Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fireplace = ZzZzZz

One thing I love about coming home to Northeast Pennsylvania for the holidays is catching up on the rest that I don't get while I'm working, living, studying, shooting, and playing in Maryland.  The everyday hustle and bustle can definitely wear one down, and after so much of it, I think my body forgets how to truly relax. Coming home though, reminds me really quickly on how to do that because I can just let all of that stress go, wear sweatpants for days, turn off my cell phone, eat until I can't move and have no other choice but to sleep it off, and have fireplace induced magic naps on the couch whenever its lit.  Our fireplace is like a homemade sleeping pill, because whenever it's lit and I am in the same room, I immediately pass out...every time.  I snapped the last photo right before I threw on another log and curled back up on the couch to go back to sleep.

No deadlines, no schedule, no email or cell, no school, no alarms, plenty of naps, plenty of food, and a cozy fire while the snow falls is just what the doctor ordered to prepare me for my 2011 photography endeavors.  2010 really hit it home as I seriously starting creating a photo career from scratch, so stay tuned for Lisa Dierolf Photography's business plans and goals for 2011!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apples to App...err, Skulls?

 My Product and Still Life class is finally coming to a close.  Here are some photos:

Black plexi table top, white plexi background with a 10 degree grid behind, softbox front right, spot grid far right
Softbox, top right
 (I forgot props and it was all I could find in the storage closet, ok?)
Black plexi, ambient from the candles, and a 5 degree grid from above the skull

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Life...Yawn.

I am officially bored by the Product and Still Life module.  It could be due to the fact that we shot a spoon for 2.5 hours.  A spoon....for two and a half hours.

Maybe I should be a little more mature and seriously appreciate the lessons in light I'm getting...yeah, of course I appreciate it, I'm learning a lot and it's definitely soaking in, thatsssss for sure.....TWO point FIVE hours though?  A spoon????  I'd rather shoot a fork at least....a more interesting utensil.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lucky 15

I was one of the lucky 15 who got the chance to shoot alongside David Hobby, aka Strobist, at the Howard County Conservancy.  It was a long, inspiring, day and it was incredible to see how the scenery changed as the light moved hour by hour.  Aside from the cause and the photos, what really made this day special were the people involved.  Not only were they all  stellar photographers, but they were really helpful, great to talk to and bounce ideas off of.  David himself was super nice, funny, laid back, and willing to educate...his personality really set the mood for the whole shoot.  Thanks again, everyone, for a fantastic day and experience!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

High Five!

There are lot's of exciting things happening for Lisa Dierolf Photography lately!!

Since I have been at CDIA, I have put a lot of focus on my website, marketing and most of all, networking.  Obviously, I'm here to improve my photography skills, but the business side of things need just as much attention.  David DuChemin, author of Visionmongers, says that business and marketing are 90% of being a photographer.  The picture taking part is only 10%. So anyway, at a school where the professors are all pros, and even famous, photographers, it would be crazy not to network, get to know them, and bounce off ideas.

That being said, professor Robert Rathe has allowed me to tag along on one of his big corporate shoots at the National Institute of Standards and Technology next week.  All that I know so far is that it will be an all day gig and it will be in a high tech lab.  He is a fantastic teacher, down to earth, and I am really thankful that he is allowing me to be a part of this shoot.  What I am most excited to observe and learn is the photog/client dynamic in a corporate setting and lighting techniques.

Two days after this, I am meeting up with wedding photographer Maria Linz for coffee.  Last April,  she and her 2nd shooter graciously allowed me to both shadow and participate in shooting a wedding.  Her energy is contagious and it shows through her photographs.  It especially shows because she booked 54 weddings between April and December of this can do the math.  We are finally getting together to go through the photos that I took that day and just to chat photography/business/etc.  So excited!

Following that meeting, I'm doing a family shoot in Annapolis for the design guru and owner of The Preppy Paperie.  She needed some family photos to put in her super cute custom designed Holiday cards.  Both the cards and photographs will be featured in a post in two weeks or so for you to see.  Sooo, if you need some portraits or cards, you know who to talk to ;)  See my prior post about the Holiday photo/card package we are offering! is one more major thing to announce.  I don't even know where to start with this one, and the embarrassing story as to how I got this opportunity will go left unsaid (unless there is high demand to know), so here it goes...  STROBIST.  If you are a photographer, and don't read this blog, then you should.  Join the 500,000+ that already do and you will learn some great tips from major professional photographer David Hobby about lighting technique and beyond.  This guy is just...awesome.  And he has high end clients and assignments all over the world.  And he knows light better than anyone.  Anyway, yesterday around 11am, he posted a blog titled "Are you a local to Baltimore or Washington, DC?".  I am!  So, I furiously clicked through the blog on my cell phone to see why he wanted to know this.  Turns out he was looking for volunteers to join him on a SHOOT in HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND.  Say what?? All you had to do was leave a comment with your info if you were interested and he would select around 12 people.  The shoot is on a farm and is for a non-profit. The goal is to provide them high end media to use in their advertising which will hopefully help them reach their $500,000 fundraising goal.  By the time I read the blog, around 2pm, he had closed the comments because he received a ton of responses and didn't need any more.  I was crushed.  This kind of opportunity never comes along and I missed it!!!  But, being the kind of girl that I am, I basically groveled and embarrassed myself...but all of that paid off....because I got the gig.  There are a bunch of other perks and exciting things about this shoot that I am not at liberty to talk about yet, but will clue you in soon.  I can't believe I will be shooting with David Hobby.  I will be shooting with...the Strobist.    I have no words.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today was kind of major...for me at least.  On Sunday, October 10th, 2010, I officially purchased the new Canon 7D (Ahh!!).  While I know I really needed to upgrade, it took a few weeks of mental preparation to finally click the checkout button on B&H.  Reading every review I could find, convincing myself that it was a financially responsible decision, and believing that the camera will eventually pay for itself took me awhile...but with the 2% discount ASMP offers, it would have been ridiculous not to buy I right or am I right?? Haaaa.  Ha. (Seriously though? Only 2%?). Anyway, I can't take the suspense of it's arrival on Wednesday, so I went ahead named it already (see this post's title).

On a different note, I was lucky enough to photography baby Brady on his big day last Sunday..

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

B&W City

I Just love black and white photos!!!  Taken during the Photographic Seeing module.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Behind the Scenes

Here are a few photos of what a typical class is like when we aren't in front of the computer....these are from the Intro to Light module..

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fundamentals of Printing

"The camera doesn't matter"...I have probably heard that sentence about 1000 times so far since I have been at CDIA and I am also starting to understand why.  What I am also starting to understand, is that your printing skills are even more important than the equipment you use.  The module I'm currently taking, Printing Fundamentals, is the most frustrating class I think I have ever taken, and yes, that includes all of my Economics and Econometrics courses from college.  At least there were formulas to help me make sense of that stuff.  Printing is definitely a challenging aspect of this art and like Economics, it is like learning another language.  Being the perfectionist that I am, trying to finding the perfect combination of brightness, white points, black points, contrast, etc. has wasted quite a bit of ink and paper so far.  The good thing, however, is that all of my experiments are really helping me to become a better printer and I'm finally starting to see improvement.
(sometimes when color is too flat, going b&w can have some amazing results - boston)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh, Hello Website

Hey Everyone!

I've talked about designing a new logo and website and I'm here to tell you that I've finally done it.  While SmugMug was very good to me, I needed something that looked a little more professional and decided to go with liveBooks.  LB looks so nice, however, I am already starting to miss the freedom that I had with SmugMug.  I could really design my entire site the way I wanted it with the help of some experts on CSS, however, with LB, I have to send in a support request any time I need something changed, and that costs anywhere from $50 to $200+ to do. It's worth it though!  I'm really happy with the way it turned out!

Can you still order prints from my website?  Yes, sir/mam, you can.  You can still order prints from this site, just like the last one.  "Add to cart" and "Prices" are at the bottom of the screen as you browse through photos.  From there just fill out the information and it will prompt you to pay via PayPal.

I also redesigned my logo, as you can see at the top of this blog.

I'm pretty happy with the way everything looks for now.  I'm sure I'll be tweaking things here and there in the future though!

Happy browsing! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010


Quick assignment in class today.  Colors.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Planning a New Look

So, it's time that the website and "logo" get a facelift.  I've been attempting to design a logo myself and have been sketching different ideas for awhile now.  Instead of an actual graphic, though, I think I'm leaning more towards just text.  Something clean and neat and professional.  I'm just having a really hard time deciding exactly what I want, what font to use, yadda yadda yadda.  Also, I'll be rearranging my portfolio and adding/deleting photos over the next few months.

If anyone has any logo ideas or if there are any graphics people out there who want something to put on their resume, let me know!

Here are my two favorite abstracts from school today...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First CDIA Shots

Very beginning of a slew of photos I'll be posting from school.  No manipulation for these.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I need 30 hour days.

So, guess what!!  I probably won't get to the beach this year.  That means probably no fishing or surfing.  Yeah. For those of you that know me, you know that I would rather have sand in my bed and salty residue on my skin than win a bazil dollars...and the fact that I won't this summer is pretty much horrifying to you.  I know.  It's crazy.  But, know that I am sacrificing the one place that puts me at complete peace (beach/ocean) for the dream I've been chasing on this blog - to be a photo pro.

School has started and 2-3 days a week I will be driving from Baltimore to New Carrolton Metro Station (30ish minutes), take the metro to Foggy Bottom (in DC, 30ish minutes), and then walking to the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University (10 minutes) to learn everything I can about this art (till 10pm during the week and all day every other Saturday) so I can practice it professionally.

BAM.  That is it.  Basically I will be sleep deprived for the next year and a half because not only am I working full time and am in photog school, but I'm also finishing my MBA, sailing, and I have a boyfriend/family that I need to spend time with.  So goodbye suntan, hello dark circles under my eyes. And Hello0o0o0o0o0oo0o digital photography and my future!!! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

One of those 60 Second Recaps

To answer those who ask me about how I got my start, here is a quick recap of the journey thus far:

I started this little endeavor as a hobby and completely from scratch in 2007.  First I was sailing with my parents in Annapolis and submitted a picture I took to the boat's photo contest.  I won the contest and scored a free Boat and Breakfast. Then I was walking down Charles St. in Baltimore one day and found the Funky Beehive where I started selling my genuine surprise, like hot cakes. Then I had my friend in Texas make me a website.  Then I bought a SmugMug website so I could self manage it. Then people started asking me to do family photos.  Then the Funky Beehive moved to Puerto Rico :(. Then I discovered Light Room. Then, my awesome camera and I flew to Rhode Island to stay with an internationally known sailing photographer,who I never met ,who graciously welcome me to his home and his world. Then I realized my awesome camera was actually really crappy and I really need to buy better equipment, but you have to start somewhere, right? Then on the flight home from Rhode Island I sat next to Gary Jobson.  I didn't know who that was until I Googled him later, but he complemented me as I showed him the pictures I took of his boat. Then I had my first show at Diece Boutique and sold two pictures. Then winter came and I neglected my camera until the ridiculous blizzard.  The Diece Closed down :(. Now it's spring. I decided I might try to sell at the Federal Hill Festival, but I'm apprehensive about it. I joined a local group of photo pro's and we meet monthly to talk business, ideas and show our work.  I joined the American Society of Media Photographers.  I applied to Boston Univeristy's Center for Digital Imaging Arts and was accepted to their Professional Digital Photography Certificate program (in D.C.).  I don't know how I/who will pay for it yet, but I am definitely going and believe it will work out somehow.  Last Saturday I shadowed another photographer, this time for weddings.  I learned a lot, but don't think it's my thing.  And my back still hurts today, Monday.  Plan for the future:  Work full-time as a photog by January 2012.