Friday, July 29, 2016

Feature Friday with April & August Photography!

Mandy of April & August Photography was the winner of last week's 'second look' challenge - read on to find out what kind of gear she uses, and how she defines her style!

1. Please tell us about yourself

I’m Mandy of April and August Photography, aka total Mamarazzi.  I’ve been documenting for other moms since 2013.  I grew up on the East Coast and met my husband while he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia while serving in the US Navy.  We had our first son in 2009 while we lived in Florida.  Before he turned a year old, we decided to relocate to Des Moines, Iowa, where we live now. 

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

Candid, because my main goal in every photo I take is to capture the realness of my subject.  I would rather have an imperfect image filled with emotion than a technically perfect photo that is lifeless.

Vibrant, because I love seeing brightness and vivid colors in photos and strive to include this by bringing along a blanket or encouraging families to play up patterns and colors. 

Lastly, I would choose Emotive as my third word.  I would like to think that my photos express some sort of feeling; whether it’s a baby giggling or a mom comforting her child.  It has to express something.  I’m always trying to encourage closeness in the family and emphasize hugging and touching.  I want to feel the connection when I personally view the photo.  I show up to every session with an open heart and hope that it catches on and I can document it.


3. What sparked your passion for photography?

I’ve always been intrigued by photography and used to coax my younger siblings to perform as models for me while I snapped away on my 35mm film camera.  It wasn’t until I had my daughter in 2012 that I felt a strong desire to create something that could help me to cement the memories of childhood and knew photography was the way to go.

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

I actually travel pretty light these days:

Canon 6D

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon 50mm 1.4

Canon 85mm 1.8

Loads of memory cards and extra batteries

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

A dream shoot would most likely be a day-in-the-life-project.  I would love a family to be comfortable enough to let me document their daily life from morning to night.  I would love to be a fly on the wall and to get the little moments they didn’t even know they had.  

6. What are some misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey?

I thought that photography started and ended with the camera.  I believed a good camera and lens would create the magic.  I thought that photos could only be taken in perfect lighting conditions and that a photo taken in less-than-perfect situations was not as good.  I also believed that grain was bad and that technicality trumped an overall great photo when I pixel-peeped.  I’ve since learned that sharp eyelashes aren’t as important as a hug, and that a cute snuggle is still perfect even if the sharpest part of the photo is a dust speck in the air.  I’ve learned that viewing photos at 1 to 1 ratio is stressful and ruins the fun of photography.  I’ve learned to let perfection go. 

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

I wish as a newbie photographer I wish I was told that you don’t have to be everything to everybody.  You can find your voice and you can take the kind of pictures you’d want of your own family.  I love a photo with great bokeh and can truly appreciate a beautiful portrait.  However, that being said, I have an 85mm that rarely leaves my camera bag.  I didn’t like being so far from my subjects.  I like being able to talk to them and to make them laugh.  The in-between moments are just easier for me to catch when I’m closer. 

The advice I would give to a new photographer is to take the time to learn the equipment you have.  I started out with a Canon Rebel with a base model nifty-fifty and learned so much on it.  I eventually upgraded to better glass and when I felt like I was maxed out on what I could achieve, I upgraded to my full-sensor Canon 6D.  Master what you have. …  many of my favorite Instagram pages use only IPhone or Samsung phone camera.  

Find more of April & August Photography here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

{second look}

When I chose the theme of "second look",
I was really thinking about "double take" and double exposures
but I could''t find any quotes I liked to illustrate the theme.
Of course, you all still did an amazing job interpreting the theme anyway!
This collection represents a curation of images
 I felt did the best job interpreting the theme in technical and artistic skill.
That said, I think each image stands on it's own and does not require my commentary this time.
Thank you all so much for submitting, each week you make it so difficult to choose only these few.

KatieLew Photography

And the Winner is... 

Blessings, Julie.

Julie Moses

The Maven Flyer Week of July 25th

Welcome to 
 The Maven Flyer
Vol. 28
For the week of July 25th, 2016

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 ~Summer Favorites
Clicking Moms Summer
In Beauty & Chaos~ Weekly favorite and Best Friends
The Dark Room~Weekly Favorites
Snap Love Grow- Weekly Favorite and "all in the frame"
 Fantastically Flawed~ Dreams
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 favorite
Light Inspired~Weekly Favorites and "indoors"
Journey to Artist{Time: fractions of a second}
Reflections~ Weekly Fave
Little Bellows Weekly favorite
Life's Experience p52~ Vantage Point.
The Monochromatic Lens~Weekly Favorite
SHOTMagazine~ open, one photo per day
Minimalist Mondays ~Weekly fave
The Snappy MamaShadows (all of July)
In shadow of life~BW weekly favorites
The Snap Society ~ Weekly favorite
Life Unscripted{Beauty in unlikely places}
The Artistic Tog{Beauty} 
Sham of the Perfectfamily documentary favorites
Fearless and Framed~ Honestly documented
Soul Focus - [All That We See Or Seem Is But A Dream Within A Dream] 
Dads in the wild - {all time favorites} 
Our Weekend Stories ~ {Pure Summer}
Share Six- kitchen


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 22, 2016

Feature Friday with Kevin + Stephanie!

Kevin + Stephanie is the talent behind last week's 'in motion' challenge winner, and they have generously shared more of their beautiful work here today. Read on to find out what gear they use, and why they got their start in photography!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

We are Kevin and Stephanie.Two souls who have come together to create something we both love. When our first daughter was born so was our new idea of photography. We had experience with film before we were immersed in the inevitable market of digital cameras, so the craft had begun its influence in us, but we were far from professionals. We have grown so much since those first days, we have learned so much and we have given ourselves so much more freedom to explore what we want our art to show.

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

Organic: We try to keep our sessions as honest as possible. We try and make real connections with our clients. We do pose our clients but within those poses are some wonderful feelings we all share, and those are the moments we focus on and try to capture.

Emotional: We love to feel, and we love when we can make others feel that same way. Some feelings are of awe, others are of happiness and some of sadness. To be able to have someone enjoy those feelings with you is just incredible.

Cinematic: A lot of our inspiration is from films. We love how captivating cinema can be and we aspire to bring that same feeling of depth to our photography.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

Our newfound love of Photography was born alongside our oldest baby Arianna. We wished to preserve every single moment with her through snapshots and video clips. From there our love for photography grew and we began to find our particular style that defined what we love.

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

Right now we have:
2 Canon 5d Mark 3
1 Canon 35mm 1.4L
1 Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
1 Canon 24mm 1.4L
1 Canon 50mm 1.2L
1 Canon 85mm 1.2L
2 580 EXii Flashes

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

A dream shoot for us would be a full on mock-wedding production. Location would definitely have to be Iceland atop one of those glorious mountains with the wind blowing fiercely. We could start off in a nice dark house and then move on to those gorgeously green grassy fields. We can’t imagine how incredible the scenery must be.

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?

One of the biggest misconceptions we had was “It’ll be easy” . It has been tough, defining ourselves as artists, finding the way to display what it is we want to say in a way that others can enjoy it. We feel we are in a place now that we can begin to really come out of our shells and explore things we hadn't thought of that can change the way people feel about their wedding and family photography.

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

We would tell them that its hard, it’s an art. Taking pictures isn't the hard part, of course, many people can take photos, not many can make art out of photos. Words are words, anyone can write them, few can make them into a poem that can create an incredible emotion response. That is what we want our photography to do. We want it to make you feel. We would encourage all artists to define themselves, to identify what they love to see and feel. To explore avenues they never would venture to because they were too scared to. There are no rules for art, like there are no rules for beauty. Do what you love.

Find more work by Kevin + Stephanie here:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

{in motion}

Whoa! I am blown away by the array of images submitted and all the different ways we can show movement in our images using varied techniques.  Thank you so much for having me, Snap Maven!

Top Ten Finalists in no particular order,

Jenny’s Photos
I love this freeze frame of motion and her hair! The tones are gorgeous as well.

Such a fantastic panning shot! The black and white really manages to draw you right to her.  The blur surrounding everything but her face is mesmerizing.

Oh my gosh I can just hear that water splashing and those little feet pounding in the water right now! I also adore the bubbles moving towards us on the right.

Those bouncy curls don’t even need to be in focus to share that they’re moving! This just feels like a fond memory – in the best way possible.

Big or little – does any girl not enjoy “swishing” around in a tulle skirt? I can completely picture myself IN this motion and I love the OOF along the top.

Come on, this is just cool – and amazing timing.  The shock on his own face is so great!

With a flip of that skirt and a light gait. The lighting on this is superb and the crop is perfect – left me wondering what exactly she’s up to going down those steps!

This is a summer evening in one shot. The tones, the light, the water droplets shooting every which way, the blurry and out of focus form life seems to take on as the day wears on. It’s just gorgeous.

What fun! I love her foot, skirt, and hair all being in completely synch with one another. It caught my eye right away.
Oh man, #43 throwing himself forward for the sake of the ball – seeing that suspended in time? Awesome. And the faces of the other boys on the field totally match the moment!

And the winner is...

Well hellloooo summer! I can hear the shrieks accompanying this moment and guess everything that happened before it to make this happen! I love the smirk on the older girl and the youngers delighted face. The water (?) held in complete form and suspension is awesome.

Guest Judge - Daphne Laput

Friday, July 15, 2016

Feature Friday with Kelsey Anderson Photography!

Kelsey of Kelsey Anderson Photography was the winner of last week's 'reflection' challenge, and has given us a peek into her life and her style, so read on!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

Hello! I am Kelsey from Kelsey Anderson Photography. I am a wife and mother of two. My daughter is 2 and my stepson is 13. My daughter is the subject of most of my photos as my son is not very interested in having his picture taken now that he is a teenager.I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors. We live out in the country in between corn fields and I love it! I love all of the space around us and it makes for some beautiful scenery for photos!

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

I wouldn't say that I have one specific style. To me it depends on the session. Some sessions I like a clean and bright edit, and others I like a deeper edit with a matte finish. I love being able to change my style when I have a different vision for a session and not be set on editing the same way for every photo.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

My passion for photography started about four years ago. I got a nice point and shoot and I thought it was amazing. I finally was able to get my first dslr a few years ago and don't know what I would do without it! When my daughter was born is when I really started learning all I could about photography. I want to be able to capture all of the memories of her growing up! It's just the best feeling when your vision for a photo is achieved. I love that photography is a constant learning process and I love learning new things!

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

My camera bag right now has my d5100 with my 35mm 1.8 on it. I also have my 50mm 1.8 and my ocf. I hope to get the 85mm soon and the 24-70 some day.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

A dream shoot for me would be a sunset beach session (I live in the middle of Indiana) or a styled senior shoot. I would also love to get into newborn photography and one day have my own studio!

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?

When I started my photography journey, I thought it would be easy. I thought I could create any image I wanted without first putting in the work of learning the basics. I started with photoshop elements (before switching to regular photoshop) and I could not figure out how to use any of the tools at first. There are so many things to learn that I hadn't even began to understand. I finally started to read about shutter speed and ISO and aperture to get my camera out of auto mode. I also thought other photographers might not be that helpful, but I was wrong! I have gotten so much help from other photographers and they are so supportive!

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

I would tell newbie photographers to be patient and practice, practice, practice! There is no better way to learn than to get out there and shoot! I would also tell them not to be afraid to ask questions. There are so many experienced photographers out there that will help you out if you ask. Ask what lenses they use, their camera settings, what actions they use, and most of them will tell you. I wish I wouldn't have hesitated to ask! You can also learn a lot from youtube tutorials!

Find more of Kelsey's gorgeous work here:

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