Category Archives: Rants

Convention Review

This past week has been a whirlwind. I spent four days in NYC for a conference, had to escape the city by rented car and ride all night back home (11 hour trip) then said goodbye to a former flame and close friend as he moves to another state, found out my dad had a heart attack (he’s fine, but has to have a few procedures done), and went out Wednesday to celebrate Halloween, and still managed to get up and go to work. I’ve been trying to digest all that’s happened, but I think I need some tums.

First thing I want to say is that there was this little storm that hit the East coast, knocking out power, destroying homes, and even killed a few people. Thousands of Americans have been living in shelters, and millions have been affected in some form or another. I was nearly trapped in NYC in an area that was flooded and lost power (yeah, Greenwich Village, how crazy is that?), and I feel for everyone from the airports staying in homeless shelters and wishing they could be home. Please donate $10 to the Hurricane Sandy fund at the Red Cross.  Or donate your time and resources in some other way.

That said, I attended the PDN PhotoPlus convention in NYC last weekend. I had a blast, my liver can attest to that, and I’d like to take this entry to talk a little about the convention. I feel conventions can be broken up into 5 parts: Vender Expo, Seminars, Meetings, Portfolio Reviews, and Parties. I’ll cover the first two here, and the last one in a second entry of its own. The other two are pretty boring.

Vender Expo:

The first priority for any attendee at a vender expo is to get ALL THE FREE SHIT THAT YOU CAN! Free shit from pdn

This does not include the sick lens cloth I got on a keychain. It’s so baller I’ve already attached it to a camera bag. and yes, you see some FREE FILM (who doesn’t love that?) from Kodak. It’s Portra 400, from the Kodak stand at the expo and desperately needs to be shot.. Great for shooting in a studio situation, and I’m going to try to do a few portraits in the next couple weeks, so it’ll be perfect. Don’t be too jealous of my metal water bottle and chocolate covered espresso beans and paperclip keeper. I don’t know why i need the paperclip keeper, but I thank Drive Savers Data Recovery for giving it to me.

Untitled

The next step is, if the Print File guys are present, go buy something from them. I have tons of storage boxes from expos that cost me $5 a pop. This year I spend a whopping $2 on negative holders for 35mm film that hold 36 negative, INSTEAD OF 35, WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. I really hate having one image leftover. stupid. But yes, shopping is a must. Venders have all kinds of great deals on gadgets you never knew you needed. You also need to test all the fancy cameras you can’t afford and play with gear you have no need for. What I hated about this expo, is that all the venders thought they’d use pretty, young women as models to test cameras. They tap danced, and sat on motorcycles, and walked around wearing bikinis, and, most disgustingly, they were painted with G-strings and pasties. What the fuck, PDN? I didn’t want to spend so much money to go to what was essentially, a strip club. I’m probably going to write a letter of complaint. Unique Photo provided those girls, so don’t give them your business, if you respect women.

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Seminars:

My favorite seminar may have been Cristina Mittermeier’s on “Giving Purpose to your Work.” She founded iLCP and continues to be a photographer for the organization. I was blown away by the work, and the sense of mission behind everything that the organization does. She talked about finding a couse you feel deeply about, and how to use photography to fight for it. She inspired me. I know her deal is environmentally driven, but I kept thinking about what we’ve been wanting to do as KodakKerouacs, and how to really give meaning to the presentation of our work. Please check her out.

Lauren Greenfield does excellent work. Thin changed the way I thought about eating disorders and my body in a life-changing way. I will see The Queen of Versailles . But her seminar of photography and filmmaking was more of a plug for her films than anything useful for the attendees. It was all over the place, and the longest two hours of the whole trip. waste. I’ve heard her speak before, and I recall it being much better and less tedious, but this was hugely dissimilar.

Another good seminar of note was done by Andrew Hetherington and Monte Isom. They are extremely personable, and both have blogs. Andrew was hilarious, and gave very smart advice on networking and photo contests, and Monte displayed how eloquently FOCUSED he is. Andrew inspired me to work on my style and portfolio, Monte inspired me to make a hundred spreadsheets and start calling every good photographer and publisher and magazine and….. Moral of the story: be focused and postion yourself to get lucky.

Stay tuned for my entry on Art and partying in the big city. You might learn something of value!

 

 


I welcome you to the 49 states of America

Well at the rate I edit and upload videos, you’d be waiting another two weeks to get the next one. Valerie and I just talk so much and they end up being very looooong videos. And people have very short attention spans, so it takes a while to edit them. So I’ll entertain you with an update on our lives. Because lets be honest, I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seat wondering what these wild and crazy girls have been up to. 

I’ll tell you,

For the past several weeks, we’ve been editing our photos like there’s no tomorrow. I know I’ve said that before, but it really is very laborious. After scanning all day, I usually have one or two rolls of 35mm done. Double that if its 120 film. And I shot 98 rolls of film.

But we’ve also had an exciting and promising last few weeks as well.

If you’ve typed in www.kodakkerouacs.com you’ve already noticed that Valerie and I got our website up (woo hoo!)
It took longer than it should have; neither one of us were successful at persuading a graphic designer to help us so we panicked for awhile until we finally made a good site.
But in the end, I think it was worth all the stress and nail biting. We now look professional!! Don’t worry, we still don’t act professional.
When you look at it (and I know you will, because you love our photos and can’t wait to see more) you will notice that not all of our work is up yet. It will be. Soon.

We also had a meeting with a reporter from Creative Loafing. If you don’t have one in your city, it’s an alternative newspaper that is free (awesome, who doesn’t like free?) and basically showcases cool local people, places, and things. Like musicians or artists (Hey thats us!)

She liked us a lot.
-Who doesn’t?
Hopefully we’ll have something in the works in October. She would publish us now, but the DNC is coming to our town in September so every newspaper, website, magazine, television station, and strip club owner is obsessed with the influx of politicians, interns, and future Monica Lewinskies.
Should make for some good photos ops though…

As for today, Valerie and I are going out exploring. We realized that neither one of us has ever designed a book, and if its anything like a website then we have some researching to do. It really only involves going to book stores and looking at other photography books, but I believe there will be coffee involved. We’re aiming to have that together, published and printed by September, October by the latest.

Yes, its ambitious. But thats how we roll.

Balls to the wall.

Here’s a little something to keep your satisfied til we get another Camera Talk video up. Please don’t take offense Shannon.

-M


Geese

Okay, I know I already posted today, but I have a short little story to tell that I forgot about.

Yesterday I was driving up to Hobby Lobby (because crafting is a lifestyle) when I was blocked by a goose. The goose walked in front of my car and was all “whatever dude” and sat down. Now, at this point I could have spun around him fairly easily, but I was right at the entrance to the parking lot and I thought “I better scare him off so someone doesn’t speed around behind me and make goose pancakes.” So I honk to scare him away. Apparently my car’s version of “get out of my way” is actually “FUCK YOUR MOM” in goose, so he stood up and started viciously attacking my tires! This is not my first dealing with a goose. A gaggle of them tried to encircle me and kill me for my potato chips once in college (I have witnesses). I know that this little shit could puncture my tires and probably puncture me if I faced him myself, so I did what any self-respecting girl would do. I grabbed my umbrella.

cue old west soundtrack and tumbleweeds.

I step out of my car, umbrella in hand. The goose turns and we face each other. I draw first, pointing my weapon at him and opening the umbrella like God unleashing a great hurricane. He is terrified and flees from the scene and I chase him around the car, wielding my umbrella as both a shield and a weapon, until the goose is safely settled by a tree.

It was only upon my return to my car that I noticed my audience, a woman who had parked her car nearby to watch and a couple others waiting for the show to end before they pulled out of the parking lot themselves. A woman rolled down her window and said “You really made him mad!” “All for his own good.” I replied and drove off into the sunset that was the craft store.

I fucking hate geese.

-V


She’s a maniac, MANIAC (passed out) on the floor

Well, I can honestly say that yesterday was just another manic Monday.

I took off the weekend to hang out with my cousin, which was apparently a mistake. I get back to my apartment Sunday, and I have a billion emails reminding me how I’ve neglected the blog and how everyone else on the web managed to make several blog entries. Way to guilt trip me wordpress.
And then Val calls me and reminds me that we have a long way to go on making our trip a reality. She started talking about money and sponsors and by the end of the conversation my heart was racing, my head was pounding and I’m quite sure I looked like a zombie who’s been told that the apocalypse was cancelled.

And to top it all off, I’ve been stress eating which hasn’t yielded the best results. I wish I could be one of those bitches who gets so stressed that they lose weight. Then I’d welcome stress with shaky arms and a racing heart.

It’s a good thing. I mean, I don’t want to say I’ve been sitting back and letting shit just pile up. But other people would say that. Valerie making me into a neurotic zombie was what I needed. A good fire lit under my ass to get me going. Now, I’m still totally stressed. But the fact that I’m writing an entry will  hopefully stop the train of thought that is speeding through my head.

We’ve made lists. Because we need lists. Lots of lists. I need organization and balance. Two things I’ve yet to master, but now is as good a time as any. We’re writing letters, contacting companies, and basically shopping for sponsors for our trip. If you happen to be a CEO or best friends with a CEO who is interested in supporting two fabulously talented girls with old cameras and filthy mouths, PLEASE give us a call!!! Or just check out our Kickstarter page.

Also check out this cool link.

Here is a photo of cute kittens

-M

It's all worth it in the end


$%#@!

Well I think that pretty much sums it all up.

I feel like I’m back in school. Pulling all-nighters, constantly flowing coffee pots, extremely loud and incredibly close alarm clocks, tensions running high, deadlines running late. But it will all be worth it when we are done.

We have been working nonstop for the past two weeks on our Kickstarter proposal. We finally had all the rewards finalized and wrote our statement and bios.
***Ughh I hate writing bios. They’re almost as bad as artist statements. Isn’t art supposed to express what words can’t? Why do I make it, if you insist on having me write/speak about it?***

Our video seemed flawless. In fact, after we had edited the video again and again and finally came up with something we both were pretty proud of, Valerie wrote me an email in which she expressed her sentiments:

“There will be a special crack in the surface of the earth’s crust from the artistic beauty of our proposal and video.”
I live in California. Next morning, I was woken up by my bed shaking from a 4.0 earthquake. GOOGLE IT. YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT SHIT UP.

After that sign sent from above, or rather below, we were even more confident about our endeavors. We filled out the forms on the Kickstarter website and then previewed our proposal before we clicked “submit” Once you click, you can’t do shit.
Oh no. Fuck. The video doesn’t sync with the sound. OF COURSE.
Valerie and I (well, really Valerie. She like the AV whisperer) have spent the past two days/nights trying different ways to compress and export the video so that everything works. Still doesn’t, but have no fear. We did not come this far to fail! FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. (Don’t you just love Apollo 13?)

So long story short, we are so close, SO CLOSE to finishing our proposal. Valerie is currently taking a break and having some coffee. She warned me if she didn’t take a break, “I will have an insane screaming fit and have to go to an asylum. ” Artists are supposed to go crazy after they get famous, not before. But we have been known to differ from the norm.

We will post an exclamatory and celebratory entry when we’ve fixed the problem. Expect it and the link to our proposal in the next few days. Until then, keep your fingers crossed that Valerie and I do not become the newest members at the North Carolina State Psychiatric Facility.

-M


Why I Love the Word Fuck

It has been brought to my attention many, many, many times that I have an affinity for swearing. More specifically, for the word fuck.

I can’t help it. I fucking love all swear words, but especially that one. And honestly, I don’t know why I have to be sorry for it or try to curb my appalling language. True I use it quite often, but to be fair it is sincere every time I say it. I’m not one of those people who uses it so liberally that it has lost its shocking but enticing feel.

Why do I love this word?

Well for one thing, it is so versatile. Unlike other swear word such as shit or damn you can use fuck in every situation. Really. EVERY situation.
Damn and shit are great words, and I use them in appropriate circumstances, but their use is limited. Damn, for instance, can only be used with glee (Hot Damn!) or anger (damn you!), and is pretty low on the profanity scale.

**If there were a profanity scale, ranging from 1-11, damn would qualify in the 1-3 zone, and shit would be around 5-7, depending on the usage. Shit alone is probably a 5, but “cocksucking shitbag” would merit a 7, or possible even an 8**

Unlike damn, shit is usually said with a feeling of only anger or frustration. “That test is today? Shit!” Or if  you’ve bumped your foot on the corner of the table, then its usually “SHIT!”

Fuck, however. Oh fuck. Its wonderful. Its lovely. Its magical. It conveys every feeling on the emotional rainbow and can be used as a multitude of grammatical structures. It expresses pain, sadness, happiness, frustration, and lust. Hence, the versatility.
PLUS it can be modified into a whole assortment of words. Fucking, fucker, fuckest, fuckyer, and even added into words like rifuckingdiculous or fanfuckingtastic.

Whenever someone uses fuck, you know they mean business. It adds  passion and emphasis to whatever you’re saying. Sure, “I fell down the stairs and broke my foot over the weekend” tells someone that you had an accident and have now incapacitated yourself. But saying “Fuck, I fell down the stairs and broke my fucking foot” adds the pain and anger you feel about your accident.

To my mother who is worried that I might not be able to find myself a means of employment due to my vulgar mouth, I’d like to point out that George Carlin made a career out of using profanity. Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television made him a household name. Rest in fucking peace my man.

Additionally, I’ve heard that Julie Andrews has quite the mouth, swearing like a sailor according to her co-stars. And that bitch can make anything seem classy. Kudos to you Julie. Go on with your Mary Poppins badass self.

If you were too lazy to read this article, here is a video recap.

-M


HEY GIRL!

Damn you went shopping this weekend too? Same shit, different states.

For the record, I don’t think we have a problem. I love shopping. My bank account would disagree with me, however I have not asked for his opinion on this matter. (Yes I consider my bank account a man)
But like Valerie, I too visit the land of thriftiness and discarded junk. I always arrive skeptical and leave amazed.
Today for instance, I was introduced to the White Elephant Sale. My aunt and uncle  introduced me to this fantastic gathering of STUFF. LOTS AND LOTS OF STUFF. Provided by the wonderful residents of Oakland. The museum of Oakland asks for donations of STUFF for about 5 months and collects it in a HUGE warehouse and then unleashes it to the public. They have EVERYTHING. Toys, music, cameras, clothes, mugs, golf clubs, hats, dressers, china and a slightly disturbing amount of mismatched socks (Really? I know they’re marked 25 cents, but you could shell out the $2 for a brand new pair)

And people are crazy for STUFF. I saw two elderly women fighting over a three foot plastic Santa Claus. Calm yourselves ladies. Sure he’s big and red and smells faintly like broken dreams and cookies, but I’m sure the wooden nutcracker would be just as enjoyable in your living room.
I was skeptical, I admit. I thought I had seen enough garage sales and junk yards to consider myself a semi-expert on such matters. I was wrong. It blew my mind.

I mean, where else would I have been able to see this ingeniousness that was clearly the work of MacGyver?

But...where will Barbie put all of her shoes?

Anyway, they had a really good photography selection. Among the countless slide carousels and empty photo albums, I scored with 5 disposable cameras for a buck apiece. Now two expired in 2009, which kind of sucked, one was slightly better with 2005 following with  2001 and then…jackpot. A Kodak disposable camera expired in 1995! Boo Ya!!! The cashier warned me that these cameras had the chance to have photos with the color slightly off, since they had all expired. I was like, “Bitch I HOPE they’re all off! If I develop these cameras and the photos all have normal coloration then I’m going to be very disappointed.”
These cameras will most definitely be used on the road trip. I’ll let you guys know how they turn out.

This was another important find. His name is Gordon. And he will be entertaining guests at my sister’s upcoming graduation

Circa 1976. Damn they don't make them like this anymore.

Other finds were 3 photography books and a teen magazine from 1972 with Donny Osmond on the cover.

Well I had to buy it. How else was I supposed to find out his secret?

Moral of the story?  Never underestimate giant garage sales with tons of other people’s stuff. Always a win.

-M

 


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