Ellie Ann writes… but only in magical forest glades.

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0011b

nerdy tweenage boys, randomly blocking running path: ‘you shall not PASS!’

Ellie Ann, thinking quickly in the middle of her jog: Clearly the love of the halfling’s leaf has clouded your mind. I am a mortal, not a Balrog!’

That’s Ellie. Pretty sure she’s one of only two people I know that could respond that quickly and fittingly in such a situation. (Yes, the other person is also a writer).

Some of you have already met her, and might recall that she excels at making nerds look COOL. Ellie is a good friend and bestselling author of many fine, leather-bound books (or maybe sometimes paperbacks or e-books but those are cool too). While the leather-bound is not entirely accurate, the best selling part is.

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0010b

What else has this lady done? Ellie spearheaded a one-of-a-kind multimedia book awhile back that combined the work of several artists into one beautiful, cohesive, story… something that fans of Lance Schaubert & I’s own ‘Cold Brewed‘ should really appreciate. She’s written comics, sci fiaction… she’s spoken at sherlock holmes conferences, she’s appeared at numerous comic cons, and she’s one of the few (meaning 2) girls I know that smoke a pipe.

Besides that, she’s an encourager in the artistic community and has an awesome family- I get the honor of being friends with both her and her husband Michael, (a man who shares my infinite love for the soundtrack to ‘Tron: Legacy’).

For the shoot, Ellie wanted something different, of course… she wanted to add a little of that otherworldly, fairy tale adventure feel to her OWN shoot… and why not? It seems like authors never have fun with their pictures. That’s a shame. They should.

WE did…

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0003b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0005b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0004b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0006b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0007b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0008b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0009b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0013b

author portrait for Ellie Soderstrom- lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0014b

the final photobooth:: preview

Our final ‘third thursday’ photobooth of the season, here in downtown Joplin MO, was a grand success.
 
costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0009b
 
The october photobooth is always my favorite, because the theme is simply ‘costumes’ and I LOVE seeing what folks come up with. This month’s attendeeds certainly didn’t disappoint… our costume contest from this month has some serious contenders, with references from ‘Monsters Inc’, ‘Walking Dead’, ‘Dr Who’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, Will Ferrell-era SNL, and the list goes on.

Special thanks to my awesome regulars for making this so fun, and for following me all over downtown for the last 4 years as I’ve moved from spot to spot. Thanks to the new folks who dared to try something new and donned a silly costume for a picture.

And, thanks SO much to Spiva Center for the Arts for hosting us this year. We’ve really enjoyed being in Spiva in 2014 and I think we may have found a more permanent photobooth home there. If you’re an attender, don’t let the end of ‘third thursday’ stop you from visiting spiva regularly. there’s always awesome work up there…. right now, for instance, all 330+ Norman Rockwell ‘saturday evening post’ covers, as well as some pieces by one of MY personal favorite photographers, Julie Blackmon. And tonight is another long awaited collaboration between Spiva & 9art, in which we give folks the chance to create their OWN Rockwell covers.

Here’s a few of our favorites from third thursday, while you’re waiting on the whole batch to be ready on facebook….
 
SNL spartans, will ferrell cheri oteri- costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0001b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0002b

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wizard of oz, alice in wonderland, mary poppins- costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0005bstrawberry shortcake- costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo by 9art photography_0003b
 
MY crazy family dropped by…
 
costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0006b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0008b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0010b
 
Where’s Waldo?
 
where's waldo- costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0011b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0013b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0014b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0017b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0015b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0019b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0016b

dr who, lord of the rings, elf, hobbit, costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0018b

costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0021b
 
Daryl Dixon, from ‘walking dead’. He showed up. He’s shorter in person.
 
daryl dixon costume from walking dead- costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0022b
 
this last photo is from my mother. this is what happens when I try to get a picture of her by herself.
 
costume photobooth pictures from third thursday joplin mo event by 9art photography_0012b
 
see you next year, photoboothers!

-Mark

Stepping into a F A I R Y T A L E :: session 2 (the chicken steeper)

A story no-one else can duplicate…

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0005b

It has been a minute since the first entry of a big project that my friend Lance & I dreamed up. But the project was not forgotten…

The thought was simple; a series that custom caters stories in words and photographs around the personality of your child. This isn’t something I’ve seen done before… and I’m all about trying new things. The idea to tie a customized story to a set of special photographs made for a child…  so. much. fun!

I’m not going to get into all the details of what one of these fairy tale packages entail in this post, but if you’d like to find out more about it, all the information is here.

For now, I’d like you to enjoy the images & the poem, part 1 of this entry into our series. Next week, Lance will release part 2, the story, and we will share that with you as well.

Pictured, by the way, is miss Kendall. I have taken pictures of her big brother Roman since pretty much the beginning of 9art…..I am so thankful to their mom Christina for being such an incredibly supportive and faithful client over the last few years. And also, Christina… thanks for having stinkin’ cute kids. :)

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0001b

The chicken steeper

When Roman goes in for his nap
Miss Kendall finds her trail
of bows so big and brighter straps,
of glittered grass and snails,
of upturned high-heeled shoes entrapped
in paintings hung with nails
reading, “This aways! That aways!
Follow invisible paths!”

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_002b

Deep down into the woods
Miss Kendall’s tucked some chairs,
a table, cloth and teacups, spoons,
and bags for her affairs.
She always leads her old hen out
and borrows little feathers.
She adds tea kettle heat to them
in cups like bottled weather.

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0009b

(And while she waits, her puppy guards
the table, chairs, and cases
from monsters, mice, the shades and shards,
and all the unknown faces).

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_003b

The steeping lasts an hour long

but when she’s through, cups quicken,

rattle, shake. From each she

pulls a baby chicken.

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0004b fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0006b

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0008b

One last thing… a big thanks to Aimee & Tracy Danner for letting us use their property… and specifically to Aimee, for serving as on-set Chicken wrangler. It was a very important job for the shoot… not even kidding. Here’s Aimee in her own moment of photo-glory…

fairy tale tea party concept shoot by lifestyle and editorial photographer 9art photography, Joplin MO_0013

last photobooth of the season… costume contest & all

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Last one of the season! If you live in Joplin- or within a 50 mile radius- this is the one to come to. The theme is ‘costumes’ (how original?) and yes, there WILL be a contest for best original costume. Lots of other great things going on for Joplin’s third thursday art walk as well, so I hope to see you there.

If you don’t live in the area, stay tuned anyway to the blog & fb page to see some ridiculous upcoming photos. :)

-Mark

Rockwell Comes to Life in Joplin: a chance to make art as a community

pairing #1- original norman rockwell cover

THE SHORT STORY:

I’m doing a project with local art gallery Spiva. Community teams (which can be any family, business, group of friends, or individual) will have a chance to take part by creating their own ‘Norman Rockwell’ scene based off of a Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. The scene can be interpreted any way the team likes- and that can be as outlandish as you want. :) It will be entered in a contest for best scene, and I will photograph each of the ‘scenes’ the evening of October 21st. All teams will receive a photo of their Post cover interpretation.

My own example scene is pictured below, next to the original. If you live in the Joplin MO area and would like to do this, please register ASAP with Spiva (e-mail me for info or Spiva at sconroy [at] spivaarts [dot] org)…the deadline to register is October 14. Go forth! Do it!

ELABORATION: 

I recently talked about a new project in collaboration with Spiva Center For the Arts here in Joplin, MO: an idea that I think could spark a very fun new movement. THESE are the kind of ideas I get excited about. :) And I think this one is important… because our  art culture here is poised to explode, but only if people join the collaborations and set an example for future projects.

So here’s the synopsis of the project, once more, from Spiva: ‘Teams select a Rockwell illustration to interpret, provide their own costumes and props and pose for a photo October 26. Mark Neuenschwander, 9art Photography, will photograph the reenactments and display them in Spiva’s 3rd Street window gallery. Winning image will be selected by popular vote and will receive a Norman Rockwell prize package. All teams receive one complimentary copy of their photograph.’  [there will be a $25 fee for each 'team'].

First things first… I actually made a mistake the last time I posted this. the registration date is OCTOBER 14th:: that’s… yep… 5 days away. But all you have to do in that amount of time is decide if you are doing this and e-mail Spiva or me to register.

The next step is to brainstorm on an idea, and collect the ‘props’ for it… and you can totally do that!! Then set aside the 21st as the actual shoot date… images will be taken that evening AT spiva, of the different ‘scenes’ that participants have created. Remember, these scenes do NOT have to be exact replications of the originals. The project has more to do with interpreting that original image in whatever way you like. And if you are indeed doing this with human models and don’t know yet who your ‘models’ are (assuming they are not your own team members), remember that many of the covers are centered around just one person.

Steampunk? Wild West? Modern times? Sci fi? original time period? Whatever you want to do. :) Just drop by Spiva to get ideas by perusing their current Rockwell exhibit, or do an image search for ‘Norman Rockwell Saturday evening post covers’ right now. I promise something will spring to mind once you start scanning through these fun images.

And, as a final thought for participants, this could end up being a very fun ‘art piece’ for your own home or office, if you do this as a business, a family, or even an individual; you’ll receive a print of your scene (and can purchase additional if you’d like), and you can pair it, as I’ve done below, with a print of the original piece.  Post prints can be obtained directly through Spiva, or through the Norman Rockwell museum website.

My image:  So, to properly illustrate the concept, I needed to do my OWN shot so you could see what we’re talking about. The image here is hopefully the first of a series that will (humorously) explore these classic scenes from old Saturday Evening Post covers, and how those scenes might be re-interpreted in our time with the introduction of invasive technology. Here it is, image #1 in the series, together with the original cover on which it is based.

Its a very simple image…. but so is the original. And the purpose wasn’t just for myself with this one,

 

norman rockwell 9art photography technology series, image #1- age of romance

 

but also to demonstrate to possible participants how easy it can be to come up with an idea and props for this little series.

Notes on the image:

Firstly, thanks so much to my ‘model’ Josh and his mom Jessica for agreeing to let me use him as the subject here. I think he was just perfect for this.

As for exploring the concept, I deliberated for a bit on whether to project a graphic behind the subject, depicting a ‘video game’ scene to replace the original adventure image. I asked Shaun from Spiva his opinion, and his thought was clever: ‘Books fire the imagination and that is what Rockwell was saying. Video games…nothing.’ And that’s exactly what I wanted to say about technology in our time. So by intentionally leaving out the graphic, I think it says more in the end.

I’d love to hear what you have to say… whether thoughts on this image, or questions or ideas about participating. You can e-mail me at markn [at] 9artphoto [dot] com, or leave a comment. And you can register right now for this project by e-mailing Shaun at spiva… sconroy [at] spivaarts [dot] org.

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

 

-Mark

So why don’t I see you on facebook anymore?

 

Hey guys. this post is a response to a question I’ve had a lot lately from those who have followed ‘9art’ for awhile. It goes something like this:

‘are you still [doing the photobooth, taking pictures, working in the area, ALIVE]?!  I haven’t seen any posts on facebook in forever!’

My response, in my head, goes something like this, with the words,

‘CURSE YOU, FACEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!!’ 

The reason for my cursing is that the power of greysku….er…facebook… is overwhelming small businesses and their online outreach. What facebook has done, gradually over the past year, is cut off organic reach from businesses to their ‘followers’. This means, even if you have clicked ‘like’ on the 9art fb page and actually WANT to see what we are posting, you probably won’t see it, at least not after a month or so.

WHY? So that facebook can try and get said small businesses to pay a new fee to ‘boost’ posts… getting the posts into the same number of feeds they were in to begin with (before FB started cutting off the organic reach).

About 1/10th of the folks that originally saw my posts are seeing them now.

This is not a post to complain about facebook. I fully recognize it’s a completely free service that, in all honesty, has been one of the biggest factors in the growth of my business.

That being said, I believe facebook is slowly dying, for several reasons. The first being that people are recognizing their own lack of self control and are seeing that too much time on facebook is replacing too much actually lived life. The second reason is that facebook is, as any business does in the natural progression of things, figuring out how to profit more and more efficiently. This means it is becoming more invasive and also more restrictive for the sake of dollars, especially in regards to businesses. I think these factors and others will slowly lead to the demise of facebook over the next few years as people look to see what the ‘next big social media’ is.

So.. that means I need to plan ahead. Since 90% of 9art’s marketing and interaction (online and otherwise) over the past 6 years has been solely on facebook, I’ve come to lean on it. I can’t do that much longer, because you all- those I’m trying to reach with both the fun stuff and the important stuff- are not being reached anymore.

I HAVE A PLAN!

If you don’t WANT to see what I’m posting- well, why are you even reading this, anyway?!

But assuming you do… assuming  you want to see outtakes like this from my week to make you laugh,

 

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images like this to tickle your eyeballs with delight,

 

joplin mo senior portrait from 9art photography1

 

and lots of (hopefully, sometimes) helpful ramblings written for artists, as well as tips just for photographers from someone who’s worked at making a living from this craft for nearly 10 years now…

Assuming these are things you WANT to see, here’s what you can do to keep seeing them.

 

#1: follow this blog. If it’s important, I’ll probably post it here. And over the next few months, this blog will become as much a source of information and education as it will be a place for me to simply post my work. (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the ‘subscribe’ button).

#2: add yourself to my e-mail list, using the link below. This list will send blog posts and special info straight to your inbox. This will be especially nice for those who have or are planning on abandoning facebook altogether. And it takes about 25 seconds to fill out.

 ****Signup form***** 

#3: FOLLOW the facebook page. if you ARE on facebook and want to see my day-to-day previews, behind the scenes outtakes, contests and various announcements (during the undeterminable time that facebook still lives) be sure to click not just ‘like’, but also, ‘follow’. This will put us back into your feed. Where we should be. MWHAHAHA!

 

facebook follow instructions

 
That’s all, guys. Love you all. Thanks for being here.

Talk to you soon….

-Mark

 

Fun with the Franks

Family pictures should be fun. No! Seriously! They should be FUN. Does that mean every second is fun and there is no awkwardness? Well, no, of course not… let’s not be ridiculous.

But shouldn’t there be moments of genuine laughter, moments when we LET the kids make silly faces, moments where, just for a split second, we forget why we’re there and just enjoy it?

I firmly believe that’s how it should be. It takes some work to get us there… to overcome the camera awareness, to defocus from the posing, to try to achieve spontaneity without compromising the quality of a professional photograph… but I’ll work at it, every time, and if you hire me, I promise it will be worth it.

Here’s the Franks family… dad Dustin, mom Janell, daughters Kaitlynn, Hannah, & Emma.

southwest missouri family & lifestyle photographer, 9art photography- franks family_0005b

southwest missouri family & lifestyle photographer, 9art photography- franks family_0004b

southwest missouri family & lifestyle photographer, 9art photography- franks family_0003b

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southwest missouri family & lifestyle photographer, 9art photography- franks family_0013b

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joplin missouri springfield mo- family photography by 9art photography_0019b

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southwest missouri family & lifestyle photographer, 9art photography- franks family_0002b

Spiva partnership

As if there hasn’t been enough going on lately, I had to add just one more… but this one is so fun.  :)

As many of you know, I’ve been hosting the third thursday Photo Booth upstairs at Spiva Center for the Arts, my town’s mainstay art gallery. It’s turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Spiva. I love the folks over there- Shaun, Jo, Linda, and others, who have been gracious and extremely supportive in letting me run ‘the booth’ out of their long established facilities.

Shaun recently approached me with a NEW idea and we were both nearly beside ourselves with giddiness (yes, one of THOSE ideas) after talking it over.

 

The idea::  I’m just going to quote spiva’s website directly for the official announcement:

‘Teams select a Rockwell illustration to interpret, provide their own costumes and props and pose for a photo October 21. Mark Neuenschwander, 9art Photography, will photograph the reenactments and display them in Spiva’s 3rd Street window gallery. Winning image will be selected by popular vote and will receive a Norman Rockwell prize package. All teams receive one complimentary copy of their photograph.’ [last date to register for this is October 21; the shoot night itself will be October 26].

To break it down: anyone in the community can assemble a ‘team’ (this could be 2 people or 20) to RE-CREATE a Normal Rockwell ‘Post’ cover, in any way they see fit. The interpretation does not have to be literal… you can re-create it as a medieval scene, a ‘dr who’ themed tribute, a modern day re-eanactment… WHATEVER YOU WANT.

The fee per team is $25. And I’m really, really hoping we get a lot of teams to do this. You can grab people from your workplace (if you’re a business owner, this could be a super fun team exercise), do it with your family, brainstorm with some good friends… the important thing is just to do it. Doesn’t have to be complicated- you don’t need to rig elaborate backgrounds or hire professional actors or come up with the world’s cleverest concept- many of the original covers were very simple, and your idea can be as well. The important thing is just to do it.

So who’s in? :)

I’ll leave you with this; if you live in Joplin, please go see that exhibit. 323 Normal Rockwell post covers, are on display in the gallery RIGHT NOW and will be up until November 8th. You have one month to look at those covers (whether in person, or through a google ‘norman rockwell post covers’ image search), get inspired, and contribute to this project.

I’ll be working on some personal images in which I create my own Rockwell-inspired scenes, and should have those images up as examples in the next week or so. If you have questions about a possible concept, I’d love to talk with you about it.

Til next time…

-Mark

‘back to school’ photobooth theme from the 9art photobooth!

I was excited this month to have props loaned from Joplin schools, Missouri Southern, and several kind individuals so those that stopped by could sport their favorite school colors.

Here’s a few of my favorites, while you’re waiting on the whole batch to show up on the book of faces!
joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0001b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0002b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0003b

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joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0005b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0006b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0007b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0008b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0009b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0010b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0011b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0012b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0013b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0014b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0015b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0016b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0017b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0018b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0019b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0020b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0021b

joplin missouri downtown third thursday photobooth- back to school theme, sept 2014, 9art photography_0022b

 

We also launched our new downtown joplin print series… thanks to those who made purchases!! If you’d like to snag some downtown images of your own as prints, canvases, or postcards, you can check out more in our previous blog post about it or on the new section of our main website.

downtown joplin series, samples for 8 x 8 canvas