Nexus of 12: Students Take Over The Steinberg

Please join us for: Nexus of 12,  a culmination of several of Long Island’s upcoming and established artists—featuring an array of artwork exploring the depths of human behavior, the essence of life, nature and beyond. The exhibition will be featuring the graduating MFA artists from LIU Post and will be on exhibit from April 11, 2016-May 6, 2016 at the Steinberg Museum of Art. Opening Reception will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 5:00pm-8:00pm.   Nexus_of_12

The exhibition will feature over 40 works, varying in a wide array of media and visual language—reflecting of the artist’s backgrounds, cultures and experience both in and beyond the classroom. This particular graduating class has exhibited together in several venues, including Studio 5404 in Massapequa as well as the Ripe Gallery in Huntington.  As in past years, these students will also have their work on exhibit at the SIA Gallery in Chelsea, New York, for a one week exhibition.

We hope to see you there!

Epiphany in Mexican Muralism

As many of you know, last year I, Carrie-Anne, decided to go back to school for my Masters in Fine Arts degree. This has always been a personal goal of mine and with a little positive energy, prayer, and much help from the Veterans Administration–it came knocking at my door. In the Spring of 2014, I began attending Long Island University for my MFA in studio art with a concentration in photography. It has been an absolutely amazing ride!

My goal for going back to school, was not only to work with and be around other photographers, but to also work with and be around other artists with similar passions; it was to learn things that I had never explored before – ceramics, painting, print making. To see photography in a different way, to learn about myself and the deliberate choices that I sometimes unconsciously make in my art work.

What I am working on now-

In the Spring of 2015, I took my last required Art History course. I had already taken History of Photography 1 and 2, and in my undergrad I had taken art history in the Rococo, Renaissance and Medieval periods. So when I saw Mexican Muralism, taught by Niria E. Leyva-Gutiérrez Ph.D as an option for my graduate studies, I immediately took it. It is now, and will probably always be, the hardest Art history course I have taken to date. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I not only had to learn the art that was coming out of Mexico, I had to learn the history of Mexico. I mean of course I did! How can you study Mexican Muralism and not know the history of Mexico? I mean art imitates life does it not?

I will say, we were so incredibly blessed with an amazing Professor who was so passionate about the subject. In class, we studied “Los Tres Grandes,” The three BIG ones – Diego, Siqueros, and Orozco. Of course, with Diego, we studied the amazing Frida Coelho. I struggled a bit. I felt like I was studying and reading all of the time. By the second week of class, more than 5 people had dropped out.

I am really glad I stuck it out. It inspired me and led me to one of my current, in progress, bodies of work.

First, let me explain the circumstances of the night that it came about:

Many of you who know me, know that I tend to be a bit OCD. When I enter a room, I like to stand in a certain place, be in a certain area, and in a class, I like to sit on a certain side and in a certain place as well. I generally like an area where I can see the whole room and where it is not too terribly congested. On one particular day, I had come to class about 10 minutes late. When I entered the room, not only was my seat taken, but every seat in that general area of the classroom had been taken! Annoyed and a bit disheveled, I reluctantly found a chair on the other side of the classroom, behind two girls who always chatted throughout the entire class, both of which mostly surfed the internet looking for clothes and such.

Annoyed, I sat down and kept my hat on, pulled down to just above my eyes. This is how I block people out. Niria was handing back out midterm exams, 3 essay questions. I got an A-. It was then that even she noticed me in my discomfort on the “wrong side” of the room. We chuckled and she began her lesson.

David Alfaro Siqueiros_Proletarian Victim_1933

David Alfaro Siqueiros_Proletarian Victim_1933

On this day we would be discussing David Alfaro Siqueiros. As she began her lecture and going through his work, I found myself sketching. At first, just a few notes, but then I began to feverishly sketch out proposed studio lighting, model ideas, and names and dates of certain Siqueiros pieces. I became so incredibly inspired by her talk, by this class, and by the work of Siqueiros. I thought to myself: these would really look great in studio. As many of you know, once upon a time I was a pretty accomplished designer. I think that it was because of that era of my life that I now choose to use as minimal Photoshop as possible in my photography.

I believe that there is a certain level of knowledge and skill attained when one can come to a place where they strive to first get it “right” in camera. So when I am in post-process of my images (in the “editing phase”) I will, most of the time, only do in Lightroom, what I would be able to do in a traditional darkroom. Usually, there is no photoshop involved. And these next 4 or 5 pieces would involve tricky lighting and body makeup.

Every artist should have a network of really good friends, with different talents, who love to work on something creative… just for the sake of doing it. Art for Arts sake. I am blessed with a nice network of other creatives, makeup artists, other photographers, models, etc. My makeup artist was the first call. Now I do work with quite a few makeup artists, one or two for my portrait sessions… but I knew this project would require a certain level of special effects make up. I immediately called my very good friend, Grace Vasquez. And like Thomas Hart Benton said when commissioned to create his amazing mural “America Today,” I told Grace that while I could not pay her, I would be able to “finance the eggs.” Anything she needed, airbrush, make up, anything at all, would be provided…. Oh and of course, I would feed her! With that, our deal was made and we set out to create our first piece together, a recreation of Proletarian Victim, 1933, by David Alfaro S David Alfaro Siqueiros, iqueiros. We found a model willing to hold the grueling pose in the nude and we set out to the studio.

Below is the first draft, my notes for fixing some issues, and the final UNEDITED piece. 🙂

Carrie Anne Gonzalez, Proletarian Victim First Draft, 201

Carrie Anne Gonzalez Proletarian Victim Shoot – Notes

Carrie Anne Gonzalez, Proletarian Victim (after David Alfaro Siqueiros, Proletarian Victim, 1933), 2015

Carrie Anne Gonzalez, Proletarian Victim (after David Alfaro Siqueiros, Proletarian Victim, 1933), 2015

Amanda and Jerry

Second shooter, Joseph, and I really enjoy shooting our weddings together. We love being apart of our couple’s big day, and getting to know both them and their families. Amanda and Jerry were no exception. During the months and weeks leading up tp the big day, we really got a chance to bond with them, be it over beers or coffee, many laughs were had. Amanda and Jerry were just as excited to have us photograph their wedding, as we were to shoot it. Guys, it was truly an honor and a blessing. I hope you love your images, and we can’t wait to see you again! Congratulations!

You can view some highlights from their wedding here.

Lets talk about “Available Light Photographers”

We’ve come across many individuals who claim to be “available light photographers,” and we always advise our clients to be on the guard when they hear that. While this may be a bit controversial, I firmly believe there is no such thing.

If we break down the root meaning, photo literally means light. A “photograph” means to make a picture with light, or to paint with light. Therefore, a photographer literally must be the master of light and/or light painting.

If your photographer claims to only use natural light, you should immediately become cautionary. Since a photographer must be the master of light—all light, in all situations—a photographer must know how to manipulate light.

I love natural photography as much as the next—natural light is beautiful and often flattering—but the truth is, you will not have natural light in every situation. As any great photographer will tell you, 75% of photography is trouble-shooting.

Case and point:

We recently had a wedding shoot—we love weddings and were, as always, super excited to get to the venue and scope it out well before start-time. A point of pride for our team is being able to “find the light—“ we love taking amazing portraits and dynamic scenes with natural light shining through windows, skylights, stained glass, etc. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the venue, we were faced with a conundrum—NO WINDOWS—not a single one.

Literally, there were no windows in the entire venue, not even a single skylight in the bridal suite. To make matters worse, there were mirrors—wall to wall, ceiling to floor—everywhere.

We decided that we would shoot our portraits and our bride and groom outside. It was an overcast day in the beautiful Astoria, Queens area of New York and we were sure to get some cool shots with brick walls, or on the water with amazing views of the Triborough (RFK) Bridge in Astoria Park. When we came back upstairs to go outside, there was a downpour. Not your drizzle kind of rain, not the “we can just grab some umbrellas and it’ll still make a cute shot” kind of rain. Nope. Full on monsoon. Our bride made it VERY clear that she was not going out in that – who could blame her

We would have to make our own light.

With 2 cameras, 4 lenses, 4 flashes, and 5 soft boxes for our flashes, we got our game faces on. From bouncing the light off of the mirrored walls and ceilings, to strategically hiding behind our subjects in the mirrors, we were able to really capture some amazing shots. At the end of this work day, we both agreed that this was by far, the MOST challenging shoot EVER.

In the end, photographers must know LIGHT. Period. Available light, natural light, artificial light…. we MUST know it all and know how to work with it, how to manipulate it.

So stay cautionary when you hear “natural light photographer,” because without the knowledge of how to use light, it’s just another person with a really nice camera.

Revolutionizing Who You Are Through Who We Are

We Are…

Writers

Painters

Musicians

Photographers

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Veterans

Friends

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Siblings

Painters

Vocalists

Air guitarists

Rebels

Marketers

Designers

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Beer snobs

Creatives

Sisters

Beach bums

Daughters

Advertisers

Thrift shoppers

We capture our story, keep it, tell it…and then we share it.

Let us capture yours…time and time again. Turn your memories into artwork.

For the Love of Art

Earlier this month, I (Carrie) started pursuing my Master’s in photography.  For the past several months I’ve been gathering portfolio pieces, putting together essays, requesting transcripts and letters of recommendations…. all while maintaining and running a business packed with assignments and shoots. It truly has been challenging, yet amazing year. So after months of preparing and finally submitting my work, I have been accepted into an MFA program, with a concentration on Photography.

Most people think its super cool to be perusing an MFA, but I have gotten those that have asked me why? Why go back for your Masters? An artist doesn’t really need a masters degree, why not just work in your field and keep getting “experience.” To that I say this –

What will differentiate us from the next guy, gal, fresh young college student? What will differentiate us from the guy up the road who just bought a $3,000 camera and is super excited to be a “photographer?” Or the girl who takes “good pictures?” Or the family member who will be shooting your daughters wedding because “they have a good camera?”

What will differentiate us from those “self proclaimed” photographers other than our outstanding work and attention to detail? Other than my photographic military training? Other than…. well the list goes one…. but one thing we will be able to say – “Carrie has received her MFA in Photography.” And THAT… says something.

This isn’t a hobby for me, this isn’t something I thought would be cool or easy to do. This isn’t buying expensive cameras and calling ourselves photographers.

This is love of Art, and that is what you will always get from Carrie Weston Studios. This degree, will only make it that much better.

Why Not Photograph Your Alter Ego?

Halloween is a favorite for most people and I don’t think it’s because they enjoy the sugar rush and influx of chocolate (although that is an awesome perk). I think it’s because of everyone’s desire to embrace their alter ego…their darker half…their lighter half…their opposite.

I’ve been Pikachu, Captain Hook, a nerd (that is definitely far from my opposite…Lord of the Rings and Star Wars for life!), a goth, Cleopatra and the list goes on. The best part of dressing up, as a girl at least, is caking on way more make-up than you’d ever wear, doing your hair or sporting a wig that completely alters your look and trying to be as beautiful or bizarre as humanly possible.

I’m thinking…a great idea would be a Halloween Boudoir-Style photo shoot. My rationale is, you get to dress up and look amazing and capture it on film. I personally think I may take Carrie up on this and create a calendar for the man at home (you can obviously tell he doesn’t read this blog) as a Christmas gift. Twelve different “Theresa’s” for every month of the year…just food for thought…which is why I included the unnecessary photo collage of my various costumes below.

Whether it’s a gift for someone or yourself, a boudoir/portraiture shoot is always a win…who doesn’t love dressing up?

Keep your eyes open for our Groupon special, coming out over the next week or so. Also, if you comment on this blog post, come down to the Studio and receive up to 15% off printing.

 Theresa Weston Halloween Montage

Fall Madness

It’s been a while since we blogged…and this entry is coming from the mind of Theresa, which is atypical since most of the time it’s Carrie posting. We’ve been incredibly busy since our last post at the end of July…we’ve discovered that while we love wedding photography, corporate headshots, etc…our true passion lies within portraiture.

What’s really been a joy is watching Carrie work. While I have taken photographs my entire life, my passion has always been writing–so when it comes to photography, I always am looking for the story behind the shot. I feel we’ve really learned how to take art and transform it into a story over the last few months. Image

Bridal portraiture has certainly always been something we’ve excelled at…but more recently, we’ve had some real success with different types of shoots. Our recent favorite, and the biggest sensation at the most recent East Northport Chamber of Commerce Fair, was the session we had with a “mommy-to-be.”

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If you haven’t been to the studio or our Facebook page in a while, we recommend you do so. The studio is finally complete, with a full door installed and a welcoming, warm feeling full of lots of natural lighting.  We’ve been busy creating our promotional material for the fall, which will be focusing on portraiture, engagement sessions and of course, the holiday season.

Over the few years, the summer has always been a blank slate for creativity for Carrie and I. We still like to create and daydream….but that’s pretty much where it stopped. It seems that once you find your passion, it’s easy to keep the momentum going. We’re sad to say goodbye to summer, but happy to step into the final chapter of the year 2013.I can only say we’ve had a blast meeting new clients, making new friends and really fine-tuning our skills.

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Check us out on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, and if you haven’t visited our new site: www.carriewestonstudios.com, you should see what we’ve been up to. Come meet us and get creative with the fall season.

We look forward to meeting you!

 

Cat – Senior Portraits

Cat was back for the summer from her first year at college. Wanting to document this moment in her life, she called up Carrie Weston Studios to book a shoot, to include make up by Art by Betty Lynn. Here are some shots from that day.

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To view the rest of the album please visit our facebook page, and remember to “like” 🙂