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”.

IMG_9146small

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

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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

Back by Popular Demand

I was sitting in my advanced studio class today when my professor asked me if I was going to be photographing Stoli soon. I hadn’t planned on it, since we did a shoot back in August and I hadn’t come up with any new ideas for him. I thought about it for a little bit and then decided to sign up for a studio time after the class. A couple of friends, family members, and classmates had been asking to see more of Stoli as well. I didn’t have any other earth-shattering plans for the evening besides doing laundry, so I figured a little session wouldn’t hurt.

I didn’t have a solid idea of what I wanted with this photo shoot going into it. I knew I wanted to try out a couple of different lighting set-ups, because I normally stick to the same thing for all my shoots. I chose the black background for Stoli, since UCM has only 5 color choices to pick from: black, white, blue, yellow, and orange. I photograph most of my dogs on blue because the orange and yellow are so neon that they reflect that color back into the fur of the dogs. I’m getting sick of shooting on blue, so PLEASE UCM, I implore you, buy different colors!! ( A little red, green, purple, brown never hurt anybody!)

This was my first time photographing Stoli without Curry there to help me wrangle him. It was much more difficult than I figured it would be, partially because there were other people in the studio coming and going, and Stoli felt like it was his duty to say “hi” to every one of them.

I ended up using a LOT of peanut butter, so his tongue is out of control in many of the photos. I think they’re kind of quirky and funny. It’s almost as if you could put a caption for many of them. I don’t think any of the images are mind-blowing, but it was a nice way to kill a little time tonight.

As always, the full set of proofs can be seen on my Flickr by clicking: HERE!

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli’s Dapper Side

School has been back in session for two weeks now, which means that the check-out lab and commercial studios are finally open and available for use again. I wanted to get back into the studio and do a practice shoot with Stoli before I started bringing real models in, so I could get back in the swing of things.

About 2 hours before my alloted studio time, my boyfriend’s roommate called me to let me know that Stoli ate an entire package of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies while he was gone. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal since I hear my friends talking about their dogs eating whole bags of chocolate candy and being fine, but I figured I’d call the vet anyway.

Well, as it turns out, the vet told us we could either bring in Stoli ASAP for an emergency visit or we could give him 1/2 a cup of hydrogen peroxide every 5 minutes until he threw up everything in his stomach and had nothing left to vomit. We opted for option 2, as it was several hundred dollars cheaper.

It took a whole bottle of peroxide and about 45 minutes for Stoli to empty his stomach. He was not happy and refused to be near us. I tried giving him an ice cube for a treat, and he stuck his head out of his crate, grabbed the ice cube, and then went back into the crate and buried himself under the blankets.

The worst part was that he threw up all over himself and was drenched in perioxide. (The peroxide even bleached some of his fur and his collar.) We had to give him a bath, which he passionately hates.

After all that chaos, Stoli pretty much hated us. He was really excited, however, for a car ride. He was soon back to his normal self, and was overjoyed to be going to the studio. He loves all the attention he gets when we bring him in, and he knows that being in the studio means that he’s about to get A LOT of treats and attention paid to him.

(And to make up for his bad day we took him on a long walk and then today we took him to Knob Noster State Park on a long hike. He loves us again!)

The full set of proofs is on my flickr, which can been seen: HERE!

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli looks like a hamster or a bear.

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

What a little gentleman! © Holly Hildreth 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Stoli’s First Spring

It’s that time of year again, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing starting at 4 a.m, and the college students are cramming for finals. Spring is undoubtedly my favorite season. Mild temperatures, longer daylight hours, and great scenery are wonderful incentives to get off the computer or get out of the photo lab and head outdoors to enjoy the season.

Stoli was born May 31st, 2010. By the time he was old enough to go outside, it was already the end of June and we were into the 100-degree Missouri heat, so he didn’t really get to experience Spring firsthand. This year I made sure to take him out and let him see what all the fuss was about. Stoli loves being outside when the temperatures are in the middle 70’s. He sits by the door waiting to be clipped to his lead so he can stay outside as long as he wants.

Perhaps Stoli’s favorite Spring activity is eating all the flowers. He’ll zoom around the year eating the fluffy, white tops off the dandelions. It’s nearly impossible to get a good picture of him next to any type of pretty foliage, because he instantly devours it before you can get the shot in.

As a stress-reliever for finals week, I found myself taking Stoli out for more walks to new places. We explored the woods at Cave Hollow Park, where he played in the stream and learned how to make me mad by frolicking through the mud. He’s on his second bath in 5 days and we’re still counting (and ironically, he HATES water).

Anyway, here are a few pictures of Stoli’s adventures this Spring. You can view the whole collection on my Flickr page by clicking: Here

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

The Hair of the Dog

I tried my hand at photographing a puppy solo today. Normally I have the owner or a friend assist me during the shoot. This is pretty essential as it’s EXTREMELY difficult to keep a puppy from running off set, move the lighting, take the photos, make strange noises to get the dog’s attention, etc, all at the same time. Today, however, I decided that 21 years-old is as good of age as any to have an aneurism.

I have been working with puppies recently, and I seem to keep forgetting the fundamental fact that their attention span can be measured in milliseconds. I spend so much time with Stoli that I make the rudimentary mistake of assuming all puppies younger than him automatically know all the basic commands and won’t be totally freaked out by coming to a new environment to photograph. It makes me realize how much I take Stoli’s obedience for granted. He knows come, sit, stay, lay down, up, jump, shake, outside, inside, car, fetch, etc. So when I am faced with an 18-week old puppy, I feel out of my element again as I am back to square one of pure, raw puppy energy. Surprisingly, I have much more patience for animals than I do with people, so I am able to keep a level head while problem-solving a way to get the shot. The puppy I worked with today is our friend’s 5 month tri-colored corgi puppy, Rajah. I’ve come to decide that all corgis seem to have that fun-loving, goofy, class clown personality.

Anyway, it was quite the experience. I think that I’ll stick with having an assistant from now on. I’m glad I tried to, so I can now fully justify needing someone around to help manage the chaos.

As always, you can see ALL of the proofs from this session by visiting my Flickr Page. It takes vastly longer to load each photo into the blog, that’s why I usually only put my personal favorites in my posts. (That’s not to say that only the good ones make it here.) There are many that don’t make it to the blog just because of time and space restrictions. That being said, mosey on over and check out the slideshow! Click Here for the link to Flickr

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Let it Snow

We here in Missouri have been lucky so far this year. We have only had one snow, and most of it was gone by a day or two later. I had a VERY cold and snowy Christmas break in Iowa, and I was definitely looking forward to the warmer weather back down here. Afterall, I had friends bragging about it being in the upper 60’s while I was back home. Well that whole story changed when I got back to Missouri. On the first day of school (1-10-11,) all afternoon classes were cancelled because of a big snow storm moving into the KC Metro area. This morning all morning classes were cancelled, because people in Missouri really don’t know how to handle the snow. I think we ended up with around 6 inches according to the reports. I found it funny, because back when I was going to school in Iowa, 6 inches was a walk in the park. We still had school and carried on like it was no big deal. Not down here! As soon as a flake touches down people lose it. Granted the roads are slick (because they don’t properly remove snow,) and no one had shoveled yet, even though it’s been done snowing for 20 hours now

Anyway, this is the first real measurable snowfall we’ve gotten this year, so I was excited to see what Stoli would do. As you remember, from a previous post: (See:Stoli’s Winter Wonderland) Stoli had mixed reactions to the snow. At first he was terrified, but then he loved it. Well introducing Stoli to the snow this time was just as amusing. He went NUTS! he zoomed around the yard doing figure 8’s with his mouth open collecting snow. He would then find a place where the snow was deep and dig himself a hole to lay in, and then cover himself up with snow. He’d wait until I got close and then he’d pop out and run away. He was also a fan of trying to catch the snow my boots kicked up as I walked through the yard. We’ll probably have to buy a sweater or something for him because he likes to roll in the snow and is usually covered by the time he goes inside.

Here are a few shots of Stoli’s snow escapade this afternoon.

Stoli and Studio

The semester is finally winding down, and although the sweet relief of Christmas break is in sight, it also means I am ridiculously overwhelmed with the amount of assignments the teachers all pilled on. I got into the studio today to try and cross off one of the millions of projects hovering over my head. Our “final” project for Intro to Studio was completely open. I have been really inspired recently by some dynamic studio portraits of dogs that I have stumbled upon, so I wanted to try my hand using Stoli. I mostly wanted to have fun with the assignment. I am so stressed out with everything else this semester that I didn’t want to kill myself off with this shoot. So, I grabbed Stoli and Andrew and headed to the studio. I tried two different concepts. I’m not sure which one I like better. One is definitely more abstract than the other, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

 

 

Of course no post would be complete without a photo of Stoli being a clown!