Tag Archives: WordPress

Photographer Sheri Bigelow and the meaning of cute

Today I’m very excited to introduce The Quibblerview, an interview series exploring the inspiration, talent, and pure hard work that creative people put into their content. For our first installment, meet photographer Sheri Bigelow.

Sheri is a lifelong photographer who shares her work on her blog, Cuteness, In All It’s Versatility. Her work combines beautiful vistas with unique angles and playful light and shade. I spoke with her about her background and her techniques.

How did you get into photography? What’s the first thing you took a photo of as a “photographer”?

I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure what the first thing was that I photographed, but it was probably something boring. Over time, and after looking back through a lot of old photographs recently, I’m finding that the pictures I love most are of people. It’s an amazing feeling when someone loves a photograph I’ve shot of them, and several people have used photos I’ve taken as their Gravatar—which I feel is a pretty cool compliment.

“This one is great because it’s a unique perspective,” Sheri says, “a different way of looking at an icy, wintry world for a moment.” See the original here.

Your blog is called “Cuteness, in all its versatility.” How do you define cuteness? And how do you identify it as a subject for your work?

The name “Cuteness, in all its versatility” came about because I was told I tend to overuse the word cute! I probably used that word for anything and everything and anything for a while, and so the definition became a bit fuzzy in my world. To me, it means something I like, and so anything goes as a subject, it can be anything that’s interesting or intriguing or silly or beautiful.

Sheri says, “I love this one because other people loved it and because it’s a good memory of a good place and time. It was taken under Scripps Pier in San Diego.” See the original here.

What kind of equipment do you use, and why?

For everyday things, I shoot with an iPhone 6S. I love it. Shooting with an iPhone to create memories works really well for most of what I need. When photographing events, I like to shoot with either Canon or Nikon with the fastest lenses I can get. Often I’ll shoot with a 70-200mm f/2.8 because you can get better candid shots from a distance while staying on the sidelines. I also really like shooting with a 50mm f/1.2 prime or a 24-70mm f/2.8.

What do you look for in a subject in terms of lighting, etc.? How do you know whether a photo will come out the way you envision it?

When taking snapshots or when just photographing something for fun, good lighting is often something you stumble upon. One thing that I have learned is that if you see an opportunity for a photograph in a space that has good light, you should take advantage of it right then because you never know when the light will change! Natural light can change so fast. You don’t always really know whether a photo will come out the way you envision it. The trick is to take a whole lot of photos and then choose the ones that worked out the best.

Sheri says: “I love this photo because it’s not staged but looks just like a stock photo. These are real people working on WordPress at WordCamp US 2016.” See the original here.

Sheri Bigelow is also a UX researcher at Automattic, the geniuses behind WordPress.com. Find her work in UX and theme design at DesignSimply.com.

Creative inspiration from the Internet

You open the Word document, or the Illustrator page, or whatever it may be. It is oppressively white, it’s blankness at once demanding and withholding.

Or, even worse, it’s filled with what you know are wonderful, groundbreaking ideas that are just missing one thing, one little point that would pull them all together and make the work whole, complete, if only you could figure out what that one thing was…Meanwhile, the weight of the content and all its potential, its expectations, weigh on your heart, crushing your defenseless soul…

Wipe the tears from your eyes, for there is hope. Fear not, dear reader! I have scoured the Internet, searching for relief and hope for those of us who struggle and strive, and I have found the LIGHT!

Or, in the language of one less melodramatic…

Basically I compiled a list of websites that I like to use when I’m feeling uninspired and burned out. Hopefully you’ll find them to be helpful as well!

This one is probably obvious, by WordPress.com has a daily prompts blog. These one word prompts are particularly good for when you find yourself reusing the same words over and over again, your vocabulary stilted and stunted. The blog also includes blogging tips and encourages readers to share links to their works.

Another good prompts blog is First 50 Words – these prompts come from author Virginia DeBolt and are really good because she includes her own interpretation, for those of us who need a little more detail, a little more description. Let’s Write puts up quote prompts, which can be particularly helpful when you’re struggling with a character or a scene.

Speaking of uncooperative characters, if you’re having trouble developing the details of a scene or characterization, drop by F*** Yeah Character Development. It’s an ask-answer blog about writing characters, and it also regularly posts information and insight related to world-building and other aspects of the writing process. I’ve never asked a question, and given how many they receive I’m not sure this would be the best idea. Instead, I find that just reading the questions and answers can stimulate my mind and open me up to new possibilities. Some of their latest questions include: “In a zombie apocalypse what threats would there be to humans other than the rabid monsters?” “How do you succeed in making readers like a character who’s actually a total, unapologetic asshole/villain?” and (this is a good question for all of us to consider) “How many main characters do you think is too many?”

Monkey see, monkey do (hopefully)

Sometimes when we’re writing, it can be easy to forego the visual aspect in favor of a focus on the written word. But, not to discriminate against the other senses, but sight is one of the most important ones, and visual stimulation can be really helpful as a source of inspiration, pushing you to step away from the often abstract world of language and really think about how your work, well, works in the real world.

Of course, if you’re an actual artist or graphic designer, visual work is probably crucial for you to get those creative juices flowing, as unfortunate a mental image as that may be.

Photography can be a major source of inspiration, and one really great blog that I found through WordPress Discover is Picturize by Yuki Iwaoka:

“Suck Me In” by Yuki Iwaoka.

Visual Graphc is a design blog that I love for the diversity of what it features. It’s mostly graphic design, but there is a huge diversity in the fonts, the styles, the color schemes – every single entry is different. If you’re creating a poster or a brochure or really anything, Visual Graphc can give you ideas for how put different colors, fonts, and design elements together to create something engaging and unique.

 

Eat Sleep Draw and F*** Yeah Illustrative Art are illustration curation sites that post submitted artwork in a wide spectrum of styles. Renee B. is the brains behind F*** Yeah Illustrative Art, using her own artistic background to create an impressive collection, adding new pieces every day. Eat Sleep Draw describes itself as an online gallery, showing everything from classical portraits to more fantastical pieces.

Where do you go for inspiration? Leave your resources in the comments!