Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



Jessica is Digital Photography Pro Magazine’s 2013 Emerging Fine Art Photographer


http://www.digitalphotopro.com/6th-annual-emerging-pro/winners.html?start=3

Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



February Photo Contest: Love

 Well, as excited as I was about last month’s contest, I am even more ecstatic about this month’s!  We had more participants, incredible vendors, and the creativity surrounding our “love” theme has been awe-inspiring.  To tell you the truth, I had a really hard time picking just 10 honorable mentions, and I could see that you all dug deep and took the theme to heart (pun totally intended).  Thank you to the returning participants, as well as the new-comers; you all made this a fabulous round two!  Love to you all!

And the winners are . . . . 

Top Vote Winner:
Our “People’s Choice Winner” who received the most votes in the photo contest was Violaine Meunier of Photo by Violaine.  This photo is entitled “Waiting for My Love” and tells the story of the day Voilaine awaited her volunteer firefighter husband’s return from a call.  Violaine used a texture that is TBA 🙂 and will receive one of the price packages worth $370.  Congratulations, Violaine!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Contestants are allowed to win the “People’s Choice” portion of the vote contest only once.

Judge’s Choice Winner:

This month’s Guest Judge (and one of our February Vendors!) is Elena Wilken, a very talented photographer, designer, and owner of EW Couture.  Originally hailing from Romania, Elena has made a home here in the US and created a truly elegant business that all of us photographers can appreciate. 
Elena’s choice was this photo entitled “Adoration” by Lisa Prystash of Willow Hollow Photography.  Elena comments, “There are a number of images that caught my eye, but this one stole my heart.  I love the subject of the image – both the mother and child and the moment captured are beautiful. The post processing treatment feels unique and interesting to me. I am drawn to the painterly feel and the drama it adds. While it makes me think of old frescos, it’s not one of those typical still and serene moments. It’s one of those in-between moments.  He is content, but ready to say or do something. The mother looks like she is in the middle of telling him quietly a little story. There is beauty in the way she holds him and her stance breaths love and a feeling of peace, and quiets the movement. . .  Life is filled with in between moments. Love brings beauty to them and ties them all together in a beautiful story….That’s what my heart’s eye sees when looking at the image.”

Lisa used the textures “Murmur” and “Sublime” and she will receive one of the $370 prize packages.  Congratulations, Lisa!

February Contest Honorable Mentions

Once again, regardless of whether or not you entered the contest, if you chose to upload your Love-themed photo to my wall, I wanted to highlight some of the work. As I mentioned earlier, it was REALLY tough to choose just 10 this month, but here, in no particular order, are the hair-splitting results:
“Two Men, One Car”
by Nicole Carpenter of Nicole Carpenter Photography
Texture used: Murmur

“A Whole New World”
by Erin Campbell of Erin Campbell Photography
Texture used: Heart Bokeh Overlay

“Adoration”
by Peggy Wolff of Peggy Wolff Photography
Textures used: Brood Cool

“Love Behind the Mask”
by Cherie Stenson of Cherie Stenson Photography
Texture used: Debased

“Unconditional Love”
by Auburn Wendover of Auburn Wendover Photography
Textures used:  Bonded, Lost Story

“Goddess of Thornes”
by Alba Elena of Alba Elena Photography
Textures used:  Curry Blurred, Delta

“Inspiration From the Heart”
by Johanna M. Ochs of PhotO;Owl Photography
Texture used:  Modern

“Mama’s Love”
by Tammy Wilson of T. Wilson Photography
Textures used: Ryder

“Love is Memory”
by Joanne Ellen of Josephiney Photography
Texture used:  Sea Storm

“Love”
by Shae Foster Lorigan of Saflower Photography
Texture used:  Harper

Once again, THANK YOU to all who participated, especially our generous vendors!  I have been dreaming of the day that I could host regular contests, and I’d say we are off to an amazing start with these two under our belt.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the entries, the support you have shown each other, and the creativity that is flowing out of all of you!  Cheers to YOU!

Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



Things I Love….

“What do I love? What inspires me?”
This is the theme for the February Photo Challenge. The single most important reason that I became inspired to take photographs was to document my children’s lives. That said, over the past year, I’ve become very interested in telling stories and making very personal statements in my photographic work.

So, beyond my family and friends, what motivates me to take a photo? Easy, the desire to make art. For this challenge, I wanted to incorporate many of the things that move and inspire me into one image.

• I was a painter and love the process of physical creation – particularly mixed media and collage.

• I love modern art.
• I love iconography.
• I love to study the history of Western religion.
• I love symbols.
• I am drawn to stories of justice and truth.
• I love detail, pattern, and texture.

But most of all, I wanted to push myself to try something completely different so that I did not have a set process or technique to keep it raw and fresh for myself. I wanted to discover and allow myself to be vulnerable and even uncomfortable.

I was a painting major in college and I’ve always been deeply inspired by the work of painters. My first adolescent loves were the Impressionists, followed by the Abstract Expressionists, then the Post-Modernists…. and so on. I was pretty much obsessed with art created after WW2. In college, I began to study art history more thoroughly and came to appreciate art from all periods of human expression. If you walk thru my house, you will see a lot of icon painting reproductions. I appreciate all the little details and symbols and love how the paintings are aging – I adore the cracks, the worn areas, the things that have just plain fallen off and the way these artistic statements have aged adds an additional dimension to their beauty for me. I love the concept of incorporating symbols into an image that would communicate additional messages to the viewer. I also love the way these images seem to hold a certain magic. I can’t explain it, but these objects seem like they hold clues and I am obsessed with wishing I could decipher them and access a little of their magic.

One of my favorite things about modern art is that there are no prescribed rules. I hate rules. I loved how painters would simply add things into their work – from Albert Pinkham Ryder incorporating his used tobacco juice in his paint mixtures, or Kurt Schwitters’ “Degenerate Art”: Merz, which conjured up its own magic from the rejected, the discarded and the useless*, or Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, which in Dadaism, translated into a toilet. In highschool, I remember reading about Julian Schnabel and how he was creating these breathtaking works of modern art by smashing plates and then affixing them to canvas and painting on them in a way reminiscent of mosaics. I loved this idea and became a passionate admirer of his work. 

In my mind, photographic techniques, processing, wardrobe, model, lighting, etc. is very important but it only goes so far. If you don’t find a way to find emotion the work stays flat on the surface. I find inspirational depth from listening to people’s stories. 
One day I was having a very light discussion on the theology of Christianity with a friend and referenced Jesus’ friendship with Mary Magdelene, the prostitute. I didn’t say anything at the time, wanting to research it more thoroughly, but I recalled reading that depiction was not accurate. So, I went to Wikipedia. The more I read, the more outraged I became on her behalf. She was utterly maligned. The New Testament only describes  Mary Magdalene’s friendship and service to Jesus in the most respectful tones and in fact, was known as the “the apostle to the apostles”. Yet inexplicably, in the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great decides to cast her as a prostitute in a sermon. And the rest is history.

Now, I’ve thought a lot about this slander. You could argue that it was done for a variety of reasons. Clearly, when you re-interpret someone who in life was one of Jesus’ closest disciples, one of two to not flee his side as he died, the first one Jesus appeared to after his resurrection, as a whore, you severely undercut her life’s work. It’s almost like a political campaign where no one is talking about ideas and platforms anymore because a scandal is announced. It could be argued that Mary’s relationship with Jesus made the 6th Century political leaders very uncomfortable in their patriarchal society and she needed to be knocked down a notch. In a less sinister light, it could also be argued that it makes for a really great metaphor for one of the most important tenets of Christianity, the concept that all are welcome in the religion, despite their former “sins” and that they can essentially be “reborn” and reclaim a new life with Christ. The iconographic symbols traditionally depicted in Mary Magdalene’s iconography are eggs. Perfect for rebirth. Fits well into the second narrative. But in her case, it’s a gross exaggeration and I wanted to pay her my respects by creating a portrait inspired by her, where I smashed some plates and by gluing them back together, hope to recreate her narrative. Do my part in allowing her reputation to be reborn.

I’m not really attempting to make a religious statement by focusing on Mary Magdalene. Rather, I felt this story was very relevant today. In our current age of instant information, quick dissemination, and social media sharing, lies and misstatements are spread faster than ever before. And once the lies are out, it is incredibly hard for the retraction to ever catch up. If ever. So many urban myths, political lies, news reports, school rumors, etc., are tweeted, instagrammed, Facebooked, emailed, and then repeated without first going to the source or simply waiting to ensure that the background information has been fully vetted. And people get hurt by this. It reminds me of the proverb, “One must turn the tongue seven times in the mouth before speaking”.

Thank you so much for listening to my ideas and viewing my work. I appreciate it. 

For those interested, this image was processed with textures “Lyrics” from Super Grunge Urban and Uneven” from Super Grunge Vintage.

 


* http://www.artchive.com/artchive/S/schwitters.htm

Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



February Photo Challenge and Contest

February’s Challenge is all about showing your love: What motivates you to take pictures, what do you love, what inspires you? Share with the JD Textures group what gives your work passion.

This month’s challenge / contest will be held between Feb. 15-20th, with winners and honorable mentions announced here, on this blog,  Feb. 22. Contest entries must be added to a 3rd party tab application, not associated with Facebook. Any one can participate in the challenge, but to win a prize, you must use one of my textures and identify it in your description. I will make this contest link available next week 🙂

Two winners will be chosen, one by popular vote and one by a judge’s choice.  Additionally, if you’d like to participate without competing, post your photo to my Facebook wall, mention it’s for the contest, and I’ll pick my top 10 favorites to receive honorable mentions on my blog!

This month, we are lucky enough to have some fabulous prizes donated by these generous vendors:

$150 gift certificate to The Law Shop.
To be eligible to win Rachel’s forms, you must “like” her Facebook Page!

A $50 Gift Certificate to EW Couture.

A $35 Gift Certificate to Melon Seeds Designs.
A $35 Gift Certificate to Bella Una Boutique.

$100 Gift Certificate to Jessica Drossin Textures.
Please Note:
There will be two winners, one by popular vote and one by a pre-selected judge.  In order to be fair, if you happened to win last month’s popular vote, you are now only eligible to be the judge’s pick winner.  Best of luck to all!

Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



January Photo Contest: Inspired by a Song

I must admit, I was really inspired and overwhelmed by the tremendous response to our first creative challenge (I say “creative” because I am allowing Illustrators to participate as well 🙂

Thanks to everyone who participated by joining in this month – it wouldn’t have been nearly as meaningful without the stories you told with your images, the comments you left for others, and the votes you cast. You make a difference to me and to others. Thanks!

Soooo…. Now to the fun part!

Top Vote Winner

Our “People’s Choice Winner” who received the most votes in the photo contest, was Brooke Chamberlin, of Ashley Beige Photography.
This photo was inspired by the song “Paradise” by Coldplay. Brooke used the texture “Paradise” (how fitting!!), in soft light mode, from Texture Pack 2.
Brooke will receive the one of the prize packages worth $250 🙂  
IMPORTANT NOTE: Contestants are allowed to win the “People’s Choice” portion of the vote contest only once.

 

Judge’s Choice Winner

 This month’s Guest Judge is none other than my sister, Gina Kolsrud, an amazingly gifted natural-light photographer based in Phoenix.
Gina has a truly one-of a kind style and her ability to capture light and emotion is second to none. 
Gina’s choice was this beautiful, enigmatic shot by Megan James-Rodgers of Megan Rogers Photographie. Megan was inspired by “Castle in the Cloud” sung by young Cosette “I know a place where no one’s lost, I know a place where no one cries, Crying at all is not allowed, Not in my castle on a cloud.”
Megan used Emulsify and Sea Storm from the Vintage Grunge Set.

Megan will receive the one of the prize packages worth $250 🙂

January Contest Honorable Mentions

I also mentioned that regardless of whether or not you entered the contest, if you chose to upload your Song-based photo to my wall, I wanted to highlight some of the work. There were truly too many wonderful images to choose from so please don’t feel bad if I wasn’t able to include yours, but here are 10 that spoke to me…

  “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift – Adriana Varela of Adriana Varela Photography.

  “Lights” by Ellie Goulding – Allyson Dickey at Allyson D Photoworks.

 “Mad World” by Gary Jules – Shae Foster Lorigan of Saflower Photography.

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman – Jeannine Ulasich Eubanks of Creation Held Captive Photography.

 “Grey” by Ani Difranco – Allison Paige Horrath

 “Falling from Cloud 9” by Katy Perry – Catherine Griffiths Auger of Vanilla Tree Photography.

 “Hurt” by Johnny Cash – Shannon Sissy Harrell of Frames of Life Studio.

 “Psalm 101:1” – Peggy Wolff of Peggy Wolff Photography 
“Unthought Known” by Pearl Jam – Cindy Johnson of Cindy Johnson Boudoir Photography.

“Unthought Known” by Pearl Jam – Erin Cox of Erin Cox Photography

And… 

(Not an Honorable Mention) but just in case you missed it, these were my takes on the song, Mad World by Gary Jules.

I was inspired by these lyrics:

“All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere”

I’ve always been a little preoccupied by traffic. I wonder where people are going, marvel at how many of us there are, think about how viewed from above we must look like busy little ants building our colonies. I like the movement of traffic, how it can feel choreographed like a dance or intricate like a weaving when cars are changing lanes. How people behave in their cars is also fascinating to me, how they choose to interact with the world when they don’t have to maintain relationships and can operate with anonymity.

The song has a very surreal element to it as well I wanted to tap into. So much of it centers around the philosophical notions of existentialism and absurdism (well, I think anyway, I’m not much of a philosopher). When you stop participating in the “daily races” it’s easy to question the meaning of life, and wonder what it is we are supposed to do with this gift. This is an especially hard question to think about in times of illness, loss, depression, or other unfortunate circumstances, when this gift seems too burdensome and meaningless.

“And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very mad world mad world”

I’m a sentimentalist and a romantic. I like juxtaposing the soft dreamy feel of a woman sleepwalking, not properly dressed for the weather or to meet others, hair blowing, fragile, very human against all that metal and concrete and reinforced steel.

Thank you to all who have participated in this month’s challenge. Thank you for everyone who took the time to vote, comment, post, and even to read this.

Jessica Drossin is an internationally-published, self-taught, fine art portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art (Painting), and has worked for video game companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. A professional photographer for five years, she has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Emerging Professional Fine Art Photographer from Digital Photo Pro Magazine. Her projects range from documenting a scoring session for the film, "Red Tails" in Prague to creating book cover art worldwide. Her work has been featured in issues of Digital Photo Pro, Wedding Nouveau, and Practical Photography magazines. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III, and specializes in capturing and retouching portraits with natural light using her own actions and textures.



Monthly Photo Challenge and Contest