Community Post: Outside of Photography

In Community

What brings us together, and likely what brings you to this site is a love for photography – whether that’s the hunt for the perfect landscape, the waiting game of wildlife, tackling pristine portraiture, events, documentary, street, travel, and often, especially, the everyday. We all try to capture and interpret the world around us with our lenses, but that’s nowhere close to the sum of who we are. Today, here with the Viewfinders team, we’re going to open up just a little bit about what else goes into making us us. We’re looking for those things about us, something we like to do, something that brings us joy, where we find passion and love that isn’t photography. We’re all here because of cameras, but we’re all so much more than that, so we’re here to share a little taste of that!

I definitely wouldn’t call myself a baker, but I do love to do it when I get the chance. This year, I’ve been trying to bake most of the bread for our family which finds me in the kitchen pretty frequently (big love for peanut butter sandwiches around here). I’ve been using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method, and it’s been pretty good. I’d love to expand out a bit more into “real” bread, all the rising and kneading and all, but so far, this has been where my strength lies!. And pie. We had a too-hugely-producing apple tree in our yard last fall and I made a lot of pies. Like, too many – ha!

Being outside always puts my mind and heart at ease. I’m happy simply siting on my front porch, but what I really love is hiking. Moving my body while being in Nature is my happy place. A good walk through the woods, a climb along the cliff, a stroll through the meadow…I’ll hike anywhere. And I’ll feel completely content.


If I have to pick just one interest outside of photography to share here, no contest really, it’s books and reading. I was a stereotypical bookworm in childhood of the take six books out of the library and read three that same night under the covers with a flashlight variety. But between all of the ways life pulled me in my late teens, to the required reading demands of higher education, to the crazy go-go work years of my corporate life, I drifted from those bookish ways. I never lost my affection for ancient libraries, browsing bookstore shelves, and the smell of old paper, and I acquired a small library over the years through my travels, but I rarely found myself able to quiet my brain long enough to really engage with any kind of demanding writing.

In the past decade or so, in direct reaction to the extroversion demands of parenthood, I suspect, I’ve returned to my bookish ways with a vengeance. I feel driven to make up for all of that lost reading time, and even though I know I never will, I’m enjoying every minute of my personal quest. It’s especially interesting to me to see how what I read influences up in what and how I photograph.

And since world’s do collide, I post pictures of what I’m reading along with micro mini book reviews on ig @contrarians_bookshelf
I’d love to see you there.

Food, food, food. Preferably in the summer. Even better when there are komorebi shadows too. Food is pretty much all I think about all day, every day. Often, I will talk of the next meal while eating. And of course cookbooks are the union of photography and food; I have a ridiculously large collection of books which I love to pore through. There’s a new fad in cookbooks to share menus, which I completely get. I too have a book which I have kept memorable menus I have cooked over the last 20 years. Because the biggest mood of them all, is cooking for friends and family and sharing my happiness and love for food.

I really love anything that I can create with my hands. It seems I’ve always been that way whether it be drawing, sewing, embroidery, jewellery making, baking.. anything where my hands are the reason a creation came to life. The thing I do the most, and do feel great joy from, is baking. Being a mum of three, I spend so much time in my kitchen – preparing food and cleaning up. There is regular lunchbox baking and afternoon tea – a rough day finished with a simple piece of cake and a cup of tea always makes it that little bit less crappy. But at certain times of the year, the big holidays and birthdays, I love being able to try new recipes mixed with old favourites to share with my family and friends, and also to gift to special people in our lives, like teachers. Giving a handmade gift at Christmas time never fails. During the festive season, I look forward to late evenings spent in my kitchen after the kids are in bed, my favourite Christmas carols keeping me company as I make my way through lists of treats. It’s like therapy for me. ~Tahnee

One of my loves, outside of photography, is yoga. It keeps me grounded in my body and helps calm my brain. Did you know I recently got my 200 hour yoga teaching certification? I find that yoga and photography have a lot in common for me (check out this post, I did awhile back). Lately, I’ve been working on adding a daily meditation practice into my routine which helps my creative brain find some release. – Angie

While thinking of what I love to do besides photography, I came up with a list of things- reading, sitting in silence, walking, listening to others. I realized they all came down to one thing; creating and growing a robust peace within myself and helping others create and grow a robust peace within themselves. I find meditation to be healing for my body, soul, and mind. It helps calm myself and find the inner beauty and life-giving power within myself. I usually start my meditation, or centering prayer as it is called in my tradition, with one of my singing bowls, slowly listening to it sing me into silence and tranquility.
~Staci Lee

Outside of photography, I’m drawn to the little, quirky, colorful items that make me smile. Simple, seemingly meaningless, things that connect me to my heart. They are touchstones that remind me to be playful and joyful. Life is short. Embrace it. Be gentle. Be kind. Laura

I have so many interests apart from photography, that somehow all connect with what I end up photographing. Like the others, I love books and reading, walking and hiking, cooking, spending time with loved ones, antiquing, adventuring, traveling and exploring. But almost more than anything else I have a passion for old things, for history, for echoes of the past. Digging through things in my grandparent’s attic as a child, I couldn’t have been happier. Faced with a box of old letters from or photographs of people I don’t know, I get downright giddy. Here’s an image found in one of those boxes that speaks to me.

“When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.” – Minnie Aumonier

Gardening is what fills me when I am stressed, angry, lonely… When politics and current events are too much to bear. When the people I live and interact with every day weaken my patience. When I need to be alone.

I’m not as good at it as I am in other things I do but, just like photography, practice brings me closer to being perfect. And, if it doesn’t, at least I’m enjoying every single minute of it.
– Maite

Aside from food (buying it, cooking it, shooting it, eating it), being outdoors is what brings happiness and healing to my body and soul. Whether it’s a roadtrip to somewhere stunning in our VW van, or just heading to the beach with the dog when the stresses of day-to-day get to me, putting on my boots and kicking myself out the door to spend time under the sky with my feet on the ground (preferably barefoot) is the breath I need to feel the most ME. – kim

Reading books. Walking my dog. Traveling when I can. Gardening and plants. Growing plants, buying plants, talking about plants, planting plants, thinking about plants, buying pots for plants, reading about plants. In college I bought cacti. I loved them, starting with a small little prickly burro-tail style cactus my sophomore roommate gave me to cheer me up, when I’d been having a rough time. That little plant lives on over 25 years later, not only in my home, but in the homes of all my friends. The first place I had with a tiny yard I planted scarlet runner beans, that my Mom had given me along with a tomato and herbs in a pot. When my husband and I moved into our first apartment with a yard, I embraced that garden with all that I had planting herbs, tomatoes, chilies – really whatever I could get my hands on! Prior to that, I’d decked out our apartment with a rabbit’s-foot fern, an aloe, a beautiful palm, a Christmas cactus and the descendants of my college plant. We bought our tiny house not long after – less for the house and more for the garden! While living in South Africa 18 years ago, I fell in love with succulents wishing I could smuggle some back in my luggage. Instead, I planted them in my sister-in-law’s garden, which has spilled out from her yard and adorns her condo complex’s grounds as well. My friends and I share perennials and seedlings in the summer, and we pot up and share cuttings in the winter. So I’d say plants. I think I need a greenhouse in my back garden, I mean… it’s obvious isn’t it, I should do! I think I’ll get that blackout shrinkwrap for it too, that means I can extend the growth of my plants, I’m getting excited now! If you have any cuttings you’d like to send me, just shout! I’ll give you my address and send you some too!
~ Holly


  1. It was so much fun to read about your other interests, thank you for giving us a peek into your lives beyond photography! Debbie, for some reason the link to your IG account didn’t work…I’m a book lover as well and look forward to following you!

    • It’s so fun to learn these little extra bits about everyone – I know a lot about most of the folks’ photography, but these extra pieces are just lovely. Thanks for reading!

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