Best Little Friends

In kids, Life, Me, Photography

These two are the best little friends and they have really developed a close relationship the last few months. As Henry has gotten a little older and is more able to interact and play, they have formed this wonderful bond. It’s so heart warming for me to watch them together and to see them having fun and playing all the time. In fact when Elizabeth started kindergarten this last fall, Henry was so lost without her. He would ask for her and look for her all morning long until she got home. He would also be super clingy and want to be right on my lap or following right along with me whatever I was doing at home. Then as soon as she would get home from school, he would run off and be happy and content to play with her and be right by her side. It was then that I realized just how close of friends they were and I love it so much!

Elizabeth is also a little mother and protector and it’s adorable to watch her take care of Henry and be so concerned about every little thing he does. She talks to him in her sweet little mothering voice and makes sure he is always very happy and well taken care of!!

We stopped off the side of the road one day and snapped a few photos. I don’t feel like I have taken as many photos of Henry with my big camera as I did with the other kids. Probably because we always have our phone cameras now and I take so many of them with that. But it’s nice to take some higher quality images every now and then as well! I just love the ones of Elizabeth posing and Henry playing with the rocks. It shows their cute unique personalities!  Happy Thursday Friends!


P.S. Elizabeth’s Dress is from here >> Remie Girl Instagram / Remie Girl Website It’s the perfect twirl dress for little girls! It’s comfy and so cute and she loves wearing it because it “twirls so good!”

Party Hats!

In kids, Life, Party Decor, Photography

As you may have gathered, we celebrate a LOT of birthdays in May and July! It makes for a very busy but also super fun and exciting time of year for us! The parties just keep on happening and who doesn’t love that!?!

These party hats make a fun favor for little guests to wear during a celebration. I adore the ones with the yarn pom poms on top! So cute!

Party Hats Elizabeth Kate June 2015 4 Years-10

They are also a darling prop to use for a little birthday photo shoot of the guest of honor, which is what I did here with Elizabeth!

Whenever I take her picture, she wants to do some photos with silly faces so this was the perfect time for that! I told her she could smile, laugh, blow kisses and make all the silly faces her little heart desired! We were both giggling the entire time and had so much fun taking these photos!

Party Hats Photo Booth Photos web 2

Happy Monday!


Supplies Used >> Party Hats from Shop Sweet Lulu

Yellow, Blue & Green!!

In Family, kids, Life, Party Decor, Photography, Tips

I’ve never met a giant balloon I didn’t love! Are you with me? They make every party more bright and more fun!!

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-2

We used these huge yellow, blue and green balloons from Shop Sweet Lulu as part of the decorations for Nathan’s birthday and we also took them out for a little photo shoot the next day!

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-12

I like to get a few updated pictures of each of my children during their birthday month. It’s a great way to document and see how they’ve grown in the last year and it’s also a good excuse for me to get out there and take some nice photos of them! 😉 Since Matthew and Nathan both have their birthdays in May we took their pictures at the same time and used the giant balloons to liven up their photo shoot!

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-18

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-16

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-14

Giant Balloons Photos

Giant Balloons Photos Yellow Green and Blue

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-17

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-19

Matthew & Nathan Balloons May 2015-5

Photography Quick Tip >> If you are looking for a fun and easy prop, balloons are definitely a great way to go! Not only do they add lots of color to the images but they also make it fun for the kiddos. It gives them something to hold onto rather than just standing there and it lightens up the mood for sure!

>> Quick Links <<

Giant Round Balloons from Shop Sweet Lulu

If you are looking for a pink balloon with tassels and fringe garlands to dress it up you may want to check out this kit from my Confetti collection — Huge Pink Balloon Kit with Tassels & Fringe Garlands

Happy Wednesday Friends!


Summer Photos of the Kids + My Editing Workflow

In Classes, Family, kids, Life, My Actions, Photography, photography workshops, Photoshop Actions, Workshops

I don’t know about you, but trying to get our personal images off my hard drive and printed is definitely a task that I have a hard time keeping up with! I just can’t seem to find a system or schedule that works to stay on top of it. I would love to hear your ideas or suggestions of what works for you in this area so please comment and let me know!! I need to improve in being more on top of this and I would really appreciate your HELP!! I just hate the thought of having so many of our memory filled photographs stuck on my hard drives and not printed!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-2

When I do have some free time (which seems like never haha) I try to sit down and pull up past months and go through the photos I took to edit and print them. This is the process that seems to take the longest amount of time and can be the most frustrating if I can’t get it started and finished in one sitting. Over the years, I have found a couple of things that do help to speed it up.

1 >> First is that I aim to get the best possible image straight out of camera. This means nailing my focus, having correct exposure and also composing my image how I want it when I take the picture so that I don’t have to crop. I simply don’t have the time to spend hours upon hours correcting these things on my computer, especially when there is simply no need for it. Taking the time to get to know my camera and how to make it work for me (by knowing how to shoot in manual mode) is definitely one of the best investments of my time that I have ever made!

2 >> Second is that I have managed to make my editing work flow super quick and efficient using Lightroom and Photoshop and processing images in larger batches using actions. Otherwise, when I do want to make fine tune adjustments to white balance or coloring I would have to physically apply my edits to each photo individually. And again, I just don’t have the time.

Once the super hot temperatures hit here, I don’t do many photo shoots outside because it is simply unbearable to be out there all dressed up for a long period of time! Of course I still take lots of candids and photos of things like birthdays etc but I definitely don’t do any shoots where I actually take my kids out for the purpose of getting some updated nicer shots of them. So, when we travel somewhere cooler in the summer I like to do a photo shoot or two of my kids dressed in nicer clothes in a pretty place. We typically do these more planned photo shoots in the fall for Christmas cards and then again in the spring or summer around when they all have birthdays to document how they have grown!

Last summer we took a trip to Pinetop Arizona to escape the heat for a week and enjoy some cooler temperatures. I always love going to the mountains because it is a nice break and the landscape/scenery is so beautiful. While there we were able to get out and do one of these photo shoots and now as I look at them I can’t believe how much they have already grown since then! It always makes me thankful for our little photo shoots because I look back and see how much they have changed and I realize that I forget faster than I realize!!  I’m super excited to get these printed so I can make some scrapbook pages and possibly a mini album! I will also choose a few to print big and hang in our home!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-4I just LOVE their laughing faces in the image above! My favorite thing is to get them giggling and then snap away! They always become my favorite of the group pictures!!

Little Lizzy Kate…. she is the one that seems to be growing up the fastest. I feel like those years between 3 and 5 are when they change soooo much and you literally wake up one day and they don’t their baby look anymore. So sad!!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-30

Tyler is also growing like a weed lately… needing new shoes every time we turn around and now has braces, which also makes him seem so much older!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-109

Matthew keeps us smiling… always up for having fun and doing things to make us laugh!!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-87

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-88

We can track the changes in Emily Jane this past year just by looking at her adorable smile and how many baby teeth she has lost. She also seems a lot more grown up to me recently!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-60Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-73

 Cutie Pie Nathan… still my best little smuggler and so helpful when I need things done around the house!

Holmes Kids June 2014 Pine Top-41

Remember to share your editing schedule or your own workflow if you will in the comments below! Would love to know how you keep on top of getting your photos off your hard drive and printed!!

If you are looking for more information on how to shoot in manual mode or how to use your dSLR to its full capability you may want to check out my online photography class >> Photography 101.

If you are looking for more information on how I edit my photos and what my editing workflow looks like you may be interested in this online photography workshop >> Advanced Photography.

In both of these classes (which are instant downloads that you take at your own pace) I am a complete OPEN BOOK about how I shoot, edit, etc and teach everything I know about photography so that you can learn quickly what took me years of trial/error and figuring it out the hard way!

Happy Wednesday!!


Henry’s Newborn Photos

In Babies, Family, Life, newborns, Photography, Photoshop Actions

I always like to bring my “big camera” to the hospital to do a little photo shoot of baby before we go home. The hospital stay is truly so special to me and I like to capture lots of photos when they are tiny and brand new. It only takes a few minutes because I literally don’t last much longer than that before I am in pain and ready to get back in bed. And because they are so sleepy those first few days you can get a lot of photos in a short amount of time!

Henry Joseph Holmes

Henry Hospital-44

Henry Hospital-8_1

He is almost 2 months old already and I am just now getting a chance to look at these photos. The first few days and weeks fly by so quickly and he has already changed a LOT! I am now even more thankful that I took these. It takes me right back to those sweet memories of holding him for hours on end in the hospital… just me and him in that quiet peaceful room. Those moments of bonding when he is so fresh from Heaven are such a treasure to me.

Maggie Holmes Newborn Photos 1

Maggie Holmes Newborn Photos 2

Looking at these brings me right back to those first few days. It was instant undeniable love…  in a way that felt like I had always known him and always loved him and was always missing him. That piece of me I didn’t even know was missing was suddenly right there in my arms and I knew he was always meant to be a part of our family.

Maggie Holmes Newborn Photos 3Henry Hospital-39

All this time I’ve spent wondering if we were meant to have another baby and longing to know one way or the other and now I know that this little one was just waiting to come when the time was right. I can’t help but know that there is a God that knows and loves us and has a plan for each of us. If we choose to follow His plan and allow Him to work in our lives, He will fill our hearts in ways that we could not do on our own. He knew all along that our family wasn’t complete yet and deep down I knew it too. I just had to wait and trust and believe…. and now my heart is even more full, literally bursting with love for this little guy.

Henry Hospital-21

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will know that we are in baby heaven over here! We are all smitten with him and just can’t get enough of his cuteness and snuggles! I’m trying to soak up every lit bit of this most wonderful newborn stage that I can!

Happy Friday Friends!


Black Friday Sale!!

In Black Friday, December Daily, Discount, My Actions, Photography, photography workshops, Photoshop Actions

I’m having a BIG Black Friday Sale and it starts NOW!!!!

Use the code “BLACKFRIDAY” and receive 30% off anything you purchase from my site!!

Photography Workshops

December Daily Workshop

Photoshop Actions

The best discount is on the Photography Workshop Bundle!! When you purchase both classes together you already get $50 off. Add in the Black Friday discount and you are getting both online workshops for only $175!! Yep, that’s both classes for less than the Advanced class alone!!

You can purchase the classes for yourself or gift them for Christmas!! The Photography 101 class makes a perfect companion gift to a fancy new camera because most people receiving a dSLR for the first time have no idea how to use it and how to take advantage of all the amazing things it can do!! Give the gift of knowledge along with the equipment and you have a winning combination!!

The Fine Print >> Discount code must be entered at time of checkout. Refunds will NOT be given for codes not entered. Discount does not apply to previous purchases. All purchases are non-refundable because of the digital nature of the products. Sale ends December 3, 2014 at 11:59pm.

Happy Black Friday!!