• Mai
  • posted by Mai

  • Getting last minute gifts can be a dreadful experience. Trust me, I've witnessed and even been in the situation myself, and the chaos is real. You've probably been in my situation, too, if you're a procrastinator with a busy schedule. And at the same time, you have an expectation when you're browsing for items. Now is the time to not be picky, because everything you want will most likely be off the shelves (gift baskets, popular items, etc.).

    The Solution=DIY

    Yes, you're just going to have to settle and do it yourself. It's probably more simple than you think. Don't get scared of the time you don't have, but dedicate at least an hour to these gifts. It might even take you less time, and all you really need is the basics. Here are my favorite ones you can easily mock, and give away as thoughtful gifts.

    Gifts in a Jar-Mason Jars are always a popular item, and are totally reusable. This DIY is so easy, you will still have time to cook dinner, and kick up your feet by the end of the night. What you'll need: Mason jars, candy, and ribbons. Toss in a mix of candies, close the lid, and tie a lovely bow around the cap. They come out looking great. What I did here was slightly different, all I added was an already custom plastic bag around the jar to give it some creativity.

  • Last Minute DIY Halloween Gifts

  • Bags of Treats-Talk about easy packaging! These are just cute and ready to go. What you'll need: Plastic gift bags, candy, and ribbons.
    Most gift bags are already custom made with designs, and usually come with the closure as well. The ribbon adds a nice touch, but you can also design laundry pins to clip them as I have below. Personalize it any way you want. Here, I quickly hand painted the pin, and engraved my daughter's name.

  • Last Minute DIY Halloween Gifts





  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • I'm going to introduce some posts over the next few days that have to do with color. The first term is something called color cast.

    According to Wikipedia, a color cast is a tint of a particular color, usually unwanted, which affects a photographic image evenly. What's important to note, in general, the human eye does not notice the unnatural color, because our eyes and brains adjust and compensate for different types of light in ways that cameras cannot.

    I won't get into what causes this or how to fix it tonight, as I'm trying to introduce one term at a time. Look for future tips that discuss the temperature of light, measured in Degree Kelvin, and what white balance is and how it can help overcome these color casts.

    I took the below photo as an example at the Riedel Glass Wine Tasting event. In this photo example of color cast, you will see the bottom photo has a yellow cast to it, a warm glow. This is often caused my incandescent lights and when these lights are taken into account, you can get a photo such as the top one, where it matches much closer to what our eyes really saw. You can really notice the cast when you know that the chairs and the table cloths were white, believe it or not!

  • color cast photo example

  • You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Today we're going to talk about showing contrasting sizes especially in baby photos in order to document their growth in those early years.

    We love to use contrasting sized props or parts of bodies to show how little babies are in photographs. A baby by itself in a photo is adorable but we love to show just how tiny these little wonders are by showing them next to something big...like Daddy. Or, another super cute way to show this is by placing baby's tiny feet in Daddy's hand.


  • In this case, we placed Aiden's little baby hand in Mommy and Daddy's (Jhanea and Lawrence's) adult hands to show just how tiny he is.

  • Contrasting Sizes in photos

  • One of other favorite things to do with baby photos is to show their growth. In this case with baby Andi, we photographed her in her same little newborn crib as a newborn, at 3 months, 6 months and then at 9 months when she barely could squeeze into it anymore. Isn't she too cute?! And, what a great way to show what a big girl she is becoming.

  • Contrasting Sizes in photos

  • Try this at home with your own baby photos. You can put your little one next to Daddy's shoes or gloves or something of the sort to show just how tiny they are in comparison.

    We'd love to see what you come up with! Please be sure to send in your photos as you try out our tips. Email your entries to info@memoryjournalists.com or post to our facebook page.

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • We've previously talked about the importance of taking detail photos to enhance the overall story you're telling. Today, we're going to continue this discussion and show how these details can be used to create some wonderful photo storyboards.

    This first example was of my personal vacation to Aruba. Surprisingly, Aruba's southern coast is very desert like. I knew that most would be surprised, as I was, so I took many close-up pictures of details that would convey the habitat.

  • Creating Photo Storyboards

  • I for one am a huge proponent of series photos. I think/feel they are very telling of personalities. In this case, Dan and Hiroko have a relationship that is full of laughter.

  • Creating Photo Storyboards

  • Sometimes something as easy as getting the front and back sides of the action going on is more telling of the story and makes for great sequence shots.

  • Creating Photo Storyboards

  • These goof-balls are so much fun that I couldn't help my temptation to showcase their interaction in a series of photographs.

  • Creating Photo Storyboards

  • I love creating storyboards. They are one of my favorite things to do after all shoots. So much can be said in just a slight variation of a photograph. Don't delete that digital image just because it may seem too close to the one you just shot...you could use it to put together a fun storyboard!

    We'd love to see what you come up with! Please be sure to send in your photos as you try out our tips. Email your entries to info@memoryjournalists.com or post to our facebook page.

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Today we're going to talk about perspective and how it can be used to tell a story. What is perspective you ask? Well it's mostly about moving your feet and your body.

    In this first example, Carie took pictures of many angles of Rocco and Ty playing. As you see in the first photo, you can't really tell the difference in size. You might guess in the second photo, but by the third photo you have no doubt how much smaller Rocco is verses Ty. First, these photos wouldn't have been possible if Carie just stood still and waited for the dogs to move around her. Second, having these different perspectives adds an element of mystery and tells a story.

    You have to move yourself....move your feet.

  • Using perspective in photos

  • Next, Natalie and Ryan were in the battered warehouse at the Old Sugar Mill. While I was inside, Teresa quickly ran outside and came up with the 2nd photo in this series. Two completely different photos and perspectives by just moving our feet.

  • Using perspective in photos

  • Teresa and I again have two completely different perspectives. Which do you like better?

  • Using perspective in photos

  • The lesson to learn from these examples is to be mobile. Find out what something looks like from the top, the side, the bottom. Use different perspectives to tell a story. Yes lay on the ground and get dirty! Swing from rafters. Take a few risks. And move your feet!

    We'd love to see what you come up with! Please be sure to send in your photos as you try out our tips. Email your entries to info@memoryjournalists.com or post to our facebook page.

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!


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