Wealth of knowledge or over loaded?

In a day when we can go to the internet or scour youtube for much needed information, I would like to pose a question.  Are we blessed with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips or over loading our brains with too much information?

It’s easy for me to see both sides with what I do for a living.  I can learn faster, and as an artist my style has developed and changed faster because of all the images that pass by my eyes in a given day.  But just about every week, I take a moment an pause and think about how much time I may be spending “gathering” knowledge and try to put the brakes on to see how it may be hindering time that I’m actually learning on my own.

Absorbing knowledge or photo-copied knowledge. 

I have to enter into this from an artists point of view because that is who I am, so I apologize for using my own reference points and hope you can relate it to your own.

I can look at an image from another photographer, or I can see a certain “pose” that I’m fond of done by someone else – and trying to remember a specific thing like a pose makes me cringe.  Every time in the 25 years that I’ve been a photographer that I have tried to mimic an image of another, it is a struggle, it is uncomfortable, it isn’t me.  I see some photographers out there trying to “duplicate” an inspiration shot and part of me says they are learning and the other part of me says they are just photo-copy machines.  They can make their images look good only because they are copying what they have seen.

Trying to find yourself as an artist.

People ask all of the time “who inspires you” and I think the question that prompts me to look at myself is actually “what inspires you.”  What inspires me is how people move, the colors in nature, the personalities of a person, and the study of light and how it bends around a room.

Inspiration boards.

Pinterest – although definitely is an additive endeavor; allowing you to hoard all of this eye-candy of inspiration onto a single page right before your eyes is defeating in personal inspiration at times to me as well.  Clients bring in sheets of what they love, but as an artist it can definitely stunt your creativity – you are trying to make your work look like “the board” and then I have to ask.. how much of YOU is in your work?

LOVE OPEN DISCUSSION.

While I personally find it more important in my own growth to study the basics of light, shadows, colors, smells, and movement/interaction to help me find my best work.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the instant access of “how to’s” available to us as photographers or artists and if you find it more as an inspiration or push to grow or if spending so much time “looking” and quick learning may defeat the purpose of your own art?

For photographers:  When it comes to the actual session and you are creating a portrait – what is in your  mind?  Are you thinking about trying a “pose” or are you studying your subject how they move, how the light is on them and how you are going to get them to respond to you naturally?

ok… now… your turn.

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A message to new photographers.

JS_JTP_005

To any new photographers out there. Please do not WORRY about the competition. It is way more important to create what you love, not what someone else loves. You will rise to the top much faster by being true to yourself and only comparing yourself to what you were yesterday – with your eyes continuing to look at how you can improve yourself tomorrow.

~Jeanine Thurston

 

A letter on my door step. portraits are more than paper.

There will be no portrait photos in this post.  This letter wasn’t mailed – it was at my doorstep when I got home a couple months ago.  I read it, I cried, and read it again – probably a hundred times by now.  It wasn’t easy to read – and honestly, as much as it validates what I do for a living – I wasn’t sure I was going to share it either.  If you choose to read through the letter, you will know why I’ve finally chosen to share it.

July 2nd, 2011

Jeanine - 

Today I am writing for a couple of reasons.  I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind.  I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.

You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby.  I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family.  After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work – I decided against spending $500+ – which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you..  Please know it is not because I don’t value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience.

That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.

On Sunday I called and cancelled our session.  Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip.  This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for un necessary things.  My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor.  It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly.  I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old – not by choice.  It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.

I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well… I would do it in a heartbeat. 

Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me.  The next time someone cancels a session – my wish is that you forward this letter to them.  Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it.  If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth.  I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.

My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos.  I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.

Karen L.

Wedding Inspiration: Vintage Romance

We all have vendors that we have worked with or just love, if you are in the wedding industry – you know exactly what I mean.  Your personalities click, each helps the other and you become in theory a dream team because you all have the same amazing goal to make a wedding perfect.  While we don’t always get to choose who we work with at a wedding, in about April this year I wanted to have a chance to work with some of my favorite people in the wedding industry and do an inspirational photo-shoot.

Sunset

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Originally it started small, Melissa Schans (model/actress) was all excited and we were planning for sometime in May 2011.  I gathered a couple of vendors that were willing to work on this project, but as you can’t control everything that happens – if we would have done the shoot in May I would not have had Samantha Koch as my MUY/Hairstylist.  We decided to post-pone so that she could still be part of this production.  In the end, it was good that we waited – because good turned into great.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Julia Kaaren, owner of Mulberries Flowers was in the group from the start.  She has amazing energy along with a creative eye – and well – of course I just love her dearly as a vendor and person.  I am forever grateful that she brought Jon Taugher into the shoot as he had some amazing Retro Bicycles that added some fantastic imagery.

Then of course there is Susan Dillon of Kitty Mae Millinery.  I had never met her personally… fb friends, and of course Melissa always spoke highly of her.  Above all, her artistry in hair pieces speaks for itself.  Then after some chats on facebook… there was not a doubt in my mind that our personalities clicked.

In July, after having a hundred dreams about what I wanted this shoot to look like; let’s be honest, I couldn’t make it all happen while working a full schedule and with two kids at home on top of it.  I put a post on ISES board for a wedding planner, and Isabelle and I met for coffee a couple of days later.  Loved her, and could tell she “got” what I wanted to photograph and she organized my mind for me along with every other detail.  We also brought in LeAnne to assist her in some of the details as well.

Katharine Salzgeber of BoutiqueDeBijoux jumped right in with her hand-made jewelry designs.  They are beautiful, one of a kind pieces that fit so perfectly with our look.

Then of course there is Blushing Bride Colorado.  Danielle has a beautiful little boutique dress salon in Windsor, Colorado.  I’ve known Danielle for many years and she jumped right in, providing us with dresses for our models to fit the look we were going for in this project.

Melissa Schans was in from the start.  She has done some bridal modeling for me before and she is an instant sell when it comes to bridal modeling.  She has all the poses, expressions – and best of all she makes everyone smile.

Brittany Quinn, I had the opportunity to photograph this summer and was so happy that she was able to be a part of this photo-shoot.  Fresh… just back from spending some time in China – I’m surprized that she didn’t still have jet-lag from such a long trip, and she looked amazing.

Kirsten Sletten, was the third model for our shoot.. and I so wanted to bring her on sooner but I had already had another model at the time and didn’t want to have too many.  But, the instant that the other model wasn’t able to make it – I couldn’t have been happier to have Kirsten come on!  What a beauty – and hope I get the chance to photograph her again – she is gorgeous.

Then of course comes THE MAKERY.  I was at the Grant Humphrey Bridal show when I first got to taste their cupcakes, and I’ve been sold on them ever sense.  Yum, beautiful, great to work with.  Will always refer them – love them and their creations.  Even my husband is completely sold on that they have the best tasting cake EVER as he would put it.

Pampered Passions also was kind enough to loan us a vintage piece for some shots.  Beautiful quality.

Then last, but certainly not least, Michael Sasser.  He was my wild-card.  I had never worked with him, never met him, and two days before the shoot he agreed to take some video and create a little vendor promo for us.  I’ll be honest, I’ve worked with a lot of videographers – and the talent really varies a ton, so I went by a referral from another photographer with my fingers crossed.  I can not say enough about how amazing the video he created was, and loved working with him.  Personality… love, video… love, and the simple fact that he pulled it together so quickly for me was amazing.  Many, many thanks to him and he has definitely made it to #1 on my referral list.


A little stress the few days before when the weather people were forecasting 30% chance of rain.  We ended up getting 100 degrees that day and sun… with the storm moving in just in time to give us some great images and give us a few sprinkles right as we were finishing the shoot.

In my mind – it went AMAZING… wouldn’t have done anything different and we have some great images, video and made a few more long-lasting friends in the process.

VENDOR LIST

KITTIE MAE MILLINERY  l  MULBERRIES FLOWERS l  LADYCHARM ARTISTRY l  ISABELLE KLINE l FOTOTAILS PHOTOGRAPHY l  MICHAEL SASSER VIDEOGRAPHY l BLUSHING BRIDE COLORADO l THE MAKERY l BOUTIQUE DE BIJOUX l RECYCLED VINTAGE BICYCLES

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Food Photography

PEI Vita Denver

Vita Denver: P.E.I. Mussels

As many of you have seen this year, I’ve been photographing a lot of food lately.  Although I’ve been photographing food, commercial and product photography for over 2 decades – 2010 has been an amazing year for food.  With the 2011 MUY BUENO calendar out for sale now, and the MUY BUENO COOKBOOK being published in 2011 we have been continuously photographing old and new recipes for the calendar, book and blogs.  In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph for some amazing new clients this year  like Vita and 1515 and Blue River Bistro – to name a few.

What will 2011 bring?  Looking forward to so many things I don’t know where to start.  We will be having a book release party for MUY BUENO, I’m working on a photography book that we have planned for publish late 2011 or early 2012, and a couple photography classes I’ll be teaching also at the end of 2011.  This of course in addition to photographing for my wonderful clients.

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Some amazing websites and blogs that we have been very proud to be featured on this year:

Mexconnect