Sunday, May 17, 2009

(Party) SolarHalo Interview + Contest...Oh Pretty!

Photo from Etsy shop: Season's Change necklace

Interview with Sueanne from SolarHalo Studios
By: Lauren

Contest Attached

1. Your actual job is working with photography and graphic design. Is your professional work similar to the stuff in your shop? How did you first get started with photography, design, and jewelry work?

Yes, I'm a wedding and event photographer. I also do portrait photography, landscape and travel photography. I think that my professional work is similar in the sense that color and aesthetics are so important to me when I create things, whether it be a print piece, a photograph or jewelry.

I've been a photographer since I was about 10 years old. I've been drawing and painting since I was 6. I've always loved the arts and it is my greatest passion.

I started jewelry making a couple of years ago and would just give the pieces away to friends and family. Then, not long ago, a friend of mine said that I should try to sell what I was creating. I had a friend who had an Etsy page and I liked how it all worked so I decided to start there. I look at the world around me and try to make pieces that are different or that just provide that great compliment that someone needs to go around with them for the day.

2. One of the things that I love in your shop are the memory mosaic photos. What goes into making these and for those of us who don't do photography, can you break down the process at all?

Ah, the memory mosaics, well, those are one of my biggest sellers in my wedding photography business. People always comment on them. They can also be done for graduations, baby's first year, honeymoons, anniversaries and so many other occasions.

If you have enough photos, the mosaic can be made. It takes about 1000 photos to make a good mosaic with little image repeats. I can't give too much away about the mosaic and the process but I can say that it takes a bit of time and some is helped by a program but the rest is all work through me. There are a few tricks that I do to get it just right every time.

3. In the Stationary section of your site, you have some bookmarks available. My favorite is the Pure Triangles Bookmarks/Paperclips. How do you come up with your ideas for the "extra" type pieces? Are you personally a fan of reading?

I love books! I love libraries and bookstores. One of my favorite smells in this world is the smell of an old bookstore. It's just a wonderful smell. I feel it's as if you can almost breath in all the knowledge, instead, you're probably breathing in a lot of dust mites but hey, I think the knowledge part is more what I'd like to think of. Because of my love for books, I have a huge collection of unique bookmarks.

I often keep an eye out for pieces that I see just about anywhere and I remember that I saw something similar to these in a store. It wasn't bookmarks and it was several times the size. I think it was even in a hardware store, but it clicked in my mind, "What if these were much smaller? They'd be great bookmarks". So I set out to create them. I love them too. I plan to make more with different pieces at the top and maybe even different colored wire.

4. Where does your inspiration for your jewelry come from? Does it take awhile to come up with some of the names? (One of my favorites is the Season's Change necklace, the actual jewelry and the name!)

It's funny. I wanted to come up with something creative and different for my shop. I always listen to music when I work, no matter what I'm working on. I am passionate about all of the arts, cooking, drawing, writing, reading, singing, crafting, etc... If it's creative, I love doing it. I think much of my inspiration is from the outdoors but also from music, culture, and random things I come across daily. I love the Season's Change necklace too and I think the song suits this necklace too. The song is such a sweet melody and it fits the soft elegant design of the necklace. Sometimes it takes a little time to think of just the right name for the necklace but many times the name is already in my head as I'm making it.

5. Your photos are absolutely beautiful. How do you decide to take a picture of something? Does it take awhile to get the "perfect" shot every time, or are some easier then others?

I will admit, I do the jewelry as a hobby. I love doing it and I am passionate about it. My photographs though, especially the more fine art ones or the landscape and nature ones, I am beyond passionate about them. It feels great to be able to capture the beauty that nature offers us every day. So many people forget to take a moment to look at these things. Even if it's just a child playing or a single tree with a bench next to it at a park with the sun setting in the background creating a soft glow, they all create some sort of feeling.

I guess I not only want to give people a moment captured in time to look at, but I want to evoke emotion and feeling with my photographs. I hope that people will want to see a certain place after seeing a photograph of mine or even just get a smile because it reminds them of a favorite place or memory of their own. Sometimes I know just what I need to do to get the shot. Sometimes I'm lucky and sometimes I have to keep trying to get the image just as I see it. I've gotten up at 4 am just to get to a specific place to get the perfect shot. Weather always plays a huge role in some of the images so paying attention to the forecast is important too.

6. If you could go anywhere in the world to take photos, where would you go and why?

Oh this is a hard question because there are so many places that I'd like to go. I still would love to go to India to photograph. The colors there are so vibrant and absolutely beautiful as is the culture. I would also like to go to Ireland and photograph the coastal areas and the moors. A lot of my ancestry is in Ireland as well so it would be even more meaningful to me. Some of my favorite places I'd like to return to and photograph more is Venice and Amsterdam. These cities are so beautiful and the people are so kind and welcoming.

I want to also be able to capture as much of the beauty of Venice as I can because someday it may no longer be there. It's sad too because I believe that there are just some places that end up looking like heaven on earth and this is one of them. The sunsets there are so amazing and set apart from all the others.

Lastly, a couple of places that are definitely heaven on earth in my eyes, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park. I was there for 9 days and was up every morning before dawn to photograph and didn't get back in until after the sun set. I still want to see a few other national parks like Glacier, Acadia, Big Sur and quite a few others. I love to be out in nature.

7. Let's say I wanted a necklace of a shooting star to wear. Do you make custom jewelry based on people's ideas or do you only sell the things you've already made? If you don't know, would you ever in the future?

I can do custom jewelry. I would need to know what someone is looking for exactly or what idea they had and then I can go from there. I can not guarantee that I can always make exactly what someone is looking for but I can always try. I hope to have more opportunity in the future to get more equipment to help me easily make more custom items.

8. What are you currently working on at the moment? Any future projects in the work?

I'm always working on new pieces daily. I don't always have time to get them online right away due to running a photography business, but It never stops me from creating new pieces. I will be putting up new pieces soon. I have some hand-painted pieces that I think will surely be a big hit as well as some very fun rings. I can't wait to post them!


Enter: Comment on this Interview with the name of one item in the shop you liked!

Ends: June 15th

Open to: U.S. and Canada!

Prize and Details:

$25 Gift Certificate
Free Shipping on one item (excluding Large Photograph Prints)
Gift Certificate expires in 90 days after contest winner is notified

If You Win: I'll give your email to Sueanne and she can tell you how to go about ordering!


WhatBriReads said...

Oohh that necklace is so pretty! I love people who make cool jewelry and things like that. Please enter me!


deltay said...

Great interview - I really enjoyed the sections pertaining to photography especially, since I'm really interested in that field as well.

"I guess I not only want to give people a moment captured in time to look at, but I want to evoke emotion and feeling with my photographs."

Aww, beautifully phrased!

The jewelry is beautiful. I especially like the "Butterfly Kisses (Necklace)" from the shop (pg 3) - the butterfly is just so intricate and has such a nice antique feel to it.

Diana Dang said...

Gorgeous items! I love Hibiscus In Early Spring (Necklace)!

faked_sugartone at hotmail

robin_titan said...

Wow she is so talented! And she does photography too? Whoa. Awesome.

My favorite item is definitely the butterfly kisses necklace, I just LOVE butterflies. :)

lc_intocable [a]yahoo[d]com

luckygirl1112 said...

A couple of my favs are the New Slough picture, the Tell It To My Heart necklace, and the Happy Together necklace set.

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I really like the "Climbing the Vine" earrings!


Summer said...

I like the teardrop earrings!

darbyscloset said...

MY fave is the Hibiscus necklace!
Thank you so much for the opportunity!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Belinda M said...

I really like the P.S. I Love You Necklace. So delicate and pretty

"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:"

Chelsea said...

Wow. How pretty! I love everything on the site. If I had to pick, I might say the Silence bracelet? I love it. But the Girls Just Want to Have Fun necklace, as well as the Seasons Change one, are gorgeous. Everything is! I can't pick! Ha. Thanks so much, Sueanne and Lauren, for the contest! Sueanne, your jewelry and photography is completely gorgeous.

< /rave >

Michelle Kuo said...

Wow I love the P.S. I Love You necklace! all of the items are beautiful though!


kim said...

I also LOVE the PS I love you necklace. The items are all so unique and special t hough :)

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Come To Me (Bracelet)

P.S. I Love You (Necklace)

(it reminds me of that movie with gerald butler

Sarahbear9789 said...

I like the Butterfly Kisses Necklace.

Marina said...

I love the Drops of Jupiter Bracelet. It's absolutely stunning. So good.

Halifax said...

I like the Hibiscus In Early Spring (Necklace)


CCakaJapan said...

Love love love all her photography!!
But I have to say my fave is the Butterfly Kisses necklace

thank you sooo much!!
xoxojadore at yahoo dot com

Laina said...

I love the Seasons Change necklace and the Tell It To My Heart Necklaces. Gorgeous, both of them.

Wanda said...

I loved reading in your interview about the work you do. My favourite item in your shop is the In Bloom (Bracelet)

Book Spot said...

I think that the Des Roses necklace is my favorite but there were so many I liked that it was really a tough choice :)

HODGEPODGESPV (spvaughan) said...

i love Colors Of The World (Necklace)
and that she is so diversified in her works. i can't wait until she adds her new stuff! good interview. she does sound fun!

soundistheword3 said...

Thanks for introducing us to such a beautiful photographer and maker of jewelery. I especially love the Happy Together necklaces - they're dainty yet utterly charming.

Kristin at

towerofbooks said...

I like the Fairy Tale necklace. It looks adorable.


Alexa said...

I like the Golden Wind Necklace.


Nelsby said...

I just love the Tell It To My Heart Necklace.
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Paradox said...

I especially liked the Green Eyes Necklace!

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com