Monday, January 18, 2010

fPOE Member of the Week... Shannonblue Photography

This weeks featured fPOE member is Colorado photographer, Shannonblue.
Her flickr.








Tuesday Afternoon Swoon {cutting edge}....a bit early


ooooh....shiny.....

Cassia Beck & Shannon Blue from
are at it again.

Despite the name of their diptych blog,
you don't see combos like this every day.


Some of us year-long fpoe diptych teams are falling off the track!
we miss you guys!!

till next time,
i. heart. diptychs

Mosaic Monday :: Sweetness

Tip: Don't look for delicious, sweet photographs when you are craving chocolate...


Left to right.

laura evans photography . nan lawson . ara133photography1

lepiaf.geo . racheljan . jennifer squires ross


myan photography . sarahskeen . MinaLucia

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Style - An Interview with Photographer Melissa Varley

The photographic world of Melissa Varley is like walking through a sensuous lucid dream. Her eclectic collection of photographs evoke snippets of memory and emotion. Each image tells its own story, yet seen together they feel like incredible moments on a journey through the imagination. There is a wonderful contrast of meditative solitude and delicious decadence. Come with us as we visit Melissa's world!

Hailing from Montreal, Quebec Canada, Melissa grew up experiencing the diverse cultures that both of her parents brought into her household. "My mother is French Canadian and my father is english Canadian and I really grew up immersed with both cultures," said Melissa. "My late uncle, Robert Varley, was a an renowned, award-winning Canadian photographer during the 1970's. And I barely have a memory of my grandfather without his 35mm Pentax around his neck. If there was anyone whom I wish could see me now and would be so proud, it would be my grandfather. So I guess photography runs in my blood to a certain extent!" Although armed with a university degree in psychology, Melissa didn't pursue a career in the field. "I don’t work in the field because I wasn’t interested in pursuing it to masters level," she said. "Though I'm forever fascinated and inspired by the human mind and relationships." These days Melissa is a freelance, self-taught photographer. "I've taken basic intro courses but mainly learn photography all on the fly," she said. "I find my interests to be so diverse for subjects, I photograph anything and everything. As I am gaining more experience, I find it's starting to narrow down to preferences and what feels most natural for me. I purchased my first digital SLR, a Canon Rebel Xsi, about a year and a half ago. It's what I shoot with still. I recently bought a 50mm lens and it's my baby! I totally love this lens." According to Melissa her ultimate dream is to acquire a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 70-200 mm f/4L USM lens. "I tell myself that maybe if I don’t travel anywhere this year - or the next 5 years it could happen!" She said. "My 2 tripods and remote are indispensable as well." Melissa spent some time to talk to FPOE about her journey as a photographer and her eventual goals in the field.
FPOE
When did you realized you were a photographer? Was it a gradual process or did it hit you at once?

Melissa
I think it was pretty gradual. Ive often been told I had a natural knack for photograph. I really started to take the hobby seriously after being asked to photograph a wedding last fall. I had the time of my life doing it. Now it's something that I totally lose myself in. It's my passion.

FPOE
How would you describe your style?

Melissa
At the moment, eclectic. Like I said , I think I'm really still finding my zone. I love urban photography, candid portraits, self-portraits. Most of my photos will fall into these categories.
FPOE
What inspires you to pick up your camera and what subjects really speak to you?

Melissa
My city inspires me - cities in general I think. I've traveled quite a bit and just witnessing a lifestyle that isn't mine is something that automatically makes me want to pick up my camera. I love London, and Budapest - some of my favorite photos so far come from these places. In my early 20's my roommate at the time and I had our apartment walls was covered in blown up shots of Italy from a trip I'd taken. I'd shot these with a 35mm Nikon camera that was my first 'nice camera'. I remember it had cost me around $400 - and this was in the late 90's - so it was a pretty decent camera! But Montreal is definitely at the heart of a lot of my inspiration: the architecture, the arts, the parks, the festivals, the beautiful people, the hot summers and painfully cold winters. There's so much to get your attention. Besides that, it's candid moments that inspire me, relationshipsand capturing something that doesn’t know its being captured. I believe this is what makes the difference for good wedding photography. Moments in time can be frozen forever with a good candid shot. The people I love inspire me, they are often my muses. My dog, Baron, is a 1 year old black pug and he's real clown and a poser so he keeps me inspired! My portraits of him get the most views on my Flickr! More and more im finding other photographers inspire me. Thanks to online communities such as Etsy and Flickr, I've gotten to know so many amazing ones and met a lot of really nice people. I'm inspired by so many of these artists. Anything vintage and/or retro really sends me away and inspires me. I want my photographs to tell a story - either the real one behind-the-scenes or a personal viewer interpretation. When another photographer is able to do this, my jaw drops and heart soars and I'm filled with inspiration to do the same with my work again and again.

FPOE
Tell me a little bit about your shooting and editing process.

Melissa
Well, I'm most comfortable shooting when I'm alone. I can leave home with my camera and get into the zone. I don’t like making people wait after me - I think that’s the issue. Weddings are an exception. I really get into this world when I'm photographing a wedding. There's so much happiness and so many candid moments, I just go with it. In my home on the weekends, in the morning and afternoon, I do a lot as well. My home is surrounded by large windows all around so the light is natural and nice and conducive to shooting. And I'm more relaxed. I live a pretty intense 9-5 week so I'm tired when I get in at night. But during the week is when ill come up with an idea for a shot and then think about it all week, it evolves. Come the weekend I'm ready to pick up my camera. Oh but how I wish I could do it everyday full time!
In terms of editing I do a lot of Straight Out Of the Camera with just a crop, but I'm getting more and more comfortable with Photoshop. I have Elements 8 right now on my Mac Pro. And I absolutely love Picnik.com! Lately I've been playing around a lot with actions and textures.

FPOE
What was the process that brought you to Etsy?
Melissa
I noticed a lot of photographers on Flickr had links in their profiles to an Etsy shop. I decided to give it a try as well and set up shop last November. I was later invited to join the Female Photographers of Etsy group (fPOE). I love this group! All the women are very talented and have a spirit of supporting and giving advice and promoting growth amongst each other. I try to contribute as much as I can when I can. I'm flattered to be a part of.

FPOE
What has your experience selling been?

Melissa
I can't complain at all. I've had a few sales and it's only been 2 months. It's always surprising when I get one. I still cant believe anyone who doesn’t know me wants to buy my work! I don’t think I could ever get used to that fact. I think the Etsy shop takes a lot of work and time if you want it to be successful. Promotion is important. I try my best with my Facebook fan page, my Flickr, my professional website, and my blog to promote myself. Just maintaining all these cites is really time consuming in itself! My grandfather always said to my brother and sister and I when we were little : 'You gotta sell yourself if you want to be successful'. In this case, truer words were never spoken!

FPOE
Any other advice to other photographers selling on Etsy?

Melissa
Keep doing what you love and the rest will come.


To see more of Melissa's work, check out her Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28070020@N07/

You can also check out her prints for sale in her Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/melissavarley

Melissa also has a Blog you can follow:
http://mvarleyphotography.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Style - An Interview With Photographer Caitlin Brookes

For our second interview of the New Year with the talented FPOE ladies, we explore the wilderness of Ottawa, Canada through the lens of Photographer Caitlin Brookes. In her shop, The Paper Butterfly, whimsical butterflies, dragonflies and other woodland creatures frolic and thrive. Caitlin's forests are filled with magic and delicate mysteries around each turn in the woodland path.

Autumn Dragonfly Fine Art Print by ThePaperButterfly on Etsy
In 2007, Caitlin graduated in Baking and Pastry Arts at Algonquin College. While she loved the feeling of creating something with her own two hands that others could enjoy, she still longed for an outlet to create something colourful on paper. Encouraged by her father, she took up a camera and began to find inspiration in the images she began to capture.
As she developed her artistic voice, she found that she was greatly influenced by her grandmother’s vibrant, floral watercolour paintings. Soon Caitlin learned techniques to artfully combine her images into the colourful and whimsical photo-collages one finds in her shop today. She recently took the time to talk to FPOE about her journey as a photographer.

Scabiosa and Spiderwebs Fine Art Print by The Paper Butterfly on EtsyFPOE
When did you realize you were a photographer? Was it a gradual process or did it hit you at once?

Caitlin
In high school I always felt naturally inclined to take Art classes, but depression and social anxiety made it very difficult for me to focus on experimenting, learning and enjoying the process.
Taking up photography was a gradual thing for me. My father is a photographer as well, so growing up it was a strong influence in our home. I bought my first film camera when I was fifteen, with which I took mostly pictures of friends, family and pets. A few years ago, my best friend loaned me her digital camera. I brought it everywhere with me, and then I started going places just to take pictures. Eventually I upgraded to a DSLR (a Nikon D40) and I still take it almost everywhere with me.

FPOE
What inspires you to pick up your camera?

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Fine Art Print by The Paper Butterfly on EtsyCaitlin
It goes without saying that I am inspired by Nature. I am in awe of Her creativity and diversity~ endless colours, textures, patterns and light. I feel blessed just to be able to take it all in.

FPOE
What subjects within Nature really speak to you?

Caitlin
Since my mother is a gardener I spent a lot of time helping her in the backyard and visiting local public gardens. I love flowers of course, but I became fascinated with butterflies the summer I turned sixteen and fell in love. They have held a feeling of nostalgia and discovery for me ever since.

FPOE
How would you describe your style?

Chickadee and Stars Fine Art Print by The Paper Butterfly on EtsyCaitlin
I strive to create images that are sweet and colourful, as well as slightly abstract and exaggerated, as though it were a dream, such as Junco and Daisy.

FPOE
What was the process that brought you to Etsy?

Caitlin
Reconnecting with an old friend, I found that she had an Etsy shop.
It was so easy to set up, and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to share my work, a great place to get started.

FPOE
What has your experience selling been?

Caitlin
I am still fairly new to Etsy. I have only made my first sale, but I have confidence it will pick up. I get lovely reactions from people who see my work in person, and my pieces have sold well at a couple of shows. I have a couple of shows lined up for the spring, and I will be displaying some of my work at a local café during February and March. I am hoping that will help bring visitors to my Etsy shop.

FPOE
Do you sell (or plan to sell) other products other than photos?

Our Nest Fine Art Print by the Paper Butterfly on EtsyCaitlin
Since creating my photographs for The Paper Butterfly, my interest in other mediums has been rekindled. I have been tinkering with linocuts, hand-colouring photographs, and I have picked up my watercolours again.

FPOEDo you have any advice to other photographers selling on Etsy?

Caitlin
For me it has been a great networking tool, and an easily accessible home-base that I can refer people to.

You can see more of Caitlin's whimsical imagery in her shop: http://www.ThePaperButterfly.etsy.com

Or follow her documentation of nature on her Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepaperbutterfly/

She also has a blog where she posts her images of the wildlife in Ottawa:
http://www.thepaperbutterfly.net

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Style - An Interview with Photographer Shawna C.

Happy 2010 everyone! We are kicking off the New Year on the FPOE Blog with another interview with one of our fabulously talented photographers. This week we are exploring the world of photographer Shawna Cameron.
When you step into her Etsy Shop, your view of the world is forever changed. The familiar flora and fauna in the natural world takes on a new life within her photographs. Tulips seem to dance within her images, and flowers reveal their inner-most hearts to the viewer.
Shawna took the time to talk to FPOE about her work and what lead her to her current photographic vision:


"It’s funny but I’ve always thought of myself as artistic, but never an artist," says Photographer Shawna Cameron. "Even now, with a website, and an Etsy store, and shows where I sell images to strangers, it’s hard to not mentally put quotes around 'photographer' when I describe myself as such." Yet Shawna has always dabbled in various artistic mediums. "I’ve sketched, sculpted and, especially, painted off and on for years," she said. "But even though others have seemed to like the results of these endeavors, I’ve very rarely been satisfied with my finished pieces. They so rarely turn out as I’d envisioned them when I started." However after acquiring a Canon DSLR and, later, playing with an old version of Photoshop that Shawna discovered her artistic voice. "I thought: this is what I want this image to look like. This exactly.”

FPOE
When did you realized you were a photographer?

Shawna
Originally, I bought my DSLR because I had a baby and I wanted to take good pictures of the early years of her life. It was one of the best purchases I ever made, not only because I have documented my kids’ childhoods, but I also got a good macro lens and now have tons of images that make me happy every time I look at them.

FPOE
What inspires you to pick up your camera?

Shawna
I have a Masters degree in Botany, and I love big and colourful, yet simple, art, so it’s no surprise that I take a lot of pictures of flowers – I’d say about 80% of my fine art work is floral-based. What I really like to do though, is to shoot them in a way that the resulting image is all about the colour and shape filling the frame. Many of them are quite abstract (like "Sorbet 2") and have only a tiny slice of the flower in focus (for example, "Secret Heart").

FPOE
What subjects really speak to you?
Shawna
My personal favourites are the ones that evoke an emotion: "Luminous Vessel", for instance, makes me feel somehow uplifted, and "Fiddle-dee-dee" seems to resonate with a lot of people who view it in person. As a side note, I find it interesting that these two images are among my most popular when people see them big and framed, yet receive a surprisingly smaller proportion of attention online.

FPOE
What was the process that brought you to Etsy?

Shawna
I started my Etsy shop because it already had a fairly substantial community of photographers, many of whom produced work I admired. It was also simple to set up and didn’t represent a huge investment in terms of time or money to extend my audience outside live shows. In truth I have still sold more in person than online, and I suspect that’s because my particular style has a lot more impact when it’s viewed in large format, which is the only way I display it. I have only really brought large, framed prints to shows. I’m still toying, however, with the notion of offering small prints and other products. For example, I currently have a collaboration in my shop with another Etsy photographer (HouseofSixCats) who uses four of my tulip images on ceramic coasters.

FPOE
What has your experience selling been?

Shawna
One thing I didn’t really anticipate when joining Etsy was the degree of connection to that “fairly substantial community of photographers”, and it’s been a huge bonus! As a member of both PoE and, especially, fPOE, I’ve gotten leads on resources, marketing information, inspiration from people whose style is totally different than my own, and, most importantly and above all, a real sense of belonging to a community of peers. These are things I never really managed to develop locally and I didn’t even know what I was missing out on.

FPOE
Any advice to other photographers selling on Etsy?

Shawna
If there’s one piece of advice I’d give new photographers on Etsy it would be to take advantage of opportunities to join networks and connect with peers. I will go out on an limb and say even if, like me, you don’t get tons of sales, you absolutely will still benefit from this sort of interaction!

For more information on Shawna and her work you can visit her Etsy Shop: http://www.shawnacameron.etsy.com