NASA Social – Prints for Coronavirus Relief

prints

Below is a curated selection of photographs available for print purchase. These were taken as part of the NASA Social STP-2 program in June 2019, shot on Ilford HP5 Plus black and white, Canon AE-1. Email me at sam@samanthahearn.com with your choice of photo, size option and mailing address, and I will send you a link to order confirmation and secure payment.

Options include:

4×6 – $25    |    8×10 – $50    |    11×14 – $75

50% of all net sales will be distributed equally among 21 local photographers, writers and creatives whose work has been directly impacted by the economic halt from Covid-19 and the tornadoes that recently ravaged our community. Your contribution helps maintain a thriving, vibrant artist community in Nashville!

(If you see a photo of mine that’s not listed here that you want printed, reach out!)

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Prints

prints

Due to the impact of Covid-19, 50% of all net sales will be distributed equally among 21 local photographers, writers and creatives whose work has been directly impacted by the economic halt and the tornadoes that recently ravaged our community. Your contribution helps maintain a thriving, vibrant artist community in Nashville!

Below is a curated selection of photographs available. Email me at sam@samanthahearn.com with your choice of photo, size option and mailing address, and you will be sent a link to order confirmation and secure payment.

Options include:

4×6 – $25    |    8×10 – $50    |    16×20 – $75


(If you see a photo of mine that’s not listed here that you want printed, reach out!)

NASA Social & SpaceX

#NASASocial, Blog, Photography

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NASA Social & SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Well y’all, I went to NASA for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch in June. I was lucky to participate in #NASASocial, a two day program for space geeks who love social media, and it was freakin’ incredible.

What is #NASASocial? A few months ago I was scrolling through Twitter, just looking for my daily news and quality memes to scream laugh at, when I saw that NASA shared an opportunity for space enthusiasts to apply for their #NASASocial program, a two-day immersive experience at the NASA Kennedy Center in Titusville, FL.

The details? Around 50 people are chosen to tour NASA’s facilities and visitor’s center, get up-close-and-personal talks with top technology experts, interact with members of the Department of Defense, and witness a dang SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch. Um, count me in. I applied, citing my previous journalism work and current science fiction obsession that runs through my editorial photography. But I didn’t actually, seriously think I would make it in. NASA just seems so huge, you know? I was like, “Haha cool yeah let’s apply, this would be amazing but don’t get your hopes up.” In fact, I completely forgot about it until I got a message in late May from a suspiciously official looking email that basically said, “Hey girl, you’re on the waitlist, hang tight.” WHAAAT??!!!!

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This was such an exciting moment for me. I was happy to even be on the waitlist! But I was nervous because the launch was set for a date I already had a wedding to shoot! Even if I did get in, I was booked. “If only they’d move the launch date by like, one day,” I thought to myself. I got an email saying I was in, so I decided there was no way I was going to NOT go. Just absolutely NO way I wasn’t going to NASA. Even if I had to drive straight from the end of the wedding to be in Florida the next morning, I was getting there. Well, it is a rocket launch and so many factors go into play here like weather, space and, you know, intense science stuff, that when I got my next email saying the date had changed by literally one day, I was shook. SHOOK. I was going to NASA (immediately after that wedding, turns out) and there was no stopping it. (SHOOT YOUR DANG SHOT AM I RIGHT?!)

A 12-hour wedding gig and a 12-hour drive later, I was in Titusville, Florida with one hour to spare before the two-day program officially started. The program itself is immersive as heck, you’re literally touring around in a big bus on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center campus (which is HUGE), getting access to facilities and technology that usually only NASA employees and the media gets access to. Our first stop was actually at the NASA Media Center (pictured above) where we heard from some incredible scientists and astrophysicists about the technology that hitched a ride on this launch specifically.

  • Tod Ely & Jill Seubert, interplanetary navigators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told us about the testing of the Deep Space Atomic Clock. The DSAC is basically a GPS system that’s going to help astronauts map the solar system, as well as make communication between those in space and on Earth much faster.
  • Another test on this mission was a Green Propellant Infusion Mission, aka clean space fuel! Christopher McLean, principal investigator for the mission at Ball Aerospace, and Joe Cassady, executive director of space at Aerojet Rocketdyne, let us know that the pink liquid is high performing, less toxic and cost-effective.
  • The mission also included Space Environment Testbeds, and director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division Nicola Fox explained to us how they’ll help NASA experiment and protect spacecraft from damaging cosmic rays and space radiation. Just the worlds “space radiation” alone sound extremely terrifying, TBH.
  • Rick Doe, payload program manager at SRI International, also told us about two CubeSats making up the Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment that will work with six other satellites to study irregularities in Earth’s upper atmosphere that interfere with GPS and communications signals.

 

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After the tech demonstration we got a big group photo in front of the infamous rocket launch countdown clock, then it was off to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center for free time exploring. The KSC Visitor’s Center is so much fun, but lemme tell you something, Florida weather is no joke. One minute I was scorching, burning up, literally dripping sweat into my eyeballs trying to take pictures of all things space and NASA…the next I was running from actual lightning striking in the rocket garden that was less than 20 feet away from me. (A little poetic, yeah? Lightning striking a rocket that’s intended to be out of reach, away from the confines and nature of Earth to explore what lies beyond. I guess it could also be ironic.) Chaotic weather aside, the Visitor’s Center is EPIC – like Nashville’s Adventure Science Center on crack type epic. By the time about 6 p.m. rolled around, I was insanely exhausted and passed out I think for a solid 12 hours.


Day Two

Day 2 was much more intense, hopping on and off the bus to explore the giant, concrete launch pads where 12 Apollo missions blasted off from. Launch pad 39B first, and then 39A. Sunny and about 1,000 degrees. Huge slabs of stone and metal and machinery – launch pads where history was made, and where the future will also be made. The thick, swampy Florida heat combined with the anticipation of the SpaceX launch that night, and the gravity of the structures that stood before us, was somehow both polarizing and a bit supernatural at the same time. What interests me is just how massive the NASA network itself is – there are so many departments, people and skills necessary in order for space exploration to even begin to function, for it to continue to thrive and for society to maintain a tangible interest in space. I spotted a man working at the first launch pad we visited, taking a break from the heat amongst all of the concrete and technology that seemed to match him. He was in his element. I couldn’t help but nab a photo, his reflection in the puddle in front of him somehow reflecting this entire experience in my eyes: Surreal.

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SpaceX Launch Pad

We shuttled over to the second launch pad, and through NASA’s flat, winding roads we turned a corner to see the Falcon Heavy rocket in the distance, perfectly offset by the SpaceX building in the foreground.  Fenced in twice and surrounded by cameras wrapped in protective boxes, we could only get so close to the Falcon Heavy but man, did it loom. Rockets are massive, but that word doesn’t quite capture the grandeur of its size, or how small you feel when you see one in person, even from a mile away. Hold on…did someone just say they spotted a rogue Elon Musk, coming to say hello to us lowly Instagram-posting, Tweet-baiting,  Facebook-ers with #NASASocial? (haha, no, lolol, they didn’t, but the rocket was incredible nonetheless)

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The Launch

Everything during the program felt like a deliberate build-up to the launch that was to come that night. The tech demonstrations informed us on what exactly was happening and why it mattered for the future. The Visitor’s Center taught us about NASA’s history, and let us explore our inner child and feel excited about space. Seeing the launch pads in person cemented for us the gravity of the situation, and waiting for the Falcon Heavy that was to launch at 9:30 p.m., now delayed – anxiously checking our emails, our Twitters, then waiting for the launch that would finally happen at 2:30 a.m. – further stretched the anticipation. The bus finally shuttled us to a flat grassy spot next to the river, six miles away from the launch pad where the Falcon would soon depart for space. I was sleepy, but excited. It was dark, but not for long.

This wasn’t a moment that I managed to get the best photographs out of. Even with the 6 miles between the media site where we were and the launch site where the Falcon was, the air vibrated, the ground shook and my brain just…didn’t compute anything else when the 10-second countdown ended and that dang rocket lit up the night sky. It was all I could do to keep my phone steady for an Instagram live feed. The atmosphere seemed to go from pitch black to near daylight, just like that. When the booster separated, it looked like a nebula, or some far off galaxy that had been brought right up to us here on Earth.

I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life.

 

The experience with NASA Social was visceral, and I highly recommend that anyone interested in space apply. There is no set criteria for an applicant. It helps if you have a presence on social media, but you don’t have to pull in a specific number. Some people in the program had a couple hundred followers, some had followers in the 20,000s. The main thing NASA Social wants is people who will take what they learned back to their communities, both online and off. The deadlines to apply for the remaining NASA Socials this summer have already passed, but if you want to stay in the loop about future Social events I definitely recommend signing up at the link here.

 


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Domestic Bliss

Blog, Photography

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Domestic Bliss with RagPepper

One of my best friends is a killer stylist, if you can’t tell from these photos. I visited Amber at her East Nashville home, complete with a pool, pets and plenty of pink. Visit her site for literally ANY style needs – she can help you shop, overhaul your closet, style your shoot – or just model for you looking like an absolute babe.

Visit RagPepper by clicking here or finding her on Instagram @ragpepper.

xoxo, Sam

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The Life You Dream Of

Blog, Photography, Uncategorized

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Dreamy golden-hour is, as we all know, the best time of day to shoot for those magic feels and good vibrations.

I had been wanting to play around with long exposure, but the effect just wasn’t hitting the exact way I wanted to. I’m DIY most of the time so….solution: a piece of holographic cellophane placed over the lens as a filter. You can get a roll of this at any fabric or craft store for less than a few bucks. It’s a super cool effect but…

This can be tricky, the cellophane can be really iffy and you can get a light streak right across your model’s face if you’re not careful. In some shots I had the paper pressed right against my lens, in others I played around with moving it in front of the lens by a few inches. All it takes is a little maneuvering to be honest, trying until you like what you see, and combined with a long exposure and some cool 70s duds – here you have it.

What do you think of these? Do they remind you of a feeling or the life you dream of?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below ❤

Xoxo, Sam

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Eileen Kelly Designs

Blog

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Shooting for Eileen Kelly Designs was by far one of my favorite fashion projects to be a part of.

Colorful, vibrant and exceptionally well-made, Eileen Kelly Designs is simply a force to be reckoned with. We shot this editorial last year at Two Boots Pizza in midtown Nashville, as well as at my studio over in Germantown. From the glittered details to the shiny fabrics, Eileen Kelly x Sammy Hearn is truly a match made in heaven. On top of that, Kelly is one of THE most genuine and sweet people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Check out a few of my favorites from our editorial below, and make sure you visit Kelly for custom tailoring, styling and fashion design.

Models: Mila Vilaplana, Joe Jett, Connor Brown, Omot Abella, Macy Harmon

Stay tuned for more fashion editorials.

XOXO-Sam

Hike To Ridgetop Tunnel

Nature & Outdoors, Tennessee, Travel and Adventure

Ridgetop, Tenn. is my hometown. It’s where my parents still live and it’s where I grew up. I had Christmases there, birthday parties, milestones and many more memories. What I didn’t know is that it holds a pretty rich history and there’s some really cool exploring to do.

I explored Ridgetop outside of my parents house and tried to get to know it from an outsider’s perspective for a story this week. My favorite part was exploring the .9 mile long underground train tunnel. My guide to the tunnel, Buddy Frank, was a police officer in Ridgetop for 20 years and grew up in the area. Here’s a little bit of the history behind the tunnel..

During the Civil War, John Morgan was a cavalry leader around the area. He defended Ridgetop from a federal forces invasion-in turn keeping them from harming their railroad lines. Back then the tunnel wasn’t around, but the tracks are the same ones that were there before.

In the early 1900s when construction began on the tunnel, the tracks went from being on railroad bridges to going underground. The hike to get to the tunnel takes about 35 minutes.

A photo gallery is below.