I have loved taking pictures for as long as I can remember. It’s artistic and fun and so meaningful to me. Four years ago when I was pregnant with Kaden I got my first DSLR for Christmas. I was excited about it but really didn’t know how to do much beyond turn it on, point, and shoot.
A little while later I was introduced to Pinterest and started reading articles on photography, trying to find ways to improve my style. I realized that my camera could do more than just “auto mode” and tried figuring more out a couple times, but didn’t get far.
Then two years ago this November, Photography Concentrate (an awesome little company ran by the sweetest husband & wife team) ran a Black Friday promotion on their eBook “Super Essential Camera Skills” on how to shoot in manual mode and I decided to get it. They said that I was smarter than my camera and could take better pictures than auto mode could. I remember the one afternoon I spent Kaden’s nap reading the material and watching the videos. After months of trying on my own, I was able to shoot in manual mode in under three hours! It was so clear and simple. And I loved it! More creative control with better results. It was everything I wanted to know, presented in a way I could understand and had time for.
And that my friends is how my pictures went from this:
to that. (And I got a 35 mm 1.8 lens. I’d say 80% of the improvement is due to shooting in manual, 20% to a lens with a nice wide aperture.)
This year I’m getting their course on Lightroom called Super Photo Editing Skills. I’m pretty excited because editing is where I feel my skills are lacking now. Ready to learn some more!
If you’re interested, check out Photography Concentrate’s Tutorial shop here.
They’re running a Black Friday special this week for 40% off all tutorials. That is awesome…
Happy Monday :)
p.s. if you use the links above to purchase, I receive a small commission. As always, this will never influence my opinions/reviews. Thanks, friends!
In keeping with tradition, we decorated early.The kids ornaments for the year. Chip & Dale for Kaden, & Rapunzel’s shoe for the little girl who loves shoes.I love the sparkle of Christmas lights in my babies’ eyes.A couple days of scratchy/sore throats has taught K to appreciate a nice morning cup of tea. It’s cozy. Happy Monday!
I’ve got some holiday fun for you today! I’m doing a giveaway from two of my favorite companies, gDiapers & Hazelaid! Read to the bottom to enter :) gJingle diaper & legwarmers are available as of today. My babies have worn Hazelaid Baltic Amber since they started teething around 3 months old (they work when the body absorbs succinic acid from the amber, not for chewing on.) It really has made a significant, noticeable difference for teething pain relief. Hazelaid has an array of products for both children and adults for ailments including eczema, headaches, heartburn, pain relief, & more. You can read about how their family business started here, more about how Baltic Amber works here and Hazelwood here. I love the necklaces on my babes because they’re natural, it works, and it’s cute :)We had a party to go to later in the evening so we dressed up our gJingle with a few things we had around the house and it made this cute little holiday outfit!
One winner will receive a gJingle diaper, gJingle legwarmers, a package of disposable diaper inserts, and a $40 giftcard to Hazelaid! Wow!
Last year we started messing around with pumpkin pancake recipes. Every Saturday morning in the fall we’d try one out, eat it, and evaluate. Too spicy? Too gooey? After two years of every making them weekly from September to December, we have found what we like :)
I have to give credit for this recipe to Landon, he is the pancake chef. Our house runs like that- we each have our strengths in the kitchen, and we stick to them. I make the cookies, he makes the popcorn. I make chicken pot pie, he makes spaghetti. Pancakes, especially the pumpkin variety, are his specialty. And after my asking for the past year, he’s finally written down the recipe.
Hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/4 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- 2 cups almond milk (Landon uses vanilla, he says it has more flavor and is sweet!)
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (1/2 can) of pumpkin puree
Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together wet ingredients separately (if you have a Kitchenaid, that works great. And if you don’t a bowl & mixer, or even a handheld whisk will work too!) Gradually add dry mixture to wet and mix until just combined.
Spoon batter onto oiled & heated griddle and cook, flipping when ready. (We use this cast iron griddle and love it.)
Serve with maple syrup. Also really fantastic with roasted pecans too. I throw ‘em in the toaster over for about 8 minutes at 350, & chop ‘em up when they come out.
Happy Fall :-)
I wrote a post last year about how it was important to me to be intentionally present with my life. To not get sucked into my phone and miss out on what really matters.
Living that intention out has been a continual effort. I think we grow accustomed to being stimulated and having entertainment at the click of a button. And truthfully there are many times that I really do appreciate my iphone. So I’ve been working to find a balance.
One thing I’ve found that really helped me disconnect from my phone is setting a limit on checking my email & Facebook. Many days I would find myself absent mindedly clicking the mail icon, just in case there was anything important (is there really ever anything that important?), and aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Then when there was something I needed to respond to or take care of, I wasn’t at the place to do it at that time anyway, and the habit really made me feel less present. Not good.
So for the past month or two I’ve been checking my email at 8, 12, 4, & 8 (roughly, the time often passes. Sometimes I’ll check an extra time if I’m waiting on a reply about something. And many times I’m busy doing other things and forget about email, which is totally fine!) Setting specific times to do that though has really made me feel less attached to my phone, and I like that.
The bottom line for me is that I want technology to compliment my life, not compete with it. I love the way Pinterest gets my creative juices flowing, how Instagram keeps me connected with my family, and the way I’m able to stay in touch with friends around the country through Facebook.
Just working on the balance :)