By: Shanna | October 16, 2017

Happy Fall from my family to yours! ♥

When you don't have kids, your pup is your child. 


He's definitely more photogenic than us anyhow ;) 

 
 

By: Shanna | June 29, 2017

Do you like being near the water?

The lake, the beach, a pool. It doesn't matter to me - as long as the sun's out. ♥


I grew up in Texas... and when you are in the Texas heat, you are always looking for a way to 'cool off.' What better way to cool off than jumping in the water? I grew up going to our local lake with my parents. We had a boat and would go out with friends as much as we could during the summer. I honestly remember it like it was yesterday [I was like 5 though.] It was literally the best summertime activity! 


Kentucky doesn't have the Texas heat, but it does still have my favorite summertime place - a lake! I still love being outside in the summer heat - near some water. One of my first dates with my husband was actually going to the lake. He honestly loves it as much as I do. We now have a boat & a jet-ski so that we can try to go every chance we get during the summer, although Kentucky summers definitely aren't as long or as hot as Texas summers. [I miss it.] We have a camper too, so we don't actually HAVE to leave the lake all weekend long if we don't have to! We LOVE our lake weekends! 


The beach is also one of my most favorite places. If you know me & my mom - you know that we also LOVE being on the beach. I had already been to the beach [Galveston] before most children even knew what the ocean was. I went to my first Caribbean beach [Cancun] when I was only in middle school. We just simply LOVE being in the sunshine and near the water. We still go to the beach every chance we get. Especially any of the Caribbean beaches with their pretty white sand - they're the best. [I'd move there if I could!] I'm trying to begin planning our annual beach trip for this fall. I can't wait to go! :) 


If there is one thing I don't have that I'd love to have is a pool in my backyard. We had a pool when we lived in Texas, but my mom & I haven't been very successful in convincing our husbands to build a pool at either of our houses. [I really hope this changes soon, haha!]. I guess we'll just enjoy the lake and the beach when we get the chance until they change their minds, lol. 


I'll admit that I'm not into necessarily swimming as much as I use to be, but I still love being near the water. It's just so relaxing to just enjoy the sunshine with your toes in the water. What could be better? 


Oh, did I mention that I LOVE sunsets?

                         I guess what IS better is a beautiful pink sunset over the crystal blue waters of a lake.

Just blissfully beautiful. ♥

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 | February 01, 2017

This photo is probably my favorite... especially since it was quite possibly the hardest photo I've ever worked for!

So, have I mentioned that I LOVE this family?


I guess that I should first mention that Lyndsey is my sweet friend/coworker/pageant sidekick. Over the last few years, I've had a lot of fun getting to know her and having her help me in all different aspects of my life! (seriously, she's a life-savor sometimes!) So.. one day, she came to me and asked me to take pictures for her whole family... and ALL of their dogs. 


You know I said 'Yes!' (obviously!)

So, when I showed up.. there were dogs EVERYWHERE. I was pretty excited about this (and maybe a little nervous cause I wanted the pictures to turn out good! I hate disappointing anyone!). It was HILARIOUS trying to get the dogs to sit and look at me, as well as get the adults to look at me at the same time. I was having so much fun! and I was pretty pleased later when I found out that they turned out better than I expected!  


We also took some of each little couple with and without their pets, some of each little family, and some family pictures without the dogs. We also had a little fun with some wine and some camo outfits even though it was starting to get dark on us! 


I had SO much fun doing these pictures! I can't wait to do more!! 

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. ;)

 
 
 

By: Shanna | April 19, 2016

So, I * FINALLY * got Photoshop downloaded on my computer...

Yes, that sounds pitiful, but I honestly thought it cost a fortune that I did not have in order to have one of the best software programs out there. It isn't completely out of my grasp as I found out and I finally got it downloaded on my computer! I spent the entire weekend just "playing" with it and learning as much as I could about it. Last night after we got home from my sister-in-law's house, I had about an hour left before bed and decided I wanted to learn how to replace a blown out sky with a sky photo. After finding a tutorial and searching through a million sky photos to find one that would even remotely go with this photo of me and my husband from our trip to Gatlinburg last November, I spent the last little bit of my hour figuring out how to replace the sky and then playing with some tweaks that I've learned over the weekend.


It's definitely not perfect and I still have a LOT to learn, but I think it turned out pretty well for my first try! My goal this summer is to not only strive to finally reach my dream of having a small part-time business doing photography... but also to IMPROVE. I'm far from a professional, but I know that if I put my mind to it, I'll get there one day. I'm looking forward to learning more and growing in my photography this summer while it's beautiful and warm outside!