Foapers Stories, Mission Winners

Candies and snowflakes mix wins the “Colorful Candies” Mission

One of the most colorful missions – “Colorful Candies” ended a week ago.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the winning photo is a mix of winter (the snowflakes) and coming spring (lots of… colorful candies).

Congratulations to the author – Jessica Smith (@jessiejanesmith) who came up with this amazing idea.

Let us introduce Jessica, who joined Foap just a month ago.

Jessica, once again congrats on winning the mission. It’s great to see new Foapers posting such great photos and succeeding in missions. Now, we’d love to know you better. Where do you live and what are you doing when not snapping great photos?

My family and I have lived in Shawano, Wisconsin for the past two years; but I always love to tell people that I’m actually from Alaska, since that’s where I’ve spent most of my life. I spend most of my time trying to be a good wife to my husband and a good mother to our seven children (ages 4 months to 10 years old). There are so many activities that I love to do, but my favorite ones always include my husband and children in some way. We truly love to be together as a family. I love to garden, cook, play the piano and guitar, sew, care for my reef tank and other pets, and try to capture our world with my camera.

Foap-Blowing_Snow

You said you love to capture your family life with a camera, but how did this whole adventure with Foap start? When and how did you learn about us and why have you decided to start foaping?

In January I read a how-to article about selling stock photos (I’m always looking for fun ways to try to earn a little extra cash from home). Since I don’t have a DSLR camera, my research led me to an iphone photography article that mentioned the possibilities of Foap. I was genuinely surprised that I could build a portfolio of pictures for sale on Foap, because although I love photography, I really know very little about it. Credit for the iphone goes to my husband, who gave me an upgraded phone (iphone 5) several months ago instead of keeping it for himself 🙂

You’ve joined Foap in February this year, so you’re quite new here. Why have you decided to take part in “Colorful Candies” mission?

Taking part in the “Colorful Candies” mission was really an experiment for me to learn how things work on Foap. My goal was to discipline myself to enter at least one photograph in each Foap mission. The aim was to challenge myself toward excellence and creativity, and to learn new things from other Foapers.

I just happened to have some old candy in my cupboard, and the mission seemed like a pretty fun idea to try. Really, I laughed when I discovered that I was a finalist of the mission because I try to make candy a rare treat in our family. I actually offer my kids to trade money for candies if they are willing to give me their candy instead of eating it. Their favorite shots were the ones where I let them sample all the candy 🙂

Foap-Picking_Candy

Your photo was chosen out of 2361 other photos. It’s truly amazing, what’s the story behind did? How did you come up with this idea?

I am so thankful for all the kind comments I’ve received for my photos. I think the photo story could be summarized by the phrase, “being in the right place at the right time” (and having my camera ready). I love outdoor pictures, and my goal was to catch some sort of shot during the hour after sunrise. That particular Saturday morning we awoke to clear skies and about a half inch of fluffy snow that had fallen overnight. I was racing the sun as I made breakfast for my family. When everyone was contentedly eating their cinnamon rolls in the kitchen, I grabbed some handfuls of old candy and slipped out to our front porch. The candy looked pretty cool and colorful piled in the fresh, snowy backdrop and lit by the rising sun. I particularly liked the crystallized snow (and was wishing for a lens that could capture snowflakes!). I had to do a tiny bit of arranging with my bare fingers in the cold snow – I have to say I was freezing when I took the shots! I was only wearing my exercise clothes and flip-flops, and sheepishly wondered what my neighbors were thinking.

Foap-Guitar_View

You’ve managed to win a mission within the first month of being at Foap. That’s an amazing result and I wonder if you could share any best practices or tricks on how to win a mission?

There were so many fantastic photo entries for this mission! My seven year old son may have summarized well any of my success. After he found out that my photo was chosen, he exclaimed, “Mommy won?!? Must be beginner’s luck!” It feels awkward to give advice when I want to ask for advice instead 🙂 I think checking out the example photo and description for the mission is important in order to get an idea of what the client is looking for, and then trying to imagine a fresh, creative, or unusual way to portray it. Also, taking lots of pictures-different compositions, angles, lighting, etc.- finding your favorite ones, and entering as many as possible- because mission entry is free! 🙂 It’s also great to see what other people are doing, and trying to figure out ways to be a little different.

Are there any great Foapers that you’re following and would recommend their photos to others?

Over the last few weeks I have discovered that one of the things I like best about Foap is interacting with great photographers from all around the world. I love “traveling” through their pictures, and I feel like it’s such a great opportunity for me to learn from people who are skilled and talented. It’s hard to name only a few great Foapers, because honestly, there are so many! Here’s a few favorites (among many):  @ibeliever4ever, @paulcowell, @shec, @admirer_photography, @diana.girard, and @cabday.

Foap-Watchful_Friend

Finally, which photo from your portfolio is your favorite and why?

It’s hard not to choose a photo with one of my kids as my favorite – but they’re so easy and agreeable to photograph! I’d have to say my favorite is the shot looking up at my clownfish – because she is so very hard to capture in still-life. I’ve taken innumerable shots – and trashed most of them. A clear shot was somewhat of a triumph for me! I love the way she is reflected on the surface of the water – definitely an unexpected bonus.

Foap-Looking_Up_Clown

 

Jessica, thank you for this amazing story!  

We hope that other Foapers reading this interview will smile and laugh, just as we did, when  reading for example about your son’s comments.

We wish you lots and lots of great moments with your family and beautiful photos resulting from them.

 

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