The Emotional Journey

A thought becomes an idea, the pieces come together over time.  This “idea” or personal project was born with a thought – a vision.  Little by little over the passed month more pieces came together and finally with direction from the universe the over all project was born.

I discussed my thoughts and ideas with my make up artist, Morgan of Morgan Leigh Makeup Artistry, firstly to see if it could be done and second to ask if she would come on board and be part of the process to make my project come to life.  Morgan shared my excitement and understood my vision and was happy to be on board.

So, you maybe asking what is this project – I call it “The Emotional Journey”.    What is The Emotional Journey you ask.  Through photos I want to share the emotions through a cancer patients journey.  (Note – I will not be necessarily be using cancer patients) Some people may not understand my project but be assured I don’t mean disrespect, this is something that comes from my heart.

As many of my long time followers know my sister in law fought breast cancer and has and will always be an inspiration to me on many levels.  Her journey was one of determination right to the very end, she was to be the miracle and beat the odds, the universe however had other ideas.  This whole experience has left a permanent mark on my life.  It was and still is an emotional ride for all involved.

My sister in law taught me to follow my dreams, never give up, laugh everyday, live today and love.  I try to remember and practice this, some days are harder than others.  She loved my creative side and my photography therefore this idea and vision is very fitting.  I want to take you on that emotional journey, one that has a strong message that you only understand at the end once all the pieces are together.

All the photos in The Emotional Journey will showcase women as bald women, each woman stripped back without hair, raw, still so beautiful,  showing us the emotion through make up and eyes.  It is something I am very proud to be working on and very excited to share with you all.

My first photo of the series is “Sadness” – Meet my first model Jaz, a model I have worked with previously.  Make up done by the amazing and talented Morgan

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Should you wish to become a part of this project and would like to be a “model” and be photographed please contact me by email at info@soloimages.com.au to receive further information.

Until next week.

Kassy

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RAW – Natural Born Artists

Well this weeks blog has been a challenge in many ways.  Firstly it has been a difficult blog to write (that’s a story in itself), secondly after finally finishing the blog when saving the draft the website lost the lot.  It seems my first draft wasn’t the right draft according to the universe.

I have amazing and exciting news to share, I have been asked to showcase at the Gold Coast location for RAW: Natural Born Artists.  You may ask who are or what is RAW – “RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization, for artists, by artists.   An international community made up of creative individuals across the globe.   Their mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.”

The location for the Gold Coast RAW is at the Currumbin RSL.  The event is called BOLD and is to be held on Wednesday 23 September commencing from 7pm.  I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to show off my passion, my photography and my story so far.  The next month or so will be very busy, I have a long to do list organising prints, books and some special surprises to make the most of this amazing opportunity.

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To help make this event a huge success I need to ask for your support.  Tickets for the event are $20 each and available by clicking on this link http://www.rawartists.org/kassysolomon once on my page you need to click on Buy a Ticket for this Artist to purchase.  Whilst on the page please take the time to read my story and inspirations.  I am really looking forward to seeing you all there.

Until next week.

Kassy

A different type of Blog

Each week early on a Friday morning alot of people wake up to an email from us linking them to the weekly blog.  Some weeks the blogs are pre-planned days or even weeks ahead, some are written under the pump on Thursday to be ready for early Friday morning and occasionally they are not planned like this one.  This weeks blog was to be about the wonderful celebrations of this week however that changed this morning when having my morning coffee and reading both the paper and facebook on my Ipad.  Firstly before I get into it fully let me send out my thoughts and prayers to those above us in Queensland who are facing a category 5 cyclone any minute.  I pray that you all stay safe and well.

Last year through a couple of close photography friends I was introduced to a wonderful couple, Matt and Katie Ebenezer, 2 photographers who also run workshops to teach as well as photography adventures as well as helping those greatly in need, let me be clear I have actually never met them in person, however through my friends and the wonderful world of facebook I have followed them and heard about the adventures they had in Cambodia November 2013.   The following year, something unthinkable and terrible happened in their life (the following story I share from Matt’s facebook post this morning, these are not my words but his)

This is simply the most personal – and hardest – post I’ve ever had to make. Katie and I are in real trouble and we need help. Our friend Jamie has started a fundraiser because, in short, we’re broke due to the freak accident in which Katie was a pedestrian crushed between two cars. She sustained severe nerve damage and has been in chronic pain every day, unable to shoot or work since the accident (14 months ago).

I’m not used to needing help, let alone asking for it. For those who know me, I’m the go-to guy who helps others, especially photographers, with their business and life. My Dad is a pastor, my Mum is a teacher. They were missionaries before I was born. We don’t put our hands up lightly, if ever, to ask for help.

I have to remind myself that to raise your hand isn’t a sign of weakness. It actually takes strength and effort.  In many ways I’m not asking for myself.  I’m asking for Katie. If there was ever a person who didn’t deserve something like this, it was her. The daily physical pain she’s in is constant. The emotional anguish of seeing everything she’s worked towards her entire career just fall apart. To not be able to even take photos anymore. Such a stark contrast from what her normal life was- traveling to Nepal to document sex-trafficking, photographing weddings, to running our work-shops … to now only being able to do the washing or some light cleaning around the house which leaves her exhausted and in even more pain.

And, to then watch her husband and her rock completely unravel.  And being so helpless in the face of it all. In October/November last year the strain of the situation led to me having a complete breakdown and being admitted to a mental health facility for severe depression. For nearly 5 days I refused food and slept around the clock in an effort to make it all go away … that’s when I was admitted.

I spent a month and a half in that hospital as they slowly and gently drew me out of the darkest place I’ve ever been in my life. Then a month ago in January I had to be admitted for another few weeks. For everyone who knows me, they’d possibly think that I’m the last person this could happen to. But it has. And I’m not one bit ashamed of it anymore. Every time I talk about what’s happened to me it opens the door for someone else to say, “me too”.

Our world has completely crumbled physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. At the time of the accident we had a year’s worth of savings in the bank. And our business was making great money. Both have dried up. Our savings are gone. Katie and I are at about 5% of our usual capacity and as a result our productivity is close to zero. It could be years before Katie is even partly recovered, let alone back to 100%.  We’re currently selling our car. Soon we’ll be selling most of our camera gear and computers. Next we’ll probably rent out our home, and then sell it if we have to 😦

I ask myself everyday, “What could I have done differently?” and I come up empty.  It was a random act of the universe. An inattentive driver plus a few seconds in a parking lot has turned our lives completely upside down. So here I am. Humbled in every possible way. With my hand up.  Thank you for listening, sharing our story and helping if you can.

The facebook post is already being shared widely within the photography community and wider between friends.  You don’t have to met someone to be touched by their story, these people deserve our help – when times are this tough it can be the little things that help to get you through.  I am today asking my network of subscribers, photographers and friends to please give, even if a little to help these 2 people get through these tough times.  Please click on the link below to donate if you can.

http://www.gofundme.com/mattkatie

Photo of Matt and Katie – taken from Matt’s post on Facebook.
Until next week.
Kassy

 

Pink October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. A couple of different types of events can be held during the month being a Girl’s night in or a Pink Ribbon Fundraiser with the official Pink Ribbon Day to be held on 27 October 2014.

Prior to 2008 I had very little knowledge about Cancer and especially Breast Cancer. Growing up I knew a couple of my family’s friends who had Breast Cancer and had operations and treatment. Actually we often joke now 20 years later that a certain family friend used to walk down the shops with a bird seed stuffed bra with the birds following close behind as it slowly fell out and on the ground.

Now before I get the hate mail, I do know that Cancer in any form is not a laughing matter, those who have followed me for a long time know this story well, so forgive me whilst I share again.

Just 5 days after Mother’s day in 2008 I had a telephone call that changed my outlook on this disease and my life. My sister in law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and needed an immediate operation as it was in the high risk category. During the next 18 months Carine was Cancer free for 3 months but sadly lost her battle.

She was an amazing positive lady who gave it her all, she fought so hard, it just wasn’t enough in this case. We badly need those research funds to find a cure so those like Carine don’t leave our lives too early. Since having this experience so close to home I have each year since 2009 being involved in at least one fundraiser each year raising funds and doing my bit.

The month I decided to turn my Instagram account (SoloImagesPhoto) Pink for the month of October, sharing a photo a day within the Pink theme.   Feel free to follow me and see all my pink photos on Instagram.

Instagram - Day 1 October Pink Photos 4 Pink Chairs on the Beach

Instagram – Day 1 October Pink Photos
4 Pink Chairs on the Beach

Day 2  Pink flowers in Sunlight

Day 2
Pink flowers in Sunlight

Day 3 Pink Sunset

Day 3
Pink Sunset

At the end of the month I will personally donate $49.00 to the Pink Ribbon Fundraiser being $1 for each pink photo during October and $18 to represent Carine’s battle.  To most of you this will sound like a very small amount, yes it is and I wish I could afford more. I have already this year taken part in the Biggest Morning Tea raising funds so every little bit counts and when it comes down to it I know my Angel in the sky knows this comes from my heart and soul and is done out of love for such a wonderful women who remains on my fridge and in my heart forever.

Until Next Week,

Kassy

 

Photo A Day Project – Final

My July photo a day project, 31 days and 31 photos all using my Olympus OMD-EM5 camera with the 12-50mm lens.  In this my last installment I share with you the final 3 days, days 29 to 31 and tell you what I learned during this process.

Day 29

Today was a beautiful day, the sky blue, sun is shinning, a perfect winter’s day.  I was fortunate enough to finish a little early and make the drive home in time for sunset.  Just down the road from home we have this massive property which is to be developed at some time in the future, many of the trees have been cut down to make way for “progress” but there remains a nice little cluster of tree’s right near the road on the top of the first hill.  As the sun sets behind the trees you see the beauty of a true landscape and today I timed it perfectly.  When processing the photo I chose to look at it in Black and White, a true testament to the old B&W film days and the most stunning B&W landscape I have taken to date.  Today’s photo transforms into “Ye Olde Landscape”

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Day 30

Sitting in the office today sorting through ideas for my photo a day, the dictionary on the corner of my desk caught my eye, that instantly gave me the idea for my photo.  Since starting photography I have a list of cool and creative shots that I want to learn and master and the heart shadow ring photo is on that list.  First task, find the torch – second task, find “love” in the dictionary, now start to experiment with the technique – place the ring near the word love in the middle of the book binding and use the torch to create the shadow heart.  Sounds easy well I would give you one tip, use a tripod and cable release or better yet have an assistant, it’s very hard juggling everything with only two hands and still holding the camera still enough to take the photo.  Today’s photo is “The Duality of Love”

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Day 31

Woo hoo I have made it! Well actually not quite yet – still have to find my final photo a day to finish the project.  Walking around the boardroom in the late afternoon I caught sight of the sun creating shadows on the wall of the objects from the desk, only down side the blinds are interrupting the light.  Opening the blinds right up I got into a few weird positions and angles to keep myself out of the shadow area.  In processing I wanted to keep the look very contrasty, a black and white look using a filter in exposure 6.  It’s “Adam’s family” table worthy – perfect – Today’s photo is “Light your way into Darkness”

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And then it was over – I had done it another challenge, 31 photos in 31 days. A great selection of photos and honestly only one I consider boring, so for me this challenge is a success.  It opened my eyes and forced me to look at things within my daily life differently.  I believe this experience has taught me alot, I have grown during the month, found inspiration from things I see everyday and pushed myself outside my comfort zone.  Each day finding something new, something different and create something unique.  A true challenge but such an enjoyable one.

I love all the photos but if I had to chose a favourite it would be Day 27 – “Wall Shapes” not only did I look at a mirror I see everyday in a different way but I added another element by showing off the textures and lines that lie within this beautiful piece.  I now appreciate it even more.

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As I close out my blog today I would like to sincerely thank my readers for indulging me for the last 5 weeks I enjoyed not only taking the photos but sharing a little insight into each day and how the photo came to be.

Until next week.

Kassy

A Photo A Day Project – Part 4

Continuing on with my daily insights from my July Photo A Day Project, here is week 4, days 22 to 28.

Day 22

It’s a cool morning and around lunchtime down came the rain, even though I don’t have a garden I can appreciate that the rain is needed.  Come late afternoon the rain has eased and the wind has picked up, it is grey, cloudy and cold outside.  I have the perfect image in mind for today, just need to find the perfect location and subject.  A bare tree trunk in front of the grey and interesting cloud formations – Today’s photo transforms into “Dark and Gloomy”

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Day 23

At the end of a day chained to the office desk I take a late afternoon stroll near the farm on the way home.  Whilst playing with the macro settings on my camera I photograph a tree stump, the wood has split open in several places and it very dry.  By using the macro setting the textures within the wood are highlighted.  To add another element in processing I use sepia toning to really enhance the lines and textures of the wood.  Today’s photo “In Pieces”.

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Day 24

An impromptu trip to my hairdresser to say hi and to meet their new makeup artist provided opportunity for today’s photo.  Whilst sitting chatting I noticed this really cool looking money box with pictures of France stuck all over it, that sounds normal – but wait the money box had a timer clock stuck on the side, so unusual, so me.  Another bonus in a hairdressing salon you are surrounded by mirrors, so perfect to create reflections and come up with a great photo of the day.  A little colour filter added in processing makes this even more unique – Today’s photo is appropriately named “Time for Money”.

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Day 25

Thank goodness it’s Friday – come 5pm I am on my way home driving on the parkway (that’s a road, not a park for those wondering) and noticed the sun streaming across the fields – Im quick to turn on the indicator and pull off to the side of the road.  I am greeted by the last light catching on the strands of foxtail grass up against the fence line.  What beautiful light and framing for the sunset, the perfect view to end the week.  Today’s photo “Silhouettes of Dusk”

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Day 26

A social day today catching up with a girlfriend for an afternoon of wine, good food and company and I was too busy socialising to stop and think to take my photo of the day.  I finally realised on the way home and decided to take a quick detour into Emerald Lakes, there is always something here interesting to photograph.  By the time I got out of the car I was almost dark.  The first thing that caught my eye was the direct soft light coming from the lamp post next to the sandstone stairs and was shining up to the overhanging plants on part of the wall.  I took many photos from all sides and angles.  When I got home and looked I found one that had just enough elements to give the impression of a laneway, maybe like where “Jack the Ripper” would have been.  Today’s photo is appropriately named “The Laneway”

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Day 27

Sunday, Sunday another lazy Sunday :).  I am wandering the house looking for ideas, shapes, something out of the ordinary, something a little different.  In my reading room I have this stunning large mirror which when you look from the side you appreciate the scalloped edging and the textured details within the finish.  I squish my nose and face almost on the wall so I can get in nice and close and take a photo of a small section of the mirror to show off the details without showing too much of what it is.  In processing I added more light effect on the left side to further enhance the shape and detail.  Today’s photo is “Wall Shapes”

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Day 28

For a long time I have been researching and bookmarking different types of photos and techniques to try.  On the list was to photograph eating utensils in a unusual way.  Today I headed to the kitchen draw and grabbed a couple of forks.  At first I thought the stainless steel on the sink would give me a great reflective surface however due to the ripples this was not what I had pictured in my head.  Working with what I had I found an effect that was pleasing and at least interesting.  In processing I decided to use a sepia colour and increased the high key effect to highlight the forks.  Although happy with the final image this is a technique  I need to work on to nail.  Today’s photo becomes “Intertwined”.

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Week 4 of my project complete only 3 more days of July to blog.  Next week I will share with you the final few days of images and some out takes and favourites to wrap up the month and my July personal project.

Until next week.

Kassy

Photo A Day Project – Part 3

As of today my Photo A Day Project for July is complete, 31 days and 31 photos all using my Olympus OMD-EM5 camera with the 12-50mm lens.  In this weeks blog I share with you my daily insights of Week 3, days 15 to 21.

Day 15

Nothing inspiring caught my eye today whilst at the office or driving around.  Once at home I looked around the house to see what struck or inspired me.  My “red light” lamp in the corner of my reading room caught my eye, a normal every day item now the challenge was to make it more interesting – I decided to isolate a section of the lamp to capture the glow of light, the lines, shapes and texture of the holder – Today’s photo transforms into “Seeing the Light”.

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Day 16

Playing around with my shells tonight, taking photos using a mirror to create different effects.  To be honest I have taken so many photos of them in the past I really wasn’t finding the photos inspirational.  It was then that my hubby picked up a shell and held it at a side angle, which allowed me to see it differently and capture the spiral and shapes from the side of the shell using my macro setting.  The shell is natural looking with tones of cream and brown so in processing I decided to apply a filter to change some of the colour and loved the effect.  Today’s photo is “Going around in Circles” because at the end I felt like I had gone around in circles to find a new way to photo this object.

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Day 17.

I took some time out in the late afternoon to catch the last of the sun and have a break from my desk.  Next to the office we have a row of plants separating us from our neighbour.  Amongst the leaves of this plant they have the tiniest buds that bloom for a short time into pink flowers.  Again using the macro setting on my lens and angle the camera to catch the light only on the flower today’s photo was created and appropriately named “Out of the Darkness”.

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Day 18

A great friend and photography buddy of mine, who is also taking part in a photo a day for July, has been sharing his macro photos via facebook.  Some have a country element comprising of images featuring rust, timber and wire.  I really enjoy his photography and especially liked these images so that inspired me to detour past the farm on the way home to capture something with a country feel.  The light rays were beaming through the trees and light was catching on the twist of metal on the barb wire fence nearby, something so simply and practical looked so beautiful like this – Today’s photo “A Twist of Light”.

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Day 19

It’s cold and has been raining but it’s Saturday – a perfect day to spend indoors in my pj’s reading a book and watching movies.  Come the afternoon I realise I need to pick up my camera and take a photo for the day, oh dear what do I do?  Looking around the bedroom my bedside table has these thick black heavy handles and when you look close at the handle, it looks like it’s smiling at you (maybe I have had too much coffee 😉 )  To add further interest to my photo I again added a colour filter during processing.  Today’s photo is “Get a Grip”.

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Day 20

I playing today with reflections using a mirror and household objects.  I come across my tealight white lantern, a gift from my sister in law, and using the mirror for reflection and movement by slowing the shutter speed and moving the camera during the exposure combined with a custom white balance setting I create a object that looks like it is submerging into the deep ocean at a fast pace, it’s really cool and in my opinion impressive 🙂 Today’s photo is appropriated named “Submerged”.

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Day 21

Another late afternoon break in the office (Is there a re-occurring pattern here 😉 ) I look out the window and see that the sun has fallen just at the right angle between the buildings to create shadow pockets on the textured outside wall from the plants.  I quickly grab my camera and head outside to capture what my eyes see before the sun fades behind the trees.  Today’s photo “Dancing in the Shadows”.

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So another week of my project complete and I am thrilled with my daily results.  It is really one day at a time and you have to think outside the box to come up with something each day from my daily life travels.  I hope you are enjoying this series and much as I am.

 

Until next week.

Kassy.