Sundance 2012 Recap. Yes, I did have fun. Thank you for asking. {Utah Photography}

Fair Warning: This post will probably end up long and personal…it’s just that kind of a mood today.

Whenever people hear that I was at Sundance their first question is always “Did you have fun?” I always hesitate for a second because usually they want to know about the parties and celebrities and to be honest I’m not into any of that. Also, this year I didn’t have time to play. Oh, I meant to, but I worked 44 hours at the festival on top of my “real” life and the few days I set aside to “play” the weather hit and I may be a big baby but I am NOT a fan of putting my life at risk driving in the snow if I don’t have to.

As far as celebrities, I like to meet and talk to the directors and production teams of the various films because that is where my heart lies and my idea of fun is honestly to work myself into the ground doing the best possible job that I can do. Plus, I love adventures and crazy things that happen to add to my treasury of memories and stories. Did I have fun?

{new years resolution to not swear anymore, not even for creative emphasis}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 brought on a mad dash between two different venues. I was to cover the VIP Reception at New Frontier art gallery from 6-8 only to find out when I got there that the reception was from 8-10. I took photographs of the exhibits by themselves, ran over to the Tower Theatre to cover it, then back to New Frontier. It was a zoo and so crazy fun. I was very much entertained by the goings on.

It’s probably the photographer in me that is always fascinated by pictures made out of pictures.

This was a really cool Bear exhibit that I wished my Mom was there to see. She would have loved it. Ahhhh the days of going with my Mom to art exhibits…but that’s another story.

I was supposed to get shots of people interacting with the exhibits, the difficulty lying in the fact that the place was crazy packed and very dimly lit except for the bright screens of the exhibits. I prevailed!!!…and probably wacked 3/4ths of the people there with my tripod. Really sorry everyone.

I’m at an art exhibit so of course I’m going to get into one of my “artistic” moods. Here’s playing with 3D glasses in front of the 3D screen. Another photographer who was there was watching me and asked if that worked. I told him I was just playing and he told me it was a good idea…made me feel good. I love the shot below. It took me quite awhile to get just what I wanted but I love when I see a picture in my head and then am able to make it happen.

Another of my “artistic” photos. I was up in the VIP lounge and fascinated by the world within a world up there and thought the reflections illustrated that multiple-dimensionality…plus it was fun.

I’ve never been to the Tower Theatre before but I have to go again soon, the atmosphere is delightful. I love venues with a quaint, quirky, hole-in-the-way feel. I mean that in an absolutely good way.

Most of the volunteers in the Salt Lake venues are the same year after year. They know each other, know what they are doing and have a blast doing it. You guys were awesome, thank you for all of your help!

See? Having a blast! I needed shots of wait-list ticket sales but was afraid I would miss it so they were helping out by staging the shot but then they started laughing…it’s my favorite.

This lovely lady was the first there for the next showing, the previous film hadn’t even let out yet. Die hard festival fan!

The Tower is the only venue I’ve been too where you aren’t inside or in a tent. It was COLD but everyone was so happy and nice. It was a joy just to be around so many positive people. We talked, and laughed, and had a blast!

My brother Ben has been in NYC for the past six months doing an internship at Entertainment Weekly. He actually got back the day after I took this. Most of his writing appeared in EW’s online site but here is an article of his. It was in the issue that was all over the Sundance Film Festival because EW is a Sundance sponsor. I had to take a picture. People were probably thinking I was crazy but I’m used to that so it’s all good.

I have been interested in getting into film, film photography, and DP work for a long time. I’ve worked on a few independent films and loved every minute of it but kind of shut the door on that dream because I just couldn’t see how it would work with my life being the way it is right now, family etc. But because of some opportunities that have come my way through Sundance it looks very possible that the door to that dream is being re-opened for me. I don’t want to get too excited but to be honest I really am.

It’s interesting that sometimes when things in one area of your life are going really well things hit you in other areas. Maybe equalizing karma, a test to see how badly you want things, or a chance for you to really appreciate the good through contrast. Perhaps a test of faith. Anyway, Wednesday January 25th was a hard day. I had to say good-bye to a difficult situation that has been going on for over three years. It sounds like a good thing I know, but it’s heart-breaking to finally give up on something that you once believed in so strongly. My grandmother also had a heart-attack but she is home now from the hospital and doing well.

That night I was able to go to Peery’s Egyptian Theatre which is my very most favoritest theatre in the whole world. The volunteers were so nice and patient with me, I was bouncing up and down I was so happy to be there. I used to go to the Egyptian Theatre when I was a child before they remodeled it. I remember loving all the Egyptian decor especially the twinkling stars on the “sky” and being so fascinated that it would be day outside after seeing a matinee inside under the stars.

Peery’s Egyptian Theatre is Sundance’s second largest theatre after the Eccles in Park City, a fact which I was not aware of until that night. It holds eight hundred people. The lines were long but everyone made it in.

Stampede! {Tremors reference}

I am so in love with this theatre!

AND they have an organist. He’s spectacular and he plays a mean showtune!

Thanks Egyptian Theatre Volunteers you made a hard day wonderful!

Saturday the 28th marked my third attempt to make it to the actual Sundance resort. Third time proved to be a charm, it is beautiful up there. I’m so grateful to have gone to all of these places I’ve never been before.

I have so much fun taking atmosphere shots. The ski slopes are just a hop, skip, and a jump from the screening room.

Isn’t this a beautiful location?

People were so fun and great about me taking their picture!

This is a Q&A session held after a special private screening event. The film was about dyslexia and listening to the audience response I was sad to have missed it. It brought many audience members to tears as they told about their own experiences with dyslexia and thanked the director for making the film. Stories to change the world…it’s what film is about.

The wonderful volunteers of the Sundance resort. I couldn’t do my job without them and special thanks for making sure I knew what was going on and for showing me the best shots!

I liked how her upturned face echoed the faces of the women in the two signs around her.

This audience member and her friend were the absolute cutest. I loved being around people who were so positive and excited to be there.

Lol, for once I’m not making someone take a picture of me and my friends/family. This shot makes me smile, especially hearing them say “One more, one more” and one of the guys saying “that’s what email is for”. Hahaha, story of my life.

Sundance projection room and projectionist and check it out…

Old School!! This is the actual film on 35mm about to be threaded into the projector. Fantastic!

Patiently waiting in line and…


Last but not least I headed to the airport where for the very first time Sundance has an info booth, two actually. When I got there I found that there was no one there. Apparently it was too late in the festival. I stood there perplexed and these two travelers started talking to me and then volunteered to be in the shot. So fun guy on the left is wearing my credentials and jacket and talking to his friend (also a fun guy). How nice was that? My whole festival experience was person after person doing kind deeds. I love seeing such proof that people in general are wonderful and good and kind. These two are from Florida and Iowa and ironically were headed up to Powder Mountain, my neck of the woods. Thank you kind friends!

I spent the rest of the day editing and uploading and yesterday in bed recovering. I’m totally exhausted and burnt out but in a very good way. It’s been an amazing ten days full of adventures, opportunities, possibilities, heartache, laughter, tears, and hope. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Did I have fun?

I most certainly did!


Sundance 2012 Opening Weekend {Utah Photography}

*Fair Warning* This post is going to be a trifle long…now that you’ve been warned…

Let’s get going!

This is my second year being involved with the Sundance Film Festival. Last year I was a floater which means I did a bit of everything and never the same job twice. This year I am the One and Only and very first EVER outside Park City Photographer! I am in charge of covering everything regarding Sundance that occurs outside of Park City…yes there is a lot of driving and yes it is totally awesome!

Here I am in full regalia, well my official gloves are in my pocket, even including my Festival Insider button which sadly I found I had to take off thirty minutes into my first shoot because I can’t stop and answer questions if there is action that I have to be covering…sad face!

My first festival day was Friday the 20th at the Broadway Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City.

For my job I have a shot list for every venue and special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, AND festival goers who were kind (and patient) enough to not only mug for the camera but help me create and “re-create” all the shots I needed.

The couple above was awesome! I talk to myself when I shoot and I got the exterior sign shot and then decided that it was boring and I needed movement. They were eating but overheard me, said that they would walk in for me, jumped up and proceeded to do so. People are fantastic! I was happy to see that they made it into their film okay a little later. Yay for waitlist!

I’m supposed to get shots of volunteers having fun doing their jobs (easiest shots ever ’cause they are all having a blast) and all exterior and interior signage. These volunteers were giggling over this sign and when I saw it I had to laugh too. If you can’t read it, it says…

The following film contains strobe light effects.
Those who may be affected should take
appropriate action.

We weren’t sure what “appropriate action” might be but thinking up outlandish scenarios was fun.

Here we have the valiantly hard working box office volunteers. There is so much more going on behind the scenes than you realize. Everyone works so hard. A few of their duties (I’m sure there are more that I do not know anything about) include taking care of the waitlist ticket sales, post ticket counting and scanning (every. single. ticket.) and entering everything into the system. It makes me tired just thinking of it.

I’m always yelling (well not YELLING), “Wait, go slower, I need that shot”. This kind volunteer was very deliberately taking this ticket so I could get the shot and special thanks to patient festival goer for going along. Loves to you both!

Number one in the waitlist line, huzzah!

Broadway crew introducing the very first Sundance screening of this theatre…AND…

Broadway Crew!!

They are awesome and nice and so much fun!

Next it was off to the Beehive Tea Room which, for the duration of the festival, has been re-named the Beehive Festival Café. It is open to the public and has live music every night.

p.s. for locals, note that the tea room is open later than usual during the festival. The live bands start at 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s band was The Hot Club of Zion and they were fantastic. I am totally in love with their music and I must have a CD.

They play Gypsy Jazz and I found them on facebook.!/pages/The-Hot-Club-Of-Zion/158421557548825?sk=wall

Getting artistic with the Sundance banners on Broadway.

And now for my Saturday adventures, the highlight of which was not getting into an accident. I decided to cover the Sundance Resort because it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive for me. It started out torrential rain and I figured I was okay as long as it stayed rain but WOW, the mayhem that I saw on my journey, including two hydroplaning cars in my immediate vicinity. Seriously? Slow down people! I got within five miles of the resort when the rain turned to furious snow in the blink of an eye. I thought I’ve only got five miles and I drove home from Park City in crazy snow on Wednsday, I can do this. I got to the turn off where the signs were flashing that four wheel drive or chains were required of which I had neither. “But I only have three miles” I said as emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle rushed past me. Thirty more feet on a narrow, twisty, windy road another emergency vehicle rushing by, memories surfacing of my botched attempt to traverse Trappers Loop a few nights before and I was out of there. Drove to Salt Lake and the venues that awaited me. Scary, scary, scary!

To The Library!

The Library Theatre is a new venue this year and it it gorgeous, what a setting!

Here we have the historic first ever Library Theatre team!

Just like the Broadway team they are super nice, fun, and extremely helpful!

They also know how to play. 🙂

Here are some of my very very most favorite people. Pictures of signs are a lot more interesting when people are looking at said signs. I saw some people looking and I bolted over but missed the shot. I must have been talking to myself again because these nice festivalgoers (passholders too) said they would look at the sign, jumped in, and even added the intent pointing all on their own.

People are so nice!

See, getting your ticket taken is fun!

We take not disturbing the audiences very seriously! All the happy group shots? Artistically faked. Joyful celebration in silence if you will. 😉

Last stop of the day the Rose Wagner Theatre, another beautiful venue. By now the rain had turned to snow and even though I wanted to visit another venue that night I was a little shell-shocked from my morning drive.

Loved this volunteers speech to the crowd! Wish you could have heard it, especially you Moms out there. Basically she is letting everyone know that they are about to start seating and once you are seated you can’t leave or you risk losing your seat because the volunteers will fill Every. Single. Place. So…if you need to go potty, do it now!!! Those weren’t her words but that was the jist. I giggled in my head, it was awesome!

Sidenote-the film they were waiting for was Queen of Versailles which has already been picked up for distribution.

Quiet moment watching the rain which has now turned to snow before the ticket holder seating chaos begins.

Ticket holders are in the foreground, waitlist in the background. See the girl looking directly at me and smiling? Thanks cutie! See how she is placed artistically at a power third point? Wish I could say I did that on purpose…sigh…I’ll take it! 🙂

Here is the theatre partway through seating. It ended up completely packed but I think all the waitlist got in. And for my theatre friends, I stood dead center stage and it was awesome.

Happy Festival from the Rose Wagner Theatre team!

There is still a week left. Come out and play! Catch a film, visit the Festival Cafe and New Frontier venues, or head to Park City where more adventures await!

More to come….. 🙂

My World {365 day} Photo Project

On January 10, 2012 I finished my My World {365 day} photo project.Not to be melodramatic but this project may very well have saved my life.

Flashback if you will to January 10, 2011.  A miserable day.  I was in a terrible place at that time in my life.Why exactly?I’m not sure I remember accurately. Some things I do but I don’t really want to dwell on them at this time.Now I love a brand new fresh year.  I’m not super jazzed about New Year’s Eve, it always seems a bit of a waste of time but I absolutely love New Year’s Day.  I love new goals, dreams, and the feeling that you can throw off the old mistakes of the past and create a brand new better self.The beginning of 2011 was no different and when I found myself miserable on the tenth I was determined to not let the New Year get started off on a bad foot so I did everything I could think of to feel better.Practice my voice lesson (singing always makes me feel better), text friends, call friends (everyone was busy).  Nothing was working and I was frustrated because I truly was trying.Finally I decided to get out of the house and call my sister Leah who lives in Australia.I took my kids to the library so they could be entertained by something other than me and used the Library’s network to Skype call my sister.I had a hard time getting through because she was in the middle of something.Perhaps you, dear reader, will recall the terrible flooding that occurred in Australia at that time.Well, she called me back to inform me that she was being evacuated, her husband wasn’t home yet, and she would have to do her best to get her pregnant self and baby son out alone.She would call as soon as she could, pray for her.

I sort of lost it.

It’s very selfish to say that, I know, but at the moment it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I was a wreck of stress, misery, fear, and worry.

I probably should add that I had been praying for help this entire day.I really am not a fan of wallowing in misery without fighting to make things better and as I drove home I was still praying…pretty darn hard.Some may not believe in a higher power and of course I respect their views and only ask that they respect mine in turn.I, myself, believe unequivocally in a higher power and I believe with everything I am that as I pulled out of the library parking lot that the inspiration to undertake this project that came to me at that moment was of God.I can still remember everything about that moment.I was to photograph something every day that had to do with my world.It could be something I was doing, something that meant a lot to me, something that caught my eye, or to portray, without words, how I was feeling that particular day.I remember feeling immediate comfort and a lightening of spirit as I planned some of the things that I wanted to “say” and the “stories” I wanted to tell.I remember feeling strongly that my sister and her family would be all right.

January 11th was day one and I remember that it was so cold, like only January can be.  Biting cold that seeps through your piled on layers and you almost want to cry you are so cold.I wanted to portray cold, solitude, loneliness, hope.

This is also a place that I see extremely often as I run or walk in the mornings and I have enjoyed the beauty of the scene at every season and pretty much every time of day.It means a lot to me.

As I look through the pictures of the last year of my life it reads like a diary.It brings back so many things; experiences, emotions, laughter, and tears.At one point I decided to write the stories but I stopped that quickly.I wanted to be able to speak straight from my heart without worrying about whether anybody else would approve or judge.I should add that I posted every picture on facebook and am in the process of uploading them to my online Fine Art Boutique.I cringe sometimes that they are public but that was part of the cathartic process.I learned to see the world around me, to appreciate the unexpected beauty I found, to tell stories and convey emotions without words, to really be in touch with myself.

The end of my project grew near and I began to get very nervous.I was so afraid of losing all that I had gained.I was afraid of stopping.The end photograph had to be something special and so I decided to do a self portrait.Have you ever wondered what super power you would want to have?I do all the time.My number one super power of choice is of course to fly but a while ago I decided that a good semi-useful super power to have would be the ability to yell “Confetti” and confetti would shoot up from your hands.Good to throw into the eyes of an adversary and fun at parties.I told friends about it and it kind of became a thing.Hence the pictures on facebook of either throwing confetti or rolling in it.Hence again the self portrait of me with confetti in the air to close out a wonderful year…. there really is only one more thing to say

p.s. Here is the link to all 365 images

How I spent11/11/11 {Utah Wedding Photography}

I try to only blog once a week so that I don’t annoy those who are kind enough (I really appreciate you all so much) to follow my blog but I find that I tend to get rather far behind. Here is the wedding storyline {album} for the wedding I photographed on 11/11/11. What a crazy fun day that was! I was very grateful that the wedding wasn’t at the Salt Lake Temple. I had been there a few days earlier and they told me that there were around 150 weddings that day. I think Bountiful had closer to 65…it was really fun!

Hadn’t Thought About It That Way {Utah Family Photography}

Greetings to the Longhurst family. There is a lot of love here. They like to laugh and be together and you can tell that they are very close.

When I was getting their print order ready I had an eye-opening conversation with Mary (the lovely mom). I’ve taken shots like the one above a few times before without really stopping to think about why I was doing it. Oh, I know that it holds to the rule of thirds and the added interest of foreground and background elements but I hadn’t thought clearly about the emotional content. Mary told me that she had to have a print of this image because it reminded her of how important it is to have a relationship with your spouse outside of your children. Children are important and wonderful but if a marriage isn’t strong then the family will suffer. It is so important to take time to just be with your significant other. I was so grateful that she shared that with me and now I look at this photograph with new eyes. This is only one in a series of shots. Cory and Mary were in the background twirling and dancing and my favorite has a big dip complete with kiss.

The above was the “money” shot for me. As soon as I took it I had to show Mary. I absolutely love the connection between the family members and my favorite part is the daughter leaning her head on daddy’s shoulder. This is the one they got printed large for their wall art and I am so very glad that they did.

I wanted to give them a different “look” to chose from for their big family picture so I took them over to the river. This is one of my very favorite locations to shoot at during late fall and it turned out very nice. They had to have a print of this one as well…I don’t purposefully try to make it hard to choose. 😉