancy in years, I've enjoyed being involved in other creative ways by creating their social media play posters and doing some illustrations for their virtual play readings last year.
Here are the four social media posters for the Blossoming (Michigan) brand new plays. In many cases, the plays are in the final stages of being written and developed so I didn't read these plays before creating these posters. Instead, I rely on a few basic questions about the play to come up with a poster:
As someone who enjoys creating in many different styles, developing these posters is always fun because they are each so unique.
If you are interested in checking out any of these plays--good news, no matter where you live, you can enjoy them! They are all virtual this year. Get tickets here!
Do you need help with a graphic design or illustration project? Don't hesitate to reach out!
I've been fortunate to be the official Photographer for the Springfield Art Museum's exhibits and events for the last few years, and this year, I am super excited to add Graphic Designer to that title!
My first assignment was to create a banner and the postcard for the Springfield Art Museum's upcoming exhibit The Inferno of Dante: Etchings by Michael Mazur.
I can't wait to check out this exhibit! How about you?
This was a super fun in studio photoshoot with musician and poet Molly. Her inspo board she sent me was full of bright colors and moods. She wanted photos to use to promote her upcoming album, and possibly for the album cover art as well. We collaborated on the direction in the weeks leading up to the shoot, passing phots and ideas back and forth.
She brought her boyfriend along for moral support and my dog Olive also joined us in the studio to help with moral and soundtrack snoring. We collaborated on her outfit and then I did hair and make-up while Lizzo filled the studio with pump-up music.
For the shoot itself, we switched over to ABBA for some different vibes and began work on creating sparkly, moody, colorful work. I love how these turned out! What do you think?
If you like what you see and are ready to book me to help make your creative vision come to life, shoot me a message and let's get started!
I created some social media play posters for The Vagrancy--my old theater home back in Los Angeles. This pandemic has been hard for theater companies, but I love all the innovative ways theater-makers have worked to continue their craft in these challenging times. The Vagrancy has a new play reading festival every year where they debut new works created that year by their writers group. It's so exciting to watch new plays be born and stumble to their feet where they start to come alive. Throughout the pandemic they have been able to continue this tradition by doing virtual play readings of these pieces--which is especially cool since this now enables people to join from anywhere in the world! They commissioned me to create some posters for these new plays, and here are a few of my favorites.
I remember the first time I went to Culture Flock--it was the grand opening of their brick and mortar. I was so pleasantly surprised to discover a place like this existed in Springfield, MO. An inclusive, inspiring, creative environment with all kinds of fun trinkets, clothes, and gifts--plus, a workshop space and fun events?! What!
I remember thinking how cool it would be to work with them--at the time I had just started my business and it felt like a far off dream. Then, not long after that, they reached out to have me do some photos for them and have been using me consistently ever since. And I still feel like I've been called to sit at the cool kids table every time.
Happy 8th birthday to Culture Flock! I'm so glad you exist here. And I am so grateful to be a creative collaborator with such a cool group of people.
Also, Happy Pride Month! Culture Flock has new pride shirts in three different colors! Support your local LGBTQ+ owned shop this month with a new shirt or gift from Culture Flock and an empowering, creative photoshoot with yours truly!
This was such a fun family photoshoot. I love shooting families that genuinely enjoy each other's company. I also love families where the kids have a billion ideas and are excited to just play and have fun during the shoot. All these things were in play on this day--Plus, it was just a gorgeous day, after a week of storms so the greens were lush and the sky was beautiful!
If you love what you see here, shoot me a message and book me to capture your family!
I think this was the first photoshoot I actually got nervous butterflies while driving to the shoot. Can you blame me? This level of cool is intimidating!
These Senior Photos were like no other because this High School senior happens to be a teenager who has been flying planes for 2 years!
We shot two looks with some of the planes she's flown. One look was a blast from the past, Amelia Earhart inspired session.
And other look was a modern session...AKA Ally looks like she's starring in a TV drama about a badass CIA agent.
We also did a session out at Fellows Lake, along with family photos--which I'll post in a separate blog because frankly, I have too many favorites!
Not only is Ally undeniably cool, she is also incredibly down-to-earth, respectful, kind, and fun. It was a joy to capture her at this stage in her life and I can't wait to hear all she will undoubtably accomplish in life.
If you like what you see here, contact me to schedule a shoot for the High School senior in your life.
Recently, I was nominated and chosen to create a piece of artwork for Commerce Bank's "What Matters Most" campaign. They believe that art can help remind us of what matters most--and I whole-heartedly agree!
More from Commerce Bank about this campaign:
"Since our founding, Commerce Bank has had a long tradition of supporting the arts. We believe the human connection, inspired through art, is just as important as any financial matter. Life is complex and can be both beautiful and challenging. We are committed to helping people do what they're dreaming of and take care of the things they love."
They asked 8 artists to consider what matters most to us and how our priorities have changed through the pandemic. They asked us to consider what lifts us up, what inspires us, what keeps us going, what matters most and to translate this into a piece of artwork for an online exhibition.
As a reference photo I used a portrait of a family I took during the first few months of Covid when I was offering "Porch Portraits" as a way to capture families and individuals living through this strange time. I took this photo of a family through the glass in their front door. I loved the way the parents were lost in each other's embrace and the kids were excited to have an audience. I think this last year our collective priorities have shifted--our loved ones becoming even more important, taking care of ourselves and each other becoming priority one. This last year was marked by loss--by loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of financial security, loss of social life, loss of major events and celebrations in the traditional way. I wanted to represent that loss--one of the parents in this embrace is blacked out with a galaxy of stars inside to represent the losses we experienced. In the calendar to the right, a happy couple (actually myself and my fiancé) are shown showing off an engagement ring...on the calendar itself is written in various events: wedding, funeral, birthday, no school, dentist, doctor... to include all the ways this last year made us change our approach, postpone, or cancel every event that peppers our daily lives. In the far right, you'll see the edge of a piano, on top of which sits an iPhone... an homage to the ways the arts carried us through this time (by indulging in music, learning a new hobby, watching a TV show, reading a book), and the way technology kept us tethered together while far apart.
Here's the final artwork. I love how it turned out and how every detail has meaning. A special thanks to Caron Settle Parnell and her family for allowing me to use my photo of them as a reference point for this piece.
If you're interested in purchasing any digital downloads or prints of my artwork, or in commissioning me to create a piece of custom artwork for you or your business, smash that email button below to shoot me an email (DesigningIndie@gmail(dot)com). I'm a friendly, fast, sure-thing when it comes responding to emails. I have no tolerance for notifications left unattended!
If you prefer to call, I've made a button just for you. Do you feel special? You should. In this digital age, you're a magical, rebellious unicorn of vocal correspondence.
Teenagers can be scary to adults. They can seem like an enigma. A mysterious energy that can make you feel uncool or dumb. You might find yourself using "youth-slang" like "girl" or "wassuuup" even though kids don't talk like that anymore...even though YOU don't talk like that anymore (usually).
All that to say, this shoot could have been another embarrassing tale of "Andie tries to relate to the youths as if she isn't nearly 35." However, it WASN'T! As it turns out Josef was none of those highly generalized attributes above. He was down-to-earth, an old-soul who loves photography and vinyl, and probably possess the least amount of ego I've ever met in a teenage boy. All that to say, he was kind, personable, creative, and open. The ideal model.
We blasted Red Hot Chili Peppers in my 70's retro studio and worked together (along with his Mama) to create a couple looks based around the outfits and props he brought to express his personality in this, his final year of high school.
I can't imagine graduating high school right now--in the middle of a pandemic. The world in this strange in-between flux just at the moment you're thrust out into it. What a challenge lies ahead for these young adults. And what a joy it was to capture the happiness, the strangeness, the celebration of a big accomplishment, and the interests that helped get this kid through this last year.
Rock on, Josef! We'll be rooting for you. Go out, do good, make smart choices, and be brave.
Josef has dreams of becoming a photography teacher at his old school. I think that's awesome. What an honor to photograph a budding photography teacher. I hope when he is older, he looks back on these photos and smiles--remembering all the highs of his last year as a high school kid and all the lesson that the lows taught him. I hope he carries these with him into adulthood, and into the classroom...and I hope he retains the kind of teenage confidence and cool that keeps him from saying "Girrrrrl" in a panic when trying to relate to his students.
You always want the kids to learn from your mistakes, don't ya? Do you have any wisdom to impart on this year's graduating seniors? Leave it in the comments below.
Peace-out homies. Catch ya on the flip side. Hit me up if you or someone you know wants some unique, vintage, editorial senior photos!
I'm Andie Bottrell, a multidisciplinary creative based in Springfield, MO. This blog is designed to give you an inside peak into the process behind my projects and to share my work.