Monday, February 21, 2011

This Blog Has Moved!

The University of Sarah has come to a close, but not to worry! Sarah is still blogging all about her "Photographic Frolic," on her new website-based blog at http://sarahsloboda.com/blog/

To keep up with all of Sarah's latest happenings, creative explorations, and worldwide photo excursions, please follow the new blog (where this entire blog has been archived). The new blogging set-up makes it even easier for you to follow and share the articles you love. Check it out!

Click here to view the new site: sarahsloboda.com

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

KIDS IN SPACE: Green Depot

KIDS IN SPACE: Documenting the child's perspective of architectural design.

#1 - GREEN DEPOT







PANEL COMMENTARY

ARCHITECT: At only 19 months of age, Wyatt is still free of the socially constructed barriers we see all around us on a day-to-day basis as adults. Some of these pictures illustrate how the intuitive explorations of a child could certainly help designers critique these invisible barriers as superfluous (crawling in a small space) to necessary (toilet explorations). –Caleb Mulvena, Studio Mapos


EDUCATOR: From the child's perspective the space seems full of possibility for exploration. The bold colors and arrangement of displays invites them in to touch and investigate. Smaller areas combined with open spaces draw the child to specific areas allowing them to become more intimately involved in the space and the displays. –Rachael Skinner, Special Educator and Conductor

PARENT: Wyatt has a natural curiosity and a knack for finding trouble -- hence the wires and the toilet. Wish I could say that seeing him doing this was isolated to the location, but it's actually an everyday occurrence. If it's dirty or dangerous, he's there. –Laura Kenney, Wyatt’s Mom

PHOTOGRAPHER: Child logic is curious; it literally marks the flow of curiosity. I often wonder what would happen if more people could be counted on to maintain the same level of curiosity into adulthood - would design then need to account for it in order to achieve sophistication? –Sarah Sloboda


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Limited Edition Prints Now on Sale

For some time now, people have been asking me about purchasing prints for home d├ęcor and as contemporary art for children's rooms. I am delighted to announce that you may now purchase limited edition prints through my online print shop, with prints starting at just $40.00. Perfect for matting and framing, these images were carefully curated for display at home, in the office, and in the nursery. Collections rotate monthly, and prints are issued in editions of 15, so be sure to place your today in order to stake your claim on your favorites.

Click here to view the current collection.


Know some art aficionados who might appreciate hearing about this deal? Share this tiny URL:

http://tinyurl.com/4hj6vxj

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holiday Cheer

Every year, I have the good fortune of helping families to spread holiday cheer by crafting portraits for their holiday cards. Below are a few of my favorites from 2010.

This triptych was a small tri-fold, and I thought the colors were so cheery! I also loved photographing Barney the dog.




This wonderful family splits their time between New York and Denmark, so it was important to them to capture the essence of their New York City home. They wanted to share an entire collection of photos that would serve to tell a slice-of-life story.


One of my absolute favorite shots of 2010 was this one of Cecilia playing in the leaves. Her mom, Suysel of Tilton Fenwick, is a veritable arbiter of taste, and mounted an actual photograph onto 600# cardstock with stunning letterpress on the front and beautiful, feathery design on the back.



I also thought it would be nice to share some of my personal holiday moments. My brother Stephen brought his cat Levan to my parents' home in Ohio, and Levan and I had a little shoot under the Christmas lights.







Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Every year, I make it a point to go and capture the light when the days are at their shortest. This year, it turned out to be a vibrant, sunny day, albeit very cold, and I strolled down a country lane in Ohio with my plastic twin-lens reflex camera capturing these shots.




Monday, November 29, 2010

You Don't Cut Your Own Bangs - Why Shoot Your Own Holiday Portrait?

When my sister was about seven, my mom decided to trim her bangs for her. But my sister couldn't hold still, and kept drooping her head further and further down, until... When she lifted her face, she had a spiky, fuzzy buzz cut framing her forehead!

I told this story to my hairstylist, Eric Carter, the last time I was in his chair, getting my own bangs trimmed. I was laughing hysterically in the telling, as big sisters do at a sibling's hilarious misfortune. But Eric was not amused! In fact, he was cringing, and visibly uncomfortable, and saying, "People shouldn't cut their own hair," as he carefully attended to mine with obvious skill and practice. That's when it dawned on me that I feel the same way when people talk about using their point-and-shoot vacation snapshots on their holiday cards.

Sure, the likes of holiday card print services such as Cocodot, Mango Ink and Tiny Prints will help make the most of a pic with their lovely, colorful designs. But a poorly angled, unsophisticated composition or inauthentic expression will not improve itself simply because there's a pretty box around it, any more than putting gel in my sister's hair would make her bangs grow back.

A customized family portrait shoot with an experienced, professional photographer who can tell your family's story visually goes a long way in elevating the loving attention that will come across in your holiday cards. Why is this important? It is the one time of year when despite the ups and downs of life and between family members, many of us aim to truly connect with our loved ones, and show them the appreciation and love we have in our own lives by sharing it with them. In a lot of instances, we are doing this remotely via our holiday cards, and following up with a phone call or visit. Or, sometimes, it's just the card that has to do all the work of sharing the subtleties our life's loves and joys.

We live in a culture inundated with images. It's easy to take for granted that what an image says to us is being universally conveyed. Because we see so many images that have been carefully crafted to convey their message, we assume that it is simply "imagery" itself that conveys messages. However, a lot of craft goes into getting an image to express what one wants the viewer to receive, and just pointing the camera at the subject is not enough to make people understand the profound love felt for that subject. The skill to create a loving feeling, inviting the viewer to connect to the subject of a photo, is something that professionals dedicate their lives to developing the ability to do consistently.

While I don't expect that everyone will know how to appreciate my own photographic work from a fine art standpoint, I do see how it reaches them, in that ethereal way that art does. People may not be able to describe it in words, but they'll hold your card in their hands a little longer. It will be the one on the fridge they stop and stare at. It will touch them. They will know that you invested in trying to reach out to them.

When you take the time to connect with the people in your life this holiday season, make it clear that you've put in the effort to share a deeply caring feeling, expressing the essence of who you are as a family. To do that, I recommend sending a carefully crafted memoir of your life, and I am happy to speak with you about how to do so -- just email me. By the way, feel free to use Cocodot, Mango Ink or Tiny Prints. Their designs will look that much better accentuating a stunning family portrait.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birth Annoucement Photography

Many of my clients ask me to come to their homes and photograph their babies when they are just weeks old, so that they can create a birth announcement featuring authentic images from the baby's first photo session. I wanted to share this particularly gorgeous design one of my clients found on Tiny Prints.

She used four different shots from my session with her, her first daughter, and the baby, to create this lovely arrangement.