Thursday, April 24, 2014

Up Close and Personal

Today I am interviewing 
a very talented friend, 
Janice Walinskas.

Janice takes gorgeous 
photographs of nature 
and I asked her 
if I could share 
some of them with all of you!

Aren't they lovely?

 How long have you been taking photographs?

JW: About 2 years ago I was taking a class at the Chicago Botanic Garden 
and began walking through the gardens with my camera after class. 
At the same time my kids introduced me to Instagram 
(not realizing that I would soon be on it more than them), 
and something just clicked. 
I had an ever-changing array of subjects at my disposal every week 
and this is what sparked my passion for photography.

 What kind of photography classes have you taken?

JW:  I started out with absolutely no training! I just started out with a vision in my mind of what type of photo I wanted to create and just made it happen. 
Since then I have taken an intro class in digital photography 
at the Chicago Botanic Garden to just learn the basics 
and also to just figure out how to use my camera and get the most out of it.

 What are your favorite things to photograph and why?

JW:  My family will tell you that I will photograph anything in my path!  
However, what I love to do most is macro nature photography. 
I love this super close-up way of taking a photograph 
because it allows you to get on a whole new level with your subject. 
Something that looks ordinary in a standard photograph 
can become extraordinary on a macro level. 
Nothing makes me happier than strolling through the garden 
and stumbling upon a flower and finding a way 
to capture it that is very intimate and detailed. 
Plus, the flowers, unlike a person, never complain 
about how they look in the picture!

 Do you ever sell your photographic work?

JW:  Yes! I sell through a company called . 
I love selling through this platform because the customer 
can use my artwork to customize a product or print to fit their needs. 
They can transform my art into a unique iphone case, note cards, 
or a framed piece that suits their decor. 

To purchase from my gallery go to

 What kind of camera do you use to get 
such gorgeous close ups?

JW:  I started out (and still rely on) using my Nikon Coolpix 
point and shoot camera. As my passion grew I moved up 
to the Nikon DSLR cameras and have both the Nikon D3100 and D7100. 
But thanks to a new product called the Olloclip lense, 
my iphone has been able to provide amazing shots 
at up to a 21x magnification. Sometimes I will shoot 
the same subject with several different cameras 
to see what provides the best shot. 
As my photography teacher told us, 
the best camera is the one that you have with you!

 What's the best advice or tip on photographing 
something close up that you can share with bloggers?

 For people interested in macro photography 
there are a couple of technical points to keep in mind. 
You need a lot of light and a steady hand, so think about investing 
in a tripod.Most cameras have a macro or a flower setting, 
so just switch over to that and see what happens. 
Getting macro shots can take a lot of practice, so have patience. 

However, I think the most important thing is changing your mindset 
of how you look at things. You need to be willing to get down on the ground 
and have your camera stuck in the middle of a flower. 
People are always stopping me in the garden 
and asking what I am looking at in there 
and inevitably if I show them an image I shot 
they are astonished of the details I found 
that they didn't even notice a few moments before.

 If someone wanted to reach you 
to inquire more information about your 
lovely images, how can they reach you?

For people who would like to see my work they can follow me on Instagram, 
I go under the user name of queenofjewels .  If someone is interested in purchasing my work they can go to 
and browse my gallery. 

They can also feel free to contact me via email at .

Janice won a contest with this photo of the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Beautiful, isn't it?

Thank you so much, Janice
for sharing your images and your passion
for photography with us.

You have certainly inspired me
to take a closer look at the beauty in my garden.
Now I'm more anxious than ever for the
spring flowers to start blooming!

Have a great weekend,
Alison :)


NanaDiana said...

WOW! What a talented, talented photographer. She takes phenomenal photos. Thanks for sharing that here with us! xo Diana

Olive said...

Gorgeous images and great macro tips. Thanks, Olive

Pamela Gordon said...

Very beautiful photography! Thanks for sharing Janice's work with us. I must look into the Olloclip lens for the iPhone. :) Have a wonderful weekend Alison!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

These are really exquisite, what talent and how nice that she was willing to share some of her techniques. Thank you both.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Just stunning!!!....I feel as though Janice is a natural talent...such an extraordinary eye for beauty!

Rose L said...

I may sign up for that Twenty20 service.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Gorgeous photos!!!

Sarah said...

Amazing! Janice, is a very talented photographer. Thanks for sharing her work.

Queenofjewels said...

Thanks for such lovely comments everyone! It's been such a privilege for me to have Alison feature them here on her blog!

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!!!