Saturday, February 27, 2010

Self-Portraits, Weeks 7 & 8

Just a little behind on my self-portrait project, so here are a few pix to catch me up...

Eyes Speak

I like my eyes. They're a little bit o' green, a tad blue, somewhat golden... otherwise known as hazel... A little bit of every flavor. :) My favorite thing about my eyes is the yellow sunflowers I have around my pupils. Yep. I have flowery eyes. I never noticed until my eye doctor pointed it out a few years ago, and upon closer inspection, I do indeedy have some flowery goodness there. They make me feel unique. But even though I don't especially love sunflowers, I DO love me some orchids.. *hint hint, boys...*

Speaking of eyes, they're my favorite thing to photograph on a person, followed by eyelashes, curly ringlets, and smiles... in that order.



I love to see pictures of people looking out windows... I always wonder what they're thinking. You'll see a lot of bridal shots in which the bride is looking out the window.. and of course, I always imagine she's picturing a new life with the man she loves...

Me, I guess I'm just daydreaming...


Here's another outtake from today. I like how the focus is on my eyelashes and the fine details on my eyelid...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Timeless Beauty

On March 1, my Grandma Alverta will be 94 years old. My mother organized an early surprise party for her last weekend, since my brother, my sister-in-law, and I were in town. Before we left, she said it was her favorite birthday ever. It was not an extravagant party, but it was special to her because she was surrounded by those she loved... and because she got cake and ice cream and flowers!

I've written several posts about my grandma and about her dear 97-year-old sister, my Aunt Nadine. I just think they're beautiful. They don't quite understand why I always have a camera in front of their faces... I just tell them that I think they're supermodels, which makes them giggle.

Here are some of my favorite images from the afternoon... Grandma is the cute lady in the scarf with the 5 silver hairs (She hates having dark hair. She wishes she had a full head of white hair, so she would look like all the other older ladies. Silly Grandma.)

I'm blessed to be able to witness what 94 and 97 looks like...

And I'm grateful that I have my camera to capture it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Flowery Photo Walk

Last Sunday I met up with members of the Southwest Missouri Camera Club on a Photo Walk at Wickman's Gardens in Springfield. We had free reign over the greenhouses. 

Here are some of my photos from the day...

Visit my Images by Jen Photography Facebook Fanpage to view more photos!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Self-Portrait, Week 6

80's Queen

So I went to a Valentine's 80's-themed party at church. I instantly knew that I had to be a rocker chick. I mean, I am in my church's band, but you probably won't see me sporting this on Sunday morning...The huge star earrings, a load of jewelry, some bling-bling, leggings, a fun skirt, and some black pumps... and tons of makeup. The party was fun (and I did end up being the 80's Queen for evening... woot!)...

Just a few observations about the 80's in general...
*I would be broke from the amount of makeup that is required to achieve the 80's look.
*I would have to add an hour to my pre-bed routine to wash off the layers of the aforementioned makeup.
*My hair is too fine to be "big," and despite hair spray, hair gel and more hair spray, the "big" look was not effectively achieved. My hair would sadly be classified as an 80's failure.

and my last thought about the 80's
*People just plain looked scary. What were they thinking?!

Valentine Blooms

I love flowers.  I'm drawn to them for so many reasons...

They are

strong yet delicate...

They are 

beauty without words...

They are

delightful to the senses...

They are

designed by God...

They are

a gift...

They are


Hope your Valentine's Day is just as lovely...


Before & After Thursday

A Perfect Pear.

I've held on to this photo for several months... Someone brought pears by our office one day at work, and they were just so gosh darn cute and perfectly shaped that I had to snap some pictures of them.

Totally Rad Actions
*Dirty Lovin' @ 100%, removing texture on the pear
*Green With Envy @ 100% on the grass
*Select-o-Sharp on the pear to bring out the pear's texture
*and a general boost to the contrast

There's not a huge amount of difference between today's before & after, but just enough to make it pop.

*My laptop's hard drive is now cleaned up and back in good health, so I'll be catching up on some blog posts this week.

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spring is Here... Kind Of

Yesterday, I got a taste of Spring... and I loved it.

I went on a photowalk with several other local photographers to Wickman's Gardens in Springfield. We had free reign to take photographs in the greenhouses and the gift shops. Of course, I was drawn instantly to the beautiful flowers.

I love photographing flowers. They are so naturally delicate, and in the right setting and with the proper lighting, you can create artwork from them. Taking flower photos at a greenhouse is magical, because the greenhouse acts as a natural softbox, letting in soft, diffused light for perfect pictures.

The photo below is SOOC (straight-out-of-camera), meaning it is unedited... and lovely just the way it is! I love how the colors blend into each other, just like a beautiful oil painting. The vibrancy of the pink tulip makes me crave Spring even more.

Hope you love this one as much as I do!

More photos will be coming soon. I unfortunately have to clean off my laptop's hard drive again... I can't even open Photoshop right now because the HD is full. Organizing photos on my computer is one of my least favorite things in the entire world. This year, I vow not to let the hard drive gremlins steal my joy. Back off, gremlins!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Girl

So today I'm 28. I think it's going to be a good year. 

Here is one of my birthday gifts to myself... Only the most amazing chocolate chip cookies in Springfield. If you want some, contact this dude. His wife sells them. John was my lender when I bought my house. All his clients receive a box of these scrumptious cookies when they close... My first memory with my new house was sitting in the middle of my living room floor and eating one of these cookies. They're a little nostalgic for me... :)

Random Jen Facts:

*I was 10 lbs 3 1/2 ounces when I was born. All weight was stored in my cheeks. I looked like a chipmunk preparing for winter...

*The first thing the doctor said when I was born was, "Put her on the floor and let her crawl to the nursery!"

*Some of my nicknames, thanks to Dad... Jennifer Jump-Up and Fer-Fer. To this day, he still calls me Fer-Fer.

That's it for now... Responsibility is calling my name; i.e. I forgot to renew my driver's license and I have 50 minutes to do so...

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! I am uber-blessed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Before & After Thursday

Today's Before & After has required no Photoshop editing... hmmmm...



So how did I do this in-camera, you ask? Well, friends, let me give you a small lesson on color temperature.

Kelvin is the scale for measuring temperature. It basically helps you measure how blue (cool) or orange (warm) the light is. Our eyes are good at judging what is white under different kinds of light, but our cameras are not. Cameras usually take a pretty good guess at determining a white balance (as shown in the first picture), but in this photo, the white snow does not appear pure white as it should be.

In order to give these pictures an artistic "cool" winter feel, I manually changed the Kelvin setting to 2500K to achieve the blue-ish tint.  If you are a photographer, learning to control your white balance is very important. It helps save time in post-processing, and it can also give you an artistic edge if you wish to manipulate it yourself. 

Here's a good site that goes into more details about white balance and color temperature. Happy learning!

Here are a few more of my favorite shots from my 5-minute mini-session with the snow, my pitcher of water, and some wine glasses...  If my neighbors ever watch my impromptu photo sessions with inanimate objects in my backyard, I'm sure they think I'm a little loopy...  but they should be used to it by now. :)

See my neighbor's upside-down house and trees in the pitcher of water? Neato!

Check out the granules of ice and snow at the bottom...

Winter, you've been wonderful...

but God, bring some sunny warmness my way, pretty please... I'm slowly going insane!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Self-Portrait, Week 5


I love black and white photos. They are classic and timeless. On this picture, my main focus was to capture my fabulous earrings. They are sparkly and dangly and elegant and just plain mahhvelous. And I don't know how it worked out the way it did, but I love the wispy strand of hair on the left... Yay for good hair!

Upcoming Adventures:
I'll be going on a photo walk with some other photographers this coming Sunday afternoon at Wickmans Gardens. Can't wait to finally get out of the house and shoot something interesting. Photos to be posted next week!

Monday, February 1, 2010


So I pretty much have amazingly talented friends. 

Some can sing like angels. Some can play the guitar like a madman. Others can write beautiful music that comes from deep in the soul. Some friends can take something ordinary, take its picture, and turn that little bit of nothing into something extraordinary.  And even though some friends may not feel as though they are amazingly talented in any specific area, they all have one thing in common...

They inspire me.

I crave inspiration. I want to soak it all in--the good, the bad, the beautiful, the sad, the perfect, the imperfect--and mold that inspiration into something that is uniquely me. And sometimes, just sometimes... my vision can inspire others, and by that I am humbled.

My friend and former coworker, Emily McGee, is an amazing artist. She has been immersing herself in sketching recently, and she has been producing some pretty stunning portraits.

She was inspired by a photo I took of my friend's little girl, Baileay, awhile ago.

Here's the original photo...

And here is Emily's drawing...
Pretty amazing, huh?
Here's her sketch from start to finish:

The outline:

The face (the hardest part, in my opinion!)

And the rest...

And finally,
Emily's drawing vs the original photo.

Yep. I'm inspired.

What inspires you?