April 11, 2016

a spring still life

Some pretty spring things to start off the week! I belong to about ten gazillion photography groups online. (actually that's a fib. i belong to.....seven?? i think it's seven.) Anyway, one of the groups I'm in is devoted to a love of still life images. And the project set for us this month was to concentrate on nature-derived 'found things' ~ things from nature that we could find just around our house or local environment. My daffodils and some other little small flowers that I can't recall the name of were blooming perfectly last week in my weed jungle of a yard, so I brought some in and made a scattering of things to complement the flowers.

More and more with my photography, I grow increasingly in love with styling and props. I've tried to explain this notion to my incredulous husband, that there are people who actually do this for a living  - and he thinks we live in a funny world.

I struggle with this idea and my books, but I'm going to keep chipping away at it. I want to style my books the way my favorite food bloggers style their food photos (did you know my dearest photography wish is to photograph a cookbook for someone?? 'tis true). But it's hard to do with books because they need to be propped open and you have to be so close to really see anything, and blah blah, oh it's hard to style my books! I can't believe I just wrote that down. #firstworldbookbloggingproblems

I originally thought that these photos were going to be light and airy and oh so springtimey! But sometimes these things take on a life of their own, and I've quickly discovered that I truly love dark and moody lighting and it's physically HARD for me to get light and airy with my photos. Like, if I don't add a vignette around a photo (a dark shadowy border), I feel like the photo doesn't look right. I have a TERRIBLE vignetting addiction.

As much as I love moody lighting, I really do love pastels and happy bright light, and I definitely want to get better at that as well. I want to make pictures that remind me of my favorite Japanese photographer, Hideaki Hamada. Let's add that to the #firstworldphotographyproblems tab.

I've had some fabric washi tape around the house since last year, and I thought it would look nice with the yellow. And I have my beloved sugar bowl. I showed and telled about it a few weeks back on Instagram - my sweet mother in law gave me a gift certificate to Anthropologie, and I got a little sugar bowl and creamer pot. I'm obsessed with them and keep both on a wee little tray, right next to my sink, so I can see it all the time. Apparently the design is based on a Scandinavian folktale?? I just read that on the Anthro site. Or supposedly Scandi inspired? That just made me love it even more.

I think still life photos are excruciatingly hard! In a way, it's great, no screaming children running away from you. But you can't just capture a happy smile and move on. I think it's really hard and prop styling is hard and my hat is off to those who do it well as a profession! ANYWAY, that was a lot of blathering on about photos, sorry, but hope you guys like the little scene I created and yeah, that's my story for today.


  1. Pretty indeed! Also, I love washi tape. Funny enough, my husband is a prop stylist for photography (not tabletop very often though). :) He makes and paints and sources a lot of wonderful things: http://davishandmade.com

    1. omigolly!!! Just took a quick peek, he's fabulous!!!! How fun! I'm off to wade more thoroughly through his site.....

    2. oh neato, he's worked with Max Wanger, one of my favorite photographers....how cool this is! What a totally interesting line of work!

  2. Lovely photos - the yellow flowers are just what I needed. Around here we are stuck in a very grey funk, with snow a continued threat and spring feeling very far away. My daffodils are up, but not blooming yet, so I am probably going to come back and look at your tulips again tomorrow, if I need a little pick me up.

    1. thank you so much Miss Dana!!! i'm glad all the yellow provided a little boost - our week of amaaaazing weather has gone away and now we're back to temps in the 50's, blustery and clouds marching across the sky!

  3. I have recently started a kids book blog and because of you, and your lovely blog, I can't just take a picture of the book by itself. I feel each book needs to have their own charming little settings, complete with marvelous props. AND IT IS HARD. I look at your pictures and all the other blogs and instagram accounts I am in love with and it looks easy and graceful. And I am over here laboring over every detail and then feeling like a monumental failure. :-) My hope is that one morning I will wake up a champion photo stylist. Ha! Until then, I will keep laboring away. :-)This post really resonated with me.
    I love, love these pictures. They are so springy!! I want your washi tape. I know what you mean about the moody lighting. It adds such a depth and body to the pictures.
    Oh, and in case you are interested, my blog is http://booksandumbrellas.blogspot.com/

  4. Beautiful!

    You've said your wish. Now watch it come true!