FINDinaBOX: A Review

Film stocks, black and white versus color negative film, metering, pushing/pulling film, scanning film, film formats, 35mm, 120mm… Shooting film can feel complicated and overwhelming. But it’s worth it because there is a certain tangible magic to it that you still can’t quite get with digital photography.

I was SO close to quitting film shooting last year (totally absurd, I know) until FINDinaBOX came along at the EXACT time I needed it most. It helped me stop screwing up roll after roll and making ‘sizable donations to my lab,’ as Jonathan Canlas so eloquently puts it. I mean, I used to be terrified of using a handheld lightmeter (which sounds ridiculous)… And now that I’ve worked through the mystery of even that one little aspect of film photography, that’s just one of the many ways my shooting has improved tenfold.

Film Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.lovemesimply.com

Jon, our fearless leader of FiaB (and founder of FILM IS NOT DEAD), also helped me find where my passion projects are in my heart and helped get me started on a series that’s so personal and perfect for me. Plus, the feedback on all of the new work I produce, as on others’ work in our group, has helped me become such better photographer in such a short amount of time! I can’t wait to see the growth that lies ahead when I’ve already come so far in just one year. The community that has emerged from our common passion, is worth its weight in gold, too. Seriously.

 

The (optional) assignment every month keeps me motivated, as well as constantly challenges me to learn new ways to approach shooting film. And while this workshop is focused on film shooting, Jonathan has also gone above and beyond helping those with businesses improve that aspect, too! That was definitely an unexpected bonus. And even with alllll he constantly gives, it’s still not redundant with the other guides he has published. Each piece of gold he develops (pun intended?) brings new information and opportunities to improve your shooting (and business!).

With FiaB, whether you’re just starting out and need all of the basics you could imagine, or you’ve been shooting film for a long while and need some advanced tips and tricks plus a mentor who makes himself constantly available to you for questions and guidance, I promise this is the workshop for you. Invest in it just once, and it forever keeps giving. And since I have three kids to time and funds for going to workshops is limited, this is just what I needed. It’s a better bang for my buck anyway when it comes to workshops, AND I can do it right from home. It’s nice to know I can still invest in something that I can work on at my own pace, around my life and my family’s schedule.


FINDinaBOX is constantly helping me improve my film shooting AND my business, and is keeping my creativity alive when I hit those inevitable rough patches. I am forever grateful for Jonathan and what he has created for us.

Use code FIND for $600 off until April1st!

Film Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.lovemesimply.com
*The links to FiaB in this post are my own personal affiliate links.

Welcoming Roxy: 8.8.16

The two nights before Roxy was born, I had uncomfortable and inconsistent contractions all night long. By the time Monday morning, August 8th, rolled around, I was sure Roxy had settled in for a few more days even though just hours earlier I was convinced we would be at the hospital ready to welcome her at any moment.

I remembered a photo my mom had taken in a bubble bath with me in her belly the morning she went into labor, so I wanted a similar one. Jose took this for me the night before Roxy was born.

These were both taken by Jose, one after the other. Both with my Pentax 645nii – the first is Kodak Portra 400 and the second is Ilford HP5.

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Our boys took a bath soon after, and I wanted one last photo of them as just a pair of siblings before their sister arrived and made them a trio.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

I drove Max to speech and occupational therapy that next morning, and the car ride increased the number and intensity of my contractions (as it usually does anyway), but I still mostly brushed them off. I used one of the giant exercise balls in the OT gym to sit on and ease my discomfort, at which point I decided I should probably call my midwife and get her opinion. They agreed I should come in for an exam to see if I was in early labor.

Jose left work and picked up Max from therapy while I drove over there, and met me at the office where my dad then drove our car home and my mom drove our kiddos home (so much to coordinate when this is your third baby!).

After an hour waiting to be seen at the midwife’s office, my contractions got more intense and closer together. Jose was timing them and his app hilariously finally said “you need to go to the hospital right away!” 😉 At which point we left the office without ever being seen for the exam.

Luckily, all of my bags were already in Jose’s car, and I had my parents bring my packed camera bag because I knew I wanted to photograph our experience as long as I could (using film!) while I was in labor. I may or may not have been inspired by meeting Sally Mann earlier in the summer. 😉 Documenting this process was an awesome distraction to have in between contractions and really helped take my mind off the pain. In case you’re curious, I also felt compelled to listen to Weezer while laboring in the car — specifically the song “Thank God for Girls.” 😉 The first shots below are from right after we left the midwife’s office. I had to labor from the backseat because both of our cars have recalls on the passenger side airbag that I didn’t want to chance.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

We settled into our room around 12:30pm.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

I loaded film and did some metering between contractions so I could hand the camera off to Jose from time to time. Of course he had to capture my love for all the ice I could get my hands on. 🙂

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Our incredible midwife, Cara, monitored me for about three hours before they decided to admit me, just to be sure things were progressing.

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

I felt great between contractions and my amazing husband helped keep the mood light, as he always does. It really helped ease the pain quite a bit. And that lovely shower behind us in the photo below? Also one of my favorite pain relievers. That hot, running water felt so good on my low back during contractions.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Jose found a decently comfy spot to relax in between my contractions as well. 🙂 My favorite place to work through them was on top of an exercise ball while holding onto Jose as he kneeled down in front of me. This man is by far the most amazing partner I could ever ask for, and laboring with him by my side was an absolute pleasure. Our whole labor was so quiet and intimate, with just him and I holding each other and working through every contraction that brought us one step closer to our baby girl.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

By the time I got to about 6cm, I decided I wanted an epidural. My first birth experience involved a long labor that ended in a c-section. For my second birth I went all-natural in an effort to reduce as many interventions as possible that could increase my chances for a repeat c-section — and I got the all-natural VBAC that I worked so hard for! This time around I gave myself permission to get an epidural if I wanted one, and after a while, it was obvious to me that I could keep going all-natural if I wanted to, but I was ready for pain relief so I could continue to fully enjoy the experience and hopefully have a less intense birth.

And I’m so glad that is what I opted for. I was able to relax and take short naps. And soon after I got the relief, my water broke and I felt the heavy pressure and need to push.

For some reason the epidural took much better on my right side than my left, but I was grateful because it left me just enough sensation to know how and when to push. I also knew based on my last experience that I needed to breathe into my contractions and push more gently, to help me have a not-so-difficult recovery after. And that’s exactly what I got thanks to Jose’s coaching, our incredible midwife, and the epidural that brought me just the right amount of relief.

Cara eased me through every push and every contraction. Jose held my hand and helped me find just the right amount of strength I needed to make it through to the end. And before I knew it, Roxy was on her way out and I pulled her up onto my chest in the most gentle and peaceful entrance into the world. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Jose captured our first photo together below (not film on this one — I stopped photographing with my film camera after I got my epidural and wanted to focus my energy on resting and then pushing).

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

I captured the below photos in our recovery room the next morning.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

The honesty of the next photo was really important to me, too. Just me and my girl after our first night together. Un-showered, same robe I labored in, belly still swollen, attached to an IV for extra fluids, film camera in hand, tired as can be, more in love than ever.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Jose brought the boys up to meet her that day, too, and it was the sweetest moment ever.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

And then, we brought her home.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Jose Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

The next day, we took her to her first doctor appointment.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

And every day since, we have continued to immensely love on her as we always will forever and ever and ever.

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

Photo by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

XOXO

Black & White Film Photography in a North Carolina Farmhouse – Family & Childhood Photography Session

I have so much goodness to share from this incredible family session on the sweetest little homestead, but I’m feeling pulled to first share the black and white film images that I shot at the END of the session. Who says you can’t have dessert first? 😉 Stay tuned as I share several posts from this series over the course of several weeks this summer. There is just so much eye candy and love to be inspired by!

Ready to Book? Here is my 2016 pricing info!
Or you can always email me at lea@lovemesimply.com.
Or, contact me on my website HERE!

Photos shot on a Nikon F100 35mm film camera, with Ilford HP5 film pushed two stops in developing by theFINDlab.

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

North Carolina Homestead Family Session - Love Me Simply Photography by Lea Ciceraro (www.LoveMeSimply.com

Ready to Book? Here is my 2016 pricing info!
Or you can always email me at lea@lovemesimply.com.
Or, contact me on my website HERE!

Embracing Your Roots While Developing Your Passion

Embracing Your Roots While Developing Your Passion - by Lea Ciceraro - www.LoveMeSimply.com

My Start with Photography

Childhood memories are fuzzy at best. But the really important moments leave an impression, even if the facts are a little skewed. What happens during your youth can forever shape your story and the person you become. One of my earliest, favorite memories was during a summer visit to my extended family in Southern California. It was the early 90’s, so I must have been 7 or 8 years old. I was staying at my Djedo’s (Serbian for grandpa) house, with its perfect orange trees perched out front that we always picked from to make fresh juice in the morning. I’ll never forget the sweet smell and taste.

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