Little Things Thursday

Welcome back Friends! I’m still working my way through last weeks links because of a big project this week.  That ended Wednesday night so I’m feeling a bit like this:

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Our church’s annual mission conference dinner was Wednesday night and I was part of the team cooking West African food for 120 people. While it is a fun night, I always feel like jumping for joy when it is over. It takes two days of prepping, and cooking…and lots and lots of dish washing. I have a case of dishpan hands that even Palmolive can’t fix.

But alls well that ends well. After a good night’s rest and coffee this AM, I’ll be good as new.

Keep me company during my recovery with snippets from your week!

An InLinkz Link-up


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Little Things Thursday

Happy New Year! It’s our first Little Things Thursday of the year! Welcome back old friends and new!

We are well back into our routine around here. School is back full force and so is all the taxi-servicing.

And, confession time, I’m already struggling for creative inspiration. Thankfully, this one will help me out a bit. The others run.

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I’m finding that I really need to add some exploration to our days, but I feel a bit stuck on what that could look like. Most of our days are Point A to B kind of days and we’ve just got to stay the course to get the needs covered.

I’ve come up with a small list of things to implement this winter such as explore some trails. But, then I kind of get stuck for more ideas.

All I know is that I have to spend more time outside of my 4 walls this winter if I want to develop my photography to the next level. Winter is a creative slump for so many of us, but I know it can be a boost, if we allow it to be.

So, maybe you guys can help. What is the number one thing you do to boost your creativity during the winter months? I am keeping a journal of ideas to pull from when I need to shake up our routine.

A little snow sure would add to the creativity here, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that January comes through!

 


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Little Things Thursday

Is it New Year’s Eve already? 2015 has blown by. I feel as if I’m still catching my breath for this year that was.

I know it is time for all our resolutions and Word of the Year stuff. This year, I’m not really doing that. I love goals, don’t get me wrong.  I just think that I’m still learning last year’s lessons. I’ll adjust my sails accordingly, but I think I’m going to camp out awhile on last year’s resolution to pause to enjoy life and to follow God as He continues the work He has begun in me this year. I found 2015 to be a rather difficult year, but gosh did I learn! I think I’ll always struggle with the same old things, but I gained a fresh perspective on moving forward.

Some things haven’t changed.  I still love doing this.

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In 2015, I picked up the expensive film habit. Though the above is my trusted DSLR. The film bit is just for me, at present. I love the freedom to please myself with my work.  I love the way it allows me to be in a moment.  I love the way it teaches me to be a better photographer by both my successes and failures such as getting a whole roll of blank black and white film back from the lab because I didn’t load properly. I’m still grieving those shots.

I’m continuing on in my business. I’m expanding my circles and seeking to connect with those who truly value photography from click to finished product.

I’m going to shoot knowing that not everyone will like what I shoot. That I’ll be compared, critiqued, and ignored.  And that is okay. It’s kind of the artist way, isn’t it? I won’t let opinion paralyze me.

Hey, look. I guess I made a few resolutions after all. And I resolve to try harder to blog more in 2016.  The last half of 2015 just could not be kept up with. But I resolve to live to create, not create to live. Some of you really inspire that notion in me. So thank you for that!

Happy New Year Y’all! I look forward to genuine connections in this coming year! Thank you for joining me each week for Little Things Thursday!


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Birthday Fun with Pic-Tap-Go

If you follow me on Instagram you may know that this past weekend was my birthday.  I confess, I did a little overgramming. One friend, who happens to share my birthday, reminded me that birthdays are a great excuse to overgram. And she is right!

However, my secondary purpose was testing out the photo app Pic-Tap-Go, designed for  iPhone and iPad.  Pic-Tap-Go reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying the app and reviewing it for y’all.  I love Instagramming as a form of micro-blogging, so yeah, I was down with that!  Pic-Tap-Go is a name that I have heard around the block for a little over a year, but I just had so many photo apps that I put off getting yet another photography app that perhaps wouldn’t meet my needs like the many I have downloaded before.  However, I am kind of kicking myself because I really loved/love this app! Pic-Tap-Go is made by the same cool team as Totally Rad!, Inc. which provides Photoshop and Lightroom editing tools for photographers!  They know a thing or two.

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I had so much fun playing with Pic-Tap-Go’s 69 unique filters. Let’s face it, some of Instagram’s filters are a bit much. But, I quickly found some favorite Pic-Tap-Go filters that I could save as “my style” or I could create recipes by layering for my own signature look. There are also great tools such a straightening and rotation features.  There are a variety of ways to post your images to your social media accounts.  That versatility is such a bonus.

Pic-Tap-Go’s 2.0 upgrade is now available in the iTunes store for $1.99. The upgrade is free to all previous Pic-Tap-Go users.  Don’t miss the in-app Replichrome Mini purchase for 10 film-like filters for $0.99. Pic-Tap-Go 2.0 now also supports a variety of languages to bring great iPhone photography to photographers around the globe, which is so cool of them!

Thank you Pic-Tap-Go for allowing me to try this app! I will definitely continue using this app for those on the go shots when “the big girl” stays home. The best camera is the one you have with you and I always have my phone ready to document my day.  Y’all be sure to go check out www.pictapgo.com and get the Pic-Tap-Go 2.0 app! Hashtag your images with #pictapgo_app and let’s see what you create!

Today, I’m also linking with Good.Random.Fun. , a great community of photo lovers!

This post is sponsored by Pic-Tap-Go and Totally Rad!, Inc. All opinions are my own.

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It’s almost Christmas!

Just a quick peek into our final week before Christmas:

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I love the hush that seems to fall on life right as the final stretch towards Christmas arrives. I know that for many there is no hush this year. Life and its battles continue to rage. I don’t take that for granted,and any sense of peace is a gift.

I’m thankful for small gifts of peace this week in our home. They are often short snippets, but we will take them all the same.

This week brought surprises in the mail from dear blogging friends, cookies to bake, game shows in the glow of the morning sun, puppies, books that remind us of our true value, and gazing at the labors of love of others.

I’m so thankful for all of you, too, that bring smiles to my face as I check into your worlds and friendships blossom. I’m so thankful for supportive, and kind blogging buddies!

I hope your final days of holidays are sweet.  Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Linking with Good. Random. Fun., Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.

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Catching Up

I’m starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the work tunnel. It’s been a huge blessing to be so busy helping preserve memories for others, but to say that the workload was heavy would be an understatement. Combine this with being the Thanksgiving host, and a birthday just days later…well…you can imagine how spent I might be. It beats boredom, though.

Today, I’m doing a little catching up of happenings of late.
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I have a bit of work left this week getting prints prepared for the lab, but after this, I’m going to be ready to relax. I’m so looking forward to enjoying this season of HOPE and reflections.

Linking up with Good. Random. Fun. and Songography.

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Little Things Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! Whether you are celebrating this American holiday today or not, I’m so thankful for you! I look forward to seeing how each and every one of you is growing each week.  You are a truly special group of people that I’m blessed to “know”.

We are in full Thanksgiving mode here which means I’m letting myself take a couple days off for family time. This is a challenge because my photography biz, while not currently taking new clients for 2014, is still trying to finish up for the year.  The load is still quite full, but this has been such a wonderful busy season.

We spent yesterday cooking, cleaning, and readying for our feast today. Tomorrow, the hubs and I will do some light Black Friday shopping.  That doesn’t damper our thankfulness, and its the one day we can shop together for Christmas without kids.  We make a date of it, and we look forward to this “us” time. So we are going to not feel guilty for joining the crowd.  We will miss the mess anyway since we get started at 10:00AM.  The brouhaha is kind of over at that point.

Totally off topic, but this is my next image for the Black and White Challenge.

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How was that for a segue? I’ve been enjoying working on conversions lately and I have a grander appreciation for the work that goes into one of these. I’ve already invited a few people to play along, but if any of you are up for the challenge of posting 5 black and white images, come play!

My turkey and dressing is calling, so let’s get to linking below.

How to play: Link back, grab your permalink, link up, and mingle!


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Bumblebean Giveaway

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This year we’re participating in an awesome Bumblebean Holiday Giveaway that we’d love to share with you all! Bumblebean is the destination for unique brands for moms and kids. They’ve put together a special holiday giveaway and scavenger hunt for parents to learn more about these great brands. You will have the chance to win one of three Bumblebean bundles with up to 35 prizes in each prize pack! They’ll be giving away over $5,000 worth of top baby and kids items. You’re invited to be part of this amazing holiday giveaway and join in the Bumblebean fun!

How it Works

  • Giveaway will run from November 20th – December 20th.
  • Entering is easy, just click the button below to go to the entry page with full instructions.
  • 3 lucky winners will receive a bundle prize pack with 35+ hand-selected items!
  • You may also enter the “find the bean” scavenger hunt to earn extra chances to win! 3x a week we will hide the Holiday bean on Bumblebean.com. Visit this entry page on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the new CLUE to find the hidden Holiday bean! When you find the bean, make sure to enter your answer (the link to the web page you found the bean on) in the form below to earn your extra chances to win. Clues will also be posted on Facebook so make sure to like Bumblebean.
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • Click on the button below to enter and see all the cool prizes! Check them out!

 

REMEMBER, the more points you earn the better chance you have to win! The entry page link is below. LIKE Bumblebean on Facebook to see updates and who wins!

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Blog Tour

Happy Day after Mother’s Day!  It’s always a little hard to get back in the swing of things after a day off, but I am certainly going to try.  My sweet bloggy friend, Kim, invited me to take part in a virtual blog tour.   So today, I am going to participate in that and give you a little peek into my creative life.  Everyone participating in the virtual blog tour answers the same questions and then I will introduce you to the friends I would like you to meet.

 

1. What am I working on?

Most of those who know me or at least visit this space regularly know that I am giving a great deal of focus towards my photography business in 2014.  I have worked on my business, part-time, over the last few years.   What that really means is that I struggled to believe that I could really make a go of it.  That mentality caused me to hold back on myself and not make the huge leap that I needed to make in putting myself out there.   I was letting decisions be swayed by others’ opinions rather than doing what I know needed to be done to survive.  2014 has been my year of stepping off the curb, so to speak.  It’s been fraught with details, but ones that were very necessary to make a go of it.  I consider 2014 to very much be my year of sowing so that 2015 may be a year of reaping.

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2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is one of those gut check questions.  If you hang around the old artistic block, you are bound to hear the phrase “steal like an artist”.   If you stop right there you may completely misunderstand the quote.  So many people these days take that to mean that it is okay to go rip off or copy someone else’s work and call it your own. What it really means is that you should let the work of others inspire you on the journey of finding your own artistic voice or style.  The truth of the matter is that this takes time.  I’m not sure that my work is so different, and there isn’t much originality these days.  However, my work is about bringing out the beauty that is hidden inside of everyone.  I love working with individuals for this purpose.  I gravitate towards images that give a nod to the days gone by.  I love vintage era anything.  I love warm, golden light.  I shoot exclusively in the golden hours of the day.  While there are probably slews of others who have the same aesthetic, I am committed to not being about imitation.  I’m always looking for inspiration, but I let my vision and creative eye lead me.   I let the environment I am shooting in speak.  I make a lot of creative execution happen on the spot.  It depends on what I see.

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3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Writing is not my primary creative outlet, but I do want to take a second to say that I think through writing.  I can rarely give a thoughtful answer on the spot because I am such a processor.  Any writing I do is because I need to think.  I clarify my thoughts through writing.   My creation is really photography.  I have always been a person inspired by the visual.  I have a great appreciation for the way things are placed, or how they look.  I don’t fit the stereo-type “messy artist” persona.  I’m very affected by my surroundings.   Another way to put it would be a need for beauty.  A few years ago we moved back to the states from Thailand.  It was a hard transition for me in many ways.  My life felt very unbeautiful and disorderly.  I basically told my husband that I need to go find beauty and create.  I needed something just for me because I was essentially wilting.  I picked up a camera and pulled myself out of the muck and the mire.  I needed to put the beauty that was present into posterity.  I blogged.  I wrote.  I snapped images.  I loved the process and wanted to take it further.  I’ve been studying ever since.  I’m not done.  I haven’t arrived.  Photography is not a mix in a box.  You can’t simply buy a camera and become an instant photographer.  It just doesn’t work that way.   If you aren’t working at it every day and working at it intentionally it will not happen.

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4. How does your creative process work?

Intentionally and inspired.   I am intentional about my creative process in the fact that I am always working to improve.  I evaluate my images and the images of others.  I look for what works in almost every image I encounter.  I’m dissecting them.  Doing this helps me become a better photographer.  I also take note of flaws.  It helps me think about avoiding those same mistakes in my shooting process.  In each shot, I am running an inner dialogue of things I need to watch for.  I also leave room for inspiration.  Inspiration is not something you can calculate.  It comes from being watchful/observant.  It can also come from mood, emotions, and generally what is going on around you.  I let that sense of emotion push me.  In a sense you could say that every image I take is a self-portrait. I definitely like to let a bit of how I am feeling bleed into my images…or maybe a bit of what I am seeking.

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I’m really excited about the continuation of my journey. There is no destination in being an artist.

Now for some ladies who inspire me: They will share their journies May 19th on their blogs.

Catherine is one of those photographers that leaves me swooning every single time I look at her work. They are all works of art. To live in Paris with a camera is a dream life!  She shouldn’t be surprised if I show up on her door step one day.

Catherine Goron is a Filipino-American photographer based in Paris, France. Her pictures capture what inspires her – evocative and simple details in places, objects and moments that are often overlooked. Her photographs can found on her blog (lamemoirevive.net) and Etsy shop (thefrenchoiosk.com).

Brea is a photographer and friend that I have had the pleasure of knowing in real life. Brea has begun her own photography journey over the last several years and I have had the pleasure of watching it unfold. She inspires me with her determination and growth. She is very up and coming!

Hi there! I’m Brea, wife to John, and mom to Brennan, Nathaniel and Eliza. I enjoy capturing and preserving our memories here and finding the beauty in our days. Life can be challenging and exhausting, but looking for and focusing on what’s beautiful – often through my camera lens – helps me to embrace it all with greater joy. My prayer is that my efforts to seek and find beauty will be a means of glorifying and enjoying the One who grants life and who authors all beauty and joy.

You can find Brea on her website.

Linking with Tamar.

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Little Things Thursday + A giveaway!

Friends, I am really excited about today’s Little Things Thursday! I love seeing what you are all up to each week AND this week I am hosting a really great giveaway courtesy of my new sponsor: Sarah Gourdie Designs!

Sarah reached out to me last month about hosting a giveaway for you guys, and I know you are just going to love it!

Sarah has a wonderful business which offers templates, cards, and storyboards for photographers, like you!  Check out her website to see all the wonderful products she has to offer.  She has the cutest mini-albums and albums!

Sarah is offering you the opportunity to win a $100 credit to her shop in my giveaway!  That is pretty sweet, I must say! This is a great opportunity to snag some albums, storyboards and blogging boards for your stash of tools.

Sarah let me have a play with some of her storyboards that are so easy to use.  These are just a few samples from her Basic Storyboard Set 1. 

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Aren’t these so adorable? I love that you can use these for blogging or for creating something special to print!  I’m just so thrilled with the choices in Sarah’s collections.  Sarah, thank you for this generous offer for my readers!

Who is ready to enter?  I will announce the winner on next week’s LTT.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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