Category Archives: Photography

The Beauty Of Age Project

The Beauty of Age Project is a labor of love to celebrate women at every age. We often see women photographed in media and at family events but they all start to disappear around age 50. I want to photograph women ranging in age from 50-100 years old and hopefully inspire others to see the beauty of aging…

As with any project, I have decided to set up a few deadlines and goals:

1. To photograph women over the next two years (final session in December 2019),

2. To photograph one woman representing each age,

3. Host a show in January 2020.

I have successfully tested my old Contax camera using Ilford black and white film that I want to also use for the project. Thanks to my friend and fellow photographer, Lena Eivy, of Lena Eivy Photography and her dog for being lovely models! It was also a good test run to see how long the lab takes to process the film.

Confirmed: The old Contax 35mm camera works!

I plan to capture a “test” image using a digital camera so that I can provide a preview to each model and for sharing updates. I’ll save the magic of the film portraits for the show! This way I can save some bit of surprise for those who are able to participate in person first. The completed project will be shared online as a slideshow after the show.

The latest update is that I have found a location I can rent to use as studio space for the duration of this project.
I will be hosting the project portrait sessions once per month so I can keep making progress and keep it manageable alongside my business and family life. I’ve already spoken with a few of my brave, beautiful women and am delighted that some have signed up through the grapevine, believing in the project before I even have anything to show for it! Thank you all, truly, for helping to spread the word!

Warmly, Holli

Holiday Pop-Up Shop: Arts and Crafts Extravaganza!

UPDATE: I sadly cannot make this event to a conflicting family need. Please do attend and enjoy buying local anyway!
Art
Dusting off my art and craft fair shoes for this one day event to share local art nature photograhpy.

WHEN: Saturday, December 10 at 10 AM – 4 PM

WHERE: IntraSpace 3100 Airport Way S Set 24-108, Seattle, Washington 98134 {Behind Tully’s coffee}

WHAT: A holistic healing center is hosting this local holiday shop experience. There will be art, crafts, healing balms and more! I’ll be selling prints, postcards and a few small wood block prints (these are ready to hang on the wall, measuring 3×3 inches each). Hope to see you there! Free for all ages to enjoy.

 

Turning Art Into A Living

I realized something earlier this week: aside from my business networks and friends in West Seattle, not very many of my friends know what I’m doing with my photography these days. They may remember some art show stuff or the Tree Woman Project from last year. And, yes I have a few creative side projects on the back burner, which when they’re ready, I’ll share here on Holli with an i.

FettleFitFB

But, what am I doing now? I’m a portrait photographer focusing on serving the business community in Seattle with marketing photos, head shots and those images in between.

I’ve been focusing on business photography since January 2015, because it uses my skills and experience in a unique way that allows me to work while the kids are in school or after they’re in bed. And, yes, I’ve got a dedicated website at NativeLightPhoto.com as well as on Facebook.

The reason for the shift in my focus is quite honestly, because I need to make a living with my art. I wasn’t successful doing the art fair circuit selling my art nature photography. I got to the point where the art was paying for all of the fees and costs for production to be out selling, but it was a lot of work away from my family for about $43 in profit. This new business is another branch to my experience where I need to stretch out and try to see if I can really make a living from my art, even if it’s applied to a format that is more of a service than an art. This is kind of like the painter who turns to graphic design to make a living while painting on the weekends for fun. Yes, some painters make a living from their art printing it on pillows and canvass, but some need a day job too. This is my “day job” photography business.

Selfies for a cause: Dressember!

Slavery is alive today in the shadows of our culture. I’m participating in Dressember because I believe in everyday advocacy. I am hoping that by raising awareness and talking about it, we can all help to shift this culture that looks the other way, or believes that we are powerless.

Dressember day 1.
Dressember day 1.

The first step to change is being aware of the problem. The next is finding ways to support programs that are already working toward that change. And the hardest of all, will be self-education so that we don’t accidentally support the conditions that make it the only option for people around the world.

I’m going to do my best at raising awareness, and invite you to help by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Email!

But, first some details…

According to the US Government definitions of slavery, there are several different types:

Dressember day 2.
Dressember day 2.
  1. Forced Labor. Immigrants are the likely victims of this, as they pay for their passage to another country.
  2. Sex Trafficking. It is what it says, forced sex workers, coerced or forced into work through fear tactics and manipulation.
  3. Bonded Labor. This is more straight forward, paying off a debt through employment, often in less than safe conditions.
  4. Debt Bondage. Just like bonded labor, but usually through more organization when an employee relies on the employer for being in another country.
  5. Involuntary Domestic Servitude. Servants who are isolated and work in domestic areas away from other workers.
  6. Forced Child Labor. Children are victim to sex trafficking, bonded and forced labor.
  7. Child Soldiers. Yes, it is what it says. There’s a high likelihood that kids in this area are sexually abused, both boys and girls.
  8. Child Sex Trafficking. This one requires quoting, “According to UNICEF, as many as two million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. International covenants and protocols obligate criminalization of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The use of children in the commercial sex trade is prohibited under both U.S. law and the Palermo Protocol as well as by legislation in countries around the world.”
Dressember day 3.
Dressember day 3.

Now, if that list doesn’t make you want to cry, and angers you to want to take action, you can do an online training, “Human Trafficking Awareness Training.

Still with me? Okay, time for more…many of us, myself included, assume slavery does not exist in America. But, it does. Mostly in the sex trafficking area, but others as laborers. We have one of the lowest percentages of slaves per capita, just .02% (60,000) according to a Washington Post article.

CNN Money reported in 2014 about slave labor in America – specifically in the areas of agriculture, construction and hospitality.

Business Insider did an article on Sex Trafficking. I’ve read about it before, but this is an good overview of the topic and how easily young teen women fall into it.

Dressember day 4.
Dressember day 4.

There are several organizations working to combat the circumstances that enable slavery today around the world. Dressember was started by Blythe who wanted to engage her love for fashion with social activism. It’s really quite brilliant in that it encourages us to participate in the dialog and raise money for these organizations.

This year’s campaign is raising funds for International Justice Mission, and A21. While I did setup a campaign page to officially register, I encourage you to go directly to each organization and give what you can to the one that does the work you believe in the most.

And, feel free to follow along with my on Instagram: @holli.with.an.i as I post a selfie a day to prove I’m wearing a dress a day!

xo,

Holli

A Puny Art Show!

My tiny 3x3 inch Robotany series will be there!
My tiny 3×3 inch Robotany series will be there!

Come check out my last art show of the year – along with a list of local artists, this show is a wonderfully affordable way to buy smallish art work and support Pasado’s Safe Haven for animals right here in Washington.

When: December 10th, 6-9pm

Where: Wallflower Custom Framing
Details:
http://wallflowercustomframing.com/the-shooting-gallery/

Tree Woman Project In Review

A hearty Thank You to everyone who attended the Arts In Nature Festival last weekend.

TreeWomanInvite
©Holli with an i photography

It was such a fun experience to not only show off a project I’ve worked so hard on over the past 10 months, but to also give a little bit of the “Tree Woman” experience by braiding hair and making crowns. Here is the first family group to get their crowns on to enjoy the festival in fashion:

Family of nature lovers!
Family of nature lovers!

The cabin exhibit was a sensory experience: I created a soundtrack from recordings during hikes this summer to capture the sounds of the forest. We added branches from our friend’s tree farm on the Olympic Peninsula to the shelves and walls of the cabin which surprised people the most: the pleasant sound of the trees! The visual part I worked the longest on for ways to display the Tree Women in a way that had variety. From tiny wood mounted prints to large canvasses and extra large prints hung from clothes pins…here are a few phone photos:

Tree Woman Project exhibit
The entrance of the cabin.
11947753_10153161795462198_3655011780521109061_o
A braided flower crown.
11895082_10153151368787198_5361478483225294263_o
Canvass mounted portraits.

And a few photos of me with a couple of me and the Tree Women as well as with the Art Program manager, Yeggy.

TWP_festival-4

TWP_festival-3

TWP_festival-2

The project was a success thanks to my wonderful community. I am thankful for everyone who help me pursue my crazy idea. Each model was a friend or acquaintance. One of them I had only met through Facebook and the parent community. Another I met at a model session a month before. My Mom and cousin helped make crowns and braid hair on the second day of the festival, which was wonderful since it seems twice as busy as the day before. And, the supplies of birch branches, willow and hydrangeas were from my family and friend’s gardens. The tree branches for the cabin came from our friend’s tree farm.

– – – –

My favorite moment from the event itself was a conversation I had with a boy who I believe was about 8 years old. You see, I had imagined the show would strike a cord in the imaginations of women, but it really engaged many men and people of all ages.

Boy: “What is that smell that’s so good?”

Me: “That’s the smell of the trees.”

Boy: “But why do they smell so good?”

Me: “It might be the type of tree. (knowing they were Noble Fir “Christmas tree “branches)”

Boy: “No, I mean, why do they smell like that in there (cabin) but not out here (outside)?”

Me: “The tree smells stronger when you cut it. Out here the trees haven’t been cut. The branches in there have and that is why they smell so much stronger for us.”

Being in Seattle and surrounded by amazing programs that get city kids into nature, I never would have imagined giving a boy the first opportunity to see what a tree really smells like.

– – – – –

I wish that every Tree Woman model could have attended, and it’s difficult to find another venue that could provide another such experience. The best I can do for now is share a slideshow of the exhibit photos with the sound track…enjoy!

Tree Women Project: You’re Invited

You’re Invited!

The debut of this personal project celebrating the stages of womanhood and the seasons of nature through our connection to trees.

Arts In Nature Festival this August 22nd & 23rd

Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm, tickets and more info here: Arts In Nature Festival.

Creative Personal Portrait Session

The fun thing about personal projects is that you get a chance to show off what you’re capable of beyond what you normally do. My Tree Woman Project inspired a friend to revisit her favorite portrait from college taken by a friend on film.

Keri_Concept

We took inspiration from it, and had a lot of fun creating something new. Though we didn’t have a snowy forest to work with, we did find some amazing tree branches in the Kubota Gardens. Like the ying and yang of life, I think these two personalized portraits are lovely in their opposite tones, but complimentary in style.

©HolliMargell_Kericoncept

I also realized just how much  I enjoy a creative challenge and trying new things. So, if you have a photograph from your past and want to recreate it or something new, I’m game!

xo,

Holl

Shop Closing: Lessons From Etsy

I have been an Etsy fan since a year after it first began. It boasted 100,000 users/sellers in 2006. Back then, I had my first baby and we lived in a small one-bedroom apartment. I had found myself new to the Stay At Home Mom thing, and got crafty. Etsy was a place where I could sell my projects and buy unique items from fellow crafters around the US. And, I had high hopes that it would be a forum where I could help contribute to our family income.

Instead, I found myself without much time to put into the shop as parenthood took a lot more time and energy than I anticipated. So, the crafter in me took a long nap. Then, the creative part of me found an outlet in photography. I had my first art show in January 2012. My business license shows that I started in December 2011, but I wasn’t prepared to sell anything until January. The first art show was fun and gratifying. That lead me to open my second Etsy shop, and I even took a class on how to grow my shop through meeting people at art shows and growing my following.

It seemed promising, but I didn’t make my first Etsy sale until 9 months later, and it was to a neighbor (who is awesome, BTW)! That motivated me to keep going, and with each new art show, I found my sales on Etsy coming from strangers. In all, I’ve made just enough from those sales to cover the Etsy fees (they are small, but add up)…

Art2bToday, I find myself at that point where I need to close the shop. My creative energy is being focused on portraits, and I have to admit that while I will always love fine art nature photography, I can’t do all the things. I have my limits, and admitting that feels like failure, but I’m hoping to move forward with better focus on providing the same quality of my fine art photography in portraiture.

Here’s my past 6 months ledger to prove it (and I haven’t done the annual calculations to pay taxes on those sales yet):

ART SALES Date Fees/sales
Etsy 6/1/2015 -$6.00
Prolab (magnets) 5/8/2015 -23.07
Etsy 5/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 4/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 3/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 2/1/2015 $0.73
Etsy 1/20/2015 SALE $20.00
Etsy 1/1/2015 -$7.76
Profit -$16.10

This experience has taught me that to make Etsy work, you have to work it. Etsy is a great vendor store-front for those who don’t want to manage e-commerce on their websites, but it’s like a giant store. No one will find you unless you stand there to greet and direct them. You’ve got to do the work.

My work is shifting, and that is why the Etsy shop is closing. I decided to make this fun for everyone, because I honestly do not want to have the 2 large boxes living in my garage for the next 25 years full of art, magnets and postcards. I want to see each item find a home.

Take a look and enjoy 50% off of EVERYTHING! I can’t discount shipping, but if I could, I would do that too. I’ll be officially closing the shop on July 10, 2015. Use coupon code: CLEAROUT when checking out to get the discount. And, thank you for following my art photography journey!

Onward,

Holli

Bolivia: Perspective Shift

When people ask me how my trip to Bolivia was, I often say, “It was intensely amazing.” But, how can a sentence really describe the experience in a brief passing while shuffling kids to and from activities or in the grocery store?

The road to Toro Toro, a 6.5hr bus ride along a dirt and cobble stone road. Thankfully, we stopped to take lots of photos!
The road to Toro Toro, a 6.5hr bus ride along a dirt and cobble stone road. Thankfully, we stopped to take lots of photos!

The truth is that the whole trip was a huge perspective shift for me – from my heart to my mind. I found it was easier to digest the whole experience as a mother than a photographer. I’m not really sure why, except that is who I am at my core: a mother first, photographer second. That is why I shared about the trip on my Mommy blog first, “What Bolivia Showed Me.

And, I still think the most powerful lesson was that:

“I discovered that photography is a powerful tool to connect us across language and social status, almost as if it’s a form of communication all it’s own. It starts with a smile. And that moment in photography where you can feel the connection in a person’s eyes exists no matter the conditions.”

The trip really nailed the truth for me – that I love photography. And, I love using it in a way that connects us, that helps us have compassion for others.

Working with our interpreter, Abi, instructors: Andrew Nicodem and Benjamin Edwards.
Working with our interpreter, Abi, instructors: Andrew Nicodem and Benjamin Edwards.

Workshops With Purpose gave us an incredible opportunity to learn in real world conditions. Partnered with Food For The Hungry, we worked from a shot list as if we were on an assignment for their Little Ones Project. We worked with interpreters and saw the work being done to eradicate the high infant mortality rate and fight childhood malnutrition.

The local school, Rodeo Escalon, hosted a community garden where students and their families learned about diversifying crops, and sponsored children could learn up through 8th grade.
The local school, Rodeo Escalon, hosted a community garden where students and their families learned about diversifying crops, and sponsored children could learn up through 8th grade.

It was a beautiful thing to see mothers and fathers becoming empowered and educated about irrigation, nutrition and growing more diverse foods to feed their children. And, it was really powerful to work with the Food For The Hungry staff to see how passionate they are to do the work. These jobs are not what we have come to expect from traditional American jobs – they go above and beyond a job title.

Rodeo Escalon - a hand washing station with water purified by the sunshine.
Rodeo Escalon – a hand washing station with water purified by the sunshine.

What impressed me the most about Food For The Hungry is that they have an exit plan – a frame work to empower the people and enable them to support their community. They aren’t a big organization that expects to hand out bags of food or medicine. They connect the community to do the work within the country.

When I asked him to pick out his favorite vegetables from the family garden, he picked carrots!
When I asked him to pick out his favorite vegetables from the family garden, he picked carrots!

 

This little one's family is being helped by Food For the Hungry to diversify their crops and learn more about nutrition.
This little one’s family is being helped by Food For the Hungry to diversify their crops and learn more about nutrition.

I am grateful beyond words for having the opportunity to attend Workshops With Purpose and follow my heart. Yes, I do love non-profit photography and will look for ways to integrate this kind of work into my business before my retirement years!

©Susan Goldman Photography A photo of me walking along a Papaya farm devastated by a hail storm.
©Susan Goldman Photography A photo of me walking along a Papaya farm devastated by a hail storm.

Some smaller side lessons the workshop taught me:

1. I can take a cold shower and not freeze to death.

2. I like Llama meat.

3. Thunder and hail storms are breath-taking and livelihood crushing.

Whenever we get the chance to talk in person, feel free to ask me more about those side lessons!

xo,

Holli