Tuesday, March 28, 2006

shipping and handling

(image courtesy amazon.com)

I owe a great deal to a great many people. I would like to point out one: Catherine Jamieson. Things that may have seemed like quiet nudges, reverberated as huge friendly shoves. This is her hot-off-the-presses book on photoblogging, which she was kind enough to include me in the pages of. Through the flourishing 'culture' of the Flickr salon Utata and the singular beauty Utata.org the ideas and experiences she has shared have helped move me to places I don't think I ever imagined I would see... deeply indebted.

Thank you Catherine.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Something has shifted a little inside of me... to this point where I could see being a photographer, in the whole sense. Last week I had two shoots, one for the local theater, Act II Playhouse in Ambler, another for local singer, Jazmine Sullivan.

Working with a bare minimum of equipment for both, I felt something like success. The playhouse shoot didn't go extremely well. Even though I was shooting RAW, the lighting was very low and this being a play about dance, the characters were constantly, only ever so slightly, swaying, even when they were 'freezing' for the shot. Me, stumbling over chairs in the theater... using Dustin as my assistant... pleading for him to go through my quickly-filling cards to erase blury stuff... I don't know what I would have done without him.

The shoot Saturday went infinitely better. Best idea ever was to bring along my step ladder, which I hardly ever came down from. I borrowed a tiny vise-grip softbox from work and used it and my flash the entire time. We ventured out to NE Philly, to the Sullivan home. We were greeted with danishes, fresh fruit, juice and coffee. In no time I had set up a decent lighting arrangement, we were swinging to Madonna, and we had the girl on the floor crawling on a leopard spotted rug, her mom encouraging her to vamp it up. Four outfits, five backdrops, one tired and sweaty Laura and Dustin.

tango © Laura Kicey

The best feeling ever was to watch as she and her mom went through the shots on my camera afterwards. She had always thought she took a bad picture she said. My guess is all photographers in past were shorter than her and thus shooting her from a low, unflattering angle as this statuesque beauty was probably 6'. I left feeling hugely accomplished.

voice rising
jazmine © Laura Kicey

It occurred to me for the first time that I could really do this... rather than go on, feeling like I am faking it. I am incredibly excited to do it again.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


This photo:

insurance © Laura Kicey

just won The Consumerist's
Busted Product Photo Contest.

Thanks to Ben Popken, editor, and the rest of the Consumerist posse!

Picture 3

Wee HA! He describes my bevy of photos on flickr as 'tight' and linked it on up. Nice plug!

Also, very novel, a bit of design news. Pish posh, design. The show Little People, Big World on TLC is doing astoundingly well. Whether it is because it is actually a well-crafted show or a publicly-sanctioned freak show, I may never know, as I have not seen it, being cable-less and all... I designed the opening title working here at Marcolina. And all the in between graphics too.

Monday, March 06, 2006

vacant stare

I went into the weekend frothing at the mouth with desire to take photos. Last weekend I ended up in Lancaster, doing little but laundry (oh and how) and having dinner with my mom. I followed this up with a brief trip to Carlisle to make a purchase: a mannequin body, along with some old illustrated story books, which I cut up and made into clothes for said mannequin. This, a birthday present for Mr. D. I spent the best part of two hours getting increasingly lost, unlost and relost in a different way. So mostly my weekend looked like this:

(space left intentionally blank, for lack of photos)

Yeah. So this weekend, I was fired up to shoot. The birthday party for Mr. D was transferred to my house. Yet, not once did I take out my camera. I had an excellent time, party people seemed to have a mostly excellent time. The morning after, we refueled on French Toast and headed out to the Most Pleasing Pile of Hazardous Waste in Montco.

parity © Laura Kicey

Only to find yet again, the place inhabited with the paintball posse. Second time. Getting old. Especially as they are always in the biggest and most interesting building. The one I have explored the least. Probably the most toxic. Nonetheless, the one a Certain Birthday Someone had designs to visit, specifically. And I had my heart set on for the day.

I really didn't shoot that much, yet again. The light was intense and hard to work with. There were a few select shots that I worked on trying to compensate with ridiculously short exposures (1/4000 sec) and combining two exposures in Photoshop. Such as here:

partition © Laura Kicey

This bad excuse for winter is messing with me. Bringing intense sun with the short days, high winds and miserable rain. Making the only time I have to take photographs into a fight with time and the elements and the best days during the week, when it is mostly dark when I escape work. Dying for spring. My photographic edge is being blunted.

wipeout © Laura Kicey

Things which I planted seeds of ages ago are starting to shoot out lovely little tendrils. One of my photos is being published in this book by Catherine Jamieson. A second book she is co-authoring on portrait photography will be using this and this.

The Philadelphia Center for the Photographic Image '06 contest results have finally been confirmed. This image will be in a group exhibit at the Nexus Gallery, opening April 7th, 2006. First Friday. Other prizes TBA.

And one last thing! The article Ms. Audrey Gray interviewed me for a ways back has moved to cover article. And I have completed the equipment self-portrait to (hopefully)accompany the article. Decisions about what other photos will be included in the article will be determined come month's end, moments before it is whisked off to print. Wee!

equipped © Laura Kicey