Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Seaport Village San Diego nighttime photography

Nighttime // Seaport Village {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Seaport Village San Diego nighttime photography

The year-long “Practice” photography class I’m taking with Katrina Kennedy over at Capture Your 365 challenges me every month by being behind the lens with intention. Last month, the subject was Landscape photography and I realized that as much as I love landscapes, I just don’t do many of them. Nowadays, seems I direct my lens at people much more often than scenery 🙂

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Seaport Village San Diego nighttime photography

So I headed out to Seaport Village, a tourist spot on the harbor near downtown San Diego. I once owned a retail clothing store there, so it’s definitely my old stomping grounds!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Seaport Village San Diego nighttime photography

Maybe it’s because I expect more from myself, but I was really challenged with the landscape exercise, but probably more so because I arrived so late!

PHOTO TIP: Heading out for nighttime photography? Be sure to bring along a handy tripod, even an inexpensive one, for slow shutter speed, letting in plenty of light!

Do you photograph with intention? Being in “Practice” keeps me shooting intentionally and growing as a photographer. There is now mid-year pricing on the class. Check it out!

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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

PS. The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Nighttime inspired this post! Be sure to check out other interpretations of nighttime and my other entries into previous challenges!

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
Targus Tripod
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey

What’s for Breakfast? {Photo Tip}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honeyIt’s summertime, well really, it’s kind of a perpetual summer in San Diego, but I digress… It’s summertime and it’s a great time to enjoy the flavors of the season, but more importantly the time with my girls. No crazy rush-rush-get-out-the-door schedules to adhere to, so it’s a perfect time to linger in the kitchen prepping breakfast with a little extra love.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey

Our breakfast parfaits include layers of: Greek yogurt, honey, fresh cut berries, granola, and repeat the layers again!

Photo Tip: When photographing food, be sure to get nice and close (as close as your lens will focus), like you’re about to take a bite through your lens!

What changes about your meals or your schedule in general over summer? I’d love to hear, so let me know in the comments!

And I should point out the elephant in the room, right? The blog redesign? I’ve been wanting to change things up a bit on the blog and when I saw this new theme “Pictorico”, my heart skipped a beat and I knew I just had to give it a whirl! Whatcha think? Hopefully you like it! I’ll be making some tweaks along the way, so if you have some suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em!

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? You’ll get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you 🙂  {Password is sent to you 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
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Guest Blogging…

I’m not really a digi-scrapper, I just play one on TV. Just kidding! I’m actually super honored to be guest blogging over at my friend Melissa’s site, Digital Scrapbooking HQ. Although I will occasionally dabble in creating word art or adding texture layers to my photos in Photoshop, I’m a tried and true paper crafter. So what do I have to offer digi-scrappers? Photography tips! I shared some of my favorite kid photography tips, so check it out here!

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

Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

Parfaits! {Photo Fridays}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

My daughters absolutely love berries. Mostly strawberries and blueberries, sometimes raspberries and blackberries. And they love making smoothies or parfaits with berries. Who wouldn’t?! They are quite tasty, after all!

Today we actually made strawberry and mango smoothies, but truth be told, the girls were not willing to be patient and wait for me to get some photos! They just weren’t having any of it, and inhaled them before I could grab my camera upstairs! I think I even heard my little one say “ugh, brain freeze!”

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

But while we were making the smoothies, I remembered these shots of parfaits we made. I started thinking about some of the food photography posts I’ve written here and here, and how I’ve truly taken to heart the lesson I learned about getting so close to food shots that it’s like you’re about to take a bite!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

As I was looking at these photos, I realized I took three very different shots – one at eye level, one at an angle (coming in for the bite!), and one (mostly) overhead. So my tip to you today, is to take 3 shots of your favorite subject – food, kids, flowers, toys, pets, etc – all at different angles. Above. Below. Behind. Eye-level. Sideways. Whatever it is that is out of your norm, try it! You might surprise yourself with what you find and be inclined to try it again!

If you end up getting something you love from this tip, please share a link in the comments below – I’d love to see! Thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. To make these, we just layer from the bottom up: Fage Greek yogurt (plain that’s been mixed with a dash of vanilla and honey), cut berries and granola. Repeat. Yum!

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 Fridays: Snow White

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Snow White contemplating a bite of the poison red delicious apple

You know when you read a course description, sign up for the class and head into class for the first day only to find your expectation is TOTALLY different from what the class will actually be? Well, that happened to me with one of my photography courses, Visual Poetry. But, it turned out to be a wonderful class nonetheless.

Each weeks assignments included reading poetry or literature and submitting photographs inspired by our reading. As lovely as the class sounded, and as much poetry as I loved reading and writing many, many moons ago, at that particular stage in life, most of my reading revolved around my daughters books – Disney princesses, Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious and Dr. Seuss.

I was feeling a little defeated that outside of reading the class text and poems, I wasn’t able to indulge in more poetry. But the instructor was open to interpretation and was completely supportive in my picks of children’s lit. And since my girls love playing dress up, they were more than willing to indulge me and my shutterbug ways!

The “Snow White and the poison apple” shot above is by far one of my favorites! I was really trying to get a contemplative look from my Snow White, wanting the apple, but concerned to take a gift from a stranger. Just days before, my baby had turned three, but my girl delivered on the shot! She actually was mad at me when I got this shot as I had told her to stop eating the prop! My little snacker had started eating the apple before I was ready for her to take a bite! So, here are my tips to you when working with (your) kids for fun character shots…

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Snow White asleep after biting the poison apple with woodland creatures surrounding her

1. Get your camera ready, set, before go!
Before getting your little one(s) into costume and handing them props, be sure to have your camera ready. Think about your vision, and figure out what settings you need. Do you want a shallow depth of field? Do you want a full body shot? Will there be harsh light? or dark shadows? What’s in your background? Does anything need to be moved? Thinking through these areas helps you to get the shot and helps you and your little one(s) not get frustrated before the shoot is over!

2. Get your props ready!
I kinda goofed when I went to the grocery store to get the red apple for this shot. Yes, I said apple. As in singular. What was I thinking? Definitely get more than one prop, especially in a situations that involves consumption! This way, if your kiddo starts munching on the prop, you have more to work with : )

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Ariel relaxing with a sea turtle (taken at Sea World San Diego)

3. What’s your favorite part of the book? 
Engage your little ones in the photo session. While shooting the series of princess shots, I asked my girls what they’re favorite parts of each story were. Some we included and got shots of (Snow White with the animals surrounding her), some we just talked about (Ariel’s secret grotto). Talking about the stories with the girls gave them buy-in and they were able to contribute to the project, which they loved!

I hope these tips help you on your next dress-up or character role-playing with your little ones!

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

PS. If you landed here from Kreative Creationz, thanks for hopping on over! I hope you check back often, or better yet, follow me so you don’t miss any future posts!