January 30, 2011

Photographer Forum Magazine

Back in October, I found a flyer. A flyer for a contest. A photography contest. Photographer's Forum magazine's annual international contest for the best college photography. Entry fee: $3.00 per picture. 

First prize: $5,000 and a new top grade Nikon camera. 
Second Prize: $3000 and Nikon. 
Third: $1,500 and Nikon. 
Fourth: $500 and Nikon.
100 Honorable Mentions: Full color print in next edition of Photographer's Forum. 

Me: Aww, why not? It's worth a shot. I won't win anything, but at least it's a move towards some sort of thing to boost experience, right?

Three long months later... I get a letter. A letter telling me that my photo is still in the competition. Not just still in the competition. But, in the FINALIST judging round. Really? Me? They must have the wrong person. Nope, the address is mine. The picture is mine. WOW!!! 

I am sure that several hundred people got the exact same letter and there is certainly no guarantee that I will win anything... or even make the "honorable mentions" list. But  hey, finalist round (out of 13,960 entries from the US, Canada, and across the globe)... I was excited (unless you ask my family, who would say I was on the verge of ecstatic). 

Now I am anxiously awaiting February 14, 2011, when the top photographers will be notified. I'm desperately trying to keep my hopes from getting too high... and regardless of the outcome, I am one of many FINALISTS in an international photography contest. 

Shock. Awe. Excitement. Jitters. Unbelief. 

That's me. 

And the photograph that the Lord has blessed and caught judges' eyes... 

Nick and Abby Engaged. 2010. Whether I win anything or not, you two are the most beautiful to me. :) 

January 28, 2011

Get Us to 100!

This is a campaign. Sort of. And I need YOUR help. 

Two goals. 

31 days. 

100 people. 

1000 hits. 

Confused yet? 

Okay, good. 

I have two goals that I would like to reach by the end of February.

Goal 1: 
100 "likes" on my photography facebook page. 

Goal 2: 
1000 hits to my blog within one month. I've fallen short here by an average of only 20 hits for the past three months solid.... another 20 hits per month isn't so bad, right? 
Here is where YOU come in. If you are already a fan of gabrielle.j.ryan photography on facebook, pass it on to your friends and family and encourage them to check it out for themselves and become a fan. If you are not already a fan, well... go become one! 

As for virtually all photographers, we really do work by word of mouth. You are the mouth. If you like what we do, YOU are our greatest advertisement. 
Starting February 1st, we will be offering Senior Portrait, Maternity, and Newborn sessions at a limited time low price. If you are interested in a session, or know someone who is, contact us and we'll set up a time with you. 

Keep smiling! 

January 14, 2011

Let's be conceited... shaaaaaall we?

So, Abby is helping me to get back on top of my regular posting. New years resolutions and all that. ;-)

So, once again I have been playing with equipment (mostly Lightroom :-D). You'll have to forgive me for posting pics only of myself. Sometimes, there really isn't someone to take a picture of.

Question.... how many different colors can a person's eyes really be?

Check it out... Each of these have only shadows and highlights boosted.

January 12, 2011

Snowday fun for Abby

So, when my sister in law, who is amazing and pretty much brilliant suggested that I take a picture today... in the snow... I was probably what you could call.... less than thrilled. We all know I am not such a fan of the cold. And snow has a tendency to be... well, cold.

But then my brain started whirling as I wondered how on earth to do as Abby had asked, make it pretty, while not freezing my toes off. I needed a prop. Other than a sibling who would also freeze their toes off. A prop that wouldn't mind if I stuck it head first into the snow.

::lightbulb turns on::

tada! perhaps not quuuuiiite what she had envisioned, but this is what I came up with.

January 1, 2011

The H Family

Back in August, Kelly asked me to do a family shoot for her family as a gift for her mom. We had originally planned to do it in the Autumn, but between school, family events, and conflicting schedules... it didn't happen. So we decided to hightail a day out of Christmas break to actually do this thing.

I'll admit, I was really worried that morning when I was driving down to see them. I missed my first exit. Everyone else on the two lane, windy road decided it was "drive 10 miles under the speed limit day." I got there late. The sky was hazy and not at all the lighting I had hoped for. It was cold, and I was afraid that very shortly into the shoot people would start getting cold and would get stiff... making for stiff looking photos.

But, I had underestimated the Hogan family. 

They were all brilliant and their personalities all constantly bounced off one another to make for a perfect shoot.

The haze cleared away and the cloud cover was beautiful. They wanted to show me the treehouse they'd built. I wanted to take pictures of them IN the treehouse they'd built.

I could have spent the entire two hours just in their backyard. Everything was exactly perfect. Col. and Mrs. Hogan, who have been married over 20 years, were absolutely adorable. Kelly, Melissa, and David have all very different personalities. They all blended to make the most hilarious mix ever. Throw a little Italian in the gene pool and you can't help having a blast. The dogs, Winston and Shadow, chased each other around the yard at dangerous speeds and then ran up to give very happy, messy kisses.

And we found trains!!! I'd been eagerly searching for some old train tracks and train cars to do a shoot on since roughly.... four years ago. Nothing I'd found was satisfactory. When I told Kelly this, she told me that there was an old track not far from where we were going to be. When we got there... I think I died and went to heaven.

So many unexpected things happened that increased the joy and the fun.

As Melissa put it.... "A day with the Hogans isn't just a day. Its an adventure."