Viv is a local respected photographer and a great friend of ours. She also does some graphic design work for Artfull Crafts, and happens to enjoy scrapbooking and card making. Viv will be contributing photographic and crafting advice through the year.
Hi, it's Viv here... I'm not only a wife and a mother (Genevieve is currently on the video for Artfull Crafts home page), but a professional photographer and graphic designer too! I have been a Professional Photographer since 1995 and a Graphic Designer since 2001. Growing up, I always wanted to be a photographer even when I was at high school - the arts in general were an area I excelled in. I studied in both disciplines and have had my own business since 2001 which I work at from home in my (very soon to be) Residential Studio - I think I just might have the best job in the world!!
I came to be involved with Artfull Crafts after a chance meeting at the shop about 3 years ago where I meet the owner Liz. We had both married and moved back to Timaru to live... it didn't take long for us to work out that we actually already knew each other, and it turned out that Liz had actually been at my 21st! (I have photos to prove it.. she was wearing very high waisted jeans!!!) We'd both also been at mutual friends weddings and so a natural friendship was born, even better than that, was the fact that our husbands get on like a house on fire.
Hopefully through the year I will be able to share some photographic tips and techniques with you, maybe even run some workshops on taking better photographs for your scrap-booking layouts. There may be questions that you want answered about either design or photography, and I'd be happy to answer them in future blog posts, so feel free to send them in.
To view a photoshoot that my husband recorded of me photographing Liz and her husband Graham click here: http://vimeo.com/29462458
I enjoy scrapbooking the most, and have been doing layouts for about 10 years now. It took me a long time though, to realise that I could actually scrapbook and enjoy it if I did it my way. I always saw these very fussy layouts with lots of 'stuff' and not much story that put me off, then one day I came across a book called Clean & Simple Scrapbooking by Cathy Zielske. That changed everything for me. She was a graphic designer like me, and a journalist too - it was such a breath of fresh air and she really did set me free to make layouts that fitted my own design aesthetic.
I also don't mind getting out the alcohol pens and doing a spot of colouring now and then. I love Swiss Pixies and the Gorjuss stamps and even my daughter likes to colour with me too.
I'm very sentimental and I LOVE history. I have thought about joining the NZ Historical Places Trust for years, so that gives you just a bit of an idea of how much I love all things old. This love of history is really what drives me to scrapbook. I love being able to flick through and see all the family stories, quirky happenings and events written down and saved for the next generation. I am definitely not all about things just looking beautiful, it has to be rich in content too - both!
I am not what you'd call a true paper crafter, as in I really don't know one brand from the next. I mix stuff up between ranges and brands like you wouldn't believe! Liz will often comment "I would never have thought of putting that with that" and to be fair, she could probably tell you my favourite brands better than I could. A few that I do love though, are October Afternoon, Authentique, Crate Paper and the stamp ranges as mentioned above. Anything distressed, french-ish, big english roses, or in colours ways I love, I will just pick up use creatively together. I love hunting out vintage books from booksales and I often use these on cards when I get together with friends for a social card making session.
When you're starting out it can be really overwhelming - what do I need? What tools should I buy? Of course there are a few essential tools but not too many. You can add to your collection as you go. I always buy only what I absolutely LOVE or tools that I know I will use over and over again!! You don't have to follow the trends - do what makes you happy and just try something different if you want to. Don't worry about scrapbooking chronologically either, just do what pages you want to do - mix it up! Also, because I approach my work from a photography and design point of view I have a few things I always do, so here's is the list:
> Keep a journal with the very specific details of things you've done - If you went out to lunch at a cafe whilst on holiday, write down what you ate and how much it was. Anything quirky, take a note of it (or photograph). We quickly forget the details - and these details are great to reflect back on.
> Keep a journal of funny conversations you've had with family and friends - you can pair it up later with some photos of those people taken at a different time if need be.
> Photograph details!!!! Can't say that enough! If your camera has a macro setting, learn how to use it, it will give you a wider variety of images to choose from in look and feel when you're creating your layouts.
Anyway, that's a bit about me (or a lot!) and feel free to check out my blog and website. They have lots of ideas for shoots and more about what I do. I'm looking forward to be being able to share lots of ideas, and tips and tricks with you this coming year.