I love art fairs. I love seeing what other artists are doing and being inspired by their work. I love supporting other artists by buying their creations and knowing I’ve purchased something unique. I had never thought of being a vendor myself but a conversation I had with a friend/co-worker of mine a couple years ago planted a seed in my mind. She would create these beautiful pano’s from photographs she’d taken of shapes that looked like letter’s in nature and was selling them at a variety of arts and crafts fairs. There was a time we were talking, and she asked if I was interested in doing that kind of thing, but at the time I felt I didn’t have very much in the art photography genre. I resolved to remedy that, and, over the last couple years I have been working on more art photography, things that simply make me excited to create. I got interested in astrophotography and creating unique still life photographs, amongst other things. After filling my own walls with the photographs I’d made, when I saw a local art fair was looking for vendors I felt like I was finally ready.
I asked my sister-in-law, an amazing photographer in her own right, to join me to create a combined Sanders Photography booth. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better art fair to do this for the first time. The venue was an old paper factory right on the river, tall ceilings and gorgeous brick pillars. There were so many fantastic artists, and even though I should’ve worn more comfortable shoes, it was an amazing day.
Allison, me, and Amy
A fairly short time ago, I had the genius idea of starting a photography meet up group. I say this sarcastically, as on the day I decided to take the leap, my exact thoughts were “This is a horrible idea, what am I doing”. I had no idea if it would even work but I was excited and hopeful. I wanted to connect with other creative people, share ideas, and push myself. I’m amazed every day at how the group has grown since I started it and look forward to it’s future. If it wasn’t for the path that I’m on, I never would’ve thought to do this and hope it continues no matter where my path takes me.
When I was working with Madison Magazine I fell into food photography, something I never really thought about doing as a photographer, but I loved it. Food can be so beautiful and interesting with layers of color and texture. Recently, I was challenged to create, style, and photograph a food item on the fly. Going into spring I chose blueberries and wanted a clean, sunny look in my props and lighting. Even though I’m not much of a chef, I really enjoyed how this fresh summery dish turned out.
It is truly good friend who will let you crash at their tiny one bedroom Chicago apartment on barely a moments notice. I have the luck of having many friends, old co-worker’s, family, that would do the same and if they ever needed it I’d be glad to have them as well. It’s funny to think of friends like these, those that you might not see for many months or even years but the moment you see them it’s like no time has passed at all.
My old friend welcomed us with open arms after the four trek to his home near downtown Chicago. A very different place than the city I live in in Wisconsin, the traffic freaked me out a little bit… But once we found parking, after getting a $75 dollar parking ticket, I found the area a really interesting place to be. Little corner restaurants with traditional Mexican food and delicious homemade ice cream. All the homes squished in next to each other but each one different than the one beside it. Tiny manicured lawns next to abandoned lots.
Having met for the first time my friend and my guy got along like two peas in a pod, so well I could barely get a word in edgewise haha. At one point I just sat back grinning at them, I’m pretty sure they thought I was just a little cracked after all the driving. After a bit of rain on Friday night we went out walking so that I could take some photographs. It was just after sunset and the street lights were coming on. The blue sky and orangey street lights reflecting off the wet pavement were just beautiful. I think I could’ve stayed out all night, but I was advised that that was probably not the smartest idea. These images are some of my favorite from our wandering. Besides just being a wicked awesome person, thank you for being one of those friends that’ll let you crash on a moment’s notice and because of that I was able to get these striking images.
Besides being a photographer, I’m a maker. I love to make things and to constantly stretch my abilities. I find this is important for my personal growth and overall well being. It keeps my brain from getting rusty when I try to figure out something new. I come from a long line of makers, my dad, especially is an inspiration to me. He is not a man that can often sit still and whenever I visit he has a new project that he’s working on. Even when I was talking to him on the phone last night he was staining something while talking to me. So if I’ve learned anything from my parents and grandparents is to make hay while the sun shines. I, like my dad, can always find a project to work on and usually it’s a few more than one. While the job search continues, I’ve been working on a new website, this blog, turning one of our bedrooms into a little studio/office/sewing room/art studio, a photo book for 2015, new photographs, taking yoga, and making things. One project I was working on last week was making two hats for twins that I’ll be photographing in the next couple weeks. Some days I love bright colors and others I love neutrals and muted tones. For this project I want the babies to be the star of my image so I went with neutral colors and just a little touch of color with the turquoise buttons to add a little femininity. I got the base pattern here, http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/11/snowblossom-hat-tutorial-by-rae/, and adapted it to my own liking. Above are the hats in mid process and below are the finished hats. Now I’m trying to figure out how to make my own pattern for an aviator hat and goggles, working on the mockup today.