repeat after me: “i am an artist.”

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“ You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper. –William Albert Allard

so, you wanna take better pictures? you wanna step up your photography game? you wanna be an artist? well, not that i’m a professional photographer or anything, but since i am aspiring to be one & feeling like i’m getting into a groove, i thought i’d share with y’all what i’ve learned along the way. mind you, this is only what i’ve picked up here & there, and mostly by trial and error, in the past year or so. i’ve wondered why i’ve begun to feel differently about my photography (in a good way), and i have concluded that it is because i am taking pictures all. the. time. i mean it. like constantly. after a year of having a camera virtually attached to me, i have finally begun to get into a groove. but, i know that i am only beginning to scratch the surface. still, the journey so far has peeked my interest even more and given me a taste of what i really want… to write & photograph all the time. for real. and make money. yes, my confidence has also grown as a photographer, and i owe it all to the fact again, that i’m taking pictures all. the. time.

so, here we go. a few tips from liz…

number one

take pictures! take them daily. all day long. everything you see. click away. be annoying about it. but, if it’s what you love, if it’s your passion. keep on clicking.

number two:

believe that you are an artist. tell yourself today that you are an artist, a photographer… because you are. no one sees the world exactly like you do. no one notices what you notice. and no one can share what you share. so embrace your calling to be an artist. because you already are one.

number three:

begin with the basics. so, what’s in my bag? well, it is actually pretty basic. sure, i’d love to have tons of crazy awesome photography equipment, but right now i don’t need it. it’s easier to get started with just a little bit of gear. not too overwhelming. besides the first thing to work on is composition – creating a good image. it’s best to play around and experiment in order to know how you work, what kinds of pictures you enjoy taking (still like, close-ups, landscapes, action shots, nature, concerts, etc.). find your niche first, i say. then you can upgrade your gear.

my photos are taken with:

and i edit my photos with:

  • apps on my phone (a whole blog post on this coming soon!)
  • photoshop (mainly to resize my photos & make them suitable for the internet)
  • iPhoto (to crop, enhance, straighten).
  • much more about editing photos coming later in another post!

the only thing on my wish list is this:

so, this is just the beginning. as i gather my info & thoughts & tips, i’m hoping that you will think of things you do/use and let me know. i’m no photography teacher. i’m a student of the art, just like you. and we all have something to share & give. so, if you have any tips, leave a comment & let me know. you can comment below or email me here: elre74@yahoo.com

i’m so excited about this photography journey with y’all!

now, here’s your quiz for the day!

question: what did i say at the beginning?! what is my number one tip?

answer: you got it! TAKE PICTURES! start snapping photos of any and everything. take multiple shots of the same thing, but adjust where you stand or how you focus. be bold & try something different or weird. but most importantly, take pictures of what speaks to you, of what is beautiful to you. get to know yourself & your camera.

and in a few days, i’ll have some more tips for you on composition, or how to make your photos even more amazing. but, today, we began with the foundation… you, the photographer.

so, why are you reading this still? close your computer, grab a camera, & get out there! you’re an artist!

more photo tips, a la liz, coming soon!

peace.

my little creative dilemma.

i can’t decide what to do with my photo a day june challenge. too many options. let me break it down for you.

  1. i can share my photos daily on my blog (which i did in may), with a little reflection to go along with it. this is actually a really inspiring thing & gives me something to focus on every day.
  2. i can do an update weekly, which i did in april. this allowed me to post whatever i wanted every day, whatever came across my mind or inspired me that day. and then, at the end of the week i shared my instagram/photo a day challenge photos.
  3. or i could come up with some new creative new way to do my photo challenge…
  4. or i could skip posting my photo a day challenge pics here on my blog. you can always find my pics on pinterest or instagram. but, many of you don’t run in those 2 social media circles.

the thing is, i just bought my new nikon camera (which i loooove!) and i really want to get back into using a system camera again on a regular basis. don’t get me wrong, i love my new found iPhoneography addiction, but i need to find a balance. there’s room in my life for both my nikon & my iPhone. i have plenty of love to give to both of them. but, how?

perhaps i’m thinking too much. trying to plan too much. but, my daily photography has become sort of a spiritual discipline for me, so it is definitely something i want to continue.

you people are smart. got any ideas? you’ve got about 12 hours to come up with something, and then i begin posting/creating in whatever way i come up with. but, i’m really asking for your help. pleeeease.

june’s photo list. one more time. in case you want to join in. it’s so easy & so much fun! just snap photos & post them wherever you want. it is a really great way to connect with a new community of people & to improve your photography skills. so, you’re welcome to join me!

peace out.

27: something sweet.

today was a a little bit sweet and sour, i’d say. up & down. so, it is with some days, right?

i know i write a lot about living in the present, listening to your soul, and finding peace & joy in the ordinary moments of every day life. i wonder how many people think that i just spit out all of that oozy, gooey sweet stuff.  i wonder how many people think that there is no way in hell that they can do the things i suggest/write about because they are simply trying to survive and don’t see any way out of where they are right now. sometime i wonder if my inspirational words only serve to irritate some people, like i’m too sweet and sugar-y. i’ve heard in the past that i keep my head in the clouds and seem to stay away from things that are difficult… that my life is so perfect and happy, that i would not understand at all those people who are going through real difficult times.

well, if you think that, then you’re wrong. sorry, you’re way wrong. my life is not always sweet. it is sour & bitter as well.

i must say, though, that i practice what i preach. i really do try to live in the present moment and listen to my soul (that’s why i do yoga, read, and sit). and i really do look for peace every day – even if i only notice one, little moment. and these things are not easy for me to do. they do not necessarily come easy to me, which is perhaps why i write about them so much. so, this blog, my pictures, the things i write, they are ways to help me stay focused in life. they are not to preach at you, dear readers.

and, by the way, my life is not perfect. i have had and do have many struggles. many things that try to pull me into the dark & entice me to give up hope. i’m just stubborn, though, i guess. i refuse to let the darkness win. i truly, deeply believe in love.

anyway, on a day that has been filled with sweet & sour moments, bitterness & joy, i want to share some tidbits of sweetness with you (typical me), seeing as that was the photoadayMay challenge for today (sunday). we all know that the sour stuff is there, but why should i focus on it? why should i let it win? it already causes me enough pain. what i need is to focus on the sweet things in life in order to get through all the sour. so, without further a due…

 on my morning walk to work, the suns rays were reaching down from heaven, filling me with hope & peace.

 afternoon fika at home with my love. i bought blueberries & strawberries. and i made some whipped cream/coolwhip stuff. that’s right, you heard me. i made it.

 bought a new camera!! thanks to my love’s great economy skills.

 held my cutie niece (lina’s sister’s daughter).

 had strawberry ice cream with chocolate mousse. tasted like summer.

 saw a gorgeous swedish field on the drive home this evening.

how has your sunday been? any sweet moments? sour ones? talk to me.

sending you hugs, love, & peace.