[photolena photography by olena sullivan]
In a nutshell:
I specialize in photographing the beauty in places abandoned and forgotten.
Tell me a little about yourself ...
I am a graphic designer and photographer based in Toronto. By day, I work as a freelance designer and I spend all my spare time photographing around Ontario and the Northeastern United States. My education is in design - which included photography - and this is where I developed my sense of composition and my love for texture and rich colour. I have always had a love for historical and old buildings and this has fuelled my passion for urban exploration photography.
What are your favourite materials?
I shoot with an Alpha 100 DSLR camera and my new favourite toy is my wide-angle Sigma 10-20mm lens, which allows me to get even more of the location into my shots. I primarily sell my photos as print and framed pieces, although many Etsy customers like the greeting cards as well.
What inspired you to do this?
Originally, my big thing was photographing historical buildings in Europe when on vacation as these buildings - the cathedrals and the castles - had so much history to them that you could almost touch and feel when looking back at the photos. I think this led me to urban landscape photography as our history here in North America isn't as old and the buildings here tend to fall apart from neglect. I am creating a historical snapshot of them before their memories fade forever.
Do you remember the first thing you made? What was it?
A greeting card for a craft show - it was a yellow tulip opening to the sun. I was still starting out then and had a lot of flowers in my catalogue.
What's new and exciting in your store?
Two new areas - I've just posted a bunch of new Holiday Cards in the Winterlude series for those that would like something a bit softer to give with their gifts this season, and having been on several shoots recently, I have been slowly posting new urban photographs as well.
What is your favourite item? And why?
Blue Room Repose - http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5241757 . This photo is just one of those where luck was on my side in terms of lighting as this was such a horrible day outside with snow clouds hovering all day. The light kept changing from minute to minute and I just managed to shoot this at the right time. It really resonates with me.
Why should people buy handmade?
Each of these pieces is not only unique, but there is time taken to print, and sometimes frame the item for you. As well, if you want to start a conversation to get a custom size and order, you can do that. You get to share in the production process. That just doesn't happen with mass-produced product.
I hope that people enjoy my photography and that it not only inspires them but gets them interested in the history of their own cities and buildings.
Blog readers! Purchase a photo or set of 4 cards in store until the New Year and mention "I found you through tomatesdepingles.blogspot" in your order to get a bonus greeting card of your choice!