So, we meet again, do we? Another Thursday, another installment in the Summer of Growth series.
Last week, we went over some of the basics of
photography–I mean, good picture taking.
This week, I’ve dug up some more indepth tips to share. We’re still not getting complicated or professional grade, though. So, no worries. I just like to have fun with my camera and hope for some good photos in the end.
Choose a new focal point. Try to capture your subject in a way you have never viewed it before. Like zooming in to a part no one normally seems to notice. You might surprise yourself with the outcome.
Instead of leaving room for a background, don’t be scared to just use up the whole space with your subject. I love this photo because its so focused on the subject, there is no background to distract the eye. Yet there is plenty of content for the eye to roam around and take in.
I want to use this example for two tips. Perspective or point of view. Try taking your picture from someone else’s point of view. If you’re photographing children, be sure to utilize their perspective. Get down on their level.
Also, reflections. Use them. They’re always fun and they always capture a view you, otherwise, might not have thought of.
Framing. Try to find a way to frame your subject but working with what you have. It doesn’t have to be centered or use straight lines, though. the more organic and natural, the better. It just leads the eye in and brings more focus to your subject.
And my last tip, to share: let your subject do all the work. This photo is one of my favorites. Its one I took, but lay very little claim to. Her pure beauty is the subject of this photo. Lilie did all the work here. I just pushed the button.
So, find something you’re passionate about and start clicking. One of my tips in the first post was about excess. Take as many pictures as possible and you’re more likely to come out a winner. Don’t ever give up, keep practicing and keep experimenting.
Photography is an art and art is a form of self expression. Your pictures are only yours. No one can really outright label them bad and no one can tell you exactly how to do it well. Try different things and do what works for you.
But most importantly, make sure its fun.
I sure do hope this information was helpful, in some way. I can’t wait to see some of your photos!
I was feeling crafty last night, low on materials and decided to just make do with what I had. I ended up with this cute little candle-holder/lantern. Its not much, but would probably make for a cute centerpiece for a small table, book shelf or bathroom.
- two different pieces of lace or ribbon
- one mason jar
- one medium-large button
- hot glue gun
- sea shells
- tea light
Next, use your second piece of ribbon lace to make a bow. Once again, use your glue gun to secure the bow in place. Make sure to place your bow over the seam of your first ribbon/lace in order to mask the break in fabric.
Grab your button, then secure it in the middle of your bow, using your glue gun.
And there you go! A simple, quick little creation to bring any little life area.
Today has been
Yogurt and granola while watching Strawberry Shortcake.
Farmer’s market for lots of fresh goodies.
Lunch date with my two favorite people, alfresco on the square.
Walked around the fountain, to make Lilie happy.
I sat down on the bench, for a break. Lilie came running over to me. “I found something for you, Mommy.” she said excitedly.
I casually reached out to take what was in her hand and was very surprised to find a gorgeous diamond ring.
She had “found” this little nugget some where along the way! <3
I love you Billy Matthew!!
Its Friday again, already?! Well, this one vertainly came faster than the last. In keeping with our tradition of life lessons on Fridays, I’m writing to you about one of my hardest life lessons.
Coping with divorce.
I’ve written about parenting through a divorce and last week, I told you about how much keeping hope got me through my divorce. This week, I’m going to start to share what actions and mindset I took up to help me deal with myself through this hard time.
First off, I made a pros-only list of all the things I would get to do now, that I couldn’t while married to him. Activities, hobbies, places to visit, career goals, going back to school, having my own place. This goes along with my plan of thinking positive to be happy.
I also started doing things with my friends more–what few I had, then. When Lilie was gone, on the weekends, I worked as much as possible and socialized in my free time. I’m not telling you to become a drunkard or party all the time. I’m just telling you that I know being alone, with nothing to do (after seven years of constant companionship) is a big, difficult, depressing change.
Something great that came from my new time spent socializing? More friends than I’d ever had before. My friends. Friends that stuck around because they liked me. This was great for my confidence.
Successful friends. Friends that had the same likes and dislikes as me, the same kinds of goals. Friends that were actually going some where in life. Which takes me to my next point: choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with the type of people you might like to be like.
You are the company you keep. This saying is so very true. It didn’t happen to me, but I’ve seen it happen to many. If you hang around negative, drama-infested, going-no-where-fast people, you will get sucked in and you will get pulled down. Its easier to pull someone down, than up. Literally. You’re dealing with enough negativity and drama with a freshly broken heart. Don’t add any more to the mix.
Ok, I thinks that’s enough for today. Everything else I have written kind of needs to stay together. I’ll save it for next week. Its going to be a good one.
Check back next week for the continuation of coping with a divorce. And if you have a forgetful mind–like me–I suggest you to subscribe to my blog. Just click the “sign me up” button on the right and you’ll get a single email each time a new post is written.
Until next time, my friends!
Hello, readers. Guess what, I’m on a real computer in the comfort of my very own home. How splendid! How lucky! We are temporarily trading Billy’s Xbox for a desktop. What great neighbors we have!
Today I’ve prepared another post for the Summer of Growth series. If you remember, one of the things on the list was taking pictures.
I’ve browsed the internet and racked my brain for info on the topic. I’ve put together a couple of lists of photo tips. This week, I’ll share some basics and next week, I’ll share some more in depth tips.
This will probably just be a reminder for those of you already swimming in the photography pool. Some one of you, however, may just be spectators, for now. I, however, encourage you to take a look at the world around you from a new point of view. Get behind a camera and be ready to have your eyes opened to a new world.
Look for the lines in your photo. Lines can draw your viewer deeper into the photo. They can also direct the eye around the photo and to your subject more gracefully.
The Rule of Balance
When using the rule of thirds, your subject can sometimes weigh down one area of the photo, leaving a void else where. Try to balance the “weight” of your subject by placing another, less important, object in the empty space.
The Rule of Excess
You can’t take too many pictures. Actually, the more the better. If you take a picture of the same thing ten times, you’re more likely to get a good shot out of it. The more you have to choose from, the more likely you’ll be happy with at least one.
Now, I’m guessing you’re probably thinking about a few fabulous photos you’ve recently looked at. I’m also guessing a few of them broke these rules, but are still considered nothing short of amazing. But, here’s the thing about photography: you have to know the rules, before you can break them with such finesse.
Now grab a camera–even a simple little point-and-shoot–and put those basics to work. You don’t need a photo set or some fabulous landscape. Try your backyard or the local park. Just get to snapping.
Don’t forget to check back next week for another list of photog tips. Forgetful? Try subscribing over to the right of the page. You’ll never miss another post!
Good luck!! I’d love for you to share some of your masterpieces!
Good afternoon, friends. Its another rainy day, here, in the Land of Little Girls. Dancing in the rain, included. That also means I don’t have to go out an water my herbs, right?
Remember that totally awesome redhead I told you about on Monday? The one I wrote my first guest post for? Well, Lauren so generously offered to help out during my no-computer time. Is she wonderful or what?
Today, Lauren will use her crazy writing skills to talk to us about keeping up with a blog during a computer crisis. And what better topic to write about in a time like this? Take it away, Lauren!
I have to admit that when I heard about Meghann’s computer situation, I thought, “Yikes. That stinks. Glad it’s not me!”
I then remembered when I thought my motherboard was going out (turns out it was just full of dust…) back in March. We were without a computer for a few days, and everything seemed to come to a halt. I was able to scramble to the library to get my actual work done, but just wasn’t able to keep up with the blog. I was in Meghann’s situation, and could easily be there again.
So what can we do if we find ourselves computer-less? Do we just give up and let our blogs go for a week or two…hop back on later and say, “Hey guys…sorry about that one?”
I say, “No.” I say we prepare ourselves with a plan. Next time our computer dies, slows down, or explodes, we dig up that plan and hit the ground running.
Okay. So, let’s say it’s Monday morning. You blindly mash the ‘on’ button on the coffee pot, rub your eyes a bit, and sit down at your laptop. You try to turn on the computer. Nothing happens. Your heart starts to beat a little bit faster. You suddenly forget about your coffee. You start muttering despicable words that are punctuated by forceful button pushing, key tapping, and your forehead hitting the keyboard. Finally, you come to terms with the realization that your dear computer has taken the final crapper. What do you do next?
Keep calm. Assess your situation.
First order of business: Call your computer people and get that baby taken in. It would be a good idea to have this number written down somewhere other than your computer. The sooner it gets fixed, the sooner you get back online. Next, compile your computing assets. Where can you go to access the internet? The library is the easiest option. If you don’t have a card, remember, they’re free. Bring your ID and proof of your current address, and you’ll quickly be back in the game. The computers might be tyrannosaurus-ancient, and there might be a smelly dude sitting next to you, but the important thing is you’ll be connected. If you live close to a college campus, you might be able to find a computer lab you can access. Finally, don’t forget to ask your friends and family. They’ll most likely be happy to help…and maybe bake you cookies.
Re-evaluate and re-organize.
When I was in college, I had a friend break her leg in dance class…right in the middle of a busy semester. She was convinced it was God telling her to slow down. She used the time to look at her life, simplify, and prioritize (she also used the time to go with me to a Harry Potter movie, which is what I think really helped her get her life back on track), and I think we can apply that theory to the potential loss of our computers.
Stop. Take a breath. Think. What are your main goals right now? What’s working? What’s not? Use this time away from your technology to take a hard look at your successes and struggles. How are you going to change them to better your blogging?
Get Old School with your writing.
Remember…the olden times? Times when people still thought MMMBop was sung by girls? Times when scrunchies were cool and David Hasselhoff frolicked over the waves with a big floatie red-thing strapped to his back? Times when people…used a pen and paper to write? I don’t know about you guys, but my life doesn’t always allow me to go spend a couple hours at the library blogging. If you need to write and you’re stuck at home, get out the pen and paper, for goodness’ sake! Sure, it’s gonna take you a little longer…but that’s okay. We’re turning these circumstances into a lesson in simplification, right? What better way to do that than to get back to the roots of writing? Feeling that pen dragging across the paper will be good for you, I promise.
Although none of these ideas will get your computer back any faster (that’s where bribing your tech-guys with cookies comes in), I hope they’ll be helpful in getting you through this tough time. In these days, when losing your computer is like losing a thumb, a little help in these situations is always appreciated!
The day I found out I was pregnant with Lilie was definitely a surprising, emotional and worrisome day. I had been married only seven months and my husband was working out of town.
So many things went through my mind:
- How are we going to do this?
- Where are we going to live? (because we had planned to move away)
- What will I do about finding a job after she’s born? (I was still in school)
- How will this change my life? (all those goals and plans)
- How will this change me? (I think I actually found myself after becoming a parent)
- Will I be a good mom?
I think finding out you’re about to be a parent probably sends everyone on an emotional roller coaster, whether its planned or not. Its only natural.
But that’s what I love about being a mother. Its just so natural. Its the most natural thing I’ve ever had to do.
As I’ve mentioned before, in my writing, I never really did much babysitting. I didn’t spend a lot of time with small kids, other than when I was one, myself. So, I had little to no experience in the department.
I read everything I could get my hands on. I even started a folder to save helpful articles and pamphlets I had found. Some of my favorite parenting sites are Parenting, Parents, and Baby Ga-Ga and I scoured through those sites (and others) and took up a magazine subscription. I also watched lots of birthing shows on the television.
There is so much advice out there. So many studies have been done. One magazine tells us we should do it this way, but then a different one says we should do it that way. Then, a year later, we’re finding out another way is probably better. All those tid bits of information can get a bit overwhelming, sometimes, though.
I also love sitting around with other parents and talking about the different ways everyone chooses to care for and raise their own children. I have learned lots of helpful little tips along the way.
We just have to remember, though, that all of that is only advice. Not rules. There is no rule book saying you have to parent a certain way. Every child is unique, every parent is unique and every environment is unique.
I think my best piece of advice, though, is to just do it. It comes naturally. I think if you are truly devoted to your job as a parenting, you will see the signs, know what to do (most of the time) and be a successful parent.
I’ll admit, I’ve felt lost a few times. I’ve been to the point where I’ve had to ask for help because I just didn’t know what else to try. But for the most point, I think if we just follow our instincts, we’ll know what’s right.
Good parenting. Its a natural thing to do.
How about you? How has the art of parenting been for you? Do you find it trivial or more natural? And where do you go when you need some good advice? Also, what are some areas of parenting you feel the least knowledgeable?
Hope to hear from you soon!
Good afternoon, friends! After a few storms, the past couple days, we’re finally having another pretty one. You know what that means! A dress, sunglasses, braided hair, floppy hats and ice cold sweet tea! It has been a good day, indeed.
Oh! And guess what. My Lilie is back!! The house is alive, once again, with giggles and little foot steps running up and down the stairs. Just knowing she’s sleeping in the next room helps me sleep more sound.
Ok. On with business.
I’ve written my first guest post! How fabulous is that? I’m excited to share it with you. Just visit the blog of one of my fellow redheads. Lauren Bonk. You’ll find lots of goodies over there. I hope you check it out.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get on over there!
Happy reading and hope your evening is lovely!
My step-mom is a teacher and was so happy to share this with Lilie and I. Its called Story Line Online. Lilie loves it.
Its not something I use to entertain my kid when I don’t feel like it. But I do find it very handy when dinner is just minutes from being ready, and Lilie’s patience is at its limits. I pull out my computer (when I had one haha) and surf over to this site.
Its loaded with children’s story books, ranging at different age levels. And here’s the fun part: they’re read by different celebrities of the Screen Actor’s Guild. Stories are read by well-known names such as Amanda Bynes, Elijah Wood, Tia & Tamera Mowry, Betty White and Haylie Duff.
Oh, and did I mention the best part? Its free!!
I encourage you to check it out for yourselves.
Hope you enjoy!
Here it is Friday. Another end to another week. I’m still ticking off the days ’til my little lady’s return. But, since it is Friday, I’ve been doing some reflecting. I’ve been thinking about how I got here.
Life is so good, right now. How did I get here?
When my husband and I first separated, I surround myself with little reminders of ‘hope.’ All I had was hope. Wall hangings, figurines, jewelery. I had to remember to keep hope. I will survive this and I will thrive.
Hope. I had dreams and I made goals. I’ve been discouraged, bumped off course, gotten lost and sucker punched. Only hope and my faith in God have kept me afloat. I’ve had my vision blurred, my fancies changed and my priorities altered. But I’ve never given up hope.
The long road of life is not always a smooth one. Its full of both sun and rain. But we have to have hope and keep in mind, that the sun will rise in the morrow. Other wise, what’s the point? We just become zombies of the masses.
Don’t get me wrong We’re well-prepared and planned for the zombie apocalypse, but I’m not ready to become one of the zombies.
Without hope, we have no drive. No motivation. No direction. We’re just alive and running on auto-pilot.
Always have hope. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up. Keep fighting for what you believe and keep working towards what you want. I have definitely learned that you may have to make some changes to the plan as you go along, but I just have to keep going.
With hope, I did survive my divorce; and here I am, now, thriving.
So, that’s my piece of wisdom to share this week: keep hope.
When times aren’t the sunniest, how do you remind yourself to keep hope?