Sharesix – Earth, this months theme was a little harder than I thought it would be. Not because I didn’t know where to go with the idea, just that I am naturally drawn to share my views on gardening and taking care of our dear mother nature. To those, I feel I have plenty of posts, and many posts still to come. So I decided to change the pace. A photoshoot full of Earth tones, a beautiful sunrise in the desert, and a great model who was willing to join us at the crack of dawn. (Thanks Krystin!) Hope you enjoy. Read more
Fresh 48 – Welcome Mia
If there’s anything I can tell you about having kids, having had five myself, it is that nothing seems to go as planned. And as far as plans are concerned, this may never end, no matter how old they get. I’d like to introduce to you some of my awesome clients. This is Jen and Junior. (Cute right?!? Even saying their names has a sweet little jingle to it.) I met Jen quite some years back when she was having her first son, who is now almost 11. I reached out to Jen and Junior and their sweet little family of 5 right when they found out they were expecting again. I was looking for a family to photograph for some marketing materials. Later down the road, when I hosted my first photography workshop, I immediately thought of them as my model family. Her styled maternity session was perfect. (You can see those photos HERE). I was so excited when they asked me to be a part of their birth story and also take their newborn photos. Remember when I said nothing goes as planned when you have kids?? Well this is a story to confirm just that. Read more
Share Six – Narrow depth of field
I was recently approached about joining a blog circle for photographers. I have participated in this group before, just not as a blog contributor. Just for fun, and for the love of photography. Share Six is a spin off from Sharetographers. We will be sharing six images on the 6th of each month. Those photos will be our own creative interpretation of a monthly theme. This is a great opportunity for me to be held accountable to blogging more. And moreover, I get to be creative and take pretty pictures. Here is my take on this months theme, and I apologize for its lateness. I am currently out of town and have been having issues with super slow internet. Read more
Pull back, home tour…
So as some of you already know, we have moved and are in the middle of a renovation. It’s funny to see comments (after I have posted something on social media) from friends saying things like, “I can’t wait to come over”. Or, “how exciting, I bet that’s so much fun!”. Friends, family, strangers that follow me, …. this is not exactly what you call “fun“. Here are some shots inside my construction zone that are carefully and masterfully staged. I am going to give you what I’m calling the “Pull back, home tour”. I am sharing some of those pretty pictures… again. Then I am going to pull the camera lens back and let you see what it actually looks like. Stay with me. Read more
Life Created Workshop
Not long ago I posted about an amazing urban goat farm I came across and visited. Well after immediately falling in love with the farm, I began to follow her unique story. Lylah is truly a giver, she gives to those she loves, she gives to her animals, she gives to her community, and now she has begun yet another giving adventure, she is giving to the creative spirits of the world. She has collaborated with many other talented local artists and makers to bring to all of us The Create Series . And as soon as I saw what she was doing, I knew I needed to be a part of it. With many of my own personal projects on the horizon I needed to be selective about which one I could attend. And with my endless love of learning and my passion for photography my choice was pretty clear. Introduction to food photography, put together simply and beautifully by Life Created. Stephanie is a natural light photography with a serious eye for still life and styling. I have also been following her through social media for quite some time now. I can appreciate the art in styling, and I am sure you all know that from all the collaborations I have done with my dear friend and designer Paige with The Love Designed Life . I knew I needed this food photography workshop for two reasons… 1: I love food and to create lovely inspiring recipes. 2: I have absolutely no game when it comes to styling or staging. Now to me, those are pretty vital pieces to the blogging pie I hope to master sometime this year. So here are some photos from the workshop. Stephanie did such an amazing job staging the table and covering all things necessary to show casing food and still life to the fullest. I will share a few things I picked up in the workshop, but encourage you aspiring photographers to take one of her workshops as well! I won’t give away all her secrets so hopefully that entices you to sign up with her soon, she fills spaces quickly!
Life Created Workshop
One of the key things I took away from her workshop is color. Keep it simple folks. Neutrals help allow the food or the entrée steal the show. Have some great go to props to include in your photos, ones that don’t shout out “look at me… I’m in like half the photos”. These things can be but are not limited to; napkins, wooden cutting boards, large bowls or plates, and serving ware.
Another key learning for me was not to over think it. Its ok to have a few short cuts. If you only have a few good looking berries, stuff something under them in the bowl to make it look like you have dozens of perfect berries spilling out of your quaint little vintage bowl. I know that seems like its not a huge “Ah Ha” moment. But for me it was. I can personally attest to not taking a picture because I thought I didn’t have enough of something. Ummm, hashtag PefectionistProblems!
The last take away I’d like to share with you all is be true to yourself. Don’t sit and compare yourself to others all the time. And please don’t just try and recreate what others have created before you. That of course makes so much sense to me as a portrait photographer, but what a thing to say when it comes to still life and food photography. Are there really that many ways to stage a bowl of strawberries? Yes, there are. And as a photographer every snap you share with others, you are sharing a bit of your creative passion. Be kind enough to be authentic with each and every thing you do. If you do that, you’ll do great. I hope you love the images and tips from this awesome workshop! There is always something that can be learned if you are willing to listen. I am so grateful to have attended this workshop and finally meet a photographer I have looked up to, and of course just be at The Simple Farm and see Lylah.
If you’d like to see what a portrait session looks like at The Simple Farm stop over at The Love Designed Life and check out my recent session with Paige and her family. They are expecting their third baby, and I am always blown away at Paige’s visions.
DIY Flower Crown
The first thing you are going to need to do is get yourself some materials. I purchased everything you see here at JoAnn’s fabric store. I have an upcoming maternity session and had a vision for dark rich colors. Deep purples and blues. And a beautiful flower crown. The mommy to be is going to have a girl so I wanted to keep the session feminine and of course glamorous. (I also made a matching dress, but you can see that after the photos are finished.) Mommy to be has me booked for the newborn session and I will be using the same color scheme for that little miss when she arrives.
What you’ll need for this DIY Flower Crown:
1. Flowers – I used fake flowers because I am making a matching baby mini crown or tie back.
2. Some wire
3. Wire cutters – I used 4.6m wire
5. Floral tape
I started by cutting the wire about 20″ in length. I came up with that using a very scientific method. I took one end of the wire, and wrapped it around my head in the shape of a crown. Then I clipped it in a very calculating manner.
I shaped the wire into a crown and pressed it against the table to flatten it out. Then I cut my flowers from their stems. For the larger flowers I cut off the entire stem. For the smaller ones I left a little room for taping.
Then I created a layout for the crown. Once I decided on my flowers placement, I began wiring them starting on one side.
Since the little flowers had some slack to work with they were really easy to attach to the wire. And I must say, I’m not a big fan of the floral tape. Does a great job, it’s just my super grip strength that kept snapping it. Grrrr.
The larger flowers posed a different challenge. I wanted them to be somewhat flimsy so they can be moved after being placed on a head. So I decided I was going to string them on. And it worked! I used denim thread because it’s sturdier than all purpose thread. I would recommend that or embroidery thread. Then I tied the larger flowers in place and taped the thread to help stabilize the flower but still have some wiggle room.
Once I got all my flowers placed it I knew I needed to finish the ends. Obviously having that exposed cut wire is a bit of a concern and I knew I needed to keep my client crown-stab-free. After getting this far without any accidents, I was feeling pretty strong about my crown game. I tied a knot onto the wire and positioned it up a few centimeters. I wrapped the tape around the end of the wire to make it softer. Then wrapped the tape up over the knot and then back down again to be sure the twine didn’t just pop off. And SUCCESS!
Then I admired my craftsmanship. I may have even worn it for awhile in pride.
The Simple Farm – Totes McGoats
If you are in the market to find something cool to do during Spring Break, then take a morning trip this Friday to The Simple Farm! I posted about their caramels that we enjoyed during our Febuary workshop. But after reading her blog and following Lylah Ledner on Instagram, I just knew I needed to make the trip to check out her awesome goat farm. So we did just that last Friday. On Fridays the farm is open for caramel pick up, as well as fresh farm market. They have fresh eggs, produce, caramels, chocolates from Bee Hive Chocolates, and local raw honey. That’s just a glimpse of all the goodies she has!
Right as we parked, I knew I was smitten for this Urban Farm. Tucked away off what seemed like a normal street. Parking lined with rail road ties. Cute painted signs made from recycled pallets. When I think of Scottsdale, I admit, farming isn’t the first thing that crosses my mind. To be honest, I think of snooty, fashion forward wealthy people. All wearing their lulu lemon workout clothes (at any given time of the day) carrying a fresh poured coffee from this weeks newest trendiest coffee shop that probably cost them $10. I know I know, my “judgy” is showing. So when I pulled into the parking lot and walked back to this Urban Farm I was blown away. I’m not sure how many acres the farm is, but it was well laid out. There were garden beds every where, Vines, planting boxes and potting plants that seemed endless in sight. There were garden and farm staff quietly working on the plants. As you follow the signs back you come to a small covered area with tables to sit and enjoy some Mama’s Cold Brew coffee and creamer. A local momtreprenuer who has come to be quite infamous with in the greater phoenix areas. There is a cute little barn filled with fresh produce, herbs, caramels, tea spices, fresh eggs, and countless other things I can’t even remember.
I forgot to take a picture of my coffee, I was too busy guzzling it down. I chose Mama’s cold brews vanilla creamer and my husband went with the Irish creamer. But the coffee is perfectly fine black, filled with rich flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg. I typically drink my coffee black but wanted to taste the homemade creamers.
I had been chatting via email with Lylah the week earlier to let her know I’d be stopping by, and to respectfully inquire about photography. Its important to me, especially since I travel in a larger pack than many, I ask about taking pictures when we go places. Some places don’t allow it. It preserves the spaces, and I respect that. You would be surprised at how many people (including photographers) don’t ask, and abuse places that do not have a policy. That can cause one of two things: a fee, or no “photography allowed”. So upon arrival she came up to the shop and was outside chatting with a friend of mine who plans to have some professional photography done on her farm. See her rules for photography HERE. And she said to her, “oh there is a photographer coming by today” and then my friend said, “yea she’s in there”! And then there I was admiring all her goodies, trying to decide what all I wanted to buy. Lylah came in and introductions where made. We got to talking about cameras and asked if I’d mind taking a picture of one of the goats. Ummmm, a chance to see the baby goats…. SIGN ME UP! I agreed and we headed back toward the house on the farm, I curiously sprayed my shoes with something labled “hoof spray” upon her request. And headed into the goats living quarters. They were such well mannered goats. A little nosy, wondering who this stranger was in their pen and what my business was. Then came the babies, soooooo cute! Once we got back there she noticed (who doesn’t) I came with a rather large group of kids. It just happened to be feeding time, and asked if some of them would like to help bottle feed the babies. DOUBLE YES! I went and got some of the older kids I knew would want to. Doowon (15 our Korean Exchange student), Beau (12), Braden (10), and Bennett (8). Caitlyn (14) stayed behind because she didn’t want to crowd the babies, and well Brooks (5) is just a little young and uninterested. He probably would have done fine, but I didn’t want to risk managing him around the baby goats.
Some babies took right to the bottles, and some weren’t as interested in feeding. They were more interested in sniffing us.
My kids love animals, all animals. And I have always wanted to raise some farm animals. But as of now, my HOA doesn’t see things my way.
Meet Cherry, the one and only baby girl. The reason our farm adventure turned into an amazing day out during our spring break. Because she needed a picture. Isn’t she the cutest?
Here are some of the Goats who received a lot less attention but are cute none the less. They are simply “Totes McGoats”.
DIY Camera Strap Cover
I have a lot of upcoming projects in the near future and I am so lucky to have one of my best and longest friends to help me. She is a complete in over your head DIY nut like me. You can see some of her amazing creations HERE. She is co-hosting/styling my very first photography workshop and we got on the topic of camera straps. And looking through them I was inspired to see if I could make one. THUS, the DIY camera strap tutorial is here! Granted, this was my first attempt and I didn’t bother measuring, ironing, properly cutting materials, etc… I just wanted to give it a quick whirl to get an idea of how complicated it could be. And I must say, although I am not in love with this one, it was pretty easy to make. So beginner level sewers out there – give it a try!
What you’ll need:
Fabric, 1/8 of a yard is plenty
Something cute to add to it, I used sequin ribbon (optional)
Original camera strap
Go getter attitude
I just laid my camera strap next to the fabric and cut the width. Be sure to give some hem allowance. As you can see I didn’t bother using a cutter but that would certainly make this project look a lot better.
Taking one side of your strap fabric add your embellishment. It could be anything, or nothing at all. There are endless options when you start to think about it. And I just chose this based on what I had lying around the house. Hashtag – HOARDINGSTATUS.
My sequin ribbon was pretty thin so I added two rows.
Once you’ve got your embellishment done, place the sides you want to show together.
Sew the sides closed.
I should have thought to finish the ends prior to sewing the sides, so be sure to change up my steps for faster results.
Turn it inside out and slide your existing strap into the cover. Mine was a pretty snug fit but I wanted it that way so that it is less likely to slip out of place. Now I am eager to make some more polished, super cute ones!
The benefit of this cover is that it is removable and can be washed. I know I get a little sweaty when I am taking pictures. TMI