A few weeks ago I hosted a giveaway at this blog. I selected a winner named Beth, and the only information I had about her was her blog. A bit of searching led to other blogs, and finally an Etsy shop that featured (surprise!) photos of some of my favorite places. “Beth” is Elizabeth T. Schoch, writer, photographer, author, and (practically) neighbor, just a stone’s throw away here in Maine. It turns out that some of my favorite places are her favorites, too! I was curious to find out more about her, and I’m so excited to share her work and story with you. (Beth has also generously agreed to extend her Etsy sale through December 8 for you! Please see below for the discount code to take 30% off your order!)
Please tell me a little bit about your background.
When I was born, my parents lived in North Fryeburg, Maine. The closest hospital was in North Conway, NH so that’s where I was born. It’s always been a great disappointment to me that I can’t say I was born in Maine! When I was 2 years old, my parents took teaching jobs in New Jersey. Every summer during my childhood, we would get in the car the day after school let out and head to Maine. I got to enjoy the entire summer in Maine, connecting with my cousins who also summered here. As an adult, I moved from New Jersey to Michigan and later to New York. I finally came full circle when I moved back to Maine in 2002.
When did your interest in photography begin?
I’ve liked photography since I was a kid, but I guess I would say it became a passion after I moved back to Maine. I’ve always been a creative person, but living in Maine has caused me to be more creative than ever before. I think having a digital camera is what really changed things for me. It allows me to go out and shoot 100 or 200 photos in a day without worrying about the expense of film or processing.
I see that you’re an author—how did that come about?
My passion is photography, but my profession is writing. I’ve been a writer, primarily a copywriter, for about 25 years. In 2001, a friend of mine who is also a writer asked me if I’d be interested in writing a book about digital photography. He had written several books for Adams Media and knew they were looking for someone to author a book on digital photography. Not knowing what was involved, I said yes! Ninety days and 100,000 words later, I completed The Everything Digital Photography Book (1st edition).
What inspires you?
Actually, everything inspires me! When people talk about being creatively blocked, I cannot relate. I get inspired by whatever is around me. Year after year, the beauty of Maine inspires me, and I’m sure I’ll never tire of photographing the Maine Coast. I also get very excited about taking pictures when I visit a big city, particularly New York.
In the past, an exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art of photographs by William B. Post (1857-1921) inspired my Dreamscape series. I was drawn to the dreamy, other-worldly quality of Post’s images. I have attempted to create a similar affect with my Dreamscape photos.
Currently, I’m on a kick of photographing industrial and architectural things. This interest came from a recent tour I took of a mill that had been turned into apartments. I love all types of buildings, and I was raised with antiques so I especially appreciate historic buildings. I like taking photos of things that show their age – such as items with chipped paint or rust spots – and I like taking photos of machinery or items that were once part of machinery, such as the antique fly wheel I recently photographed. There’s something about the contrast between the pretty pictures and the gritty ones that appeals to me.
Who do you take pictures for? Who do you see as your audience/customer?
I think anyone who loves Maine and/or the ocean will find something they like in my photo gallery. But I also think that since my subjects change as I change, my photos are going to resonate with different people at different times. Basically, I photograph whatever resonates with me and then put it out there for others to respond to.
Where is your favorite place to take photos?
My absolute favorite place to take pictures is Reid State Park in Georgetown, Maine. There will always be photos from Reid in my online gallery. Closer to home, I take a lot of photos at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth. Sometimes if the weather is inclement, I’ll set up a little still life and take pictures right in my living room or kitchen. These pictures have resulted in a shop category called Everyday Objects.
When did you start selling your photos? Where are they available?
I began selling my photos in 2004, I believe it was. I used to sell them at a non-profit gallery in the Old Port section of Portland and at various local art shows. Right now they are only available in my Etsy shop, IntuitivePhotography.etsy.com. I am considering doing an art show next summer; we’ll see.
Where can we find you?
First and foremost, you’ll find me on Etsy as Intuitive Photography. I’m also a member of Photographers of Etsy. On Twitter, I’m @Bethstakeonlife. I also have a blog of the same name, Bethstakeonlife.blogspot.com. Sometimes I give sneak previews of my photos via Twitter and my blog. I don’t currently have a Facebook page for Intuitive Photography although maybe that is something I should think about.
Thanks, Beth, for sharing a bit of yourself and your work! If you’re looking for a beautiful gift, please visit Intuitive Photography. Through December 8, take 30% off your order total by entering the code GIVETHANKS (discount doesn’t apply to shipping charges). My favorites are the beach photos. Which do you like best?
photographs ©Elizabeth T. Schoch