“I love art. It’s been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I grew up thinking of myself as Anne of Green Gables where I had to turn the whole world into something romantic. I longed to be the Lady of Shalot floating to her doom down the river, pining in her unrequited love for Lancelot. I ached for rustling silk dresses with puffed sleeves and thick hair to my knees. I wanted a world that was removed from the mundane simplicity of everyday life.

But of course, life comes in and we grow up and move on. There isn’t enough time in the day to even shower, much less indulge in artistic flights of fancy. We have children, get a job and acquire debts. We cheer soccer games and kiss booboos and wash that same cup for the thousandth time. We forget the past and become “adults.”

And then one day, we pick up a camera. And take that first shot.

And all that youthful longing comes rushing back—it’s as if we have been drowning all these years and someone finally pulled us back to the surface. Color comes back to the world, color that we had never noticed was missing.

Coming up for that first gasp of air is exhilarating. For me, I couldn’t get enough of photography. It consumed me as I was suddenly able to express everything inside, all this longing that had been pushed aside for so many years. I would stay up nearly all night working on a new project or a fun idea. I would read everything and had a huge list of photographic concepts I wanted to try out.

But of course, again, life comes in. We want to share our newfound gift and now there are photography debts to be paid too. So we leave that list of concepts and turn our passion into our job. It’s fun and rewarding and exhilarating in a different way. But appointments and editing and deadlines leave little room for personal expression.

But I’m still that hopelessly romantic girl. And I still have a list of creative ideas a mile long that I would love to complete. Henri Matisse stated, “An artist is an explorer.” I often feel like that, though perhaps it’s just a journey of self-exploration, understanding myself a little more. So I decided to take a little time each month to explore photography as an art form, to elevate my understanding of both art and myself, and allow that deeply artistic side of myself a chance to spread her wings.

So I banded together with a handful of other photographers to create a blog project focused on exploring the fine art side of photography. Each month, we will post a photo or series of images focused on art and photography. There are no rules. Just post what comes from the heart and allow the inner artist a chance to explore and fly.

So welcome to “{elevate} a fine art photography exploration” ~ Nichole Van Valkenburgh

If you follow my blog or know me at all, you know that Nichole has been my mentor and friend for a long time. She is really the person who has pushed me to the next level and really got me to think as an “artist”. I’m honestly still shy about using that word to describe myself, but creating fine art is my true love so this project is very exciting to me. I am telling you, the group of ladies that I am teaming up with are people that I have put on a pedestal, so you are truly in for a treat. I will link a fellow photographer who is part of the project so you can see her image of the month. After you see hers, you’ll notice another link under her picture that will then take you to the next photographer’s blog. If you continue to click on the link under each picture, you will go through a circle of photographers across America and eventually end up here.

I am so happy to introduce you to one of my favorite artists in the world… Tamara Burross of From the Treetop Photography in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Have a wonderful week, everyone!!

marmalade - Gorgeous work Gina. LOVE the light here. What a beautiful setting.

Nichole Van - Seriously, Gina?!! This is just exquisite! Breathtaking in every way, but the wine glass is the touch of genius!

wendy - Oh the light!! Magical in every sense. One of my favorites, Gina.

kamee june - i. can’t. even. speak.
i adore this. i adore you.

Jennifer N - This is the most AMAZING image EVER! My FAVORITE. I have every detail etched in my memory. The lighting, the whole feel of it. I can feel the serenity of the bride. It’s just gorgeous. Need I say more?

Tamara - Miss Gina this is GORGEOUS!! You are brilliant with styling, never overdone-just enough to be spectacular!! The light is edible and as Nichole said, the wine glass is the perfect touch. So excited you asked me to join such a great group! Can’t wait to see what everyone does next.

martha schuster - oh my heavens gina. this is positively breathtaking. the light is to die for, as well as the styling. the location is making me crazy. it’s just a “perfect storm” of wonderfulness. so glad to be sharing with you!!!

crave photography - Gina, this has to be hands down one of my favorite shots ever!! The composition, lighting, styling….it’s all perfection!!!

Brandie - Absolutely stunning! The light is just gorgeous and the styling is perfect.

jules - this is one of my all time favorite images of yours…. ever! breathtaking! i love that we met just one year ago … and now look at us. love you!

Cindy - Oh Gina, this is, as others have said….Exquisite. You have come so far in photography, and I love to hop over and see the beauty that you create. It is inspiring! I have to let you in on a secret…I am totally jealous that you are in such a creatively driven and motivational group! What an honor!

Jen from Windy Ridge - Oh, Gina…this photo is so amazing…I can FEEL the warm sunshine.

Carla - Agh! WOw~ that photo literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Just.like.that. Wow. I can’t even barely catch my breath. YOU are a true artist!! You have evoked feelings in me with just one image. Just one, and you blew me away.

Stacey S - Absolutely breathtaking.

Alisia K - wow.
simply breathtaking.

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