As a reminder, I offer free adoption day family portraits and provide other photo services for free for kids in foster care.
This was an extra special graduation photoshoot! Kaleigh is a young woman in foster care. It’s estimated that only 30-50% of youth in foster care graduate high school and the stats are even worse for going on to college. Kids in foster care have so many hurdles to overcome through no fault of their own.
There are a lot of ways you can help by either donating resources to programs that help kids in care or becoming a CASA (I’m one if you have questions) or becoming a foster parent. There are a lot of kids who need a safe and loving home either as a permanent placement or for a time period while their parents work to get to a place where they can parent again. I encourage you to take a few minutes today to research what you can contribute to making this world a better place for kids in foster care.
This was my second wedding shoot during the pandemic. A third that I had scheduled for this month was postponed for next year, along with others. Both this wedding and my last during the pandemic were downsized to small, intimate outdoor gatherings where social distancing and masks were mandated. While I am grateful that people are following these guidelines, it does create a whole new set of challenges as the wedding photographer!
This wedding took place at the gorgeous Stockton State Park on Stockton Lake in Missouri. The temperature was perfect, the sun was harsh and setting. The bride and groom both wore glasses and masks, along with the rest of the guests. I think you see where I'm going with this... I was also wearing glasses and a mask, shooting into the sun half the time due to where we were positioned on the bluff. So my glasses are fogging up and half the time I'm shooting using muscle memory and faith that my auto focus is focusing where I am needing it to focus. Not ideal, but hey! That's the joy and challenge of wedding photography. It's a game of improvisation and how well you can live in the moment and make the best of whatever is thrown your way!
My advice for photographers shooting weddings during this pandemic? Invest in a great wide-lens camera for socially distanced wedding party photos! The bigger the wedding party, the wider the lens needs to be!
The bluff overlooking the lake was gorgeous but unfortunately the sun was on the less-than-ideal side so when I shot them, Catie & Ryan were just dark silhouettes against the sparking blue water. I knew I would have to do some creative editing to make them work, but thankfully it worked out. I love how their style, the fall colors, and the turning leaves all worked together to create a look that feels both vintage and timeless.
I shot about 1800 images during the four hour period I was there. I edited those down to about 600 which I edited in Lightroom, about half of which I also edited in Photoshop afterward to touch up things further. All photos were delivered within 5 days of the ceremony.
The specialness of getting married in 2020 is the challenges you overcome to get down the aisle any way you can, and the photos taken that document this strange time in history for all future generations. I wish Catie & Ryan a lifetime of happiness and love, and I hope they look back on these photos fondly for many years to come.
I don't think I've ever felt such strong imposter syndrome before this week. It's just been one of those weeks where everything is happening so fast that it feels hard to conjure the special sauce of creation. I had four photo shoots for 12 shirts for Culture Flock and then a wedding, all in one week, plus regular work hours, et all. In short, I felt like a chicken with her head cut off running and shooting and hoping I got the shot, and then editing when not shooting and second guessing myself and re-editing and third guessing myself and re-editing and thinking of all the ideas I could have done but didn't think of in time and then hitting "send" with a prayer and baited breath, just hoping I didn't let everyone down. I don't know... is it at all comforting to know that all these years of doing photography and two years into this being my official business that I'm struggling with feeling "legit" or is it depressing to know that? It is what it is, I suppose. Just a part of the human condition.
This was a great week for my business and I should be celebrating that, instead of beating myself up over all I could have done better... but then, that serves a purpose too, doesn't it? Things to do differently next time so I can create even better work than I have before. This is the process of progress--create, make some mistakes, learn, create better, make different mistakes, learn, create better and so on and so forth until the end. But enough about that! Let's get to the photoshoot itself and these awesome tees on these gorgeous gals!
Working with Culture Flock is always a dream come true--I love their products and I love their mission and I love the creative freedom they give me on these photoshoots. We decided to create four sets with four models modeling all the shirts for each element of the zodiac sign. So Charlotte modeled all the air signs (above)... which had "air swirls" and a yellow backdrop.
Michelle (above) modeled the fire signs and had a fire crown and candles for her set on a pink backdrop. I made the decision to light the candles in post since my studio is a wood paneled basement and the candles were set on wood crates on a paper backdrop... just seemed like that would be tempting fate.
Randa (above) modeled the earth signs (hi! Taurus here!) with plants on a gorgeous green backdrop.
And Kimber modeled the water signs with a blue backdrop, blue floral touches, and vases of water.
These shirts are selling out fast, so be sure to grab yours while you still can at https://cultureflock.com/
And if you're feeling like an imposter at all this week, just know you're in good company and keep trucking along... the feeling will pass, and your talent and skill will continue to improve the more you do it.
PS. Culture Flock's response to the photos was, "I just wanted to say these photos are fucking awesome! Thank you so much! You are SO talented and we love working with you!" So take that imposter syndrome! Take that right to the bank, ya dummy.
When Andrea texted me at 6pm last Wednesday asking if I could create a professional logo for her new pop-up shop, The Local Bevy, I was in the middle of cooking dinner and trying to pay a utility bill online that wasn't going through. She had a lot of ideas for what she wanted, which is good--because it gives me clear boundaries to create within that I know my client already likes. Speaking of boundaries... since I no longer live alone and just work all the time (my partner Kimber is trying to patiently remind me to slow down and make time to relax sometimes too--what a concept!), I have been working to get better at putting boundaries like work hours and more realistic timelines for turnaround so I don't get burnt out so much. It is very much a work in progress for me and something I struggle with--I just want to say yes to every opportunity because I'm so grateful for each one that comes along and I want to get it done as good and fast as possible for my clients! Ho, boy--we got an overachiever on our hands here. Hi. It me. I aim to please. To a fault sometimes. BUT I'M WORKING ON IT. THANK YOU.
So, in this spirit, I told Andrea that I would touch base with her the next day when I had a little more time to devote to understanding what she was looking for. The next day, we picked up where she left off the night before. She sent me some mock-ups she had drawn and created on one of those "instant logo" creation sites. She told me what she liked and didn't like and I went to work creating several options for her to choose from.
I always like to include a few designs that are a little outside of the specifics a client gives me, if I think it will look good, just to give them something else they may not have considered otherwise. In this case, options 1 and 2 were pretty different from what she was looking for, but I liked them enough to include them and give her another option to consider. Turns out, she ended up liking #2 and #6 best, but she wanted to see #6 with the #2 font.
I made that revision and sent her the final two logo designs for her to choose from. See which one she choose below:
Be sure to check out The Local Bevy:
"A temporary holiday pop-up featuring a collection of local handmade art, crafts, and goods located in historic Pickwick Place. Open until December 31, 2020."
This was one of the most fun family/porch sessions I've ever done. Not only is this family absolutely gorgeous, but they are hilarious, loving, and have the best yard with tons of places to take really pretty photos. A photographer's dream!
The girls had lots of ideas for photos, like this one of Momma and daughters laying on the ground... Love it!
Getting your photo taken while being pushed on a tire swing sure beats your usual school photo day! Due to the pandemic, the girls are going to school virtually this year so this Porch Portrait session doubled and tripled as a family photo session and school photos for each of the girls.
Plus, some super romantic golden-hour shots for mom and dad too. They deserve it!
Scroll through for some of my favorites from the shoot below to see how fun and fabulous this family is! There's some bonus shots of their gorgeous pup and cat too!
If you're interested in getting photos of your kids taken this year from the comfort and safety of your own home/front or back yard... shoot me a message! When kids can play and pose on their home turf, you can get so much more of their personality to come out in the photos. Also, the holidays are coming up soon and I'd love to create some more family photos and holiday cards!
When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Los Angeles and was working as a background actor in movies and TV shows. On one of those sets is where I first heard my friend Anthony casually and with great authority break down the various zodiac signs and guess with great accuracy our signs. I was fascinated. I didn't "believe" any of it, but I enjoyed it with a speculative interest. Over the years, I pretty much stayed in that state of quiet curiosity, checking my horoscope periodically for a laugh.
Then, a few years ago, I started checking the romantic compatibility between signs for people I dated, and people who friends were dating and I started to notice a lot of accuracy. My girlfriend and I are Cancer and Taurus respectively and everything I've read about the match between these two signs is exactly, for us, right on. We are extremely compatible. A great match. And my previous relationships (before I was checking astrology compatibility) ended up ending due to exactly the kinds of issues astrology says those two signs matched up would have. It's crazy! And hey, I still take it all with a large grain of salt, and I'm not going to make any decisions based solely off astrology, but I do enjoy it as a fun lens to look at things through and a perspective to consider.
I've been wanting to do a zodiac sign illustration series for a while now. To create these, I pulled up information about each sign and then took a couple different aspects of each description and sourced some images to put together to create my scene and then illustrated it. I use ProCreate to illustrate and I love all the different layers you can use and the variety of brushes available. Then, I used the Template app to add the border and text.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them! Which one is your favorite? As it so happens, I'm about to do another project for a client related to astrology.... stay tuned! It's gonna be a fun one!
Throughout my life, I've noticed that whenever I meet someone and hit it off right away, invariably they turn out to be a fellow Taurus. Have you noticed anything like that? Do you put much stock into astrology and zodiac sign compatibility? Tell me! Tell me!
I held a custom illustration giveaway contest on social media (if you aren't following me on Instagram & Facebook--get on that!) Mandy won and she asked for an illustration of her brother and her as kids in a field of daisies--because daisies are her Mom's favorite flowers and a "field of daisies" is her Mom's happy place. She wanted to gift her Mother with the illustration for her birthday.
I loved this idea. I planned on working on this project today and tomorrow, but a bout of insomnia had me crack it out last night (less than a day turnaround time!). I used the photo she sent and found some reference photos for the field of daisies. Next, I put the images together in Procreate on my iPad and got the proportions how I wanted. Then, I started drawing. I love how it turned out! And hopefully Mandy's Mom does too! *fingers crossed*
If you are interested in ordering a custom illustration, shoot me an email at DesigningIndie (at) gmail (dot) com
This was such a fun project! I created some promo photos for Ivy a few years ago and was super excited to work with her again. She was working on creating her new brand as a solo artist and getting ready to release her first song, "City Girl." She needed a logo design, some promo photos to use to promote upcoming shows, an album cover design, and a stylist for her upcoming music video. And, get this, when I asked her what her aesthetic vision was for this, she said a mix of 70's & 90's! Talk about a dream job! Plus, I LOVE her music!
Ivy had already created a pinterest board with some inspiration for the direction she wanted to take. To give us a color palette that we could use to make sure everything tied together, I went through all the photos and created color swatches of the most commonly used colors. As you'll see below, we used a couple of the colors and didn't use others as we found what worked best for this project. Then, I created an online wishlist of possible wardrobe and props which we could both add to and edit as we narrowed down the looks.
While doing this, I got started on her logo design. She had a rough idea of what she wanted (small "i" with a dot and a v--maybe a glittery disco ball). When we started it was just going to be "i.V" but after I sent over the few two rounds of logo designs and she decided which two she liked best... I got a text saying she was going to change her name to i.V KiNG. I love her reasoning for it--for one, is more memorable and distinct. Also, her wife had taken her name when they got married, so she wanted to take her wife's name artistically. Such an awesome idea! And thus, queer royalty was born: i.V KiNG! I did a few different redesigns with this adjustment and we landed on the logo above. I love how it turned out.
We did three different looks for this so she would have plenty of images to choose from for all the things she was promoting in the upcoming year. We knew we wanted a more dressed up look with fun, vibrant make-up and lots of 70's disco vibes, as well as a more casual, natural look with fun, chill 90's vibes.
I made this "disco hat" with hot-glued on mini disco balls and lots of sparkly tinsel... I am super happy with how it turned out and even more with how magically it photographed in the wind. Fun, right?
The other two looks were more dressed up with fun geometric make-up. Also, you should know Ivy was talking about hard boiled eggs this entire shoot (if you know, you know) and there were lots of disco dance breaks between wardrobe, hair and make-up changes.
Then, I started working on the album cover design. She initially wanted a mix of photo and illustration... after working on it, I ended up doing some that were just photo and some that were just illustrated. Below were some of the options I sent her... I love so many of them!
I loved this project! Now, hurry and go pre-save i.V KiNG's single "City Girl" out September 18th, 2020 ---> www.ivkingmusic.com/
Mandy wanted to do a photoshoot based around the fantasy of hitchhiking to Woodstock. She had been going through a rough period of time and I, for one, truly believe in embracing a sense of play and self-love through the pampering of one's body, spirit, and mind when making your way through the valley's of life. It is my hope that we were able to do just that through this shoot.
For this little shoot, Mandy styled herself and did her own hair; I just assisted with some natural, subtle make-up. We shot as it was nearing golden-hour outside, near my studio.
I was inspired to try a sort of crazy idea--some months earlier I had saved a bunch of vintage camera's that my best friend Jonathan was going to throw away when moving. I gifted all but one to my girlfriend for her birthday as she had been saying for a while that she wanted to start a collection of vintage cameras. As I was thinking how I wanted to create these vintage-looking images... I got curious about what it would look like if I could shoot through the viewfinder of one of the vintage cameras. I would love to have actually used one of them--but I don't have film and I don't know if they work yet, so this seemed like an exciting (if unconventional) alternative.
I ended up shooting half of the images with my regular, professional camera and half using that camera but shooting through the viewfinder of a vintage Canon film camera. For reference, the images below were all taken through the viewfinder. It created this dreamy, soft look that I think worked really well for what we were going for!
What do you think? Was it a successful experiment?
I looked up a lot of 60's and 70's photos of style and hair and make-up for references. My models, Jacki & Sheristen brought some of their own retro items and we pooled our clothing resources to create these looks featuring the Culture Flock t-shirts.
This was my first in-studio photoshoot since the Covid pandemic began, so I made sure to do everything I could to keep everyone safe. I kept a mask on the whole time, wore gloves and used disposable tools to do make-up, etc. I checked in often with the models (both before and during the shoot) to make sure everyone was comfortable with everything. I am happy to report the shoot when smoothly and safely. It's certainly a strange time... and I think we all felt the giddiness of getting to play and create together after months of solitude and uncertainty.
For props, I used an old 8mm camera and some film, a retro rotary phone, my touch-screen make-up mirror, and an "Oscar" my mom sent me when I was trying to be an actor in LA (hehe awww).
This was a super fun shoot and the ladies killed it. Sheristen had us cracking up improvising the whole time, and Jacki is an old pro by now--she was my own little barbie doll/muse for every creative photo idea I had for the first few years after I moved to Springfield before I started my business.
Pretty cool--this shoot was all women-powered with T-shirts made by the two incredible women at Culture Flock, images created by me, and modeled by two gorgeous ladies.
Don't forget to go check out all Culture Flock has to offer at https://cultureflock.com/
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.