Student Living Events Council

As part of Student Living Events Council, I hold a leadership position over the social media department. I am over a team of three individuals who are interested in photography, design, social media and videography. Our goal is to create meaningful content for Student Living’s social media, gain more of a following on instagram, and encourage students at BYU-Idaho to have love for one another, mutual respect and shared responsibility.

The past few weeks we have been creating content for our instagram. We’ve shared stories of “behind the scenes” of what we are doing as Student Living Council to prepare for Stake events. The council attends stake events and teaches how to more fully live the principles of love, respect and responsibility.

As a team, we have created a social media calendar with a plan for what we will post the next few months on Instagram and Facebook. For our first official post, we created a video of someone writing an “I love you” letter. This video is to challenge students to write meaningful letters to those they love during the month of February. This past week we filmed interviews of students with questions like, “how do you receive love?” and “how do you show love to the Savior?” We received great responses that we will share on social media next week.

I also created a flier for an event coming up next month.

I am enjoying working with a team to create content for such a wonderful organization. I look forward to learning from my team and progressing as a designer, photographer and leader.

Final Center Stage

Over the last 14 weeks, I’ve participated as a marketing board member for Center Stage.

Center Stage is an organization at Brigham Young University- Idaho. We bring in performances outside of campus for the community and students.

The performances we hosted this fall were Del Parkinson, Anne of Green Gables—The Ballet, Artrageous, William Hagen, and A BYU-Idaho Christmas with Frederica von Stade and the Sonos Handbell Ensemble. For each of these events I helped Center Stage with marketing ideas for social media and promoting these events around campus.

Center Stage has been an incredible experience for me to learn how to market these events. I helped create posters, numerous giveaway ideas, and an advent calendar. I helped create different stories for Instagram to promote events. I worked at many booths for Center Stage to answer questions and invite students to the performances.

Not only did I participate in our board meetings, I attended the events and passed out programs and welcomed our guests to the performances. I worked behind the scenes in preparing picking up food and other necessities for the performers.

I tried to work with other group members as often as possible. I appreciated learning from other members of the board with skills that were different than mine.

I often spent more time than was asked to complete assignments for Center Stage. I overwhelmed myself with too many responsibilities at one point of my project, but I continued to do my best. I’ve learned to only take on as much as I can handle. Time management is incredibly important in a position like this.

Each week I would meet with my marketing team and we would discuss upcoming events. We would begin to throw out ideas on ho we could promote the events. For Anne of Green Gables, I came up with the idea of painting a pumpkin like Anne and hiding it around campus. Those who found it, took a picture with it and sent it to Center Stage’s Instagram. That would qualify as an entry to win two tickets to the performance. A lot of people were involved and loved the idea.

Another giveaway idea was to send three students on campus wearing a shirt that says “Stop! Ask me to win”. We shared pictures on Instagram of these students and those who found them were able to enter to win tickets.

For Del Parkinson, I played a few classical pieces on the piano and had another board member record me playing. On Center Stage’s Instagram we had a poll for our audience to guess which song was being played. I played common classical pieces that our audience wouldn’t have a hard time figuring out.

I created an advent calendar for our Christmas Concert. I used Illustrator to create graphics that were related to Christmas. It took me over 6 hours to complete this project.

I’ve learned many great and valuable skills as a member of Center Stage’s marketing team. I have been able to use my skills in design to create aesthetically pleasing work for our booth. I participated as often as I could and gave much of my time and effort to this team. I feel that my experience and talent added much to what Center Stage represents. I enjoyed learning about Social Media Marketing and received a job offer to manage some social media accounts because of this opportunity. I am grateful for the chance to work with other experienced designers and social media marketers. I will use the skills I’ve learned to help me prepare for my future career in Visual Communications.






Photography has and always will be one of my greatest passions.

Some of my greatest work has been completed in on this blog and I’d love to share with you my favorites. I’ve recently learned more about external lighting and flash photography in my comm 316 course. I love the crisp and bright photos I’ve been able to create. Learning how to light paint, long exposure, speeding up my shutter, and many other techniques has expanded my ability and skill as a photographer. I feel that my editing skills have improved and I’m quicker with simple edits. There’s much to learn still, but I feel that I have an advantage in my future career because of this knowledge.

My style is clean, minimal and moody.


Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- Pumpkin Pie

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook




Emily Russell- Detail of Ring

Emily Russell designs- moody photography- tomatoes- amazing food photography

Emily Russell Designs- moody photography- Skagen watch- ad



Emily-Russell-Amazing Fine Art-Apple Pie- Moody Photography

Emily Russell Designs- Moody Photography- Incredible Light painting




Winter Maternity Photos

With the recent snow fall, I had the opportunity to take maternity photos.

I don’t have much experience taking maternity photos, and I wanted these to be magical- so I found a small tree farm in Idaho Falls and took some beautiful winter photos.

Snowflakes just started to fall as we trudged through the snow to find a neatly organized row of pine trees. This was the perfect location for a quick and cold photoshoot. I know my models fairly well, but I still needed to communicate. I explained to my models how I wanted them to look and even showed examples of photos so they could see some poses themselves. I tried to angle my subjects differently so that they could stand out among the beautiful background.

I edited all of my photos in color and black and white so that my client could choose between the two. I enjoyed taking these group photos because it was something that I haven’t done much in my career. These winter maternity photos are now some of my favorite.

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Emily Russell- Winter Maternity Photos

Amazing Food Photography: Cookbook

For my final project, I chose to photograph some of my favorite recipes and design a cookbook of amazing food.

At the beginning of this semester, I thought that my niche was portrait photography. I’ve always loved shooting photos of people and life- candid shots with backlighting at sunset are what I usually tend to gravitate towards. I feel comfortable with people and feel that I can usually find good angles and a unique perspective of one’s beauty.

Over the course of this semester, I’ve come to love other forms of photography, specifically shooting food. I feel passionate about capturing fast movement, whether it be water dripping or flower sprinkling. I appreciate natural light and the beauty of creating with food. I wanted to stretch myself with this project and create a cookbook. I found recipes on Pinterest of dishes that I wanted to recreate. I think food photography is amazing and I’ve loved creating my own.

My parents recently built a home with a beautiful white kitchen that I chose to shoot in. There are many windows that let a lot of light into the kitchen. I felt that any dish I made I could shoot here. The following recipes are a pumpkin pie with a pecan buttermilk crust, lemon meringue pie, maple acorn squash salad, a vinaigrette, garlic mashed potatoes, holiday stuffing, orange cranberry relish, and roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts. These recipes were amazing.

In post, I edited all of these photos and added a lot of warmth, contrast and texture. I had 8 recipes for my cookbook. I also designed a few graphics for my book as well that I will include. I wanted my cookbook to look clean, minimal and professional. The san serif font that I chose reflect the minimalistic design- it is called Bebas Neue.

This cookbook is a project that I am very proud to share with future clients, I feel that this reflects my personality of creative, soft and simple.

Click here to check out other amazing food photography!

 Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Brussel Sprouts-Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- Pumpkin Pie

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- Lemon Meringue Pie

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- Maple acorn squash salad

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- Maple acorn squash salad

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- garlic mashed potatoes

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- citrus cranberry sauce

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook- holiday stuffing

Emily Russell Designs- Amazing Food Photography- Gather to the Kitchen- Cookbook-cooking spoons


Amazing Portraits

As a photographer, portraits are my favorite moments to capture.

There’s something about collecting moments of individuals laughing and smiling that brings me so much peace. I have a connection with this type of photography and feel that my work is best completed with a model in front of me.

When capturing amazing portraits, it’s important for you to allow your model/models to feel comfortable. You want to establish a friendship or bond that separates you as a photographer as their friend. They will feel more comfortable and at ease in your presence and loosen up. I ask a lot of questions, smile and try to laugh as well. I try to show my models their photos throughout the shoot so they can see what they want to fix. I allow my models a say in they photos.

Below I have some photos of some of my friends/

Click here to see other amazing portraits.








Themed Portraits

Planning a themed portrait shoot in your dream destination is a wonderful way to create new content.

Recently, I traveled to Grand Teton National Park and took photos with some close friends. Our project consisted of taking various photos of models who were dressed up to fit with the environment. Because we were in the Tetons, it was fitting for our themed models to be dressed as Native Americans and hikers.

These photos were all taken with natural light. It was a bright day and with the sunlight hitting our models directly in the face we needed to take advantage of the light and shadows. In this light we used reflectors to bounce light onto our models faces. This is a simple way to enhance your themed portraits without bringing along a lot of equipment.

Check out more themed photos here!







Amazing Food Photography

I’ve always been inspired by someone who can create amazing food in the kitchen and then photograph it.

The photos below are a examples of food photography. I used continuous light to capture all of the photos in this blog post.

With food photography, I’ve learned to take photos from all angles. The more unique, the better. The angle that I appreciate the most with food photography, is from above. This view allows the whole dish, ingredients, and utensils to be visible. I also like to show detail such as flower or crumbs. I tried to allow enough negative space in these photos so that the food would stand out more in the frame. Food photography requires a creative eye. You can also bring someone in these photos to sprinkle flower on a dish, or reach for a tomato as shown below.

Check out more amazing food photography here!









Speed up your Shutter

Try some creative tricks such as speeding up your shutter speed to capture water and sugar.

These photos were created by increasing the shutter speed.

This first image of the pomegranate is two images masked together. I wanted to capture some fruit smashing in water and I chose a pomegranate because of it’s rich color. I sprayed the glass on the outside and took very fast shots of someone dropping the pomegranate in the water. I had a speed light to also illuminate the fruit and glass.

The second image is sugar being sprinkled onto a strawberry. I used the same principle as above by having. fast shutter speed to capture all of the tiny crystals falling onto the strawberry.

The third and fourth image were difficult to capture. There was a slow drip of water onto a bowl full of water. There was a piece of colorful paper hung directly above the water so that when the camera triggered the flash, it reflected onto the bowl of water. I had to take many photos to capture both of these shots.

Go check out Paul Reiffer’s water droplet photography!






Fine Art Print

One of the most rewarding parts of being a photographer is seeing your work on display.

Let me share a little bit of the process of how I created this Fine Art Print.

I wanted to have a warm, autumn feeling as I gathered these props for this photo. The set up is located on a countertop in a kitchen with dark wood. As I took this shot, I looked the rich colors and decided to edit this fine art photo darker and moodier. With the printing process, I used McKenna Pro and this beautiful photo for a great price. When you are editing to print, you must always have your computer brightness to a little less than half. This allows you to see how dark it will print. It’s critical to edit your photo much lighter because it will always print darker, and not as crisp. If I could print this again, I would even go brighter and sharper with my editing.

The name of my photo is “Apple Spice and Everything Nice”

This photo is now being displayed on the main floor of the Spori building on BYU-Idaho’s campus. Come and see!

To see other Fine Art photos, click here to Martin Bailey’s work!


Emily-Russell-Amazing Fine Art-Apple Pie- Moody Photography

Apple Spice and Everything Nice


Emily-Russell-Amazing Fine Art-Apple Pie- Moody Photography

Emily-Russell-Amazing Fine Art-Apple Pie- Moody Photography -Emily Russell Designs


Hello, I am Emily!

Image of Emily Russell

Visual Communications major at BYU-Idaho. As a fellow Idahoan, I love exploring the outdoors by hiking and kayaking. I'm a photographer, musician, and visual designer.

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