5 Tips for Photographing Dogs

 Beginner Tips for Pet Photography

This shop, 5 Tips for Photographing Dogs,  has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FeedDogsPurina #CollectiveBias

Last month, our family grew by four paws when we adopted a dog. It was love at first sight when we found Millie on a shelter’s website, and again when we traveled a few hours away to meet her in person and bring her home.

As a hobby photographer who takes part in a #365 (photo a day) project, Millie is an important part of what I’m capturing these days, along with the rest of our family.5 Pet Photography Tips for Photographing Dogs | Five Marigolds #ad #FeedDogsPurina @Target

Today, I thought it would be fun to share some beginner tips for photographing dogs (or any pet, for that matter)  in photography. Let’s begin!

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10 Christmas Card Ideas You Should Steal + Free Template!

Awesome Christmas Cards + bonus free template!

I know, I know! Halloween is barely over and I’m already talking Christmas. But it’s already time to start getting plans locked in for Christmas cards!  It happens every year: photographers pack their schedules for the holiday rush as families procrastinate and, inevitably, miss the card ordering window. Keep reading for 10 inspiring Christmas card ideas you should totally steal,  AND a free Christmas Card template to get you started!

  1. Put on your best holiday wardrobe and go for a classic card.
    Free Christmas Card Template + 10 Inspiring Ideas for Christmas Card Photos

    Photo credit: Emily Plunk Photography

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Lazy Mom’s Guide to Year in Review Photo Books

Holding memories close to our hearts (and hands!)

If you follow me on Instagram, it probably comes as no surprise that I create custom, year in review photo books for my kids each year. I’ve documented my passion for capturing everyday moments, but what good are they on my computer where nobody gets to enjoy them?

Today, I’m sharing the lazy mom’s way to make year in review books.Lazy Gal's Guide to Year In Review Digital Photo Books

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Moms, Let’s Keep it Real…

#momreality giveaway! + combatting the social photoshopping of life

Hi Everyone! I’m Jen from Jen Snyder Photo, and I’m excited to be guest posting here today sharing something I’m very passionate about: #momreality.

We have all heard time and time again how the overuse of Photoshop is ruining our definition of beauty– warping it to something unattainable. Just like the way Photoshop skews our perception of beauty, I believe social media is skewing our perception of motherhood. We are all led to believe that our houses should be spotless, gourmet meals cooking, while making intricate crafts with our children. All the time.

This is supported by countless photos on social media of freshly baked bread, clean kitchens with happy kids making crafts in them, and other life-is-perfect images.

But what we see is not always what is real. We aren’t seeing what went into making the photo. We don’t see the mess that is just out of frame. After all, it’s what is just out of the frame where reality rests.

For example… I took a few photos with my iPhone. The photo I would have posted to social media, and the reality behind it.Join the #momreality movement, keeping it real with other moms and going beyond the carefully photoshopped version of our lives.

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Photographing Everyday Moments: 2016 Photo Project

I’ve never met anyone who has said, “I WISH I didn’t have SO MANY PHOTOS from when the children were young.” Or, “We have too many photos! We simply must GET RID of all these.”

In fact, in a very unofficial poll of some of my closest friends, the #1 or #2 “thing” they would save in a house fire would be printed photos, hard drives and/or memory cards of photos.

The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016That’s why I’m very passionate about capturing my children during these fast moving years, where each day brings a new milestone:

 

lost teeth…

The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

…learning to read and writeThe importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

…potty training – all of it. It’s all beautiful.Capture beauty in everyday moments with your family: Shoot 2016 Photography program.

I’m a huge advocate for getting professional family photos taken each year. I’m all for posed-looking-at-the-camera-smiling photos.

But it’s these moments. These little everyday occasions that I look upon and I remember.Capture beauty in everyday moments with your family: Shoot 2016 Photography program.

…BRB…I think there’s something in my eye…The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

That’s why I’m so excited to join SHOOT 2016. It’s a year-long photography program that helps parents learn to take beautiful pictures of their families, with the help of photographers Amy Tripple & Heidi Peters.

Every week, members receive an email introducing them to a new photography concept or skill to practice with an instructional editing video. Membership includes access to a private online community forum for helpful suggestions, sharing and feedback (and friendship!).

You don’t have to have a fancy camera to participate – SHOOT 2016 is available for those with a DSLR and one for those using a smartphone camera.

Will you join me? Registration ends December 31, so hurry and register now

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What to Wear: Family Pictures for Christmas Card

What to wear for Family Pictures - Neutral Leather, fur and animal prints for Christmas Card | Five Marigolds

Planning our annual family photos is always a feat in coordination, especially when we’re trying to do it on a budget. Here’s what I came up with for this year’s photos, using many items we already had on hand…with just a few purchases. 🙂

What to wear for Family Pictures - Neutral Leather, fur and animal prints for Christmas Card | Five MarigoldsLike this look for your family? Shop the look here:

Need more wardrobe inspiration? Check out more Christmas Card Family Photo Wardrobe ideas here.

redfamphotos

*Please read my affiliate disclaimer in the right sidebar. Thank you for your support!

In addition to the fab blogs in the right sidebar, this was also linked up at Tatertots and Jello,Savvy Southern StyleLive, Laugh RoweNap Time Creations The Turquoise Home, Elizabeth and Co. Vintage and The Scoop.

Loving Lately – Fall Edition

I love exchanging “favorite things” with my girlfriends, and I love the idea of passing those things along here on the blog. I’ve tried all of these products personally, and my recommendations are not sponsored by any of the brands represented.

Here are just a few items I’ve been loving lately – I hope you find some new favorites!

Wet Brush I love this brush for my own hair, but I bought a second one when I realized it was the ONE way I could brush my daughter’s hair without tears. I even got the travel size! I wash and condition her hair in the bathtub in the evening, and then brush through it with this while it’s still wet. The next morning her hair is still mostly tangle-free, and I’m able to brush through it again easily. If she has any bad tangles when it’s dry, I’ll actually wet the brush or the area of hair to get the tangle out.

Loving Lately: Wet Brush

PopSugar Must Have Box I just love opening presents, and with this service it’s like getting the most amazing box of gifts from my BFF who knows me SO well each month. Seriously, this is a little luxury subscription that has introduced me to so many fabulous things in the past.  I’ve shared this with many friends who have subscribed and feel the same way! When you sign up here, you can use one of the following referral codes to get $10 off! ABX17YZ or B213YMZ. (PS The upcoming October box includes Mindy Kaling’s newest book, “Why Not Me?“!)

Here’s a look at one of the recent boxes I loved, valued at more than $100.

Loving Lately: PopSugar Must Have

 

Comfy statement clothes I have been loving ILY Couture lately because they have the cutest tees and sweatshirts in the coziest materials. I have this sweatshirt and this tee. See? I even can pull it off after a salon makeover by my daughter. makeover with e sm

 

Gap 1969 Denim Sateen Jogger These are the most comfortable pants I own. I think I’ve been complimented on them every time I’ve worn them (and hurry, they’re on sale now!).

Loving Lately: Gap 1969 Denim Sateen Jogger

 

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Kit This one might seem a little random, but I love these Advent Calendars because they not only work great as a gift, but they also work great for inexpensive Star Wars party favors that are a HUGE hit each year (check them out here, along with more Star Wars favor ideas!). That’s just $1.66 for each favor that your party guests will actually use! Hurry though – these always sell out way before December!

Loving Lately: Lego Star Wars 2015 Advent Calendar

Star Wars Lego Birthday Favors | Five Marigolds

Quick Pouch Lego Storage Bag Speaking of Legos, I love this storage solution. True story: my mother actually made this exact thing for my brother in the 70’s and we still use it for Dub to this day. For those who aren’t so lucky to get such an heirloom, there is this inexpensive, durable solution. I also bought a mini version for Dub to take on-the-go when we travel.

Loving Lately: Quick Pouch Lego Storage Pouch

Roomba 880 Okay, so I definitely consider this a luxury item, but now that we live in a home with dark wood floors and three messy children, I don’t want to know a life without this little machine. We set it to run automatically overnight while we’re sleeping, and in the morning, our floors look great! That’s no small feat in our home, so we feel it’s been worth the price. Something to note for this vacuum though, when placed on a rug with bold black/white stripes/shapes as in this image, the vacuum gets confused. It uses variations in color like this to detect ledges and doesn’t work as effectively. If you have lots of rugs like this in your home. the Roomba isn’t going to perform as well for you.

Loving Lately: Roomba 880

Photo Triggers As a photography hobbiest, I’ve started realizing how few images I have with me in the shot. I want to remember myself as part of the family memories in this stage of life, so I’ve tried to get in the photo more. That means triggers. I have two:

  • HISY Trigger  – This trigger works with your iPhone for on-the-go photos anywhere. It’s small, so tuck it in your purse or in your car so you have it when you need it.
  • Canon Wireless Remote – I use this with my Canon DLSR camera, but you can use this remote for your Nikon DSLR. I have an older model of this remote that I’ve used for years, and am just starting to get use out of.Photo taken using my Canon Wireless Remote

So now, I’m getting more images like this. How else would I capture painting my baby’s piggies for the first time?

 

Expo Disc Speaking of photography, this thing has changed my photos for the better, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it. I used to struggle with getting a good custom white balance I could trust, which lead to more time consuming post processing. With this, all I do is get my settings, place the Expo Disc over my lens and take a photo of the light source, then, remove the Disc, set my custom white balance as usual, and go! This company has lots of great video tutorials on the product to make it even easier. I highly recommend it!

Loving Lately: Expo Disc

 

Command Picture Hanging Strips Since moving to our new home, these babies have been a life saver. My husband hates hanging photos and leveling them. I “have trouble visualizing” which leads to more picture hanging…and holes in the wall. That’s not good for a marriage, folks. So, I buy these in the large packs and hang photos at my every whim. The best part is that If I don’t get it quite right, I just lift it off the wall and reposition it, as long as it still fits on the strip on the wall. If not, I just take them off the wall and start over again. Easy breezy. I’ve never had any trouble with these, but I use the strips that hold up to 16 lbs.,  just in case.

Loving Lately: 3M Command Strips for Pictures and Frames

Living Room with bright pillows and symmetrical wall gallery | Five Marigolds

Photos hung in marital bliss thanks to Command strips.

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Please view my affiliate disclaimer in the right sidebar. Thank you for your support!


Big Boy Room Custom Wall Gallery

DIY engineer prints = Inexpensive wall art

I’m very slowly beginning the process of decorating our new home, and focusing on the areas where inspiration strikes me the most. Dub’s room is the one I have the most concrete vision for, and I knew exactly where I wanted to start when I saw this idea for engineer prints for a boy’s room.

I immediately set out taking images of the things most important to Dub. He loved being able to be a part of it in this way. I sent the images to the FedEx copy store and ordered 18×24 engineer prints. Not only do I love how they turned out, but you can’t beat the price! All four for around $20.

I mounted the engineer prints to inexpensive particleboard with a white coating, so the wood color wouldn’t bleed through on my white images. I chose particleboard because I was worried that foam core would warp over time, and I plan to have these images up for years!

DIY Engineer Prints for Big Boy Room | FIve Marigolds

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Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

Looking for custom decorations for your child’s room or nursery? It’s super cheap and easy to design a custom silhouette in Adobe PhotoShop, and today I’m showing you how.

My daughters share their bedroom, so I wanted to create silhouettes that would match the room but would be a bit unique. I created a digital background using colors from their toile bedding accents:

Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

Here is my result, but you don’t have to create your own custom background to make this work. You can find lots of super cute digital scrapbook paper on Etsy that would be perfect for this project.

floral background toile floral background toile match 11x17

Next, I took profile pictures of each of the girls. This does not have to be a high quality photo;  in fact, my camera phone  snaps leave very little to be desired! All you need is to be able to see the profile of their face – the nose, lips and eyes.

image-4

Next, I opened it in PhotoShop, clicked on my selection tool, and got to work outlining her head, neck and shoulders.

marchingants

Once I was happy with what I selected, I hit Command + J to duplicate just that selected area.

Next, I wanted to fill it with a color that matched the background. I hit Edit + Fill and chose a color from the background.cover overlay

Then, I simply dragged this image onto my original file with the custom background. You’ll notice a lot of bumps and jagged edges on her silhouette, so I used a hard eraser to smooth out the edges.

duplicate layer

Finally, I added their names using Jellyka Delicious Cake font. I had it printed by a professional photography lab, but you can also have it printed at Shutterfly for $7.99Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

To finish this project, I framed it in a very inexpensive wood cutout that I found at Michael’s for $3.99 on sale (or just $4.79 after using a 40% off coupon). I spray painted it in a high reflective shine metallic gold spray paint by Rust-Oleum.

Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

I used Command Picture Hanging Strips for a non-committal way of affixing them to the wall. I love these!

Here’s the final hanging in the girls’ tiny shared room:

Shared Girl Room Custom Silhouette Five Marigolds

Shared Girl Room Custom Silhouette Five Marigolds

There you have it – a custom framed print for less than $13. Have you created a custom silhouette before? Tell us about it in the comments below, and feel free to link to your project.

This post was linked up at Remodelaholic.

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclaimer on the right sidebar. Thank you for your support!


Snowflake

Darn, I don’t have the right lens for this…and this isn’t quite sharp. But, I couldn’t help myself from sharing this photo taken from my backyard today while big fluffy snowflakes fall outside.

Snowflake