Last July I went home to Tacoma. It was my first time home in the summer months in years. As a teen my summer days were spent sleeping in and working at the crappy sporting goods store down the road. If I was ever home at 3 when my dad got home from work he would drag me out of the house and down to his boat in Commencement Bay, Tacoma. I would help him put down crab pots and then sleep on the bow of the boat getting a "tan" (yeah right, this is Washington we are talking about), while he fished for salmon under the Narrows Bridge. As sunset neared he would wake me up to pull pots and collect crab to take home for dinner. As a teenager I HATED this. I was eternally bored and unimpressed (insert cringe here). But as I grew up, moved away and only visited home on occasions nostalgia kicked in and I would beg him to make time to take us out on the boat. Captain Jack deserves an award for putting up with a such a tortured teen as myself. Love you Dad <3
This week has been a reminder to me how important it is to create work for yourself from time to time. As my final semester is ending I am as busy as ever trying to fit everything in. Not just homework and projects and utilizing resources but spending time with the people and places I won't see for a very long time... if ever again. It hit me hard on Monday that I have so much left to do as this expiration date approaches, and so much left to figure out about my future. I always roll my eyes at myself when I talk about "figuring out my future" like my life is some jigsaw puzzle to be put into place. I'm a planner but no plan I have ever had for myself has unfolded as I "figured" it would.
As I was stressing about finding a model and a concept and time to shoot an airy high key image for an assignment I completely lost it. I was NOT in the mood to shoot something light and airy and as an artist so much of what I do is based on how I am feeling in that moment. So I went with the moment, grabbed my friend and resident model (she lives me... she gets used ALOT) and we headed to the studio to get out all our growing pains and for once embrace the pressure of becoming old. Even though I will be leaving school soon I have realized there is so much more I need to learn about myself, but that's what the New Year is for. For now I am happy to be this moody dark photographer because it feels authentic.
Island Park is a Seattle girl's oasis in the middle of deserty southeastern Idaho. The first time I ever went there was last winter and it shocked me how beautiful it was blanketed in snow. And there are TREES! I was really excited for a bit there. So you can only imagine how excited I was when Mario told me that he and Julissa wanted to take their engagements there. The forest was a perfect setting for the two who got engaged on a hiking trip like two little outdoor peas in a pod. We set out for a little bit of that late fall golden hour that is so beautiful and this is what we captured. Enjoy!
The first time I ever saw Emily was two and half years ago in a dark auditorium as I was sitting between my my mom and dad. It's strange because I barely remember anything about that day except I remember vividly the blond girl a few seats down and her black stir-up skinny jeans and red toms. We were just two students out of the auditorium of many who were leaving the next day to spend the next four months in Jerusalem, Israel.
Then there is mysterious Europe traveling Jared. We spent all fall semester hanging out with Jared's friend Nate who would tell us little updates about his friend Jared and what he was up to in Europe. Who would have thought that less than a year later these two would be getting hitched. Jared was most certainly the dark horse contender for Emily's heart but when the two of them finally realized that the other one existed the whirlwind romance was one for the storybooks.
It really is true that you meet some of your best friends in college. At least for me, those are bonds I hope never end. Emily became my friend, then roommate and then one of my best friends. And I was shocked but also so honored when she and Jared asked me to photograph their wedding day in Oakland last August.
Em and Jared I wish you all the best as you start your new family. You da best!
Over the summer I worked for a start-up lifestyle website called Mood of Living (www.moodofliving.com) and being a part of the launch we got to plan a super fun BBQ for the contributors to celebrate. We all pitched in to make the night a success and with lots of farmers market fresh food and cocktails it was a delicious success too. I got the opportunity to do some food photography for the blog portion of the site. One of the guests at our party was photographer Michael Donnelly (www.michaeldonnelly.com/), and we had the opportunity to chat about food and he gave me some tips on photographing. Overall the night was a success! Check out the MOL blog here: http://www.moodofliving.com/summer_soiree_journal.html
As of today there is a new part of jessicaraephoto.com.... And that is a print shop where you can buy prints of my work. This is an idea that I have had for a while and with Squarespace, my lovely web host's, great feedback on the process I decided to take the plunge. Featured in the shop are two sizes of prints offered on both a matte and luster finish.
My main motivation for launching this now is my BFA show coming up in a little over a month and the costs of putting together a show are ridiculous so not only do you get a fine art quality print but also the heart warming knowledge that you helped me graduate from college (read: my mom will forever love you).
So go take a look and let me know what you think!!
<-- (the print shop is located just under the journal tab right over there)
What a summer. I promise that I was photographing this summer, although not as much as I had wanted to but I was kind of busy having an amazing time at my internship. I worked over the summer with a fashion director and creative director doing everything from working in the fashion closet at Health magazine to photographing food for a blog to attending crazy events that can only be found in New York City. It was a whirlwind of crazyness but I am back at school for a few months to finish up and graduate so I figured I would share a little of what i did over the summer. (my roommate Miriam also iterned in New York and we lived together / were together 24/7 so she is going to pop up a lot)
These photos are from our first day of work, after work we decided we would go explore Times Square on a Monday evening. I think we thought it would be a little dead.... no not even on a Monday evening in May is Times Square scarce. It was a bit of a celebrity moment for me because my favorite graffiti artist was working on an installation in New York and we were actually there while they were pasting. His name is JR and his usual medium is pasting up photos. This was from a project called the inside out project that's traveling the world right now (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Out_Project ). We weren't able to meet JR since it was getting close to midnight and being good little interns we had to get home but we met some of his team and had fun chatting with them.
I just got some things scanned that I shot over Christmas break and I figured I would share a few. These images were off a roll of left over Portra I had from shooting a wedding a few days before.
My family spends a lot of time in the little town of Westport, Washington as a weekend getaway spot to relax. We go a few times a year usually to clam and hang out by the water. We spent about four days there and had some friends and family there to enjoy good food and good company. My favorite part is sitting out on the patio wrapped up in a warm blanket every morning and evening watching the early morning surfers and then the sunsets. It's amazingly beautiful.
The last place I visited for my group documentary project on small towns was Mud Lake. This was a slightly different experience because normally when we go photograph there would be at least three or four of us but this time it was just Ellie and I. It's interesting the different dynamic you have interacting with people when you are alone compared with a partner or a small group. It definitely has an effect on how a photographing outing can go.
For example I was wandering around a grain factory when I met these two men named Carlos. They told me that in this small town factory there where three different men named Carlos. Imagine that. Carlos one was too shy to talk to me but Carlos two was very eager to have me take his picture with his truck. So as I was photographing him in his truck Ellie came over and for a moment he got more shy that she was there but her opened right back up and was telling us about his family. He was such a nice man!
Also, if by some weird turn of fate you find yourself in Mud Lake, PLEASE stop and get a burger at K and G's diner and liquor store... Weird combo but a heavenly cheeseburger.
Yes, these photos were taken two months ago, but because the semester has finally ended I am playing catch up. There were times I didn't think I would live to finish, but looking back it was a challenge that I grew a lot out of.
So this is the the little town of Ririe. It's only a short 25 minute drive or so from Rexburg and I have shot here once before. It was fun this time to explore with a local and see some of the establishments. We visited the library, a few bars and city hall. Again these were taken for a group documentary project on small towns. I wanted to share the finished book, but the link isn't working.
Being that I never go to school in the winter... no really I go in the summer instead, this is the first time I have ever been able to enter the student art show. So with that opportunity in mind I picked out images about a month early and still procrastinated framing till two days before. But never the less I got them in and went to Vegas and stopped thinking about it. The opening reception was last Thursday and my awesome roommates got all excited for me and came and even some friends showed up! I love my friends! I ended up wining a merit award and some cash for my elk photo. I also entered a book so there are pictures of that. O and the last pic is an instagram of my friend Taylor and I. He won a merit award!
There are better versions of both the images in the travels and alt processes tabs!
Two weeks ago some friends of mine where headed to vegas for a wedding and when depressed in freezing cold Rexburg and someone offers you a ride to vegas you say yes... immediately. These are just some holga snapshots I took walking through the old vegas. It was an amazing trip to defrost a little and see old friends (nakayla, you rock) and old roomies (love you nate and vanessa!!!). Enjoy!
This is Han! This semester I am retaking the advanced black and white film class to work on more 4x5 and this week the class started using 4x5 cameras so we all went on a field trip to Ririe to mess around with 4x5. I spent most of my time helping people but I was able to get two shots in. I really like how this portrait turned out. I have wanted to photograph her for a while because she has really cute style but I like how it doesn't look like a glamour shot. It feels real and that is a nice change. Anyways, more pictures from the small towns are coming this week!
I recently began a group project for my photo 3 class. The idea is that the five of us will visit different towns nearby with populations less than 500 and photograph them in a documentary style. At first I have to admit I wasn't crazy about the idea. I've always struggled with embracing this small town where I live right now. (Don't worry it's a city of like 28,000 people; I just exaggerate) But I've come to find that I really love this project, I think that driving an hour or so you start to see things in a different way. These towns have so much character and really have stories to tell. We were able to chat with two locals, neither of which would let us take their picture, but it was so cool to see their faces light up to talk about this place where they have lived so long and that they really love. I'm fairly certain i will always be a city person but there is something so charming about this small town life.
My site is finally up and running! I'm so excited to finally have a place to show some people my work. There were a lot of challenges, such as my hard drive failing last night, that kept it interesting but yet I am here. Also, apologies for no picture with this post but its all I got without my hard drive right now. So enjoy and feel very encouraged to leave lots of comments.