A huge surprise.
We’re introducing you to one of our newer blippers this month. But, before you continue, can you guess what came as a huge surprise to her?
Maureen first heard of Blip in conversation with some other photographers while she was holidaying in Scotland back in 2019. At that point, posting a photo every day seemed daunting, so she filed it away to consider later.
With a wonderful collection and variety of images already in her journal, we’re glad she reopened the filing cabinet! But how did that happen?
During lockdown, Maureen made a point of walking everyday and recording each day in words and photographs - mostly using her iPhone. Towards the end of 2020, now in the swing of daily shots, the idea of blipping returned and she decided to start her journey.
On her first major blip milestone, she realised she was hooked, “So, 100 blips. A baby step compared with most of my fellow blippers, but a step it is. It’s strange how quickly blip becomes so much a part of daily life, and how quickly one is embraced into the blip community. From the start, I’ve felt welcomed and supported, grateful for the guiding hands reached out by those with many more entries behind them.”
Maureen feels blessed to be living in beautiful North Wales and describes herself as a very happily retired high school deputy head who loves travel and culture. She has two wonderful grown up sons, each with equally wonderful partners.
Do say hello to one of our newer blippers, Maureen6002 read on to discover more and don’t miss out on Maureen’s choice of her Top 10 favourite blips to-date at the end:
Have you always been a photographer?
I’d say I’ve dabbled since my late teens when I bought a secondhand Praktica - though I definitely take far more photographs now I’m retired, have more time, and - when COVID and health issues permit - travel more.
I’ve always been interested in art, and I think photography was a natural progression from that. My passion for travel, particularly in Asia and Africa, was also a major influence.
What do you enjoy about the concept of blipping?
As well as the discipline a photo a day, it’s so fascinating to see what others blip - particularly the international dimension. There’s also a sense of challenge - working on improving my own photography inspired by that of others.
How would you describe your journal?
A visual record of what I find beautiful or inspiring each day. I’d like to think my writing is descriptive and reflective rather than narrative but, of course, it often touches on family or personal issues.
Do you have a photographic style?
I really don’t think I have one; or if I do, it’s pretty eclectic. Currently, I’d say it’s very focused on the natural world rather than conceptual, and in previous years, it’s leant towards portraiture - something I’ve hardly touched with my blips. I think I’m an instinctive rather than technical photographer - in other words, I’m lazy and not good at methodically developing my skills! I really need to change this - and that goes for editing skills too.
How important is the journaling side to you?
When I started Blipfoto, I didn’t even consider writing, but it’s become an essential part of my approach. I was already keeping a COVID journal so this was something different. Blip, for me, was definitely focused on photography. However, using language creatively within my journal has been an unexpected joy. I don’t generally use my journal to record each day’s events, but rather to focus on the moment of the image - or the events leading up to it. Perhaps an image should speak for itself, but I enjoy trying to capture its context.
YOUR JOURNAL & PHOTOGRAPHY
What are your favourite subjects for photography?
Again, I’m rather eclectic. I tend to want to photograph anything that I find interesting or aesthetically pleasing. This last year, birds have probably been my favourite subjects - but I also love photographing horses - particularly our local Carneddau ponies with their gorgeous manes. I love landscapes too - though I often don’t feel I do them justice so they don’t feature much. A definite area for development. Although I’ve done very little portraiture this year, I’ve always been passionate about it when I’ve been travelling.
What do you look for in a photo to save in your journal and how do you choose what to save?
A good question! I’m dreadfully indecisive - but I’m getting better! Challenges help, as this focuses the mind on a set theme or subject at least. Once I’ve selected a group of shots I like based on quality - focus, composition etc - I find it’s often a case of looking at possible thumbnails. I also ask my husband what he thinks - but I’ll often ignore his choice!
How has photography changed for you over the years?
It’s so much easier with advances in technology. Being able to go out and take several hundred shots in a morning is a far cry from the days of film. I also have so much more time now to spend out with my camera - photography isn’t restricted to holidays. And I realise the local area has amazing ‘blipportunities’!
I joined because I wanted to improve my photography, and comparing my early blips with recent ones, I think I’ve started on this journey. I’m certainly exploring a far greater range of subjects and approaches than I was, but technically, there’s still a long journey ahead. I wanted to use my DSLR more, and rely on my iPhone less, and generally that’s the case.
How has daily blipping impacted on your life generally?
The pandemic certainly got me more into my photography by focusing on nature in the immediate locality but Blipfoto has definitely overlaid this with a discipline or structure - I know I have to find a blip and post it, and I like to find time to look through other journals. It’s also making me work at trying different shots - especially on days when I probably wouldn’t bother taking any photos.
What’s the biggest challenge with daily blipping?
For me, it’s not finding something to blip. Rather, it’s trying to select the day’s image. And, because my writing is important to me, sometimes that’s a challenge too. I don’t feel I’m good at the time management side of things yet when it comes to commenting on journals, and I’m often playing catch-up.
What does the Blipfoto community mean to you?
Much more than I thought it would! I love the fact that members of an international community look at and comment on my photos, and that I can reciprocate. And it’s a community that seems to genuinely care.
Actually, the blip community has come as a huge surprise to me; I certainly didn’t expect the elements of friendship and support. Despite being a relative ‘newbie’, I feel part of a network of friends who share advice, recommend destinations, offer blip meets, and give out copious metaphoric ‘tea and sympathy’ if you’re feeling low.
What motivates you to keep blipping?
The main thing is probably a desire to improve my photography - and that comes from seeing what others post as well as my own work. There are so many amazing photographers within the community - and also some great thinkers and philosophers. It’s inspiring and thought provoking.
What would you say to other blippers or people who are considering signing up?
I’ve realised every entry doesn’t have to be a photographic masterpiece. That hopefully gives other people confidence in starting a journal as I’d definitely recommend blip to them - in fact, I already have recommended it to friends.
Like me, I think sometimes it takes some time before you’re ready to commit to the concept, but once you’re in…
Maureen6002’s Top 10
Maureen has shared her favourite eleven blips with us (she did mention her indecisiveness ;D). Enjoy
them here in this short film.
Message from our Marketing Ambassadors, Richard & WharfedaleBex:
Who would you like to see profiled?
We’re looking for any journals, especially those featuring
unusual or original imagery, that you think would spark an interest for other blippers. So, whether you’ve been with us for a few weeks or a few years, do email us with your ideas - reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org