Thursday, January 29, 2015

the boys lately

Among many other things that have fallen to the wayside with this blog, I haven't posted pictures of my boys here in...more than two months. What? That doesn't mean that I haven't been taking pictures of them. Here are the best of the best from the DSLR thus far this winter. Enjoy.


What have your cats been up to lately?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a late holiday craft fair wrap up

Normally I write a holiday craft fair update post in you know...November. Not late January. This year I made sure to promote my shows on Facebook and Instagram, but I totally dropped the ball on posting pictures of my booth and writing about how shows were going. Now that all of the holiday craziness is over, I've finally gone through the few pictures that I did take during the 2014 holiday shows. I'm sharing them here today for any and all who are interested. Enjoy.


How were your 2014 holiday shows?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

making (and photographing) cupcakes

Recently I made some new lights. This has been a long time coming, and I'm so glad that I'm finally making it happen. The original inspiration comes from this post, and I used this tutorial to make them. I'm still in the process of putting together a new set up for them and hope to post a lot more about them soon. For now I'm having a lot of fun doing some test runs, as 1) natural lighting stinks this time of year and 2) I'm not taking a lot of pictures outside this time of year. This past weekend I did a little shoot with some cupcakes that I made for a final holiday get together. The recipe is available over here. Enjoy.

What have you baked (or photographed) lately?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sign up for my new book mailing list!

I'm so excited to announce that I'm releasing my first ebook - Jewelry and Other Small Item Tabletop Product Photography: Tips, Tricks, and Advice to Help You Take Stellar Product Photos - later this winter. Many of you know that this has been a long time coming, and the start of the new year was the push that I needed to finally make it happen.

You can read more about the upcoming release, including a breakdown of the topics in the book, and sign up for my brand new book mailing list right here. I'll be sending out periodic updates about the book, including the official release date so that you can make sure to get your hands on a copy as soon as possible. Sign up today so that you don't miss out on any of the news about the release.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Unofficial Goals for 2015

For a number of reasons, I'm not making an official goals list for 2015. Many of you know that there is one thing that I've really wanted during my time in Milwaukee, and making goals about other things has been one way to put my focus elsewhere. Sometimes these efforts feel like a lot of bs, and I'm trying to avoid that in 2015. However, official or not, I still find myself setting goals. And after a lot of debating, I'm sharing them here. I can't promise that I'm going to make periodic updates throughout the year about them. But here they are.
  • Increase my passive income earnings. Remember how this was my big goal in 2014? As in, the one thing that I wanted to accomplish more than anything? The main reason that I quit writing goal updates in 2014 is because this was a big fat fail. The short of it is that I had no idea how to accomplish this while continuing to scale my freelance work and without giving up something else. I also had about half a dozen ideas for increasing passive income without a definitive plan. This is still really new territory for me, but I have a better idea what I'm going to do now. Even a minor increase would be huge at this point so I'm hopeful.
  • Finish editing as many 2014 pictures as possible by spring 2015. Last year I got into a pattern of editing a handful of pictures for Instagram, editing another dozen to put together a blog post...and then letting the rest sit. For months. Consequently I have literally thousands of photos in unfinished sets in Lightroom. The first part of this goal is to get through as many sets as possible while the weather is cold and I'm not shooting as much. The second part of this goal is to not let pictures sit so long in the future. I like having a little buffer between shooting and editing because it makes me more critical about picking the best shots, but I need to maintain a healthy buffer and not let my Lightroom library get out of control.
  • Not drink alcohol unless I feel like it. I'm sure that this sounds like a ridiculous goal, but the truth is that I've never really liked drinking alcohol. I drink infrequently. It's extremely rare that I ever really want a drink. Consequently I have a low tolerance so it doesn't take much alcohol for me to feel buzzed, and frankly I hate that feeling. Most of the time I drink because I don't want to answer questions about why I'm not drinking or have people pressuring me to drink. And I'm done with it. People can think and say whatever they want.
  • Not wear makeup unless I feel like it. I truly resent how women judge other women for not wearing makeup. I also resent how women are judged in general for being less professional or less put together if they don't wear makeup. Nothing should exude more confidence than not wearing makeup. Thankfully I've spent the last three and a half years among people who don't think anything of showing up to a backyard barbecue or book group with little or no makeup. However, I still feel that pressure sometimes, and I'm not going to give into it anymore.
  • Spend more time off of the computer. Since I started freelance writing, my number one priority during computer time has been work. My second priority has become editing photos. Over the past few years, I've cut way back on other things that I do online. The more that I cut back, the more that I don't miss it. There is a lot more that I could say about this topic. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of things that I want to spend more time doing that don't involve the computer, like reading and playing the keyboard that I got for Christmas. I'm hoping that the drive to do these things will keep me motivated to get my work done and then get off the computer most days.

If you've been setting goals for 2015, feel free to link up your posts in the comments. I always enjoy reading about goal setting, and I know that others do, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Memories, Dreams, and Reflections 2014


Memories, Dreams, and Reflections has become something of a tradition around here. Enjoy.

1) Me
2) I Love You
3) Still Laughing...

4) Winter Wonderland

5) Birthday
 Apple picking on my mother-in-law's birthday.

6) Friends

7) I Was Inspired...
8) Spring Fever

9) Travel or Vacation
10) Summer Days
11) A Day in My Life
12) All Smiles

13) Autumn Harvest

14) Family or Home
15) Celebrate!

16) Let's Do It Again...
17) I Miss You

18) Beautiful

19) Dress Up
 The House on the Rock dressed up for the holidays.

20) Macro
21) Holidays
22) My Favorite
23) Don't Ever Change
24) Just Because...So There!
25) Hopes and Dreams

I hope that you enjoyed reading about my memories, dreams, and reflections for 2014. Stop by Ashley Sisk's blog to check out other submissions for the meme.