Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Etsy Featured Artist - jerseymaids

I love photography. Both taking pictures and looking at pictures. At a very young age I fell in love with snapping my own shots, and in high school I took a few photography classes where I developed my love even further. And as long as I can remember I have loved looking at photographs. I love seeing an artist's point of view through their pictures, but I also love just looking through family photo albums and seeing the moments of people's lives captured.

Today's featured artist is a shining example of all that I love about photography. It is jerseymaids. She is a Polaroid photographer that I met during my travels on Etsy. To be sure, her work is passionate. Her absolute love for her medium comes through in all of her pieces. Here is one of my favorites:

Cherry Blossoms Polaroid

Her subject matter is extensive! I encourage you all to click on over to jerseymaids and take a look.

Besides her amazing prints, Lauren also has several other ways to show off her passion for Polaroids. She has Totes and Shirts, Polaroid Night Lights, Polaroid Jewelry, and Cards.

Not only is Lauren's work beautiful, but she is a really wonderful person. She goes out of her way to make her customers happy and she is very easy to contact and talk to. When I decided to do this feature on her, she was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me.

Name: Lauren Beacham
Age (if you don't mind): 23
Where do you live?: Shepherdstown, WV but soon to be Frederick, MD

How did you get started with photography?
I started off in high school somewhat by accident. A teacher of mine had been a photo journalist at a Baltimore newspaper and had secretly created a makeshift darkroom in the back closet of her classroom. She pulled me aside one day and asked if I wanted to learn how to develop black and white photographs. I immediately fell in love and spent every spare second I had in that teeny dark little room with expired papers, chemicals, and really bad negatives. But the magic of it all was completely addictive, so I went on to study it more thoroughly in college. I got my degree in Photography and Computer Imaging and, also by somewhat of a happy accident, was introduced to the delight of alternative processes (particularly Polaroids.) I haven't looked back since and have been working almost exclusively in Polaroids and other alternative processes since 2007.

You use Polaroids, why did you choose that particular medium?
Polaroid has a magic to it that really is unmatched by anything I've experienced. It paints with light and romance, and it wraps up heightened anticipation and instant gratification into one little package. The colors and glow aren't found anywhere else, and no matter how well you know your film and camera...you are never in complete control. It's always a big adventure.

What inspires you most?
Moments. People and places, music, nature, romance. Color. Light.

What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time?! Haha. I spend most of my time that isn't at work (I'm an art gallery director in Frederick) creating new things, working on jewelry and expanding my artwork, networking with other Etsians and Polaroid fanatics, and sometimes I'll be able to squeeze in some down time with my guy and our Scottish terrier pup.

Tell us a little known fact about you.

I have a strange fascination with hot air balloons (to the extent that one is permanently etched onto my wrist) but have a horrible fear of heights and have never taken a ride in one...nor do I ever plan to.

Do you have a favorite subject to photograph?

Though most of my photographs are done of flowers and nature, I really love photographing people. Absolutely love it.

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy? Where?
I sell in a number of galleries and shops and have also taken a try at shophandmade.com I only made one sale and felt it wasn't worth my while for now. You'll also find me at various craft shows, and hopefully more shops to come! But for now, Etsy is my number one home.

What advice do you have for anyone that would like to start selling their own

Well firstly, don't give up. There are TONS of photographers out there trying to make their way. Secondly, shoot what you absolutely love. People can tell if you're shooting to make money or if you're doing something you adore. Passion needs to run everything you do. And thirdly, do something different. Separate yourself from the norm! Don't be afraid to jump into the unknown because you never know what you'll find...and it may hold the answers you're looking for.

Do you twitter, flickr, facebook, blog..or anything else where people can follow you?
Please feel free to list all of you "social networking" addresses.

twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jerseymaids
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/jerseymaids/77302554915
flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerseymaids
blog: http://jerseymaids.livejournal.com
website (under construction): http://www.laurenbeacham.com


Make sure to enter the newest giveaway, featuring jerseymaids. Just click here!