Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chain Reaction in The Nest Volume 1

There are so many theme challenges each week. 
They all have their merits and all will help stretch and strengthen your skills as a photographer. 
But, for the advanced photographers in The Nest at Snap Maven- 
our private Facebook forum for winners of our weekly theme challenges- 
I wanted to challenge them a little differently.

Ever since I first saw this concept on a Creative Live session way back, I have been obsessed with this idea of a "chain reaction" project. 

It can also be likened to the old game of "telephone".
When one person would whisper something in to the ear of another person 
and down the line until the last person had an [almost] entirely different message 
than what was first communicated.

It was always so funny to see how people's perceptions would totally mangle 
the original communication and how much of it actually remained.

This was the main image we all took our cues from. 
She was the previous winner of theme posted within the private group.

This is what she had to say about it...

"This is one of my most recent self portaits. It is long exposure, shot in the dark. I did this to help create a soft ethereal mood highlighting te delicate vintage lace and the decay there off and a fragile femininity. 
As woman we are so afraid to get old, but i wanted to show in this, that there is still beauty in the old and decayed...
There are many elements in this photo and I can't wait to see 
what you take from it and how you interpret it!"


"I was so excited when the idea of telephone photography appeared in here. I have never done a challenge like this before. After being blown away by the gorgeous self-portrait images that Marlize Meeding Meyer has posted, I must admit it was a little daunting. In the end, I threw myself into the challenge and it was fun. It was hard to choose which of my images to post, however, this is the one that I have narrowed it down to. 
What drew me into Marlize's image was what the story could be about and even in some ways moments where I myself have felt vulnerable or fragile - I love the timeless feel to it, the mood and all that gorgeous texture as well. With my image I wanted to evoke similar feelings too - texture with the scarf, the vintage camera and hopefully some emotion even though it is more still life in appearance. Vulnerable & fragile feeling of being in front of the camera possibly? Exposed to the world? A sense of so many expectations on us as women, mothers, etc? Shyness & fear but then shedding off the weight of the fabric - shedding repressed emotions and conventions posssibly? When we can shed such things, we blossom & discover our voice. (it's hard for me to put my ideas in words, 
but I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say!"


"I wanted to really take this seriously because I love this project (and this group!) and because Marlizeis one of my favorite artists. She inspires me so much.
After I saw her self portrait and read her words about it, her words kept echoing in my head, "beauty in the old and decayed". I have so many feelings about this. I won't go into it now, but these are things I think about often. 
If you have been following my work since the summer, you may have seen the photos of my husband's garden. It was huge and green and happy. But now it looks like this. Most people would look at it and think it was sad and ugly, especially considering all the time and work he put into it. But I look around and see so much beauty. I see beauty in the change and I think about how it will change again as the seasons change again. I think seeing the beauty in the old and decayed is what we as artists do often. I think it sets us apart from others. I think it is important. Beauty is everywhere. It is our job to find it.
This "beauty in the old and decayed" is in my back yard and it begged me to photograph it when I saw Marlize's photo. I also think the texture of these leaves mirrors the texture in the beautiful lace dress she is wearing.
I hope you enjoyed my interpretation ladies "


"This is in response to a tag from April Kraus and her lovely photograph of her decaying garden. Her words really got me thinking about the cycle of life and the speed at which life is moving for me these days.
Life as a stay at home mom with a side business is busy and the pressures that come along with it can be a bit much at times. Sometimes I look at a window filled with his fingerprints and hand smudges and sigh in angst because it's just another thing to add to my To-Do List. 
But, then I grab my camera. 
And, I look at that window through a new lens. I see it as evidence of life being lived. Of a two year old trying to rush through his front window to say hello to the garbage man. A two year old leaning his face against the window in awe of the four deer in our front yard staring back at him. It's life. It's living. And, it's fast and precious and scary and beautiful. 
Thanks to April and all of you other amazing artists for inspiring me to look at my window with a bit of a different perspective this week."


"ok here goes . . . So what kept coming to me was the material, fabrics, and textures. The old. I started thinking about when the things were new and the people young. I guess I wanted to take the old and remember the youth of it all."


"The Knitter: The fabric of our lives is knitted together by every decision we make whether conscience or not. Yet the tapestry we create can not be judged as everyone's ends as an incomplete work.

Here is my entry for telephone photography. I picked up on fabric being a prominent element in the last two entries by Malize and Elizabeth. I wanted to keep the vintage feel to the story but tell it from the point of the fabrics creation by the hands of a women."


"Iron Light"
"This image is inspired by Melissa Stissi and her "Knitter" image. The elements I took away from her image were the fabulous window light back lighting the scene, the focus on something other than the face, on the doing of a seemingly mundane activity that though common is still beautiful in the doing of it, with the continued use of the element of fabric, though in my image the fabric is also a vessel for the illumination of light more so than texture."


"Yesterday, I saw Julie's lovely image of ironing by the window. I have been feeling so trapped by housework, wifedom, and being a mommy to my boys lately. I wasn't able to see anything beautiful about it for the past few weeks until I saw that picture. I wanted to take the element of window filtered light and play on that. Luckily, I had a very gorgeous and brave mama as my last session of the year."


"Kelsey Smith posted a gauzy, beautiful maternity portrait. My connection is the gauze, obviously.
I've had some critiques on this and most people were confused by the gauze or didn't know why she was just holding it up. For me, her pose isn't the point; I love the light and the gauze against her body. I shot this with one light. I don't do a lot of boudoir and challenged myself to do a one light, black backdrop, minimal props session last week."


Marlize chose the image from Freckles Photography 
as the overall winner of the challenge saying this... 

"My winner is the beautiful window pic from Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton. 
This image has got the lines and light and contrast. But what I love most about it is the beautiful interpretation and symbolism in it. I find it amazing that after a line of photographs it still captures so much of what i wanted to convey in my original one. 
That there is beauty all around us, maybe its old and decayed or maybe its a dirty hand smeared window. 

I truly loved every one of the images submitted and how each one was so unique. 
These ladies did an absolutely amazing job! "

Now you get to start a new chain reaction Lauren!

If you are interested in becoming a member of The Nest, the only way in is to win a theme.
So keep submitting your images every week and you may just be our newest member!

Love and feathers!


***Note, though I participated in the challenge, my image was never under consideration to be a winner of the challenge. I served simply to keep the chain going. 

Julie Moses is an art teacher slash homeschool mom turned lifestyle photographer. She is also one of the founding Mavenistas at Snap Maven. She has four children ranging in age from 21 down to 5, so she knows a thing or two about the importance of capturing and documenting fleeting moments. Her five year old may in fact be the most photographed child on the planet. She also lives with her musician husband in the arid SoCal desert where he is daddy to their brood and witness to her unique caffeine fueled brand of klutziness known as “style and grace.”

Follow Julie on her website | facebook


  1. Oh my goodness. This is so inspiring. I love all the ideas and they led to incredible images. Great post.

  2. This is an amazing project. Very inspiring. Great post.

    1. It was so much fun to do and really thought provoking too!


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