self portrait

New Year, Rebirth

Resolutions, 2018

 

A little late for myself, nevertheless I'm doing this! YES, another post about New Years. Ha! But still here it is. It feels almost incomplete without it...

and last year went by for me, in a blur--a big big blur. This year in order to hold myself accountable, and be able to look back, I am writing out my intentions for the next year,

as both a creative and a human being.

Here they are in no particular order 

  1. Start working with motion again
  2. Create one self portrait a week
  3. No instagram looking at night in bed; pick up books again, watch documentaries instead
  4. Write in a journal at least twice a week
  5. Finish 4 Family Albums for Billy
  6. Have a more carbon conscience diet, less red meat
  7. Bring my camera on more everyday events, stop relying on my cellphone camera, document what might seem mundane
  8. Connect with more local people
  9. Find a charity that I can become passionate about
  10. Wear heels more
  11. Connect even more with the people I'm shooting
  12. Allow more spontaneity to occur in my daily life
  13. Continue to take care of my body
  14. Read more ART books!
  15. See more Art
  16. Continue to learn experiment with cooking and new recipes
  17. Make my work more like the masters
  18. Ignore any fear
  19. Show more women how beautiful they are
  20. Look for, find, be, and create the beauty in a sometimes dark world

A bit of a manifesto for the new year. Like a giant todo list for me. I'm so happy I'm writing it here! What are your guys'?

Wishing all the success in yours on this time of new birth...

"The only way to deal with an unfree world

is to become

absolutely free

that your very existence

is an act of

rebellion."

-Albert Camus

Mother Daughter Self Portrait Series - Long Beach

Happy Mama's Day! I can vividly recall a moment in time, long before my daughter was in my arms. It was in this moment, that it was so very clear to me what I wanted to be.

You see, I went off to college thinking I had to go. I had to learn something, that could get me a job and basically set up my life forever and ever. I had applied to colleges in an interesting matter. Each college I applied to was with the intent of studying a different material. I didn't really want to be anything. So when the acceptance letters came in, my choice came with not only a school--but set up what I thought I'd be doing for the rest of my life. I throughly enjoyed art; I appreciated it earnestly and so after careful consideration the school that was my art path was selected and off I went.

But it was later in a moment of hysterical tears streaming down my face, brought on by a stressful, competition riddled college and a beautiful case of PMS, that I dramatically blurted out, to my boyfriend at the time, that all I really wanted to do was be a mom. I had broken down and thought I was never gonna make money (I was doing a lot of free work at the time). Therefore I would never have the funds to support a kid. I thought for sure I was just destined to never be able to have them. And the one thing I wanted, ever, was to be a mom. That's all I wanted.

Looking back I clearly was amazing girlfriend material, so many guys love a super-young-crying over wanting a baby-girlfriend! While that was not the prettiest moment in my life. I was vulnerable. I was embarrassed. I even remember thinking it wasn't right--so many woman had worked so hard for equality that  JUST wanting to be a mom seemed like a betrayal.

But every once in a while I like to remember that moment, that night. When my heart was breaking and I knew what I wanted, a single thing-my baby.

Maybe it was about a year later, that I got what my heart desired. My baby came without any plan. And despite the hardships, the trials that came with an unplanned pregnancy, I know She and I were planned, just by someone a lot smarter than me.


So when I asked Billy to take some portraits with my yesterday she said "sine" which is "fine." She can't quite get those Fs down. But as we went to her closet, she was adamant she didn't have the right clothes. After pulling out her entire dress collection I said then you'll just have to be naked. She looked at me, smiled, and threw off her shirt and that settled our wardrobe choices. However, I must say that taking self portraits, while trying to hide some delicate parts AND have your three year old insist she should click the wireless remote shutter and not  really know about hiding it, the "session" was one of the more difficult ones I have done.

 

From my Body

Here's to my little budding photographer. A mommy and me collaboration.

 

 

Shoot and Be Shot + Being a finalist in the 8th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards

One of the most rewarding parts about being a photographer is being able to document the important moments of my life. While you rarely see me take a selfie, a self portrait - on the other hand - is a different story. And I think it's probably time I embrace the selfie game anyway. But back to where I was going...when I first started taking pictures in college, I often had to use myself as the subject for assignments. As anyone knows, being in front of the camera is a lot different than being behind the camera. I think doing both is important. Ever see a model become a photographer or a model/photographer? There must be a good reason for that, right?

Being in front of the camera will make you a better photographer and picking up a camera will make you a better model. It allows you to step into the other persons shoes. For instance, after being behind the camera I am much better at communicating and directing my models. I learned that models need feedback. A successful shoot has plenty of communication. Saying the model does everything perfect, repeatably, will become insincere and loose its authenticity. Which is not going to make them perform their best. But, not enough communication leaves room for questions - What is the photographer looking for? What should I be doing? What do they want? Not to mention self doubt might creep in! Ah!! Same for the other side, those individuals that shoot in addition to modeling, know things that help make the shoot go smoother. They know how important light is and how it works. They play their bodies to the light. They might even know what a photographer is going to say before they say it!  It is just like another form of practicing, practicing from a different angle, a different perspective.

Now, after school, I found myself not as frequently in front of the camera. There were no friends calling me to shoot last minute assignments and my fashion work definitely did not call for a 5 and 1/2 of an inch small fry. But I wanted to get back in front of the camera to remind myself how the models feel, to sharpen my communication. So, I started shooting a lot of self portraits again, and mostly with my daughter to document our relationship and her ever-changing growth. Today, I wanted to share an image I took of the two of us that was chosen as a finalist in the 8th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. As a finalist, my image will be exhibited in the Berlin Biennial 2016! I feel so grateful and excited to be honored alongside such talented artists from around the world. Check out the galleries of the awardees and finalists here. Now, if only I can get over there to see it all. I got time though, maybe it will happen...

SidneyKraemer_SelfPortrait,Motherhood

Painted Gems

For those of you that don't know, over the last couple months I have had the privilege of being part of parsonsxteenvogue. I absolutely love, love learning and am always looking for ways to educate myself further, expand, and continue to be well rounded. When I heard that Parsons School of Design was partnering with Teen Vogue I immediately wanted to find out more about the program. The two icons of the fashion industry decided to get together and offer a boat load of information and as someone who shoots fashion, I thought it would be valuable to know more about each facet. While I primarily deal with a finished product before it goes out to consumers, It has been both eye-opening and inspiring to see the makings of this vast enterprise.

Recently we had the opportunity to make our own product. If y'all follow me on instagram you were able to see the final product of my own concept over there. For those of you that missed it check out the picture below.

necklacebysidney_LOW

Inspired by an image I took of the American flag, I just kept mulling over the blue and the stars-Stars and shinning. Sparkles. Diamonds. Shine bright like a diamond-my mind is friggin crazy but let's not get into that. Without millions of dollars to spend on diamonds I thought of my options and the idea to paint the entire necklace came to me. I wanted to be obvious it was painted and lots of canvas to show.

necklacebysidneyback_LOW

I had lots of fun with the details. A huge fan of bows, a big black ribbon was used to tie it around the neck. To secure the ribbon, I found a couple beautiful abalone shells (in the back drawer of my closet) and hand sewed them on with a thick gold thread.

It was so good to use my hands in a different way than usual and get back to my fine art roots in painting. As an artist I am super proned to self-loathing and criticizing, definitely my own worst critic, but I am so happy to wear this necklace I am thinking to create a few for some last minute holidays gifts!