Day 11 and 12: My 365 Project

Day 11: Inspired by the view from the new One Down Dog  space.

Room with a View on 365 Project

Day 12: Inspired by the lights in a tunnel, reminding of of the natural pauses we need to take, no matter how fast we are moving.
pause on 365 Project

What will tomorrow bring?

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Check out My 365 Project

After being inspired by Jenn Grosso‘s 365 Project from 2013, I decided that it would be an interesting project for me to do in 2014. As a photographer, I don’t actually shoot every single day. And everything I shoot isn’t always up to my standards of what should be posted, shared, etc. I am a die-hard perfectionist. But who in this industry isn’t? So, what if I shoot without my innate attachment to perfection? For me, that means using whatever medium I have handy: my iphone, my point and shoot, or my big mama camera. Equipment doesn’t make a photographer, your eye does. I am currently on Day 11. I have literally shot every day, come hell or high water. One night, it was at the dog park with my iPhone, one day it was during the crow’s bath time. I feel more inspired, more creative, and more at ease with what I do. And we are only at the beginning. However, 365 days of images is a huge challenge, and one I fear I may forget to do from time to time. It is why I’m letting go of perfection, why I am not ONLY shooting with the big camera, why I am being easy on myself and letting whatever happens to happen. I might even really get my crap together and post the images on the blog every day. What?!

You can follow my progress here.

Bird on a Wire on 365 Project

Adios 2013, It’s Been Incredible

untitled shoot-2555

2013 is coming to a close and wow has it been a remarkable year. It started off with a bang when Carol Horton interviewed me about my work and what inspires me. I had photographed two book covers (21st Century Yoga and Yoga PhD) with Carol and this interview stemmed from that. So much has transpired: the LoveMore Movement is finally a reality and not just some crazy idea in my head. I went to the Monterey Jazz Festival with Janice Littlejohn of …But Can She Play? this year and had an amazing time photographing Claire Daly and some current Grammy nominees, while also discovering some incredible talent. My love for Latin jazz is very alive and real. And my absolute love and respect for women musicians is fully charged. I photographed many a portrait for LoveMore, including Vinny Ferraro, Danny Fisher, Melanie Klein, and Jessica Rosen.  My list of people to photograph in 2014 is getting longer and more inspiring that I could have imagined.

One of my favorite shoots from 2013 was with Julian Walker. It was the epitome of an LA adventure involving a walk in search of appropriate graffiti, dodging a bit of traffic, and it culminated in a jam session. My adventures went on and on this year. I pretended to be a tourist so I could photograph the remarkable Jennifer O’Connell; I went to El Matador Beach to photograph an inspiring yogi named Erica; I photographed the awe-inspiring LoveMore badass Crystal J. Torres which included burning money and sitting on the edge of  a Los Angeles rooftop. I went on a super top secret adventure with my dear friend and LoveMore mama Melanie Klein and captured one of my most alive shots; I’m telling you, I realized how much of an adventurer I really am. When I offer a photo adventure, I mean it. I am not afraid to get dirty to get a shot.

Another highlight of 2013 was when Kate Bartolotta featured me as her Artist of the Week at Be You Media Group. I was sincerely honored by Kate’s request and I intend to make it out her way sooner than later to photograph her for LoveMore! Kate is a prolific, inspiring writer. She is honest, full of heart, and an someone I admire. What a blessing.

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I’ve also had some downfalls this year, as I’ve struggled with migraines and tried damn near everything to make them go away. They are better, or my attitude toward them is better anyway.  The experience has provided me with the opportunity to be more contemplative and even to slow down. One of the things I did this year was complete my yoga teacher training with Hala Khouri and Julian Walker. I still have things to tie up before I get my official certificate, but it was one of the most transformative, healing experiences I’ve ever embarked on. I also finally did a Street Yoga teacher training, furthering my desire to help those who suffer. Feeling into, learning, and sharing these heart practices have helped me heal my own heart, expand my creativity, and soften.

So, what do I want for 2014? I want to write.  I want to travel. I want to come to YOU, to your town, to your sangha, to your yoga studio, to your mountains, rivers, creeks, and graffiti-strewn towns. I want to go on mini adventures and I want to celebrate those who celebrate me and my work and the LoveMore Movement. I want to encourage women and men to love their bodies…just as they are, to celebrate their strength, no matter their shape. I want to break the over-photoshopped beauty standard and get back to the time where what you photograph is what you see in the end. Yep, that means a big butt might stay a big butt, or skinny arms might stay skinny arms. We are amazing, all of us, just as we are. I plan on making 2014 a year of exploration, healing, adventure, and love. Always love, because without that, we are bereft of heart

all images © sarit z rogers / sarit photography. all rights reserved

The Lady Can Play

Inspired by the late great Valaida Snow, Crystal J. Torres embodies everything there is about jazz, glamour, strength, and beauty. Look for more images soon! This is just one of my personal favorites from our recent shoot at Union Station. CJT-132

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Indiegogo or Bust!

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 10.32.34 AMLoves!

The Indiegogo campaign has 13 days left and there are still some pretty fabulous perks available. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, and you are interested in shooting with me, there’s a perk for that too! It’s guaranteed to be a morning, afternoon, or evening of deep collaboration, silliness, and fun. There are locations galore here that will fit your fancy. My work focuses on musicians, fine art portraiture, and in the last year, yogis. As I walk this path, collaborating and creating in this wild world of art, I hope that you will join me.

Pass this on to your friends and colleagues. Perhaps they are interested in a photo shoot, a book or a print? Or maybe they know someone who is?

Love and shutter clicks,

Sarit

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Safelights, Magic, and Jazz

Hailey NiswangerI picked up a camera when my heart was breaking. When I couldn’t figure out what to do with my life anymore. This time, I decided to make a career out of something I’d been playing with since childhood. Something I learned from my dad when he was printing in the darkroom he’d built when I was a kid. I learned to shoot with his Olympus OM2, a camera I still revere but do not own. I learned to watch images appear slowly in the warm glow from the Safelight, enthralled by this apparent magic.

Later, when I decided to go to school to hone my craft, I found myself intoxicated by the smell of developer and fixer, regardless of the poisoness fumes. I was still smitten with the “magic,”” even though I was knowledgeable of the truth. At this point, my photography became my voice. My means of communicating with the world from which I often felt detached. The truth is, my memories of my dad are antiquated and fading fast. The positive relationship I remember truly ended when I was 7 and has been spotty and dysfunctional ever since. With him, there is hope, as he and I both are trying to mend this relationship. Still, both parents left me feeling orphaned and isolated, making my writing and photography the only true means of honest connection.

When I shoot now, I shoot with my heart wide open, hoping to create a real connection with those I photograph. I’ve built a remarkable family though via my marriage to Joseph and my friends, who have supported me and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. I’m beyond grateful.

Recently, while working with Janice Littlejohn during the jazz clinic and benefit for her documentary But Can She Play, I was shown the power of determination stemming from the desire to follow dreams. Janice is a true force of nature, highlighting women in the arts, supporting women in the arts, as a woman in the arts. Hello, sisterhood! I learned a lot during those two days, particularly regarding dreams.
We all have them; we all need to honor them; we all can play. And most of all: We can’t ever give up. There’s just no room for that.

Creative Swirls

It occurred to me that I should probably write more often. I mean, what’s the point of a blog if I don’t use it, right? My goal: to put forth a blog a week, small, medium, or large.

These days, I have great intentions in terms of what I want to shoot but little time to do it. Life is clearly in session. I have stacks of magazines waiting to be torn apart for my body image project, a couple shoots lined up, and a new LiveBooks Scaler site to rebuild. As I do that, I’m also planning on scanning the myriad negatives I have sitting around so I can add more meaningful work to my site.

I’ve recently added Google+ to my social media madness, but I haven’t really used it to its full potential. Facebook, Twitter, etc., still seem to be the primary places to post new content, et al. Still, Google+ is quite an interesting social media forum, and more than anything, it strikes me as less shallow and more meaningful in content than Facebook. In fact, I’ve was added to this amazing list of photographers to “circle” on Google+. It’s both and honor and exhilarating, to say the least, particularly since I suck at self-promotion. Fortunately, those close to me continue to push me to self-promote, promote me themselves, and encourage me to keep going, regardless of economical denigration and creative congestion.

I continue to write recovery blogs for Visions, which feeds my need to be of service and helpful in the community, particularly to adolescents in turmoil and their parents who are trying to help them. Ah, youth. I’ve also begun contributing to FeministFatale when my activism nerve has an itch. Really, there’s never a day where I’m not in some creative space, though I do wish more of it was behind the lens. I’m ardently working to make this happen.

Recent shoots include a jazz clinic and benefit for the documentary But Can She Play, which truly warmed the cockles of my heart. It combines all that I love: women in the arts and Jazz. Pics to be posted soon.

With love and shutter clicks,

Sarit