Tag Archives: photography

S(Monday) Scraps 105


1. TEXAS: This is a long and beautiful piece by Amy Gentry for The Rumpus about abortion, body politics, and who we’re really protecting.

2. BADASS: Senator Claire McCaskill replies to James Taranto’s horrifying essay about how the fight against sexual assault in the military is actually a “war on men” and male sexuality. Taranto: 0, McCaskill: ALL OF THE POINTS.

3. TRAVEL: Fascinating essay by travel writer Simon Winchester about a tiny island of 300 people, Tristan de Cunha, and how he got banned from visiting for violating local customs.

4. HISTORY: In the wake of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, Slate has an example of the dizzyingly confusing literacy tests that were used in the 50s and 60s to prevent black people from voting.

5. PLANNED PARENTHOOD: In case you ever forget what Planned Parenthood provides, a lovely essay from the blog What Are You Doing Here, Are You Lost?

6. CITIES: Chicago Magazine has an awesome series of panoramic shots of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, pre- and during industrial development.

Related Post: Sunday 104 – Books in pie-chart form, awesome ASL translators, what is a bro?

Related Post: Sunday 103 – Awesome people reading, pin-up presidents, Rich Kids of Instagram


Filed under Art, Body Image, Chicago, Gender, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 102


1. JOURNALISM: This my be my favorite editorial I’ve read in quite some time. From Tim Krieder at the NYT, he writes about uncertainty of stating one’s opinions on the internet: “I felt like the explanatory caption beneath my name on-screen ought to be: PERSON IN WORLD.” This is basically exactly how I feel about everything.

2. STYLE: Ever wonder about Rihanna’s hairstylist? Who is this person? Where did he or she come from? NYMag has got you covered.

3. WAR: In this not at all scientific but very strangely powerful series, soldiers are photographed before, during, and after war.

4. TELEVISION: How to make a good drama that wins lots of awards. Is there a formula for that? Perchance there is and it’s only 13 steps!

5. GEOGRAPHY: Highly difficult, highly addictive, Geoguessr is game where google streetview displays a picture and you try to guess where in the world it was taken. Good luck with Australia vs. Texas.

6. DEPRESSION: Blogger Allie Brosh is back after a long hiatus. This webcomic explains where she’s been, and also does a pretty excellent job at describing depression to those that are not depressed. Play close attention to the fish analogy.

Related Post: Sunday 101 – Dear Daughter, Colbert’s “homophobe” song, Lennon and Maisey

Related Post: Sunday 102 – Why lady looks matter, SCOTUS, Huma + Anthony, football tragedy


Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People

Rosie in the News: Alfred T. Palmer Edition

I can’t figure out why these photographs are suddenly showing up in my internet lap this week, but I’m not mad they’re here. Alfred T. Palmer was a photographer most famous for his WWII portraits, including these fabulous color prints of Rosies riveting:


Rosie 2

Rosie 3

Rosie 4

Related Post: The whole Rosie in the News archive


Filed under Art

Sunday Scraps 92


1. CHICAGO: Love this story from Chicago Magazine about the millionaire founder of Land’s End’s financial and emotional commitment to personally reinvigorating the neighborhood he grew up in.

2. TINA: Blurgh! It’s over. At least the dearly departed 30 Rock  has left us with some serious vocabulary, as catalogued by Slate.

3. TINA #2: More on 30 Rock, because it’s just that important, Wesley Morris for Grantland specifically focuses on the show’s portrayal of race.

4. ART: Photographer Paul Schneggenberger captures couples sleeping over a 6 hour period and creates sort of wierd, mostly awesome portraits of sleep.

5. GUNS: Illinois has super harsh gun laws and yet Chicago has a serious gun problem. What gives? NYT has a map showing where Chicago guns come from.

6. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: My new favorite NBA player, Kenneth Faried, introduces his two moms (who seem quite reluctant to be on camera) to lend his voice to the fight for marriage equality.

Related Post: Sunday 91 – McDonald’s and books, sci-fi gender swapping, celeb high school photos

Related Post: Sunday 90 – Lindsay Lohan, Frida, Tina + Amy Forever


Filed under Art, Chicago, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

Sunday Scraps 82

1. SPORTS: New York Times Magazine has a killer front page story on Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder, how NBA can revitalize a city, and a city can dig in and support a team.

2. LADIES: Mother Jones has compiled a quick list of some kick-ass stats about women this election cycle. You’ve probably seen them, but it’s pretty powerful to line them up like this.

3. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: NFL-er of my dreams, Minnesota kicker Chris Kluwe, writes for Slate about what an amazing day it was on Tuesday. Progressive athletes = the coolest.

4. MADDOW: Have you seen Rachel Maddow’s summary of Tuesday’s results. Girlface kills it so hard.

5. BIGOTRY: Dominic Holden for The Stranger undertakes an interesting experiment, calling all of the biggest donors who contributed to the fight against marriage equality in Washington.

6. NYC: Great story in NYMag about the process of creating what will soon be the iconic image of post-Sandy NYC.

Related Post: Sunday 81: Callie Khouri, Anita Sarkeesian, sex surrogacy and Bill Maher.

Related Post: Sunday 80: Colbert, Leslie Gore, Halloween and a Breaking Bad parody.


Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Sports

Sunday Scraps 78

1. FRISK: A 17-year-old in New York City secretly recorded two cops harassing him for his race and appearance and threatening to beat him, all part of the legal policy known as “Stop and Frisk” (The Atlantic).

2. WEIGHT: Roxane Gay writes for the Wall Street Journal on how, despite the recent rash of plus-sized women on  screen, their weight is still the punch line to a joke instead of just one feature of many.

3. KISS: You know that famous VJ Day kiss photo? Turns out that the story isn’t quite what we thought it was, and a whole lot less romantic (Mother Jones).

4. INTERWEBZ: Reddit’s #1 creeper (creator of such subreddits as “jailbait” and “creeshots”) was recently outed by Gawker. Given the guy has made his name posting other people’s photos and claiming “if they didn’t want us to see it, they wouldn’t have put it on Facebook,” it seems ironic that he’s so pissed about being exposed. Dude, if you didn’t want people to know you’re a creeper, don’t be a creeper.

5. GIRLS: This week’s International Day of the Girl had the likes of Melinda Gates, Christiane Amanpour and Oprah offering advice to their 15-year-old selves.

6. INIGO: Homeland standout Mandy Patinkin was interviewed by NPR about the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride. He said, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed…”

Related Post: Sunday 77 – the worst bride ever, Urban Cusp, replacement refs

Related Post: Sunday 76 – Zadie Smith, xkcd founder, Vice 


Filed under Body Image, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Monday Scraps 73

1. AUTHORS: Philip Roth attempts to correct a misinformed wikipedia article about his own work via the New Yorker. Hilarity sort of ensues.

2. FOOTBALL: Chris Kluwe joins the ranks of my favorite NFL players by ripping into an idiotic politician who tried to censor a pro-marriage equality NFL player (Deadspin).

3. PHOTOS: Curious about Burning Man? Me neither. The Atlantic has some photos.

4. POETRY: I’ve been sitting on this poem for a while, but it’s just too good not to share. By Kim Green of The Greenery, it’s called 25 Categories of Rape.

5. SEX: Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed this BBC piece on the illustrations and illustrators behind the famous and famously hairy Joy of Sex.

6. ELECTION: Who gets ignored in our pro-family, pro-mom, pro-America (huzzah!) electioneering? Single women, of whom there are a whole lot. Are we only important after we give birth? (via Slate)

Related Post: Sunday 72 – Olympian Zoe Smith, Katrina, Valerie Jarrett, and more.

Related Post: Sunday 71 – America Ferrera, Cosmo worldwide, former Olympic stadiums, etc.


Filed under Art, Books, Gender, Media, Politics, Sex

A Day of NOH8

25,000 photos and counting. That’s the impact of the NOH8 campaign, brainchild of Adam Bouska, a celebrity photographer who has turned duct tape and a temporary tattoo into the defining iconography of the marriage equality movement. In 3 years, Bouska has added unexpected celebrities (Cindy McCain? What?) to the legions of real people who strike a pose and add their faces to the library of those who refuse to live in a society where they, their friends, parents, siblings, and children will be discriminated against.

Today, N0H8 had an open photoshoot in Chicago and on the invitation of a friend I went to add my face to the collage. The official photos won’t be available for a few months, but the joy and energy in the hotel ballroom was something I can share with you now.

I was struck by the diversity, in every identifiable way, of the crowd, and the celebratory buzz in the air. When a young mother finally got her adorable fat baby to smile, the whole crowd literally cheered. There were pets included, families, siblings, friends, and veterans sporting dogtags. I cried at least twice. Here are some of my favorite moments:

Sean, Rachel, and I applying our NOH8 tattoos

Adorable-est family received actual cheers

I loved each waiting line, a perfect way to document the diversity of the crew

My friend Sean and his bunny, Biddie (the first NOH8 bunny!)

Conrad and I

When we left the hotel, a tourist dad asked me what “H 8″ stood for. I hesitated and replied “It stands for ‘hate’, there’s an event in the W Hotel,” and then walked right on by. I was reluctant to tell him the cause for which we had just stood in line for an hour and a half to support. I wasn’t afraid of him, but I was afraid of confrontation, and that is not a good thing. The duct tape we wore in the photos is representative of being de-voiced, deprived of your ability to fully express yourself and your love, and here I was de-voicing myself to this stranger.

It’s that split second of fear, of paranoia, of hesitation, that is indicative of how much work we have left to do on behalf of LGBTQ rights. We should never be afraid to say that total equality is a cause we’re working towards. That’s something to be proud of.

Related Post: Pride in Chicago

Related Post: Do you hope your child is straight?


Filed under Chicago, Family, Gender, Media, Politics

So What Do You Do Exactly? Photography Edition

Helen, with one of the vintage cameras she and Lindi collect

I’m super pumped to share today’s So What Do You Do Exactly?! This is Helen. She and her wife Lindi own their own photography business in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They are also the masterminds behind lifestyle blog Bettencourt Chase (which I have written about here and here).

This whole photography thing, how’d that start? Lots of people take pictures, fewer people make a living at it: We had both done photography in some capacity for years before we ever thought about doing it as a business. We were both on newspaper staffs in our respective high schools, and then did student media in college as well. Photography was a creative outlet, something we did for fun. Eventually it just evolved into something we made money doing! It takes an enormous amount of work, but we both love it.
You are business owners! That is extremely badass! Tell me a little about the process of getting up and running. Originally Lindi was the main photographer while I assisted. After a few months, though, we realized that we both wanted it to be completely a team effort. We scrapped the old business cards (with her company name), had a new one made.
We were definitely not well-versed enough in state and federal tax laws before we started the business. In some states, including AR, business owners have to pay sales tax and income tax on services rendered. Because I’m from OK, where the law is different, we didn’t know about the sales tax when we started.  As a result, we were audited, which was frustrating and a little scary. It was a mess, but luckily not too traumatic and it was sorted out in a few months.
Give me a little behind the scenes. How much time do you spend planning, marketing, at actual events and then editing? We finally sat down last year and figured out the ratio of working time to shooting time, and it tends to be between 3-6 hours to 1, depending on the project. If we shoot an 8 hour wedding, we might spend upwards of 60 hours meeting with and emailing the clients, doing an engagement shoot, editing, creating online galleries, ordering prints and so on. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t realize when they object to the prices photograpers quote them. Although a figure like $125 an hour might seem like a lot of money for a one-hour portrait session, after all is said and done that actually only evens out to about $15/hour each… before taxes.

How do you market yourselves and drum up business? Our marketing has been mostly online and word of mouth. We have a website and a Facebook page, and we put up fliers around town once in a while, but most of our clients come to us because they know someone we’ve worked with who has recommended us. I love thinking about how working with one person branches out into other contacts and referrals!adf

Since we are sort of ‘jack-of-all-trades’ photographers and don’t just work in one specific field, we also often work with people for more than one thing. Someone we have done portraits with may come back later for their wedding, or a couple we’ve done wedding photography for may return for maternity or family portraits.

Do you feel like wedding photographers get a bad rap? I don’t know that many people would consider wedding/portrait photographers artists, but I do. We see and capture so much beauty and emotion with the work we do, and it is the sort of beauty and emotion that is relatable (and treasured) by everyday people. Certainly fine art/high fashion photographers do some phenomenal work as well, but I feel as though we do work that is often perhaps a bit more accessible.

I’ve met some lousy wedding photographers (one yelled during group shots, “Big girl, big girl, move to the left!”) What have you learned about managing families while doing this? I think the biggest thing we can do is to always be calm (or at least to seem calm, even if we don’t feel like it). We’ve been the awkward ones standing in the corner during family drama, and the ones who have ended up bustling more brides’ dresses than I can count. We’re there for nearly every moment on one of the most amazing, but also challenging, days ever for each of the couples we work with.

The most helpful tool we’ve found for group shots is to have the bride and groom make a list of all the combinations of people they want photos of during the group photos, and then just work our way down the list. That way we have the ‘authority of the list’ and we also make sure no one gets left out.

What are your views on the amount of money/energy/insanity that goes into the wedding industrial complex these days? As people who rely on the wedding industry for a fair amount of our yearly income, we are nonetheless both kind of freaked out by it. We try to keep our prices as reasonable and fair as possible, while still supporting ourselves, because things shouldn’t be more expensive just because they are for a wedding. We also don’t want to contribute to couples starting their marriages in debt.dsf

Lindi and Helen

Our own wedding cost about $2500 (which is less than 10% of the current national average for wedding spending) and we’re both pretty thrifty and crafty.  That being said, I do think everyone should have exactly the kind of wedding they want to have, whether it costs $100 or $100,000. I just don’t think anyone should be pressured in to having a wedding someone else thinks they should have. We had the wedding that made the most sense to us, and that is what I hope others are able to do as well.

You guys are married! What’s it like to be at the other side of the lens? I can’t imagine ever doing this by myself. We’re a team, and we work amazingly well together. I would guess that being married has strengthened our business, and also that it is pretty likely that working together has strengthened our marriage.

Where would you like this business to go in the next few years? Someday shooting Malia Obama’s wedding? Hah! That would be a lot of fun. In a few years, we may be supporting ourselves 100% with our art (right now I have a day job to provide steady income for pesky things like student loans and utility payments, while Lindi manages the business and our home). As it is, though, we are pretty busy and are just getting busier. It is amazing to be able to make an income with something that started out as a hobby and a love for both of us.
One thing we do have to be careful of is not letting our photography just become ‘work,’ which is actually harder than it seems. Although we certainly love nearly everything we do and all the people we work with, we are super busy and have to make a concerted effort to take some time to do purely creative work.
What do you make of Instagram, where everyone fancies themselves an artist? We both think it is great, although I do hope that people are still taking photos with actual cameras and printing them. Instragram is pretty trendy, but I also worry that in twenty or thirty or fifty years, no one will have photo albums the way our parents and grandparents had. Digital is so fantastic for so many things, but who knows how technology will look in the future? Printed photos serve as such a tangible record of the people and places and things we love. At any rate, though, it is great that people are finding creative ways to express themselves.
For more info on Helen and Lindi, check out their website, Facebook page, lifestyle blog or Pinterest.
Related Post: So What Do You Do Exactly? Parenting Craft edition.
Related Post: So What Do You Do Exactly? Model UN edition.


Filed under Art, Family, Guest Posts

Colors and Shapes

Here are some pretty pictures of plants from Costa Rica. I normally think that pictures of plants are boring, but I took these ones and consequently find them interesting. Plus, it’s just such a delightful surprise that all of these ridiculous shapes and colors are hanging out on the side of the everyday road, like there’s nothing spectacular or magical about them.

Related Post: More garden geekery (domestic!)

Related Post: You kno who likes plants? Aviatrix Kim!


Filed under Art