This week I simply ran out of time to study and take some new photos. (I’ve been working on a new project that you’ll be hearing about very soon. Hint: I ho-ho-hope you’ll be as excited about it as I am! ūüôā

But I still have photos I’d like to share, so I went into the archives and dug out some of my favorite landscapes taken by yours truly, proving that a person who takes volumes of photos, odds are there are sure to be a FEW lucky shots that turn out amazing regardless of the photographer’s skill – or lack thereof. In fact, I love these photos so much I actually printed them and hung them on my living room wall.

In no particular order:

1. Cinderella Castle


The best Cinderella Castle shot EVER (ignore the ugly date stamp)

We were walking from one attraction to another following a little footpath, and I happened to notice that the flower hedge completely blocked the throngs of people that are literally ALWAYS surrounding the castle. Although they take up almost half the scene, I love the way the flowers and the tree frame the castle.


2. Tranquil Toledo Bend

Sunset on Toledo Bend

Sunset on Toledo Bend

I had a rare moment to myself during our visit to Toledo Bend, and I managed to capture the moment just before the sun set behind the treeline on the far shore.

3. The Gulf of Mexico


Nothing but clouds and ocean as far as the eye can see

I took this shot off the side of the ship during our cruise to Mexico. It’s hard to describe the sense of smallness that you feel in the midst of the ocean, with nothing but clouds to see, but I almost captured it here.

I hope to continue studying my newly procured photography lessons and experimenting this week. I got a new smartphone, so I’m eager to see what it can do. Plus, I’ll be spending a few days in New Orleans, and there is no shortage of beautiful things to photograph there.

What about you? What’s the most recent snapshot you took? Leave a comment below, and if you like, a link to your photograph. I’d love to see!


Last week I wrote a post about my favorite photos, and in that post I also discussed my commitment to becoming a better photographer. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time, but I never felt that I had the time or money to take a real class, and quite frankly, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the whole idea. I mean, aperture? ISO? Sounds like a foreign language.

But I took the leap and downloaded a free guide on photo composition (no longer available – sorry! But I will tell you later about a way you can still get that resource as part of a larger, more comprehensive resource).

The booklet had just a few composition lessons, which was perfect – start small and manageable, right? And I decided to focus on three of them this week: Focus, The Rule of Thirds, and Fill the Frame. I grabbed my iPhone (I’m not quite ready to tackle manual mode on my Panasonic) and began to practice. Here’s what I came home with:

1. Rule of Thirds

My son’s band performing at a local contest.

It’s blurrier than I wanted it to be. The lighting at the venue wasn’t great, and I couldn’t get very close to the stage to claim a steadier shot. Still, I think I managed the Rule of Thirds, placing¬† my son in focus on the imaginary vertical line that would divide this image into thirds. His head is almost exactly placed on the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines, and had this photo been sharper, it might have achieved greatness. (Yeah, ok – I’m such a beginner – I’m not expecting greatness yet!)

2. Focus

Who wants Arnie Palmies?

I found this product at Wal-Mart and took the photo to send to my best friend, who loves this half and half drink. Plus, it’s an inside joke between us to quote the line from the movie The Other Guys “Who wants Arnie Palmies?” (Watch it – you’ll love it!).¬† For this photo, I thought it would be interesting to put the signature into sharp focus, and I think it worked. Of course, lighting was bright and I had no trouble getting as close as I wanted. Not a photo for scrapbooking, but successful, I think.

3. Fill the Frame

Phoebe the Japeke

Finally, I wanted to try the Filling the Frame technique. This is one of the main reasons I think my photos lack that certain something. Too often, I am standing far away from my subject, and I struggle to capture anything of significance when I’m just shooting into a room from the doorway. So I got up really close and personal with my Japeke (that’s half Japanese Chin, half Pekingese), and snapped a few shots. She cooperated surprisingly well, though I doubt I’ll ever catch her looking straight into the lens. By filling the frame with her adorable little face, I think I caught her unique Mogwai/Ewok-ness. Yep, totally a word that I just made up. Feel free to use it.

So that’s what I came up with for this week. There are plenty of other tips still to try just in the single-chapter excerpt of the book I downloaded. As I said before, that excerpt is no longer available for free, but you can get the entire book, The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer, plus¬†18 other ebooks and courses in the Ultimate Digital Photography Beginner Bundle.

I’ve already gotten mine, and I plan to work my way slowly through each resource. As my photography skills (hopefully) improve, I plan to share my progress here, maybe on a weekly basis. I’d love to have some company on this journey, so if you feel like your photography could use some improvement, consider getting a bundle for yourself, and let’s do this thing together!¬†We can share ideas and chat in our own private Facebook group and work through the ebooks and courses sort of like a book club. I think that would be the most fun, don’t you? Check it out today, and let me know if it’s something you’d be interested in.

Till next time,

I was on a podcast recently discussing all things memory keeping, and during the course of the conversation, I mentioned my three favorite photos and the common thread among them all.


My husband and his dad in a candid moment on Father’s Day.


A simple expression of affection between my sons on Christmas morning.


My mom and me smiling at each other affectionately.

Anytime I’m browsing through my photos, either in my physical albums or digitally, certain types of pictures always cause me to pause and reflect. And, what do you know? Almost always, they are candid shots that capture a sweet, emotional, or funny¬†moment between two or more people.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t have nearly enough of these types of pictures in my vast collection. I’m, at best, a mediocre photographer. I’ve definitely improved since I started scrapbooking, but even now I find myself with far too many photos of rooms full of people, taken from a distance, with few or none of them looking at the camera. Or multiple shots of distant landscapes with no people and no context.

To say the least, I’m a little frustrated by my lack of photography skills. I really want to be able to capture more of the moments I enjoy scrapbooking, so I’ve decided to do something about it.

I recently came across this free resource, “Free Guide to Photo Composition” by Katie Evans,¬†and I’m excited to read through it and put all the information into immediate practice. My goal is to share my progress here on Sundays, and I hope you’ll check in, cheer me on, and even join in.

To get your hands on this awesome guide, click this link – “Free Guide to Photo Composition” or click the image below.

Photo Composition