winston's newest paintings.

Thanks to Pinterest, winston and I did some mess free painting this morning. And I love the results. I put the paint inside ziplock bags and he smushed and rubbed and painted away! and now the bags are hanging on one of our glass doors and making me pretty happy. I thought perhaps that photographs could be made into prints and given to the grandparents!

This one is my favorite!

a little before and after

Happy Friday!
This morning started super early for me - a recruiter requesting a few web design examples. I have a newfound respect for recruiters, they work hard. I am currently working with 4 and feel confident that one will find me the perfect web design (mostly user centered design with a key reporting component) position.

Over the years, I'm guessing I have designed 50ish websites (or web applications). And this site for start-up Gadgetspace is still among my favorites. Here is the AFTER design.

Written in HTML and CSS - I still love the cleanness of the primary and secondary navigation. And the logos at the bottom scrolled left (thanks to a nifty javascript).

This is the BEFORE website. Pretty different aesthetically, huh?

I loved working for GadgetSpace. They were purchased for Intellectual Property 7 months after I came on board, and kept me on to create the newly branded site. I am trying to find that now, through all of my backed up files. 13 years worth of data/files/images.

Klecka Naturals website design

Edie Stuber hired me to redesign her website a few years ago. It was cluttered and her products weren't selling. Edie creates WONDERFULLY scented massage oils and body sprays. Here's screen grab of the newly designed site.
This is option 2. They picked this instead of the version that included everything they asked for, including specific colors and a different logo. THAT version was visually noisy. That is the PC term web developers use instead of ugly. I knew clean design was the correct choice.

I gathered the data on the most viewed pages, most common search terms, and order information. After so many years designing front ends, user testing, studying best case usability, interpreting their needs and how users would navigate their site proved easy and quick.

Unfortunately the site is not currently live, due to an exciting transition in company branding. It had cool interactivity and some quirky illustrations. The Klecka Naturals website was an incredibly rewarding redesign. I'd love to do that sort of work again.

a few notes on design. past work examples.

I am in the process of applying for jobs - after 8 years of being a freelance designer/photographer/web developer. It will be interesting to see where I end up and what kind of work I will be doing. Gathering portfolio material is extremely hard when you rely on the internet - as none NONE of my old websites are available. No Glaxo, no VIF, no SII, no Gadgetspace. Even the archive doesn't have fully functioning sites.

So, folks are just going to have to trust that I can do the work. But with that, here are examples of the scope of work I can do.

A few years back I was in charge of art direction and the graphic design of Charlotte Baby and Child magazine. The editor/owner and I worked closely to create 3 issues of the 144 page magazine. It was incredibly fun and I loved the final pieces.

I was formally trained as a graphic designer. Back then we sketched and drew to create our designs. And I still do this today, like these logo sketches I created for the American Lung Association, Attack Asthma campaign. I had 6 pages of 24x36 sketches. 

The final logo is shown below, on the right.

Last spring, I was asked to create a logo for Glee and Bliss Photography. The company was originally named Gliss Art - but after the owner had to repeatedly explain that Gliss was a combination Glee and Bliss, I sketched the logo as Glee and Bliss and she loved separating the name. 
and the final logo, shown below, we both liked the sun/cloud combination - And, I still feel good about this logo. Especially that company tagline: Photographic Sunshine 

4 months with machines.

Since October I've been a contract photographer/designer for a big/little company called Carolina Custom Products, located in the tiny tiny town of Union Grove, nc. They have machines that make parts for machines (big amazing machines).

Look at this well loved beauty.
This machine is called a handbrake - it bends metal. The fellow operating it doesn't talk much. 

Here are some of the parts (the "products"). The shapes and cut-outs are beautiful. I was NOT paid to take these photographs, but I just had to. These pieces of metal talked to me (going back and forth to the diet. mtn dew machine).
Even the scraps are beautiful. this reminds me of pencil shavings. just very sharp shavings.
pretty pretty left overs.

I WAS hired to design marketing materials to promote two new ventures for the company, Powder coating and Truck beds. I can now identify treadplate, a gooseneck, 7 pin RV connector, a headache, a wiring loom, and know the weight difference between the standard aluminum truck bed and all steel varieties (about 650 lbs).
The fella wiring the lights is Gary. He is a do-all kind of guy. He was incredibly helpful anytime I needed it. Shannon, they guy with the welding hat is in charge of the truck beds, and he is a hoot. He has great taste in music (classic rock).  The guy standing up is Toot. I think his real name is Robert. I can only imagine why they call him Toot. He drives a lot of forklifts and orders all the metal.

I'll post more photos of the stuff i was PAID to photograph later. I just had to put this out there.
Oh, and sorry it took me so long to get back to blogging. I needed a break. I'm ready again.

more review... NC

I'm working on something NEW NEW NEW today - exciting, although I cannot spill the beans yet, and NO I am not pregnant... But, while figuring out who I am now as a photographer, AND a mother - as well as what kind of work I want to do in the future, I am still reviewing my past work. Here are some highlights of the last year in North Carolina.

So, one of my number 1 fave subjects to photograph are pets. DOGS. Dogs. DOGS. I love dogs, but I rarely do pet portrait photography, which is a shame, because I l.o.v.e it.

Do YOU have a pet you would like for me to photograph? Chicken, donkey, Dog? Just let me know. I might even run a special this summer. for the Dog Days of summer? And the whole session I can play that Florence and the Machine song in the background.

And what about Studio Work you ask???
 I used to do a good amount of Studio photography. The lights. A white or black backdrop. In North Carolina I rocked out a home studio, and in Oregon, I had a separate SUPER fabulous two story garage studio. Although it has been a while since I have done studio work, I really miss it - so one of the things changing with the business, is.... I am doing studio work again.
And THAT, my friends, excites me.
This is a photo from my VERY first baby client: Six and a half years ago. I still love this photo so much. No tricks. No crazy trendy props. Just a deliciously cute baby. Being a baby. There is a simplicity to this kind of work that I respect.
Hmmmm. what could this big announcement be???

preview, review

Next week an Announcement will be made. Although I'm not yet openly talking about WHAT/WHO, lets just say that IT will be twice as good as it is now. I'm super excited.
This announcement has me working on new branding (including logos), newborn postcard, a new pet photography piece, and new pricing sheets. So one of my tasks is to identify my 100 or so favorite photographs. While going through thousands of 2011's photos, I picked these images taken in OHIO. Thought I would post, just as a review.
I adore this engagement shoot from Ohio. These guys were SO young and in love. AND hip. And it made me seriously reconsider wearing crocs. I mean, crocs are so NOT cool. 
I may add some photographs from Oregon tomorrow. Just for fun.

cars, guitars and drool.

My boy Winston is sitting up, eating "solid" food, growing fingernails long enough to cut every other day, and becoming even more amazing (every single day). I am in love - with his straight spiked hair, long fingers, chubby toes, neck rolls, leg rolls and sweet tummy.
Look at those perfectly flush cheeks and lips...
Winston is now crawling. and talking. and cooing. It's wonderful to watch and listen to him growing up and changing. Like, stupid wonderful. He doesn't really have a favorite toy these days, he will put any toy you put in front of him into his mouth...
 I take photos of him at least twice a week. These below were taken a just 2 weeks ago. Look at all of those expressions. He wanted to put his drooly wet hands on my camera. BAD.
 Winston REALLY LOVES me, his Dad and his Dad's guitar (Betty). HE whacks it, strums the strings and talks to her. He has been playing for 6 weeks. Dan and Winston "practice" a few times a week. It is all pretty impressive.
 I rearranged the living room in our townhouse last week and LOVE seeing Betty the guitar hanging prominently on the main wall. MOre than that, i love this photo of dan playing with Winston (and those spectacular striped pants). I will do a big blog post after Winston turns 7 months. Just wanted to post a few of the shots i love most these days.

Izzy, the wonder dog

This is Izzy. She;s the most easy going, sweet, obedient 2 year old I've ever met. Spending an hour with her made me really miss having a dog. I fell in love with her.  Although I don't miss all that hair ONE BIT. 

 I photographed baby Winston with Izzy today (even though she weighs nearly 150 lbs and has paws as large as Winston's head, she was super careful around him).  I wanted to photograph the largest dog possible sitting next to Winston - illustrating the crazy scale difference. This is my favorite shot of the two of them.

Izzy is an American Mastiff. And a sweetheart. And I am pretty sure I want to steal her.

Look how regal.
Would you even THINK about messing with her. No way. (although if you have cheese or chicken nuggets, she will do WHATEVER you ask her to. it is amazing).