Why I’ve Been Missing

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

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

Photo by Andrew Mather

Photo by Andrew Mather

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

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

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

Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012


Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012


Sunset © Holly Hildreth 2012


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

So, until next time.

Two Kinds of Stoli

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

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

Stoli's unhappy birthday © Holly Hildreth 2012

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

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

We have the world’s most patient dog…

Happy Birthday, Butthead.  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Happy Birthday, Butthead.

My favorite shot of the session   © Holly Hildreth 2012

My favorite shot from the session.

Surprise!! © Holly Hildreth 2012


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

Frankie’s Debut

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Frankie Champion.

Frankie is the miniature schnauzer puppy my friends Charlene and Chester Champion adopted back in December. I decided he would be my next photographing victim, because let’s be honest–who doesn’t love a good puppy or two?

Anyway, mid-program is breathing down my neck, so I needed to get into the studio and do a little shooting. I originally had this shoot scheduled for a week ago, but UCM cancelled 3 days of classes, so that put a damper on things. The studio schedule is ridiculous right now. Basically everyone in the program is scrambling around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get studio time. Today was the only time in 2 weeks that was available, so I took the opportunity.

When I got to the studio I expected Frankie to be as good of a model as Stoli. I made the mistake of assuming a 5 month old puppy would have the same attention span as my 9-month old corgi. BIG MISTAKE. Frankie was highly distractible and really didn’t want to have anything to do with the studio. Luckily I had my boyfriend to help me for the first half until Charlene could get in and take over. I played around with a couple different backgrounds and ideas. I have always been partial to low-key photos with sleek, pure black backgrounds w/ little detail to distract you from the subject. However, today in one of my classes, my professor warned me against doing it on anything for the jurried panel of doom that I have to face in a few short weeks. In the end though, I was able to get a few possible shots that I could use for mid-program anyway.

As always, this is just a small sampling of the shoot. You can see more proofs by visiting my Flickr slideshow by clicking HERE, and I would highly recommend it.


© 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

Update on Stoli

You may recall from previous posts that my boyfriend got a corgi puppy back in July. Well that puppy, Stoli, is going on 14 weeks now and I hadn’t posted any photos in a while. If you refer back to my old post (https://hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/meet-stoli-the-corgi/) you can tell he’s definitely grown. He can master the steps and has a LOT more energy now. We’re working on potty training, but he’s a little too smart for his own good. He rings a bell when he needs to go out, but he’s also figured out that if he rings it he can go outside to play, so he like to ring it all the time. We’re working on tricks as well. So far he knows sit, up, come, and shake. We’re try beg, down, roll over, and spin, but he’s not a fan of those and tends to not do so well with them. Anyway, here are a few shots with Stoli and the people who spoil him.

Wedding & Location: In-class Demo 2

We did an in-class demo of the Q-Flash today for Wedding and Location. I hadn’t done much shooting with it previously, so it was helpful to play around with it during class. We mostly stayed inside on the buildings around campus due to the rain all day. Here are a few examples from the shoot.

Portrait #5 – Lighting Ratios

Day #5- Today we learned about studio light placement as well as lighting ratios. The weather was not cooperative, so we spent the whole day in the studio and we started getting a little…”creative” at the end.

Editorial #4 – Sports: Baseball

I shot the University of Central Missouri’s Mules baseball double-header for assignment #4. I have never been a athlete or a sports fan. It was like pulling teeth to photograph the Mules basketball session earlier this year, and I found it equally as painful doing baseball. The staff would not let photographers on the field to catch the action, and so the only other choice was to sit in the fan section behind everything, which pretty much forces you to only see the backs of the players. I was having issues focusing past the fence and the net, along with just general sharpness problems. Moral of the story: I will NEVER be a sports photographer.

…And that is that.

If’ you’d like to see more photos from this shoot, you can check them out at my flickr:  Flickr slideshow

Editorial Photography – Basketball

On the 2nd, our editorial class had the opportunity to photograph the University of Central Missouri Men’s basketball team. Here are a few shots from the Mule’s practice session. I am shooting with a Canon 40D and a Canon L Series 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens. I discovered, however, that I don’t think sports photography will ever be my thing. I was never an athletic person, and I don’t really follow sports, so sitting on the court trying to keep up wasn’t so easy for me.

Anyway, on to the shots:

Editorial Photography – Travel/Transportation

For our editorial class, we had to do a shoot with a basic assigned theme. My pick for this project was “Transportation”. I have always been interested in night photography, light painting, extended exposures playing with motion, etc. So I decided to apply these concepts to my shoot. Here are the results: