2017 – Focus, Intent & Stories

No, this is not a New Year’s Resolution post, not really.

Thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on in my head the last month or so. It’s not that scary, I promise.


I tend to get involved in too much, I like being involved until it becomes a distraction and veers me off my path.  Sometimes I do things thinking they are part of my path, how else do you find out if they are or not if you don’t try?  Then I become overwhelmed and hardly anything gets done. I know I’m not the only one who does this.

Continue reading “2017 – Focus, Intent & Stories”

Finding Your Artist Voice Retreat Recap

I’m back from an amazing week in the South of France with Karen Hutton and her Finding Your Artist Voice Photography Retreat.

Continue reading “Finding Your Artist Voice Retreat Recap”

Doing the Work


Lots of thoughts in my head lately (laugh, go ahead), more than usual which is scary.  Scary and making me crazy! Continue reading “Doing the Work”

Double Your Film Fun!

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Double your film fun with double exposure photography

A few weeks ago Bryan posted an article about personal projects for Out of Chicago and how important they are for us to learn, grow and have fun with our photography. I wanted to share a really fun and different project that involves collaborating with other photographers.

Film. Yes, film. It’s popular again, didn’t you know? All the kids are using it! Quite honestly I’ve never stopped shooting film, even after I got my DSLR six years ago. It keeps me in that back-to-basics, let’s not forget to slow down and think about what and why we are taking the images we are taking mode, which serves us well in our shooting in general.

A couple of years ago I was in an online photography project community working on assignments handed out by another photographer. It was fantastic. One day he posted a link to some images that he had shot with someone else, and by shot with someone else I mean literally, shot, rolled up the film, left enough film out so the second person could load it in their camera and shoot it again. We’re all familiar with double exposures right? This just takes that concept to a whole other level.

One film. Two photographers. Two subject matters. Two different views of the world. Two different geographic locations. The results can be magical, creepy, artistic and sometimes even unreal. He asked if anyone in the group wanted to give it a try, so I jumped at the chance. What a fun way to get the old AE-1 back out to play with.

Jake lives up near Seattle, camps and hikes the mountains and forests and is a wonderful photographer. He shot the roll first hoping that I would bring a bit of the city in my images, and I did. Betting on city images from me, Jake tried to show natural elements for his part of the images, focusing on the green forests near Seattle. For my part I had a little bit of theme in my head to use reflections as I thought that would add yet another dimension to the shots once combined.

This image is my favorite as I do not think it could have been planned any better. Jake’s son, my office blinds.Jake's Son Blinds

The Man made vs. Nature element in some of the images makes for an interesting juxtaposition.Conductor Forest

You can see the rest of the Jake/Lauri Seeing Double project images on my website.

This was so much fun that one of the other participants in our community and I also decided to give it a try. Kelly Richards is a photographer based in the Orlando area and shoots almost exclusively film. We decided that we wanted to shoot black and white and chose Ilford XP2 400 for our project. This time I shot the roll first — a few images were shot downtown Chicago and the rest are from the Sandwich Fair this past summer. Here’s a favorite:Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

The rest of the Kelly/Lauri film can be seen on my website as well.

The processing/developing can be done by anyone who still processes film. Jake develops his own, Kelly took hers to a local camera shop. There is nothing special that needs to be done other than to let whoever is doing the developing know that it’s a double exposure film. The funny thing is, sometimes the frames line up as in the Jake-Lauri roll and sometimes they don’t quite as you can see in the roll Kelly and I shot.

Jake has also done several other Seeing Double projects with people from all over the world.

This project was really fun and something completely different than your typical 365 and weekly themed type projects. You never know what you are going to get and the anticipation is exciting. In fact, I have a color roll in my camera now waiting to be finished up to send back down to Kelly for another go at this.

If you shoot film and want to give it a try contact me here, or leave a comment below and either I’ll shoot a roll with you or I’ll recruit one of my friends to do it again. If you do this on your own with another photographer, please post your results and let me know; I’d love to see and share the results!

Embarking on a New Adventure

I’ve finally decided it was time!

How Do You See Header

I’ve finally decided it was time.  Time for me to pass on my secret to seeing.  Easy right? Not in the least.  For many years the one question I get asked over and over in my photography is “How did you see that?”  My explanation has mostly been, I don’t know, I just see things.   For years I’ve heard the Sixth Sense joke and question, do you see dead people?   I’ve never been ready to try to help others find their vision, to look at the world around them in a new and different way.  It’s one thing to exhibit in shows and art fairs to show viewers how I see the world, but how do you help other photographers see their worlds with new eyes?  Well, I’m ready now.

This Wednesday there will be sign ups for a free mentorship program (thanks to the G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers) over on Google+ (and no, it’s not dead).  It’s my turn to give back, pay it forward and help other photographers learn and grow their own capabilities.  I’m actually quite nervous but don’t tell anyone!  I’m great at helping people, cheering people on and being supportive, it remains to be seen if I’ll be great at sharing my vision and teaching others.

I will share my journey here as we go.  It’s a six week program, nothing overly technical (because…hello, it’s me!!)  but hopefully something to get the creativity flowing and motivate the participants to shoot images they may never have even noticed before.  So, stay tuned.  If you’re on Google+ (sorry, you need to be active and on G+ to participate) the sign ups will be Wednesday, March 9th around 7:00am CST on my profile, which you can find here:  Lauri Novak on Google+.

So, wish me luck!! I’m excited and a little overwhelmed so far already!  And scared…but this is how we grow right?  We push past all that and move forward!

P.S.  Speaking of embarking…oh that’s a whole other adventure post!


This quote popped up in my Google+ stream today

MonoLakeSky with quote

This quote popped up today in my Google+ stream.  It’s been a theme of sorts lately in discussions I’ve had with some of those who both inspire and kick me in the artistic rear as well.

The image is by one of those people: Karen Hutton  If you don’t know who she is you really should go check out her page.  Inspiring. Motivational. Funny. Fun. Just a few words one might use to describe her.

The cool thing is, this image and quite a few others are available for you to use, for FREE! You can get them here:  KAREN HUTTON FREE STOCK IMAGES.  Do I have my own images I could use?  Of course, I’m a photographer.  It’s part of what I love about the photographic community though – we all love to share.

I really have a lot more to say on the subject of the way we choose to look at life and any given situation but that’s for another post.  Time for me to go put my feet up and maybe clear my head of the clutter that seeped in today.

One last thing – if you download Karen’s images – I’d love to see what you use them for.  Please be sure to read the terms of use and as good internet users, always use fair attribution which is explained when you download the image pack.  🙂

Off Switch

Where's the Off Switch

I need an off switch.

Phone shot because I’m a big dork. My brain is fried and overloaded from this week, awake in the middle of the night for a couple of hours and it all takes a toll.

Got my camera and gear together to go out and shoot in the morning.  Take the battery charger out, take the extra battery out to put in camera, take battery out of camera, 2 seconds later I can only find one battery.  Poof.  WTH.  Like the battery needed to mess with my head because my brain wasn’t functioning properly today.

Had to get out of the house for a bit because I feel like I’ve been coupled up this week so I ran up to World Market to use some free coffee coupons I have (Eight 12oz bags for free!!).  Get to the store, no wallet in my purse.  I went in the store anyway and just wandered around a bit.  These versions of Edison bulbs caught my eye so I just took a few shots with my phone.

I get home, realize that I had previously put my wallet in my camera bag so I’m ready in the morning.  Look under bed for extra battery, that’s where it had decided to hide.  Inanimate objects messing with me.  Who needs that!

I have no idea how those of you who have insomnia even function.

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