Hi again, it’s been quite a while since my last blog post.  For about the past month and a half or so I’ve been working on getting some new product shots together for my portfolio. Yesterday was the last day of finalizing edits and uploading my favorites to the website. Check out my Product Shots page for some new images, I’ll also link a few here in the post.

Product Shot- Belt
Today I’ll be reviewing this project and talking about the process I went through to get from my planning stages all the way to the final product shots. I have a feeling this post might be kind of a long one.

Back in early April/May I was starting to think about what I wanted to try and accomplish for myself this summer. Usually what I find happens when I have a large block of free time is I’ve really only planned my schedule a week or two out. The summer then just becomes more and more of waste of time and then at the end of it I wonder what happened.

What I’ve learned about myself is that I work best with lists and calendars. For short term goals my head usually magically fills up with stuff I want to do right before going to bed so I write them down in my phone and look at them first thing in the morning to remind myself what I have to do. Some people can just wake up and think “okay I have to do this, this, and this” I can’t really do that. If I try to get up and just think of something to do I draw a blank, my head doesn’t work like that in the morning.

Doing this long project with product shots was interesting because I’ve never really had to habituate on one mindset for so long. I’m used to doing one or two conceptual images and calling it a day and moving onto a different idea. I think the most time I’ve ever spent on one picture was about a week off and on. I knew going into this first project that I wanted to do three projects and conveniently I had all of June, July and August to do it (Minus time for portraits/headshots/client projects). I mapped out each week of summer in word document so there were 15 weeks with two product shots and two conceptual images a week. This format worked really well for figuring out what I needed to buy/borrow for supplies and products before I even started shooting.

The shot list looks like this: Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 11.26.22 AM

You can add more or less information depending on what you’re trying to do. For me, having any type of list or outline is a huge help compared to having nothing.

I shot the first eight or ten product shots in the first week and decided that since I was in that zone it would just be faster for me to shoot all the products first and get into a groove doing that before shooting or editing anything else. It seemed easier to me at the time to do it that way all at once especially since I don’t have the largest studio space to work with.

I photographed every product on this little product table from Amazon. Despite a lot of the negative reviews it has worked amazingly for me, I’m also not trying to break it down and set it up every single day on-location somewhere. I can imagine the difficulty of trying to make this table portable but for sixty bucks it is nice to have your own designated product table.

Towards the end of shooting 30 product shots it definitely got kind of monotonous. It’s also important for me to differentiate here that if I wanted to do 30 product shots I could’ve easily done them in a day if I wanted them all to look the same, with the same lighting and backdrop but I don’t think that looks good for a portfolio. For portfolio pieces (and unfortunately pretty much everything I photograph) I like to take the time to make it as perfect as possible. To me it’s sort of stupid to go through all the trouble of shooting something only to go halfway with it. You might as well take your time shooting. Take your time editing. Obviously if you never finish anything then you’re taking too much time but still, take a reasonable amount of time and put the effort in. A lot of people will disagree with me but my argument is that it’s your photograph, it’s your work, other people are going to judge your skill level based on your work so go ahead and make the best work you can. I cringe when people ask me to send them “all the photos” or say “you don’t even have to edit them” don’t give in to those people, make them wait for the finished product.

Product Shot- Lamp
I finished shooting all 30 products around June 10th and started editing the following weekend. The reason I was able to acquire so many products is largely because I love going to thrift stores and buying a million things for five bucks. The caveat to my method here at the beginning of the project was that I knew I was going to have to edit a lot more on thrifted items as opposed to buying something brand new. If you have a ton of money you can go ahead and spend all sorts of money on stuff just to shoot it but I decided to throw a little more time towards the backend of this project and save a little money upfront.

I did end up spending a significant amount of time editing. I was planning on it but just me being the way I am I always go a little nuts with the healing and clone stamp tools on things like dust and scratches. Most people would probably have never even seen a lot of the dust and stuff if I left them in there because of things like image resolution and viewing sizes on the web. Unless I give you the option somewhere on my website or on Flickr you’d probably never otherwise be able to get up close and look at every little detail. However, editing all that little stuff gives me peace of mind because it would’ve bugged me if I left dust in my pictures. I also plan on printing a lot of these images out in a printed portfolio and I’d rather not realize while I’m clicking print that, “gee, I probably should’ve edited all these little tiny things out.” So I guess the amount of time spent on editing would’ve happened sooner or later anyway and I hate going back and changing an image months after I’ve called it finished.

The reason I liked doing all the shooting first and all the editing second was that I got to establish a rhythm setting up and breaking down all my equipment. I can do it now almost without thinking about it. I also got to edit all the images together at the same time and make sure they didn’t all look identical. I think if I had finalized each image one by one without looking at them all together I could’ve just made them look too similar without realizing it. Doing things this way allowed me to choose between all 30 images and decide which ones would look better together and not waste as much time editing images I was never going to use. You’ll notice I didn’t actually upload 30 new product shots to my website and that’s because I narrowed down the 30 I shot to my favorite dozen or so images. In the future, on the next project, I’m not going to shoot everything and then edit everything. Now that I’ve tried that method it’s a little extreme. Taking a happy medium would’ve been better. Shooting a few things and making some edits sooner, like within the same week, before finishing the shooting period would’ve given me more of an opportunity to go back and reshoot or shoot something else entirely. Starting the editing earlier would’ve helped make the daunting task of “okay now I have to edit 30 product shots” a little less daunting.

Product Shot- Wine Bottle

I would’ve liked to finish 30 product shots and upload 30 product shots but you can always kind of tell when you’re going through things that some images stick out more than others. Some products get cut because I shot two of the same type of product and picked the better of the two. Some stuff just clearly doesn’t look that good. I don’t think shooting a stapler was the best idea because it’s still just a boring old stapler no matter how I light it. At the end of the day when I’m looking at my work I’d rather have quality over quantity, that’s why I didn’t put nearly half of the products I shot in my portfolio. Still though, I ended up tripling the amount of product shots on my website. I feel much more comfortable now saying, “Yes, I do product photography” and I do stand behind my work, that’s the point of doing a project like this.

It’s more important for me to feel confident in my work than it is to have a million pictures online. I like that I don’t have many images from class assignments on my website. I try to show that I do spend most of my time trying to improve my work by doing things on my own and creating my own projects set with my own goals.

As for the next project I don’t really want to talk about it too much right now but I am excited to finally have some closure on this first set of images and move on to something else. After a month and a half of working on a bunch of product shots I definitely got obsessive about it, which initially is kind of a good thing. I wanted to make sure I picked a project that would be challenging while still pulling some great work out of it and I think I did that.

Until next time



This week I’ve been talking a lot about possibly getting into 3D modeling. If you asked me where I got the idea, I’d have to say I must’ve seen something that struck me around last Saturday but I’m not entirely sure. I don’t remember specifically what I was looking for on google but I came across this program by Maxxon called Cinema 4D.

Here’s their video:

Now even just a few weeks ago I would’ve found this whole thing completely boring, but I think since 3D modeling and animation programs have gotten a little older, they’ve gotten much more realistic, which is something I’m very interested in. I still don’t know exactly what I plan to accomplish with this type of program long-term but I can definitely think of some instances with my conceptual work where CG might come in-handy.

This comes back to the use of stock images, to make a photomanipulation, or even when just matching two images together in Photoshop, it’s much easier to do when both photos have the same lighting and perspective. What I run into frequently, and this is what turns me off to using most stock images, is that the images that I want to use are of the right subject, but the angle of view and lighting aren’t what I wanted. What I’ve been thinking is that if I got into 3D modeling I could just CG myself the elements of the image that I couldn’t find or easily put together with stocks. In short, I could sort of “play god” and finally have a medium where I could make anything I wanted. Although I am partial to photorealism, I don’t think that would be much of an obstacle for me if I import any renders I create into Photoshop.

Cinema 4D seems like it wouldn’t be too hard to pickup because the workspace is laid out similar to Photoshop, and it uses a lot of the same concepts but under different headings. So I know I want to learn this program but I took some time to think of how to go about learning it. If I recall back to ’09 when I was getting into photography I only had a point and shoot and a big huge book on the basics of photography. The book talks about aperture and f/stops, shutterspeed and a lot about film. At the time a lot of that type of stuff was over my head but I read it anyway because I was interested. I figured I would just stick it out and learn all this information even though I couldn’t really apply it right away because my point and shoot didn’t have a manual mode. About a year later I got my first DSLR and I thought I wouldn’t really get the hang of it but then I remembered I already learned a lot of the concepts like aperture, shutterspeed, and ISO. All I had to do was connect what I had already learned and put it to use on my camera. There’s still a learning curve with this type of approach, but, for me, learning as much I could before applying it really mitigated a lot of the learning curves and stumbling blocks because I already understood what I could do and how to do it. At this point I just had to put everything into practice and it seems to have worked out pretty well so far.

This week, before even installing any Cinema 4D trials or anything, I decided to find some resources online to help familiarize me with the program so I could sort of “hit the ground running”. I’m currently about halfway through Greyscalegorilla’s into to cinema 4D series and it’s been awesome. Probably the worst thing you can do is open a new program totally cold turkey and start messing around, that’s fine for some, but not for me. I think doing that wastes a lot of time but luckily with the internet there’s pretty much nothing you can’t learn if you go about it the right way. I think I’m going to enjoy using Cinema 4D and maybe even some other 3D applications. Cinema can do not only modeling but animation and has After Effects and Photoshop integration. It’s almost like a missing link for visual artists and it seems like a good “next step” in visual arts because I can use it to do new things with my Photography but it also covers some new ground elsewhere by being 3D and also animation capable. I’m never one for completely beating a dead horse, it’s nice to push what you’re doing to the next level while also trying new things if you can and I think I’m doing that. Also it’s getting to be that, depending on the job, it’s easier for a company to hire a CG artist rather than a Photographer because the lighting setup or concept would be almost impossible to create without heavy Photoshop work. Ultimately, it comes down to, not so much time and money, but who can do a better end result and sometimes a CG artist wins over a photographer. It might just be a good idea to have this type of skill on the back burner.

If you’d like to see some work that I’m inspired by so that you can get handle on the CG work I’m referring to, you can look HERE and HERE as well as some of these:

The level of realism on some of these images is impressive and I’m curious to see what happens with my work in the next few months. it looks like you can almost CG anything you can imagine but I’d like to see it for myself and in my own work. Maybe I’ll watch a few more Pixar films to hold me over until then.



Happy New Year! I’m breaking from my usual routine to throw out a bonus post this week. Everyday I have a handful of to-dos written down on my blackboard and in my phone just to keep myself on track. It’s so much harder to get things done without some goals set in place to track progress.

For the new year I have made a short list of, not really resolutions, just goals I’d like to achieve, that I will achieve. Three hundred and sixty five days is a long time and if you can’t accomplish most of the goals you set out for yourself in that amount of time, there’s something wrong. Nothing takes forever.

A lot of my time with photography lately has been spent reviewing people’s work. In doing this, I can find techniques and aesthetics that I can apply to my own work. For 2014 I’m going to create a series of images. Luckily for me, I don’t have to repeat myself, there was a post back in October where I talked about this concept. I’ll leave the reading to you. Onward.

Not to completely switch gears or anything but the classic education system in America is one that I am not too fond of. There’s an RS Animate video by Ken Robinson that explains what I’m talking about perfectly well. I’ll tie it in with what I’m trying to explain after the video.

The summer after my senior year of high school was a magical one. This particular summer happens to be the interim period between high school and college, for once there was no summer reading to do, not too many applications or anything. I finally had time again to pursue whatever I wanted.

It’s a funny thing really, all the years of summer reading, while making me literate also turned me off to literature and books in general. School created a more negative connotation around books for me. Being told what books to read “because you have to” and because “there’s going to be a graded paper on it” really turns me off, it’s not that inspiring.

The same really goes for every part of a school learning environment, no one really wants to be told what to do if it’s not something they already like to do. Too much weight of a stereotypical grade school course lies with the charismatic abilities of the teacher to inspire and interest the students in the subject matter. Frankly, unless your teacher is the most enthusiastic person on the planet or truly loves teaching, you won’t find yourself jumping out of your seat. At the same time, being taught by word of mouth and a dry, dated textbook of exercises can only cover so much ground in a semester. Learning does not care whether it’s a new semester or not, you can learn anything you want, any time, no bars, no holds.

My point here is that during the summer after high school, I was able to read books for myself again, and it was a beautiful thing. Probably 99.1% (Walter White would be proud) of my every day photographic knowledge has come from reading books on my own. Why? Because I can learn information as fast as I can read, at my own pace, with no grades or pressure involved. That’s what learning is supposed to be about right? Learning the information? Not grades or how many times the teacher stops class to talk about Mario Kart.

I’ve noticed over the past four or five years, that I prefer my information raw. If I want to learn something, I’d much rather just lock myself in my room with a stack of books than sit in a classroom for two and a half hours a week. How much can a teacher accomplish in that amount of time? Not much. I don’t like waiting, when I’m ready to learn something, I’ll learn it. I’m not waiting the whole summer for school to be back in session just for a teacher to teach so the dumbest kids will pass the class. If you really want to learn something, do it yourself. Not with random YouTube videos, do it with a little bit of everything, buy some books with five star reviews and some tutorials. Now there’s a start! The only real purpose of a professor in this day and age is to have a consultant for those contingency situations, troubleshooting. Even at that, you can find troubleshooting help online.

Now that I know exactly how I like to learn, I’d like to learn some computer programming. Sounds big and scary to some, not to me. Steve Jobs said, “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer.” Who am I to contest Steve Jobs? And I can learn it is fast as I want to, just myself and some books.

I like to keep my to-dos in threes so we’ll pick something else too. I’ve very much enjoyed posting weekly on the blog and I really want to increase my hobby of writing in some way. Most likely, that comes in the form of writing a book. I don’t know what it would about. Fiction or nonfiction, I don’t know, but I’m putting it on the list.

Just to recap, my 2014 goals are:

-Create a series of related images

-Learn a computer programming language (HTML, Java, PHP)

-Write a book in some form

What’s your list of goals?


This is the first new post on my new WordPress page! I have recently migrated all my things from my old Blogspot page and I will be posting new content here from now on. I felt it was necessary to make this change to WordPress because it does almost everything Blogspot can do and leaves a ton of room for expansion. At my Blogspot page, there are enough features for simple posting and a small amount of organization, at WordPress I already feel so much better about my blog. WordPress has more features (Free and Paid) than I know what to do with and everything seems to work as it should. At the Blogspot page I too often found myself revamping the page and incorporating feature that should’ve worked but did not despite being offered by Blogger. This site seems like an appropriate stepping stone towards my new website. in the next few days I am planning to purchase a domain name using WordPress and using this blog to hold down the space until I can get the rest of my new content together. I think it’s important as a photographer to be able to comfortably establish an online space and with WordPress it seems like I can do things step by step. Instead of trying to build a whole website and obtain a domain name and integrate the blog all at once it’s nice to be able to go at my own pace. Soon, I will have a domain name online and the blog will be the first thing on there until I can create everything else. I’m very excited about this transition I feel that it’s exactly what I needed to do while also keeping things manageable. That being said, I suggest re-subscribing to my blog over by the widget on the right-hand side of this page so that you can receive my posts in weekly emails. Anyway, now that the updates are out of the way, onto the post.

When I created this blog I didn’t really know what to make of it. Now, I view my blog as an online space to collect my thoughts and share them with others. The blog is tangible and it is my own. I’m always looking for something to do that will fulfill my creative urges and the blog has helped me so much on the days where I could not make progress towards an artistic goal. For example, being in college keeps me preoccupied with schoolwork and my personal pursuit of photography slows down to a snail’s pace. The blog is what keeps me sane during those times. The blog is the one part of my photographic/creative process that continues each week regardless of the other things I am doing.

Reasons I love this blog:

  • It’s an online space to collect and share ideas
  • I can post whatever I want, whenever I want
  • Nobody is telling me to run this blog, I’m doing it because I want to and I can stop whenever I want to.
  • Even if no one reads it, I can still see a neatly organized collection of my thoughts through writing
  • I can keep track of what I was doing at a particular time
  • I can track how I feel about art and just about everything else at a particular time
  • I can control frequency of posts through scheduled posting. If I write four posts in a day then I can publish them over the span of a few hours to weeks to months to years. If I wrote enough posts I could fully automate the blog to publish new content on its own while I am doing something else or if I am unable to post at a certain time.
  • WordPress allows integration with a domain name for less than 20 bucks a year. Since I’m making a website, having a domain name is a necessary first step towards accomplishing that goal and WordPress makes it easy.

That being said, if you’re passionate about something, make yourself a blog. It may seem like a chore at first but know that there is no rubric to follow, you can make it about anything you want. And once you learn the interface, posting can be as simple as mashing out a few sentences from your mobile phone.

A blog is a beautiful thing. Welcome to my humble abode.


Lately it’s been difficult for me to create an image and still enjoy looking at it a few days later. What’s been happening now that I’ve been at school is I’ve been taking pictures but they never get edited and finished. I am still working on new images and I think I’ve come up with a solution to this “new work” problem.

Rather than releasing and sharing one image at a time online, I want to get into doing more project or series based images. I’d like to come up with a specific concept for a photograph and create as many variations as I see fit, probably around ten. Making a series of images will ultimately make them hold up better in my eye because there will be other similar images in the series to further define the concept.

I liken this new approach to my photographs like a musician who creates an album of songs. Sharing each photograph individually, like a musician would with a single off their album, puts unnecessary pressure on me to top myself and compete against my previous work. While this is sometimes a good thing I think, for me, it’s making it harder to create an image that is truly different from my old work because I’m trying to make it at least as good as the last photo when I should be able to create whatever I feel like creating. In short, a group or series of images makes me focus more on the art and not on the “do better than the last one” aspect of photography.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier but a series of images does a few things for me. A series of images is something I have not tried to do before, especially with my conceptual photographs. A series of images is also going to make it easier for me to follow through with editing images because there will be more than just one. Sometimes I find I put off editing because I think, “Well it’s only one picture I don’t have to spend a ton of time on it” and that one picture never gets finished because I never get to it. On top of this, I think a series of images similar to each other will help me create the cohesive portfolio I’ve been struggling with as well. It took me a long time to realize this, but a lot of the more conceptually-based photographers I’ve seen have a few sets of related images for their portfolios and nothing else. It sounds like it would be stupid to do things that way but in my opinion, having a batch of related images wins over having a ton of unrelated images from a soup bowl to a beach scene any day.

Anyway, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for different sets of images and so far it seems to be going well. I’ll be sure to post my first complete series of images when they are complete.


The one thing that seems to turn off a client on-location is hearing the photographer say, “I’ve never shot this before but we’ll see how it goes”. I am guilty of this on a few separate occasions but I’ve recently started shooting portraits and not had a problem. Why? Because I always take self-portraits, so it’s not technically lying if I don’t admit that I haven’t done a real portrait shoot for someone.

My point is, even if you’re trying to create new work, no one likes hearing that you haven’t shot something before when they’re standing in front of the camera. For me, there wasn’t really much of a transition from self-portraits to portraits of others, I just had to cut back on the photoshopping. It’s almost as if you have to go out and shoot the things you haven’t shot before you even shoot them for the first time for a client.

I’ll give an example, I’ve done commissioned work for a local museum pretty frequently throughout the past year. On jobs I get asked for a business card and/or a website. In my opinion, one is no good without the other, I want both. However, because of copyrights by the museum’s artists and also running the risk getting pigeonholed into shooting copy work I thought it’d be a good idea to make a website that advertises for something I haven’t gotten paid to shoot yet in conjunction with some of the copy work save the actual images because of copyrights and other things. One of the guys I worked with put it perfectly, “Do you need a photographer? Alex is great, he shoots chairs and wooden things for the museum but he’d be great to photograph your kid”. That doesn’t compute right? I can’t get paid for portraits if I don’t have any portraits.

I went ahead and got a few friends and friends of friends together to take some photographs for my upcoming website consisting mostly of portraiture. This way, I would get some experience photographing people in the studio and outside while creating the images that could get me started with commissioned work. The most important thing to me is getting those initial portraits done, so I made all the shoots for August free of charge. I’ve since shot all the portraits I wanted to shoot and I’m down to the last two dozen images to edit. Once those are finished I will have the portrait section of my upcoming website done. Now at least I can say, “Yes I have done a portrait shoot, yes I can do your portrait shoot, awesome” instead of the former, “I do mostly furniture but I can do your portraits”. The first statement sounds much stronger and from a potential client’s perspective I think I would pick that guy over the second guy.

The other section of my website is going to be more conceptual type self-portrait work, coming up with an idea, shooting, editing. Ideally I’d like to be able to photograph others with a concept in mind for the shoot but right now I’m happy with the giant leap forward I’ve made in the past month alone.

I can’t wait for you to see some of the portraits I’ve done.

I’ll keep you posted


In one of my previous blog posts I discussed how much my view on photography and the work I create has changed over the last year of my life. I explained that it’s nice to be back in the saddle and creating photographs that I want to create — not just photos for an assignment or a paying client. I thought it would be easy to pickup where I left off but I decided to take the time to look over my work and analyze it thoroughly. And in an effort to not repeat myself and also gain a bit more control over the look and feel of my photographs, I’ve started to create things based on an initial idea and not just what I see and capture.

The first stumbling block for me with this approach and style of photography is that everything you shoot goes towards building up a vision. I need to have a constant flow of new and creative ideas that I am excited about turning into photographs. These ideas must, in my opinion, also have a certain consistency to them regarding the type of idea that it is ( hopefully a good idea ) and how well it is executed through a photographic process. My solution to all of these criteria comes in the form of what is known as the Vision Board.

During my sophomore year of high school I was taking a creative writing class. Every now and then, it almost feels like a certain group of kids were meant to be put in the same space with each other for a trimester. The older students were role models to the younger students and they all fed off of each other during group activities and discussions. Everyone was a good, attentive listener and gave useful feedback and positive criticism for all pieces of writing. After high school was over, this class had turned out to be one of the best classes I could have taken during all four years of high school. One day our teacher shared with us a film called The Secret. The film explains the concept of the vision board and gives a few examples of its potential effects. Funnily enough, I was able to find a link to the full film online and embed its contents below! Please watch it, it is not very long, and if nothing else you should come out of it with some motivation to go do something productive.

 Over the past few years I have come to know Vision Boards as a means to help attract anything to you. It is my view that a Vision Board should at the very least help to quickly place you in a happy and creative mood. I think that as long as you do in fact create your own Vision Board then you will feel good about it. I cannot think of a time where I have created something all on my own and not felt happy and accomplished at the end. However, it is not restricted to these few traits, the overall purpose of the Vision Board can change over time. I’ll give you a few examples:

My first Vision Board, from my CW class in high school, was filled with many material wants. There were a lot of shirts and shoes, electronics and computers all over the board. But there were still things that made me happy, I put a few quotes of things I found to be inspirational and a few pictures of people that were important to me. A close friend. A role model. Basically my board was a digital rebel from Canon’s first DSLR lineup and a few flannel shirts and a nice, big photo of Owl City’s Ocean Eyes album cover.

My second Vision Board came about in late 2011/12 and defined a lot of the things from the first vision board but only one step further. Oddly enough I ended up purchasing, without really trying to, the exact camera I had placed on the first Vision Board in May of 2010, just after the CW class had ended. I hadn’t even looked my board in a really long time but it had turned out I had somehow managed to acquire almost all of the things I had wanted. I had to put the Macbook Pro back onto this second Vision Board because I had not gotten one yet. I also added a Wacom Tablet, Computer Monitor, Kindle, and crazy Photoshop skills onto this second vision board. So I had somehow managed to bring photography much further into my life by going through and creating a physical, tangible object like a Vision Board and clearly defining what I wanted with pictures from Google images. This second Vision Board had about an equal amount of material items and intangible qualities like PS skills or creativity. This board stayed up in my bedroom until I came back from college a month or two ago and I took it down because it was looking a bit out of date. I had acquired a newer camera, the Wacom Tablet and computer monitor. I even was able to get some more skills with PS while I was blindly surfing the internet in my dorm one day only to come across Phlearn, the handiwork of Aaron Nace. I now own about 8 or 9 PRO tutorials and I have learned more about Photoshop in the past six months from Phlearn than I could have ever imagined.

I have just finished my third Vision Board as of July 8th and it is my best, most-complete Vision Board yet.

I think this Vision Board is my best yet because it best describes me as I am on the date of its completion (July 8th, 2013) but it also best describes where I want to go in the future. It is the best at describing, in detail, my artistic and creative goals, who my role models are, who I am trying to emulate, and what I want my next photographs to look and feel like. This Vision Board clearly defines different sources of inspiration for me while making me feel good and it puts me in a positive mood even at a short glance. This board was very fun and therapeutic to make while my first board felt a bit forced and was difficult to create because there was a time constraint and a graded assignment involved. This board, as well as the second, was made solely for the purpose of having a physical point of focus on my almost everything important to me creatively. This board is an anchor to help me to stay the course, focus on a goal and pursue it. I could not be more excited about this Vision Board. I could not be more excited to bring everything in my head that much closer to fruition.

-Alex Hochstrasser

I have an ever-increasing repertoire of pictures from around my house because of poor weather conditions. I don’t think these kinds of pictures deserve an negativity, but it certainly does say something about how much of a homebody I am sometimes.

Stuck In A Dream

However, if I do stay inside, I try to challenge myself to come up with something interesting. This becomes inherently more difficult as I run out of ideas.


Try To Sleep

Invisible Man I

I saw somewhere on the web that someone was using an old projector screen as a backdrop for their studio setup, maybe I’ll do that after I figure out a solid DIY form of lighting. It’s not that I need my own studio or anything, but I do think it’s important to have a set space for lights and backdrops and tripods and all that stuff, that also doubles as my bedroom at the moment. I’d really like to do some self-portraits with flashes and softboxes.

Midnight Reading

The Land Outside

Recently, I have started to make some photo manipulations. This is different from photography because the starting pictures (stocks) are not my own. I combine them in Photoshop to create something different entirely. Many of them do not come out “spectacular” by any means, but it is a good way for me to learn the tools of Photoshop that I wouldn’t normally use. This way, when I need to do something out of the ordinary, I’ve already had experience with it on a photo manipulation.

The House On The Hill

I think the largest factor to creating these is just knowing exactly what I want to create before I even start. There’s going to be thousands of stock images I’ll have to sift through and it’s a lot easier for me if I know what words to enter into the search bar instead of randomly surfing around.

The Kite Runner

I’m going to start putting pictures away, like a time capsule almost. It’d be very similar to a retirement fund, a certain percentage of your weekly paycheck is deposited into a bank account for later. For instance, after shooting on any particular day, I will take a few pictures off the top and stick them into a separate folder on my hard dive. The rest will be uploaded to Flickr or Deviantart or whatever I want to do with them.

I’m very excited about this idea, because it pushes me to take way more pictures than before, let’s just hope my cameras can bear the weight. My goal is set to have a thousand pictures in my folder, which will probably be narrowed down after all is said and done. If I can get a hundred solid pictures together I’ll be happy.