April 30, 2012

rainy days + week plans

This past week has been gray and cold, while today was rainy and overcast.  I'm not ashamed to say that I have no desire to blog at the moment.  My summer plans are so near, but with nothing fully finalized yet, I've been counting down each day until school ends.  (And I may have been looking at summer inspired photos a little too much.)  I've always been one to look ahead to the future instead of live each day to the fullest.  This week I want to....do a random act of kindness, wake up earlier, turn in that application (finally), finish school before the weekend, be a sister and friend.  
What will you do this week?

ask me questions on formspring 

April 27, 2012

self-portraits & tips

I've recently had many people email me with question about my self-portraits.  I don't put as many self-portraits on my blog as I do on my Flickr page, but it's something I really enjoy.  Taking photos of myself often gets me out of my comfort zone, and it's also a way to satisfy that "photography need" in me when my siblings aren't willing subjects.
song title:  Feels so Close
At the beginning of the year, I started a 52 project, where I take one self portrait a week.  Many of these photos have concepts behind them, which is why they may seem a little "strange" to some people.  What I love to do with my photography is convey a deeper message than a viewer may first perceive.  Song lyrics, quotes, even a word can be translated through a photo in a unique way, in your own way.
jumping that looks like dancing//even a failed attempt can turn out!
Tip #1:  Use a tripod.  A tripod is one of my essential tools when it comes to taking selfies.  It allows you to achieve the composition and settings you want, instead of dragging your siblings or parents around.  Getting the right shot definitely takes time!  And trust me when I say, you will never get the photograph you want in the first five shots.  That's one reason a tripod is good - it stands still as long as you want it to!
Tip #2: Buy a remote.  I was able to buy a remote from Kiley that I use very often.  Remotes are cheap and easy to learn how to use.  This is the one I have.  There are so many reasons I love my remote.  I don't have to run back and forth from the camera to my pose.  Also, the remote will focus on you, so you know you are usually getting the focus you want.
song title: Is Anybody Out There
Tip #3: Throw away the humble.  I believe that humility is one of the greatest attributes in a person.  However, I think that in the area of self-portraits, there is very little room for it.  It's one thing to constantly take photos of yourself and post them on your blog or put them on Facebook.  But, it's also important that you capture yourself like you capture other clients or family members.  Think of it like this:  If you take photos so that you can remember the good moments and people you love, why should you forget yourself?  It's important to have photos of yourself, too! 
Tip #4: Be creative.  This is basically the simplest tip out there, but it's oh, so true.  Try new poses.  Shoot from different angles.  Play around with lighting and shadows.  If you don't have a tripod, find a chair, table, or box to set your camera on.  Take a concept (i.e. Bible verse, song, definition of your favorite word, poem, quote), think about that concept and what it means to you, and then translate that meaning through a photograph.  Find interesting props - hang them, hold them, throw them...you get the point.  Do something different than the normal arms stretched, camera-holding pose.  You'll love the results!
Last, don't be afraid to look like a total dork!  I try to take my photos away from my siblings, who seem to think that photographing myself reaching for a globe is absolutely hilarious.  You will look funny, I promise.  You will take a lot of photos that you will immediately delete.  Like I said before, self-portraits get you waaay out of you're comfort zone.  But when you get that perfect shot of the scene you had in your head, it feels good!

I'd really love to see some of your self-portraits!  Get out there and practice, edit and upload, blog about it, then come back here and link up!

psst...I got a Formspring.  Ask away!

April 22, 2012

a weekend letter to myself

+my future is still on the horizon
+be real
+stop trying to think it all through
+perfectionism cannot be reached
+true love waits
+inspiration isn't everything
+tomorrow never comes

Dear sixteen year old Olivia - Stop worrying about your future.  Why is it necessary to have your life planned out as a sophomore?  A lot can happen in two years - remember that.  Those girls who have college plans and career plans right now...you don't have to be like them.  Don't be terrified of your future.  It's in better hands.  And love?  Stop thinking about it.  This time is special.  Why waste it by boy-chasing?  Your significant other, "him", "the boy" - whatever you want to call him - he's out there, but he's not ready and neither are you.  

You know how you've been thinking about inspiration?  Well, it isn't everything.  Life is inspirational.  Live it.  Watch it.  It passes so quickly, how can it not be inspirational?  Every day should be an inspiration to you.  To go along with that, remember that tomorrow will never come.  Stop pushing things off.  Go take in that job application, kiss your sisters and brothers more, keep saving money for that car, call your friends.  It's worth it.  

Finally, be real.  Have integrity.  Don't be afraid to talk to people - pour into them.  Random acts of kindness should be remembered.  Laugh more.  Stop being so sarcastic.  Stop worrying about what people will think when you state your opinion.  Just live.

April 17, 2012

thoughts on technology

It's two lives we're living, in this age of technology.
We want to be real but we can't tell all
For fear of losing a life we could have.
Instead of living it, we can only imagine
How a world of simplicity would make us happy.
It's not far from our reach, and yet...                                                    
Yet we sit at our desks and gape
At what we so desperately want on a screen.                                                
But it's on a screen and that is far from our reach.                                                                                   
We want to go places, but the time is wasted                                        
As the hours tick by in the right-hand corner.                                      
We want memories of family and friends,
But today I wrote a blog post that is sure to draw
More followers, more comments, and more popularity.
We want to live the life God wants, 
But we read our Bibles after we've check our emails
And I just want to tweet before I pray today.
I need to go, but I want to watch this video.
Just one more minute, I'm almost done.
I'm almost done....

Really, it seems so easy - shut down is only a click away, but our eyes our glued with jealousy and lust to what we see on our screens.  We read about the lives of other people, while life is passing right in front of us.  And we're missing it.  Do you want to remember your life or are you only interested in the life of that blogger or this blogger?

I want to life this life; this life I have been so richly blessed to have.  I love hearing about yours, but that's just it.  It's yours.  You live it, and I'll live mine.  We'll share what we learn and how we grow along the way, but if life is what you make it, I don't want to be remembered by a piece of internet.  

I want to be a sister and daughter in this crazy house right now.  I want to love people physically and spiritually until it hurts.  I want to be a true friend to the ones I'm with.

Maybe I can have that life of simple times, memorable adventures, and true contentment.  It will not come from this computer screen.  It will come from life.  Right here.  Right now.     

April 14, 2012

these kids

These kids make me smile.  They like to play good guy vs. bad guy and crash into each other with their cars.  And they never, ever stop moving.  I get a workout trying to get pictures of them because they are all over the place.  I was struck, recently, by memories, and how I want to capture them.  I want to remember their little games they play, the holes where teeth will be someday, and just them, at this age.  That's why I photograph them...even if they don't like it, so one day, we can look back and remember.

p.s. Back from my blogging break! 

April 08, 2012

blogging break

Church this morning was wonderful, bellies are full of sweets, one whole free week is on the horizon (hello, spring break!), and I'm contemplating going to bed early.  Do you hear me sighing with hapiness?  I love spring break lots.  Because I want to do as much as I can this week, I'm taking a blogging break.  Have a wonderful week, everyone!

April 04, 2012

Project 147

I've successfully kept the secret of this project!  After a month and a half of praying and planning with some truly inspiring girls, we are excited to launch Project 147 today!  My thoughts on the project:

When I read a number like 147 million, I honestly cannot comprehend its size.  Not many people can, I suppose.  We're not claiming that we can either.  But we do know this: one hundred forty seven million is a huge number, and it's because we know this that we've started Project 147.  We know we don't have all the answers, but if we could somehow, in some way lower that incomprehensible number, than this project is worth it.  All the work and prayers and money will have a purpose.  We know there's only so much five girls can do, but if we can do something, why not do this?  

I like to talk about adoption and orphans - and how those two things have changed my life drastically.  These four other girls and I have had talks about adoption, and we've all had some experience with it as well.  We've never met, but we're connected through this passion of ours, and I'm so excited to see where this project goes!

Project 147's website
Natalia, Emma, Caitlin, and Talia - I'm so excited about this, as you probably already know.  I'm blessed by you and your desires to run with this project and change lives.  

Please, if you would like to, go check out Project 147's website and read around for a while!

p.s.  Notice the new design?