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a quiet christmas

Sunday, December 27, 2009 | |

The best gift I could ever have is for Adam and I to spend Christmas together. Adam was in Norway fixing oil rigs, and we weren't sure if he'd make it back home. He didn't know till a week before the 25th, actually. When I read his email saying he'd be home on the afternoon of the 24th, I almost cried.

See, we've been married 7 and some odd years. But after our tours in the Navy, and after he took the job that consequently moved us to Houston, I could count with a few fingers how many times we actually spent holidays together. That includes birthdays. And anniversaries. Specially anniversaries.

So when I read that email, I almost cried. I was so excited that I went to two grocery stores to get food. I'm not a good cook - I do try, but I like baking better. There's a Whole Foods Market about 15 minutes away and I managed to squeeze between the lines and come away with three dishes. I made rice. Rice always completes a meal for me. It's my comfort food. You should see my rice cooker. It's the most tricked out rice cooker Adam's ever seen.

Adam got home tired. We ate before he conked out for ten hours. Poor guy was traveling from Norway, after all. And looking at him sleeping peacefully on the couch - he wouldn't move to the bed till I was ready to sleep - I was thankful that he was safe. If I didn't get any other present than the sight of him sleeping on the couch with his hands tucked under his head I would have been happy. It would have made my year.

But of course, I've been a good girl too! So I got an awesome blender/food processor from my parents, and Adam's family sent a cacophony of stocking stuffers, a snuggie from Brookstone - trust me, if you've ever felt heaven, it would be in the sleeves of a NAP snuggie; and a "Save the Murlocs" T-shirt from Ginger, my awesome sister-in-love. Adam got me a fancy leatherette trench coat with grommets on the lapels. I was totally channeling Trinity from the Matrix in it. I make a fantastic Trinity, if I may say so myself. Not to mention the Canon G11 on the way from Amazon. Even Maxie and Aries, our kitties, got gifts: a laser toy in the shape of plastic tabby and two mini costumes - a reindeer outfit and an elf outfit. There was no way in heck Maxie was going to wear one, but Aries was perfectly happy to be "voluntold." By which I mean he was perfectly miserable in his reindeer costume.

Poor guy. The first thing he did was run around like a maniac trying to dislodge the antlers. He went under the sofa. When he came back out, the antlers hung under his chin like a sad beard. Cats are definitely not dogs.

So I spent Christmas working on the images from Jay and Lisa's wedding in New Orleans, and alternately looking at Adam on the sofa and petting Aries, who scrambled onto my chair to sit like a furry, bearded log behind my back. And you know what? Life was good.

PS. Mad props to the Parkers for inviting us over, but the last time Adam passed out on them was one embarrassing moment too many lol! Here's to getting together when he's not jet lagged, guys :)

Visit my website at Kris Fulk Photography 

Jay and Lisa: before and after teaser

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | |

I came home at 2AM last night from a ~6 hour trip from New Orleans with Jessica. Yesterday was a big day for us. It was also the first time I met Jay and Lisa, the lovely couple you will be meeting shortly after I'm done culling and processing their non-traditional wedding.

Don't miss it. Just imagine: a ceremony in Oak Alley plantation, then a 4 hour jaunt in the French Quarter with Janelle and Bryan, their maid-of-honor and best man. It's coming, I promise :)

Needless to say, instead of doing the cleaning I can't put off, and wrapping Christmas presents for Adam (yeah, Christmas, which is in two days!), I am instead putting these things off so I could have a wonderful time looking at Jay and Lisa's photos. Can't blame a girl for going gaga over a wedding, can you? I love weddings. I adore weddings. It's just such a magical time. Ok, I don't want to get teary eyed again (you'll see what I mean later), so here's a little something for you. A before and after teaser. I'm going to start posting these from now on.



Totally RAD Actions
boutwell magic glass 28%
warm it up kris 64%
green with envy, to taste 100%
pro retouch, to taste 67%
a better web sharpen

To see more photos, please visit Kris Fulk Photography

Joan: a boudoir episode

Sunday, December 13, 2009 | |

I learned two things this past Saturday. One: a gripped 5d2 with an on-camera 580EX and a 24-70L gives a better work out than push-ups alone. Two: I really need to work out more so a 3 hour event doesn't hurt the next day. Trust me, I felt it in places I didn't think I would.

(Note to self: allot twenty minutes every day for lifting the camera up and down.)

It was a really busy day. I had gotten up at 6:45AM to get ready for an early Christmas Party event I was covering at one of the beautiful houses in the Westchase area, and right after that was done at 1PM, I went by Laurie Perez's studio to be an extra "voice activated reflector arm" during her boudoir shoot scheduled at 2pm. But because she's Laurie, who is wonderful, she told me to pick up my camera every now and then.

Meet Joan. She's a few inches short of 5 foot tall, petite and cute as a doll. I want to add her to the things I want to clone and put in my pocket. It's actually a calendar shoot and each outfit represented different months. It was a lot of fun! Joanna's sister, being a MUA, did her hair and make-up and stayed about 4 hours (the shoot lasted 6, I think) through the different outfit changes.

Here is the January outfit. We set her up on a stool next to a piano and opened the garage door on the side of Laurie's studio to let in some natural light. These were the only photos I took, by the way, since we were on a tight schedule.

A candid shot on the left. The expression on her face makes this my absolute fave!

And here's the set-up. Laurie with the camera and Sally, Joanna's sister, to her right.

Image quality is not as good on blogger, so I'm sorry it doesn't pop. I can't figure out how to make it a better resolution even though I'm linking it off my smugmug gallery, where the photos look fantastic.

Oh, I did learn a third thing that day: I need to start booking boudoir :)

Joan: a boudoir episode is brought to you by Kris Fulk Photography

"the best camera is the one in your bag" and mental pictures and stuff

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | |

The day was sunny. The weather chill. 9AM at Minuti Coffee next to Arby's at Sugarland. I came to meet Mark Meeker (of Christine Meeker Studios) to talk shop and enjoy the warm ambiance of Minuti.

He said something that really lodged itself in my head. "So," he prefaced, "do you carry a camera in your bag?"

I looked at the brown leatherette (read: pleather) fringed hobo bag next to me, oversized and happily spilling over as it reclined. "Why, yes," I said, pulling my blue Diana toy camera out of my bag.

"It's not digital?"

I shook my head and flipped him the back of the camera. "Film. See?"

"Isn't it funny," he said, "that neither one of us have a digital camera and we're both in the photography business?"

I pondered this: "Why?"

"Chase Jarvis was asked what the best camera is for photographers. And you know what he said? He said that the best camera is the one in your bag." Mark didn't even own a camera phone. Neither did I.

Huh. Another reason why I should chuck my blackberry. It's great for what it is, but I really would like a phone with a slick LCD to show off my photos and one that can take awesome pics so I could just snap away for tweeting or blogging or what have you.

But wait. I'm being unfair to my Diana. I love my Diana. I hated developing film and being in the darkroom in college. Hey, it's not my fault that the darkroom gave me the heebeejeebies. But I shoot 35mm films on my Diana, send it to Walgreens or Target or somewhere to get developed and then scan the negatives to my computer. I know that seems like a lot more work than just uploading a digital file from a digital camera, but there's something about carrying this one camera that makes me feel better. Sometimes I forget to advance the film and I end up with multiple exposures. Sometimes I forget to put the setting out of pinhole and end up with a completely black roll. Most of the time I get the field of view wrong and get a whole bunch of headless shots. That sounds awful, you're probably thinking. But for me it's an adventure. I never know what I'm going to get when the film gets developed.

After Mark left (who promised to bring his dslr wherever he goes ever after), I really, really wanted to take a picture of Minuti for this post. Just to say that I was there at this particular day on this particular time. But since it would mean waiting for me to finish my current roll of film (it's on frame number 2-ish), I decided to take a mental picture instead.

So here it is after said mental picture was processed:

Clearly you can see that this type of processing may result in some details being lost, while others were re-imagined :)

"the best camera is the one in your bag" and mental pictures and stuff is brought to you by Kris Fulk Photography

when you want a broken camera, you get one that's not (a diana camera story)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | |

I know, I know,why would anyone want a broken camera, right? Well, let me explain. Diana cameras are toy cameras, flimsy plastic ones known for having defects that affect film in cool ways. They were manufactured a few decades ago, and were considered so terrible that they were practically free.

And do you know how much they are worth now?? New Dianas, made to be replicas of the old plastic ones from China, cost around $100ish, and that's without the "accessories." (!!!) Detachable lenses cost upward from around $40, and film adapters (the original uses 120 film, so if you want to use 35mm film, you need to buy an adapter) cost as much as the camera. FYI, 120 film is a pain in the butt to get developed and real expensive to boot. I find it easier to use a 35mm, get it developed, then scan the negatives now that I finally un-dumbed myself on how to use my film adapter unit on my scanner.

And because I'm a sadist, let me take a moment to burn your retinas:

"It's the Asian in me!"....Kris on Twitpic

(Photo courtesy of Laurie Perez's camera phone.) Yes, that's the Diana camera. Yes, unfortunately, that is also my scared/smiley?/constipated-looking face next to it. Luckily twitpic thumbs are small, so if you want to preserve what little sight you have left fromt he initial shock, don't click on it. Just look at the Diana camera.

It's a beauty, isn't it? Looks really retro. In a sad twist of fate, I seem to have the only Diana in history that works perfectly. Well, maybe, that's an exaggeration. Maybe it's like 1 of the 5 Dianas that work(ed) perfectly.

So I used PS to make them look weathered. Don't judge me. I only added some grain and color shifts, mmk?

And without further ado, I give you these shots taken from the Art Crawl a few weeks back here in Houston:

Double exposure, what?

And something random:

And another one. Remember this, Sam?

You might notice that most of those look like boob shots...well they're not intended to be :( The film adapter narrows your field of view by however much, and you don't see that in your viewfinder. So for next time, I just need to step way way WAY back. And no matter how much I fudge up taking the shots due to user error, there *will* be a next time. Because I'm also a masochist. Apparently.

when you want a broken camera, you get one that's not (a diana camera story) brought to you by Kris Fulk Photography

About Me

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Houston, TX, United States
Fashion, editorial and fine art photographer based in Houston, TX. Sometime illustrator. Always a dreamer.