Tuesday’s Tip: Morning Pages & The Artist’s Way

Now introducing…my new morning ritual.  It is SO good for the soul!  I’ve always enjoyed journaling, but this is a new way to journal that I hadn’t tried before.  It is a practice introduced by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.  I just bought this book and it seems to be fabulous.  It opens with the idea of doing a practice called “Morning Pages.”  The idea is to write 3 pages of random thoughts and feelings every day…to release the junk in your head…to “teach the logic brain to stand aside and let the artist brain play.”  It can be fragmented thoughts, repetitive, negative, and even sound silly.  Julia Cameron says, “All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in the morning stands between you and your creativity.  Worrying about the job, laundry, the weird look someone gave you- the stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days.”

In the end, the pages unblock the creativity inside and allow for inner strength to be revealed.  We all have a Censor…it is the part of our “leftover survival brain.”  It keeps us safe.  We use it for self-protection, but it hinders our ability to create and risk.  The Morning Pages is a practice of meditation that gives us insight so that we can change.  It alters our brain hemisphere, lowers stress, provides us with creative insights, and helps us to free our minds so that we can connect with our creative source.  This process helps us to discover our own identity and connect to our inner power source, which gives us power to chance and grow.  It helps us to move beyond our own criticism and our feelings of not doing enough.

I’m really excited about starting this new practice.  I find myself intertwining prayer with it constantly and allowing myself to explore whatever comes out.  I hope you find it useful, too.  Even if you don’t ever read the book, you should try doing Morning Pages!  Release your inner creativity and become more of who you were intended to be!

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Bonus Tuesday Tip- SUPER Cheap & Chic Frames

I just discovered this today and had to share!! 🙂  This company sells very chic frames either painted or unfinished.  The good news is that 5×7 and 8×10 unfinished frames can be bought for about $20!   I’ve never seen this style of frames available unfinished…makes it a MUCH cheaper decorating options!!  Check them out on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/people/ShapedExpressions.  Grab some paint and some cute pictures to post on your wall!!  Ready, set, go! 🙂

Tuesday’s Tip- Inspired by the Fabulous Brooke Snow

ABC Stylized Session- "W" is for watermelon 🙂

Happy Tuesday, friends!!!  I just finished a class with Brooke Snow Photography!  It was AHHH-Mazing!!!  It has most definitely been the catapult for searching deeper into redefining who I am.

Here’s Tuesday’s tip:  DON’T STOP LEARNING!!!  If you want to be better at something, pursue growth!  I desire to never stop learning and growing in all I do…with homeschooling, with photography, as a wife and mom, and spiritually, too.  If you are a photographer, Brooke Snow’s class was fabulous!!!  I want to take her lifestyle class some day, too. 🙂  She offers 2 other classes right now and is also collaborating with Jesh de Rox in the Beloved Movement.  Her classes are worth the money!  She’s an amazing teacher who has inspired me to really dig into redefining a new me!  If you can’t afford a class right now, follow her blog!  She shares tons of great nuggets each week for photographers.  She rocks!!

The class I took is called “Advanced Pro- The Power of YOU!”  When I signed up, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I just hoped it would help me learn how to take better photos with authentic emotion.  (Actually, I think that’s what I admire about Brooke so much so that’s all I was focused on.  I kinda forgot the title of the class!  HA!)  I knew I had to do a session every week and there’d be some things to watch online, but I had no idea how incredible it would be!  It has left me saying, “WOW!”  So far, the best $350 I’ve spent.  It’s the most money I’ve spent on a class, but it was 110% worth it.  I am walking away with tons more than I anticipated.  All the extras in the toolbox rocked my world!  The handbook, the tutorials, the Q&A sessions, the photo critiques, and all the encouragement was beyond my expectations.  I have so many things on my list that I want to do and try.  Here’s a short list of the many topics we explored:

-Preparation

-Becoming More Confident

-Posing

-Authentic Emotion

-Beloved Photography

-Business Management

-Organization

-Imitation vs. Inspiration

-Resources

-Discovering Who I Am As a Photographer

-Releasing Joy and Passion Into My Work

In the end, I have seen myself well up with renewed passion and vigor for 2012.  YAY…happy dance!!!   (It’s raining here in Indy, so it’s appropriate to say I’m dancing in the rain today!!)  I’m SOOO flippin’ excited about where I am at with photography right now!  I feel like I’ve officially moved beyond the technicalities of photography and running a business…and into a new creative realm that is bringing me great fulfillment and joy.  I know my sessions are forever changed!  I know “forever” is a big word, but I sincerely feel like I’m moving into who I’m created to be as a photographer.  I am not just some Joe Shmoe who snaps a smiling photograph with a fancy camera.  I am meant to help families create moments and experiences together and helps them savor the goodness of each other.  My role as a photographer and passions are being redefined.  I’m finding greater meaning and joy in this business God gave me.  I SOOO can’t wait to do more photo sessions in 2012!!

Thank you, Brooke, for an amazing class jam packed with SO much goodness.  Thank you for being so willing to share about anything and everything photography related.  Thanks for rocking my world! 🙂

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Here’s the blog links to the assignments I submitted for this class.  The type of session was my choice.  I embraced it as an opportunity to explore my interest in beloved photography, lifestyle photography, and a stylized ABC session!! 🙂

https://raindancerstudios.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/brooke-snow-advanced-pro-class-week-4-abc-book-inspired/

https://raindancerstudios.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/brooke-snow-advanced-pro-class-week-3-assignment/

https://raindancerstudios.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/beloved-from-the-perspective-of-steve-alison-2/

https://raindancerstudios.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/brooke-snow-advanced-pro-class-week-2-assignment/

https://raindancerstudios.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/brooke-snow-advanced-pro-class-week-1-assignment/

Brooke Snow Advanced Pro Class- ABC Book Inspired

S is for saxophone & sunglasses

My ABC Inspired Session!!!

A is for arrows

U is for ultrasound

D is for dogs

Y is for yarn

T is for two and twins

C is for chalk

J is for jumping

My thoughts:

This week I was supposed to do an inspiration session…something that inspires me.  I have always wanted to make an ABC book from a maternity session!  I thought it would be so fun to do and boy was I right.  It helped that the subjects were AWESOME!  Paul is a goof so he made it really fun.  He came up with some of the poses, too, and made it really exciting!  And Amy, doesn’t she look awesome?  She’s carrying twins!  My biggest challenge for this session was that I wanted to do some outside shots, which we did, but I felt very limited because of the winter yuck! 🙂  We also jumped around a lot to vary up the backgrounds so lighting was constantly changing, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I was able to use natural & ambient light for almost every shot but 2. 🙂

Here’s a link to see the whole ABC book!  http://vimeo.com/36837467

My Favorite Lightroom Resource

Happy Tuesday!  I’ve been a little behind on posting tips due to the class I’ve been taking, so here’s a great tip for you!  This weekend I taught a class on Lightroom 3 Editing.  I happened to stumble upon Scott Kelby’s LR book as I was preparing for it.  It is awesome!!!  I’m a visual learner, so the book is great for me!  It has photos and step by step directions.

Here’s the Amazon link to buy it for $30.  Amazon will give you a sneak peek at what chapters look like in the inside.  I have taken a 2 hour class and an all day workshop on LR.  This book filled in the gaps for all the little things I never was taught in both!  I’m pretty sure I learned the most from this book!  TOTALLY worth the $30.  It’s incredibly user friendly and quick to go through!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!!

The Art of Photography- Photo Composition Class on March 3rd

Want to know what makes a photo visually pleasing to the eye?  Sign up for my upcoming The Art of Photography- Photo Composition Class on March 3rd!  You will learn the official photography elements and rules that work together to make photos better than others.  Here’s your opportunity to study and critique photographs, practice using the elements of composition, and transform your photos by incorporating the theory of lifestyle photography.  These things are not beneficial for just pro photographers but all people who like to take pictures because it will enhance your own personal family photos as well.  This class is not about camera settings (those things can be learned in my DSLR Class!)  It is about photo composition and the secret rules of making photographs that stand out.

In this class you will also learn tips on how to take better photos of kids and how to capture authentic emotion. This 4 hour class will include guided hands-on practice incorporating photography elements in photos and a closer look into capturing sweet family moments that are more expressive (and authentic) of daily life.  A class handbook is provided for use during the class and at home.  To register for this fun hands-on class, contact Jill Reid at raindancerstudios@gmail.com or call 317.374.8713.

Class details: Saturday, March 3rd from 9am-1pm…$110