Monday, October 31, 2016

A New Direction for Snap Maven!

Hello there!
I tend to be in the background here at Snap Maven these days, 
but I wanted to jump forward for just a minute to tell you all about 
some exciting things that are coming up.
This week will mark two firsts for Snap Maven
 One is that we will be offering our first ever e-book for sale on the blog.
 Hopefully it will be the first of many.

Wanna see a sneak peek?

Here's another one...

Last one...

This e-book is the equivalent to a whirlwind tour of Europe. 
 I couldn't visit everywhere, but I made sure not to miss the good stuff!
Composition, light, color,  storytelling, critique, tribe building and goal setting,
all covered in 175 pages.
...and quotes, don't forget the quotes! 

It will be available November 18th, 2016 for download.

Wait, you say, weren't there two things?
Yes, yes, there are!
 There will be an opportunity for you to win this E-book.
(along with a TON of other great stuff!)
This will the very first giveaway Snap Maven has ever participated in.

Look for more info on the giveaway very soon.

I lied before... here's one more little look inside my E-book! 

Love and Blessings,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Feature Friday with Kianna's Lens Affair!

Kianna of Kianna's Lens Affair was the winner of last week's 'the great outdoors' challenge. Read on to find out all about her, and check out her gorgeous self portraiture!

1. Please tell us about yourself…
Hi, first of all, I am very bad at answering questions and describing things, which is why I love photography so much. I don’t need to saying anything with photography. It’s open to interpretation. I think I am better at showing than talking. Haha! Anyway, I am Chinese girl who moved to America 12 years ago. I live in Fargo ND with my husband and our precious little girl who is going on four. I am hoping that we can add another one next year. :) I’ve only been at this (photography) for a little bit over a year. But it feels like I’ve been doing this forever though. My relationship with photography is like meeting a new friend, and you feel like you’ve known this person all your life, and you become inseparable ever since. That’s how I feel about photography. It’s my true love as far as hobby goes. I am 100% committed to her.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
This is a hard question. I feel like my style is still evolving. How about I will pick three words that I hope my work represents? Emotive, Voyeuristic, Artistic . 
Emotive—I want my photography, especially my self-portraits to be evoking some kinda emotion. I am a very emotional person on the inside. In real life, I will never show the negative feeling openly. Such as hurt, disappointment, sadness….But thru my photography, I am willing to share. I want to show people the deeper emotion. 
Voyeuristic--- I used to read a lot. When I am heavily engrossed in the book, I feel like I enter into another person's world. It feels a little voyeuristic to me. I will go through the emotional rollercoaster as the main character or whichever character I connect to.I want the viewer to look at my pictures and look in to the subject’s soul and feel voyeuristic about it. It’s like peeking into someone else’s life. That is so mysterious to me. I’m not sure my work is there yet, but I’m working towards that goal. Artistic - This should be the most obvious one. I want to create something that looks like art !

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
It all started with the birth of my daughter.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack is what I carry most of the time now. In it is my canon 5D MarkIII, Lensbaby Edge 80 , and my 35 mm.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
Dream shoot….. I’d love to have another photographer who is just as passionate about self-portraits as me…say, Rose Walton, or Sharon Covert... go out and do a photoshoot together. It’s hard to know whether I look right in camera or not when it’s just me. There’s a lot of running back and forth. It would just be lovely to have someone who’s like-minded and shoot together.. Now, I am dreaming.

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?
OK. Photography is so much better than I thought. I don’t remember exactly what I thought about photography before…but I know that I didn’t think of photography as an art form. I mean, photography is so many things, but to me, it’s artistic, it is emotional, soulful, therapeutic and last but not least, very addictive! I used to think photographers mostly just go out and shoot. Oh, has that changed now. Photographers not only go out and shoot, but culling is a big part too. There is editing, social media, website, education, stalking other photographers... Hehe….. Oh, and shopping for new gears. It’s a time-consuming biz.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
I would say, just don’t give up. Learn from the pros, but don’t compare yourself to them. We are all so different in our own way. Your vision and style will come eventually. I used to get down on myself because I feel my pictures just weren’t good enough. Then I would tell myself, “Kianna, you’ve only been at this for six months….”

I wish someone would tell me that the technical part of photography isn’t everything. It’s not going to make you create captivating imagery. I think your vision is what makes you a great photographer. I am not a technical personal or photographer. I used to get so caught up, frustrated and stressed out about the technical part . For example, skin tones, RGB values. Oh my goodness, they gave canker sores. Frankly, with a lot of my self-portrait, I don’t worry about skin tones at all. With my vision, I almost always take down the vibrance and saturation so my face looks pale. I would say, just go out and shoot whatever, little details, big landscapes…and have fun with it! 

Find more of Kianna's beautiful work here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meet This Week's Judge: Kelly Jacobi!

This week, Kelly of Kelly Jacobi Photography invitesyou to explore your monochrome soul. Enjoy a sampling of her beautiful work, and read about her experiences with photography

1. Tell us about yourself...

I am a Midwestern mama to three boys. My husband and I recently moved back to our hometown in Wisconsin to raise our family. I love coffee, the mountains, movie previews, chasing light and beautiful shadows. I wish life came with built-in theme songs. I sing loud in the car, even when the windows are rolled down. I am a sucker for home remodeling shows. I am completely and totally enamored with photography and all of its possibilities. That's why I pick up my camera when words fail me. I pick up my camera to document our days. I pick up my camera to create art. I pick up my camera to tell a story that is uniquely ours.

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

My long for photography was ignited through my own childhood photos. My dad always had a camera or a video camera in hand. There are so many memories captured of the everyday. I realized when I was very young how special and important it was for us to have those and that love has only increased as I’ve gotten older and had a family of my own. But for many years I was truly satisfied with my little point and shoot camera in auto. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I realized it could be something so much more for me and for my family. So I dove in head first and learned everything I could about shooting in manual and began to take a more mindful and creative approach to documenting our family.

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

I shoot with both a Nikon D700 and a Fuji XE-2. I only have one lens for my Fuji; the 27mm, and I love it. It’s small, compact, and versatile! It’s perfect for when I want to travel light and simple but still get beautiful results. For my Nikon I have: Nikkor 50mm 1.8, Sigma Art 24-35mm 2.0, a Nikkor 85mm 1.8, and an old film Nikkor 200mm. I also have the Lensbaby composer pro with the sweet 35, sweet 50, and edge 50. There’s also an old film Pentax 50mm I modified I use for freelensing.

I shoot equally with the D700 and XE-2. But as far as lenses; my 24-35mm definitely gets the most use. I love the 200mm but I don’t get it out very often unless I am trying to shake things up a little. 

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

We love being outside as a family and we also like to take trips to places we have never seen. Even if they are only an hour away, just to explore. I would love to be able to take a few weeks, load up my family into an air stream, and go find some adventure and beauty all over the country. To be able to shoot all while sharing that experience with my guys would be incredible

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

I struggle with finding the balance between what I am creating for me as art; the shots I set up or shoot moody and creative in contrast to what I am documenting for my family; the straight forward story-telling of what our life is like. Finding where they collide and then where they each have their own moment to shine but still finding that common ground that makes my work cohesive and very me. I’ve kind of given up on being so mindful about this and worrying about it as much as I used to. I figure if I am shooting what I love, the fact that I saw beauty is the only common thread I need.

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

How should you spend it? It should go towards upgrading my computer for editing.
How do you wish you could spend it? I’d wish it could go towards taking a trip somewhere beautiful and exciting with my guys to explore and photograph with them.
How would you really spend it? I’d buy the Rokinon 14mm lens and the Lensbaby Twist optic and Lensbaby Fisheye….because I’m an instant gratification kinda girl and would love to play with these lenses instead of waiting and saving. Haha.

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

Follow your instinct; shoot whatever taps into your inner voice even if it seems odd or you’re unsure about how it will turn out or be received. Try it all; new light, new perspective, new editing. You’ll never know until you try. When you find something that makes your heart leap- hold onto it, follow it, and see where it leads you….and please do not let social media define the worth of your vision. The amount of likes you receive have no correlation to your voice as an artist or your talent.  You are the only one who sees the world and can interpret it the way you do, there is something incredible about that!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

{the great outdoors}

Fall is finally in the air down here in Florida, so “The Great Outdoors” seemed like a perfectly appropriate theme. We love getting outside when it’s not too hot, and I’m a big fan of using my environment in photographs. You guys certainly didn’t disappoint this week! So many beautiful submissions! 

This image is breathtaking. Beautiful composition and depth of field. 

The light and tones are gorgeous here. And I’m obsessed with wind…it adds so much to an image! 

I love the composition here.

This is stunning. It’s all about perspective here! 

Again, I love the tones here…and the pop of color. This is a perfect representation of the great outdoors. 

The composition here drew my attention. I love their little silhouettes up top. 

I love the tones and the subject here. 

The muted tones here are divine. And I love that they appear to be having a quiet moment together. 

This image is perfection. I love the tones, the gorgeous sunflare, the moment it captures between the girls… 

I love the somber moment captured here. And the tones in the sky are just stunning.

And the winner is....

This is stunning. I love the tones, the free lensing, the moment itself. Just a beautiful image.

Guest Judge, Jennifer Kielich 
Jennifer Kielich Photography

Friday, October 21, 2016

Feature Friday with Chelsea Lyn Photography!

Chelsea Furlong of Chelsea Lyn Photography was the winner of last week's 'invincible summer' challenge, and as we've recently featured Chelsea on the blog (check out this post), we've asked her to share some work that she loves!

"In the last 6 months or so, I’ve found that my goals in my photography journey have changed from technical to artistic.  I’ve been really trying to find my voice and my style.  Prior to that, I tended to follow the rules more and tried to perfect my technical skills when I was shooting.  But, I felt like I was holding myself back from something and I couldn’t figure out what that was.   For months I had been soaking up dark, moody images created by other photographers, and I couldn’t get enough of them.  They made my heart stop and my mind always wanting more.  It wasn’t until one stormy night in July that I realized my own work was headed in that same direction.

Another photographer and I had arranged a meet up that night to do some shooting on the beach, but the skies were dark and the forecast was calling for rain.  I’ll admit that I kind of wanted to cancel because I most often shot down at the beach during gorgeous sunsets with yummy golden hours.  It’s just what I was used to.  The other photographer said she still wanted to do it, so I reluctantly went along with the original plan.  I’m so thankful for that now because when I looked at the back of my camera after the very first shot, I felt something spark inside me that I’ve never felt.  I was totally in love with the tones, the mood, the darkness, the rawness of that shot.  I instantly fell in love with that session and I had only taken a single shot.  Not only do I love the look of the photos, but I also love the emotion in them.  The children were just so in tune with the nature around them.  My oldest son’s imagination was running wild, and he truly believed that he had discovered how to create lightning using sticks and sand, and a very specific combination of movements.  It was beautiful.  Every second of it.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the night that changed the direction of my photography journey, and showed me exactly what I had been missing in my photography... soul, voice, passion, and raw emotion. My photography is finally changing from just photographs to my own heart, soul, and mood depicted in imagery outside my body.  Now that I’m finding my voice, I can’t wait to see where my journey leads me in the next year!" ~ Chelsea

Find more of Chelsea's beautiful work here:

Feature Friday with Twyla Jones Photography!

Twyla of Twyla Jones Photography was the winner of our 'cinematic' challenge recently, and she has graciously shared a peek into her camera bag and more!  Read on to find out her,  and her advice to new photographers!

1. Please tell us about yourself…

Hey! I recently moved to Florida from Kansas with my adventurous finance and our two curious toddlers. We enjoy exploring and enjoying beautiful places all around us. I love using photography to capture the way these moments feel to me. I enjoy studying light and exploring the different ways I can use it to express emotion in my work.

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

Emotive, mysterious, cinematic. I feel I hear these words the most and I feel really pleased when I’m able to create something that embodies these them.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

My desire to make photographs that conveyed how the subjects felt more than just that they existed.

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

Nikon D750, Sigma Art 35, Holdfast wrist strap, House of Flynn travel wallet….cannot live without

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

Ohhh….I feel pretty fortunate to be doing this all of the time!  I love photographing people that see the world though the same carefree and adventurous ways I do….Florida provides the perfect gorgeous landscape for this and some pretty spectacular light. I love photographing on stormy days and I get to experience this almost every afternoon now!  I also really love traveling, connecting with artists and experiencing new landscapes and have lots more of this planned for the next year.

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 have always been interested in photography but definitely always felt like it was beyond my capabilities. I believed I needed lots of formal schooling, equipment I could never afford and perfect models to work with.  One day something just stirred inside me and I just decided to jump in and take it all on at once. That was about 2 1/2 years ago and I never would have dreamed I would be capturing the moments I’m lucky enough to see every day.

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

Never stop educating yourself and try something new every day!  Don’t try so hard to find your ‘style’ just shoot from the heart.  Shoot the way the moments make you feel. All human interaction is beautiful so just slow down and take it all in. Let your real life beautiful moments inspire your client sessions and you will become so much more fulfilled with your work!

Find more of Twyla's gorgeous work here:

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