Swams, Gucks and Elephant Tusks

As a Mom, I often feel like I can never get any ONE thing accomplished...I have a never ending "to do" list and it's compounded by the fact that I tend to get distracted...

very similar to Dug on the movie UP...

"Oh, I really need to get washing these dishes, but this dish towel is a mess...LAUNDRY!"

"Wow, the laundry sure has piled up since this morning, I need to head up stairs to grab a basket from the bedroom closet...VACUUM"

"is that the phone ringing? I can't hear anything over the vacuum, I'll just run and check my cell phone on the counter...POLISH"

"where is the furniture polish? oh, I think I put it under the sink...DISHES!"

By the end of the day, I am not sure I am able to actually complete one single thing:)  It's days like this that I pack it all up and head to the zoo...it's days like this that my BFF joins me but decides to stop at Subway on the way, put her sandwich on top of her car while she buckles in her youngest and proceed to drive out of the parking lot leaving her sandwich to fly off the top and smatter into the road behind her...but I digress...

However, I did manage to get to the zoo and we had a beautiful day.  I thought I'd bring along my camera, because lord knows I need another distraction love to capture memories!  I want to show you though...that as a mom, sometimes, in the craziest of spots, if you keep your eyes open and try new things...you might be surprised with what you can come up with in capturing those memories!

A few other moms joined me today...and in between potty breaks, cookie begging, questions about prairie dogs and pointing out "gucks", we were able to get some pretty neat shots of all our kiddos...we just used whatever was available...

whether it was an orange wall in the middle of nowhere...

or a manatee exhibit with fake backgrounds...

or the boxes stacked up awaiting a "show"

we just watched those kiddos being themselves...and we found moments that really showcased who they are!

practical tips:
*look for textures and solid colors...this could be stone walls, colored walls, wood siding...don't be afraid to try something new!

*find full shade areas...large ones preferably, where kids have the space to run around

*if you can't find shade, make sure that the sun is behind them when you try to get the shot...in this, you won't have shadows on half their face:) (you'll have to work those settings because you'll be fighting that bright light...but you can do it!)


Trying Something Different

So, I tried something out of the ordinary for myself today...

It's something that we go over in the Snapshop, but I'm normally one to get a groove and then refuse to make waves...therefore, trying new things or changing routines (especially when things are already working) can be a little difficult.  That's not to say that I don't like being spontaneous...I normally like things after I've tried something new...it's just the REMEMBERING that I have options is what kills me!

Therefore, I got out of the "routine" today...

It was beautiful today...windy, but beautiful...very odd for the "winter" season, but we aren't taking it for granted...so my youngest (Little Munchkin) and I took the opportunity to spend some time outside.

With the wind however, came cloud cover over the bright sun...the light was changing CONSTANTLY...I could look through my viewfinder on my camera one second, get the picture that I wanted and then BAM, the sun would blast through again...

So, I decided to get out of Manual mode and put it in A (or AV for those Canon users).  This meant that I got to control the Aperture, but I let the camera decide what to do with all that extra (or lack of) light...I noticed that the camera had to change the shutterspeed with every shot I took...even when I was whipping them off quickly as Little Munchkin was riding her bike...

It was a fun trick to try and I got a chance to relax and not have to think so much about my settings...I also got to practice with a couple of my favorite lenses...my prime 35mm/1.8 and my 70-200mm/2.8 (which I ADORE btw)

Here are a few from the afternoon...just FYI..in a matter of 30 minutes, I took about 115 pictures...crazy huh???


A Romantic Getaway!

It's not often that my husband and I get a chance to just getaway on our own...when those opportunities come we JUMP at them!

For the past two years, we've been able to partake in some breathtaking sites...mostly from the Caribbean, thanks due to his place of employment that send award members there in the spring. 

This year, however, due to economy struggles, it will not be available...to say that we were saddened would be an understatement...yes, yes, it's marvelous to be treated like kings and queens for a long weekend...but really, it's mostly about the fact that we get alone time...time to talk without being interuppted by tiny voices needing more juice, help with homework or competitions on the Wii:) 

That said, I thought it would be a good idea to "surprise" him with a special getaway of our own last month. 

I was able to locate this little place nestled in the Hocking Hills...it felt like another country with all it's cobblestone and european flair...

Needless to say, we had a most relaxing and refreshing time...since it was a Scottish glen, I (being crazy & a tad artsy at times) thought it appropriate to give our time away a "theme"...thus, let's just say that Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Scotland Yard might have been mentioned a few times in the clues, texts and magnifying glass I hid around his car and office on the day of:) 

I thought you'd enjoy some of the scenery...If you are ever in the area and are looking for a peaceful, private, relaxing and unique way to refresh...I would strongly recommend Glen Laurel:) 


Click It Run Down...

Well...we had yet another successful Click It class last night! 

With these classes, I start a couple weeks prior, contacting the attendees and really honing in on WHAT they want to learn...yes, I have an outline and specific things to teach...but the point of the matter is this...

I've been to LOTS of classes, taken online tutorials...and nothing frustrates me more than when I pay out money for something expecting to learn ONE thing and then never covering that material...

I also have been apart of classes where they throw so much at you, that you leave feeling completely overwhelmed and don't have a clue where to start...(believe me...I've attended a 16 hour long class, over the course of 2 days...I think I'm still reeling from that one)

These Click It classes are designed for beginners to get a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop Elements...and then I come at it like a Mom..."What do I REALLY want to be able to do?" 

We learn those things...and I keep going over and over, in different situations, how to use different tools so that everyone goes away feeling like they could tackle their pictures in multiple ways!

There are a gazillion ways to do the same thing...and if you are like me, all I need to know, is how to do the easiest one so that I get the results I want...

(because of my STELLAR ability to completely get tunnel vision...I, once again, did not take pictures of our "class in action"....therefore, I asked Little Munchkin to help me out)

Here are the faces of what the participants *looked like during out class time...

captions included...

 "Oh wow, there is a LOT of stuff in this program...ha"

We then moved into the realm of, "Okay, wait a minute...can you repeat that?

But...by the end of the evening...we had comments like, "I never want to leave my computer screen again!!!"

It was an awesome evening and I just get so excited when women come away feeling empowered...that they have some tools in their pocket that they KNOW they can use to make memories and "photo-document" relationships!  Thank you sooo much ladies!


It's THAT time again!

I know that many of you received new cameras this Christmas...you've now had a month or so to sort of "fiddle" with it and try to see what it can do! 

Normally, I like to wait until spring to do a Snapshop...just because outdoor/natural light is the easiest to work with when learning your camera...especially for beginners...however, not only with this incredible "winter" weather we've been having...but also because I know so many of you are just itching to get started...it's not impossible to learn and we CAN get outside a little bit ( you may just need some finger-less gloves:) 

Anyway...I'd like to announce the first ever:  Winter Time Snapshop:) 

I've had quite a few people interested and we do need a minimum of 5 people...so here's the plan!

We're going to shoot for Saturday, February 18th (I know, I know I have QUITE a bit of camera strap sewing to do in just a short amount of time:)  But, I'm up for the challenge if you are!!!

We'll hold it from 10:00am to 2:30pm with a break in there for lunch and question/answer time.  To really get a good feel for what is involved in a snapshop check the following links...



And, here's a  little slideshow to give you a quick glimpse as well..

If you get your check to me by next Wednesday, February 11th your cost will only be $125 for the class...which includes:

*class notes with take home exercises
*quick guide booklet for your camera bag
*light lunch with yummy desserts and drinks
*4.5 hour of instruction and hands on practice
*a camera strap slip cover just to commemorate our time together!

We need a minimum of 5 to conduct a workshop...so get the word out.  If you can't get the early bird discount in enough time, but still want to come, be sure to email me and let me know so that I can get all the materials printed, bound and sewn for you in time:)  Your cost for regular price is $135

Email me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com for information on where to send payment, directions and more fun tidbits as we plan to get you ready to take some AWESOME pictures for spring sports and summer vacation!!!


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How can I reach you?

The best way to contact me is either through Facebook Messaging or emailing me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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