A Little Switch-A-Roo

I thought I knew what I wanted to do for my final photography assignment, but I guess I didn’t. I proposed my idea to my teacher and at first, it seemed that he liked my idea, but then that slowly changed. I knew I wanted to do something with food again (surprise surprise!) but I wasn’t sure what exactly. I thought that I could do more with what I had been doing for my earlier projects and just add more props or different lighting, but that wasn’t enough.

My teacher told me that I was already comfortable with shooting food (although I have really only done about 2 actual photoshoots with food) and therefore I needed to challenge myself. He suggested a few ideas to me, and I obliged by researching his recommended influences, but there just wasn’t anything there. I was not inspired or motivated to shoot the direction in which he saw my work heading.

I tried to shoot with some inspiration from colorful candy paintings, however, they all just came out rather flat. I wasn’t gonna use those! So I searched and searched all over the place, on the web, in magazines, on social media, wherever for inspiration. I found one photo that wasn’t anything special, but the gears finally started to move in the right direction.

I ended up asking my close friend to let me photograph him shoving food (mostly fast food and messy, sugary foods) down his mouth so I could get close-ups of the detail and grossness of the experience.

Here are some of the images that I took

I wanted to show the unhealthy habits that so many people are making these days. I wanted these pictures to bring awareness to the unhealthy eating epidemic – the overindulgence in the processed, cheap foods – especially across America. These horrible ingredients that people are putting in their bodies is getting overwhelmingly disturbing. I meant for these images to be a little uncomfortable and overdramatic to prove my point of overconsumption. So many just rely on cheap meals and snacks, but there are plenty of other ways to eat healthier options that wont break the bank, you just have to put in a little effort!

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New Ground

Recently I took part in a fun project for one of my classes that I had actually never done before. The assignment was to create an installation that would be placed somewhere on our campus, whether that be inside or outside that was up to each of us. Always accepting a challenge, I immediately knew that I wanted my project to be placed where traffic was flowing and people would be seeing it constantly. For some reason, knowing that people are looking at my work is very very satisfying.

We worked in pairs to come up with a successful idea that we could create within a few weeks deadline. A proposal for our concept and plan was also to be submitted before even starting the project so that our ideas could be approved. Although this part of the process took a bit longer than expected, we finely had our plan approved and moved on to building.

My partner and I are rather in love with food, so we wanted to do something that included this topic, but also held some sort of meaning and importance. After many failed concepts and sketches, we finally agreed upon the idea of bringing “farm to table” into a realistic art form. We found a small corner in a busy hallway that we knew kids often traveled through that would fit our project perfectly!

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We planned to have a garden bed hanging from the ceiling, holding handcrafted rice plants made out of rice paper. As the viewer’s eye catches the green plant, they would gradually flow down to a small table where a couple of bowls filled with uncooked rice would sit. This exemplifies the simpler process of what our food originally starts as.

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On the side wall we included a few fun facts and 4 recipes from around the globe that include rice as one of the main ingredients. We printed out multiple recipes so that people walking by could take one as they observed our sculpture.

After all was said and done, I think people really enjoyed our installation, and even learned a bit about rice and how important it is in our world and in different cultures. Though the process was lengthy and stressful at times, the end product turned out almost exactly as expected!

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Camera Ready!

I had my first taste in making my own video for one of my photography classes recently. I was pretty nervous about the project in general because although I’m use to the camera, I’ve only ever shot still photos, not moving ones. Nevertheless, I don’t ever shy away from a challenge, I simply take it and make it my own.

Thinking of an idea for the video was the first obstacle. Of course, I wanted to be consistent with the food topic that I’ve been working with this past semester, but I had to figure out what makes food so intriguing to look at and eat. Then I thought about all those cute cooking videos that invade my Facebook feed every time I flip through it. They can get a bit annoying at times, but they’re so addicting to watch! Anyways, all that is shown in the video are the hands of the person being filmed and the actual ingredients of the recipe. Everything is laid out and put together on a nice little table or an aerial shot from the top of a bowl.

Bingo! I thought, I can do that! I always have ingredients for an easy batch of chocolate chip cookies that I can whip up!

With two Canon cameras, two lenses, a tripod, multiple black and white cards, natural light from my kitchen window, and the help of my boyfriend, I shot the video. A majority of the clips went smoothly, but some of them were a pain to capture, especially if the lighting in the window changed or the ingredients started melting.

Overall though, I’d say I was able to shoot a pretty decent video. There are definitely things I want to go back and edit; maybe the font type and the angles I imagine reshooting, but for the first attempt…not so bad!

Here are a few stills from the video…

Is it Tasty worthy video? Maybe I can submit one to Buzz feed pretty soon?

Feeling Hungry?

If I’m being completely honest, and I do believe that I usually am, I’m not always a fan of creating art on a limited deadline, especially for a grade. Something about the forceful nature and pressure of knowing I have to create a body of work within a scarce amount of time, while simultaneously working on ten other projects, just doesn’t sit well with me. It pretty much has the opposite affect. It makes me procrastinate more and feel less motivated to work.

That being said, I don’t find all of my projects to be like that. Some I most definitely look forward to attacking head on, especially if I have free range to make whatever I want, how I want to make it.

That’s how I was for my last professional photography project. I could shoot basically whatever I wanted as long as I used the lighting techniques and tips we had been taught thus far. Perfect guidelines to continue pursuing my interest in food and food photography!

 

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of foods I was going to photograph, so I was a bit hesitant to start shooting. Once I figured out what I actually had in my pantry, I decided to just make easy recipes. Ok maybe not easy, but, recipes I make pretty often. Brownies, granola,and pancakes. And oranges, but you don’t make those.

After making all the food and putting the setup in a sunny spot in my house, shooting the food was a lot of fun! I felt a sincere satisfaction out of this whole process, and I’m looking forward to doing it again for my final project.

I could definitely see myself going forward with this type of photography!

Not All On My Own

Since I’ve pretty much been interested in art all my life, I’ve constantly been asked the following several questions:

“How do you come up with ideas for projects or works? What is the secret to thinking creatively?” or “What kinds of things do you look at?”

A little word of advice for anyone who isn’t already artistically inclined or is aware of how the art world actually works, we are all in some way avid stealers. Okay, borrowers, influencers, whatever term tickles your fancy! It is particularly hard to say that any one of us artists (I think I can call myself that) have ever truly come up with a clear idea without any kind of reference to anything (art related or not) before us. Even if we don’t think we are referencing or relating our ideas to anything in particular, we most likely probably are.

This is hard for some to deal with, especially since most of us are pretty selfish. I mean,  who doesn’t want to come up with great ideas all on their own? And no, I am not saying that it is impossible for anyone to not come up with their own idea through and through, but there is usually some sort of psychological referencing going on deep down in the brain.

In terms of how I find inspiration for my own works, I am constantly searching and thinking. I look on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest, I read magazines, books, and articles, and I look on good old google to see what other artists and non-artists are getting up to every now and then. I think it’s important to constantly be looking at things, and I mean, actually looking. Even things as simple as nature or architecture. Look at the way the lines and the curves of leaves form or the way that shadows are created by buildings at certain times of the day. It’s the little things that can sometimes give us the greatest sparks of inspiration.

So the next time someone asks me how I thought of an idea, now you know, it wasn’t all on my own!

 

Food For Thought

I’m obsessed with food. Always have been, and probably always will be! I just love creating recipes and playing around with different ingredients to see what I can come up with. If I had to choose between cooking or baking though, I’d probably choose baking. I have a much larger sweet tooth than a savory one!

When it comes to the art world, I’ve recently become interested in the realm of food photography. If you think about it, behind every picture of food is a photographer, an editor, and a stylist rearranging and lighting a plate of food. Their jobs are to create the most appealing, mouth watering, “must have it now” dishes. With the help of a few simple hacks, like spraying food with olive oil or using a blow torch to get that perfect charred grill mark. After doing some research of my own, it’s been quite interesting to reveal these tricks and realize just how skillful these artists are.  And believe it or not, I do consider them artists!

I hope that going forward in my art career, I can take part in some sort of food photography business. I think it would be a lot of fun to work with and shoot forms that most people don’t really give much thought into. That’s what makes it all so special.

Here are a few shots I’ve taken just playing around with fruit and other food (that I usually have laying around my house).

To Choose or Not to Choose?

It’s kind of hard for me to think that I need to choose one particular area of art to specialize in. I don’t like to think of myself as a “one trick pony,” but in today’s world it seems like sometimes you have to be. I don’t agree with those people. I enjoy creating work using different mediums. Knowing each day I can wake up and make something out of pencil or charcoal, and then the next I can take pictures or mold clay into a masterpiece. What’s so wrong with that? Why can’t people be considered good or even great at multiple mediums? It’s most certainly possible I know! I don’t mean to blow my own horn, but I like to think that I’m not too shabby at several different mediums.

Here are a couple of my drawings

Some of my pottery

And some of my black and white film photography

I think variety is good, if not even necessary. I can’t even imagine myself sitting in the same spot every single day doing the same exact mundane things. I want to be able to create something totally different every day because change excites me. I need variety and I need change. I like to know that I wont always know what I have to do, but that I can work through anything to create what I want.

This is all easier said than done, of course. Finding a job that accommodates all of this is like finding a needle in a haystack, unless I create my own business. Which, in fact, I hope some day I will be able to do, whatever it may be! I like the idea that  I can be my own boss and make my own content for my own sake or someone else’s happiness. Seeing other people light up from the work I’ve created is the most satisfying feeling!

But who knows where roads  will take me. I could end up somewhere I never expected. And that’s fine with me!

My Initial Thoughts

I’ve always been interested in art. No matter what it is, be it crafts, drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry making, whatever. It’s not always easy, most of the time I want to rip up and destroy what I’m making, but somehow I still come back to loving it. I love the feeling of creating something from nothing. The happiness and joy I get from knowing that with my own two hands I can somehow think up and build what I see brewing in my head. A lot of the time what occurs in my head doesn’t always end up exactly as I see it in front of me. Sometimes it needs a little more TLC, but a good majority of the time I can work through any problem and make my piece even better than the original.

Although I truly love to create a variety of different mediums, my favorite concentration I’d have to say is photography. I like being able to see subtleties that most people can’t; to emphasis details that otherwise may seem minute and insignificant. I like to show the world that there still is beauty in the little things as well as the bigger things. Specifically I like to mix up my work from spontaneous street photography, to more professional studio photography shooting props and food. So my range is pretty wide you could say!

In terms of how I go about my work, I’d have to say that it really depends on whatever I’m doing. Some pieces require more time and planning while others I feel I can do better work by being more spontaneous and loose; just make it up as I go. There is no one set method for art, which is why I really click so well with it. It’s also a little funny though, because I’m sometimes a bit of a perfectionist.  If I know I have to create something more realistic, I want to make it as close to the source of inspiration as possible. I will spend more time than I probably need to finish my work. Being this way is good and bad though. I pay very close attention to details and making sure that my work is the best it can be, but then again, I can be too attentive and anal about getting things so perfect.

In the end making art is a lifelong journey to figuring out not only how to create things, but also figuring out who I am as a person and an artist.