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My two students, Emily and Rae, and I set out a few weeks ago on a rainy afternoon to the North Carolina Museum of Art trail and grounds for them to practice some portrait photography on each other, and Rae experimented on a more difficult subject:), ME.  Here are their photos that they each shot and edited and some thoughts from each about the afternoon:)

From Emily: When I photographed Rae, I had just met her for the first time. However, I think we “clicked” really quickly- I found that I have a lot in common with her. Taking pictures of each other at the art museum was a really fun experience. It had just rained, so the lighting was beautiful, and it was perfect for photography. Here are some pictures of Rae that I took.

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From Rae: When Emily and I met at Elizabeth’s house on a Wednesday afternoon, it was looking very gloomy outside and we were not sure whether or not the rain would hold off for much longer. This was our first shoot all together, and we wanted to do something special, but we were not sure if the weather would allow it. We decided to drive to the art museum for our photoshoot, which was very risky. The rain unfortunately did not hold off, but it was worth it! As I have said time and time again, cloudy weather is the best condition to take pictures in, and this shoot was no exception. Although our shoes got a little muddy and our hair frizzy, we had a great time locating good spots for photos and taking them as well. Emily was a great companion and this was a great first experience working with her!

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photo of the artist, Emily, by Elizabeth Galecke

My name is Emily Payne. I’m a senior at Friendship Christian School, and I had the opportunity to intern with Elizabeth Galecke. Although it was a rainy day, the lighting and water produced the perfect environment to take pictures. We focused on capturing small details, like the veins of leaves and raindrops on flower petals-It was a really fun experience. Here are a few samples of some pictures I took.

This session just after Thanksgiving was so special and fun!! The client’s father is a photographer and they asked me to shoot film which was so incredibly fulfilling. I love the slowed down process of photographing with my big film camera, up on a tripod. Even though it is spontaneous, I have to think about the shots and really make sure the light works, so  I am not able to experiment as much as digital, but its worth it to me ! I love the way film looks and for a day in the life sessions, it just captures a memory in a different way. Digital is great too-it offers other perks- more experiments, less price, and a lot more mobile! But sometimes I appreciate the slowing down and thought process of shooting film, not to mention the anticipation of having to wait for the proofs!

I loved that they booked the session for the morning. I am now offering shorter versions of A day in the life- so much can be caught in 3 hours of a morning! I arrived in the dark, before the kids were awake- which was perfect to capture these boys amazing bed heads- their hair was fabulous!!

I was there quietly trying to record the quiet moments as they were waking up and just chilling out, to making pancakes, (one photo of the oldest literally inhaling the yummy smell of the pancake pressing it still warm to his face:)), to lego time and jumping on the bed- its a short time, but mornings on a weekend can be filled with amazing memories and I was so happy to help capture them. When the kids are are 40 years old, they will have these photographs, not lost on a computer somewhere, they will hold them in their hands, or look at them on the wall and remember their time being kids and remember their parents and the time they had as a family. It is an investment, but something that preserves your family history for years to come. Most people invest in documenting their wedding, but don’t think about how special a day or few hours in the life of their family can be.

One note to mention! Parents are often not so excited about the thought of being caught on camera in general- especially before coffee:) but its so important for your kids to have photographs with you in them. Notice that the parents are in these, they are interacting but not the focus. Its a great way to be there so that you have memories, don’t jump out of the photos, get in there for your kids!! I always also take full family photos while I am there- after everyone is warmed up- usually outdoors on the front porch, or at a favorite park, they are candid, but also a way to get all of the family in the same photograph for a memory.

 

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Happy new year! I had an amazing break over Christmas and New Years and spent a week with my nephews and family! I always have a hard time deciding how much to try and photograph and when to just put the camera down- I didn’t jump into the football game, but I did play baseball, watched lots of boy movies, shared lots of great food- introduced them to Pho, and laughed and smiled a lot:) Here are some of my favorite images:)

 

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Finch Family 2010, by Elizabeth Galecke Photography

Masks

September 23, 2105

It’s been an emotional season at the Finch’s. We’ve had a lot going on.

Jessie is wrapping up the first quarter of her second year teaching, getting ready to head into a two-week break. All the little seventh grade hooligans are testing her patience and her mettle; ready themselves to be done with deadlines and being told what to do. Grady is in the thick of a new sophomore semester at NCSU, learning a new campus, navigating between home and apartment, having transferred from Appalachian State. Since I’ve last blogged, we had our first beagle, Hank, euthanized, lots of friends and family are facing significant challenges, I’ve continued to devote myself to staying healthy and, of course, the usual conundrums of life unfold themselves into the daily grind.

But, I’m so happy. I told Grady the other day that I think I spend about 90% of my time feeling truly, seriously happy. Free somehow.

The photo was taken in our front yard, immediately before the Debutante Ball the summer after Jessie’s freshman year at UNC-Wilmington. Do you see the awkwardness? We are all feeling pretty uncomfortable. David and I encouraged Jessie to make her own decision about participating in the deb tradition; we were frankly hoping she would chose to decline. I felt it was important that she make this decision herself though, and there were clearly reasons she wanted and needed to see it through, having friends and being raised in a culture that supported the tradition, despite all her mother’s deep-held misgivings. Good for Jessie.

I felt like a fake. Wearing a mask. Looking like Elvira in my black witching gown. Supporting something that my core didn’t believe or trust.

The debutante photo reminds me of a photo David and I took with Jessie, before I had found Elizabeth, when the “thing to do” was to get an official family photo at a certain Cameron Village photo studio. It was all very scripted. I had permed hair, a coral dress with enormous shoulder pads and even bigger earrings. David was in a suit and tie, the tie carefully chosen to compliment my dress and bow to the appropriate “power color” of the time. What were we thinking? We looked miserable. Fake, fat and miserable.

I’ve been doing a lot of looking back lately. Combing through old photographs from my own childhood, the kids’ childhood, then more recent shots from several “once in a lifetime” vacations. I love the process and feel of retrieving old memories, feelings, using the photos as art in our home, capturing it all forever in time.

And then I come into the present moment, again and again, to really notice my kids now, to feel myself, to see fresh again.

Our family is telling the truth these days. We are “exposing our soft porcupine underbellies”, as was stated so eloquently by my dear friend Rebecca, a soul sister in this truth-telling journey. We are evolving. Communication is cleaner and deeper. I notice how well my children handle their own stuff. How well they handle David and I. How skilled and loving and kind they truly are.

And I notice that the more I allow my core to be present, the more I drop the mask, a clarity comes and there’s space. Deep feelings emerge, they pass, and a space arrives that allows for light and happiness and patience and a sense of unfolding grace. I love my life; I love these people who share my core. And I am intensely, magnificently grateful.


From Elizabeth:
One of my projects starting at the beginning of 2014 has been working with long-time clients, going through their files of photographs from two decades now, and collaborating on ways to use the images with their voice in words capturing intimate moments and life lessons along the way. My first client, Tammy Finch, is one who has without fail, had her children and sometimes her and her hubby alongside, photographed every single year for the last 19 years. Her oldest daughter, who was 4 when I first photographed her, was married last year:)This project is just unfolding and has so much potential. For now, it will be an ongoing blog series accompanied by the photos that inspired her from that year in their life. But who knows what the creative process will bring, I am looking forward to help facilitate the project and give you a glimpse at a way to use photography and writing to document your life and pass down a lifetime of growth and intimate personal experiences to your families.

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For more info please check out the website and facebook page!! http://www.ravenscroft.org/page.cfm?p=4883

I am exited to participate in this fun event again this year! Rae my student will be photographing at the Friday night event, and I will be taking appointments on Sunday! here is a little sneak peek at the backdrop we made today(thank you to Jackson Pollock for the inspiration!!) Come see us!

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Friday, Sept. 18, 8-11pm: BYOC Party A party celebrating photographers and their work Bring Your Own Camera or smartphones and CAM provides the photographers, the studios and the fun! Food and drinks Capital Club 16, Dessert lucettegrace, DJ Nick Neptune. Click for Tickets and more information

Saturday, Sept. 19, 11am: ArTIST’s TALK Coffee and conversation with special guests Curtis Mann and Jerome De Perlinghi

Sunday, Sept. 20, 11-6pm: Portrait Sittings (last sitting at 5pm) Traditional (or wildly untraditional) portrait sittings Family portraits, headshots, children’s portraits, pets, group shots, and more! Click for Tickets and more information

Click this link for tickets and more info! http://camraleigh.org/exposure-time-2015/