Photography Five: Miscellaneous

By Christina Marie, age 17, Louisiana
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph. Richard Avedon said this, and while I don't know exactly who he is I could not agree more. When you take a picture, you are putting yourself into it - that picture is you and the model is simply your method of expression.

Every month I will include five photos from five different photographers on Each batch of photos will be categorized under one topic; some topics may be the same from month to month, some may be nothing. As an amateur photographer and a lover of the trade, I think it's necessary to share with people what other people have worked so hard (and so easily) to do.

I am not an expert on photography. I'm learning so much as I go.

I do not tip. I do not know enough to advise, nor do I pretend to. I do, however, have my own means of getting things done, and every month I will include one of them to share with you. It may not be helpful, but I know from experience that new ideas come from all directions. I get so many by things I thought I already knew.

This month the topic is Miscellaneous.

Permission was obtained for the use of each in Sweet Designs Magazine.

Frozen mind by enginbilgin on deviantART

I have a personal love for images that hide a face. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it makes me feel as if someone is hiding. Not hiding out of fear, per se. Hiding from reality, hiding from the world. A type of 'can you see me now?' aura. Besides, the coloring in this photo is great. The washed out walls in contrast to the bright clothing seem to symbolize something. What it symbolizes, of course, is up to the viewer.

Alone in my own world by Healzo on deviantART

Ah! This is amazing. Brilliant work. The colors, the concept, everything. I don't have much to say that's in depth about this photo, but it's ... it just takes my breath away. So many times I feel as if this is what I actually see when I look at the world, and nothing can replace the feeling of familiarity.

And It Was All Yellow by Schwester-von-2 on deviantART

This photo, I thought, was very out of place. That's why it caught my eye. It's simple. The coloring is magnificent, a kind of spring nostalgic feel. I don't ask myself what this man is walking for. I don't ask myself what he's feeling. What I do, though, is picture the complete scenario: I'm a writer, so I write it. The words are never said or recorded, but all the pages are right here in my head. Any picture that can make me do that is worth remembering.

Now she's six feet underwater by CokeAddicted on deviantART

I tried to do a shoot like this once. It didn't fail, but it was never as good as this. Whenever I look at this picture, I pretend I'm underneath her. I see myself looking from the bottom up, at her back, her struggling body. This is another one that leaves me speechless. The size of my paragraph never amounts to the size of my appreciation, no matter how big or small.

Paper Boat by eredel on deviantART

My mom tells me that I make a good photographer because I have the eye. I can see things without them being there. I see things before they happen and I make them happen. I'm perfecting this because I feel I'm still lacking, but this is exactly what Eredel has done. This photo brings out exactly what you don't expect and brings with it colors that pop. Nothing is better than the colors catching your eye. This photo is magnificent work.

My Personal Studio

As I said, I'm not an expert, but I've learned a few things that work for me. For instance, bathrooms are useful in every way. Although they may not be big or pretty, I often use a cloth to cover the floor for whatever backdrop I'm aiming for. Shut off all the lights and close the blinds if you have a nearby window. Mirrors are helpful, but I only use them for self-portraits when I need to see myself in the LCD.

After the room is dark switch on a small lamp. This can be any type of lighting. I most often use my little bedroom lamp, but flashlights and colored bulbs work wonderfully. Put the camera right up to your object, but make sure to hold the lamp as close as possible without getting the light to flash in your lens. This is probably normal, but it's how I create my personal studio. When I have a model in the bathroom with me I often tack the cloth against the wall. I find that the enclosed space keeps the light in and the people out.


For all of my photo shoots, I normally do my own styling - hair, makeup, clothes. For an extra smeared look with eyeliner, I normally bypass the liner altogether and head for my tube of mascara. Putting it on under your eyes and smearing it may burn, but only for a second or two. It creates the needed look, and more often than not, I use a lip gloss applier to add a glossy touch. May not work for everyone but it gets my job done. :)

I cannot repeat this enough - I'm still learning. I haven't even gotten to my first real camera yet - I'm still using an advanced point and shoot. Soon (and by soon I mean by January) I will be in possession of a Nikon. (I'm not sure whether it will be a D60 or a D80.) This only goes to show that my final quote, which cannot be claimed by anyone because I have heard it from so many lips, is more than true in so many ways:

Good photography is not a result of your camera. Good photography is from the photographer.

You can find me and my work at

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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