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Photo Art Friday: Self-portrait

Well, I feel a little bit challenged. This week’s theme for Photo Art Friday is: “self-portrait”
I bet, many of you expect of me something great here, but I have been feeling a little (or a lot) under the weather lately, and all my plans for some real self-portraits photo session that I had in mind went to hell… 

self-portrait (1 of 6)-Edit

Today I’ve decided to get a little creative with those few shots I managed to take this week and this is what I ended up with:

self-portrait (4 of 6)-Edit-2

In addition I took a few self-portraits for my giveaway that is going on my facebook page, and this is one of them:

lens bug (11 of 14)

oh… and how could I not share the latest news with you.
No. 2 is walking:

Hope everything is going well in your corner! 

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Photo Art Friday – Portrait

Good Morning from my dark (in light, not mood - thanks god) and quiet corner, 

This week’s theme for PAF is “portrait”.

Well, I’ve got many of those! ;)
Every single day there is a new portrait. 
Every single trip to a park – new portrait(s). 

So I had a lot to choose from. 

No.2 is a very moody girl. She can change her state of being from very, very grumpy to very, very happy within 5 seconds. And she just switches from one to another all day long (just like her mamma, by the way!). 

Happy

Mad

Happy 

Mad

Happy 

Mad

…. 
mom-photographer-funny-faces

No. 1 LOVES balloons. 

This girl doesn’t need a lot to be happy but balloons made her exalted. 

mom-photographer-kid-with-balloons

I’m in process of 3 projects.

2 sewing project (one already done) and 1 crochet project.

I’m actually stuck as I do not have the materials to finish the second sewing project and the crochet one, well, there is more unraveling that crocheting now, so I am very discouraged.

mom-photographer-dirty-baby-eating

Anyway, 

we’ve got a little piglet growing here. 
Nothing like her Big Sister who after her very picky father is a picky eater herself, No.2 eats almost ANY DARN THING! 

mom-photographer-baby-eating-dirty-face

and a few latest shots of her:

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mom-photographer-baby-with-bunny-ears

I had many more PORTRAITS to share but I don’t want you all to get bored with all the kids stuff, and I need to start the day myself, as the magic word (or two): IN-LAWS!!! is/are circling around our home like a fly… 

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend

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Photo Art Friday on Thursday, and ALL my kids (minus No.4 – the husband)

I’ll try to make this post very short today.
Simply because No.1 just went down for her nap and I am able to become a couch potato for an hour or two.

Starting with my submission for Photo Art Friday:

mom-photographer-feet
because Bath-Time-Fun is not for kids ONLY

Following with some shots or my darlings who drive me crazy lately.

mom-photographer-kids-at-the-park

Finishing with No.3 (I call her My Special Needs Child  – the one with ADHD).
A few week ago she had a professional photo session with Black Newf Photography (click the link for some awesome shots).
This dog is a separate topic I am getting ready to write about (but not yet). I am waiting for the right mood to do so. Believe me or not, it is a hard topic for me to talk about. Not having two very young children but this dog is the main reason I get up at 6:30/7 am every morning. She is the cause of my weight going down. While those two are relatively good things the third one is not -she is the main reason of my new grey hair, a lot of them!

But I don’t want to go that road today…

mom-photographer-springer-spaniel

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

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Dance and Play like nothing else matters

So far, I am very lucky when it comes to taking pictures of my kids.

Sometimes No.1 gets tired of it but for the most of the time she is VERY cooperative.

I just need to say: “smile!”

and if there is music playing, well… then I have the perfect situation:

mom-photographer-dance-like-nobodys-watchin

 Photo Art Friday

I tried to make this picture more “vintage” for Photo Art Friday theme (vintage) but all the textures and things I’ve tried beyond this point looked awful.
  

Taking an advantage of one day without a headache, yesterday I went with the kids to the park and later that day I put together this cute movie (my new hobby – making movies)


Today, I’m back to normal, what means the headache is back and I feel like I want to shoot myself in the head to stop it!

Hope you all are feeling way better than I am!

warm hugs from my corner!

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Tutorial: “How to take self-portraits”, Part II – Focus without a remote and a tripod

While creating this video I was working with about 20 minutes of pictures and short movies. I knew that making one video out of it is going to be way too long, so I’ve used only part of it to make the one I’m sharing today, and the rest of it I’ll use later.

I say it again, achieving a reasonable good focus when taking self-portraits wouldn’t be such an issue if I had a remote, but I don’t have it and that’s why I want to prove and show you that YOU DON’T HAVE TO own one to take good self-portraits.

I know that many people get discouraged when it comes to self-portraits just because they don’t have a tripod or a remote or because they don’t want to deal with all that stuff all together. And I totally understand that.    

Sometimes the best opportunity comes spontaneously and having a camera with you should be the only thing required to take on that opportunity. No tripod unfolding and folding. No looking for the remote in our already cluttered bags…

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

btw, if you haven’t seen it HERE is PART I of this tutorial.

Have a wonderful day, my friends.

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Tutorial: “How to take self-portraits”, Part I – Basic Tips

When I was brain storming about from where I should start this tutorial, the topic of FOCUS came as the most important. It wouldn’t be as important if I had a remote, but this is the point here: I want to show you that not having a remote or tripod should not stand on your way to take on some self-shooting. 

I know that lack of remote was my biggest concern when I had decided to start the 365 Self-Portrait Project, but as it appeared later it wasn’t really that big of a deal.  

So, yes, focus… 

Well, when I started putting together the presentation for Part I, which supposed to be about focus, I noticed I keep writing very general info/tips that have nothing to do with focus, but are actually an important part of the kind of self-portraiture I’ve done.

 So, before we go anywhere further, here is Part I of the tutorial: Basic Tips. 

I hope you guys enjoy it. 

Questions and suggestions are welcome, VERY :)

Photo Art Friday, Minimalism NOT and stuff

This is my attempt to this weeks theme for Photo Art Friday: “Minimalist” 

minimalism

yes, it is a Facebook comment. One of many of the same or bigger length (longer length, should I say…hmm?). 

It is not from my wall, it’s a shot of my husband’s computer screen. The discussions he gets into turn into an obsessive arguments for most of the time. They are mostly about gay rights, religion, gun control and Obama. When he sees an opportunity to get into an argument with somebody on his Facebook he takes the chance 9.5 times of 10… and then I have to listen all about it… even worse, he makes me read it!!! imagine! 

So, there is NO minimalist here… 

Changing topic. 

If you remember my last week frustration with my computer… well… I got around it (not completely but at lest to the point where it is not driving me completely insane), and have been very busy with making short movies. They suck, but gosh I had so much fun making them. 

They are just a few minutes long so feel free to watch them. 

The first movie I made, it’s the one I was complaining about in last post. My husband says, he has never enjoyed “coffee” as much as while watching this movie :)  

The second one, I think is better, but youtube converted it into a crazy looking movie. 

The last one is from our time at the park from a few days ago. The quality is very bad because youtube changed something. After I uploaded it I got a message that they detected the movie might be to shaky (or something like that) and asked me if I want them to fix it. I clicked yes, and the outcome is horrible. So just in case, NEVER USE THIS OPTION ON YOUTUBE. :)

and just want to let you know, I have started putting together tutorial for taking self-portraits. I thought I will have it done by now but, as usual, life happened…, but in a good way. 

I hope for more “life happened”s  like that, you know :) 

So in this optimistic, not very minimalistic post, I wish you all happy Friday extended to happy Saturday and Sunday… ;)

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Photo Art Friday and Overheated Brain

I had TOTALLY different idea for this week’s Photo Art Friday theme: HARDWARE. 

I did not have the time to do it, so I went with a simple shot of a fork:

mom photographer,fork

After I was done with it I had decided not to use it and skip this weeks PAF. 

I am overwhelmed by new information and by new ideas I got from today’s online workshop. I can’t sit still, I want to try it now, and I want to do it now!!! It doesn’t work like that, though. I do not have the skills nor I do have the equipment. Anyway I had tried a few new things today, and while editing and creating a BIG project my editing software quit on me, TWICE!!!  

I am so frustrated and angry I can barely stand anything and anybody. I had spent all day trying to figure out two editing softwares and putting together a cute project. After the first program quit on me, I just took a short break and started it all over. The second time I was almost done. I would say, there was a several minutes left to the moment in which I click “save the project”. Boom!!! Everything went to hell, altogether with my good mood. I just want to scream!!! 

I just hope that tomorrow I will have more luck with it, but the thing is that I wanted to have it done tonight… ugh… Now I am not going to think about anything else. I won’t be able to relax for the rest of the evening and I hate when that happens! 

I hope you guys had a better day! 

 

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Introduction to a new series: “How to take self-portraits”

I have finally decided to start a series of posts about how to take self-portraits. btw, this post is long, so please grab a coffee/tea and enjoy! I was writing it for almost 3 days!!! 

I am not a pro. I do not claim I am one. I am still learning and I hope to learn even more by doing this series.

The 365 Self-Portrait Project has taught me how to overcome a few obstacles that many people come across when they want to start taking self-portraits:

-          Lack of remote

-          Not having a tripod (I have one but believe me, in 366 days of 2012 I used it less than 10 times)

-          Having two kids around all the time

-          Low self-esteem/Shyness

-          Posing

-          Creativity (lack of it, I meant)

-          Boring life

-          Lack of time (how can you have a boring life and a lack of time at the same time?)

I could think off a few more things but as for now those are the biggest problems I remember I encountered at the beginning. I still have some issues with those things, believe me. I do struggle with focus, what probably will force me to get a remote in a few weeks (I already found one that I would want to get). I do struggle with creativity and my posing sucks; I do have a funny story to tell about it, though.   

Having taken on this project (365 Self-Portraits in one year), in a very difficult time of my life has given me something than many self-portrait artists don’t have to go through while creating their portraits.

This past year was terribly hectic. I was pregnant, and then I wasn’t. I was mother of one child, then all of a sudden I had two of them. I was ok with my pregnant body and I really enjoyed to take photographs of pregnant me, but after the baby was born, immediately, I got very aware of my post-pregnant shapes, and jumping in front of the camera was the last thing I wanted to do.

With two little kids, where one is a “never wanting to let off the booby” kind, it was even harder to get creative or be on my own, in peace and quiet, having all the free time, trying this or that, until I am happy with the shot. I actually had limited time, limited opportunities, and limited energy (VERY limited energy). Many pictures were taken “on the run”, literally. My camera was always around and I would take it every single place we went. I just couldn’t afford to lose a good opportunity to take a self-portrait while doing…, well, while doing anything.

As a family we do not have very active social life so we are not in many situations that other people would take a photo of us and our kids together FOR us. Even if … I am always not very happy with pictures that strangers take for us while we are out and about. I hate that most people do not know how to handle a DSLR set on MANUAL. My camera is always on MANUAL, so if I forget to change it or at least explain a few things to the person it means that most of the pictures we are going to be on are overexposed or underexposed, and that somebody will be out of focus, read WE, the family, will be out of focus (and I know it from my personal experience). The outcome is predictable: those pictures are always deleted, what makes my husband really mad. And don’t you agree that those pictures always look the same. Boring. Flat. They look just like any other family portrait taken by a stranger where the only difference is the background (and outfits).

Do those pictures look boring:

what about these:

 

ok, the last example is not the best. I have to admit I did a poor job encouraging my husband to get into the picture in this project. I will have to change that this year. 

Anyway, when it is you who is in charge of taking pictures as well as posing in them you can control EVERYTHING! Don’t like it? Do it again. Something is out of focus? Re-focus and shot again. The picture is overexposed? Change the settings and DO IT AGAIN. Don’t like the perspective/angle? Move the camera, refocus, check the settings, and take a few more pictures. You can repeat the process until you’re happy with at least one photo. Sometimes it takes time but the more you do it the better you get in doing it right in less time. At the end it is you and only you who decide how much of you people are going to see.

The thing is, if you do it on your own, in your own time frame, surrounded by things you like, and maybe listening to a favorite music, you will feel more comfortable to just be yourself in front of the camera. To make a goofy face, to have a natural smile, to be more playful, or romantic, etc. The sky’s the limit.

 

Being honest with you, I do not have the entire plan for this series lined up in front of me. It’s not like I already have done the creative thinking and I have written all the topics and dates for them. NO. To make a good and informative post with a few examples and explanations I need time – sometimes I don’t have it (time), that’s why I don’t promise to publish “one post a week” with a new topic on how to take self-portraits. I will try to do my best, though. I think, it probably will be one post a month.

I enjoy doing it and I do it because I want to do it, not because I must do it. I want it to stay that way. I want to keep it healthy. Healthy for me. I had been through a period where blogging, getting comments and new followers would take over my personal life, my mood. I based my happiness on the number of comments and visitors to my blog. So no, I will not allow myself to slip into the same situation again.

You have to be aware; this is different from just taking a self-portrait and posting it here with a few words describing the photo. This series is my next challenge. Normally photography is a very intuitional process to me. Here, in order to explain things I’ll try to go into more technical parts of this process: f-stops, ISO, light, post-processing, lenses.

It is going to be a self-educating process. If there is one person out there who will learn something from it as well, I’ll be thrilled.

So please, if you don’t understand something I am going to talk about, just be patient and ask questions. It doesn’t hurt to ask and it could teach both sides (me and you) something new. I appreciate all the questions. I do want to help women to get out of the closet and be comfortable with their own images, no matter what age and shapes.  

To stay updated with each post from this series you can simply follow this blog, my Facebook page or Twitter, but being honest with you, I am not a Twitter person. I tweet rarely, and mostly those are updates from my posts, nothing else. The best way to stay in touch is to follow my Facebook Page.

I will not be giving any assignments or self-portrait themes, and I am not going to create link-ups. If some of my posts inspire you to go out there and to experiment with self-portraits, I encourage you to come back to my blog and leave a link to your post with self-portraits in the comments section of the most recent post from this series.

To check which is the latest post from this series if you just mouse over the button where is says “Self-Portraits”. Do not click on it. A small list will show up. 

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Now there is only one thing:  “365+1 Self-Portrait Project”. Clicking on it will take you to the whole year of my self portraits. Post after post. 

After this post is published I’m going to add one more option: “How to take self-portraits”. Clicking on it will take you to posts from this series ONLY. 

screenshot 2

 

My next post, actually first in which I give some real advice, not just plain talk, about “how to” take self-portraits is almost ready and will be up on the blog next week. I am going to talk about achieving reasonable good focus without using the remote, as well as how to do it all without a tripod. 

 So lets the fun begin! 

 

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A little bit of this and a little bit of that…

… so as my 365 Project came to an end I faced a decision what to do with this blog. Before this project there was a lot of cooking and baking in here but that won’t be the main topic here as I do not cook or bake like crazy anymore. 
From now on it probably will be an every-day-life photography blog with a new recipe now and then, and as you will see in this post, self-portraits are going to appear as well. 

mom photographer, self-portrait

I plan to participate in Photo Art Friday, that’s for sure. Digital art is not my niche but now when I’m not stressed about 365 Project I have more time to play with my pictures and exercise my imagination. This week theme, for example is: “entrance or exits“, and here is my attempt to it. 

mom photographer, entrance

I know I was saying about preparing some kind of series of post with self-portraits tutoring but as for now I don’t know where to start from and what to consider as important. So as for now I’ll just keep taking them and meantime, free of the stress and pressure of having to take a self-portrait each day, I will write down some advice how to take self-portraits (with examples of an actual picture).

mom photographer, self-portrait,at the park

Good news from this week: I finally received my business cards. I am not very happy with them but they will do for now.

mom photographer, business cards

And I could not write a post without a few shots of my precious NOT angels:

mom photographer, sisters playing

Many of you know how I used to complain that our No.1 has no interest in playing or sharing with her younger sister. So these days they’re becoming more like partners in crime.

mom photographer, self-portrait, watching creativeLIVE

I’m trying to self-educate these days. Being honest with you: from the day I decided to go pro with the photography business (two months ago) I have learned way more then during the last few years. I do watch online workshops, read tremendous amount of posts about photographing kids and working with families, tips and hints, and I crochet more in order to have more props for newborn sessions. 

Today I had spent my day watching creativeLIVE workshop “Lightroom Mastery with Ben Willmore”. Gosh… my brain is about to explode. This workshop is free if you watch it LIVE… so, all day today I had struggled to remember things and make some notes while handling the kids… Tomorrow is going to be the same, and on Saturday. ugh…. 

ok, last thing… sneak peek from my latest session:

mom photographer, siblings photo session

warm hugs my friends

 

Polish-American parenthood. Photography. Cooking. Crafts… and more.

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