A Day at the Beach

Working for a clothing company has its perks…

Models: Alexandria Rousset & Brianna Barnes | MUA: Amanda Abajian | Wardrobe: She + Sky


{For more photos, visit my Instagram}
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Quirktastic

 

 

There’s something I’ve always loved about weirdos. They’re unique. Not afraid to be themselves. I know I can be pretty weird myself, so naturally, I like to  show it in my work.

I love the idea of beautiful people doing weird things. Completely opposite of what the general population would find attractive. I suppose it’s what I find attractive. I feel it adds something different to your average portrait of someone. A portraits purpose is to show the person how they are, so why not add a few of their personality traits?

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Aviphile

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My latest shoot. The idea was there. I know the images are interesting, but I’m still not satisfied with them. Not because of the model, Jacqueline Tatum, her 11 birds, or the makeup artist, Natalie Moreno. It’s the lighting.

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Sometimes I make the mistake of being lazy. I’ll admit it. I love the way natural window light looks, so even though I’m in an environment that I know doesn’t have sufficient window light, and I have my strobes with me, I’m stubborn. It’s a flaw I think I’ve always had, and still proves to be something I need to overcome.

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Setting up strobes can be a huge pain. On top of that, I was nervous to use them around live birds for fear of frightening them off. The result, poor lighting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the images, I just wish they were….more.

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More impactful. More dramatic. More inspiring.

There’s always something to improve on as a photographer. I think laziness is my latest goal.

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Sisters

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As a photographer, I’m constantly bombarded with my own ideas. Ideas that I may or may not be able to execute due to budget, lack of location, models, etc.

There are times though when the mood strikes that I really just need to get an idea out. It’s not always a large production with professional models, makeup, hair, wardrobe. And to me, I feel like that’s what gives it character. I don’t want to always see models. I want to see people. Real people.

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Meet Siobahn and Anstiss. Two close friends of mine that are always down for a spontaneous photoshoot, even if it requires standing in the southern California sun in a blazer. I love the idea of shooting siblings with a little bit of a twist, and their unique looks both bring something extra to the images.

This particular shoot was a bit of a struggle for me. I will admit, shooting in natural sunlight has never really been my strong suit, (as odd as that seems), and I’ve been making an effort to practice more. It’s difficult for me to even out the contrast of dappled lighting and capture lens flare in a way that doesn’t wash out the image. It’s something I’ll need to work on I think, so I’m sure there will be more of these spur-of-the-moment shoots to post about in the future. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection. -Kim Collins

{For more photos from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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Hydromania

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I will admit, as a photographer trying to get work, I have way to many “water” photographs in my portfolio.  But, no matter how many I have, I always seem to want to do more.  I even used it for my own self portraits, as shown on my previous, (and first), blog post. I know throughout my career I will probably continue to use it in different ways to express my work.

There’s something that fascinates me about water. Water can be reflective, still, active, soft, foggy, moody, light… the possibilities are endless. I love the way it makes hair swim, and move, and float. The way fabric clings, flows, becomes opaque. It’s beautiful.  Not beautiful in the “plastic bag from American Beauty” kind of way, but in a way people all over the world can understand.

Water has the power to not only be impactful and expressive, but to warp and distort as well, which fascinates me even more.  I almost feel like my creative mind is attracted to it because it can change a beautiful image or model and add new meaning to it. What was beautiful and light, can become dark and somber, in the best way possible. And I think that darkness is very much a part of life, though I know many people actively try to ignore it.

I, on the other hand, choose to embrace it.  I’ve found that some of my darkest moments have given me more creative inspiration than the lighter ones, and the resulting image is so much more interesting if water is involved. Water is the essence of life and beauty and art. And art is only art if it makes you feel something.

“She is water. Powerful enough to drown you, soft enough to cleanse you, deep enough to save you.” -Adrian Michael

{For more photos from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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This Needs Some Explanation

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I’m not really self-conscious about my body. I don’t have a problem with my shape, size, skin, etc.

No, that’s not really true. Don’t get me wrong, I have insecurities just like the rest of the world. I guess what I should say is that I’m content with what I have enough to not let it hinder my daily life. I do love that my skin and hair make me unique and separate me from a vast majority of the world’s population. I know that being ginger, I’ve been given something rare and beautiful. That being said, I’ve never really been satisfied with other self portraits I’ve taken.

I find myself always wanting to take self portraits the way that I would with my models, focusing on the clothing and positioning my body in what should be the most flattering. I am, by no means, a model. And I’m ok with that. I think the struggle that I constantly face is that as a photographer, surrounded by beautiful models on a regular basis, I get caught up in the work, wanting to make it aesthetically pleasing to the general public as much as possible. This is never usually my original goal when I do self portraits. I mean to express myself the way that I am.

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I made a conscious effort with this series to take self portraits that represent who I am as a person. I’m not quite sure why I had to concentrate on this so much, as my personality should be easy enough for me to photograph. I think sometimes as a photographer I get in this mind-set that everything in the frame needs to be perfect, including the subject. Problem is, perfection is not necessarily what I am trying to capture. It’s a fight between doing what I would for fashion editorials and what I’m actually looking for in myself.

As I thought about it more, I realized that in order to capture who I am, I also need to capture part of what made me who I am. Hence the ‘couple’ photos. Throughout my relationship with my loving boyfriend, Amir, I have evolved into a completely different person than I was 5 years ago. I’ve noticed many changes in myself, all positive, that I know I can link directly to his presence in my life. And the best part about it all, is that he is a photographer and artist too, and understood my need to express myself. He even went so far as to join me.

I am a firm believer that all photographers should do at least one self-portrait series in their lifetime. I think that being on the other side of the camera can give you a different perspective on not only your work but on what your models are doing. Try to remove yourself from what other people think and show what you want to show.

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This is how I chose to introduce myself to the world. I know art is subjective, and not everyone is going to see it the same way. So here’s the deal, I’m gonna be me, you’re gonna be you and we’ll all live happily together inside of a shoe… or whatever.

{For more photos from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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