December 29, 2010

the BEST of 2010

2010 was a good year. A rewarding, inspiring, breathtaking, thought-provoking, growing year. Looking back, i'm pleased with the work I've created, both for clients, for myself and for the love of this art form.

For the beauty of the form, a girl .

While I documented the growth of E while she was still a hazy, known and unknown being, the strength of the color purple here and here is poignant to me. We didn't know we were having a girl, and looking at the pieces that are strongest from "sizes" , it looks like my art was speaking to me.

Its been awhile since I feel like my social commentary and advocacy work has really been accomplishing much, or even holding much visual appeal. In August , that changed.

If you've been following my work for any period of time, you'll notice I don't photograph men..... pretty much ever. Its extremely few and far between. I guess I should do it more often, because I think I may have nailed it in a way, this year.

There was a lot of client work to choose from. With the variety, I had a hard time choosing favorites, but I feel like these are both pleasing. One for its contrast, serenity, and symbolism, and the other for its absolute truth about being a mom, loving your child, and the beauty of finding a way to laugh at life.

There are things that give me inspiration. Here's what has been good for me this year:

I'm a bookworm. Undeniably, happily, I have my nose in books. One in particular (to the 50+ I've read this year. Yeah, I KNOW, right? Like I said, HAPPILY wormish. ) stood out. I'm on goodreads (are you? Let's be friends there) if you would like to see the rest from this year.

Its been awhile since I've found new music. I haven't been searching. These two albums, one by Grandchildren (who I saw LIVE here ) and the other by The Graduate, found me. And they're on repeat. One in the house, one in the car. For the last two weeks.

Lastly, this quote found by Leslie not only has me recalibrating my domestic and artistic blended life, but gave me the go ahead to start 2011 running.

Tomorrow you'll be seeing resolutions from me. 2011-- here I come. You're never going to know what hit ya.

technical difficulties are great during the holidays...

Not sure exactly what is up with my webhosting account, but for now, please send all emails to alishastamper (at) gmail (dot) com.

Its frustrating. The runaround is the most frustrating part.

But, when I'm frustrated, looking at this helps... so here's one for you just in case you're also feeling a little need for a pick-me-up:

December 24, 2010

Wishing you and yours a

I hope your day is merry AND bright!

Look forward to next week's edition of "The best of 2010" here at my little blog. I'm excited to pick my favorite images from the year and other things.


December 10, 2010

MATTER: jacob

For ready laughs, being a fabulous actor, for looking forward and up towards your siblings. For striving for educational heights.

December 8, 2010

MATTER: Spencer

for being present. for becoming the glitter in the eyes of both of my kids, but especially E. For being my partner in adventures more than a decade ago. For coming back to the family.

December 7, 2010

wednesdays: we're in the silly stage

and he'd laugh all day if i could keep the funny faces going.

December 2, 2010

Class Update

There are only TWO spots left for the class I announced in this post. The portrait class only has 3 spots. So if you're interested in either, you might wanna send me an email quick ( or you'll miss out.

November 28, 2010

MATTER: grandpa

For teaching me through knocks on the table instead of frustrated explanations. For fluid love that made me not know "solitaire" is a one person game until later in life. For singing. For never scolding. For shooting BBguns with us rascally kids. For Escobar, for funny stories, and for NEVER bringing reality into the silly dreams all of us had as children. For the men you raised my father and uncle to be. For marrying my grandmother. For being present.

November 27, 2010

on being thankful

we started a thankful tree last year during the month of november. we did it again this year and i'm reveling in it. I'm not ready for christmas to be here yet, somehow. i'm delaying putting up the tree. I just want to relish this feeling of a grateful house and a grateful heart. W's additions this year have been both funny and sweet.

Something I am especially thankful for is my photographic ability. Its not all talent, and definitely has taken blood, sweat and tears (for real. Some of the equipment can maim when you're inexperienced), and I feel like I'm in a reaping season. Another sowing season will be coming, I'm sure, but right now there's a lot of reaping for me artisitically and I'm so grateful for that. Having a way of expression that (I hope) relates my vision and feelings in exactness is something not everyone has. Its a blessing and a sanity-keeper, for me.

In light of this, that photographic ability is not all "eye", but created by a technical understanding that is APPLIED creatively, after numerous requests, I'm offering a class. Two Friday evenings in January, the 7th and the 14th at 7pm at my studio in Sugarhouse. Each class is one hour. We'll cover aperture and shutter speed and how both affect your translation of your vision. There are only 6 spots TOTAL, so contact me quick to reserve your spot. The fee for both classes is $50 if you register before December 15th. After that date, the fee is $75. Registration closes Dec 31st. I am also offering a portrait workshop as an addition to the classes. It will be held January 21st at 7pm. It is limited to FOUR spots and costs $30. We will dicuss pose, form and lighting.

Who should register: someone who owns a camera (duh! ;) ) and wants to take it OFF automatic. If you own a DSLR and you want to use it to its FULL potential, register for my class.

send me an email at ( detailing what you are registering for, and I will send you a payment request through paypal. Once you have paid your fees, you will be emailed class details, directions, etc.

Looking forward to meeting you!

October 28, 2010

MATTER: Carolyn

for regular epiphanies, amongst many other things.

October 15, 2010

the third


created something lovely. this is a reawakening for me.

October 7, 2010

MATTER: my mom

The third visit from my mom this year. Everytime and every phone call I collect a new gem. I give her anecdotes and advice on parenting more than I ever give my own opinion. She has a phD in parenting. And has since the beginning of time. I love her. I love the personal epiphanies she has, and the truths she taught me by many campfires. I love that, upon viewing my pictures by Katrina for At Mother's Breast, my mom said, "it is really interesting seeing you become the earthy mother I was." That is a compliment I will NEVER forget. Thank you, mom.

so i did 3 frames of my mom before driving her to the airport. It was similar to the five minute portrait of my dad. I like this one the most because of the glare on her glasses. It was intentional. Her eyes are full of light, always pointed towards the good. This project is all about capturing photographs that will show my kids WHO mattered, but also WHY. I feel I have accomplished that in this one especially.

outside the western nut co downtown. the dark chocolate chiptole almonds were truly awful, but the sweet onion marmalade has changed my life!

September 27, 2010

Commissioned: Kiera & Matias

this is the second session in a series documenting my dear friend and her children in relation to her next baby (due so soon!)

You can view the rest here.

September 23, 2010


because "no one right, no one wrong"
is who you are.

couldn't pick a favorite.

this was my midwife with E, who was born at home.

September 21, 2010


here is something worth reading.

I'd like to say I think it has a lot to do with discipline.

At least in my life I can say I'm disciplined when it comes to photography.

on my to-read shelf

the pleasures of good photographs by gerry badger
collecting photography by gerry badger
art in theory: 1900-1990 by harrison & wood
the photograph as contemporary art by thames & hudson
where the stress falls by susan sontag

what are you reading?

September 15, 2010

wednesdays: the W

finally took W here last wednesday. Have been dreaming about it for AGES. It was raining. He was so attached to this balloon from the craft store..... looking at the image now made me remember last april (2009), when I took this picture of him.

still obsessed with balloons, but oh, how he has grown! And now there are two!

as a side note--- can't quite decide if i want to edit out those powerlines. I think probably so. Since this image shows that we have a theme, apparently.

September 13, 2010

MATTER: Adrianne

adrianne has been my best friend since before high school. she's an achiever. a realist, sometimes my polar opposite but always there. steady, reliable, loyal.

i'm an aunt!

so happy to welcome this little person into the green world. he was not quite 2 days old when i photographed him.

geeky deets: 35mm, canon ae-1, fuji 800 iso

a shout out

so my best friend sews.... WAYY better than I do. She has an etsy shop where she sells fabulous things that are perfectly cool for the mom, and rad for the kid-- michael miller fabric even! For example, the crayon roll above. You should check out her stuff. For real.

September 9, 2010

mood boards

You might not have known, but I'm currently having all my branding & identification done professionally (by Pablo & Paula Airth, the most dynamic duo ever. SERIOUSLY. you can email them yourself and tell them how awesome they are, and maybe even hire them at We're in the mood board stage. I never even knew of such a thing, but I do know that I am CRAZY EXCITED about this entire process, and it makes me excited to think about photography.... more excited than normal, I guess, since I always love it and could seriously talk about it, breastfeeding, cooking and childbirth alll freakin' day long..... with some side conversations on politics, religion and faux hawks. (but i digress.....)


HERE they are! I LOVE THEM. I'm SOOOO excited.

i'm just so happy that my work can link into all this awesomeness. ... sigh... delighted!~!

going to the fair!

Hi All!

Just an update.

I'll be having a booth with some friends at the Avenues Street fair on Saturday. It is on 7th Avenue between I and N streets (ending at the beautiful lindsay gardens park). Our booth is called "A Bonny Lass" and "Adri's Adorables". We will be on the north side between J and K.

see you there. Remember my little surprise I said I'd have for ya!

September 5, 2010


oh kiera. thank you for capturing perfectly me in the act of mothering.... stopping tears and calming E's heart. yet another image for my children to see who i was when they were young. i think images of women in their mothering years are so very important.

September 4, 2010


i was looking through some old prints* i had made in the darkroom, with chemicals and everything, that i had mixed up myself), and i came upon this contact print. This was one of my early test images when i was starting to think about doing unmadeup. sigh. i love type-55. i still have some, actually.

in other news, i went to the farmer's market today and unabashedly asked not one, but TWO different women if they would come sit for me. which reminds me, i need to schedule in when to have people come who responded to the other project i'm working on.

happy labor day to all!

you might not remember these. you hold them IN YOUR HANDS! and look at them that way, instead of on a screen.

August 30, 2010

woke up today

and fall was in the air.
you know it, that first intake of breath that awakens your faculties because it feels a little
like a shock.
it was delicious..
and it made me revisit last fall.
a trip to colorado.
a stockpile of fuel.

makes me get ready for creative "stocking up". for the trying out of new ideas, ready to become art.

oh oh fall. you're the restart of me.

a friday morning

an hour out, and feeling revitalized.

August 28, 2010


I'm going to be at the AVENUES STREET FAIR this year! Some friends and I got together and are doing some crafty fun things. I'll have a surprise for people who visit from the blog, so mark the date!

Avenues Street Fair
Sept 11, 2010
7th Ave between I-N streets

just a sample of some of the things we'll be selling

August 26, 2010


I'm submitting my work to a show, and I need to pick a piece. Please give suggestions:

from unmadeup (and if there is another one from that series that you think is better please tell me. You can access those by heading to the proofing site. unmadeup is the showcase gallery)

from some recent client work:

one of the large formats i really love:

just funky fun.

from some digital client work in january:

I'm really leaning towards either the one from unmadeup OR the last one, of the girl in the dress.

August 25, 2010

wednesdays: lotion

Once upon a time there was a little boy who had CRAZY dry skin who HATED to get lotioned up after bathtime. hated.

One day, papa left the lotion down. mama walked in and found said boy in the middle of the photographed action.... and so... she photographed instead of freaked. happy memory marker.

geeky deets: hp5+, pushed one stop, on canon ae-1

August 24, 2010


When I ask to photograph someone, it is because I love the way they look.....
What I’m saying is, I want to take you home with me and look at you for the rest of my life.
--Amy Arbus

Read this gem this morning on the good report. Couldn't think of any better way to describe the MATTER project I've been working on. I think I need to get back into the studio and do some more of that.

August 23, 2010

The Takahashis

This image pretty much sums up this session. Arm-pumping fun.

What do you get when you mix a GORGEOUS mama and a asian (best genes ever!) papa? BEAUTIFUL GIRLS. This sessions marks a new point for me. I did some natural light of these clients. I'm very pleased with the image of the dad. VERY. So much that this is the 2nd time its graced the blog.

More images available at the proofing site . However, its password protected, so sorry, folks!

Gallery Available for Jade

Jade is Q.U.I.E.T. Quite the enigma, for sure. Never know where you stand with quiet ones. But I'm guessing, since I made her "jowl" to relax at least she'll have a funny story to tell people about the *crazy* photographer she sat for once.

You can see more images at my proofing site.

August 20, 2010

comissioned: chuck

Photographing Chuck was eerily like photographing my own father. Chuck is incredibly kind, articulate and thought-provoking. Kinda want to talk to him about life regularly. A wizened man, and why not? Look at the RAD salt and pepper hair he's got! ;) He also had fabulous hands. Well-manicured fingers are a sign of a worthwhile individual, I'd say. You can view more of my session with Chuck here.

Realizing you're green with envy? I accept commissions for portraits. You can contact me directly at for pricing/availability.

August 19, 2010

August 18, 2010

someone is five months

geeky deets: hp5+ on the faithful canon ae-1, pushed one stop