Friday, August 25, 2006

And finally onto the questions.....what 3 days later?

Sorry guys about the delay, so let's get started! =)

Becky asked...
Ok Girlie,I've recently been turned on to your blog...and I LOVE it! Beautiful Work! And as I am currently researching new cameras and's an easy question:What Camera and software do you use???

I have a Canon 20D and I use Photoshop CS. I have 2 lens that I LOVE....the 85mm 1.8 and the 30mm 1.4.

Leah asked...
Love the new picture of Grace!And here's a question I've been wondering about for a you plan on having anymore children?I hope that's not too personal and if it is, ignore me, lol!

LOL Leah.....I bet we have a few Grandparents here that would like to know the same thing! =) I go back and forth on it.....I have my days that I think just having one is all I can handle and other days (like when she started Kindergarten), I would love another one. I love that she's at the age where she's self-sufficient, plus watching Sam 4 days a week...I think I'm good with just one. =)

Jen asked...
I just started lurking and learning at ILP, and you are my favorite photographer, I love your style!I remember reading you usually shoot in Av mode, what aperture do you usually use, and how do you get such great focus when Gracie is moving?And where did you get the "G" plaque on her wall? I want one!
Thank you so much! =) I almost always shot in manual indoors but's all AV for me. I have a hard time with sun so I let my camera choose my shutters and I can pick my aperture. I love to shoot wide open.....I usually stay around 1.8-2.2 but the ones of Gracie wearing the wings that I just posted....those are at 3.5 (I didn't check it...OOPPS). I also choose my focal points...I don't rely on my camera to choose them for me especially when shooting wide open. And the "G" plaque....that is so funny! I think if I could find out where they get the plates and I could semi write that good, I'd be one rich woman. I've had so many people ask me about it. =) I got it a place around here that is a huge flea market that they hold once a month. It's called First Monday Trade Days of Canton and I'm hoping to go back soon once the weather cools down and I will definitely get their card and post their info. I only paid $7 bucks for that baby too. =) You gotta love that!

Amy asked...
I have been "lurking" on your blog for a while after discovering your photos at 2Ps and ILP. I absolutely love your photos!! I recently bought a digital SLR camera and am wanting to learn more about photography, especially shooting in manual, but need all the help I can get. My question is: How did you learn what you know about photography, particularly your camera, manual, settings, etc? Self taught? Classes? Advice for beginners?

Thanks too Amy. =) You know what magazine really made things click for me? Better Homes and Garden's Scrapbooks, Etc. Photography...simple steps to better photos. It talks about ss, aperture and ISO and how it's all related. I'll admit, my manual was Greek to me at first until I got that magazine and it put it all together for me. Then I would choose something to work on and read and reread the manual and practice until I think I got it. Also ILP and 2Peas have a wonderful source of information and a ton of people that are ready and willing to help you out and answer questions. The only class I took (I'm still taking) is Amanda Keeys Creative Mentorship....I love it. I feel I'm weak at seeing a shot so her assignments are helping me with that. I also got in on the ILP Mentor buddy list and I was lucky to get paired up with Angela Calderon. She took on about 5 or 6 of us and just started a forum. =) My best advice to give you is to practice, post your photos and ask for cc. Seeing things from a fresh pair of eyes makes a huge difference. =)

Frederique asked...
Brenda..Just a quick question: will you fly over and photograph my kids?? I love your style. Everybody says it and take it as a reflection of what you have achieved this past year! Well done!!!

Don't tease me Frederique! LOL!! What I wouldn't give for that opportunity only if you photographed Gracie! =) I'm not sure if I've ever told you this but I stalked you on were one of my favs and when you would reply to one of my felt like a I just got an autograph from my favorite celebrity! =) It means a ton to me that you said that....thank you so much! =)

Tara asked...
ok so what size pants do you wear? LOL! just kidding! how did you get so good at photography? what camera and lens do you use? are you a sahm? when are you coming to Chicago? I want to meet YOU! how did you name your kids? after someone? what is your fav color?what's your fave place to shop?

BWWHHAAA! Thanks Tara! =) OK, this may be TMI but what the heck! =) Pant size....depending on where I get them, between a 4 and 6. Next one....see the first post. =) Yeppers, I'm a SAHM....with a side business of watching Sam. =) I would LOVE to come to hubby actually has relatives that live 2 hours a way....don't think I won't show up on your doorstep! Grace was named after her Great Grandmother on her daddy's side that pasted away when his father was just a toddler and after my Grandmother's middle name. Plus, when I hear the name Grace...I think of Grace Kelly, so it was a win win situation. She almost was a Ryan instead but we settle on that for her middle name because if people didn't know us and we said the name Ryan, I think they would have thought it was a boy. My favorite color is green and I love to shot at Gap and Nordstroms but lately it's been Old Navy and Target. =)

Jennifer asked...
How much did you know about photography when you 1st started out? I went back to the beginning of you on ILP and it seems like you've been strong at it for a year now. I'm not very far from you at all, would you ever consider giving lessons? I just LOVE your work!!!!!!!!!

Absolutely nothing! Seriously! I had a little P&S that I used before my DSLR and I hated it. I didn't want to learn any about it because I really just hated it. When Grady decided to get me the DSLR he made me promise to learn it and not just go by the seat of my pants. =) Giving that's new! You when people ask for cc and I feel that I can give it to them I will but I know there is so much more for me to learn, so I usually just comment on if I as a customer would like the photos KWIM? And like the mentor thing that was going on with ILP....I felt caught in the middle. I could help some but needed help. =)

Marla asked...
Your blog is normally the first one I read. I love your work and Gracie is beautiful! My question to you is... when and how did you get started. And how long have you been at it?Again your pictures are awesome and a true work of art.

Thank you so much Marla. I actually found 2Peas I think back in June 2005 and lurked on ILP. I've seen some amazing photos of people using a P&S but I knew that I couldn't do it.....I'll admit with me, I give a lot of credit (99% of it) to my camera and my lens. =) I got my DSLR in January 2006 and I've been non-stop every since. It's so addicting and rewarding at the same time. =)

Christie asked...
OK, I'll play. I love your work, think you get a very lovely pure look. Why haven't you branched out to doing other people (kids) and get paid for your wonderful talent? Is it not an interest for you, or do you feel like you are still learning, or just that you like keeping it a hobby for now?You certainly have more than enough talent to do so, so I was wondering :)

Christie.....I just want to make sure I'm constant and can produce good images. I'm definitely going to do it...I've given myself a deadline of until December to finally put myself out there. I can't explain it....something was holding me back but I feel I get a wee bit stronger each day that I pull it out. Also, I feel I can do posed shots, but I want to be able to just follow the kiddos, let them be and do what they do best and see the image. Those day to day photos are what I love, so I'm striving to do that. =)

Tori asked... I dont have a "real" question..but I would love to KNOW what you look like. hint hint..self portrait...p.s. dont feel dumb..I tried to upload to blogger (photos) and it took me 4 days!! If that isnt frustrating!!!!I also would love to know how you keep in focus..when Gracie is going a 100 mph...oh.and when is the next kiddo coming?

Self portrait huh.....I like a little mystery don't you? LOL!! OK, you all twisted my arm...I'll let Gracie take some of me and then I can blame her on how bad I look. LOL!! =) A fast lens....I'd be a gonner without one. =)

Thanks nettifer! =)

Jenna asked...
Ohhh a question eh...Lots of good ones have already been asked... What time do you go to bed at night? Are you a night owl?Whats your favorite color combination?What is your favorite outfit to photograph miss Gracie in?

I go to bed early and if I can sleep in that's even better! But Gracie has gotten up between 6 am-7 am from day one so if I can get to bed my 9:00, I'm one happy camper. =) My fav color comb is pinkish rose and chocolate brown....I'm thinking about redoing Gracie's room with that. =) My fav outfit to photography Gracie in......that's easy....a tutu and angel wings. =) I'm sure you guys are sick of seeing her in those. LOL!!

Kate asked...
wow, i'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this: self portrait!! :)I love your work, Brenda - I'd love any tips and tricks you can share about how you learned and grew as a photographer. :)

Man, you guys are brutal.....I'll post a photo....just don't be disappointed when you see it. =) As far as the tips....make sure you're exposure is good. That saves a lot of heartache and not to mention the time and effort you do in Photoshop. =) Metering, especially in's awesome and again save you alot of time. Join a photog board and just read posts after post. And of your photos and ask for help when you need it. Like I said, there are a ton of people on boards that LOVE to help others out. I was lucky from the beginning that a couple of wonderful photographer kinda took me under their wing and help guided me. I also have some awesome photog friends both local and on-line that I talk to on a daily basis that we chat about this and that and we encourage each other. I think when people help you out, they love to see someone grow that they've worked's a great accomplishment for you and them too. =)

Marie....thanks sweet! I think you need to do a 20 question thing on your blog (hint-hint)! =)

Stace asked...
here's one, not about photography, but something I love to know about did you and your hubby meet?
Get this....a blind date! You see, sometimes they do work out! A close friend of mine set us up, I think she convinced him to do it because she told him I looked like Janine Turner from Northern Exposure (I had a short pixie hair cut at that time). =) And I don't look like her and he'd tell you the same thing. LOL!!

Christy asked...
OK...I can't wait to hear your answers on all of the photography related questions!!! I love your work!So here's a fun question not relating to photography. What's your favorite kid friendly recipe for weekday meals?

Well seeing that Gracie is the pickiest kid on the planet...she's never tasted a hamburger and not to mention I'm a bad cook (the microwave is my best friend), I have no kid's recipes for ya. =) She lives on McDonald's Happy Meals, chocolate pankcakes and bunch of other stuff that aren't good for her....thank goodness for vitamins! =)

OK, I think that's it....thanks everyone for playing along and excuse the misspelled words too! =)
Have a wonderful fill-fulled weekend! =)


Anonymous Jenny Ress said...

Oh man...I would have joined in the fun had I not been out of the loop.

Loved your answers to the questions. Hope you have a great week!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

You've got such an awesome style. My littlest dd is named Ryan.
I bought back from you on *bay and now love seeing your wonderful photography on ILP.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions!!! I have the BHG Scrapbooks Photography book, but haven't read it for a while...I'm pulling it back out and studying up on manual! I also need to start posting my photos more on 2Ps or ILP for feedback...I'm just chicken! I do put them on my blog though...feel free to wander over and give me some HONEST CC!! :) By the way...I have the same "G" plaque that everyone is so curious about (but mine's a "C"). My sisters live in Texas and I got it at a SAMI show when I was visiting in July. I love it and wish I would have bought more as gifts. I wonder if it's the same people?!?! (Sorry for the long comment...I looked for an email link to email you directly, but didn't see one on your blog.)

9:48 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I am so happy that everyone is asking you is mine and hope that you'll answer it. How did you make Gracie's picture at the top of the Header? can you teach me how to change a template for the header. You are my inspiration and yes, let's say if you'll allow me, my Idol!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your talend

8:13 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Lots of great questions! I loved reading all your responses!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

How awesome of you to take the time to answer all these questions and I'm so glad I pulled up your blog today. Brought a smile to my face= )

11:14 AM  
Blogger sageg said...

So how do you track your visitors?

What an amazing visitor rate! Completely deserved of course. :)

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Roseann said...

It was so fun to read through these! Was your 30mm lens a Sigma? I'm trying to decide on a new lens and have really been thinking about that one!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Jenny, Michelle, Jill...thanks so much! =)

Sarah....go to and just follow their directions. It's pretty easy to install into your template. =) And thanks sweetie!

Jane...small world huh? That's so cool! =) Thanks so much. =)

Definitely post your photos...try 2peas first and then maybe move on to ILP....the board there is a little faster. I'll check out your blog too. =) Aren't those plaques cute? That's probably one of my best buys at Canton. =)

Just email me at and I'll send you directions. =)

The ones outside of Gracie with the wings are with my 85mm and the one of Sam with the angel wings is with my 30mm. It's a great won't be disappointed. It's fast, sharp and great in low-lights. =)

9:35 AM  
Blogger April Walker said...

What camera do you use and what lens is your favorite or most used? Thanks, I love your work!

11:23 AM  

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