Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sweet Soap Porn Saturday

I have been taking photographs for my business' new website (not live yet), and also working on post production, editing each photograph carefully until the crop, light and color was just right for the photographs of Mad Oils' colorants.  As a mica supplier, it is incredibly important to make sure the colors I put up on the screen are identical to the colors we carryAll month I've been photographing micas, fragrance oils, poppy seeds,  (yes, Facebook viewers, most of you figured out that the "Who Am I?" photo I posted was indeed a gaggle of Spanish Blue Poppies.) 

One of my real passions, however, is photographing soaps.  It's my favorite subject matter and I realized that in 2007, when I started this blog reviewing soaps from around the world.  I do miss reviewing soaps, but at some point after a couple of years, there were a bunch of soap review blogs that popped up out of nowhere, so my soap reviews didn't seem necessary anymore.  Other bloggers were doing a great job reviewing soaps, and because I was getting increasingly busy, I turned the blog into my personal diary and for displaying soap.  I basically handed it over and begin something else:  SOAP PORN.  The only reason I ever started the blog was to expose talented unknown soap makers to the world through photos and positive reviews.  Giving the handcrafted soap world a place to reveal themselves was my goal and I think I was involved in something wonderful.

This weekend, I found fantastic soap blogs with better than dynamite photos of super-stunning soaps. Three women soap makers and bloggers. I share with you, the three artists that I think have incredible talent and need to be further exposed.

SOAPJAM, Philippines


I love everything about Soap Jam's soap, from the colors she puts together, to the designs she creates all the way to the stamp that's perfectly placedThe photography is also spot on!  Thank you, Sylvia, for being an inspiration and for sharing your beauties!  I am so happy I stumbled on you this weekend!



Infusions... I am breathless.  I wish her About page has more information so I could share that with you and also know myself, more about her background.


Jazz, who writes the Savons Fantasies blog, has a wide range of techniques she uses. I do love the different styles she attempts (and does well!) and it's wonderful to see one soaper try all of them.  Some soap makers can find their groove with one style and then find it hard to expand their horizons by trying new techniques because of their comfort zone.  It seems as if Jazz tries everything and does it with style!


This is one of the reasons I run Soap Challenges on Facebook (and here).  Expanding the way we think, look at things and reveal the artist within us all.

To wrap it up, I am sharing a photo from Soap Jam's blog of Sylvia and Maya together!  Sylvia on the left and Maya on the right:

I lift my coffee to you both and to Jazz!  Thank you, soapy ladies.

xoxo Joanna

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Origins Concept

August has always been a pivotal month in my life.  One, because I always dreaded school and two, because the weather would change from warm to cold and I was never able to handle the dreary dark, windy, cold days with great discomfort, both physically and emotionally.  

Now, living in Florida is no picnic for me 6 months out of the year.  I especially can't deal with weather like it has been for weeks.  Over 90° F and 90% humidity.  I am like a flower that wilts and shrivels in that heat/humidity combo, I assume it is because I have an auto immune disease and the heavy heat steals a bit of thunder.

I digress.

To the ORIGINS challenge!  It was a basic, back to its roots challenge and I am eager to see the results.  The challenge was to "...use a food in your soap and .....then photograph the soap at the place of the food ingredient's origin."    

Hence the name: Origins.  So I will pick the winner and 2 additional entries that I think deserve space here.... As mentioned in the challenge, the winner will receive a small, personal gift from me. 

The winner for this challenge is Helka Finn!  She posted many different ORIGINS photos and they were all excellent!  Here are three of my favorites of hers:

honey is the ingredient in this soap
water is the ingredient used in making this soap :0)

Lye originally came from ashes... a required ingredient to make soap

Helka attempted ingredients in two of these that aren't "additional" elements but elements nonetheless.  Not only were they brilliant concepts, but very well executed.  All three photographs were very beautiful, original and unique.  Thanks, Helka, for digging deep and taking on this challenge with great thought.  This is what I talk about when I say "dig deep".

Phuong Ly made beautiful soap with avocado and this picture was well lit, lit naturally and the colors are to die for!

ingredient: avocado        

Huy Nguyen used tomato as the ingredient
Beautiful camera work, Huy Nguyen!  I know it was very hard to choose a photo from all the pictures you took, but it gets easier to do once you get into doing it often, to not choose your favorites, but rather eliminate ones you don't like until you get to a number that feels reasonable.  Then you can more easily choose your favorite...  or just eliminate all the way through.  

Doing this is counter intuitive (especially with the "glass is half full not half empty" attitude and approach, but it tends to work for me.  Try it and feel the difference. 

You all did a wonderful job and in the future, I hope more of you take the challenge.  Love from here to there.  Peace!  xoJo

Helka, please send me an email with your address so I can send you the "Origins" challenge giftie!  :)