Friday, March 7, 2008

Show & Tell Friday: Danielle Thompson

It's Show & Tell Friday-yay! Today, I am thrilled to introduce to you the oh so fun and inspiring, Danielle Thompson–a true creative talent and photographer extraordinaire!

I found Danielle's amazing vintage-inspired photography a few months ago through her flickr page and have been a huge fan ever since. Danielle brings her passion for strong color, texture and pattern to life through her amazing photography and in the captivating and lively vignettes she creates throughout her home.

I could go on and on about this inspiring, multi-talented photographer. Instead, let's hear from Danielle herself, who graciously shared her thoughts and the inspiration behind her creative pursuits in a recent e-mail interview.

Have you had formal photography/design training or is your talent just natural?
I've had no formal training really. I did take a photography course in college and we processed our own film and printed our own prints in the school darkroom, which was fun. But that class was more about composition, tones and subject matter, than the technical aspects of learning your camera, etc. I have been learning that part on my own for the past few years. It just takes lots and lots of practice, reading your manual and doing internet research. And if you have someone you can ask, asking lots and lots of questions. :-) I would definitely recommend taking a class, although I have not. Finding the right class is the hard part.

As far as the creative side of photography, I think anyone who is generally creative can achieve pleasing compositions, textures, etc in their photography, because the same principals apply to photographs that apply to any artform, like painting, etc. It's all where you place your subject(s), what sort of colors and textures you are inviting into your frame... if you have a creative eye, those things will come much easier than the technical side of photography - at least it did with me! :-)

What is you favorite piece of photo equipment/technology?

Well, I have to say without Photoshop, my photos would definitely leave something to be desired! :-) I think it's that way with anyone who shoots digitally (which is most of the population I would think, these days.) There are just so many things you can do to enhance your photos, like popping your color, increasing contrast, adding textures. Mostly, I love to enhance the color in my photos, as color is such a big part of what I love. You can get great color straight from you camera, but you can get even better color by using Photoshop. I love to use photo actions.

Some of my favorites actions are:
(black and white action)

Name three things that influence your design and photography.
Color, pattern, composition.

What designers/sites/blogs do you look to for inspiration?
Wow, I've recently become addicted to Google Reader, so I have hundreds of inspiring blogs at my finger tips daily! I can't describe the feeling I get when I see something crazy inspiring, which is about every 15-30 minutes on my Google Reader. It's a feeling of euphoria crossed with utter nausea (from excitement!) at the shear beauty and creativity in the world! It astounds me every day!

Some of my favorite blogs right now are:
Marmee Craft
Creature Comforts
Decor 8
Design is Mine 
orange you lucky 
poppy talk
sweet jessie 
the constant gatherer
art and ghosts
And of course (my contacts page) for photography inspiration!

Favorite room/element in your home.
Our family room. Where everything happens. We all hang out in here. My husband and I are able to do our hobbies while hanging out with the kids at the same time. No one is ever isolated. Hubby can play video games, boys can play with toys, I can be on the computer editing photos, or embroider, crochet or whatever it is I'm doing at the moment hobby-wise, I can do in the family room. My little corner-of-the-room-"studio" is in this room. I also love the colors.. bright and cheerful. And it's the brightest room in the house, light-wise which makes for great photo-taking whether it be objects or children!

Whom do you admire?

Hmmm.. that's a hard one. It might hurt someone's feelings if I leave someone out. Lol!

Favorite quote.
I'm not really a quote person, but a couple have stuck with me. "Don't Trouble Trouble, til Trouble Troubles You." One I learned from my husband. I've been a hardcore worrier most of my life and would think up things to worry about, if there wasn't something real to worry about. Now days I don't worry much at all. I think having kids gets your mind off the silly things you *think* are important. Another one I like is: "We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places." - Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt.

How would you describe your design style?
Eclectic, colorful, whimsical, nostalic, light-hearted.

Proudest accomplishment.
My kids, of course! I know that's a cliche answer. But so true. :-)

Favorite indulgence.
Sweets, Photoshop actions,, Flickr, Google Reader, Expensive Hair Products, Thrift Shopping, Ebay, there are too many. ;-)

Any advice for readers who are looking to improve their photography skills?
Read your manual that comes with your camera, look through online photography discussion forums, don't be afraid to shoot intirely in Manual mode. That has improved my photography ten-fold (getting my exposure right more consistently). And the single best thing I learned that has also improved the quality of my photos is using Back Button focusing. Taking advantage of all of your focus points helps you really fine-tune what you are focusing on. And gives you more consistently in-focus photos. There's nothing more frustrating than unwanted blurry photos.

I've read that you don't consider yourself a professional photographer. Any big plans to take your talents to the masses professionally?
For now I have no plans to do photography professionally. It's for the most part my hobby, although I do some photography for some of my graphic design clients (that is my job, part-time). As far as family or child photography goes, I think I would enjoy it, but I don't see that on the horizon for a long time. And I'm not sure I would even want to do it full-time. But never say never, right? :-) I know for sure that I won't be doing it as long as my children aren't in full-time school yet. I think I'm interested in so many things, not just photography, that there are so many possibilities for what I might do after my children are in school. You just never know! :-)


Thanks so much Danielle–it was a thrill to feature your wonderful photography and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to tell us a little about yourself. Something tells me you'll have some incredible opportunities waiting for you when you're ready to make a move!

To see more of Danielle's photography, visit her flickr page (updated daily). Make sure to also visit Danielle's fun-filled  blog–it's packed with a wealth of inspiration, design resources and Danielle's personal photography tips & tricks. 

{ all images courtesy of Danielle Thompson Photography }


Melissa de la Fuente said...

I love Danielle's photography and her home(what we glimpse through her photos), it seems she puts alot of thought and love into all of it.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love Danielle's photography and her quote - "Don't Trouble Trouble, til Trouble Troubles You." I'm a worrier, so that's a keeper. Loved the interview.

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

Hi Ladies:

Yes, Danielle's photography is amazing and her enthusiasm is contagious. I always want to drop everything I'm doing and start a new project after reading her flickr and blog posts. :)

She has just posted some new, adorable projects on her blog. Check them out if you have a chance.


Beata said...

Thanks for sharing her work!

Glee-scrap said...

I love to be inspired by Danielle Thompson...she is a Master of color and design. I first "discovered" her in Scrapbook magazines...was a little surprised that never came up in the interview!

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

Hi Glee-Scrap:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on Danielle's interview--so glad you mentioned her scrapbooking background. I've seen some of her past work and, like everything else she does, it's amazing!


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