Friday, May 30, 2014

Feature Friday with Melina Nastazia Photography!

Our last week's challenge was 'feet' and our winner is Melina Nastazia Photography.   She has been featured on our blog before (here), so this time we've asked her to share a bit about a personal project she has been working on.

Personal Project: A Creative Couple Series
When my daughters were born, I fell more deeply in love with photography: recording memories gained significance, there were continuous milestones to be captured, and every nuanced expression on my girls' faces was a source of inspiration. Most of my family lives a continent away, in Greece, and so photography became a way to share a part of our everyday with them.
When looking back on family albums, however, I noticed that my husband and I had very few together. With the exception of a few awkwardly composed cellphone selfies, our most recent couple images dated back to our Wedding in 2009. 

Following this realization, I got the creative push that I needed when I took Emma Wood's amazing workshop: Timeless Photography and Emotive Expression. Justin and I both share a love for film noir, so we pored together over movie stills and scouted locations. Our acting background and love for theater took over as we discussed characters and wardrobe choices. 
We took our first three film noir inspired couple pictures and an ongoing project was born:

After that, we decided to tackle characters from a play that deeply resonates with both of us: "A Streetcar Named Desire". In the movie this moment takes place at the bottom of a gorgeous spiral staircase illuminated by beautiful streetlights. We couldn't find a location that fully pleased we decided to take a plunge and rely on simplicity and the power of imagination. We set up in our narrow Brooklyn apartment and used a doorway, a lamp and a ladder. It wasn't exactly what I had initially visualized, but I think I like it even more!

We now draw inspiration from anything and everything that moves us or sparks our interest--beautiful light, a song lyric, an intriguing album cover.

This last image was inspired by our mutual love and fascination with clowns. Justin was quite enamored by his clowning classes in graduate school. The character of Pierrot, a sad clown sitting on the moon, has always struck an emotional cord with me. There is something so vulnerable and romantic about the character: heartbreak rooted in acceptance--but with a longing that ignites hope! We thought these characters had something universal and relatable to offer so we wanted to tell the story. "Under the Circus Fog" for me is about a brief, somber moment of reality in the midst of putting on a show, cloaked by the surrounding fog. It is an exhausting job to constantly try to please everyone around you...or make them laugh!

This project has been a wonderful artistic and emotional outlet for both of us, as well as a  creative bonding experience. I hope our girls will love to have these images of their parents to look back on someday!

Please find more of Melina's stunning work here:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Fun Equestrian Shoot with Eastview Photography

Out guest judge this past week was one of our own Mavenistas, Janice Osborne of Eastview Photography. Check out this great shoot she shared with us! 

For two years in a row I have been fortunate enough to participate in an equestrian photo shoot. It's run by a local photographer and there are roughly about 30 photographers at each event. It is an absolute blast! I love horses. I think they're beautiful creatures. They're so majestic and yet vulnerable, fierce but timid. The thrill of having them gallop straight toward you as you click away is thrilling to me. The first shoot was in the hills of Norco, California and the most recent was at the Santa Ana River. My camera survived the water just phone not so much! It was worth it though. I'll be going again in October and I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot believe the amazing submissions for this week's theme. I'll tell you it was THE hardest thing ever to pick only ten images. It made me dizzy! On the first dry run I realized that I had picked 30 photos! Thank you so much for having me as a guest was an honor to look at all of your wonderful work.


I have no idea what she is doing in this photo but I love it! I don't know if she's falling or jumping or flying but I love the motion, the colors and those little feet! And this was free lensed..stop it!


I have a friend who taught me to fall in love with out of focus photography. That being said this was kind of gasp worthy in the OOF department! It's like a long ago dream of someone's childhood. Absolutely beautiful!



This is just stunning. I love the mystery of photographing someone from the back. And of course..there's the doll's feet!


I love the textures and colors in this picture. The contrast between the old door and their pretty dresses and gold slippers is kind of magical!


I love everything about this portrait. The textures, the lighting and the processing. It's sweet how her little fingers are grasping her toes.


The light, the shadows, the little pink leggings..I love everything about this!


I am enamored with ballerina feet! The moody lighting really stood out to me here..and they way her shoes are kind of scrunched up! It's adorable.


I love that this is a feminine and yet strong portrait. She looks like she's ready to take on the world with those feet!


I remember piling up on the couch with my kids when they were little. Such a beautiful capture. The light is to die for. This photo says love and family to me!


Oh how I love the way she is sitting with her little feet curled up underneath. My girls always sat like that! I love the soft colors and hazy processing. It's a memory for a mother's heart!



I love so much about this photo I almost don't know where to start! It looks like it's from a storybook or a movie. You can see the love in this dog's eyes. It just made me smile that his (her!) paw is in there too..and it's almost bigger than those little feet! It's an enchanting photo.


Congratulations everyone!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Maven Flyer Vol. 13

Welcome to 
 The Maven Flyer
Vol. 13
For the week of May 26, 2014

Here we will offer suggestions for places for you to submit your images
for sharing and competition.
If you have or know of a sharing community or theme, please let us know
by emailing the name, link, and specifics to

At this time you will need to visit each page to learn the specifics of the pages 
rules and deadlines for sharing images.

Happy Sharing Everyone!

Snap Maven ~ Excitement, Weekly Favorite, Experiments
Clicking Moms ~ Before and after
Distorted Beauty~ Object Used In An Unusual Way
In Beauty & Chaos~ Morning, Weekly Favorite
Evoking You~ Sparkle
The Dark Room~Deep, Weekly Favorites
The Gratitude Collaborative ~Favorite Spaces
Giggles&Goldfish~Everyday Favorites
Picture Me Project~Include yourself in the image somehow!
We Were There Too~ Get in the photo with your kids!
Lemonade and Lenses~Weekly Favorite
Mozi Magazine~Weekly Favorite
Seniorologie~ Weekly Favorite(senior)
Love Photographs Beautifully~Sky, Weekly favorite
Measure In Love~ Hearts
Photographer's Connection~Weekly Favorite
Photo Artistry~Weekly Favorite, Monthly theme Reflections
Snap Junkies~ Foreground blur
Life Defined Project~Recent Favorite
Sweet Little Muse~Red, White and Blue
Little Bellows~Backlit, Weekly favorite
Photo Corner~ weekly favorite
That Other Photography Page~Broken
By The Light~ Weekly favorite
Life's Experience p52~ Remember
 Fleeting Lights ~ Creative Edit
The Monochromatic Lens~Weekly Favorite
My Beautifully Chaotic Lifestyle~ Beautifully Chaotic
Let the Kids Dress Themselves~ May favorite
SHOTMagazine~ open, one photo per day
Faradiddles~ Not people
The Organic PhotograpHERS~ Bare bones
A Day in the Life~ Childhood
Honestly, Photography  ~ Citrus
Light Reflections ~ Framed
M.O.O.D. ~Soulful
Minimalist Mondays ~Minimalist
Euphoric Capture~Blink
Yip Yap Girl~Black and white
The Inner Lens~Confident
Chasing Sunflares ~ ?
The Masterpiece~Celebration


That concludes the links for this week!
If there is a link you'd like to see here, please let us know at
Please allow 2-3 weeks for addition to The Maven Flyer
Same goes for errors, though we hope to get those fixed right away.
Future issues of The Maven Flyer will be posted on Monday evenings.

You can't get featured if you don't submit!!

Go for it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

{Feet} Mavenista Style

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.


Funny thing this theme of feet. When I was little I hated feet. I'll never forget having to sit in the "bad kid" chair because I refused to take my shoes off for nap time. My mom told me even as a baby I would scream and freak out at the sight of feet. When my oldest son was born, I started this chart of sorts representing our family. With each child I stamped their little foot. The paper is now old and tattered, thankfully I was able to capture it with my camera to have forever.  
Were their feet ever this small? Maybe it was just a dream <3 


The members of the Shoes Are The Worst Invention Ever Club tend to have very muddy feet.

Phyllis Meredith Photography


And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Khalil Gibran

Jana Butman Photography


 "To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
Soren Kierkegaard

Photography 2204

A/Z Photography

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi


i am so very, very grateful to be able to walk, i will never take this for granted not for one day. i have problems with my back and spent a long time unable to walk. sometimes i feel sorry for myself that i can't move like i used to and i can't run, but i can walk and that makes me happy, really happy. and grateful. "i took off my shoes and walked into the woods, i felt lost and found with every step i took." - bright eyes. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekly Favorites and Experiments May 24

We are thrilled to see the gorgeous weekly favorite and experiment submissions coming in!  Here are some of our favourites:

I love new baby cry - it is so very different from toddler crying or even older baby 'I want it now' crying.
Andrea Surak Photography

The shadows, the lines, that sweet pouty face and that baby belly - perfection.
Meghan Nesom Photography

I feel like I'm immediately immersed in the story - the shoes, oh how I love the shoes!
Fresh Modern Photography (experiment)

The shallow depth of field is a huge pull for me in this shot.  The peaceful colours, the curves, all of it is just so very lovely.
Sarah Rypma Photography LLC

This boy has such an incredible gaze.  I feel like he just pulls me in with those stunning dark eyes and that sweet hint of a smile.  I think the centre composition is a perfect choice for this shot!
The Art of Birth

There is something slightly haunting about this - and I love it!  
Tonya Cook Photography (experiment)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feature Friday with Chelsey Hawes Photography!

The challenge winner of last week's 'Country' theme has shared some more of her gorgeous work as well as given us a peek into what makes her tick!  Read on to learn more about Chelsey Hawes....

1. Please tell us about yourself...

First, this is the question that will take me the longest. Which is why I've avoided the "bio" section of my photography page this long! Why is describing yourself so difficult? So here goes, I'm a mother, wife, photographer, runner, coffee-lover, and road trip enthusiast. I love to cook but never bake. My family and I live in an almost 100 year old house in a cute little town in the Pacific Northwest. I taught 5th grade until my babies came along and now I'm primarily a stay-at-home-mom and do photography both as a hobbyist and professionally. 

 2. Can you describe your style in 3 words?

Cheerful, simple, and relational.  

 Why those words?
Over the last year, I've found myself most drawn to photographing families and children. Although I adore styled shoots, I love capturing who my subject is in that moment. When a mother closes her eyes and pictures her child, I want my image to be true to that vision. In terms of families, I'm passionate about capturing the connections between family members. The love that we have for our family members is often difficult to fully express and I think that capturing interactions through photography is a way that people feel like they have a tangible expression of those feelings. 

 3. What sparked your passion for photography?
Two things sparked my interest in photography: my daughter and bokeh. I bought my first DSLR three years ago, while I was pregnant with my daughter. My goal was to simply document her life and I did that in a very straightforward way for almost a year. Then I stumbled across a tutorial on how to take photos of Christmas lights and was instantly drawn in by the bokeh in the image. I bought a 50mm 1.8, started practicing with it and realized that in addition to documenting, I also had the desire to create. 

 4. What's in your camera bag right now?
My bag is a purse that I converted into a camera bag. A few years ago, my family decided to exchange handmade gifts for Christmas and my husband sewed a camera bag insert for my purse. It's worked really well but after a few years of hard use, it's days are numbered. I'll be sad to see it go (well, mostly sad). I shoot with a Canon Mark ii and switch between a Tamron 28-75 (for day to day), a 50mm 1.4, and an 85mm 1.8. I also keep a lens pen handy, a remote shutter, tissues, and bribery candy :) 

 5. What is your dream shoot or project?
I'm really passionate about documenting my family. I recently completed a 365 project of my daughter from age two to three and I'm currently doing a project 52 with my 4 month old son. Once I'm done with that, I think I'd like to attempt a family portrait per month, which is a stretch for me since I'd be getting in front of the camera (and would finally get some use out of that remote shutter). 

Professionally, I love photographing births but quickly learned that having two small kids at home is not conducive to the "on-call" lifestyle. However, in the last 6 months, I've done several hospital visits after the babies of friends and family were born and I've found that photographing the parents and baby within the first day is pretty amazing to experience. Each time I arrive at the hospital/birthing center, I get butterflies in my stomach. It's such an beautiful thing to capture. I'm hoping to start offering hospital/birthing center visits to my clients. I feel like that will tide me over until my babies are old enough for me to offer birth photography. 

 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?

Until fairly recently, I had this idea that a "perfect" image had to be a certain way and that I was educating myself in order to learn how to attain that perfect image. Like there was some checklist out there and if all the boxes were filled, your image was "perfect". Now I realize that photography is so much more subjective than I initially thought. What some photographers would consider too warm of an edit or over exposed, others might think it's spot on. What matters is that I created what I set out to create. 

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers?
Use your resources and make connections. At the beginning of my photography journey, I took a class from an amazing local photographer and she offered to meet up with me at her favorite photography spot and show me around. I took her up on her offer and it was the single best thing I did in becoming a photographer. Not only did we become fast friends but she became an incredible resource along the way (and continues to be). Now that I've been doing this for a few years, I've had friends ask me photography questions and I am more than happy to share whatever knowledge I have. I think that the majority of photographers are eager to share what they've learned so don't be afraid to ask.

What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
I wish that I would've learned to say no to clients sooner. When I was building my portfolio, I was so excited to be asked to do a shoot that I would bend over backwards to accommodate client requests. As time went on and my clientele grew, it took me a little while to realize that the conditions of a shoot had to work for me also. I ended up doing way more shoots than I should've and quickly burned out. After my son was born, I decided to be much more intentional with my schedule and the number of shoots I take on and it's helped me feel more balanced between my home life and work life.

You can find more of Chelsey's work on Facebook or her Website!

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