Print Your Memories

Last year, my mom passed away after she suffered a stroke. Even though I live 6,000 miles away, we were always close. It broke my heart when I visited my mom the very last time. Just 8 months before we celebrated her 75th birthday. Thankfully I was there for that celebration. During that visit I mentioned to my mom that I only wanted one thing. Her photo album that contained photographs of her youth. Little did I know in 2014 that it would be the last time I would see her laughing. I cherish that short time I had with her. And of course I took photos. Now over a year later, I am starting to scan the photographs of my mom for my sister. Today I want to share some photographs of my beautiful mom and my handsome dad.

The first photograph is of my mom sitting on a Vespa. She was always smiling, and that is what I remember most about her.


The next photograph that I scanned, is showing my mom as she was - beautiful, young, and full of life.


And the last photograph that I have scanned thus far is of my dad. He was stationed in Bodenteich as a border guard when he met my mom. He was so handsome.


You may be wondering why I am sharing these. It is a reminder for you to print your memories. Your children will be thankful one day that you did. And I practice what I preach; I print my memories. The below images were printed at Artifacts Uprising.


Until next time...keep smiling :)

Iris (TGTG)

Not Good Enough?

White Daisy - not good enough On Monday I shared on my FB photography page that I missed the mark again. I submitted my portfolio to be accepted to the CM Click Pro Program. This was my second attempt. However my work was not good enough for the program. To say that I was discouraged is an understatement. I cried on and off all day. It took 13 months to have the guts to try again. And it took 6 months to put the body of work together.

I felt miserable because of the failure and second rejection. For me this program means that I can call myself a legit photographer. My friend and mentor, Jennifer Carr of Jennifer Carr Photography said something to me that will stick in my mind for years to come.

"I know you feel like that (validation) would come from CM, but the only person who can validate that is you. YOU need to believe in yourself like we all believe in you."

This past week I felt every emotion there is. I need to take Jennifer's advice to heart and really start to believe in my work. Maybe I should put on a sticky note that I am a legit photographer. It is hard to do that when you have been rejected twice to a program that is close to the heart. The difference between making it and not, is only 2 points! So close, yet so far.

Will I try again for a third time? At this time I do not know because the hurt is still too fresh. But then again, I have come too far and worked hard to give up on the goal. What I can say is this right now: I will not give up photography. I may not be good enough for this particular program, however I am still a good photographer. Along this journey I have discovered that I have a determination within me, that I did not know I had :) .

The encouragement and support that I received from the photography community was incredible. One of my photography friends sent me a link to this article by David duChemin (warning: little colorful language in the post). His words are right on. We will get hurt once we decide to put our work out there, however that should not deter us from sharing our work.

So, what is next for me personally? First up will be my gig as an alumni helper in Tiffany's workshop "The Art of Macro Photography". In October I will be attending Click Away in Seattle where I will be taking more workshops, connect with other photographers, and be inspired by some incredible artists like Caroline Jensen who will speak about "Nurturing Your Visual Voice".

Iris (TGTG)

Paint Phoenix 2016 (Lensbaby Edge 80)

This past weekend my husband and I went to the annual "Paint Phoenix" (2016) event. Unfortunately the weather (rather the light) was not very cooperative. The temps were in the 70's, however the sky was covered with clouds. After I took a couple of shots with my favorite 28mm lens and didn't like what I saw, I switched to my Lensbaby with the Edge 80 optic. Here are some of my favorite images from Saturday shot with the Edge 80: Painting---1-copy

Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/1000 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/400 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/2000 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/400 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/320 - ISO 400

The first photo in this collection has my first focus slice, and I was beside myself when I uploaded the photograph to my computer. You also might be wondering why I don't have any faces of the artist. I am very conscience regarding privacy.

Although I have had my Lensbaby for years, I started shooting with it only this past Fall. And to tell you the truth: I LOVE it. I know 'love' is a strong word, but that is the only word I can think of right now. Yes, it is challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is pure awesomeness.

Since I really enjoy photographing with it, I am looking for a couple of ladies who photograph with the Lensbaby to start a monthly blog circle. If you are interested, please leave a comment below so that I can contact you with details.

Thank you for stopping by today...Until next time - keep smiling :)

Iris (TGTG)

Considering the Light - Low Light

Over the next few weeks, I want to share about considering the light. Of course as photographers, we always consider the light. I personally like to shoot with natural light. However, one of my weaknesses is shooting in low light. The other day I was trying to get a picture of one of our dogs relaxing on the sofa. Our living room is facing the north side, so not much natural light comes in. I took several attempts on photographing my little 'girl' sleeping, but I kept coming up short. I could have deleted the last photo I took as well as the others, but I thought to keep it to share it with you.

Low light is tricky to handle. You have to slow down your shutter speed and increase the ISO for the lens to let enough light in to capture the scene. My settings for the shot below were: ISO 4,000, Shutter Speed @ 1/80 of a second, and my aperture was maxed out at 1.8 on my 28mm lens.

Here is the RAW image:


I processed the image in Lightroom in color and in B&W. After I did the initial adjustments in LR, I still took it into Photoshop to clean it up a little. Although LR has a cloning tool, I am better with cloning out items in Photoshop.



What could I have done differently to get a better shot in low light? Many things! I could have slowed down my shutter speed even more, because the dog was sleeping. I could have rested the camera on the table in front of me to slow down the shutter speed and still get a clear picture. I could have opened up the blinds to let in more light. But I didn't. I know now better for the next time :).

I love learning to deal with different light situations and a great resource for it is Erin Hensley's "Finding the Light". If you currently are not subscribing to Erin's FB page, I highly encourage you to do so. She is one of the master's finding and reading the light.

“You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." - Zig Ziglar

Thank you for stopping by today. Next Sunday I will write about flat light. Flat light is frowned upon, but it has its place in photography. Until next time...keep smiling.

Iris (TGTG)

Setting Goals

The people who know me for a while, know that I don't do New Years resolutions. However, I am all about setting goals that I want to accomplish over a year. This year seems to be different; I am actually driven on fire to accomplish better things in my photography journey. So, what are more goals in regards of my photography? I have been working through this free e-book "Beyond the Technical: Growing your Photography through Practice". This resource has been very helpful to me in regards evaluating my photography and where I want to be at the end of 2016.

One of my goals is to finally learn to shoot with the Marco lens properly. I was doing it all wrong...who knew? My first step in archiving that goal is taking another workshop. I am very excited about this workshop taught by photographer Tiffany Kelly through CMU.

But the workshop is only the first step of archiving better Marco shots. I want to shoot daily and get the hang of making some amazing photographs. You see, daily practice is one thing that we should do as a photographers.

My point: I always had issues shooting with my Lensbaby Pro - Sweet 35 optics. But last year, I took my camera and shot one afternoon with the lens. No swapping lenses. To tell you the truth, I loved that experiment and the LB - Sweet 35 has become one of my favorite lenses to work with. Yes, it is tricky and I still have a lot to learn, but it is fun to challenge myself.

Here are a couple shots that I took with the LB/Sweet 35 last year, and one from this past weekend, adding a Marco converter to it...


LB/Sweet 35 - ISO 800 - 1/320


LB/Sweet 35 - ISO 500 - 1/160


LB/Sweet 35 with Macro Converter - ISO 400 - 1/50

Do you have any photography goals set for this year? If so, I would love to hear about your goals.

"Taking a shot every day is going to really train you to see better and look for great images, but if you ramp things up and challenge yourself by trying new lighting styles, different photography genres or post-production styles you will really accelerate your growth." ~ Gina Milicia

Thank you for stopping by today...Until next time, keep smiling.

Iris (TGTG)