The Outer Zone

by Cortney Wood

The Outer Zone is one I'm quite familiar with. I took this picture the other day for its intriguing perspective but when looking back, realized it really struck a chord with me. 

In more ways than one I've found myself in the outer zone. In my early childhood, my constant testing of boundaries left me reaping the consequences and missing out on a number of occasions I otherwise would have been a part of. In my adolescence and early adulthood, being hurt and abandoned by those whom I considered some of my closest friends. A 3-year long relationship that consisted of a whole lot of damage & heartbreak. All of these things flee my mind for the most part, but at times like these when something strikes the chord, they all come crashing back down. 

Recently I have found myself in that same outer zone. It doesn't feel good to know you are disliked, and even worse, have no explanation as to why. It really hits me hard. It is uncomfortable and awkward, and something I realize many people in our world are faced with on a daily basis. As much as people tell us "oh who cares" or "forget about them" our society is all about fitting in, being liked and accepted - that said, when you don't it really sucks. All those little things that remain in the back of your mind make their grand appearance, insecurities begin to arise & it really just goes downhill from there. I usually take the punches for what they're worth and avoid stooping down a level, but keeping it all in to avoid confrontation can do major damage. And at times I question my ability to stick it out and keep treading. Because, when you're let down time and time again by people in the past, you begin to question the validity of those same words and promises from another persons mouth. 

But the thing about life is you can't sit back and feel sorry for yourself. Well, you can, but it isn't going to do much for you. 

Whether or not you're able to relate your own experiences with mine, it all comes down to one thing (which I thought was worth a share). Figure out whatever it is and decide if it is worth the risk. If it is, then you have to go all in - guard down, chin up. If people don't like you along the way or try to bring you down to get themselves up, then so be it. True colors always show in the end, and if you don't just go for it, you'll only reap half the benefits in the first place. 

Coronado Island Vacation Rental

by Cortney Wood in

A few months back, my mom flew into San Diego to help my aunt (who owns this beautiful home on Coronado Island) clean & spruce up the home decor before she began renting it out again. With all the fabulous new additions, she needed some updated photos to host on her rental site & that's where I come in! 

If you're ever looking for a beautiful home to stay in when you're down in San Diego, this one's a gem!! You can find all the renting details here!


Crossing Palettes: Foldable brochure

by Cortney Wood

A foldable marketing brochure for Crossing Palettes, a cross-disciplinary capstone class held at the Art Institute of California - San Diego.

The program teams up graphic designers alongside interior design and culinary arts students to develop restaurant concepts.

Find the full project here!

Wedding Placecards

by Cortney Wood

Now that the wedding rush is just about through (i'm about 90% done with photo edits), I wanted to share a few other parts of the process. Because I was going to be responsible for all the wedding photography during midterms, I needed a little assistance with the placecards. I searched a few of my favorite wedding websites for some free, templates when I came across this one! It was meant to be written on by-hand with chalk, but I wanted to go for a cleaner, more classic look so I changed it around a bit (and added a little note on the back)!

Although it saves a TON of time in terms of design + file set-up, you still have to enter (and center) each guests name, take them to get printed, cut each page (I used one of the macho blades at school and knocked out 3 at a time) + score each card. The last part of the process is the meal signifier, which I found at Michael's. I'd say this took me around 5-7 hours total, but hey that's part of taking the DIY route, right?!

All in all, for a 75-guest wedding the cost for the paper, printing + stickers was around $50. Not bad, if you have the time!


First Time for Everything

by Cortney Wood

I did it! My very first wedding shoot! Who ever knew so much excitement, so many emotions, and all the rest could be squeezed into a 12 hour time slot?! 

In all honesty I was so, very nervous going into it. The bride and groom are both very close friends of mine, so of course I want to deliver the absolute best for them at whatever cost! Because I most certainly am an amateur in the field of photography - I really had to rely heavily on my resources. To start off, I rented a few lenses (including a 70-200mm aka a photographer's dream) because the lenses I had are simply not meant for wedding photography. I also used YouTube as my "teacher" for the weeks leading up to the big day. Before bed, I would watch a few videos on angles, posing, lighting, etc. and this is what helped me immensely! Pinterest was also a huge source of inspiration behind my photos... so any newbies out there, I would highly suggest creating an inspo board on Pinterest that reflects the overall aesthetic + personality of the bride and groom (here's mine) AND watching these videos! 

But all resources aside, I could NOT have done half the job I did without Maurice! Every minor challenge would have been 100x intensified and I probably would have found myself locked in the bathroom stall going into cardiac arrest - no joke! He's one heck of a man!

Stay tuned for photo reveals, etc!!!