Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night

Since the start of websites like YouTube and Metacafe there's just no limit to what you can find on the net when it comes to "home videos". I think we've come a long way from the original "home video", don't you think?

A friend posted about this video on Facebook, and I wanted to share it with the lot of you :)


LIPDUB - I Gotta Feeling (Comm-UQAM 2009) - Click here for the most popular videos

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Favorites- Tel Aviv Love

It's been a while since I've done a Weekend Favorites post, and I am glad I am back at it! I love the process of creating these posts. I get to think of an idea, a theme, and then brows through Etsy to find my favorites on there. I always end up adding some new items to my already extensive list of favorites . I call it my "One day I will..." wish list.
Today I am giving a shout of love to the artists in  my neck of the woods, the talented peeps of Tel Aviv. Believe me, there are a many many many more great Etsy shops from Tel Aviv, way more than the twelve I bring to you here, so be sure to check Etsy's Shop Local search option and enter Tel Aviv as your area.
So without any further delays, here are my favorite twelve.

1. Bakana Design Studio - Unique Wall Art
2. Nitca - Scarfs, felted shawls, kntted garments & accessories
3. Noica- Graphic & Doll Design shop
4. I Have A Print - various items using graphic designs
5. Little White Dresser - Jewelry, Accessories, and some vintage goods
6. Dizzy W. - Photography shop
7. Iluchka - Clothing & Aparel
8. Inbal Design - Jewelry Design
9. Netamir's Design - Homemade Fabric shoes, slippers, handbags & more
10. Kozo- Lamp shop
11. Galit - Crochet Wire Jewelry
12. Mishi - handbags and clutches

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bring on The Bellies

It's been almost forever since I made my entire living out of photography. Well, forever here is a few years, but it does feel like forever!
For various reasons, most of them conclude with the words "money" and "rent" I decided to put off for a while the idea of having a photo business as my main, no, not main, as my only source of income, and instead I shifted gears towards other paths.
I've mentioned before that since I've moved back home to Israel, I have been slowly progressing back to my old sweet love of photography, trying to make the dream of a photography business in to a reality. With recent events I have taken a step back, but all that is going to end right this moment!
From this point on, it is photography in full speed, in every way possible!

So here it is, Tali Schiffer Photography & Design is open for business! 

Bring on the pregnant women, with their glorious bellies, and their smiley husbands. Bring on the newborns, their siblings, their proud parents, grandparents & such. Bring on the engaged couples, the getting married couples, and the newlyweds.
If you're in Israel, you're in luck, I will travel anywhere in the country!
Not that I wouldn't travel anywhere in the world for a photoshoot, but the ticket will be on you for now ;)

Be sure to check out the website, and it's newly posted pricing page here

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

365 Days Ago

At this time last year, at about 9 PM I was married to who I thought would be next to me through thick and thin, for the rest of my life.
Though we are not yet divorced, we are also no longer married, so this is not an anniversary by any means.
Today I celebrate the fact that this date will no longer have a meaning in my heart.
I say goodbye to Sept. 22nd and it's memories, and the innocence that went away with it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Holidays Blues

It is Rosh Ha'Shana all over Israel now. That is the Jewish New Year. It is the first holiday of the year. The holiday that marks the end of summer, the start of colder days & nights, a change, a shift in the air. It is also one of the most spiritually loaded holiday as this marks the start of one's repent which lasts until Yom Kipur, the day we fast for 24+ hours, and at the end god decides on whether you are written in the book of life, or the book of dead. This is the time for soul searching, for self examination, for new resolutions, and self improvement. It is also a time of forgiveness. It is a time where one should let go of their anger or bitterness towards others, where one should rise up to be the bigger person and forgive.
Now I am by no means a religious person. I don't visit the synagogue, I don't pray, I don't keep the Sabath, or Kosher, or hide in modest clothing. But I do believe in the essence of the holidays, the values, and the lessons they come to teach us. And so I try to take to heart the meaning of the holiday.
Every year this holiday has a different affect on me, as I am sure it is for others. It all depends on everything that's happened to me since last Rosh Ha'Shana. As you all know, this year I am in a completely different place. Last year I spent the holiday with my husband, yes, the husband I will soon be divorcing from. Last year was all about family, and togetherness, and hopes for building our own little nest.
But now I am here on my own. I was with family earlier, and did see & talk to friends, so I am not alone, I am just on my own. And as I sit here I try to find the positive in things. I try to look ahead at this coming year, and promise myself it will be better. I make plans in my head, creating the path that will lead me to that better place. I think about everything I've done this past year, forgive myself for what I've done wrong, and congratulate myself on my successes. And then I think about our marriage... And as hard as I try to see the positive I keep being drawn back to the feeling of loss, to the bitterness, and to the anger. I try to think about forgiving, I should forgive him and move on, but that is so hard. Perhaps it's not him I should be forgiving, rather it is ME. I keep beating myself up on what I have done wrong. How did it all fall apart. I should realize there was nothing more I could have done, and that it is not my fault.
We all make mistakes, it is human nature. We need to learn from our mistakes, and move on, and make sure to never repeat a mistake.
Deep inside I know it will be better. Deep inside I know there is more out there for me. I guess I just have to go through all this to be able to see that...

I will leave you with some Blues. This is a song originally sang by Billie Holiday. Here are her lyrics. The video is of Ivri Lider, an Israeli singer songwriter with his version of that song.

The Man I Love

Someday he'll come along, The man I love
And he'll be big and strong, The man I love
And when he comes my way
I'll do my best to make him stay

He'll look at me and smile, I'll understand
Then in a little while, He'll take my hand
And though it seems absurd
I know we both won't say a word

Maybe I shall meet him Sunday,
Maybe Monday, Maybe not
Still I'm sure to meet him, One day
Maybe Tuesday will be my good news day

He'll build a little home, That's meant for two
From which I'll never roam, Who would, Would you
And so all else above
I'm dreaming of the man I love

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pricing Fine Art Photo Prints

That is a loaded subject!
The issue of pricing photography in general, and photo prints specifically, has always been THE MAIN issue among photographers, and since the age of digital photography, it is even more of an issue.
See, digital has made it easier for almost anyone to pick up a camera and declare themselves "a photographer", but photography, or rather good photography, is a lot more than just picking up a camera, pointing it at a subject, and pushing the shutter trigger. The real proffessionals have some years of education in their repertoire (and yes, there's a BA, an MA and even a Doctorate that one can obtain in the field). They have experience with various mediums, cameras, subjects, equipment & environments. All that should be taken in to account when a client wants to purchase a photo to hang on their wall.
Being a seller on Etsy, and a member of the POE  team (Photographers Of Etsy), I deal with this issue a lot. I find that the prices for fine art photography prints are all over the map. I am not saying that everyone's prices should be exactly the same, as not everyone has the same experience and starting point, but I do feel that a lot of sellers out there are practically giving their art for almost nothing. And while I say, to each his own, I feel that as long as this continues it gets harder and harder for us photographers to actually make a living here out of what we do.
I know that sometimes it feels satisfying enough to know that someone else likes your creation to actually want to hang it on their wall, but when you sell it for close to nothing, that makes me wonder if they REALLY like your work, or is it more the price that appeals to them...?
When I figure out the price for a print I take a few factors in to account:
1. The time it took me to create the image
2. Expenses I had in creating it (i.e. props)
3. The Equipment I used (trust me, when you go to the dentist, the price of his equipment is calculated in a percentage of your cost!)
4. The size and cost of the print
And of course there should be a markup to it all, as you should be making money not just breaking even all the time...
So to you photographers out there I say, be fair to yourselves, appreciate what you do, and put a rightful price to your art.
And to anyone who's ever bought or will buy a photo print, just remember that what you see hanging on your wall eventually, is a creation that took time, thought, money, and a whole lot of talent.

For more reads on the subject go here and here and here

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Selfless Act Full of Joy

A few weeks ago I decided to conduct a game called A Bloggers Giving Game in which each person who comments to that post will be receiving something from the person that commented before them, and therefor will also be giving to the next person that comments. I am still waiting for all the images of gifts to arrive via email, but once they arrive I will post a final run down of who gave what to who :)

But the reason for this post is not to remind you all about that game, rather to tell you about the wonderful Joy who participated in the game. Joy was somewhere in the middle of commentators, and so she was not the person meant to end the game, and send me her gift. Regardless, Joy had sent me an email asking for my mailing address, letting me know she still wanted to send me something.

On Friday I received a package, and on the front of it was the stamp of Joy White. I opened it and was overwhelmed by what I had just received. Joy had sent me her Pure Joy necklace, and attached she wrote this:

  What a great idea, the giving tree was so much fun!
  I hope you love your new necklace & whenever you 
  wear it you are reminded to live in the moment and 
  know that JOY is all around you.

I am truly blessed to have such great, positive, supportive, and generous people around me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inspiration Avenue's Weekly Challenge

There are many teams on Etsy, the site I sell my photography in. Each team has a name that signifies it's members by something in common. For instance, one of the teams I am a member of is The Etsy Israel Team, and you guessed it, our "something" in common is the fact we are all sellers from Israel :)
Well, the Etsy Israel Team is not the only team I am a member of.
A few months ago I have joined a team called Inspiration Avenue, and as the name says, we are part of that team simply because we wish to inspire and be inspired by each other. I have to say that if it weren't for this amazing group of (talented) women, I wouldn't have been inspired to do anything productive or artistic during last month's events.

( So thank you Sharon, Angie, Laura, Luthien, Lulu, Catherine, Tammy, Shannon, Dawn, Michele, & Betty )

As part of our inspiration activities, we have recently started a weekly challenge. The rules are quite simple. Each week one of us will come up with a word and/or a color, and whom ever wants to participate needs to create something that relates to what was chosen. Then, all we have to do is post & blog about what we've created, and send in our image or comment about it on the team's blog so it can be included on the team's blog post on Monday of every week.
ANYONE can participate in the inspiration creation extravaganza! It is definitely not limited to team members only. We believe in global inspiration, so the more people participate, the more inspired we'll all get ;)

This week's challenge was "Orange" and so, here is my creation (Photographic creation of course...)

 Orange Composite #2

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Polaroid Memories

Do you remember years ago how Polaroid was a hit?
I never owned one, nor did my parents, but I have always wanted one, and it was always exciting when someone around me had one, and used it. It was so magical! The sound it made when you clicked the shutter, that square format, the image slowly appearing out of the dark, and the fact that you had a print at hand only a few moments after.
I finally got to use one, well not a camera but a Polaroid back, when I started shooting with my 4x5 View camera. We used Polaroids to take an initial print and see if all the settings we've made on the camera are good, before we use the "real" film... I loved it! I still have some of those roids around somewhere, but most of them actually went to my older sister, as she loved them so much. I think they're hanging on a wall somewhere in her house...
The reason I'm writing about Polaroids, is because not too long ago they have been discontinued (!) I guess it got too expensive for production in comparison to demand... But there are a few out there that are trying to "save" the roids :)  One of the sites doing so is a site called PolaDroid. They have created a little software to download that in a few seconds changes your images from regular to Polaroid looking. I just took the plunge, and boy is that fun!!
Here's a little self-imagery trip down my memory lane. All converted in to Polaroid via PolaDroid
Enjoy :)

Monday, September 07, 2009

There is a Sale

As you all know (or now you know) I have an online shop on Etsy where I sell my photography work.
When you add an item to your shop, it is uploaded for 3 months, and then it expires. Come Sept. 10th that is exactly what will happen with a bunch of my images, as it's now been three months since I have opened my shop (woot woot).
So before these images fly off to expiry land, there is a 20% off sale on all those items. Check the sale section to see what I am offering. Sale ends Sept. 10th
Happy shopping :)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Weekend Favorites- Blogs Blogs Blogs

It's been almost a week now in my new apt. and this is my first weekend here. These last few days have been a mix of emotions from high to low. If you would see me & my roommate interact with each other you wouldn't believe we've only just met! She has become such a good friend in just a few days. Actually a few hours! The very night I moved in we made dinner together, opened a special bottle of red, and finished it completely while telling each other our deepest secrets (which of course I shall not reveal here...). Since that night we've had dinner together almost every night, we've entertained friends, did our grocery shopping together, sipped coffee at the local coffee joint on Friday morning, and had our moms over for a Saturday breakfast! So I can definitely say that it feels more like home than not.
But I won't lie to you, I do get my moments of sadness, reminiscing the not too long ago relationship I had... It's inevitable, so I don't beat myself up every time I get emotional. I'm just doing my best to accept it, and get over those moments quickly, realizing more & more each time that it IS only for the better. (Besides, did I mention how many cute men I see on a regular basis in my new neighbourhood.....)
Well, after this little update, I can get back to the main subject of this post- The weekend favorites, and since blog land has become such an important part of my life lately, I thought I'd give an homage to a few inspirational, emotional, funny, encouraging, interesting bloggers I have come to follow over the last few months. I follow a lot of blogs, and I do my best to read every single new post that appears in my 70 something list of blogs that I follow (though I don't always comment on those posts...). It wasn't easy to choose only 12, so if I didn't choose your blog, it's not because I don't enjoy it, on the contrary, it's just that the weekend favorites consist of ONLY 12  :)
So click, read, and follow  :)

1. YellowGoat Design & all things beautiful - Petula
2. Ponder & Stitch - Amy
3. City of Dionne - Dionne
4. Mint - Ellie
5. Musings of an urban 30 something - Andrea
6. Pretty {much} Art - Stephanie
7. Rachel B. Blog - Rachel
8. Little Loveables - Lisa
9. Knock Knocking - Agnes
10. Stacey Winters - Stacey
11. Old Sweet Song - Amy
12. Blah Blah Blahg - Miss B

I caved in.... Had to add some blogs & bloggers that are dear to my heart...
Laura Evans Photography , Inspiration Avenue , Pimp & Paint , Jessica Rogers , Art & Inspiration , The Darkroom , Snowbell Jewelry , Olive Rue , Little Gray Pixel , Mana Moon Studio (Sharon of this blog was the person who got me finally blogging!) , Layers of Meaning , The Craft Begins , A Kingdom By The Sea , Lulu Kellogg , The Eye , Holga Jen

Thursday, September 03, 2009

First Glance

I moved to a new place a few days ago, for a new beginning, new life, new friendships, and yes, I even hope for a new relationship. After a long search around the city of Tel-Aviv, I have found the perfect place. It's a 3 bed rooms, 1.5 bathroom apartment, with a big living room, and a very upgraded stylish kitchen. I currently share this pad with my lovely roommate Nitza, and we are looking for the third addition to complete the trio.
Here are a few snaps from the living room, kitchen, and our pampering bathroom.
Behold our pad :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thank you!

I was out of the World Wide Web for about 24 hours because of the move, and when I finally returned I couldn't believe what I was reading. I had quite a few personal messages as well as blog comments from people that know me personally, and from people I've never met in my life, all sending encouraging words, hugs, and hopes for better days.
I am overwhelmed and so very grateful to you all! Thank you for caring, thank you for helping (and it does help), and thank you for letting me know you are there.