Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Labor Of Love

***I know I have not blogged in a while, I have been searching and wanting to create a new blog so that is why no blogging these days. But I really wanted to blog about this.

Our Labor Of Love
Jess and Whitney
(sorry for the very grainy/noisy picture. We were all testing out the light at a wedding and this is the only picture I have of them together, but it was totally blacked out)

**before reading: the word Photog=photographer. Most know this but this is mostly for my mom because I know she will ask me later. And I don't want her to be confused as she reads through it.

I am a very very shy girl and always have been! I really force myself not to be. I am very insecure and doubt myself around every turn I take in life, especially in my industry, the photography industry. There are some really amazing photographers out there...true artists that lead and inspire me all the time. They also intimidate me. I am constantly in awe of the pictures they take. And in March I had a chance to see some of them in person at a photographers conference in Las Vegas called WPPI. And seeing them in person made me even more intimidated, they are so COOL and just all around rad as people too and not just as photographers. I even went to this party there called Airhorns and Lasers. I kept reading all these tweets the week before wppi about the "have to go to party" so I decided I had to go and bought the tickets to Airhorns and Lasers. It was the best thing I have ever attended! Great Music! The Human Jukebox. Scott and I danced and had a great time. Wppi was very informative, I took lots of classes and I was so glad that I got to go. My favorite class was by Jesh De Rox's "Beloved"......LIFE CHANGING!!! If you ever have a chance to listen to it you should: HERE

Here is a video clip of airhorns and lasers at the Tryst:

airhorns & lasers from stillmotion on Vimeo.

I really have tried to push myself in my photog skills since coming home from WPPI. One thing I have tried to do is to branch out and not be so shy. It is hard for me and I get a knot in my gut every time I think about meeting someone new or having to introduce myself to a stranger. I am going to talk about a little secret in the photography industry......Photographers are snobs! sorry, but I just said it. I would say I said it out loud, but I didn't, I just said it to myself and maybe the three people that read my blog. Photographers are SNOBS! (not all, but there are out there). I know I just said earlier that at WPPI that I learned that the photographers I admire are cool and rad as people, well the ones I follow are cool, but so were the popular people in high school! That was the feeling at WPPI.....a feeling like being in High School. There were the popular kids in the hallways that everyone owww and ahhh'd over. Just like the halls of high school. I attended a workshop in April up in full of snobs. I tried really hard to strike up conversations with several people and I still ended up eating lunch by myself. This is what photographers get snobby about:

1. What brand of camera you use: NIKON or CANON
2. What kind of camera: Full Frame, Crop sensor, how big is your camera????
3. What kind of lighting do you use: strobist or natural light?
4. Who do you do your website through? Template or not? Flash player or not?
5. What site do you blog through? host your own or not? (seriously, one of the reasons I have not blogged forever, blogspot is not the 'popular' choice among photogs)
6. Where do you shop for clothes???? urban outfitters, anthropology and j crew?
**that last one is a joke, but really partially true.

Ok, so all of the above intimidates me from having a conversation with other photogs. I dread the question......What kind of camera do you use? I am a proud Nikon girl! If you rock a Canon, more power to you! no judgements from my part, but man people want to debate about it. I just want to shoot!
then what kind of Nikon do I have, "only a d300" is usually my response as I hang my head in shame. Because it is not "full frame". You are not a real photog unless you shoot full frame is the feeling you get while answering the question to other photogs.
And yes my website is a template and yes it is run off of flash player.
Blog.....I don't even have a photog blog, this is my family blog I started years ago through blogspot like all the other mommy's out there.
and My fat butt never shops at urban outfitter , anthropology and j crew. Not until they make a plus size section.

Anyways.....where is this blog is going to tell the tale of my infatuation with a photog company called Our Labor Of Love by Jesse and Whitney Chamberlin (Jess is the wife, Whitney is the husband, just to be clear, I was a little confused in the beginning myself.)
So take into consideration my fear of people, my fear of photogs, and my doubt in myself when reading this story:
I love twitter. It is a good way for me to follow some of my fav photogs blogs and discover other photogs that I can be jealous of and envious of, but mostly inspired by. When one photog tweets about another photog I go check out the blog and decide if I want to follow them on twitter. When looking at another photogs blog I hardly ever read it. I know, LAME! (so thank you to those for reading this big long post I am making right now). I just like to look at the pics. If I like the photogs pics I follow them on twitter. I started following a photog company called Our Labor Love a few months ago. I read nothing about them when I first found their blog! I just liked their pics and chose to follow them on twitte. then In June they tweeted that they needed a 3rd photographer to help with a wedding in Pennsylvania. I googled the town and saw I was less than 2 hours away and thought "what the heck? I have nothing to do this weekend!" I messaged them and they messaged me back a phone number to call them. With a big knot in my gut I called them. I spoke with Whitney, he got my site info and said he would call me back with a yes or a no. I waited for hours saying "they are probably laughing at my flash player template site right now. and thinking 'big fat no to you!'" As I waited for their call I started actually reading their blog so I could learn a little bit more about them, in case by some chance they actually hired me. The more I read the more I wanted to be hired by them, but at the same time did not. The more scared I got to meet them the more I found out about their high level of awesomeness. I found out some pretty awesome stuff about them the more I read. Then finally I got the call from Whitney saying I was hired. He said he did not have a chance to look at my work but that he went to the site and saw the cover page and thought I looked cool. I have a partner named Maranda. At this point Whitney did not know which one I was, so I am guessing he thinks we are both cool, which we are! I am gonna be truthful now and say that I am 99.9% sure that the reason I was hired was because no one else applied.

Once I was hired I really really started to read about them. Remember the party I mentioned before that I attended called Airhorns and Lasers?....well, that is Whitney and Jesses party, yep theirs. They produce that party every year. They are in charge of it. They are airhorns and lasers and also all this other cool the Smilebooth. They are also bestfriends with all the best in the industry. Like Jesh De Rox and Sarah Rhoads...Some of my heroes. My stomach was in knots the whole night before the wedding, and the entire drive up. I got to Pennsylvania and was greeted by Whitney and went to work right away. First he asked me what kind of camera I shot with. I for whatever reason really proudly stated "a Nikon D300". I remember saying it as if it was the best camera ever made. He was probably thinking "ok, you are really excited by your little crop sensor camera." (another side note, they are big canon people so they were probably a little sad I was rocking a Nikon). I also remember he first asked me to start shooting the beautiful center pieces and all the wedding details. I was shaking as I started. Then really started shaking when he walked up and said "let me see what you are shooting and how you are shooting it." He was pleased with what he saw. We both took a deep breath at that point. Especially since it was the first of my work he had seen.
I had a wonderful day at the wedding. I admired their shooting methods. Jesse shoots with such thought and purpose. She is so calm and cool. She is a COOL chick! One of the reasons they hired a 3rd shooter is because Jesse is expecting her 2nd child and has morning sickness. She worked so hard all day long. It was a hot and rainy outdoor wedding. So beautiful! So you know how I said earlier that photogs are snobs: Whitney and Jesse so are not. One thing photogs are snobby about is their knowledge. Photogs are very protective of their knowledge and not always open for sharing it. Because the wedding was outdoors and the reception was at night time, off camera lighting was very important for the reception. I know hardly anything about off camera lighting. Whitney asked me if I knew much about lighting, with a lump in my throat and hanging my head I said "not much." His reply was awesome!...."wanna learn?" He taught me a lot.
This story has gone on and on. End of it is: that at the end of the night they hired me to help them out again for a wedding in July in DC. Shot that with them and it was another amazing weekend with the fabulous duo. What did I learn? Not to doubt myself and take more leaps outside my comfort zone like I did by applying for that job. Seriously, if I had known all of the stuff about them before applying, I would not had let myself apply. I would have totally sat at my house that weekend and wishing I was cool enough to hang with photogs like them. Instead I applied. and I learned not all photogs are snobs and I learned that I don't want to be a snobby photographer. I hope I can be creative and helpful and be an artist like Our Labor Of Love. I don't know if Jesse and Whitney will ever read this, but I want to tell you THANK YOU!!!!

If you check out this link you can see the wedding pics from the wedding in PA. These are mostly Jesse and Whitneys, but I recognize some of my babies in there. There is even a shot of me in one, I was Jesse's light girl during the reception. That would be my big butt holding the light up during the bride and groom first shot.


Kathleen said...

How awesome! Jesse & Whitney shot our wedding. We did engagement photos with them as well and had so much fun both times. So cool that you just jumped right in and shot with them! I admire their artistry and how down-to-earth they are as well -- they are just good people. (found you via their twitter, btw!)

Brian and Shara's beautiful family said...

Channon - what are you talking about? You are an amazing photographer - no lies!! I do not see you being shy. You pull that off very well.

London said...


Loved reading your blog tonight. It is refreshing to hear you be so honest. You are great!! What amazing experiences, many more to come. Wish you the best.

P.S. What would they think of my Pentax????? Don't want to know.