Coffee love

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Since I love coffee so much, I thought it was about time I actually photograph some coffee beans in many different ways. Honestly, commercials don’t usually grab our attention, but when there are coffee beans falling from the sky, that’s what we always remember. I hope ya’ll enjoy this coffee themed updated.

Title: I love coffee

Title: Cup of coffee

Title: Coffee beans up close

Title: Three coffee beans

Artist interview featuring Sonja Quintero

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I would like to introduce you all to Sonja Quintero an interior designer and photographer. She has a really unique style, I really like. Lets get to know more about her in this interview.

SammyPhoto: Walk us through the step-by-step process you use to create your art.
Sonja: Well, essentially I come along an object or a scene that interests me and I take some shots of it with my Nikon D800 or with one of my film cameras. I would say a lot of my work is more like street photography because I photograph what I see out in the cities, but some of my work is created by setting up still lifes, which I’m growing quite fond of. And I’ve also loved taking photos of architecture and cemeteries – I find them quite beautiful.
Once I’ve uploaded my images to my computer, then I look at the ones that have “potential”, maybe do some minor editing and then narrow things done to images I think will work great for my online shops. It’s definitely an on going process. Sometimes, I’ll come back to photos I took years ago and find a “gem”!

SammyPhoto: How did you get started with etsy? What’s your favorite part of Etsy? What’s your least favorite part?
Sonja: I actually started selling purses on Etsy back in 2008. But I quickly realized I wasn’t that good at it! Plus, it wasn’t something I was as passionate about as photography. So, in 2010 I decided to open my photography shop, Squintphotography.

My favorite part of Etsy is the exposure you can get as an artist, but also all the great art you can discover. My least favorite would be the bias towards more popular shops. It can sometimes be hard for customers to find you when they browse and the same featured shops keep coming up. This isn’t exclusive to Etsy, I’ve seen this on most online art and craft sites.

SammyPhoto: Could you give us some helpful tips?
Sonja: 1. Have great photos! It’s the only way to showcase your work to a potential buyer who can not touch and feel what you make.
2. List only your best work. Don’t add listing just to fill up your shop. I would say have at least enough items to fill one page, and make them good!
3. Promote, promote, promote! Get your links out there on social media, share what you’re doing and what you love and you will gain followers and eventually sales.

SammyPhoto: How did you get into photography?
Sonja: A few ways. A friend of mine was taking a photography class and saying how fun it was, while at the same time I was working as an Interior Designer and I often had to take photos at my clients home while construction was going on. My boss complimented my photos, saying they were really good. So, it got me thinking and I eventually bought a Nikon film SLR. I wanted to learn to proper way, with film and a “normal” 50mm lens. Over the years I took a few college photo courses here and there, but am largely self taught.

SammyPhoto: What inspires you?
Sonja : I actually love the work of photographers, Keith Carter and Peter Brown. Their work is mostly different from mine, but it speaks to me in almost a spiritual way. Their work taught me to go out there, explore and shoot whatever I find interesting.

SammyPhoto: Where do you call home?
Sonja: I am from Dallas, Texas and although I wouldn’t say it’s directly influenced me as an artist, living here has offered some great opportunities. There is a real growing support for local art and artists, which is fabulous. Also, the city offers so many cool things to shoot and discover. One of my fave things is to walk through downtown in the morning and take photos of the buildings and shop windows.

SammyPhoto: Could you describe your style for us.
Sonja: I would say its modern, urban, sometimes dark and funky.

SammyPhoto: Could you share some of your hobbies with us.
Sonja: I still love to sew and recently finished a quilt for my husband and I. Also, we love to go hear live music and try new restaurants in town. And if I’m lucky, he’ll take me dancing sometimes!

SammyPhoto: Does your art pay the bills?
Sonja: No, not yet! Besides selling on Etsy, occasionally I do Interior Photography for realtors and designers. It’s a way to combine my love for interior design and photography and mostly, it helps supplement my Etsy revenue. Also, I do sell online at Fine Art America and Society 6.

SammyPhoto: Art school or self taught?
Sonja: I have a BFA in Interior Design and Art History and have taken some college level courses on Photography, but essentially taught myself the basics. Also, I have many friends that are photographers and they have definitely helped me out along the way!

SammyPhoto: Share a blog you love with us.
Sonja: Lenscratch
http://lenscratch.com/

SammyPhoto: Anything else you would like to add ?
Sonja : I consider myself first and foremost an artist. I always loved drawing as a kid and then became interested in design as a teenager. Photography is my “grown-up” passion now, but is definitely influenced by my love of art and my experience in the design world.

SammyPhoto: Thank you so much Sonja for doing this interview! I would like to invite everyone to check out Squintphotography on Etsy HERE and follow her on social media her here….
Facebook

Vibrant colors of food

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Food can be an amazing subject to photograph due to it’s natural beauty and vibrant colors, like these strawberries for example. One benefit is being able to eat it when you’re done, which is a great bonus.

Title: Vibrant strawberries
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


Apples provide an oblong shape with interesting details such as the scattered dots through out. Next time you pick up an apple, look at how much detail they have, and not one is the same.

Title: Bright red apples
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


This pumpkin was one of my favorites to photograph because it just doesn’t feel like autumn until you have the orange and yellow vegetables.

Title: Round pumpkin
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

California is thirsty for rain

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People all over the country may take rain for granted, but in California, we have been welcoming any type of moisture. This photo was taken back in February 2014 when we saw our last rain, which shows you just how rare it can be in this area.

Title: thirsty for rain
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


A beautiful end to a wet day in Southern California. These clouds blanketed the sky for quite a while, giving off an ominous dark vibe.

Title: Stormy sky
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


One of the last pictures I have where the ocean hasn’t taken over the pier fully. At this very spot right now, there are waves that constantly hit the pier, however in this photo, the tide was still far out.

Title: Hiding under the pier
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Artist interview featuring Dorothyann Strange

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I would like to introduce you all to Dorothyann she has traveled to places such as Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Spain, New Zealand, Dominican Republic and England photographing all of her adventures along the way. Her work is hanging in coffee shops, restaurant and other local business.

SammyPhoto: Walk us through the step-by-step process you use to create your art.
Dorothyann: I get an idea or an inspiration, often during a night of insomnia or in the shower. I write my idea down making it as clear and detailed as possible so that my thoughts and therefore my vision become clear. I write of the potential problems of shooting this vision followed by possible solutions to them. Then I plan the shoot itself. I practice the shoot if possible or appropriate. If any other issues or problems or variations of my idea pop up, I change the plan, or adapt my vision to improve it. Then off to photoshop to complete the vision.

SammyPhoto: How did you get started with etsy?
Dorothyann: Ah,Etsy. A friend recommended I look into selling on Etsy. I had no idea what they were talking about. What a discovery!
What I enjoy most about Etsy are the artist photographers I have come in contact with. I have learned more from them than any photography organization I have been a part of. FPOE is my go-to group for advice in photography, selling photography, printers, and the general business of photography. Also, they are great for venting about difficult issues or celebrating good news.
As for my least favorite part, hm-m-m, maybe not understanding exactly what I need to do to get ‘seen’ more often, though I have been neglectful of my shop recently because I am in the middle of moving to another state and getting a house ready for sale, so my views have taken a severe hit. My customers have all been terrific, which is not everyone’s experience.

SammyPhoto: Could you give us some helpful tips?
Dorothyann: 1. Patience! Sales will come, but not as quickly as you had hoped.
2. Add something to your shop daily, if possible. It really improves the number of times your shop is seen, for some reason.
3.Look at other photog shops to see how they make theirs unique to their style, and develop your own personal style and reflect that in your shop.
OH! Join Etsy teams, especially, fPOE! You will learn important if not essential information for selling on Etsy. Plus, teams are supportive of what you do and what you hope to accomplish.

SammyPhoto: How did you get into photography?
Dorothyann: My first camera was a Kodak 104 Instamatic that I was given for Christmas when I was twelve. For my professional start, a photographer who worked in a photo shop invited me to enter a local photography contest. She picked out three photos from a handful I brought in as I had no clue what to enter. I won the show, beating out the photographer who encouraged me and whose pic had won an earlier contest. Two hundred fifty dollars richer, I decided to shoot more seriously and enter more contests and a camera club. These experiences gave me the confidence to find venues to sell my images.

SammyPhoto: Who inspires you?
Dorothyann : Yikes! There are so many. Some are not photographers. I love the simplicity of Edward Hopper, Robert Frank and Ansel Adams. I love the power of Dorothea Lange and the intelligence of Annie Liebovitz. My mother also loved to shoot and she is my muse.
These are artists I aspire to though I find my style is still too far removed from anything these artists do. I will continue to work to simplify my work and make it more thoughtful and intelligent.

SammyPhoto: Where do you call home?
Dorothyann: Iowa will always be home to me though I have not lived there for 37 years which I believe has influenced my choice of subjects. I have always missed Iowa and perhaps, if I am honest, my young years living on the family farm. I have chronicled my life experiences through scrapbooks starting at a very young age. I have scrapbooks of my 4-H years, high school events and friends, baby scrapbooks. And now I do photo books ordered online. I have books on my two daughters experiences in the Peace Corps (I visited them both in Uzbekistan and the Dominican Republic) and a book of letters and photos sent by my Marine son who had been stationed in Iraq. Always, it has been important to me to record my life as it has been a wonderful journey.

SammyPhoto: Could you describe your style for us.
Dorothyann: I like drama in a photo, if possible. Fun, on occasion. Sometimes, thought-provoking.

SammyPhoto: Share some of your hobbies with us.
Dorothyann : Gardening in the spring, summer and fall. Movies in the winter! I make my own Christmas cards and come up with new photo products of local images to sell in a local gallery.
Travel when I can!

SammyPhoto: Does your art pay the bills?
Dorothyann : I took me five years before I started to make a profit in photography, primarily because I sell photos and photo products such as coasters, mugs, keychains out of a local gallery that takes a 40% commission and if it doesn’t sell, I eat the cost! Though the exposure through the gallery has led to custom work with several banks and homeowners that has saved me. I will increase my online presence as it has considerably less cost to it. Here is were fPOE has been so helpful, I just need to act on their good advice.

SammyPhoto: Art school or self taught?
Dorothyann : Self-taught, though I have learned much from talking with professionals. I am friends with several photojournalists and with professors who teach either in art or photography. I also belong to a camera club where I have learned from amazing photographers, and judges. There is also an excellent annual conference in Holland, Michigan called SWMCC that I have attended. I subscribe to photo magazines as well and visit interesting photographer blogs online.

SammyPhoto: Anything else you would like to share with us?
Dorothyann :
Occasionally, I need to remind myself that I do photography to express myself, to show others what i see in something, some place, or someone and not to produce images that I think will sell or that is in vogue that people want to hang in their homes. I find it creatively draining to take a photo and make it like all the others ‘out there’ so that I can get a sale.

Stay true to your heart and your vision!

SammyPhoto: Thank you so much Dorothyann for doing this interview! I would like to invite everyone to check out RightOnStrange on Etsy and follow her on social media here….
Pinterest
Twitter

Love at sunset

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Sometimes it’s hard to capture birds on the beach because of how skiddish they are, but I managed to get up close to this group just as they were flying away.

Title: Gold coast seagulls
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


Since the tide has gone down a bit, we discovered how much moss the rocks have. This is from months of constantly being under water, so it was like finding bright green treasure.

Title: reflection of mossy beach rocks
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


Romance on the beach is what makes life so great.

Title: Silhouette love
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


Walking away into the sunset, looking calm and at peace with the world.

Title: Sweet sunset silhouette
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Nude photography 2014


Wagon
Location:Ojai, California


A Dark Tunnel
Location:Bass Lake, California


Home In A Hole
Location:Ladder Canyon, California


View From The Back
Location:Bass Lake, California


Walk Away
Location:Ojai, California


Buttocks
Location:Ventura, California


Belong To No One
Location:Oakland, California


I Need Sunshine
Location:Sierra National Forest, California


Memorize All The Lines
Location:Oakland, California


Glow Over The Mountain
Location:Malibu, California


Sinful Days
Location:Santa Barbara, California

Nature photography 2014


Green Hills
Location:Sunol, California


Tuolumne Meadows
Location:Yosemite National Park, California


Camarillo Springs Fire
Location:Port Hueneme, California


Highway 1
Location:Big Sur, California


Hume Lake
Location:Sierra National Forest, California


Rose Valley Falls
Location:Ojai, California


Oak Tree
Location:Sunol, California


Spider Web
Location:Ojai, California


Morning Dew Drops
Location:Ojai, California


Dragonfly
Location:Sierra National Forest, California


Purple Bee
Location:Summerland, California

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