Friday, August 31, 2012

Road trip photoshoot

Photographer: Mark Anderson
This was an interesting shoot with Mark Anderson because there was absolutely nothing planned. He wanted to shoot with me... and at some point, he wanted me to have wet hair... that was all we knew! We were just going to get in the car and drive. I brought a bunch of clothes and had makeup/hair in a way that I could modify it on the go. We found several really cool locations to play with including acres of junky cars, a field of daisies, and giant rocks with crashing waves. 

I personally loved the field of daisies. Mark's daughter was along, and I think she liked that field too! He'd have to scoot her out of the frame every now and then, as she seemed to just escaped to another world while walking through the shot. ;) 

Photographer: Mark Anderson
The ONE place Mark knew we needed to end up was by the water, to get those wet hair shots he had in mind. This is Wisconsin, and it was early spring I believe... it was COLD... and we were going to dunk my head in Lake Michigan... even colder. But the great shots are rarely easy. ;)  So in a tiny little dress, I was bent over this puddle the crashing waves had created, and Mark soaked my head. Through the chattering teeth, we made it work, and got some neat shots! He made sure I covered up with a blanket in between, and got us in and out of there as fast as he could. That is always so nice when working with a photographer... when they realize that you are a human. :)

We didn't get back to town until after it was dark. A long day filled with a ton of mini shoots. So cool to look at what a range we got, in one day. And it was another exercise for me to learn to let go, to give up some control, and to just go with the flow. Great lessons for this kind of stuff and for life in general. Things can be  more fun, and in an totally unexpected way! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

101 Women by Kara Counard

The photo that appeared in Kara's project
Remember Kara from the bird shoot? Here's another project from her!

She set out to photograph 101 Women in the community, and she photographed them where they felt at home. She asked me to be one of the women (I ended up being #100).  I was honored to be a part of this project. 

When I had to think of where I felt "at home" however, I didn't have a straight forward response. I decided on: the beach...I love the is my happy place. The second I hear the waves, nothing else exists. Most calming noise in the world to me. :) I had wanted to do a self-portrait at the beach for a while, and this was perfect... because that was sort of what I was known for, self-portraits. So we decided to find a day to go to the beach, and have her photograph me, while I was taking a self-portrait, wearing some of my favorite most comfy clothing: Thumb-hole hoodie and happy bunny pj pants. ;)
From one of the mini tangent shoots that day. 
Photo by Kara / Other model is Seth Nayes

What my self-portrait session turned into after Seth 
photo-bombed a couple images...We decided to roll 
with it! Photographs by: me
Oh what a day this was! Kara brought her son and our friend Seth along. Seth is an incredibly inspiring individual... and a fantastic model. Before I had gotten into modeling, and throughout it, I have been impressed by how emotional his images are, and how incredible his posing is. He is able to just let go. I have learned a ton just by looking at his work, and even more by meeting/working with him.

Things quickly turned into something else...A series of  additional mini photoshoots... including images with Seth and I, and of all of us individually. It blows my mind how it evolved! Truly an inspiring and fun filled day! Kara captured an image that just gave me chills (above)... and when Seth photo-bombed me (over there -->), I was awe struck by how haunting these all fell into place so perfectly... 

Kara wrapped up her project with an art show. It was very cool to see these beautiful portraits filled with personality on display and as a whole...some of the women I knew, and it was interesting to see how she captured ways I hadn't ever seen with my own eyes before. She is just filled with talent like this. 

Read more about the 101 Women Project and Kara's other work on her blog (I'm pasting the link where she talks about this shoot with me):

She made a book from the project!

Photos from the art gallery opening:

FYI she did another project this past year, with women over 90. Another beautiful show with touching photos and lots of stories!

And check out her facebook page:

And to see more of my work:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pin-up shoot

Photographer: Mark Anderson
For those of you who know me, I'm not a girly girl... modeling has gotten me into more girly stuff than I've ever experienced in my life, but down at the core, I'm a band t-shirt and jeans kinda girl! So when I was invited to model for a pin-up themed shoot, I was lost! Not to mention I sort of had this idea of pin-up that wasn't how I wanted to market myself...a little too risque for me... My rule is that I need my dad to be able to see these images, and even my grandparents. I also want to lean more towards the artsy side of things. My original idea of pin-up didn't fit any of this, but I knew a handful of the photographers and yet again I trusted in them that the images were going to be classy. I did a bit of pin-up research prior to the shoot, since I didn't have a clue as to how to model this theme. I was pleasantly surprised. My parents even filled me in a bit about the classic pin-up stuff. Started to feel a bit more at ease! Except for the fact that modeling this was going to require sexy, yet classy, posing and flirty expressions...Me?! Sexy and flirty?! *rolling on the floor laughing*

Photographer: Images by Casi
The group that got together for this was ridiculous... Mark Anderson (STUN Photography), Shanna Koltz (Koltz Photography), Casi Lark-Sitterly (Images by Casi), Che Correa (Che Correa Photography) as photographers...with the hair team of Jessica Rodinelli and Christopher Cody Hartl (now with their own hair biz of Anagen Eleven)...and the talented makeup artist known as Colour Law. I knew the photographers, I knew the other models, that all helped comfort me a bit... we were able to laugh a lot that day! I was blown away by hair and makeup...first time getting air brush makeup done--IN LOVE! Law transformed my face to be completely flawless, she even changed the shape of my lips. The lashes she used on all of us were insane. And the hair styles, *gasp!* Amazing! It sure is something when you look in the mirror and don't recognize yourself because you're too dang pretty and that can't possibly be you!

Photographer: Mark Anderson

The sexy and flirty posing and expressions were tricky for me...that was brand new. I'm used to doing artsy, dark, depressing stuff. ;) But it was fun to push myself out of my comfort zone yet again. The fun crew definitely helped keep the mood light, which helps for stuff like this. It is easy to be giggly when you have a photographer failing to resist the urge to take your photo a handful of times--ahem, Shanna. ;) She just couldn't stop! And that is a great feeling to inspire like that. 

One of my favorite comments on the pictures was from my dad, he told me I looked just like my grandma when she was my age. :)
For more pinup images:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Photographer: Bloom Photography
I may have met Kara before I started modeling...if not, it was very early on. And I remember seeing Reanna's modeling photos and being blown away-a mutual friend actually gave me some modeling advice from Reanna... little did I know I would actually have the opportunity to model side by side with her! Then there is Stephanie...the makeup artist. A true artist! Kara, Reanna, and Stephanie had already collaborated on a "deer" themed shoot (amazing) and invited me along for the follow up shoot: birds. I didn't even have to think twice!

At this point, I was still learning to let go of that control I had with self portraits and to trust these photographers...our group of girls met at a coffee shop to discuss ideas, and I learned very quickly that I HAD to trust. Kara has a beautiful style that is very much a "go with the flow" kind of style... she doesn't worry about things, she just trusts we'll pull it together. I, however, needed details! ;) Umm, Kara wasn't going to give me that. And I'm glad she didn't! I was forced to give up that control, and to loosen up. Stephanie too--can you imagine my reaction when she told me something along the lines of "We're going to take your eyebrows off"... Oh boy...*trust trust trust...ugh...friggin trust!* Thank goodness the eyebrows weren't actually removed, just hidden. ;)

Dad even got in on the fun... he and I created this giant nest that both Reanna and I could fit in-carefully. We had a driveway full of vines, had a few neighbors stop over and question our sanity ("Ummm, are you building a nest?!" "Why yes, how do you spend YOUR afternoons?"), I got poked up the nose (literally, blood sweat and tears when into this!)... And all I could think was "My gosh is this fun! Who else gets to do this?!" 

So then we were set...well, not set enough for me, but we were going for it! ;) And on one wintery Wisconsin day...1 photographer, 2 "birds", and a giant man-made nest ventured into the woods... through a few feet of snow...over hills...dodging falling snow...braving the cold...All in the name of art! (Crazy what we do for art!)

Kara has a natural talent with seeing light. It was fun watching her shoot-she's all over, and in the craziest positions. As a result, she gets shots that not everyone could. She sees things not everyone sees-something my dad taught me a long time ago-and perhaps this is why THIS shoot is still one of his personal favorites. :) 

Between Kara's eye, Stephanie's creative makeup/hair/vision, and Reanna's lead, of COURSE this shoot would rock. I learned so much from each of these ladies, things that I've applied to my work ever since. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to create with you!

I won't say much else except that this past year we did yet another shoot together...the images are not released yet, but yet again, it was absolutely amazing. Keep an eye out for it!

I have since had the privilege of working with Kara in several other ways including assisting and will be second shooting for her this year, too! Check out more of her work here (Bloom Photography):  

For more from the bird shoot, visit my artist page: or view the whole set on Kara's personal page:

Group shoots

Promo image for 2011 MMM event
Photographer: Mark Anderson, STUN
MUA: Green Bay Fear crew
As I mentioned yesterday, I pretty much got my start with a local photographer who coordinates a model/photographer group in town (Mark Anderson, STUN Photography / Group is called FUSE fotogroup). He had been doing themed monthly group shoots. While the group no longer meets that often, there are a couple group shoots still held every year. One of the first larger group shoots I participated in is called Models, Monsters and Motors. There is a pinup/classic cars portion, and later in the day we transform into zombies and other creepy creatures and head into the haunted house for a darker twist. The event is actually coming up at the end of September...If you are in WI, I highly suggest you check it out! 

Official facebook page, which includes sample images:  

Event page:

These group shoots have provided me with an opportunity to practice, to learn, and to network with other photographers, models, and hair/makeup artists. It was events like this that allowed me to make connections and set up one-on-one shoots. They provide a stepping stone, in a sense. The events are public and open to all levels. That being said, when setting up future one-on-one shoots, people are always encouraged to do a little research on each other, to be smart and safe about this next step. Follow some common sense and tips from other people who have been there, and you can end up making some great, long lasting connections and create some beautiful pieces of art. 

To see some of my modeling images from these shoots, check out my artist page:

Monday, August 27, 2012

My very first one-on-one shoot with a pro

My first one-on-one shoot with a pro
Photographer: Mark Anderson, STUN Photography
As I mentioned in the previous post, this all started with the incredibly talented STUN photography guy (Mark Anderson). ;) For our one on one shoot, my first shoot with a pro EVER, I was clueless. I had done self portraits, but with those, I had complete control...I could make sure they were looking ok, and I could photoshop whatever didn't look good. I had to put my trust in someone else to do this...YIKES! Fortunately, Mark is very good at what he does and made modeling very easy.

We met at an abandoned school house that a senior showed me during her session. Oh my goodness, this place was a photographer's playground! It was dirty, gross, falling apart, caved in ceilings, broken glass everywhere, and a beautiful abandoned piano... We created some beautiful images that day... I still can't believe we got that kind of work from my first shoot! Mark was so easy to work with and made me feel comfortable. He was able to provide enough direction to get me to do what we needed. We went back the day after, to give another shot at some of the piano photos...he was so in love with those, he wanted to be sure he nailed 'em! Our visit was interrupted by a stranger. This is the other thing that is so great about Mark...he's always looking out for people, he cares, he's protective...He got us out of an uncomfortable situation quickly.

I think I owe a lot to him, for starting me off with such strong artistic photos in my portfolio...for helping me learn how to let go of control, and to trust in a GOOD photographer...for teaching me how to listen to my gut, to avoid sticky to never settle, to never lose that passion that drives you to create, how photography can go beyond photos and be a complete work of art...and so much more. Thank you, Mark!

Since then, I have had the wonderful opportunity to become friends with Mark, to second shoot along side of him, to assist, to model for photography lessons, help out with group events he coordinates, and to model for several other personal projects of his. I truly love working with him! He definitely set the bar high with the photographers I work with...and I think that has helped me build a strong portfolio.

Check out more of his work on my artist page:  or on his personal page:

All in one spot!

I've finally created a facebook artist page! Here I will be posting ALL of my work from modeling, second shooting, assisting, collaborations, projects, and any other artsy stuff I may do. You can find it here:  In addition, I've decided to start a blog so I can go into more detail with some of my future artist page posts.

Black/White Themed group shoot, FUSE
Photographer: Mark Anderson, STUN 
First, let me fill you in with how this all this quiet, shy girl who hated her picture being taken got HERE...Long story short, I was an art major, got a job as a graphic designer, lost that job, had some other personal issues occur, and found myself a bit stuck... I randomly came across this photo/model group page on facebook that was growing in my hometown, FUSE fotogroup ( I had done a bunch of self-portraits, with the purpose of practicing my photography/graphic design skills, and this group looked like a great place to learn more and expand. The lead photographer made a post one day about needing an assistant...I immediately responded. After that shoot, he asked if he could photograph me in the near future and encouraged me to check out the group shoots. I caved in, got rid of my fear of being photographed-and not having complete control over the images, attended my first FUSE group shoot (black/white themed) and had a heck of a first shoot with him!

From there, I continued with my self portraits and started getting asked by other people to model for their personal projects. I attended a few more group shoots, which were great places to network with photographers, models, and hair/makeup artists. My portfolio just kept growing!

Last week, I just returned from a trip to the east coast...I assisted for a shoot by Andrew Kufahl (, photographing a Survivor finalist (read her blog about the experience here: And I modeled in Times Square!!! How crazy is that?!? (umm..very!) 

Stay tuned to catch up on everything that has happened between then and now... and for the images from my east coast adventure! Thank you for reading. :)