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Featured, Moments, Nature

The sweetest thing about a sunrise is the new beginning it brings to each day…

April 5, 2017

…so this sunrise, this new beginning, seemed appropriate for my site being back up and running. I’m so lucky, so blessed that I get to pass this tree every day and a lot of mornings there is a lovely layer of mist or ground fog hovering around just like on the morning I took this photo. Some mornings Yittle, my husband and I leave for the trip to school with enough time to stop and capture the start of a beautiful day — sometimes, we stop even if we don’t have the time. Hahaha! Yittle used to be concerned but once, a long time ago, I explained that while it is important to be on time, there are also times I will happily be late if it means stopping to enjoy a beautiful moment like this one with them.

Have a beautiful, peaceful, Wednesday and I look forward to spending time again with all of you here.

Featured, Tips, Travel

Re-running this post because it’s the absolute, one thing, that will make a difference in your iPhone (or any camera phone) photography — I promise.

April 4, 2017

In the Summer of 2014 my husband and I went on an amazing trip that included Prague and Budapest. My parents went as well and my dad (a man with a great eye and who loves to take photographs) forgot his “real” camera at home, so he says to me…

“Well, you use your iPhone and I love your pictures! I’ll just use your mother’s phone on the trip. Better than nothing right?” (Wink)

Right.

Fast forward to the two of us standing at the front of this beautiful church in Budapest.

Dad: (Whispers) “Okay, I just stood next to you and took the same shot but it doesn’t look like yours. Why?”

Me: (Whispers back) You didn’t take the same shot. You took (a) shot. One that I knew (the second you picked up the camera) wasn’t going to be what you wanted.

Dad: (Not whispering as much and sounding a tad offended says) “What?! How could you know that?!”

Me: (Suppressing a giggle) Because you were missing two things: intention and a tip.

Dad: (Actually, not whispering at all now, says) “I definitely intended to take a good picture! Now, what’s the tip?!”

Me: (Poking the bear) I know you wanted a good picture Dad but did you believe you could get it with that phone?

Dad: (Now squinting) “Little girl.”

Me: (Uh oh!) Okay, okay! All I’m saying is…I can always tell what kind of a shot someone is about to get with their phone by the way they pick it up.

My dad’s trouble started when he said, “Better than nothing right?”

Why intention matters?

I’ve never watched a single photographer that picked up their camera to take a shot (they really, really, wanted) that didn’t pick it up with a swagger of confidence that their tool…ruled!

Wait. What?! Hahaha! (Moving right along).

So Dad, if you’re going to use your phone to take photographs—own it! Once you intend to take a photo with it, it’s no longer your phone, it’s a camera and, by the way, the absolute best camera you have at your disposal so treat it that way. 

Friends have heard me say that it’s important to examine your heart (always) because the spark of your true intentions will still be burning in the flames of your results. Turns out it’s true for taking photographs as well. 😉

And the tip? 

Some people don’t realize that when you take a regular photo with your iPhone the image doesn’t fill the width of the screen. It only fills about 70% of the screen. So when I want a shot that’s wider (where the image goes all the way to the edge of the screen) I first turn on video, focus on the area I want and then take the photo (when video is engaged, a white button will appear below the record button and that’s what you’ll use for taking stills). Because it’s taken in video mode the shot is wider. This is also a good trick for when you want something closer (without having to use the zoom—please, please, don’t ever use the zoom on an iPhone.) LOL!

Dad: (Smiling, whispers) “Now, was that so hard?”

Hahahaha!! Nope. 😉

Matthias Church, Budapest and  Shot with my trusty iPhone.

Featured, Nature, Travel

The Summit of Mt. Haleakala. Maui, Hawaii

April 4, 2017

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like that about spare moments.

Black and White, Featured, Travel

The edits I make are how I get you to sense me in my images.

April 3, 2017

For me, editing an image is personal, no matter how much (or how little) is involved I hope to do it in a way that makes you understand how I felt in that moment. More than anything else, I want you to feel it.

“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Nice, France.

Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

Mom! Mom! Mom!

March 31, 2017

Very excited to be in the car and headed to Gramma’s…

Yittle: “Can we talk a-l-l the way to Gramma’s?!”

Me: Of cour…

Yittle: Cutting me off says, “Yay! I love to talk and play and have fun! You know Mommy?!”

Me: I do know that about you Yit…

Yittle: Cutting me off again says, “Sometimes, my friends say that I’m hyper because I’m always the same — even if I’m not really feeling the same — I’m still the same to them, you know Mommy?”

Me: Now, let me finish because I think I know what you mean but what, exactly, do you mean?

Yittle: “I mean, sometimes, if I’m feeling grumpy or they’re feeling grumpy or something I don’t act that way towards them because I just want to play and have fun so I’m just the same, you know?”

Me: Okay, yes, I see. Does that ever get tiring for you?

Yittle: “Nope! Never. I don’t want to rain on their parade ’cause then they’d have all these wet parade props and the parade would be over and then what? We’d be done playing and sitting around looking…looking like we wished our awesome parade hadn’t been rained on and who wants that?!”

Okay, I’m sorry, this may not have been my finest parenting moment but I about drove off the road in a fit of giggles!! And then Yittle started giggling so much that I did have to pull over and after I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I HAD to unbuckle, jump out, go around, and give her a great big hug and while I was there…

Me: Yittle, honey, you are one of the most amazing people I have ever known and I think it’s wonderful that you have such a positive attitude. Now, tell me what you do when you need to reach out for support because that’s just as important as having a good attitude, right?

Yittle: Still giggling a little says, “Mommy, you know what I do — I rain on your parade! Hahahahaha!”

Me: What?! You just said you didn’t do that!

Yittle: “I said I didn’t do it to my friends but (whispering now) you know I rain on yours sometimes (now talking in a normal voice) but it’s because you do really awesome things with wet props and parades Mommy and sometimes I wind up forgetting they were ever rained on.”

Oh God, thank you for my children — they are a gift to my soul.

By the way, I begged her not to go to Gramma’s but apparently it is a magical wonderland not to be missed. Just like the ride over there. <3

Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Uncategorized

One for the archives.

March 31, 2017

In July of 2016 I was asked to give an interview with ShutterLogic Magazine. I really enjoyed the process and sharing it with all of you and then someone suggested that I give it a permanent home here on the blog by including it as a PDF, so voila!
View as PDF

If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you will. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and some nice music. 😉

Thank you ShutterLogic Magazine and Peter Fenech for being so kind to ask and for making it such a joyful process. You’re the best!

Featured, Moments, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Travel

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions but in the spirit of the hour I can always remind myself of these things…

March 31, 2017

If you want to do something to improve your happiness this year work everyday to be less judgmental.

If you have the chance to lift someone up — take it.

When things get difficult find a way to laugh.

Celebrate your wins and celebrate with your friends when they win.

People will mess up — forgive them.

You will mess up — forgive yourself.

When someone is speaking to you listen and listen well.

Everyone you know is more special than you know — treat them that way and watch the world change.

And…

Time doesn’t stand still but sometimes we should.

I wish you genuine moments in the coming year — moments that will fill you with such joy, peace or happiness that they get placed securely in your hearts and minds forever. 

Happy New Year everyone! 🌟