Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly favourites and Experiments

So many beautiful shots - I had trouble choosing my favourites <3  -  Jana O./Photography 2204

This experiment caught my eye because it is so very opposite from what I do.  It is sweet, and mystical, and childlike.

This shot melts my heart.  There is absolutely nothing like the grin on a baby's face because he or she is getting love from a sibling, nothing.  So so sweet.

The water gives such a fabulous sense of movement, and I love the conversion with the deep, deep blacks.  Most of all I love the expression on the girl's face, and her goggles.

Gorgeous leading lines, and beautiful soft tones make this such a pretty summer shot!

The expression on this little girl's face totally makes this shot for me.  The frame is fairly clean, leaving the focus on her, with her arms stretched up and the excitement in her smile.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet This Week's Judge: Sarah Cornish

This week, we have the talented Sarah Cornish of My Four Hens Photography. In addition to her enviable skills as an artist, she works hard to inspire and support others. So read, and be inspired! 

1.                  Tell us about yourself...

I am a lover of light, childhood, and Jesus. I am an introverted people person. I am a mother of five in a growing family, striving to make the most of the chaos and imperfection. I embrace the “real.” I find beauty in all things, especially those that others may not find beautiful. I aspire to inspire. :)

2.                  What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I began in my teens but I remember wanting a polaroid camera for my 10th birthday. I had the chance to road trip all over the USA and use a film camera of my aunt's to capture our journey. I sadly have no clue what happened to all the film, but something profound bloomed and took root then. It never left me. Now I strive to capture moments and snap shots of our life as well as help preserve memories for my clients.

3.                  What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

I am a Canon and shoot with bevy of Canon L Prime lenses. I keep a full gear list here: But I am finding my favorite lens is probably my 24L and ironically the least used is my 35L. Not sure why though. I just haven't picked it up as much. That can change next week though. I am all over the place lol!

4.                  What's your dream project or shoot?

You know, years a go I might have thought something stylized. I have done a ton of photography projects. I am still knee deep in many. My favorite thing to shoot in my children. I love being in the mountains and outdoors (being in Colorado it is hard not to right?!) But I honestly think I would love to photograph homeless women and children. Maybe even share awareness. I know many do it well and I wouldn't be the first but we all have a story to tell and our perspectives. It is a goal for when my children are a bit older since it is dangerous work I would assume.

5.                  What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

There are so many. Time management is certainly a big one. Even carving time out to shower is tough some days. If I were to dig deep though I would say I hate conformity. I don't want my work to really look like anyone else's either though. I want people to feel something.. anything when they see my work. I am terrified at some point my work will be normalized.

6.                  If you had $500 to spend on photography...
How should you spend it?

I would probably spend it on marketing or something business related.

How do you wish you could spend it?
I would give it to someone that needed it more.

How would you really spend it?
See the first answer ha! Or probably a photography related bill.

7.                  Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

It's okay to be different. Embrace it. Your voice is your biggest asset. I never really tried to fit in but I maybe would have put myself out there more. I also wish I would have disregarded more of the nay sayers. Not the people that had a genuine constructive bit of advice but those that were nasty for the sake of being nasty. Not everyone has to like you.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for being with us this week! 

Feature Friday with Ann Thompson Photography!

Ann Thompson of Ann Thompson Photography is the winner of last week's 'femininity' challenge, and she has graciously shared a bit about herself with us.  Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever you love!) and read on!

1.  1. Please tell us about yourself...

My name is Ann and I am a stay at home mom, and I've been married for 21 years.  I live in Washington state on a small hobby farm with horses, dogs, cats, chickens and a mini donkey.  I am a lover of animals of all kinds.  I love to take pictures of my human children and animal children daily and combine it into an album at the end of each year.  I started my photography business one year ago.

2.  Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
I feel like these words are ever changing, but right now I would say that they are emotive, honest and natural.  I love to capture emotion and evoke emotion while looking at my photographs.  My goal in my sessions is capture someone's true personality, a look or a moment that will always be a special memory.  I love the interaction in families and that special way they act around each other.

3.  What sparked your passion for photography?
I've always loved photography.  I think my first camera was a Polaroid and I took pictures of absolutely everything.  I took classes in high school and college as well, but got serious about it two years ago.  I spent a year really learning my camera and how to process images before I started my business.

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

I shoot with a Nikon D800 and a variety of lenses.  I have a 135, 85, 70-200, 35, 105 macro, lens baby composer pro sweet 35 and my newest is the Sigma Art 50 1.4 which is super, super sharp and I love it.  Most of the time my 85 or 70-200 is on my camera.  There is also some gum in there, memory cards, and a spare battery.

5.  What is your dream shoot or project?

I have a photographer friend and we met online in a class, but have never met in person.  My dream shoot would be to meet up with her and shoot together.  We have really hit it off and I know we would have so much fun together, but we live clear across the country from each other so hopefully someday that can become a reality.

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 think my biggest misconception is I thought I could learn it all and master it.  I've realized that learning photography is a lifelong process and I will always be learning and pushing myself to learn new things.

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

 My advice for newbie photographers is that this isn't a race, there isn't a finish line and only compare yourself to you and your progress.  This is a journey and we all travel on our own road at our own pace.  Find your inner voice and let that shine in your photographs.  I also wish someone would have told me how expensive lenses are.  That is where I would spend my money.  I am somewhat of a lens junkie and want to try them all.

You can find more of Ann's beautiful work here:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Monday Musings (on a Thursday) with a Mavenista~ Thoughts on Responsible Perception

I had every intention of writing about something different today, 
but then I saw something that stuck in my craw. 
Then I saw something that disturbed me.
 Finally I learned something from a friend 
that I would never have known 
without a little guidance from the urban dictionary. 

Amazingly they are all related,
 though as I tell you about them separately 
you may wonder how in the world they possibly could be,
 but they are, 
and it was all too much for me 
not to use this platform to make a commentary about it.

First thing this morning, my Facebook feed
 told me about a viral video that had been shared on a friend's timeline. 
I am curious and the wonderful anonymity 
that Facebook allows me 
lets my stalker tendencies run amok. 
 This is the video...

So aside from the very obvious lack of vocal talent present in the video, 
and the overall seemingly positive message,
I find one of the lyrics questionable.  
I have both daughters and sons so these words gave me pause.

" If you only knew what I could see, 
You'd understand why I need your modesty."

Wait a second. Are they saying what I think they saying?

Have they just made what they think of me my responsibility?

That is two steps shy of saying that a girl was asking for it based on what she was wearing.

Guess what guys, (and girls)
 last time I checked, 
you are responsible for your own thought life- not me.

That is not to say
 that I didn't encourage my older daughter 
to wear appropriately modest attire
 that was suited to whatever event or environment she might be in. 
I certainly preferred her to be covered 
and more importantly comfortable, 
which modest attire tends to be, 
more so than things that are short, tight, or revealing. 

Guess what though, 
the concept of modesty is very cultural. 
What we consider extremely modest in this country 
could be considered indecent
 by some cultural standards in the world today.

So is it always the girl's responsibility 
to never go out
 unless covered head to toe, 
lest some poor unsuspecting young man 
be tempted into impure thoughts
do we teach our sons
and daughters
that their perceptions are their own responsibility
and that those thoughts are controllable for most of us.

Of course, media 
would love to help teach us 
what perceptions 
we should be having 
and therein 
is where the problem mostly lies. 

Despite generations of messages 
teaching us about gender equality 
and female empowerment,
the messages were always mixed,  and still are,
telling us that in order to please our male counterparts
and other women as well, 
we would have to be sexy but modest, 
smart but subservient,
thin but healthy, 
and a whole slew of other 
often contradictory 

It's enough to make a girl go insane, 
and a guy too 
since he most likely
has no idea 
what he's really supposed to think
 about a girl 
or how to treat her
 after all the years
of media brain washing.

 this is not an essay on the merits of feminism, 
just an observation 
on how skewed 
the world  has really become.

This leads me to the second thing I saw on Facebook today 
that disturbed me so much I was shaking and crying.

It was a video of men with machine guns 
systematically killing other defenseless men 
who had been tied up and placed face down in the dirt side by side.  
It was not a simulation,
 it was real documentary footage and it was horrifying, 
and it was on Facebook for any and all to see. 
That video I will not link. 
I wish I hadn't seen what I did see 
and I didn't watch all of it.

it took years for Facebook and Instagram 
to allow perfectly innocent images 
of women breastfeeding their babies
 to be in the feed without removal. 
You can literally show
 a video of people being shot in the head, 
but God forbid 
we see the nipple of a nursing mom 
or a three year old little girl in the bathtub- 
of course
 if the girl looks closer to 16
 and is wearing pasties 
then it is a-ok! 

The final thing that caused a blip in my radar today 
was a euphemism from the urban dictionary 
that I did not know existed before today. 
My friend did not know before today either
 which is why she shared about it. 
She did not define it, 
but instead let us go look it up
 for ourselves at our own discretion.
I will be just as classy and only link it for you. 

Suffice it to say
 that it references things 
a person is supposedly 
willing to do,
 or asking for 
if they are wearing a particular item of clothing- 
what some would consider 
modest clothing, 
mind you.

"If you knew what, I could see, you would know why I need your modesty"

 or should it be

"Your perception of me, is once again my responsibility" 

Even though your perception and information may be in fact seriously flawed?

So what's my point? Do I even have one, you may be asking.

I do have a point and it is this...
This is a very mixed up world and time in history.

It's also an exciting and wonderful time in history 
because even the least of us
can make observations and find incongruities in this world,
and then find a voice 
and a platform 
to begin a conversation.
A conversation
 that more and more people 
will be able to hear 
and join in on 
because of the remarkable time in history we live in.

Of course, there are those who want to join the conversation 
not with the aim to discuss, 
but ultimately to persuade, dominate, and control.
Don't let them.
Don't let their perceptions
 be your responsibility- 
get them to think! 
Keep observing,
 keep conversing,
 keep finding new platforms.
As photographers and artists, 
we have a wonderfully unique position
 to do just that,
and our images 
can be worth 
so much
than just
a thousand words.

If this post got you to thinking and
if you happen to be in the L.A. area this weekend, 
you might want to check out this show 
before it closes- which is this weekend. 

Why do we censor some things and not others?

Love and Blessings.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{femininity} Mavenista Style

"A grand adventure is about to begin." ~ Winnie the Pooh


“As for girls, they must risk everything for freedom, and give everything for passion... loving everything that their hearts and their bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.” 
― Roman Payne


Phyllis Meredith Photography

“A taste for adventure is by no means a masculine monopoly.” 
― Lloyd Alexander


Alethia Rains Photography


Flowers have always struck me as incredibly feminine, not only because they are sweetly scented and beautiful, but because even when they age, and their petals fall, they hang on to that beauty.  


Thank you to Snap Maven for having me as a guest judge this week. I really enjoyed seeing everyone's submissions for the theme femininity. It was very hard to only pick ten! 

Love the strong profile. in viewing this photo I get the feeling of her being strong and feminine. 


 Breastfeeding a child is something that is so uniquely feminine. I love her windswept hair in this.



  I couldn't have titled this image better that the artist, "quiet strength".


Love the vintage dress coupled with the feminine pose and the beautiful window light.


 A Momma with her babies is feminine and beautiful.


Everything about this photo screams feminine yet it is subtle in its delivery.


Love all these mommas together nursing.


Love the two different representations of the theme in one photo. 


Feminine curves the glimpse of her engagement ring and the movement in her hair combine to make a beautiful feminine image. 


The curves of the out of focus figure are so distinctly feminine and the light is gorgeous. 


And the winner is...

I chose this image because I love the possibilities of the open winding road ahead of the subject 
and that because she is faceless she can be anyone of us.  
The movement in her dress and in her step suggest she is on a mission or a journey 
or on the road to adventure and is reminiscent 
of the journey we all are on as women and photographers. 


Melissa Stissi Photography

Instagram @Melissastissiphotography

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Maven Flyer Vol. 26

Welcome to 
 The Maven Flyer
Vol. 25
For the week of August 25th, 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 ~ , Imperfection, Weekly Favorite Experiments
Clicking Moms ~ Framed
Distorted Beauty~ Unusual DOF
In Beauty & Chaos~ Peace, Weekly Favorite
Evoking You~ Hands
The Dark Room~Brand New, Weekly Favorites
The Gratitude Collaborative ~Summer Favorite
Fantastically Flawed~ Shadow (until Tuesday)
Spark~ Rule of Thirds
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)
Photographer's Connection~Weekly Favorite
Photo Artistry~Weekly favorites, Monthly theme "Sun and surf"
Light InspiredTo submit, simply post 1-2 images on our wall along with the emotion you are conveying 
Simple Sally~Summer
Sweet Little Muse~Negative Space
Little Bellows~Back to School, Weekly favorite
Photo Corner~ weekly favorite
In Your Own Light~Weekly favorite
By The Light~   End of Summer
Life's Experience p52~My Style
 Fleeting Lights ~ Peaceful
The Monochromatic Lens~Weekly Favorite
My Beautifully Chaotic Lifestyle~ Beautifully Chaotic
Let the Kids Dress Themselves~ Beginnings
SHOTMagazine~ open, one photo per day
Faradiddles~ On Hiatus (No theme)
The Organic PhotograpHERS~ Foodie-Italian
A Day in the Life~ At the end of the day
Honestly, Photography  ~ Silhouette
M.O.O.D. ~Faceless
Minimalist Mondays ~Minimalist
Euphoric Capture~All in the details
Yip Yap Girl~Eyes Closed
The Inner Lens~Scared
Chasing Sunflares ~ Shadow
The Masterpiece~Couples
3 Cats Photo~ Animals (wild or domestic) (all of August)
Stand Alone Magazine~ Flight
The Snappy Mama~ Creative Light
Photographer Obsessed~Movement
In shadow of life~BW weekly favorites
The Creativity Project- August- home (until September 9th)
Po├ętique~ selected poem(new every two weeks)
Boys Will Be Boys~Beach

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!

Meet This Week's Judge: Melissa Stissi

This week we had Melissa of Melissa Stissi Photography. Please enjoy reading about what helps her to create such beautiful, natural photos!

1. Tell us about yourself...

     I am a wife, a mother and a lover of beauty.   I have become a chaser of light and an observer of shadow.  I have a love of gardening, cooking and reading.  I revel in quiet and a good cup of tea.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

      My passion was ignited by the birth of my son. I felt a responsibility to record his growth and the magic of his childhood in photos.  My hobby quickly become and obsession of sorts and is now fueled by a love of learning as well as a love of recording detail that would have been otherwise missed or forgotten.  Macro of flowers and insects has become a favorite for me.  I often flip through my own work and marvel at the growth I have made in a few short years and also at how quickly time passes and how happy I am to have recorded those moments.

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

     A Canon 6D and a Rebel T2i. I have an assortment of prime lens as well as a 70-200 and a 28-75 zoom    lens.  My macro is a constant favorite as well as the 70-200. My least used is my 35mm.

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

   The answer to this question changes with my mood and the week. Lol.  But right now I would like to gain a really solid foundation in studio light.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

      Self doubt…. One minute I am in love with the work I just produced and the next I am not so sure.  And then the cycle repeats. But I think that is par for the course in any creative endeavor.  It is what pushes us to try something different the next time around..

6.  If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it?

How do you wish you could spend it?
   I would put it towards a 16-35mm lens.  As I often find my 35mm not wide enough.

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

     The more you learn and know the more you realize you don’t know!

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