Friday, January 31, 2014

Feature Friday with Jen Dale!!

Welcome to today's Feature Friday with the lovely and talented Jen Dale of Jen Dale Photography!!  Sit back and relax and get to know a little about the winner of our "nostalgia" theme!!

1.   Please tell us about yourself... 

I’m a 28 year old wife, mother of one beautiful girl and photography nut! I was born and bred in the north of England but am in the process of moving to Ohio (my husband is American), after having spent 4 years living in Italy (thank you USAF! lol). I am a romantic, a foodie, a traveler, a bookworm, a shopaholic, a yogi, a craft addict and, obviously, a photographer! 

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
My philosophy of shooting and editing is simple, elegant and natural. I don’t try and make people balance in complicated poses or use a lot of props or complicated backgrounds. I feel the most beautiful images come naturally, with people being themselves. I want the subjects to speak for themselves, no matter what I’m shooting, and bring out their own natural beauty and elegance. 

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

You would have to ask my Mum that one, it's been there all my life! I have always loved taking pictures, of everything and anything. When other projects and interests were getting put away in the cupboard, there was always a camera around for me to use and being used. It was not something I ever really thought I would make a career out of though. It was actually my husband that convinced me to pursue it more seriously. So, in 2010 I enrolled in school and I haven’t looked back since! 

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

What isn’t?! Pentax K5iis, Pentax k20d, 50mm 1.7, 135mm 2.8, 70-210mm 3.5 and 28-300mm 3.5 (all PK Mount), Olympus OM20 (and the same set of lenses for Olympus mount), filters and films, face wipes, a roll of puppy bags (great for sitting little people on if the ground is wet or using as a camera cover!), hair grips, lego, tape, pen and notepad. 

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

Oooo that’s easy! I would love to shoot a wedding or a bridal fashion/concept shoot at a theme park in the Netherlands called de Efteling! It is one of my favorite places in the whole world (waaaay more magical than Disney!) and I have so many shots already buzzing around my head just waiting to get out!

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

I don’t think I really had any misconceptions about photography or photographers. I know that sounds boring but I really didn’t go into this thinking “Oh, this will be quick and easy money” or any of the normal misconceptions. I genuinely went into it because I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY and that’s it! If I can make it into a successful career, great! If not, it will still make me happy. 

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

Don’t be backwards about coming forwards! If you don’t ask or put yourself out there, you will miss out on so many opportunities and experiences. If you do ask, the worst that can happen is the person will say no! And you will get some no’s but the yes’s will make it worth it. This is something that was really hard for me but looking back over the years, I realize how many experiences and shots I missed out on because I didn’t ask and to me that is a bigger regret! I’m still not great at it but I’m definitely getting better!

To see more of Jen's beautiful work, please visit her Facebook page or her website won't be disappointed!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


London's Bridge Photography

The image by Ashlee Conner Tomes takes me back to when I first adopted my two boys and some of their antics


This very emotional image from Lauren Campbell takes me right to the day we visited my grandmothers grave in Oklahoma with my Papa, who was always in suspenders or bib overalls. Love this submission.

I love the perspective given in this image by Jessica Moore on the stages of our kiddos...they grow up WAY too fast!


 The image by Jennifer Werner McCarren reminds me of the time that I was shown a cow being milked for
 the first time by my great-grandmother and she squirted milk in my eyes!


Meagan Dwyer Photography

The love letter submission from Meagan Dwyer is super sweet and a lost art, nobody writes letters anymore! Love this!


The submission by Amanda Voelker and the absolute joy on the little girls face as she is "escaping" the gentleman reminds me of all the family reunions that I have ever attended! Brilliant submission.

The boy fishing submission by Beth Smith has me hearing the theme song to Andy Griffith show and watching it with my grandmother.

I love the image submitted by Jaclyn Shepard of her recreating the shot of her and her mother wearing the same hat. Super sweet moment

 The image submitted by Rupa Sutton brings National Velvet to mind and watching a young Elizabeth Taylor ride her way into fame!

Mel Karlberg Photography

 The soda shop submission by Melissa Burroughs Karlberg is a modern Norman Rockwell painting. 

Norman Rockwell was my favorite artist growing up, and still very much appreciated in my home!


...and the winner is...

Jen Dale Photography

This image by Jen Dale looks exactly like it is a movie still. The vintage set, clothing and processing are brilliant!


 Thank you Snap Maven, SO much, for letting me be part of this.

 I had a BLAST!!!


it was SO difficult choosing the Top Ten for this as there were SO many great submissions. 

I had a nice little trip down memory lane this week!

Ken Gehring


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Meet Our Guest Judge: Ken Gehring

This week we are honored to welcome Ken Kehring of KgPhotography as a guest judge. Below, he has shared some of his favorite photos, and a little of his world. Thanks for reading! 

1. Tell us about yourself...  I am a father of 2 boys, work full time at the VA in Little Rock and have a passion for photography.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?  I love photographs!  I have always been fascinated by them.  I remember as a child sitting and looking at family photo albums and wondering about the people caputed in the images, what their lives were like.  When I had children I wanted to capture moments of them like the ones I had seen in the albums.  I had a camera at every family function (thank goodness for the digital age!).  When my nice Jessica turned 16 or so, she wanted to get into modeling, so I upgraded my gear and we set out to change the world and here we are today.

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?  EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera Kit with Canon 24-105mm f/4L; EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens; EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Autofocus Lens; Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera W/EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens ; Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens; Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Canon 430EX II Speedlite TTL Shoe-Mount Flash.  I use my 85 for portraits and my 70-200 for weddings.  I want the 100mm macro and a 35mm next.

4. What's your dream project or shoot?  Believe it or not it is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show!  I would LOVE to work for Vickie!

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?  I think my biggest challenge is finding clients that understand who I am as an artist.  I love to create art when I shoot, even when shooting families.  I think in my local area they do not understand my work.

6.  If you had $500 to spend on photography...
How should you spend it?  New gear
How do you wish you could spend it?  Towards the 35mm glass
How would you really spend it?  Pay bills J

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?  Find yourself and shoot for you!  It took me a long time to learn it, but I think I finally have.

"Nostalgia" Mavenista Style


We are starting something a little new here on Snap Maven. 
Each week we will collect and share our own theme inspired images here on the blog. 
We usually share them on the Facebook page,
 but it's nice to have them altogether and archived in the same spot to share with our readers.

Phyllis Meredith Photography

Boys, suspenders, straw hats, marbles, dirt.... Makes me nostalgic for the 1820's that they were living in for that week at Old Sturbridge Village last summer!

Jujujems Art and Portrait Studio

 My take on the nostalgia theme. We were at the memorial of a family member. All she really wanted 

to do was go to the park, but she had to sit and wait for all the grown-ups. Ironically, the man we 

were there to memorialize would have been more than happy to go play with her.


A/Z Photography

 People associate me with a time when movies were pleasant, when women wore pretty dresses in 

films and you heard beautiful music. - Audrey Hepburn


Alethia Rains Photography


  "Nostalgia, this image brings back so many memories. I had bought this necklace at one of the last Pow Wows we went to in Millington Tn, back in 2002. I've held on to this since then and was so happy to pull it back out for a shot reminiscing the old west."

~ Alethia

Lili Love Photography

 dress circa 1971


Bo & The Bean

I usually try to have a quote with my pics, but I'm drawing a blank today. I love that these old toys 
are being remade - it reminds me of being small, when the biggest problems you have are running out 
of daylight before your playing is done, and what flavour ice cream to choose. 

jennifer nobriga photography

this is my image for this week's theme. it's an image of my mother that i took back in the spring and 
had since forgotten about (thank you jana for reminding me). she's italian and has always hated her 
profile (and her nose), but, to me, this image reminds me of something you might see gracing an 
italian coin...and i happen to love her profile.

Meet the Mavenistas! Lili Love of LilI Love Photography

Lili shares for us on Fridays and heads up the Snap Maven U.K. division.
1. Tell us about yourself…
I am a “Mar” to three children Daisy, Phoenix and Leaf, 
and have been married happily-ever-after for 18 years. 
We live in England in the suburbs outside London. 
We are in the process of building an eco house and we cannot wait to have a proper home again,
 it has been a very long process!
I am a wanna-be surfer, knitter and stitcher - extremely rubbish at all three, but always persevering. 
I love walking in the countryside, drinking tea out of flasks, reading and baking, 
although making time for these things is unreachable most days.
Right now I am finding my feet as a parent to older children (they are 11,14 & 17).
2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it right now…
I have always been overly aware of the passing of time 
and I think photography has been my way of dealing with this.
By the time I was 17 I felt that photography was all that I wanted to do 
and I started doing a photography A-Level. 
At the time (1987) it felt a much more male dominated subject and being dyslexic and low in confidence
 I found the technical side of photography completely overwhelming. 
I became so intimidated by anything to do with photography 
that I reached the point where I could not talk to anyone about it or even go into a camera shop.
 Regrettably, I dropped out.
Over 20 years had passed before I finally went back and took the same course. 
I was in my 30’s but ridiculously still terrified, I explained my fears about being “too stupid” 
to my new teacher who told me to come at it from the artistic side 
and worry about the technical stuff later 
and sent me off to look at the work of Julia Margaret Cameron and Sally Mann, 
for me that was a life changing moment. 
I completely overcame my fears, discovering somewhat surprisingly
 (and despite everything I had told myself) that in fact I love learning, 
and that for me being-able-to-create is a central part of being-alive 
(or at least being-sane).
3. My Camera bag,
I shoot with a Canon 5d mark2 and my 50mm lens is almost permanently stuck to the front.
 I do have other lenses, and even a selection of old film cameras
 that presently just sit around looking pretty. 
So this year I have challenged myself to use a different lens or camera each month. 
Next to the 50mm, the lens I use most often 
is probably the 70-200, but I do struggle with the weight of it!
4. Dream project or shoot?
I have two. Ever since I fell in love with Julia Margaret Cameron 
I have wanted to learn to use the wet plate collodion process. 
This is something I cannot shake, just thinking about it makes my stomach tighten and my hands tingle.
Another long-term wish of mine has been to shoot in the water. 
Over ten years ago we stayed in a little cottage in Cornwall, and found there 
a book of beautiful photographs taken by a local photographer.   
This series of atmospheric images captured just a few hours of what must have been a glorious day, 
spent with his children in the ocean and
rock pools of the area. 
I decided then that that was something I would do—eventually. 
But life got ever busier and kids ever more expensive, etc.
and ten years later I still hadn’t found an opportunity. 
Until this past summer, that is, when a friend lent me his old film diving camera.
 I was about as happy as can be, in my wetsuit, on a Welsh beach with this bright yellow camera. 
I cannot wait to get back there next summer.
5. Challenges...
Organisation, business mindedness and I need to be a little bossier – 
I am not massively comfortable directing people.

6. Creative nemesis...
My dad is a pianist and my mum is a painter.
I love music and it is such a huge part of my life, it breaks my heart that I cannot sing a note or play an instrument. In the summer we spend such lovely nights where my husband and the kids sing, him and Daisy on guitar… I wish more than anything I could join in. They bought me a ukelale for my birthday last year but someone sat on it before I learnt a thing.
And I have always wished i could draw and paint, my head is packed full of images that want to be painted. I can “see” them but that is where my creativity stops.

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you 
at the very beginning of your photography journey.
That I did not need anyone’s permission.

To see more of Lili's fabulous imagery, you can catch up with her here...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Meet the Mavenistas! Jana O'Flaherty of Bo & The Bean

  Jana shares for us on Saturdays and announces the new themes on Sundays. 
She also heads up our Snap Maven Canada team!

1. Please tell us about yourself.

This is always such a hard question to answer :)  I am a mother and wife with a desire for  balance and fairness.  Conflict makes me nervous, but I am also fiercely protective of the people I love.  I am over-sensitive, a procrastinator, and a bit temperamental.  I love family, friends, good food and losing myself in a book.  Photography is my hobby and outlet, and I'm still amazed that other people like my work!

 2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

I would like my style to be clean, vibrant and crisp.  I don't like visual clutter (there is enough of it in my 'real life' lol) so I think that is why I prefer my photos to look the way they do.

 3. What sparked your passion for photography?

I've had cameras since I was little.  I still have a ton of the photos I took when I was young, and things like composition and lighting didn't matter to me.  I fell in love with photography again after having my daughter, and realizing that with a photo, I could keep the memories of her childhood alive forever.

 4. What's in your camera bag right now?

Hmmm, a D600, an 85 1.8 and a 35 1.8 (which is a DX but I still throw it on and use it until I save up for that gorgeous Sigma!),  an extra battery, some kleenex,  and a notepad and pen.  Pretty boring :)

 5. What is your dream shoot or project?

I would love to shoot for a cookbook!  It sounds small, but I would also love to do a huge Mothers/children shoot.  I'm not in business so I don't see it happening soon, but I know I am seldom in photos for a variety of reasons and it breaks my heart to think that my kids won't have those tangible memories when I am gone.  Every child deserves to have a pile of pics of their mom exactly as they remember her.

 6. What are some of the hurdles you have had to overcome this far in your photography journey?

Time (and learning how to better manage it).  Money and gear envy lol.  My biggest hurdle is absolutely myself.  I want to be an amazing photographer whose images appeal to people, but I struggle trusting that I can actually do that!  I'm finally learning that if I love a shot, then sometimes that is enough.

7. What advice would you give to other photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
Learn the basics.  You can't break the rules intentionally unless you know what they are :)  Supportive family and friends are so important, but sometimes an outsider's eye is needed to balance that out.  I look back at older shots now and cringe lol.  It is not a race so slow down and enjoy learning and seeing your improvement.  Sometimes you need to disconnect a bit - stop staring at all the gorgeous work your idols are producing when it starts making you feel badly about your own.  Other photographers' work should inspire you so if it doesn't, walk away for a bit and focus on what makes your heart happy.

 You can see more of Jana's inspiring work at her facebook page Bo & The Bean.

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