Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Featured Seller: ellemoss

Congratulations to POE Team member elle moss. She is the newest Featured Seller on Etsy. Here is a small preview of the interview. To read the full interview click here.

Wanderings: World Cup Teams

In honor of teams who are still in the running to win the World Cup, today we will be traveling to Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Brazil. We need to get some POE photographers to Uruguay, Paraguay, and Ghana to round out the rest of the final 8!

Fairy tale castles by DreambyDay

8x8 Holga Photo Print of Amsterdam by futurowoman

The Balconies of Diversity by newamsterdam

Colorful Shutters by MarissaObscura

Lucie Wicker is a Boston, Massachusetts-based photographer who enjoys taking pictures wherever she goes. She is particularly interested in nature, landscape, and travel photography. Her work can be viewed on her website, blog or in her Etsy shop. She can also be found writing about Boston photography happenings as the Boston Neighborhood Photography Examiner.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

From the Collaboratory

Those of us who are of a certain age remember a candidate for President who loved to say, "The Devil is in the details." Maybe so. But if that is true, either the Devil is a very interesting personage, or he has some competition for inner space.

Wet Threads by PhotoGrunt

Graceful Hand by Aztek721

Flames by flandersfield

Dandelion Wishes by houseofsixcats

One of the best bits of advice I've heard in a photography class is to experiment with distance. These images demonstrate quite clearly that the details can be beautiful.

Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Works - Looking up Through the Trees

Enjoy the view into the trees in these new photographs from the Photographers of Etsy team. Many more tree photos can be found here.

Vintage Blossoms by gallogirlphotos

Golden by elr104

Le Ginko Biloba by MarcoLeGrenouille

Red Bird Red Berries by Ketzelphotography

Kissed by Pink by UrbanDesign


New works is compiled by Jessica Torres. Jessica lives in tiny little Kuna, Idaho with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She tries to ignore housework while taking pictures of whatever is near - her family, the Idaho landscape, random objects collected by her and her family. She loves visitors at her website and her shop.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Help Etsy improve it's art catagory...

Do you ist in the Art category? Amy DeCicco would love to hear your feedback. If you don't list in the Art category and have some general input, that would be great, too! Your feedback will shape the direction the category takes.

Amy is Etsy's taxonomist, here to improve the categories and subcategories on the site to make shopping on Etsy more user-friendly. Taxonomy is just a fancy word for classifying and organizing information, and taxonomists often play a key role in organizing web content, especially in e-commerce settings.

She has been working on drafting new and revising categories for each of the 31 main categories. The goal of these revisions is to make browsing the categories and subcategories more intuitive and accessible to shoppers, eliminate redundancy, clarify vocabulary, and add categories that will aid in the shopping experience. She would be so happy to get feedback on the proposed changes as an important step in validating this work.

If you would be interested in viewing her pdf file and provide feedback on the proposed changes, please contact Bill and he can send it out to you.

Please keep this in mind when viewing it...
  • On the left, you'll see the Art category as it currently appears on the web site.
  • On the right, you'll see the proposed future category organization.
  • The middle column contains reasoning behind term deletion.
And then please let Amy know what you think by replying to

Focus On: Andrea Despot

Make a Wish

If you’ve spent any time at all looking at the work of the POE team, you’ve seen her work.  She describes her shop as Clean, Bold, Simple and Colorful, and that’s a pretty fair description of her work.  She doesn’t just take photographs, she creates images.  Andrea Despot has been an Etsian for going on 2 years, and during a recent conversation I had an opportunity to get to know a bit more about her. 

Steve:  When I come across an interesting photograph, one that grabs my attention, I not only want to know more about the photograph, you know, where is it? what is it?, that sort of thing, but I also want to know more about the person behind the image. Who are they? What's their background? What drives them to express themselves photographically? So, Andrea, with that in mind, what can you tell us about yourself, your family, your background, where you come from, you know, who is this Andrea Despot person?

Andrea:  Wow, this is a really intimidating question; without getting all deep and philosophical about who I am and how I came to be this way, I'll try to keep it short and sweet.


I was born 23 years ago to an artist mom and a physical therapist dad. I have a twin brother and a younger sister.  When I was three we moved from North Carolina to Virginia, where I grew up.  We’re a very close family, the kind of that sits down every night to eat dinner together.  No craziness, no drama; for the most part we all got along extremely well.  We're all fairly quiet; I get my shyness from both my parents, although they say I wasn't nearly as shy as they were at my age.  I've struggled with being quiet and shy my whole life; I've definitely opened up more and am loads more confident now than I ever have been. 

From a young age my mom encouraged the whole art thing.  She didn't push it, but we always had paints, markers, crayons, pencils and scrap paper lying around.  I definitely grabbed onto being an artist and always knew that's what I wanted to do.  In high school I took a bunch of art classes, and in my freshman year I decided to buy a camera with my babysitting money.  I took a lot of pictures of places and things, hardly ever any of people.  I hate saying this because it doesn't sound very humble, but I was pretty talented.  Composition came very naturally to me; I blame it on my mom: it's in my blood! 

Drinks for Two

So I took pictures.  I think I enjoyed that more than painting and drawing because if I messed up, I could just take another shot, whereas with pen and paint, if I messed up I'd get frustrated that I'd have to start all over. 

Photography definitely suited me and there was no doubt that I wanted to make a living doing it, so I applied to The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.  Two weeks after graduating high school, I fulfilled two dreams at once: getting far from the small town where I grew up, and pursuing a life in photography.  

I spent the next two years in Florida and graduated in 2007 with an Associate's Degree in Photography.  I wish I could say I never looked back, but as it happened, what with the economy and all, I ended up back in my hometown, living at home with my parents, looking for a job.  

After a few months I got a job assisting a wedding photographer, but I didn’t really want to weddings.  I kept looking and found a job as a photographer at a printing company.  I've been there for the past two years, working full-time while still living at home, saving money. I do freelance on the side; sell my work on Etsy as well as in local galleries. 

I guess that wasn't really short and sweet, was it?!

One in Three

S:  I've always liked your work, and looking at it one can see you're putting your training to use. Your use of lighting, focus, composition, perspective, etc. shows you've got a "deep toolbox" and you're not letting your tools get rusty. You said you didn't want to shoot weddings, a sentiment shared by many, but in a small town, if you take weddings off the table, it seems to me there wouldn't be a lot left for a young photographer just starting out to sink her teeth into. There must be established photographers in the area to compete with; are you getting freelance commissions, and if so, what sort of jobs are you getting?

A:  Truthfully, you're right. The small town I'm living in isn't the best place to start out as a photographer. I could probably make a lot of money doing weddings, but you know what? I don't want to. I hate doing it. I admit I did do one wedding, after being talked into it by the client, and it reconfirmed for me why I don't want to do them! And who would want to hire someone to do something they blatantly admit hating to do?  Unfortunately I don't have much freelance work at the moment. I've done some portraits, some photographs of other artists' exhibits, and that's really about it. I need to look further, find a new job. I've always known I'm not staying here forever. Just for now.

All We Are, Are Shadows

S:  If your heart isn't in it, that will definitely come through in your work. I really believe it takes a certain kind of individual to shoot weddings; I'm not one of them either. 

So, what DO you like to photograph? Do you put a lot of planning into your shoots, or do you take it as it comes? Structure or serendipity, which do you prefer?

A:  Structure, structure, structure!  I love working in the studio where I can control everything!  I love making everything perfect, controlling everything from the lighting to choosing the pretty objects to the color and scale and depth-of-field.  If you look at the product section on my website, you'll see what I mean.  That said, I've also been shooting a lot of "pretty" pictures lately and that usually involves chance; I'm loving photographs that have an extremely shallow depth-of-field.

S:  Somehow I thought you were going to say that! Most of the images of yours that I've seen seem to be studio shots, and the fact that you like studio work comes through. This studio you use, is it yours, or do you have access to one belonging to someone else? What's the setup like; what resources do you have at your disposal?

Study in Blue

A:  I don't own my own studio but I still have access to the wedding photographer’s studio where I used to work.  He let's me use it whenever I want, but that won’t last much longer; he’s going out of business and moving, so I will have to use the studio where I work during the day.  

It has an infinitely better setup, except since it's basically warehouse-style at the printing company, the ambient lighting isn’t the best, but I try to make do.  I have a LOT of equipment at my disposal: strobe lights, large and small soft-boxes, grids, barn doors, booms, knuckles, snoots, seamless paper, etc.  I shoot stuff during my lunch break or when I have nothing else to do at work.  But now I'll have to look into getting a key for after hours.

S:  Wow! That’s pretty cool! If I had access to that kind of set up, I'd shoot more in the studio too!

Let's talk about your equipment for a moment; what's in your bag? And if money weren't a concern, what would you like to add to it?

Fat Bastard

A:  I don't have a lot of camera equipment, just a Canon 30D, a Canon 28-135mm lens, a Sigma 17-70mm lens, and my absolute favorite: a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens.  I also have a Canon 580 EX II flash and a Sekonic light meter, both of which I barely use.  I would love to own the Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens, but it's extremely expensive.  Other than that, there's nothing I can think of that I'm dying to have.  I really just want a room in my house with my own studio equipment!

S:  Yeah, finding that "extra" room for your work can be a problem!

I'm sure you look at the work of other photographers; we all do, don't we?  What images do you like to look at; what attracts you, what draws you in?  Are there any photographers that have inspired you or influenced your work?  And regarding your work, is there an underlying message or theme...what draws you to take the photographs you do?

A:  I always hate this question because I never have an answer!  I love so many photographers from Man Ray to Annie Liebovitz to Mario Testino to Sally Mann to all the professional photographers whose names I don't know and all the talented photographers on flickr and Etsy whose names aren't known yet to the world. There are so many talented people out there; it can be overwhelming to choose a favorite photographer or even favorite photograph. I love dark black & white, grainy nude portraits, and I love fresh, clean, new, colorful magazine advertisements!  I love mysterious, strange photographs as well as ones that are just pretty to look at!  It really depends on the photograph: if the colors and composition are attractive to me, or if I get a wonderful feeling from them. 


I feel like my work hasn't evolved to the point of having any message other than just looking good.  I hope someday I can take such photographs, but it's no use in forcing it right now.

S:  That's not the kind of thing you can force anyway. It either is or it is not. Gosh, that sounds almost Yodda-esque!

Toward the beginning of our conversation, you talked about moving back home after college, "but not forever, just for now".  Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?  You're 23, the road to your entire career is at your feet and every step you take is a step in that direction; where do you see this photography thing taking you, or where will you take it?  Where does that road go?

A:  Honestly, I don't really know!  It might take me an hour away to North Carolina; it might take me to California.  It depends on where I apply and where I get a job.  Though, I personally hope it's California or somewhere far away from here!  I don't really care about becoming an incredibly famous, well-known photographer who lands the magazine covers.  I just want to have an honest job, doing the kind of work I love to do, working with talented and passionate people.  I just want to be happy.  If that means living in a small, cozy apartment instead of a large mansion, I'd still be just as happy as long as I was proud of my photography.


S:  That sounds like a fine plan to me; focus on the journey and the destination will reveal itself.  I like it.  Andrea, thank you for this opportunity to get to know you better; I wish you nothing but success.

A:  And thank you! I really appreciate your interest in me and my photography! 


PhotoGrunt is Steve Raley, a photographic documentarian from Seattle, Washington.  He captures images wherever he goes, and he  frequently even uses a camera.  His work can be seen on his websiteblog and his Etsy shop.

Our June slide show is LIVE!

Created by Taryn of BornBarefoot.

The theme is TTV images (Through The Viewfinder) Here is a selection of beautiful images from our very talented team of photographers on Etsy! Visit Etsy and search POE team for more great photography!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Dark, quirky, mysterious, eerie & downright scary selections from the POE Team....

close up of dragonfly  by forestlight
angel ice winter vintage  by gothicrow
pretty as a picture  by mkendall
very cold blue fairy with frozen wings  by matchstickgirl
grimm path  by missquitecontrary
ephemeral light  by xenya
a wicked wind will blow the ribbons from your curls  by DreambyDay
haunted  by ScooyouPhotography
bozo brothers clowns  by HeyHarriet
statue of thought  by zMacPhotography

Pat of photogenicgallery lives in the northeast United States with her sweetheart husband, two doting dogs & about ten different cameras.  She has been known to capture at least one dose of happy moments per day.

Around the world with the POE Kitty...

2 years ago our team leader Bill (HouseofSixCats) had a fun idea. To buy a felt Travel Kitty from lmdalton and have her customize it with our team name and a camera so that we could pass him around the world to our team members. Unfortunately we have lost track of him, hopefully he is still traveling the world.

These pictures are not in order, just randomly posted as I receive them! If you have images of the POE Kitty, feel free to email me here. Send as many photos as you would like, along with any information you remember, and anything you would like to tell us!


Ruth (elephantdreams) says "Thought kitty looked thirsty when she arrived. She was loads of fun, and happy hour will never be the same. Alas I can't remember how she got here or where she went......too many margaritas I'm sure."

Margarita kitty


Judi (JudiFitzPatrick) received the Kitty on 10/30/2008. She sent the Kitty to another team member sometime after 12/12/2008.

Here he is on the plane with me flying to Tucson, AZ, on 11/20/08.

Taken in Tucson on 11/23/08.

My daughter, Wendy, was watching the Broncos game. Kitty joined right in and cheered them on. This on 11/30/08.

The photographer photographing the other "photographer". Taken on 12/2, the last day of my visit.

Back at my place, Kitty posed with my old camera.

This is the next to last, taken on 12/12 at my older daughter's place here in Massachusetts.

Kitty Roots For New England/Boston Sports Teams

This post was compiled by Pam Hardy. Pam lives in beautiful Alberta, Canada. She has always been fascinated with cameras and has been taking pictures most of her life. Her favorite things to photograph are flowers and animals, and she enjoys experimenting with new subjects and techniques. See Pam's blog here and her shop right here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Works - Summertime Edition

Take a look at these new, summery photos from the Photographers of Etsy team. You can find these and many other fine art photographs here.

They call it Poppy Love by magnesina

Summer Lovin' by SusannahTucker

Summer Solstice by AnnWilkinson

Warm Tuscan Summer Sun by enchangedpond

Fun Slide by ellemoss

Here Comes the Sun by Kristybee

New works is compiled by Jessica Torres. Jessica lives in tiny little Kuna, Idaho with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She tries to ignore housework while taking pictures of whatever is near - her family, the Idaho landscape, random objects collected by her and her family. She loves visitors at her website and her shop.

Friday, June 18, 2010

From the Collaboratory

So … heart, mind and body, all working together. That’s when art happens.

I stand each day on the shore by honeytree

For a photographer, the foundation, the “mind” part, begins with knowing the basics of photography and how to manipulate them in one's own camera. That means reading the manual, camera in hand, going through the different settings and operations again and again, and taking thousands of photographs, experimenting and learning along the way.

Great Blue Heron by futurowoman

When I first started getting serious about photography, I’d take one shot of a subject I liked and move on to the next. Not a surprise that the results were disappointing. Slowing down is a hard lesson for me, but one that is beginning to pay off.

Now I take several shots of the same subject, playing with settings and distance from the subject until the image I’ve actually taken is the one I wanted to get - or maybe even a little better. This practice has been the best thing ever to get me to understand how my particular camera actually works. I’ve learned, for example, that in general, if I use the recommended settings as indicated on the exposure level indicator, the images come out overexposed. So now, I shoot a couple of stops down, check the display, and shoot again until the result is pleasing.

The Caiman by squid21r

And then I dump the trash! Let the crappy images go!

Play with your camera. Use the glorious freedom digital imaging has given us to take lots and lots of pictures. See what works and what doesn’t. Get to know your equipment so well that adjusting the settings becomes almost automatic. (How many times I have missed a really sweet shot because I was fiddling with the camera!) Muscle memory will start to kick in, and you won't have to think about it so much.

Vincent Versace says he can tell shutter speed by the sound his camera makes when he snaps the picture. That’s the “body” part of the equation.

The more your body and mind are trained – in other words, the better you know your camera and the principles of your art, the more your “heart” can inform the images you capture.

Heart My Book by SarahMoldovan

Some or all of the proceeds from sales of these photos will be donated to help various organizations working to repair the devastation along the Gulf Coast. Squid21r will donate $5 from each purchase of The Caiman to the National Audubon Society, which is assisting in recover efforts along the Gulf. HelpTheGulfCoast, where I found the photos by ClydeKeller Photo, honeytree, SarahMoldovan and futurowoman, will donate 100% of the proceeds (after etsy & paypal fees) to OxFam America and the National Wildlife Federation. Both organizations have given permission to fundraise on their behalf.

Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wanderings: Alaska

Happy Wednesday! Today we are trekking to Alaska via several POE Team members' photo listings on Etsy. The quiet beauty of this unique state is clearly unparalleled. Enjoy.

A pond in Juneau by mattallen

Lucie Wicker is a Boston, Massachusetts-based photographer who enjoys taking pictures wherever she goes. She is particularly interested in nature, landscape, and travel photography. Her work can be viewed on her website, blog or in her Etsy shop. She can also be found writing about Boston photography happenings as the Boston Neighborhood Photography Examiner.