Category Archives: Photography

Bridal Shower Inspiration: Flowers in Your Hair, Wood Watch on Your Wrist.

Bridal Shower Jord Here are the facts: Chelsea is one of my most stylish friends and she is getting married. She is one of those people who can slip in and out of trends, wear what inspires her, and just glows with beauty. And yes, she is getting married on top of it so she is glowing even more than usual. We’ve been friends for a long time and while I could have happily given her some china for her Bridal Shower but I wanted to something that was quintessentially her. Hello, wood watch for my California dreaming, flowers in her hair wearing, friend (and when I say wood watch, I obviously mean JORD). Full disclosure, this watch was given to me in exchange for a story about it.  But I’m obviously a fan because I have one myself that I told you about

Full disclosure, this watch was given to me in exchange for a story about it.  But I’m obviously a fan because I have one myself that I told you about here. And I don’t give my friends lame presents, so there.

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The vibe for the Bridal Shower inspiration: flowers in your hair, wood watch on your wrist. Are you feeling it or what? These watches would be such great wedding gift ideas for the couple or for bridesmaids gifts. The men watches are awesome too and would make such a unique groomsmen gift!

She loved her watch as much as I loved mine. I kind of let the cat out of the bag and told her what she was getting (oops) and I thought I would make it extra special with the cutest macaron wrapping paper and card. And it did make it more special.

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But what made it more unique and perfect? How seamlessly it blended into her style. How beautiful is she with her flowers in her hair (!), mixing metal and wood jewelry together? She’s like the girl in the magazine we all want to be.

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After the shower (I gave the watch to her early so she could wear it), she was looking at pictures and said the best thing a bride-to-be could say at her shower: “I felt so loved and felt beautiful too.”

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The best part of JORD wood watches is that they work for someone like me (I’m more classic with my style) and someone like Chelsea (an ethereal mermaid). I gave Chelsea this specific watch. She loved how light weight it was and how it felt on her wrist.

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Sure, a few bangles would have been pretty but I think the watch took it to the next level. And I can’t wait for the next level of the Wedding shenanigans in June! I think the watch will probably make an appearance at the bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner…if not the ceremony. Ha!

AND GUESS WHAT? If you go to any of the JORD links provided anywhere here and enter your email, you could receive a $25 gift card (it’s not a lottery, but there is a limited amount!).

How beautiful is Chels? And isn’t the watch  perfection on her?

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So You Have a DSLR, Now What? | Photography 101.

photography101I had a DSLR for a long time before I learned how to shoot manually by taking classes and seeking out knowledge. Now, I can’t imagine shooting auto. Still, I know I waited a long time to learn because I was intimidated. I’m a writer and numbers were involved (eek!). A few people have asked where and how I learned. I definitely recommend taking a class. A great one can be found through Nicole’s Classes (where they also often have sales) but if a class isn’t in the cards, check out a book like The Busy Girl’s Guide to Digital Photography.

My goal here is to make this a simple series–Photography 101 for shooting manually with your DSLR. It won’t be exhaustive because I want to focus on the basics in order to keep things as clear as possible.

First things first, turn your camera to M for Manual. If you’ve been playing around with other settings (I was always fond of Macro), you probably have taken some great photos. The issue with these presets is that they use Auto Exposure for each setting which may not be correct for the light, the depth of field, or the photograph.

Let me break it down the best I can.

So what is Exposure?exposureExposure: the actual process of capturing light with the camera to produce an image. It is the combination of the F-Stop or Aperture (the same thing) and Shutter Speed.apertureAperture or F-Stop: literal opening of the camera lens. It also controls the depth of field.* Annoyingly because it is opposite of my intuition, a large F-Stop gives a smaller opening while a small F-Stop give a larger opening. A smaller opening offers less light a darker exposure and a larger opening brings more light into the image and a brighter exposure.
shutterspeedShutter Speed: It is the duration that shutter is open and exposed to light, measured in seconds. For example, if I am photographing sports, my shutter speed is going to be fast. If I want to take in a lightening bolt, I will have an extremely slow shutter speed so my shutter is open for longer in order to hopefully capture the bolt. A long shutter speed requires a tripod because one cannot hold a camera still long enough for that lightening both. Fast or slow, the shutter speed will affect the Aperture and vice versa.

ISO: This number is how sensitive the sensor on your DSLR is to light. A low ISO number means less sensitivity to light and a high ISO number means more sensitivity to light. A higher ISO also means more grain or “noise.” When possible shoot with as low of an ISO as possible. Change the ISO last after you have tried to adjusting the Aperture and Shutter Speed so you don’t lose quality. Like Aperture and Shutter speed, these all effect one another.

I  have a Canon Rebel T2i so you may have to check your manual but this is where I am able to determine my exposure, change my aperture, shutter speed, etc. You’ll also see that I tried to take a picture with my phone of what you can see if you look through the viewfinder and press the shutter down slightly.cameratrioWas this helpful? Feel free to ask me any questions but keep in mind this is a series of Photography 101. At first, this was so overwhelming me. Take a lot of photos. Put your camera on manual and play with the aperture and shutter speed.

P.S. After the photoshoot of my camera, I cleaned it. 🙂
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Bex and Scott Photo Shoot | NB Creative Inc.

Bex and Scott

Ask my mom or anyone who has known me my whole life: I love anything creative. One day I decided I wanted to learn to knit so I found someone to teach me. Another day I started to make quilt squares though I never quilted before (and confession: that quilt is still unfinished). When I started blogging, it was all about the writing. I liked thinking of creative ideas and photographs that could go with my entries. Then, I started to enjoy the graphic design and photography aspect of it. I took classes. I’ve gotten better. I decided I wanted to do photography as more than just a hobby around the same time that I decided I was going to start really putting effort into freelance writing and marketing (and other things too!).

Thus, NB Creative, Inc. was born out of passion and hustle and pure love for creating and writing. Be sure to check it out for more info and see other photo clients (more to come!).

I work with companies and I also work one on one with clients depending on their needs. You can read more about NB Creative, Inc. here.

But after I took those photography classes, I begged my friends and family and network: let me take your photos and I will give them to you for free. I recognize (because I am this way) that photography is incredibly important in capturing life’s important moments and there was no way I would feel comfortable doing that and taking money from someone until I had lots of practice. I still have a long way to go but my fees are low and I go above and beyond.

Bex and Scott have been together for five years and married for two. I was visiting her in Florida around the time of their second anniversary and since they had just moved to this new land, Bex had a vision for some photographs. I added what I could and we collaborated.

If you know me, you know I am a perfectionist. We happened to get her all gussied up and ready minutes before a storm rolled in (I did her makeup which will be on her sometime in August). Not only did I have to rush but the light was dimming. If the timing would have worked, we would have waited until after the storm passed because the sky was gorgeous. But that’s the perfectionist in me. Bex assures me that she loves them and even her husband loves him which, she says, is harder to accomplish. She says they are some of their favorite photos of the two of them in five years which means a lot.

I love this couple, the way they love one another, and the way they love others. Without further ado, Bex and Scott Photo Shoot:Bex and Scott 1

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Bex and Scott 10Yes, I work with photography clients and I love it. The majority of my freelance business is writing–working with brands and companies where I write blogs and other marketing materials for their own brand and sites, help with SEO & social media, marketing, graphic design and more. For more info on either of these things, visit NB Creative, Inc.

I hope you love the photos of Bex and her man. Aren’t they dreamy?

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Why Bloggers Become Photographers.

Why Bloggers Become PhotographersTruth time: whenever I feel as if I am becoming stereotype, I take a step back because who wants to be that? It seems like many bloggers I know have a photography side business. It’s not that they aren’t super talented or that I wouldn’t hire some of them in a second if I need photos taken. I’ve just been afraid, as I have fallen in love with photography, to become the stereotype. And wondered why photographers and bloggers go hand in hand. Oh, well. I am still an amateur and nowhere near opening a business but it’s a craft I am committed to learn because, well, even though writing is my numero uno passion, I love to be creative in all things.

And so I think that’s why a lot of bloggers take up photography (if you have, please speak up). I also know photographers who have taken up blogging. I think both hobbies attract creative people who like to produce and create beautiful things. As I’ve grown the blog, learning photography has been part of it and I have loved the process.travel shoes 1My friends have graciously given of their time and themselves as I have practiced on them while I change lenses slowly, struggling to find the right shutter speed, realizing later that my iso was completely wrong. Like I said, I am just at the place where I have learned by mistakes. I am definitely an amateur but I’m taking some classes and want to learn more. I constantly want to grow my passions or the possibility of a passion and that’s what this is at the moment.ncbabeThe more I practice with people or things that are not blog related, like a newborn shoot, the more I realize that it’s more than creating beautiful things. It’s the fact that people let you into these incredibly special moments and parts of their lives and that is a unique things. As a writer, people constantly inspire me so it’s one passion feeding another. That seems like a sensible and lovely thing.macaronsCapturing beautiful moments that contain macarons and rose gold is all good. But I am finding that capturing people’s true personalities and special moments is truly rewarding. Everything you need to know about Bex, you can discover from this photo:bexxxxxMeanwhile, I also love directing–choosing the wardrobe and props and helping a vision I have come to life while someone plays dress up. I was so thankful that my friend helped me out to create great images for my travel series. My mom laughed so hard when I told her I enjoyed directing. girl travel tipsHere is the thing: learning is my favorite thing in the entire world–whether it is something new entirely or growing in my writing. I have a friend who is outstanding when it comes to watercolors but ultimately she wasn’t satisfied to just stick with watercolors. She is currently learning acrylics. She blows me away. lady7I’ve written about it before but at 87 years old, Michelangelo said, “I’m still learning.” I love everything about that. So maybe I am a cliché but there are worse things. I really admire people who continue to learn, like the bloggers/photographers, or the friend I mentioned who paints. While I learn photography, I know it won’t be the last creative passion. I always want to be learning.

What inspires you to learn? What are your creative outlets?
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