it's october | october 1st, 2017

Helloooo everyone! I went back out this weekend to get new pictures. Have you ever picked up a hobby you set to the side for a while and then remembered how much joy it brought you?! Because that's what happened to me here recently. Like I said guys, get it done.

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There was no need to edit the exposure or colors on this photo! Next time you're outside, pick up a leaf and hold it up to the sunlight.

...even if it's dried up and has holes in it!

Over-expose a photo once in a while. It's okay. Really.

The colors of fall. <3

Pretending to not be bitter about the photo-bombing bug...

I played around with my 50mm lens a bit on this shoot. I would love to use it more, but unfortunately, when I got it a few years ago I failed to realize that the auto-focus wasn't compatible with my camera. So I'm left with manual focus.

I hope you enjoyed! Remember to make time for your art. It should be a priority.

 

-Victoria

PS- I'm on Instagram now! Follow me @victorialivolsiphotography.

get it done | september 24th, 2017

Hey everyone! It had been over a month since I picked up my camera, but last week I finally went out and took some pictures. Only a few, but it was nice to get out. Over that month hiatus, I kept thinking, "I need to make time to do photography... But I'm so busy!" I kept putting it off until a friend asked if we could go to the local park to take pictures. Since then, I've been nagging myself, "When can I go back out?!" (Anyone else ever experience that? ...No?)

I only got a few pictures because it was getting dark quickly. Somehow, my Pentax ended up being the focal point of all of the pictures I liked from this shoot...

Aesthetic. (Is that what the cool kids say?)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my 35mm lens? Because I really love my 35mm lens.

"Don't think about making art, just get it done." Andy Warhol

I should really take my own advice...

Listen, make time for your art. Yes, you. You make art; I know you do. Maybe not with a paint brush or a camera, but you make your art is some way. Maybe you prefer a whisk and a mixing bowl over a paintbrush, or a football, or a pen. Whatever it is, get it done. Make time for your art. I firmly believe we were meant to be creative beings and because of that, creating is a key part of our humanity. We need to do it. So I am challenging you (and me). This week, make time for your art. I don't care if it's five minutes or five hours worth. Just get it done. Then come back and tell me about it.

 

- Victoria

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society6 product review with pictures + special offer

Hey everyone! As many of you know, I sell my photography through a company called Society6. However, most of you are not familiar with that company or their products. So I thought I'd share some of the products, my review of them, and include a special offer at the end of this post! I plan on also sharing a blog about selling from an artist's perspective for fellow artists at a later date, so if that's you, stay tuned!

Travel Mugs

This is a travel mug from Society6.

With a photo I took as its design.

Whaaaat?!

This is crazy to me, that I am able to sell my photography on products such as this and that people are actually interested in purchasing them. I was really excited to see Society6 come out with this product a while back and I thought that since I’m selling this, I might as well try it out and let you know what I think!

Right now these ceramic travel mugs are only available in the 12oz size with white trim. Metal travel mugs are also available in 15oz but I do not currently own one.

Society6 description: Take your coffee to go with a personalized ceramic travel mug. Double-walled with a press-in suction lid, the two-piece (12oz) design ensures long lasting temperatures while minimizing the risk of spillage from kitchen to car to office. Standing at just over 6" tall with wrap around artwork, safely sip hot or cold beverages from this one of a kind mug.

While the lid does have a good seal, it is not completely spill-proof. The suction part of the lid does not go all the way around the mug. It’s fine to be in your car’s cup holder but if tipped on its side it will leak.

This is a great product and I do recommend it. I plan on using it especially through the winter seasons. I love that it is made of ceramic and not plastic, despite the risk of breaking it. Call me crazy but hot drinks in plastic mugs absorb the taste of plastic. (Gross.) This mug is dishwasher safe (although I personally still prefer wash it by hand). These would made great gifts!

Hoodies

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This is one of my favorite products! These hoodies are light weight and are made from 100% California Fleece cotton. They available in pull-overs and zip-ups in a variety of colors. The print quality is great!

All Over Print Shirts

This is an example of an all over print shirt. This lovely lady recently purchased it from my shop and here's what she had to say: "I absolutely LOVE my new shirt with your photography printed on it! It is so soft and comfy. It really is beautiful. I look forward to acquiring some more. :)"

Prints

This is one of the Society6 prints from my shop, purchased by a friend.

Society6 description: Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 1" border for framing.

Much more!

I offer over 40 different products in my store including greeting cards, phone cases, clocks, and even leggings...yes...leggings.

Product previews courtesy of Society6.

Pricing

If you've looked through my shop, you know that the products seem to run a bit pricey. Before I go on, let me say this: never feel obligated to purchase a product from my store. I do photography because I love it. For years people asked me to start selling my work, and so I did. I share sales for those of you who want to purchase, so you can buy for a discounted price. But please don't ever feel obligated. Art should not involve obligation.

However, for those of you who are curious about how the pricing works, I will explain that for you. For each product sold, I make a set amount decided by S6, except for prints, canvases, and framed prints, for which I can set my own price. The price of a product includes the cost of goods, Society6's cut, and my cut. Above all else, the key principle of the pricing to understand is that you are purchasing a product designed with a one-of-a-kind work of art on a high quality product. You can't go anywhere else and purchase the same art.

Special Offer!

If you are looking to purchase something from my (or another) store, there is a sale happening right now! Click here to get 20% off + free shipping, now through September 4th, 2017.

Artists, I am working on another blog explaining why I chose Society6 and my experience with them thus far. Stay tuned, if you're interested!

- Victoria

PS- To subscribe to this blog, check out the box on the sidebar or click here.

sharing some old film shots | film | 2012 & 2013

Hey all! I know it's not technically the day or week to do a throwback, but I wanted to *finally* share these shots! I tried to post these last week but couldn't get my scanner to cooperate. It's working now, so here are some shots from 2012/2013 using either a Pentax ME Super or a Ricoh Singlex II.

Fun fact: I love miniatures! These are actually about the size of a postage stamp.

I've never named this baby doll, but she's always been one of my favorites.

Tumblr-aesthetic-sky shot

Purposeful light leak.

Hebrews 11:1. I think I used a macro filter for this shot.

If it weren't so expensive, I would shoot film far more often than I do right now. I love the "look" of film but I also love the challenge. It's easy to use a DSLR--take a shot, adjust the exposure, take another, re-compose, etc. Endless tries. But with film, each shot literally costs you money. Much more pressure! I have many more film shots to share (including some Polaroids) but I'll save those for another time. I hope you enjoyed these two film blogs! As usual, let me know which one was your favorite. Hopefully I can post something new soon!

- Victoria

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film | pentax me super & ricoh singlex II | 2012 & 2013

Hey everyone! This is not the blog I thought I'd be posting today... This was supposed to be a blog of recently developed film from a camera I tested, but unfortunately, the film was far too expired for any of the pictures to look decent. Then I thought I would share the roll of film from my Diana Mini but those didn't come out well either. Finally, I thought I would share some never-before-posted film shots. However, printers/scanners and I don't get along (that's an understatement) and while I got a few photos scanned onto my computer, the quality was terrible. (It's just been on of those days, okay? I broke a hand mixer because I accidentally got a wooden spoon tangled up in the beaters...) Hopefully I can get the scanner situation sorted out by next week so I can share them with you all, but for now, here are a few of the photos I scanned a few years ago! These photos were taken in 2012 or 2013 with either a Pentax ME Super or a Ricoh Singlex II.

Fun Fact: I enjoy reading about the Titanic. Over one hundred years ago, the RMS Titanic sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean after hitting an iceberg. It took less than three hours to sink. Of the 2,223 passengers and crew, 1,517 of them died.

"Twenty-nine third-class female passengers died for every dog carried by a first-class passenger into a lifeboat." Return to Titanic, Robert D. Ballard

Light leaks. <3

Words from a tragically beautiful song by Taylor Swift.

When I posted this one on Flickr, I wrote a bit about memory:

"Memory is the diary we all carry about with us." Oscar Wilde

It's amazing to me how strong memories can be, even after a long time. How you can imagine something from years ago and still picture it like it was yesterday and feel the emotions you felt when it happened. It can fill you with sadness, anger, terror, helplessness, dread, grief, happiness, joy, all over again. Sometimes you laugh or cry too. It also amazes me how something so small can spark a memory. Something like a certain song randomly playing on the radio, or the way the sun is shining, or a smell. Memories are so powerful. They have the ability to change us. They remind us of things we don't want to be, of mistakes we made and people we've hurt. And sometimes they make us closed off from people, for fear of being hurt again.

I hope you enjoyed this even though it was far from what I originally wanted to post. Thanks for reading!

- Victoria

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golden hour (mostly queen anne's lace) | july 29th, 2017

Another back-post photo blog! I went out to take pictures during golden hour but they ended up mostly being Queen Anne's Lace... I decided it didn't matter how many Queen Anne's Lace photos I've taken; I'll take more anyway. Around this time of year, there's a lull in the wildflowers and the lace takes over.

I love photos like these where the contrast between the highlights and shadows is so intense.

Legend says that this plant was named after Anne, the Queen of England, who was an expert lace maker. According to the legend, she was making lace one day when her finger was poked by the needle and a spot of blood landed in the middle of the lace, just like the single red flower in the middle of this plant. I don't think that's true but I can tell you that the Latin name for this plant is daucus carota and it is also known as "wild carrot."

I know for a fact I've taken a picture incredibly similar to this one.. but.. I wanted to take another.

These were such a cool color. I don't think they blend well with the gold light though.

I love "messy" golden hour wildflower shots like these!

Some more facts on Queen Anne's lace:

  • it's good for nearby tomato plants
  • paintings from the past centuries document the history and changes of the plant
  • even though it's edible, it's safer to avoid eating it as two other plants look similar and are poisonous (poison hemlock and fool's parsley)
  • the white flower top can grow to be as wide as 8 or 9 inches

Keep taking pictures of/painting/writing songs about the same thing you love. If you're not doing your art it because you love it, then why are you doing it at all?

- Victoria

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distance with dragonflies | july 26th, 2017

Hello all! This is one of two photo blogs I have from July to share! The other one should be up sometime next week.

This capture is actually from the 25th but I thought I'd include it in this post.

I have about a dozen other daisy shots that I chose not to share...

Had to include this in light of my last blog including wildlife. I got pretty close to this little guy as I was taking pictures and he just sat there like a statue.

Straight out of the camera! Look at that contrast!

I'm not very fond of dragonflies but thankfully I can capture these neat creatures with my 55-200mm lens without getting up close and personal. Did you know there are over 3,000 known species of dragonflies? (I didn't.) I think this one is a libellula luctuosa, aka Widow Skimmer. A dragonfly's diet typically consists of mosquitoes and flies, and sometimes butterflies!

..unintentionally awkward transition.. Saw this little beauty and tried to follow it enough to get a good shot of it. I love the light shining through its wings, sort of like a stained glass window.

Add Queen Anne's lace to my list of most photographed subjects... Even more so than daisies nowadays...

Thanks for checking out this blog! Let me know which picture is your favorite in the comments.

- Victoria

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#tbt | july 2010, 2011, & 2012

Hey everyone! How was your July? This month seemed to go by so quickly for me!

It's the last Thursday in July, so I am posting some throwback Thursday pictures from July of 2010, 2011, and 2012.

These two are both from 2010 and were taken with a Kodak EasyShare Z1012. Mushrooms are so cool and unique. Fun to photograph!

A still-life shot from 2011, again with the Z1012. This is one of my favorite passages from the Bible. Check out 1 Corinthians 13.

Fun fact: I LOVE Alice in Wonderland, and this teacup-turned-flower-pot reminds me of it for some reason. This one is from 2011 and was taken with the Z1012.

"Who's to say what is proper? What if it was agreed that 'proper' was wearing a codfish on your head? Would you wear it?" Alice in Wonderland (Burton, 2010)

When I took this shot back in 2011, I posted it on my Flickr. Since it was taken in the reflection of a mirror, it made me think about seeing things from different perspectives when it comes to disagreements with people. I wrote a little bit about that topic in the description. This photo was taken with the Z1012.

I really like these pictures and I've almost posted them a few times, but I feared they weren't aesthetically pleasing enough. But they're my photos, and I like them, so I'm posting them now. ;) I like the colors and the back lighting on whatever plant is there in the foreground. These were taken in 2012 with a Nikon D3000 (my first DSLR!).

I still love photographing Queen Anne's Lace! This one is from 2012 and was taken with the D3000.

Thanks for checking out this throwback! What was your favorite part of this past month? Let me know!

 

- Victoria

PS- To subscribe to this blog, check out the box on the sidebar or click here.

when you have a cool hobby... | july 11th, 2017

Hey everyone! I wanted to take pictures yesterday since it's been a while, but it rained most of the day. Today I was literally dodging raindrops to get some pictures, but wowee was it worth it! Read through until the end to hear about my encounter with wildlife during the shoot...

Yellow is challenging to shoot, especially when the sun is hitting it. I was able to grab a few of these with decent exposure!

I used two different lenses for this shoot (35mm & 55-200mm) so if you're curious as to which lens I used for a particular photo, just ask!

Remember that "lovely stuff" I shot a few weeks ago and shared with you here? I'm pretty sure this is the dried version of the same plant. Isn't it still so pretty?!

These flowers were super cute! I couldn't pass them up and I didn't see them anywhere else.

Obligatory daisy picture.

There were so many butterflies! Click to view them in the larger lightbox.

I love the color of this plant and thought it was so cute all of these little guys were sharing the space.

This isn't a very good picture, but I wanted to share this because I didn't know such a butterfly existed in this area! The colors are so pretty.

HUMMING BEES. !!! Properly known as hemaris thysbe or hummingbird clearwings, these cool, fast, little creatures are actually a species of moth.

 

Okay, as promised... my wildlife story for the day. The place where I usually take pictures is somewhat of an overgrown field. I often hear animals rustling around, so I sort of tune it out. The rustling is usually caused by rabbits or field mice. Today, I came to a spot where the grass was bedded down. I knew there had been deer around, but I had also seen some...droppings...that weren't exactly deer-like. As I am contemplating the possibility of a bear having been near and whether or not they're nocturnal, I see/hear a brown animal tearing through the weeds, coming straight toward me. It broke through the clearing and stopped in a front-legs-crouching-toward-the-ground-with-rear-in-the-air kind of fashion. I gasped so loudly that I spooked the little baby deer that had just been caught off guard by the sight of me as I had been of him. It all happened so fast, I took a moment to calm myself. It's okay. Just a baby deer... OH MY WORD A BABY DEER! I quietly walked around to get a higher view to see if I could spot the deer again. Sure enough, the silly thing popped it's head up at me...

 

...and so did its friend!

I went inside for a few minutes but I was too curious. I grabbed my other lens and went back out.

And I found them again! This time they stuck around for a bit. Watch the video below to see what they did...

Needless to say, this shoot was a memorable one. Cute flowers, butterflies (including spotting that neat blue and orange one), hummingbird clearwings, and little baby deer... Yeah... My hobby is pretty freaking cool.

 

- Victoria

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#tbt | introducing throwback thursdays | june 2011

Hey everyone! I hope your June was fantastic. Today I am introducing a blog series I am excited to share with you all: throwback Thursdays! On the last Thursday of each month, I will post a few pictures from my archives and share some stories. These pictures might be really good, decent, or downright awful. I want this to be a way of showing you that a skill doesn't just happen. It takes practice. Your first five hundred pictures (or paintings, songs, basketball shots, etc.) might later make you cringe, but if you're giving it your all, you're probably making progress!

This month, I am bringing you pictures from June 2011six years ago! As you may or may not know, I started photography in 2008 but in 2011, I started taking it more seriously as an art.

I remember looking at this flower and thinking it was so cute! I wanted to capture it but it seemed like the only way I could get it in focus was to hold it. It reminded me of a Hawaiian flower for some reason and further reminded me of a book series I was reading at the timethe Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn.

I was really excited about this picture, although a little disappointed it wasn't exactly how I wanted it to look. But I tried!

I had (have) a fascination with keys and that was apparent in much of my early work. There were many key pictures I came across from that month but I decided to stick with one I had never shared. The biggest one and the second smallest one are my favorites from this collection.

Right. I know. Poptarts?! But hey, it was a chance to practice my skill and I took it. It does make me laugh though, some of the subjects of my pictures from that time. I took pictures of everything, especially my favorite things. Apparently blueberry Poptarts was one of them.

This location made me excited because this was the first wooded trail picture I had the opportunity to take. Wow. What a pro.

I was so excited when I snapped this pictureit was exactly how I imagined it should look!

This was my first real water drop picture. The surface? An Aquafina bottle.

Forever obsessed with daisies and dandelions.

Looking back at some of my old photos I often wonder, "What was I thinking?!" Then I catch myself; that was a time when I didn't let anything or anyone stop me from taking pictures. Nothingnot even Poptartswas too silly for me to snap a picture. I was doing what I enjoyed and was increasing my skill as a result. Sometimes we need to take notes from our younger selves.

"Do your thing. Do it every day. Do it ‘unapologetically’. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. You probably already know what they’re going to say. Pay no mind to the fear of failure. It’s far more valuable than success. Take ownership, take chances and have fun. And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing." Asher Roth

- Victoria

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