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’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.
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 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.
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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