Creative Potential of Simple Tools

Apple corer peeler slicer machine

Never underestimate the creative potential of simple machines.

Apple corer peeler slicer machine

This whiz-bang “Apple Peeler Corer” kitchen accessory did more for my kids’ snacks than save me prep time. It got them excited to make (and devour) their own Apple Slinky.™

Kids who “didn’t like apples” started asking for seconds after watching the solid fruit spin through and exit as tasty spirals.

Today’s reminder: You don’t need fancy camera setups to enjoy making images.
(Are you reading this on the last device you used to snap an image, or is that device within arm’s reach? Precisely.)

This winter I picked up an Instax instant film camera and it quickly became the Apple Slinky of picture taking among my minions. Sure they can all snap on phones and tablets but seeing a photo appear and holding a print in seconds is pure magic.

Instax Mini 8 camera and print

What simple tools are right in front of you? Let’s put them to use making art, not excuses.

Your cohort in creativity,  eB


(PS – this post has affiliate links. If you want to try out a fun way to make apple snacks or instant prints using the simple tools above, buying them through these links drops change in the tip jar for more apples and film. Thanks!)

Wedding Flashback Wednesday – Katie & Mathew’s 9th Anniversary

Groomsmen reservoir dogs walk

This spring and summer have been rich with celebrations, milestones, and joy. Last week we looked back a decade while marking an anniversary, today we go back 9 years for Katie & Mathew. 

These are just a few of my favorite images and moments from their beautiful ceremony at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. 

Bride enters Notre Dame Basilica

Katie and Mathew’s smiles say it all when they saw each other during Katie’s procession to the altar.

flower girl at Basilica of the Sacred Heart altar

Rings Exchange Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica wedding Lady Chapel

Despite storms brewing outside the Lady Chapel had a beautiful glow during their wedding ceremony.

ND Basilica Wedding first kiss

recessional Notre Dame basilica wedding

The newlyweds beaming all the way down the aisle, brighter than July sunlight. The summer storms outside could not dampen their spirits.

And this, friends, is a key part I believe we all need for successful relationships. To realize life will not always be perfect, that rain will fall, and you’ve got to make the best of each moment. When life gives you thunderstorms and humid haze, you have a choice: You can run for cover or… go make diffused light portraits.

We made a short drive from Notre Dame to Saint Mary’s College for bridal party portraits under ivy covered arched walkways. 

Saint Mary's College LeMans Hall Arch and Ivy Portraits

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay dry, stay cool, and wait for sunny skies. There is something to be admired about couples who are determined to make the best of each moment, together, and will go out in the rain and weather the storms. Once these storms have passed may you look back on ordinary moments that become an extraordinary story together.

Newlyweds under umbrella candid

rainy wedding day puddle reflection portrait

Even in a puddle reflection portrait the bride and groom were full of smiles throughout their wedding celebration!

Congrats, Katie & Mathew!

Flashback Friday – Natalia & Jeff’s 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary to newlyweds Natalia & Jeff!

Here are some of my favorites from their wedding ceremony at Saint Michael’s Church and reception at Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth, Indiana.

Bride enters Saint Michael's Church Plymouth Indiana

Saint Michael's wedding altar runner

Newlyweds wedding recessional Saint Michael's Church Plymouth Indiana

newlyweds_hug-sq

Full disclosure: I was a far less choosy editor and far less technically proficient photographer in 2006 and digging through the archives showed a lot of images that made me question my decision to proof them. The “artistic soft focus” image above and below were ones that lacked sharpness but conveyed an unedited, unscripted emotion in the moments after the newlyweds made their exit. I debated these candid images again in 2016, and when they appeared in my Instagram feed as some of Natalia’s favorites… I knew I kept these shots for a reason. They show a moment few others saw, and only two present felt the full elation of being pronounced husband and wife.

Bridal candid

Ccentennial Park Plymouth Indiana newlyweds portraits

Centennail Park wedding portrait Plymouth Indiana

Wedding Reception first dance dip

Newlyweds portraits Plymouth Country Club Indiana

bride and groom kiss candid portraits

It remains an honor to have told their wedding day story and celebrated with family and friends. Congrats, newlyweds, on your first decade, and to the decades ahead! -eB

Previously Unpublished – Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art 2004

MOMA Chicago Bronica SQa film photo

Museum of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, 2004

This image from a Chicago museum trip lived quietly on a contact sheet and in a binder full of old negatives from photo studies in 2004. I shot a mix of 35mm and a newfangled 2 megapixel digital camera that day, but hefted up the Bronica SQa for this 6×6 square medium format negative to catch a moment of the trip too.

I framed up this shot of patrons in the halls walking, discussing, and enjoying the art as anonymous silhouettes with the help of the camera’s waist level finder. It was a passing pause on a day around the Windy City enjoying art, culture, and image making adventures.

Every walk is a photo walk if you have a camera handy. #JustGoShoot

Tech specs: Camera – Bronica SQa / 75mm f/2.8 Zenzanon lens | Film: Kodak Tmax400 120 black and white roll film | Developer: Kodak D76 standard time & temperature

Summer stride

taking a photo walk to school uphill

Every walk is a photo walk if you believe!

Addie joined me for a stroll to pick up big brother & sis from their last week of the school year. Nikon FA 35mm film camera came along too. I’ve been snapping film pics of the near daily walks home from school. Some with the camera pictured, some with stranger contraptions loaded with light sensitive chemical layered rolls of film for surprises to see when I develop them. Life is busy enough without rushing home to edit & post photos. I’m excited to see what comes from the expired color 35mm film, the classic black and white flavors, and the experimental stuff loaded the wrong way just to see what happens.

Charlie the Wonder Hamster Chihuahua

Meet Charlie, our adorably derpy newest member of the family and Rarely Stationary Club.

More of my hip shots & photo rambles on Instagram here.

Go get snapping! #JustGoShoot

Lindsey and Alex – 10 Year Throwback Thursday

Disclaimer: This is what happens when I let my couples design their own engagement portrait session. Authenticity ahead.

Dropkick Murphys guitarist engagement portrait

Back in 2004, two of my most talented musician friends helped me expand my ideas of what Engagement Portraits were supposed to look like when they put aside their acoustic guitar and baby grand piano and stepped outside wearing black Dropkick Murphy’s shirts. This photo of Lindsey & Alex has sparked a conversation with each prospective client with whom I shared it and stirred many a portfolio reviewing professor. It’s still a favorite shot and a fond memory creating it for the newlyweds.

Then in May, 10 years ago today, they got married, and had a kid still learning what his camera’s buttons all did tell their wedding story. I was lucky enough to be that kid.

bride candid portrait while waiting

bride and flower girl photo idea

wedding ceremony Newton Center Lakeville Indiana

Unity candle and marriage license

Just married recessional

groom with the bloom

black and white wedding cake

newlyweds first dance

bride and groom first dance black and white

Congrats newlyweds! Happy 10th Anniversary!