Catching Up

It's been a pretty hectic 2018 so far; it's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times (that winter, amiright?) I spent the last 4 months digging through the last semester of my photography program, which meant countless hours in the studio and computer lab: shooting, editing, printing, crying, laughing, you know, all the good stuff. It also meant a lot of things fell on the back-burner like my friends, my website and my backlog of editing that wasn't school related. But here I am, trying to play catch up, and tell you a little about what's been going on and what's coming down the pipeline.

We had an end of the year photography show for my program, which we had to submit photos to and they were judged anonymously by a panel of industry, winners to be unveiled at our show. The show itself included speeches and awards and a red carpet, it was a pretty nice way to tie up our program, getting to spend one final night all together in one room. We hired my friend and wonderful photographer Courtney Michaud to photograph the event, so I've got a few gems to share courtesy of her. 

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Those are two of my instructors, and myself and JR being very mature behind them. 

I was named Valedictorian of my class and was told I had to write a speech, and got to deliver it with one of my best friends JR Kingdon. Here is he doing his best Trump impression while I pretend to look at my notes so I don't have to look at the full auditorium looming out in front of me. I wrote the speech with hopes to make someone cry, and I know at least one person did, so mission accomplished. Achieving your goals is important, you know?

We had a bunch of award categories, and I managed to walk away having snagged a choice few of them. 

Side note: It's weird writing a blog intended to brag a little bit about myself, but my friend said I should, so I'm doing it. I'M DOING IT HANNAH, I HOPE YOU'RE PROUD!

One of these award categories was Portraiture. My two closest friends throughout the whole program, JR & Jay, also shoot portraits, although we all have very distinct styles. We discussed how awesome it would be if we took the portrait category, as there's 3 places and 3 of us. Low and behold, Jay snagged 3rd place, JR took 2nd, and I managed to steal 1st. It happened! Another goal accomplished. 

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This was the photo that won me 1st place in the Portrait category

Model: Bridget Peters, Hair by: Deanna Taylor

Model: Bridget Peters, Hair by: Deanna Taylor

I took 2nd place in both Commercial photography and Fine Art photography categories. Below is my entry for the Commercial category that won. I was really honoured and happy this photo placed, as it's undoubtedly one of the most challenging photographs I've ever done, from shooting it right through to the editing process, it was really difficult, but I was so happy with the outcome. It's nice to have that effort recognized!

Below is the entry that won me 2nd place in Fine Art. It also made its way onto the inside cover of the book that's put together and printed for all the students after the ceremony, which was a cool surprise when I opened it up! The director of my program, Stephen Dominick, also told me the only issue with this photo was that he didn't take it which I will remember always and he can't ever take back.

Pear cutting skills credited to Tyler Hopper. I couldn't have done it with you! 

Pear cutting skills credited to Tyler Hopper. I couldn't have done it with you! 

There was also a Photoshop category, which we had to hand in a composite photograph, which if you don't know, is a mash of numerous photos that can't be shot all in one go. I spent countless hours (I mean I tried to count, but it got out of hand) on my submission, because I was determined to flex my skills and make it the best I could. I won 1st place! This is the final submission that won: 

This is part of a larger series which I'll be blogging about very soon! It also took me at least 20 hours to finish, due to some file management set backs and general difficulties, but it was worth it.  Model: Marah Verutis

This is part of a larger series which I'll be blogging about very soon! It also took me at least 20 hours to finish, due to some file management set backs and general difficulties, but it was worth it. 
Model: Marah Verutis

I also won Portfolio of the Year which was a huge honour, but you can read all about that HERE if you haven't already, so I won't bore you with the details. 

As well, I got to see some of my best friends win awards and be rewarded for their hard work and dedication that I've seen over the same time period. It was amazing getting to spend the evening sharing our hard work with those closest to us.

Here are a couple more cheesy photos for your viewing pleasure:

This is my friend Finn! They won Best of Show for second year, which was well deserved!

This is my friend Finn! They won Best of Show for second year, which was well deserved!

JR was actually just helping me hold my trophies... woops. But he did snag a couple awards too!

JR was actually just helping me hold my trophies... woops. But he did snag a couple awards too!

This is one of my favorite photos! This is the my graduating class for our photography program, and most of our instructors. I insisted we do "one Charlie's Angels shot" and was met with some confused looks initially, which I guess is showing my age a little bit?  But they nailed it!

This is one of my favorite photos! This is the my graduating class for our photography program, and most of our instructors. I insisted we do "one Charlie's Angels shot" and was met with some confused looks initially, which I guess is showing my age a little bit? But they nailed it!

So as for what's down the pipeline? Well, I've recently moved back to Mississauga, and started a job at Nikon Canada! I'm busy shooting whenever I can, trying to make sure I don't get rusty. I've started dipping a toe into film photography as well, and just developed my first roll of film (myself! in a dark room! I smelled like chemicals and it was wonderful.) I've purchased a couple film cameras and am going to continue to dive into it, with the help of my good friend Sara who is going-forward being referred to as Film Sensei. 

My books are open for the summer and I've got some space left for portraits, band shoots, engagements, headshots... anything! I'm excited to create some great images with some wonderful people this summer. I hereby declare this the Summer of Ashley.