… that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been reading different Photography Blogs and just trying to soak up any information that I can. And one of things people talk about the most is ‘what inspires you‘ … and honestly … I’m not sure I really know. I don’t think I can actually define it right now. So thank goodness for PINTEREST! Seriously! I love that site because there is soooooo much to look at on there! I know I love dramatic things … beautiful things … but can I actually categorize it? I don’t think I can. So I think I’m going to start paying more attention to what catches my eye, and inspires me … or really, just taking the time to allow myself to do so! It’s so easy to get caught up with life being busy, so I think I’m going to make a conscious effort to feed my creative side (at least that’s what I’m hoping to do!).

One of the main things I’m learning, is that I need to take the time to practice shooting. As I’ve mentioned before, there is SO MUCH that I need to learn. There is SO MUCH I still do not understand, and I feel like often times, some of my best pictures happen ‘by chance’. Which is great in regards to me getting a picture I like, but is bad in the fact I can’t reproduce it if my life depended on it.

So I’ve decided to dedicate a few minutes each day to shooting. I know, that sounds so basic, right? But it can be really hard to find the time to do that. There’s always something else I need to be doing. But today, Claire and I took about 10 minutes while Charlie slept and I snapped away.

… sometimes things don’t go how you plan … so you switch gears a bit …

I know some of these photos are blurry … but honestly  … I don’t know if I would change them. I love her genuine smiles and that ridiculously huge puffy hat. And it was fun to just get out there and figure stuff out.

{today I used my 50mm f/1.8 lens and shot the ‘spinning’ photos in Tv mode. I need to get better at ‘stop action’ photos and I have no clue how to shoot in manual. so the goal for today was to see if I could just get some ‘stop action’ shots. so while there is still a ton more work for me to do, I’m happy with what I accomplished today}

Jill - December 14, 2011 - 5:25 am

An adoption friend of mine is a photographer and she made this e-book that she is selling to raise money for thier adoption. I got it and it is quite helpful. Thought I’d pass it on to you!

Lacey b. - December 14, 2011 - 9:53 am

That first one is my favorite! Beautiful picture! She looks so grown up in these.

I really need to get a 50mm and get back on track with my camera. I think you are doing great, can’t wait to see more.


I’ve had so much fun taking pictures of my friends’ families. But let me be perfectly honest with you about something. The entire time I’m doing it, I’m terrified. Yes, I’ve managed to capture a handful of decent shots, but on a scale of 1-10, my confidence is around … oh … lets say 4. I love taking on a challenge because I figure that’s the only way I’m going to learn, right? And everyone has to start somewhere, you know? But the truth of the matter is that I’m quite insecure about taking on this new ‘hobby’.

Before I post a photo, I look over them all, and pick out every little fault I can find. I know that there are people out there who FAR exceed my abilities and could shred each photo apart, pixel by pixel, with a mile long list of what I’m doing wrong. So I guess I figure that if I can at least recognize my faults before they do, it’ll lessen the sting.

But then I started thinking … what good will it do me if all I hear is ‘fluff’? Constructive Criticism is what I need to help me grow. So any ‘tips’ you want to throw my way, I will gladly catch with both hands open!

And as I begin to navigate through the different genres … and styles … and try to find my voice amongst the millions of beautiful artists that are forging the way, I guess I’ll just share my little journey with you all. Maybe we can learn more together! Whether it’s just taking better pictures of our kids, or turning it into some more … I think this could become a really fun adventure.

And if by chance you (or someone you know) would be interested in having me take their photos, I would jump at the chance! At this point in the game, I can’t guarantee a specific amount of photos … but it’s free … and you’ll get all the ‘good’ ones on a disk (which has been at least 20 lately). So let me know – for reals!

Leah Lemmons - December 11, 2011 - 9:04 pm

Okay, why do you have to live so far away?!? Would love photos.:)

What you think won’t look good, others will like, and visa versa. I think you’re too hard on yourself. I do the same thing, try to figure out the constructive criticism so it won’t “hurt” as bad. I hope you don’t look at it like, “man I wished I had done that.” Look at it like, “okay next time, I’ll try that!” Forge forward, the past stays there, don’t make it the present again! :) Am I going to deep? Yeah and way over board! lol

Grace P. - December 11, 2011 - 9:48 pm

Looks stunning! I’m thinking of getting into the world of DSLR! What camera are you using? Any recommendations?

Lacey B. - December 11, 2011 - 9:54 pm

Don’t be so hard on your photography. No matter how many flaws you may see, you blessed us with a memory we can save forever. ♥

Jenny - December 12, 2011 - 1:52 am

I think all your photos look amazing Rachel.
I wish you could take pictures of my family. Any plans for a trip to L.A.? :)

Renee - December 12, 2011 - 11:25 pm

Hey hun love your new blog :)
Dont fret, you will get better at taking photos, the more you take!
Its all about the emotions and feelings people get when they look at them :)

Please follow my blog :)
Im following yours xx

paula - December 13, 2011 - 4:33 pm

I would love for you to take photos of my family, but we live in AK! If you ever come up or if we come down there… I would love for you to take photos :) You are doing an amazing job, keep up the good work, you are very talented!!!

those crazy kids

So I wasn’t totally stoked on the photos I had done of our family back in November. I got the images and … well … they’re just not my fav. So I’ve been trying to get some shots of the kids that I can use for our Christmas card (which I really need to get working on). Today I took some pictures of another friend’s family, and I had to bring the kiddos with me so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and hopefully get some more shots of the kids. So I got them all gussied up and out we went.

… but of course nothing is easy …

… but I still think they’re cute …

… can you tell I’m big on hugging …

I’m thinking I should have at least ONE photo that will work for Christmas cards … or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Over all the kiddos did decently … and thank goodness no-one was around while I took  these shots … otherwise you would have heard a crazy Asian yelling at her kids to look at her.

Ramsey - December 7, 2011 - 8:24 am

Wow, I wish we lived close to you. Would totally have you photograph our kids. I love your eye for color, perspective, etc. Beautiful photos without being too “precious” or artificial, you know what I mean?

Leah Lemmons - December 7, 2011 - 4:33 pm

The pics are gorgeous! Love the ones with them hugging each other. You’re doing an awesome job Rachel, seriously, no joking. I also like the colors, not so sicky sweet colors, like the contrasts. :)

Amanda - December 7, 2011 - 6:58 pm

Oh my goodness the hugging pictures are so awesome! I love them!

Lacey - December 7, 2011 - 7:16 pm

Aww! They look great! You’ll have perfect Christmas cards. And don’t worry I’m still working on mine too, maybe I’ll get them out before New Years 😉

Geny - December 7, 2011 - 9:41 pm

I absolutely love these pictures of your kids, you are super talented girl! Love the hugging ones especially!!! Great job mama!!

Amy - December 7, 2011 - 10:44 pm

Rach – love these so, sooooo much. Kev is sitting next to me and he says shots #3 and 4 are stellar. Helps that they are beautiful kids. Claire kind of takes my breath away.

Renee - December 20, 2011 - 2:38 pm

Ok- those pics of Claire and Charlie hugging are just adorable!
:) renee

I finish being thankful and then just disappear …

I kid, I kid. After the longest 30 days of blogging I’ve ever experienced, I got super busy with my work stuff. My birthday was spent working at a dud of a craft fair and all the work I’ve been doing for the past 3 months just sat there … such a waste … such a waste.

But now I get to enjoy the rest of December without too many responsibilities. I decided that I’m going to try and do ‘Christmasy‘ things with my kids. I’m really bad about that kind of stuff, so maybe this year I’ll turn over a new leaf. In fact, when I went to Target today I bought some foam Christmas Tree Decorating Kits for the kiddos … and also some cookie decorating stuff. I mean, the best kind of crafts are the ones you can eat! Can I get an AMEN?!

So even though this past weekend ranked super high in ‘the most disappointing moments of my life‘, I’ve decided to buck up, and move on. I’ve also had kimchi for the past two days … because if you didn’t know it already, kimchi makes everything better … for reals.

Leah Lemmons - December 6, 2011 - 5:27 am

AMEN!! I’m guilty of the same thing. My Tay reminds me of that occasionally! I planned on doing the same thing, but my “craft” kind of got in the way lately …. so. Moving on …. moving on ….:)

I’m Thankful: Day 30

Whoo-Hoo!!! This thankfulness thing is finally done. What a boring month of posts that was. Sorry about that. I now know that I need to NOT take on this challenge, but instead, I should follow my friend Leah’s suggestion of doing one big Thankful Post at the end of the month. Sounds good to me.

December should be a fun month though. For one, it’s Christmas, and two, it’s my birthday month (although I’ll be working at a craft fair all day …) Tonight when I was taking the kids to a Drive Thru for dinner, we passed some houses that had their Christmas lights up. Claire “ooooh’d and aaaaaaah’d” and I’m pretty sure I heard a few squeals. So there’s a small part of me that is actually considering breaking down and buying a bunch of cheesy light-up lawn ornaments just so Claire thinks we’re the coolest family in our neighborhood. But like it said, it’s just a small part … and I’m kinda sure that moment has passed.

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