I am a little in awe of the artistic photograph.

You know what I’m talking about….the photographs taken from incredible visual angles with tight shots and wide shots and close-ups.  Photographs taken on tractors and horses and beaches and lakes and sandboxes and gardens and fields.

This is not one of those photographs.

Correction.  This wanted to be one of those photographs, but just like Martina Navratilova in Dancing With the Stars, it didn’t put its best foot forward.

No pun intended.

table 1

I love it when a photograph tells a story.

I love it when there is depth and visual beauty and uniqueness.

Unfortunately, the only story this photograph seems to be telling is, “Why did you have your husband drive you and your yard sale table to the back field just to take a picture?”

Because I wanted to be artistic.

Because I had just painted this table with an incredible finish using Elmer’s Glue.

And because I thought the perfect setting for this new table and this new finish would be to photograph it against the backdrop of the beauty of Mother Nature.

What was I thinking?


table 3
And then I decided to add an armillary.  Because I am going for artistic, remember?

But the picture fell a little short in the artistic department.

It looked like a picture of a yard sale table painted with Elmer’s Glue plopped in the middle of a field full of turtles.

Even the armillary couldn’t save it.

And as I stood there in the middle of the field, staring (well, actually squinting) at the table….willing it to morph into something more than it was or could ever hope to be, I turned to my husband for sympathy.

Maybe he would have words of encouragement.

Maybe he would have some inspiration.

Maybe he would drive back to the house and get another table.  The kind of table that would look good in a turtle-filled back pasture.

table 4

No such luck.

He didn’t have time for inspirational words because he was too busy.

Too busy eating FRIED CHICKEN!


Who brings fried chicken to an artistic photo shoot?

I hope he didn’t get any crumbs on the armillary 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Sheila Sheila

    Elmer's glue, turtles, fried chicken, and whatever else, this is still a cute table. The perfect size to fit into my new powder room with a cute little lamp on it. Great post. Have a great week(what's left of it). Sheila

  2. Image for Heidi McCarty Milton Heidi McCarty Milton

    They just don't care, do they? I'm just impressed that he actually drove you -- I'd have been on my own in that regard! Happy Thursday! PS- love the table! Plan to share the Elmer's glue finish?

  3. Image for Auntlou Auntlou

    The best laid plans... :) Perhaps a shadow or two? Dunno. My artisic photographic efforts often fall flat. Then, my artistic triumphs (!?) come from very random places. :)

  4. Image for Laura Laura

    Maybe he wanted to keep his mouth full so as not to say anything that would seem, well, unartistic. I personally see a lot of artistic potential here. After all, any photos of mine that turn out to be artistic are by sheer chance. Hugs, Laura PS. I think I have the perfect spot for that little Elmer's glue table.

  5. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Karianne, I do believe you under-estimate your artistic photography skills. I think this photo was spot on, but I do think it would be even better with a bit of PS tweaking. Now, about the fried chicken and the husband. There are some things in life that require absolutely no tweaking. And, I think you've go one of those things right there with you.♥

  6. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns if it were my hubby, the fried chicken would not be on the seat of the car...It would be carefully placed on the table, maybe at a 45 degree angle, to the right of the armillary..and saying, yes, now the vignette has just the right amount of texture and a pop of color!....He can be a "smart alec"..and think he is funny...but he does make me laugh every day... The table is adorable, especially set in the beautiful atmosphere of your back field with turtles! Am I predicting that it will be in your newly renovated bathroom?

  7. Image for theboldabode theboldabode

    Art is subjective. Looks like a work of art to a field... perhaps some fried chicken hanging from the armillary would help... and one of those turtles... You could call it "the Wings of the Tortoise" and sell it for $300,000 on ebay...frame not included.

  8. Image for luci wallis luci wallis

    I think the picture is not bad at all... the table also turned out very well. Exciting your husband took part in your photo husband would not even made it to the car. Bristol

  9. Image for cassie cassie

    the table is so cute! and the chicken reminds me of the movie the sweetest thing.... have you seen it? cameron diaz and christina applegate... it's hilarious. anyhow, if you have not seen it, now you need to to get the chicken reference

  10. Image for Kelly Kelly

    Now you've got me wondering how you paint a table with Elmers glue. That table is cute. Maybe you just needed some pots of wildflowers around it. Then cue the birds and butterflies to fly in the photo. Voila! Instant beauty. I don't have one of those fancy cameras either. I have to be creative with editing and the angles I use to take the picture. Maybe one day, I'll get to join that special club of fancy camera owners.

  11. Image for Anne Anne

    Nice try. You can be consoled with the fact that the crackling effect turned out great! Maybe a chair would help...

  12. Image for SheilaG SheilaG

    I apparently don't have an artistic eye, because your pics look great to me! But as you know from one of my previous comments, my hubby would say that you just need to add a toile jabot! :D

  13. Image for Chris Chris

    Art, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Try putting that fried chicken on the table in the field of turtles and see what you behold..........:-). case you don't know, you are very artistic.

  14. Image for lynn lynn

    love your pics and post, karianne:) now, i want to find a table and drag it to a field for a photo shoot! stopping by kfc, on the way, of course:)

  15. Image for Jo @ To a Pretty Life Jo @ To a Pretty Life

    You're too hard on yourself. I love your pictues! I wish I had a field to take pictures in! Well, I guess there is one nearby, but my husband has forbidden me to go there on my own because of reports of drug deals going down on that road. And it doesn't have turtles. I've painted with elmer's glue before! Actually, that project is in the pictures in today's post!

  16. Image for Dormouse Dormouse

    I think the table looks great, but even better is your commentary about how you took the photo. Your writing cracks me up! Thank you! I hope you don't mind but I've referenced your blog, and used one of your photos on my blog...I'm saying lovely things about you, so don't worry! But if it's a problem, let me know and I'll take down the link immediately.

  17. Image for Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale

    The question is, who doesn't bring fried chicken to a photo shoot??!! Ha! I do think the field was the perfect shot for your table...and from what I can tell many artsy photos are tweaked in photoshop with the use of actions that apply different moods, etc. there is a free trial of photoshop Elements on the adobe site if you ever want to try it. There is a "guided" feature on it to make it a bit easier to understand. I can always talk you through it too...not that I am a pro by any means though! Now, do tell about this Elmer's glue paint finish process...

  18. Image for creativehome8 creativehome8

    Sheesh, men! : ) It's always about the food, isn't it, Karianne. I think your attempt at artistic photography was a good one. I'm sure it is hard to figure out what is actually going to work in a nature setting.

  19. Image for everton terrace everton terrace

    I think it's lovely that he went with you. Obviously he knew he wouldn't be having the time of his life so he brought he own entertainment (or prop?). I feel the same way about photography, which is why I majored in it in college :) It's often about the lighting, or you know, a person's photoshopping abilities.

  20. Image for Juanita Hendriks Juanita Hendriks

    Hi Karianne, You have some lovely supportive comments here, so you should see that your photography is "fine." BUT--- if you are wondering/ or wanting a few ideas, suggestions, here's some comments. BUT, please, don't feel this is criticism. I feel strongly that photography is a self defined event: you push it, you decide what you want out of it, you decide if the end result is what you want (... not me or anyone else!). 1 The best photography starts as a vision--- you basically already have the "picture" in your mind... going to the site is the logistical, 3D end, making it come to life. You already had some of that going on, 'cause you knew you wanted a white table in a green field (... driving out there and all with the amillary). 2)Then, there is the idea of "separation" how can I make my white table look separate from the green background? One way is depth of field--- table clear, green background blurry. You play with this to get it to how sharp/how blurry YOU would like 3) Also, re: separation, or organizing the visual space--- where will the horizon be---- or do you want the white table to be ONLY against a green back ground (i.e. no visible horizon)..... or, do you want some blue at the top of the photo? Placing the horizon, is what will make you crouch down looking for the "right angle" 4)Contrast---- yest here will be contast between white and green---- but, you may want to darken the "midtones" of the photo. If your camera allows you to underexpose the picture by dialing the plus/minus sign to the MINUS sign fractions, do that and play with it! This will make the grass darker--- and you can make the table "pop" out some more. 4a) It depends where you point your camera to "expose" the picture---- try it out everywhere : expose for the grass; expose for the top of the table; expose for the shadown side of the table; expose for the blue sky. Once you have locked in exposure (this is not the came as FOCUSING!), you can frame your picture to include how much of the table vs the grass (table in the left, right, center??? your choice) 5) The table itself may want to show its textured appearance--- so instead of having a bright shiny white light against a green background---- if you used your -minus exposure, it should read a little darker (...maybe grayer is the right word). By manipulating the depth of field, you can choose how much detail/ texture of the table you would like to show and, finally 6)when the picture is on the computer, you can play with the contrast levels and add more black to make the image more crisp. Has breaking down the elements like this been helpful? Sometimes writing about these things takes longer than just fiddling with the camera (...and open manual) by your side to give it a go.... This is meant as a springboard to make your vision for the picture come true. Good luck!

  21. Image for Robin Robin

    Oh Man! I can't stop laughing! I feel your pain, I think we have all been there - not so much in a turtle filled field with a hubby happily eating fried chicken - but we have all had photo's that didn't turn out like anything in our head. If it helps I love the new table. She's sweet.

  22. Image for Kelly @ DTTDidc Kelly @ DTTDidc

    I love your writing style - this post is so funny! :-) I totally hear you on the whole artistic photography thing. No matter how hard I try to get the perfect light & angle & mood for the perfect shot, something always gets lost in the translation between what I envision in my mind and what comes out of my camera. I think your table in the field of turtles is cute, whether or not you achieved the artistic look you were going for :-)

  23. Image for

    So funny! Now I have this weird wizard of oz type chant in my head ...turtles, fried chicken and glue, oh my! The artistic photo shoot sounds like something I would want to do, but, I would NEVER be able to get my husband to agree to throw a table in the truck and drive it ANYWHERE for said shoot! He would just shake his head, and inform me I'm on my own! Question is, did your hubs bring lunch for two? You could've had a picnic! ;-) P.S. You know you have to share this Elmer's Glue treatment. Right? xo-Lisa

  24. Image for BB BB

    Oh girl! You made me laugh today. The things we do for artistic photography! I agree with one of the other comments. All you needed to do is edit this, like in Picmonkey. So simple even I can use it. You'd be surprised at the end results! All those glamorous photos you see have been edited. They look just like yours to begin with!

  25. Image for Andrea Andrea

    OK, now I'm craving fried chicken lol! I love your little table. I too struggle with 'beauty shots'. Sometimes I luck out, but usually not. I even took photography class in highschool. Mind you, that was circa 89, and most of the work was focused in the darkroom since Digital cam's were a thing of the future =)

  26. Image for Vanessa Lund Vanessa Lund

    How lovely is your table and just incredible you used Elmer's glue too. It really turned out great. The fried chicken looks yummy too. LOL! : ) Have a great weekend Vanessa

  27. Image for Whitney @ Drab to Fab Design Whitney @ Drab to Fab Design

    Haha when is food not a man's first priority?! I want to hear how you did this with Elmer's glue!! Please share! Oh and I think your table still looks cute, but I know what you mean about trying to be artistic. It seems like when you least expect it, you get a good one!

  28. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    This is pretty funny actually. I just posted yesterday about how sometimes the wierdest things get the most comments! it's so true...I think I'm like number 100! I agree that the fried chicken pic was pretty good! LOL I am a novice photographer but the only thing I try and do is take in the morning or in the late afternoon when the light is good. I learned that from a photographer relative....other than that..... Good thing your husband came with you or you wouldn't have that great chicken shot. Lorraine

  29. Image for casteb casteb

    You are just too funny! I actually think it looks pretty artistic myself. I do know what you are talking about, though. I've had some strange (well, more dumb) experiences trying to be a "photographer," tilting my camera & going for odd angles. Then, when I look at the pictures, they all just look like I had had an extra glass of wine or something. They just look "wonky!" The fried chicken sounded like bribery to get him to make that little jaunt with! CAS

  30. Image for Samantha Samantha

    I'm impressed you took a table to a field in the first place. I am even more impressed you didn't take the fried chicken off the seat and eat it yourself while your hubby retrieved the table from the field ;-) And your pictures? Much better than I could ever dream of even if it wasn't as artistic as you would like!

  31. Image for Jillian Jillian

    LOL! I think you have such great ideas! I love the table in the field. I love the fact your hubby didn't get it! (Mine usually doesn't either) But, he did drive you and the table there! I'm also very curious now about this Elmer's Glue finish.

  32. Image for Lynn Lynn

    This would be a whole lot funnier if the pictures were actually bad. I especially like the close up of the paint. It shows such interesting texture. It's really world class! You just keep on clickin'

  33. Image for beneaththemagnolias beneaththemagnolias

    This is hysterical! This sounds just like something out of my life. I think the fried chicken photo looks fabulous!

  34. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    The photo of the chicken looked cool, the table well not so much it just looked like a table in a field..............soryy but didn't do anything for me but the chicken made me hungry for KFC..........

Comments are closed.