Browsing Tag

Photography

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Will Using an Updated Instant Camera Be a Snap?

October 14, 2016
Instant Camera Gift Lab
Research

As a photographer I’ve played with all kinds of cameras, from high-end digital cameras to dollar store 35mm, and Polaroids are no exception. So when I saw that the classic Polaroid camera has been re-imagined for the digital age with the I-1 Analog Instant Camera, I knew I had to test it out. With a trip to London and Paris coming up, I had the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

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Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Why Can’t I Shoot My Favorite Painting?

December 6, 2015

Smartphone Spy Lens | UncommonGoods

Before the age of smartphones, most museums had a no-photo, not-even-without-flash, don’t-even-think-about-it policy. There were multiple reasons for shutting down shutterbugs: first, concern over copyright of artwork and nefarious reproduction; second, good security practice meant museums didn’t want would-be crooks conducting “research;” third, flashes degrade painting pigments and delicate works on paper over time; fourth—and maybe most surprising—looking through a viewfinder makes people clumsy. In other words, you’re more likely to back into a rare sculpture or fall into a priceless painting. Now that everyone has a sophisticated camera in their pocket, it’s a whole new ballgame, and museums are challenged to adapt. Many have embraced the crowd-sourcing potential of social media, letting people Instagram-away as a means of engagement and creative looking. Improved security systems have made casing the joint with a camera less of an issue, but distracted, selfie-stick wielding visitors remain a threat to collections. So, next time you say “cheese” in front of a Van Gogh or O’Keefe, just check the museum’s photo policy and take care. When you shoot artwork, don’t shoot to kill.

Smartphone Spy Lens | $20

The Uncommon Life

Instagram Challenge: COMFORT FOOD

November 5, 2015

Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food

The next Instagram Challenge theme is Comfort Food!  Now that Daylight Savings has disappeared from our lives, it’s time to face it: winter is approaching. But we’re not giving in to the winter blahs just yet! We’ll admit that we’re excited to start queuing up Netflix, throwing on our cozy sweaters, and savoring the foods that make us feel most nostalgic.  Whether it’s planning for your Thanksgiving menu, or just revisiting the classic soup that you missed all summer, we want to see what the hearty meals that give you a good ol’ comforting feeling. While sharing your delicious pick-me-ups, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstafun for a chance to win a $50 gift card! Visit here to see all of the entries we’ve received so far and scroll down to view our favorite comfort food essentials from UncommonGoods. (Click on the images below to snag these for yourself!)

 

Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun

 

Can we TACObout the latest Instagram Challenge winner? Congratulations to @tacothecitydog for winning our Clever Costumes Challenge with this adorable get-up, featuring our handmade Taco Booties!

Instagram Challenge Winner | Clever Costumes | Taco Booties

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kimberly Hadlock

September 7, 2015

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Kimberly Hadlock, maker of the Coffee Lover and Edible Flower Lollipop Sets.

PicMonkey Collage

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I always kind of have been. When I was little I would design jewelry on rubber bands, going around door to door. I studied music from an early age along with dance. Later came photography. I have always had something going that requires design & creativity.

salted caramel

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Seeing my ideas reach thousands of people. Having a simple idea of a flavor profile enter my mind, calibrating till I think I have it just right. Then releasing it to the world. Knowing that my hard work is paying off and people are enjoying what I do.

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What does your typical day in the kitchen look like?
Up at 6am and packing up the car with my supplies for the day. Heading off to whatever share kitchen I am using for that day. I work solid for 5-6 hours making orders, then play with flavors for about 30 min. Package everything up and head back to my office where I will set and design custom labels for our wedding / corporate orders for 3-4 hours. The last 6 hours I will either tweet the website, or photography. Head off to bed then in 6 hours do it all over again.

herb shot

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Huh. Never really thought about it. Does coffee count? It can be inspirational and keeps me going.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
give me give me give me

birthday cake lollie

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Wisdom begins in wonder – Socrates : If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would be making lollipops for a living I would have laughed. One Christmas holiday I wondered how to make lollipops for a Christmas gift. I played around a bit to figure some things out. My friends loved them, suggested I start a shop. I have never looked back.

izzie lollipops 111

What are your most essential tools?
My mind. All the recipes are up there. I have never written any of them down.

PicMonkey Collage

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Fun with Fabric–Solar Photography & Tie-Dyed Textiles

August 27, 2015

Jille | DIY Textiles Kit | UncommonGoods

Products: Indigo Textile Dye Kit & Solar Photography Kit

Research:

As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items  together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!

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The Uncommon Life

Instagram Challenge: BRUNCH

July 29, 2015

brunch-square

The next Instagram Challenge theme is BRUNCH. As the August heat creeps and the season winds down, the best way to spend a lazy Sunday is undoubtedly to sit outside in the shade at your favorite brunch spot over eggs benedict, coffee, and a mimosa — or tucked away in bed with a tray of delicious food to pass that ‘not quite breakfast, not quite lunch’ time. Whether it’s more on the breakfast end of things or late enough to be lunch, we want to see what you’re brunching on this summer. While sharing your best shots of the weekend’s best meal, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstafun for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Visit here to see the entries we’ve received so far.

Congratulations to @yichinglin for topping off our Farmers Markets Instagram Challenge with this sensational shot of a succulent sugarplum!

11429786_453612234807273_2114957905_n

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Marci Lundy

June 29, 2015

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new product enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the person behind it.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Marci Lundy, maker of the Pikake Flower Mask and Poppy Soap Gift Set.

Marci Lundy | UncommonGoods

What first inspired you to make face and body products?

I moved to Colorado in the Spring of 2010. Although undeniably beautiful, the state left my skin undeniably dry. My usual skincare regimen that I practiced while living at sea level in Southern California no longer worked. I have always admired the look and feel of skincare products, and one day I decided to get online and research the process of making body butters, scrubs, and soaps. I was thrilled to learn about the process and started making my own soaps and scrubs. The products were not perfect in the beginning, but I felt so proud knowing that it was possible to create these items that I have always loved, sans all of the harsh ingredients. Personal use of 303 Face + Body products started with me, and then I began to make products for my family and friends. I used the feedback to fine tune products that I made, and the more I researched, the better the quality of the product became. I went from making soap and sugar scrubs to now making gel moisturizers and serum for nails.

Pikake Flower Mask and Poppy Soap Gift Set | UncommonGoods

What experiences have been most instrumental in shaping your life so far?

I’m not so sure that there is a particular experience that was instrumental, but for as long as I can remember I’ve literally felt that there is nothing that I cannot do. Having that mindset allows the sky to be my limit. I’ve had people ask, “How did you think to do that?” I find myself answering, “Why wouldn’t I think I could!?!” My husband is also an amazing motivator, both through encouraging me and by simply “being.” An avid swimmer, he was in a diving accident when he was fourteen, and has been in a wheelchair for thirty years. He is so amazing, so positive, heavy into community outreach, and working with the Mayor of Denver. I also have a very supportive family. They’ve been wonderful supporters since day one. With all of that positivity around me, its virtually impossible to not feel as though it’s possible to do whatever I want to in this life.

 What advice would you give to the you of 5 years ago?

Find your center, and start using your gifts. I am a total kid at heart, and I’ve just recently learned how to “manage this,” if you will. For years, I lived life as it happened, very much into enjoying the moment. There is nothing wrong with that, but there has to be a vision, a plan, a passion for something that you’re striving toward. I had passion for many things, but never really made any of them work for me. In the last few years, I’ve learned how to not only have fun with what I consider my gifts, but figure out how to make a living doing that which I enjoy and love. Photography and creating my products are my “happy place.” I’ve incorporated my photography into my work by creating greeting cards with my photography. It’s all wonderfully rewarding.

What was the most exciting thing about starting your own company? 

It was very liberating to have the freedom to create something that helps others feel their best. I remember working at my desk years ago, looking out the window and thinking, “I wish I was out there, able to do what I really enjoy.” It’s so exhilarating to wake up (or barely sleep, for that matter) because your mind is so excited to start working on your latest skincare product.

Marci Lundy | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day at work look like?

The crisp, morning air inspires me, and each morning I go photo walking, which for me is exercise + motivation through nature + capturing nature. After a smoothie or a nice cuppa joe, I begin thumbing through skincare magazines, looking for common skincare concerns, also finding myself motivated by the way various skincare ads are photographed. My studio is also the loft that I share with my husband, so I’ll get my products together and test out textures (sugar scrubs with shea butters, etc) and from those moments of exploration, new products tend to be born. I also use my workdays to reach out to people to possibly collaborate with. The networking process is ongoing, and in this age of social media its very easy to make wonderful connections.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

I love crystals, and have various crystals around my creative space. I love the energy that I receive from them, very uplifting.

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated? 

I happened across a quote a few years back that read, “Never Try, Never Know.” I’m always going to try, because I never want the feeling of not knowing.

Pikake Flower Mask and Poppy Soap Gift Set | UncommonGoods

What are your most essential ingredients and elements of your process?

Activated charcoal and aloe vera gel are two of my most beloved ingredients. Both of those are miracle products, seriously. I also love herbs, I live for herbs!

blogcta-seethecollection4

Design

What Does Photography Mean to These 3 Photographers?

September 18, 2014

Photography Challenge | UncommonGoods

We’re excited to say that the eight semifinalists are chosen for our very first Photography Challenge! Cast in your votes and comment on the photos you think deserves to win $500 and should be added into our uncommon assortment! Keep in mind that you’re able to vote for more than one photo.  The four top voted photographs will be judged by our four wonderful guest judges, and they will decide on the grand prize winner!

Because this is a new type of contest for us, we wanted to get inside the heads of our guest judges and speak about the exciting world of photography. The guest judging panel are three professional photographers and our art buyer: Ashley Davis, Mark Weinberg, Emily Dryden, and Katy Loeb. We decided to throw a few questions at them and, and with no surprise, they threw some amazing responses right back! Check out the Q+A below and let us know what photography means to you in the comments section.

 

Photography Challenge | Guest Judge | UncommonGoods

Ashley Davis | Photographer  

“I love that I can get behind my lens, take a photograph, and turn it into something magical for people to love and want to have for their own.”

If money was no object, what type of photography project would you like to organize?
I work with physically and mentally disabled children, so I would love to run a program where we’d be able to purchase a few cameras for these kids and teach them the beauty of photography. Although these children have faced a lot of adversity in their young lives, they mostly have such an incredible outlook on life and I know that would show through in their artwork.

Which website should every photographer know about?
CreativeMarket.com. It is run by creatives, for creatives. Whether you want to sell your stock images on the site for a little extra cash, or browse and purchase their immense photography resources such as overlays, presets, WordPress and website templates, and fonts – they have got what you need!

What do you love about photography?
I love that I can get behind my lens, take a photograph, and turn it into something magical for people to love and want to have for their own. What I love about photography in general is that there is the freedom to express oneself in so many different ways, and that there is such a broad definition of “photography” these days and the genres continue to expand. I am constantly finding new artists that I am falling in love with, and although the market is somewhat saturated, I don’t see that as a necessarily bad thing, but as a blessing that there is more talent to find and an occasion to rise to the challenge of standing out among the crowd of many as one of the greats.

 

Photography Challenge | Guest Judge | UncommonGoods

Mark Weinberg | Photographer

What makes a powerful photo? “Light.”

Who is your all-time favorite photographer?
I don’t have one. Here are a few: Michael Kenna for his ability to capture ordinary environments in a surreal way, Edward Burtynsky for his ability to find patterns in both man-made as well as natural environments, Henri Cartier-Bresson for his ability to capture a moment on film.

 If money was no object, what type of photography project would you like to organize?
I would love to do a large scale documentation of the US Postal System. Both the buildings and the employees. The architecture in post offices ranges from some of the most beautiful structures every completed in the USA to some of the most utilitarian. I’d love to interview employees and photograph them as well. I’d love hear what everyday life is like as well as the craziest thing they have ever seen in the mail.

What makes a powerful photo?
Light.

Photography Challenge | Guest Judge | UncommonGoods

 Emily Dryden | Photographer at UncommonGoods

   “[Images] should be able to draw the viewer into a different world or into a new story or emotion.”

What makes a powerful photo?
A powerful image is one that can keep you engaged the longest. The image should be able to draw the viewer into a different world or into a new story or emotion.

Which website should every photographer know about?
Aphotoeditor.com is a great website to discover new work and the learn about the business.

If you were able to take a photo of anything or anyone anywhere– what would you decide on?
I would like to shoot David Lynch have coffee in an old diner.

katy
Katy Loeb | Art Buyer for UncommonGoods

“[Photography] plays with memory, reality, and technology in a way that other mediums do not.”

What’s your favorite photograph?
This is a tough question! One of my very favorites would have to be Carrie Mae Weems’s series The Kitchen Table (1990), in which the artist records a fraction of the many activities, conversations, and emotions that make their way across her kitchen table.  Weems captures the complexity and nostalgia of such an ordinary space with reverence.

 What type of photographs are you hoping to add into your assortment?
My goal is to bring in a range of photography that will be both aesthetically pleasing in a home, but also evoke strong emotions from a viewer. I’m always attracted to works that could be conversation starters!

What does photography mean to you?
Photography, I believe, is perhaps the most nuanced form of visual art.  It plays with memory, reality, and technology in a way that other mediums do not. In that vein, photography for me has the power to evoke more powerful emotions and ideas than most other art forms.

Be sure to cast in your votes here for your favorite photographs that made it as semifinalists! The deadline for voting is at 11:59pm on September 23, 2014. The top 4 voted photos will move onto the next round and the guest judges will decide on one grand prize winner.  The winner will earn $500 and have a chance to be added into our assortment!

Photography Voting | UncommonGoods

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