elizabeth&jane blog

Top 6 reasons that I am cool..or something…

This weekend was a weekend for personal projects. I have been planning on changing my about page for a while now and I decided that this weekend was it. I wanted to create a more fun and personal look into my life and so the “self portrait challenge” was born. I took almost all of these myself, and if I didn’t take them, I set everything up and asked my wonderful hubby, Thomas, to shoot them for me. For the ones I took, I put the camera on a tripod and set the camera on Interval Timer Shooting and had it take 29 exposures over 1 minute. Fun stuff! And also a bit awkward because you never know when it’s going to stop shooting. I guess you could count, but I’m not that skilled – to count and get into position at the same time. haha.

I thought it would be fun to do a breakdown for each photo. Seeing as each was pre-conceptualized and carefully planned. I thought I would also show you my wicked awesome amazing drawings that served as the wireframes for each portrait. I’m super awesome at drawing stuff. You’ll see…

And for the photographers in the room, I thought I would include the shooting data for each portrait as well. Each was shot using natural and available light.

I knew I wanted to have 5 or 6 separate shots to illustrate different sides of me, and what my interests are. I settled on 6: Thomas, dogs, candy, shoes, DVDs and grocery shopping.


Portrait photo: self portrait with my husband
Shooting data: D700 with 85mm f/1.4D IF lens, ISO 1100, f/2.5, 1/125

I originally had planned on doing this shot outside, but it began super crazy blizzarding about 20 mins before I was hoping to shoot it so I had to change tactics. Instead I photographed this in our bedroom because of the awesome brown and blue wall. (See full bedroom photo below). I wanted the focus to be on the two of us so it actually didn’t matter too much where it was taken, just that the two of us were in it.


Portrait photo: self portrait with my dogs
Shooting data: D700 with 50mm f/1.4D lens, ISO 280, f/3.5, 1/500

This was one of two shots I had Thomas take for me. There was no way I was setting up my camera on a tripod, in the snow, and then wrangling the dog-beasts into position AND getting them to look at the camera. Thomas saved the day and shot this for me, in his snow pants and everything so he could lie on the ground, as I was instructing him to do. I’ve got a great husband!


Portrait photo: self portrait with candy
Shooting data: D700 with 50mm f/1.4D lens, ISO 1600, f/2, 1/250

Candy oh candy, how I love thee. This shot was also one that had to be changed up right before I was about to shoot it. This was taken in our bedroom, which was planned, but in the original plan I wanted to be behind the table, which is actually our chest of drawers. What I hadn’t thought through was how heavy the chest of drawers was and how it’s pretty much impossible to move myself, so I compromised to be on it instead. I wanted the candy to be displayed like it is in the beautiful candy buffets at weddings. For anyone who is wondering, the candy itself is from The Candy Store in Westboro. Love that place – they also do beautiful work for weddings.


Portrait photo: self portrait with shoes
Shooting data: D700 with 35mm f/2D lens, ISO 1100, f/2.8, 1/30

As I mention in the blurb about this photo, I discovered that I own over 40 pairs of shoes while gathering them for this shot *gasp*! I had no idea I had that many. Regardless of that, I love all of my shoes, although I prefer ballet flats as I tend to fall down in heels. I’m not kidding, me + heels usually = disaster. This shot is a composite of two portrait oriented shots. Our stairs weren’t wide enough for what I wanted to accomplish. I also envisioned this shot on beautiful hardwood stairs, but alas, we have carpeted stairs so I worked with what I had. For those interested, the pair I am wearing are one of my favourite pairs and are by Coach. Man I love Coach.


Portrait photo: self portrait with DVDs
Shooting data: D700 with 35mm f/2D lens, ISO 1600, f/2, 1/100

This was the first shot I planned out and I am quite happy with how it turned out. This is the other shot that I asked Thomas to take, because I was afraid of the camera falling on my face if I attempted this shot with a tripod. This was also the first shot I drew, and contrary to what the photo depicts, my hair is not on fire and I actually do have facial features, unlike the photo. FYI the DVDs I’m holding are three of my absolute faves of all time: Better off Ted, Arrested Development and The Birdcage.

Grocery Shopping

Portrait photo: self portrait with food
Shooting data: D700 with 20mm f/2.8D lens, ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/125

I love grocery shopping. It’s permission to shop so how can it be wrong!? haha. We grocery shop every Friday night and I get sushi for dinner from the stand at Loblaws – love it! I also love tomato juice and milk, which is what inspired this shot. I emptied out the top shelf of the fridge, except the tomato juice, milk and pickles, and placed the camera in the back of the fridge. I had to guestimate where the focus would fall as well as turn on the interval timer shooting before I placed it in so there are a few shots of my arm getting it set up. It’s quite funny.


*added Feb 14th – 9pm*
Portrait photo: self portrait with post it notes
Shooting data: D700 with 50mm f/1.4D lens, ISO 2200, f/2.5, 1/60 – ISO 3200, f/3.5, 1/160 – ISO 2200, f/2.5, 1/80

This is a composite of three photographs. By the time I was ready to shoot this, I was losing light very quickly and I had to fudge it a bit. The photograph is made up of a shot of the background, a shot of me and a shot of the display on the iPad. I was still standing in front of the wall of post-it notes for the original shot, but I thought that it would be better if more of the background was in focus, so I overlayed a previous shot I took of just the wall. This concept came about for my true and honest love of organization. I love making lists and always have. Nowadays I use (and love) TeuxDeux, and you should use it too. I use it on the computer and I also have their iPhone App. The online version is free and the iPhone App is $2.99 and worth every penny. You should definitely try this one out…like now.

For anyone wondering, the amazing paper hearts behind me in this portrait are from Paper Polaroid on Etsy.

For anyone wondering, this is what our bedroom looks like. Mind you this is from a few years ago, but it looks pretty much the same now. I do a lot of shooting in this room – the bright walls are really great for faking a studio.

Our Bedroom
There are some more before and after pics on Desire to Inspire’s website, for those who are interested.

Don’t be afraid to paint your walls really bright!

I also want to give a big, huge, loving shoutout to Thomas for taking the time this morning to code up my new about page in spiffy HTML5 so that it works on every platform, and in every browser. You rock, as always!!

Have a wonderful day,

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