I’m doing a little guest post for Sara on the Lazio Imags blog. My post is about a little of ‘that’ and a little of ‘this’….not an interview, but a bit more personal. I hope you’ll join me over there and let me know what you think. Despite that I might come across optimistic on the post…I’m really not wired that way, it takes work. Ask my mom.

This week is a bit random here, but next week I have a few diy related posts….and FireCracker turns ONE!!!

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  • keely - Oh, I needed this. I have been WAY too focused on that.

  • Shannon - What a lovely post! I was sad when it ended. It does take patience to remember This and not focus on That, but it’s so worth it! Thanks for reminding us to look for the silver lining!

  • Sarah - Great post Ashley! Thanks for the reminder to look more to the ‘this’ in life!

  • Mariah - My four year old also wants to wear his p.j.’s all day… Maybe it’s a super hero thing.

  • Faith - Just read your guest post. That’s why I come here. Just a reminder that I’m not the only one and that there’s more to be happy about than to whine about. Thanks! And good job!

  • claire - This post just made my day! Having just had a baby four and a half months ago and adjusting to all the changes she has brought, sometimes I focus too much on what I don’t get done that day instead of focusing on how wonderful my life has become since her arrival. Who cares if my house is a dust bunny sanctuary!!

  • amanda torres - Wonderful post! Very well written and very true!

  • Jess - Thanks for sharing Ashley. I love your heart. I love how you cherish every moment with your kids. It is hard to have a positive perspective when your day is hard or “not fun”. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Liene - I just love your guest post! What a wonderful way of looking at things. I’m going to try that as well. Thanks!

  • Celia - I loved the post and you did a great job of putting this in perspective… especially for us “stay at home” moms!!

  • Sophie - I can’t believe your little lady is almost one already! It seems like just yesterday you were posting the first pictures of her on here.
    Oh, how time flies!

  • Kirsten - Oh! Thanks so much – I needed that. It has been a rough few weeks, this helps put things into perspective. Wonderful post!

  • Callie B - This is just what I needed today! I LOVE your perspective! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!

  • SeaminglySarah - I loved your guest post. I need help with “that” and “this” as well. Last night my husband and I battled mosquitoes while we pulled up our radishes. I was lamenting we should’ve pulled them early because some were already split. My husband oh so graciously pointed out we only lost 5 radishes, aka NOT A BIG DEAL! As I cut them up in the kitchen I focused on the larger pile of keeps vs throw aways.

  • patti - what a wonderful post. i needed a little perspective for my own days – so thank you!

  • Sara - THANK YOU!!!!!!! This means so much that you would be my special guest!!!!
    You inspire!
    Bless you!

  • Heather - just came back from your guest post to say that i think that post was great! i’ve been thinking about just this thing lately. it’s our choice to see the bad or the good. i choose good.

  • Rachel C - Well said….

  • Jodi - My comment there “Such a beautifully written post. I know it’s silly but I am moved a bit!!! Such a great way to look at things and I know how hard it is to try and focus on the THIS!! Great job Ashley!”

    We need this to remind us sometimes. Thank you for that!!

    And thank for the link to our baby chicks! We really love them. Your kids will too. So far they are suuuuupppper easy!

  • Sandy H - Talk about driving the point home, your guest post did it. I loved it and couldn’t have said it better. “This” has always been better than “that”. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Ingrid - wonderful post :) it is such an important thing to remember in life – especially when you have kids and they grow so fast – you can miss the ‘this’ moments so easily! thanks for being inspiring :)

  • Jolie - thanks for that post, Ashley! You have such a beautiful soul, and sometimes I have to remind myself that you have rough days too, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed in my life (and I only have 2 littles so far!) You’re utterly lovely – and an inspiration to me to be more optimistic – the effort is almost always worth it, non?

  • Georgia - love your guest post. I have been telling myself the same thing…thanks for clarifying and reinforcing the message

  • andrea - I absolutely love your blog. I love how you take the ordinary, (and if I’m being honest) sometimes mundane tasks of motherhood & make them beautiful. Your blog makes me want to drop everything and play with my kids more, eat dessert first, & laugh til my stomache hurts. You capture the beauty of life and make me appreciate my own life so much more. Thanks for the inspiration- I’m in blog love!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That was absolutely wonderful!!

  • Jessica - I just love your style! It really inspires me to finally get in gear decorating our first home which we just bought a year ago! :)

  • Cindy - So amazing how your “this” and “that” story is told with pictures…. LOVED IT!

  • Vicki Nelson - Your children. Adorable. Adorable. Mine are grown. How well I remember those sweet summer days of their childhood. I love to check in on your blog to see your gorgeous photos and those adorable children. Kindest regards, Vicki

UPDATE: Contest is now closed. The winner is:

“Liz – A portrait session would be AWESOME for our family! We are hoping to get our first family portraits done soon, with our sweet baby girl!”

There are so many reasons I teach SnapShops, but one centers on the reality that the automatic mode on your camera is unreliable. Sometimes you can get killer shots on automatic. Sometimes no matter how hard you try what is in your head you can’t get your camera to create. On automatic mode you camera is reading available light and calculates an average of what is needed in regards to settings to capture that image.

For instance, on the two photos below my 4 year old wanted to take a picture of Chris & I with FireCracker. Since I use a back focus button I have to switch my camera to fully automatic mode for others to use it. You can see Big Brother got a great first shot, but the second shot is terrible. He didn’t change any settings, but you will notice there is more of the white comforter in the first shot…providing more ‘light’ for the camera. Hence, the unreliabilty of shooting on automatic.

Back to the June SnapShop…I wanted to share a few pictures from each of the attendees. For several attending they had only owned their cameras for a matter of days! First off, I thought I’d share a few pics Ryan took of me during the day…

And in alphabetical order…some practice shots from the students:

Photos by Bill S.

Photos by Carl L.

Photos by Christine M.

Photos by Gary S.

Photos by Kristie E.

Photos by Liz H.

Photos by Mariah E.

Photos by Ryan A.

It has been fun for me to watch how many SnapShop students have gone on to start their own photography businesses….I have shared several of those with you before. One of the June SnapShop attendees is fully launching his photography business….Ryan Arrowsmith Photography and wants to offer one of you a free portrait session! You need to check out his flickr photos from the SnapShop (there’s some cute ones of Littlest Brother) and his website. What is more exciting than a business launch? A giveaway for a free portrait session!

Here are a few shots from his site….

Ryan Arrowsmith Photography is located in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area….there will be one portrait session giveaway winner, but Ryan is offering $15.00 off all other sessions if you mention “Ashley Ann Photography” when you book your session. I know a lot of you local folk are bummed Shannon is no longer offering baby, kid & family sessions…you should check out Ryan. Onto the giveaway…

Giveaway Details

Prize is one session with Ryan Arrowsmith Photography

One winner, chosen at random

One entry per person

Contest ends Thursday, July 1 9:00pm US central

To enter: In the comment section of this post tell me what type of session you would book with Ryan Arrowsmith Photography!

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  • vina sanchez - i would like a session with my husband. like “lovebird” couples session. =)

  • Tim - I would book a boudoir session.

    PS That Carl guy clearly didn’t understand the principles of photography. He looks like a lost cause.

  • Mariah - I would like a family session featuring our newest arrival… when he or she gets here in a month.

  • Christine - I would love a family session.

  • Christy - Nice photos! I love your camera strap! Did you make it ?

  • amanda torres - Oh wow! I would love a family session. However, I don’t want to frighten him. I feel personally responsible for running off our last 2 photographers….the great ashley ann the fabulous shannon.

  • Amber - I would book a session for my little girl who turns 3 in August :)

  • Beth - I would love a couple session of my husband and I.

  • Mindy - I would book a family session with our three little girls. We haven’t had a family picture since our newest little one arrived.

  • Kara - I would love a family session. My child is about to turn 3 and at the rate we are going we have taken one a year. The mantle at my new house is craving an amazingly wonderful family canvas print!

  • ashlee - i would love a family session but even more a session with me and my hubby…with 6 littles they seem to be the subject of all our pics. we need some of us too!!

  • Katie M. - AWESOME giveaway! Couples Session for me and my honey! We will celebrate one year of marriage in September!

  • Under the Sycamore » Ryan Arrowsmith Photography - […] Ann over at Under the Sycamore is such a sweet, seriously talented gal. Β Today she posted a few of my pics and a link to the site, because she’s cool like that. […]

  • Amanda J - I would love a mommy and Ajani session before he gets too big. I have tons of pics of him but not many of us together

  • Dana - I would book a couples session for sure. My honey and I will be married two years this fall.

  • Trinity - a family session……..congratulations to him on the new business!

  • Allison - I would love a session with me and my boys! I am always the one behind the camera, and would love someone to capture some of the things I do with my kids!

  • rosita - ok – totally off topic – where did you get your shorts? i need some like that. please say target or something like that :)

  • Janica - I would love to win this for my best friend, Mindi, and her darling family who live in the Tulsa area. I haven’t seen my ‘soul sister’ in two years, but I she is a beautiful friend…inside and out:) So hopefully this is transferable if I win; not sure my hubby would be willing to fly to OK for family portraits. Good luck Ryan!!!

  • Amanda - I would love…love to do a photo session of me to surprise my husband on our 10th wedding anniversary in August. Something fun…cute…and says I love you after 10 years of being happily married!!!!

  • Amy - I am in dier need of a family session! It’s been two+ years since the last :)

  • Jill E. - Do you think you can talk about back focus one day?

  • Joey Brown Hoffman - I want a family session because my family hasn’t had a family photo since my son was born last last april…ugh…we need one bad! Thanks so much!! :)

  • katie - A grandparent session… my parents and my kids!!

  • kara - I want a special session with my beautiful niece, Evangelia!

  • Jeannette Swan - I totally need a family session, I just commented to someone the other day that I can’t take down our last family pics (Oct 2008) because they were the last Ashley did for us and we haven’t had family pics since!

  • Kristie - I want a session with me and my boys before they outgrow me!

  • Sarah - I would LOVE to have a family session done!!

  • Erika - i would want a family photo shoot! my child is 2 and we have never had a family picture taken. so a first family photo shoot is much needed!! πŸ˜‰

  • Elizabeth - I would love a family session. My husband and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage and our sweet baby boy will turn 3 within a month’s time. This would be perfect before returning to work in August when school starts.

  • Maggie - I’m due in three weeks with our first child…so, I’d love a baby session!

  • LaurenS - i would do one with my husband of 5 years in 2 weeks!

  • Lindsay McDaniel - We could definitely use a family session, me, the hubs, and our two boys!

  • Julie - We just brought home our 4th child and some new baby/new family pics are definitely in order!

  • Lisa Keen - A FAmily session!!

  • Brenda Hillhouse - I would book a family session. (Drew is turning 3 on Friday, can you believe that it has been 2 years since you last took our pictures? Since then, Dylan has been to Iraq and back. He was gone for 11 months and just recently got home in March.

  • Liz - A portrait session would be AWESOME for our family! We are hoping to get our first family portraits done soon, with our sweet baby girl!

  • amy j. - We would do a family session! And drive to Tulsa if we win! :)

  • Candice Forfte - I would book a photo session for my son who is turning 2 July 29th and maybe get a few family shots! Money is tight right now so this would be a huge blessing!

  • Sara - I would love some pictures of the hubby and I…

  • Danielle Hostutler - I would love to have a “fun messy” photo session where me, my husband and son (soon to be ONE) have fun together–be it water, mud, sand…anything messy. Something ridiculously messy and fun!! Yes, pretty please and thanks!!!!!!