DJRowell Photography: Blog en-us (C) DJRowell Photography (DJRowell Photography) Sun, 09 Jun 2013 00:21:00 GMT Sun, 09 Jun 2013 00:21:00 GMT DJRowell Photography: Blog 120 119 My Inspiration and Confession "Grandma Moses" Have you ever heard of "Grandma Moses"?  She wasn't just a make-believe person; she was real.  She started out as Anna Mary Robertson in 1860, later married Thomas Moses, and was referred to as, "Mother Moses."  Never one to be still, she kept busy with her five children (she gave birth to ten but lost five), and later when the arthritis in her hands became too painful for hard physical work, she began to paint at the "ripe old age" of 58 and continued painting and winning awards and accolades all over the world.  She won an Honorary Doctorate from the Moore Institute of Art in Philadelphia and did a painting that was specially commissioned by President Eisenhower's Cabinet, the publication which came to be known as "The Four Seasons."  In 1960, Governor Nelson Rockefeller proclaimed  "Grandma Moses Day" on her 100th birthday.   This woman who passed at the "riper old age" of 101, left a legacy of never giving up, never quitting no matter how old she was. She continued doing what she loved and followed her spirit of creativity to the end. 

So why is she my inspiration?  I have four children, eight grandchildren and another on the way, and one great grandchild.  And compared to the young women photographers who are out there pursuing their dreams and balancing taking care of their families, I am the 'senior' of my photography associates and friends in years on this earth.  They are oh so young and pretty and many of them have been photographing everything from weddings to newborns and growing families longer than I have been in business.  And. they. are. great!  Many times I tell myself that I should just quit because I will never catch up to their level of experience and expertise, and I just don't fit in, don't have the same exuberance and excitement over the latest trends in clothes or camera or laptop bags, and so on. (Raising four children as the wife of a sailor left me just enough time to take care of the basics.)  I often feel like I am just an observer in the game as I read their social media posts and successes and anticipation of their next photo session they are nervous and excited about.  Oh and don't forget all those themed and seasonal mini-sessions and props.  So much to keep up with. I often lose my own spirit and passion not to mention confidence in my own work.  And lets face it, we are some of the worst critics of our own work and see every hair out of place or leaf that we should have cloned out, or we berate ourselves for breaking that sacred rule of thirds even though it really does look pretty darn good. Or we look at one website after another and realize, geee whiz they are sooooo good; I have no business even trying.  

So now I think about Anna Mary Robertson Moses.  She painted because she loved it, and the more she loved it, the better she got, and the better she got, the more she was lovingly respected as simply that little old lady in the black hat with the netting-- Grandma Moses, who painted her little heart out until it finally stopped at 101 years old.  I doubt that she had any social media back then to compare herself to other than the social tea parties.  She just did it because she loved it and that's all that mattered.  The rest followed.  She had nine grandchildren and more than thirty great grandchildren.  Well, my ninth grandchild is due in four weeks and I only have one great grandchild but I guess that's a good start.  I'm not called Grandma but I am called "Nandee" so that's good enough for me.

]]> (DJRowell Photography) Sat, 08 Jun 2013 03:53:00 GMT
Pass It On At photography workshops we are often asked to share the big WHY we are into photography, and when it comes to my turn there is really no defining moment in time where the light went on in my head that I should get into this business.  Like many of us, it started when we picked up the family camera or maybe a Polaroid or disposable camera and took a few pictures.  As a teenager, a friend showed me his family's photography studio and I got to see what literal burning and dodging a photo was all about. I was fascinated with the process but it looked like an awful lot of tedious work.  Later when my children came along, I, of course, reached for the first camera I could find to capture those fleeting first weeks, months, and years of my children's growth that led me down that photography path. Rather than begin my photography business much later in life,  I wish, however, that someone had taken me under their wing and introduced me to the camera at a very young age, because the technology is speeding by faster than I can keep up with it.  With that thought in mind and two of the little granddaughters spending the night, I decided I would show them what it was like to be on the other side of the camera and not where I always placed them in front of me.  A year apart, they took turns taking each other's pictures and one was more steady, focused, and determined than the other with the little P&S (point and shoot) compact camera i put in their little hands. They had their own posing ideas and couldn't wait for me to show them on the computer or fix the red eye which I explained was like looking into your eyeball so you didn't have to look so spooky.  I am hoping that this becomes an ongoing exercise in fun and learning when they visit their "Paparazzi Nandee."  I encourage all photographers to keep that in mind when you encounter a young inquisitive person at one of your photography sessions.  You never know what seeds you may be planting for the future. 


]]> (DJRowell Photography) Sat, 24 Nov 2012 05:53:35 GMT
Stumped for a new prop idea? Stumped

Did you ever hear yourself say, "Oh doggone it, I should have thought of that," when you saw someone's cool Pinterest idea or a photographer's setup or props that you already had but didn't see it in that light?  I think when you have been exposed to that enough times, if you are paying attention to that little voice in your head and making note of it, you will begin to see ideas, crafts, and props all around you.  Recently my neighbor had to have a huge oak tree cut down at the end of her driveway due to a tree disease.  I snatched a two foot chunk of a thick branch, added some wheels and a top and made a unique little rolling stool or end table.  So when they had to have the other huge oak tree cut down, my brain started seeing more rolling stools at first.  Then it moved on to bigger things, like a huge chunk of the trunk for posing everything from babies to families.  Our friendly neighborhood tree cutter not only cut me a nice pretty chunk, but after taking down a section of privacy fence, we got him to take his back hoe and haul it off to our back yard (it was over 500lbs).  Yeah!!!  I was so excited.  It looks like it grew there naturally and had to be cut down.  I can envision the grandkids playing king of the mountain and tea parties on it now.  Stay tuned for some little people pictures on the stump. 

]]> (DJRowell Photography) Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:00:25 GMT
Why do we do it? This weekend I attended another one of the many photography workshops available to those who share the love of photography so that they can learn how to fine tune their craft and their business.  This one by Julie Paisley Photography was special for me in more ways than one.  Not only did I meet some extremely talented young women, all eager to soak up information like sponges from Julie Paisley, who made us feel like she had known us for years and eagerly shared her knowledge with the group, but the bonus for me was that it was in my home town.  Though I no longer have any family left there, I relived many memories as I drove down my old street to see the last house I grew up in before I left home.  So much had changed, aged, worn down, broken down, and I drove away with a feeling of emptiness and sadness.  As I drove off to meet up with the gals again, the little voice in my head said, "this is why we do it."  What? Yes, this is why we all share that love of photography.  It is not just pixels and sensors put together in a complex array to make an image.  It is because the image that comes from those pixels and sensors is a memory that comes back to life when we look at that print or canvas or album that we, as photographers, make possible for our clients. 

]]> (DJRowell Photography) Sun, 18 Nov 2012 05:16:00 GMT