“Taylor’s Flower”


“Taylor’s Flower”: an expression of peace in an otherwise, jumbled….frazzled….stressful existence.

While at the park the other day, Taylor saw this flower and picked it… saying she thought it was very pretty and “special”. She carried it for the two hours I spent with her directly… and likely… its wilted remains are either in her room or still in the car, this… nearly a week later.

She carried it through the zoo and showed each of the animals caged there. She showed it to passersby, children and adults alike. She spread that “special beauty” with everyone who would look… and not one person met her without a smile.

Today, I’m sharing “Taylor’s Flower” with you all, in hopes that it brings a moment of peace…. if not inspire a smile on your face…

… because I’m smiling even now, just remembering. 🙂

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Eternal Love


Eternal Love

This photo illustrates my thought of what “eternal love” must be…. “He” holds “her” steady even as time and weather threatens to topple her for good….

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Wait. What!? Me… a “Visual Artist”?


If you’re anything like me, a photographer with a passion for shooting everything and ANYTHING… you probably struggle with identifying your “niche'”. This is the most challenging part of marketing for me, honestly.

Maybe it’s my Gemini personality, but I positively hate to be pigeon-holed. But, apparently… in the world of business… if you want to be successful, one simply must narrow down what side (and how big a slice!) of the pie they want.

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“Love-N-Life Studios” literally came to me as if a bolt of lightening struck me from above. I had been struggling with a “brand name” to develop that would encompass everything I wanted to accomplish and offer through my photography. It occurred to me during this painful process: I’m in love with almost every aspect of life… and in fact… I “love life” in general. Most of my favorite photos involve some aspect of the interaction of people or animals with nature, each other or even the spiritual nature of life itself…. sacred spaces… sacred connections… beauty… fun… love.

Newly Engaged: Emily and John

But WOW. As great an epiphany as it was for developing a brand and business name… it didn’t help a BIT in narrowing my focus to one genre of photography. Portraiture involves people, a vital element in my work, but so does candid Street photography, Wedding Photography, Newborn Photography, Sports Photography…. so many more. Sure, I do most of those (not-so-much Sports but then again, Skydiving is a sport and I have a great series under my belt!), but do I want to narrow myself to one or two of those and be done with it?

No way.

I got my digital start with Landscape photography… the birds n bees…. skies and trees! What a betrayal it would be to my spirit and the beauty of nature, to walk away from my “roots” in favor of only people and portraiture! I’d be left a bit hollow, actually!

Artsy-Fartsy

Then there’s “Fine Art”… a whole new world of exciting ways to create masterpieces with photography, some of which, might even enhance the living spaces of countless other people! (Even if my own living space was the ONLY one enhanced with my art-work… my world is a more beautiful place for the experience, right? Fine-Art photography can include ANY subject: landscape, macro, product, still-life, fine art nude… so much more. At last! I’ve discovered my “niche'”, yes?

No.

Again with the “no”.

Because “Fine Art” doesn’t permit much leeway in terms of “people in action” photography. And have you checked out how saturated that genre is already!? Whew. But I’m off on a tangent here. Apologies.

It goes without saying that Wedding Photography is the most lucrative genre out there. The potential to earn thousands per event is very real… but of course… not without investing a great deal of time and energy in continuing education, talent and expertise. I don’t want my photography to become tedious “work”. I want to find a genre that permits me to indulge my changing Gemini mood… keep it fresh and fun…. and beautiful. That said; It’s clear that the “documentary” style photography is not gonna work for me, either.

A Seaside Wedding: Ralph and Shelly

When it comes to photography; my belief is that it inspires the viewer to experience the image emotionally. I want my imagery to make you “feel good”… regardless of subject matter, but if not always “good”… feel SOMETHING.

Wait.

Isn’t that the very definition of “Art”!?

Art inspires the viewer to go beyond mere documentary observation, right? Art inspires the creator to experiment with different effects, different techniques and various subjects, too!

High-Key Emily

Maybe it’s okay that I don’t squish myself into a slightly-lumpy little box of conformity. Maybe it’s okay to be inspired to experiment with different effects and techniques on a “per photo” basis in the course of one event or series. Different strokes for different folks and all that! Maybe it’s okay….nay… perfectly NATURAL to want to pursue what thrills me to the core and share that with the world through artistic imagery. Maybe it’s okay to recognize the fun, beauty and love in Life and seek to capture it in a creative photograph… in a style that’s all-my-own. Maybe it’s okay to break the rules of composition for the sake of introducing a new perspective, even if not everybody “gets it”. Maybe it’s okay to take a perfectly fine photo and create something fresh and new with it…a work of “art”.

Omg.

I think ….

Hello World.

My name is Theresa A Johnson and I’m a “Visual Artist”.

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On Rain: Rain On.


“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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All that Glitters is Faux


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Well… okay… sometimes it isn’t… but still being in the “starving artist” phase of my photography, MOST of what glitters around here is faux.

The challenge for me as a photographer, is to make WHATEVER I’m photographing appear as  fabulous as possible. Sometimes, this can be accomplished with great lighting, creative perspective and/or some post-processing manipulation in Light Room. I prefer to keep a degree of realism in all of my work… but it’s a great compliment if the viewer is moved to do a double-take!

With a little artistic interpretation, the real can be as unreal as the faux is real! *grins*

Say THAT three times fast!Image

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Incidentally, you can see more of my work on my website: Love-N-Life Studios

I’m always accepting requests for commissioned work.

 

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“Hand-Crafted” at the Maine State Prison


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I recently decided to continue a focus on “tabletop” composition which combines challenging elements such as varying wood tones with glass elements, and needed to borrow a small, wooden cutting board. So I asked the people I’m staying with if they had one (as the lady-of-the-house is an aspiring chef, and even more fortunate for me, is of Japanese descent with an affinity for bamboo!… but I digress.). I expected her to whip out an assortment for me to choose from and surely the ideal candidate would be there in the offerings. (Besides, I was much too lazy to travel to the storage unit to retrieve my own amongst countless boxes and tote-towers!)

But alas!

To my surprise; she had no bamboo cutting boards… no wooden cheese-boards or servers either.

She hands me a small cutting board of about 5-inches by 7-inches by 2.5 inches thick , remarking ” but it’s inscribed with words on one side… will that be a problem!?”

I thanked her, graciously… thankful to have SOMETHING to work with… and retreated to my little upstairs living-quarters/ miniscule studio-space with great anticipation.

I didn’t pay much attention to WHAT the inscription actually said until I got this shot (shown above). For me, the inscription actually “makes” the shot”… not that my subjects aren’t interesting enough… but I’m a curious sort and the fact that prisoners created this cutting block, fascinated me.

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So, today… I did a little research into the history of the Maine State Prison and thought it interesting enough to share here. (I can’t be the ONLY one who’s curious, after-all!)

Turns out they make MUCH more than mere cutting boards there and sell their creations to the general public to help support the Prison financially… but if you want to buy something… there are restrictions listed here:  http://maine.gov/corrections/industries/page7.html.

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This was my “something new learned today”.

Enjoy!

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MAINE STATE PRISON IN THOMASTON
On February 1, 1823, an act was passed by the Maine Legislature providing for the creation of a state prison. On February 10, 1823, a commission consisting of Dr. Daniel Rose of Boothbay, Benjamin Ames of Bath and Thomas Bond of Hallowell was appointed by the legislature to head the project. Dr. Rose was selected as the agent to supervise the construction of the Maine State Prison. The commission selected the town of Thomaston for its centralized location within the state and its accessibility by boat, making the transport of inmates convenient. The ten-acre tract, then known as Limestone Hill and owned by former Governor William King, was sold for $3000.00. For many years Revolutionary War Hero General Henry Knox had used this land as a working limestone quarry.

The Maine State Prison has had a working industrial program since its early days when inmates worked the quarry, constructed wooden wagons, buckboards, wheel barrows, sleighs, buggies and tack for horses. Inmates also grew produce on the prison farm. With the advent of the automobile, the industrial program migrated to constructing furniture and expanded this line in the late 1930’s to include crafts and novelty items.

The Maine State Prison in Thomaston, which was built in 1823, burned in 1923. The institution was rebuilt in 1924 and remained a maximum security facility until its closing in February 2002. The prison was demolished in April of the same year. The Prison Farm (Bolduc Correctional Facility) and the new Maine State Prison in Warren continue to carry on the tradition of farming and woodworking.

MAINE STATE PRISON SHOWROOM
All wood products displayed in the Maine State Prison Showroom are handcrafted by the inmates working at one of our facilities. The industries program provides inmates with a means of learning valuable marketable job skills, work ethics and responsibility – all necessary tools for the transition into the workforce upon release.

Explore the wide range of cutting boards, bureaus, coffee tables, end tables, bookcases, jelly cupboards and stools, woodcarvings and wood burnings. You’ll also find a large selection of nautical items, including ship models, lamps, ship wheels and many other items representing Maine’s coastal heritage. Reasonable prices, quality manufacturing and a unique selection make the Maine State Prison Showroom a great place to shop.

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From the Shadows


From the Shadows

Working with extremes in portraiture lighting: I arrived at this version.

If one adheres to conventional, classic portraiture techniques; I presume I’ve broken more than a few “rules” or “guidelines” in this one photo.

But for me, an effective photo evokes a mood… conveys an energy which extends beyond the limitations of the photograph.

It inspires….

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“Love” Martini


Photographing glassware is tricky enough… but I added pretty, “faux”, sparklies to up the ante!

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Love n Life Studios on Facebook


Love n Life Studios.

It’s slow-going but I’m growing!

Just started the Facebook presence dedicated to the photography, news, updates etc.  for Love-N-Life Studios. It’ll take a few days to get the site populated with photos but help a small business grow by taking a moment to “Like”, would ya?

I’d be much obliged 🙂

T~

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Inaugural Post: Hello WordPress :)


So this is it… my inaugural post on my new blog site. After having a blog hosted by another program for better than 4 years, it was time to make a change… a fresh start.

The new year, 2013, is about “fresh starts” for me on many levels, namely a complete re-vamping, re-organizing, re-naming and presenting a new website to showcase my photography business online.

This blog will be the go-to place to read about the trials and triumphs of “Love-N-Life Studios”.

I’ll share original photography, updates on the latest sessions, promotions, featured photography sessions etc.  The ever-curious student; I’ll also share links of interest to other sites of photographers whose work inspires me as well as resource and training sites of interest.

Thanks to the many friends and colleagues who suggested this platform.

See ya next time!

(What’s that? No photo!?  Oh wow… I can’t have an inaugural post with no photo! Thanks! *wink* )

Today’s photo is from a recent product/table-top photography shoot…. self-induced… so there was no pressure.  🙂

I call it: “Night & Day: A Still Life”.

 Self-induced challenge to illustrate the concept of "Night and Day" in one photo... in addition to practice in Still Life and  Product photography

Self-induced challenge to illustrate the concept of “Night and Day” in one photo… in addition to practice in Still Life and Product photography

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