Five Simple Tips for Photo Editing

Five Simple Tips for Photo Editing


Can we trade tips?

See here’s the thing.  I know a little about photography and making pictures sharper and editing photos and making them brighter.

But baking chocolate chip cookies?

I got nothing.

I tried for the zillionth time to make them over the weekend and for the zillionth time they ran off the edge of the baking stone.  I just can’t get them right.  They are either hard as stone or too runny and the chocolate chips scold me from the batter and wish they had showed up in someone else’s kitchen.

So I thought I would ask you.

You.  The incredible baker.  You.  The person with the happy chocolate chips.  You.  The person waiting for a call back from The Great American Baking Show.

I’ll talk about my very best photography editing tips and maybe you can give me your very best tip for making chocolate chips behave.

My kitchen is all ears. 🙂Continue reading

A Different Kind of Arrangement

A Different Kind of Arrangement


It all started with this spring flower arrangement.


It really started with the tulips.

They are always calling my name at Walmart.

I try to look away.  I try not to listen.  I try to push on by and head for the frozen broccoli.  But somehow, someway, those flowers end up in my cart.

I brought them home and added them to a couple of simple wire vases and arranged them in 7.24 minutes and took these pictures.  When I edited the photos, they looked fine.  Sufficient.  Ordinary.  Usual.

They looked like this photo above.

But I wanted more.

I wanted the flowers to truly stand out.  I wanted the brilliant colors of the flowers to shine.  I wanted the flowers to be the star of the show.

So I researched and looked and searched and read….

….and discovered this super cool photo editing technique.Continue reading

Christmas Decor, a New Lens and the Mannequin Challenge

Christmas Decor, a New Lens and the Mannequin Challenge


Have you seen the mannequin challenge, yet?

You know.

The one where someone yells freeze and everyone holds their place and no one moves and every single person in the scene stays exactly where they are.

Just like mannequins.

There are scenes of restaurant mannequins and basketball game mannequins and party going mannequins…

…and even Santa scene mannequins.

But around here?

We’re a little different.  We have house mannequins instead.Continue reading

Seven Tips To Help You Take the Best Pictures Ever

Seven Tips To Help You Take the Best Pictures Ever


Sometimes a morning just makes you happy to be alive.

Two mornings ago this was my view.

I had gotten the family off for the day and I was doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and wiping up crumbs and picking up water bottles and scraping corn flakes off the floor…

….and I looked out the window and saw the leaves dancing.

And then I saw this.

Continue reading

Five Tips for Sharper Photos

Five Tips for Sharper Photos

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When I started this whole blog thing I had a camera that you throw away before I ever knew about five tips for sharper photos.

You know.

The kind that was yellow and you took all the pictures and turned the little dial at the top manually and when you got to 25 you took it to Walgreen’s.

And two days later (or an afternoon if they were having a special) they gave you your pictures back.

I occasionally took some pictures of my family at an event with awards or holidays that rhymed with mistmas…..

….but I never, ever took any pictures of my house.

Until I started a blog.

And now, four and a half years later I’ve learned a little about pictures and taking them and lighting and sharpening and just in case you were graduating from yellow camera school, I thought I’d share them with you.

Here are five tips for sharper photos.

The Best Camera Lens for Interior Room Photography

The Best Camera Lens for Interior Room Photography

family room pillow

Have you ever noticed when I post house photographs on the blog, you kind of see half a room.

Like this photograph.

You see half the built-in’s and one of the chairs and one side of the bookcases and half the window seat.


Are you drinking coffee and sighing at me and saying your half a room looks fine, but what’s across from the couch and what does the entire built-in look like and I really like that pom pom pillow….

….but what about the rest of the space.

I know.  I hear you.  I get it.

But until Saturday, I didn’t have the right camera equipment to take an entire room photo.  I tried.  I really, really did.  I would back all the way into other rooms and stand on chairs and climb up a ladder to try to take a photograph of then entire space.  And sometimes I almost got it.  But between us, it never really worked.

Until now.

Meet my new camera lens.Continue reading

Have You Ever Used a Photography Umbrella?

Have You Ever Used a Photography Umbrella?

Photography Tip

Today is fancy day at Thistlewood Farms because….

…..we got photography umbrellas in the mail.

Have you ever used a photography umbrella before?

Oh good.

Me, either.

I’ve seen them before on other websites and I’ve noticed other bloggers using them but I was always skeptical.  Could a simple umbrella that aims light into a space and allows you to photograph a space without natural light really be that helpful?

And the answer?

A resounding all capital, fifty exclamation point YES!!!!Continue reading

11 Amazing Photo Styling Tips

11 Amazing Photo Styling Tips


nectarine tart open table

I have always been a little in awe of my friend, Lisa.

She writes a blog with the most amazing photographs.

Not like a little amazing….like the kind of amazing where you study her photos and think to yourself, why didn’t I stack the plates on a cutting board and add a kind of fuzzy bottle of milk and finish off the scene with sprinkles?


Well… Lisa is going to tell us all about the why and the how and behind the scenes of brilliant photo styling.  It’s just like a mini class with beautiful pictures.  She’s going to share her top 11 tips for getting photos to look like the one I just posted above.

And one more thing.  As you read the tips…you might notice the occasional aside in parenthesis.

That’s me.

And my two cents.

We can’t miss a blog post.  🙂

Take it away, Lisa.Continue reading