Ladies Night Out :: Saint Anthony Photographer

It’s gonna be a whirlwind sort of a week over here for me.  To which I am, absolutely, not ready for–but, that’s normal.  I work best under pressure :)  (Don’t ask anyone around me about that though.  They think I get cranky–I call it focused.)  I have to research some building history and contact a historical society for work, create and submit a bid for a photography job that I would love, edit, blog here and for work and get all ready for Thursday’s, Ladies Night Out in Saint Anthony.  I’m doin’ it this year.  I’m gonna go sell some stuff–greeting cards and mini-session, gift cards.  I always say I’m going to do stuff like that–but, I never do.  I don’t know why…just don’t.

I think I’m mostly ready for it.  I still want to make a few more cards, and the gift cards.  I found my sign and my most recent portfolio.  I have all my business cards and newsletters almost ready to go.  I have bags.  I need receipts–and, probably a calculator since my math skills are definitely not up to par with, well, anything that goes past 2nd grade math.  I should find my table and tablecloth…and, hmmm…dang, this blog has basically just turned into the most boring, to-do list, ever.  That must be pretty boring for you, my reader…

Anyway, if you’re out, and about, this Thursday evening–take a stop by.  There will be vendors with 31 bags and Scentsy and some other stuff too.  I’ll be there, of course :)

 

Signs, bags, and cards--oh myyyyyyy...

If you need more details, let me know!

If you need more details, let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Went Walkin’ :: Minneapolis Worldwide Photowalk

Another year, another Scott Kelby, Worldwide Photowalk, Leader notch in my belt.  snaps suspenders  This year was the first year we had light.  The last two years the Fall, October, weather was just…well, dark, cold and dreary.  Last year, I regretted not packing better rain gear.  This year though was gorgeous.  We are a bit down in a valley area so we didn’t get much actual sunset–but, the way the light danced between the trees, and through the flowers, and over the water just made it magical.  It was exciting.

The highlights of the walk, for me?

-Seeing so many new faces, and a bunch of familiars.  I remember how on the the first walk–folks didn’t know each other at all.  Now I’m watching groups of people form.  For most of them, this is the only time they see each other, so it’s becoming an annual reunion for many.  (Including myself!)  Everyone is so friendly though, it’s never clique-y–folks just want to have someone to shoot with.

-Walking slow, exploring, tracking down cool fungus, playing with light and still NOT being the last one to our destination.  I didn’t realize that I wasn’t a complete weirdo before I started participating in photowalks.  In regular groups of people, I am always the last one, the slowest, and the one who was lost because I was, well, searching out fungus.  I’m ALWAYS told to hurry up, given weird looks and ditched.  When you’re a part of a photowalk and you see someone off in an obscure location, you become immediately intrigued and want to know what they’re shooting.  It’s nice to be a part of mutual weirdo’s ;)

-Seeing other people’s shots.  (They’re here if you want to look.)  We were all in the same, general, location–yet our images couldn’t be more different.  That, to me, is my favorite part of it all.  It’s not a contest.  It’s not a gear thing.  It’s not popularity.  It’s just vision.  And it’s all so unique.  I find myself in awe of what other people come up with.  It’s really cool for me–the inspiration is just huge.

-Shooting just for fun.  I don’t get out a lot lately to shoot just for fun.  I’ve been just not in a spot, mentally, that allows me to create anything for myself.  It’s no fun–it feels forced.  I can’t do it.  I’m lacking that core inspiration.  I always tell people it’s like when you’re falling in love, or when you’re so angry you want to punch something–it’s that raw, unfiltered, deep down emotion that drives me create but, inside, I just feel…well, blank.  So, zipping out, with my camera, just to go shoot because I’m driven to do so, just ain’t happenin’.  I have an incredible circle of photographer, and artist, friends who surround me and they all know this feeling; they assure me that I will be back.  I trust them.  This weekend was great to be forced to just go shoot with other photographers.  I needed that.  Hopefully it’ll jump start something in me?  My photos, once I got them back to editing, all just felt dark.  Maybe I’m just inspired to go dark…I think I like that thought actually… :)

Anyway…I’m already looking forward to next year.  My fingers will be crossed for sun again–it was fun to flirt around in the light for a bit.  The photo below is from Saturday, and is me and two of my favorite photographers/friends.  We all met up, online, a few years ago and have been shootin’ together ever since :)  They’re two of the folks who always inspire me to keep moving.

Savanah’s Senior Portraits :: Twin Cities Area Photographer

Alright, after some crazy fall weather–including a severe thunderstorm, I was finally able to get my first, official, fall portrait session in :)  I couldn’t have kicked fall off with a better client either.  My gorgeous senior, Savanah, can go from retro doll to earthy goddess in, like, ten minutes flat.  I love her spirit, her personality, her vibe, her style and her energy.  (Seriously…this is a girl who skips just about as much as she walks :) )  I love senior sessions.  (I say that a lot, don’t I?)  They just leave me feeling uplifted and totally hopeful for our future.  We have good people comin’ up next, folks.

These are just a few of my favorite shots from our session.

I have to give a special thanks to the 50’s Grill in Brooklyn Center, MN for letting us shoot there for a little bit.  I hope I got everything put back the way they like it…I had to move a couple things around :)  (Because…that’s what us photographers do!)

A Little Behind The Scenes :: Anoka Area Photographer

The other day, I spent an entire post chronicling my other job.   I’ve been busy over there lately–working in retail , no matter WHAT role you play–this is the beginning of the busy season.  We’re working to get both physical, and email, mailings ready to go out to corporate clients prompting them to remember to get their employees/clients a gift this year.  (Preferably of candy.  Preferably from us. ;) )  So…it’s been a lot of candy posing, picture making and trial and error over there on my end.  With this blog, I thought it might be kind of fun for you to see what the behind the scenes looks like for a few of my photos.  (I don’t know why this fascinates me so much…but it totally does.)

I had never really thought about the BTS before I started shooting so regularly.  I mean…if the photo looked pretty, who cares?  A good photo looks effortless.  (In reality, to make that good photo…it’s rarely anything but that.)  When I realized that things weren’t effortless, I actually thought that I must be doing something wrong.  My BTS was a disaster with strings, and rigs, and anything else I could find/create to make my shot look like how I saw it in my mind.  Then, as my social circle began to expand with other photographers, I realized we all pretty much do it the same, just in different ways.  I guess that as long as the client doesn’t see what’s behind the curtain, so-to-speak…we can keep the magic happening?

With that all being said…let me show you what’s behind the curtain on a couple shots :)

I’ll start here…this is something I put together for work.  It’s simple.  The candy box stood up by itself and didn’t get much glare from my flash and/or the other lighting in the room.  The background ornaments were balanced, to balance out the box of chocolate, as well as make the shot have some sort of a holiday feel.  The white, background it was shot on though…

…well, that was hanging down, from metal shelving in the employee kitchen.  I used basic, black metal clips to secure it.  I was able to hang ornaments down from the above shelving for some shots as well.  It was an awesome way to make these shots work.  Metal shelving…super handy :)

This BTS is actually from a bit ago–right around prom season.  I was photographing corsages and boutonnieres for our website and FB page.  The photo on the top is how my set up looked.  I was shooting in the middle of the back room of the floral shop, on a counter that is used for floral design.  I had the sheer, purple, fabric, secured by closing it into the cabinets that are there.  The bottom shot was what my final ended up looking like.  Standing back far enough allowed me to really open up that aperture and get a super pretty, blurred, background effect.

These shots are the last after/before that I have for ya today.  They are both for corporate clients.  The first one is the ‘pretty one’–as I call it.  That’s the one that would pull me in and make me click to see more.  The photo on the bottom is to show customers all that they will receive in their package.  (Just FYI: If you’re in a position where you would like to send candy or flowers for gifts, for the holidays, or as thank you’s–let me know.  I will point you in the right direction :) )  Obviously, the bottom photo isn’t just a bunch of candy, laid out flat.  It’s built up a bit, and ‘posed’, a bit, to give it some depth.  Check out the next set of photos to see what’s behind…

Okay.  So, this is where it gets un-pretty :)  The photo on top, is shot from straight above.  When the candy leans back, the wrappers catch a ton of glare from the lights above–so much so, that sometimes, the packaging is difficult, or impossible, to read.  I try to make sure it’s all as glare free as possible–though that can be quite difficult.  (Especially since if ONE has a little glare, and you move it–the other candies tend to crash over–much like dominoes.)  I stacked candy cigarette boxes in a stair formation in order to stack the candy for my camera to see it all.  The Birch Bark was heavy though and kept pushing the cigarette boxes backwards, and then falling over.  I was shooting in the kitchen again, so I grabbed the first, heavy, thing I saw.  Someone’s, uneaten, fruit.  It worked like a charm and was slender enough to not show from the front.  The bottom photo shows, well, me and also what it looks like from behind.  The candy cigarette stairs, the fruit and the stacking.

Like I said…I don’t know why this fascinates me so much, but it does.  I hope you enjoyed it too–at least a little :)

 

7th Annual, Scott Kelby, Worldwide Photowalk :: Minneapolis, Minnesota Edition

I have NO idea how it turns to October so fast every year.  I’m not really complaining, or anything–after all, this is my favorite time of the year as the inspiration is flowing, the colors are glowing and the air isn’t trying to suffocate me.  I’m not a summer person so this time of year is so welcomed, on so many levels.  The other thing that October also brings for me is Scott Kelby’s, Worldwide, Photowalk.  This October 11th, is the 7th year of the walk and my 3rd year hosting.  Once again, I will be hosting the Minneapolis edition at Minnehaha Falls.

The previous years have been wonderful.  Well…both years, it either rained, or misted–but, whatever.  It coulda snowed.  We make the trek from Sea Salt, down to the Mississippi, and then back up. It’s a good sized walk that takes a few hours.  (We tend to stop a lot :) )  It is such an incredible experience bringing together, roughly, 50 photographers, from around the area.  (And some from much further if they’re here for business :) )  We all just do this for fun and to get to know each other a bit.  There’s no specifications on what you can shoot with–iPhone to film, to digital, it doesn’t matter.

Anyway…here are a few links to tell you more about it, in case you’re curious.  If you have questions specific to the walk I lead–please reach out and ask!  You can always ask here or email me at melissa@melissapeifer.com

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the walk, its sponsors, or finding a walk in YOUR area, click here:

http://kelbyone.com/photowalk

 

If you’re interested in viewing MY walk, registering for it, or simply learning more about it, click here:

http://kelbyone.com/photowalk/walk/minneapolis-mn-united-states

(There are a few spots left to register–I expect them to fill up fast!  If you registered, but don’t plan to attend anymore, please unregister and open your spot up.)

 

To see photos, from several of the 2012 photowalkers, click here:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/minnehaha_falls

 

To see photos, from several of the 2013 photowalkers, click here:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/2281488@N23