Archive for September, 2010
Monday, September 13th, 2010
I’m pretty sure this is my favorite angle right. Taking a picture from the ground gives you such a unique perspective and makes for a more interesting shot than most of our everyday shots. And PS – you don’t have to be on your belly! You can get the same results by holding your camera at the ground level.
If you still haven’t done this, give it a try! My purpose in putting a photo challenge here on my blog once in a while is to encourage you to try something different with your camera. Most of you reading this right now love either taking pictures or doing something with your pictures, or (hopefully) both. The more we expand our skills in taking pictures, the more we’ll enjoy the hobby, and the more we’ll want to document our life. And that’s so much about what I love. And what you love.
Out of all the submissions you sent for this challenge (not a contest, but a challenge) … these were my favorite shots. I tried to do a top 10 (round number, popular number … I don’t know) and seriously couldn’t let one more picture go. It was hard enough narrowing down this far. So many super cool shots. Great job, everyone!
Photo by Amy: Tea party, anyone?
Photo by Abby: Sidewalk chalk. Digging the composition.
Photo by Judy: Oh happy day!
Photo by Melissa: She was watching her 2 nephews and found them like this. After snapping the picture she asked what they were doing. The youngest replied, “Yooking at da bug. It’s disgusting!”
Photo by Megan: According to her, Anna Maria Island, Florida is one of the coolest places to shell in the morning. I can’t imagine why. ; )
Photo by Meggan: Awww. Every kid falls asleep on the floor once in a while. This is for sure the best angle to capture that when it happens.
Photo by Cinta: I don’t know what’s better — the photograph itself or the fact that you can see his little lips puckered to say “choo choo”!
Photos by Kim: She took both of these shots — very different activities — in the same day. First of all, who can say they’ve taken a shot like this in the classroom? I’m so going to do that. Love it. The other shot is from her yoga class. Isn’t that beautiful?
Photo by Stacy: I have to share what she said in her email. I hope you will feel inspired by reading this:
“I adore this photograph. It showcases an everyday mess in our home … and us trying to make the best of it. Life with a small child is not grand and opulent. But I am very grateful that I have the chance to witness these tiring days – and to document these humdrum moments that are sprinkled with magic. Photographing the everyday moments in our life has taught me that we don’t need grandeur and niceties. I’ve always thought that I needed a grand story to tell. I’ve learned that our life is the grand story. Our very existence. Our humdrum days. Our everyday moments. Our life.”
Amen Stacy. Amen.
Photo by Erin: Now that’s a photo from the ground. Her husband and 5 others rode their bicycles 207 miles from Phoenix to Rocky Point, Mexico to raise money and awareness for the poverty stricken in Rocky Point. Erin says, “When my husband looks at this picture he says it makes his body hurt because he can feel the bumps in the road!”
Last but not least … I’m going to name this my absolute favorite submission for this challenge (and will send her a Project Life kit) …
Photo by Susan: Oh how I love the simplicity, the slight reflection on the floor, the fact that a couple toys are scattered about, the way her baby seems to be dancing, the cropped comfy pants, the closeness of mom + baby, and the overall way this seems to capture just a tiny glimpse of motherhood.
I’m so inspired. Thank you for all your submissions.
Friday, September 10th, 2010
The winner of a free seat in Laura Vanderbeek’s cool online class is … Rhonda in Palm Harbor, Florida! Congratulations Rhonda! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll hook you up.
A note from Laura: “I wish I could give a seat to everyone. I hope you’ll take advantage of the $10 discount. With that discount this class is only $25. In addition to the videos and written guides, you will also receive two digital scrapbook kits and a 40% off coupon for e-scapeandscrap.net. And congratulations to all of you who have become the guardians of your most treasured family heirlooms – photos from the past.”
As we head into the weekend, I thought I’d share my top 5 mom tips of the week.
Tip #1: Sandwich shapes rule. Whether the little munchkin protests crust or you’re just wanting to make lunchtime more interesting, use those cookie cutters for your sandwiches (or toast … or anything that can be cut). We’ve been doing this all their little lives and it’s amazing how this simple thing can change the whole eating experience for them.
Tip #2: Capture their current “thing”. Document your kiddo’s here & now of their life. What they’re up to, what they’re into, what their little habits are. Next time they’re doing something that is so them right now — even if you’re not a big fan of their shenanigans — just pick up your camera and get the shot. You’ll be so glad you did. And they will appreciate it when they’re older.
Tip #3: Be prepared. I took Porter to the dentist one day this week and thought Crew would be just fine hanging out with me. Maybe I’d read to him or do patty-cake or … Seriously!? What on earth was I thinking? Over an hour later, he was in full-blown melt-down mode and well … I was for sure deemed Mom of the Year by that point.
The next day I took Claire to her dentist appointment where we had more waiting and waiting. This time I was equipped with Crew’s favorite puzzle (current obsession) and the beloved iPad. Oh happy day. Much better experience. Don’t make my mistake. Go into situations much, much more prepared. PS – If you have a favorite kid-friendly app, mention it in the comments.
Tip #4: Give the gift of a snapshot. Ever had your picture taken while you’re doing carpool or grocery-shopping? No? Because who would take it, right? So next time you’re out & about or picking up your kids at school, keep your camera close by. When you see your mom friends doing their mom thing, snap the picture and email it to her. It’s simple. And thoughtful.
Tip #5: Recharge. You’re a mom. You give, give, and give some more. Please take care to rejuvenate and recharge once in a while. Hopefully you have even but a few minutes in each day that you can do something therapeutic. Go for a walk, take a bath, read, whatever. (Me? Reading in the morning and uploading, organizing & editing pictures each night … that’s my daily therapy.)
And how about other stuff that isn’t daily, but equally important. Go on dates with your husband. Organize a girls night out and enjoy the company of some of your besties. Do a little crafting. Do something for you. Moms need to recharge. We just do. You’ll be better for it.
And since I know a lot of you consider your online browsing as your “down time” … here are a couple fun links to check out the next time you’re looking for inspiration.
Fellow mom Jen Johnson has a blog here that is just fun eye candy. Her everyday life photography will inspire you on how and what to photograph in your own homes. Be sure to check out her Project 365 and Picture-a-Day links on the left.
Eighteen25 is maintained by 3 sisters who are also moms. For the entire month of September they’ve been featuring a guest blogger almost every day. Home decor, crafts, fun DIY projects … to inspire you this Fall season. In fact, Jen Johnson’s project was featured in this post. And I have a little something up my sleeve that will be featured on the 20th.
Thursday, September 9th, 2010
1. The randomly selected winner of Pascale’s e-book is … Cathy in Calgary, Alberta (Canada)! Cathy, shoot an email to email@example.com to claim your prize.
2. Have you heard? My friend (and once upon a time, my original boss in this scrapbooking industry) Lisa Bearnson launched her new site at lisabearnson.com. She has a cool contest on her blog that ends tomorrow, Friday. You could win a free photo book or a Silhouette machine. Go check it out. (And … go Lisa with your newest adventure!)
3. I have yet another giveaway for this week! Laura Vanderbeek is giving away a seat in her brand-new online class, Photo Preserves : Digitize & Restore Old Photos.
If you have a bunch of old photos that are just decaying and you want to learn how to preserve, digitize, and restore those images, this class is right up your ally. All of the class info can be found here. Early registration ends September 15th, which means you can take advantage of the $10 off (almost 30% off) for early registration discount.
Plus — The instructor for this class, Laura Vanderbeek, is fantastic. A super talented photographer and life documenter and mom, designer, and … actually, she’s a cancer survivor too … I’m sure you’ll just adore Laura as I do. Her personal blog is here. Her photography blog is here. Her official website is here.
Have questions for Laura? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To have a chance at winning a free seat in Laura’s class, leave your first name, city, and state or country. This giveaway has a short turn-around. I will announce a randomly selected winner tomorrow – Friday.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
***NOTE: I have re-posted this with easier downloading this time.
There is a very simple quote about home that I love. And so … I created a quick JPG in Photoshop, printed it, and put it in a 5×7 frame to sit next to a little arrangement that many of you voted on. (See? I promised the outcome would be based on your votes. So the greenery stays. At least for now.) ; )
If you would like this for your own home or to use as a housewarming gift or something … here you go. I’m including four color choices in two sizes each. They’re ready to save to your computer and print at your convenience. I printed mine at Costco, just as I would print any photograph. But if you have a good laser-jet printer at home, that would be fine too.
Click on the one(s) you want and then right-click on that full-size image and save to your computer.
Green 4×6 – click here.
Green 5×7 – click here.
Black 4×6 – click here.
Black 5×7 – click here.
Red 4×6 – click here.
Red 5×7 – click here.
Tan 4×6 – click here.
Tan 5×7 – click here.
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
First of all … Wondering who won a free scrapbooking kit from ExpressTheMoment.com? If you see your name listed below, email email@example.com with your information and she will take care of you. Congratulations!
1. Carla Hundley in Utah
2. Jenny A. in San Diego, CA
3. Valerie Hoyle in Richmond, MO
4. Susanne N. in Plano, TX
I’m enjoying a few little photo challenges around here and I am loving the entries for the newest challenge to shoot from the floor (yesterday’s post). I already can’t wait to share my favorites! Just you wait.
Isn’t it fun to feel challenged? It’s refreshing to try something different once in a while. Photography is one of those things that every single one of you are involved with. Well … maybe 99% of you. Most of us put our faces behind a camera on a regular basis because we love to document our life and surroundings and loved ones.
For those of you who are thinking about taking your photography a step further and making it your business … or for those of you who have already begun to make your mark in that industry … here’s something fun to know about:
I love that there are talented, hard-working, creative people out there doing their thing to bless others with the gift of photographs. It’s an unmatchable gift. It really is.
I blogged my “ode to photography” back in March and also did a giveaway of a book full of advice for those interested in going into the business of taking pictures. The book is by Pascale Wowak, a professional photographer.
Pascale has done it again. Her new e-book covers everything you need to know in order to successfully launch and sustain your own photography business: logo, branding, pricing, technical expertise, marketing, using reflectors and other tools of the trade, post processing, RAW editing, using actions correctly, business forms, composition, preventing burn out, finding your style, copyright considerations, plenty of links to great articles and other websites and, basically, just a whole lot of sound advice. It’s 50 pages chock-full of valuable advice, expertise, images and information.
This e-book is for those of you who already have all the technical basics down. The price is $99 but she is offering a discount to you, my readers, bringing it down to $75. Use the code ProjectLife at checkout. Go here for more information & to order.
Pascale is giving away her new eBook to one of my readers! Want it? You know what to do. Leave your first name, city, state (or country) and if you want, tell us if you’re already in the business of photography or thinking about it or what. A randomly selected winner will be announced on Thursday 9/9.
Monday, September 6th, 2010
First of all, the results are in. Thanks for your “with” and “without” votes on the floral arrangement. The winning vote is to include the greenery! But get this. It won by just 22 votes, from the 535 votes that were cast (465 on blog + 70 on facebook). No wonder it was a tough decision!
Major thanks and big hugs to Vicky and Debbie — 2 kind & willing volunteers who (via facebook) offered to count all those votes. That was super generous, and I appreciate them. I am sure there is a way to do a quick survey like this on my blog and on facebook (thanks Kee for reminding me!) … and so I’ll definitely look into that for the next vote. ; )
You guys are so much fun! Many of you took the challenge to set your camera down for a different photo angle. And many of you submitted your picture(s). Thank you for sharing a piece of your life and surroundings with me! I loved looking at every single picture. I was touched by the notes you shared on significant findings in your own pictures. Realizations that were had. Special occasions that were captured. Everyday stuff that might have otherwise been missed.
Some of you took it “down” even farther and got your camera all the way to the ground/floor. If you submitted a photo from this angle, I have it and will keep it filed for this next challenge.
So — for all who are interested, this week’s photo challenge is to set your camera down on the ground. Inside, outside, wherever you are. The key is to take a picture from the ground, not necessarily of the ground. : )
I was on the ground to take this shot of a street in Tallinn, Estonia.
I was on the ground to get this, when our kids had passed out after snuggling up to watch a movie together. This is a picture of looser schedules on Summer days.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Submit your floor photos to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Thursday, 9/9.
Okay — here are my personal favorite Top 10 photos from the tabletop photo challenge.
Photo by Amy: Creating on her flight. Love that she got herself in the shot.
—– Photo by Keri: Grandparents over to help the four-month-old twins with their bedtime feeding.
—– Photo by Rhonda: Wishing I could have had a slice of this when it came out of the oven.
—– Photo by Kim: Taken the day her sixteen-year-old son got his permit driver’s license.
—– Photo by Nikki: Current project on her craft table. I’m thinking … baby shower?
Photo by Laura: Mmm. Yum. Could these possibly be pulled from her own garden?
Photo by Meggan: Organizing the kiddos’ clothes. How sweet is this?
Photo by Kevin: On a business trip, in the hotel room. Now I want Quizno’s.
Photo by Carrie: She finally beat her boys at Star Wars Monopoly! They had to use Hershey kisses because they ran out of cities and settlements. Yay for families that play together.
Photo by Lori: I’ll have what little Lindsey’s having.
You know how hard it was to narrow down to just 10 favorites? And you know how much harder it was to choose just one winner? Congratulations to … Meggan! I’m sending you Project Life, girl. I chose Meggan’s photo because she did a brilliant job capturing her task-at-hand while also getting a glimpse of who was hanging out with her. It’s a picture of motherhood, a picture of life, a picture of love. It just really captivated me.
Good job, everyone! Now … let’s see your floor shots.
Saturday, September 4th, 2010
Life is full of big decisions. For everyone.
That’s why it’s just fun – once in a while – to make a decision that’s not serious at all. Not life-changing. Not big.
I am pulling together another 15-minute floral. (Remember these and these?) Just something fun and fast and a beautiful splash of Fall color for our entry way.
Love the pot (already had it). Check. Love the big flowers that I got 50% off (Hobby Lobby’s current sale). Check. Love the green filler stuff. It’s pretty. But … do I like it in this context?
With: Kind of fun and a little unexpected. Helps lighten it up and possibly adds some needed character?
Without: Simple is good, right? Although without the greenery, I’d shorten the stems a bit more so they’re a tidge more cozied into the pot.
Okay, I know. I’m a nerd. But humor me and put in your vote.
With? Or without? What’s your opinion? Majority will win. : )
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Got a couple giveaways to let you know about. First of all, photographer Kara Layne is giving away a Project Life kit over on her blog. In fact, she’s been celebrating her birthday with a giveaway each day this week. How fun is that?
Also, for those of you scrapbookers who love your stuff, ExpressTheMoment.com has some fun kits they’ve put together. They’re giving away one of each of these collections.—–
Want to enter for a chance to win the Project Life kit? Head over to Kara Layne’s blog here. Kara asks a profound question and invites you to answer in your comment. Very, very touching responses so far. Totally worth reading, whether you enter or not. It will cause you to think about pictures you take. And pictures you should take.
Want to enter your name for one of the ETM kits? Leave your name, city, and state in the Comments of this post and just for fun, simply tell us how long you’ve been scrapbooking (or card-making or paper-crafting…). Four randomly selected winners will be announced Monday.