Sneak Preview: Studio Boudoir/ Dance Photo Shoot

I have been doing so many different photo shoots this past week. Two senior collections and two boudoir/ dance sessions! And an engagement session is coming up next weekend. Now that Spring is finally here I feel so refreshed! Here is a sneak peak of one of my latest photo shoots. This is a dance/ boudoir photo shoot that will be up by the end of the week.

Today I had my last college class at Cazenovia. It feels incredible and unreal at the same time. Spring is a time for fresh starts. This photo shoot marks the end of my college career and the beginning of my professional life. Still caught in the winter haze? Go out and try something new. Challenge yourself and reawaken your creative and adventurous side! Have a fabulous week, everyone!

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Wedding photographers branch out too -Cazenovia College Fashion Show 2012

Photographers tend to get stuck in the niche they create for themselves. When I was a photojournalist my thoughts revolved around the next story and now that I am a wedding photographer, I find myself doing the same thing. However, I have so many different interests and so many exciting things are always going on around me. The Cazenovia College Fashion Show is one of them.

My friend Lily had her senior collection last Saturday, which I had the honor of being one of her models. Between the two shows I pulled out my camera and took a few snap shots. To me, they were not anything special at the time, just some quick pics for the girls. Afterwards as I was browsing them, I realized something amazing had happened. I kind of fell into my old role as a photojournalist, capturing moments as I saw them through my lens. What I first thought were some quick snap shots, turned out to be some pretty fun photographs.

The entire experience was exciting and inspiring because it was different. It took me out of the mold I unknowingly placed myself into. So my advice for photographers: step out of your garden and experience the rest of the world around you. You might surprise yourself in the process. The next time you’re on the job you may even recall the experience and look at your present subject in new light. Motivate and refresh yourself by mixing up the routine. You might just surprise yourself. Nichole took this photograph of me after I fixed my make up. We were all waiting for the next show. My mother took this photograph of all of us after the show. My mother is pictured below with her boyfriend. 

Maryland Wedding Photographer – Gallery Opening

My year long senior project finally came to a close last week so I am happy to say that I will be back to doing what I love (lots of photo shoots and photography!) this week as I finish my finals (for the final time).

My gallery opening was on Monday, April 16th and what a day! I had so many wonderful and amazing volunteers who assisted me while I installed the exhibition. And on Wednesday, the 18th I had my oral defense, which was against a panel of four judges and open to the public. A lot of my wonderful fellow classmates joined me for my presentation and it lasted over an hour (all video taped for my mom at home. She said to me a few days before the defense, “I brought your video camera up from home. You don’t have to video tape your defense, but if you think you would like to that would be nice.” Now, in mom code that means: “video tape the defense or else.” The presentation filled the entire tape). I waited 20 minutes while the judges deliberated and was so surprised to discover that not only did I pass, I received a high pass!

Here is my artist Statement:

Anachronism, the BFA thesis exhibition by Courtney L. Murray, consists of nearly 2,000 photographs from the artist’s family collection from 1902-2012, some which will be viewable as stereographs.

The exhibit examines the use of vernacular photography including the changes technological advances such as roll film and digital photography has had on the family album. In the days of film, family photographs frequently consisted of milestone moments such as graduations, weddings, and portraits. Contemporary albums include everyday photographs, including snapshots from mobile phones. The exhibit illustrates the uses of personal photography, how and why we take photographs, as well as how photography is used to document biographical experience.

Similar to movie stills, the installed photographs document changes: visually piecing together the artist’s family history as well as her own insertion into the visual narrative. “Anachronism” is an archived timeline of 110 years of the artist’s family, demonstrating the art of life.

So many of my classmates and friends were kind enough to volunteer to help me. Brian, pictured here, my mom, and my friend Chris from home stayed with me until security asked us to leave at 1 in the morning! I returned at 7 am to finish the rest. Thank you mom, Chris, Brian, Tom, Lindsey, Brittany, Kari, Judith, Ashley, and Sasha for your help! Could not have done it with out you! Battle wounds. I think we all had blisters by the end of the day.The installation was completed 30 minutes before the opening at 4! Time for gallery set up for our guests.My table was all set and looking pretty. In the box below are the 3d stereographs I made for the opening. (Everyone said I had to have a 3d camera. I’m very proud of my -18 degree method to fool the 3d viewers. If you’re wondering how I did it I will be more than happy to tell you all about it!)The flowers on the right were sent by my cousins Ginger and Jessie They arrived 10 minutes before the opening! How sweet!The grapes and sparkling juice I brought in for the opening. Both my mom and my dad made it in for the opening!I put the flowers from Ginger and Jessie by my tambourines in my living room.Sunflowers! My father brought these up for me. Sunflowers are my absolute favorite (if you can’t tell).Matthew could not make it to the opening because he is living in Maryland (and I will be joining him soon!) so he had his sister Crystal bring these for me. She said to me, “He does realize that his sister is the one writing this note for him, right? I had no idea he was such a romantic!”My mother gave me this lovely notebook. I love the saying on the cover!These photos are from the day of my defense. I brought in more yummy snacks and drinks. Ashley Deyo took these photos of me after I got my high pass.Last Friday Matthew’s work was cancelled so he drove all the way up from Maryland (and arrived at 4 in the morning) to see my installation before I had to take it down.
He signed my guest book. How sweet is he?!My personalized 3d image viewer and a small shadow box I made with my grandfather’s combat V and korean war photos.He enjoyed viewing my installation. Me right before I had to take it all down. All that work and it is down already. Matthew took these photos. He was getting creative with my lens.

Lovely Lens Photography Theater Dance

I’m sure many of you have been wondering where I have been lately. My blog posts have been few and far between over the past few weeks. Things have been hectic with my senior thesis project and gallery opening coming up (plus my thesis defense!) so I have been a little tied up. The good news is that my gallery exhibit, “Anachronism” opens this coming Monday at 4 pm.

For those of you in Cazenovia, New York or nearby, the exhibit is at the Gallery at Reisman Hall at Cazenovia College. It consists of nearly 2,000 2″x2″ photographs from the past 110 years from my family archives. The exhibit illustrates the uses of personal photography and how technological advances, such as roll-film and digital photography, have impacted the way that people take and use personal photographs. In many cases, photographs are the only biographical material people leave behind after they pass on. “Anachronism” creates a timeline to demonstrate these concepts using my family ancestry as well as images from my own life.

Now for some fun news: On March 27th Lois Greenfield, a famous dance photographer, was in Syracuse to teach a workshop at Syracuse University. While I was unable to attend that workshop, I did have the honor to meet her at the Manlius Pebble High School where she was conducting a lecture and lighting workshop. (If you are unfamiliar with her work, please google her photography and prepare to be amazed! Ms. Greenfield also only photographs in film! I was so impressed.)

Four dancers form the school; Trevin, Rachel, Greg, and Emma, improvised dance routines as we photographed them under various theater lighting set ups. All I can say is WOW! They are amazing! Take a peek at my photographs to see what they can do. The dancers warming up:Emma and Greg:Trevin and Rachel: I later found out that this workshop was actually an audition for Trevin. Rachel and Trevin worked so well together and made up this incredible dance routine on the spot. They looked so connected when they danced. Trevin is a self-taught dancer who has only been dancing for one year! I love the motion blur here:Reminds me of Michael Angelo’s painting The Creation of Adam. The lighting was very difficult, but I am proud of some of the shots I was able to manage.You know how when people start to take photographs they often over shoot to get a good photograph? I believe that we are all guilty of this at some point or another. Lois Greenfield stated that we should “desensitize our eyes in order to capture the moment you want to take.” What she was saying was that we need to pay close attention to capture the moment rather than taking a ton of photographs hoping to capture something. Sometimes photo bursts work, but we need to train ourselves to capture a greater vision. 

This workshop inspired me. I think I would like to work on dance portfolios as a side to wedding photography. What do you think?

WISE Symposium 2012

On Tuesday I had the amazing honor of attending the 10th annual WISE Symposium in Syracuse. Professor Varisco and a fellow classmate, Kristina, and I ventured out at 7:30 that morning and arrived to an exciting array. We collected our name tags and made out way into the exhibition hall. I was simply impressed.

I have never seen so many business women in one place. All the women were dressed up and looking fabulously chic; I knew that I was some place special. Lined up by the entrance of the hall were bagels and muffins as well as some great Tazo tea. I did not take many photos because I was so busy taking notes and absorbing the amazing and inspirational speeches given through out the day. Here is a small collection from the photos that I took. I have also shared some incredible quotes form the inspiring women that spoke. I have learned so many wonderful things. Here are some of the WISE words that I collected:

“Coming here is the best thing you have done for yourself today.” Nell Merlino

“Embrace the thriving artist routine” -Tara Gentile

“Your business does not run you. You run your business.” -Nell Merlino
“When you love yourself, you don’t let anybody do anything to hurt you.”-Juanita Bass“Fun is the key to creativity and creativity is the key to innovation.” -Barbara Corcoran

“Once you get the courage to jump and take that risk, you find the answers on the way down.” -Barbara Corcoran 

“You tell me I can’t do something, I do it twice as good.” -Juanita Bass

“The people you serve, the work that you do. . . It is an art form.” -Tara Gentile