While blogs of all genres tend to incorporate photos, there are more and more blogs that are about nothing but photography. Faded + Blurred is one such site: it bills itself as “inspiration for people who love making images,” a site dedicated to photography and photographers. Jeffrey Saddoris launched the site four years ago with a friend, initially to foster a community that had risen up out of a photowalk group. Now it’s an online resource and source of inspiration for thousands of photographers.
Jeffery carries the Bowery in Field Tan.
ONA: How did you get into blogging?
JS: The idea for Faded + Blurred came about on the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk in 2009. Initially, it was just a way to post information about the photo walks a group of friends and I were doing each month. Gradually, we started posting more and more photography-related content that we found interesting or inspiring and, over the past four years (and a few redesigns), it’s evolved into what you see now.
ONA: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
JS: A year ago, I probably would have said street photography. However, now that I spend most of my time writing, I’m not out and about or around people as much as I used to be. The time that I do get out and shoot, I find that I’m seeking out interesting portraits, along with interesting stories, whether to stand alone or to be used as elements in my mixed media paintings.
ONA: How does photography play a role on your blog?
JS: Faded + Blurred simply wouldn’t exist without it. The direction of the content has shifted over the past four years, but it’s always been about sharing the photography and photographers that move and inspire us. We occasionally push out into other areas, but the core of it is sharing great photography.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
JS: Other than my iPhone 5, I use a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the 35mm f/1.4. I shot with Nikon cameras for years, but, last year, I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction and the X-Pro-1 was exactly what I was looking for. It’s quirky, to be sure, but learning those quirks has helped me to slow down and shoot with more focused intent, resulting in what I think are better photographs.
ONA: What inspired you to start your podcast?
JS: I actually did a short-lived podcast before On Taking Pictures, called Q&A@F&B, which came about as sort of a by-product of being immersed in all of this great photography and having questions about it. I started reaching out to various photographers, asking them if they would like to sit down for an hour or so and talk about photography. To my surprise and gratitude, most of them said yes. So, really it was me being inspired by images, or, in the case of someone like John Keatley, it was from being incredibly moved by a project he was doing at the time and wanting to talk to him about it and share it with others. My current show, On Taking Pictures (http://5by5.tv/otp) is a direct result of interviewing Bill Wadman (http://billwadman.com) for that first show and really hitting it off during the interview. We just clicked and every once in a while, one of us would call or email the other and say, “hey, we really need to figure out something to work on together.” Since Bill lives in New York and I live in California, working on a photo project of some sort was kind of out of the question, but, as fate would have it, Bill was looking to do another podcast, in addition to the show he was doing at the time, Circuitous Conversations, and he auditioned a few co-hosts, of which I was one. We did sort of a mock episode and at the end of it, just sort of said “Okay, this is the show.” We’re now more than a year in and recently got picked up by the 5by5 Network.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a blogger or podcaster just starting out?
JS: Be patient; it takes time to not only find your voice, but also to find an audience that appreciates it.
ONA: What’s your favorite post on your site and why?
JS: That’s a tough one, because I think the site and the podcast really come from the same place: what inspires us to pick up a camera. I would say that our Spotlights are probably the best introduction to the site, since they are focused primarily on those iconic photographers, like Avedon, Irving Penn or, recently, Gregory Crewdson, who have, in many ways, inspired everyone who has come after them. As for the podcast, I would suggest listening to Episode #43, Artistic Monkhood, which, according to Bill, contains some of the “best things ever spoken on our show.”
ONA: How did you hear about ONA?
JS: It was a promotional video with a guy riding a bicycle and carrying a Bowery bag. I remember thinking how cool it was that the bag didn’t look like a normal camera bag at all; plus he was using an XPro1, which is the camera I use, so I took it as sort of a sign.