Democrats, Dogs, and 9 more Days

I’ve got nine days remaining on my internship, and it has been 2 weeks since my last post, so I thought I was due for another installment. Time has been blurring by–I have no idea where the month of July has gone. It seems like just a couple weeks ago I was saying a tearful goodbye to everyone in Missouri, and now I’m getting ready to say goodbye to Ohio. I’m bummed to have to leave as I have loved my experience, but it will be nice to see some familiar faces again.

I’ve covered a variety of subjects in the last two weeks–some of them you may just recognize!

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama

Atticus the cat

A Pulley and weight on a grandfather clock

Oscar the Poodle

A man shears a sheep at the Ohio State Fair

some things are just better in black and white

A double-dapple dachshund

A Doberman does the weave poles during an agility competition

Bokeh the Frisbee Dog

A mother sheep and her newborn lamb

I’m headed out almost every day this week with a lot of new shoots lined up. Stay tuned for new photos.

Photos © Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies 2012

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T-Minus 4 Weeks and counting

As the title suggests, I am drawing frighteningly near the end of my internship with McGraw-Hill Companies. I honestly cannot believe it’s already been two months, and now there’s only less than four weeks remaining. What direction my life will take after those four weeks are up, I have no idea, (which is absolutely terrifying to put it mildly).

Anyway, on to less depressing stuff. I have been BUSY! Since my last update, I have been working hard on a large variety of photo shoots. Like I mentioned in my last installment, I am able to post a couple images from my shoots as a part of my portfolio. McGraw-Hill Companies own the rights to these images though. I can’t post all my photos, and there are some shoots I can’t show you at all, so here’s just a little sampling of what I’ve been up to since my last update.

My parents and uncle came out to visit me during the first week of July. It was really nice to see them again, and fun to actually have someone I know here to talk to. I had to work during their visit, but we were able to combine some of my work trips with family time, which was nice. On the 2nd day they were here, we met my sister and brother-in-law (who were visiting my brother-in-law’s family in the Cleveland area). We met at Mansfield, Ohio, which is half-way for both of us. My mom and sister took my nephew shopping while my dad, uncle, brother-in-law and I toured the Ohio State Reformatory, better known as the prison where Shawshank Redemption was filmed. I actually own the rights to these images as I didn’t shoot them for work.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Looking down the row of empty cells

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

An actual escape attempt by inmates. They tried tunneling out of the chapel.

 

Of Course I had to snap a picture of my nephew!

 

I had to spend some time in the office, but I was then able to go with my parents to the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Work was happy, as I was able to photograph things for them while spending time with my family. It was a win-win. Museums are pretty difficult to photograph, though. You have a problem with people standing in the way of your shot and you can’t arrange the objects the way you want to. Always a source of pain for photographers!

Naval Medal of Honor

 

 

The next morning my parents, uncle, and I took off for Niagara Falls. None of us had been there before, so we were all pretty excited to see the area. I decided that a photographer could easily spend a week there and still not get all the shots they wanted. When we got there the first night, we did a little exploring and my parents and I went into Canada. I was entirely too excited about that. It was the first time I had left the country. I got a passport  5 years ago and never used it until now. Hindsight, I feel un-American for going to Canada on the 4th of July.

Me and the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls in the background. This is on the Canada side looking towards the US

 

My parents on Rainbow Bridge, which is the pedestrian bridge that connects the US and Canada.

I spent about 90% of the vacation taking pictures. I wasn’t brave enough to take my camera on the tours with us, as you got soaking wet, and I didnt’ want to risk it, so I took a few images on my mom’s cheap point-and-shoot. I REALLY wish I had brought my good camera though, because the views were absolutely incredible. Next time I’ll know better.

Downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, at dusk. The Skylon Tower is on the right side of the frame.

 

Fireworks over Horseshoe Falls

 

The edge of Horseshoe Falls at sunset

 

Looking down through the mist at the Hurricane Deck at the base of the Falls

 

Niagara Falls and the Maid of the Mist Observation Tower at sunset

 

 

After Niagara Falls, my parents headed home and it was back to work for me. I have been shooting a ton of different things, so instead of listing out everything that I’ve been working on, I’m just going to throw down a few images for your viewing pleasure.

Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot

 

Flagship Detroit at the Vectren Dayton Air show

 

Skywriting at the Vectren Dayton Air Show

 

Madison County Fair

 

 

A cowboy prays before riding a bull

 

Bull-riding in Ohio–who would have thought?!

 

Anyway, there are images I WISH I could post, but unfortunately can’t. Stay tuned, as I will hopefully have more shoots to share with you soon.

Spring Break, Part III: Chicago

We started our full-on tour of Chicago on Thursday morning. I had been to Chicago a few times before, but the last time I was there was for Lollapalooza back in the summer of 2009, (but we were just there for the music–not the sight seeing). Previous to that, the last time I actually took in the sights of Chicago was on a band trip in 2007. So needless to say, it’d been quite a while since I actually did touristy things in Chi-Town

We started by meeting up with Andrew’s friend, Ryan, who lives and works in Chicago. Ryan knew all the best places to eat, and he took us to an authentic German restaurant, The Brahaus. Despite growing up in a mainly German town in northeast Iowa, I had never had German food before. (And those of you that know me, know I’m am usually skeptical when it comes to trying foods that I cannot pronounce.) The restaurant was quite authentic–the waitstaff was all from “the old country” and spoke in thick German accents, and the only drink choices were either beer or water. I ordered the hüner schnitzel (basically boneless, breaded, fried chicken, German style) and it came with leberknödel suppe, which is a bowl of liver and dumpling soup. At first I stared wide-eyed at the grey mass in the soup bowl before me, but after trying a few bites, I discovered that I actually liked it.

Next we were off to the Shedd Aquarium. We were surprised to have to stand in line to get in at 1:30pm on a Thursday. The place was very busy, which made photographing quite difficult. I snapped a few pictures while waiting in line.

Chicago Skyline © Holly Hildreth 2012

Chicago Skyline, with a storm building up in the background

I had been to the Shedd before, but it had been probably 9 years or so. They had done a lot of remodeling and adding on, which was a nice surprise. I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked to, because you had to wait your turn to see the animals on display at some of the exhibits, and the bigger animals (dolphins, belugas, sea otters,) were off display as they were doing training, so we didn’t get to see them at all.

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Scuba Diver © Holly Hildreth 2012

Scuba Diver feeding the fish and cleaning the tank

When we got our tickets, we opted to pay the extra $3 to see the jellyfish exhibit, and I am so glad we did, as it was my favorite part of the day. Jellyfish are very tricky to photograph as they’re constantly moving and mostly kept in low-light tanks, but I am happy with the images I got.

Jellyfish © Holly Hildreth 2012

Jellyfish © Holly Hildreth 2012

Jellyfish © Holly Hildreth 2012

While we were touring the aquarium, it decided to come up and rain. Luckily it was starting to clear up as we were leaving. Our next destination was the Sears (Willis) Tower. We had paid a parking meter $10 to park for 4 hours at the aquarium, and we still had 2 hours left on our time, so we (foolishly) decided to walk to the Sears Tower and back.

Us © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andy and I outside the Shedd Aquarium after the storm passed

Lake Michigan © Holly Hildreth 2012

Lake Michigan and part of the Chicago Skyline

Lake Michigan © Holly Hildreth 2012

Gratuitous flower photo

So we walked to the Sears Tower. Poor choices all around. It was vastly farther than any of us figured. Ryan’s phone told us it was 1.2 miles. After getting home and looking on Google, we discovered it was a 4+ mile round-trip. We got our tour of the city, and I got my fill of the “wild life”.  The last part of the walk was difficult as it was rush hour and we were fighting a crowd, going the opposite direction against the flow. We finally got to the Sears Tower (I still can’t bring myself to call it “The Willis Tower”.) Luckily, we came at the right time and there was no line to get in. We were able to grab our tickets and go right up without any wait. Due to the rain, we weren’t able to see as far as you could on a clear day, but it was still a sight.

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

South Chicago and the Chicago River

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

Panoramic of the South side of Chicago and Lake Michigan

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

Northeast side of Chicago (Hancock Observatory is the tall black building in the middle/slightly right side of the photo).

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

Looking down. We later found out that the building in the bottom left corner with the grass on the roof is where Andrew's sister works. We stayed with her while we were in Chicago.

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andy in the new glass overhangs. These were new since the last time I'd been there. If you look down, you definitely get vertigo. Still really neat.

Sears Willis Tower © Holly Hildreth 2012

After our sight-seeing at the Tower, we made our walk back. My feet were ground down to bloody pulps by the time we reached the car and completed out 4+ mile urban trek. We were absolutely exhausted. We dropped Ryan off at his house and then made our way to Andy’s sisters’ for the night. His sister, Mary, took us out for Greek food. (I had also never had Greek food. Go ahead, gasp. I came from a small town in Iowa. We don’t exactly have anything but corn and beef at our dinner tables.) We walked (oh the agony) to The Athenian Room. I decided to try the Kalamata Chicken. The 1/2 chicken is served on a bed of fries with sauce. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was actually really good. It had a lemon+vinegar taste. After supper, we walked back to Mary’s (my feet were worn ground down past the ankle by this time,) and we were so exhausted that we basically passed out as soon as we got in the door.

The next morning we met for lunch with Ryan at an Italian restaurant where he works in Harlington Heights. We planned to tour the Field Museum next as it was pouring rain outside. After lunch, we headed toward downtown, but got stuck in stand-still traffic. After an hour and a half, we had only gone 4 of the 8 miles to our destination. By the time we hit our exit for the Museum, we realized we’d only have an hour to look around and decided that for the price of admission, we wouldn’t get our money’s worth by only being there for such a short time. So, we decided to keep driving. We met Andy’s parents in Bloomington, IL, for supper. We ate at Jim’s Steakhouse, which is absolutely amazing every time. After supper, we drove to Mt. Pulaski, IL, to Andy’s parents and stayed the night. The next morning we were headed home.

Part IV, coming soon.

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | http://www.hhildretphoto.wordpress.com

Spring Break, Part I: Des Moines

UCM’s Spring Break was this past week, and my boyfriend, Andrew, and I had big plans for a busy break. The first stop on our trip was in Des Moines to see my sister, brother-in-law and new nephew. Kristin wanted new pictures of Cade, and I hadn’t taken any since he was born. Cade’s 1-month “birthday” is today (3/27/12). I have never photographed newborns in a home environment before, so this proved challenging. Cade was not a happy camper. He does not like to be undressed, placed on his tummy, or be left somewhere where he’s not being held. Since Cade was so fussy, I tried to not use any flash and only utilize natural light. This made the process more difficult, because my style of photography normally utilizes flash (either direct or bounced off something). I find that without using flash for a fill you get a lot of contrast and dark shadows, which isn’t the best for newborns.
Kristin had a lot of ideas of what she wanted, but Cade had other plans. We did a few outfit changes and shot quickly. If Cade doesn’t like his Aunt Holly now, what’s it going to be like when he’s actually old enough to know that every time I come over I make him take pictures?

View the whole set here: HERE

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade's first St. Patrick's Day

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

One Unhappy Easter Bunny

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Greg and Cade

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Kristin with Cade

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

All Image © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Cade Micah Kapusinski

I found out last Wednesday that my pregnant sister, Kristin, was being induce into labor on Monday (2/27/12). Kristin’s blood pressure was high, and the baby’s stomach was measuring small. To make sure everything was all right, they decided induced labor was the best option. I traveled up to Des Moines Sunday night and spent the night at their house. Kristin and Greg were to be at the hospital at 7:30 am on Monday morning. I wanted to do a documentary approach to the whole thing, so I came to the hospital around 9:00 am to ensure that I got a few “detail shots” before Kristin went in to full-on labor. The rest of our family arrived around 10:45 am, and things seemed to be going slowly. Kristin was gradually having more regular and powerful contractions, but after 4 hours, she was only dilated 1/2 way to what she needed to be. I asked the nurse about progress, and she said that she’s be “extremely surprised if she delivered any time soon”. So, we had lunch and walked around, running errands, and we didn’t think she was going to progress as quickly as she did.
The next thing I know, I’m running into her room, grabbing my camera as they’re pulling the baby out all the way. I immediately went to work, snapping my first picture as they placed the baby on her chest. I’m not even sure what followed after that. I must have been in the zone . I documented everything from the baby’s first breaths to cleaning him off and weighing him, to both Greg and Kristin’s family holding the newborn. I’m so grateful that they left me to do my thing.

Cade Micah Kapusinski was born at 1:47 pm on Monday, 2/27/12. He weighs 6lbs, 2.5oz and is 20.5 inches tall

I know these aren’t my usual dog pictures, but these images mean more to me than I could have imaged before going into this. I don’t think I have ever taken such powerful photos, and I am very proud of this set. I am so glad to have been a part of this experience. It’s definitely something I will never forget.

After getting back to Missouri, I put together a little slideshow for the proud parents. As soon as I watched the finished product for the first time, I admit I cried. (I guess it’s good if your own images can move you to shed a tear or two!) Here is the video:
Cade Video

Here are some stills that I used in the video:

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

First photo of Cade. They are placing him on Kristin's chest. He is less than 10 seconds old here.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Weighing in at 6lbs, 2.5oz

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade opens his eyes for the first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Greg hold his son for the very first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The First Kiss

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Calling our Grandma McBain to tell her the news

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade holding his grandma Nancy's hand

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Dad's on diaper duty. Grandma Linda is there to help.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All images are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Editorial #6- Travel/lifestyle

For this assignment I documented my boyfriend’s and my trip to Kansas City. I am from a small town in Iowa and have never lived in a big city. I wanted to bring some of that small town wonder to my photos, so I started out with little shots of the car, the rain, the road, and then moved to shots of the country, the trees, the waterfalls, and finally ended up in the glamorous city. I just wanted to show the contrast between the country and the big city life. Here are a few of my shots. You can see more by visiting my flicker page: Here


Editorial #5 – Illustrative Portraits

I had no real idea what direction to go with this. No one in my class had really done editorial portraits before, so I was unsure what to do. I tried to do portraits of my boyfriend, Andrew, showing the different sides of him with work, leisure, and hanging out with friends. I am not very happy with the final product. It’s really lacking something, but I can’t quite tell what just yet.

More photos here: Flickr slideshow

Editorial #4 – Sports: Baseball

I shot the University of Central Missouri’s Mules baseball double-header for assignment #4. I have never been a athlete or a sports fan. It was like pulling teeth to photograph the Mules basketball session earlier this year, and I found it equally as painful doing baseball. The staff would not let photographers on the field to catch the action, and so the only other choice was to sit in the fan section behind everything, which pretty much forces you to only see the backs of the players. I was having issues focusing past the fence and the net, along with just general sharpness problems. Moral of the story: I will NEVER be a sports photographer.

…And that is that.

If’ you’d like to see more photos from this shoot, you can check them out at my flickr:  Flickr slideshow

Editorial – in class food shoot

In editorial class, we learned how to style food and then shoot it. I think I found another area of photography that I will not be interested in pursuing in the near future. There’s a lot more that goes into food styling and photography than I ever though. I am not a fan of meticulous food styling. I’d rather be able to shoot a subject that can move itself. But here are my results

Books for Sale!

As some of you may have heard, I professionally published a book of my wildlife photography. It’s a collection of images I have taken over the last two years and put together. I have put a lot of work into shooting, editing, and creating everything that went into the book, and I would love to share it with you guys. If you’re interested, you can preview the first fifteen pages. If you’d like to see more pages, send me a message and I can arrange something for you. Since I am a poor, unemployed college student, and I’m hoping to do this whole “photography” thing for a living, you can purchase your own copy! The books are nice, large 8″ x 10″ pages, and you can choose between hard cover with a dust jacket with a dedication and about the author page, or there is the slightly cheaper alternative of the soft cover. These books are perfect coffee table books and they make great gifts (Mother’s day is coming up!!) Anyway, if you could check out the link, it would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1273777

Thanks for all your help!
Holly Hildreth