When people land on Gnarly Sunset, a question they’re often faced is where to begin. From thousands of photographs on display, how can one choose which to buy?
Our most popular photographer goes by the name of JaqStone, and anyone who has spent much time on our site is surely familiar with her dramatic Arizona desert sunsets. She has fast developed a reputation as one of the premier sunset photographers on the planet, and we are proud to feature 182 photos and counting from the talented photographer.
JaqStone has generously agreed to do a question and answer with us and tell you more about who she is, where she’s from, and what inspires her. Learn about her now, then be sure to view her entire photo gallery.
GS: What is your name?
Jacqueline Stone, but I’m known all over the internet as JaqStone.
GS: Where do you live?
I’m blessed to live in a wide valley of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona with mountains in all directions and a cotton farm across the street.
GS: How did you first get interested in photography?
My father was a freelance landscape photographer but I didn’t discover my own love for the art until 2010 when I witnessed the most amazing sunset I’d ever seen. I had to capture it to share the beauty with others.
GS: Why did you decide to join Gnarly Sunset?
Joining Gnarly Sunset was an easy decision. Sunsets are not only my favorite shots but also what I shoot the most. Having a site designed just for people who love sunsets as much as I do is a gift.
GS: Did you know you were the 2nd photographer to join Gnarly Sunset? It’s pretty crazy that you’ve gone on to become the site’s largest contributor!
I did not know when I joined that the site was so new I was the second member, but I like getting in on the ground floor of a new project and being part of it growing.
GS: Are you surprised to see that it’s grown to over 1000 members from over 150 countries in just 8 months?
Gnarly’s rapid growth does not surprise me at all. Photographers love to share the beauty they see and there’s a platform here that not only makes sharing easy, but also profitable.
GS: What do you like to shoot besides sunsets?
I enjoy decay and industrial photography, florals, trees, and shots that include water.
GS: Why do you enjoy shooting sunsets?
Shooting sunsets is for me about so much more than photography. When I’m out in the desert watching the beauty unfold above me it opens my heart and expands my whole being. I feel connected to all of nature, totally free, and full of joy and wonder. That’s what I want to share through my photos.
GS: Do you shoot sunrises or just sunsets?
I do have a few sunrise shots but our evening skies are colorful much more often than in the morning.
GS: Are your shots real and unedited? They are so unbelievable that it’s hard to imagine they are not touched up…
My shots are real and they go through post-processing, just like any other professional photographer. The camera, especially older ones like mine, does not see the same way we see so in order to share the sunset I experienced some adjustments are made after the shot. Sometimes I do stronger adjustments to convey more of the mood of a sunset. For me, it’s about creating an inspiring image that touches the heart and inspires the mind of the viewer.
GS: What is it about that the desert that makes it so suitable for sunsets?
The Sonoran Desert is a fabulous place for sunsets because of the wide open expanse, the mountains on the horizon, … and the dirt! We get strong winds that often kick up a lot of red dust. It hangs in the air or collects in the clouds and when the sun sets the dust particles catch the light and create spectacular colors.
GS: What photograph on the site are you most proud of?
My favorite sunset shot is called Paradise Lake and Mountain Sunset. It’s not the most dramatic but it is profoundly peaceful and softly beautiful.
GS: What are your goals as a photographer in the future?
I’m always working on improving my skills as a photographer. I’d like to work more with people to create portraits that express the soul of the person.
GS: Many people who visit the site consider you to be the best sunset photographer on the internet today. What do you think when you hear people say that?
It humbles me to hear people praise my photography, and it encourages me to keep growing, keep learning, and keep sharing.
GS: The scenery of your photos is just breathtaking. Do you consider the deserts of Arizona to be the best place to take pictures of sunsets?
I know the world is full of beautiful places and wonderful sunsets can happen anywhere, but Arizona is blessed with ideal conditions for gorgeous sunsets about 200 days a year.
GS: What are a couple suggestions you have for Gnarly Sunset as the site grows?
Like anything that you want to last, steady growth with high quality is the key. Keep the best work on the main page so visitors will be inspired to look around and photographers will want to be a part of what you’re creating.
GS: Do you have any advice for the other members of the site?
When you start uploading to the site ask yourself if you would buy the photo you’re uploading. If you wouldn’t buy it, don’t put it up. Visitors to the site will not wade through all of your shots to find a good one. You have about 3 seconds to give them a reason to keep looking at your work. As soon as you upload new photos submit each one to bookmarking sites and let your followers on social networks know what you’ve added. Rather than trying to put all your photos up at once, add a few every day. This will keep your account on Gnarly showing up in search engines because it is fresh and active.
Click the Picture Below to Browse all of JaqStone’s Pictures! 15% of Each Sale Will Go to JaqStone. Support Local Photographers Around the World and Only Buy Unique Art!