10 on 10: October 2017

Hello and happy October! I am so happy it is October. Fall is a wonderful season and October is THE month for fall. You may be wondering why this is called 10 on 10. Well, I have joined a group that encourages each other to blog more and one time a month on the 10th, we post 10 of our favorite photos from the past month or from a day. Here are my 10!

I hope you enjoyed all of those photos. Here is a blog you should check out in addition to mine…

Lisa R. Howler

Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful month.

DeKalb County Farm Stroll

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I went on the annual Farm Stroll through University of Illinois Extension. I have wanted to go on this for two years now so I was quite excited. First we went to Waterman Winery. At Waterman Winery we got to go on a personal tour and do a tasting of several wines. Our tour guide was wonderfully kind and informative and he allowed us to taste the grapes straight from the vine. I would love more time in their fields to take more pictures. At the winery they also had some antiques to learn about and rope making. My husband and I made rope and in the picture below you see my husband burning off the extra fibers of the rope. After we bought a couple of bottles of wine, we moved on to Whiskey Acres Distillery.

At Whiskey Acres Distilling Company, we bought a tour and tasting. Our tour guide had quite the sense of humor. He too, is a teacher but also helps out with his family’s farm. I will say that I can appreciate the process that goes into making their spirits, but I will appreciate them from afar. I am still not much of a hard liquor drinker. I just can’t get past the burning sensation in my mouth and throat. 🙂 After the tour we got to taste their three main drinks: vodka, bourbon, and rye. The distillery is unique in that it has the capabilities to go from “seed to spirit”. Another words, they grow their own corn and make their own spirits from that corn. I believe only one other distillery does that in the US. They also experiment with different types of corn, other than dent corn, to make their spirits. Those, however, are limited addition so you need to keep watch for those if you want to try one. Here are some pictures below!

Last but not least, we went to Rock Farms in Kirkland. Here they were selling animal fibers for spinning and making yarn. I was really intrigued by the silk worms she had. She also had alpaca, llama, sheep, goats, and rabbits for fiber and several other animals for other reasons. My husband talked to a guy selling honey there (he is not part of the farm). My husband bought some bees wax from him for blacksmithing and we tasted some of the honey. We brought my daughter along for this trip because I knew she would like the animals.

Well, that was all for the day. I love getting to know local farmers and how they learn to make their products. Their stories are always interesting. If you have a farm stroll in your area, I recommend going on one. Thank you for reading!



Sports Photography For Parents

I started, a few months ago, a course on how to take better pictures of my daughter doing sports. I have been mostly practicing on my family and friends kids. Here are some of my favorite photos so far.

If you are also interested in learning how to take better pictures of your kids in sports, the school I learned from is enrolling soon. UPDATE! Early bird special today, October 6th! Just click on the link below and it will redirect you to the enrollment. 

Shultz Photo School Sports Course

Or if you want to learn to take better pics of your kids, in general, you can click on the following link.

Shultz Photo School Photo Fix

Every since I joined Shultz Photo School in February 2016, my pictures have improved so much. My photos went from the left picture (9/2016) to the right one (2/2017) and YES, you can do the same.

If you are still not sure, you can check out some free tips from the same school at the following link.

Free 7 Part Snackable Course

Just be sure, if you choose to pay for the courses, please use one of the two links above.

Sessions: Engagement Photos

I was given the privileged of taking photos for my friend’s sister who is engaged. It was quite fun! Before the session, I went to Pinterest for ideas and wrote them down so I could use them as a reference. The couple was willing to do everything I asked them and I think they had fun too. We did the photos during the golden hour which brought out some of the fall colors. Here are some of my favorites.

Next time I think I will add more of my style but other than that, I am pretty happy.

Just as a side note, I am in the middle of transferring my website to wordpress.org so forgive me if I am not on here as much.

Photography Struggle: Children Portraits

children portraits

Part of the reason I started to take my photography more seriously was so that I could take better pictures of my daughter and not have to pay for it. I, once again, envisioned something that I thought was going to happen and did not happen. I thought I would be able to get these beautiful portraits of my daughter and she would smile when I asked her too. Looking back at it, once again, I laugh at myself. Very rarely, she actually cared I had a camera in my hands and that I wanted her to look at it. Luckily, I realized that I did not always have to have my daughter looking at the camera. The picture still told a story and documented the beauty of everyday life whether or not I could see her face. Here are some examples of how you can capture your family’s life. Each one of these brings me joy.

Library Day

library day

My daughter has really been into books lately. Now we read a book every night before bed. She even requested to go the library although I wonder if the desire was for the play area and not the books. No matter, I took her and we got a few books. It also gives me the opportunity to practice taking pictures at the library. I love library pictures.

FYI for you parents out there with younger children (under 2 1/2 years)…I am sure you have read that reading books to your child is very important to their growth. Every time I read that when my daughter was younger, I felt guilt because I did not read books to my daughter often. I found it frustrating. She wanted to turn pages before I was done reading. She wanted to throw the books. She wanted to open the book in the middle and go backwards. She obviously did not understand that I had words to read on the page in a set order. I was envisioning being able to sit with my daughter on my lap while she calmly listened to me read to her. Reading books is important but word of advice, be flexible. It will be awhile before you can sit and read a full page to your kid, let alone a whole book. If you only read a few words on the page, that is fine. Instead of reading, talk about what is on the page. You will still use words you would not normally use in everyday language. I did not know this and I wish I had. Well, happy reading.

Brookfield Zoo


My daughter and I went to the zoo a few weekends ago. I think her favorite parts were the Ape House and the Merry-Go-Round. She gets so excited she laughs sometimes and it is adorable. I wish I recorded her excitement on video. We were inside buildings a lot so I didn’t get a whole lot of photos. 

My Friend the Golden Hour


Lately, I feel like my pictures have been really good but then I noticed one thing in common with most of them. They were taken during the golden hour. What is the golden hour? The golden hour is the hour (roughly) after sunrise or before sunset. That hour has been very kind to my ability to get good shots. That is why I have labeled this post “My Friend the Golden Hour”.

Admittedly, I really did not like the golden hour when I first started photographing during it. I was not a fan of the orange color I was getting in my photos but then I started noticing how the sun’s color changes as it gets lower in the sky. Right about at that hour mark, the sun is more of a gold yellow and as it gets lower in the sky it turns more orange or orange red. I think the key for me is to shoot that first twenty or thirty minutes of the hour. That is MY ideal light. Your ideal light may be different. Here are a few photos I have been able to capture. Feel free to post some of your favorite golden hour pictures.


Patriotism: The Wall That Heals


Last month we saw the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall also known as The Wall That Heals. You can check out the website and find out when it will be in your area.

My goal when I went was not only to acknowledge the sacrifices people have made for our country but also to capture patriotism. I reread one of Bethadilly’s blog posts for photography inspiration and went to the memorial.

19 total people from DeKalb County never came home from the war. They had pictures of those soldiers set up by their name. A flag was set up for every soldier in the country that did not make it. I saw some vets from the war visiting. Some day I will travel to DC again, but until then, I am glad I have this to visit.

Blueberry Picking


Last month, we went blueberry picking at Tammen Treeberry Farm with some friends of ours. I loved it! I kind of want to go back and get more blueberries. We froze a bunch, made blueberry lemonade, blueberry sorbet and canned two batches of jam, one spiced. The recipes were from the You Can Can book. No matter, I captured a couple of pictures of the event. The blueberries were beautiful to photograph but I also love having human interaction in my photos. Here are the photos that I took!