Spotlight on Stoli

I promised in my previous post that I’d create an entry just about Stoli’s photo shoots in the last 6 months. Well, there are too many photos to post so I’m going to just add a few of my favorites.

Stoli continues to be my photographic go-to. Previous to moving into this new condo, I almost exclusively photographed him in the studio. I’ve been trying to push myself to do more mixed lighting of flash and sunlight as well as on-location lighting around the house. I also use him to test out new techniques, like high-speed photography.

I’ve got him so conditioned to recognize that photos mean treats that as soon as I snap the clasps to open up my camera bag, he literally comes running. It’s almost hard to photograph other things while he’s around as he thinks it’s his time to shine. I actually had a set-up of roses I was doing macro shots on, and he kept putting his head between me and the subjects as if to say, “hello, I’m here. Why are you photographing that? I’m the real star here!”

Anyway, here’s your serving Stoli.

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Catching a treat

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Stoli loves mistletoe

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Losing a snowball fight…

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Catching a treat

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Modeling our rings

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

There will be more Stoli shots, but if need another strong fix between now and then, you can always stop by my flickr for more photos: hhildrethphoto flickr

All photos are © Holly Hildreth | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

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Summer Shooting

Lots of new and exciting things have been happening! If you’re just here for the photos make sure you read the bit at the end of the post.

At the end of May I flew back to Iowa to see my family and get some wedding things straightened out. I have THE worst luck flying. We ran into storms on the way to Iowa, and on the way home, we had a ground stop and we sat on the plane on the runway for 4.5 hours, I missed my connection, got on board another plane, had a turbulent flight, and then landed in Columbus to another ground stop, which made us sit on the runway for another hour before they’d let us off. I’m beginning to like driving more and more!

It stormed heavily every day while I was in Iowa. I didn’t get to take many pictures at all as it was constant tornado warnings followed by flash floods. I took a few pictures despite the conditions anyway.

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Super Cell off of I-35 north of Des Moines.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Severe Thunderstorm warnings don’t stop me from going out and shooting.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

I of course had to visit my little nephew, who is growing up way too fast. He can walk and talk now and is a lot of fun! While I was in Des Moines my fiance came up for a day. It was amazing to see him again, even if only for a short amount of time. It had been almost 5 months since we last saw each other.

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Out for a walk between thunderstorms.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Cade acts like Jen’s his favorite aunt, but really, she’s his 2nd favorite 😉
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Cade with his Grandma Linda.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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“Fishing” at the farmer’s market.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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My nephew, Cade, with my sister (his aunt) at the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of the duck.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

My nephew. © Holly Hildreth 2013

My nephew.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would–we found out right before I came that my grandma’s cancer had spread and she needed to have surgery immediately, so we did spend a fair amount of time down in Iowa City with her for her operation. I was glad I was able to be there for her. But all-in-all it was good to see everyone again. It stinks I won’t be back until Christmas, but I guess that’s the price you pay for living in another time zone.

In Columbus I have been keeping busy and I also volunteering at the humane society. I have helped with a handful of fundraisers and I take photos of the adoptable animals for their promotions and websites. I love that it gives me my fix of two of my favorite things–animals and photography.

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Volunteer Dog Wash in Dublin, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Dog wash fund raiser in Dublin, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Adoptable kitten at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Super sweet Beagle mix for adoption at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Mix breed dog available for adoption at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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I wanted so badly to take this little fluff ball home! He’s looking for a forever home at the Humane Society of Delaware County.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Available through the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

 

And of course I still find time to take other photos too.

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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And when all else fails and Stoli’s not being a good photo sport, I find other things to shoot, like my ring
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Near-Infrared photo at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Stoli turned THREE in May. Doesn’t seem like he should be that old already. As you can see he was still pretty excited.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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One of my new favorite Stoli photos. It took forever to get this shot. I was holding his cheeks and running the camera.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

We also signed on a condo earlier this month. I start moving my things at the end of July, and my fiancé moves out here at the end of August. I can not wait, and I am literally counting down the days! I fell in love with the condo during the showing. At first we thought we weren’t going to get it as another couple had already started the paperwork, but we had a twist of fate in our favor. It’s going to be a nice upgrade from what I have now.  The only downside is it’s on the 3rd floor, and I am not looking forward to moving my furniture up 3 flights of stairs.

Outside of our new building. Ours is on the back side and overlooks Alum Creek and a wooded area. © Holly Hildreth 2013

Outside of our new building. Ours is on the back side and overlooks Alum Creek and a wooded area.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

A quick panorama of the deck, living room, and part of the kitchen in the new place. © Holly Hildreth 2013

A quick panorama of the deck, living room, and part of the kitchen in the new place.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

And perhaps the most exciting part: I have TWO new Hallmark cards coming out!! The first is a birthday card for a man, which is available online now, and the 2nd is a baby card for a baby boy. The 2nd card goes for sale online in October. If they go to stores, they’ll both be out in July of next year.

This is the photo for the Man's birthday card.

This is the photo for the Man’s birthday card.

This is the drawing that will be on the baby boy card. This is actually the first drawing I did on the computer. I don't consider myself to be an illustrator by any means, so I was pleasantly surprised Hallmark wanted this one!

This is the drawing that will be on the baby boy card. This is actually the first drawing I did on the computer. I don’t consider myself to be an illustrator by any means, so I was pleasantly surprised Hallmark wanted this one!

Like I said, the Man’s b-day card is online now at: Hallmark, and then the Baby card will be online in October, and I will post a link then. If Hallmark moves these to stores it won’t be until July of next year, but trust me, I’ll let you know! I was also pleased to see Hallmark is bringing back my Stoli Birthday card in stores. I saw them stocking shelves as my local Kroger earlier this week with his card.

I’m sure I’ll post once we move into our new place, but I’ll be quite busy until then!!

All images in this post are © Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.hhildretphotography.com

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. 

and I said, “Yes”.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. If you’re here for just photos, scroll to the bottom 😉

A little over three years ago one of my good friends, Charlene Champion, took it upon herself to become my matchmaker. We had just met a few months prior in a college class. At the time I was dating someone else, but when that ended, Char didn’t skip a beat and started suggesting I go on a date with one of her friends. I however, wasn’t so eager to get back in the saddle. She would suggest meeting her friend, and I’d blow it off with, “yea, maybe”. December 2009 rolled around and Char brought it up again, saying she had a friend who she told about me, and he wanted to meet me. I finally cracked and agreed to meet him. If it didn’t work out, at least she’d stop bringing it up.

I was strangely nervous for the “date”. We were meeting at Char’s house to play some games and hang out in a low-pressure situation. She assured me it’d be fun and casual, but as the clock ticked on, I started 2nd guessing myself. Maybe I could tell them I wasn’t feeling well or that something came up.  I summoned my courage and decided to go anyway. Char introduced me to Andrew. We were both pretty shy and awkward, but he was cute and quirky and we ended up having a good night.

The next day I dove back to Iowa for my Christmas break. While home, we talked a little on facebook, but I wasn’t sure if he wanted to hang out again. I headed back to Missouri in January and one night while sitting in my dorm, I had 30 seconds of insane courage and decided to ask him if he wanted to see a movie. I was talking to my friends at the time and was trying to convince them, and myself that it wasn’t a date—it was just two people seeing a movie and hanging out. After asking him to a movie, I immediately had a massive “what the heck am I doing, this is so unlike me, he probably doesn’t even like me,” panic. He picked me up and we decided to see the movie, Legion, which is perhaps one of the worst movies of all time. As this terrible cinematic excuse for a movie progressed, I kept getting the urge to hold his hand. But, he didn’t make a move, so I let it go. I didn’t want to be that creepy girl who initiates everything, thus making the situation awkward. We left the theatre afterwards, joking about how awful the movie was and started talking about other scary movies. We decided to go to his place and watch Paranormal Activity.

Andy lived with a couple other military guys in what can only be described as a 1950’s Jeffery Dahmer house. These kinds of houses are abundant in Missouri and in college towns. They’re old homes that have definitely seen their better days. They have many creaks and cracks and unfinished, serial killer basements. We popped in the movie and sat on the couch. I figured he’d hold my hand, yet nothing—he must not be into me, I thought. We were at the scariest part of the movie when suddenly all the power to the house goes out, and he grabs my hand. I immediately start giving him crap, thinking he pulled some lame dude trick to get me to hold his hand. He swore up and down that he didn’t do anything. (And to this day he still denies it). We ventured to the basement to see he’d blown a fuse. We flipped some switches and went back upstairs to finish our movie; Andy holding my hand the whole time. I don’t know what happened that day, but we joke that it literally took an act of God to bring us together.

After a few more dates, we made it “official”. We’ve been through a lot of different things in the last three years—way more than I can write in one blog post. We got a puppy, went on a few trips, survived a 5-car pile-up, had our share of ups and downs, and said not “goodbye,” but “I’ll see ya’ later” as I moved across the country.

I’ve been living in Columbus, Ohio while he’s stuck in Missouri now for 9 months. I moved out here to take a paid internship, which turned into a full-time job. It’s been so incredibly hard being apart, but Andy knows how to make me smile everyday, even if he is doing it from another time zone. We’ve been flying out to see each other every 3-4 months, which brings us to the engagement story.

I flew in to Kansas City last weekend to see Andy. He picked me up from the airport and we grabbed lunch. We headed back to Warrensburg and stopped at Walmart to run some errands. (I always love going to Walmart in Missouri as there is no better place to people watch. You always feel better about yourself when leaving, because you still have all your teeth and aren’t buying corn dogs and gallon-sized jars of Mayo in too-tight pajamas). We got back to his house and he gave me my belated birthday present—a book by my all-time favorite photographer. I started opening it and asked him to come look at it with me. He said ,“no” and I got ready to tell him he was being a butthead, when he grabbed my hands and sat next to me on the bed. My heart skipped a beat, as I instantly knew what was about to happen.

Over the last three years I have drawn him a lot of pictures. Most are comics and inside jokes, but he’s always hung them on his walls. The first photo I drew him was of an internet meme involving a cat. He had a big hole in the wall at his old house, so I drew him a picture to cover it up on one of our first dates. He started talking about the photo, saying how when he got it, he knew I was special as I was the only one he’d ever met that thought it was as funny as he did. He started going through the pictures on his wall, telling him what they all meant to him. He started getting choked up, which made me start crying. He told me he’s never met someone that made him feel so special and loved, and that I always make him a better person. Ahh! I’m getting teary-eyed just typing this!

Anyway, he grabbed the ring and put it on my finger, asking the question, “will you marry me?” Of course I said “yes,” as there’s no one else I’d rather have by my side on all the rest of life’s adventures.

Now here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. Photos!

Like any good photographer, I couldn’t just take a picture of the ring on my finger and be satisfied…

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

We also got some photos taken by my friend from college, Anneka DeJong. She did a great job. These are two of my favorites:

Photo Anneka DeJong

Photo Anneka DeJong

Photo Anneka DeJong

Photo Anneka DeJong

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2013 unless otherwise noted | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

It’s December?

I’ll be honest. It’s been two months since my last post, and I have no great excuse as to why I’ve been off the radar. I have been dreading writing this update as so much and yet so little has happened in the last two months that I’m not sure what to say. I know 99% of the people who come here do so only for Stoli photos, so I didn’t want to bore everyone with a long and drawn-out rehashing of my existence for the last six weeks. So, I’ll be brief.

In early October, my work sent me on a business trip to do some shooting around the state of Texas. I can’t post the photos, which is killing me. I also can’t say too terribly much, but it was an amazing experience. Here are some low-quality pictures I snapped on my cell phone:

I got to spend a day on the beach in Galveston

I got to spend a day on the beach in Galveston

I held and fed this little guy, which pretty much completed my whole life.

I held and fed this little guy, which pretty much completed my whole life.

Oh, and I got to drive NASA's brand new, $4 million Lunar Rover. All in a day's work...

Oh, and I got to drive NASA’s brand new, $4 million Lunar Rover. All in a day’s work…

All-in-all the trip was a blast and I’d do it again in a heart beat. Besides getting paid to have what seemed like a vacation filled with shooting, I learned a valuable life lesson: flying makes me hurl. This was only my 2nd time ever flying (yes, I know: Gasp! Shock! Remember people, I lived under a giant rock named, “Iowa,” for 18 years and then was too broke to travel once I got out). Anyway, I discovered the wonders of Dramamine but was still quite an unhappy camper whenever I neared an airport. (I am dreading flying home for Christmas. If anyone has any good nausea-reduction flying tips, let me know!)

Since getting back from Texas, I have been trying to keep busy shooting for myself outside of work. I still have no models and don’t know anyone who doesn’t work in the same building as me, so mostly my shots are of Stoli. Which, I suppose that’s ok–it keeps his “fan club” happy. He’s becoming more of a celebrity. I made an international sale of one of my dog photos to a firm in the UK a few weeks back and then was contacted by an advertising agency wanting to use Stoli’s photo for an advertising campaign for Mentos. Additionally I just had a woman in Germany contact me about turning Stoli’s photos into puzzles for a Christmas present. This kind of stuff isn’t “the big leagues” per say, but I still think that it is really cool to see where Stoli is ending up.

Over Thanksgiving my parents drove out here to spend some time with me. It was great to see them again, and amazing to have people I actually know here. I was actually able to go out and do normal social activities! (It’s far less awkward going out to eat or to the movies when you’re not alone.) For Thanksgiving, my mom prepared an awesome meal. I was so psyched to have home-cooked food again. My dad carved the turkey, and of course Stoli “helped”.

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My parents stayed for a week, and then my boyfriend flew out for two days. It was so good to see him again, even if it was just for a short while. We did some shopping, went on an adventure to Cincinnati/Kentucky, and took in a movie. I also got him hooked on the show Breaking Bad, which is perhaps the single most addicting show of all time.

Cincinnati Skyline as seen from the Kentucky side

Cincinnati Skyline as seen from the Kentucky side. © Holly Hildreth 2012

We visited the Newport (KY) Aquarium. I was entirely too excited to see a real octopus. It was very dark, so this is the only photo I got of him

We visited the Newport (KY) Aquarium. I was entirely too excited to see a real octopus. It was very dark, so this is the only photo I got of him. © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andy and I with the Christmas decorations on the riverwalk in Newport, KY

Andy and I with the Christmas decorations on the riverwalk in Newport, KY

That pretty much brings us up to date. December will be a super busy month. It’s my 23rd birthday on Friday (which I am dreading. Birthday’s aren’t fun when you have no family or friends around to help you celebrate). Then I will be flying home to Iowa for about a week to spend Christmas with my family. I’ll try to be better at blog-keeping and plan on having a post later in December.

And now the part you’ve really come here to see: STOLI PICTURES!

Ok, this isn't a Stoli picture, but I just wanted to share the view from my apartment parking lot in October.

Ok, this isn’t a Stoli picture, but I just wanted to share the view from my apartment parking lot in October.
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The shooting of the previous shot. I got a background stand and seamless paper for my b-day/Xmas. I don’t have enough room in my apartment so I had to use my kitchen countertop as a table.

…And now to get you into the Christmas spirit…

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Photos are © Holly Hildreth 2012. Do NOT use for any reason without direct written consent | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

Autumn’s Arrival

It’s been about a month since my last post, so I thought it was time to bring you some brand-new eye-candy. I have kept very busy with my job, and I now live in a new area of Columbus, so I haven’t done a lot of exploring/photo adventures lately. I do, however live about a mile from one of Columbus’s Metro Parks, and I have stopped by a few times on nice nights with Stoli in tow for a couple quick on-the-go photo shoots. I haven’t been able to shoot as much at work, so I need to do some shooting on my own to satisfy my inner photographer. The leaves are just changing now, so I hope to get out and take many more Fall pictures before the beautiful color is all gone.

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

High Banks Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Fall foliage can make for some interesting black and whites
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio © Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sunset at Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio

Sunset at Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

…And what blog post would be complete without a few Stoi pictures. Since moving into my own place in Columbus, Stoli hasn’t had another dog to keep him company. He’s not a fan of having no partner in crime while I am gone during the day, but he finds ways to entertain himself, like sitting on top of the laundry basket, looking out the window, and half-barking at the people (and other dogs) who walk by.

And other times he just gets lazy

And other times he just gets lazy
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Since I really don’t know anyone yet, I don’t think I’ll really be celebrating Halloween like I did in Missouri, but while at the pet store, I saw a costume that I just had to get Stoli. Charlene Champion, who is one of my good friends from college, is obsessed with gnomes, so I couldn’t pass up this gnome costume, complete with an attached beard.

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

But of course if the gnome idea doesn’t work out, there’s always the classic ghost costume…

ghost costume, corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2012. Do NOT use without direct written consent | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!