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Interview With Photographer, Pamela Schmieder

I discovered Pamela Schmieder’s photography on Flickr where she goes by Raewillow. Her work has a nostalgic charm and quiet beauty.

I was inspired by Pam’s work to create the texture, Nostalgie, in the French Kiss Texture Collection II which she’s used in the following four images.

Untitled

Lavender Days

Lavender Days

Untitled

Marbles

French Kiss Textures

Pam, tell us a little about yourself.

Pam

I am married to my husband whom I met when we both started teaching. We have two handsome sons and a beautiful new daughter-in-law. Our dog, Bailey, patiently serves as a fill-in model. I recently retired after teaching first and second graders for 30 years. I now enjoy being a student again as I slowly discover what all the buttons on my camera mean and how to get the most out of textures.

Summer Threads

Summer Threads

French Kiss Textures

I’ve asked Pam to tell us about published photographs and recognition.

Pam

Shortly after I started exploring photography, I was a local winner in the Kinsa contest. Kinsa is an international newspaper snapshot contest. One of my winning snapshots was featured on the Kodak website. Several photographs from my classroom were published in teaching magazines. In 1998 I submitted a picture in the Popular Photography Magazine contest and won third place. Recently Getty Images selected several of my photographs. While nothing I have done qualifies as a major award, these early forms of recognition helped me gain confidence.

French Kiss Textures

How long have you been photographing and what drew you to photography? Do you also have traditional art skills? Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?

Pam

Like many parents, I started taking photographs with the birth of my children. I used many, many rolls of film to take many, many photographs that were not very good. With the arrival of digital photography, I saw an explosion of possibilities using photography in my classroom. I started documenting students raising butterflies from eggs to larva. And soon via the Internet we could exchange photos with other classrooms across town or across the world. I did not have any formal training. At that point it was just a strong desire to capture a moment and to create. About a year ago, I began adding textures to my photographs and sharing them on Flickr.

Irises

Irises by raewillow, on Flickr

Note: Pam has numerous still lifes with this chair, each as charming as the other.

French Kiss Textures

What artists have inspired you?

Pam

My first art purchase was a set of Grandma Moses prints at a local estate auction. I have always been drawn to folk or primitive art in different media. I have found that children’s literature has always been a source of inspiration, too. I admire author/illustrators such as Tomie DePaola and Chris Van Allsburg. And of course, lately I have discovered many creative and talented photographers on Flickr. It is a community in which users share so much and learn from each other.

French Kiss Textures

What else inspires you or moves you?

Pam

I gather inspiration from nature daily. I love the succession of seasons, the changing skies, the diversity of plants and animals. I also like old paint and rural decay. I love to be around funny and creative people.

Flower in jar

French Kiss Textures

What makes you want to grab your camera?

Pam

My camera is always close at hand. I never leave the house without it. I pick it up for a weathered barn, a forgotten schoolhouse, a bird visiting my yard, a new blossom, an object in an unusual place.

Flower

French Kiss Textures

Do you tend to shoot with natural light, flash or a combination? Is there a certain kind of light you like most? Do you shoot with post-processing in mind? In other words, do you shoot any differently if you know you will use textures?

Pam

I prefer natural light. I avoid using a flash.  I love to photograph under gray skies during and after a gentle rain shower. I am usually not thinking about processing when I am taking photographs. The composition of the photograph itself is primary. I start thinking about processing after I see how the image looks on the computer screen.

white flower

French Kiss Textures

What equipment do you have in your Camera Bag?

Pam

I am slowly learning to use my Canon EOS Rebel XT. I have 3 lenses – the Zoom EF-S 55-250mm, the Macro EF-S 60 mm and the EF-S 18-55. But my first love and “go to” camera is my reliable and lightweight Olympus Camedia C-765UZ. I feel like it has taken close to a million photographs. I also carry a bag of strawberry Twizzlers for those long drives along the back roads of Ohio.

French Kiss Textures

What Photo Editing software do you use?

Pam

I use Photoshop Elements for processing.

French Kiss Textures

Are you a gardener or do you find your florals and macros out in the world—or a bit of both?

Pam

Yes, I am a relaxed gardener of flowers, vegetables and fruits. I started planting various flowers, trees and shrubs to attract native butterfly larva. Gardening is like collecting textures in that it is hard to stop. Each year I find myself needing to till a new plot of earth to fill with new plant discoveries.

In the Pawpaw Patch

In the Pawpaw Patch by raewillow, on Flickr

French Kiss Textures

I get a feeling of a country life from your images. Do you live in the country?

Pam

No, I live in a small town but I love country things.

French Kiss Textures

You have great props and furniture in your images. Do you have a passion for collecting?

Pam

My husband and I share a love of collecting old stoneware, redware and southern pottery as well as primitive furniture. I love anything old, especially well used things with chipped paint.

Pruning

Pruning by raewillow, on Flickr

French Kiss Textures

What tips would you give someone beginning to use textures?

Pam

  • Take an online class or adult education class to learn about Photoshop. You can learn it on your own with trial and error but it is so much more efficient to take a class. You can start getting results much more quickly
  • Look for simple tutorials online to learn how to add texture to a photograph.
  • Ask. I have found most photographers on Flickr are very willing to help if you ask. I have learned so much from the kindness of others.
  • Have fun and experiment.

French Kiss Textures

Any advice to new Artists for finding their own vision?

Pam

Photograph what you enjoy. Our world is full of beauty. The journey is exciting and the finished photograph is fulfilling.

Skeleton

Skeleton by raewillow, on Flickr

French Kiss Textures

Thank you, Pam.

Enjoy more of Pam’s work on her Flickr Photostream.

All of the above images use French Kiss Textures and/or Brushes.

Friday 12/16/11 – Sunday, 12/18/11, head over to the Facebook page to congratulate Pam.

Free texture download link available on the Facebook page until 12/19/11

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8 Responses to Interview With Photographer, Pamela Schmieder

  1. teresa December 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    What a beautiful selection of work . . .I particularly like “Summer Threads” . . . .and a very interesting and informative interview. x
    teresa recently posted..Underwater . . . .

  2. Kelly Fitzgerald December 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Beautiful works of art!

  3. Kim December 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Her work is so beautiful and inspiring in it’s simplicity. The first one made me think of roses from old corsages. “Forget-me-not roses” 🙂

  4. Maria December 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    I have followed Pamela’s work on Flickr for sometime now, and I love her work. I truly enjoyed reading about her and her life … great article! Maria

  5. Lynda December 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    beautiful work Pamela, feeling very inspired right now…..thankyou!

  6. Barb Kellogg December 17, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    Absolutely beyond stunning!! And you’ve inspired me to visit my nearby antique shops for old, cracked chairs and simple mason jars. 🙂
    Barb Kellogg recently posted..my favorite photography subjects…

  7. Lois Bryan December 17, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    So so so lovely!!!!! I truly admire this gentle and nostalgic style … thank you Nicole for introducing us to Pamela and her beautiful artwork!!!!!!
    Lois Bryan recently posted..Who’s There by Lois Bryan

  8. Leslie Nicole May 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Thank you, Lisa! xx

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