By: Shanna | March 21, 2017

Wouldn't you know- my most popular photo was of my sweet D.O.G. ♥

Back in January, I decided to enter the free 'Shoot and Share' contest. It's a completely fair contest where photographers can enter up to 50 photos in 25 different categories. People view four photos and pick their favorite. Every photo is viewed the same amount of times. There is no information with the photo - so nobody knows whose photo belongs to who. If the photo got picked enough times in a round, it would move to the next round - there were 12 rounds. Voting took place over the course of February and they began to announce winners earlier this month. You had no idea how your photos were doing during the voting process unless your photo somehow got "favorited" - where you got an email saying that someone had chosen your photo as one of their favorites. This is not the same as "picking your favorite" or voting for a photo - there was a separate button that you could push to save your favorite photos to your profile and if one of your photos was "favorited," you would actually get an email saying that "someone LOVES your photo!"

At the first of March, I got an email that I was a 'finalist' - this meant that at least one of my photos had made it to the top 3.5% of ALL the photos in the contest. Hint - there were over 332,000 photos entered! This alone was more than I could of ever dreamed of. I'm a beginner. A newbie. An amateur. The photos entered were beautiful. GORGEOUS. There was a lot of inspiration for me to hold on to. So, I was pretty excited when I got this in my email. BUT THEN- there was the 'best of the best' round (the voting was over, but you could still vote for fun on the top 100 photos of each category).... and one of my photos got favorited! So, I KNEW I had one of my photos within the top 100.

After they had announced all of the top 20 of each category - they finally posted the results of the top 100 photos of each category... and wouldn't you know = out of 50 pictures, my most popular photo was this one above... with my sweet baby boy, D.O.G. ♥ I had several other photos go into the last few rounds, but this one went the farthest. I couldn't be happier and I'm SO excited about working on improving my work and entering my favorites of this year into next years contest!

Sweet D.O.G. :

Yes, his name is spelled like 'dog.' No, it's not pronounced that way - you say each of the letters, so it's more like Dee-oh-gee. My husband got this sweet great pyrenees before he had ever even heard of me. He got a little spoiled when he was a puppy, although that wasn't originally Jonathan's intention. Once I met him, (you know me - lover of all dogs...), I just fell in love! He was always full of energy and he just wanted you to pet him constantly. In December of 2014, we noticed that he had kind of been limping and one evening when we got home - he was literally crying in pain. Jonathan took him to the vet's office who informed us that he had bone cancer - apparently a common cancer found in large dogs such as his breed. She said he'd probably only live for 3 more months. I cried like a baby and then I prayed every single night that it wouldn't be his last night. We were able to get him some medicine to hopefully slow the tumor growth for a little while longer and help with the pain and before you knew it - he was back to his old self! He ran and played like nothing was wrong... and luckily, he lived just over another year, I'm so glad we got to spend that time with him. We lost in January 2016 and my heart completely broke. If there was anything, anything at all that I could of done more to prolong his life longer - I would of done it. He had a pretty good life though - he spent every day laying out in the yard like he loved to do.. and the day before he died - he had his biggest adventure: chasing a random pig down the highway. (I, on the other hand, panicked during this. haha) He loved to wander! 

My heart still hurts and I'll never stop missing this sweet boy. I still sometimes look for him around the yard, and I think of him every single time it snows (he LOVED the snow). He was massive, but he wanted so badly to be a lap dog. He would wrap his paws around you to hug you and he would rub that sweet big ol' head against you ever chance he got. His size was scary, but his heart was kind. He was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever loved. He loved with every ounce of his soul, and I loved him just as much. ♥ 

I couldn't be more thrilled that HIS photo was my #1 photo. My heart is full. 

 I miss you so much, D.O.G.! xox.

By: Shanna | July 04, 2016

July 4th isn't just a day off work or a day to watch fireworks....

Yes, I'm one of those people that got off work today for the holiday. I'm also one of those that love to watch fireworks or go to someone's cookout. I love celebrating holidays... but does everyone remember WHY we celebrate each of the holidays that we have? It's not about presents at Christmas and it's not about cookouts on Labor Day. Today is a good reminder of the history of our country. It's a good reminder that freedom isn't free. We have so many freedoms that us as Americans take advantage of every single day. There are people around the world that would give ANYTHING to come to America. Are we perfect? Absolutely not. In a lot of ways, we're not even excelling at things we once were #1 (in the entire world) at anymore. Other countries have slowly followed in our footsteps and rose to become some of the best places in the world. Still, today is a good reminder that there were many people that fought for this country and even died for this country long before any of us on this Earth today were even thought of... They fought, and some even lost their lives, in order to have the freedoms that we have now. The past is bound to be repeated if not learned from... so as we celebrate with hot dogs and watermelon - we should always REMEMBER the REASON we're celebrating and continue to teach the younger generations the history of this great country so that maybe they will teach their own children one day!  

" Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave..... o'er the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE! "

By: Shanna | April 22, 2016

So... ever since I got my camera for Christmas, I've known I would need to slowly add new lenses to my bag. On Tuesday, Best Buy was having a sale on one of the ones I'd been looking at the past month. The price + free shipping was like a dream come true!

Since my birthday is next week....  I figured it was a good enough reason to go ahead and buy it.. right? I kinda thought so... so, I bought it! It arrived on WEDNESDAY! Talk about QUICK. I was so stinkin' excited that I had to immediately play with it when I got home from work that afternoon.

What do you do when you have no kids, but you have an adorable long-haired dachshund?

Yes, you teach your pup how to "stay" and pose for you. Thank goodness he *sometimes* listens well. This time he did, although he was itching to run and chase a squirrel.... Poor Scooter. lol

We have some wildflowers growing in our yard that I figured would be gorgeous for pictures. 

I was right. ;)