Sandra Coan’s Friday Favorites: Unexpected

Another super fun Friday Favorites y’all!  Thank you to everyone who submitted!

Next week our theme will be “Fall”, because, ready or not, it’s here!

Have a great weekend!



Stacie Turner Photography


Angela Doran Photography


Joni Burtt Photography


Kate T. Parker Photography


Corrie Owens Photography


Olive Avenue Photography


Horse & Feather Photography


Editor, Co-Founder and Blog Writer:  Sandra Coan

Sandra Coan is an award winning family photographer based in Seattle, WA as well as the editor and co-founder of Little Bellows.  She also is a mentor and co-teacher of the Film for the Studio Photographer workshop, and is wildly passionate about film, portraits and all things pretty.

Follow Sandra and see more of her work at: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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Throwback Thursday: Monika Manowska: Portrait of a Young Girl

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Little Bellows has only been around for a couple of years.  I love this community, and what has come from this blog!

When we started, back in May of 2012, we were lucky enough to have some amazing photographers that took a chance on us by letting us publish their work (when no one know who we were and we had zero, ZERO, readers).  So in honor of #TBT, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of our earlier post and share the amazing work that launched our blog.

The first post we ever ran showcased the work of the very talented Monika Manowska.  I found these amazing images on Pinterest.  They made me want to start a blog  just so I could share such beautiful work with others.  So I emailed her.  And I was completely shocked when she emailed me back and graciously gave us permission to share her work.  Monika continues to be one of my favorite photographers, and I’m proud to call her my friend now as well.

Here is our original post, run on May 1st, 2012. (And please note that Monika now lives in Sweden)

-Sandra Coan


I’m so thrilled to be launching Little Bellows with these stunning images by Monika Manowska!

Monika is quickly becoming one of my favorite photographers!  I find her work mesmerizing.  So the moment I saw these amazing portraits, I knew I had to share them.  They take my breath away.

“I love to photograph children because they are so honest in their appearance.  They don’t always have to smile, they look serious in my pictures, but seconds after the shoot they are jumping  around and laughing.  That’s photography for me.

These photos of Sophie are taken here in Spain when I did a family session. Sofie was here on holiday with her family. I love the way Sofie looks, is there anything better than a beautiful girl with freckles?  I asked Sofie if she likes her freckles because normally people that have them don’t like them but Sofie who is 12 years old said : Yes I like then very much. That’s my girl!!!”

About Monika: based in Spain / WEBSITE / CONTACT / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST

- Sandra Coan

Scroll down to the end for Cat’s take.

From Cat: 

The first thing that comes to mind when I look at these photos of a little girl and her face full of freckles is that they look like they came from another time. The smooth black & white tones give the photos a feel that is almost touchable, and I could have sworn they were shot on film. Further, the neutral expressions are reminiscent of a time before it was understood that children would smile for pictures. The last photo, classically framed and shot using natural light, immediately reminds me of a Walker Evans photograph: just replace the worn-out faces in his work with a the childlike wisdom you see here. It is an Earthy, straight-forward documentation of this little girl, as you see her, right now, at this very moment, with no embellishments, just her natural face. And it’s a gorgeous face!

(Monika does not happen to shoot in film: she shoots in digital and uses actions to accomplish this feat.)

- Cat Thrasher

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Monika M - Thank You so so so much!!! Times goes so fast, cant believe its already over two years that I got your email!!! I was so honoured that you wanted to show my work, I still am. I’m so glad we have kept contact and I so wish that we can meet one day so I can shoot you ladies!!! My best wishes and lots of hugs from Sweden / Monika

Lena - Fantastic. I’m such a fan of Monika’s work. And really pleased you’ve found her.

Christina Mallet on Instragram: Clever, Classic and Odd for the Win!

Happy Wednesday and Welcome to Instagram Fever of the Week!

Be sure to check out the featured photographers and my comments explaining what drew me to their images.



Weeee! Dangerous, but brilliant photos often are. I love this shot because is a great example of how motion blur combined with spot on focus can transport the viewer into the movement. There are a lot of ways to emulate this effect, with filters, selective focus, lens babies, etc, but those applications can sometimes feel heavy handed and over cooked. You can’t beat the tried and true method of a steady hand and some speed.


Chairs have so much life in them–they are the stand ins for people. An event is soon to happen and the chairs are anxiously waiting. I like the juxtaposition of nature and man made. Maybe the chairs are talking to the trees, maybe the trees are about to become chairs. I could go on and on but the short of it is this is a rad image. I would hang it in my house, because I like odd things.


Underwater photography has become quite the thing. I love looking at these liquid dreamy images, almost all are cool in form or color. However, I encounter few that actually look like portraits or go beyond capturing a swimmingly fun time. This image grabbed me right away. There is something eerie and a little bit Francesca Woodman about it. I wish someone would take my photo like this.


Hello little gent, what era are you from? Are you British Royalty? Are you posing for Norman Rockwell? These are the things going through my head when I look at this image. I have never knowingly posted a photo with a watermark, that’s my rule, but rules are meant to be broken and this image made me. Classic, 100%.


I love this odd and hilarious image. It’s unique, clever and makes me chuckle–I would also hang this is my house. A+ for composing the horizon above the center line.


Greatest American Hero, Rocky and Chariots of Fire music are playing in my head, simultaneously. This is a fun image and composition is key to making it that way. Small dude, big world. He’s small but he’s also huge, all at once. Go get ‘em!


Girl Power! Future Roller Derby lady in the making! The straight on chin, eyes and shoulders give this little person an air of confidence. Sandra Jolly’s images of her daughter are breathtaking–I posted one last week. They make me feel preemptively nostalgic–I imagine I’m contrasting this image with the same image of her daughter, 20 years from now. Strong portraits, Strong black and white, Strong girls for the win!

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Stacy - Thank you so much for the feature and the lovely words!