Hidden beauty revealed by Beach photographerBeach photographer and blogger Tiffany Craigo, 34, sees the beauty of vintage vehicles masked by rusted doors, broken windows and bent frames. Using the Instagram application on her iPhone, Craigo manipulates the photographs until they look like pieces of art.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Beach photographer and blogger Tiffany Craigo, 34, sees the beauty of vintage vehicles masked by rusted doors, broken windows and bent frames.
Using the Instagram application on her iPhone, Craigo manipulates the photographs until they look like pieces of art.
“I started playing with it throughout the summer,” Craigo said. “It made me think outside of the box and to look at photography in a different way.”
Working as a house painter, she looks for vehicles abandoned on farmsteads and fields throughout western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Craigo takes photographs of the vehicles with her iPhone and uses the Instagram application to edit them.
“Every single one was done on my phone — I didn’t use a computer,” she said.
Craigo experiments with five or six photo editing applications to get the effect for each photograph.
“After that, I use HDR (high dynamic range) software to clean them up — it’s a process,” Craigo said. “To be honest, I don’t understand the HDR myself, but it takes photos to a different level. It makes them look like a piece of art.”
The software may be downloaded to a computer, but Craigo prefers her phone.
“It’s because everything is at my fingertips,” she said.
She prefers taking pictures with the phone instead of a conventional camera because she has control of the light with the touch of her fingertips.
Craigo keeps in touch with her Instagram friends on a daily basis.
“We talk about everything, and everybody there is very supportive of each other,” she said.
Auto show invitation
It was through Instagram that Craigo was contacted by Molli Sullivan, an account supervisor for Ogilvy Public Relations. One of its clients is the Ford Motor Co.
Sullivan was looking for bloggers and Instagram photographers to attend the North American International Auto Show, and the Innovation and Design Fantasy Camp, Jan. 8 through Jan. 10 in Detroit.
“The purpose of the whole trip was to bring select bloggers and people like Tiffany who have a really strong following on Instagram to capture the event for us and help get the word out on what Ford is doing behind the scenes,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan appreciates the beauty of the photographs.
“I thought she did a great job of uniquely capturing Ford’s vehicles and Ford’s trucks,” Sullivan added. “She was an absolute gem to have on the trip. She was nothing but the utmost professional through and through and it really shows she comes from a Ford family.”
The Ford Motor Co. paid for Craigo’s travel and accommodations. She was not compensated for her time.
Ford executives welcomed the bloggers to the Henry Ford Museum, and they were the first to see the new display, “Driving America.”
The Innovation and Design Fantasy Camp included a tour of the Ford Product Development Center. The 146 bloggers met Ford Fusion designers, and observed the design process through computer software, clay modeling and simulators — experiences not always open to the public, Sullivan said.
Craigo submitted her photos of the event to the public relations company for publication and posted others on her blog.
“It opened my eyes to realize how big blogging has become — it’s way more than you think,” Craigo said. “So many people want to advertise on blogs — people are getting jobs — times are changing.”
Craigo wants to tie the blogs and photographs together.
“I definitely love the photography, but it’s not paying the bills,” she said. “The blog helps me get my photography out there.”
Craigo credits her family for an interest in Fords and creativity with a camera. Her dad, the late David Craigo, would take the family to car shows in Reno, Nev. Her mother, Kathy, is a freelance writer in California, while her brother, Val, rebuilds vehicles at Beach.
Seeing the photographs for the first time, Val Craigo said, “I guess we were really surprised that she can do that, and she’s never really been the artistic one in the family.”
Joking aside, he added, “I thought they were really cool. I’ve looked at other pictures beside the cars, and she has some really good composition, and that’s coming from an art student.”
Val Craigo credits their interest in cars to their father.
“We grew up with Fords, definitely,” he said. “My dad was a Ford nut and implanted into us.”
“I am really impressed with what she’s learned on her own and the skill that she has,” Kathy Craigo added. “Of course, I have a public relations business in California, and to see her branch out to do some media-type work just thrills me.”
A Beach High School graduate, Tiffany Craigo graduated from Dickinson State University in December with a degree in university studies. She met her wife, Becky, while living in California for four years. Wanting to live closer to family, they decided to move back to Beach.
Craigo credits the trip to Detroit for opening doors to her career as a photographer and blogger.
“I would never have gotten started had I not gone to this event and met the other bloggers,” she said.
Craigo markets her photographs through her business, Freelance Media. Her Instagram identification is dudettewalnuts. For more information on how to make a purchase, call 530-632-9403.
Craigo’s work can be viewed on the website at dudettewalnuts.sm
ugmug.com. She and Becky also have a bog on the website, dakotagrownandcitysavvy.com.