Cars, Condos, Corgis and other Canines

I’m finally all settled in to my new condo. After weeks of individually moving box by box up three flights of stairs on my own, my parents came out to help me move the big things. Although I love my new place, I HATE the steps! My parents got here around midnight on Thursday, and we moved my things all day Friday. I think it took us all a week to recover, but on the bright side, we’re all stair masters with buns-o-steel.

After moving on Friday, we spent Saturday car shopping. I had only ever had 2nd hand cars my whole life. My first car was a 1989 Oldsmobile Aurora that my sisters previously drove. It was louder than a jackhammer and about as pretty as one too. Then we got my 97′ Oldsmobile Aurora. (At the time it was only 10 years old and had lots of goodies). I loved that car. It had more steel in it than a tank and was pretty loaded for a car from the 90’s.

Anyway, in the last year it was burning through engine coolant at a concerning rate. Since December it was running through a full tank of coolant about ever 2-3 weeks. We took it to a mechanic and they suspected the head gasket was going to go. It would cost double what the car was worth to fix it. We decided to be proactive rather than reactive and get a new car before it became a serious issue.

So, we headed to the dealerships. The two most important life lessons I learned that day were: I am too nice to be aggressive with a sales person, and I think buying a car involves more paperwork that executing your Will. Anyway, long story short: I ended up buying a new 2013 Hyundai Elantra LTD, fully loaded. It wasn’t what I thought I’d get, but the dealership was able to get me a great deal on the car and gave me double what the Aurora was worth in trade-in. I was sad to see the Aurora (fondly dubbed the HMS Hildreth, as it was longer than a yacht and got worse gas mileage than one) go, but I am absolutely loving the new car!

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Goodnight Sweet Prince

 

Hello 38 mpg!

Hello 38 mpg!

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On that Sunday we went to the Ohio State Fair. State Fairs are my parents’ jam, and they are forever in search of a State Fair great enough to rival the Iowa State Fair (Spoiler alert: It’s impossible. There are none.) The Ohio State fair was pretty good, and we could not have asked for better weather. It was sunny and 75 with a light breeze. This is unheard of for the Iowa Sate Far, where if you don’t at least toe the line of heat exhaustion and cardiac arrest, then you’re clearly not doing it right.

We always have to get some fair food, because it is the highlight of any state fair. This year I got the “Roast beef Sundae” because it would be straight-up un-american not to.  I was not disappointed.

fairfood

 

My parents had to leave early on Monday morning, so we didn’t have any time to do much else. It was great to see them again and I was so thankful for their help.

For the last month I have been working to organize a corgi meet-up. I still don’t really know anyone outside of work and thought “what better way to meet awesome people than by hosting a corgi gathering?” I made a couple flyers and posted them to facebook, imgur, tumblr, and a handful of corgi blogs and websites. The night before the event I had 12 people who has RSVP’d that they’d come. It rained all morning the day of, so I figured not many would come. I showed up 30 minutes early incase we had anyone roll in before the event started. I was the only one there. 15 minutes after the event started, I was still the only one there. At this point I chalked it up to no one was coming, and I was just going to spend the day at the beach with Stoli.

The minute that first corgi entered the park, I got so excited. I was totally not prepared for how good of a turn-out we ended up having! We had between 50 and 60 corgis at the park at one time during the peak of the day. Everyone was so excited for the event, and I have been getting tons of emails requesting more gatherings. I was tickled that it was such a success. There are very few things in life I’d rather do than sit on the beach surrounded by corgis.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

 

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My little chunk

Beautiful Cardigan Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

Beautiful Cardigan Welsh Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

 

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Even got Stoli, the dog who’s so scared of water he won’t walk through a puddle, to “swim”. He wouldn’t go any deeper than his chest, but still that’s impressive.

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Another cute Cardigan Welsh Corgi

 

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Cuteness mixed with chaos

Cuteness mixed with chaos

 

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Stoli leading the pack

Stoli leading the pack

 

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Last week I was contacted by one of the volunteer coordinators for the humane society I take photos for. She wanted photos of Jace, her blind lab/beagle mix. We had to reschedule the first time because the weather hasn’t been too cooperative this week, but we were able to get some photos in on Tuesday night. Jace is such a happy-go-lucky little guy who’s just full of love. He plays fetch like a champ and doesn’t let his lack of vision slow him down.

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Perhaps the best news is that my fiance will be moving out here in EIGHT days! I’m so thoroughly excited. We’ve been living in different time zones for over a year and a half, so It will be amazing to have him here with me again. I can not wait! He’ll get here on Friday and start college at OSU on Monday. He’s very nervous with OSU being an absolute behemoth of a college, but I know he’ll be fine. It’ll be quite exciting to start the next chapter together!

 

All photos and content are ©Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Quick November Update

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

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

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

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

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli decided to dig a hole

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2011

Summer Happenings

Hello all!

Lots of things have been happening since my last post. School is now out for the Summer, but I’m taking a Summer class so (hopefully,) I won’t have to take anymore Gen Eds as a senior.

I took a trip the 2nd week in May back to Iowa to see my best friend, who had just gotten back from her study-abroad in Asia. I brought Stoli with me, and of course he had a good time. His favorite part of the trip was chasing a giant kickball around the yard. He attempts to look vicious, but he’s still a marshmallow.

Attack Stoli © Holly Hildreth 2011Stoli celebrated his first birthday on May 31st. For his big day, we got him 2 new toys, played with him in the yard, and took him to the park with our friends’ miniature schnauzer puppy. He was a happy pup. Here’s a look back to him as a puppy. The photo is what the breeder sent us, so it’s not exactly high-quality, but you get the idea of how small he used to be!

 

At the end of May, I finally moved out of my apartment on the corner of Overpriced and Bad Landlord. I have now got a small one-bedroom apartment owned by the University. It’s about a mile from campus, but it’s not too bad (if you don’t mind being stampeded by kidlets every time you open your door).

The Kitchen and door to the back patio

The Kitchen and door to the back patio

 

living room

living room

 

Stoli looking like the King of the Castle

Stoli looking like the King of the Castle

 

Stoli spends a ridiculous amount of time barking at his reflection in the window at night. For being the 10th smartest dog breed, Stoli has his moments of doubt.

Stoli spends a ridiculous amount of time barking at his reflection in the window at night. For being the 10th smartest dog breed, Stoli has his moments of doubt.

 

Door to the front patio

Door to the front patio

 

Front Patio

Front Patio

 

Bathroom

Bathroom

 

Bathroom

Bathroom

 

My small bedroom (and a look at my new prints!)

My small bedroom (and a look at my new prints!)

Panoramic of my small bedroom

Panoramic of my small bedroom

Living room and breakfast bar

Living room and breakfast bar

 

Kitchen, breakfast bar, and livingroom

Kitchen, breakfast bar, and livingroom

 

I'm like a troll living under the stairs...

I'm like a troll living under the stairs...

 

I have neighbors above me and to the side of me. They have hoards of children and the walls are paper-thin. There's nothing like waking up to the sound of your neighbors screaming at their kids, threatening to beat them with a belt.

I have neighbors above me and to the side of me. They have hoards of children and the walls are paper-thin. There's nothing like waking up to the sound of your neighbors screaming at their kids, threatening to beat them with a belt.

 

Last Friday, a group of Curry’s work friends and I went to Kansas City for a Royals game. We were headed into the City during rush-hour, and unfortunately, stupid Missouri drivers were out and about. There was a 5-car pile up, and we were the last car. We were really lucky, and things could have been much worse. We’re still waiting on Geico to give us estimates on Curry’s car. In the meantime, he’s been driving my car to work, and I think it’s totally killing him to drive American. 😉

Front bumper damage

Front bumper damage

 

Broken Mirror. It's a good thing his mirrors fold back, otherwise it would have been toast.

Broken Mirror. It's a good thing his mirrors fold back, otherwise it would have been toast.

 

Scratch and dent on the driver's door. The door doesn't open properly, which makes it difficult to get in, unless you do it NASCAR style.

Scratch and dent on the driver's door. The door doesn't open properly, which makes it difficult to get in, unless you do it NASCAR style.

 

Dented front panel, scratched bumper, and minor hood denting.

Dented front panel, scratched bumper, and minor hood denting.

 

Well, I think that about covers life from the last month. I haven’t really done anything too earth shattering as I have been a slave to PictureME! Portrait Studios. We’re taking a trip to Wisconsin at the end of this week and then my family is heading to Atlanta for a vacation at the end of June. More photos to come.

 

 

 

 

Stoli’s Studio Shoot

Mid-Program is looming overhead like a big, black thundercloud. In order to try and prepare myself as best as I can before I get raked over the coals by my professors’ jury panel, I figured I would try to get a lot of diverse animal shooting in before the week of Mid-Program. I initially started my wildlife/animal portrait series by shooting exclusively at zoos, but after being inspired by amazing photographers like Tim Flach, William Wegman, Eliott Erwitt, and Nick Brandt, I decided that it was time to step into the studio and see what I could come up with. Since classes haven’t gotten hot and heavy yet, the studio was open and free for the taking. (I think I am the only one who rushes into the studio to work ahead when we have a winter storm warning dumping eight inches of snow on us!) Anyway, I tried to hash out a few different ideas that I had circulating in my head. The execution wasn’t all there, but some of the ideas were difficult technically and visually, (and it didn’t help that Stoli was more interested it playing fetch than he was in sitting still! Luckily my boyfriend, Andrew Curry, was a good sport and helped me wrangle the little guy).

Here are a few of the images from today’s shoot. As always, you can see all the proofs by visiting my flickr. Here’s the link to a slideshow of today’s collection: More Photos 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

© 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

A close encounter of the Feline kind

Today was one of the rare times where I didn’t have a massive amount of homework waiting for me when I got out of class. After Wedding and Location finished up at 5, I checked out a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens and a Canon 580X ii Speedlite flash unit. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I checked them out, I just wanted to familiarize myself with them more before I actually have to use them in the field or for an assignment. I went over to let Stoli out and decided that he could be my test subject. Stoli was NOT a fan of the flash and would whimper every time it went off, so that was short lived. I also had a hard time getting him to sit still long enough for me to manually focus the tilt-shift lens. After getting frustrated, I broke out my trusty 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and did some action shots. No sooner had I put on the lens then a stray cat came wondering into the yard. Stoli has never had an up-close encounter with any cats before, so he went berserk. There are a few stray cats that hang around the house every so often. The other night I let stoli out and one of them scampered out from under the deck, and he chased after it until I called him back. Well today this cat just froze and hissed, so Stoli got the opportunity to get as close as he dared. The cat didn’t have claws, so it must belong to someone. I was worried that Stoli would get hurt since the cat was bigger than him, but I figured he would learn. Stoli wanted to go up to the cat and lick it, but the cat would not have that. As soon as stoli would get close, he would swat at him and start hissing. Stoli took this as a game, so as soon as the cat swatted, Stoli took off running around the yard, doing circle laps around me and the cat for a few minutes before coming back for another attempt. Needless to say, he was pooped after it was all said and done. I brought Stoli inside for a water break, and must not have gotten the back door all the way shut, because as I was petting him, I hear a “meow” from the hallway, and there was the stray orange kitty! I felt bad for the poor thing putting it back outside. It huddled up against the house for warmth. I always feel sorry for animals in the winter. (Granted it’s not terribly cold here today, but it was only in the 50’s, and it will only get colder from here.)

Also, I want to apologize for posting so many things about Stoli. I am trying to be pretty regular about keeping a blog. I drug my feet so much with this blog for the first year of its existence, but I realize now that it can be a really powerful tool. Keeping up with the blog requires me to go out and shoot outside of class and its projects. I most often find myself shooting the dog, because he’s always there to sit for me, and his quirky personality makes me try hard to capture his goofy side. So, I’m sorry if you’re sick of dog posts, but it’s really the best way to get me into photo-blogging

Anyway, enough said. Here are some shots from the evening.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Stoli!

I stopped by Boyfriend’s place today to let Stoli out and there was a random pumpkin sitting in his driveway. I have no idea where it came from, (I’m guessing one of his roommates picked it up?) Anyway, I snapped a few shots of stoli by it. I didn’t get many photos since the sun was almost completely set by the time I got there, so here are a couple shots of stoli in the porch light.

 

Stoli’s First Halloween

Let me preface this post by first saying that I am not someone who likes to dress up their pets. I don’t really see the appeal in it and I always feel bad for the poor dogs and cats that have to suffer through their owners cross-dressing them in some God-awful Christmas sweater or little ballerina skirt. Something about it just screams maladjusted shut in to me, haha. Anyway, boyfriend and I are going to a Halloween party at our friend, Charlene’s house on Friday. Stoli and her dog, Monty, are little puppy pals, and so Char told us we could bring Stoli over, but it’s a costume exclusive party. So we decided that it would be time to dress Stoli up. Not just any costume would do, however. Only the finest for our “little gentlemen”. Boyfriend and I decided a nice tuxedo with coat tails would look great on our regal corgi. We tried the tux out, but it seems to be entirely too small for him! The website said that a full grown pug would fit into it, but Stoli’s only a 5 1/2 month old corgi puppy who only weighs in around 12 pounds. We gave the costume a test run outside today and played around while raking the leaves. Here are a few shots of him looking like the most sophisticated corgi you’ve ever seen. (Also, just a word of warning, I was trying to shoot for my “dutch angle” assignment for Materials and Processes, so if you noticed an excessive use of the 45 degree camera tilt, that’s why. I personally am not a fan and think Dutch angle is lame, but that’s just me.)

Stoli’s first Fall

It’s that time of year again–the temperatures are dropping, the trees are turning colors, and a little corgi is tearing around the yard eating mouthfuls of dead leaves. This is Stoli’s first Fall. He’ll be 18 weeks tomorrow. It seems his favorite new activity is to jump in piles of leaves and just go to town eating them. He loves when the wind blows and it kicks up the leaves. He chases after them and then rips them to shreds. I finally got some more recent shots of him this afternoon while we were playing outside. It was tough to get photos of him, because he’s going through his rebellious puppy stage and doesn’t want to listen on the first command. You can also see his adult teeth coming in. They seem to bee too big for his little mouth! Anyway, here are Stoli’s newest photos. Prepare yourself for the cuteness.