Posts Tagged "photography"

Shutterfly Presents Photo Story: A New Take on Photo Books

Posted in Current Projects | 3 comments

Buckle up campers… I’m going to start talking photography again.  Well, not really photography so much as photos….and photo books.  In particular the new free app from Shutterfly,  Photo Story.

Over the last few years I’ve gotten pretty comfortable taking pictures.  I’ve taken classes, I’ve practiced and practiced and practiced.  But what I am NOT good at is getting those photos from the computer onto paper.  I can never seen to get photos printed.  I’m not talking about fancy prints that I can frame and hang on the wall (although I’d love that), I can’t even manage to get simple 4×6 prints made.  One time I thought I would be saving myself some trouble and I made SuperGirl a photo book for her birthday … “The Book of SuperGirl”.  She loved it.  It was FULL of pictures of her.  *I*  did not love it.  It took me a lot of time to put that book together.  Sifting through the photos, sitting at the computer and re-organizing and re-arranging them.   It drove me nuts.  I spend enough time at the computer between talking to my friends, editing photos and writing (just because I don’t write HERE doesn’t mean I don’t write SOMEWHERE),  I didn’t want to spend tons of time working on another project at the end of the day. I haven’t made another photo book since.


Until now.


Shutterfly just came out with this new  app for the iPad that lets you build and order your photo book within your iPad.  That sounds nice, right?  But how is it that much different than ordering from my computer?  How is this going to encourage me to follow through and put a photo book together?

Let’s start with the fact that because I wasn’t tied to my computer I made the photo book for this post during gymnastics (not MY gymnastics…SuperGirl’s).  Photo Story pulls your photos from your iPad camera roll, Facebook and Instagram as well as any photos you have uploaded to the actual Shutterfly website.  You click on which photos you want to use then drop and drag them into place.


drag and drop photos in Shutterfly



After you’ve picked the general design you want for your photo book you can choose a layout design for each page depending on how many photos you want to place.  There are all kinds of options from one or two photos per page with room for including text, to a collage design that will cover the entire page with your photos.  Tap the page, tap the layout then drag your photos.


Photo Story Page Layout











character layout












If you tap on  your picture it will enlarge and give you the opportunity to perform some very basic edits: you can pinch and push the photo for cropping, rotate, eliminate red eye and add some basic filters. Swiping your finger across the screen turns the virtual pages of your book and there is an edit setting that lets you rearrange the order of your pages if you aren’t quite happy with the layout.





And the book isn’t just a coffee table book.  When you order your photo book you will receive a digital copy of your book as well.  When you are building your photo book on your iPad you can add up to 30 seconds of voice recordings on each page and these are heard on the digital copy.  You can narrate your photo book! Then share it on Facebook or whatever social platform you choose.  You can even use the QR code on the back of your book to let friends and family listen to your narration while they look at the hard cover book.





Time for a Giveaway!!


Thanks to the good people at ShutterFly I’m giving away one 8×8, 20 page hard cover photo book created with Photo Story for one of you lucky readers!  All you have to do is visit Photo Story and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite feature of the new app is.  That’s it!




The contest will end on Wednesday, September 11 at 11:59 pm CST. A winner will be randomly selected from the comments (you may only enter once!) and I must be able to contact you via email in order to claim your free photo book. If the winner does not reply to me within 24hrs of the sent email I will pick a new winner. You must be at least 18 to win.

I was given a photo book that I created in Photo Story and compensation from ShutterFly and Resourceful Mommy Media for sharing this information with you. All of the opinions are my own…I’m stubborn like that.


Read More

Sunrise Photography, or “That Stupid Tick Gave Me Lyme Disease”

Posted in Blog | 3 comments

Lyme Disease Fibromyalgia


At 6:30 AM on a quiet dirt road I took this picture.  I breathed in the cool morning air, revered the silence and the incredible power of my Creator.

I took a million of these shots.  It seemed impossible that I could take enough to actually capture how amazing it was.

What I didn’t know, what there was no way of knowing, was that this commune with nature was going to change my life drastically.

I got a tick bite.  Just one.  A very tiny one.  So tiny in fact that I didn’t even notice it until many hours later.  So tiny, in fact, that once my husband took it out I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until a week later.

Turns out that tick wasn’t so harmless.  I caught Lyme Disease from this little, tiny, tick.  The bacteria from the Lyme Disease triggered an acute case of Fibromyalgia.

I haven’t blogged in a month, I haven’t shared my awesome pictures from our trip to the Disney,  because I’ve been in bed, in pain, figuring out what went wrong.

Luckily, I have amazing doctors.  Luckily, I have a history of blood clots and realized there was something very wrong with my body after just one week.  Luckily there are medicines that can completely cure this disease when it is found this early.

In all actuality, the Fibromyalgia has been the bigger issue.  Usually very manageable, this attack brought me to my knees.  For three weeks I laid in my bed, unable to walk or even sit up without a great amount of pain.

I’m on new medication that has made a world of difference.  I’m up and around, taking care of my children, getting my house back in order and running errands.  I’ve been out taking pictures, had dinner with friends and I am bound and determined to get myself to Type A Conference  next week in Charlotte, NC.

So how did this photograph….this sunrise that brought me to my knees….change my life?

I can no longer push my body to ridiculous extremes.  It is now normal for me to go to bed by 9:30 or 10:00 at night instead of 2 or 3:00AM.   In order to make it through an entire day without crippling pain, I need to rest myself during the day. I need to be more selective with my schedule so that I don’t end up back in bed.

I no longer ask “Why Did This Happen to Me?”,  I haven’t for years.  I am a firm believer that if you look and listen, you will be able to see the reason, the plan laid out for you and you will understand.  I’ve not been listening. I’ve been doing too much, pushing the limits; this is no longer an option.  It is a painful lesson to learn, but one I will respect and will not be quick to forget as I move forward through my life.



Read More


Posted in Blog | 6 comments

I went GeekTastic last weekend taking pictures up in Nebraska.  I took a bunch of pictures at my Grandparents’ house … things that are interesting to me.  What I struggle with is editing.  I want my pictures to look like what I see.  I don’t want to have to edit them.  Unfortunately, I am not talented enough at this point to get magnificent pictures, so edit I must.

I did two edits of one of my favorite pictures, both had to be lightened but other than that, they are drastically different.  I like the one that looks the most like what I saw, obviously, but I get hung up when I play around and then I kind of like the artsy colorizations, too.

Leave me a comment and tell me which one you like best.





Read More

Cloud Factory

Posted in Blog | 0 comments


SuperGirl: “Mom, you know what that is?  It’s where they make clouds and blow them up into the sky.”

34 years ago another little girl riding down the highway with her Mom had an awe inspiring revelation and exclaimed: “So THAT’S where they make the clouds!!”

Like mother, like daughter.

Read More

Apple of My Eye

Posted in Blog | 0 comments


I love taking pictures.  Any kind of pictures, really.  I’m still such a novice and such a geek that I will take hundreds of pictures of the mundane, just to experiment with the different capabilities of my camera and light.  I’m often disappointed that I can’t make my pictures look like what I see … or more accurately I have difficulty making my pictures convey the same emotions I feel when I’m taking them.

So I practice.

Yesterday I was cutting up apples for applesauce, which I intend to turn into apple butter, and thought “Oh! I should take a picture of the apples because they are so pretty and red … and maybe someday I’ll write a post about the applesauce/butter.”

So I proceeded to spend over an hour taking photos of a basket of apples.

Not gold apples.

Not apples emblazoned with the face of Jesus Christ.

Just apples.  In a basket.

It was fairly dark outside due to the rainy weather and I’m still struggling to never use a flash (detest flash) so I broke out the tripod and my remote shutter release (which I’ve never used) and geeked away.

I had no one to share this adventure with.  I posted on Facebook so that a few folks would get a giggle; but that was it.

Then SuperBoy entered the room and asked why my camera was on that thing with legs.

I talked with him a little about shutter speed and focus, aperture and light.  He really enjoys taking pictures and the little bits I’ve explained to him over time he soaks up like a sponge. (He always checks to see where his light source is when he is taking pictures so he doesn’t get “back lighting”!)

He thought that was pretty cool and wanted to try out the remote.  I showed him how to work it.  He took a picture and thought it was cool.  He adjusted his view with the tripod and thought that was cool.  I showed him the light meter and we talked about how it worked; he figured out how to change his point of focus and experimented with that a few times.


It was SO MUCH FUN watching him play and discover…and he wanted me to tell him all about it (be still my heart).  He looked adorable standing there directing the tripod around.

Then he said to me: “Mom.  You know what I love about this picture?”



No sweetie, what?

“I love the way the apples are so red.  And smooth.  I like that they are smooth and the basket is not.  I like the way there is a shadow over here and how that makes this apple look.”


*Jaw Drops Open*

Maybe I do have someone to share my photo obsessions with after all.


SuperBoy, 5,  shot these pictures on my Nikon D3100 with a 50mm f/1.8



Read More