Sunday, July 24, 2016

Not Alone - A Conceptual Piece


I have had the itch to get back to conceptual work for some time.

Recently, Brooke Shaden (photographer) posted a challenge on her blog called White Wall Challenge - "It is about taking that blank and boring wall and making it work for us." The challenge pulled at me because I have always wanted to do a conceptual piece inspired by the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper.

I had always been afraid to do it, because I consider myself a natural light photographer - and I haven't done any conceptual pieces without natural light - and the image I had in mind for this had to be shot without natural light. But when I read Brooke's challenge post, I thought, why not? What have I got to lose?

When my youngest sister came for a visit this weekend, I told her she had to model for me. At least if it turns out terrible, I can have a good laugh with my sister about it. 

So I gave her lots of her favorite drink (Dr. Pepper) and convinced her to let me let me do her hair (although the complained via SnapChat the entire time - teenagers! :P), and I dressed her in my old prom dress.

And then I put her against a wall in my bedroom.

And while it wasn't a white wall (the walls in my house are all this beige color), it still was a plain old wall. I moved a giant lamp I have in my bedroom off to the side of her and shot for maybe 8 minutes.

Out of the shots I got I fell in love with two images: I liked her body in one, and her right arm and the shadow in the other. Original two images:

I loved the shadow of her hand in this one - like she was holding hands with something in the wall. 



But I preferred her face/body in this image. 


So, I mixed the two images, made the frame larger, blended/cloned and added texture (amongst a few other edits).

And below is the end product, which I have entitled, Not Alone. It's a rather simple image. But it speaks volumes to me. I think the thing I love most about it is how the shadow of her hand makes it seem as though she is holding hands with something in the wall, and she looks at peace - not scared.


The challenge wasn't so bad...I think the idea of shooting indoors scared me more than it should have. Thanks Brook Shaden for always challenging and inspiring us - and thanks Liv for modeling for me.
 : ]

P.S. I am doing some more new pieces this summer, and I have a few friends who are helping me out with that in August/September - which I am pretty stoked about [more on that coming soon]. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cover Reveal - Bloody Acquisitions by Drew Hayes

Okay - so this is just not another vampire book...I promise. This is the latest in the Fred the Vampire Accountant series: Bloody Acquisitions.

Haven't read the others? That's okay. Drew Hayes won't hold it against you - well, I can't speak for him - but I can speak for myself, and trust me, you want to read these novels.

Check out this COVER!



What is happening in this one?

With a thriving parahuman accounting practice, a steady relationship, and a circle of trusted friends, Fred’s undead life has become more enjoyable than his normal one ever was. Unfortunately, it also seems that he’s no longer the only vampire to appreciate the up-and-coming city of Winslow, Colorado. A new clan of vampires is moving in, and they aren’t well known for tolerating outsiders in their territory.
Now, Fred must cope with the growing presence—and threat—of other vampires even as he struggles to keep up with his business’s demands and make time for his friends. Between hidden parahuman towns, crazed vampire hunters, quarreling mages, and the world’s least subtle spy, it will take all of Fred’s wiles just to keep his head above water. And as the new clan sinks their fangs deeper and deeper into his city, the undead accountant is faced with a choice between two equally unappealing options: flee his home, or stand against an entire clan of fellow vampires.


Why should you read this book? Because its author is bloody talented [yeah I said it]. He is also a fellow Texan - so you know I have to spread the love.

Author Bio:
Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.
Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Update: My Writing and Photography Worlds Collide


I have been doing these writing challenges with a close friend of mine. The other day, one of the questions was to pick a single word that describes your personality - and tell why you picked that word.

A single word swirled around in my mind - DETERMINED.

I think that describes me pretty well in all aspects of my life. Honestly, I don't like being told I can't accomplish something I want to because of my age, inexperience or sex - and that has always driven me. I want to learn - I want to grow. And whether it's successfully moving out on my own when I was younger, befriending a certain difficult family member, starting a photography business, writing a novel or moving up in the purchasing/contracting world - I want to prove to myself I can do it.

So when this certain idea popped into my head about a year(ish) ago, I have been determined to get it going. This year I have taken steps to move this new project forward.  What project you ask?

This fall I’ll be debuting a brand new website and blog, which I’m totally stoked about! I’m merging my two brands – photography (SPP) and writing (SPR) – into one fantastical brand. I just got a new logo created by the fabulously talented, Ashley Ruggirello.

How often do you tell someone hey, please mix my writing and my photography into one logo – oh and hey I really like peacocks – and you get this out of it:
Isn’t it just beautiful!? (I really recommend hiring her!) You will be seeing this logo on all my stuff starting this fall.

If you follow my writing posts, you are probably familiar with my first novel The Halves of Us (part I of a trilogy), but I have some other amazing projects. There will be more information about those on my new site, but I thought I would tease you a little bit here. I will be looking for some beta readers soon, so if you are interested please email me at sydneypaigerichardson@gmail.com.

Here are some brief summaries/pitches I have been working on for my WIPs (work in progresses):

The Chains that Bind – YA/FANTASY
16 year-old Kit escapes her angry, drunk father by making a wish – only to find herself thrust into a magical world at war, populated by Jinn – and her true identity is at the center of it all.

The Girl from Below – YA/FANTASY
Averie has always lived thousands of miles below the surface of her home planet. Until something rare is found in her blood, and she is torn away from her family only to end up hunted by the government.  

Out of Reach – NA/SCI-FI
Emma’s past, present and future collide when three strangers appear on her doorstep, trying to convince her they are from the future where she has been kidnapped in the middle of an art heist.

DreamLand Park – NA/SCI-FI
DreamLand Park allows those who have terminal illness to be put to rest in a blissful sleep until their demise – with one catch: your dreams are on display for the world to see. But what happens after the client’s die, and the machine is still recording?


I can't wait to share more about these projects and some conceptual photos I did centered around my book currently out on submission to publishers/editors, The Halves of Us. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Megan & Jerry - Huntsville, TX State Park Wedding

If you have ever met the Picket's, you know that they invite you into their lives and into their family.
So, when Megan first contacted me about photographing her wedding - I was beyond thrilled. I knew how much love was going to be at this wedding and I couldn't wait to capture it.
Texas has had some unbelievable weather lately, and this day wasn't any different. But rain didn't stop family and friends of Megan and Jerry to gather together and celebrate.
Jerry's, and his family, are the perfect match to Megan and the Picket's. These families were made to join together and I was happy to join them on this day.
Here are some of my favorites from the day, I hope you love! : ]