Everyday Moments Blog Circle - Light

Friday, January 31, 2014

I am honored to be among a talented group of ladies who participate in a collaborative photo project  which concentrates on focusing on our everyday moments. This month's theme is light. 

After our big snow storm yesterday, I peeked out the window at sunset to see the most spectacular, vibrant sunset. It was absolutely stunning. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the front porch, knowing I had only minutes to capture it. Unfortunately, the view from my front porch includes my neighbor's home along with their 4 cars. I really didn't want to include that in my composition, so I got low and focused on the bushes to hide the distractions. 



I hope you will continue around the circle by visiting my talented friend Sarah.

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Friday Photo Journal - 1/31/13

Thursday, January 30, 2014

We got a good dumping of snow this week. 10" or so, which is big for here.  So the kids have been playing outside quite a bit and enjoying it while they can. It will be 60 degrees by Sunday, so it won't last long. It has been fun, but I much prefer the parade of flip flops, beach towels and bathing suits in the summer to the soggy wet winter mess of hats, gloves, scarves, coats, socks, boots, etc. Oh the laundry! Good thing it only happens sometimes ;)


What have you been up to?

Friday Photo Journal


Thank you so much for stopping in! Have a fun weekend! :) Photobucket

Little Things and Quiet Moments

I love it when I catch them unaware.


Linking up with Kim for:
Little by Little

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WW - Before and After Photos

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's been a while since I have shared a before and after, so I thought it would be fun to do so today- since I always mention that I'm up to my eyeballs in editing :) Here is an example of my process.

I import my RAW files directly to my external hard drive through Lightroom. I then select my favorites - usually 25-30 for a one hour session- and do a clean edit in Lightroom, adjusting white balance, cropping if necessary, and giving the image a gentle pop with the tone curve panel. I also reduce clarity a touch to smooth skin on portraits. I will sometimes remove small distractions, but usually do most of my cloning in Photoshop.

I then export to PS CC for the final edit, which is determined by the mood of the image and, frankly, just my instincts on what it needs. For this image, I warmed it up and painted some color on the foliage. I added a slight vignette and also cleaned up the green on the wood, which I found distracting. Then I sharpened and that's it. Of course, for some images, I do additional artistic editing if I feel moved to do so - but, I try to keep it simple and batch process to save as much time as possible.

These are screen captures of the process: 


It has taken me many, many hours to develop my editing skills and I still have a long way to go. But, I am getting more efficient and learning new things all the time and I love that the creative possibilities are endless. Lightroom is a huge time saver and I love the ease of organization. PS was very daunting at first, but I am getting more and more comfortable with it.

What's you favorite way to edit your images?
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Friday Photo Journal - Photo Linky

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hey there! I hope you have had a great week. The big news here this week was the weather. We had a snow storm mid-week. We didn't get a big dumping, but it was enough for the kiddos to play in and it was pretty. I loved watching the kids make snow angels and sled around the yard. Sadly, there aren't many hills here near the beach, but they got creative and built a ramp off the deck. Where there's a will, there's a way!



What have you been up to?

Friday Photo Journal


Thank you so much for stopping in! Have a fun weekend! :)
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Little Things Thursday - Snow Day!

Snow days are pretty rare around these parts. So, when it does snow, the whole place shuts down. Seriously. There was no milk in the grocery store the day before the "big storm." We ended up getting 2-3 inches of snow. The kids were thrilled! They built a ramp off the back deck to sled down. It sure was fun to watch! Now, I'm ready for spring though.  :)




Linking up with Kim for:
Little by Little

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WW- Snow

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Proof we had snow in SE Virginia ;)

It wasn't a big snow. It wasn't a pack a snowball and hurl it at your brother kind of snow. It wasn't a stick to the trees winter wonderland photographer's dream kind of snow. But, it was a snow day, fun to play in, cold and white kind of snow. And a welcome change from the norm.
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Friday Photo Journal 2014- Week 2

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hi there friends! I hope you have had a great week. Our week has been good. Not quite as busy, but not exactly relaxing...Hubs is back in school full time this week - so the crazy is about to get crazier again. I'll be flying solo most of the week with the kids, and he'll have lots of study time to fit in on weekends. That makes juggling my business even more interesting... especially when the spring weather rolls around...and wedding season kicks in too. Still, so many things to be thankful for! Healthy kiddos, a calming fog, siblings moments of silliness...I am grateful for each moment.  For now, I am savoring a few quiet moments while I can. Winter isn't all bad after all. :) 

What have you been up to?

Friday Photo Journal

Thank you so much for stopping in! Have a fun weekend! :)
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Pan: Chasing the Keeper App Review


I am a children's book lover, and collector and, though I prefer that my kids read paper books, it is nice to sometimes have the convenience and easy-to-travel-with digital versions. 
I was asked to review Pan: Chasing the Keeper by Hullabalu. This is the second book in the Pan adventure series, which continues the journey of Pandora, as she searches for her parents who disappeared on a quest. As she searches, she discovers more about what her parents were after on their quest.

Chasing the Keeper features beautiful, colorful illustrations that come alive. There are loads of interactive elements to discover on each page. You can tap, tilt, shake and swipe to help Pandora on her journey. Tapping different characters and elements reveals additional activities within the story in more than a dozen interactive scenes.


The 14-page long book includes narration in English and word highlighting, helping to build reading skills. This app is recommended for children ages 4+.

Aside from the beautiful illustrations, one of my favorite features of Pan: Chasing the Keeper, is that it does not contain ads or in-app purchases.
While I have not used the previous app in the series, this app was fun to explore. I'm sure having the first part of the story would make it even more interesting. I found that there was plenty to do and for the price it seems like a good value.  I also like that the characters take responsibility for their actions. 
I was a little disappointed that my children didn't take a greater interest in the story, but I think that if they had read the first book in the series, this adventure would have captured their attention to a greater extent. The characters are sweet, fun, the graphics well done and there are many activities to explore in each scene. 

This app requires iOS 6.0 or higher and is available in the app store.


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Little Things Thursday - A Foggy Morn

Yesterday we had a lovely fog, which is somewhat rare for our area. (Not so lovely for morning commuters, but for photographers - yes!) I went out in the morning to pick up the paper and heard a fog horn - also rare here, even though we are surrounded by water. I love the sound of a fog horn. It reminds me of summers on Lake Michigan, my absolute favorite place on earth!
I couldn't help but drag the kids out for a drive to capture some images. I only snapped a few, here are my favorites:




Linking up with Kim for:
Little by Little

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Wordless Wednesday - Next Up in My Editing Queue

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I met this gorgeous couple for a session on Sunday. So glad the weather turned out beautiful! Can't wait to finish their session. They were so sweet!





What have you been up to?


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Friday Photo Journal Link- Up - Week 1

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hello friends and welcome to the first edition of Friday Photo Journal 2014! I'm so glad you are here and I hope you will enjoy this project. I started this blog hop in 2013 as a way to help me document our daily lives. It pushes me to capture more images of the little moments we share as a family and to also organize and share them regularly - kind of like a 365, without the pressure of every day. I hope you will shoot and share your favorite everyday moments with us here each week.

This week I had some kids down with a cold, and they really weren't up for many photo ops. I only took a few images with my phone. To be honest, I have had the winter blahs as well. I am really not a fan of the cold, gray days and can feel housebound and rather blue in winter. Fortunately, we are expecting a warm up this weekend. It will bring rain too, but I'll take it! I'd rather dance in rain puddles than stomp around in the frozen grass, lol. We rarely get snow here, just cold. But, I shouldn't complaining too much. At least our winters are short.
Now - onto this week's pics!

1. Sleepy little sick one.
2. "I dressed myself!"
3. Me working - am I really that blind? A 27" screen and I sit that close?! - ha ha
4. My Lego Man. He felt inspired and built it in a day.

Friday Photo Journal


Thank you so much for stopping in! Have a fun weekend! :)
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Little Things and Little Red Riding Hood

The other day Little Miss asked me to take her picture. We had been cooped up by the cold weather and she wanted to go outside for a "poto-shoop." Despite my disdain for the cold weather, I happily obliged. While I didn't set out to create a Little Red Riding Hood themed session, my curly-haired girl reminded me of the fairy tale when she donned her red heart cape.


Linking up with Kim for:
Little by Little

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What I'm Working On

Monday, January 6, 2014

So far this month I've been catching up on editing all the sessions I had in late December. I had the pleasure of photographing this little cutie just before Christmas. I have photographed Miss Sophie a few times since she was born. Her mama is a good friend of mine.  I adore this sweet girl and I swear she gets cuter and cuter every time I see her. What a doll face!





What have you been up to?
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Friday Photo Journal Update - Welcome 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hi friends,

I must apologize for not posting Friday Photo Journal this week.  After the madness and busy schedule over the summer, I had thought that my business would slow down. Then, the fall rush and holiday portrait season kicked in and I was busier than ever. I had looked forward to a break at the holidays, but I had several inquiries and bookings for the week of Christmas and New Years, as family members ventured home and many wanted extended family sessions when all their relatives were in town. So, the break did not come. January has been slower as far as sessions, but I have a ton of editing to catch up on, and a wedding album to design. And really, I can't afford to slow down, so I will be pushing to book more as we head through the typically slow winter months. Plus, I have a lot of organizing to do, and high hopes of focusing on learning to better utilize off camera flash, among other creative improvements.

I already feel that I neglect my family too much, and spend too many hours in front of the computer, when I'm not away shooting or meeting with clients. So, I had thought about calling it quits on Friday Photo Journal, even though it has only been a year in the works. I regret that I can't devote more time to visiting YOU and catching up on your news. But, I don't want to give up on blogging completely, as I have formed so many wonderful friendships here. And, it does force me to focus more on documenting my own life and the growth of my kids each week. So, after more consideration, I have decided to keep it going. Even if I falter on occasion. I feel torn between doing it justice, and just doing it the best I can and letting that be enough. For now, I'm going with I'll do what I can and let that be enough. ;)

I truly appreciate those of you who come by each week to link up. Even with my mixed up linky's or late posting on occasion - there have been weeks when I hardly knew what day it was!  I thank you dearly for your continued support. Love you all! Mwah!

So, Friday there will be a linky open. I would love it if you'd join in and visit your friends and make new ones!




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Little Things and Little Ninjas

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The other day I happened upon this sight. My little ninja had dressed herself up and then passed out on our bed for a nap. I guess preparing for battle does tucker one out.

Linking up with Kim for:
Little by Little

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