To answer yesterday’s question about my point & shoot…I use a Canon Powershot 870IS. It is a few years older and there are many better options out there now, but I am pretty happy with it. Keep in mind the camera only does so much…

I took down our big shoe canvas in the living room and am replacing it with something else. In the process I went through the digital files of our family pictures from the year’s past. If you haven’t done that in a while, I highly recommend it. Chris and I had a great time looking back and remembering what the kids were like years ago – and our oldest is only 6. I thought I’d share just a few that made me laugh.

This is the kitchen of the first house we bought. I looked up all kinds of ways to paint formica, but ulitmately my dad came over and helped us replace it. When Big Brother (the current 4 year old – I know their names are confusing on here) was a baby I did a camping themed nursery. I painted a big ole’ mural on one whole wall. It took a long time and the hiker guy was really wonky looking. For the rocker in his room I got an outdoor camping chair that rocked. It is funny to look back at our old rooms. One day I’ll look back at pictures of my current house and think, “why in the world did I do that and actually think it looked good? A ruler backsplash…must have been pregnancy brain!”

UPDATE: I DID NOT PUT IN THE PINK FORMICA…I REPLACED IT!!!

This is one of my all time favorite photos of him.

When there were only 2….and they hadn’t discovered Legos.

And then there were three…

Photo Tip: As I looked through old pictures one thing did stand out in the very early years….how I processed the pictures. When we first bought a digital camera and when I first got my dslr the only processing software I had was iPhoto (which has come a LONG way now). Back then all you could really do with iPhoto was mess with the saturation, contrast and change it to Black & White. I made the mistake of messing with saturation too much. I see this a lot still when people are just learning to use photo editing software. There is a fine balance in playing with saturation. You will most notice too much saturation in the oranges and reds of a photo. Skin can quickly become orange when you play with saturation. Be mindful of this when editing your photos. I am by no means an expert on photo editing, but I hope I can learn from my own mistakes.

Photo Tip: Always save the color version of your photos…even if you like it better in black & white. The photo below of Biggest Brother was taken on an overcast rainy day. I caught him drinking rainwater that was dripping out of the gutter (gross I know). I actually liked the color version much better, but in all my digging through files could not find it. I am left with just the black & white, which is better than nothing, but it would have been better to have the color version too. If you play with actions (like I did on the Persimmon Hollow photos yesterday) always save the original!

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  • annie - So here’s my question: What do you do with those big prints and canvas’ that you take down? I have several big prints and couple of canvas’ that I’ve updated with new images and now they reside on the storage side of my basement. Do I keep them forever? I don’t have the stomach to get rid of them – what do you do?

  • Sarah - Ashley, how do you save your pics on the computer? do you have an external hardrive where you save everything too? We have a new computer and an 18month old and the pictures really add up! i’m trying to figure out the best way to save everything without taking up precious space on the computer. Do you have backups on disks? thanks for your thoughts!

  • Elizabeth - One of the best things my husband ever did…okay..he’s done a lot of “best” things…was to make a program (he’s a computer software programmer person..)…that goes through all the photos from all the years…from a particular month and collects them and puts them up as our screen saver….so right now..for September, when our screen saver goes on….all it brings up are all the September photos from all the past years! It is fantastic….!! We love staring at the computer and see all the past years….and it reminds us to do certain things….like, oh this is the month we walk across the bridge to Philadelphia..we have to go do that!

  • Jane - I love looking at old pictures of our kids. Great advice about saving the original files – we are quite obsessive about backing up our pictures as they are our most prized material possessions! We back them up on an external hard drive fairly regularly which is kept in a fireproof safe at home, once a year or so give another external hard drive to keep at my in law’s house and also upload our pictures to a paid Flickr account with no upload limit. This way, if the computer crashes, we have multiple back-ups.

    We have PC computers (got an iMac recently but unfortunately don’t love it yet) and I organize my pictures there by month. For Windows to put them in the correct order, I give the file folder with the month a number and then a name. So now, we are on “93 September 2010” because we’ve had a digital camera now for about 93 months. I rename each file with a date format of 20100914 (1), 20100914 (2), etc. so that they are in chronologic order in my file folders. Often, I am scanning photos of my kids’ artwork, of brochures of places we visit or I take pictures of their 3D creations at a later date and want to be able to give the picture file a name that will put it in the correct chronologic order. My system allows me to do exactly this. This is my main issue with the iMac so far…I am much too used to my system of organizing and iPhoto won’t let me do it this way. I’m rigid, I know.

    You’re totally right about the saturation settings. I know very little about photo editing and that’s been my main tweeking tool, so I have to be careful not to overdo it.

    A few questions for you:
    – How do you organize your photos? If you scan any images, how do you keep track of those?
    – Do shoot in JPEG or RAW format? In an attempt to learn more about Photoshop (I only have Elements at the moment), I bought one of Scott Kelby’s books, but a lot of his topics are on working with RAW files. I wonder if I should be doing this or if this will overload my computer unnecessarily.
    – What would you suggest as a good resource to learn about photo editing? Editing the actual pictures and also adding in the little captions or embellishments that you often have. I love those! Is there a book your would recommend? A website?

    Thanks for sharing your photo tips! I can’t get enough of them and appreciate you sharing your expertise with us.

  • Jane - Ooops…I also wanted to add that the reason I go through the trouble of renaming all of my photos to the numeric date format is that there have been occasions when my date/time is not set correctly on a camera. Or, I get pictures from someone else and their date/time is not set properly. If this setting was always perfect on every camera, it would be easy to keep photos in chronologic order by using the “sort by date taken” tab. But it still wouldn’t solve my problem of putting a pic of a scanned egg carton caterpillar taken a couple of months after its creation in the correct spot.

  • annalea - i am totally guilty of over-saturation. just started editing photos in the last year and a dslr newbie of the last two months.

    but mostly, i had to laugh at the old decorating decisions comment. i mean the stuff i did at our old house i would never repeat, yet it seemed so great back then. :) i wonder what it will be with this place.

  • Ruth@GraceLaced - Eight years ago when I first became a mom, my husband and I wanted an “airplane” room for our baby boy. I painted a runaway on the wall (in perspective) and had airplanesflying in the sky…and an airplane shelf that looked like it was landing. I thought I was SO cool.

  • giozi - I was looking old pictures las week too, I was looking some about my girl. And I see that I have at least 10 originals in 100px I don’t know what I dit with that. :( Well I have more, but one of them I loved it.

    I was startet to take in RAW. I really better, but I don’t understad very well the camera raw yet, and I lost more time now because I edit in Camera Raw and then in Photoshop. And my PC is full now πŸ˜€

    I love your pictures. I always think that your two last boys are very similar, but in the first picture right your boy looks like the youngest.

    I can’t believe that you painted this wall. WOW. You are admirable πŸ˜‰

    I painted something in my room when I was teen, but It was only one tree :), no more, something simple.

    I like to saturated on some pictures, when they are a lot of green, I do it by layers, for clothes, grass, some objects, and try to be care about faces.

    I think that your 3 boys are really really handsome. My Lua is single !!!

    A big hug for you and kisses for your little gentlemen.

  • Jill E - pink formica! that is to good.
    what great old photos. i have been trying to organize and clean our old hard drives from college and convert, darn mac and pc hating each other. in college i was not really taught digital or how to handle files and i have some files that are 100 mb 700 dpi just ridiculous but i had no idea what i was doing. nonetheless file management is one of the hardest things.

  • elizabeth highsmith - your babies are beautiful
    your blog is the cutest thing
    your post on firecrackers name and welcome to life post made me teary eyed!
    you’re appreciated!

    for a photo novice who needs a new camera, would you recommend purchasing a dslr or a point and shoot first?

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh! Great advice… I am always playing w/ saturation. I will be more mindful of that!

  • Lisa P. - OH man – you just taught me that I’m suffer from photo over-saturation! Are there free editing programs that contain more than those original basics?

  • lifeologia - Cute shots of your kiddos.
    And what a mural – you’re a true artist πŸ˜‰

    I hear you about keeping the originals.
    I try to keep them now but there was a phase in my life that it was only BLACK & WHITES.
    I even printed my whole wedding album in b&w (I do have the originals though) but still, I would love to see my wedding photos in colour now – – and to do the whole album (some 120 pages) would be a crazy job!
    I guess we go through phases all the time and then look back and go – what was I thinking???
    But it’s never hurts to take lots of pictures and to just keep them on the hard drive (in colour). What I’m doing now is actually going back a deleting some that lost appeal. I might regret that too – but I need to ‘cleanse’ ;D

  • Stefanie - I know it’s hard to reply to comments so perhaps this can be added to next years online course. Regarding color saturation, I use Lightroom and see on the Development tab the color chart (sort of like a bell curve). My issue is what my monitor shows isn’t always what gets printed. Is there a way to use that color chart to optimize so that you can avoid over/under saturation? And, how do you adjust black and white coloring so that it pops out? I know when I convert my pics to black and white, I have to adjust the hues but mine still don’t seem to be as vibrant. Thanks!

  • Jodi - A great post Ashley. And a good reminder. I am such a beginner at Photoshop and I know one of my biggest mistakes is over editing and over-saturating. I am trying to get a better “eye” on these things!

    We have renovated most of our house, the last thing to do…our kitchen. If it were just wood. It would have been done. I would have DIY’d it in a heart beat but it’s FORMICA! Nothing can be done. The quote to change the doors alone was astronomical. So for now I can only dream of a kitchen and stare at my ugly formica! What were they thinking with that one?

  • Leah Profancik - Awww…I just went through my old digital files too. Nothing quite like that trip down memory lane. Love the screensaver idea someone commented about-I may have to get my computer geek husband to do the same. :) I loved seeing your older photos.

  • Lori K - seriously??? pink formica…that is too funny!!! but hey – you had to be you,right?
    Love the trip down memory lane – it makes me sad because I don’t have really beautiful pics of my kids because we were too poor to take them – I have a few from friends who are good with the camera – so now – I want to get my dslr and really learn so I will have beautiful pics of them going forward. I cherish them every day but to see how fast babies grow is amazing…your are adorable.

  • Courtney - LOVE your blog! and heart. and pictures!
    i’ve read for awhile…not sure if i’ve left a comment.

    anyways…i’ve never used “actions” – do you have a place to recommend starting? that would be free/cheap? to start playing with?

    thanks!

  • Danielle - thanks for the photo tips!

    giveaway today @ calebdanielle.blogspot.com πŸ˜‰

  • Brooke - I just got PHotoshop for my birthday (insert super happy smile) but I’m nervous to leave the comforts of easy old Iphoto! I just read Jane’s comment, and I sure wish my mind worked that way, but it sure doesn’t…..I need to back up more than I do :)

    Thanks for all your amazing photo tips. Very helpful, always. And it’s amazing how much your boys look like…..biggest brother at age 2 and as a little guy looks so much like your two smaller boys now!!

  • Lesley - Wow, I remember that pink formica!

  • Danielle - Thanks for the reminder about contrast! I have a tendency to go crazy with the editing sometimes.

  • Marci - Hilarious countertops! I had to live with pale pink ones for 7 years…just replaced them a week ago! Who in their right mind thinks pink is okay for countertops? No one I say…

Thanks for your feedback on the Tea Collection photo…the big laugh and standing pictures were the top choices. I think I’ll just have to enter one and Lesley can enter the other!

I decided for a personal challenge over the weekend I would not pick up my dslr, but every photo I took had to be with my point & shoot on fully automatic mode (well with the flash turned off that is). That is very hard for me to do. I never like my point & shoot photos as much, but I do like the challenge.

Big Brother loves to swing, here is a different angle than I usually shoot. The point and shoot is great at capturing action and dealing with harsh sun – or shooting directly into the sun in the middle of the afternoon. He has the hairy, hairy legs for a 4 year old!

I convinced the boys to go on ‘an adventure’ with me. I told them they could bring their swords and we’d see a teepee, old houses and a little creek. I did not tell them that we were going to an old flea market village that is working on coming back to life with new vendors. Tulsa folk – Persimmon Hollow is on 71st just east of Garnett. There aren’t a lot of vendors out there yet, but it has great potential! I scored some vintage tins for $.25 each….you will be seeing those on a special post soon. Hmmmmm.

PHOTO TIP: The thing about automatic shooting with a point & shoot or a dslr is you are at the camera’s mercy. The camera is deciding what kind of picture you want instead of you telling the camera what you want. There are ways to ‘trick’ your camera on auto mode (whether it is a point & shoot or a dslr). For example, in the two photos below you will see a huge contrast in lighting. I wanted a pic of FireCracker so I just focused on her (pressed shutter button halfway down) and took the picture (pressed it all the way down). The camera took into consideration all the bright light in the background and set the exposure according to that light. When I saw how dark it was I re-shot the picture. On the second photo, I focused on the stroller wheel – pointing my camera down so the sky wasn’t in the screen. After I focused on the wheel I moved the camera up without releasing my finger. Once I had FireCracker in the frame I fully pressed the shutter button down. This time the camera set the exposure for the area the stroller was in, leaving the sky overexposed. You can’t see the blue sky in the 2nd photo, but you can see my cutie. I decided the cutie was more important than the sky, the camera had chosen the sky.

And just because….this mommy greeted me when taking out the trash. Mommy crawdads carrying their babies will never cease to creep me out.

My point & shoot takes great macro shots.

She is actually the size of my palm, I think this pic makes her look bigger. I told Chris not to run over her when he backed out…she was carrying her babies afterall. He asked if I’d feel the same way if it was a frog carrying her babies. I reminded him frogs don’t carry their babies…..

We don’t watch enough tv to make it worth spending money on cable, as a result I only know the shows that are on the main 5 networks. You all mentioned something about American Pickers on my Skeeters post last week. I had never heard of it. Chris and I found full versions online and stayed up way too late watching them. I emotionally connected with Frank and his love for old cans. Thanks for the letting me know about that show….now I have something new to watch online and a new dream job. I suppose American Pickers can replace my beloved LOST now…there is mystery and adventure in both.

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  • Misty - So the obvious question of the day – what type of point and shoot do you have? Been meaning to get one for those occasions when I don’t want to lug the beloved dslr, but am having trouble deciding.

  • Jacci - Great, great shots! Definitely proving that there is more to your photography than just your camera. Your editing is beautiful, too. Any chance we could see some of these point and shoot photos SOOC?

    Thanks for the tips!

    ~Jacci in Ohio

  • Gevay - I agree with you that momma crawdad is YUCKY! But isn’t God’s creativity AMAZING?

  • Sarah - American Pickers is great! They had a marathon on last week i think; what i wouldn’t give for that job!

  • Crystal - Great shots with your point and shoot!
    And yes, American Pickers is almost addicting!!! Love it…and Pawn Stars is another new show I found that I just can’t seem to walk away from πŸ˜‰

  • laura - i just heard of american pickers this week, too…from my good friend. she saw the guys eating at a restaurant here in town and FREAKED OUT. i’ll have to see if i can dig up those online episodes….

  • Sarah - I love the photo tips! When shooting outside in the SUN, how do I get the best picture? I either get glowing faces or dark faces. Help!

    Sarah

  • Lori K - Ashley – love those tins! I can’t believe the loot you got for the money! favor. of. God. I. must. say.
    OKay – that is weird, last night at community – my new friends told me I should be on American Pckrs, have a show just like it only funnier, and that I have to watch it. Then, I get texts telling me to watch it. hmmm, a sign from God???
    that is my dream. let’s talk.

  • gina - Thanks for those tips. I’ve yet to figure out how to out smart my camera…

  • Meagan - That’s funny, Ashley, because my husband Brandon was talking about Persimmon Hollow this weekend. He thought he had seen something about them reopening. I guess he was right! Fun! Hope it really takes off!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Crawdads… Yuck! :) I wish Brian’s grandmother was still living! I miss Tulsa so much sometimes. Merritt’s Bakery, a hot dog from Joe’s only on Sunday… And that flea market sounds amazing.

    I agree with Crystal – Pawn Stars is awesome!

    Have a wonderful day!

  • Heather - i love american pickers! and that crawdad is very gross. yuck!

  • susie whyte - crawdad…wow. that is an amazing and gross shot, all at the same time. :)
    american pickers is on tonight! :) be still my heart.
    i think i’ve been away from tulsa too long. i can’t even think of which way garnett is from 71st and mingo…is it close to the i-high?? the i-high is on garnett, right?? good grief.

  • ashley jensen - I must go visit Persimmon Hollow this week! I did not know it existed! I LOVE the thermos! I am a sucker for plaid.

  • giozi - Thanks for the tip, yes sky is always a problem for me.

    I love your picture where your baby is close her face with her handas. πŸ˜‰

    Let us know about the tea collection contest

  • Kelly - Ha ha as soon I saw those top pictures I thought of American Pickers. We don’t have cable either but full seasons are on Netflix Instant and we can stream them with our Wii. I LOVE that show! I just finished the first season Friday & will most likely start season 2 during naptime today. :)

  • Debbie - Glad you got to see the show, American Pickers. When I find something I really like, I LOVE to pass it along. Enjoy!
    Your show could be “Ashleys Awesomeness”

  • meg duerksen - my barn guy….from last year’s craft fair…he was on american pickers this year. :)

  • purejoy - i agree… WHAT KIND OF POINT N SHOOT DO YOU HAVE?? mine sucks with a capital HOOVER. but sometimes it’s just not practial/possible to drag the huge dslr along.

    awesome photos. mommy crawdad… WHO KNEW!!? thanks for the discovery network worthy education.

  • Jill E - great tips. its really cool to see a pro shoot with a point and shoot and here about what you do. as always awesome photos.

  • emily anderson - american pickers! yes, that’s keith and i’s favorite show :)

  • Anna Marie - I never knew that about crawdads. My skin is crawling and I am so grossed out by that picture but it is very interesting.

  • Leanne - I love the picture with all 4 kids in it, and Firecracker is covering her eyes! so cute.

  • Mandy B - Just sitting here enjoying my kids and your blog for the afternoon…Eli would like to know which one of your boys is under that “big party hat” (aka a tee-pee)?

  • OrangeFarmhouse - Maike - Thanks again for yet an other great tip! Hope my pictures will look half as good as yours in the future…

  • Linda - Which point and shoot do you use, Ashley? Trying to get better with mine before a big trip in October. Just don’t want the hassle of the big camera while traveling. So enjoy your site. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide!

  • Lauren - Great shots! What actions did you use on the photos? I really like the outcome!!
    Thanks in advance
    Lauren

  • Cassie - That picture of Firecracker with her hands over her face is to DIE for. So adorable.

    The crawdad? Not so much.

  • katrina - thanks for these awesome tips. :)

  • Kara P - I REALLY like the vintage look of these photos!

  • Jessika Wan - I love how you don’t LOVE (ie. majorly dislike) or may I use “hate” FROG? sAME HERE … I am frogphobia!!!! Gives me goose bumps thinking about it. But don’t you find more you are aloof of this gross creature, more it is always on your face? ON Tv commercial, highway ads, your kid’s books, or a real one leaping on the road while you are driving?

  • amanda torres - That is one smokin’ hot kitchen!

  • Andrea Cherie - Hi!

    We don’t have a TV…so I’m never “in” on any shows – today at quilt group (which consists of my mom and about 5 other ladies her age- I’m by far the youngin at 26!) the show American Pickers came up. I’m going to HAVE to watch it online, cause they all LOVE it!

    And, I’m from Tulsa too. I’ve never heard of Persimmon Hollow…I’ll have to check it out!

  • Jenny B. - YAY! You answered my question about whether or not you have TV/cable! :) I have been seriously considering getting rid of it lately. Too many teeny-bopper shows on Disney have turned my sweet 5-year-old into a smart mouthed punk. Ok, I sound like an old grandma lady… Anyway, thanks for sharing that tidbit about your life! I am starting to wonder what flea markets are around here (NW Ark.) that I’ve driven past but never even noticed. I am so not a flea market girl, but you make it look like lots of fun! New question… Do you have some sort of storage shed for all your finds that you don’t have a use for right away? Love the macro of the mama crawdad – very very creepy. I miss the macro I had on my old p & s (my dSLR doesn’t really do the macro mode justice). OK, really long comment! Sorry! Love your blog – it’s my favorite!! :)

  • Sharon Franklin - Your photos are great and I love that you dig chairs also. I don’t think than anyone can ever have enough and my personal philosophy is they should all be different, even in some small minute way that I alone know about. Good stuff.

  • Photographing Children « Do Tell « Cluster - […] / 2 / 3 / 4Β / 5Β / […]

Thanks to a wonderful reader, Philly, I have been informed that the Tea Collection has a facebook page and photo contest. Why does that matter? Well the outfits that the girls wore in yesterday’s post are from the Tea Collection….so we are eligible to enter to win $200.00 for some serious shopping if we win the contest. Here is the dilemma Lesley and I have….WE CANNOT decide on a photo to submit. We like them all and are a bit partial. So I thought I’d throw it out to you all and see which one you think we should enter?

And just because I want to know…Is it possible to have a facebook page for a business/blog and not a personal facebook page?

Thanks for your feedback!

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  • Jay - yep!!! :) I would so love for you to have a facebook page!!!!! Although I have you bookmarked, having you at the tip of facebook page would make you even more visible to me and all of my friends :)

    have a happyyyyyy day!! :)

  • katie - yes, it’s called a FB “fan page”. people can become your “fans” instead of your “friends”…
    my daughter has on a tea collection dress right now, actually. good luck with the contest!

  • Emily B - Hello! I think it is possible to just have a business page! When you go to the main website, there is a spot on the bottom of the home page to sign up for a business. Good Luck!!

  • Trudy - You have to submit the one with your daughter laughing with her mouth open wide. Adorable!

  • mrs.magoo - Yes, you can have a fan page for your website/blog

  • Maike - I like the photo where Firecracker is standing the most. And to answer your second question: yes you can! and please let us know so we can become fans of the first moment on…

  • Karla - I think the first photo shows off the dresses the most, if that’s helpful. :)

  • Katy - My favorite is Firecracker laughing after kissing Sweet P. Too adorable!!

  • Sarah M - second to last…the BW one where Firecracker is eating Sweet P’s fingers…tooo cute!
    Sarah M

  • sarah k - I really love the black and white one of your daughter standing and looking down at her cousin. But I also love the big laugh. :)

  • sarah k - I really love the black and white one of your daughter standing and looking down at her cousin. But I also love the big laugh! :)

  • sarah k - oops, sorry about the double comment above.

  • Savannah - I love the second one where Firecracker is laughing. It is a unique picture and it really captures her mood and happiness.
    The others are adorable, but I think that one would be the most different than pictures other people submit.

  • Sharon - Mmm…can you make the one of Firecracker standing up over Sweet P into a color shot? If so, I think I would go for that one because it shows more of the outfits. However LOVE the first two shots as well. I’m not much help!

  • Jodi - We LOVE tea collection. Just stocked up for back to school!

    My 2 cents. The photo of Firecracker standing over Sweet P with her little smirk but in COLOR! Best picture of both girls and their personalities as well as really showcasing the adorable outfits.

    Facebook–Yes you can have a FB fan page but it HAS to be linked to a personal page. The way around that? You setup a personal page with very, very limited information and locked down completely (no access from anyone or anything, no pictures etc. You put ONE post on the front of that page that links directly to your Fanpage. Then you promote the Fanpage like crazy. Run all of your posts from your Fanpage! You also link your fanpage to twitter and it will automatically tweet. No extra work necessary.

    Good luck in the contest!

  • Kirsten - very first pic is my fave. good luck! :)

  • Jessica - The picture of the big laugh. So much joy, which is what life is all about!

  • giozi - You are bad, I’m in a dilemma for you, ha ha ha. Yes is really difficult.
    I love two. The one where your girl is shouting, and the oher one where which seems she is biting you niece, but perhaps should be in color because they also want to show off their dresses.

    About face. You can have 2 accounts, a lot of persons have an account for your blogs, o businnes.
    Do you have twitter? I don’t understand it very well yet.

    Good Luck !!

  • giozi - OH is laughling, no shouting, ha ha ha. It seems to be the one with the most votes

  • tessa - I like either the one where firecracker is standing above her cousin(this one shows the dress well) or one of the ones of firecracker biting/kissing her cousins face. I really like the first one in the post and the second in the series of her biting/kissing. I also recommend doing color to show off the outfits better since it is a contest for the Tea Collection. Good luck and let us know if it is a voting contest so we can vote for you!

  • Sarah - Love the one with firecracker laughing (second one)

  • Christy - I agree with Trudy. Has to be the second pic. Best of them and of the dresses. Too stinkin’ cute!

  • joy - what about the one from a couple of posts ago – where firecracker is on the slide?

  • Melanie - The top right one for sure! I love her face when she laughs! So cute!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I really like the first 2… I think they show off the dresses the best :)

  • Brenda English - I think the second photo with Firecracker laughing is adorable and “different”. Not the usual, expected pose!

  • Amanda Ciskowski Madl - I like one of the first two – the second one is my favorite with “Firecracker” laughing. They are ADORABLE. Good luck – I LOVE the Tea Collection stuff – it is sooo cute.

  • cassie - I love the one of Firecracker laughing so hard you can see her teeth.

  • Amy - The big laugh!

  • Jodi - ps…just saw your “my lovelies”! That Nicey Jane fabric is in my craftroom! I could hang it all over my house. It’s gorgeous. I will post pix soon!

  • Jennifer - My favorite was the black/white one with Firecracker standing over Sweet P!:)

  • Michelle Z. - The vampire toddler photo (#2, where she has her mouth open and her head thrown back).

  • Megan - i think the b & w photos are the best!

  • Jackie - Her standing over her cousin shows the dresses best, but I do love that big laugh.

  • Nancy - I like the bw one of Firecracker standing and looking down at Sweet P but for the contest change it to colour so the dresses stand out.

  • Jenny - Definitely the “big laugh”
    Of course they all are adorable!

  • Ashley - you CAN have a “fan page” but it HAS to be “administered” by a REAL person…aka: a personal page. the only to way to create it or admin it is thru a personal page! its an odd ODD system – hope that helps :)
    i like the hand-on-baby’s-face one…smack dab in the middle of the face!

  • Kara - I agree with others–the big laugh! Too cute!

  • Carolyn - Either number one or two. I like the first picture because it’s sweet…but then again, I love the second picture because it has so much personality. Good luck to you!

  • Monique - Definitely the big laugh!

  • Kristin - Yes it’s a facebook fan page. I have one for a pet project I am working on. It’s a page where I have people nominate someone each month and then I draw a name and make a handmade gift and send it to the nominee. It’s called From:Me To:You if you want to check it out. :) (Shameless plug) but really my intention is to spread love just because! http://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Me-To-You/164901278898?ref=ts

  • Kat - Definitely the one where FireCracker is laughing. Good luck, I hope you win the dough!

  • karen davis - I think for a photo contest, especially for the outfits, that the picture of Firecracker starting down at Sweat P is the cutest!

  • Veronica - The black and white one where firecracker standing behind sweet p with her sweet smile is adorable!

  • Amanda - The 2nd pic with firecracker laughing, for sure!

  • Andrea Jett - Definitely the second pictures with the big laugh! Nothing but uninhibited joy!

  • tammy - My favorite photo is the one where Firecracker is standing. Good luck!

  • SamiRose - my favorite is the first “out take” with firecracker getting ready to eat sweet p’s face!

  • andy - oh to many cute ones
    the first on the left
    fourth on the left
    eigth
    or the last
    sorry i know that’s a lot but they are my faves

  • Mary - Oh! What a dilemma! Gorgeous photos, it’s hard to choose. I agree with some of the OP about using the one of Firecracker embracing Sweet Pea but possibly keeping it in color. It shows off both dresses so beautifully and it’s a sweet photo! Also, the second one of firecracker giggling while Sweet Pea is in her lap is just as adorable! Decisions! Can’t wait to see what you choose!

    With facebook, I think you could easily set up a business fb and facebook page w/o it having to do with your personal facebook. Only remembering to keep the updates about the contests and blog, and more open to everyone in the public instead of just intimate family and friends.

    I absolutely love your blog and this is probably the first time I’ve ever stepped out of “lurking/stalking” to post. You make me feel welcome every time I read your posts. I share your stories with a variety of my friends and they fall in love with the family under the sycamore too. :)

  • Gevay - The big laugh or the one where she is kissing her! Too cute all of them!

  • stacey - laughing pic, hands down! it’s such a great visual, i can almost hear her laughing :) :) i do love the last image as well though because of the juxtaposition…the giggling upright vs. the not-so-happy upside downer :)

  • Harriet - I think the first one or the big laugh! I just love the big laugh photo.

  • Ryan - You have to use the one where Firecracker is laughing! I die laughing everytime I see that!

  • Sandy - I love the whimsy of the last photo. FireCracker laughing; Sweet P crying and both of their caregivers reaching into the picture. I can just imagine how “interesting” this photo shoot must have been. :-)

  • j cole - I like when Firecracker is laughing after she has kissed Sweet P. But your comments made the pictures triple hilarious!

  • Kate - In the first two photos, the one on the right. I prefer the third photo really, so if it looks as good in color as it does in B&W, I would go with that one. Just figured they would prefer non-B&W.

  • kristiina - 1. 5th one down where sw p is laying in fc’s lap and fc is going down to take a bite
    2. 8th one down where fc is standing over sw p while she peacefully sleeps

    good luck! :)

  • Jane - My vote is for pic #2 where Firecracker is doing the big laugh. So adorable!

  • Philly - It’s so good to hear you are entering the contest! I will be sure to “like” your status. And yes, please, on making a Facebook page for your work!!