Sunday, August 29, 2010

It is what it is - Jasmine* & CreativeLive, day 4

It is about 6.30 am Seattle time, and just about the perfect time of the day to write a little post of day 4 - because yes, really, who needs a bed at this point of the workshop? Yaaaaaay for Seattle coffee. By now I know that Victoria and a few of the guys from the CreatiLiveFive Gang have an IV of Redbull directly going to their blood. Brilliant. But 6.30 am it is, with all the excitement from the past few days I can't sleep anyway, and since I'd promised to post a little something something on the bloggidy, I have to stick to my words. Last thing I need is the internet calling me a big fat liar ;)

To say that yesterday's wedding was amazing was an understatement.

It was stellar. It was unbelievable. It was beyond my wildest dreams. It rocked every little bit of my little world and then back. I still can't believe I got the opportunity to be part of Laura & Billy's day, and had the privilege to shoot for Jasmine* & Jd. Now that I think about it I was probably dreaming all that. Yes. Dreaming. That wild wild imagination I have I tell ya' :)

I felt so blessed Laura and Billy's moments as they were getting ready for the day when they would say forever. I joined Laura as she was hanging out with her girls friends, just getting ready, chill and relaxed as Laura knows to do so well even with 3 cameras going about around her. I don't really think that CreativeLive could have done a better job at picking the perfect couple for this incredible experience.

And the wedding itself? The other guys and I were rotating as 3rd shooters, so whenever we were not shooting we would hang out at this bar next to Theo Chocolate called the Red Door - rock on professionals hanging out at the bar while working :) And so from there, we watched online as Laura and Billy said I do. Bunch of photo nerds we were with our laptops in the bar, and we loved it.

Theo looked like a million bucks on Laura and Billy's day, thanks to the genius of Daniela of Bella Designe in Seattle. I just could not believe my eyes when I walked in the room. Did it really only take them 4 weeks to plan it all?! I wished I had more behind the scenes pictures to share with you all from the wedding day, but I only had just one. I guess I was so focused on my role as a 3rd shooter that took over completely. So forgive me, and I promise within the next few weeks -once Jasmine has blogged-, I'll be able to share a lot more pictures from the first look and the day with you.

And reading over my post so far, I am probably giving you the impression that everything was so perfect and went smoothly....hey, the light in Theo was a hot mess for any photographer, Theo was really a very very tight place, I almost tripped down the steps a billion times because I am so A.D.D when I am focused and taking pictures. But I don't really want to focus on all that because, as Jasmine put it yesterday, "It is was it is", you can't always control it all and you just have got to learn to work around all that. And at the end of the day everything will be just fine.

Winding down with the entire team and crew yesterday was needed after such an event. Thank you thank you thank you to anybody who asked questions yesterday, especially the ones directed to the students. This is the reason why we are here in Seattle, to hopefully give you the perspective that you would have if you were in the room with us. So keep asking questions and telling us your experience of the workshop, because it's just the best thing to hear from you guys and there is nothing we want to do more than to help you get some questions of the air.

And thankfully I was still able to catch this last night after all was said and done at the workshop on my way home with Sachin and Victoria. Let me tell you, they know how to throw a sunset in Seattle :)

Hope you guys can join us a live in a few for the last day of the workshop!


PS: If you can, please please oh pretty please help support what CreativeLive is doing by using this B&H affiliate link if you need to buy any photo gear - they have great prices too on photo gear and a huge selection, so it's in your interest anyway :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Allow your client to be beautiful - J* & CreativeLive day 2

Jasmine Star Day 2, take 1. Snap.

Today was just unbelievable. The icing on top of yesterday's yummi yummi cake. It completely reinvented my experience of wedding portrait photography from all angles. From knowing how to allow my client to feel beautiful - because, really, everything that is going on on during portraits can be so intimidating, and a little positive reinforcement can go a long way-, to how deal with light ( the mother of all my nightmares) ....and focus on finding it for portraits. Lighting is an area where I constantly struggle, over and over in my shoot. Consistently in the past, I would not always "see" the light, and would prioritize pretty backgrounds vs. good light. But Jasmine made light as easy as 1,2,3...when I was more going like 1, 8, 42 before :)

The day was jammed packed like I love it, between prepping, discussions, Q&A....and oh, the part of the day we were all waiting for like little kids - Laura and Billy's first look.

Billy arrived with a big smile on, and Jasmine put her ultra professional hat on, . The camera's starting rolling, everybody was talking and laughing, and having a good time, almost forgetting what was just about to happen.

And then the mood completely switches, Billy left to wait for his bride. Laura quietly arrived through the door, and you could have heard crickets in at the Theo Chocolate factory - her beauty and presence in the room just made us all speechless. As she approached and hugged Billy, I had the biggest knot in my throat from witnessing such a this special moment: two human being seeing themselves through the perspective of eternal love. And ok, I had more than just a knot. I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that I cried a little. But tears of happiness....and these I never really care to hide.

I know you were probably hoping some of Laura and Billy portraits, but out of respect for Jasmine's work you will have to wait a few more days - at least until Jasmine gets the chance to showcase her beautiful work first. But these will come too, I promise!

This CreativeLive workshop with Jasmine Star is rocking my little world. J* is changing my life in a way that she can't even image. I've gonna owe her so much by the end of this that I might as well make myself her slave for life. Seriously - just let me know when I need to start my sentence, J* :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Create your own game - Jasmine* & Creative Live day 1

...or another possible title for this post was "O.M.G - totally Keep It Real, that's awesome!"....mmm Jasmine, still doubting that California way of talking? :)

It is late at night already, and I am still trying to get my head around everything that happened here in Seattle at the CreativeLive epic wedding workshop with Jasmine Star. It feels a bit surreal that this day has already come and gone.

Walking across the street on First Avenue towards the recording studio this morning with the Sachin, Nate & Victoria (some of the other participants), I was wondering what it would be like to actually meet Jasmine Star. To meet a top 10 wedding photographer, with all the glamour and sparkles. And I have to admit, I was a tiny bit nervous (and a WHOLE LOT excited).... And as I am getting lost in my thoughts crossing the streets of Seattle and almost getting run over, there she is, walking along with JD on her side, and she comes towards us with a big: "Hey guys, I recognized all of you. Let me give you a hug!". And that right there just set the tone for the entire day. Just Jasmine, likes she keeps saying. And you just have to love that about her. Period.

The day was intense to say the least. Jasmine is spicy and energetic and that set the pace for the class. She shared so much of herself and her experience and knowledge with us today that it would be just hard to sum up in one post. Some of her key points were:
- Keep It Real. Be you, show you.
- Get people to connect with you - create a conversation.
- Put yourself out there. You're better off failing while trying to live your dreams than not giving them a chance at all.
- Always under-promise and over-deliver. This means that if you are just starting out like me, practice and learn all you can, research all you can so that you can do to go above and beyond with your clients right from the start.

My absolute favorite part of the day however was hearing about how she started in the industry realizing that she didn't quite have the strengths that already-established photographers had...and instead of just trying to beat these photographers at their game, she created her own game with her own rules. Because she knew her strengths and what was was capable of, and really, why fit into a tight mold if you can just make your own? As I am just starting in market where wedding and portrait photography is not necessarily as developed as in the USA, I need to find ways I can change the game there too, in my own way.

Jasmine's drive, confidence, spontaneity, and humility -oh, and her ability to just make up words on the spot- was just such an inspiration today. Thanks Jasmine* and the CreativeLive crew for a fantastic first day!

And if you are new on my blog - please please drop me line to let me know who you are :) And don't hesitate to chat on twitter: @AudreySmitPhoto

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time machine! Take me back to Seattle please.

I always get this odd feeling when I go back to visit a city where I used to live. A feeling of known unknown. Being away for years and feeling like you never left. Because in a way, I don't think I ever really leave a place. Regardless of how fast I seem to be moving forward from city to city and countries to country, I always end up leaving a little bit of my heart and soul behind in every city where I lived. And you know what? It's nice when I get the chance to find that little piece of heart and soul again, even if briefly :)

I really miss Seattle, and when I heard that the Jasmine Star CreativeLive workshop would be held here, it was a no brainer for me. Another reason why I really had to win that competition.

And now that I am here, I find myself going down memory lane every five minutes. Like going to the Crumpet Shop because it was the first place I ever ate at in Seattle with Jerry when we made the trip up together....and stuffed myself out with not one but two delicious scrumpelicious crumpets! Heaven I tell you. By the end of the meal I had to lick my plates about 10 times to make sure there wasn't a crumb to go to waste. And my other favorite thing about the Crumpet Shop? They have unlimited refills of earl grey tea. FINALLY a place that doesn't ignore us tea drinkers, enough of that discrimination :)

Or like hanging out my my girlfriend Monica and her two very hugging-huggable little boys.

Or having coffee at Starbucks with my friend Eric and his beautiful little family on a sunny afternoon in Greenlake.

And without trying, it all just feels quite comfortable to be back. Except for one ginormous detail: why oh why are the two loves of my life in Denmark and not with me stuffing their faces with chocolate-covered crumpets? :)

Oh, and random fact of the week: I am staying at my friend Julien's place all week, and he strangely lives in an apartment complex called "The Audrey at Belltown". How about that too to make me comfortable in town? :)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

I am just a girl in the world

....and my brain has just been a bit confused as to where exactly I am in the world. But the good news is, I am moving. And I even might dare to say that I am moving forward. I guess most people can keep track, and really, it shouldn't be that much harder for me. I think it's because my mind has been thousands of places these days. For those who I haven't talked to lately, it's official: I've decided that I am not going to live my dreams in my next's going to be here and now. And so with that, I took the very official step of legally creating my photo business in Denmark. Pop. Champagne :) And I've booked my first few clients for September. Double pop :)

I am still not sure what this all means. And I am scared. And unsure. And what if I fail and fall very hard on my butt? What if...? What if...? What if...? But I am ready. I am ready to shape my life in the way that I REALLY want it deep down.

I know I am, even if the chicken in me wants to find thousands of reason why I should keep putting this I'll just say, go away chicken, you are so not welcome at my house anymore!
Here's to new beginnings! And here's to my friends who graciously let me go all paparazzi on their kids :)

Little Emily and her sister Naomi were quite a treat to photograph....because, seriously, look at these little girls. They are pure cuteness. And full of energy that's just contagious. And just plain adorable. And also because, whenever I am clicking my shutter to put them in my little black box, somehow, the scary chicken goes far far away and all that's left is that feeling of wanting more and more of this.

And that, I like. A lot.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Better than a chill pill

Things have been spinning pretty fast these past few weeks. Between Olivia's baptism, the load of happy Frenchmen that invaded our house for two weeks, and getting ready for the workshop in Seattle, it feels like summer is just slipping through my fingers.

But today Olivia and I managed to escape the house for a few hours for a little play date with the happy little kiddos and mothers of the mothersgroup I belong to.

There is just something about watching little ones that set my mind at peace and tell my brain "Ok. ok. Everything is ok. Relax now and enjoy". No chill pill would have a better effect on me!

And look at these babies, I would just eat them all if I could. Some future heartbreakers these little ones, let me tell you :) Elias kept looking at me with a "what the heck is this lady with the black box doing" look on his face - so had to share a picture of that :)

They are all changing so fast - now we are starting to see their little bottoms moving in all directions. Up in the air for those who are about to crawl. And down sitting all by themselves. Look at Sara's big smile that says "I am a big girl now and it's so cool :)"

Truly, a nice break in the crazy week. It just reset my mind on what is important right here, right now. As they would say in Denmark - tak for en dejlig dag :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The past week have disappeared I don't know where. I guess having twelve people staying at your house will do that to you :) And it has been one celebration after another....after another.

Troels's birthday. His grand-pa's birthday. Olivia's baptism. Norway kicking the French soccer team's butt last night. And believe me, all that celebration.....that's a lot of empty bottles! :)

Olivia has been a happy little girl all week. Because, yep, when Marraine Soaz is around, Olivia is smiling ALL the time :)

And to top it off, it was her party. Her very own party.

Olivia had a blast at her baptism. I am no making it up. She smiled and laughed the whole time we were in the church, so much that the pastor had a hard time focusing on what she was saying. Way to go Olive. I guess she felt good in the church, maybe she found her calling ;)

As much as Olivia was laughing, it didn't help make the sun come out. Buckets and buckets of water poured down, so we stayed under the big tent in the garden, all cosy, eating and drinking all afternoon.

And that's when I realized, I couldn't have cared less about the rain. Because all I really needed was under that tent. My family, my friends, all laughing together.

And there is another person that was super happy at the baptism: my wonderful hubby :) Ever since we started planning the baptism, he only had one idea in mind: to roast a pig. Asterix and Obelix style. He doesn't joke around this kind of stuff.

And he did. He roasted a pig. Checking out Youtube the night before to figure out how to do it. And we doubted we would have anything to eat at the baptism. But he did it. And he rocked it out.

The meat was so good people went for fourth and fifth serving before they knew it. And now, knowing him, he likes to up what are we going to roast for the next party, baby? A cow? An elephant maybe? :)

xoxo, Audrey