The falls

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I’ve long made a habit of avoiding ‘the falls’ here in Joplin as a backdrop for photo shoots. Mostly because it’s so overused as a location for families, seniors, and everything else, that it has become a cliche to me. It is to us in Joplin as the Eiffel tower probably is to people in Paris. ‘Oh. THAT thing. Yeah, everyone and their dog goes there.’

My avoidance of anything ‘cliche’ has actually done me in here, because it’s kept me away from something that is every bit as beautiful as it was before anyone every took a picture of it.

I’m an avid activist for originality. I DO think it’s important to find your OWN style, to change things up, to avoid using the same things (I’m talking locations, to photographers) over and over that you’ve already used too much, or maybe others in your craft have already overused.

But it’s also an interesting thought to turn that around and say- has fear of not being original also made us jaded toward things that are actually still awesome?

That song you’ve heard too many times. That movie that was too well liked by a group you thought of as un-cool (or, if you’re a rebel, TOO cool). That town you’ve lived in and looked at too often…

Yes, I’m talking to Joplin. But I’m talking to artists too, and I’m talking to everyone, everywhere. We all discount something because it feels ‘old’ to us. We even do it to people. Familiarity breeds contempt.

So don’t forget. Just because it’s OVER in terms of cool, doesn’t mean it’s not still awesome. Just something I learned myself this week and wanted to pass on. 🙂

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my little girl, exploring the falls for the first time…

 

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maternity session for the Shirley family

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Meet (soon to be twice over) mama Bryndi, little Eisley, and dad Darin. These sweet folks from Springfield passed through Joplin for a maternity session, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my favorite maternity shoots to date. The light, the setting, a very giggly little three year old, and the very good natured couple made for such a fun evening.

I got to ride in the backseat with Eisley and the family’s beloved pug. ‘you might have to just push him over when you get in….’ they warned me. I did, and he immediately just snuggled up. Bryndi had to sneak in her own shot of the comical sight…

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Here’s the shoot itself. Starting off with miss Eisley. She is a talkative 3 year old blonde- I have one of those myself- so we hit it off pretty quick. All you have to do with that age is discuss poop at great length and you’re guaranteed some smiles. I must also mention that she could actually giggle on command. Very nice for pictures…

Now to meet the new little one! Just a few weeks to go. 🙂

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Joplinite #7:: Jorge Leyva

J o p l i n i t e of the week, renowned artist Jorge Leyva!

J O P L I N I T E of the week

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Jorge Leyva is a renowned painter, sculptor, and instigator of great art happenings. Originally from Peru, he currently resides in Joplin and has work in collections all over the world. He is a connector, a man who believes in doing whatever can be done to bring artists together and promote the arts in the community and the world at large.

I’ve posted a thing or two about Jorge in the past, and if you follow 9art, you’ve probably already seen these pictures. But you know, that was BEFORE ‘Joplinite of the week’… and if anyone is both kind enough and has a big enough personality to be featured, it’s THIS guy…

The above shot is probably my favorite. I wanted something that conveyed his artistry, of course, but more than that, his sweet, goofy, and passionate personality. So I set up this shot in his studio… the ‘bear scene’ tapestry he…

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EF5:: 1 YEAR

third anniversary:: re:posting this post from 2 years ago (scroll to the bottom to get to links of my original, 2011 post-tornado photo series). Have no new thoughts to add, really… said it all best when the emotion and power of it all was still fresh. Just reminded, again, of how thankful I am.

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   I feel like there may be folks looking to see what I have to say today. At first, I wasn?t going to say anything. After looking through the facebook feed, reading the articles, watching the news? it feels like saying anything is just adding noise. 

   But? I realized not saying at all didn?t feel right. (probably because I have a big mouth). So here is my novel? and yes, to warn you, it IS religious. I?m hoping in a meaningful way, not in an obvious and bible banging kind of way. 

1 year ago, a tornado ripped my town and my home apart. On the anniversary, I find myself just slightly struggling with my feelings. But not for the reasons you might think. 

I?m not sad.

I?m not having any emotional struggles with today. 

I?m just happy.

I don?t at all think there?s anything wrong with the other…

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PHOTOBOOTH:: ‘motion’ theme (May 2014 third thursday event)

As most of you know, each month from spring to fall, 9art hosts a downtown photobooth  during Joplin’s ‘third thursday’ art walk event.

Is it actually a photo BOOTH? Well, not really. It’s a paper roll and my studio lights, with a ‘theme’ that changes each time. I call it a Photo Booth because that title in itself gives people an understanding that they are there to loosen up, grab a prop, and take an outrageous photo.

So funny how much people change when you put them in the exact same ‘studio environment’ they’d expect to be in for a stuffy session- but give them a stuffed monkey, a high powered fan, and some confetti.

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I’ve been wanting to keep things fresh, fun, and creative, so I went with a more abstract idea this time and used ‘motion’ as the theme. The only rule was, something had to be moving in each image.

I also teamed up with Joplin’s #1 art gallery, spiva center for the arts, and set up for the evening in their upstairs art classroom. The experience there was awesome, and we plan to return the next month as well.

Here’s a sampling from the evening… full batch to be released on our facebook page later this week. The first three photos are spiva employees, including executive director Jo Mueller (balancing a feather)… so happy I was able to convince them to participate! 🙂

[also pictured, below the toddler-dino, is our own Michelle, with the magnificent wind-blown look…]

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Alyssa + Garen :: Kansas city wedding

 

 

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Alyssa & Garen have been planning their wedding for over a year… I shot their engagement pictures in Columbia, MO in spring of 2013 and I have been stoked about shooting this wedding ever since.
#1:: they’re fun. A lot of fun.
#2:: they reach a supreme, magnificent level of self-professed nerdery that lends itself very well to outrageous photo opportunities. see examples below from last year…

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#3:: Building on fact #2, they had a TARDIS built JUST for their wedding. Take it in, Dr Who fans!
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#4:: They’re just the sweetest. After Alyssa saw the photo below, she commented that it was the most beautiful photo she’d ever seen. That’s one of the best compliments I’ll get this year, hands down. 🙂

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and #5… the wedding was in Kansas City, which was awesome. I love Joplin, but it’s wonderful to get to leave town and shoot in new surroundings every now and then.

Ok. that’s it for talking and stuff. Enjoy the pictures!
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Taking a moment to talk with their neighbor.
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GREEN!

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LIGHTSABER PHOTOBOMB!

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Found this perfect little nook hidden in the middle of the urban scenery that made it feel like we were someplace altogether different. Love the bent up fence. Feels kind of magical somehow.

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then it was time to get ready for the show…. and admire the carefully planned decor!

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the event was held at the Berg Event Space near downtown Kansas City. You can hardly tell its there from the outside, but once you get there it’s BEAUTIFUL.d

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Weddin’ time!

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Ok. So you know how we mentioned a tardis? Yes, that’s right, from Dr. Who? Yep. Alyssa & Garen had one constructed by none other than (plot twist) KEVIN… star of last year’s blog post, ‘kevin dances‘.

Kevin is not only a dancing champion, but he works at CIY here in Joplin doing set construction, so it makes sense that he’s so damn good at building stuff. The tardis he constructed was not only beautiful and painstakingly detailed, it was also fully collapsible so that it could be easily transported between cities. The man is a master… (that’s not him to below, just to clarify… it’s a dr who cutout…)

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sometimes, family pictures are fun… sometimes, they’re hard…

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MMMM.
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gelato for dessert!

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then, crazydancetime. My favorite are the shots at the very bottom… ‘let’s do the time warp again’ brought out everyone’s inner actor/dancer to the max.
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Joplinite #6:: Jake Cornett

If you follow the 9art facebook page, you’ll see I’ve started a ‘joplinite of the week’ feature. It’s been SO fun that I decided it was time for this feature to get its’ very own blog. So here’s a RE-blog. From my other blog.

blog blog blog.

Anyway. Follow it! 🙂

J O P L I N I T E of the week

jake cornett

I started this ‘joplinite of the week’ bit because I love Joplin, and I love its’ people. You will notice nothing specific that ties these people together; other than they are loved and they are Joplin. 

Jake is one such person. He is by far the most avid cyclist I know, a member of the local bike group ‘the Crawlers’. Avid, as in, he shaves his calves so they’ll be more aerodynamic. Not kidding here. He made me feel them once.

Jake is very well known by the downtown population, and despite his sometimes gruff demeanor, is a also pretty sweet guy. Just don’t tell him so.

Jake was also an actor in my series Cold Brewed, and you might recognize him from the print I had up at Spiva Center for the Arts during last months’ ‘photospiva’ display. Since the image was set in the 1940s and…

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mr. Corwin

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This is Corwin. I don’t really need to say a lot about the little guy…. his cuteness is way more powerful than any words I can type about him. Let me just say thanks to mom Sarah & dad Rory for giving me the privilege of photographing him, out on their beautiful property near Seneca, Missouri.

The eyes are blue, the grass is green, and my job is fun. 🙂

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we ventured inside for the last bit of the shoot…

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Lindsay :: 2014 joplin senior

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Three beautiful sisters:: Haily, April, and now, Lindsay.

I first worked with the Wilsons back in 2010, when oldest sister Hailey was a senior… then April in 2011… and now, Lindsay gets her turn. Can’t believe it’s been that long!

We had access to a beautiful downtown loft office, home of Paramount real estate. Here’s what we got!
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