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a few thoughts about registration to the Magic of Light...

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

Hi there,
Another humbling day as the Magic of Light sold out in less than a minute yesterday. I am super honored, humbled, and a bit baffled by it all if I am honest! Thanks so much for those of you who take the class. I understand there are some who are frustrated who have tried to get in the class multiple times. I really am sorry and it makes me sad. I have gotten many emails and comments with suggestions about how to run the class. While I understand your frustration, I feel really strongly that the class size remain small. I never set out to teach this class to the masses. This class has become “successful” because of the one on one interaction and intimate vibe in the class. I do not want to change the very thing that has made the class what it is. In order to be the kind of teacher I want to be, I have to limit the class size. 

The class runs three times a year. Yes, the demand is high enough that I could run it more often but I try hard to keep a work/family balance. I give my all in the class. If I ran it more often, I would burn out quickly. This class is about much more than the class materials. There is something special that goes on in the classroom that is intangible. Yes, the PDF is great information but alone will not have the impact that actively participating in class will have. 

For those of you asking why I won’t open more silent seats? In a perfect world I would not offer silent seats at all but because of the hight demand I do offer some. As with any class, if you don’t do the work you will not learn and grow. I find that silent students tend to not do the work as often and the class does not have the same impact for them. Silent students do have a designated space to interact with one another in the class. If I let unlimited amounts of people join that group, it would change that experience as well. Finally, many active students feel intimidated posting their assignments for feedback from me in front of a small group. If they knew that possibly hundreds of people were watching them, the fear could be crippling. A big group changes the learning environment in class. I have to ensure that those who are there feel safe to share. 

I have done waitlists in the past and they became so big that they were very time consuming and hard to manage. I am a one person show. I love teaching this class so much but I also have a family and other obligations in my life to balance. Ultimately, I have to do what is best for me and my family without compromising the vision I have for my class which is to keep it small and intimate.

All of this being said, I am considering other options. If I decide to move forward with them and you would like to be included on an unofficial waitlist please sign up HERE. 

Thanks for understanding. I have many many many emails to sift though. I am in the middle of teaching the winter run of the Magic of Light but I will try to respond to each message individually but it will take some time! 

xo,
Summer

PS. Please forgive me if you have read a similar message after last registration. Every time the class opens for registration, I get the same questions and suggestions. I just want you all to know that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this over the past four years and I am not just sitting back giggling with glee after registration ends. The emails and messages of disappointment honestly make me sad and I don't take them lightly.

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christmas lights from the window...

© Summer Murdock | Photographer, Freelensing, Utah Photographer

I used to blog my personal work A LOT! Somehow, someway, that practice has fallen by the wayside. Starting now I am going to try to let more of my experiments and daily shooting live here on my blog like it should instead of just posting it all to social media. Doing this will require me to let go of the idea that I have to have a post with tons of images and words. I will put ZERO expectations on myself. If I like it, I will post it. If I have something to say, I will write it. If I don't , I may just post images. Sounds fun right? 

I have been quite obsessed with freelensing lately. This evening as I watched her pull up the shades to look at our neighbors Christmas lights, I detached my lens and let go. I love my results. Not because these are the best images I have ever taken...but because I ENOYED shooting them. 

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Massingham Family

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

This family? They are from Australia and have been traveling around the world for the last year and I am not gonna lie...I don't get envious very often but I am straight up jealous of their travels. They stopped here in Utah and spent some time with me at Antelope Island. I couldn't have enjoyed myself more with these super cool people.

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what if?

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

What if? What if I head to one of my very favorite places to see the wild poppies in bloom and only bring a tilt shift, my hacked 50mm to freelense, and a prism. What if I 100% do not interject myself at all and just sit and observe my kids? These poppies are a favorite site of mine and only bloom once a year. Will I make any images I like? Am I willing to take that chance since this bloom only happens once year? 

What if is a good question to ask. I tend to live my life this way. "What if I try something new? What if I just jump in the car and go somewhere I have never been?" I find that this very simple question often leads me to really amazing places, both literally and figuratively. 

It is said that a lady named Mrs. Lambert brought these oriental poppy starts and some yellow roses across the plains in a covered wagon. You can see the remains of her house in these photos. I bet she asked herself "What if I bring my favorite flowers in my wagon on my two month long trek across the United States?" I would bet money that that is the question she first asked herself when contemplating her big move. I am sure many people on the trail thought she was crazy and impractical for bringing flowers with her but I am glad she did. Now these poppies dot the mountainside around where she once called home and I look forward to seeing them bloom every year.

You may have seen me photograph these poppies before. I am sure these photos look similar to others I have taken at this spot but somehow they are different to me this time. I am more in love with them than any other images I have shot here. Not because they are really better images to the outside viewer, but because I asked myself "what if" and did things a little differently. Sometimes that is all it takes to push yourself and ignite that little satisfying internal spark.

I am grateful to all people out there who ask themselves "what if" and for all the amazing and simple things that result from that question. I am thankful to this pioneer woman, Mrs. Lambert, who asked herself "what if" and carried her poppies across the plains in her covered wagon and planted them here so that I can enjoy them every year. If we all just ask ourselves that question more often, and not let the fear of failure get in the way, good and sometimes unexpected things will come! 

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The Giant Sandbox

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

I spent the evening at this AMAZING place with this super easy going and down to earth family a few weeks ago. As you can tell from the photos, we had a great time. This place is like a giant sand box and I am so grateful to this Mom and Dad for letting go and allowing their kids to get dirty and just be kids. I am quite certain they were washing sand out of their clothes and hair for daaaayyyys but I think it was 100% worth it..for both the memories and images made.

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the sixty second photograph - april

Well another month has past and I still have not blogged. I promised myself I would blog more images in 2016. I did make another film for The Sixty Second Photograph. This month has been so so busy that had it not been for this project I would have NEVER made this film...that is the beauty of collaborations and exactly why I wanted to organize this little group. Be sure to head over to the SITE to see all the extremely talented gals films for the month. 

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the sixty second photograph

I have been dreaming and scheming about this new project for several month now. I am pretty excited about it. For the last three years I have been promising myself I would learn to shoot films and for the last three years I have not done it. It feels good to be experimenting with a new medium alongside some really inspiring still photographers who want to to learn as well. We will be making a short film once a month and sharing HERE. I always try to push myself out of my comfort zone because that is how I keep growing as an artist. This project is DEFINITELY pushing me. I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us. I'd love it if you followed along over at The Sixty Second Photograph.

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the best of both worlds...

© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Utah Family Photographer Lifestyle
Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Family
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer Salt Lake City Area Family Photographer

I was beyond excited when this awesome family contacted me to photograph them for many reasons. First of all, they are easy on the eyes, easy going, and super cool people. Secondly, they agreed to an "in and around the home shoot". I really want to photograph more families in their own homes on a regular basis but I am a huge lover of the outdoors so this type of shoot give us the best of both worlds so to speak. We spent about an hour in their house and then jumped in our cars and drove a short distance up the canyon and went on a little adventure. Utah is pretty amazing that way...you can't live anywhere here without someplace amazingly scenic close by.. Needless to say, I had a great time with this family...and I may have delivered the largest gallery I have ever given anyone to them. I guess that proves we had lots of fun right? Or it proves I shoot way too much...probably the latter. 

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an oasis under the freeway...

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

You would never know that this little swimming hole is right under the freeway in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. I used to frequent this place back in my college days. My kids loved it and we got lucky this particular evening and had it all to ourselves. It's a great little road trip pit stop if you ask me. It broke up our drive home from California quite nicely. 

I'm linking up with my 10 on 10 group...even though I can't seem to follow the 10 on 10 format....go see what Ginger Unzeuta is up to this month. 

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fresh from heaven...

© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer

It was an honor to be able to photograph such a special time in these people's lives. I was so impressed with how these first time parents were so relaxed and easy with their new baby girl...in fact they may or may not be CAMPING with their newborn babe as I type this and that speaks volumes about them as parents don't you think?

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our summer adventures...the hot springs edition

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

Now that the summer is winding down and school is about to start again, I am starting to get caught up on blogging all of our summer adventures. On this day we drove almost two hours to get to these hot springs that are located literally in the middle of a cow field. There are three different pools with water that was SO perfectly clear and about 95 degrees. I tend to be a wimp about cold water and am usually the first one out....but not on this day. I could have stayed in there ALL day and was for once the last one out. :) These images are probably some of my very favorites that I have shot in a very long time....I'm already itching to go back here. I am envisioning snow covered cow fields as my backdrop next time....

I'm linking up with my girls from the old "10 on 10" group this month (I'm obviously abandoning the 10 on 10 format). Be sure to check out what Rowe Timson is up to this month over in Bali...

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the pond

© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer
© Summer Murdock | Photographer

These images were from a few weeks ago when we went to a neighborhood pond to swim. My little guy wasn't thrilled about the water temperature or the ducks swimming alongside him so he lasted all of 3 minutes. Now my youngest decided it was the coolest thing every to be swimming with them and we could not get her out of the water. She may or may not have been swimming around shouting "quack quack quack quack" for way longer than most would consider "normal"...:)

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The Wegner Family

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

I spent a couple hours with this family a few weeks back. We had a great time...there was lots of laughing and dancing involved.  This family is moving away from Salt Lake City soon and wanted to commemorate their time here together by making some memories via images of their family connection and Utah's beauty. I think we accomplished both!

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The Ace Hotel...

 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer
 (C) Summer Murdock | Photographer

Have you had enough of my Palm Springs sessions yet? This is the last one from The Bloom Forum's See Palm Springs retreat that I went to last month. This family? They are the creators of the first set of actions I ever purchased (like a 100 years ago). I am still a big fan of their stuff which is a part of my regular workflow.  Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous when they volunteered to be my model family but they were a joy to photograph. Despite my insane nerves from having a group of photographers watch me photograph them, we had fun and hopefully got some images this family will like. 

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