Instagram 365 Challenge Week 1 Round Up :)

A resolution of mine this year is that in addition to showing my regular business/work portraits, I’m also going to attempt to do a 365 of my “real life” images as well… I want to challenge myself to create good portraits with no special props, locations or photoshopping.

When I started this on Jan. 1, some friends and followers asked if they too could join in and I thought it would be fun. The one basic rule is it’s a photograph a day, describing your life, taken with a camera phone.

I’m not going to feel like a failure if I don’t get all 365 and you shouldn’t either. I think it would be a huge win just to document ALMOST everyday for a year. That would be about a 300 day improvement over last year so I figure it’s still a huge step in the right direction!



Jan. 1, 2015


This photo was taken as we touched down back in Los Angeles after our nice vacation in South Florida (see our vacation photos here).  1/365


Jan. 2, 2015


A New Years Resolution of mine is the classic cliché: exercise more, get in shape… When possible, I’m making my boys participate with me because exercise and being outdoors seems to help them focus and behave better the rest of the day. So this morning, the boys and I went for a mile run just after the sun came up. Felt good! 2/365


Jan. 3, 2015

The Challenger.

What can I say? I love my kids equally, but while they may look similar and share the same due date, albeit five years apart, these boys are as different as night and day. The younger one has made it his mission in life to challenge his older brother in every way: sometimes it’s cute, sometimes it’s a positive, but sometimes it’s a real and destructive challenge to manage. 3/365


Jan. 4, 2015


I was never going to be a sports mom. I played plenty of sports in my youth, but frankly, I felt no compelling need to put my kids in a sport, especially not in a competitive sense. Then my boys told me they wanted to play baseball last year. And not just recreational baseball but intense, time-consuming year-round baseball. And, as usual, my kids were right and I was wrong. They are learning things playing sports they could never learn otherwise. Right now, we are learning about facing our fears of failure in a very public way. My youngest is a good player, playing “up” with older, more experienced kids. He still doesn’t weigh 50 lbs and it’s scary and intimidating facing talented kid pitchers. He wants to be perfect and worries endlessly about strike outs and ground outs at first base, beating himself up terribly when it happens, which is relatively often. Sometimes he gets so worked up he feels sick to his stomach before he goes up to bat. But he is a tenacious little bugger and he keeps working at it, keeps wanting to practice. I know he’s going to figure this out. Failure isn’t the problem, fear of failure is. 4/365


Jan. 5, 2015


Because when I spy through the gap in the door, I get to hear all your pretend conversations without interruption. 5/365


Jan. 6, 2015

Keeping It Real (Sometimes).

And this is why it matters… Non-posed, non-propped, non-photoshopped photos of our families are documents that tell us where we lived, who we were, and why we mattered.Shown, from left to right: my grandmother, my grandfather, my mother, my great aunt (sister of my grandma), my great uncles (brothers of my grandfather), and my 3rd cousin (?) daughter of my great aunt and uncle, double cousin of my mother, on their farm, circa 1949. 6/365


Jan. 7, 2015

Mind Games.

In the mornings before school, sometimes we play chess. I’m not a good chess player, but he’s seven and it’s frustrating that I haven’t won a game since around Thanksgiving :/ 7/365

#JD 365 Image Pool Spotlights

In addition to my own 365 project, I want to include some lovely moments from others “playing along” and adding their work to the community under the hashtag #JD365Project. Please be sure to give them some love and consider adding YOUR best “everyday” images captured with your camera phone (only) to our image pool. It’s NEVER too late to join.


© Image from Irfan Cheema, you can follow him at:


© Image from Claudia, you can follow at:


© Image from Rebecca Grabek, you can follow at:


© Image from Judith Krasinski, you can follow her at:


© Image from Effie Lissitsas, you can follow at:


© Image from Nat Windsor, you can follow at:


© Image from Christy Dunn, you can follow at:


© Image from Laura Zimmerman, you can follow at:


© Image from Christy Dunn, you can follow at:

Hello 2015! Happy New Year!

A New Years Resolution of mine is to blog more this year. And I have a lot of material I’d like to blog, so I’m rolling the work out in pieces.

Tomorrow I will be sharing with you the first week’s worth of images from my 365 project on Instagram. If you’re interested, join in! It’s for camera phone images only and the hash tag is #JD565Project.

Today, I want to share with you the images I took from my three days on the beaches of South Florida where we visited with family. I didn’t take my “real” camera out much, and instead, had fun capturing images with my iPhone 6+ and Panasonic Lumix TS5, which is waterproof. Both shoot jpg and are relatively simple point and shoot manual cameras. The processing you see for the first sets of images were done within my phone, editing within the built-in camera library and also using Instagram filters. (Follow me on Instagram here).

Blog - Florida Ocean Instagram 1of2Blog - Florida Ocean Instagram 2of2

This series was also shot with my iPhone, just processed more simply, mostly just using JD Foundations actions Bright Glow, Warm Dimension, Sharpen, Golden Saturation Bright Blush Saturation.

iPhone Beach 1Jan 7, 2015 Beach 2Jan 7, 2015 Beach 3

This series was shot with my Panasonic Lumix TS5 and processed with the Foundations Actions Bright Glow, Warm Dimension, Sharpen, Golden Saturation Bright Blush Saturation. The shots with more retro golden tones were additionally processed with the tint Terra Cotta from the Earthy Tints Set.

Jan 7, 2015 Beach 5Jan 7, 2015 REPLACE LAST

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be offering some tips on how to take better shots with your camera phone, so please stay tuned 🙂

And just in case you were wondering, here are 2 photos taken with my “real” camera. I edited them with the same Foundations Actions as mentioned previously.


Kindergarten Field Trip

On Friday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend my youngest son’s field trip as a chaperone. While the kindergarteners kept me too busy at our actual destination to take photos and still do a good job in my official duty, I was able to take a number of snaps on the bus. Before we left, the little faces were eager and fresh, beaming with excitement. On the road home, the same little people were quite tuckered out from the 98 degree morning on the farm where they pulled out vegetables and fed animals.









For some work, I try to find ways to make my photographs softer, more like paintings.






Edited with JD Beautiful World Fine Art Tints, Foundations, Textures and Matte+Haze.

Thank you for your views, comments, and shares. You can follow me here:

Zaure + Aziz, a Bridal Session

I had the pleasure of photographing Zaure + Aziz’s bridal photographs. The couple was married in Uzbekistan and wanted to document their wedding attire here, in a relaxed, outdoor setting as well.

Congratulations and best wishes to this beautiful, loving couple. I deeply appreciate them wanting me to document this amazing time in their lives.





















All images were processed with Actions from the JD Beautiful World Collection. The actions most used in this series were from Foundations, Earthy and Vivid Tints, and the Matte + Haze set.

Thank you for taking the time to view, share and comment. Consider following me on Facebook, Google +. and/or joining the JD Beautiful World Community.

G+ Cheat Sheet for Shortcuts, Hot Keys and Formatting


If you liked this post, please follow and +1 me on G+: