Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shields Photography

I haven't had a lot of time lately but now I am back.
Today I would like to get back on the featured artist train.  I am featuring a wonderful photographer named Melissa Shields of Shield's Photography on Artfire.
Melissa is a NASCAR fan and says her husband is very much an outdoor kind of guy.  They started Shield's Photography as a hobby they could enjoy together.

I asked Melissa some questions about herself and her art.  Below are her answers.
How did you first get interested in your craft?
We've both have had a love of photography for years.  I was active in my 4-H program and that is where my love came from.  He always knew he would become addicted if he ever got a hold of a camera he could develop his own photos.  About 18 months ago he hung up the point and shoot and dove into the DSLR world I followed a few months later.  We both have our own cameras.  Digital SLR cameras allow us to develop our photos with computer software instead of a dedicated room and lots of chemicals.  Together in the last year and a half we have taken over thirty thousand photos.  That's an average of 56 photos a day!
Is there another artist or person in your life that inspires you?
I do not think either one of us get inspired by any artist in particular.  We are always looking at other photographers photos to look for things we like and don't like.  When we are doing our art photography we are truly inspired by the surroundings we are in.  We try to capture the surrounds from a point of view others may or may not ever see.  When we are working with portrait clients we are inspired by them and their personalities.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
We both shoot with Canon DSLR cameras for our art photography.  We have all our photos printed by our local printer.  We know that there may be cheaper options available online but we really enjoy working with the folks in that store.  With the locally owned downtown store going by the wayside we like to think we are helping keep a piece of that alive.  We are willing to pay a little bit more to help the local economy and keep a full service camera store in our area.  We just hope our customers understand then same thing.
Is there anything that you think that you do that makes your work stand apart from your competitors?
I think several things make our photographs stand out.  Our photographs are meant to brighten someone's home.  We hope that they draw an emotion each time they are looked at.  Also we use a local photo lab to have our prints made.  In the world of internet labs we have chosen to spend the extra time and money to offer our customers that others don't and that's hometown production.  We support the local economy!  The store is an amazing blast from the past.  It's been in business for 85 years and owned by the people in the store.  The floors are hard wood that probably haven't been resurfaced in the 85 years they've been there.  It's super friendly and by us using their printing services we hope it helps keep them their for another 85 years.
Anything else you'd like my readers to know about?
All of our prints are available in a variety of sizes and other products can be made from them like greeting cards and calendars.  If someone would like something we don't have in our studio we'd love to hear from them!  We'll try to work with them to get what it is that they really want.  We also do local portrait photography. Since we aren't a pro shop we can't offer a coupon code but if the customer sends us a note that they saw it on your blog then we'll refund shipping costs!
You can see Melissa and her husband's wonderful photography on Artfire at?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Traveling jewelry "showings"

So, a friend of mine suggested I bring my jewelry up to her work place because it would be easier than her trying to get them to come to my jewelry showings at my place. 
A few weeks ago I did.  And it worked REALLY well.  I let them know a week or so in advance through my friend what day I would be there.  They let me set things up and I made several sales!  Then, they suggested my friend call over to one of their branches on the north side of town and see if they would like to see my things as well.  They told me to come on over.
I made about $150 in sales between the two places.  It was a good experience.  I'm wondering how to branch this out to more places but wouldn't even know how to go about it.

Add to that, I had a lady ask me to bring some piece to her shoe boutique to show.  So, I also have some pieces in a boutique here in town.  Nothing has sold yet but at least my pieces are being seen more now.