Movin’ on Up

Well, lots of things have happened since my last post, and instead writing of some nice introduction, I’m going to just jump right in.

My internship with McGraw-Hill Companies School Education Group ended August 10th. BUT, I signed a contract as an image specialist with them, so I am full-time now! During my internship I was subleasing a place in the Short North area of Columbus. My sublease ended September 1st, so I needed to find a new place. As just a heads-up, if you ever plan to move to the Columbus area, DO NOT do so when Ohio State is moving back. I checked out over 30 apartments, and all but 2 had waiting lists to get in backed up until the end of October. As a result I didn’t have a lot of choices for apartments. I ended up finding one–it’s more than I wanted to pay, but like I said, it was slim picking! I am now 10 miles closer to work which is nice, but it takes me twice as long to get to the office, which is not so nice.

Since I was subleasing, when I came out to Ohio in May, everything I brought fit in the trunk of my car. I only brought Stoli (plus his things,) my clothes, and a rubbermaid drawer for toilertries. This meant that moving into a new place, I needed to get all of my belongings out here to Ohio. The problem was that 1/2 of my stuff went home with my parents to Iowa when I graduated, and the other half stayed spread out between my boyfriend’s house and my friend’s garage. So, in order to recover my things, I took my very first plane ride (shocking, I know. I lived under a rock for 20-some years though,) back to Kansas City.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The view on my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Kansas City. We wre flying above a rain storm.
© Holly Hildreth 2012

My first time flying was only mildly traumatic, but that’s another story. It was great to be back in Kansas City. Even though I had only been gone for four months, I missed it (well, mostly I missed the people.) My boyfriend worked every day save for two and was on the opposite sleep schedule from me, but it was so good to see him again! We were able to go to our favorite restaurant, Fogo de Chão on the Plaza in Kansas City. While we were there, I took a few pictures to remember KC by.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station, Kansas City, MO
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station at sunset
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Liberty (WWI) Memorial
© Holly Hildreth 2012

The rest of the week was spent packing boxes and trying to see friends while I could, as I have no idea when I’ll be able to make it back to the area. One of my good friends adopted an English Mastiff named Baby-Girl. Although she’s gigantic, she’s a giant teddy bear, so of course I had to take a few photos.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Baby-Girl
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

At the end of the week, my dad and uncle came down to Kansas City from Iowa with a trailer and we loaded up most of my stuff. The drive from Kansas City to Columbus is about 12 hours. With help, I was unable to move and unpack almost everything.

180 degree view of the kitchen and living room at my new place

The bathroom.

My new bedroom

I got crafty. I know it’s hard to see, but on the left I cut out the shape of the state of Ohio from a Columbus map. On the right we have the state of Missouri I cut out of a Warrensburg map, and the middle it says, “Home is where the heart is”.

Living room

Kitchen and breakfast bar

My door is on the left-hand side. I live under the stairs like a troll

My building. The bottom right is my little patio

One of the entrances to my apartment complex and the tennis courts

No Apartment is complete without a pool

Things are still a whirlwind. I have been super busy at work–I photographed Mitt Romney and President Obama before going to Missouri. I am trying to shoot outside of work so I have new photos to post. I’ll keep you updated.

All Photos and Content are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.com

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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

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.

A Midsummer’s Night Update

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, so I figured it was high time I put up some new work and let you all know I’m still alive. So much has been happening that it’s really hard to find time to sit down and crank out a blog post. It’s also tough, because I have adapted to a “grown up” sleep schedule, which means I get up at 6am and go to bed by 10pm. A frighteningly strange concept for a 22-year old.

Things have been clipping by pretty quickly at my internship. I can’t believe I am over half-way done already. It really doesn’t seem possible. I guess time flies when you’re having fun, and I really truly do enjoy what I am doing at work. It make such a difference when you like your job. Instead of dreading work in the morning, I wake up and am actually excited to get to the office. I have been doing such a wide and diverse amount of shooting, I don’t even know where to begin with my project recap. I have shot rose gardens, microchips, parrots, an aquarium, food, wildlife, festivals, a rodeo; insects; sports–you name it, I have probably shot it within the last 2 months. The good news is that I can put a couple of my favorite images up in my blog and on my portfolio website. I obviously can’t post everything and some images I can’t post at all because they’re currently being used in books that are coming out soon. Anyway, here are a couple of my favorites.

Proof that I am a real adult at a real job

Proof that I am a real adult at a real job. This is a snapshot of my boss and I discussing some images I shot in our informal meeting room. (Trust me, not all of our meeting rooms are neon green with a random mishmash of objects strewn about, haha!)

One of the first big location shoots I did was at the Whetstone Park of Roses in Columbus.  This park is (as the name suggests,) chock-full-o-roses. One of the signs said they had something like 100,000 rose plants there. It was a little overwhelming. I arrived around 6:30am to get some great early-morning light images. Like I said, I am only able to post a couple, but trust me, I got some great results. Again, I should let it be known that technically all these images are © McGraw-Hill Companies.

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

Another fun shoot I had was at Inniswood Metro Gardens. There were so many pictures to be had, it is hard for me to narrow down the posting to just a couple of my favorites! It is definitely a place I will have to visit again for more shooting.

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

When I’m not on location or at the office, I usually try and find things around the house and local things in Columbus to take pictures of. It’s so nice having more lenses and flash units at my disposal again!
© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

Perhaps one of my favorite photo shoots was my trip to Cleveland this past weekend. I had never been to Cleveland, so for me, this was like a paid vacation. I mostly traveled around to the top sites and shot. I visited the aquarium, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, a marina, Lake Erie, and a few other locations. I had a blast, and it’s things like this that make my job so sweet.

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies

I wish I could share ALL of the images I have shot in the last two months with you, but unfortunately I can’t. I am very grateful that my boss is letting me post these images in order to beef up my portfolio and online presence. Hopefully I will be able to continue to post for you guys.

I am very excited as my parents and uncle are coming to visit me this weekend and celebrate the 4th of July with me. I will be shooting the fireworks for work, but then we are headed to Niagara Falls. I can’t tell you how excited I am for that, as I know there will be a ton of photographic opportunities to be had.

Anyway, sorry the update was so short, but it’s past my old-people bed time! I’ll try to do a better job of keeping on top of posts in the future!

© Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies 2012

Life as a so-called, “Adult”

I started my third week of my internship with McGraw-Hill today, and I have to admit, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long already. I’ve been moved out of Missouri going on 4 weeks now. The time has been flying by. During my first week of my internship, I was sent out to photograph an Asian Festival and Dragon Boat races. I can’t post the photos here as they are property of McGraw-Hill. I got SUPER sunburnt while out shooting, but it was really a unique experience. I am glad my job requires me to get out and explore Columbus, as I have seen a lot of neat places I wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon on my own. After the dragon boat races, I came back and photographed the park on my own time. (Since I wasn’t on the clock for McGraw-Hill, I am able to post these images here as I own the rights to them).

Proof that I really DID get sunburnt

Scioto River © Holly Hildreth 2012

Panoramic of Genoa Park, which is where the dragon boat races were held. The river you see is the Scioto River which runs through downtown Columbus.

Scioto River © Holly Hildreth 2012

Fountains at Genoa Park. Taken from the south side of the river, looking towards downtown.

The second week of my internship was busy with taking photos in the studio, shooting video on location, and doing a whole lot of editing and metadata entry. On May 31st, Stoli celebrated his 2nd birthday. When I got off work we walked downtown to Three Dog Bakery, which is a sweet shop making treats just for dogs. I got Stoli two cupcakes to celebrate.

Stoli's cupcake © Holly Hildreth 2012

Although they look good enough to eat, these treats are made specifically for dogs with pet-safe ingredients

Stoli's cupcake © Holly Hildreth 2012

At first Stoli wanted nothing to do with these treats. He turned his nose up at them…

Stoli's cupcake © Holly Hildreth 2012

Once he tasted the frosting, he changed his mind. He devoured the first cupcake and began licking the pavement for crumbs, so I decided to give him the 2nd then as well.

Stoli and cupcake © Holly Hildreth 2012

He was devastated when he “spilled” his cupcake. I flipped it back over and he was a happy camper. He inhaled the 2nd cupcake, and I’m not sure if he chewed or not. All-in-all, I think he was a happy birthday boy.

This past weekend I got to experience my first “Gallery Hop. I live in the Short North district of Columbus. The Short North is a very hip, artsy community. There are tons of shops, cafes, and art galleries everywhere. On the first Saturday of each month, all the shops and galleries open their doors and people explore the area. There is live entertainment, street art, musicians, food, etc. It goes from 4-10 (sometimes later,) but I walked around starting at 5pm, and I think I missed all the crowds. I heard later that it, “doesn’t get good until sundown”.

Short North © Holly Hildreth 2012

View form the Short North looking south

Shops in the Short North © Holly Hildreth 2012

I was glad I went, as I got to explore little shops I would have otherwise never stopped by.

Shops in the Short North © Holly Hildreth 2012

A small gardening store

Shops in the Short North © Holly Hildreth 2012

A gourmet chocolate store was too enticing. I had to leave quickly, otherwise I would have walked out of there dramatically heavier with a wallet that was much lighter.

The next day I decided to explore more of downtown Columbus. I was driving around and spotted an impressive building. As it turns out, it was the state capitol. I had fun checking it out and snapping a few shots.

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

Front of the Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

A monument at The Capitol. It was a wall full of letters from Ohio soldiers that had been killed in action.

Ohio Statehouse © Holly Hildreth 2012

Looking northeast from the capitol

Bicentennial Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Across the street from the statehouse is the Bicentennial Park, which is a nice multi-purpose green space.

Bicentennial Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Panoramic of Bicentennial Park at dusk. Click the photo to see a larger version.

I know this post has been all over the place, but so much is happening so quickly that it’s hard to keep track of everything and then blog about it! That being said, to summarize: I’m really liking my job, Columbus is great–there’s so much to see! Things are going well here. I’ll try to keep everyone posted with what I am up to as often as I can.

Ohiowa

This week has been quite the whirlwind. I’ve been busy snapping pictures, packing, and moving! I left Missouri on Monday (5/14) and stayed overnight in Des Moines at my sister’s house. She wanted some snapshots of Cade–nothing too intense, as he was 2 weeks shy of being 3 months old and still couldn’t do much of anything. I did a quick shoot for them, but was frustrated as I desperately miss the lenses and lights I used to check out from school to do shoots. I definitely need to invest in at least a flash unit asap. I have been mulling over getting a new lens as well, but the lens in question (the fabulous Canon 16-35mm L series lens,) costs about 3 times as much as their top of the line flash unit. So, it’s one thing at a time! I just used natural light for the shoot with Cade. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew will be coming out to Ohio sometime this summer to visit my brother-in-law’s grandfather with the baby, so I am going to try to meet up with them and do another photo shoot. Hopefully by that time, Cade will be more aware of what’s going on and will be able to interact with me more, (and maybe I’ll have new equipment to play with my then!!)

Cade looks like an old man © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade looks like an old man

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

After Des Moines, I headed up to Waverly, IA. I spent Tuesday through Thursday in town doing a few last-minute things before my big move. I even got out for one last photoshoot of the “sights” (if you can even call them that,) in Waverly.

Main Street Bridge, Waverly, IA  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Main Street Bridge, Waverly, IA

The newly finished, (and highly controversial,) inflatable damn

The newly finished, (and highly controversial,) inflatable damn

Waverly Civic Center

Waverly Civic Center

The damn, looking west

The damn, looking west

My dad and I left at 6am (CST) for Ohio on Friday morning. We loaded up the car with Stoli and the rest of my things and headed east. My dad drove through Iowa, but I took over for the rest of the trip as he recently had invasive shoulder surgery and can’t drive for more than very short distances. Illinois seemed to take forever to cross. I didn’t much care for Indiana. With the exception of Indianapolis, it seemed to be more rural than Iowa, and we spent a lot of the time watching dust devils swirl across the unplanted fields. Once we hit Ohio, the landscape changed to mostly forest with a lot of cities thrown in. We hit Columbus about 12.5 hours after we left Waverly. I am subleasing a room in a duplex in the Short North area. The area is full of old, historical-looking houses. I believe our house was build before electricity was common as I don’t have any ceiling lights in my room. Here are a few pictures of my new digs.

The Front door. (Faces east)

The Front door. (Faces east) My room is the one with the lamps on in the top right corner.

My room. There's a bricked-up fireplace on the right of this shot. Not pictured: I have two almost floor-to-ceiling windows on the wall behind me that face east.

My room. There’s a bricked-up fireplace on the right of this shot. Not pictured: I have two almost floor-to-ceiling windows on the wall behind me that face east.

Living room and front door

Living room and front door

Other side of the living room

Other side of the living room

Downstairs fireplace

Downstairs fireplace

Dining room area and where we crate the dogs (my roommate has a husky/terrier mix).

Dining room area and where we crate the dogs (my roommate has a husky/terrier mix).

The kitchen. The white thing on the left side of the photo is the washer and dryer

The kitchen. The white thing on the left side of the photo is the washer and dryer. This door leads out to our backyard.

Backyard view from the kitchen door (looking west).

Backyard view from the kitchen door (looking west).

The backyard looking east from the fence. Our neighbors landscaped the area. Their door is on the left.

The backyard looking east from the fence. Our neighbors landscaped the area. Their door is on the left.

Our parking area behind the fence

Our parking area behind the fence

The view from the end of our alley. Downtown is right across that bridge. You can't see much of the skyline as its really obscured by trees, but trust me, it's there!

The view from the end of our alley. Downtown is right across that bridge. You can’t see much of the skyline as its really obscured by trees, but trust me, it’s there!

We've got a giant Wonder Bread sign by my house

We’ve got a giant Wonder Bread sign by my house

Stoli's enjoying his new backyard

Stoli’s enjoying his new backyard

My roommate's dog, Chase

My roommate’s dog, Chase

Stoli never fails to make me laugh

Stoli never fails to make me laugh

As soon as I pull my camera out, Stoli strikes a pose. He's a smart one!

As soon as I pull my camera out, Stoli strikes a pose. He’s a smart one!

Stoli and Chase play CONSTANTLY. It's nice though, because when I come home, Stoli is so exhausted from exercising all day that he just wants to sleep and cuddle.

Stoli and Chase play CONSTANTLY. It’s nice though, because when I come home, Stoli is so exhausted from exercising all day that he just wants to sleep and cuddle.

Stoli attempts to look fierce

Stoli attempts to look fierce

I started my internship at McGraw-Hill this Monday, and so far everything seems to be going really well. I am really excited about everything that I will be doing. I think I will be covering a variety of subjects which should be a nice change.

Oh, and here’s some more big news. Remember this photo I took?

Holly Hildreth Hallmark Card

Well, not only is it available to buy as a birthday card on Hallmarks website, but they’ve selected it to be sold in stores!! They’ll be available nationwide everywhere Hallmark products are sold starting in June (I’m not sure on an exact date just yet, but I’ll let you know when I find out.) This is my 2nd Hallmark card to be sold in stores and my 3rd card to be sold online. I’m very excited that you’ll be able to find Stoli at your neighborhood Walmart, Walgreens, Hallmark, etc!

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.

Two Kinds of Stoli

First off, I want to apologize for not posting in a month. Things have been absolutely hectic around here, and as a result, my blog got put on the back burner. (I’ll go into all the fine details in the next post. This post is mainly about showing some old work that got hidden in all the hustle ad bustle of this semester.)

In one of my last posts I promised you more Stoli pictures. Well, now I’m giving you two types of Stoli. The first type of Stoli is a last minute photo shoot in the studio. I had a model booked, but she didn’t show up, so I used my studio time to do one last Stoli shoot just for fun. Stoli has a love/hate relationship with the studio. On the one hand, he knows he gets a car ride, gets to see people who fawn over him in the equipment check out area and print lab, and if there’s anyone else in the studio while I’m shooting, they usually give him some belly rubs as well. Stoli also knows that the studio means he gets a ridiculous amount of treats and peanut butter straight from the jar. Now on the other hand, however, Stoli knows he’s got to be a good boy in the studio and listen to me while I take forever getting “the shot”. He is also subjected to being dressed up, and he is definitely not a fan of that. All things considered, he usually likes getting his photo taken. Our dog is a bit of a diva. So without further ado, here is our little ham.

Stoli's unhappy birthday © Holly Hildreth 2012

Stoli’s not excited for his impending 2nd birthday on May 31st.

We have the world's most patient dog © Holly Hildreth 2012

We have the world’s most patient dog…

Happy Birthday, Butthead.  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Happy Birthday, Butthead.

My favorite shot of the session   © Holly Hildreth 2012

My favorite shot from the session.

Surprise!! © Holly Hildreth 2012

Surprise!!

Stoli belongs in Grease © Holly Hildreth 2012

Stoli belongs in Grease. Also, despite looking angry, he’s actually just licking peanut butter off the roof of his mouth.

Cool Kid Stoli © Holly Hildreth 2012

Now onto the other type of Stoli. For one of the last assignments in my advertising class, we had to shoot something and make a billboard advertisement out of it. I wanted to do a product since my portfolio has a lot of animals and people but is thin in the still life part, (not because I don’t enjoy shooting product! It’s because my style of photography is so clean and often minimalist and many times advertisements require a well-designed and hand-built set, which I struggle with on occasion.) Since I am a dreadful cook, I decided to just buy something to shoot instead. I also wanted to try something a bit different. I found flashing LED light sitting around at my boyfriend’s house and decided to use it. It was originally a part of his roommate’s beer glass that lit up and flashed, but I just took the bottom part and played around with it. Here are some of the results:

Before the party light  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Before the party light

After playing with the party light  © Holly Hildreth 2012

After playing with the party light.

Favorite shot of the session.  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Favorite shot from the session. © Holly Hildreth 2012

For the ad we needed to design a piece that was 12’x48′. This is such an odd ratio that it was really difficult to design something that looked half-way decent. Also, we were limited to ten words or less of text, as when you’re driving down the interstate, you only have 8 seconds to read something. We had to design absolutely everything on the billboard from the image to the slogan and beyond. Here’s my submission:

Stoli ad  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Stay tuned for a big update on what’s going on in my life and more photos!

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

My Love/Hate Relationship with Photoshop

Photoshop is probably the greatest asset and one of the biggest downfalls of photography. On the positive side, it allows you to fix anything and everything that might be wrong with a photo. Dust on your sensor, no problem–Spot Healing Brush to the rescue! Unwanted items in your shot? Never fear, that’s what the clone stamp was made for! But on the flip side, any amateur can take a mediocre photo and jazz it up in photoshop. The only thing that deters some amateurs from using Photoshop is its mass complexity. They’re much more comfortable messing around on sites like Piknik.com, where you don’t need any photography training to edit your photo. Photoshops absurd price is another deterrent, but only to those who either don’t know how to or are too honest to pirate.

As a photographer, you’re taught to get everything right in-camera. The phrase that gets slung at you in the photo department is, “You’re only making money when you’re behind the camera. When you’re wasting time editing in Photoshop, you’re losing money”. It makes sense, as when you charge a client to do a shoot for them, you charge for the images, not the countless hours you spend in a darkened room, hunched over a computer screen.

So why all this rambling about wonderful, horrible Photoshop? Well, because I’m an addict. My favorite thing to do is take pictures, but my 2nd favorite is to spend hours editing them. Sometimes I get more excited for the editing than I did for the shoot. As a result, I signed up for advanced digital imaging at UCM this semester. Mostly we’ve been focusing on the artistic side of Photoshop. At first I was upset, as I thought it’d be more important to learn the intricacies of photo editing not covered in any of my other Photoshop courses, but now toward the end of the semester, I am beginning to have fun with the assignments.

Today we were assigned to do a “Levitation Portrait”. I have had some people ask me how I pulled these photos off, so here’s the short explanation. We had to take a photo of someone in an odd position, balancing on a chair. After we took that shot, where we were to remove the person and chair and take a photo of the scene empty. Through the magic of photoshop and a lot of squinting at the screen while masking the two photos together, we were able to make images look like someone was levitating in a scene. Normally you’re supposed to use a small stool, but I didn’t have one, so I had to use a folding chair, which proved to be much more work for me to do in Photoshop. I actually really enjoyed putting these together, and  I think this may be an idea that I continue to explore. Here are a couple of my self-portraits.  (If you’re interested in the more technical version of how to create these images, let me know.)

Levitation © Holly Hildreth 2012

Levitation © Holly Hildreth 2012

Another Photoshop Leviathan I tackled today was my ad campaign series for my advertising class. An ad campaign is a series of similar-looking images that are all trying to pitch the same thing. Each ad is different, but as a whole, they are cohesive and resemble one another. For my ad campaign, I did a series for Petfinder.com. For those of you not familiar with the site, Petfinder is a website animal shelters and rescue groups use to post pets looking for homes. I tried to make my series lighthearted and fun and went with the idea of “personal ads”. Here are my 3 ads.

Campaign series © Holly Hildreth 2012

TEXT READS:
Name: Macy
Likes: Long walks on the beach, cuddling on the couch, rolling in roadkill.
Dislikes: Thunder, the mailman, cats.
Could YOU be my soulmate?

TEXT READS:
Name: Stoli
Likes: Table food, commandeering dirty socks, and the poodle down the street
Dislikes: Being called fat, the strange man who brings the pizza, and the vacuum
Could YOU be my soulmate?

Campaign series © Holly Hildreth 2012

TEXT READS:
Name: Harley
Likes: Car rides with the windows down, peanut butter, and playing catch
Dislikes: Squirrels, high-pitched noises, and bath time.
Could YOU be my Soulmate?

If you couldn’t tell, I spent all night on Photoshop, but I consider it time well spent! It’s not work if you enjoy doing it.

Oh, and if you didn’t notice, my URL has changed! I bought a domain, so there is no more .wordpress! It’s just plain old http://www.hhildrethphoto.com . (If you type the old URL : http://www.hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com, it’ll still route you here, don’t worry!)

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.com