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Event Photography | 171 Cedar Arts Center’s Spring Recitals

Everybody jump for joy! The recital photos are ready!      It was such a blast working on these. I want to congratulate everyone again on another year of hard work! The many hours you have dedicated are quite evident...     All the images from both recitals are available for sale at the following link:  171 Cedar Arts Center 2018 Recital You will notice if you select the heart icon on the largest previews, you can create an account and make a favorites folder to come back to later.     This video is also a brief explanation of my packages and a particularly cute item that's a part of the Premium Print Package:  Jess Explains an Accordion Mini Album You can order a selection of individual prints and digitals a la carte or you can use any of my packages to save some money and get a larger variety of products. Everything but the Premium Print Package can be ordered directly

New Adventures at 171 | Photowalk Series with Jess!

This Spring and Summer, I will be adding a new type of class to my offerings at 171 Cedar Arts Center. We're taking our education out of the classroom and into the real world for some themed photowalks!  The first one is next Saturday, May 19th at Bluebird Trail Farm. (Check out the website here! They have so many cool things going on you can get involved in.)     As soon as my students started requesting a workshop on animal photography, I thought of Margie Seiderman and the passion she has for educational partnerships up at that wonderful farm of hers. Plus I know she has a never ending supply of fuzzy bunnies so...      Besides baby bunnies and chicks, we will have a fun assortment of other animals to play with, feed, and photograph. We will be given a farm tour and we will be walking around the nature trail (about a mile) so there will be an opportunity for photographing both domesticated and wild

Here’s How I Think You Should Celebrate Earth Day

If you're looking outside today and wondering how you should celebrate Earth Day have I got a suggestion for YOU! Show some love to the Corning Street Tree Project!  Start by heading to corningtrees.com     If you think some of the photography or the subjects of said photos (or the writing of the posts!) look familiar it's because I am one of the co-founders. And together with some of my best friends (and siblings!) we have started this project in Corning that we'd love you to get involved with!     The biggest things we need right now are donations and for folks to spread the word! You can donate now by clicking on this link to the Community Foundation's donate page.  Click on the "Choose a fund" dropdown menu and find us under "C" for Corning Street Tree Project Fund.  And please check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tell ALL your Corning friends to do the same. Thanks so much! Happy Earth

Easy Day Trip | Altitude Trampoline Park

Happy Spring Break everyone!  If you're doing a staycation and haven't tried one of Rochester's trampoline park adventures, I highly recommend Altitude.     Especially if you feel like your kids are bouncing off the walls because of all this wintry weather we've been enjoying in Upstate NY ;-) Why not try some place you can ACTUALLY bounce off the walls?!?!?     It was most recommended to us because not only does it have the trampolines, as promised, but there's also a rock climbing wall above a foam pit! (And a battle beam, too!) I was quite surprised with how difficult it was to move through the foam pit. There was a lot of laughter and some worries about lost socks getting sucked away into the foam quick sand ;-)     I knew the little ladies would have a blast doing this but I had NO IDEA that I would have so much fun! There's nothing like bouncing and jumping and playing and laughing to make you

Classes with Jess | Travel Photography at The Rockwell Museum

At my recent Travel Photography Workshop at 171 in March, my students and I discussed the ways we can apply specific composition rules to make our travel photography more interesting. I showed them my basic gear and bags and told them my experiences in lugging my camera through 15 countries in the past ten years. My biggest tip: find a favorite "walk around" lens that can get you both wide shots and nice details, and keep your camera out and at the ready at all times.      I have learned that I am often lazy and whiny and I tire out easily if I carry too much gear with me around a big city or on a hike up a mountain. I've also found I need a bag that has side-access (over the shoulder) because I am not very likely to take the time to stop and take a backpack off to change out a lens.     One thing I love about our workshops at 171 Cedar Arts Center is that the back half is always a hands-on photo walk to the Gaffer District. With

Somebody Pinch Me: I Teach Photoshop Now

In the fall I wrapped up my first Photoshop class at 171 Cedar Arts Center. As I walked into the building and set up the projector to teach the last class, I was still just a little bit baffled. See, it was not easy for me to learn how to use the program and I remember being really timid about it at first. Just overwhelmed and pretty angsty. I never thought I would get the hang of it... CERTAINLY not enough to teach a short intro course on it! I don't quite know when I went from crying tears of frustration over the complexities of this program to using it with confidence every day in my professional life. I don't know when I went from apprehension to competence. When I went from fear to love.     But I do love Photoshop. I love the things I know about it, and I love how I'm pretty regularly learning new things about it. I love how it bridges the gap between what image I can take with my camera and what fine art I saw in my minds' eye. And I love

Local Event | Dollhouse & Miniatures Exhibit at the National Soaring Museum

I'm trying to be better about capitalizing on the many many many local gems I take for granted in this area.   Living in Corning, and in the Finger Lakes Region in general, it can be easy to get complacent about local travel and sightseeing. Which is a shame because there really is so much to see and experience! That's one reason I really like being a member of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce. I find out about so many great little events and exhibits and places I have meant to check out. Sometimes it's just that one member news email announcing a special exhibit to get my butt in gear and head over to that museum I've been meaning to take the girls to for over a year. It's a true story; that's literally what happened! A few weeks back I opened up my inbox and scrolled through the Chamber newsletter. And I found out that the National Soaring Museum in Elmira is currently hosting a special miniatures exhibit through

What to Do If Santa Brought You a Scary Camera

I know how you feel...     ...When you ask for a big fancy camera and you pull it out of the box and realize you had no idea just how complicated it was going to be. 82 buttons. Did it really have to have 82 buttons? Fear not, there's another 171 photography class coming up with yours truly. Join me for five weeks of discussion on the finer points of good composition AND the meaning behind all those buttons on your new (or old) (or new to you) DSLR camera. We're going to unlock your creative control and learn how to use Manual Mode! You'll be able to actually get the bang for your buck you were hoping for in that camera.     Don't take my word for it... here are two former students to share their thoughts after taking a class with me: “This class was was such a fun experience! Jess brings such enthusiasm to the classroom, and really helped me feel more confident with my camera settings.” (Kara) “This class is definitely

Classes with Jess | Nighttime Photography, Holiday Edition

Ready to get your twinkle on?  Join me on Thursday, December 14th at 171 Cedar Arts Center for a holiday twist on my Nighttime Photography Workshop!     Bring your DSLR camera and your tripod (both are 100% essential for this class) and learn the art of long exposure. We'll be turning street lights and Christmas lights into starbursts that make your tail wag!      The class is from 5-8pm. We'll start at 171 getting comfortable with the concepts we need for this effect, and then we'll bundle up rain or shine and head out for a walk in the Gaffer District.     Please note: I'm going to roll with the weather for this workshop, so you need to dress appropriately and prepare to be flexible...      ... cause we're going outside, rain or SNOW ;-) But seriously, I'm almost crossing my fingers for snow. The only reason this workshop will be canceled is if it's a really bad,

Reflections | Classes with Jess at 171

I now have two full sessions and a handful of workshops under my belt, so I can maybe stop calling myself a 171 rookie. Obviously, I'm going to be learning and growing and getting better as a teacher every time I step in front of a new group of students. But I definitely feel like I'm getting the hang of it. And I LOVE IT.     Teaching photography has been a wonderful experience and a welcome addition to my business. My favorite part for sure has been watching the smile that accompanies the moment something realizes they "get it."     Shooting in manual mode with a DSLR camera is a really interesting experience because once you learn what the main buttons and functions mean, it's like you suddenly have the keys to unlock a whole new realm of creative possibility!     There is nothing more frustrating than purchasing a camera upgrade and realizing you can't really fix most of the problems you were