Rachel K. Ivey

Chelsea Park Tower

One of our most recognizable structures is the clock tower at Chelsea Park.  Chelsea Park is home to several neighborhoods, a park, and our newest school, Chelsea Park Elementary. I was blessed with just enough of a break in the clouds to let a little sunlight shine on this beautiful structure for a good shot.  Chelsea Park Tower is the second image in the We Are Chelsea photo series.

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Chelsea City Hall

Chelsea, Alabama is a very nice place to live. My family and I have called Chelsea home for over 11 years now. As a photographer, even a simple drive to buy groceries or to pick my children up from an after-school activity becomes a form of creative inspiration. After making numerous mental notes to come back and photograph various locations in Chelsea, I decided to do something about it and began making plans for a photo series, We Are Chelsea.

Saturday, March 26, I got up early, grabbed my camera gear and a cup of coffee, and headed out to take pictures in and around Chelsea. Unfortunately the weather doesn’t always cooperate with our plans, and so this particular morning I found grey, overcast skies with no sunlight to be found. As I was shooting Chelsea City Hall, though, the sun found a break in the clouds JUST long enough for me to get some really nice shots.

Stay tuned for the next photo in the series, Chelsea Park Tower.

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Story Theatre

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing performances of Chelsea High School Theatre’s productions since spring of 2010.  Photographing plays is a real challenge. You can’t use a flash and the lighting is often times very low in order to set the mood for the scene. Story Theatre was particularly challenging in this respect.

Chelsea HS students will be travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland to Edinburgh Festival Fringe to perform Story Theatre in August, 2011.  I’m happy to say I’ll be accompanying them on that trip and will do my best to capture the entire trip and experience  on “film.”

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Hannah

Hannah was a 5th grader when I met her, her mom, and her little dog at Heardmont Park for our photo session. Hannah has a great smile and gave it her all when the time came to kick that soccer ball around. We did a mix of posed and action shots, and we even threw in a few cute shots of her little dog.

My very favorite shots of Hannah are the one above and the very first picture of the above slideshow.  The dirt and grass covered soccer ball and the dirt on her knees told the whole story. I was able to use this shot as the basis of a very nice poster collage for her father for Father’s Day.

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Wilsonville, Alabama

One of my favorite things to do is head out into the rural areas and just find old and interesting things to photograph.  Last spring I decided to spend some time in Wilsonville, Alabama, a small town in southeast Shelby County.

Wilsonville’s downtown area looks nearly unchanged from the town’s founding.  The main street area features businesses in the old buildings and a couple of churches.  The Coosa Valley Milling Company is an old feed and seed store on Hwy 25.  In addition to the usual farming and ranching items, you can pick up fresh ground corn meal, local honey, and even live chicks and ducks in the spring.

Wilsonville Baptist Church is at the end of the main street next door to Wilsonville Elementary.  A small, white picturesque church with stained glass windows, a steeple and a wooden cross in the front, it’s always the first thing I notice as I drive through town. While I’ve never been inside, I imagine it has the original wooden benches from when it was first built. Maybe one day I’ll get the oportunity to take pictures of the inside, too.

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Matthew


 

Last spring I had the opportunity to do not one but two photo shoots with Matthew at Heardmont Park in Birmingham, Alabama.  For our first shoot, I told Matthew to dress how he’d like and bring things that particularly enjoyed.  He brought a baseball cap, a football and football jersey and a book. We had a good time goofing around while I got some great, mostly candid shots.

Later, we did a second shoot to highlight his love of baseball.  Matthew came dressed in his Red Sox team uniform and brought along the medal he had won with his team. This shoot was a bit more posed and scripted than the first, and I was able to capture some shots that showed off a young player who had accomplished something with his team. Some of the final images were toned down using a high contrast processing technique, which increases the drama of the images.

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Sheaffer

Ever notice how sometimes the best pictures are not the ones that are straight on, taken of someone’s face. Some of the most compelling images I’ve seen merely suggest the subject. This shot taken of Mr. Sheaffer at Heardmont Park is a good example. Taken from behind and to the side, this image was one of my favorites from our photo session. I chose to process this shot using a high contrast technique that tones down the color, while increasing the edginess and dramatic action.

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The Birmingham News

My family likes video games.  Scratch that. My family LOVES video games. One of the great things about having a husband who works for a newspaper is the opportunity to get the latest, greatest games ahead of time to play and then write video game reviews, which appear either online or in the print version of The Birmingham News.

In February of 2010, my husband, Shane Ivey, assisted by our three children, wrote a review of Xbox Live Arcade. The slant of the review was the question of what would second generation gamers think of the arcade classics that we played and adored when video games were first getting some traction.  The children played the games and gave their impressions to their father, who ultimately wrote the review.

Along with the article, I was asked to provide some images. My very patient oldest son allowed me to take pictures of him as he played the games. When I put the photos together in a proof sheet format, it was fun to see the fun range of emotions from “the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat.”

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Nashville, TN

Sometimes you find a beautiful photograph when you least expect it. In 2008, I travelled to Nashville, TN with my little sister to run in the Country Music Half Marathon. While I returned from the trip with absolutely NO pictures of either myself or my sister, I did come back with several beautiful shots in and around the hotel we stayed in. The image above was taken while I guarded the luggage, waiting for the car to be brought around. It’s my favorite shot from the trip.

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