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A little bit about me…

“Life is like a camera…you focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negative and if things don’t work out, take another shot!

— Unknown

I am Alexis and I am a happy, life-loving girl! I am in my final semester as a student at Idaho State University. My major is psychology and I am also minoring in photo communications. When anyone asks me what my hobbies are, I usually say “anything art, anything outside!” Drawing, painting, dancing, music, photos, hiking, and camping are just the beginning.

While psychology is my major (and I do love learning this subject), photography is what makes me truly happy and is becoming a passion! Taking photos is a satisfying and very rewarding hobby. Learning new photography styles and methods has been my favorite part from my college experience. This blog is a platform for me to share what I am learning and how I am improving.

“Serenity” Still Life

Serenity
© Alexis Bushman 2019

This is my first studio still life! The name of this perfume is “Serenity” which is the feeling that I was trying to capture when creating this photo. I didn’t want to clutter this photo too much with additional props as this didn’t seem to add to the serene feeling that was trying to be achieved. The white background and use of (again) fairy lights helped me to achieve this peaceful aesthetic. I used two soft light boxes to illuminate the set and the soft light added to the calm feeling of the final photo.

One thing that I encountered that was frustrating at first but I ended up really appreciating in the end was the way the wires from the fairy light blurred across the bottle. I think that this adds an additional element of softness and adds to the photo in a way that I wasn’t originally trying to accomplish.

Oakmont Plaza

The current “Oakmont Plaza” sign that stands in front of the once bustling shopping center
© Alexis Bushman 2019
Anna’s Tailoring shop-this is one of the businesses that currently occupies Oakmont Plaza
© Alexis Bushman 2019
An old bench that sits in front of one of the deserted shops of Oakmont Plaza
© Alexis Bushman 2019
An old, rusty bike rack that also sits in front of one of the deserted shops in Oakmont Plaza
© Alexis Bushman 2019
Old lights that surround a now blank marquee sign in Oakmont Plaza
© Alexis Bushman 2019

I was down in Holladay, Utah visiting my fiance, Noah, this weekend and came across Oakmont Plaza. From the information that Noah provided, this was once a bustling retail center that is now more or less deserted. There are still a few businesses that occupy the store fronts but most are not often visited. There is a tailoring shop (pictured above), a dance studio, and pet grooming salon. All of the other stores remain unoccupied. Above are some of the images that I captured of this old, nearly forgotten plaza.

Chesterfield Panorama

Chesterfield Panorama © Alexis Bushman 2019

This is a panorama that I created after a trip to Chesterfield, Idaho. When taking the images that I would be using, I wanted to capture multiple elements of this little, abandoned town. I made sure to include the distant mountains, some of the abandoned buildings, the old dirt road and the beautiful fall landscape in my composition. Including all of these elements made taking just one picture difficult. The panorama allowed for a wide shot that was able to capture all of the landscape and elements that I wanted included.

My First Studio Portrait!

© Alexis Bushman

For this portrait, my goal was to keep the theme warm, cozy, and casual. The aesthetic that was captured was just what I was hoping for with some additional drama that I was not expecting but ended up loving. There were several elements of preparation that helped to accomplish this idea in my composition.

The first thing that I did was have the model, Charlotte, dress in a knit sweater cardigan with warm coloring to bring in that element of warmth that I was looking for. I kept her makeup application very light in order to maintain the casual feel but put just enough on to capture the light and add some extra dimension.

In the studio, I set up three lights with soft boxes to diffuse the light and make it less harsh on Charlotte’s face. Two were behind the model and one was on the right side of the camera. In addition to studio lighting, I used warm, white, battery operated fairy lights to add some more interest and warmth to the photo. I held some close to the camera lens for some softer, blurry light spots. I also had Charlotte hold some of them. This gave her something to do with her hands to keep the pose as natural as can be achieved in a studio setting. The backdrop is a gray, backdrop paper to compliment the use of the fairy lights and other lighting. The studio lights and backdrop brought some drama and the fairy lights combined with that became an interest combination.

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