Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro flower shot, natural light, curves, petals, orange, red, yellow, burgundy, gerbera daisy

Reward // Macro Flowers {Photo Challenge}

After a couple years of saving, I finally invested in a macro lens! My sweet reward for forgoing other wants and wants and wants! I’m still getting comfortable shooting with the Tamron 90mm macro, but I’m looking forward to lots of creative camera time!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro flower shot, natural light, curves, petals, orange, yellow, gerbera daisy

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro flower shot, natural light, curves, petals, pink, gerbera daisy

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro flower shot, natural light, curves, petals, orange, yellow

Love these images? They’re available for purchase in my Society6 shop! Click on any of the flower images and you can see what I have over in my shop! I’m giddy over how pretty these flowers look as prints, along with laptop covers, pillows and more!

Want to stay in the loop with me? Be sure to subscribe to Clicky Chick Creates newsletter! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? My go-to shot list: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
xoxo,
/c

PS. Do you love flowers? Check out my collection and buy a print in my Society6 shop!

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Canon 60D
Tamron 90mm Macro f/2.8
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petals

Rule of Thirds // Rosey Tutorial {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petalsAre you familiar with the “rule of thirds” in photography? How about adjusting your focal point manually? If not, get ready for a whole new world to open up in your photos!

My first daughter was born in the fall of 2006 and my push/Christmas gift was my first DSLR. Lucky girl, I know! Two new babies to love, lol!

I quickly realized the photos I envisioned capturing of my new baby with my brand new camera just were NOT happening. Total blur. Underexposed. Overexposed. Bleh. Nothing felt comfortable or natural those first few weeks of having that camera. I needed a class to learn how to use the camera if I was ever going to be happy using it.

So that’s exactly what I did all those wonderful years ago! And I can honestly say that learning to shoot manual made my colorful world such a happy, happy place! Two of the tips I learned in that first class were about the rule of thirds and adjusting my focal point. Now, I rarely compose a shot without using both of those – visually composing my shot with a tic tac toe grid and adjusting my focal point, almost always onto one of the thirds lines or the sweet spot of where those lines intersect.

Not sure how to do it? I use a Canon 60D, and it was relatively the same on my Rebel XTi. Hope it helps you!

1. Click on the zoom in button in the right hand corner

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

2. You’ll see the Automatic selection screen come up showing all the focal points colored blue:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

3. Use either wheel to move the selection to just one of the points:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

4. This is the focal point I used for the rose image above :)

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

Using the rule of thirds — the tic tac toe grid lines that break your image into three rows and three columns — visually on your image helps as well, giving a stronger composition to your photos. The point I selected above coordinates with the focal point I used for the rose. Do you see the faint grid lines below?

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petals, rule of thirds

6. Using any of these four focal points gets you on or near the intersection of the rule of thirds lines. That right there? That’s the sweet spot! Aim for THAT!  {Juicy tip, right?! Click to Tweet!}Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

Did you find this information helpful? I’d love to share more tips with you in the future, so be sure to subscribe to Clicky Chick Creates newsletter! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? My go-to shot list: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
xoxo,
/c

PS. Do you love roses? Check out my collection and buy a print in my Society6 shop!

PPS. This post was inspired by the Daily Post weekly photo challenge: rule of thirds!

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 90mm Macro f/2.8
iPhone 5
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Make It Monday // Planner Craze on the Cheap

Have you jumped on the paper planner craze? I’ve used my iPhone for my scheduling for years – iCal and Notes mostly, sometimes Reminders, but honestly? It just wasn’t working for me! I was feeling really overwhelmed at the end of the year and started noodling with the idea of going back to a paper planner. Lo and behold I stumbled on the paper planner communities out there and have been consumed / in love / aghast with all the YouTube videos on planners! Egads!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Make It Monday, blog circleWelcome to our Make It Monday: “Organization” circle! You may have noticed some of our Monday’s have themes? Well today we’re chatting up organization! And what’s getting me organized these days? My planner! So, here we go…

As much as I’ve been wanting to splurge on the gorgeous gold foil Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP), I am being practical and promised myself I’d see if I could actually stick to using a cheap planner consistently for 2 months before I splurge! I’ve heard it takes 21 days of repeated/consistent behavior to develop a habit? So far, so good!

I bought an inexpensive (on sale for $7) planner at Target the first week of January, and it really is helping me keep organized. I have so many ideas running loose in my head, and this is helping me corral it all into one practical place! What I love about the ECLP is the layout of the week, with days laid out in a vertical format. The one I bought is NOT laid out that way, but I customized it by adding washi tape down the center to create a “time scheduled” block and a “to do” block for each day.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

That was where I started. Then I decided I wanted to add some sort of a checkmark system for the “to do” section, and although I found some adorable stamps that I really want at Studio L2E, I’m again committed to being frugal. So I searched my mountain of stamps for an open square to create a cute checkbox, but knew I had to use the heart I found instead – it was a perfect fit!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Once I complete a task, I fill in the heart :) I’m just a goofy dork that way! I should mention I’m loving the erasable Frixion pens. They’re super duper amazing!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

So that’s got me moving in the right direction. That alone has helped me organize my days with time commitments and to do’s for the week. So nice to not have to worry about forgetting something because it’s rolling around in my head with a million other to do’s instead of nicely planned in my planner ;) Of course there are the occasional slip ups, but it really is helping me plan out my days.

Every night before I go to bed, I review my planner and see what I have going on the next day as far as scheduled obligations, what “to do’s” I may have not completed that day, and what needs to be done the next day. Then I review it again first thing in the morning. It’s really helping me get my day started on the right foot and certainly end the night feeling more accomplished than I started the day!

The other areas I needed to get a grip on included: 1). my creative team responsibilities at Capture Your 365; 2). an editorial calendar for my Make It Monday blog circle with a group of fabulous creatives (who are also my inspiring creative friends!); and 3). projects that I wanted to get to, but didn’t have an actual deadline.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheapConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Too many times I feel like my dog chasing my tail. We all know how easy it is to jump on the computer and get sidetracked. You jump on to pay a bill and an hour later you’ve forgotten about the bill but caught up on Instagram, answered a couple emails, and checked in with a couple of Facebook groups. Yup, easy to do. Unfortunately, I tend to do that with a lot of my life, and have a lot of half-baked crafty, bloggy and photo projects. Having my tasks written down is helping me keep focused…yay!

When I bought the planner in January, it came with November and December 2014 month views (2-page spreads) that I wasn’t going to use. I figured these pages were perfect for a “Project Ideas” page, so I covered up the month and days using washi tape, creating a grid to write in projects. Then, I realized the removable stickers we used to use when we had our retail businesses would be great to use for these projects so I could move around the projects! I add them to my evolving list and once the project is complete, I move it to the date or week I completed it.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

I color coded my projects based on my Etsy store, Society6 store, Craft Ideas for the Blog, Planner/Organization, YouTube and more!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Somewhere I saw Washi wrapped around playing cards and thought that was a great idea instead of carrying a ton of rolls of Washi! I have a great assortment without lugging them all around! I have these secured to the inside of the front cover. I added Washi to the bottom as well so the cards don’t move around.

The last piece of organizing I’ll share with you is my grocery list and meal planning. Remember how I said I used Notes on my iPhone? I would usually write my grocery list on there, so I had quite a few to go back to reference. I made a master grocery list in Excel and print 3 weeks worth on one sheet. Before I head to the grocery store, I get my meals planned for the week and cross out the items I don’t need to purchase. I use more removable stickers to plan our dinner menu for the week, and can move them around as needed. I use some crafting markers to customize the round and rectangular removable stickers. I like love color and coding this way helps me keep it pretty AND organized!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheapConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap
Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

So I’m sharing all these ideas with you in case you’ve had any of the same hiccups I’ve hit along the way. Maybe my grocery list and meal planning idea will help you develop a more efficient system for you and your family! Perhaps my Editorial Calendar format will help you organize your creative projects a little better. One project I haven’t made yet has been inspired by my sweet friend Cara at the Hooting Pirate – she created a pen holder with Duct Tape and a bullfrog clip. Super cute! Be sure to check it out here!

And the last piece I’ll share is a little love note I found in my planner from my 8-yr old. Color me happy and lucky in love <3 I decided to use some of the washi tape to draw attention to that sweetness!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // #planneraddict, paper, planner, organization, tips, strategies, suggestions, customizing, inexpensive, cheap

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Make It Monday, blog circleReady to continue to Make It Monday fun? Gotta run? Melissa at Digital Scrapbooking HQ shows you how to keep a collection of photos together to scrap later with Photoshop Elements Organizer  Check out Melissa’s post – her tips and tricks are amazing and I always leave her site with a great and easily usable nugget of knowledge!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! Make sure not to miss any future posts by signing up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list here! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? My go-to shot list: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

P R O D U C T S   U S E D   / /   A F F I L I A T E   L I N K S

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Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // heart hands, red door, beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

10 on 10 – February // Crazy Love

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, holding hands in Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Sometimes I feel like my daughters make me crazy. Like how many times can I say “put away your shoes?” or “we have to leave before we’re late” or “NO you cannot wear that!” But truth be told, I’m absolutely, unequivocally, head-over-heels, crazy in love with them!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters

They made me a mommy. They pick flowers (sometimes weeds) and lovingly hand me their bouquets. They draw pictures for me and write cards for me. They constantly want my attention and love to sing and dance, showing off their newest moves or lyrics. At bedtime, they ask me to read to them, even though they both can read, especially my 8-yr old who can breeze through chapter books, but still wants me to read to her. They’ve given me the most amazing gift and journey… motherhood. Truly, they’ve made me complete <3

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

But life gets busy. I get overwhelmed with the everydayness of life — cooking, cleaning, laundry, chauffeuring, volunteering, working, blogging — everything it takes to make our family life keep plugging away. And I forget to take it all in. To take in my girls as they are right here, right now. So for this month’s 10 on 10, I wanted to focus on just them, my baby girls, before yet another month goes by and I realize I’ve been focusing  my lens on the “stuff”, and not the most important beings: my beautiful, smart, lovely, compassionate, free-spirited, whimsical, silly, big-hearted, musical, fun loving baby girls!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // heart hands, red door, beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

I hope you don’t mind indulging me and letting my proud-mommy-ness shine through <3 We spent an afternoon in Balboa Park having fun, getting pictures of them being little girls, being themselves. My girls are my life and I love that they radiate joy, love, innocence, sweetness, and all the goodness that my dreams filled with at the thought of having daughters! Truly, I am blessed!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, jumping in Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, playing in Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, running in Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // beautiful, spirited daughters, sisters, twirling in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

As always, thanks for stopping by to check out what I’m up to these days! Be sure to continue the 10 on 10 circle and head on over to be inspired by the sweet life of Laura Bastien – she’s an incredibly talented photographer with a true gift of capturing grace, beauty and light!

If you’ve missed any of our previous 10 on 10 posts, you can check them out here and follow the hop from each individual blog post  :)

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! Make sure not to miss any future posts by signing up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list here! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? One of my go-to shot lists: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. Are you in Southern California and looking to capture beautiful images of your family? Head on over to my Styling and Investment page to find out more and get in touch to schedule your 2015 session!

PPS. I’m linking this post with the Daily Post weekly photo challenge, sharing that even amidst the craziness of our life, my girls bring much needed “Symmetry” and balance to my heart <3

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Canon 60D
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // heart shaped paper clip, Eiffel tower, pretty paper

Last minute Valentine’s Gifts?

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Valentine's BINGO, sweet tarts, candy, hearts, love, xoxo, hug me

Valentine’s BINGO with Sweet Tarts

Are you one of those* last minute shoppers? Mad dashing on the 13th in hopes of a sweet gift for your special love, only to find all the Valentine’s themed items are picked over and it looks like a tornado whipped through that part of the store? Then you mad dash around, just to buy something and not show up empty handed? {*Truth be told, I’m one of those last minute shoppers, too, lol!}

So earlier this week I noticed a meme that totally made me laugh:

Source: Some E-cards

Source: Some E-cards

So totally true! Ha! But it made me think of the last minute shopping and how so many times we get stuff, just to get stuff, but it’s not really the stuff that makes people get wowed. Certainly not like we do as kids getting the best gift ever, like my baby at her 4th birthday!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Birthday Surprise, excited reaction

I thought I’d help out and offer some last minute gift ideas for those of you needing any suggestions for the crafty lover or sweet photographer in your life! Or if you are the lover of crafts or photographer of the sweet stuff, then maybe you might want to share this link with your special someone :) The best part about these suggestions… they’re all bought online AND they’re on sale! Woot-woot!!

Craftsy is having their “Sweetest Valentine” sale with great savings (up to 50% off!) on all kinds of great classes including Photography,  Crafting, Scrapbooking, Card Making, Sewing, Quilting, Knitting, Art, Baking and more!

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True Stamp is coming up March 28th! Have you heard about True Stamp? It’s the best in online stamping classes and inspiration, with 6 amazing teachers sharing their amazing stamping secrets, tips and tricks!  Best part? You don’t even have to leave home and can stay in your PJ’s – no judging! Use code STAMPLOVE at checkout to save almost 50 percent off the regular registration. But hurry – that code is good only until February 16!

True Stamp 2015 Blog Button

Hope you’re ready for a sweet Valentine’s Day tomorrow! And maybe these suggestions even help you to have a sweeter Valentine’s than expected? Whether your someone special purchases them for you or you just make it happen for yourself, I hope you enjoy these classes!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! Make sure not to miss any future posts by signing up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list here! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? One of my go-to shot lists: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. The affiliate links provided in this post are to groups and classes I firmly believe in and have had wonderful experiences with myself. I only promote what I love and hope that by sharing, you’re able to grow in your photography and/or crafting as well! Purchases made using these links pay an affiliate fee, but you do not pay any extra. In fact, you save money by using these links and/or coupon codes!

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You are SPEC-tacular! {Feeling Crafty}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You are SPEC-tacular Valentine's Day card printable PDF, Etsy, glasses, spectacular, googly eyes, chevron, spectacles,

Exchanging Valentine’s was always an exciting day when I was a kid. Not just receiving them on the day of, but the love and care that went into making them! As a kid, I remember choosing just the perfect box of Valentine’s from the grocery store. Picking my favorites to give to my best friends. Signing each of them and adding doodled hearts (oh wait, I still do the doodled heart thing!) <3

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You are SPEC-tacular Valentine's Day card printable PDF, Etsy, glasses, spectacular, googly eyes, chevron, spectacles, Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You are SPEC-tacular Valentine's Day card printable PDF, Etsy, glasses, spectacular, googly eyes, chevron, spectacles,

Now, as a crafty mom, I love that my girls enjoy making their own Valentine’s, using stickers, markers, glitter and googly eyes! My 8-yr old had the idea to make paper glasses for all her classmates with the “spec-tacular” quote, but that proved a bit more challenging! So she settled for these cards we made on the computer and embellished after printing. Adding Stickles glitter glue and googly eyes gave these cards so much personality! We washi taped them onto mechanical pencils (a new fave amongst the 2nd grade trendsetters) and they’re ready to go! She was thrilled beyond belief to share these with her friends at school today!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You are SPEC-tacular Valentine's Day card printable PDF, Etsy, glasses, spectacular, googly eyes, chevron, spectacles, Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You are SPEC-tacular Valentine's Day card printable PDF, Etsy, glasses, spectacular, googly eyes, chevron, spectacles,

If you’re still in need of Valentine’s Day cards for your kiddos, hop on over to my Etsy shop and check out these spec-tacular printables!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! Make sure not to miss any future posts by signing up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list here! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? One of my go-to shot lists: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

2014-01-26_9698-Edit_SubscribeHere-small2

Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c