Why You Should Hire a Photographer for Your Child’s Birthday

In my years as a photographer, I have captured many special events for my clients. From corporate, high-brow events to the smallest and most intimate family get-togethers, I’ve seen first hand how helpful it can be to have a professional photographer during the event.

When I was young and just getting into photography, I would often bring my camera along to family functions. Nicknamed “paparazzi” by relatives, I spent much of my time behind the lens, capturing all of the moments, even those that felt mundane. There are stories of a young Isadora packing 4+ disposable cameras for school trips, or spending sick days endlessly filming very unexciting scenes around the house. Back then, photography was a little out of reach for a middle schooler – developing film was expensive, and nobody carried cameras around in their back pockets.

In the years since, advancements in technology and the affordability of professional photography equipment have made it possible for more and more people to pursue their passions behind the lens. The surge of amateur photographers, often referred to as “iPhone photographers,” has created a shift in the market for professionals.

These days, capturing the special moments of your family’s events is easier than ever. Cell phones actually do a decent job, and the technology just keeps getting better. But there’s an added cost to parents who want to take pictures themselves at these parties – their presence.

Time and again, I have seen how hard it is to host a party. When you’re throwing a corporate event or a wedding, you have vendors set up for specific tasks. Food needs to be set up? Ask the caterer. Patrons are having a hard time finding parking? Call the coordinator. So what happens when someone needs help during a family reunion or birthday party? Who steps in? That’s right – it’s just you, the parent, the host.

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Aside from the obvious differences in social pressures and finances for parties versus weddings, there is a noticeable lack of support when you’re throwing your child a party for their birthday. It’s all on you to provide food, drinks, coordinate with guests, assist with directions or questions that might come your way, all while still juggling a crowd of parents and kids who need help with things throughout the event.

And what about photos of yourself with your child? You can pretty much forget about that happening during a busy event. Yet, those are some of the most treasured memories of most of these special occasions.

As a young adult, present at my sister’s special events and parties, I noticed that between providing for the adults and dealing with the inevitable breakdowns that happen when you have 10-15 kids in one space, nobody was actually ever taking any photos. Sure, you’d capture the moment your child blows out the candles if you’re lucky, but you certainly aren’t going to be thinking about catching the sweet moment between two cousins who are finally sharing a toy, or the pure unbridled happiness of kids enjoying the bouncey-house that you just dropped a pretty penny on.

That is because you’re busy tending to everything and nothing all at once.

These parties are often a blur, and before you know it, it’s over. Your child is another year older. The boxes of pizza waiting by the recycling and smears of cake on kids’ faces are the only real indication that it ever happened. As the kids start to crash from the sugar and families clean up to head home, it hits you – did you get a photo of the baby with grandpa? How about a photo of your child opening their handmade gift from a creative aunt? No, in fact, you got photos of next to nothing important from the day, because you were understandably busy.

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That’s where I come in. As a young person at my sister’s special events, I was the only person who was not a child nor a parent. It is always fun taking pictures of kids – they are not self-conscious, though sometimes rather shy. They experience the day with a joyful presence that we, as adults, could only hope to achieve. I always enjoyed taking photos and documenting the time, and especially when I was able to coax out sweet smiles from kids who initially had been shy and avoiding the camera.

Before long, parents started asking me to come to their special events and offer the same services. This was the beginning of the career in photography that has led me to where I am today, and I’m forever grateful for those first clients who trusted my vision on their special days.

Today I am a photographer who works within a broad spectrum of styles, venues, and events. Much of my work focuses on photojournalism for local print publications, or weddings, or headshots, but family photography and special event photography will always hold a special place in my heart.

So this year, when you’re planning your child’s milestone events, consider this: how will you remember this day? Will it be a few blurry pictures snapped with your phone? Maybe a friend will send you a few candids, if you’re lucky. Or maybe it might just live on as a memory.

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If you’ve gotten this far, and you find yourself considering hiring me for your next special event, know that I understand the importance of these momentous occasions and that I truly enjoy working family events. I love connecting with kids and capturing their true personality while they play or experience the celebrations.

Please contact me via the form at the bottom of this page or email me at isadorapennington@gmail.com to learn more about my rates, packages including prints or photo books, and to book an event today!

In the works…

Well, it certainly has been some time since I last updated this blog. So many things have changed, and I’ve been concentrating my writing on print publications. I thought this might be a good time to give a little update to what kind of work I’ve been doing recently.

Not long ago, I started to get into product photography. Perfecting the seamless white background, lighting a variety of different subjects, and staging interesting shots has been a great learning experience for me. I’m happy to say I have developed continuing work relationships with one shop here in town and two local makers. It’s great to know that I’m helping other entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality with my love of photography.

I’ve also been doing a lot of food photography for the paper. Each month, I visit a sequence of my favorite spots to grab a bite in town. It’s pretty radical that this kind of work actually pays my bills, and it’s super fun to get to eat all my favorite goodies from around my city!

Another area that I’ve come back around to is visual artists – I have always had an affinity for the creative process, and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to get into some artist portraiture for the paper and also for individual clients.

This spring and summer I have also been trying my hand at teaching. It’s something that I always thought that I would enjoy, and I recently had the opportunity to teach photography to adults as well as art classes for kids. For the past 4 weeks I have been teaching an hour art class each week at Treehouse Kid & Craft in Decatur to a group of eight 5 year olds, each lesson based on the work of a famous artist. It’s been a crazy tough challenge to acclimate to working with groups of kids, and I will admit I was really nervous at first, but it’s been really rewarding! This summer I will be teaching summer camps at Treehouse, covering topics like photography, spirit animals, dioramas, and zines!

Check out this bonus video of one of my students in action, painting like Jackson Pollock!

I have a few design and illustration clients as well. My recent projects include a label for a candle manufacturer, prepping hang tags for printing for a local shirt company, free-hand illustrating and vectorizing a graphic for a logo, and revamping a brochure for a trivia and karaoke company. I’ve done a fun little doodle for nearly every food feature I write for the paper, and not long ago started getting into some more painting and illustration just for fun.

So there you go! There’s my little life update. Seems like I’m always working on something new these days. It’s fun, exhausting, challenging, and invigorating to live as a full time freelancer. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Thanks for reading 🙂

-Is

Aly Migliori & Amanda Sophia Ebert, photo by Isadora Pennington 2015.

New Mavericks: Aly Migliori & Amanda Sophia Ebert

Aly & Amanda, photo by Isadora Pennington

Aly Migliori & Amanda Sophia Ebert, photo by Isadora Pennington 2015.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, so they say. But of course, that isn’t always the case. In the film Knightsville, director Aly Migliori examines what can happen when the home you grew up in doesn’t quite feel like home anymore.

Knightsville tells the story of a young woman who has moved away from her Italian-American neighborhood, family and culture. The main character, Sara, played by Amanda Sophia Ebert, returns home for a traditional Catholic festival, only to be faced with the realization that she feels foreign in her familial home.

“In having familiar feelings placed within a particular Italian-American community, I hoped that Knightsville’s success was not the newness of this world, but rather the transcending commonality of human experiences,” said Aly.

Knightsville, I hope, captures a universal story within a unique world.”

Amanda Sophia is a newcomer to working in film, a fact that doesn’t deter from a strong and emotionally present performance on screen. “Aly and I met on set of the first film I’d ever shot and I was drawn to her instantly,” said Amanda. “Once we started spending time together regularly, I wanted badly to work with her on another film. Now I consider her family.”

Coming from a background of stage acting, Amanda adapted her performance style to embrace a more naturalistic screen presence. She set out with a goal of becoming more comfortable in front of the camera, and was emboldened by her faith in Aly as a director. “As the process went on, though, it became really important to me to tell the story of the community of Knightsville,” said Amanda, “because the sense of pride and tradition is so strong and so special.”

Ultimately, I believe that some of Amanda’s newness to the Italian-American culture in Knightsville added a level of authenticity to her portrayal of otherness that the main character, Sara, feels upon her return to her hometown.

“I loved getting to know and see the town of Knighstville. It sounds cliche but the end is always hard for me; it’s sad to let go of a character you’ve worked so hard to build that has become such a part of you,” said Amanda. The experience of participating in this production has clearly affected her beyond just the necessary memorization of lines and blocking, leaving her with a connection to those she worked with and the story that she told.

When asked what part of the process she finds the most enjoyable, Aly told me that it was working with others that stood out in her mind. “My favorite part is collaborating, and lucky for filmmakers, collaboration happens from pre-production on through the festival circuit.”

Collaboration doesn’t just happen on the smaller scale within the cast and crew, but can also expand to enlist help from a variety of outside sources. “To have the entire community come together to facilitate the production of this film, from allowing us to stage the parade with the actual Madonna Della Civita statue to letting us have our own float in the actual parade, that was the most enlivening experience of all,” Aly told me.

I asked Aly whether she thought that being a female director had any impact on the result of the film and her acceptance within the community that she filmed. “I think being a female in film is a great opportunity,” she said. “I am aligned with a different perspective than the standard film, and in embodying that view in my work, I give my films a nontraditional narrative and voyeurism.”

Aly is also a member of the NY chapter of Film Fatales, a female directing group founded by Leah Meyerhoff, who was also a producer on Knightsville. Aly explained that the group seeks to foster an ever-growing community of women directors. It was through her connections to this group that she was able to cast Gina Piersanti and Altagracia Guzman, as well. But the group does more than just connect the pieces between like-minded women in the film industry, it has a larger purpose as well.

“It also asks the film community at large to acknowledge the successes and talents from female directors, while challenging the industry to do something about it,” said Aly.

The goals set forth from the Film Fatales group fit in quite nicely with the intentions of the Atlanta based New Mavericks organization, as well. Knightsville was screened as a part of the New Mavericks programming at the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival, and Aly and Amanda were able to attend screenings, meetings, and make connections with other female film professionals.

“My favorite experience was the New Mavericks dinner and shorts block,” Aly told me. “Having the opportunity to be onstage with brilliant, creative, and empowered women only serves further to inspire me. I look forward to a time where this is not a novelty, but I thank Atlanta Film Festival for recognizing now the need to showcase films not only directed by women, but featuring female protagonists.”

So, what’s next for these two? Aly is currently working on writing the feature-length film version of Knightsville, a project that she says will carry elements from this initial short film. “And I’m taking Amanda with me,” Aly said. “She doesn’t have a choice.”

As for Amanda, her current projects include production and acting in a play called Closer as well as working towards launching a women’s web magazine, among other film and theater projects. “I will absolutely work with Aly in the future, hopefully on Knightsville as a feature,” said Amanda.

Knightsville has screened at the Atlanta Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, IFF Boston, Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival, and Skyway Film Festival. You can see a trailer online and learn more about the film by going to their website.

-Is

Brigitta Wagner, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

New Maverick: Brigitta Wagner

Brigitta Wagner, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

Brigitta Wagner, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

The damsel in distress. The doting wife reliant on her strong husband. The man who saves the woman he loves. These are the romance stories that are told with great frequency in our society. Brigitta Wagner, who wrote, directed, co-edited and co-produced the film Rosehill, wanted to know why there wasn’t as much coverage of the kind of experiences that women in their 30s have while trying to establish healthy life and work boundaries in modern day America.

“Why are we always seeing women saved by men?”

Brigitta is animated and passionate about her film, and we spoke for a while over coffee in between her screenings and meetings during the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival. She told me that the concept came together based on conversations with her friends and her own personal experiences. “I wanted to explore ways that real women deal with real problems,” she said.

Rosehill is a film about two women who are old friends but haven’t seen each other in a long time. Katriona, the main character, distressed about her relationship with her boyfriend, decides to visit her best friend Alice in Indiana. The rekindling of their friendship leads to a road trip and blissful disregard for the responsibilities of their day-to-day lives. The journey isn’t always a happy one, however, but in the end both women gain perspective on their lives from the experience.

Though Brigitta did compose a preliminary script for the film, she also left plenty of room for improvisation.

“I like it when something happens that I don’t actually control on the screen,” she explained. The two main characters, played by actresses Josephine Decker and Kate Chamuris, maintain a voice of their own and “created a friendship that you can see on the screen.” Brigitta allowed space for the two to bring their own ideas and influence to their roles and to the film, making it something altogether new.

“It makes films more interesting and more alive,” Brigitta said. “We just had a porous boundary.”

Brigitta’s history as an academic also influences her perspective on her film work, stating that she believes strongly in the importance of including film education when making new films. “There are a lot of academic questions you can ask about the world with the camera,” she continued, elaborating more on her improvisational style. “If you’re an artist or if you’re a humanity scholar of some kind you can go out with a camera and ask questions, it’s very liberating to work that way.”

Rosehill was included in the competition and New Mavericks programming at the festival, and Brigitta also came to the New Mavericks lunch at Parish where she met with other female filmmakers and honorees. I asked her about her experience as part of the program.

“It has been amazing,” she said. “I’ve only been here for a couple of days in Atlanta but I’ve met some really amazing women producers, filmmakers, and actors.” The New Maverick program provided an opportunity for Brigitta to network and brainstorm with others who share her dedication to bringing real women’s stories to the big screen.

“It’s really brave of the Atlanta Film Festival to have a series like this,” she told me, indicating that from her experience it’s mostly on the indie side of the filmmaking spectrum where women are seen in the higher positions of film production. “It’s important to support these young women who are out there making films,” she said.

I do believe that’s something that we can agree on.

To see stills and learn more about Rosehill, go online to the Facebook page.

-Isadora

Angel Kristi Williams, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

New Maverick: Angel Kristi Williams

Angel Kristi Williams, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

Angel Kristi Williams, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

Popularity, influence, and sexuality come to a head in Charlotte, a coming-of-age story about two young women. I spoke with writer and director Angel Kristi Williams to discuss the short film which showed during the New Mavericks shorts block of the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival. In the film, the 13 year old protagonist, Alex, becomes friends with the more popular and feminine Charlotte. “It’s such an impressionable time that shapes who we become as women,” Angel said.

Over the course of a weekend, the two girls bond and explore the limits of their friendship. Desperate for acceptance, Alex finds herself playing house and touching upon feelings of intimacy that she doesn’t quite understand. “I wrote the story based on my what I remember about being a young girl,” Angel told me, “I had friends like these characters.​” This quiet, thoughtful film tells their story without pretense, allowing the girls to express their emotions in moments of silence, long looks, and unspoken words. The bathroom scene in particular stands out to Angel as being one of her favorites. “That was the scene that I saw in my head very early in the writing process,” she explained.

“I’ve always been a storyteller,” said Angel. In 2014 Angel was listed as one of ten Black directors to watch by Paste Magazine and her films have been shown both nationally and internationally, bringing praise and attention to the subjects she features. It all started with a genuine love for narrative film and television. “When my Dad bought a VHS camcorder I never put it down,” she said. Later, Angel attended the University of Maryland where she pursued her Bachelor’s of Art in Visual Arts, and upon graduation she began working in television for a company called Discovery Communications. She was then awarded the Lumiere Scholarship which allowed Angel to attend the Columbia College of Chicago to obtain her Master’s of Fine Art degree in Cinema Directing.

“I’ve loved watching films for as long as I can remember,” said Angel. It was after watching the film Battle of Algiers that her affinity for film came to the forefront of her mind as a young woman. Angel writes about real-world experiences, pulling from her own life to bring complex issues to the big screen. During the process of working on Charlotte, Angel grew as a filmmaker. “I learned that building your audience starts before the film is seen,” she said, implicating the importance of networking and promotion for her work.

The film was selected for the Atlanta Film Festival and Angel made the trip to be a part of the festivities. “It was a great experience,” she said. “I was really pleased with the reception the audience and the festival brought, and the amount of attention short filmmakers like myself could benefit from.” Being a part of the New Mavericks program added another level of success to the film and connections with other female filmmakers. “It was really lovely to have that kind of support for my work.”

Next up, Angel is developing and writing a love story for her first feature length film. Though she’s not revealing any details yet, there’s little doubt that the project will be just as well received as Charlotte and her previous shorts. “I’m looking forward to an opportunity to play at Atlanta with future feature projects,” she told me.

To learn more about Angel and see behind the scenes photos from Charlotte, go online to the Seed & Spark website or watch the trailer on vimeo.

– Isadora

Jen West, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

New Maverick: Jen West

Jen West, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

Jen West, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

Jen West is an Atlanta filmmaker, designer, and blogger whose short film, Little Cabbage, had its world premiere at the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival and was featured as part of the New Mavericks program. We sat down together to discuss the film in the Filmmaker’s Lounge at the Highland Ballroom during the fest. “Little Cabbage is a story about a female composer in the 1950s who was given a musical instrument, and when she plays it distorts her perception of reality and her relationships,” Jen told me.

In the days before the deinstitutionalization movement sparked by the introduction of Medicaid and the implementation of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, asylums in America often held not only mentally ill patients but also people who were sick or otherwise considered difficult to care for in everyday life. Women especially would sometimes find themselves in a mental hospital for reasons that today would be considered commonplace or even expected, like postpartum depression and anxiety. “A lot of women during that time were hospitalized and they weren’t even actually crazy, just because they didn’t have men to take care of them.”

Jen’s inspiration for writing this plot came from thinking of the time that led to involuntary commitment for those women. She began “exploring the story of a women before she goes into one of those facilities,” inspired by a book called Letters of a Victorian Madwoman. The book is a compilation of letters from Andrewsic Moore Sheffield who was incarcerated in an asylum against her will for 30 years after setting a building on fire. Andrewsic was under the influence of opiates at the time but otherwise sane, and painstakingly documented her experiences while institutionalized.

Madeline, the film’s main character, is a passionate but eccentric musician living in relative isolation in the deep south during the 1950s. Making a living by teaching music lessons out of her home and working towards a grand opus masterpiece, Madeline begins to lose touch with reality. The reasons for her dysfunction are more fantasy than reality in Little Cabbage, as Jen explained “instead of her being on drugs, she’s under a magical spell from a harmonica.”

The film is a period piece, a distinction that requires special forethought to execute on a small budget. “One of the hardest parts of Little Cabbage was making it look authentic,” Jen explained. The reason for the film’s success was the collaboration of her art department and support team during the extensive pre-production phase. Working with a solid, committed team is the key to produce a high quality and solid finished product. “You need to have people who are very good at their craft,” she said. Overall, production went smoothly. “The whole shoot was really magical and it worked really well,” said Jen, “the movie has an aspect of magic to it.”

Little Cabbage is Jen’s fourth short film and is a prologue for a feature length film that is currently in development and slated for sometime later this year. “I kind of fell into film in a nontraditional way,” Jen told me. It wasn’t until after graduating from college that she came to know about independent films. At that time she was working at a small boutique advertising firm and the owner was an avid fan of indie films and wanted to make one. The idea hit home with Jen and a new passion was born. “It was like an instant connection.”

Outside of working on indie films, Jen makes a living as a freelance graphic designer for local organizations such as the Zoo Atlanta and various nonprofits. One of her biggest clients, the Historic Oakland Cemetery, employs Jen for her filmmaking talents as well. “I do some video work for Oakland Cemetery in more of a producer role,” she explained. For example, last fall Jen interviewed Lillian Deakins Timberlake, the first cousin of Margaret Mitchell, for the cemetery’s Living Links film series.

Jen has been instrumental in developing the New Mavericks program, a concept born from a brainstorming session with fellow Atlanta creatives Lane Skye, Robyn Rebecca Hicks, and Brantly Jackson Watts. After discussing the idea of forming a collaborative group here in the city Brantly made the connection with Kristy Breneman and Christina Humphrey to bring New Mavericks to the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival.

“It’s really exciting to think that we are going to have a group here in town that is not just female directors or writers, but also editors and cinematographers and all these other equally important roles,” Jen said. “I’m looking forward to it so much.”

Being a woman working in the film industry, Jen said her experiences have been purely positive. “As a matter of fact, people tend to celebrate what I do more because I’m a woman,” she explained, citing the absence of female directors in larger-scale productions as a reason for that added support. When you look at the metrics, only 5% of for-hire directors in mainstream cinema are women. “That’s why it’s so important for women to do their own projects and make them happen,” she said, “the more work you do the more likely you are to get hired.”

Jen recently toured with Little Cabbage to the Ozark Foothills Film Festival in Arkansas, the Chattanooga Film Festival, and Indie Grits in Columbia, South Carolina. The pre-production of her upcoming feature length film, Electric Bleau, is also well underway with the script currently in the review and editing stage. This film will again tie to the magical, cursed harmonica theme, this time taking place in one of Jen’s favorite cities, New Orleans. The film follows an African-American punk rocker in the late 1970’s as she inherits the cursed musical instrument that’s been wreaking havoc on her family for generations.

As always, Jen has her hands in a variety of projects and endeavors at any given time. Driven and passionate, her plans and ideas continue to evolve and push her to create even beyond the plans she has now. Her commitment to the craft and perseverance in her work rings true. When it comes to working in film, Jen said it best- “you can’t just half ass it, you have to go all the way.”

To read more about Jen, see behind-the-scenes shots from Little Cabbage, and stay updated on future films such as Electric Bleau, go online to her website.

-Isadora

New Mavericks: House of June

House of June, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

House of June, photo by Isadora Pennington, 2015

The Grey Area, a film by Atlanta production group House of June, is a short film that was screened during the New Mavericks shorts block at the Atlanta Film Festival this year. The film, a mini expose into the everyday life of a group of girlfriends during the course of one night, explores the connections and relationships between young women of color.

“It started as another idea,” Ebony Blanding, co-director and writer told me. “We had two days to reconceptualize it.” The film was a submission to Sessions, a 6-month Atlanta Film Festival workshop and program that focuses on developing producers, directors, and actors. When the trio reviewed the initial film in the days counting down to the Sessions deadline, they decided to rethink the project altogether, shoot, and put together a new film.

The film centers around the dynamic of three friends, one caught up in the idea of crashing a wedding while her friends attempt to talk her out of it. Amber Bournett, the film’s co-director, director of photography and editor, said “it was like the film that wasn’t supposed to be seen.”  The new footage was shot in one bedroom setting, and despite being reworked in such a short time, the film has been well received and was selected for the New Mavericks program of the film festival.

The Grey Area is really a story of women communicating in one space and loving on each other,” said executive producer Tempest Rogue. The major battles waged in this film are internal as young woman struggle to come to terms with their emotions. Ebony, who wrote the script, said that “you’re an adult and you’re supposed to get over things,” an experience to which she could personally relate and which she chose to explore in the movie. The film asks, an adult woman, how long is reasonable to maintain feelings after a relationship has ended?

“We hit on subjects that happen to people every day in daily life,” Tempest said, “and I like that.” This is not the only film that The House of June has produced which touches upon a relatable daily life problem, and it’s clear this theme carries throughout the mission of the group overall. “It’s an obligation to tell our stories because they are not told enough,” said Ebony, indicating that featuring not just women of color but also men of color in a variety of genres and contexts is important to the group. “There are not enough stories to show us in varied atmospheres,” she said.

“I think our films by default are stories about women,” said Amber, “that’s where we are right now.” Though they aren’t making any promises as to whether or not this theme will continue on in future films, the three are committed to continue making films together. In short, “we like making films,” she said.

I asked the trio if they thought that their personal friendships had an impact on the outcome of the film. “Absolutely,” replied Amber, “as it would with any film group outside of one director… I feel like how we interact with each other ultimately affects how the final product works out.” A common theme between The Grey Area and the group’s professional relationship is their ability to collaborate while also keeping one another in line.

“Your girls hold a mirror up to your face,” Tempest told me. The group considers the ability to assess the emotional state of their friends, and knowing when to “call each other on the bullshit” to be an important part of a healthy social life. While they acknowledge that it’s okay to have emotional responses to the challenges they face, it’s good to be honest with one another. Sometimes a reaction might be a bit too much, and “your friends are like, well girl maybe you shouldn’t respond that way,” said Amber. Equally important, however, are the concessions that friends make for one another. At times it’s best to rally in support despite personal misgivings, “she’s right girl, let her have it y’all,” Tempest explained.

The three friends work together under the umbrella of the indie filmhouse House of June, “they’re stuck with me and I’m stuck with them,” said Ebony, laughing. Though apart undoubtedly the three would continue working on films, the collaborative atmosphere that they have cultivated has proved to be a fruitful one. “We do certain skilled things that make House of June what it is,” Tempest told me. Just like in The Grey Area, the three keep one another in line and on task. “When someone falls short, the other people are there to check you,” said Amber.

In the process of filming, which can be very unpredictable but can also be magical, the three hit a good stride working together. “You can tell that we’re all getting along because we got that Cinderella dance, that sweep you off your feet kind of thing,” Tempest said, “that definitely happens.”

The House of June has put out three short films including The Grey Area, and they are currently wrapping up a web series called The Shrink in B6, a series that features a young woman who becomes an informal Craigslist counselor after dropping out of college. Here again the plot is influenced by Ebony’s personal experiences, calling upon her personal history and social life to bring her characters to life. The Grey Area is set to make a few festival rounds this year, including the Charlotte Film Festival, after which the team will focus their energy on their first feature length film, Fried Ice Cream. “The summer is ours,” Tempest said, beaming.

To learn more about The Grey Area, the House of June production team, and to see sneak peeks of their upcoming projects, check out their facebook, twitter, and website.

-Isadora