Friday, December 18, 2009

Behind the Scenes of My Life | Session 2 - Portrait of an Artist...


Hope you all are very well!

I decided (since I had 5 extra seconds today) that I was going to try out my new 5d mark ii for the first time and see what I could come up with. I realized two things in the process: 1.) That nothing ever really takes just 5 seconds... and 2.) I am in love with my new camera.

I have tons of things lined up for January and throughout the new year that I cannot wait to share in regards to shooting and projects, but this month was just a 'me' month, and I spent the bulk of it catching up on the business side of being an artist, and personal work.

However, now that it's December (when did that happen, right??) I wanted to dedicate another blog to my 2nd Behind the Scenes of My Life piece. And this time it's not just pictures, but also some random things about me that I thought I'd throw in. It's nice to be able to share things (photos & otherwise) that don't necessarily end up in a portfolio or magazine, but are often the more 'real me'. I threw in a vintage prop with this piece, since it's sorta my thing. ;) This first shot is the processed piece from todays shoot and doubles as my Happy Holidays & New Years card to all of you who've been a continuous flow of support and inspiration in 2009. Thank you all. Truly. I was soooo close to throwing on a super cheesy 1980s sweater and doing the super over the top holiday card with tacky mugs, but opted to keep it real. Hey, maybe next year... :p

So without further adieu, let's do it...

"Portrait of the Artist, 2009"

Random Trivia: The teddy bear, above, was my mother's first toy as a child and I keep in it my room on my writing desk.


And now for more some
real behind the lens stuff...

I took some shots before the 'official' shoot today sans makeup (for the most) and decided I was only going to minimally process them, so that I can share a piece of the real me. It's so hard (if you are photog I know you catch my drift) to not process something out of camera, especially when it's yourself, and when you are so use to running pieces through the magical wonder that is Photoshop & Lightroom, etc...

So I tried really hard to not do much. I wanted the below pics to reflect the words I'm putting with them that give you a real glimpse into some of what's behind "The Bottle Bell" and who I am behind the lens. I feel almost naked without fully embracing all the tools of CS4 or being styled to the hilt, but I think that it's good to embrace the imperfections in oneself as well...

Oh, and for those that wanted to see pics from facebook, that's the new cut. :)

* The tattoo down my spine in deeply personal for me, but I'm often asked about it. I got it this April in a tiny little milkhouse in the back country of Wisconsin. It's a line from a poem I wrote to remind me to slow down when I need to, and of how much I connect with nature.

* You don't often see profile shots of me like the one above, because growing up- I really didn't like it. I have a slight curve in my nose that is the remnant of my Native American Heritage. (Iroquois - Mohawk). I use to hide it, but in growing up, I've come to embrace it.

* My favorite smells in the world (and I prefer them to perfume any day) are:
*Olive Blossom

* I read poetry like most people watch TV. I cannot get enough (as I'm also a writer) and my favorites are Neruda, Kavanagh and Keats. (for now ;)

* The scarf I'm wearing in these shots might just be my favorite material thing in the world. I wear it with everything. I even sleep in it. It's the American Apparel Circle Scarf, and every photographer needs one. (It's great for throwing over your head and camera to see the shot when it's too bright outside). It also unfolds into a nice little throw for warmth. Also good as a pillow, and is as soft as a cloud.

* My last name, "Lebedev" is not my maiden name. It's from an ex husband (yes I was married?!) and is Russian - meaning 'swan' or 'graceful bird'. My maiden name is Swedish.

*My entire lineage is a nice testament to what a mutt I am:
-Native American

* I have two freckles on my upper lip. Of all the freckles that speckle my shoulders and face, these are the only two I actually like. :)

* I am obsessed with leggings and have one pair in almost every color. And though it's super cold in Minnesota for the next like 4 months, I am completely determined to wear them through the frozen months.

* I can't have caffeine (pout face, no coffee EVER) or I end up in the hospital.

* I dance every other moment. Especially in public. It's just a thing. I love ballet, belly dancing, and hip hop. I love love love to spin.

* My favorite drink on cold nights is steamed lavender honey milk w/ foam. Yum.

* I meditate everyday for an hour. I cannot even begin to express how amazing and fulfilling I find it to be. I get lost in it and always feel energized and peaceful after a nice mellow session. I also love guided imagery.

* I prefer eastern medicine to western medicine - a strong opinion I have come to hold through my own life experience. I will often try acupuncture, herbs, energy work, and yoga before going to a doctor for something.

* My two favorite creatures on this Earth are my two dogs Dixie & Indigo. I adore all animals, and couldn't live without my mutts.

* I'm a night owl. Always have been. Always will be. I love mornings, but I love how quiet the night makes the world. :)


Happy Holidays, Everyone!
See you in 2010. xx

Click here to read my last Behind The Scenes of my Life.

Thanks for stoppin' through ;)
-Ashley | Bottle Bell

To follow this blog from your own, simply click the 'follow' button to your right. :)


Anonymous said...

You are such a sweetheart. You just resonate. I'm always happy to stop through, because you always bring a smile. I loved your Creative Ruts post too. SOOO helpful.

Yulia Gorodinski said...

Ashley, you are the first person I meet that can't have caffeine ever, me too, if I do that, hospital is guaranteed for me as well.
People always cannot understand how is that, I am glad I have found somebody like me.

Yulia xx

.E. said...

Ashley.. I have always known you are a beautiful soul.. These behind the scenes posts just confirm what I already knew..

I love the haircut on you.. its fantastic.. I cannot pull of such short hair.. It makes my head look like a pea on my body..and my ears are seriously too big for such short hair.. I love it though.. and on you its perfection.

Happy Holidays to a very special human being to whom I find inspiration everyday.

Anonymous said...

Completely and utterly adorable post...;). The shots with the Mark 2 look amazing. Putting a tool in "right hands" is a beautiful thing to make happen.

Anonymous Photog...

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, do you have any favorite chocolates?! I am a huge Godiva fanatic....

Stephen Newport said...


Ligeia said...

I absolutely love this post.
It was really cute to know more things about you

And also see your new haircut which is fabulous!!! :)

Joe Whittle Photography said...


Girl in the frame said...

So amazing to read about a photographer like you. I found your main site and decided to follow your blog. I am a photographer too, but just starting. Someday I want to be able to describe 'my style' but right now I feel I could photograph anything; did you feel that way at the beginning?. Anyway, I'm glad to be following your blog now :)

Laura Crowell said...

ohmygosh, I just realized I've seen you around on flickr! haha, I thought you seemed familiar when you commented on my blog.

this post was adorable. I love it when people take the time to share lovely things about themselves. :)

Sharrington Photography said...

Sensitive revelation of a free spirit. Merry Christmas to you Ashley...