Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer

Adventures of a new Soccer Mom

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccerI honestly never thought I’d have the title of “Soccer Mom” but I do indeed! Both of my girls started soccer this season for the first time ever. Their first games were this past Saturday and both my girls did fantastic!

My 5-year old baby is on the “Mighty Mermaids” and I have to say all these little girls are just so adorable! They played their hearts out in some pretty high heat. They did amazing, scoring several goals and getting a great feel for the game.

Part of the first weekend of games includes “Opening Day” – including team photos, food booths, soccer gear and accessories vendors, games, and overall family fun. Oh, and a team banner competition!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccerConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer

Yes, yours truly made the “Mighty Mermaids” banner! When I heard a “banner” was needed for the team, I honestly envisioned the type of banners I make, like the ones here, here or here. So I offered to help out. Shocked is putting it mildly when I found out it would be a 5′ by 3′ banner, and either vinyl or felt. Say wha…? I was thinking cute paper!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer

So after a little coaching from a seasoned-soccer-banner-making-mom on my 7-year olds team, I headed to Joann’s for fabric (felt), fabric glue, and puffy paint, then headed to Home Depot for PVC and rebar. It took a couple of fairly dedicated days to get it done, but I love the way it came out and we won 2nd place! Woot woot!

So there you have it… the start of my adventures as a (new) soccer mom 🙂 We made a deal with the girls to commit to the full season, but we’ll see where we go from here! One game down and a full season to go… Wish us luck!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Adventures in soccer

Photo Tip: If you’re planning to photograph kid sports, be sure to use a telephoto / zoom lens. You’ll get greater variety in your photos, from wide shots getting all the action, to close ups zeroing on their cute faces! I used Canon 60D with Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 for these soccer shots!

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 🙂

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

PS. To check out other adventures, head over to the Daily Post “Adventures” photo challenge! Curious for more? Check out my previous photo challenge entries!

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Pinterest Inspiration in Action {Feeling Crafty}

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Back in high school (waaaaay back in the late ’80’s) I would clip magazine ads I liked and glue them to a poster board. It may have been the fashion, or the hair, or the destination, or the words. Whatever it was, it was inspiration. In the ’90’s, I had a notebook I would tape magazine or catalog clippings into. I included wedding ideas, travel destinations, home design and decor. Again, inspiration. Today we have the internet, and more specifically, Pinterest to corral all those beautiful finds!

Do you use Pinterest? I love checking it out for inspiration and ideas in a variety of areas: crafts, recipes, party planning, photography posing, photo angles / POV, clothing ideas for clients, and loads more!

I’ve been wanting to share these ideas with you since last summer… crazy how fast time flies! Over the last year, I used these inspirational finds to create goodies: 1. treats for my kindergartener’s last day of school and for my pre-schoolers graduation, too; 2. invites for my sister’s baby shower; and 3. a card for my sister’s baby shower. I love how all three projects came out… what do you think? Take a look below and let me know in the comments!

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I was a bit short on time (as usual!) so the graduation caps I made last year are a far cry from what they could’ve been, but the kids gobbled them up and loved them nonetheless. The caps made this year had a little more TLC as I allocated a little more time to make them.

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Graduation Cap Candies

They’re pretty simple to make. You’ll need:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Reese’s PB cups miniatures
  • Ghiradelli chocolate squares
  • M&Ms or Skittles
  • Twizzlers or sour string type candy for tassel
  • Wilton melting chocolates
  • Florist foam (Michael’s or Vons florist sells them too!)
  1. Cool Reeses’s cups in fridge before removing wrapping (cleaner/less chocolate sticking to wrapper)
  2. Let cups come to room temp then place lollipop sticks in center of top/wider section
  3. Melt Wilton chocolates.
  4. Add dab of melted chocolate to center of flat side of Ghiradelli chocolate square, add tassel and M&M
  5. Add thin layer of melted chocolate on bottom of PB cup and stick to Ghiradelli square.
  6. Graduation caps are ready for festivities!

I get florist foam at Vons, size it to a glass bread pan, cover foam with colorful gift tissue and stick it in the pan. Voila!


Baby Shower Invites and Decor

The invites were so much fun to make last summer. I can’t believe my nephew is turning one so soon! He is such a sweetheart and absolute cutie pie! We went with the ever trendy and popular mustaches for the theme. Cute, right?!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations


Baby Shower Card

As mentioned, I’ve been wanting to blog about these Pinterest inspired items for so long…  I actually already blogged about this card! Check it out HERE.

ClickyChickCreates.com // Sweet Blessing baby boy shower card with onesies on a clothesline

Have you found any internet or Pinterest inspiration lately that you’ve put in action? I’d love to see it! If you’d like to check out my Pinterest boards, check them out here. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on photography inspiration I found on Pinterest and how I use it before heading out to photo sessions with clients!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! And if you haven’t signed-up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list yet, whatcha waiting for? Besides getting updates anytime a new blog post goes up, you’ll also get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you! Sign up here. {Password is sent via email when you sign up for the email list 🙂 }

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
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!

Summer Action Shots {Photo Fridays}

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Truth be told, I always shoot in manual mode, and most always with a very wide aperture (small f-number). It’s awesome when I want to let a lot of light in or when I want a nice shallow depth of field (blurry background). Not so great for photographing kids on the run, enjoying games and overall, lots of action.

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If I leave my settings as usual (f/1.4 to f/2.8) for these types of shots, I end up with a lot of blurry and out-of-focus shots. Sound familiar? Yup, me too. So, I had to get out of my comfort zone for these and changed up my settings. To get good action shots of your friends or kiddos this summer, here are my tips…

1. Go Speed Racer!
Make sure you bump up your shutter speed. In a summer tips webinar, my friend Katrina Kennedy shared the shutter speed rule of thumb:
1/125 stops everyday motion
1/500 stops most kids motion
1/1000 stops most bikes, runners and cars

I opened up the aperture to f/5.6 (okay, still not super wide, but a shift for me!) and made sure my shutter speed was bumped up between 1/500 and 1/400 of a second. I wanted to get my girls in focus and stop the action, but still have a bit of a blurred background, and these settings definitely fit the bill!

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Besides my camera settings, the other two things that really helped get these shots:

2. Location, location, location
When the kids were in line for the slip-n-slide, I scoped out the scene and found a spot pretty close to the finishing spot on the mat, but a few feet back so I was out of harms way. And by harm I mean water : ) What a shame that would’ve been to get my camera wet!

3. The Lens, Baby
Okay, another confession… When I first got my Tamron 18-270 (a couple of years ago), I was not pleased. I was using it indoors in the evening and even though I had it as wide as it would go (f/3.5), it just wasn’t giving me what I wanted or expected from my new purchase. I went as far as taking it back to the camera shop for inspection and possible repair. I was given another exact same lens to test mine against. I went outside the store and took some shots of the same subjects in the daylight and they were great from both lenses. Then it hit me – that lens sucks for indoor photography (flash-free), but is awesome for outdoor photos with lots of natural light. So, long way of saying I do enjoy using that lens when photographing outdoors — anything from traveling to amusement parks to my girls just hanging in the backyard. It has great zoom and was fabulous to get those close face shots without worrying about getting caught in the water splashes!

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Hope these tips help you get the shots you want! Shots of moments that fill your summer with  special memories that fill your hearts, along with your frames and photobooks and scrapbooks!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

Photo Session: I + P Sneak Peek!

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I had the best time on Sunday photographing this phenomenally good looking mother and son! We met at a park / playground overlooking the ocean in southern California. It was a thick overcast type of day, but it provided beautiful light to capture this gorgeous duo!

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5468-5307-5366-5393-5465_PRESTON-SPORTS-2To say that P is a bit of a sporty kid is like saying the Pope is a little religious. P is a total athlete! Football. Baseball. Basketball. And I’m sure there are others that my mental filing system has misplaced! We had the best time as he did what he loves to do – play ball!

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And this supermom here? She defines beauty, strength, resilience and determination. I’ll let the cat out of the bag… she’s my cousin! And yes, she may be a few years younger than I am, but so many times I am in awe of her maturity, her wisdom, and her balanced perspective. I’m lucky to not only call her family, but to also call her my friend. I absolutely love I & P! And how can you not love someone who can rock those boots? Yup, she’s the whole package – beauty, brains, soulful and creative : )

Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c