Fall Recap, Part 1

I’ve been terrible about keeping up with my blog this Fall! I apologize, but life has been pretty hectic. Now that my fiancé is out here and the wedding is getting closer, it’s become crunch time. But, despite all the craziness, I have still been able to get in some fun shoots.

I’m breaking my Fall recap into two posts. The 2nd post will be all Stoli photos, since I seem to have a million of those. This one will be certainly more eclectic!

Things have been so busy, I’m not sure where to start!

In September I photographed a wedding here in Columbus with the amazing Mrs. Anneka DeJong. It had been quite a while since my last wedding and I was a bit nervous, but the couple was great to work with and it ended up being a lot of fun! The ceremony and reception were at the Grand Valley Dale Ballroom. These are just a couple of my shots from the day. Its hard to pick just a few to show!

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

Father/Daughter Dance ©Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

Father/Daughter Dance © Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

Cake Cutting © Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

The First Dance © Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

The First kiss © Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer © Holly Hildreth

The beautiful bride © Holly Hildreth 2013

I also had the opportunity to photograph a former coworker’s daughter, Peyton, for her 3rd birthday. We headed to Westerville’s Inniswood Metro Park and got some nice shots with the fall foliage.

Columbus Ohio Photographer © Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Photographer © Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Columbus Ohio Photographer © Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Of course I kept busy photographing basically anything and everything that caught my eye this Fall. I have entirely too many photos to choose from for this post, so this is just a little taste of what I was up to.

Carolina Mantis

Female Carolina Praying Mantis I found on my window © Holly Hildreth 2013

Carolina Mantis

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Westerville Ohio Photography

Inniswood Metro Park ©Holly Hildreth 2013

Also now that Andy is out here with me, I have someone to accompany me on adventures. There were lots of things I wanted to try out here, but never got around to, because they were not as fun to do alone. One thing I had been really wanting to see was Hocking Hills. Hocking Hills is a state Park that is Southeast of Columbus, in an area of Ohio that is considered to be a part of the Appalachians. It’s not mountainous, but definitely hilly country with tons of photo opportunities.

Hocking Hills photography

Devil’s Bathtub, Hocking Hills, Ohio ©Holly Hildreth 2013

Hocking Hills

©Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

My hiking buddies! © Holly Hildreth 2013

Hocking Hills

© Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

The seasons change came way too fast for me. I hardly got in any Fall photos because I was so busy with everything else, but I made sure to get out there a few times anyway. Every year my mom asks for a  calendar of my photography for Christmas. Keeping that in mind throughout the year is always helpful in getting me out to take some scenic shots–that way come December I’m not scouring my hard drives, looking for something that could work.

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Outside our Condo © Holly Hildreth 2013

Sharon Woods Metro Park

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

Westerville Bike trail © Holly Hildreth 2013

Westerville Ohio Photographer

Everal Barn, Westerville, Ohio © Holly Hildreth 2013

Westerville Ohio Photography

Westerville © Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

©Holly Hildreth 2013

One last piece of good news: My SIXTH Hallmark card is on sale online currently. It can be purchase HERE

Here’s a sneak peak!

Holly Hildreth Hallmark Card

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon! It’s bound to be chock-full-o’-cuteness and Stoli photos!

All photos and content are © Holly Hildreth 2013. According to the DMCA, it is unlawful to use any copyrighted content without direct written consent. 

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Spring has Sprung

I named this blog post “Spring has Sprung,” as I feel like I have been really busy photographing all the seasonal flora around lately, but perhaps a more accurate title should have been, “Hey, I’ve totally been slacking with this blog, so here’s 4 months’ worth of Stoli photos”.

I’ve been extremely busy with work and wedding planning these last couple of months. With the wedding, I am actually really far ahead of schedule. That’s one good thing about being 1,000 miles away from everyone you know–you have all the time in the world to plan with no distractions. I have the wedding and reception venues as well as a photographer booked (Photographer was obviously the most important part, haha), I hand made all the table decorations, and most recently bought my wedding dress!!

My parents came out to visit me earlier this spring. It was great to see them again, and I didn’t realize how much I missed my mom’s cooking! They were only in town for four days, so we didn’t get a ton of time to hang out, but it was still nice to be together again. They loved the Ohio weather (it was cold–50-60 degrees everyday, but they left snow to come out here, so they were sweating while I was in my winter coat still!) I took them to Inniswood Metro Park one nice evening and they walked around with me while I took some spring foliage photos.

Tulips © Holly Hildreth 2013

Tulips © Holly Hildreth 2013

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Besides photographing the spring flowers, I have been trying to shoot other subjects to widen my portfolio. I still don’t really know anyone out here, so Stoli is usually my go-to model. I recently discovered a dog park about a 1/2 mile from my house, so I started taking Stoli (and my camera) there after work a few nights a week. I always get the weirdest looks from people there, but it’s fun and challenging to try and photograph new dogs.

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German Shepherd © Holly Hildreth 2013

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I’ve also started volunteering to photograph homeless animals at the local shelter. It can be quite challenging as some of the animals are feral or came from abusive situations. I am happy to do what I can though, to help them get adopted. Plus, it makes me really thankful to have such a patient model waiting for me at home!

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And of COURSE I have been photographing Stoli, and he’s been taking it like a champ. I’m sure there’s a large amount of people who think I’m the “crazy dog lady” because of all the photos I take of Stoli. The thing is Stoli loves it (he thinks it’s his job,) and it’s a huge stress reliever for me, so I’ll keep on doing it!

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Our Mock "Save-the-Date" cards. My Fiance wasn't too impressed, but the Stoli was just too cute, so I had to share

Our Mock “Save-the-Date” cards. My Fiance wasn’t too impressed to see a giant picture of Stoli rather than us, but I thought was just too cute, so I had to share

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Stoli’s faster than a speeding corn dog.

One other piece of good news: I have another Hallmark Card! I don’t know for sure when it’s coming out, so I will pass the details on to you later, but I know for sure it’ll be available to buy online this Summer. As far as an in-store date, I am unsure. They haven’t told me whether it’ll be distributed in stores yet, so I’ll keep you posted.

All Content is © Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

No Content may be taken from this page without direct written consent. 

At the End of Things

Well folks, I have four days remaining of my internship. I can not believe the time has flown this fast. I have been busy shooting recently. This past week I photographed a bakery, a farm, and everyone’s favorite dog. Each came with its own set of challenges.

With the bakery, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t in anyone’s way, (after all, they were kind enough to let me come take some photos, I didn’t want to be a pain!) I am most definitely NOT a food photographer, so it was challenging trying to make still life images interesting. I am used to working with much more dynamic subjects. In the end, though, I feel like I at least got a couple good, useable images from the shoot.

My mouth was perpetually watering the whole time I was shooting

 

 

Cake decorating is the only part of the baking process which I think I might not be absolutely horrid at, but I still think I will leave it to the professionals.

 

 

 

Next we had a request for some farm animal pictures. I was able to find a farm-education center near Columbus that was happy to have us. Now, growing up in a small town in Northeast Iowa, everyone figures I know a thing or two about farms. This photoshoot, however, proved that that most certainly isn’t the case. One of the first things I photographed was a chicken coop. I was inside the coop with about 50 chickens when suddenly they all started pecking me. I was semi freaked out by this so I started running, and the demon chickens followed after me. I had no idea that I had a fear of chickens until that day. Regardless, I did get a couple nice images of the farm.

Cats drinking fresh goat’s milk

 

 

Has anyone else noticed how scary goats’ eyes are?

 

Ram in B/W

 

They look all innocent frolicking about in meadows, but we all know the truth…

 

 

After these fun shoots, I decided it was time to get Stoli into the studio. Stoli wasn’t as cooperative as normal. It has been almost four months since his last studio debut, and I think he is quite out of practice. I kept the shoot short since he wasn’t too keen on being in front of the camera this time.

HAHA! SCIENCE!

 

Mahatma Stoli

 

Like I said, my internship is drawing to a close, and I have no idea what will be next for me. I will let you know whatever/wherever I head next.

Images © Holly Hildreth / McGraw-Hill Companies 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Why I’ve Been Missing

I’ve been dreading writing this post, as I knew that there was no efficient way to summarize everything that’s been going on in the last couple months. As you may have already noticed, I have kind of disappeared for  while. It’s not because I wasn’t doing any new work, but rather because I have been overwhelmingly busy. I’ll try to summarize the best I can, as I’m sure many of you don’t want to read an anthology of my life.

To start, I “graduated” from the University of Central Missouri. I have that in quotes, as I don’t officially graduate until August, but I only have one credit hour to fulfill this summer. As a result, I was able to participate in the commencement ceremony this past Saturday. I graduated Magna Cum Laude (and still have a chance to graduate Summa Cum Laude, as they haven’t calculated my grades from this last semester into my final GPA.) Since I didn’t get my photography talent from my mother, here is a photo a friend, Andrew Mather, took of me becoming an official alumna.

Photo by Andrew Mather

Photo by Andrew Mather

The next big piece of news is that I accepted a photography internship at McGraw-Hill in Columbus, Ohio. I’ll be assisting in their photography department, shooting and cataloging images to be used in text books. It’s a 10-12 week program (depending on workload,) and it’s 40 hours a week. My first day is May 21st.

Everything is quite overwhelming. Today is my last day in Missouri, and it hasn’t really hit me yet that this may be one of the last times I will ever be here and see these people. I don’t really feel like a college graduate yet–I keep thinking I’ll just be back in August. It’s very surreal and bittersweet; It’s strange to be leaving this place, yet exciting to move forward and start the next stage of my life. I guess I get to be an adult now and learn scary words like: “mortgage,” and “401k”. I leave Missouri tomorrow, head to Iowa to see my family one last time, and then leave for Ohio on Friday 5/18.

In order to commemorate this place that I’ve called “home” for the last three years, I did a small photo excursion through the country, snapping a couple sunset pictures, getting into a patch of stinging nettles, and picking up some ticks along the way.

Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012

 

Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012

 

Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012

 

Like I said, I’m trying to keep this short and sweet, so I’ll leave out all of the “oh my gosh, what am I doing,” panic out of here. I’ll try to keep you all updated on what I’m doing in Ohio, but I may not be able to post photos and what I’m working on in the internship, as McGraw-Hill retains rights to the images I create while at my internship. I’ll be able to put them in my portfolio, but they don’t want the images getting out before the textbook’s official publishing date.

So, until next time.

Spring Break, Part IV: Powell Gardens

We arrived back in Warrensburg around supper time on Saturday.  We were sad to be done with vacation, but happy to be back in our own beds. I also had the terrifying realization that this was the last trip I’ll be able to take as a student. From now on, whatever job I take will only offer 2 weeks of vacation a year. When we got back in town, I noticed that the flowers were starting their downward slide past their prime. I hadn’t taken any Spring photos yet this year, so I decided to go to Powell Gardens the next day.

I had only been to Powell Gardens once before. We took a field trip there for my nature and scenic class. Unfortunately when we did so, it was 105 degrees and in August, so everything was brown. I figured I would check out what they had to offer in Spring. Normally when photographing nature, the best hours to shoot are sunrise and sunset, since the light is a soft, golden quality. Powell Gardens, however, is only open from 10am-5pm, so I didn’t get very good lighting, as it was a hot, cloudless day. All-in-all, I got a few good images and a sunburn.

orchids © Holly Hildreth 2012

Orchids in the indoor welcome center. Orchids are one of my favorite flowers, but I have never tried growing them, as I have always heard they are a bit difficult to care for...(and seeing as I killed cacti 4 times before, I didn't ever attempt more delicate plants).

orchids © Holly Hildreth 2012

Tulips © Holly Hildreth 2012

Flowering Tree © Holly Hildreth 2012

Daffodils Flowering © Holly Hildreth 2012

Tulips © Holly Hildreth 2012

Flowers © Holly Hildreth 2012

Panoramic of Flowers © Holly Hildreth 2012

Panoramic of Flowers and bench

I’m back in school now, and the semester’s rapidly winding down. I’m trying to do as much shooting as I can before I graduate and no longer have access to a studio, lights, and lenses. I “graduate” in one month. (I don’t technically graduate until I finish a Summer class, but there is no Summer graduation, so I get to take part in the Spring commencement ceremony).

More photos of recent work coming soon, and don’t worry, I’ve got a set of Stoli photos headed your way.

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

Spring Break, Part II: NE Iowa

After leaving Des Moines on Saturday, we headed up to my hometown of Waverly, Iowa. Waverly is about 6 1/2 hours northeast of Kansas City, so I was glad that we broke up the drive by staying at my sister’s house in Des Moines the night before, (so we only had 2 1/2 hours to drive in the morning). Iowa, like everywhere else in the country, has been seeing unseasonably warm temperatures. When I went home on Spring Break last year, I still had to wear boots and my winter coat. Last year Andrew and I went to St. Louis for part of break to celebrate our one-year anniversary and we got stuck in a snowstorm. It’s quite amazing how different it has been this year. Iowa had unseasonably nice weather, and I even wore shorts one day–something absolutely unheard of for the beginning of March.
The first night in Waverly, we went to the Pizza Ranch. I worked at the Pizza Ranch for two years during high school, and my parents loved it, because I brought home free food every night. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting this awesome establishment, Pizza Ranch is a pizza+fried chicken buffet. So, basically it’s your midwestern American dream. Ever since I met Andrew, I told him about Pizza Ranch, and he always made fun of me for it, insinuating it was a place for hillbillies to gather and swap stories about corn, cattle, and cousins over greasy food. So, of COURSE we made him go.
After supper Andrew and I went to a Celtic music concert in Cedar Falls for St. Patrick’s Day. My high school English teacher, Doug Nichols, and his wife are in a Celtic band, Banish Misfortune. Mr. Nichols has sort of adopted me, and he’s become Uncle Doug. I always try to stop by and see him, his wife, and their corgi whenever I’m in town.

On Sunday we decided it would be a nice day to go to Decorah and picnic. Decorah is a small, Norwegian town in extreme northeastern Iowa, about 15 miles from Minnesota and around 40 miles from Wisconsin. Decorah has been a fun day-trip spot for my family since I was a little kid. The Iowa Trout Fish Hatchery, Ice Caves, Twin Springs (artesian wells,) and Dunning Springs waterfall area all located there. (To see pictures of the aforementioned in season, click here: My Trip to Decorah in Summer 2011). We went to the fish hatchery to begin. Across the street from the fish hatchery is a nest of eagles. (You can read more about it in the above link). We looked at all the trout, which ranged in size from an inch to 24″. It’s always fun to walk up on a still pond, throw some fish food in, and watch the water churn with the swarms of fish. There’s a waterfall emanating from a limestone bluff that fuels the trout hatchery with cold, natural spring water.

Andrew © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andrew with the natural spring. He was like a little kid, and I had to keep telling him not to climb on things and to be careful, haha!

Parents  © Holly Hildreth 2012

My parents in front of the waterfall. My dad is in a sling, because he just had surgery on his shoulder. He was driving to work on the highway this past December when a car failed to stop at an intersecting road and t-boned his work van. He had a torn rotor cuff among other muscle injuries and it chipped off a piece of his shoulder.

Us  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andrew and I at the fish hatchery. It was windy and hot--80-some degrees. A record for Iowa!

After the fish hatchery we went to the Ice Cave. As kids, we explored the Ice Caves caverns, but I hadn’t been in probably 15 years. The Ice Cave is named such as it has ice on the walls year-round. To our disappointment, it seems parts of the Ice Cave have collapsed. We weren’t able to go much past the initial opening of the cave. I know Andrew was disappointed, because we were talking it up and his outdoorsy Eagle-Scout instincts took over and he was ready to do some spelunking.

Next we went to Dunning’s Spring, which is my favorite part of Decorah. However, the once raging waterfall had been reduced to a trickle and most of the area was brown. We couldn’t believe our eyes. In the 22 years I had been coming to Decorah, I had never seen the waterfall this dry. I didn’t take any pictures, as I was so disappointed. I also felt bad, as we were raving this up to Andrew as well. By this time, I’m pretty sure he was thinking that we Iowans are easily amused and think the littlest things are great. Here’s a picture of Dunning’s Spring in its prime when we visited this summer:

Dunnings spring  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Finally we stopped at Twin Springs Park to see the artesian wells. These too had dried up. There was only a little bit of a stream flowing. We had a picnic in the park and relaxed. I of course had to take pictures, even though the springs were definitely not in their prime.

Twin Springs Part © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Part © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

My mom took a photo of Andrew and I in front of the stream, and I was VERY proud of her for not cutting our heads off.

On Monday, we went to Cedar Rapids to visit my oldest sister, who just moved there recently to accept a new full-time meteorologist position at CBS affiliate station. It was Jen’s birthday, so we went out to eat and hung out at her apartment for a while.

Tuesday was a relaxing day. We futzed around the house, I got a haircut and ran errands, and we both packed and prepared for our voyage to Chicago on Wednesday morning.

I apologize for the length of this blog. Normally I like to keep it short and sweet and bombard you with photos. The next blog post will follow that pattern. Stay tuned for Part III: Chicago.

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

January at the Zoo

The last day before Christmas break ended, I went to the zoo with Daniel and Derek, (my boyfriend’s roommates). We had been having unseasonably nice weather for January, so it was a good weekend to go. It was still only about 45-50 degrees outside, but I have been to the zoo in much colder weather. It was nice to get back to shooting “wild” animals, as it had been some time since I last visited. I didn’t get anything too great, as when I am with people, I usually don’t take forever shooting like I would if I was alone.

Nikita © Holly Hildreth 2012

Nikita, the polar bear, shakes off some water

Bleating bongo deer  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Bleating bongo deer

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Prozac Lion © Holly Hildreth 2012

Prozac Lion

hyper-charismatic, slobbery hippo © Holly Hildreth 2012

hyper-charismatic, slobbery hippo

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Daniel and Derek petting the sheep © Holly Hildreth 2012

Daniel and Derek petting the sheep

Daniel strikes a pose with a sheep

Daniel showing the sheep videos on his phone?

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto@gmail.com

The End of Break

First off, I would like to start by saying this is my official 100th post! This blog started out as a required project for a class and has morphed into my way of sharing my day-to-day shoots with people outside of Facebook.

Anyway, I spent two weeks of my Christmas break at my family’s house in Iowa. Initially it was a shock to the system, as I went from 50 degree weather in MO to highs in the teens in Iowa. I’m not a fan of winter weather to start with, so that was not a fun surprise to come home to. I got to Waverly just in time for Christmas. My sister, Kristin, had made some Christmas treats, and I decided to try my hand at photographing them. I have never really shot food before, and I don’t think it will ever be a huge part of my portfolio. I just used a lamp to light the scene and then had some tinfoil propped up to bounce light back into the scene. The cookies she made are two Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle, all dipped in chocolate. Needless to say they were delicious.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

My attempt at photographing hot chocolate wasn't so successful...

 

My other sister, Jen, has a Willow Tree nativity set. She has been collecting all the pieces over the years, and I thought I’d try shooting that as well. I used window light and then more tinfoil as a reflector to bounce extra light into the scene.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

My sister and brother-in-law left our hour Christmas Day, and my other sister, Jen, had to do the news all week, so life got boring around the house. I soon was setting off around Waverly, trying to find things to photograph. I found a flock of geese on an open patch of water on the Cedar River and decided they would be my next photographic victims.

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

School starts back up and Monday, and I expect to be very busy as I am taking a huge credit load. Don’t worry though, I’ll have plenty of new material to update and will hopefully be posting more regularly.

 

Quick November Update

It doesn’t seem possible, but there’s only a month left to this semester. As every college kid knows, the last week before Thanksgiving break is one of the most stressful. Every teacher has an extremely “important” group project, paper, or hefty assignment that they have due before you leave.

For my nature and scenic class, our professor is having us turn in a portfolio of mounted prints. He offered us 12 categories and we are to fulfill at least eight different ones. Since many students aren’t able to meet those requirements yet, today’s class involved us going to Knob Noster and hiking in the state park in attempts to beef up our portfolios. The biggest issue with this is that everything is dead and brown at the moment. I didn’t get anything too spectacular as a result.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

After class, I was out and about with my camera and decided that it was about time for another Stoli mini-shoot. We played in the yard and he hammed it up for me.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli decided to dig a hole

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2011