Are you in need of Photosanity?

Hey everyone!

I’m really excited to let you know about a new workshop I’m going to be helping with!

Do you love taking photos of your kids but are frustrated with the results? Do you have thousands of photos on your hard drive but don’t know what to do with them? Frustrated and overwhelmed with all your photos? Take the online Photosanity workshop for parents!

The Photosanity workshop is an amazing, online workshop for parents that will help you take better photos AND get a handle on organizing, editing and sharing them too! The next 12-week course will begin soon–on September 13!

The workshop is taught by NYC family photographer and mom Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick. And guess what? I have just been brought on board to be one of the mentors! I am really excited about helping parents get a grasp on using their camera to create priceless memories of their children, so I would love to have some of you join me! I will be helping you get the most out of the workshop by personally reviewing your images and giving suggestions on how you can make them better! If you’re not ready to start so soon, the next workshop will be starting late October–I’ll keep you posted!

For more information, please take a look at the Photosanity workshop website at

**Use discount code LNP20 at checkout for a 20% discount on the fall workshop which starts on September 13th.**

You can also sign up for a FREE webinar recording ( on Alethea’s top 5 tips for taking better photos of your kids, and organizing and sharing your photos too! Whether or not you’re interested in signing up for the workshop, the free webinar is a great opportunity to pick up a few tips that can make a difference in your photography right away.

I hope to see you there!


National Teen Leadership Program and Colonial Williamsburg, VA


What are you up to this weekend?

I’m spending the next several days at Endicott College to be a staff member and small group leader for the National Teen Leadership Program! It’s a really awesome program where high school students learn about diversity, responsibility, and being a member of their community. I participated in NTLP as a high school student and love that I’m able to give back to so many students, just as my group leaders did for me!

And what’s extra-special is that 2011 is NTLP’s 20th anniversary! That’s right–next year we’ll be legal! ;) 2011 also marks a new chapter for NTLP, as the camp I’m staffing this weekend is the first one to take place on the east coast! Yahoo!!

Since I never can get enough of the east coast, I’m going to leave you with some images I took when I visited Colonial Williamsburg while I was still out in Norfolk. I went for a day, not really knowing what to expect, but had a ton of fun exploring the historical town! And I had a super delicious crab omelet for lunch. Yummy!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Happy Tails for JJ

Hey Everyone!

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer so far! It’s actually been on the warmer side of things here in SoCal, and I’ve been soaking it up as much as possible!

I wanted to let you know about an awesome fundraiser that Angela of Powell Woulfe Photography is organizing for a military family.

JJ Proffitt is an adorable three-year-old who was diagnosed with autism just under a year ago. In addition to showing communication symptoms, JJ exhibits concerning behaviors such as throwing himself off furniture and escaping from the family’s home. JJ’s mother, Kristin, discovered Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA) earlier this year and immediately applied for a service dog for JJ. The Proffitt family has been approved for a service dog, and is now in the process of raising the $13,500 it will take to raise and train the dog to suit JJ’s needs. Kristin believes that the service dog may provide JJ a sense of security and a measure of safety. You can read testimonials from families who were recipients of ASDA dogs here.

Joshua, JJ’s father, is serving as an active-duty Sergeant in the United States Army. With a year-long deployment in the near future, the Proffitt family is hoping to obtain the service dog prior to Joshua’s departure. There’s no question that deployments cause an immeasurable about of stress on family members left behind, and I’m certain that having a service dog will help JJ thrive during his daddy’s next tour.

This is where Angela’s fundraiser comes to play. :)

On Sunday, July 24, Angela is gathering a group of photographers (including myself) to donate their time and take affordable, professional portraits of families at the Orange County Photography Center in Brea, CA. Clients will recieve a mini-session (15 minutes in length) for up to 4 people, with a suggested donation of $25. After the event, the photographers will choose 5 photographs of each family to upload to an online viewing gallery, with the option of purchasing affordably-priced prints and downloads. We’ll be shooting from 10am until 5pm, and you can reserve a spot by calling Angela at 760-317-9752.

What: Happy Tails for JJ – A Portrait Benefit Event
When: 10am – 5pm on Sunday, July 24
Where: The Orange County Photography Center, 590 W. Central Avenue, Suite A, Brea, CA 92821
Want more info?
Click here to download the event flyer.
You can read more about JJ’s story here and the Proffitt family here.
And feel free to check out this article!


I hope to see you there!


Auto vs Manual Exposure

Alright, everyone. A question: How many of you own a DSLR? Ok, now, of those of you who said yes or raised a hand, how many of you put it on auto mode and fire away, hoping for good results? I bet more than half of your would also answer yes to the second question.

Here’s some food for thought.

As you know, I was in Texas last weekend for my birthday. Sunday night, my parents cooked up some dinner and we celebrated with a homemade cake. (It was delicious by the way!) My lovely Aunt Margaret offered to take a shot of me and my BFF, Madelyn (whom I’ve known since kindergarten!) as the cake was aflame. Since I was holding said flaming cake, I put my camera on P mode before handing it over. (Sidenote: in the Nikon world, P stands for “Program,” which is the “professional” word for Auto mode.) Here’s what we got:

Total yikes, right??

The camera saw the flames on the candles and was confused by how bright they were in comparison to the rest of the room, which was dark (especially in comparison to the candles). Good thing I asked to check on the exposure!

I quickly decided it would be better for me to expose manually in this situation. I put the camera back into manual mode, pointed it toward my aunt and uncle who were sitting across the table, and exposed for the ambient light. I passed the camera back to Margaret, and this is what she captured:

MUCH better!! I took the image into Lightroom, adjusted for the funky white balance (FYI: compact fluorescent light bulbs produce just as nasty light as regular fluorescent bulbs), bumped up the contrast and brightness, and was able to pull this out:

Yahoo! :)

So, what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the thing. When your camera is in auto mode, it’s doing all the thinking for you. It is a machine after all. When your camera is in manual mode, you are the one doing the thinking. It’s the difference between taking a picture and making a picture. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I think so!

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” –Ansel Adams



p.s. Another good thing about shooting in manual mode is that, since you are doing the thinking instead of your camera, your camera is able to process the information–and the images–more quickly. This may or may not be important if you are photographing landscapes or still objects, but I sure as heck don’t want a slow camera on my hands if I’m photographing a major event! *cough, cough, weddings! The more settings you input manually (including white balance, ISO, etc), the faster your camera will process the data. Cool, huh?

p.p.s. Scared?? It’s ok–I was too! I’ve owned an SLR since I was in high school, but it wasn’t until I took a real photography class a few years ago that I began shooting in manual mode. But, once I did, a whole new world opened up! Trust me when I say that, if you try it, you will fall in love with photography in a totally new way! Now, get out there and make some pictures! I’d love to hear how it goes! Leave me a note in the comments below if you have questions, are feeling inspired, or just want to chat! Keep in touch! <3

Happy Memorial Day 2011

Last week, I spent an afternoon at Nauticus and aboard the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk. The battleship Wisconsin is one of the largest battleships that the U.S. Navy built and was first used during World War II. She was decommissioned in September 1991 after serving during Operation Desert Storm earlier that year, and has been berthed adjacent to Nauticus since 1998.

Happy Memorial Day! Please take a moment to remember the Marines, Airmen, Soldiers, and Sailors who sacrificed everything in the name of this wonderful country.

Today is also my birthday! Here’s the cake that my mom baked for me yesterday. We celebrated my birthday dinner a day early by grilling burgers and enjoying this cake with my mom’s delicious, homemade ice cream. Yum! Happy Birthday to ME! :)

Have a great week!