Art From the Outside In: Meet Photographer-Decorator Cheryl Williver

Written by Artie The Panda

Combining a love for outdoor photography with her interior design background,
Cheryl Williver enjoys creating connections. From the day her pictures won Best in Show/Student Division in a local county expo, she has been smitten with the art of photography. Since then, this New Jersey girl has enjoyed capturing nature in the form of landscapes, waterscapes, and wildlife, although architecture and commercial work show up in her portfolio as well.

Looking ahead.

A mentor once told Cheryl to “look ahead” of her image — meaning, see the entire scene before choosing the composition. She lives by that to this day. Lately she’s had fun incorporating her interior design background, turning printed images into home decor items like glass cutting boards, ornaments, and mugs.

Clearly beautiful.

When Cheryl was looking for a way to protect her photo notecards and matted prints, she chose our Protective Crystal Clear Bags. “Both the card sizes and print sizes work perfectly,” says Cheryl, adding, “I’ve been ordering Frame Destination’s pre-cut mat boards and backer boards for years as well! They make my life so much easier.” As artists and craftsmen ourselves, Frame Destination is all about protecting beautiful art, and making life simpler for artists!

See more of her work.

Check out Cheryl’s photography and photo products via her website, Images Everything Photography and on social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And if you’d like to learn more about Cheryl’s thoughts on connecting with her subject, along with her worst “gadget” purchase, scroll down for my Q&A with with this enthusiastic artist.

Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Cheryl Williver …

1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I got my first camera for Christmas at age 12. I took pictures all spring and summer! That summer, I entered 2 photos into the County Fair, and I won Best in Show in the Student Division! I was hooked, I haven't put my camera down since! I started my business 16 years ago, and I enjoy photographing everything from flowers and gardens to real estate and architecture, landscapes and waterscapes, animals and birds. Anything that interests me, really. And having an interior design and decorating background, I like to put my images on anything people use in their homes. I create photo notecards (which is why I order so many Frame Destination Protective Crystal Clear Bags), matted prints (more bags!), home decor and crafts with my photos. I also have professional print labs who can print my images on things like glass cutting boards, mugs, mousepads, ornaments, etc. It's FUN work!

2. How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with their subject?
Imperative! If photographers make a connection with their subject, living or non-living, we have told a story. Stories that connect with people on a personal level — that is what makes art relatable. If you've been to a certain place, or eaten a certain food, or owned a certain product, it makes that connection. If the image has great depth of field, or great lighting, or great composition, or all of these things, it creates a story that helps to make that connection.

3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
One of my mentors told me to "look ahead of my image,” to plan ahead. This, in particular, was regarding sports photography, so that I could be ready for the shot. However, I've applied the advice to every aspect of my photography, because it means I have to look at the entire scene before I compose. Take out the things that don't belong, include the things that help tell the story. I may need to change my perspective, or lens, or settings, to get the shot just right.

4. What ways does your work reflect your personality?
My work is all about the things I enjoy, so I would have to say 100 percent! My personality shows through my images because if you know me, you know I love nature and beautiful places and things. I stop and appreciate them, and I see them differently, as many photographers do. I take the time to capture them, so that others may enjoy them.

5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
Everyone gets creative blocks! If this happens, a change of scenery is what works for me. I get out of my office or "comfort zone" and get out and explore! I also like to look online for inspiration, because it often fuels more ideas and I then get to test them out. Creative block — gone!

6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
My craft room! I love creating things with my hands, and I love to get creative in other ways. Recently, I've been pairing the two together, so I'll take a printed image (as my "focal point”) and then create something for or with that print to transform it into home decor to be used in a new way. I've actually tagged Frame Destination in some of my Instagram posts (around Christmas time) so you can see what I mean!

7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
As I just mentioned, creating home decor with my images is my passion, and I'm happy that I'm able to do that and combine my two talents. It's fun, and it's being well-received at my shows.

8. What “fad” gadget do you most regret purchasing?
I bought a camera bag that was supposed to fit around my waist, to keep my arms and shoulders free while hiking and shooting, but it fell apart the day I got it! I was on vacation, and couldn't return it.

All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.

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