About a year ago I decided it was time to cut off all my hair. My sister gave me a recommendation for the stylist that cuts her hair. I showed up at the salon without a picture and no idea of what I wanted. I just told her to cut it all off. She did. I loved it. I also loved that she was up for a trade πŸ™‚ For a girl that used to go to the salon once or twice a year it was a whole new world seeing Leslie every few months. We finally got around to my end of the deal and I wanted to give her a peek of some of what I got. I’ll share the photo settings for those of you interested…

Leslie…you have some seriously handsome boys! Thanks for letting me photograph them!

1/250, f/3.5, ISO 250

1/320, f/3.5, ISO 250

1/160, f/2.8, ISO 320; 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 320

1/250, f/3.5, ISO 320

1/320, f/3.5, ISO 250 both

1/160, f/3.5, ISO 200; 1/160, f/3.5, ISO 320

1/160, f/2.8, ISO 320 – both

1/160, f/3.5, ISO 200

The shot above and below were taken minutes apart. Leslie and the boys did not move, I just changed my angle. Suddenly they are in a field of flowers!

The settings are the same too.

Now if I can just find someone that puts in pools to do a trade!

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  • Sarah W. - Gorgeous.

  • allison - Beautiful!

  • emily anderson - what do you know, me and my hair stylist trade too! i take photos whenever she needs it, and i get my hair done every month (you know i have short hair—and it’s straight up bleached). yah, i could never afford such a thing, so i’m so grateful that she is willing to trade! and it’s great cause she thinks she’s getting the better deal and i think i’m getting the better deal πŸ™‚

    these photos are fabulous!

  • Lori K - ooohhh! I love her hair!! and yours. didn’t know you with long hair. hmmm. I like cool hair. Love the pics and the downtown venue. super chic.

  • Yanet - Leslie’s boys seem like they have a quite a personality to match with their good looks! I love the last shot of them three. Leslie is a looker her self. πŸ™‚

  • OrangeFarmhouse - Maike - Oh my I love your pictures so much! And look at that tattoo, how cool is that!

  • kribss - i wish i could find someone to trade with me. don’t know what i would trade but still. oh, i do make a mean batch of buckeye brownies : ) LOVE LOVE these photos!

  • kelly - I wish ‘I’ put in pools. I’d love a trade! Beautiful photos.

  • Ingrid - beautiful photos and beautiful family!!

  • ashley jensen - I would so trade cakes for photos (I was a cake decorator at Merritts for 5 years). :O) Love the pictures as always!

  • giozi - If you someday come to Madrid you have 2 little customers.
    I hope ther still be little πŸ™‚

  • ashlee - i LOVE the tattoo on his arm! so real:) most parents would have him wash it off but i bet its sooo him!

  • Susan - Love the reminder and example of changing your angle!

  • Leslie - Thank you Ashley! These pics are awesome! Can’t wait to see the rest:)

  • Lesley - Leslie, your boys are so handsome!!!

  • Jasie - LOVE!!! I totally love these boys’ style. Especially the tie with the chucks and the tat.

  • crystal - how can we contact her if we want her to do our hair?

  • Annie - Ashley Ann! Where in the world did you find that cute spot with the flowers and downtown in the background? Please tell!

  • jessica h - great!! you really captured them, (as always!)

Thank you all for coming out in force to be a voice for vulnerable children! You all are awesome. Thank you for supporting Foster Kade Designs! The winner of the giveaway was:

After last Friday’s post I thought you might like a little peek of some recent pictures of my friends. I have mentioned them previously on the blog as they traveled the journey of adoption. I remember sitting in their kitchen about this time last year and my sweet friend started beaming as she told me about a referral they received for a sibling set….their children.

I love this picture. To think that a year ago three of their kids were in a children’s home on the other side of the globe. Now all their kids are home.

Photo tip: For this picture I started with the kids posed behind their parents. We did a couple really posed smiling shots and one where each kid held up fingers for their age. The kids started getting restless so to get them back engaged I told them on the count of 3 to tackle their parents. Don’t you love these!

Those just make me happy. Thanks F’s for letting me capture a brief point in the story of your family. You are loved…ALL 8 OF YOU!

Disclaimer: No, I am not doing client sessions….just a few pictures of the closest kind of friends πŸ™‚

Cute floral tape by PuglyPixel

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  • RachelC - Love, love, love the pictures!! I especially love the one of the kids lined up beaming at their parents, and that the last 2 really show off mom and dad’s personalities! What a beautiful love story. Love you guys.

  • Courtney Connelly - M and J-
    What wonderful pictures of your family, they show the love the eight of you have for one another!

  • Kirsten - Thank you for posting these! My husband and I have just started the Ethiopian adoption process. Sometimes I am excited, sometimes I am terrified! But seeing families like this one makes it seem possible and not quite so strange and daunting.

  • Kalee - We need more pictures like these to make people see that families are families no matter how they come together!

  • meg duerksen - amazing.

  • Trinity - Love it Ashley!!!! This is a beautiful family!!! I love it how the little one just does her own thing while everyone else is wrestling. Cracks me up. Congratulations to this family on completion of adoption and welcome to the incredible journey!!!

  • Tricia - Tears.
    What a beautiful tribute to your friends, their family, and to bringing a family together through adoption.
    Thank you for sharing.


  • Kara P - Looking good “F” family!!!

  • emily anderson - i LOVE these pictures!

  • Mariah - Love these, Ashley! 8 beautiful faces.

  • Erin - Thank you for posting this beautiful family!

  • Danielle - beautiful.

  • Danielle - beautiful!

  • stylefyles - hahahah, way to sneak a chair in there =)
    lovely family!

  • Lori K - Love those pics. I like the one of all them lined up looking at their parents. adoption is a great thing. God bless them forever.

  • OrangeFarmhouse - Maike - probably love the story as much as the pictures! great parents!

  • Harriet - I love this post! What a beautiful family. Your photos tell a great story.

  • Brittany - my heart desires to be like this family sooo badly! I cried my eyes out after watching “Lucy’s Gotcha Day” video and several others. I hope one day me and my hub can bring “our” children home.

    On another note: a few photo setting questions!

    1. is your white balance on auto or another setting?
    2. which metering mode do you use?
    3. do you use the manual focus points or automatic?

    B πŸ™‚

  • Kelly - My favorite one is the middle one where they’re all standing looking at their parents, well, except for little miss blondie. πŸ™‚ All of these photos definitely bring a smile to my face. Kelly

  • tara pollard pakosta - what gorgeous pictures!
    I can only dream of adoption!
    what a blessing they are all to one another!!!
    I LOVE this!

  • vanessa - This brought tears to my eyes. A beautiful family for sure!!

  • Heather Stauffer - What a blessing-and SO beautiful to see!

  • Heather - What wonderful pictures of a great family! Adoption is amazing….we are working on #2 ourselves.

  • jessica h - so great! they have been on my mind all week…

  • Lindsey @ A Pear to Remember - As an adoptee (and perhaps future adoptive parent), these photos really touch my heart. Beautiful work!

My monthly contributor post over at Design Aglow is up. I know not all of you have Photoshop and are able to use all the Design Aglow products, but you could use the same methods to create your own projects. Sometimes when I see diy projects on other blogs everything seemingly looks perfect…like the diy-er just quietly worked in a gorgeous studio creating something fun. Well, that is far from my reality. I thought you might enjoy a couple ‘behind the scenes’ pictures of my companion when I was working on the Design Aglow projects.

Here we are outside…burning a little cork and practicing our screams. On a side note, I have reached a new level of personal accomplishment. Remember my chair post? Well, this pink beauty in these pictures has a new home. I let 4 chairs go in one day. I am so proud of myself.

And as I attempted to get ‘after’ pictures of the project…she kept getting in the way and taking pictures. She’s cute, but I was going for a different subject!

Well, hop on over to Design Aglow and let me know what you think!



Have you heard of the new site Bump Smitten (love that name)…well it is full of incredible ideas regarding baby showers. You could use the ideas for anything really though. I love the clean, beautiful design of the blog. Sweet P’s shower was featured yesterday. If you need some party inspiration, stop by!

The Foster Kade Designs giveaway ends tonight…

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  • Heather - firecracker = adorable..

    the small glimpse of your new over the mantle photo display = love it..

  • Anna Marie - Oh my goodness Ashley! How perfect that you told us about Bump Smitten. I just found out yesterday that I am going to be helping throw a shower next month. Thank you, thank you!

  • Sarah - cute post! i love the idea of buring the cork!

  • Liene - Wow, nice project again. I really like the second one with the clipboard where you can draw on you laminated photographs and erase it again. Great. I also like the woody look of one of them!

  • Kirsten - Super-cool projects! I love the dry-erase one. My kiddo would love drawing on pictures of Mommy and Daddy. And I loveloveLOVE the sneak peek over your mantel (mantle? I can never remember which way to spell it). I couldn’t see much of it, but I am dreaming of doing something similar with our kitchen backsplashes – can’t wait to see/hear the details!

  • Jessica - I am pretty sure that I will never get tired of looking at pictures of your daughter, she is just so darn adorable!!!!!!

    I too, have an adorable little daughter at home who ALWAYS wants to help with my projects!

    Has to bring a smile to your face to think that one day they will be creating with us!

  • Jessica - ps, yes, that was a lot of exclamation points.
    my bad.

  • Lori K - Looking at the shower makes me want to have a baby!!! I want a shower like that!! But, alas I’m 41.5. too old so they say – or at least i feel too old to have another one. Well, we could adopt – so save that beautiful chair for me. I love this post and way to go!!! excellent party throwing – I must say!

  • ashlee - little helpers are always nice, right?:) i currently have 2 climbing on me and one yelling at me as i type this:)

  • giozi - Thanks for sharing the link I going to see this site.

    These days I have a heavy head about my Lua’s birthday. It’s just that this week was the birthday of the daughters of two friends from Flickr. One of them, olivia1111, filled her house with balloons, confetti and if you saw the picture he took of her daughter, the expression on her face, her smile full of happiness is the nicest thing one can have of their children.
    A friend told me that it did not matter much to decorate a party because young children do not look at that. The girl of my friend was 4, and her smile said it all.

  • allison - very cool idea! tfs!

  • Kae - Aww I bought that same dress for my daughter to wear for her 2nd bday party!! You have great taste!! haha And thanks for the site, I may find inspiration for her party now!

  • shower blog « - […] It is fun. You see amazing creativity, color, thriftiness, ideas, photography, etc… BUT today Ashley shared about a new baby shower blog. Hop on over to Bump Smitten. Simply […]

  • amanda - I LOVE all of your ideas and I’m going to check out Bump Smitten for ideas for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. That dress Firecracker is wearing is SO cute! Where did you get it from??

  • Nicole - ummmmm…..NEED to see more of the photo display behind the laminated photo Step 10 on your Design Aglow post!!! Did I miss that?! Part of the new living room re-do?? The suspense is killing me…

  • Sheila Cutler - LOL! Classic. Excluding it is devoted, its not a tiny cheat that hurts, its those some small cheats in a row that adjoin up.