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Wordless Wednesday - So Not Fair

For more Wordless Wednesday go to Wordless Wednesday, Five Minutes for Mom and Seven Clown Circus


Close your eyes and dream big little man..

My little man,

How is it that you are turning two today?  It feels like Daddy and I just found out we were pregnant with you.

Since day one of your life I swear your smile can turn the worst day into the best.  I cannot imagine our family without your daily adventures. 

There are days Daddy and I laugh saying it is lucky you are so cute.  You may only be two, but you are into everything; "never take your eyes off of your kids" is completely your MO.  You are at the stage that you have no fear - at all. " Mommy wants to scoop you up and carry you around on her hip all day to shield you from falling.

Your blankie and your Mickey Mouse are your best friend right now.  It is the sweetest thing in the world when you wake up with your morning face and bed head hair begging for me to remember your blankie and Mickey from your crib. 

Your vocabulary is growing daily it seems.  Mommy and Daddy can't get enough of how cute it is when you say sorry, or french fry.  I know you must tire of our silly "say it again" tricks, but your little voice is just so stinking cute.

You idolize your big brother.  You try to emulate everything he does.  In time little man you will be able to do big boy things too.  But right now Mommy needs life to slow down.  You are my last baby, and as much as I love watching your personality unfold, it just reminds me how quickly this is all going.

So today we will wake you with balloons and streamers decorated throughout the house.  We will sing Happy Birthday to you and have ice cream cake for dinner after you blow out your candles.  I hope you wish for the biggest grandest dream your sweet little two year old mind can think of because as your Mommy I never, ever want you to stop dreaming and living so big.

Happy 2nd Birthday little man..
We Love You!!



Weekly Winners - Photo Session of a Beautiful Family

I am excited to participate in the weekly meme called Weekly Winners hosted by the one and only Lotus.

This past Monday I had the opportunity to shoot really good friends of mine and their daughters.  It was truly effortless capturing their beauty. **PS..the first two shots are my absolute favorite..I love ooeeyyyy sun flare.

Thank you girls for allowing me to have a photo session with you!! I loved every moment of it!!!



What the heck? - No more Auto. Ever.

Ahem..Ahem.. Is this thing on?

So here is my very first post for What the heck? Friday's.. There is so much information and I really want to word vomit and try to fit it all in, but that is impossible, so I will take small steps.

Before I start, I really want to say that I am not an expert. My goals are to try to help anyone that needs to learn the basics stuff. I will share tips, books, sites, etc.. that I have found along the way to really help me. I am not getting paid by anyone. I will be as blunt as possible with products or sites I have tried that work for me.

Most of the stuff I will share has to do with my own experiences with shooting an SLR camera. (Sony A700)

Now, what I need from you. I need you to find your own personal style. I want you to find the areas of photography that inspires you. I don't care if it is portrait work, weddings, nature, could be taking photos of your kids all day long. Find what it is that makes you smile. Because if you struggle to copy someone else’s work, or style you will find yourself feeling empty and unsatisfied.

Don’t get me wrong, other photographers are a great way to study. I literally follow the work of more than 2 dozen photographers (you can see the ones I follow HERE - scroll down to mid page to Photography Blogs) It is a wonderful way to find inspiration, and help decide what you like and don’t like.

Basically, my first piece of advise to you is to (a) Shoot - a lot, (b) Study your shots and then shoot again (c) search around, check out Flickr, or JPG Magazine, (d) start noticing light and where it falls and (e) Realize that learning to understand your camera and your unique style takes time.

Okay, now for the big REVEAL in week one of What the Heck? Friday’s. STOP SHOOTING IN AUTO. Now. Do not put your camera in Auto again. First I need you to go Here. I was going to write a big post on what Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO but then a photography blog I read did one like three days ago that was realllly good, so go read that first and then come back.

I’ll wait. Go. Go here now. Your back? Good.

Now it is time to take control of your camera. In auto mode you are letting the camera make all the decisions for you. Switch to Aperture Priority (some cameras have just and “A” some have “AV”) and Auto ISO -shoot like that for a full week. Take at least five pictures a day of the same thing at different Aperture settings. You control the Aperture with the dial on your camera - remember the Larger the F/stop the smaller the opening of light, the smaller the F/stop the larger the opening of light.

Try the exercise of shooting each day and reviewing the EXIF data (EXIF stands for ‘Exchangeable Image File’ it is the information your camera stores with your image file showing you your settings- check your camera manual to figure out how to get this information from your camera). Really study the data of each picture. Pay attention to the Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO values. Start asking yourself "how could this be better?"

Oh and carry your camera manual everywhere you go. Read it cover to cover. It is going to be horribly boring and confusing. And if you don't read it cover to cover, keep it with you because there will be a point that you will say "Where is that?, How do I change that?"

If you get a chance, go out and purchase Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It was THE book that opened my eyes to understanding why I should not shoot in Auto mode anymore.

And because this is my first official What the Heck? Friday post, I am giving away a brand new copy of the book to one of my readers. Just leave me a comment below. The winner will be announced in next Friday’s addition of What the Heck?

Happy Shooting!! And let me know in the comment section if there is anything you want me to focus on for future What the Heck? Friday’s.


Wordless Wednesday - What do I do now?


For more Wordless Wednesday go to Wordless Wednesday, Five Minutes for Mom and Seven Clown Circus


Weekly Winners - The Over Kill Addition

I am excited to participate in the weekly meme called Weekly Winners hosted by the one and only Lotus.

It has been four weeks since I last posted a weekly winners..whew..time flies.. This past week I was on a picture mission.. I had a billion more to put up, but figured I would keep it at only 1.5 million to share.. (give or take).. Happy Sunday all!

Beach Boy

Bike Boy- notice the tee ball helmet instead of a bike helmet. :)


Trying to burst through the trees

My Super Hero Men
Lotus is the wonderful hostess of Weekly Winners. Please be sure to check out her amazing photos and everyone else that participates in this wonderful weekly meme.


Just a snap shot - BEST Face EVER

Now to decide how BIG the canvas print should be.. ha.
Or should I just save it for this years Christmas photo?

Man I love my kids.


Introduction to What the Heck?

When I fell upon my love for photography I knew nothing about it.

I mean zilch. nada.

Okay, I mean, I could turn on a camera, point it and snap it.  But I had no idea how important light was, or what all the other symbols on top of a camera meant (except auto). 

Over the past year and a half I have studied.  Googled.  Participated in online forms.  Took classes.  Bought books.  I literally have been non-stop with gathering knowledge.

You could say I am obsessed.  

There were times while I was learning that I felt so defeated.  Almost as if there was NO way any of it would ever make sense.  I can recall reading a critique of a photo and others saying the focus fell here, or there is a green cast, or the skin is magenta.  I would look at the photo and think is was great, and could not see at all what the others were talking about.

It drove me mad.

But then a light went off.  I started to have the ah-ha moments. Where things just clicked. I started to really understand the online forums I belong to, or the lingo the photography magazines use. It all started to make sense.  *cue angels singing

The irony of it all though, is the more you read and understand, the more you realize the road is a lot longer than you ever imagined.

Now that I know how to nail a bokeh background, I want to learn how to achieve that look with different focal lengths. 

Now I can tell were the focus fell on a picture and explain to you why it fell where it did. 

Now that I can see natural light and how I can work with it, I want to learn studio lighting with artificial lights.

The journey.  I love it.  It has opened my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I still miss 50% of the shots I want.  My focus was wrong, I had too much noise, too much light, etc.  I also do not strive for perfect shots all the time either.  As I have said many times, happy accidents are the best kind of pictures.

Starting next week I am going to start with What the Heck? Friday posts.  I will share with you areas that I found to struggle with during this journey.  I want to give back what others have given to me.  Even if is the smallest tip in helping someone understand, or "see" will make it all worth it to me. (my tips will range from equipment to photoshop tips)

If any of you (15 readers or so..haha) have any questions you would like answered, I would love for you to share.  I would love to try to help out in anyway I can with someone's journey.

**I am by no means an expert.  If I ever state something wrong.. tell me.. :)

This picture of my little guy just makes me laugh so I wanted to share.. (notice the golf glove and the lollypop)


Wordless Wednesday - My Little Performer

So I am going to break code (again) and not be wordless.. Since my journey with photography I have been obsessed with getting photos of a full moon. Last summer my oldest son and I made numerous "Moon Chasing" trips..We would put the baby to bed, tell my husband we will be back "whenever" and hunt down the moon. It was great Mommy time with her oldest.

Needless to say I never nailed a full moon shot because my lens could not handle the zoom. However, now that the nice weather has returned, and I got an awesome new zoom lens.. I decided to start the adventures of chasing the Moon back up. My son even asks me "Mommy, are we going to go chase the moon?"

These images are the result of our first moon chasing trip. As we did last summer, we put the baby down to sleep and headed out. We parked at a local marina hoping to get "the shot". While we were waiting he started singing and dancing on the beach ..I was belly laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. I never got the full moon shot because it got too late..but I did capture these and I have to say they make me smile ear to ear because they truly show his hysterical personality.. ( they look better viewed full size.. Check out my flickr account if you want to see the pics larger of my little man singing to me on the beach.)


My Blessings

I am blessed to be a mom.

Anyone that knows me knows how much my boys are my world. 

They mean more to me than anything has ever meant.. times like a billion.  Sure they drive me insane, I am sleep deprived, I rarely look put together anymore.. BUT.. without my two little men.... heck, I can't even imagine. 

I am proud to be a mom.
I am proud to be their mom.

So this Sunday I will hug a little tighter and celebrate how blessed I am at being a Mom..

Happy Mother's Day !