Friday, April 15, 2011

Atkinson, Ne Portrait and Art Photographer: On The Benefits Of Homework...

A lot of people have been asking me lately “What is this homework you keep posting?” LOL. 

Well, as much as I love teaching, I feel like I am truly a lifelong student.  I LOVE, and I mean BIG PUFFY HEART L.O.V.E, learning!  I have spent most of the last 14 years working on degrees.  I am so blessed for the opportunities I have had to pursue my education.  After earning a degree in Anthropology, and then deciding to pursue a Master’s Degree Educational Curriculum and Instruction, I began to feel a bit “burned out” on traditional education.  So, I joined the Nebraska Writing Project to begin honing my writing skills and learning strategies to better help my students in their own writing journeys.  Through that, I re-ignited my passion for Holocaust Literature and found myself pursuing more education avenues following that passion. 

After awhile, I realized that I needed to take a “break” from all of that and work on something creative and just for me.  Believe me, I felt SELFISH in that decision, and I wrestled with it for a long time, but the reality was that I needed that outlet.  That is when Katrina Lee Photography was born, and it was a long time coming.

So, this is where my “homework” comes into play. Well, I needed to “get out of my head”, so I decided to take a creative vision workshop called “It’s Your Atmosphere” with the amazingly talented photographer Michelle Black.  This class has been like 4 weeks of therapy for me!  I explored who I am as an artist and the deeply personal motivations behind WHY I shoot in the first place. I explored HOW I shoot, and how my images reflect (or don’t reflect) me as an artist. I explored how to better connect with my wonderful clients in order to capture the true essence of WHO they are.  These exercises truly pushed me in my creative thinking and dared me to express who I REALLY am to people. 

My vision for my professional life has always centered around teaching and learning, but for some reason, I felt like I wasn’t allowed to pursue teaching and learning if it didn’t focus on what I teach my students or what I need to learn to be a better educator.  I forgot about learning simply to grow my own soul.  Through this journey, I feel like I have experienced an awakening. The best part though?  By taking the time to do this, I feel that I will now be a better teacher, a better mother, and a better photographer. I already have SO many ideas in store for my students next year!  

Here are some of my favorite images from my workshop.  I decided to share my favorite BW conversions because that is something I really worked on.

Week 1:  A series beauty series inspired by the 1984 National Geographic Cover "The Girl With The Green Eyes".

Week 2:  Capturing a stationary object in a unique way.  These weeds were so lovely, I think I sat on the Bluebird Trail for 20 minutes with this weed.

Week 3:  Exploring beauty in sequence.  We had so many lovely images, but the BW conversion on this one is my favorite!

This is my final assignment.  One of our lovely 8th grade students, {M} who LOVES to read, helped me out on this project.  The weather wasn't super cooperative, but it created a moodiness that lent itself well to an "Alice In Wonderland" inspired shoot in the woods on her property.  I do have to say, after visiting her woods, I am bound and determined to plan my own!  LOL!  I made me reminisce about my days as a child spent climbing trees, roaming pastures, and building forts.

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Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.