Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best is Yet to Come!

Hello Foto Fans!

Well, we have made it through the Christmas season and what is awaiting us- 2011! In just a few days, we will be moving forward in a new decade. WOW, seems like just yesterday everyone was running around in prep for Y2K.

And so, what am I thinking for the new year, well there are a few things to be on the look out for...
A new website will launch this spring! I am really excited for the new look this site will hold. It will include a combination of both my fine art photographic works and my commercial work, similar to the current site, but DIFFERENT with new faces, new work and much more fresh! I can't wait for you to see it Fans!!

Speaking of commercial work, I have also made some decisions with regards to the commercial branch of my offerings. After a long contemplation, I will simply offer: Graduates, Head-shots, Family and Maternity portraiture. This is what I really enjoy capturing; which I think is most important, don't you?

And finally, I am growing roots. Believe it or not, I am blooming where I am planted. Seems like Wisconsin will be home (again). When it is all said and done, I am not sure how long, but I do know, the best is yet to come! Until 2011 and beyond Fans, Stay posted on Twitter@FotoFans!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all! May God Bless us everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just a Little Fun!

Hello Foto Fans and Merry Christmas!

So with basically five shopping days left, are you ready for the big day!? Like so many of you I am almost ready, the tree's been up since the day after Thanksgiving and the stockings hung with care.

But of course, creativity does not stop for the 12 Days of Christmas. That being said, take a peek at these fun antics that found their way into artist, Justin Cooper's photo shoot for head shots taken late last week.
I'm off to wrap the last of the gifts and I am about ready for some Hot Chocolate! See you on Twitter @Foto Fans and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Favorite...

Hello Foto Fans,
If you take the time to speak with any photographer (artist) each will tell you they have a favorite shot (image) that they love. Be it from a recent photo session or a pattern they start with and build from or favorite image by a colleague past or present...

Photo by Laci Coppins
For me, its my love of the black and white image! Often described as classic, traditional or timeless it is all of these things and might I add... PURE. And yes, while I have my digital cameras which can do a whole lot of fancy things, I still find myself, going back to my analogue friend. Unwrapping a new roll of film, placing into my camera with the internal knowing of careful image selection, because your options are limited to 36 exposures; make them count!

I recently mailed my holiday post cards to past collectors, galleries and patrons. I ensured the image used had no detailing, so it can remain long after the holidays should they choose...  Believe it or not, I used two different images, because I couldn't quite decide. Nevertheless, one is color and one black and white, my favorite... what do you think!? Would you like to receive a post card for your wall? Follow me on Twitter@FotoFans and we can go from there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

All About the Process...

Greetings Foto Fans!

When I was living in Italy I had a mentor who would often remind me, "It's all about the process, not just the product." It took a little bit for it to sink in, which may explain why he felt the need to remind me multiple times (chuckle), but I continue to apply this lesson back on American soil.

This summer I had a "Happyy Accident," as one of my current mentors calls it, with a can of spray paint, and came across a new idea for a self-portrait. Well, I often make smaller "samples" or "proofs" of my work so I can play with textures, put pieces together, help me simply better understand if I "like" how each image complements one another or is it strong enough to stand alone. Within this process, I am also adding text by my own hand.

Well it was suggested I try screen printing the text, sure I thought... but did I mention I am not, repeat NOT a print maker! lol But after I was dusted with a little Warhol dust by the Print Maker Fairy, I attempted the process. Coat the screen... wait, Burn the screen... wait, Rinse the screen... wait,  Coat the screen... wait, and here folks think it takes a long time to print a picture in the dark room. PLEASE, give me my chemistry set and red light any day! But funny, once I put my sample piece together, guess what... I did NOT like it!

It was something about the printed text, not being in my specific hand, but recreated, that disappointed me.  But I thought wait, post it in my studio, give it a moment, it may grow on you, but alas, nope! And so now Fans, I begin this graffiti style, self-portrait again, because, in the end... It's about the process! And once the process is correct, the product will be phenomenal (if I say so myself). I haven't totally given up on screenprinting and continue to spend time in the printmaking studio, but just not for this project. I know you are wondering about a few pictures, well, you'll have to come to the exhibition, "Pulp Possibilities" at REDLine Milwaukee in March. Hopefully this piece will make the cut and give you a chance to see what this process is really all about. Until then, you can always follow me on Twitter@FotoFans

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Growing a Tree...

Greetings Foto Fans!

This morning I was able to have another volunteer for my "hair series," which I have decided to stop calling it this, since it really isn't about the hair (which I realize with these samples probably doesn't help my argument), but more or less capturing the internal perspective of the model, as reflected by the external perceptions of the viewer. So, from here forward it will be referred to as my Perspective Series. (Please make a note!) Since we got that out the way... Let me tell you about today's shoot!

I met this young man at the Milwaukee Art Museum! While making my way through the space, I spotted him, with locs flowing literally to his hind parts. I said to myself, "I have to have him for my series!" Mind you, I just was talking with my mentor earlier in the week about a person with super long locs, that I can create my own "tree" with! Being a fellow artist, he happily agreed to help me out. YES!

As always, I include a few images from the shoot, but to see the final selections, including my "trees...," you must come to my solo exhibition at the Jazz Gallery, opening in February, called.... That's Right ...Perspective. In the mean time... You can always follow me on Twitter @FotoFans

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Point of Reflection

Greetings Foto Fans!
Well, it has been a long week and that is an understatement! I once heard it said or read somewhere, "Life is too short to learn from your own mistakes." Well, here is one of mine to learn from.

On Friday I had an initial meeting with a new gallery. Prior to, I worked diligently to ensure my materials were in order. CV, bio, exhbition sample card, business card, and of course the cute fit! But in all the review and review again, I failed to catch a HUGE error on my CV. It is the process that once a new show is booked, you place it on your CV, even if it has not occurred. Well, I listed each show for 2011 and to be sure and keep everything aligned I did the 'copy and paste.'

As the galleriest reviewed my information she began to ask clarifying questions. Apparently, I accidentally placed the current gallery on the listing for both 2011 and 2010. The title of the shows correct, the medium all correct, BUT the gallery spaces... W-R-O-N-G, WRONG!  I listed their space for a previous show, when this will be the first time in this gallery. um, Rock for one please... wishing I could crawl and never return, all I could do was excuse the mistake, offer to take the CV, make the correction and email the correct one.

So here is the lesson learned, while you may proof read again, again, and did I mention AGAIN... just like Mrs. McNabb (my 7th grade English teacher from Australia ) use to tell me, ask another friend to read it for you! Lesson learned? ... you tell me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A New Mother...

Hello Foto Fans!

Today was another fun day of capturing family moments. My shoot this afternoon was a maternity portrait session for a first time mom. She was definitely having a day of pampering, including a doctor's visit (does that count as pampering?), sassy new hair cut, meditation training in prep for labor, concluding with her memories being captured by your's truly! The happy couple are expecting a baby boy!

Similar to previous portrait shoots, you always want to do your best to offer something special! In addition, taking the photographs of an expecting mom is a bit different than your average high school senior. After all, you need to ensure mom and baby are both comfortable and safe, the image shows the personality of the mother, and you also apply your touch of creativity as the photographer. Needless to say, it's not always as easy as it looks. But! I love it, I love the thought of the new life that is being formed in this mother, who at this stage is absolutely beautiful!                                                                                                                                                  

So included in this post, are a few of my favorite images, from our time together. I couldn't of asked for a better model and the little guy inside, did his part two! Until next time FotoFans, stay in touch with the latest on Twitter@FotoFans

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two Little Ladies

Hello Foto Fans
It's the most wonderful time of the year! I don't know about you, but I love, LOVE the holiday season and all things Christmas. I especially love this time of the year, because I often times have the opportunity to add to the family memories of area families. As a matter of fact, yesterday I had the pleasure of taking the photographs of two little ladies, for their dad's 2010 Christmas cards. We literally played in an area park for about an hour. The great thing in working with different types of families, is each group has a specific preference. In this case, Dad wanted to be sure and have more informal photographs and not the typical formal studio lights and backdrops. Included in this post are a few of my favorites! Follow me on Twitter @FotoFans for the up to date moves and photo shoots this holiday season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Happy Thanksgiving Foto Fans!

Clemens in his studio
So let me ask you this, are you still stuffed, like that turkey sitting on your table earlier today? I know I am! I am also thankful for not only today, but everyday that I am still here upon the Earth created by God above, able to do what I love; chase light. I am also thankful I was able to bring a new friend to dinner today, Clemens Weiss. A fellow artist, currently visiting Milwaukee and REDLine as a on-site guest artist for 3 months, joined my family for dinner today! Clemens is German born and currently lives in New York and has never had the opportunity to experience Thanksgiving quite the way my family does it (I'm guessing the food). Nevertheless, he loved my mom's cornbread dressing, went back for seconds, took a dogie bag home and seemed to enjoy the Cowboys vs Saints football game that played on the TV (BTW Saints 27-Cowboys 20)!
Clemens' studio and work
It made me proud to see my family embrace him like he was one of our own. Several questions about his background, life as an artist and just how he made his way to the States, let alone Milwaukee, continued for several hours. And Clemens, of course, was more then willing to share.

A part of our family tradition, is to go around the family circle and everyone share what they are currently thankful for. Clemens offered the joy of being with my family and sharing such an important meal in our country's history with us. As for myself, well, I shared my thankfulness rests in opportunity. Opportunity you may ask; seems odd? Well, think about it. We all are given opportunities, but each day we have the CHOICE to accept the opportunity given, reject it, or ignore it all together. I do realize there are some opportunities that need to be both rejected and or ignored, and so we do... but for myself, I chase, like the light, the opportunities that enhance the person I am today. That add to my character and build me as a human, a woman, and an artist, so that I may add to the world around us, created by the God above. So Fans... what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take 6

Hello Foto Fans!

I just concluded a meeting with Della Wells. Ms. Della is the curator for the group show I am participating in opening January 21st. During the course of our meeting, she had the opportunity to peruse through several of my pieces. She continuously said, "Show me everything, everything!" As I pulled out one series sample, she would request to see the complete series, "Everything." WOW what  an awesome feeling. Someone that was really curious about my work, the process in which it is created and the value of my voice and what I had to say.

And with that she selected 6 pieces for the exhibition at the Peltz Gallery. A piece from my glass series (a diptych), two pieces of the hair series on handmade paper, a photographic transfer, and a screen print (hanging in the space as a current work in progress! Which means I need to finish it...) I won't be including any photos of the work just yet, you'll have to come to the opening!

Joining me in the exhibition will be: Reginald Baylor, Portia Cobb, George Williams, Jr, Allison Sawyer, Kevin Boatright, George McCormick, Evelyn Terry and the list goes on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ms. Angie

                                        Greetings Foto Fans!
I just finished shooting a beautiful young lady named Angie! As I am known to do,
I approached Angie one day when I was leaving a small business and she was walking in. Her smile and more importantly her HAIR caught my eye!

For the past 2-3 years I have been capturing the essence of people's lovely locks, on film, in an effort to respond to the dialogue that takes place as we make assumptions about a person. You know, we all do it...
Daily each of us steals moments of observation which create an external perception of individuals around us. What we fail to realize is often times these same individuals are doing their best to share or hide an internal perspective. Hence this project. My attempt: capture the internal perspective.

Two from this series currently rest in the collection of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I am extending the series by seeking new "models." As a matter of fact, I have three more folks lined up that I hope to capture prior to Christmas. Included in this post are two image samples from today's shoot. I look forward in seeing the final results as I add her into the collection. The entire series will be on display at the Jazz Gallery during my solo show, opening in February.

So for the rest of the evening I am heading over to the Milwaukee Art Museum for MAM after dark! I have several artsy folks I know who will be showing this evening. I am glad to offer my support! Next week, I will be shooting a Dad and his two daughters in a local park. That will be loads of fun and maybe a little cold, hummm. As you know, follow  me and you can show your support too! Twitter @FotoFans

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On a Business Note...

Hello Foto Fans!

I trust the day has found you well. On my end, it has been a relatively chilly day here in the Midwest and it's merely a matter of time before the snow begins to fall. Today was a busy time in the studio; handling the business side of art. Some things included writing my thank you notes to the folks at Fisk, organizing expense receipts, assisting in hanging the work of Amos Kennedy in the gallery space, and updating my website with the next show openings! (Which is January 21st at the Peltz Gallery if you'd like to go ahead and mark your calendar now.)

(c)2010 lcoppins

Often times when I meet people, they are surprised by how much "goes into" creating art. Well, yep, hate to tell you , but there is a BUSINESS SIDE to this BUSINESS! While it may appear glamorous and exciting, you are working everyday towards the next opportunity tomorrow. One of the main things you have to remember, is YOU are your best marketing rep! And in the end, all you have is your name. While it is nice to have folks in your corner, no one can do it like you, regardless of the opportunity OR the occupation. 

So here is my ode to determination. My cat Essence, loves to lick the water from the shower each morning, or basically anytime you exit the shower. Regardless, of how many times you fuss, tell her no, or move her away, she always seems to find away to obtain her goal. Well, in some ways, we can learn from Miss Essence, be persistent and eventually you will get what you want. A dog's life? hummm... no thanks, I'll take a cat's after all you get 9 of them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reflection Recap

Greetings Foto Fans!

Well I am back from Nashville. It was great leaving the 40 degree weather days behind for a quick week of 70s and sandals!

From the time I touched down I was on the run! Making quick stops to different places and ensuring I had everything needed was all I could think of. Well, there in lies the rub, the university never received word of my needs. But to the credit of the staff (Mr. Berry, Mrs. Lathan, Curator Simmons, Mrs. Allen) and a few students (Kashana, Stephanie) of Fisk , the wagons were circling around me and it all worked out! So what did I learn, regardless of using a liaison, still make direct contact with a person at the location!

My work was shown on the second floor of the Milo Cravath administration building; on the second floor rotunda. While it was not how I envisioned it, I was still thankful for the experience. Humbling at its best, because over head were original murals created and restored by Aaron Douglas. In case you are not familiar with the artist, click on his name for more details, but the quick and the short: he is one of the main voices of the Harlem Renaissance (one of my favorite periods of history), started, taught, and built the original art program at Fisk University. As I was standing, there, if I allowed myself to really take this in, it was simply overwhelming emotionally. I literally was in the presence of greatness and history. Then to top it off, my dad surprised me! He has not been able to make an exhibition before, so this really made the evening.

So what's next, well, while in Nashville, I received an invitation to show in January at the Peltz Gallery. Of course I said, "yes!" The curator and I will be meeting next week! Additionally, I am shooting two models for February's show at the Jazz Gallery on Friday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Hello Foto Fans!

I am proud to announce a new exhibition opening Friday, November 12. In conjunction with Fisk University's 2010 Homecoming Celebration and the Young Alumni Association I will be sharing several new photographic mixed media pieces. Each piece is simply.... Reflecting the Past. Should you find yourself in the Nashville area, please stop by.

Fisk University, Milo Cravath Administration Building, 1000 17th Ave North, Nashville. Friday, November 12, 6:00-10:00pm. A special artist talk will take place at 5:30pm! Until then... (or after considering when you read this) follow me on Twitter @FotoFans!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gallery Night and Day: Winter Edition

I am extremely excited to invite you to my upcoming show, opening tomorrow evening at Rustico! "The Road Not Taken," words by Robert Frost, provide the inspiration for this series of Black & White Photographic images of Italy. Several people are familiar with my story, but just in case.... After over 10 years in the field of education, I quit my career, sold just about everything, and moved to Italy to puruse my dream!! While there I was blessed to travel and capture memories that will last a lifetime!

See the "one less traveled by" through my eyes and explore the vast land that is Italia! Opening MLK weekend January 15-16, The reception will be from 3:00-9:00pm daily Closing April 3rd!