Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Florida revisited

Tokens of Love

February - the month of love! OK, so I'm a few days behind 'that' know, the very commercialized day of love. Here's my thought, why do we need a day set aside for it? Every day should be filled with tokens of love. The prompt for this post arises from my search to fill the walls in my new home with plenty of photographs and art. Considering that I am a photographer, have boxes and boxes, albums upon albums and more than too many framed images to count, should make this a simple project, right? Hah! Those who know me, are full aware that I can't leave a simple task just so.
After putting up a few framed photographs, I realize that I just, absolutely must have new frames ...and well, new photos. I use this an excuse to start shooting more photos, of my family, still lifes and then some.
I sell great photos of my art images, but do I order any of those for myself to display? Well not many, yet. So I'm on smugmug and etsy, searching for some awesome landscape images - places my husband and I lived over the years, San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, and find many great images. But I'm still not satisfied.
Then this weekend, I'm in my bedroom and just staring at this HUGE blank wall behind our bed...I mean, I have tons of wall space to fill. I never thought this would be a problem.
But, it is.
So, there I am staring and just staring. That wall seems to be growing the longer I stare at it. And then it hits me! I go and pull out two very small special photo albums with photos from many years ago. As I'm looking, I see a theme forming. Yes, turns out it's about love. The love of my family!
There's the image of my husband and boys drawing a heart on the sidewalk with our initials - so cute. And the close-up of the finished art. I reworked it to show different versions. The first image on the top row, left, is the original.
And the photo of my boys in front of a heart-shaped rose bush taken on Mother's Day.
And another Mother's Day photo, one of my favorites - my husband and boys picking wildflowers along a country dirt road in NW Arkansas.
I'm making them all black and white, with the exception of our boys in front of the rose bush. Square format on these, then into square frames to create a gallery of images on that bedroom wall. My husband loves the idea!
There is one image I have not shot and plan to...of the heart shaped rocks my kids have collected for me over the years.
Well, don't wait for a 'day' to tell those you love them. Show them every minute of every day. Oh, one other thing. While we all strive for perfection, especially in photographs, think about which photos you really love! Most of mine were shot with either 110 film or less than quality 35mm film some 20 plus years ago. I hope this inspires you to pull out a box of your old photos and display them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Which do you like best?

I'm working on a bridal tab for our newspaper (one of those projects I do each year and I really enjoy it) and wanted a nice cover for the section. My original idea was to shoot something very modern and simple. Less is More, right? Well then I came up with the idea of the ring on a Bible casting a shape of a heart on the pages. That didn't work. While I like these images, I'm not sure they are what I really want for the cover.

Feel free to post which one you like best!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

South Beach in black and white

I just added this photograph to my etsy shop. I shot it in November 2007 while in Fort Lauderdale, at the end of Sunset? along the Florida coastline. It's a beautiful area and I loved the fact that while you are in this huge metro area, along the beach and waterfront region, you don't feel like you are going to get mugged. Families were enjoying their vacations, Floridians were pursuing the outdoor physical fitness opportunities, from yoga on the beach in the morning to running in the late evening hours, and weddings and baptisms were taking place. Diversity in its finest. This is a limited edition of 50 in this size, 10x10 print, the image has a border as you see and will fit in the 10x10 frame. There are 48 left. The actual print is awesome. I added a film grain texture, very slight to enhance the image. While I am definitely a digital fan, film is where it all began and being able to duplicate that with digital is fun. I hope you enjoy this image!
ummmm and why doesn't ANYONE ever post comments on blogs?! LOL HINT!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Inspiration

It's not a photo that I shot, but instead something I came across on etsy. Go to this shop: JMJ Studio. Great artwork, but the story behind this particular image is wonderful and thus the reason for my Sunday Inspiration post. This is the direct link to that post But to give you a hint, the artwork is LOVE in Braille. The artist's daughter is blind.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cowgirl in a red dress

Shot photos for a friend who wanted to give her husband a portrait for Valentine's Day. It was fun and she found out that I will go to extremes for a shot. She was not sure about trampling out into this field behind their house but I have had an idea for just such an image for quite some time. Her favorite is the one on the fence. And since she's shown her husband the images from the session, I feel comfortable now posting a few on my blog. There's more on my Web site on the wedding side under new galleries.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inspiration on a Tuesday

I really should have posted this Sunday. These were shot in the first week of September 2007 on the day M. was released from the hospital. This caught my eye and I forgot about it until I was going through some old photo files.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

M. sees her first horse

And even horses need bling!

Wonderful craftsmanship from some of the top spurmakers known...saw the name Tony Wallace on one of the cards.

Gorgeous prints, rugs and photos from Red River Western Decor (dot com)..images were either Tim Cox or Tom Ryan. This one was priced $165, the frame was beautiful. You can find both artists online. I believe this might have been a Tim Cox image. Considering the online artist pricing, this price with frame was a steal! You can also find their work available at art online stores.

You'd think I could get a wonderful moment like this in focus!

The Oklahoma Horse Fair was in town for four days, but I only managed to get there for an hour on Saturday. And we really didn't do much in the way of watching horses, but browsed and visited with vendors. I bought a really cool gel candle that has barbed wire in it and the lid was 'branded' -smells good too. Banana Nut Bread. Wish I could remember who the vendor was. I thought I had his card?! He's not online though. He also was selling some nice jewelry.

Fell in love with some handcrafted beds from a artisan up near the NW Arkansas border. And bought a couple of photograph notecards from a photographer whose work is nice. One of them was of an old barn by Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had more photos but deleted them to make room for some extra images I shot of a friend right after our stop at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. She's wanting a portrait to give her husband for Valentines Day.

Anyway, K., M. and I had fun looking at all the 'horse bling' and baby even got her first up close encounter with one of the horses there for sale.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Aqua Botanical

Who would have thought a dried flower pod could become a work of art? Well, I never did, at least not in my creative control. But here it is. It started with a photo shoot of some dried botanicals so I could have some sharp new black and white images for my new home. I never make anything strictly black and white these days. I was going for an espresso touch. I already have one framed in a brushed aluminum frame (have two more to do - 8x10s in 11x14 frames). Well then tonight I thought I'd try my hand at digital painting. So I added layers, textures, played with colors and then did some digital painting for the final effect of this image. I love it! I plan to order it in metallic finish.
And I updated my site: www.tonihopperphotography (dot com thingy). On the wedding side, I added a art gallery section and those images are for sale. Just let me know if you want one. Use the contact page there. It's an enjoyable slide show and I will be adding more in the coming weeks.

Someone also asked me the other day if I would be doing sessions this spring and if I'm booking weddings. Yes and no. All wedding inquiries require a consultation and are dependant on that outcome. Use the contact page on my site if you are interested in a session or consultation.