Glinda the Good Witch

Last Sunday evening, enamored by the sunset filtering through the foliage at a roadside park, I pulled over and walked into the forested trails. The brilliance of golden hour produces a glow of light that captivates. In the picture it looks like a cone of light that I could walk straight into.  The field inside the grove of trees is filled with hundreds of tiny yellow wild flowers and the orb of light casts an orange glow on them. 

The orb of light reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, when Glinda (The Good Witch of the North) would arrive to the scene to help Dorothy find her way to “the Emerald City” so she could finally get back to her home in Kansas.

In pondering this idea of an orb being a vehicle of transport for a “good witch,” I looked up the spelling, is it Glenda or is it Glinda? In doing so I ran into her ‘bio’ on Wikipedia.

Holy Yellow Brick Road!  There is so much more to her character.

Glinda, also known as the Good Witch of the South is a fictional character created by L. Frank Baum and she first appears in his book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – written in 1900! She is the most powerful ‘sorceress’ in the Land of Oz and ruler of the Quadling Country which is south of the Emerald City (imagining Burien or Tukwila but not quite Federal Way). Glinda is also the protector of Princess Ozma.

Harry Potty got nothin’ on this Wonder Woman!  I’m thinking that Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Mario Brothers may all have ties to this old story, but where did such imagination come from for a fantasy with sorcery and royalty? King Arthur texts maybe?

Glinda’s history begins near the end of the first book but we don’t find out until the second book that Glinda plays an active role in finding and restoring Princess Ozma to the throne of Oz.  Baum decides to write the second book to imply that the search for Princess Ozma began long before we are introduced to Glinda in the first book. In the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, the princess is introduced to the reader as a boy named Tip and is about the age of 12. Baum tells us that Glinda had been searching for the princess since her disappearance as a baby.

None of the information about the search is mentioned in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz which makes me wonder if the series idea came later.

Who we have always recognized as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, (as she was known in the famous Judy Garland movie), she is actually a screen writer’s composite version assembled from the entire Oz series.  There are 17 books in Baum’s “Oz” series  and Glinda of Oz ranks at #17 and was published posthumously in 1920.  

It has long been my belief that books and movies created in lengthy series’ were a recent thing to keep us committed to characters in order to buy merchandise and continue anticipating future releases. However, starvation and making a living have been around since the dawn of time.  I have now recalibrated my belief to realizing that planning “series style” may have been developed when it was discovered that creativity could be leveraged to pay the bills. This business plan has served many story writers well. It’s also possible that creatives are simply just voracious creators.

I however am not a voracious reader. I have not read any of the books myself but in reading ABOUT the series, so many things come to mind. Glinda is obviously, in Baum’s thinking, a most powerful female hero with super powers.  I find the gender factors mystifying.  Who was writing about this kind of fantasy in 1900?  A female super hero? A missing princess disguised as a little boy?  I am not familiar with many fantasy stories of the early 1900’s but neither have I ever been a fan of fantasy fiction.  It was the incredible visual textures in the Wizard of Oz movie that triggered my curiosity to seek a little more backstory on my longtime affinity for this shimmering legend. 

Baum acknowledged his writing was heavily influenced by his childhood reading of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, which he was deliberately revising in his “American fairy tales” to include the wonder without the horrors. 

One of my favorite wonders that I found in researching Glinda (if this indeed is a “fact” about a “fictional” character) is that, in the books, Glinda is depicted as a beautiful young woman with long, rich red hair and blue eyes, wearing a pure white dress. Glinda is much older than her appearance would suggest, but “knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived” – It is said that this is a fact that is established in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by the Soldier With Green Whiskers. 

Glinda truly is a Wonder Woman.

God Created Woman

God created man in His own image and His beauty He reserved to give to women.

The beauty of women intrigues me to want to photograph women more and more. It’s not just the skin-deep kind of beauty, but the sincerity in the eyes, the  gentle motions of the frame, a formidable spirit and tender heart. 

A woman’s energy is ignited when encountering other women that share similar enthusiasm for life. Iron surely does sharpen iron, a fact proven to me again and again when I am in the company of other women, especial women with entrepreneurial goals who are driven by their enthusiasm to reach them.

My blog post today began a few of months ago in LaConner. I met with some friends that are hair stylists and beauty consultants

Business women don’t only know business, they understand the hearts of young women.

The #LaConnerModelCall started out as a simple idea. One of a fun day of hair, makeup, clothing and photographs. But the transformation wasn’t just of those getting the makeovers, it also tipped the axis a little for those of us offering our services.

On the day of the model call, with the hair salon owner’s permission, I worked with my husband to transform the parking lot of the LaConner Hair Design studio into an outdoor photography party. But then, what I got was not what I expected.

directing and fixing hair
Me in the photography stance

The mother daughter team who own Thavin & Marcob, Rachel & India were originally planning to provide a rack of clothing for trying on but another transformation was happening for them at this time also. Their business would soon be moving to Oak Harbor. Instead of a sample rack, they brought over what they called Brand Awareness Swag-Bags that included outfits for the girls to not only try on, but to keep! That was a huge and generous surprise to everyone. 

Swag Bags from Thavin&Marcob

Every young lady we served that afternoon showed a sense of confidence and radiance once each of them individually received so much personal attention from the hearts and hands that were serving them. 

Many caring for the one. Is that not beauty right there?

What I saw was a renewal of the spirit in not just the girls but in the women offering the services. We all felt the transformations, it was magical.

Beauty holds out a loving hand to serve others, beauty promotes others ahead of itself and beauty creates relationships. I could not have been more impressed at how these budding beauties carried themselves with grace and gratitude.  I could not have been more proud to be involved with all the businesses that came together to create such a fun day full of warmth and care.

Thank you everyone who participated. I hope we get to do this again soon!

Taryn, is confident, cordial and effervescent. Her enthusiasm and happiness were positively contagious! I loved photographing her, she was a natural!
Rachel, another natural in front of the camera. She is a sweet young woman with such an easy going attitude, she’ll be a senior next year and I look forward to getting to photograph her again sometime before she graduates.
Amberly. 2018 high school senior! Contrats! Amberly was smokin’ hot and she totally knew it. In fact, she told us. LOL. She’s wise beyond her years.
Caroline, another 2018 graduate, smart as a whip. Demure and confident track star and future physicist or something smart like that. Congratulations, Caroline!
Ashley, this woman has a heart of gold and gives everyone she meets a warm and wonderful smile. Ebony hair and eyes to match, she has a photographic allure that drew us in, another 2018 graduate. Congratulations, Ashley! You have alot to look forward to!
Eileen, a talented musician and gorgeous young woman yet seemingly unaware of her radiance. Once she felt the energy from the women around her, she was a rockstar! Eileen is also a 2018 graduate.
My ultimate goal in portraiture is to achieve expression and connection with my subject while capturing their images utilizing soft lighting and posing techniques. My inspiration is from the masterworks I used to view as a teenager. I would frequent the Detroit Institute of arts and stare at the works by French artists like William Bouguereau or Jacques-Louis David,  19th Century neo-classic painters. The way their subjects were lit and posed, they look like photographs. 

Glamour Studio

Shooting Natural light did not come easy to me. Committing to it still feels foreign but commit to it I have. In the past two weeks I’ve done something that I’ve only imagined I would do, I leased a space. I saw the light and I was overtaken by it. I put my money down, bought some paint, and made it mine. For a year any way.

My V-Flats were too tall for the car so we cut them down a bit, I trucked over my cool little Ikea ladder and some apple boxes (which maybe I’ll paint over the summer). I’ve done a couple of really nice natural light sessions so far.

The look I desire is pure beauty and what I get is absolutely gorgeous.

It’s easy this time of year, the light lasts well past 7pm so after work appointments are fine for now. I’ll bring in some lights and likely do a Christmas Portrait Event there as well.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, my Glamour Studio is in Conway, I’m 32 steps above Curious Goods. Conway is right at the exit for Hwy 534, turn as though you were going to LaConner. Conway might only be a two block town but it’s right between Mt Vernon and Stanwood and easy to access. Plus it’s simply charming to be part of it.

Below is an image from my first two sessions, a head shot session and a glamour session in “dirty windows studio” in Conway. Both are natural light only from the windows. In a future post, I’ll give you a look inside. Or even better, come up and see me sometime. *wink*

 

 

Glamour Images in “dirty window light” studio

 

©GlimmerGlassPhoto.com – My very first headshot session in my new Conway studio.

Senior Model Call

 

What is a Model Call?
It’s kind of like a casting call, except that it’s FUN!
An afternoon of make overs, hair styles, wardrobe try-ons, photos and prizes!

The process is first come first serve so apply today! You may also bring a friend to your session.

This is a ONE DAY ONLY free event! Typically a senior portrait session with stylists cost around $250 for a two hour session (including the hair and makup)

At this date we have space for at least 10 appointments so take advantage of these complimentary mini-sessions!

Parental consent is required for participants under the age of 18.

I hope you will join us!  Click HERE to apply:

SENIOR MODEL CALL PARTICIPATION FORM

#LaConnerModelCall

#GlimmerGlassPhotography

 

In Camera Camera Tricks

Photography is my job and sometimes I just gotta have a little fun with my work. Having fun is a necessary component to inspire creativity and the interactive playing with these ideas with other creatives inspires new ideas.

Having watched a youtube video about prisms, I bought a few inexpensive items at the local Hobby Lobby and tried a few refracting in-camera tricks. There were several prism suggestions, I thought I’d just try working on two of them. First I tried a home made prism technique using three mirrors. The mirrors I bought were square, so I didn’t get the depth I needed for the lenses I used (but inexpensive rectangle mirrors were not readily available). Amazingly the square mirrors seemed to work even better with the iphone cameras because the lens on the iphone camera is flush on the camera body and angled for wide shots.

My models were having a field day with the contraption and their iphones and thus I got to be in a few shots, too.

 

BTS, behind the scene
©GlimmerGlassPhoto.com

With the benefit of my studio strobes, Angela angled the shot of me with her iphone to present me in a flattering light. This is a great representation of me because I could use an extra hand and if I could I would probably shoot two handed.

 

refracting light like a kaleidoscope
refracting light like a kaleidoscope

For my second trick, I used some little sticky “gems” at $2.99 for a strip of them, I wanted to sample how those would refract light. This one is a little trickier because I needed to trigger a strobe at the right distance and angle from behind me while I have the gems at the correct distance to be out of focus and blurry bubbles enveloping my subject. The light needs only skip across the beads to hit a facet or two on the gems, it seemed to work best if the light were pointed away and out. It was just off to the side and behind me. It would have been better if I used live view to see where the gems looked best in the image, but I pretty much always forget that I even have live view on my camera.

Angling light to add boka in camera

Experiment with how close the beads should be to the lens.

in camera boka,
©GlimmerGlassPhoto.com
Voila! In Camera Boka!

 

Pretty fun, huh?  Try it yourself. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s under $10!

 

 

 

Ladies Night at Hellam’s Wine Bar

December 8th in LaConner.

Over at Hellam’s Wine Bar in the old Perry Polson Warehouse (we know it today as the Lime Dock Building), they hosted a “ladies’ night” that included some tasty hors d’oeuvre creations made by the town’s one and only Scone Lady – Christie! Her treats are amazing in appearance and flavor. That Scone Lady can bake!  There were some terrific vendors there as well, as you look through the photo gallery you might recognize them yourself.  If there was something you were meaning to pickup for a gift from one of these fine vendors, you might be able to identify it by looking back down memory lane through these images.

In the gallery link below you’ll find LOTS of candids from the event, I was testing out a new camera body for it’s “low light” capabilities. There was a bit of a learning curve that I’m still working to see if I want to get used to or if I’d rather work with my reliable and concentrate my efforts on other areas, such as posing and composition.

As an added bonus, because the lights and fog were so interesting that weekend, I couldn’t resist scattering a few images of the town in between the frolicking fun of the ladie’s night pictures.

I hope you enjoy looking back at the event. Drop me a line if you are interested in creating a family photo in the town of LaConner, there are usually some sunny mornings and that is a wonderful time of day in LaConner to catch some pretty background light.

Thank you for visiting!  (Click here to be redirected to the gallery)

Suzy Petrucci

Photographer.

 

Christmas Portraits 2017

Making a family portrait is fun and special. You might think it’s not organic because you had to make an appointment but the fun is real and that makes the expression real and that makes it intentional family time. It will be a portrait you’ll cherish for generations.

And, if you need one, plan to get a headshot while your here, too!

   

Fifth Annual Christmas Portrait Event!

This Thanksgiving Weekend, when all your family is together, make a date for one more intentional family fun memory that will last for generations! Come over to my house and have a free sitting for a family portrait!

I am decking out my studio in a rustic winter theme with lights and barn wood and a little greenery.

Here’s all you need to do:

5 easy steps

  1. Friday, Saturday or Sunday – pick a day & time, send me an email or give me a call to schedule
  2.  Coordinate your family for the appointment and decide how to dress (casual, semi dressy, totally up to you!)
  3.  Show up on time to have a fun 20 minute session for a family photo to use for framing, gifting or holiday cards.
  4. At the same appointment, if you have time, we can look at the images and decide if you want to purchase a package or digitals. OR – I can send you a link to the online gallery and you can decide then. Once you choose, you can pay with cash, check or card for whatever package fits your needs. You get the full resolution digitals to create cards, ornaments or what have you — or if you want full service, I can totally order for you!
  5. Once you choose a package, your printed images arrive within 2 weeks for gift giving or hanging on the wall!

There is no session fee for this event, it always brings smiles and laughs as the family coordinates their posing and banters their thoughts of holidays past, present and future. It is truly family fun time and a fun family tradition. There is no obligation to purchase however, should you decide you’d like to purchase images from the session, the packages start at $50

Easy and affordable.

 

More info here

The Quince

In March this year we moved our boat from the north basin to the south basin moorage at the Port of Skagit Marina in LaConner.  The south basin is closer to town and close to the Swinomish Yacht Club building. We do not belong to the yacht club, not yacht anyway.

The clubhouse, which resembles more of a dentist’s office than some kind of Thurston Howell the Third hang out, is usually rented out on the weekends; most of the parties are mainly quinceaneras, which are the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. The quinces are generally quite jubilant and highly decorative events, I’ve been hoping to photograph one ever since we’ve had the boat there and have only been able to watch from the dock.

For the past year and a half, my husband and I have been trying to find our fit in this Skagit community. We have a comfortable boat there where we can stay for a few days at a time and we set up a mailbox at the Tillinghast Business Center. A mailbox we never get mail in. Possibly because I can’t remember the address.  Anyway, last week, I was just hell-bent on getting something delivered to that box. Lucy, the business owner there, told me that she receives Amazon deliveries all the time for her customers.

That’s it, I thought, as I placed an Amazon order knowing we’d be in LaConner that Friday and thinking that it would be super cool to walk to the mailbox place and actually have something to get. Something I’ve really wanted for a couple years, too.

I was bound and determined to accomplish this mission.

Sometimes I’ll put ads on Craigslist to spur work in the area when I’ll be there, but no calls this time. However, I somehow felt that this trip I was going to be working but I had no idea on what. I brought more gear than usual: three lenses, a soft box and the light stand. Mike, my husband, must’ve thought I’d gone off the deep end packing all that stuff for an overnighter with no job lined up.

Friday afternoon in LaConner, while sitting in Kim’s coffee shop, Stompin’ Grounds, working on my laptop, the little alert message popped up from Tillinghast Postal, “You have a package waiting for you at the business center!”  

My little over-caffeinated heart hiccuped in my chest with excitement. My inner voice shrieked, “My new flash! It’s here!”

I quickly wrapped up my work, forgetting my glasses and workbook on the counter, I nearly skip across the street to Tillinghast. When I got through the door, Miss Lucy had already seen me coming (how could she miss me, right?) and had the package ready to hand to me.

When I got back to the boat, I immediately I unpacked the box and as I did my mind formulated my first shoot. I had the perfect plan to test it out. 

We had talked about going to Taylor Shellfish farm on Saturday, and although it really stinks up the boat to make mussels, I really want to test this flash and Taylor’s would be the perfect setting.

The objective of this flash is high speed in bright light (now I know what half of you are thinking right now, bight light? Why do you need a flash, what?)

Taylor’s is just up Chuckanut Drive, down on the water, blindingly bright at noon. If you’ve ever taken a photograph on a bright, sunny waterfront, you are no doubt familiar with the classic “silhouette” look or sorely disappointed with the background going dark when you try to light your subject.

I set up my gear. I either looked like a complete nut job or a highly trained professional with this setup when the rest of the world was holding up their perfectly metered cellphones and taking selfies.  My husband and top model, stood with his back to the water facing me. My camera sat on a tripod set on “timer.” First I put the focus point on Mike, then hit the shutter button which sets off the timer. As it beeped, I took my new light-on-a-stick and held it over pointing down 90º toward him. After the 10 seconds, the timer opened the shutter, which triggered the remote to signal the flash. Poof! It worked beautifully. Ah, delight!

So there I was, at the shellfish farm, happy as a clam.

taylor shellfish farm Happy as a clam, right here.

We got back to the boat with our mussels and I noticed over at the clubhouse there were folks unloading for a quinceanera party. Still excited about my incredible new flash, I hustled over and asked if they needed a photographer for the event.

They did not need me. 

The quinceanera girl’s father told me his niece was a professional photographer and she would be taking the pictures.

I started to walk away but I kept thinking, I know I’m supposed to be here.

I went back and asked for the father again, “Sir, I have never seen a quinceanera entirely. May I speak with your niece when she gets here to see if she wouldn’t mind if I came and photographed a little as well?”   He agreed, “She will be here after 3pm.”  

That gave me 25 minutes, enough time to run back to the boat and put on the best clothes I had brought (which were really not all that nice but I had to make an attempt).

I went back at 3:30 (didn’t want to look too anxious) and easily identified the photographer (she was the one with the camera and the fancy boots). Her name was Gabby, a sweet lady and incredibly pretty. She probably thought I was off my rocker asking to second shoot this quinceanera, me in my psychedelic bell bottom yoga pants and 3 day old hair. But quinceaneras, they can be quite the elaborate occasion.  And it definitely was. It felt like a fantasy play, mimicking the feelings of a young girl’s dream of her wedding day.

The Quinceanera dances are indeed meant to show beauty and gracefulness.

I have to admit, when she and and father danced, I couldn’t hold in my tears. It was lovely.

Yes, in fact, Gabby was doing just fine without me but allowing me to photograph the quinceanera with her was a blessing for me and maybe somewhat for her as well because that morning, Gabby’s camera was not working! She had made a trip all the way down to Seattle from Mt. Vernon (and back) to pick up a rental from Glazer’s Cameras. She was clearly frustrated with having to use a rental and the light was going away quickly. I told her about my off-camera flash and of course hoped I’d get to use it. She said, “YES! Get it, please!” And so I skipped off to get my flash and we got some fantastic pictures.

Click over to my gallery to view more images from this beautiful family event, GALLERY LINK CLICK HERE

To contact me for booking an appointment, click my contact button in the menu.

Suzy Petrucci | Seattle, Washington