Bloggers behind the lens

There’s sort of a general idea in blogland, particularly the design themed ones, that we do nothing but scan or copy and paste images from other sources – magazines, websites, other blogs, etc. Of course, this does happen frequently enough and we appreciate being introduced to a designer or professional photographer we’re not aware of, or a spread in a magazine that doesn’t appear on our local newsstands.  But, most design bloggers do take many of their own photos- show houses we’ve attended, local tours of our towns, flea market finds.  Most of us have a decent eye and because we’ve exposed ourselves (pun intended) to so many visual images, we can take a decent picture that helps illustrate our particular story du jour.

I love photography. In fact, it’s my favorite art form. I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for years, however, I’ve never bothered to retain the knowledge I learned in a class about F-Stops and exposures, etc. I’m a little lazy. But, that said, I’ve also gotten lucky on occasion. The photo up at the top of this post is one I took at the Museé D’Orsay several years ago. I got really lucky because they were set up for a commercial shoot, so there was extra special lighting set up. I got to snap this on my old Kodak 1 megapixel P&S before they closed the museum.  And, on another lucky occasion, when Dining By Design came to Boston in 2007, I took the shot above of the blue and black space, designed by Raffinelli Events Management and Winston Flowers. Luckily, there was a convenient post right by the table that I could use to keep the camera steady in low light. This was taken with my upgraded Kodak P&S that had somewhere between 3 and 5 MPs. Shockingly, this photo ended up being used in an Elle Decor magazine spread about the evening’s events. I am a published photographer – by chance.

So, all that said, I always enjoy reading blogs with original photography, especially by those who are not professional photographers, or, those who didn’t start out that way. Blogging can help us find hidden talents that we were, perhaps, unaware of. I’m happy anytime a blogger uses their own photographs, but I’m always thrilled when I see someone come out with photo after photo of exceptional work.

Below is a group of bloggers whose photography skills I’ve taken particular note of. In some cases, I’ve watched their talents blossom over the course of a few years, which is always thrilling to see. 

Susan hosts several wildly popular Blog Parties each week including Metamorphosis Monday and Tablescape Thursday. I’m amazed at Susan’s ability to create new vignettes week after week. She does a lot of styling and shooting.  Susan recently posted her July Fourth celebration table and the image above just caught my eye. I’m a total sucker for the closeup!

Alicia Paulson from Posie Gets Cozy

Alicia Paulson’s blog showcases nearly 100% of her own photography of her own craft work. Her craft work is prolific enough, but then she also shoots all the photos. She shoots food and cooking shots, sewing, shots, animal pics – sometimes all at the same time. (Martha never did that!) Alicia’s photography really inspired me to ramp up the quality of my own. She has a tutorial on her blog with tips on making great photos, so check that out. For a long time, I believe, she used a point and shoot with totally professional results. She’s now the photographer for her own line of craft books and had to upgrade her camera to accommodate professional printing requirements.

Christine Chitnis from  Lavender and Limes

I met Christine in Boston at one of Grace (Design*Sponge) Bonney’s traveling blogger evenings a couple or three years ago.  After we met, I started reading her blog. She was still relatively new to blogging and was still trying to find her voice. Over the last three years, Christine has gone from the typical new blogger fare of “how cute is this shop”  and “I saw this on X-blog and wanted to share…” to developing into a first class writer and photographer. She has been willing to share some personal highs and lows that opened her up and thus have opened new doors of opportunity to her. Of course, her own cute home and chickens are still a feature, but they are now more of asides to something greater. Somewhere around the beginning of this year, her photographs suddenly started jumping off the page. She’d purchased a new camera and the difference was like night and day. I’ve never seen such a difference. Because, aside from the technical improvements of a better lens and more bells and whistles, her voice opened up through her photos. Her husband’s family is from India and so she’s traveled over there this year and, let’s face it, there are fewer places more photogenic on earth than India. Aside from capturing the beautiful textiles, spices, baskets and other handmade wares of the bazaars, Christine has captured the people. Full on shots of her looking at the people and them looking right back. People moments, stunningly captured.

Trish Allen from Trouvais

Trish not only takes beautiful photographs, but she’s a wonderful stylist as well. Her own beautiful home and gardens are often featured and to say it is drool-worthy is an understatement.  Her lush, romantic sensibilities come out in the ethereal, soft focus images. Her photographs leave the impression that someone just stepped out of the camera’s viewfinder, as if there is still hint of a soft perfume wafting through.

Kay Ellen and I are Facebook friends and several times, I’ve commented on her photography. She’s also a wonderful interior designer and is able to take beautiful detail shots, which just shows what a great eye she has.  The image above is so crisp – every fiber and texture pops right off the page. You just know what these different fibers feel like.

Lauren Liess from Pure Style Home
When we were chatting with Lauren last week at The Skirted Roundtable, I complimented her photography,  In typical Lauren fashion, she brushed it off with a “well, I take 92 photos to get 5 good ones”. Okay, but when it’s a good one, it’s a good one. Her blog showcases the transformation of her own home and regularly features her own shots. Lauren clearly has an eye for the perfect angle and posseses excellent styling skills.

A new (to me) blog that I’m enjoying is The Bedlam of Beefy, who features a mix of lifestyle, fashion and design. His cooking shots are always fantastic and there’s a real of the moment joie de vivre in his text. Which, by the way, is usually done in a fantastic handwriting style font. It’s still very readable, but lends such a personal note to the layout. I’ve played around with doing this in the past, but it’s such a laborious process that I gave it up. However, don’t be surprised if I give it another try.

I’m sure I’ve missed some great blogger photography and intend to start posting my favorite shots from around the blogosphere on a monthly basis. Maybe with cool handwritten text…

If you know of any great blogger/photogs, please share them!

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xoxo Linda

19 thoughts on “Bloggers behind the lens”

  1. This is such a wonderful post. What a talented group you rounded up! Some of these blogs are new to me, so I am excited to check them out. I love Lauren and Uncle Beefy! They are both so talented and sweet.

  2. Linda, This is such a great post and really addresses something that always has me curious. I love being introduced to these fantastic photographers who are doing their own work. It encourages me to post more of my photography too!

  3. Great roundup of photography/bloggers! So impressive for you that your photo was used by Elle Decor too!!

    What I like most about this post is that though your topic was photography, you revealed more than that. You gave a glimpse of the truth: that blogging is work, an art form in itself and is not an "overnight" process.

    I'll look forward to future posts in this series!

  4. Dear Linda, you are so right! You put in words what I had in feelings. I really love when the bloggers show more of their own work, their experience, their stories, arts and crafts, and their own photography! I think that's what makes us a different world than the world of magazines.
    I loved the blogs you suggested today. I already checked them and even decided to follow a few of them. Thanks for sharing all these people with us.
    Have a great day!

  5. So kind of you to include me in your lovely post~~~
    Each click of the camera I learn something new about photography.

    Can't wait to visit the other blogs you mentioned:)
    Thank you again!

    Kay Ellen

  6. Linda, I have always loved the art of fine phorography and you have featured many who are excellent. I will visit the others as well. Of course you are just great!

    Art by Karena

  7. Linda,

    I seldom comment, but must commend your generous spirit in so beautifully recognizing the photography talent of some of your fellow bloggers. Too often we "read and run" (guilty!). Thank you for your lovely blog and for reminding me of a kindness today.

    Jane in Ohio

  8. Wonderful post, Linda. In a blogpost I am first drawn to the visuals, the photographs. For me, the text is secondary. Although, I do love first person stories, told simply.

    Your above photographs are outstanding.

  9. I love seeing the world through the eye of the blogger! Personal photos make a blog unique and journalistic in a very engaging way. You always do a great job of capturing the architecture around you!

  10. Imagine my surprise when I stopped by your blog and found your kind, insightful words. I appreciate that you captured the real work…it is, indeed, a process, and I know that I am continually growing as a blogger, writer and photographer.

    Thank you for recognizing this…and for recognizing Lavender and Limes, what a treat to be included with such incredible company!

  11. Thanks, Linda, for sharing beautiful photography and intriguing blogs for us to explore. Like you, photography is a hobby, tho I've neglected it. You've inspired me to get back to playing with my camera!

  12. I am very touched by your mention, Linda! Thank you! Your photos are gorgeous. I suspect I would need more than a few classes to get me off "automatic"…but I am looking forward to learning more. I also love (and am grateful for) carefully sourced scanned photos. All those gorgeous old House and Garden photos! When I was in college I would disappear into the library stacks and look at old magazine microfiche…from the 30's-40's! Incredible. So I love that images are preserved and shared. But nothing beats that first person view of subjects close at hand…gives me a view of the world in which each blogger lives and what catches their eye. Great post, thank you. XO Trish

  13. Linda- thank you so much for mentioning me in this post- I'm seriously flattered!!

    The photographs on here totally look like magazine inmages- I can't wait to check out the ones that are new to me!!


  14. Great post Linda…I have commented on Lauren's blog several times about hte quality of her photos, and I am off to check out the rest. I adore yours…I remember especially, the ceiling shot you took of the Boston Opera House? wasnt' it? It was amazing! Sure is a great skill for designers to have.

    I've been too busy to get over to the SRT, but look forward to catching up in the morning, since the AM is about me 🙂


  15. I agree with everyone above.
    I am a very visual person and enjoy beautifully captured images and I love looking at the world through the lens.
    My husband is a true 'photoholic' and takes amazing shots. Am so proud to see his flickr gallery grow in size and comments.

    The blogs you have mentioned are great and so nice to visit.

    Lovely post Linda. Thank you.

    x Charlotta

  16. Hi Linda,
    great pictures you took up there. I am impressed! There is one design blogger that only recently hit the scenes who I think is super talented. Not only on her design work but on her photography as well. Her name is Kellie Cashon from Dallas based Cashon & Co. Her blog address is Please, check her out. She has actually participated in my designer challenge.

    After stepping on a photographer's toes when I first started blogging and getting some wonderful advice from you, I decided to keep my 'borrowed' images to a minimum. I have been using mostly my pictures and have so much to learn!!! I better go check out the tutorial you mentioned on this post.


  17. Linda- This is a great post. It is something I have thought about a lot too and I now I am really inspired to take a more of my own photos and use more of my own images on my blog. Thanks!

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