Tips for Pin Worthy Photos + Link Up

I have to thank all you sweet readers who took pity on me and wished me better health! I’m much improved so thank you again! This weeks blog post is a little different, I was feeling inspired by nature and my love of photography so this post was born!  I found myself  wanting to get outside and do something fun with the kids, so we decided to go on a photography walk.  We found a short moment between rain showers to get out doors this week. The rain is making fun, outside activities, a challenge this summer here in north central Indiana. Let me insert here this isn’t to make you think I’m one of those mom’s who plans all kinds of activities to do and has the entire summer planned out. No, no quite the opposite, I’m too often found behind the computer and my are kids watching TV or movies….just keeping it real here!

Photo Walk

The objective was we each had a camera and we just found pretty things to photograph. This prompted the idea to share with you a few tips to improve your photos and make them more pin worthy or scrapbook worthy! I love photography, I have since my teen years and was blessed to own a business and photography studio. For the past two years I have been “retired” from the business and I’m so thankful to be discovering the joy of photography being mostly a hobby again.

 

I used my “big” camera the Canon 5DMkii with the 24-70mmL lens. My son used by older Canon Rebel with a 50mm 1.8 lens (this is called a prime lens, so the user has to be the zoom) and my daughter used my Sony Cyber point and shoot.

Photo Walk

Most of the images I have here on the blog have been taken by me. Occasionally I do use unsplash images if I don’t have what I’m looking for in my own collection. I hope you will find these tips helpful in taking photos of nature or your own kids!

 

1. Perspective: Get Down.

Get down to the level of what your wanting to capture. When you are photographing your toddler get down on their level instead of standing over them, this makes a more visually interesting image and usually helps avoids extra clutter being in the background. If your capturing something in nature getting down at eye level allows you to capture the entire flower instead of only the center/top of it.

Get down for better perspective

2. Rule of Thirds.

This rule is one of the most basic of composition rules, the easy way to think of this rule is don’t put the subject you want the audience to focus on in the center. Think of your image being cut in thirds vertically and horizontally by placing your subject off center it is more balanced and interesting. Studies have found that when a person is looking at a photo the eyes tend to move towards on of the intersecting points.

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In the above image I placed the large part of the flower on a cross point which will lead the viewer’s eye into the center of the image.

3. Zoom In.

Yep as easy as it sounds! When you zoom in on the subject instead of the entire room the viewer immediately knows the purpose of this photo. Think of a birthday party, to stand back and photograph the entire setting, doesn’t allow for detailed capturing of the birthday boy or girls facial expressions or eliminate the distractions of other background items. I always like a few pull back shots to capture the whole room but for the most part getting in nice and close always looks more appealing! This tip combined with perspective captures moment beautifully. By zooming in on this image I kept the focus on this sweet sibling moment instead of them sitting on a porch at a park.

Finding the Light

 

4. Look for the Light.

This type can be the hardest to learn but will make the most impact on your images. The best lighting is often found on cloudy overcast days. Full sun is very hard to shoot in, it makes people squinty and causes unappealing shadows. Look for light that allows for catch lights in the subjects eye (little reflections of light in the eye). The golden hour is my favorite time of day to shoot in. It’s the time of day just before sunset (or just after sunrise if you’re an early riser) everything becomes cast in a beautiful yellow cast from the setting sun and harsh shadows have turned softer.

 

Finding the Light

 

This image doesn’t show perfect catch lights but you can see small ones. You will notice the even light on her face it makes her skin glow.  Don’t mind the messy face and sweaty bangs!

 

5. Learn Manual Mode.

This often sounds so complicated and hard to people but with lots of practice it really isn’t. All my tips so far have been directed to any camera user but this one is for the DSLR owner. To learn manual mode there a few things to keep in mind-this by no means is a full lesson!

a. ISO: this doesn’t stand for in search of but tells your camera how much light is around you. Remember the film days of 100, 200, 400? This is what ISO is, for bright sunny days pick 100 for overcast/cloudy days or shade 400 will be better, for darker settings or inside use 800. The bigger the number the darker the environment you are in. One more thing to remember depending on your cameras capabilities the higher in ISO you go your final images could start to become grainy.

b. White Balance: this is the button on your camera that has little pictures associated with it this is easy, just pick the picture that represents your lighting conditions. Shady, full sun or florescent lighting are just a couple of choices.

c. F/Stop: is for how big the aperture (lens opening is) this is also what controls your background being blurry. The smaller the number the blurrier the background (depth of field) and the better for lower light settings. This number is also dependent on what your lens capability has.

d. Shutter Speed: This tells your camera how long to keep the shutter open. For fast action your want a shutter speed 1/200 or more. For low light the number often gets smaller (1/100) But you never want to go lower than 1/60 unless using a tripod.

e. Metering: This is the little numbered bar inside your view finder, when the moving line is near the middle you should have a fairly well exposed image. By changing either your f/stop or shutter speed this bar will move and show you if it’s going to be under/over or properly exposed.

 

6. Background is important.

I’ve already mentioned that by getting down or zooming in will help remove distractions from the background. By positioning myself this direction I eliminated the door of the house and patio furniture and was able to just focus on this selfie moment.

Zoom In

 

Cherries

Also think outside the box for backgrounds, these cherries were on the hood of my car!

I hope you find these tips helpful and I love to help people learn and grow their skills so if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment!

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

This week was another hard week to chose who to feature, thank you for sharing such great posts! There were several posts on spiritual warfare which I found to be such a God thing, so cool that we were on the same page last week sisters!

My first featured post is Lauren of Sobremesa Stories her authentic post on prayer grabbed me from the beginning to the end. She wrote about being afraid to pray specifically how true her words are. “When we withhold our most vulnerable hopes and desires for ourselves, other people, relationships, and circumstances, we present ourselves to God as we think He wants to see us, instead of as who we are.” Be sure to read the rest of this great post.

Next feature is Debbie of Notes Along the Journey she shared about feeling inferior and what God’s truth really is. “Beloved, you are not inferior. You are a confident woman of God. Don’t believe those lies the enemy hisses in your ear. Nothing scares him more than a woman walking boldly with her God!” Her words of pure truth spoke straight to my heart you definitely should read this post!  

Also featured is Deborah of Growing in His Grace I loved this farmer’s wife light bulb moment when she found a yoke in the barn. This post will change how you view taking Jesus’s yoke. You’ll be missing out if you don’t click over and read her post.

This last post inspired me and I would love to see more of you ladies join Kim from Host and Hunt on Instagram for the 40 days of summer project. Be sure to tag your Me and Mom photos with #mandm40daysofsummer

 

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New Routines + Words With Winter Linkup

This week has been about finding a new routine since summer break is in full swing. I will honestly admit I’m not doing so well finding that routine.  I have found my normal writing time to not be quiet and productive this past week or so. So as I find my new routine I have to ask for patience here in my little corner!

I do want to share a moment from my week, my very out of the routine week, that allowed God to show up awesomely!  Since I didn’t have my quiet time and coffee in the morning I decided to hide away in my bedroom to spend some time in His word. As I’m sure most mom’s will relate, it doesn’t matter the hiding spot there is no real privacy to be found in the house.  So as I’m getting cozy on my bed, just opening my bible, my daughter pops in to see what I’m up to. I tell her I’m going to have some quiet time reading my bible,  as I encourage her to go play I have a nudging to tell her to come read with me. I wish I could tell you I immediately invited her up but I didn’t. I was mentally stammering “but, but Lord it’s my time”. But I have to believe the Holy spirit was nudging her as well because in just a moment she came back and I then invited her up into my bed to read. As I opened the bible and headed to a parable in Matthew we landed on the story of the four types of soil.

reading together

As she read the passage (I’ve got to have a proud mom moment here,  she has some what struggled all year with reading and she read this passage with only minimal help!!) We stopped every verse or so to make sure she knew what it was saying. Then at the end of it, we talked about what Jesus was saying and how we want to be planted in the fertile soil making sure we grow our roots down deep. That when we root ourselves in Jesus and draw on his waters we can lead others to Jesus multiplying what Jesus has done in our lives! As we talked about this her eye’s were as big as saucers in the amazement of Jesus’s words.

planted in the good soil

It lead me to think how often we as adults have lost the amazement that is found in the words of Jesus. So I challenge you to open the Word and find new amazement! One of my best friends shared just last week how she did that, you should definitely head over and read her story. It also made me realize how often do we not invest in reading from His word with our kids because we think a devotional will be easier for them to understand.  I’m guilty of these things, selfishly I hope I’m not alone, yet I hope you will be inspired to open your bible with your children and try reading a parable with them!

You can find me on these awesome blogs!

This Weeks:

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

 

 

 

Is Sharon of sharonsharinggod! I was so blessed to have had such amazing blogs join the #wordswithwinter link up last week! This week I’m am featuring Sharon because this post captured me from the beginning and left me encouraged and blessed! If you have ever found yourself discouraged and beating yourself up with negative self-talk you need to read what Sharon has from the Lord. 

 

 

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A Letter to my Younger Mama Self

Dear Younger Mama Self,

You are so needed, needed by your husband, your children. Those times when you feel unimportant or that you aren’t enough are such lies. You are vital to them even when you are feeling like a failure, you are the farthest thing from a failure in their eyes. Love yourself. That teaches your daughter how to love her body and herself as she has been made. That teaches your son what value inner beauty and self worth in a women looks like. Slow down, enjoy each day because they never come again. Tomorrow they will be a little bigger and a little more independent. Let those dishes sit, the dust gather, if the choice is that or reading a story with them chose the story. Teach them how to play while working hard, its a skill that is vital. Love your husband, teach them what a marriage looks like, dress up for the date night, let them see you kiss each other hello-or just because. Take pictures of your adventures and of the everyday.enough

Focus less on your career, when they are bigger there will be more time for your dreams again. That starter business will take more time than you would ever dream it would. Laugh everyday, you do a good job of this so continue to laugh, show them that a water fight in the house is ok, their jaws will drop open in shock, I promise, I’ve seen it!

I write these things not because you didn’t do them well, but because some days you didn’t feel like they were enough. The world tells us our success is measured in the money we make, the house we live in, and the car we drive. This mama no longer has newborns, toddlers, preschoolers; this mama is on the verge of the teenage years, well into the school kid stage. I promise you at that stage you don’t see the value of money and career success the same as before. You see the real value of just holding your baby smelling that sweet baby smell, reading a story, being home in time for bed, playing in the dirt, or kicking a ball together.

I can’t go back, I wouldn’t if I could because you really are on your way to becoming a great woman. A woman who loves deeply and laughs without hesitation. So press on dear mama your doing it right, don’t give up or lose heart. Don’t listen to the lies that are being told to you, I still know this is oh so hard because I still struggle with hearing the lies. Now I defeat them with truth. Find the truth and pour that over your heart everyday.

truth

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56: 3-4

I love you dear younger mama, you are a brave soul on a great journey. Hardships will come, love will see you through, be brave and have courage.

Much love,

Your Older Mama Self-who still has much growing left to do.

PS: Mama if you still doubt the importance you have in your child’s life take a quick peek at this:

This shows us we are so important to our children that they know us blindfolded. They have you memorized, they know you by your smell, the feel of your hands, the shape of your face and the texture of clothing you would have on. Your presence in their lives is so needed and precious. Don’t spend one more second thinking you aren’t enough!

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The Year of Family–Life Motto–Life Hashtag

This week contained some intentional #yearoffamily moments, I decided that each of the kids would pick a meal and cook it with my help. Rachel said immediately her meal would be spaghetti! That girl LOVES her spaghetti! Brandon took a little longer to decide but finally decided on cavatini. Since they picked two Italian meals we spaced them out a few days, Rachel went first on Monday.

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Mondays are a bit crazy at our house due to ballet at 5:30 and us not getting back home until around 6:45, so we had to work quick(and is the reason for the ballet attire!) Rachel filled the pan of water by herself and I taught her how to turn on the stove top and oven. She put in the noodles, sauce and arranged the bread on the pan she loved every minute of this experience and was overjoyed to serve her family the yumminess she made!

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Brandon was a little more hands on with cooking his meal since he is a bit more familiar with the kitchen. We did discuss proper noodle doneness, this boy is going to make some lucky girl a great husband one day in the very very far future!  I only helped with straining the noodles and removing from the oven -yes I probably am a bit of a worrier but I was concerned about burns! His dish turned out amazing!

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Here is to a continued year of family! We will definitely repeat this cooking experience and I look forward to building it up to taking them shopping for the items they need for their meals and maybe even some budgeting of grocery shopping as well!        IMG_2663

I love that he even served his sister without being asked!