Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homemaker Monday: Finding Photography Inspiration From Google Images

YOURS: This portion is in progress. Thanks for your patience! :)

MINE: Recently I decided it would be fun to do a journalist-style photo shoot of a couple of the missionaries in our area. If you remember, Mormon missionaries are young men usually between the ages of 19 and 21 who serve the Lord for two years in varying destinations all over the world. In order to focus on the work of sharing the gospel, they are asked to have somewhat limited contact with friends and family back home. Our son, who is also a missionary, is able to write to us once a week, and can call on Mother's Day and Christmas. We look forward to his emails every Monday afternoon, and he ours.

Although mothers the world over are overjoyed the day their sons go out and serve their missions, it can sometimes be difficult for moms who have spent 18 years raising them, focused on this purpose, who then must severe their apron strings so abruptly. It was for this reason that I decided what a wonderful thing it would be for me to take photos of the missionaries in their current working conditions and send them to their mothers.

So I wondered how I would go about doing the photo shoot. What poses would I use? How would these pictures be different from your average missionary companionship photo? It occurred to me to go to google images and there I typed in "lds missionaries working" and found all kinds of inspiration.

The first photo was a typical missionary-walking-away-from-the-camera shot. This one is really cool because of the reflection on the tracks....


We don't have tracks in our town that I know of, so I thought of a lovely location about a block away, and when the lighting was just right, John and our family, on the missionaries' preparation day, drove them there on our way to take them home. Here's the original, having been cropped, brightened and contrasted a little...


...and here, the edited version, with a little cross-processing and vignette. And just for your info, I used the very simplistic editor at photobucket for my post-processing. One day I'll get light room, but for now it's one-click editing!


Next I came across another quite typical photo of some elders (title for young LDS missionaries) walking, facing the camera. I love this photo because it really captures the society in which they are serving.


Since I didn't have time to secure any livestock to walk down the road, I simply asked the elders to turn around and start walking back towards me...


....and because I know moms love this kind of thing, I added a popular and meaningful scripture, which in English says, "I will go and do what the Lord has commanded." I thought I was original, but then the 16-year-old girl reminded me that my photographer friend Shauna had used this scripture on a photo of her son. She said I was copying. It all came back to me then, that yes, indeed, this is where the original inspiration had come from. Hope you don't mind me copying you, Shauna! It's the highest form of flattery! Here is the same photo with again, some simple cross-processing and vignette action....


Okay, so I loved the following inspiration because it highlights the companionship, but it also focuses on only one missionary. I thought that the moms would like this highlight of their sons as well.....


Here's mine, which I think I like even more because, of their own accord, the elders chose to face sideways, which adds interest...


...and now again with the post-processing, including one of the elders favorite scriptures....


Now, for the final portrait, I came across an elder reading scriptures....


While I liked the focus on the word of God, I had remembered that I had seen an inspiring photo of a man sitting on a chair studying a book in front of a window. It was an image that stayed with me because I thought it would be an excellent pose for John. So I set it up with the missionaries ...


It's definitely by far my favorite image in the series, especially after the simple post-processing....


I am so pleased with how these images turned out, and I share this with you so that you might know you can do it quite easily, too! Search for inspiration on the web, in books, and in magazines, and if you don't have a fancy edited program, find one on the net. I've heard picnik and gimp are good. But most importantly, have fun with it!

Thanks for listening! :)

OURS: Now it's your turn! What homemaking tips do you have today? Can't wait to see!


Jill said...

I shared my videos for Grain-free roll out cookie dough and coconut whipped cream as well as the 5 reasons for my upcoming grian-free challenge!

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

You've taken some wonderful photographs! It must be very challenging having your son away, with limited contact. My son is 18 too, and I would find that terribly difficult.

Thank you for hosting the linky.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Thank you so much, April, for the compliment! Actually, April, LDS parents the world over pray for the day to come that their sons and daughters will choose to serve missions for The Lord. The change that overtakes them as they serve their fellow man is unlike anything I've ever seen. These young people go from self-centered teenagers to hard-working selfless adults who know how to pray, seek revelation from God and work with others. The changes I saw in my son early on are a huge testament to me that this is The Lord's program for turning teenaged boys into the husbands, fathers, and community members they have the potetial to become. It is wonderful and amazing and worth every single sacrifice we as families and youth make. Thanks again for your comment! :)

theintentionalminimalist said...

Thank you for hosting! This week I have shared the following seasonal farm-to-table recipes that promote the benefits of good health through nutrition from eating fresh unprocessed seasonal produce:

corn relish salad

brazil nut pesto cream & heirloom tomato alfredo

arugula salad with brazil nut pesto cream dressing

Happy cooking!
The Intentional Minimalist

Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Curiosity ? Jen,
Why does the Mormon Church leaders send Mormon missionaries to your area, seeings how you have such a large number of Mormon families living in that region, that you qualify to have a Mormon church, school and Temple in your area.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, while there is a large Mormon population in our area, the vast majority of people living here are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We see such benefits of happiness and peace having this gospel in our lives that we want to share it with every single person who doesn't have it, and give them a change to accept or reject it.

Thanks so much for all of your thoughtful comments and questions, Cheryl! I always look forward to opening one of your comments when it hits my email!

Karen UK said...

You are so thoughtful. If I was the mother of one of those elders in your area- I would love for someone to care enough to take lovely photos of them. Maybe I'll start praying for my oldest to come to your area - He's almost 10 so lookout for him in the next decade!!