Yep, I've moved on over to kimbajorek.com

You can find me here.   I'm still refining it, but I'm looking forward to making it exactly the way I envision and to update it often!

Thanks for being a part of this blog that I started when I first moved to San Diego six years ago.  I may post a thing or two here from time to time, but my photography posts will be at the new address.  Again, you can find my new blog here.

10 on 10: That Time of Year!

This past month has been the busiest for me ever as a photographer here in San Diego.  Much of it has to do with Christmas -- creating family portraits, and a lot of it I suppose is just by chance.   The variety of work I've taken on -- from pregnancy and newborn to glamour-style portraits and gorgeous children; I have had my hands full, but gratefully so.

I chose 10 images from a few of my sessions to share here in the 10 on 10 circle for the month of December.

It was such a heart-melting joy to photograph newborn twins.   They were so good!  They let me pose them however I wanted without crying and the parents were so trusting!  Bless their hearts, they also have a 20-month old girl who I also photographed as a newborn, so they were more relaxed this time around.

And on the theme of babies, I photographed one of my best friends and her hubby-to-be in her seventh month of pregnancy.   The love and joy between them and this new life that will soon be in the world brought tears to my eyes!

There is a family from Mexico who hires me to photograph them when they come out about three times a year.  It started with a maternity shoot of the Mom, and now the little girl is 20 months old.   It's always a challenge to get the shots you want with children this young, but I shoot a lot to ensure I'll get something!   Here are just a couple of the images I loved of mother and daughter.

I look forward to watching little Maria grow up and enjoy the opportunity to witness it through my lens.

Another fun family shoot was with what I call the Holiday children.   The five year-old twin boys were born on Christmas Day, and their four year-old Sister was born on the 4th of July.   These few shots are a select few of this beautiful and loving family.

And finally, after seeing some shots I had posted on my facebook page from these sand dunes in Yuma, Arizona--this client asked if we could trek the 2 1/2 hour drive for a photo shoot.    The weather was perfect, though I suspect that most days of the year are perfect in this area.   I was grateful for my assistant, Kathleen, who helped with light and reflectors, as well as wardrobe changes, as there were a lot!   Thankfully, we did a good job of dodging the dune buggies!

We stuck to jewel-toned colors, which was perfect for this stunning norwegian blonde.  I haven't yet edited all these photos but here are just a couple.

Please follow the 10 on 10 circle by viewing the work of Eva !  Happy Holidays, everyone!  May your days be filled with color and light!

10 on 10: October - Katy

For this month's 10 on 10 post, I wanted to feature our sweet girl, Katy.  I see that many people share photos of their children in their posts, but for me, it's this precious four-legged bundle of black and white fur--with the white becoming more prominent as each day passes.

She is 15 years old this month.  Though the exact day will never be quite clear, I have decided to make it the 10th.

She has only been in my life for about 6 years, as my life with her started when I met her Dad, Phil.   He was always a dog lover, but being a single man who worked many hours, he was reluctant to have a pet of his own.   Katy, at around 4 1/2 months old, managed to prance her way up to him one morning in the parking lot of the building as he arrived to work.   He pet her and loved her up before he had to get in to see patients.   It seemed that whatever room he moved to in the building, she was outside the window begging for his attention.   Though there was a wall between them, she followed him everywhere.   He thought about taking her home, but by the end of the day, one of the nurses decided she would take her to live with her family.

Phil thought about her all day and night and had some regret in not claiming this abandoned little pup before anyone else had.   However, the next day, the nurse brought her back to work, saying that Katy wasn't a good fit with her family.   At that moment, Phil knew she was his, just as Katy had known the minute she found him.

Through the years, she became his constant companion, and though a bit unruly at times in the first years, she came to work with him on many occasions, spreading her joy for life to the elderly patients he treated.

I met her when she was nine which is when these photos of her began.   I had been wanting a dog so badly, after previously having had three labs of my own.   Then I met Phil, and Katy was part of the package.   She became such a huge part of my world.   We'd go to the beach, on hikes, and anywhere I could possibly take her.

Every morning we'd do our yoga (up-dog and downward dog) and I'd sing silly songs to her.  I still do the singing part if she's awake when I am.   She has always remained patient through all my photo shenanigans, bless her heart!

At 15,  she remains one of the biggest parts of our lives, though she has slowed down substantially.   We miss the way she used to howl when we came in the door, or if we kissed each other before greeting her.  We miss her jumping up on the bed for snuggles or up on the couch for what we called "pack time".  We miss taking her to dog beach where she would run wild and free in the water, and we even miss her very protective ways of barking at anyone who dared to talk to us at the door.

She has lost her hearing and her howl, and after a grand mal seizure last February, she rarely runs and tires easily.    Watching our girl age before our eyes, though a part of life, has been difficult, but we love her up every chance we get, make her as comfortable as possible, and we're so grateful for every one of the millions of moments of joy she brings to our lives...

Neither one of us can wait to see her after being out of the house for any length of time and we marvel at every cute little thing she does.     Happy Birthday to our girl, Katy!

Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle, starting with Stephanie. Enjoy!

10 on 10: September - Summer Treasure

On one of the final days of our beautiful Summer, I decided to photograph the shells I bought during my trip earlier this Summer to Carpenteria, California.

I got a lot of smiles from the passers-by on this beach in La Jolla, and managed to capture a great sunset too!

As I had my back turned to my bag of shells, the seagulls tore it apart and tried to run off with my treasure.  I turned around to see my bubble wrap was all over the beach and I was shocked!  I thought they only went for food.  They were so bold that this one was right below where I stood trying to snatch this dried out starfish even as I walked up to my towel!

I managed to get it back, as well as the one I found further down the beach in a seagull's mouth...  :)

I hope you all had a fabulous Summer!

Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle, starting with Eva here.  Enjoy!

10 on 10: August - Textures and Tintypes

This month I did something different for my 10 on 10 post.   I learned about making some unique textures from the amazing fine art photographer, Jennifer Hudson.

All it took was a National Geographic magazine (only those after the year 2000) and a bottle of the cleaning solvent, Citrasolve, from my local health food store.

The combination of the two, makes the ink run in strange ways, and when it sits for a bit, it ends up with a tintype effect.   When I heard Jennifer talk about doing this the other day, I had to give it a try.  Here are some of my results.

To me, some of these are art in themselves, and I found that once the Citrasolve had set (about 15-20 mins) each turn of the page was a big surprise!  In the end, I created these two images, blending a couple of these tintype textures with my own photography.   

I felt these images needed that special tintype frame vignetting, so I grabbed a couple of freebies from flickr.

Please check out the work of Kristina, the next photographer in our 10 on 10 circle.  This will lead you to the links of all those in our group.  Thanks for stopping by!

10 on 10: June

At the Lavender Fields...

In continuing our monthly circle of 10 photos shot on the 10th of each month, I chose to post my photos from Key's Creek Lavender Farms.

June is the best time of year because the fields are plentiful and the weather isn't yet scorching hot in Escondido.

The bees were having a field day!

Of course I took home a few freshly picked bunches.

And for me, no shoot is really complete until a person steps in!  This is my beautiful friend, Ana.

Ana and I even got a massage outside as the breeze carried this fragrant lavender scent our way creating a super relaxing experience.  Heaven...

Please check out the work of the very talented Erica, and follow the 10 on 10 circle around!

See you next month!

Blessing in Disguise

This is a newer image of mine that many have asked how I created, so I wanted to share here.

This image shows that although walking in the dark at the edge of the treacherous sea, on the back of what appears to be a giant creature is dangerous and frightening, it is actually a time of renewal--a time of rejuvenation.  The white in her dress and the waves signify rebirth, as does the water.   The breeze and the water add to the washing away of the old.   The blessing is in the freedom, beauty and light that is there, even in the darkness.

First of all, it was a beautifully sunny day at my favorite beach, and all I knew initially was that I wanted this image to have an ethereal feel to it, with plenty of drama and movement.

Before - SOOC

So I put my camera on a tripod in order to take different shots of the waves hitting the rock and to capture the wind blowing her dress and hair.  Using a tripod makes it easy to combine layers in photoshop.   I had the model toss her hair around a bit, but the waves made the dress blow enough in each of the images.   I think I may have used 4 or 5 images total -- some with crashing waves, and some with the dress and hair blowing in different directions. With each added layer, I created a mask, inverted it,  and painted in the parts of dress, hair, or waves that weren't on the original layer.   It's a good idea to zoom in after you've made changes to make sure you haven't painted away a hand or foot, or something else that will take away from the image you are imagining.  I've learned this lesson the hard way!   This step created the movement I desired.

Then I wanted drama, so If my memory serves me correctly, I desaturated the image a bit and then added some color back by using curves.   I go into each channel individually (for color) in curves...either red, green or blue.   In this case, I wanted a bit of red for her skin (after having it desaturated) so I pulled the red up in curves.  I may have even selected her hands and feet specifically.   I also typically like more gold overall, as I do like warm tones, so I went into the blue channel in curves and pulled the right side down (as yellow is the opposite of blue).  Then I added some magenta by going into the green channel in curves and pulling the right side down a bit, because magenta is the opposite of green.

For more drama, I darkened the sky and most of the image.   I selected the model with the quick selection tool, chose 'inverse' and then feathered my selection by about 10 pixels.  Again I used curves and darkened my selection by pulling down from the center until it was to my liking.   In the mask I may have painted some light back into the waves and different parts of the rock.

Always feather your selections so that the change in color, light, darkness, etc. is gradual.   You can feather up to 250 pixels and you can even do it again to the same selection if you want more of a graduated effect.   Of course in this case, because my selection was just the model, I only feathered by 10 or 12 pixels.  I wanted her dress to glow to add to the ethereal effect, so I kept it the original brightness that the sun created for me.

Oh, and I almost forgot one important thing...I added a texture.   I don't know which one, but I almost always use black and white textures and this is a black and white texture.  I feel it gives more of a film effect and adds a bit more contrast.  You can get many free textures from Kim Klassen or from many different places on flickr.

I hope this helps!

I have a new blog in the works with a post of similar images I think you will enjoy.  You can see it here.