My Own Creative Process and Using Your Imagination

Hey guys! I'm really excited about this week's blog because I'm going to talk about my personal creative process of photography and how I imagine some of my edits. I was motivated to write on this topic due to a few people reaching out to me through social media and ask how I think of some of the things I show in my photos and how I am able to think of these imaginary things in the first place.

In my very first blog post, I talk a lot about drawing and how this personal pastime really put me on the path to where I am today. Drawing has always been my outlet. It has been how I relax, how I can communicate certain things and emotions that I cannot put into words, and it excites me to make something imaginary into a reality.

Like I said, drawing has always been a pastime thing for me. Growing up, I found I was really drawn to tattoo art. I used Pinterest a lot searching things like "cool tattoos," "tattoo drawings," or even "fantasy tattoo art." I loved, loved, loved Pinterest. I would just pin a bunch of really cool things that inspired me and made me think about something else. I'd look back through my pins from time to time and end up identifying my favorite parts of different images and then recreate them into my own composition. I feel like this is really what kind of "trained" me to look at something and then imagine something else.

Now that I am into photography, I am realizing that there is so much overlap of my drawing style in my photography style. I love heavy, contrasted, moody photos. I love digital art and fantasy compositions. I believe I'm drawn to images like this because it incorporates everything I am passionate about;  drawing, photography, imagination, creation, and a challenge.

Two other things that have had an impact on my creativity are music and running. Listening to music while going through normal daily routines completely sends my mind somewhere else. When I'm riding in a car and listening to something and looking out the window, I imagine something about anything I see. If I'm driving down the beach, I think about the story of the birds flying past and I find myself asking things like: "Where are they flying to? or "Where did they come from?" Another big creative spark for me is rain. I love watching the raindrops hit the ground and bounce back up or hit a window and just roll down. Its like watching a movie sometimes but in my head. I know that sounds kind of weird, but a lot of times my mind just wanders and then I have an idea.

Running goes hand in hand with this because I always run listening to some kind of music. The music sets a pace and then I imagine the whole run as a journey of some sort. I've found myself lost in a run imagining that I'm running through clouds or a forest. Running is another way I relax. Something happens when I run that just zones me out  and directs my mind to some scene of imaginative thinking.

What I've written so far could probably be classified as a "creative technique" or something. But for me, this is just how I am. I've always had an intimate connection with the music I listen to, and I do feel like I am a fairly emotional person. It is easy for me to put myself in another situation and understand that perspective. As long as I can remember, I've been trying to recreate those feelings that I imagine whether it be through drawing or anything else. I don't really know why either... I have just always loved creating things.

With all this being said, a lot of people just don't think that they are creative. They think it's either something you have or you don't. I believe this to an extent, but I also feel like I almost trained myself towards this type of thinking just trying to draw cool things. If you think you aren't creative, don't just give up and not try to create anything. Look on Pinterest and Instagram or literally any other social media out there for inspiration. Look at different medium types and follow some people that have bodies of work that you're drawn to. The more you look at things, the more those things influence you without you even realizing it. Your first creations might be rough but, yeah, so what? Mine sure were. My dad loves telling me that it was like I got talent overnight because I couldn't draw a stick figure... Thanks, dude. But anyways, the point is:  if you're passionate about something and you're doubting yourself, DON'T. Be brave and open minded, and you'll start doing things you never thought you could!

That's all the rant I have for today's blog. I hope you liked this post and you're feeling encouraged to go out and create something! Feel free to leave a like, comment, and subscribe to keep seeing more rants like this one. I hope you all have a great week and feel free to connect with me on social media! I'd love to hear everyone's creative thoughts!

Instagram: @heathergillich

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My Coolest Photography Experience So Far; Aerial Photography

Hey everybody and happy Monday! This week I wanted to share one of the coolest photography experiences I've had; my first go at aerial photography. In this post, I want to talk on why I wanted to try aerial photography, how I actually made it happen, and what I learned from the whole thing! So, with that being said, here it goes :)

This past summer I had an incredible opportunity to live in Atlanta, GA. If you've kept up with me on social media, you know that this summer is when I really began taking photography seriously. I had a lot of free time to myself that I filled with learning as much as I could about photography and videography.

I've wanted to get into videography for a while now and this past summer in Atlanta seemed the perfect time to try it out. Both shooting video and editing video were completely foreign skills to me and I had a lot to learn at first. I experimented with different camera movements trying to figure out what techniques would give me a cohesive format in order to just narrow down what I liked to video in general. So many nights consisted of me just goofing around with individual clips in Adobe Premiere to familiarize myself with the interface. It was definitely challenging at first, and I still have an insane amount to learn. But I do want to say that if you are wanting to try video for the first time... just try it! You can learn anything, and, honestly, everything you need to know is on YouTube. Just grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and get into it!

As I accumulated more and more footage for the video I wanted to create, I felt like I needed something totally different to put in it. So... that is where the idea to try aerial photography came from.

Naturally, the first thing I did was google "top helicopter companies in Atlanta, GA." I came across a company called Prestige Helicopters. I saw on their Instagram that they actually flew Two Chains and his kids...so yeah, that was enough for me to prove that I should use them. From there, I just called and told them what day I wanted to go up. It was so easy.

Listed below are a few things I took away from this whole experience that I think could be helpful for any beginner photographer just wanting to try aerial photography for the fun of it:

  1. When scheduling your flight make sure you tell the person you're talking to that you're a photographer because a lot of companies actually have much better rates and deals for photographers that are not listed on their website!

  2. Make sure the company has a helicopter that allows the option to take a door off. To get the most clear images that capture the most of the cityscape, you can't really be photographing through a small plexiglass window.

  3. Take into account the natural shake of the helicopter

  4. Use a faster shutter speed than normal but don't overcompensate. A shutter speed that is both too slow or too fast will result in grain and noise (recommended 1/1000)

  5. Use any form of stabilization available to you

  6. Plan your first shoot for the right time! If you want to get both daytime and nighttime shots, plan your ride right before the sun sets so you get the best of both worlds.

I had the idea in my head that the whole experience was going to be a lot more hectic than it was. The ride was surprisingly very chill. My pilot was so cool and flew me wherever I wanted to go. Below are two shots I like a lot but haven't shared on any social media yet.

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Overall, I am so glad I went through with this idea.  I would 100% do it again in a heartbeat, and I hope I get the chance to soon! If there is something that you want to try, just go out and do it. If you mess up, its OK!! You tried, you learned, and you have another story to tell. You will most definitely regret "not trying" something more than you will regret "trying" it.

Well, I hope you liked this post and got an idea of what first time aerial photography is like for a TOTAL beginner. As always, feel free to leave a like, a comment, and subscribe to keep seeing more blogs like this one!

Instagram: @heathergillich

Twitter: @HeatherGillich

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Seattle, WA - Part 2

Hey everybody! This week I wanted to share part 2 of my trip to Seattle, WA this past September. Having gone to and photographed a total of 15 different locations in Seattle, I will have a few more of these Seattle blogs until I cover each place. Seattle was the most  beautiful place I have ever been and it definitely deserves to be shared.

  1. The Double Helix Bridge

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The Double Helix Pedestrian Bridge is a structure I found on my own searching around google. I was drawn to this bridge primarily because of its architectural aspects. Not only is it a crazy, interesting structure, but it is actually a pedestrian bridge that connects all the way from the side of the street and down to the pier that I talk about in location #2 of this post. Another attractive thing about this bridge is that it actually spans over railroad tracks. This was so cool to me because I was literally on a bridge and by the water with trains passing under me all at the same time.

2. The Pier

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The Pier was one of my favorite surprises of Seattle. When I was researching the Double Helix bridge online, I had no idea what an amazing pedestrian waterfront it led to. There was endless sidewalk that my friends and I just followed forever taking photos of what we passed. I loved this location so much because it was just so leisurely and beautiful every step of the way. We passed everything from boat stations to rose gardens. Some of my favorite photos from this trip were taken here because of the composition (foreground, middle ground, background) this location offered.

3. Museum of Pop Culture (known as "The MoPOP")

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The MoPOP Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, was something really different that I enjoyed a lot. It is a nonprofit contemporary pop culture museum that strives to display Rock n' Roll and interactive technology through exciting exhibits attractive to multi-generational audiences. There is so much to photograph in this museum. I had a field day taking pictures of all the lights, colors, and compositions it offered. These ended up being some of the most fun photos I have from the trip.

I'm planning to have two more posts to finish up this Seattle, WA series. I hope you have enjoyed these posts and have a feel for all the beautiful and diverse things Seattle has to offer! As always, feel free to leave a like, a comment, and subscribe to this blog. I appreciate everyone's support that motivates me to keep going and progressing along my photography journey :)

Instagram: @heathergillich

Twitter: HeatherGillich

Facebook: @heathergillich

E-mail: heathergillichphoto.com

Seattle Washington - Part 1

Hey everybody! It has been a week let me tell you. I was fortunate enough to get to spend a whole five days in Seattle, Washington doing nothing but exploring the city and taking photos. Seattle is hands down THE most beautiful place I have ever been. Seattle truly has something for everyone. From city life to nature life to beach life, you name it and Seattle has it. I honestly feel like it is impossible to go anywhere there without seeing something beautiful.

With that being said, Seattle has so much to do and see that five days was nowhere near enough time to explore everything… but, I definitely tried. Averaging a walking distance of 9.5 miles per day and returning home with 2,059 photos, I am completely worn out. The travel back home could not have been worse. It was a solid 22 hours that involved  three trains, two flights, and a 4.5 hour bus ride. I mentioned that here because despite how physically hard this trip was, I would do it again in a heartbeat to re-experience photographing Seattle. Traveling and taking photos of life in different places is the coolest thing ever and I have never done something that has made me happier.

Now, with all of that being said, I want to talk about and show some of the locations I saw in Seattle!

1. The Space Needle

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Google “top attractions to see in Seattle” and everything is going to scream Space Needle at you. Because of that, I instantly thought I was going to walk into some major tourist trap that would just have been an overpriced waste of time…Wrong!! I’m really happy that this was not the case.  The photos I got from the Space Needle are some of my favorite from the trip.  I loved the views and the architecture of the Space Needle itself so much that I went back a second time!

2.Carkeek Park

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Carkeek Park is a location I found randomly on google that absolutely blew me away.  I knew I was not leaving Seattle without photographing this spot. It was incredible in every way imaginable. Walking along the railroad tracks down the beach with the sound of water hitting the shore made me feel like I was in a scene from a movie.

3.Chihuly Garden and Glass

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The Chihuly Garden and Glass was another attraction that I thought was going to be a tourist trap.  Yes, there were a lot of people but it was definitely worth fighting the crowd! This place is exactly what is sounds like; glass sculptures displayed in a garden-like setting. The colors and composition of the exhibits were beautiful and gave some very interesting photo opportunities.

4.Discovery Park

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I honestly do not know how to put Discovery Park into words. I have never seen anything like it before. Discovery Park is an area known for its breath-taking scenes at the end of its trails. Located on the tip of where land and water meet is Discovery Park’s famous lighthouse. Waves are crashing into the rocks, birds are flying overhead, and wind is whipping your hair back and forth the whole time. There is beach along both sides of the lighthouse allowing the area needed to enjoy Discovery Park’s views from any direction.

Over the span of the whole trip, I made it to a total of 15 locations to photograph. For the sake of this blog post getting way, way, way too long, I’m going to make a series of posts just like this one until I cover every place in Seattle I went. I loved it so much and I just want to share my experiences of these beautiful places. I hope you liked this blog and you got a feel for some of what Seattle has to offer! If you ever get the chance to travel there TAKE IT… and your camera

If you liked this post let me know! Leave a comment, a like, subscribe, or get in touch through social media.

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My Story

However you heard about my blog whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Google,… who knows, you might be thinking “ugh, another wannabe blogger.” With this blog, that is most definitely not my intent. I am always wondering what others my age are doing in the industry, their techniques, their struggles, and their achievements. I love learning about people’s personal stories as much as I love learning new skills. My goal is to keep up consistent and helpful posts on this blog that really let my viewers see a behind the scenes glimpse of myself, my photography, and all the happenings in between in hopes to help someone learn something from my own journey. This is an industry of continuous trial and error. Everything I know about photography I have learned on my own through the help of other creators floating about the internet. I now want to be that source of available information because I would be nowhere without the generous knowledge of others. With that being said, here’s a little bit about me

My name is Heather Gillich. I am 21 years old and I currently have two years of architecture school remaining upon receiving my bachelor’s degree. Just like it is for almost everyone, high school was pretty ordinary for me. It was a series of attempts to find what truly gave me happiness and fulfillment. I can honestly say I think I tried everything; soccer, softball, tennis, track, tumbling, cheer, dance, literally everything. It wasn’t until the 11th grade I began tapping into my more creative persona. Going into senior year of high school I made the crazy decision to switch from private to public school. Long story short, it was THE BEST decision I have ever made for myself. I was immediately drawn to all the art classes that were now at my disposal and I enrolled in advanced art, my first art class ever. Drawing has always been my first love and I have been drawing as far as I can think back. I had never taken it seriously, however, until this class.  Here’s a few of my favorite drawings I’ve done over time.

Fast forward to the end of senior year when it was time to start thinking about college… so fun and not stressful at all! *sarcasm* Well, I had 100% no idea what I wanted to major in or the slightest clue of what school I wanted to enroll to. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to be in a major that I could be creative. After a lot of searching, I came across this little thing called “architecture.” Yeah, I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. When I began to consider architecture seriously as a major, I realized you had to apply to the school of architecture specifically, not just be accepted by the university (standard procedure that younger me knew nothing about!). Of course, I had missed that deadline already by two months! I e-mailed the school and they told me to submit anyways. I completed the writings, drawings, obtained the required references, and applied the school. Shortly after, I was accepted. I’ve never been shy of trying new or difficult things but let me tell you, I heard not one positive thing from anyone when I told them I was going to architecture school. The phrase I got time and time again was “Ohhhh, archi-torture.” But, I went on with my plan and gave it a try. I am so glad I persevered through the initial negativity because architecture school is why I am where I am today both creatively and as a person. I would have NEVER gotten into software or photography without being first introduced to it through school. I have always been a fairly confident person regarding what I can achieve, but going through this major has given me a level of confidence in so many aspects of my life that I would have never imagined having. Despite all the learning curves, software crashes, late nights, random deadlines, and criticism, I am so grateful for what architecture school has done for me as a person.
Now getting into photography, well,… This has only become a significant part of my life within the past four months. Architecture school has taught me to look at my surroundings critically and creatively. Taking photos has been implemented throughout the curriculum, but it was not until this summer that I took it to the next level and began developing my own interests in the field. I have had a DSLR camera since my senior year in high school and I JUST learned how to use it. I was intimidated honestly. I remember looking at the pamphlets in the box for what settings to use and which kit lens to put on the body and getting absolutely nowhere. Again, architecture school gave me the confidence to push myself to learn what I always thought I could not. There was about a two week period this summer that I did absolutely nothing but watch YouTube videos attempting to learn about my camera and how to incorporate software into post-production. When I finally felt like I knew enough to begin, I went out to shoot. This sounds incredibly cheesy, but, when I finally got out to shoot, the world immediately opened up to me like it never had before. I could go wherever I wanted, take photos of whatever I wanted, and represent the world however I saw it. This summer I have learned a lot about myself that I never would have discovered without looking through the viewfinder of the camera. I want nothing more than to pursue this passion anyway I can for as long as I can. What I have learned and proven to myself that I can do in just four months makes me incredibly excited and optimistic for the future.
I wanted this first blog post to give a depiction of who I am as a person and how I got to this point in my life. I hope that after reading this post you have a clear sense of that. I am excited to keep blogging and I have a lot of ideas for upcoming posts that I am so excited about sharing! My goal is to produce one high quality blog post a week among balancing “archi-torture” and all my other classes. So stay tuned and look for announcements on social media because they’re coming and I am looking forward to sharing
Thanks again for taking the time to read this. I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and subscribe!