Tag / my work

it’s gender reveal day! (free printable)

gender reveal free printable

I designed this little handout for tonight when we get the grandparents together for our gender reveal, and it was a fun way to let everyone cast their “educated” guesses, based on the results of some old wives’ tales!

For your reference:

  • more morning sickness versus less = GIRL
  • conceiving ON your ovulation date (not before) = GIRL
  • salty cravings = BOY, sweet cravings = GIRL
  • baby’s heart rate is OVER 140bpm = GIRL
  • Mom’s skin getting worse (breakouts, oily) = GIRL
  • a dangled wedding ring going in a circular motion = GIRL; back and forth = BOY
  • check the Chinese gender chart to learn GIRL/BOY prediction

I made a generic version without our details included, so you can print for your own purposes — simply check the boxes according to which way each tale points, and let guests cast their votes at the bottom. Happy guessing… and revealing! 🙂

Click the link below to access the PDF and print away to your heart’s content!

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work it.

seejanework

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Our office has been in renovation mode for the past several weeks and next week I finally get to relocate to my permanent spot. Fresh and new…but sparse. Enter some cute accessories. These are some things that have caught my eye, from some of my favorite resources for lovely office things! (Be sure to check out the link below to Poppin — desk accessories in whatever color you like!)

anthropologie

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KateSpade

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poppin

 

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pencilshavingsstudio

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Happy Thanksgiving!

ClickSmith Holiday

I can’t help but giggle to myself when I think of all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes I love to watch this time of year…I can hear Phoebe saying in a chipper voice, “Happy Needless Turkey Murder Day!” 🙂

I am overwhelmed by the things we have to be thankful for this year – health, happiness, friends and family, a roof over our heads, careers that challenge and reward us, and so much more. I’m grateful to each and every one of you that follow along with my creative endeavors – both readers here at Life In Yellow and the families who have welcomed me into their lives as ClickSmith Photography clients.

Thankful for each and every one of you and wishing you all a fabulous and safe holiday with your loved ones. 

regrouping for November | an Instagram essay

 

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Downtown, waiting to begin a family’s photography session.

In recent years, I learned of the phrase, “circling the wagons”. If you aren’t familiar, it alludes to regrouping and getting your game plan straight before proceeding. I feel like that is what November will be for me, and I’m looking forward to it. I have had SUCH a fun fall, spending beautiful afternoons outside photographing amazing families, and then twice as much time at home in my office, editing photos, blogging them, going through the motions of forming a business, designing collateral and launching the website, and reading/watching/learning from other photographers every chance I get.

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 Nighttime routine lately: Make tea, park it in front of the computer.

In the meantime, some things like this blog and workouts have fallen by the wayside. I have to remind myself that while I excitedly want to do it all, priorities have to be made and a realistic mindset is of value. 🙂 Not that I feel things are up and running, I feel like I can re-evaluate and enjoy a more relaxed pace as the early fall turns to holiday time.

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Checklist for a six-week photography business marketing course I enrolled in – very excited!

With the requests for family photos inevitably slowing down for winter time, I’m excited to re-focus on working on technique and learning more about how to grow this little business. I began a four-week course earlier this month centered on posing for various ages and group sizes but because things have been so busy, I’ve yet to start the coursework! I’m excited to have some free evenings again to dive into that information as well as the (intense!) marketing course pictured above.

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Waiting to have my head shot taken by a fellow photog friend!

Loosely related to marketing, I had my head shot taken last week for the website – this is me waiting to get started. I included this just because I know how much it annoys my brother when people take selfies. 🙂

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I’m planning to enjoy some more lounge time at home, reading and catching up on some fall TV with Pager. Having more time again means I can cook more at home – something I’ve been missing. And along with meal planning comes the workout refocus. I’m excited to get back to the gym (feeling READY!) and with a mix of elliptical and running, my mini-goal for the month of November is to attack my friend Robyn’s 30-day plank challenge. (Seriously, if you need a dose of inspiration, Robyn has it for you!)

And while it has been slower lately here on the blog, things are always in the works. I’m looking forward to collaborating with a fabulous company for a holiday neighbor gift DIY, working up a Thanksgiving tablescape, and before you know it, decking the halls for Christmas! Thanks to all for continuing to stop by and check in! Happy fall 🙂

feels like fall.

While it seems all I’ve been doing is taking pictures (in the lovely fall weather!), I’ve really been going a mile a minute at just about everything – and happily so.

Everything fun we’ve been up to has been revolving around this cozy, cooler temp weather and the changing seasons….

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We headed to the pumpkin patch with some friends on a chilly/rainy day that made the muddy corn maze impossible (poor Page – it’s his fave!). But they did have the best and biggest pumpkins to select from!

We’ve been watching football – both in the stadium and from the comfort of home with friends.

We attended an MDA benefit hosted by our neighbors and Page may or may not have had quite the success during the auction portion of the program. 🙂

We celebrated the Breaking Bad finale (sob!) on our anniversary with a blue martini viewing party with friends.

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In anticipation of the new neighborhood coming behind us (yes, they’ve started to develop our once-lovely backyard view), we added a tree to the back yard with plans to add a second in the spring.

Page made his famous chili. Twice. And has been playing in a fall golf league.

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When I haven’t been shooting, I’ve been spending lots of time here at my desk, editing photos, and working and working on my website for ClickSmith Photography, which just launched last week!

And speaking of the website, I have a head shot session this week with a fellow photog and friend, so I’ve been scoping a couple stores and pulling together an outfit that -yes, I’m lame – can coordinate with my website scheme (it will go on the About page) and bonus if I can get it to match my beloved yellow and grey camera strap. 🙂 We’ll see how that whole plan actually shakes out…

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I’ve been able to think about the house again. For a while after the basement, I was feeling very ready to focus my energy (and my cash) on just about anything else but the house. Then, these backordered-for-months antlers showed up and I got excited all over again about them. I found a couple clearance frames at Target to flank either side – now to print some photos!

Which brings me full circle to fall and the house. I’m behind the curve, per usual, but I have some ideas for bringing some touches of the season into our home and after a busy past eight weeks or so, I’m ready to cozy up and enjoy some bits of the new season around our house. Hoping to get everything pulled together and some pictures taken yet this week!

refocus.

In the coming few weeks I’ll post here from time to time, but my energy and excitement is all focused on this new life step

I’m in the midst of shooting ten portfolio-building sessions in the coming few weeks, and between shoots I’m working on a web site, marketing material for new and potential clients, taking more classes, scouting locations, shopping for props and equipment, and editing, posting, and delivering photographs to sweet families like this one who’ve trusted me with their time to capture some moments.

ClickSmith Photography | Des Moines, Iowa

 

It’s exciting and happening faster than I would have planned, but I’m more than happy to roll with the pace. Just know that for the near future, my focus (pun intended) is on this little journey and wherever it leads me. I’d love it if you’d follow along with me here. 🙂

new and exciting

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I’ve been interested in photography for the longest time. At an early age, I would set up “studios” in our basement to photograph my bossed-around brothers willing subjects against such riveting backgrounds as wrinkled bed sheets and hastily-hung blankets. I dug and dug for examples of these artistic gems last weekend while home at my parents’ house, but the next best thing I could find was this page from a middle school autobiography project, detailing that I want to run my own photography studio when I’m older:

8th grade autobio

In college, I had my first exposure to some real photography classes as part of my journalism degree. I was more into the layout/design career path, not taking photographs, but I still have fond memories of the early exposure (pun intended) to shooting in manual mode and developing film in the darkroom.

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When my first job out of college centered around the scrapbooking industry, the interest in photography took on a new level, and I was rarely without my point-and-shoot capturing some over-flashed, poorly composed (but still recorded!) moments of my twenties. (PS – I reallllly liked dramatic tilt, can you tell? — That would be Lake Michigan in the background – and apparently there’s a tidal wave happening.)

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Two years ago, I finally bit the bullet and with birthday cash from family to help me, I purchased my first “real” camera, which I didn’t take out of Auto mode for a whole year. But all the while, I was following photography blogs, subscribing to newsletters, and taking a class here and there. In the shot above (party prep for my first Oscar party!) I was clearly still getting the hang of tack sharp focus.

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Photography excited me and scared me all at once. It was overwhelming to simultaneously think about aperture and shutter speed and ISO and lighting conditions and exposure…and that was without anyone in front of the lens to direct or pose at the same time. I worked on a LOT of still life shots over the following months — controlling the scene and the subject while figuring out all the other mechanics. The last of these to learn was clearly white balance…as seen in the yellow cast birthday cake slice (Happy birthday, Lulu – 2011!) shot above.

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I’m not usually a self-doubter, but in this case, I wondered if I could ever really get the hang of this. I decided to just start by learning more and more so I could get a better self-assessment. I took more classes at a local shop, purchased online video training, joined webinars, and read, read, read every book or blog I could find. And slowly, but surely, things started to click.

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I started taking impromptu shots of friends and family and putting them on facebook. A couple friends asked me to take family pictures for them. I was still very focused on getting all the camera settings right and not very good at doing any amount of directing or carrying on conversation with the people in the shots to make them feel comfortable while doing so. But I was thrilled for the practice, and fell in love with the fact that I got to be an observer of awesome moments between the people I was shooting. It wasn’t long before I realized I may have more practicing to do, but I was in love with photographing people.

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Love aside, the fact remained that I was quickly becoming aware of the mounting investment I was making in the equipment and the time it takes to shoot and edit each session. And yet with every round of photos I did for friends and family, I wanted to do “just one more” to further practice before making anything “official”.

After several “just one mores”, I finally feel confident and consistent enough, and like I’ve found my style, to start making this a bit more than a hobby. 🙂

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A huge THANK YOU to the encouraging friends and family who’ve helped me get this rolling! I’m excited for this new endeavor more than any other project I’ve taken on. For anyone interested, please visit me over at my facebook page (website coming soon!).