I kicked off the Focus Shop with trepidation. Really had no idea if it would go off well, or if it would fall into a pile of poo at my feet.
My goal: Strip away some of the “fear” and “confusion” associated with a DSLR camera.
Full disclosure, when I got my FIRST DSLR way back when, I didn’t even know how to turn the darn thing on. Truth. So, we all start somewhere, believe me. I churned out a litany of badly lit, orange tinted, blurry garbage for quite some time before I figured out what I was doing.
So, I thought it would be useful to have a place to go in our area to start from Square One….and build on those skills to reach a place where you can be happy….maybe ecstatic…about what you produce.
It was a LOOONNNNG day….punctuated by laughs…and bagels and pizza….and a shootout at Beloit College. Illness took down 2 of our planned models, so my kids stepped in. Betty is a natural, and pretty soon was leading her group around the campus like a little general. Molly….well….Molly showed up. Not sure how useful she was model-wise but it did give the attendees plenty of practice at hitting focus on a moving subject.
When it comes to things like hitting focus, the exposure triangle, composition, etc…..there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Take it one thing at a time…and build your image brick by brick…piece by piece.
I’ll be hosting ANOTHER Focus Shop this summer and possibly before summer ends a more “advanced” Focus Shop including some lighting tutorials for those who have become comfortable with manual shooting. Watch for the announcements in the near future!
Photo of me above and photo below thanks to Sean Morais (photo of me taking the photo of our stand-in model. Thanks for the help Carly!) . I’m happy my hairdresser actually attended the workshop so she could get a full look at my horrendous roots. Never fear, hair appointment has been scheduled. Part of our day included working on “shooting in crappy light”. These two were taking in full cruddy middle-of-the-day sun
: ) Stick the model between you and the sun: Presto! Even light! Stand-in Models Molly and Betty. Molly pretty much spent most of her time rolling around on the ground and running away.Fast shutter speeds and more crappy light shooting. Photo thanks to attendee Art Gibeaut
Who: Jacey ~ Class of 2016 ~ Beloit Turner High School
Where: Type A Studio
Who: The Oczus Family
Where: Type A Studio
- Lots to cover because I got lazy on the FT front….so let’s get to it!
– On April 11th, some folks in the city pulled off an incredible surprise for one Mark P., our local “city documentarian”. Mark has told the story of our fair city through photography for many years. His equipment was starting to show it’s age and limitations, so as a thank you for everything he does, some people got together and chipped in to get him a Canon 5dMkIII (I tried to push for a Nikon….I swear I did! We are a rare breed!), flash, and nice glass.
I cannot handle seeing a grown man cry….it was a happy tear kind of day! You definitely deserved it Mark….keep doin’ what you do! Your organic and deep down love for the art of photography with no strings attached really is awe-inspiring!
– Finally finished up Parks and Rec (I’m a little late to the game). There were ugly tears all around. I love it when TV makes me cry.
– RECORD STORE DAY….this was our first as a store, and boy did it meet and surpass all of our expectations. We were SLAMMED busy and we beat our all-day gross total in the first 20 minutes of business. It was FUN….super fun. Made a lot of the headache of owning 2 businesses worth it.
– In the midst of the RSD hub-bub (like, RIGHT in the middle of checking some people out), I found out Jonathan Crombie had died. Seriously, I’m kind of a “collector” of Hollywood death stories (kinda weird, I know, but it’s a bit of a fascination for me)…..and because I have a very practical view of death (it comes to everyone), the death of actors, actresses, etc. never really emotionally affect me too much. Kurt Cobain’s did…..that was awful.
And this one did. Man, I was down for a few days…in the dumps. It was just…..sigh….sad. I don’t think I was the only one. Lots of Anne fans out there.
– In a very WEIRD way, the too-soon demise of a person I’ve never met pushed me to evaluate a few things. It’s a scary thought that in the middle of doin’ our thing we can just drop dead from a hemorrhage at 47.
So, I signed up for school. When I graduated from Carroll in 2009, I did so with a BS in Sociology….which for all intents and purposes is a pretty worthless degree without any sort of further education followup. By the time I graduated I had already started Type A so I chucked any idea of a Masters and threw myself into building the business. And I’m still building Type A, but 7 years in I’m ready to check other things out too (because apparently with a record store, 2 kids, a photography business, and everything else I’m into I’m juuuuuust not busy enough).
I realize I’m not always going to be ABLE to shoot 10-12 hour weddings every weekend. I’m not always going to have the energy I have now at 35. I also had a plan when I was 25 and started at Carroll. I wanted to work with the elderly and hospice patients. I STILL want to do that..it is my passion and always has been (there’s that word!)..and I want to do it sooner rather than later.
The photography industry is also changing… a lot. It’s not the same as it was in 2008. If you don’t plan for 2, 5, 10 years down the road…it’s folly. It really is. Because if the industry has changed so much in the last 7 years, imagine where it will be in another 5. Another 10.
It’s going to be a journey….a marathon, not a sprint…..but I’m excited, scared, all of it….but mostly excited to see what a further education means for me. Dave Ramsey said your life is not a snapshot…it’s a filmstrip. Truf.
That being said, Type A isn’t going anywhere! I’m still throwing myself into kick-ass wedding coverage and senior portraits. : ) I have a heart for both! I’ll be a wedding photographer with a license to practice social work. That’s a pretty useful combination : )
– We are doing Disney this fall….and spent the last week planning out our trip. Disney is ridiculously expensive. Like…to a laughable degree. But, we have kids….so we’re gonna Disney it up while they’re still young enough to think it’s amazing. I was 16 when I went to Disney, so it wasn’t “cool” to get excited about any of it. Seeing it through the eyes of my children is going to be pretty incredible.
– Three words: VICTORIAN. ERA. SHERLOCK.
TV is the greatest thing. It really is.
– This week? The FOCUS SHOP! I’m really excited about this first workshop and I will be hosting another this summer, due to popular demand. Senior portraits and family portraits on top of that, a last minute tiny wedding booking this week too, BMHS Prom is next weekend and I’ve made plans to do some editorial-style group shots for my assistant Maisie and her friends. So no Prom Mini’s this year…..sorry!
BTW, FARMERS MARKET starts next weekend, so come on out and support the growth of the downtown Beloit area.
I start school on May 4th. 5:30pm to 10:00 pm. Every Monday. Studying policy, ethics, procedure, counseling methods…..oy vey! Am I ready for this???
– WEDDINGS: Still looking to fill in some spots for September through December of 2015.
– SENIORS: Book now, the summer is shaping up to be IN-SANE!
Crybaby Mark : ) It was a pretty epic surprise
The Super Secret Society of Awesome that surprised Mark! RSD 2015…..this was the day before we opened…with my last-minute posters : ) Molly took that last photo. Yes, 4 year old Molly. Remember what I said about the industry changing? The fact that a 4 year old can take my equipment and accidentally snap an in-focus and properly exposed image that shows personality? This means we all need to step it up! Seriously. The technology is to the point where anyone can do this fairly well. We need to evolve past “fairly well”. : )
Yesterday I was working at our packed Record Store Day….a day we had been anticipating for some time and that was meeting most, if not all, of our expectations.
During a slight lull in checking people out I decided to peruse Facebook. I follow several “Anne of Green Gables” fan pages on Facebook (because nerd.) and something quickly caught my eye on the newsfeed.
Jonathan Crombie, known for Anne of Green Gables, is dead.
It didn’t really register with me right away, but I did let out an audible gasp that led several record store shoppers to turn around to see if I had seen a ghost or burned myself or something.
Gilbert Blythe had died. I didn’t really know what to do at that point, but my brain thought now was a time to start tearing up. Lovely.
Crying over an actor I didn’t know and a fictional character. That’s Maturity 101.
I felt silly….especially since then wasn’t really the time to get all sappy and sentimental over someone I had never even met. I sucked it up and got on with the day, but man…..it sucked.
Once I got home I put on Anne of Avonlea and allowed myself to process what had happened.
Gilbert Blythe had died.
Now, I know Jonathan Crombie was not his character. Gilbert Blythe didn’t really exist outside of literature and it’s horrifically sad that a man who seemed by all accounts to be a lovely person had died too young.
But, from what I read, he was very proud of his role in the Anne series….and to most, Jonathan Crombie WAS Gilbert.
If you ask me, there are few movies out there that are absolutely, perfectly cast. Especially movies made from beloved books that are 80-100 years old. You don’t have the author around to tell you what she had in mind for the characters, really. You have a bevvy of fans that are going to pick apart your every casting move.
But, Anne of Green Gables was perfectly cast. Every role. Megan Follows WAS Anne Shirley. No one else can play her, even though some have tried (Barbara Hershey. Ick.)
And Jonathan Crombie was the absolute PERFECT choice for the dashingly handsome Gilbert Blythe.
It was the first time in my young life I ever looked at a boy on screen and said “Wow. He’s something special” rather than “Yuck. Cootieville”.
Gilbert was my first crush, my first introduction into how boys and girls coexist as pre-teens….how love grows and how women should be treated. He was the perfect guy. He apologized profusely when he realized his teasing had hurt Anne’s feelings, he stuck up for her….being smart is better than being pretty…..he gave up his school posting for her so she could stay at Green Gables, he waited for her….almost until death parted them….so she could go looking for her ideals elsewhere…only to find they were right there in Avonlea.
Now, I am not a sappy, sentimental sucker for flowery language and fairy tales. In fact, the series of Anne books is pretty much the only fiction I’ve read outside of school assignments. I’m a realist. A non-fiction gal.
But the stories of Anne and Gilbert? That was my childhood. In a nutshell. I lived for those stories.
It’s no secret that I’ve always felt I was born far too late. Yes, modern conveniences are wonderful…and damn if I don’t love my car and my music and my computer. But, I have a strong affinity for the Victorian to Edwardian era. The simplicity of it all is really appealing to me. A time when it took, obviously, years to grow a love like Anne and Gilbert’s. When flowery language and mooning over someone was romantic….to an 9 or 10 year old “me” this was perfection. The way things should be.
When I found out yesterday that Gilbert/Jonathan had passed away, I felt like every bit of innocence that was left from my childhood was officially done. Now I was old, and my childhood idols are gone….the story is over. For good.
I had visions of an older Anne somewhere….without her Gilbert. Silly, yes, but heartbreaking all the same. A great love like that, fiction or not, should never end.
But it has ended. There will never be another perfect Gilbert. Jonathan Crombie was that role. There will never be another meeting on the footbridge or walk down the lane. Another meeting of eyes across a battlefield (in arguably the WORST movie of the Anne series, but damn if I don’t still cry my eyes out at that scene).
There will never be another Gilbert Blythe.
Rest in Peace, Jonathan. You shaped many of my childhood ideals about love, marriage, chivalry, and contentment. Thank You for bringing such perfection to one of the greatest love stories ever crafted.
(Pictures courtesy of Sullivan Entertainment & Tumblr)
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