Amy Locurto and Angie Arthur are the co-founders of I Heart Faces, a website featuring weekly photo challenges that focus on the face. Amy and Angie have built a huge community around I Heart Faces, and recently published their first Blurb book – you can preview the book and purchase a copy in the Blurb Bookstore here. (The photography is spectacular by the way, and the book is beautifully designed.)
We caught up with Amy and Angie last week and got the scoop on how it all started, how they published their first photo book, and more.
You both founded the popular I Heart Faces photography community. Tell us what inspired you to do this, and what I Heart Faces is all about.
We are two moms who connected through our shared love of blogging… and we also adore taking photographs of our children! After blogging for some time, we began to realize that there really wasn’t an online site where photographers could show off their portrait photography. After talking for awhile, the idea of I Heart Faces was born and we have been enjoying the wild and crazy ride ever since!
I Heart Faces is a website that features weekly themed photo challenges that focus on the face. During our challenges, we spotlight a Guest Photographer Judge who enjoys picking out their favorites as the top photos for that week’s theme. We also feature weekly tutorials, giveaways and hands-on photo editing opportunities. I Heart Faces has grown into a community of avid, dedicated photographers who are there to encourage, grow and learn with each other, and we think that’s a beautiful thing!
Could you tell us more about the book, and how it came together?
We go through each photo entry every single week which means we have literally seen thousands of beautiful faces over the past year. After viewing the amazing photos that were entered each week, we decided that creating a book to showcase some of our favorite photos would be super-fun! With Blurb’s support, we then sponsored a special weekly challenge in which the winners would be featured in our book. The photos that were featured were absolutely amazing and it was awesome to see the book come together with such a variety of contributions.
What was your favorite part of the bookmaking process?
Designing the book was our favorite part. With Blurb BookSmart®, we were able to easily create a custom design that worked just for us. Choosing which photos looked best together on a spread was really fun. Of course, getting the actual book in our hands was even better!
If you could bestow one photography tip on the world, what would it be?
Practice, practice, practice!! From our own experiences and from the unique experience of watching thousands of photographers enter our weekly challenges, we have learned that practice makes a huge difference in your photography growth. We have seen many photographers grow from just being point-and-shoot snapshot takers into amazing photographers who have developed their eye, who have grown creatively and who have learned the basic elements of photography that make their work shine! Practicing daily on perfecting your craft makes a huge difference.
We’re big fans of your weekly photo challenges. Which photo challenge has been your favorite?
Not long after we started I Heart Faces, we featured a “Self-Portrait” theme that quickly became our favorite theme ever. We found it difficult to enter our own self-portraits into that challenge and then, after going through the entries, began to realize that almost every other participant was having a difficult time with that as well. All we could see while looking at the photo entries was just how beautiful each and every one of them were…no matter the color of their skin, eyes or hair and no matter what size they were. They were just absolutely gorgeous! By the end of the week, emails began pouring in with touching stories about how we had helped change their perspective on getting in front of the camera. It was great to be a part of such a fantastic week where so many women gained confidence in themselves and realized how special it is to their children that they be in the photos as well!
We welcome all photographers (beginners, amateurs and professionals) to enter our weekly challenges! Be sure to stop by I Heart Faces to see what all the fun is about. :)