Do you love the busy, hustle and bustle before
Christmas? The secret gift shopping… the scent of extra yummy cookies greeting
you at the front door of your home… the kitschy music in each and every single
store you enter? I always loved it. The whole excitement. The anticipation of
home, of family and all reunited.
But some things have changed. Have altered my
feelings towards this merry holiday in such away that I some days wished the day would not come or I could jump some
weeks ahead and leave skip it. You see Christmas like no other holiday is about
family and being all happily together. But what do you do, if … if families are
not together anymore…? If, I dare say it, if they crumble … fall apart. Well
then this time of year is probably not your friend. And I want to be real and
honest. I have very mixed feelings about Christmas. I love it and I dread it.
On life... humans... God´s creation and how it´s all tied together. This verse came into my head while I was thinking about my purpose. Do you know these days? When you come to a halt in your strain of thoughts and ponder upon your purpose? Your worth...
Since my friends Lena and Simeon knew how much I would love to have some images from Behind the lens, from the hustle and bustle and me at work... they were kind enough to shoot some images my way. Those following were taken by friends. Really cool!!
Today I have no words of wisdom or beauty for you.
It´s a cold wintery Friday and we are about to have our own little party tonight. Just the roommates. While I run around the apartment, throw around paper, ribbons, lights and the such one of my roomies is stuck in her last exam session.
So here is to a jolly mix of creative chaos and study atmosphere at home:
One year ago in November I decided to get involved in the Bloggosphere and bring my images closer to you.
One year and 133 Blog posts, infinite FB posts, and lots of hours written away later... we are here.
Yes WE. Because without you stopping by, reading and commenting, this would not have been possible. So Thank you! Yes YOU! You, who are reading this. I´m ever so glad for people even looking on my Blog, my work and my love. For love, beauty and the sheer marvelousness of life.
One of the things I truly enjoy about my
sessions is the part of planning. Just recently a client asked for some outfit
tips and I was very eager to help her out with a couple ideas. So if you would
like to meet up for a portrait shoot, an engagement shoot or any other shoot
with me or another photographer, here are my thoughts on the topic.
1)Wear something you like. I think it´s
absolutely crucial for the outcome of the images that you feel good in your
2)Bring on some color! I loooove to
see some color in outfits, they make the best images EVER. Even on the most overcast day some strong colors make most images pop. If you opt for a couple session I recommend not to
over match the outfits. Who can truly say that they wear the same shirt and
pants as their partner?
3)Prepare more than one outfit. I love
me some change during the session and I always ask my clients if they would
like to have an outfit change. This of course is optional. But I would soooo
badly love to see someone going wild with their outfits.For example: outfit no 1. Classy, elegant
outfit no 2. Sportive, relaxed.
4)The last advice is a very personal
one. I do not like to limit the choice of anybody but I would avoid clothes
with these really thin stripes… they make your eyes all fuzzy and the image not
exactly quiet. I also do not like huge prints, again a personal preference, since
I think they take attention away from the main object, which is you.
During the last days I felt like running in
circles. My mind was repeating endlessly the same thoughts all over again.
Sometimes we females are like that. Thoughts, worries, options all jumbled up
in my tiny head without a goal or a use or a conclusion.
To be honest I felt trapped in my own head. So,
as I came across the pictures from a lovely walk in the vineyard I remembered
something Jesus had said.
the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will
bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (…)”
I have mentioned it before and I will say it again. During my past year in Bella Italia, the one thing I truly missed in my day to day life was my Crusade group. Yes, this wonderful group of people all steering into the same direction. Not till I had stumbled upon them did I really arrive in Bavaria. They made me feel welcome. Suddenly weekends were not to long but to short. Every single week there is something going on. Never alone. I adored that new feeling as I moved to Bavaria the first time in 2010.
I love the fact that there are young students who believe in God and profoundly care about the gospel and about sharing it.
As I came back in October I was sheerly overwhelmed at how this group had exploded. The amount of people suddenly squeezing into the room had doubled.
I found this quote on Jasmine´s FB page and I loved it. She quoted her Dad.
It touched me because I´m often not willing to let go, even if I pray about one thing or the other. I want to hold onto things which I cannot even influence. Which are not up to me. Maybe you feel the same sometimes. I want to better myself.
The last post was like a settle in post I realized now I should really brag about all the wonderful things I love here. Things which are great about being back. Or for my Blog: The good things of being here in the first place. I never have written my Blog from this spot of the earth before. Since I started out writing in November from Tuscany.
1) People.walk.places. I loved the super crowded city center on Saturday. It was hard to cross the famous, ancient bridge, because of the sheer crowd. Lovely, this makes this place a teeny tiny bit more like messy Italia and I love it.
2) Vineyards paved all around town. Tons of grapevines in beautiful rows.
3) Beautiful not to high hills all around town (even if they are not shaped as soft and beautiful as Tuscan hills) :)
4) Walking along the river at night, with all the city lights reflecting in the water. Or having a bit of moving water in the city in the first place.
Some time ago I wrote about a real cool concept
to get started. $hitty first drafts is
for writers who want to get things perfect the very first time. If you follow $hitty
first drafts you just don’t need to get
things done right the first time. You write things down however good they might
get the first try. And then you write again, and if you are not satisfied you
write it again. Today was like this, just as in the whole day was like a first all
I left my quiet family, country life and moved
back to the city where I study. Not the one in Tuscany… the one in Bavaria. That
is also the reason it was so quite the last days on the Blog and on Facebook.
So maybe I forgot to blog ahead and prepare for messy things to come. (cross
out the maybe!) I shall better myself.
So today I felt out of place. The usual
overwhelming feeling of first days. I felt quiet, shy, insecure… all the good
things :) and I felt embarrassed. Of my very loud laugh. You see, if you would
meet me in a group of Italian and Spanish friends, I would be the girl with the
very thin, shy voice. But here I laugh out loud once and all the heads turn in
a silent stare.
The raindrops outside my office are quietly sliding
down and since some time now I´m marveling about how to start out this post.
Today the drops are not banging against the window, they are quiet, almost
secretive and I am listening to something… Friday
I´m in love and I think I just want to get the muffins in the oven. Since you know it´s Friday. Which means muffin
Four years ago there was not a single week I
did not spent some heart to heart time with her. We saw each other on such a
regular basis that it was impossible to imagine our lives without all the
sharing and all the giggling. All the late night talks and staring at the stars
on our terrace.
It´s October friends!
Today October hit full force. The wind was so stormy that some moments during the evening walk I thought I might be lifted off the ground. Or worse Mara... her long ears dangling dangerously in the wind.
After staring into the fast moving clouds till we all felt dizzy and a new-wave-hair-make-over on my side we climbed down the hill. On my way home I found a walnut tree and thus, oh happy, collected some walnuts. I felt a bit like Scratch (Ice Age) just that I did not hammer my front teeth into the glacier.
Now I wish you the nicest octoberish kind of weekend and hope my walnuts taste good even without being chased across the icebergs.
It´s morning, I´m on the terrace, sitting on
the swing and Mara is curled at my feet, soaking in the soft October sun.
It´s a holiday in Germany, German Unity Day and I love to take
this day to remember some things.
You see twenty three years ago the wall which
divided east and west Germany came down and now I just cannot picture my life
without all the change the peaceful revolution has brought to Germany. No it´s
impossible to imagine our lives without all the freedom we have, all the goods
we can purchase. I always enjoy sharing today with people with whom it would
have been impossible so many years ago. I mean in a geographical kind of sense.
“"The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!”
It was Friday at lunch. We had just giggled
over the last joke and munched down some of our thai food, as Conny mentioned
this one big fine tree. She had seen it on her way into the city. Sitting on
one very green lawn surrounded by just green trees. A super magnificent yellow
autumn beauty. As soon as she mentioned it, it sounded like the most perfect
place to end our session. We finished our delish rice and strolled through some
narrow streets before heading to the park. Oh my heart could not have asked for
a better place, a better tree, or better light. It was perfection topped off with
a very gorgeous Conny.
Maybe I went a little wild, laughed and
galloped (I think running is lame) around her like crazy… till a nearing haymaking
machinery (yes) forced me to let Conny know of the vehicle. And she thought I
made a joke.
I have been wondering about this for quite some time.
Not for you but just for myself. You know. How to get down with all the
pictures floating around. How to optimize my work process. If you have been
following this Blog super close you will
realize that I tried to write a similar
post a couple of months ago. I took it down. It was not where I wanted it to
be. And then, yesterday I reada post by
Mary on $hitty First Drafts. Yeah, you read that right. Now, you see, very
often when I need something getting done and we push it away…
I argue Oh I could not start this project, I haven´t
found someone to coop with me yet. Or Ähm,
I could not start the new page yet, I´m undecided about the color scheme.
Yes. I do it ALL the time. $hitty First Drafts is an
idea to write down a very vague first draft to take the pressure away from
getting it right the first time. I friggin´ love this idea! And I´m sorry I put
an unfinished post right in your face! I am trying to do better. Promise.
Here is what I do behind the lens. Here is how I work
around a portrait session and I know it´s not perfect. It´s not gold. BUT if
just one single person finds this helpful I am mighty happy to share!
If you roll different or have a question shoot away in
the comment section!
Thinking the whole process over again I realized there are three parts
you can divide a session in. 1. Preparation 2. Shooting 3. Post processing
It was this one week in February. One day I had
called my Mom and told her that by the same time tomorrow I would be in town. I
took a train, from Siena/ Tuscany to the middle of Germany, sat still for
seventeen hours and as my Dad picked me up from the train station I was more
than ready to go home. I had not been home for quite a while since last
Christmas was my first one overseas.
It was due. I needed home. This was the same
week her first mail arrived. She asked me if I were in Siena at the end of the
week. She wanted to meet me and have a café. She sounded friendly. Sweet. But
you have to know I never met Amy before. She had read a comment I had made on
her wedding, which was photographed by Sarah (Ampersand Photography) and was curious. She found my
Blog, liked it and decided to ask for a meeting. I was overjoyed! And in the
It was just their luck. This one week they were
visiting me in Tuscany it had been raining every. Single. Day. We had just been
hiding out in an absolute elegant cafè and took the one rain-free-hour to
stroll around this little mountain village, somewhere tucked away in the Tuscan
hills. Them being my brother, his fiancée and a friend. And as it sometimes
happens in those tiny places everyone is exploring a bit on their own. At one point close to the market square, my
brother was walking into one of these ancient courts along the main street to
have a great panorama view into the valley. I was following up, because I
thought better look out for him, I don´t want anybody to get lost here in a
country they don´t understand a single syllable in. We were taking in the
dramatic view with storm clouds and hills and wind as a young gentleman came
into the court and closed the main entrance.
No biggy, I will talk to him, maybe he did not
see us. So I approached him in my most charming way to reopen those doors, but he
just said, no, you can go through the cellar.
Alright, how long could it possibly take to walk out onto main street through
his cellar, right? So we started to climb down the thick, rough stone stairs,
as the young man also locked the cellar´s door.
This picture was taken at the very first wedding I photographed.
I just adored the tiny notes from the groom all over the brides accessories. While being with her I saw how her face lit every time she found a new tiny note while she was getting ready. In every piece of her wardrobe was hidden somehting like You look gorgeous, Can´t wait, and the one above say´s See you soon!
Lately I had this awkward feeling that I know Italia soo much better than the country of my parents and decided to drive to Berlin. This was infinitely sweetened by the presence of my dear roomy from Italy.
Lesson learned. Last week I attended the first
workshop in Germany and besides being over the moon about the good company, I
was thrilled to learn new things. Here are some I want to print in my heart and
share with you.
Little gifts ~ arriving at the location and
settling into our seats around the table, each and every participant had a cute
mint or red note book in front of them. It was a personalized product with both
names Desmond & Antonia engraved. Now, this was tiny. BUT it created an
instant appreciation in the person receiving the little gift. I totally loved it. Now I´m thinking up my own
plans how I could create such cute extra attentions.
I was pondering about this day and these words
for some seemingly endless time. I had counted nineteen trains and an infinite
number of clock strikes from the church next to our backyard. There was no use
getting sleep anymore. So if you don´t like personal stories stop right here
and read no further.
I squeezed my lavender cushion one last time
and got up. This wasn´t some wedding Saturday. This was another day. My
grandfathers funeral in our family. I despise this day and all it carries. But
there is no use in doing so, because we all know there will be days like this. We are all aware of the
fact that time has a limit on this earth and no one can name it.
This day! This wonderful day. I had waited for
quite some months now. I didn´t know when it would come around and with whom
but, I knew I wanted to make it happen this year.
I remember watching one of Justin&Mary´s
workshops right after new years and I scribbled in my notebook reaching out to German/European fellow
photographers. You know, like getting to know them, meeting them,
exchanging experience, chatting on. Till some months ago I was always writing
with American artists but since I live on the European continent it was only
making sense getting to know some locals. So I was over the moon and super
thrilled as yesterday finally rolled around and I made it to Antonia’s and
Dear hopeless dreamers, positive thinkers and
Dear Friends and Italy lovers!
(I hope all are included in this greeting :)
Yesterday was the day! I´m sooooooo exciteeeed
(focus good girl, focus). So yesterday late at night, I was checking back on my
blog and going for the statistics as I saw a new magical number on my account!!
I am very happy and just kinda psyched to announce the 10.000 visitor has been
on the Blog yesterday!
... as they turn into rose clouds while the sun sets.
"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." ~ Matt 8, 23-26
It was the evening before I drove to Germany
for one of my last weddings. I was running through all of Siena, because I
wanted to find a crystal, bling or what ever big chunk manageable, which could
reflect some light. I had seen something new in one of my workshops and was
desperate to try this reflection thingy. After a good dozens of shops and a
handful of very puzzled shop owners I stopped at the second hand store in my
street. I had pocked in innumerable amount of times and was happy to see the
owners face. As I explained my quest she was she once more looked back
helpless. As I told her for what I was needing this weird items she was
interested right away. Oh, a photographer!
Paolo did you hear that? She turned to her friend sitting on the step to
her little shop playing with her daughter. His tiny eyes blinked to me from
under a funny hat and they quizzed me about the projects I was doing.
Yesterday I was quite upset. After
reading the third photographers blog in a row who had been talking about the beginning of autumn. NOO!! Not yet. Just
because Starbucks was about to launch their famous pumpkin spice latte. No
thank you, it´s the middle of august! The same yesterday, I was taking Mara for
a walk and as we were about to turn into our street I spotted it!
We closed the car doors behind us, the after
sunset chill was settling in. It was quiet, no one to be found. We started
searching the grounds till we found the very first sister. Yes you read that
right. I had agreed to come with my family to one week on “vacation”. Which
meant, working half a day, each day, to help out some sisters in the north of
Germany, volunteer work if you will. After five minutes I was seriously doubting
my decision to come all the way up here.
While growing up I always had a minimum amount
of four or five cushions in my bed. Because I loved building comfortable,
snugly places. I like things cozy.
Coziness… this brings me to our new Blog on Behind the lens. My tip is a matter of
style and taste.It can put emphasis on
details you like. It can add extra dept to your images… It´s my new favorite
adjustment while using manual mood.
So, what is it? A phenomenon to blur out the
background, to have only a small range on focus in your images. I like to
create an “atmosphere” with this adjustments. You can also use it to blur out unwanted
obstacles in the background when doing portraits.
How to get there: first of all you have to find
the manual mode on your camera. If you have questions about the different
modes, you can check out this blogpost. When you adjust your two main numbers for the manual mode (time and
aperture) you want to keep the aperture as low as you can. Here are the fixed
lenses especially handy because they usually have a wider aperture than the
zoom lenses. When you have the aperture very low, you have to adjust the time
and maybe even the ISO according to the light situation in front of you.
If you open the lens as wide as I did in first
of the images I put together for this post, the picture might appear out of focus.
Which it really is not, instead just a very limited amount in this picture is
on focus. Here you see how I blurred out the pearls of the necklace in the background
and how the reflection in the evening light turned into these little balls.
This exact blur in the background and abstraction of forms is called Bokeh. See that comfy feel bokeh
creates! Yessss. I love it, because like I said, I like things cozy! :)
Finally they are here!! I am soooo excited to
share the promised pictures from my shooting with Lena and Simeon! We had the
most awesome time as finally the clouds parted. You can see the first post from
their wedding right here. After a very spontaneous down poor as we were about
to shot the group picture in the afternoon and about one hundred drenched
guests I was just about to write off the sunset shoot… really as you may
remember from the last wedding, my new favorite way to end a wedding day.
can´t quite put into words how I did a mega huge dance inside of me as the dark
and dramatic clouds parted just one more time that day! That´s why I choose
some new awesome sunset pictures to share this beauty with you!
It was late at night and my soon-to-be sister
and I were on our way home. We passed by a Gelateria and as my eyes fell on all
the chairs and tables left outside well past closing hours I thought by myself…
how stupid are they?! People are so naive. One split second later it crossed my
mind that I am not in Italy anymore and that leaving all the chairs outside at
night is what people do around here… I am soooo slow. Haha.
I am just saying that not even park benches
where safe at times… (from not being carried away, or into someone’s home)
SOOO here is to a new relaxed Friday! Have a
great weekend wherever you are!
We were driving down the winding country road
and it seemed as if the dark blue and grey clouds hunted us. The sky turned
darker and darker, occasional lightings flashing their warning across the
heaven. I hastily carried my bags into the house and as we closed the door
behind us, thunder had arrived right here. Clouds broke loose and with each
giant drop my hope for my beloved outdoor pictures sunk. It was a Saturday
morning and a wedding Saturday come with that. Never in my life as a
photographer and as a rather frequent guest at weddings had a day begun with a
storm like that. No, this was a new first.
This wonderful young and relaxed wedding day was
not just for you, Lena and Simeon an adventure! Thank you so very much for
asking and entrusting me with the documentation of your love! It has been my
pleasure! As I scouted the house and garden for a back up place for the
shooting my stomach growled at me nervously and I concentrated on doing one
thing after another. You have no clue how happy I was as the clouds parted
after Lena´s hair was pinned up and her dress on! This was too good to be!! Not
to mention the super fabulous sun set light we were surprised with after
another downpour later in the evening.
This week was all about packing, panicking, driving, unpacking, coming home, leaving again and getting settled in.
One thing I instantly appreciated was the German Autobahn! Nothing like it! But staring at the countryside for the better part of a day some days back I realized how organized the fields, trees and even the woods seem. Oh my. It´s going to take some time to arrive fully back in this country of accurateness, but who said it´s gonna be easy. :)
As I left home and prepared for the next wedding (YAY!) Mom came hurrying after me and asked, Do you have enough shoes? Three pairs will do for one day, right? Haha.
We had just ordered in my favorite restaurant in Siena, the warm evening
air brushed against our skin and my friend Louisa turned to me and Ela. But
seriously how long do you know each other? Ahm... we stared at each other,
starting to count the years in silent... really? I did not quite remember the
first time we meet or talked but we came up with... mhh, something like
fourteen years... whaaat? We stared at each other in disbelieve and started to
giggle again. Yes for these two minutes I felt old, haha. So here you have it:
my very last visit in Siena by my childhood friend Ela.
We toured Siena and
Rome, had our wonderful long talks and as we came across this tiny street while
the good light sneaked along the streets I insisted to do a Mini- Session and
catch some of the rose and orange reflection on the cobbled stone. Ela stared
at me again, really Rici here? This is a good spot? But look for yourselves and
enjoy the beauty!!
I am very happy to have had some minutes to catch these moments with you