Monday, August 15, 2011

porridge's toni weber *interviewed*

Many of you may know Toni from her first blog, Simple Sparrow.
She is an artist in all things.
She has a knack for finding beauty in the everyday.
She has become a very close friend to me,
and a mentor in so many ways.
She is now the author of porridge, photography, living & other satisfying things
and toni weber photography indy business owner.
I'm so thankful to have her share with us some valuable insight into blogging...

1. what was the first blog you read, and when did you decide you wanted in?

The first blog I came across was Bella Dia. I was totally smitten with her gorgeous felt pincushions right away. She also had links to other craft blogs on her sidebar, and that's when the world of creative blogging opened up to me. It only took about three seconds flat to know that I wanted in, definitely! That was six years ago, and I've been blogging ever since. Cassy doesn't seem to be updating her blog any longer, but it's still available to read: I eventually became the very proud owner of one of her pincushions and it sits on my desk to this very day. Here's a photo of it from her gallery:

2. in your opinion, what are the top 3 things a blogger can give their readers? the top 3 pitfalls that are critical to avoid while blogging?

Oh goodness. Lets see...

*Well, first and foremost one should be absolutely genuine. Be true to who "you" are. It can be tempting to imitate other bloggers you admire or who are super popular--it's just human nature. Here's a quote I like, " Be yourself, everyone else is taken." Besides, people are already reading a blog "like that one". It's awesome to glean inspiration from others, but give the world your spin on things--you have a lot to offer!

*Value what you post--from the simplest thoughts to the most complex. Don't share it if you don't love it. Never post just to get something up there--your readers are smart people and they can smell insincerity a mile away and will move on.

*I also like to offer my readers information they might find useful and inspiring. This comes in the form of recipes, how-to's, links to other artists and websites, etc... I certainly don't want my blog to be all about me all the time.

* Lastly, I try hard to connect with my readers. This can be a challenge because my life away from the computer is full (like most people!) Even so, that 'human touch' is valuable so I make an effort--even if I'm only able to respond to one reader.

As far as pitfalls go, the opposites of what I shared above would definitely be some things to avoid!

3. at some point, your craft blog with great pictures turned into a photographer's blog. what do you think was the biggest influence in the crossover?

Boy Em, you are really making me think hard this morning! Writing Simple Sparrow for four years was definitely an integral part of my creative journey. Without it, I'm not so sure my love for photography would have developed to where it is today. Years back, there was definitely a trend, or maybe desire is a better word, to take one's photographs to the next level. Simple snapshots were not cutting it any more--and beautiful, artistic, thoughtful photos were definitely more satisfying to look at, no one would argue with that. I think what influenced me was seeing all the gorgeous photos that others were posting--it was totally inspiring. It wasn't too long after that when photography in and of itself became a part of me--and how I wanted to express myself.

4. what tips on photography would you only give to a close friend?

I would share anything I've learned with a new friend or a close friend! I have been helped in life by so many generous people, artistically and otherwise. I want to give back in the same way.

5. how has summer affected your blog and photography?

Photography wise I get super excited! Summer is my favorite season and the light at this time of year moves me like no other. Blogging wise, this happens to be one of the busiest summers for my family that I can remember--so my posting may be spotty. But I'm always thinking about my blog even when I'm away. It's been a connection with people and creativity that I will always hold dear!

Thank you so much Toni!

You can stay up to date on Toni and her lovely life at porridge.
You can also find a beautiful variety of photos for sale at Toni Weber Photography.

*all photos courtesy of Toni Weber*


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