Emma-sliding-doorsmI’m having so much fun with my camera. I feel like we have an entirely new relationship. Like I KNOW HOW SHE WORKS NOW! We know how to work together to get the pictures we’ve been wanting for years. I also have learned a bunch more about PhotoShop and it is really helping me to edit pictures even better than before. That being said, now that my camera and I have a more personal relationship, I don’t need PhotoShop as much because my SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera) pictures look better when I use the settings properly. Like these pictures of my dear child. I hardly edited them at all. I bumped back the levels just a teensy-tiny bit and that’s it. I think I sharpened one of them just a tad.
Emma-sliding-door-2smSince my daughter lives with me, she’s my main model. So as I practice with new ideas, she’ll be the face you see on this blog often. Even so, I have a bunch of shoots lined up and in the works coming up soon, hopefully. I have a lot of friends who would like some Christmas pictures … I’m so excited.

Emma-face-gatesmAnd so is Emma. She recently started pulling herself up to her knees (ALL the time) and to a standing position (some of the time)! She’s so sweet and independent and quite resilient when she loses her balance and takes a little tumble.
Ooh, and check out my family blog for a DELICIOUS pumpkin cookie recipe … and pictures of the delightful little treats too, of course. 🙂
  • Katia - She is such a beautiful girl! Nice Pictures 🙂

Today Emma stayed with Daddy and I went to take some pictures of the Long family. Katia and I have known each other for … we aren’t really sure exactly how many years but it is a lot. We danced together at the same studio and we both started before we were in kindergarten. Anyway, Katia wanted some family pictures outside in the beautiful fall scenes. Her adorable little son is Jackson, and he was born on July 5 (Katia has an awesome picture of her waving a little USA flag at the hospital because she was in labor on Independence Day).

I took these pictures with the two “kit lenses” I have and my new 50mm 1.8. Mostly with the 50mm. I love me some 50mm pictures. I did edit all of them a little bit in PhotoShop — bumped up the color, converted to black & white and sepia, etc.

It was really fun getting these pictures and Jackson did such a great job going along with all the pictures we wanted to take. Thank you both, Katia & Jared, for giving me my first opportunity to practice with a family. You were all so happy, excited, encouraging and patient. I love these pictures! You’re a beautiful family!

  • Amy and Jeremiah McMahan - These are really beautiful photos. I am really glad you have found a hobby you love and who knows what it may become. These are definitely better than the photos we tried to have done at JCPennys. 🙂

  • Julie Watts - Fantastic job!!! Start chargin'!! 🙂

  • Nikki - Those are amazing, nice job Mandy!! Love me some pictures of my beautiful nephew!


  • Sheree - you did an amazing job. wow, i'm truly impressed! i love it. would you come do ours? 🙂

  • Katia - You definately have a talent!

  • Jennifer - Great Photos! Where did you find all of those beautiful leaves???

  • Christie - Your photos are beautiful! What a gorgeous family you have!

  • Jared Long - Thanks for spreading the Love through your lens —

So here we go. I am starting a photography blog. This is a place to collect the pictures I’ve been taking, to start a portfolio and to track what I’m learning as I go. I have some great friends who have allowed me to practice on them and these first batches of pictures are of their children and their families. I took these before I got my new 50mm 1.8 lens, so I just used the two kit lenses I got when I purchased my D50 (or, should I say, when my thoughtful HUBBY purchased my camera for me).

It’s funny — I took these pictures maybe just one month ago, and already I see things I would do differently next time … my exposure wasn’t quite right in some of them and I can see I overdid a lot of the editing on a few. I’m always going to post original photos on this blog. That does not mean straight-out-of-the-camera images, it just means I’m not going to go back and “fix” things once I learn new tricks. I want to be able to see how I’ve grown as I take more and more pictures.

Anyway, these first pictures below are of Meredith and Joss. I’ve known Meredith since third grade and we’ve recently reconnected over emails/talks of our adventures in motherhood. Joss was born in August and is a sweet, tiny little girl Emma likes to hang out with once a week. It was so fun taking these pictures. Meredith had some great creative ideas for what she wanted to do so that was really helpful (like in that first picture, Joss is on one of her daddy’s drums — Meredith’s idea).

Emma and I can’t wait for Joss to grow and so the girls can play more together. Thanks for the chance to take pictures of your darling daughter, Meredith & CJ!