Tag Archives: inspire

The Cabin in the Woods

20 Feb
The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

Looks like a nice little place to go warm your toes, huh? 🙂  These last few weeks have been snow, snow and more snow.  I still can’t say I love the cold, but it sure does make for some nice photos!

This was taken in upper CT, along a quiet cross-country ski trail by a frozen lake in the winter woods.  It is just one of the many hidden gems to be found out on the east coast.  What we Nutmeggers (yeah…that’s what they call people from Connecticut…I know, I know…) lack in broad sweeping vistas and notable landmarks, we often make up for in scenes like this.  Living here really encourages us to explore…because you never know what you’ll find if you’re willing to go just a little further off the beaten path.  Or in this case, down the ski-path!

A few years back I found a necklace in a small shop on the Cape. It’s a charm with a picture of a compass, and inscribed on it are the words, “Explore. Create. Believe.”  The words stuck with me as both a motto for what I want my life to be, and encouragement to push my photo work just a little further and have faith in the results.  The necklace is a daily reminder that you never know what incredible things are waiting for you up around the bend…you just have to get there.

Thanks for the continued support!! You are all a source of inspiration to me. 🙂

Shannon

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Quotography Inspiration

27 Apr

There is no trick to Quotography, but as I’m sure many of you can attest, there are some quotes that are easier to put into images than others. We have decided to tell you a little bit about our process in the hopes that you, our fellow collaborators, can get something out of it! Remember, our way of doing it is not “the right” way to go about it…it’s just a discussion to get your wheels turning and the creativity flowing.

The best way to do this, I think, will be with some examples.

“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Shannon’s Thoughts:

The first thing I do with most quotes is look for the obvious, tangible items in it. In this case, I could try to do something with breath…maybe frosty breath on a cold morning…something along those lines. However, I don’t think that would really illustrate the message Shing Xiong is trying to convey. Instead, I would focus on the ‘moments’ portion of the quote.

‘Moments’ could be something with clocks or watches. Maybe a clock involved in an image of something I value. A watch on a couple holding hands or kissing?

However, to me, this quote is special enough that I would want to do better than a first obvious thought. If this were my quote, I would be inclined to do a photo involving other photos of special moments. Maybe a photo of polaroids spread out on a table? Or a photo of a scrapbook. Photos are my favorite way to remember important moments, so it would be an ideal way to both illustrate the quote while still communicating my personal values.

Nick’s Thoughts:

It’s funny Shannon should pick this quote for us to brainstorm on as an example, because we actually reference it quite a bit with the Charity I work for, so I already have a strong connection to its message.

When approaching quotography, I typically go either one of two ways. First would be to try and pull elements from the actual quote and arrange them in a way that would make for a complimenting image. The other is to try and visualize what the overall message is of the quote and work on capturing an image of that idea, which at times has no particular element from the quote included in the imagery.

Given my relationship with this quote I would definitely go for capturing the idea of unforgettable moments over the elements, which could go in multiple directions. The romantic in me would shoot a well dressed man on one knee asking for his soon to be fiance’s hand in marriage, while she was beginning to weep tears of joy as he presents the sizable rock he has patiently saved up for over the last year. However, the charitable figure in me would shoot more of a reaction to a front row experience at a concert or event. The outrageously energetic cheers as a favorite band comes on stage or the fainting girl as her dream guy rockstar gives a gesture of recognizing her existence. Even a shot of a the winning marathon runner breaking through the ribbon at the end of the course, both hands in the air celebrating a hard earned victory while moments later he will surely be too exhausted to hardly even move. Each of these unforgettable experiences would play in perfectly to the overall message of this quote.

Some quotes are more difficult to apply imagery to…

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Shannon’s Thoughts:

I briefly thought about doing something with a globe, but again that’s an obvious portrayal and I feel, inaccurate. This quote makes me think of someone who leads by example, such as Mother Theresa of Martin Luther King, Jr. They epitomized the idea of large change with non-violent methods. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to take a photo of those particular examples, but there are humanitarian efforts all around us. The trick is to recognize them.

Some ideas that come to mind are involved as photographs representing a cause, or as simple as catching a random act of kindness. In my mind, both would tell a story of gentle change.

Nick’s Thoughts:

This is another instance where I would go for the imagery of the idea behind, which in my mind would be small actions can have large impacts.

Imagery wise, I would probably go for something simple to compliment the quotes easy nature. Perhaps a image of some youth out in the middle of town holding up a “Free Hugs” sign (which if you have never done yourself, I would highly suggest it! Its a very rewarding experience to see the impact a simple hug can make to someones day), with a recent hug receiver walking away with a huge grin on their face. Or even better yet a couple elderly ladies walking away giggling about the handsome young teens that they just received hugs from. Even something simple like a shot of someone tossing their plastic cup and paper bags in the recycle bin rather than the trash.

Notice that neither example necessarily ran with the exact wording of the quote, but captured the essence of the ideas expressed.. however, you could just as easily run with the elements in the quote, using gently and the world within your imagery. Its completely up to you how you approach it, as we said, there is no right or wrong way to go about this project, as long as you get the creative juices flowing. Our intention is that by seeing our methods, you may be able to shape your own creative process.

If you have any questions, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, please don’t hesitate to contact us: Shannon (seespotsphoto@yahoo.com) or Nick (nrmayo87@gmail.com)!

The most important part of this project is that you HAVE FUN!!!! There will be no judging, only celebration of creativity when this is all said and done. We look forward to seeing all of your creative results as well as show casing our own!!

Projects!

17 Apr
Oh How Far We've Come!

Oh How Far We've Come!

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~Ansel Adams

At some point in every creative person’s life, you hit a dry spell.  You want to be imaginative, and fun and innovative with your art.  Truly, you want to!  But you can’t.  You can’t focus, you can’t think, you can’t…well…create.

At one point in my photo-history, I hit just such a dry spell.  My solution was projects.  Mini-series, if you will.

Currently, I have several long-standing projects which I add to as I either come across an appropriate image-to-be, or when I’m in need of inspiration.  I’ve started a series on Bikes, Diners, Chucks (aka Converse Shoes), Old Cameras and of course, Quotography.  The above photo is part of both of the last two series!

Do you set challenges for yourself?  Do you find it helps gets the creative juices flowing?  If you haven’t tried, do you want to? =)

Quotography

10 Apr
"Faith becomes a bridge between where I am and where I want to go." ~ TD Jakes

"Faith becomes a bridge between where I am and where I want to go." ~ TD Jakes

“Faith becomes a bridge between where I am and where I want to go.” ~TD Jakes

When I first saw that quote, I felt the weight of it. Thirteen words that I could identify with, that felt true based on my experiences in life. And being a ‘visual’ person, those words brought images to mind – an unassuming bridge with a dramatic sky to add interest. (Yes, even my imagination is well-composed! I’m a photographer, afterall. :p) once I had a visual impression of the quote, I set about bringing that image to life.

I admit, this is not the first time I have created a photo inspired by a quote. It started as a personal journey, which I then opened up to friends. I began making quotagraphs of words that were meaningful to the people that touched my life. It was a nice gift, but also, a way to flex my creative muscles.

I recently talked to my friend Nick at Nick Exposed about my quote images, with the intention of sharing some inspiration. The conversation rapidly turned into a plan – we want to share the creativity with both our fellow photographers, but also, with you…the people who support, encourage and inspire me.

So, Nick and I have planned a creative quotography adventure and you are all invited. You do need a camera of some sort, and more importantly…the desire to learn, to grow and to have fun making art with other creatives. If you think you’d like to join the party, leave a comment below, send me an email at seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com or find me on Facebook…and make sure to like my page while you’re there!

As always, thank you for your support! It gives me faith that this bridge will take me where I want to be. 🙂

Completely, 100% Grateful

6 Apr

Over the past few days, I’ve been dealing with a wicked cold…I can’t tell you how grateful and cheered I was to find out I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by mydailycreativity, a therapist who talks about her ups and downs over the past year and her progress with what she calls a Personal Creativity Challenge.  Many thanks to Angela for the recognition – I’ve always felt her blog was very open and inspiring.  Check it out! =)

inspiring-blogger-award

inspiring-blogger-award

To accept this award, I am required to nominate 7 other bloggers whom I feel are worthy of the honor, and tell the world 7 unknown facts about me.  Let’s start with the other bloggers that inspire me.  Please, check out all of their sites, I’m sure they’d appreciate a comment or two!

1)      Where to Willie – Will is a photographer-friend who creates stunning images, and who’s passion for life comes through in his images.  He has personally been very supportive and helped stoke my creative fires more than once.

2)      Nick Exposed – Nick is a photographer-friend with inspiring drive to be not just a better artist, but the best person he can be.  I find that to be incredibly impressive.  Please make sure to check out his blog – I promise you will enjoy his thoughtful posts.

3)      Douglas J. Hoffman Photography – As you can probably tell, I’m drawn to photo blogs…there is so much beauty in the world, and I am passionate about seeing as much of it as possible.  Douglas J. Hoffman Photography produces evokative images which are doubly impressive to me, as someone who does not know how to dive.  I may never be fortunate enough to see the ocean from this perspective first hand and I am thankful to at least share his experiences via the blog.

4)      Daniel Feidal Photography – Daniel Feidal’s travel photography instantly caught my attention.  He has produced some incredible landscapes in the countried he has visited.  I truly enjoy going through his images when I need to “get away” from the pressures of day to day life for a while.

5)      When T=12 – Another photo-blog, I find this bloggers view of the world refreshing.  I have always believed that photos aren’t just an image of the world.  It’s also an insight into how the artist sees the world.  Details and macro are the name of Helena’s game – the photo work constantly reminds me that sometimes, the little things in life can be the most important.

6)      Chameleonic – This is a fashion/photo-blog with fantastic style!  Justyna’s street photography captures some great moments, and her edits are interesting/appealing.  The fashion work is a great inspiration for me when I’m in portrait mode.  The commentary pulls the whole blog together, and I really enjoy looking through her posts.

7)      Incito Photography – This photographer puts a distinct stamp on her work, and is very open with her blog content.  I can’t help but enjoy looking through her images! She creates beautiful event portraits, which are inspirational when I’m in wedding-photographer mode…but on a more personal level, I found her travel images (which I am very passionate about) to be striking.  She didn’t just capture the beauty of the place, she captured the soul.

Ah, so now that I’ve told you a little bit about who I’ve found for inspiration…I should tell you a little bit about who I am.

1)      First and foremost, I value honesty, kindness and humor.  I respect people with drive, as it motivates me to work harder.

2)      I’ve always been an “artsy” person, but it wasn’t until I found photography that I found my calling. Now…how to pay the bills with my passion, right? =)

3)      I collect good karma points, and I’m a sucker for charities.

4)      I am a terrible cook.  Like…awful.  But I love to eat new, exciting foods.  It’s one of life’s great tragedies.

5)      I’ve been to 14 countries.  It only makes me want to travel more.  We can’t learn to love the world until we experience it.

6)      I’m not a stuff person.  I don’t need a fancy car or house or [insert toy here]. The only thing I know I’ll have with me for my whole life is my memories.  It’s what shaped me.

7)      I truly enjoy meeting new people.  Please, say hi!  Tell me your story, tell me what you’re passionate about and please tell me what you think of my art. I want to keep growing as a person. =)