Posts Tagged ‘art’


Announcing “Craft with a Creative” Workshops by Noel Photo. and Design!

November 15, 2016

Though against my nature, I’ve been waiting patiently to announce yet another branch of my business. But the wait is over!

That’s right – I have added yet another side called “Craft with a Creative,” and let me tell you I’m pretty stoked about this. Those who follow the blog and know me personally, know I have creativity coming out of my ears. So when my studio finally opened how could I just stop at graphic design and photography?! I mean there’s so much room for activities!

Now you’re hopefully wondering WHAT IS “Craft with a Creative?” Well…

Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image

How many times have you browsed through Pinterest and other sites thinking “Wow, I wish I knew how to dive into that project?!” Well if your answer is, “All. The. Time.” that’s what Craft with a Creative is meant to do:

Take your doubt away and let your creative side play!

Noel Photography and Design will host “Craft with a Creative” sessions throughout the year, featuring a new creative project each time. It will be a time for friends to hang out, learn a new artsy craft, and maybe even get a bit messy.

Included with a varying, small fee for each session will be tasty refreshments, the instruction of an artist (yours truly,) and all the supplies you need for the project. You only need to bring your friends, occasionally special items to personalize your project, and YOURSELF! It’s that easy.

Workshops will typically take place at the studio in downtown Hebron, NE and will have an average run time of 1-2 hours. However, to keep things crafty each project will differ in time and difficulty. Participants will need to sign up and make their session payments by the deadline given with each project.

Craft with a Creative © Noel Photography and Design

Craft with a Creative © Noel Photography and Design

So, are you ready to get crafty!? Good, because the first workshop is coming up in December and I’d love to get enough people to get started! Find out what we’re making and sign up to reserve your spot by visiting me in store {Tues. – Friday between 12p and 5pm} OR by CLICKING HERE.


Thanks for reading and please drop me any questions or comments you have about Craft with a Creative! I look forward to crafting with you, but until then: Follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and give the Facebook page a LIKE.

Happy Creating!



Photo Inspiration : Howard Schatz

March 29, 2016

In my need for boldness and contrast, Howard Schatz quickly caught my attention as inspiration. Schatz is a New York photographer well know for his various portraits of athletes, dancers, fashion and other models. With the help of his wife and editor, Beverly Ornstein, Schatz has more than 20 published books of his extremely detailed, powerful and creative photographs. [Read more on Howard Schatz from Gallery M.]

Kaillie Humphries, Gold Medal Olympic Bobsledder | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2011

Kaillie Humphries, Gold Medal Olympic Bobsledder | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2011



It’s quite obvious when browsing Schatz’s portfolio, he loves black and white. Can you blame him? Not only does black and white make beautiful contrast on any subject matter, but it allows the focus to be on the details rather than any color distractions.

NBN #559 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

NBN #559 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007


Duomo di Siena, photographed in Siena, Italy, June 2002. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Duomo di Siena, photographed in Siena, Italy, June 2002. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013



While many of his works are in black and white, he doesn’t shy away from color. In fact, when his images are in color, they are bold, crisp and completely stunning! Which is exactly what color should be. {In my opinion.} 🙂

Powder Study #1025 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Powder Study #1025 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Beauty Study #1221, Zhanna, photographed in New York City, April 2011. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Beauty Study #1221, Zhanna, photographed in New York City, April 2011. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013


Photography is very much about composition and the “big picture.” While I never want to take away from images that focus on a bigger picture, what about the little things in life? Schatz has made an effort in various areas of his work, including a study titled “Folds,” to focus in on the interesting details of his subject. Doing so can be so refreshing and breathtaking.

Human Body Study 1130 Chrissie Wellington, 3-Time Iron Man Champion | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2010

Human Body Study 1130 Chrissie Wellington, 3-Time Iron Man Champion | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2010

Folds Study #1383 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Folds Study #1383 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007



Lastly, his work is not in any way “put in a box.” Schatz portfolio has a wide variety of styles, subject matter and ideas. I relate to this well, as I enjoy many types of photography. It’s mentally and visually stimulating to have such diversity in one’s portfolio. Even his portrait work is extremely different from series to series. What a breath of fresh air!

Newborn Study #1563 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Newborn Study #1563 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Underwater Study #3093, Amanda Cobb, photographed in Sherman, CT, August 2006. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Underwater Study #3093, Amanda Cobb, photographed in Sherman, CT, August 2006. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016


Golden Gate Bridge, photographed in San Francisco, January 2003. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Golden Gate Bridge, photographed in San Francisco, January 2003. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013


I could probably spend HOURS browsing his work, and finding things I love. It’s strongly encouraged for everyone to visit his portfolio website at, where the images here were found! Some viewer discretion may be advised, as many of his works contain nudity and sexual related content. For those with an open mind, I promise you won’t be disappointed with this photographer’s stunning works! Enjoy.

Once again, thank you all for reading! To get more updates from Noel Photography and Design, follow me here on WordPress by email or blog. Don’t forget to also hit that LIKE button on Facebook. 🙂

Happy Creating!



Featured Collections have arrived!

January 26, 2015

Today’s post is going to be short, sweet and to the point. BUT, it’s definitely one for readers to take note of! ——— In the last few months, I have not only been updating the overall look of my website, but I have also been adding lots of new features and services! As the new things come into play, I will post about them individually. So for now, I wanted to take a moment to highlight and explain about the new “Photography Featured Collections!!” Featured Collections are exactly what they imply– photo series being highlighted during a certain time period. I have decided this is the perfect way to give each series the attention it deserves! 🙂




To kick off this new element, the first few featured collections are series that have already previously been published online. The chosen collection theme will be listed on the homepage of the website (as shown above), and the images themselves can be found on the “Featured” page.


Please keep an eye out, on WordPress & Facebook, for when a new collection has been published, because I will be posting about it! The current collection is entitled “Abandoned Nebraska,” and can be viewed on my Featured page now. * Wink Wink * (You should probably click HERE and check it out!) 🙂


As mentioned before, I am working on site updates to make this a more convenient process, and will also post about those changes when they come about. Thank you all who currently follow me! If you would like to get updates from Noel Photograph & Design, on your WordPress & Facebook, be sure to hit that “LIKE” or “FOLLOW” button!

Happy Creating! 🙂



5 Reasons Professionals Should Shoot Manual Always

November 7, 2014

Shooting Manual


1. Manual Settings make Photos Look More Professional

The first obvious reason to shoot in manual is because you can! Any one can photograph with automatic settings, (which is often what most “non-professional” photo takers will do.) However, as a trained professional, we have the knowledge and ability to utilize the camera’s full functions. Having the skills to alter how we photograph is one of our perks, and what sets us apart from others who are not as experienced. Don’t waste the potential because it’s inconvenient or scary! By using the manual functions you will be able to create emotional, crisp, stunning and PROFESSIONAL looking images, you otherwise wouldn’t get with auto.


2. An Educated Guess vs. An Experienced Decision

When a camera is on automatic the “computer technology” is now in charge of several functions responsible for image quality. While this sounds like a fantastic way to get image results, in this case, your experience outranks technology. Remember, the camera is only taking an educated guess on what settings to use. Meaning, it will typically have a “go to” setting for specific scenarios. A few examples may include having a “go to” setting for high, low and no light. That means it’s choosing ONE option out of hundreds of settings! While this will usually produce a usable image, it doesn’t create a high quality one. Believe it or not, your experience of knowing how the image should look, and knowledge of what settings to use to achieve that, will always turn out better than the camera’s “educated guess.”


3. Controlling Light & Color.

In addition to a few obvious components, such as composition and subject matter, good photography is strongly based on lighting and exposure. In a nutshell:

Bad lighting =  Bad image.

One huge problem with auto is that it usually makes colors dull. (As shown in the first two images.) On top of bland colors, if a pop-up flash is automated in low light, it prevents shadows and highlights necessary for eye pleasing contrast. In addition, a lack of shadows tend to make images look “flat.” (As shown in the third image by Kai Jai Photography.)

Typically a “usable” picture can be achieved with automatic. However, as mentioned before, that usable image is going to appear unprofessional. But there’s good news! By simply switching to manual, photographers can alter the mood, feel and overall quality of a photograph with the different settings that effect light. (ie. ISO, aperture and exposure time.)

Auto vs. Manual 2. © Noel Photography

Auto vs. Manual 1. © Noel Photography

Photograph Example by Gibson Photography - Google Search

Color Difference on Auto vs. Manual 2. Photo Example by Gibson Photography – Google Search

Image by Kai Jai Photography -  Google Search

Pop-up Flash vs. Manual\External Flash. Photo Example by Kai Jai Photography – Google Search


4. Manual Makes Evening and Night Photos Possible

One of my favorite times to photograph is at night. Obviously meaning there is a very little light source. If a subject has low or focused light at night, it is IMPOSSIBLE to capture a good shot on *automatic. Literally impossible! Take a look at these images to see the potential manual brings to low light shooting! [*When I say, “Impossible to capture a night shot with automatic,” here is what I am referring to: Most cameras with only a “general automatic” setting, cannot capture night photos accurately. However, there are some cameras that have an “automatic night shooting” function, but again, while this setting can produce a “usable” image, it still is not an ideal night photo.]


Night Shooting 2. © Noel Photography

Manual Night Shooting 1. © Noel Photography

Night Shooting 1. © Noel Photography

Manual Night Shooting 2. © Noel Photography


5. Opportunity Awaits

There are so many techniques that can not be done on automatic. Therefore, by taking the manual plunge, you broaden the types of photography you can do. One great technique includes long (or short) exposures. Whether done at night or during the day, adjusting exposures can create amazing effects! Capture water drops in mid air, or make the water appear to be flowing. Even create “light paintings” with mobile light sources! Options are endless when using manual exposure. {Below are examples of long exposures in light painting photographs created by Jonathan Swift. These images are copyright of Jonathan Swift.}

Light Painting Photography | Images are © Jonathan Swift

Light Painting Photography | Images are © Jonathan Swift

Light Painting Photography | Images are © Jonathan Swift

Light Painting Photography | Images are © Jonathan Swift


Thanks for reading and hopefully you are ready for the manual plunge, if you haven’t started already!

Be sure to follow Noel Photography & Design on Facebook, WordPress, or sign up for email subscriptions.

Happy Creating! 🙂



Want To Do It For Free?

September 17, 2014

Yes, the title is as bad as it sounds! We sadly live in a society, who not only wants us to do our work for free, but they EXPECT it. Many clients see [art-based services] as just a hobby, merely because artists love passionately what they do! And clearly, you shouldn’t charge for doing what you love. *Insert hint of sarcasm*

Despite whether someone is in love with their job or not, I still have to ask those with this point-of-view, “Would YOU want to put hours of hard work in for someone else and get absolutely nothing out of it?” When you call a repair man, you not only pay for parts, but you pay for services, as well. Why should a product and service related to art be any different?


As I have been working hard the last few weeks on a freelance career, along with finding the right full time position, I have come across this issue personally, and several times recently in social media. So naturally…I figured I should write about it.

Society is definitely a part of the problem for “expecting” it, and we can point many fingers towards them for it. However, as artists, designers, and creators, we have to remember there are still three fingers pointing back. Unfortunately, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, often times we add to the problem. We think nothing of a “free job here and there,” when in reality we are helping to make the “starving artist” persona.


“If you don’t respect your own creative skills, others won’t either.” – Stephen Silver


So today’s blog post isn’t about pointing the finger and b*tching about society (despite how annoying they can be.) It’s about educating how we can help ourselves and our fellow artists break the cycle. If we happen to educate society along the way, then two bird with one stone I say. However, until we all start respecting our creative skills, people will always have room to “expect.”


In one sentence, what can we do? STOP GIVING IT AWAY FOR FREE! Know your worth and be willing to stand up for that. It’s ok to tell somebody no. If they’re not paying you, it’s not like you’re really missing out anyway. To further explain, “stop giving it away for free,” these are a few red flags to watch for:



Many companies and organizations will ask you to do them a “favor” by letting them use your [image, artwork or design.] In return they say they are helping to give you exposure, that might lead to more jobs. Sounds like a fair trade right? IT’S NOT. If you work out a service for service trade that you find satisfactory, fine, but “exposure” is not a fair trade. Most companies won’t even give proper credits after they take your work. So you’ve gained nothing and they’ve gained a free piece. In most scenarios, companies should be giving credit to the artist even if they’ve bought it! Don’t let them fool you into thinking they are doing you a favor. Let’s face it, with social media, websites, and making a strong, positive reputation, there are far better ways to gain exposure than doing work for free. Just rely on your skills!



Clients will sometimes bargain on price by giving hope they will contact you for future jobs.  This can be very enticing to an artist for many reasons. Including, more experience, more work, more money and gaining a long term client. When a client says, “If you will do it well for ‘this price’ instead of ‘your price,’ I may just have to use you for some of my upcoming projects!” It’s usually a red flag they are trying to just get you to your bottom dollar. However, unless physically contracted for future work, you are guaranteed nothing! They get an immediate price cut and you get hopes and dreams of more work. If you’re not careful with this tactic, you may find yourself cheated on pay. After getting the price cut, you realize later the time going into the project for what they expect, exceeds the amount of time you charged for. Just remember, unless contracted, they have no obligation to call you for “future work.”  It seems everyone now-a-days is looking to squeeze others down to their final dollar. But in this industry- YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!



This is not to say we should never be flexible, but be HONEST with people. Don’t be afraid to nicely explain that in order to do what they need, ensure a quality and timely result, you will need to charge “X-amount.” Feel free to turn it around and encourage that if after the first project they continue to use your business regularly, perhaps you can find a way to help them out on cost as well. (i.e… package deals, X% off a project of $100+, etc.) Just be careful to under promise and over deliver!



Whether its a job that takes 30 minutes or one that lasts all week, time is money. If you’re putting full efforts in it, you should be getting full payment. Have you ever visited the doctor, and spent 5 minutes in the office, but you still have to pay a good sum for an “office visit,” plus your medication? Patients in a scenario like this, pay for product and service, and part of that service is experience and knowledge. Remind clients, the reason we can finish a quality project so quickly is because of our education, experience, and expertise on the subject. Like any other profession, you get paid for that!

One of my biggest pet peeves is how employers want years of experience, but want to pay you the absolute minimum. On the flip side, if you have little experience, again they feel it should be done for free. Notice in the previous paragraph I bolded ‘education.’ Just because you may not have 5+ years experience, doesn’t mean you don’t have the talent or necessary skills they need. EDUCATION IS EXPERIENCE! They’re just looking for a reason to get free work. So whether it’s $20 or $200, make sure you’re charging for your time and expertise. Be fair and be reasonable to both them and YOURSELF. Obviously if you are a new-bee, charging a professional rate is unethical, but being entry level doesn’t justify them not paying you.


(I came across this post recently of a company wanting to pay an experienced employee for entry level. The response is great!)

Craigslist Ad



One of the biggest red flags is if a client, or business won’t sign a creative service contract. Something that specifically ties both parties to: what was discussed, pricing agreements, and list of what services will be included. If they roll their eyes, say its not necessary, or tell you that you can trust them– you probably can’t. This is an easy way for businesses to get free work by coming back with the excuse, “that’s not what we agreed on at the start of the project.” Too quickly it can become “he said, she said,” and you’ll be once again fooled into working for free, or a fraction of the cost. If your client won’t sign any sort of agreement, it’s best to thank them for their time and walk out. Whether they believe it or not, most successful businesses that have integrity, were built on contracts. Not having a contract is shady!



While it’s important to stand your ground,  yes, there is a place and time to offer free work. They key is to choose wisely. Maybe you have a charity or cause you strongly support- help them out! I firmly believe it’s important to help others when we can. Just be sure to set boundaries and stick to them (because takers never do.) For example, perhaps you limit yourself to help with an annual event for a cause you support. In a nutshell, be wise in choosing people who NEED help, and not those who are just taking advantage. Once you have found someone in need, make sure your limitations are clear. After that, it’s simple.


As a closing note, society will continue to walk all over artists, designers and creators, IF we let them. Know your skills, know your worth, and don’t be afraid to stand by your work. It’s OK to say no!

“Someone, somewhere will love what you do, (AND PAY FOR IT). Find them.”– Unknown

We don’t have to make society believe artists are “a dime a dozen,” when really we’re one-of-a-kind!

Thanks for reading & be sure to ‘LIKE’ Noel Photography & Design on Facebook. Get blog updates by following me here on WordPress, or sign up for email subscriptions!

Happy Creating 🙂



Eclectic Infusion: Alternative Process Photography

May 23, 2013

I realized too much time has passed since I posted some more stuff from my show. So today I wanted to share my alternative process work that I created. The first image is a set called Cyanotypes. The images after that are called Lumitypes.










Lumitypes: This series is dedicated to my mom, Michele, who pasted away in 2010. This was a completely new process to me, and I decided to dedicate it to her because she was always pushing me to try new things.






























Hope you enjoyed, comments and questions are always welcome. Be sure to follow me on WordPress AND Facebook to keep up with me!



Eclectic Infusion Photography

April 15, 2013

After a VERY long wait for all of you- here is a recap on my senior show! The first set of images are a few from my Dance series, followed by  a select few from the Abandoned Series. Enjoy!













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