Keeping It Real!

There is great debate about social media today making people feel inadequate about themselves or their life. They see their friends having a great time on vacation or their friend’s children making straight A’s or getting an award for their soccer team winning the championship. People today are just doing what photographers have been doing for years.

As photographers, we only put out the good stuff for someone else to view.  We don’t print or post those blurry, dark photos of our kids pitching a tantrum while they eat cake. We post the ones that show that happy grin with the birthday candles glowing and all the family and friends surrounding them.  All of us take some awful photos from time to time, just like all of us have bad days. We just choose to leave those pictures on the hard drive or throw them away.  Even the best photographers make mistakes!

This is a very old picture, and although I have processed it again recently in Lightroom, it is still one of my favorites of my husband.  I have pictures with him all dressed up and posed, but I just love the smile of his face in this picture. It is a genuine smile, which does not happen very often when I try to take a picture of him. He hates the camera!

Joe Blog

While I could debate the merits of whether or not to use photoshop to alter pictures, I try to stay as real as I can with it when it comes to editing people. If you change the color of a flower in a picture, no one might ever know that, but extreme editing of people often makes them look fake.

Why I am I talking about keeping it real? Today is my 16th Wedding Anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my marriage than “real.”It has not been 16 years of perfection & wedded bliss. It has been 16 years of joy & sorrow, laughter & tears, arguments & complete understanding, question & support, friendship & love. I wouldn’t change one minute of the last 16 years with my best friend. I know I can be real with him. Happy Anniversary to my whole world & the love of my life. I have loved the past, but I can’t wait for the future.

About Me

I have grown up and lived in Virginia most of my life, with a few years in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. I am married to a wonderful and supportive husband, and I have two dogs who are like my children. You will probably see dog pictures here, but you won’t see many of my husband. He hates the camera!

I am a kid at heart and I have always been a Disney fanatic. I try to take a trip to Walt Disney World every year, if possible. You will see a lot of Disney pictures here as well.

I still have a lot of growing to do as a photographer, but I hope you enjoy being part of my journey.


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Good Cameras Do Not Make Good Photographers

How many times has a photographer taken a good picture and and someone says, “That is a great picture. You must have a really good camera. What kind is it?” What most people don’t realize is that the camera doesn’t make the picture, the photographer makes the picture.

If I had to start at the beginning of my photography journey again, I would do things differently.  Hind sight is 20/20, right? Most of us photographers are also equipment junkies. I still have my Nikon N75 film camera and my Nikon D50. I just can’t seem to part with them. I love getting new toys though. When I was starting out, several photographers told me that you can do a lot with basic equipment. However, I didn’t want to listen. I wanted that new lens and that new filter! While you may have some limitations to the types of pictures you can take because of your equipment, you can still do a lot with the basics.


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Meerkat at Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World      Nikon D50, F5.6, 226.3mm, 1/2000, ISO 800

I currently shoot with a Nikon D3200, and while I am not going to get an amazing landscape shot or a picture of the Milky Way with this camera, it meets my needs for now. What I would tell someone who is just starting their photographic journey is to get to know your camera. Even iPhones can take great pictures if you know what you are doing with them.

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Seagull, Chincoteague Island, VA, Nikon D3200, f7.1, 60mm, 1/2000, ISO 320

If you want to spend money, invest is some classes or some good photography books. Get involved with a local photography group. If you can’t find one, start your own. You can even start a group online if you have to do so. Check with your local community college or your local art museum for classes. You can even take classes online if that is more your style.

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Stumpy Lake, Virginia Beach, VA, Nikon D3200, f16, 52mm, 30 Sec, ISO 100

The most important thing that will make you a better photographer is to practice. You won’t get any better unless you practice. Those New Balance tennis shoes don’t make you a marathon runner. Only training will do that. It is the same with your camera. That top of the line, full frame camera will not make you a better photographer, knowing your craft will!

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Illuminations Fireworks, EPCOT, Walt Disney World, Nikon D3200, f22, 18mm, 45 Sec, ISO 100