Tag : The Inner Lens Top Ten

The Inner Lens Guest Judge Artist Feature | Sonia Epple Fotografie

Please welcome our Featured Artist for last month’s Inner Lens theme, Sonia Epple Fotografie!

Hi Sonia, please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a photographer with all my heart and passion, at the same time wife and mom of 3 beautiful, lovely and amazing children!
I’m a cosmopolitan, born in france, half english, half german and I lived in different countries. Quite complicated, but I love diversity and colorful life stories.
I went through a lot in my life as two of my fathers died while I was growing up, but I learned that there is always good in life and that when you look close enough you can find beauty everywhere.

How do you incorporate emotion into your photography work?

To show different emotions and moods is my main focus, because I believe that emotions and mood will speak to people watching the pictures in the future. Pictures that don’t do storytelling are not timeless and won’t be appreciated so much I believe. It’s the raw emotions that make you stop and look at a picture again and again and that even speak to your soul.

What has photography taught you about your own emotions?

They have taught me that art feeds the soul. When I take pictures it actually helps me deal with my own emotions. I am able to create something out of my soul and sometimes I realize what I am actually longing for by looking at something I have just created.

Has photography ever provided a healing outlet for you during a difficult time?

Absolutely. Photography and Art is my way of dealing with what I am going through in life. The last year hasn’t been easy. We have had quite a difficult time as a family. My mum got diagnosed with cancer early last year and had to undergo treatment. My father died 10 years ago and we still have a little brother that we needed to take care off while my mum was in hospital. At the same time we had difficulties with our middle son who was diagnosed with a brainstem auditory processing disorder and our oldest son dealing with a early childhood traumata. All of this was a heavy load to carry for me and my husband and still is. But I have realized that taking pictures really has helped me to let go of the darkness that I was sometimes feeling. Being able to put all those feelings into my art was helping me let go off them and see life more positively. When I actually look at those pictures that really speak from my soul I can actually make my soul understand that it’s ok to feel that way and then also find a way to those happy moments again. Does that all make sense? It does to me – I hope it encourages the one or the other to also use photography as a way of a healing outlet.

Please share five favorite images with emotional meaning for you.

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“my soul needs love”

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“the veiled bride – lost, confused and blind”

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“Silence is an enemy Against your urgency So rally up the demons of your soul – green day”

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“awake my soul – mumford&sons”

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“too many decisions to take – smoke is coming from my brain”

Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us this past month, Sonia!  To see more of Sonia’s work, please visit her website: www.soniaepplefotografie.com and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram!


Here are our admin team’s favorite “Silly” shots for February. 🙂  Please be sure to visit each of these ladies’ pages and share the love! <3



photo credit: Lucy Baber Photography | http://www.lucybaberphotography.com


photo credit: Mary Slone Photography | http://www.maryslone.com

silly - Sonia Epple Fotografie

photo credit: Sonia Epple Fotografie | www.soniaepplefotografie.com

Silly- Elaina B. Photography

photo credit: Elaina B. Photography | http://www.elainabphotography.com


photo credit: Kapuschinsky Photography | http://www.kapuschinskyphotography.com/


“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” – Andre Gide april

April Kraus Photography


Bonnie Hussey, Photographer


Erin Letts Photos


Julie Moses

little farm

Little Farm Photography, LLC


Pixel Perfect Memory


mQn Photography

sarah joos

Sarah Joos Photography


Terri Collins Photography

And this month’s winner is…


Joni Burtt Photography


This year, we are doing things a little differently here at The Inner Lens.  In addition to our monthly prompts for photographer submissions (in case you missed it, January was “Adventurous”), we will also be showcasing the work of our brand new, very talented Admin team!  Please be sure to visit each of these ladies’ pages and share the love! <3



photo credit: Lucy Baber Photography | http://www.lucybaberphotography.com

Adventurous.C.Kapuschinsky Johnson

photo credit: Kapuschinsky Photography | http://www.kapuschinskyphotography.com/


photo credit: The Gilded Fox Photography

CollaborationWithLight ERainsford Jan

photo credit: Emily Rainsford

Elaina B. Photography Adventurous

photo credit: Elaina B. Photography | http://www.elainabphotography.com




photo credit: Mary Slone Photography | http://www.maryslone.com


SoniaEppleFotografie January2015


photo credit: Sonia Epple Fotografie | www.soniaepplefotografie.com


“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne


Here are the Top Ten images for last week’s #Scared theme.  Special thanks to our awesome Guest Judge, Dawn Schaeffer of peek photography + design . <3








Dina Farmer Photography












And this week’s winner is Lisa Bruins Photography!  Dawn writes, “I am in love with this black and white image by Lisa Bruins Photography!  The black and white conversion reminds me of an old Hitchcock movie and the motion gives it the feeling of one of those nightmares where you are running to get away from something, but moving so slowly it feels impossible to escape.  You wake up with a jolt in a cold sweat just as you are about to get caught. Great job on this shot – it gives me goosebumps!”


The Inner Lens Guest Judge Artist Feature | peek photography + design

Please welcome our Featured Artist for last week’s Inner Lens theme, Dawn Schaefer of peek photography + design!

Hey Dawn, please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Dawn, the photographer-designer-all-around-creative-rain-loving-girl behind peek photography + design. I am a family and child lifestyle photographer living in the Great Pacific Northwest. When I’m not taking pictures or obsessing over typography, I am busy chasing my three year old little man (otherwise known as my muse, my inspiration, my heart). I love that photography provides you with a memory on paper – something you can look back on years from now and remember exactly what point you were at in your life.

How do you incorporate emotion into your photography work?

For me, light and the seasons play a huge part in giving an image a certain feel. I find during the summer months, my work has a feeling of joy, happiness and an overall carefree tone. Then comes the rainy Pacific Northwest winter and my images take on a darker, more intense and moody feeling that comes with the short, gray days we experience here in Seattle. I find during the winter I am doing a lot more with black and white conversions vs. my bright, colorful images of summer.

What has photography taught you about your own emotions?

I’m a super emotional person. I need to have some sort of creative outlet to express myself – be it photography, design, drawing or dance. Its easier for me to pick up a camera or sketchbook than openly convey how I feel – which is good and bad in its own way.

Has photography ever provided a healing outlet for you during a difficult time?

I’ve never needed photography as a healing outlet, but it is the one thing that is mine and only mine. Its a personal connection within myself that I, alone, own.

Please share five favorite images with emotional meaning for you.


I am obsessed with pictures of my son’s feet. I believe they tell a story – where he’s been, but also where he’s going… and it’s so rare they are this clean!





His cautious little fingers exploring the world around him reminds me just how delicate life can be.




Such a perfect contrast to my winter images – the pure happiness and joy conveyed in this springtime shot makes my heart soar every time I see it!




The light, the rain and the moodiness all came together so amazingly for this shot. It’s one of my all time favorites and so perfectly represents the winter here in the Pacific Northwest.



The warmth and the calm of this dreamy morning-time image reminds me there are peaceful (yet short-lived) moments in motherhood.


Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us this past week, Dawn!  To see more of Dawn’s work, please visit her website: http://www.madeyoupeek.com and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and her brand new collaborative project, Boys Will Be Boys!


“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Here are the Top Ten for the theme “Loving”. <3










Ashley Cherry










And this week’s winner is Daphne Laput Photography! <3

Our Guest Judge, Gretchen Willis chose this image as the week’s winner, saying, “I love how the two children are huddled together under the umbrella, and the big brother looks so protective of his younger sibling. Even though his eyes are hidden by the umbrella, we can STILL learn so much about his feelings by his smile, his body language, everything that communicates without words is right here within the borders of this image.”


The Inner Lens Guest Judge Artist Feature | Gretchen Willis Photography

A great big warm welcome to last week’s Guest Judge, Gretchen Willis of Gretchen Willis Photography!

Hey Gretchen, please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a mom to 5 kiddos, highschooler down to preschooler; I’m a wife to a pastor; I’m a friend, sister, volunteer, and artistic nut. I am a part-time photographer and an almost-full-time teacher. I shoot families, teens and tweens, and small events although I always love to try shooting something new.

How do you incorporate emotion into your photography work?

It’s important for me to watch how my clients interact with each other and with me. I can see when an expression or gesture is about to show itself, and I anticipate when to press the shutter. It’s taken me a long time to learn – and I’m still learning – to know when the “right” time is to react.

What has photography taught you about your own emotions?

Photography has taught me that photos are more than just a recording of what someone looks like. Photos, especially those that show emotions in them, are so very strong. They conjure memories when we find them after a long absence. I used to shy away from getting my picture taken because I didn’t like what I looked like. But now I know that pictures are capturing WHO I AM, not what I look like. My family will have these images many years from now, and hopefully my emotions will show through in the pictures and they will be reminded of who I am. 

Has photography ever provided a healing outlet for you during a difficult time?

For 12 years, I spent all my time taking care of others – my husband, my children, my friends, my church, etc. I forgot who I was. Photography itself was the thing that brought me to a place of discovering myself again. Learning to understand every button & dial, every letter & light on my camera – it awoke my brain in a way that I hadn’t felt in many years. I discovered that I had an interest that was all my own. I learned that I was a better person when I could serve other people but also serve my own needs too.

Please share five favorite images with emotional meaning for you.



This sums up my life – hanging laundry with a kid hanging on my hip.



Watching my daughter grow up and slowly pull away has been so very bittersweet.


cub scouts-

Catching an honest moment between my two sons. The younger one looks to his brother as a hero; the older one tolerates – but loves – his younger brother.


I love my 2 youngest daughters’ innocent play here. Looking at this, I can hear the crickets, smell the fresh cut grass, feel the warmth on my face.


Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your work with us this week, Gretchen! <3  To see more of Gretchen’s work, please follow her on Facebook or visit her website, http://gretchenwillisphotography.com.  I also highly recommend her brand new ebook, “Love Letters to Your Children”, in which she shares some amazing insights into how she captures her family’s milestones and everyday moments with heart and intention. <3

The Inner Lens Guest Judge Artist Feature | Act Naturally Photography

I’m so excited to feature a photographer whose work I so greatly admire, Natalie Wheeler of Act Naturally Photography!

Hi Natalie, please tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a lifestyle photographer based out of Phoenix, Arizona. My two children and husband are an inspiration to me every day. I love to travel, listen to music, cook and play board games with my family….and chocolate!

How do you incorporate emotion into your photography work?

I have found that the connection made between a photographer and her subject is at the core of getting beautiful, emotive photos. My goal is always to capture the moment honestly and when that happens, the emotions are real and raw in the photograph. And of course, light, gorgeous light and dramatic processing!

What has photography taught you about your own emotions?

I have a need to express my emotions through art, and photography has become my platform to express a variety of emotions. My photographs say what it’s impossible for me to say with words or with any other medium. It’s extremely therapeutic!

Has photography ever provided a healing outlet for you during a difficult time?

I moved to Phoenix about 6 years ago, leaving my family behind in the midwest. My daughter was only 2 months old at the time, so taking lots of pictures of her to share with family as she was changing on a daily basis, helped keep us connected. In a more general sense, photography helps me on a daily basis. It keeps me in touch with the beauty that constantly surrounds me- from the extraordinary to the mundane, and teaches me to live in the moment.

Please share five favorite images with emotional meaning for you.


My daughter and her multitude of expressions. The was one she gave me that only lasted a split second-hadn’t seen it before or since.


When the stars align, or in this case a rainbow. This just makes me smile.


Playing with cousins who live about 2,000 miles away. Makes my heart so happy.


We are rarely able to get out the door on time for school, but this day we had extra time and had a special treat at Dunkin Donuts. A very special memory for all of us.


I love animals, and this handsome guy is my nephew dog. I’ve gotten into freelensing this year, and just love the effect and emotion it can give to photographs.



Thank you for such a fun week of talent and mischief, Natalie!!  I love your playful use of light, color, perspective, and humor! <3  To see more of Natalie’s lifestyle photography, please follow her on Facebook or visit her website, www.actnaturallyphotography.com.  You can also find her work on Flickr and Instagram! 🙂


We all want to be a little glamorous, a little playful and a little mischievous at times.”  – Jason Wu

Here are the Top Ten for the theme “Mischievous”.  Thank you for such a fun and playful week of beautiful work!! 🙂


















Kari Lockett


And this week’s winner was submitted by Sharon Covert Photography!

Our Guest Judge, Natalie says, “This is just such a fun image and perfectly captured. There is a sense of movement in their mischief and their expressions couldn’t be more perfect.  The processing is absolutely gorgeous as well. Great photograph Sharon Covert Photography!”