Simply Photo

Jennifer Causey is a photographer and artist. Her photographs often focus on moments in life when beauty quietly rises to the surface. She is a professional photographer, sells her work online, and also blogs at both simply photo and simply breakfast. She has just compiled the photos from simply breakfast into a book.

Can you tell us about some of the things on your wire?

I look at a lot of magazines and I am constantly tearing out images that speak to me and that I know I will want to look at again. I also like to have small mementos like a letter I received from my nephew or bits of nature I find on a walk. My inspiration wires are right above my computer desk, so I often look up at them for a little pick-me-up.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

So many things. I have been very inspired by Japanese food and craft books lately. I love the simplicity of the photos and the muted color palette. These sites are really amazing:
fog linen work

And, spring
Scandinavian design is really big for me right now. All things made of wood, especially vintage teak wood. All things relating to fall and winter: blankets and scarfs made of big chunky hand-knit yarns in neutral colors.

I am very drawn to ceramics right now, like those from Heath, White Bike Ceramics and White Forest Pottery.

Some artists/designers I am loving lately are Alyson Fox, Sally Scott, Bookhou Design, Erika Tanov.

Some photographers who really inspire me are Martyn Thompson, Marcus Nilsson, Roland Bello, Erica Shires, Mikkel Vang and Sally Mann.

What do you do to "refill the well"?

I look at a lot of magazines. I really love European décor magazines and all types of food magazines. I love looking at pictures from everyday life on flickr as well as what other people are cooking and eating. Yes, I am a bit obsessed with good food. I am also inspired by movies and just by walking around. A trip to a book store or a good bakery or coffee shop is great too. Oh, and of course the internet.

I know you enjoy both the city, where you live, and the country. How does each place inspire you?

I find the city inspiring because everything is available at your fingertips; you just may have to seek it out. You can get any type of food, do any type of shopping, see any type of art, any time you want to. I enjoy being able to use public transportation to get me anywhere I need to go. I also love the energy. There are so many people doing so many different things all at the same time. I think I am able to enjoy the craziness of it because I do not live directly in Manhattan. I live in Brooklyn, on a quiet street where I can look out my back window and see nature and trees. I can look out my front window and see the New York skyline. I also live near the water, so I can take a walk and enjoy that as well.

I also love escaping to the country to just relax and not have to be on a constant schedule. Living in New York, you do always feel the constant push to be doing something. To be pushing yourself to do and see everything. I love visiting my parents and sitting outside on their deck and listening to the crickets or taking nature walks through the woods in their neighborhood.

How do you come up with your next idea?

I guess I am always thinking and looking at things in a visual way and ideas just hit me. I don't always follow through with everything, but there is a constant coming and going of ideas. I definitely have times when the well seems dry, but there is so much out there to look at, it usually does not last too long.

How long have you been making your art? How did you start?

I decided to go back to school to study photography five years ago (wow, time flies) and have been constantly taking pictures ever since. When I took my first class, I did not know anything about the technical aspects of taking a picture, so I think I have come a long way. I am so glad that when I was learning, digital was just getting started, so I learned on non-digital cameras and learned to process and develop my own film. It is sad that these fundamentals are becoming extinct. It is often hard to find places to get film developed.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/business.

I started making cards from my photos on a whim and found that people really responded to them. I formulated it into a little business called simply photo; this also became the name of my blog, where I share inspiration on photography and many other things. The business is just something small I do on the side, but I would like to devote more time to it.

I started my simply breakfast blog because I found myself taking pictures of food or my breakfast every day. I wanted to archive them in some way and leave my other blog for other types of inspiration. It is also a way for me to be shooting every day and to start my day off in a creative way. I have just completed a simply breakfast book, which I'm excited about.

Congratulations! What's your perfect creativity-inspiring day?

I love to go out exploring a neighborhood in my city (New York). Checking out all the small shops and stopping for lunch or coffee. Some of my favorite adventures include the Lower East Side or the West Village. I also enjoy a day lounging at one of my favorite parks: Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO or Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters in Washington Heights.

How did you get your start in crafting, and what kinds of crafts do you do?

I grew up with a very crafty mom who was always making things. I guess I never really thought about how much this influenced me. My dad is also very creative, always building things and drawing things and helping my mom with her projects. I remember a cookbook they made together compiling recipes from all the girls in my brownie troop. I enjoy all types of crafts. My favorite is crochet and sometimes knitting. I also love baking (which I do consider a craft).

What craft blogs, websites, and/or books do you enjoy?

I love visiting: 3191, hoping for happy accidents, the glass doorknob, smosch blog, grijs, fine little day, port2port, maditi likes and so many more.

Do you remember something that really inspired you back in the beginning?

Yes, I was very inspired by this photo blog.

What's your favorite thing in your studio and/or house?

I love a small bowl I have on my windowsill with small bits that inspire me. A piece of string, some smooth rocks, a tiny pine cone, an acorn, etc.


Jennifer's portfolio site

Jennifer's flickr

simply photo

simply breakfast

simply photo shop

simply photo etsy shop


Lori Pickert said...

jennifer, thank you so much for the interview. i was great to talk with you.

i am also hugely inspired by japanese craft books and catalogs. the simplicity, the focus, the clean look but yet highlighting the handmade and/or vintage .. it leaves me with a strong "less is more" feeling.

congratulations again on your book! it looks beautiful!

Lori Pickert said...

rofl, was that a freudian slip? "i was great to talk with you." i meant, of course, *it* was great to walk with you. ;^)

Lori Pickert said...

OMG i did it again!!!

IT. was. great. to. TALK. with. you.

good grief!!!

Teri said...

Great interview. Love her photos of breakfast! Mmmm... breakfast.

erin said...

lori - these interview are so inspiring. thanks for sharing them.

Alexandra Hedberg said...

nice with the interviews. You should interview me ;) - I have a lot of inspiration materials - ever changing ...

jen said...

thanks, lori:)

Lori Pickert said...

thank you, erin! :^)

alexandra, i'll keep you on my list. ;^)

jen, i babble because i love.

jenni said...

Lori, thanks for interviewing Jennifer. Her work is one of my top inspirations, so it was nice to peek more into her life and work. I MUST have her new book. :)

Lori Pickert said...

thank *you*, jenni, for reading!

seattlegirl said...

Thanks so much for the interviews Lori...these artists & bloggers are such an inspiration & it's lovely to get a more in depth understanding of how they work & live. I'm looking forward to more.

Lori Pickert said...

thank you, seattlegirl!

carta,inc. said...

Great blog, great interviews! I'm happy I have came across this page.
Thank you.

Stephanie said...

She was one of my first Etsy favorites...I have been drooling over and have been inspired by so much of her work, Thank you!

Lori Pickert said...

thank you, angela and stephanie. :^)

i'm glad everyone is enjoying the interviews!

Blair said...

Jen's aesthetic is always inspiring to me, great interview!

fine little day said...

Inspiring inteview.