The Truth: I suck at blogging.

There, I said it.

It's been, yes, over a year since I last posted images from a photo shoot. I've always struggled with being consistent in my blogging; I just tend to forget about updating.  

There are several shoots I've done over the past year which I deem blog-worthy, that I intend to share in this blog..."intend" being the operative word, of course.

I'll get around to it. 

In the meantime, I'm still alive and kicking, shooting, creating. Here's a nice little diptych from one of those aforementioned shoots. 

Shot using my Fuji XE-2 with 56mm & 23mm Fuji lenses.

Shot using my Fuji XE-2 with 56mm & 23mm Fuji lenses.

And, by the way, I've been using my FujiX gear a LOT. I'm still very much in love with my little Fuji XE-2 and my two Fuji lenses.

End transmission. (For now.)

Emma Baxendale, Actress | Boston Editorial Portrait Photographer

After taking a break over the winter, I had the sincere pleasure of photographing miss Emma Baxendale, actress and soon-to-be college freshman. I don't think I've ever met someone her age with her looks and talent, who is also equally friendly, humble, unassuming, and down-to-earth. This girl has a big, bright future ahead of her!

The shoot was done on-location in her home. My little team of two was one hardworking photo assistant (thanks Annie!) and one killer makeup & hair artist, Cinthia Espinal. 

We did three looks in about four hours. Here they are (in reverse order of how they were shot, actually):

 

Look 1.

 

Look 2.

 

Look 3.

 

I love this photo so much and thought it would also make for a gorgeous Black & White:

Many thanks to Emma and her wonderfully supportive mom for being brave and letting me do my thing! 

Rakeem-Andre Chapman, Gospel Artist | A Fujifilm XE-2 Shoot | Boston Music Photographer

Gospel artist Rakeem-Andre Chapman reached out to me a few months ago to do some press/promo and album cover art for the release of his new album, "Soul Revelation".

Andre expressed his desire to be outdoors in the beauty of nature for the majority of the shoot. He wanted the images to convey "introspection, highlighting the soul". And that's what we did! The shoot took place last month, starting off at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, and then moving to an indoor location afterwards, for variety. 

We were incredibly fortunate to get a warm, sunny day for the shoot. The sun played a significant role in backlighting Andre - along with my lights, of course! - to give me that dreamy, etherial, glow-y flare. 

Once we were satisfied with the outdoor portion of the shoot, we broke down the lighting gear and continued on to our indoor location - a small room in Andre's apartment - to knock out some solid indoor portraits. 

©Sarahmica Photography | Chapman-3256.jpg

During the pre-production planning, Andre also expressed a desire to, if possible, incorporate the Christian symbol of a cross into a few of the images. I really wanted to try and do this in a more creative and unique way, avoiding obvious cliches such as shooting in the sanctuary of a church, or using a church steeple, or life-size cross or crucifix in the background. So I ruminated over the possibilities for a few days...and then I got the idea of somehow hanging miniature crosses over his head, kind of like a baby crib mobile (ha!).

Once we had our safe portrait shots in the bag, I pulled out the little crosses (which I found for very cheap on Amazon.com) that I'd hung with thread on a wire hanger. The contraption looked laughably heinous and totally unimpressive to the naked eye. But this little prop added a cool, new element to a few of the portraits. These are my personal favorites from the shoot.

I get these "what if" ideas a lot and I plan them out as best I can. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But I have to at least try them out. Always try them out. If they fall flat, it's no biggie and I usually learn something. If they're a success, it's icing on the cake!

Many thanks to Andre and his wife for choosing me to create these images! Best wishes on your new album release, Andre!

Check out Andre's website: rakeemandre.com

Photo geek notes: This entire shoot was done with my Fujifilm gear (XE-2 camera, and 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 lenses), and was my second "Fully Fuji" shoot to date. My first "Fully Fuji" shoot will be coming up next on this blog:  a child lifestyle shoot, which I'm very excited about, so stayed tuned. 

The Grownup Noise, Indie-Pop Band | Boston Indie Band Photographer

The last time I photographed this band was back in 2009, when I was just getting started in this business. Since then, The Grownup Noise have added a few new faces to their group. So when Paul and Adam contacted me to do some updated press images for their new album release, I was stoked. We did the shoot on my birthday, a Sunday in early September. (What a great way to spend my birthday, doing what I love while working with a fantastic group of people!) 

The following images are my personal favorites, the "photographer's picks".

I've done shoots in a lot of challenging places and spaces, but I had never done a shoot in a library! So this was a first for me. Shooting in the library was tricky, but fun. We had permission to shoot there, of course, but we still had to be very quiet. A lot of silent screaming and pantomime went on. (The experience was reminiscent of what Jimmy Fallon and The Roots did here, except without the food and the game show host.) My lighting gear had to be pretty minimal, and we needed to be in and out in under an hour.

These guys made my job easy. They had clear ideas of what they wanted to do. The library location idea was all them. Most of the posing was them just playing around and having fun, but I made some tweaks and modifications in order to ensure that their ideas would resonate. 

After the library, we went to location #2:  their rehearsal space in Somerville.

 

The environmental portrait below has a different vibe from the others. It's a bit more dramatic, serious. 

It was the last set up of the day shot in their rehearsal space, a loft in Somerville. The space was bright and urban and messy. But a good kind of mess, you know? The kind of mess that says really good music is being created here. I didn't bother to clear the clutter. I didn't even hide my light stand; I intentionally left it in the shot. This environment, this loft where they work and create, has a special ambiance and so I shot it "as is". I simply illuminated these musicians in their space. 

Many thanks to The Grownup Noise for, once again, choosing me to create your images. It was a pleasure working with you all. You guys rock. 

And thanks to the very friendly staff at the Somerville Public Library for letting us shoot there! 

And a VERY special thanks to my wonderful husband, who, when he learned that my usual assistant wasn't available, graciously agreed to assist me on this shoot. 

"Strangers On Buses", iPhone Street Photography Series | Boston Street Photography

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Turbulence"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Turbulence"

Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post about my burgeoning iPhone Street Photography Series on my Instagram feed called "Strangers On Buses". In that post I talk about how this series came to be. I also talk a bit about how my photography obsession began, about how I am self-taught and how I learned the basics of photography while doing street photography. You can see that post here.

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Alone Together"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Alone Together"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Lone Child"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Lone Child"

I'm still plugging away at this series and still only using my iPhone. When I started "Strangers On Buses", I intentionally used mostly monochrome images. I felt that full-color images could be too distracting, diverting focus away from the content. The use of monochrome also gives the images a sort of "timeless" feel, which I like. 

But then, a few months into this year, I allowed myself to play with color in this series. I think this was because I'd seen some old street photography photos from the 1940's that were originally shot in black & white, but that had been expertly colorized...and I was stunned at the new life the color gave them. You see, I've always loved gazing at and studying old photos, especially street photography. I could spend hours upon hours looking at street photography from different decades. I get so much pleasure out of seeing what life was like back in (you name it!) decade/century. I'm absolutely fascinated by what the fashion was like, and how people related to each other in public, how children played. I guess those colorized old photos stunned me because suddenly the people in them didn't seem so different and far away. I felt a deeper connection with the people in those photos. The times they were living in and the rules of society were, for sure, very different than the present, of course. But it reminded me that people are people, and though technology, fashion and social graces may change over the years, we never really change. 

Also new this year: I started giving titles to many of the new images in this series. 

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Seeing Green"  

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Seeing Green"
 

© 2104 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Graphic Novel Love"

© 2104 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Graphic Novel Love"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Stuck in Traffic"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Stuck in Traffic"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Case of the Mondays"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Case of the Mondays"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Tax Break"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Tax Break"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Day After Labor Day Morning Commute"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Day After Labor Day Morning Commute"

@ 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Days End on a Friday"

@ 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses: Days End on a Friday"

Whenever my parents pull out old photos of me as a teenager during the early to mid 1990's (I guess I'm outing myself with my age, here!), I'm always so surprised at what I was wearing back then and how my hair was styled (or NOT styled - I was a grunge kid Generation X-er, after all). I remember the turbulence and emotional drama of my teenage years, but it's so funny that I don't remember how I actually looked! When I'm in my sixties, will I remember how I look and feel now, in my 30's? Probably not, judging from the past. But photography - even the crude snap shot that has been lovingly printed out and kept for others to see - is so, so important. 

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses:  Strangers NOT on Buses"

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography - "Strangers On Buses:  Strangers NOT on Buses"

Street photography is special. It documents actual, real moments of life. I think of future generations who, like me, are curious and want to gaze at and study and ask questions about what it was like in 2014. It's a sort of anthropology. If done well, it's considered "art". I always strive to be artful in each of my street photography images, of course. But if they fall short of being considered art I know that, at the very least, they are Life, Documented. And I take immense pleasure in that.