Hey, I’m Liz!
The most important part of what I do is telling your love story on your special day. I don’t just show up to your ceremony. I want to know the you beyond the camera so the photos I deliver are keepsakes that’ll be with you for decades. Your love story is the best inspiration for photos that last for decades.
Tips and Tricks
This is definitely a battle you guys! I have two thesis ideas that I really like but I have to chose one that will be the end all and be all of my senior year. This idea has to hold my attention for an entire year. What one idea has the power to be that exciting and interesting you might be asking…well let me bring you guys up to speed and you can help me decide.
Idea Numero Uno is what I like to call Commerical Uta Barth. Now if you guys don’t know who Uta Barth is then that means you are most likely normal and or not a photographer. Let me give you a little background on my experience with who Robert (more on him later) likes to call “My Girl Uta.” I am about to get so much heat for what I’m about to say so let’s take a minute for me to prepare……Alright, I do not like Uta Barth’s work. There I said it, bring on the hate, I know it’s coming especially from people here at Watkins. I just can’t seem to like her work. Ever since we first learned about her work in History of Photography I just couldn’t seem to get what the big deal was with her work. It’s blurry. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t seem to wrap my brain around someone purposefully taking an out of focus picture. Sure I take out of focus pictures all that time but that’s usually an accident. I don’t walk around going, I think I’ll use my manual focus right now and make this image really blurry for no other reason than I can. To further demonstrate, I’ll insert one of her images here so you guys can see what I’m talking about.
Now for whatever reason, maybe I got struck by lightning this summer but I went crazy and decided to start photographing some of my weddings and engagements in Uta Barth fashion. Before anyone freaks out, I totally photographed the weddings and engagements like I normally world and got all the gorgeous photos I needed before doing any blurry photos. They were more for just fun until I started looking at them after weddings and thinking about them. I don’t know why but I really liked them. For reference here is one I took at one of my favorite weddings this summer.
So now for the first idea. Commercial Uta Barth will be a commentary on my experience at Watkins. Because it is a fine art school, commercial work is not excepted and in some cases is looked down on. This project will address that and will address the question, why commercial and fine art can’t cross paths and meld together. Why exactly can’t commercial work be considered fine art, and why fine art work can’t be considered commercial. I have seen many famous photographers who use their fine art background to create stunning narratives for editorial magazines and even for weddings. Weddings can be photographed in a fine art way and therefore can be considered fine art. The same is true for fine art. Who is to say that fine art work can not be made commercial. Everyone thinks that in order to be a fine artist you have to only have your work in galleries. Getting your work into a gallery is hard work and can sometimes take years. I’m sorry but I really enjoy eating and doing photography all at the same time. I don’t want to have to wait years just to get my work into a gallery when the entire time I could have been using my fine art background to take commercial photos. Photographers can use their fine art background or even their commercial background to create not only visually stimulating images but also images that make you think about life and what the image could mean. Both commercial and fine art work can be both visually appealing and mentally stimulating. It is a common connotation that fine art photographers are starving artists and that commercial photographers have no skills, that they just pick up a camera and let it do all the work. I say to hell with those stereotypes. Why can’t they be both. Why can’t we change how the world thinks about these two avenues of photography and make them equal.
Well that got very wordy quickly. That is the first idea. I obviously have very strong feelings about Uta Barth and about the separation of commercial and fine art photography. I think this would be a really great project and is something that I am very passionate about. I would definitely be able to write a lot about it and would be able to do my commercial work that until now has been shunned and would be able to make it fine art. I should probably write a little about Robert since I mentioned him above. A couple weeks ago a man came into work looking to take some classes in Lightroom and Photoshop. Just basic editing nothing crazy and I offered to teach him. For the past few weeks we’ve been working together learning both softwares and have been talking a lot about photography and art. It’s been great working with him and talking out some of my thesis ideas with him. I told him about how much I didn’t like Uta Barth before but then how this summer I began to photograph in her style and we started talking about how sometimes an artist you hate will stick in your subconscious and sneak up on you later. That’s kind of what happened with this idea and now anytime we talk about Uta Barth he calls her “My Girl Uta.” It’s kind of funny and has definitely stuck with me.
Now on to Idea Numero Dos.
For my second idea I am going to do something very personal to me and to my childhood. This idea doesn’t really have a title yet. So far I’ve been calling it How Church changed my spiritual beliefs. I know I am going to get a lot of crap for this one too so give me a minute to prepare…..alright let’s get down to business. As a child I grew up as a Mormon. I’ll wait for the, “Do you have a million husbands and a million kids” incredulous looks and then continue….alright everyone done now? Yes I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly known as Mormon. As a child I loved it. I went to church as many Sundays as I could, I got baptized into the church, took my blessings, went to young women’s, camps, and even had a pretty strong testimony of the gospel. This is pretty standard stuff for kids. You go to church with your parents and it all seems good, you follow the lead of those adults around you, your parents and you “grow a testimony of the gospel.” While I understand that for some this actually does happen. You can be in the church for so long and you can actually grow a testimony of the church and believe all of their teachings. That was not the case for me. As I grew older, went to church more and more, listened to the home teachers, and read the Bible for myself; I began to grow uneasy with the teachings of the church. I began to question things. Now I won’t go into the specific things that I questioned for now; that will come later when I’ve done a little more research but for now we’ll just say I questioned the church. That is in no way me questioning God. I do strongly believe that there is a God, that there is a heaven, and that one day we will go there. I just question the path to get there. Everyone has to find their own path and for now mine does not include church. I believe in God and am spiritual but for me at this time the teachings of the church only weaken my testimony in the reality of our Lord and Saviour instead of strengthening it. Now I’m not going to say that one day I won’t suddenly be hit with the Church stick and go back and actually wholeheartedly believe in the teachings once again. I’m just saying for now, I am content with knowing God is out there and he is watching over me.
Now I hope this blog hasn’t scared any of my readers away and that people don’t think I’m damned to Hell (I believe in Satan and Hell as well). Religion is a tough subject and I wouldn’t be thinking about doing this project if I wasn’t ready for the consequences that will later come along with this decision. I hope you all have enjoyed reading today and that you will come back next week for another wedding post. If you guys would do me the greatest favor and weigh in on your favorite idea down in the comments. I am equally divided between the two subjects and need a little outside guidance.
Over the weekend I contemplated the idea of using my life of Civil War Reenacting as an idea for my senior project. It is something I am very passionate about and have done for many many years. In Dover, TN and all throughout TN there are quilt squares on the sides of buildings that show quilts from the time period and the Underground Railroad. I thought this weekend that it would be cool to photograph them all, print them, and then sew them together into one large quilt that could then be displayed as one of my pieces. Now I have three ideas for my senior thesis and no idea which one I should do. I’m hoping all my readers will weigh in in the comments section below and let me know your favorite!!