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Sfgirlbybay's Stylish Seven: For the Love of Photography

If you ever read my blog, sfgirlbybay, you might have realized I'm kind of obsessed with photography. I was actually a photography major in high school, working back then in the school darkroom, and loving the smell of those chemicals, and beautiful old SLR cameras. I still love those vintage cameras, as I know many of you do...and even though you can't find film for some of them, they still make for some interesting, decorative objets d'art. This week on Sfgirlbybay's Stylish Seven, I'd like to share my love of photography. The web is a great resource for seeking out great photography, whether it's simply for inspiration, or perhaps some afforable artwork for your walls. Here's some of my favorites.

1. First off, I"m quite Flickr obsessed. If you're unfamiliar, Flickr is an online photo-sharing site where you can upload your photos, and not only store and organize them into sets, but also share them with friends, family as well as an online community of like-minded photography lovers for feedback and comments in a very supportive and user-friendly atmosphere. Flickr is free (with limited storage space) and about $20/year for a Pro Account with unlimited photo storage.

2. First Thursdays! San Francisco is filled with wonderful museums and art galleries, and the first Thursday of each month is that special night when all the art galleries downtown, pop open their doors, as well as their corks and host an evening of open galleries and wine sipping. Check out one of my favorite permanent exhibits of the work of photographer Diane Arbus a The Fraenkel Gallery, which is located in the gallery-laden 49 Geary Street.

3. Maybe you've recently bought one of those flashy new digital cameras but are having trouble figuring out all those fancy bells and whistles? Or maybe you just need help getting your lighting techniques down? Rayko Photo Center, south of market, is a great place to take photography classes. Rayko's 12,000 square foot public photographic facility has rental darkrooms, digital lab, and studio space. The Rayko lab includes a broad range of photographic services, a full lineup of classes and workshops, and private tutoring. There's even a gallery which presents eight to ten Main Gallery exhibitions each year.

4. The Beholder is a great resource for building a photography collection of your own. Online gallery Curator Suzanne Shade has a wonderful group of artists represented on The Beholder, and the site allows you to curate your own collection when you log-in and become a member (free, of charge of course). It's easy, and a lot of fun, and allows you to visit with your collection for a while and see how you'd feel living with one of them in your home. The other great thing about The Beholder is that it offers a seven-day trial period for you to have art on loan and see how it looks in your space, before making the final investment.

5. Photo blogs are a great way to find fresh, new talent. There's a ton of unrecognized photographers out there with a bevy of beautiful work to share. Some of my favorite photography-based blogs are Hula Seventy, Bliss, Abby Try Again and Paper Pony.

6 & 7. If you're unaware of Etsy, it's is one of the most affordable places to shop for inexpensive, yet wonderful photography (and many other handcrafted items!). Quite a few of the bloggers I mentioned above have online Etsy shops selling their prints, so check out their links above. I also love these two etsy online shops which specialize in photo prints: Alicia Bock and JKL Design.


Courtesy of Bliss; Lisa Solomon at the Beholder