Simple Blog Styling and Branding Process

From my last post it may have seemed that I was all over the blog decision-making map and in many ways I was.  Having taken some time to sort through the areas I needed to address, I am excited to share the results:

Web Host - Blogger

After much mental debate over a web host, I have decided that my needs are best met with Blogger.  I have my .com mapped to the site and am “comfortable” with Blogger.  I love the look and feel of Squarespace but I am not at a level to consider that and need to FOCUS on the objective at hand – photography.  After all, that is the reason I started this blog!

Branding – White & Denim Blue

I am and always will be drawn to a minimalist style.  White is a clean and simple favorite color choice for my main blog color palette.   A dark Denim Blue is a secondary color favorite as I live in my jeans outside of work.  There is no better outfit than a white turtleneck and a pair of well loved blue jeans.  Unless you add a pair of white canvas Keds - That’s my look top to bottom!


Typography was an easy choice considering the millions of options.  Believe me, when you Google “typography” there is a wealth of information which can add to the confusion very quickly.  I love vintage, hence my blog and company name type (Old Standard TT) and simple-clean-minimal look for the posts (Josefin Sans).  I think they both work well together and present a nice variation of styles without looking too complicated or mixed-up.

Old Standard TT

Josefin Sans

One of the greatest lessons I learned from my last post to the present is that so many areas of blogging from planning a visual presentation/style/brand, to finding your writing voice and niche, and the insecurities of time management, financial involvement (web hosting and photography equipment) can all be very overwhelming especially it you want it “right” right out of the gate.  This feeling can put the brakes on creativity very quickly.  Take a step back, trust yourself, and breathe.  It all comes together.

On to the next steps in which I will share my yearly blogging editorial calendar.  I also mentioned that I want to share more photo styling, still life examples, and prop finds - this is also in the works.  

I hope you like the small enhancements to my blog.  Please share your comments as I always look forward to hearing from you!


How it all came to be.....

Where does one start when sharing "how it all came to be"?  To start at the beginning would take far too long, to start at the middle would be awkward, so I guess the best place to start "how it all came to be" is from a picture I quickly snapped with a P&S after setting up my new world two years ago....

I had just reconnected with the love of my life and moved back to my hometown in Midwest WI and started life all over again.  This is the classic high school "Mr. Love of my Life" story and proves we do all end up where we are meant to be - that, my friends, is another post altogether.

As I began settling into this new life, I carved out space for a studio to work on photography shoots, re-doing furniture, crafty bits, and prop storage.  It was in this space that my whole "JoanMarie" world came together.....

Let me emphasize that these photos were taken before the Canon DSLR entered into the equation but I won't apologize for lighting or quality - I still remember that amazing feeling of "these are my treasures" as I took each of these photos.  

Let me emphasize even more strongly that these pictures were taken almost two years ago and the collection of prop madness has grown significantly larger.

So large in fact that I must take a day to re-organize and take inventory!  

I ADORE junk shops, thrift stores, antique shops, and even roadside piles as they each have their own variety of treasure.  I am drawn to what I call "used utility".  Used Utility is the simple, utilitarian, effective, and worn item that at one time served it's purpose and is now at a cross roads of "toss" or "this is really cool and would be great in a shoot!"  You can guess the latter ALWAYS wins for me.

Regarding the "studio" space I am currently working on, I have created a 4x4 room with a painted wall and hardwood floor for still life shots as well as utilizing a small spare bedroom with a white painted wood floor.  These will be in an upcoming post along with updated prop photos.

So, in closing, this is "how it all came to be" and is the foundation of all that is to come with this blog and my increasing love of photography.  

How did it all come to be for you??


Textures and Props

There is nothing more beautiful than a thickly woven textured fabric made for industrial use.

Wool that is made into warmth...

and ocean noises as water begins to chill and sea grass fades

Looking forward to the quiet winter stillness and sharing more images of the upcoming season.  

My love of photography continues to grow daily and I hope my skill level follows suit.  

Upcoming posts to include my photo shoot planning and  process along with a behind the scenes look at my "prop hoarding".  Being self-taught in all areas, let me know if there are specific areas you might like to hear more about and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.

 Fall day

This time of the year is bittersweet - summer is gone and winter is approaching.  I am in the process of setting up my home studio and will be searching for the loveliest visions of winter to share.

Just a beginning.....

The oldest hand mixer I have ever seen - had to bring her home.....

....and for the love of pine....

For most of these photos I was playing with an old sheet of galvanized steel as a backdrop.  Loved the color variances and the shades of grey and blue.  With so many choices for still life and food photography, what do you choose as your favorite background or back drop?