“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~Walt Disney
This month I thought I would bring you another interview with an amazing person I have grown to know in the blogosphere. As you might remember, after receiving and award from Julie@Gardening Jules, I had promised to do several interviews of some amazing bloggers and share them with you.
So for today’s interview, I am talking with Jen Vandervoort@The Light Laughed. You might know Jen from her days blogging at Muddy Boot Dreams. That’s where I met Jen, when she lived on the coast of British Columbia and created magic in her pictures and prose. I think that was over 5 years ago now. Since then Jen has been on many new paths, and I have enjoyed seeing her bloom and grow. She is an inspiration for me in so many ways….her photography, her blogging style, the way she creates community through her blog and her willingness to keep creating new ideas.
So let’s meet Jen……..
Hi I’m Jen, chasing a laughing light through the Okanagan, camera in hand. Photographer by heart, blogger by day fan of Instagram, and Pinterest for their visual appeal. Weaving words among my images, sharing stories, and exploring the world of blogging with a focus on midlifers.
I believe in being our own personal best as bloggers no matter what level we aspire to.
I’m a co-founder of a FB group for bloggers who’d like to grow, share, and support each other through blogging, we’re always welcoming new members, and have been working on a few interesting changes to roll out in soon to make the group even better.
1. Jen it has been such a pleasure knowing you. As I said I am inspired by your blog and your style of blogging. So why did you start blogging?
I discovered blogging about at the same time digital cameras became affordable. I’d been sharing digital photos with friends, and on Flickr, so when I discovered blogging it just evolved. There is something in all of us that seeks affirmation for our creativity, and blogs allow us to share our lives so easily.
When I came across The Pioneer Woman’s blog it changed my life in so many ways, she introduced me to blogging, and Photoshop. I happily realized that I could start to build a community of amazing people to surround myself with who would share their work, and appreciate my work too.
2. I bet there is someone who we can say inspired all of us to blog. What inspired you to recently change your blog?
I moved from Blogger to Word Press because I was feeling hemmed in, and had too many issues with being shut down without reason. I like my content, and images to belong to me, not to the whim of some computer nerd tucked away.
Word Press allows me to own my own content, it’s self hosted, and Blogger can no longer shut down, or remove my blog.
3. I understand wanting to own your own content. So Jen, what is the significance of the title of your blog?
The Light Laughed reflects who I am now as a blogger, and photographer. When I’m out there with my camera, I’m searching for the light, where does it come from, what is it doing? Have you ever watched the light drifting through the branches of trees. It settles, flits, laughs….that’s how I got my blog name…wandering down the country road in my new life, camera in hand, watching the light laugh.
We’ve reached our Muddy Boot Dreams, it was a long journey of almost 12 years, and it’s wonderful to be here, but the name just didn’t fit anymore.
4. I love what you say about the light. I too found inspiration in that light. What keeps you blogging?
My community of blogging friends, and an urge to share these small wonderful moments of everyday joy. The way you’d point out something interesting while you’re out with friends is how I want to blog. We all have a story to tell, to share, to read in the comments that my readers felt like they were there with me, that it touched their hearts…that’s what keeps me blogging.
5. I couldn’t agree more about the blogging community. What are some of your creative endeavors that give you pleasure?
Photography is my most beloved create endeavor right now. I am also writing more, and exploring the exciting world of short videos.
6. Your photography is incredible…more like art to me. It speaks to my soul. Do you have a favorite space or spot that is sacred in or around your home?
My garden is an organic, natural space, where wildlife and birds wander, and my heart lives there, it’s where I find my peace.
7. Nature and gardens do that for us, don’t they? I know you have moved to your dream spot. What makes this place nirvana for you?
Each time we had to leave to go back to the coast I couldn’t help but cry during the drive back, an intense feeling of having left a piece of my heart behind. The day we moved up here it was as if I was given it back. It’s not just being surrounded by family and friends, it’s a homecoming.
It’s where we belong, and are flourishing.
8. So let’s shift a bit. Tell me what famous person or not so famous person you would like to meet?
Ansel Adams…The Group of Seven, Emily Carr, to all of them I would have liked to say, thank you for changing the way the world looks at art and photography.
9. I would love to meet and just observe Ansel Adams. And I can see why he inspires you through your photography. What is or would have been your dream career or job?
I think I’m living it now. But if I had to choose, a small shop, selling stationary, beautiful flowers, books, and gifts, tea and scones…that would be my dream.
10. And I would love to frequent that shop especially for a cup of tea and to read a special book. If it is possible to pick a favorite book, what would you choose?
I love to read, and of each good book I’ve read the latest would be one of my favorites. Being immersed in the pages, reading the words, the tactile dragging of fingers over good quality paper while turning the page.
Visually stunning photographs that transport me into others worlds, where I get to walk among the characters, sit on chairs in beautifully decorated rooms, smell the flowers in the gardens…
11. What are some spots you love to travel to and why?
New Zealand is on my list for a repeat visit…it captured my heart, if I didn’t live here, I would try to live there.
12. Photography is such a big part of your life. What is your creative process?
Creativity’s an intense feeling in my heart…[ I know I talk about hearts a lot ] …but it’s that feeling inside that drives me to create. When something is evolving creatively in me it’s almost as if it takes over and won’t be silenced until it’s made. You just have to go with it.
13. The pictures here are all incredible creations of Jen’s. Aren’t they just stunning? Jen, what are some words of wisdom you have for those of us who are still learning about photography?
The most important thing you can do is practice, everyone improves that way. Learn the basics of composition, and technique, challenge yourself to move beyond the Auto button. Constantly compare, not to others but to your own older work, so you can see how much you are learning and how your style is evolving. That’s what is going to inspire you the most.
14. Ah yes that Auto button. I am still working on moving beyond it. Someday soon I think…..What new form of arts or craft would you like to learn?
I would love to learn to create encaustic art with found items and my photos. Something about working with bee’s wax makes me think it would be very interesting.
15. Well that is a new one for me, encaustic painting. It sounds fascinating. Is there anything else you want to tell us about your life, and what might be next for you?
I’m eager to explore more about designing websites, creating digital goods, and video, that’s where my heart seems to be headed lately. I think the journey has just started…and it’s going to be interesting.
Jen, I know I will be anxiously awaiting your next creative steps…..
I hope you enjoyed this little talk with Jen Vandervoort. I love learning a bit more about the creative people who touch my soul, and inspire me to move beyond my limits. Jen you are definitely one of these inspirational people. Please make sure you visit Jen in all the wonderful places she hangs out.
Here are her most popular links…Although Jen is on Twitter and G+, she says she doesn’t really visit there too much.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Photos are the sole property of Jen@The LightLaughed and their use in this post is by permission of the photographer.