Monday, May 19, 2014

A Virtual Blog Tour

Recently my friend Dotti Rinehart, who contributes to the Focusing on Life blog along with me, told me about a Virtual Blog Tour that she was doing and thought I might be interested in playing along.  She knew that I had recently begun posting to my blog again and thought this might be a way to jumpstart my blog and connect with other bloggers.  That sounded like just what I needed to get moving and gladly accepted her invitation. First of all, pop over to Dotti’s blog Camper and read her answers to these questions and see who else she invited to play and then come back here to read mine. See how this works?

All those who are participating are answering the same four questions, so here are mine: 

1. What am I working on?

I am always working on my photography skills – taking classes/workshops, talking to other photographers and shooting, shooting, shooting. The one thing that seems to improve my photography the most is shooting every day. If I let any amount of time go by without picking up my camera, then I tend to let it sit and then more time passes. You get the picture! I NEED to be shooting all the time. Sometimes it is just my morning cup of coffee, but how can I pose it, light it, frame it? I am currently enrolled in Kim Klassen’s new class Be Still 52 which just started last week and Kim Manley Ort’s class called Keeping it Simple which will start this week. Don’t those sound like the perfect combination? Taking classes is always something that gets me excited about getting my camera out and shooting. With the heat of the Arizona summer about to hit, classes about still life and keeping things simple sounded like the perfect antidote. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have always wished I had a “style”, one recognizable as mine to the people who view my work.  I’m still not convinced I have it but other people tell me they can pick my photos out of a group so I guess I am developing one whether I can really see it or not. I love color. I gravitate toward color and I love flowers and nature. Most of all, I love macro, getting up close and personal as possible with my subject. I love that I see things that a lot of other people will walk right past. Sometimes I tend to miss the big picture because of it (grin) but I love the tiny details of things. 

And as you can tell from the photos in this post, I love introducing people to the beauty of the Arizona desert.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I didn’t start out to be a blogger. In fact, I am an on again, off again blogger. I first started blogging so my mother, who moved out of town, could read what was going on in my life. But then she lost computer access and I quit blogging. I would try to pick it up again from time to time, but after a few posts I would stall, and if you’re here reading this, that will be readily evident. I’m not saying that won’t happen again but over the last few years since starting the collaborative blog Focusing on Life, I have been following more and more blogs of other people and I want to be in that circle, sharing my photography, my thoughts and my life with others and sharing theirs.

4. How does your writing/creative process work?

I am usually inspired to post to my blog by the photos I take and want to share. I don’t think ahead of time about exactly what I want to say but just let the words flow as I look at the photos. But as I get into the writing part, sometimes things go in a totally different direction and I end up writing about something other than the photos!  I guess the words were there all along and just needed me to sit down at my computer and start writing for them to come out. 

And so, with all that said, I would like to introduce you to these two wonderful bloggers so that they can continue the Virtual Blog Tour next Monday on their blogs.

I recently met Melinda Anderson after she moved to a nearby Arizona town. After she retired from 30 some years of teaching first grade in the San Francisco Bay Area, Melinda bought her first DSLR to capture photos of her grandson, who was still a toddler.  Four years later, she finds that her photography hobby has grown into a passion she never anticipated! She and her husband have recently moved to Arizona and are the proud grandparents of two adorable grandsons, who are her favorite photography subjects. Her blog, Melissa Anderson Photography, can be found here.

Jeanne Stone has been a follower of Focusing on Life for quite some time. She is an author and photographer for and her blog Butterfly Tales which she has enjoyed for the past three years. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother and a Nurse Practitioner. Photography is a long loved and serious hobby, with her goal being to see and appreciate the little but miraculous things all around us. Also as a Nurse Practitioner who has worked for many  years with women, one of her major goals in her photography is to empower others by helping them to see all of the beauty surrounding them and to find ways for this beauty to help them grow into the women they want to be. She loves natural light for her photography, shoots entirely in manual and loves seeing all of the beauty of this light. Photography is definitely her favorite hobby ever and she has loved sharing this on her blog.

Many thanks to these two ladies for participating and I hope you’ll join me in reading their posts next Monday, May 26 to learn more about them and to see who they have invited to continue the Virtual Blog Tour. 

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits.




  1. For some reason it seems like I have been here before. :) Your cactus bloom are always beautiful and love seeing them through your eyes. I find something different, maybe angle, light, perspective different from when I have taken the same image. That is always nice to see. Hope you continue with your blog.

  2. So happy you decided to be part of this virtual blog tour! It's been great learning more about one another. If I were asked, I'd define your style as crisp, sharp colors with a shallow depth of field. And of course, flowers. {Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!} And the daily shooting ... so necessary. Just like practicing the piano. Love each one of your flower photos today and I have enjoyed learning about desert beauty from you.

  3. I love that you've started blogging again! You do have a style...Dottie described it very well! I'm one of those than can usually pick out your images! Your images of the desert, the cacti and their flowers are always so amazing! You shown me just how much color is in the desert!

  4. i love this terri, and isn't it so funny that everyone else knows our style before we do? :) loved getting a peak inside your creative process and have enjoyed so much seeing you at your blog lately. getting to experience the color and glory of the arizona desert.