Friday, May 29, 2015

Feature Friday with Haley Cummins Photography!

The talented Haley Cummins of Haley Cummins Photography is the winner of last week's 'embracing the shadows' challenge.  Read on to learn more about Haley, and of course to see more of her beautiful work!

1. Please tell us about yourself...
I am a 22-year-old mother of two (an almost-2-yo and a 6-week-old)! I am happily married to the man of my dreams, and we live in South Carolina. The beach is where I'm the happiest. I live for Christ, and my husband and I are very passionate about international missions. We hope to one day pack up and leave the states, to follow God into the nations.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Dreamlike, Emotional, Alive.
Whenever I go to capture a photograph, I always have an image in my head of the end result. That image is inspired by life happening around me. When I watch my son running like wild through our home, I see life through his little eyes. I want to bring that vision to life in my photographs of him. While shooting and editing, I try to draw out the emotion, bring his dreams into reality, and create a photo that's alive and moving.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
I got my first film slr when I was 11, and I loved it. I was quickly anxious to go digital, and once I did nothing could slow me down. Obsessed isn't really a strong enough word for what I became. You can ask anyone who knew me through middle and high school...I never stopped using my camera. The thing that really sparked my passion for the art was seeing beautiful photographs taken by every day people. I realized with a bit of work, I could produce art, and so I never stopped pursuing it.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
My Nikon D3100 (definitely ready for an upgrade lol), my 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, and 18-105mm. 

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
I actually really love abstract photography. Levitation, self portraits, fantasy. I would love to find a beautiful location and have lots of help creating a fantasy-type portrait of myself or someone else.

6. What are some misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed and how?
I thought that the more expensive your equipment, the better your work would be. As nice as the expensive lenses and cameras are, they aren't what make you an artist. I learned to shoot on a little point and shoot camera. All I could really do with it was learn about composition, but that definitely strengthened me. For years after that I shot with a basic dslr and the kit lens. I was always anxious to get more gear, which is fine and has definitely helped my image. But I learned that you don't need tons of gear and tons of money to be a photographer.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning? 
Find your own style. I obsessed over every other photographer in the world, and becoming just like them. I learned the long and hard way that it's so much more satisfying to shoot what YOU want to shoot, the way YOU want to shoot it. Find out what your passionate about, and the style you want to portray, and dedicate yourself to that. Don't try to stretch yourself in every direction you can with photography. Newborns, families, weddings, events, lifestyle, studio...pick a few that don't exhaust you and that you really love. Study them and create work that YOU like. Something I really struggled with was getting clients to like my work. I changed my style a lot to please everyone around me. Since then I've learned that if I put my own style to it's full potential, there are people who will love it and even pay for it. Don't be afraid to be yourself.

Find more of Haley's gorgeous work here:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Week's Judge: Jana O'Flaherty

Our own Jana O'Flaherty, of Photography 2204, is judging this week's "delicious" theme. She has shared a few of her film photos with us, and some thoughts on using film in a digital era. 

While it would seem most appropriate to share some of my food work, and food along with food photography is definitely a passion, I've opted to go in another direction.

Dabbling in film is expensive and frustrating for me, but the photos are just so timeless.  I am fortunate to have a father who has passed on some cameras to me.  When I joined a retreat in Kalaloch this past January, I brought my new-to-me Nikon F80 and crossed my fingers (a roll I shot with it before was filled with shots with missed focus, so I was hopeful that the issue was me or the lens, not the camera).  Sadly, this roll came back with the same focus issues but despite that, I love these shots. 

All 4 shot with Nikon F80, Portra 400, developed and scanned at FIND

I also used my older Olympus OM2n.  This camera is a bit beat up, and it's manual focus so I really struggle with using it when shooting people, but the results always make me happy.

Shot with Olympus OM2n, Ektar, developed and scanned at FIND

My results are very hit and miss, and I don't often understand why a shot worked or didn't, but right now I'm enjoying the experience and loving the surprise when scans arrive.  In fact, I'm really looking forward to working film into my client work as well as my personal work.
Shot with Olympus OM2n, Portra 160, developed and scanned at FIND

Jana O'Flaherty of Photography 2204 is a professional photographer living in Thunder Bay, ON.  She loves her family, friends, strong coffee and good food (a glass of Riesling now and then doesn't hurt either).  Jana strives to produce work that is distinct and evocative through storytelling and lifestyle images, using both digital and film.  While simplicity is the hallmark of Jana's food work, her family photography focuses on genuine connections and emotion.

Website -
Facebook -

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{embracing the shadows}

I am simply overwhelmed by the submissions this week!  I saw so many unique and beautiful ways that shadows were embraced to help draw out the emotion of the image - looking through all of them was so inspiring for me!  Thank you to everyone who participated :)  It was SO hard, but here are my favorites, in no particular order.

I love the feeling of innocence in this image.  
The black and white conversion and the use of strong shadows draws me to their white dresses and  anticipation for their exciting day.
Rebecca Healy Photography


This colors and tones in this image are beautiful, 
and I love the authenticity of the moment that has been captured. 
Kerri Turner Photography


I love the composition of this image, the details it includes and the way the sun is kissing his little curls. 
 There is a whole story of childhood wrapped up in this one image.
The Megan Hassold Photography Co.


This image feels so raw and beautiful to me.  
The emptiness of the room only serves to emphasize the beautiful bond between mother and baby.  Not to mention, the light is simply dreamy :) 
Cara Soulia Photography


This girls expression is so captivating.  
A beautiful classic portrait that has just a slight air of mystery to it.  


The strong horizontal shadows in this image beautifully emphasize the boy's serious expression.  
I feel a sense of tension and mood from it that wouldn't have carried the same effect 
had the shadows not been incorporated.
Kelly Jacobi Photography


I love the classic use of light and shadow in this and the spontaneous feel to it.....the little smirk on his face
makes it look like he may have just been caught being slightly mischievous.


My eyes just want to keep exploring this image.  I love all the and sister taking turns practicing
in a room full of books and special possessions that subtly tell the story of this family. 
Jenny Gildea Photography


I just love the way this image is composed.  It's strong geometric shapes and beautiful lines add so much depth and dimension to the image.......depth that that is beautifully contrasted by the small silhouette of the child sitting on the floor.  


This is moment is so beautifully captured.  I love the deep shadows and tones of the image.....and the feeling of
calm and quiet that goes with it. 
Charissa Gilliland Photography


And the winner is.......

This quiet image is so powerful.  In this incredibly tender embrace between mother and child, I can feel the calm of the moment and their love for each other.......But I also feel a slight sense of relief from mom that her baby has fallen quietly asleep in her arms....the beautiful mix of joy and exhaustion present in those those precious early days with a new baby.  

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful work with me this week.  It's been an honor to guest judge and I am incredibly inspired by the gorgeous, and incredibly emotive, work I had the privilege to explore. 

"Shadows give depth and dimension to my life. I believe in embracing my duality, in learning to let darkness and light, peacefully co-exist, as illumination.” - Jaeda DeWalt


Jen Bilodeau Photography

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Maven Flyer Vol. 22

Welcome to 
 The Maven Flyer
Vol. 22
For the week of May 26, 2015

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
Include "Please Add This Page to the Flyer"
in the subject line so we won't miss it.

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 ~ Food is a passion, food is love
Clicking Moms ~ Spring
Distorted Beauty~ Blown highlights 
In Beauty & Chaos~ Boyhood, Weekly Favorites
Evoking You~ ?, weekly favorite
The Dark Room~  Eyes, Weekly Favorites
                                             Fantastically Flawed~Thick as thieves (until Tuesday)
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~Happy thoughts for Amber, Weekly favorite
Measure In Love~ Hearts
Photographer's Connection~Weekly Favorite
Photo Artistry~Meadows, Weekly favorite
EX.OH Blog ~ Weekly favorite
Light Inspired~ Memory, weekly favorite
M4HP~ Fragile
Reflections~ From above
Sweet Little Muse~ (on a break- no theme)
Little Bellows Mother, Weekly favorite
Photo Corner~ weekly favorite
By The Light~   Garage light
Life's Experience p52~ Water droplets
The Monochromatic Lens~Weekly Favorite
My Beautifully Chaotic Lifestyle~ Beautifully Chaotic
Let the Kids Dress Themselves~ ?
SHOTMagazine~ open, one photo per day
The Organic PhotograpHERS~ Hair (women only)
A Day in the Life~ (no longer active-no theme)
Honestly, Photography  ~ Bokeh
Minimalist Mondays ~Symmetry 
Euphoric Capture~ I can cry if I want to
Yip Yap Girl~ Pig tails
The Masterpiece~(no active theme), Weekly favorite
The Snappy Mama~ From a distance
Photographer Obsessed~ Tattoos
In shadow of life~BW weekly favorites
The Creativity Project- 5pm (all May)
Po├ętiqueI need to touch your life and leave a joy ..,.... 
an inspiration ...So you will love me soon in reality ...
... not imagination ...
Boys Will Be Boys~Weekly Favorite
The Snap Society ~ Weekly favorite
Life Unscripted- Phone photography
Project:life your way: weekly favorites
The Artistic Tog: Connection
Pearls and Roses: Beyond this lens
The Thrifty Tog Blog~Free/freedom (all May)
The Photo Nook ~ Macro (all May)
Sham of the Perfect~ Outside
Life In Loud~ Weekly favorites shot from the heart
Fearless and Framed~ Honestly documented
Inspire me, Inspired be.- Simply pleasures
The Red Cape Project~ Don a Red Cape, superhero pose and tell us your superpower

That concludes the links for this week!
If there is a link you'd like to see here, please let us know at
Include "Please Add This Page to the Flyer"
in the subject line so we won't miss it.
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!

If you would like to receive
The Maven Flyer
in your inbox each week
please sign up

Friday, May 22, 2015

Feature Friday with Shelby Truly Photography!

Shelby Fawcett of Shelby Truly Photography was the winner of last week's 'animals and our relationship with them' challenge, and she has graciously shared more of her beautiful work, along with a peek into her camera bag <3

 1.  Please tell us about yourself...
 I live in South Florida with my wonderful husband and two awesome cats.  I couldn't be where I am, without God in my life, and the encouragement of my husband. I love Doctor Who, thrift stores, and travelling (even though it doesn't happen as often as I would like).

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

 Real, Emotional, Thoughtful.
I love documenting real life.  I want my clients to have a glimpse of their lives captured, so that in the years to come, they can look back and treasure how amazing their life has been. Even if life seemed boring, or chaotic back then, they can look at those photographs, and see how beautiful it was.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

I received a point and shoot camera for my 14th birthday, and quickly fell in love with photography. Within a year, I had money saved, and purchased an SLR. I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do in photography, but I knew that I wanted to spend my life making photographs. When I was 19, I did an environmental portrait project, photographing people in their homes. This project sparked my love for in-home documentary photography. After that project I knew I had found my niche.

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

 A Nikon D300s, 35mm 1.8, 28-300mm 2.8, and a 50mm 1.8. I use my 35mm most of the time. I am in the process of upgrading to a D750, and a sigma 35mm 1.4. I am super excited for the change!

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

 I love photographing day in the life sessions for families. The intimacy of someone welcoming you in to their home, and getting to capture their daily life is such a cool thing to be a part of. I would love to photograph Lacey Sturm (Original lead singer of Flyleaf) and her family. That would be such an honor! Lacey has had a huge impact on my life and I would love to capture her family. But really I love any session that is open, and honest, where the family lets me photograph their reality, with no pretending to be something they’re not. Also, some great natural light always helps.

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 thought that the typical photos of a family together, posed, with forced smiles, looking at the camera was the only was to do family photography. I was so wrong! I never shoot that way now. I shoot real life, and all its imperfections. To me those are my favorite family photos, they are real, honest, and beautiful. Families can look back on them, and remember how their lives really use to look.

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

Learn manual now, if you haven’t already. I shot automatic for the first couple years of my journey. I didn't know how important manual was to getting the photographs I envisioned.

I wish someone would have told me it wasn't a competition. Photographers, should be a part of a community, helping each other, and growing together, not comparing themselves, and not hating their own work because someone else is further along in their journey.

Find more of Shelby's gorgeous work here:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Meet This Week's Judge: Jen Bilodeau

This week, we have Jen of Jen Bilodeau Photography helping us to embrace the shadows. Enjoy her beautiful photos, and read about her here! 

1. Tell us about yourself...

I am a natural light portrait and lifestyle photographer that specializes in children and families......and my "everyday".  My days are primarily filled with all that encompasses raising three crazy beautiful little ones, and with whatever energy I have left at the end of the day, I pour myself into my business.  I worked as a CPA for many years prior to starting my photography business, and I have recently started offering business mentoring to help photographers navigate through the tax, bookkeeping and regulatory complexities that come with running your own business.  I'm an outdoor girl at heart. Mountains, oceans, trails, parks....they all call to me regardless of the weather. I suppose that's why I why I prefer shooting in natural light. I feel comfortable outside - studying the light, the shadows, the beauty in things big and small.  My mission is to capture honest images that tell a story or elicit an emotion.......and I am especially moved by deep emotive black and whites :)

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

I think my photography journey began long before I realized.   Since I was a little girl I've always carried a camera with me........and I've got boxes and bookshelves of albums documenting all phases of my life.  But it wasn't until my husband got me my first DSLR in lieu of an engagement ring (perfect!) that I really wanted to take my photography to the next level.  My Nikon has been my near-constant companion ever sense.  The heart and soul of my photography lies in my children.......I want to document everything they do.....the way the light kisses their hair as they play before bed, the way they get yogurt all over themselves at breakfast, the way they sit so close on a big couch when they watch a tv show.  It is the joy I get from the images of my own children that fuels my love for client work - I yearn to give my clients those same frozen moments in time that they too can savor and cherish.   

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

I have two separate camera bags.  One that I use for shoots, and one that goes with me everywhere.  For photo shoots I carry my Nikon D800, Sigma 35mm 1.4, Nikkor 85mm 1.8, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, Expo Disk, and Hoodman HoodLoup (I love shooting into the sun and this little gem allows me to perfectly see the my images on my screen).   

In my everyday bag, I carry chap-stick, a change of clothes for my just-potty-trained daughter, random toys and treasures my kids have thrown in (this time of year that's lots and lots of dandelions), my Nikon D800 and Sigma 35mm lens.  I got the Sigma 35mm in January and have barely taken it off my camera sense!   If I could only pick one lens to use the rest of my life, it would, without a doubt, be this one.

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

A dream shoot for me is any shoot just before sunset......a nice long view to the west (on top of a mountain or on a lake is a bonus!), few clouds in the sky for vibrancy, long grasses, and a happy family simply enjoying each other :)


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

Time.  I can never seem to find all the time that I need in a day.  My kids are little and still home with me most of time time, which pushes photography work primarily to nights and weekends.  I like to dream big.  There's so much I want to do with client photography, business mentoring and personal photography projects......but I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, to not take on so much.....and, sometimes, to simply let things go.

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

Towards upgrading my laptop......zzzzzzzz

How do you wish you could spend it?

Right now I am drooling over underwater case for my camera.  I spend so much of the summer in the pool or the ocean......I would love to photograph my kids in the pool in the summer or sunrise surf sessions in the cold Maine waters. 

How would you really spend it?

Probably on the underwater case ......Even though I want to throw my slow computer against the wall, I just can't resist the thought of getting my camera in the water!!

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

Slow down.  I jumped head first into my business.....almost certainly before I had even settled into my own personal shooting style, and I took any work that came my way.  It took me a while to accept that my best work came when I was truly shooting from the heart......To find true personal fulfillment in my photography, (and to fulfill my clients' expectations), I had to first really get to know myself as a photographer.  I had to learn what moved me visually and emotionally.....and how to replicate this for my clients on a consistent basis.   Although, if someone had told me all this at the beginning of my journey I probably wouldn't have listened.......I was too busy blindly and passionately chasing my dreams :)

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