Friday, July 31, 2015

Feature Friday with Viveash Photography!

Becs Viveash of Viveash Photography has been on our blog before (you can check out her interview here and more work here), but today she is sharing a gorgeous session after winner our 'kitchen table' challenge a couple weeks back.

'Selling the family home. The end of an era. 
There are some shoots that remain with me for a long time. Long after I've put the camera down and shut off lightroom. And this will be one of them. 3 generations enjoying their family home, all together, for one last time.
Leaving a place that you have lived in, grown up in, been loved in and where all your years are buried deep isn't easy. As our lives shift homes become houses once more and familiar neighbours a distant memory. But there's something about these places that stay with us forever.'

“After all,I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”  Anne of Avonlea

Find Viveash Photography here:

Feature Friday with J.J. Killins Photography!

J. J. Killins Photography is the winner of last week's 'lose yourself' challenge, and she has graciously agreed to share a bit about her life, her dream shoot and of course some more of her beautiful work!

1. Please tell us about yourself...
I am a California girl living in Minnesota with my Pennsylvania-born husband of thirteen years (on August 3rd!).
I’m a mom to my two little loves, Alla (10) and Fisher (7).
I run.
I am an obsessive list-maker, everything from daily tasks to books I want to read this year to gifts to buy to summer activities we want to make sure we have.
I read everyday, and my favorite genre is middle grade fiction.
I am in the middle of my first (and probably only!) Project 365, which I am so glad I finally took on. We’ve passed the halfway point, and now I can picture all the images together in an album that may or may not take as long as the 365 pictures.

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

Emotive. Eyes. Candid.
The images I love best always have these qualities, regardless of their technical perfection. They have some heart, they make the viewer feel something.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

I could tell the story of my daughter being born and changing everyday and the urge I felt to capture that, and while that is most definitely true, if I’m being honest, I’ve always been the friend in the group with camera in hand, documenting away. While the birth of my daughter most definitely began the education bit of my photography, the practice of taking pictures must have started years before, with the ease of a point and shoot and a quick run into Walmart to pick up my finished prints. How many negatives I have in storage, how many albums full of snapshots. The passion for it is a simple need to document. I photograph, I journal, I write letters to my children – all because I am passionate about documenting it all. My husband’s running joke is that after the zombie apocalypse, when the survivors are looking for history-preserving relics, they will come up on the dozens of photo albums in our home and decide that we were way more important than we are, simply because of the sheer volume of photographs of our family.

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

Canon 5d mark iii with my Sigma 50mm ART lens. I sometimes wish for a bag full of different lenses, but the truth is that I have always been a 50mm girl. I like the relationship it gives me with my kids, with clients. I like that I can’t get yards away and still capture eyes and laughs. There’s also a lens pen and spare battery. For client shoots (or Disney World!), I attach my Black Rapid Women’s Strap, but for everyday I LOVE my leather wrist strap by Gordy’s. 

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
A dream of a project would be to capture one family a weekend for one year in their homes, just going about their everyday, just to get them some images of how lovely their lives are. If I’m being honest, I also want one of those families to have a photographer in it so my own family can be included in the project!

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 definitely thought all photographs should look a certain way, and that I should aim for that. Listening to my creative needs, and following my own vision makes me a happy photographer, with images that turn out how I see them from behind the camera. It’s very refreshing to see such variety in photography today, so inspiring!

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
First, learn your camera.
Second, know what you want your images to look like, and then figure out how to get there.
Third, doing a 365 will force you to learn how to take pictures in whatever surrounding you’re in – a dark house, the bright sun, a cloudy day, bedtime.
And for the love, please print your beautiful images!

Find more beautiful work here:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Meet This Week's Judge: Kerry Cheah

This week, Kerry Cheah of Red Bus Photography invites you to share the moments that came in between the ones you planned for. Enjoy her beautiful photos, and her thoughtful remarks on photography!

1. Tell us about yourself...

I’m a mom of two, wife of one, Singaporean living in Singapore, taking pictures and loving it most days (not all days, but enough to have distracted me from endless online shopping).  I have been described by past colleagues as obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist, control freak and serial procrastinator, so in some ways I guess it’s better for everyone that I’m now working solo on my little photography business (I used to be a strategy consultant).  I wish I spent even more time with my kids than I currently do, and less time on Facebook, but let’s be honest, that would make me a bit of a grouch. 

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

I used to say my kids, but thinking back I had a liking for taking ‘clever’ pictures even before they came along.  An unusual composition, an arty still life of random objects … ah yes, nothing like looking back at some photos that you thought were the cat’s pyjamas.  Now I am most excited by the challenge of photographing everyday life (my family’s and my clients’) and using perspective and composition to evoke appreciation and emotion for the memories that are being crafted through my lens.  

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

I shoot primarily with a Canon 6D with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 semi-permanently attached, and a Fuji x100s that I rely on heavily for outings with my kids and travel.  On client shoots I also tote along the Canon 50mm 1.4 that I never use, and the Canon 85mm 1.8 that I sometimes pull out if I am shooting outdoors.  Other than that … a few SD cards, spare batteries, lens pen, miniature toy London bus.  In the back of a cupboard somewhere lies a Lensbaby Composer.  

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

I would love to cover a social issue either locally or abroad.  My dream would be to take off for a few weeks and really focus on a social documentary project. 

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

Definitely time management, or rather finding a consistent, sustainable way of working.  Right now I do not have clearly defined working hours and I still bounce haphazardly between work and household / social life.  My sleep and personal photography suffer the most when work gets busy.  A close second is self confidence, or the ability to not be too affected by what / how other photographers are doing.  

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

How should you spend it?  Backup camera body
How do you wish you could spend it?  Administrative assistant!
How would you really spend it?  Lensbaby Edge 80 (i.e. throw good money after bad)

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

Don’t be in such a rush.  Someone actually told me this recently at a photography workshop 1-on-1 and it really hit home.  I think it informs a lot of other ‘bad habits’ that photographers are notorious for - comparing our work to other photographers’ and putting ourselves down, or feeling the need to overly critique the work product or methods of others in order to feel better about our own.  If I could just now learn to stop worrying about whether I will ever ‘get there’ and instead focus on enjoying what I’m currently doing … Unfortunately knowing what you’re supposed to do is only half of the battle!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

{lose yourself}

If you are looking at this and thinking, "these are really beautiful, but I really thought I made it this time," well, you're probably right. I had over thirty photos open on my desktop that I adored. In the end, it came down to which ones made me feel the most "lost."  But in a good way, you know? Lost to worries, lost to stress, lost to appointments... 

I had so much fun going through these photos, and I hope I'm not too bold in saying that it looks like you had fun taking them. Thanks so much for playing along, and sharing your moments with us. 

So, without further ado...

Wild hair and stripes - YES! Have you given your hair a good shake lately? I assure you, the worries shake right off. Taylor Swift is on to something. 


Man, I'm a sucker for silhouettes; but this is so well done. And, by the way, I envy anyone with access to a clear horizon like this. Not to be found the 'burbs. But back to the photo. The light, clouds, balance and motion! I love it all. 


In case you were wondering what it looks like to lose yourself in a smile. In a blank space. This is it. 


Lose yourself in a book. I love the softness of this, and the close crop. Just lovely. 


It's my favorite thing, to lose myself in nature; and to be so absolutely surrounded by green, well that's a thing of beauty. I love the depth in this, so very much, from the intense hues, to the seemingly endless thicket. 


So much life here! I love the light, shadows, movement, and the whole entire space! 


I am not in the last bit graceful, not do I have any talent in the art, but it is nearly impossible to not lose yourself while dancing. And to capture it in a photo is an awfully good thing. Such beautiful light too. 


Let's get lost in the ocean, shall we?  I do wonder, how warm is that water? Because she looks so utterly happy. And that little splash, frozen in time. So lovely. 


I've always wanted to get lost in a field of lavender, so I might admit, partiality may have had some sway here, but NO! I mean, the sway of the hair, the contrast of colors, and the vanishing field all contribute to a carefree moment.


A little literal, no? I love it. The delicate curtains, the tiny hand, and the rest of the body which is completely and utterly lost.


And the winner...

I mean, really. It's a fun perspective, and great conversion, but what I love the most about this photo is that I FEEL it. I can almost hear her singing, and I know it's loud, powerful, and joyful - without thought to anything else happening around her.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Maven Flyer Vol. 31

Welcome to 
 The Maven Flyer
Vol. 31
For the week of July 20, 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 ~ In between moments
Clicking Moms ~ Weekly favorite
Distorted Beauty~ Experiment
In Beauty & Chaos~ ?, Weekly Favorites
The Dark Room~  Floral
The Gratitude Collaborative ~ Shinning down
                                             Fantastically Flawed~ Fierce (all summer)
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~ Sunset (all July), Weekly favorite
EX.OH Blog ~ Weekly favorite
Light Inspired~ In the kitchen, weekly favorite
M4HP~ Vision
30 Minutes in the Life~ This gave me goosebumps, Create from the heart (July)
Reflections~ Ethereal
Sweet Little Muse~ (on a break- no theme)
Little Bellows Your favorite, Weekly favorite
Photo Corner~ weekly favorite
By The Light~   Filtered light
Life's Experience p52~ Sky
The Monochromatic Lens~Weekly Favorite
My Beautifully Chaotic Lifestyle~ Beautifully Chaotic
Let the Kids Dress Themselves~ Window light
SHOTMagazine~ open, one photo per day
The Organic PhotograpHERS~ Water (women only)
Honestly, Photography  ~ Low key
Minimalist Mondays ~Weekly fave
Euphoric Capture~ Confidence 
CLICK STYLE~ Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature
The Snappy Mama~ Water, water everywhere
Photographer Obsessed~ Camping
In shadow of life~BW weekly favorites
The Creativity Project- ?
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- A summer memory
Project:life your way: weekly favorites
The Artistic Tog: Natural light
Pearls and Roses: Laughter
The Thrifty Tog Blog~Weekly favorite
The Photo Nook ~ Black and white (all July)
Sham of the Perfect~ On the go
Life In Loud~ Weekly favorites shot from the heart
Fearless and Framed~ Honestly documented
Inspire me, Inspired be.- In the water
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, July 24, 2015

Feature Friday with Sarah Villarreal Photography!

The winner of last week's 'bright' challenge, Sarah Villarreal Photography, has shared a little about her journey as a photographer and how she describes her style <3

1.     Please tell us about yourself...
I am a wife, mama, and cat enthusiast.  We have a two year old little boy, a four month old little girl, two giant cats and I’m married to my favorite person in the whole world.  He’s in the Air Force and has to be away from us quite a bit, so photographing our daily lives helps keeps us all connected.  I also just started a little photography business of my own and I’m excited to see where it goes.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Bright, Colorful and Emotional.  I love a clean scene with pops of color and I also love to capture the heart of my subjects. My two year old can be an emotional roller coaster throughout the day, so I get a kick out of catching his moods.  Even in a tantrum, he’s quick to laugh and pull and funny face, so I love that about him.  

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
Right after my son was born, my husband deployed to the middle east.  I wanted him to see what we were up to every day and I didn’t want him to miss any milestones.  I also typically try to find a project every time he leaves for a long period, and this time I was bound and determined to figure out our DSLR!  After a few weeks of practicing in manual mode and tearing up the internet for every tutorial I could find, I took an online class and then started snapping away.  My son was too little to run from me at that point, so I was still able to get quite a few pictures of his face.  These days, not so much.  He’s on to me and I get a LOT of shots of the back of his head!

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
I only started my photography journey 2 years ago, so currently shoot with my starter camera, a Canon Rebel T3i, but I am dreaming of the day I can upgrade to full frame!  For my lenses, I shoot primarily with a Canon 35mm F/2.0 but also use my 85mm F/1.8 and “nifty-fifty” when I feel like mixing it up.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
We used to live out west and traveled to see as many national parks as we could while we were stationed there.  That was long before I knew how to operate our Canon, so I would LOVE to go back now and really explore and play.  I have dreams of chasing my son through Bryce Canyon in Utah and framing him with the giant hoodoos like we’re in a Dr. Seuss book.  Some day!

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?
My husband still teases me about a comment I made when we were dating.  I told him he got better pictures than me because he had the better camera.  Whoops!  Now when I hear people say that, it makes me crazy!  I have a HUGE appreciation for what goes into capturing a beautiful image, and I am still new to the journey and learning.  The creative possibilities and growth in photography are endless, and I find that super exciting.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
Really commit to taking pictures every day and then go back and review what you liked or don’t like, what worked or what didn’t work in each image.  Practice makes all the difference, and I know if my husband hadn’t been gone, I probably wouldn’t have felt the urgency to take the camera out every day.  But, because I did, I was able to really practice and experiment and start taking pictures that I loved.  Also, don’t be afraid of taking a bad picture. If I hadn’t taken a million bad shots, I never would have understood what goes into a good one.  Give yourself a break and let your creativity run wild!  No one sees your recycle bin.  Snap with wild abandon.

Find more of Sarah's beautiful work here:

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