Say what?? A professional photography session with Mandy Johnson!?!

SAY WHHHATTT???!?!?!

Did catch this post from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers‘ blog this morning???

“Spearmint Baby Reader AMBER SMITH is our Grand Prize Winner!”

Oh yes you read it right!  Sorry I had to geek out a little bit and share with you all today my fabulous news!  A couple of weeks back I entered a contest on Spearmint Baby (which you all know by now is one of my all time fav blogs!) to be entered to win a new Organic Bloom frame and be entered into the pool for the Grand Prize which was a professional photography session with the amazingly talented Mandy Johnson.  I never gave it much thought after hitting enter because seriously, we all love a good giveaway and we will still enter a contest even though there are hundreds of other entries.  We just press the submit button and think about how much fun it would be if we actually won.

A couple of days later I was shocked when I got an email letting me know that I won the Organic Bloom frame!  I have lusted after those frames since the first time I laid eyes on them and I was just elated to be able to finally have my very  own to show off in my home.  At the same time they let me know that I would be entered in the drawing for the grand prize which would be announced in the next couple of weeks.  I tried to not think about it but let’s be honest I couldn’t help but think about how cool it would be to actually win.  Then last week I was out having a shopping day with the girls I got an email that I won the GRAND PRIZE!  I was a so excited I may have done a happy dance and a little bit of screaming may have been involved.  Considering I was in the dressing room I apologize to anyone who may have been startled by my excitement!

I am kind of embarrassed to say that I think I only have maybe two pictures of the four of us as a family.  I have literally hundreds of pictures of the kids but because I am always behind the camera I never have any of myself!  I have a really cute picture of Jeremy, Emma Grace and I right after she was born and then I have one of myself along with the two kids at the beach this summer.  I do have one from Easter of all four of us but I think that might be it.  I couldn’t be more excited for this wonderful opportunity!  I am blessed with the most amazing family and I am so happy to be able to finally have some great pictures of us all together!

Although the session will not be until after the new year I can’t help but start thinking of what to wear and where we should go.  Anyone in the Triangle have a great idea for a location?  I have a couple of good ideas and I’m already thinking I might have to go shopping for some new clothes!  Don’t worry I’ll keep you up to date on all the details and I’ll be sure to share our photos too!

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Photography Books by Katie Evans :: Inspiration Wednesday

I’ve been trying to read more photography books lately and had plenty of time to get in some good quality reading at the beach last week.  My favorite book so far is “The Key To Taking Pictures Like A Professional Photographer” by Katie Evans.  Katie has a fabulous blog where she documents her life through photos as well as helping out newbies like me learn the ropes of photography.  She offers great tips and tricks as well as full on tutorials for shooting and photo editing.  So I took the plunge and bought her book and I have to say it is worth every penny.

She covers everything from exposure, camera settings, lighting, composition and even editing.  I think the hardest part for me starting off was really understanding the relationship between aperture and shutter speed.  Leave it to Katie that she has the BEST diagram to explain the relationship and it finally clicked for me!  She makes photography easy to understand.  Even the hubby had a great time reading it last week.

So I was thrilled to find out today that Katie has started pre-sale of her new e-book that will be released on August 31st.

The book will go into detail about how to interact with each subject/group, where to place and what to say to your subjects as well as how to achieve natural un-posed poses!  Whoohoo!

Now that I have learned so much from her first book I can finally take my photos to the next level.

You can get your own copy of Katie’s 1st book “The Key To Taking Pictures Like A Professional Photographer” and reserve your copy of “The Key To Natural Posing”  here.  Trust me you will love it!