Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Hello Darlings!

Well, today I'm still giddy about the photography workshop I attended this weekend! It blew my mind how much I learned and all the things that I WANT to learn about photography. I have a real love for natural light and lifestyle photography. I love the natural and simplistic view of it. It just reminds me of how we see things in memory...almost like a montage of beautiful pieces that we store in our brains. Katie Christy Photography hosted this and she took our Christmas photos for us this year. She's a rock star and her style is stunning! I love how she has a certain style for sure, but all of her pictures and visions are different. I try to use different photographers for our family pictures because I just simply want different looks each time. Nothing ticks me off more then when I see a photographer who continually has the same photos, just different people...or over-edited and over posed images...NOT.FOR.ME. No thanks. I think photoshop is pretty incredible, and maybe one day I hope to have it and to use it correctly; but honestly, I prefer just good 'ol fashioned photos. I think that is one reason I wanted to get a good DSLR camera. I wanted pictures of my children and photos of flowers at Poppy Lane Design to document a real journey of where my life is at this moment. I think my husband maybe thinks because I have this nice camera I won't be hiring photographers anymore...hahahahahaha! He is sadly mistaken! For one thing, I am never in the photos because I'm always the one taking them! My Travis can do many, many things, but taking photos is not his forte! He can barely hold it still for an iphone photo! It's ok, he's still crazy cute!

The workshop was fun and seriously the best $125.00 I've spent on myself in a long time! I cannot wait to do another! We learned all the big-kid terms, but more importantly we learned HOW to do it. It combined my favorite way of learning...talk about it, look at examples, (she had a worksheet full of info as went through it) and then we practiced it! All about aperture, ISO, Shutter speed, and finding the light source. On point! I can read on Pinterest or look at YouTube all day long, but if you really want to "get it"... I highly suggest taking some workshops or classes! Also, be familiar with the "grid"- rule of thirds and framing your pictures. I took 2 photography classes in college and that is one of the most important things I have learned in taking ANY kinds of pictures!

I'm already in the market to get a new lens! (I have 2 already) I have played around with many of the 50mm prime lenses out there, and really the best bang for your buck is the 50mm 1.8, it's great and well-priced! However, for what I want to photograph and use my pictures for...I've decided to splurge and get the 50mm 1.4. It is about $200 more, but I think it's the right decision for me! (For my non-photographers out there...a prime lens doesn't have the zoom- and it can give you that cool "blurry" background and depth of field look that so many of us try to achieve.) If you are a photographer and you have your own thoughts about lenses and such...I'd LOVE to hear your two cents!

I probably should mention that in no way am I wanting to be a professional photographer. I'm really loving being at Poppy Lane Design and learning more about floral design and all the pretty little details that it entails. Being around weddings, photography, calligraphy...all of it...definitely has sparked a passion in me and I'm excited to learn more. Basically, I love to be creative, I love to learn and be with other creative souls and explore their vision. When you see others doing what they love...that love rubs off on me and it sticks! Nothing more powerful than that.

So the last couple of days I've been playing around with my camera and wanted to share!
With these I wanted to play around with light and depth of field. I love color, prints and patterns- so I wanted to play around with that as well. I actually wanted to challenge myself and go upstairs in the guest room where the light is the WORST and really get to know that manual mode and how to use it! It was challenging with that light... Also, I was throwing Hud's toy cars in the air and playing with the aperture to get a good pic of movement. I got some great ones, but then the higher the aperture, the darker the picture, so I had to play around with the ISO settings and such...it was lots of fun to actually get what I was trying to achieve. I would've photographed Hudson this morning, but every time we take a pic lately, he immediately wants to see his picture on the screen. hahaha! So I settled for an elephant and some cars.When I was throwing his cars in the air and taking pictures he looked at me like I was crazy!

(all these are using natural light (what little I had in here) and all on manual mode! yay!

These are some from a few days ago of my pretty Harlie Victoria...I didn't have much time to play with camera settings on this, but she makes for a great model!

thanks so much for reading, I hope to only get better from here!
Mandi Dawn



  1. Great job, mama! Isn't it so fun to click the shutter button?!

    1. Thank you so much, Christen! That means a lot! And oh yes! Clicking that shutter is a whole new kind of fun!!

  2. Pretty photos! I am obsessed with elephant toys for when my first little boy comes on May! :)