Personal Projects

Giving Back - Girls on the Run in Denver

This Mother's Day weekend, I volunteered at the Girls On the Run 5K event that had more than 1,000 girls participating.  Girls on the Run is a community organization that helps girls from 3rd-8th grade with empowerment, self-esteem, and camaraderie by getting them involved in an after school running program.  The Community Outreach Committee on which I serve for the Alliance of Professional Women in Denver has been supporting this organization since 2016.  This year we sponsored a water stop along the race path and the Happy Hair booth. Happy hair volunteers sprayed temporary color into the hair of 400-500 kids on Saturday morning. The volunteers were dragging a bit because the event required us to be there and setup in our tent by 7:30AM.  We had boxes of hair color, and bags and bags of clip in hair pieces ranging from metallic to neon.  When the first few kids arrived, we had nine volunteers ready to pounce and help them get their hair decorated.  Initially, volunteers outnumbered the kids coming to the booth by about three to one.  And then suddenly the kids really started arriving.  At one point I counted fifty kids in line waiting for their turn in the booth.  It was a nonstop line for about a solid hour!  We ran out of supplies at just about the time they started calling kids to lineup for the race.

One of the most heartwarming parts of working at the Happy Hair booth was kids coming up to the booth to ask how much ti cost to get their hair done.  "It's free!" we would say and the girls would jump up and down with excitement.  How nice to do something so simple for all these kids and just let them enjoy the day.

preparing the happy hair boothvolunteers at work giving back girls on the run denver example of some happy hair volunteers working in the happy hair booth one of the volunteers spraying color into a girl's hair giving back - spraying hair at the wacky hair booth a volunteer laughing and having a good time overview of the line for the happy hair both at girls on the run 5k girls warming up for the race racers getting ready to run girl running in the girls on the run 5k race

 

 

My Photo Editing Soundtrack

I have to listen to music when I am editing photos.  I need something to separate me from distractions; music helps center me and even helps with pacing my workload.  My photo editing soundtrack typically involves a Pandora station that suits the type of shoot I am editing.  After I pick the music, I set a timer for an hour (which is about how long I can edit without a break) and turn up the volume. Since all the music I listen to while editing is protected under copyright law, I'm not able to show a video with examples.  However, it's kind of fun to open one of the music clips and look at the photos.  Well...I think it's fun.

When I edit, I try to think of what kind of feelings I want for the shoot and play music that helps get me there. For example, when I am editing high school seniors I often listen to Alex Clare Radio. I like both the energy and drama of the music which feels like high school kids to me.  I listen to songs from Alex Clare (obviously), AWOLNATION, Florence and the Machine, and even some dubstep.

Black and white of teen girl running down the street looking over her shoulder laughing. Black and white of teen boy against window reflecting the clouds.

For me, the music selection when editing isn’t about what the people themselves listen to, it’s what helps me be in the right frame of mind for editing their shoot. If I’m editing a high-energy session, I don’t want to be listening to yoga music.

One of my more literal musical choices recently is listening to The Album Leaf’s A Day in the Life when I edit Day in the Life sessions. I love the spirit and atmosphere (if you can apply that term to music) of that song and the other music I get from Pandora in that vein.

Girl seen outside dancing through the front door. Natural looking photo of boy in car putting on his seatbelt. Black and white photo of famlly in their car through the front window. From the backseat, mom, dad, and small dog. Famlly dog in outside car window with wind blowing in his hair.

Lately, I’ve been editing some commercial work- lifestyle photography for a real estate company and I found Lunz Radio to really works for me. No particular message, just nice neutral background music.

Stapleton downtown photo. Stapleton Bluff Lake view of mountains.

For editing my own family, we are pretty eclectic. I like to listen to the Queens of the Stone Age, Detroit CobrasBig Star, and the Dirtbombs to edit my clan. My sons are both guitar players and write most of their own music.  I feel like the decade doesn’t matter much as long as it has guitars.

Boy eating steaming noodles. Man in the kitchen reading something on his ipad.Self portrait of woman and camera in mirror. Documentary photo of young man eating and watching TV

Finally, when I edit my own work for my website, I almost always listen to the Kinks.  (Isn't it funny how we often wind up adopting the music of our parents' generation?)  The song Victoria "sounds" like my photos.  I love the lyrics of People Take Pictures of Each Other and Picture Book. Wouldn't it be cool to license the Kinks for one's little photography business?

Mom blowing on girl's cheek while son blow's on mom's.Family on the beach in silhouette.Tatooed dad handing baby to beautiful mom Man in woods holding son and looking away from camera.Touching photo of woman huggin and older woman.

What is your family or business theme song?

Life Unstill shoots Day in the Life sessions in Denver, CO and beyond.  Contact Willy to schedule a session and find out your soundtrack.

A Day in the Life of a Denver Lawyer

Quiet, ordinary moments are interesting to me.   What I enjoyed most about the day in the life session I shot with Denver lawyer, Kelly Snodgrass of Snodgrass Law, LLC, was learning the little things. Kelly takes off her shoes under her desk. She says she’s detached but you can see her passion for her work and her empathy and concern for her client. She wears her college sweatshirt when she wants to be comfortable. And at the end of the day, she watches cooking shows and snuggles under a Muppets blanket. For real. Kelly is a beautiful, incredibly intelligent, single woman who owns her own home and her own business.  It's a powerful combination.  She's intriguing and lovely and compassionate.  I have gotten to know Kelly through a networking group, but you don't get much of a peek into somebody's life at networking events.  After attending a luncheon for the Alliance of Professional Women, we headed to a client’s divorce mediation. It's so interesting to see what a badass Kelly is when she's "on" in a mediation.  She was so dedicated to her client and helping him through all the weird twists and turns that divorce can bring.  He and the mediator were very kind to allow me to be in the room documenting the proceeding.  Things didn’t end the way they do on TV, no banging of a gavel or sense of resolve.  Three hours after we began, we just packed up our gear and left.  It was oddly unsatisfying.

Kelly wrapped up her day by fixing me dinner while we drank wine and did what women will do – talked about men. Beautifully ordinary.

This video has music.  It's best watched in 720p in full screen view (see the little box in the lower right corner of the view screen).  Images follow.

http://video214.com/play/YCJTv6OYOK1bIOrP48N7sA/s/dark

Day in the life of a Denver lawyer - black and white photo of woman shaking hands at an event
Day in the life of a Denver lawyer - black and white photo of woman shaking hands at an event
Day in the life of a lawyer - woman at her desk seen through slatted blinds
Day in the life of a lawyer - woman at her desk seen through slatted blinds
Day in the life of a Denver lawyer - woman at her desk with her hand on her face
Day in the life of a Denver lawyer - woman at her desk with her hand on her face
Black and whote of woman going down stairs from above
Black and whote of woman going down stairs from above
Woman in a hallway talking to unseen person
Woman in a hallway talking to unseen person
A lawyer, her client, and a mediator through a doorway
A lawyer, her client, and a mediator through a doorway
Lawyer and client at a table over the sholder shot of the mediator gesturing.
Lawyer and client at a table over the sholder shot of the mediator gesturing.
Woman alone in a conference room standing over her computer.
Woman alone in a conference room standing over her computer.
Lawyer looking exasperated next to her client.
Lawyer looking exasperated next to her client.
Kelly with her hand on her face looking perplexed.
Kelly with her hand on her face looking perplexed.
Lawyer talking to her client.
Lawyer talking to her client.
Lawyer and her client both on phone looking frustrated.
Lawyer and her client both on phone looking frustrated.
Kelly leaving the building in the dark.
Kelly leaving the building in the dark.
Kelly at the liquor store.
Kelly at the liquor store.
Kelly in her kitchen seen through a windwo.
Kelly in her kitchen seen through a windwo.
Preparing dinner in her Denver Law sweatshirt.
Preparing dinner in her Denver Law sweatshirt.
Woman asleep on her sofa under a Muppets blanket.
Woman asleep on her sofa under a Muppets blanket.

A Day in the Life of a Designer

I recently embarked on a documentary photography project featuring women in their workday.  Being myself a mom, wife, entrepreneur, friend, cook, and chauffeur, I feel like I want to celebrate the sometimes wonderful, sometimes remarkable, sometimes ordinary, and always beautiful lives of my fellow women. In this case it is a day in the life of a designer - Kellie Lansberry of Inspired by Design.  I was struck first by how her phone is a like a barnacle attached to her ear.  It is never ending: incoming calls and texts from clients, employees, contractors, suppliers, friends, and Tinder.  Yes, Tinder, a single girl has to juggle her love life, too.  Kellie's day began with training her new assistant and progressed to driving around to different show rooms and warehouses, grabbing samples, ordering supplies, picking up materials.  Between phone calls she stopped at Starbucks twice, flirted with clerks, and juggled last minute changes from a client.   Kellie came up with inventive solutions working with her vendors to create answers to surprise problems.  At the end of the day she had a final walk-through of her gorgeous remodel in The Preserve.   Her day wound down with a great deal of puppy love.  If you would like to see more of the photos of Kellie's finished remodel in The Preserve, check them out on her Facebook page.

A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at her desk
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at her desk
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at desk getting dog kiss
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at desk getting dog kiss
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at starbucks drive through
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at starbucks drive through
A Day in the Life of a designer- talking to sales guy at lighting store
A Day in the Life of a designer- talking to sales guy at lighting store
A Day in the Life of a designer - choosing flooring
A Day in the Life of a designer - choosing flooring
A Day in the Life of a designer - selecting sink finish
A Day in the Life of a designer - selecting sink finish
A Day in the Life of a designer - checking an invoice
A Day in the Life of a designer - checking an invoice
A Day in the Life of a designer - picking hardware
A Day in the Life of a designer - picking hardware
A Day in the Life of a designer - showing client tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - showing client tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile car point of view
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile car point of view
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client
A Day in the Life of a designern - talking to client 2
A Day in the Life of a designern - talking to client 2
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client through doorway
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client through doorway
A Day in the Life of a designer - client shows kellie somethig
A Day in the Life of a designer - client shows kellie somethig
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - texting in an empty room
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - texting in an empty room
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - kellie and client both taking phone photos
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - kellie and client both taking phone photos
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - petting the dog
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - petting the dog
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - getting ready for bed
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - getting ready for bed
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - snuggling with the dogs
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - snuggling with the dogs

Willy Wilson is a Denver lifestyle photographer.  

Yoga in Public - Denver Yoga Photography

Yoga in public - woman alone on a bench meditating
Yoga in public - woman alone on a bench meditating
Yoga in public - woman in dancers pose on a bus
Yoga in public - woman in dancers pose on a bus
yoga in public - woman standing in line doing yoga poses
yoga in public - woman standing in line doing yoga poses
yoga in public - collage of black and white yoga poses with polic car public art in an alley
yoga in public - collage of black and white yoga poses with polic car public art in an alley

Based on the idea that yoga is with you everywhere, all the time, I dreamed of a series of images of yoga in public spaces.  With the help of two yoga teachers, Suzanne Simone who posed for the photos, and my dear friend and fellow yogi, Natasa Vukicevic, who worked behind the scenes helping keep Suzanne's form camera ready, we embarked on our mission in Downtown Denver.  Suzanne is a singer cum photographer cum dancer cum yoga instructor and had no problem doing weird things in public.  I'm not sure my photographs told the story I intended, but I did make some interesting pictures.  I loved the shot of Suzanne in Warrior Pose standing front of the soda shelves, looking like she's protecting the public.  Sadly we got kicked out before we got into our groove.  FYI, Rite Aid does not like you shooting photos in their store.

Yoga in public - blooper photo of woman helping yogi up in an alley
Yoga in public - blooper photo of woman helping yogi up in an alley

Willy Wilson has been a family photographer in Denver, CO since 2001.