What camera should I get?!

Being a photographer, one of the most popular questions I get from people is “What camera should I get?”. This can sometimes be a difficult question to answer! There are a few questions you have to ask yourself and what you want to capture with your camera first!Whether you are expecting your first child and don’t want to miss any milestones or you’re planning a trip and want an easy point and shoot so that you don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of extra gear! There are plenty of options to choose from but I can tell you what I personally love!

I had to do my research before choosing what I wanted to get. I had a point and shoot but it was getting old and I wanted something with close to the same quality as my professional Canon DSLR. I asked around to my photography friends and I’ve heard great things about Fujifilm and the film look to their cameras. I knew a lot of people who had the Fujifilm X100T . But I didn’t want to spend that amount on something I wanted to throw in my purse to carry with me. So when I asked about the Fujifilm cameras someone brought up the Fujifilm X70. It’s nice and tiny and does an awesome job! One thing I really knew I wanted was a point and shoot that had wifi so I could upload photos while I was out and about directly to my phone. That way I could post photos right away which was a huge plus! I also wanted the capability to shoot manual, BUT don’t worry! You can always put the camera on auto if you don’t want to worry about learning manual mode. Another perk to this camera was it can shoot amazing high-quality video!
I also discovered some additional accessories that I added to my camera. I got a unique wristband along with a lens hood to protect the lens while being in my purse. It does come with a lens cover, but the hood adds protection without me having to mess with a cap. I would totally rate this camera 5 out of 5 stars!! It’s so easy and the size is perfect so that I can take it everywhere with me!

 

Now if you are wanting a good entry level DSLR to take more “professional quality” pictures these are my recommendations: Canon makes a Rebel T5 camera and Nikon has D3400. I shoot Canon so I’m not super familiar with Nikon’s cameras. If photography is something you want to learn and eventually invest in, these are for sure stepping stone cameras. The pricing of these may look more appealing, but just remember, it’s a kit so it comes with a “kit lens” which is normally lower-end quality. I would highly recommend purchasing a 50mm 1.8 prime lens or 50mm 1.4. These are great lenses to learn on since they can get nice and wide at F/1.8. Without getting all technical, these lenses will help you learn the different settings that you can’t get with the kit lenses since the widest you can get on those are sometimes F/3.5 or F4. Just very limiting! Now the 50mm lens is a prime (fixed) lens, which means it cannot zoom. If you want to zoom in and out, your feet are your zoom! If you don’t want to buy it brand new, you can sometimes get lucky and find used lenses at camera stores or online. Just make sure you purchase it from a reliable seller.

EXTRA TIP: Regardless of what camera you want there is some basic knowledge that you should learn before you purchase any camera! The DSLRs can be overwhelming with ALL their features! Yes you can throw any camera in auto, but depending on the lighting it may cause your flash to go off and you may not want that.  My biggest advice for taking better pictures regardless of what camera you choose is to make sure you HAVE LIGHT if you don’t want your flash to go off while taking pictures! The more natural light the better! Making sure there is enough light in the room will help your camera to have quicker shutter speed so it can capture the image in focus and without movement.

There is a reason I stay behind the camera!

I’ve been trying to figure out ways to engage more with my clients. So I figured, “Why not make an intro video for when people contact me about their wedding day?” It will be super easy….. HA! I take it back! I take it all back! Just remember don’t take yourself too serious!

Disney First Timers – Part 2

I can’t really say I am a true “first timer” to Disney, BUT  as a family, we were absolutely first timers! I think that last time I was at Disney was in 2000 and I was a teenager. I didn’t plan things then and SO much as changed since I was there last! Planning a Disney trip can feel overwhelming at first. BUT booking through an agent and booking early helped with making sure we got the most out of trip. Our awesome agent Kim helped us get everything together and helped me with my many unknown questions I had! Pinterest has a ton of awesome tips and trick and I encourage you to do your research before you go. I gave a brief overview about what was helpful in Part 1. But here is a more in-depth view of some things about the parks that I found SUPER helpful & fun!

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We only went to Magic Kingdom 2 days, Epcot 1 day and Hollywood Studios 1 day. No Animal Kingdom this time.

FastPass+ – You can book your Fast Passes 60 days in advance of your trip. Do it! You get 3 fast passes per guest per day. Now this is where you need to think about the people you are with. Before I booked our fast passes, I looked at my Disney Experience App and got a feel for what the wait times were like through out the day at the parks. For our family, being that this was a first time and my daughter is 3 years old, we wanted to make sure she was able to meet characters that she loves over the big rides. But I knew we would want to still go on some of the rides she would be able to go on that have the longer lines, like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan in Magic Kingdom, and we took what we could for the new Frozen ride at Epcot which was a 8pm timeframe, but totally worth not having to wait 90 minutes+! Hollywood Studios, we got a Fast Pass for the Toy Story ride since that can be an hour long wait at times.

Wait Times – Yes, the wait times can be a little overwhelming to look at, BUT if it’s 20 minutes sometimes even 30 minutes, it tends to go quicker than expected. Disney is really good about trying to make sure they are the most reliable wait times by tracking the crowds. We waited about 25 minutes for the Magic Carpet ride, but it went quick and it was a fun ride!

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Food in Parks– Yes you can make reservations, but sometimes it’s nice to just go with the flow and eat where lines are short and easy. Our first day in the park we ate lunch at the Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. We went prime lunch hour and the Disney staff was prepped and ready to serve. Will feel overwhelming at first, but lines go quick! If there are a few of you, have someone grab a spot to eat before getting in line. Sometimes just grab and go eats is the way to go. They way you can continue to enjoy the park but still getting some food in.

Cinderella’s Royal Table – This is something that needs to be booked well in advance! But if you can get a reservation, I highly recommend it! Can be pricey but totally worth the $150 for the 3 of us. We booked breakfast for my daughters birthday and we had a blast! When you first come in you are greeted by Cinderella and get to have pictures taken with her. Now I did read before we went that the princesses do tend to change and not always the same. However we had Ariel, Aurora, Snow White & Jasmine at our breakfast! They have staff that watches the princesses to ensure they do not miss tables and get to greet everyone! Best part, they recognized it was my daughters birthday and our waiter brought out a cupcake with a candle and we were able to sing Happy Birthday to her which was a nice touch! Her reactions to when Ariel came out literally put me in tears!

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Strollers – Yes there are rental companies you can rent from, but even if you think your kids is too old for a stroller I highly recommend bringing one or renting one. Smaller is better, is my opinion purely for the shuttle buses. Also make sure it’s one you can easily and quickly break down. We had a Summer umbrella stroller before and I loved it but folding it up was kind of a pain. I noticed they came out with a newer one that was super easy to fold and went for the upgraded Summer stroller for our trip. Then I also got this extra storage/drink holder so my husband and I had a place to put our water bottles. There is stroller parking everywhere! Just make sure you put it somewhere you are suppose to put it and don’t be alarmed if your stroller gets moved. Making sure your stroller is recognizable is super helpful!

Parades – Make sure you put time aside to attend 1 or 2! We only made it to the Move it! Shake it! Dance and play it! parade. My daughter loves to dance so I’m glad we caught this one! She was able to dance with one of her favorite characters Jessie. I wish we would have see the Disney Festival Fantasy Parade, but just with timing, it didn’t work out.

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My Disney Experience App– My biggest pointer for your Disney trip would be to use the Disney Experience App!! Download it, play with it, learn it! It was really helpful to be in the park and to be able to see where characters are, what the wait times were like, and finding food that was close by if we were hungry. Yes you can just walk around and find things, but looking it up on a map and having the information right away was helpful with saving time and staying on track of what you wanted to do! If you need to remember what time your FastPass was for, you could check it on there. Best part if you bought the PhotoPass you can view them on the app if you link your photo pass to the app about 20 minutes after the pictures were taken! So awesome!

First Aid in Disney World – This should be a no brainer, but bring your insurance card with you! My daughter woke up our first morning with questionable puffy eyes, which I at the time was trying to be optimistic and thinking maybe it was just allergies. Well about 1pm we decided we needed to go to urgent care and get her checked out. But then all the questions started popping up. How do we get there? Should we Uber? Can Uber pick us up here? Where is the closets urgent care? Oh crap, what do we do?! First Aid! I knew there was one in the park.  We I figured lets go there and get some of our questions answered! Maybe they will even have something for us. Unfortunately they weren’t able to help us medically, but little did we know (Disney is so amazing!) they were able to call a shuttle that would take us to Urgent care, FOR FREE! This was the bummer part of our trip that we missed about half a day, but we are happy we were able to go from the park to urgent care without a worry and then after we were done at the urgent care they were able to call us a shuttle to take us back to our resort.

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Disney First Timers – Part 1

I don’t know if I was considered the crazy planner when it came to our very first Disney trip, but I knew by my daughters 2nd Birthday that I couldn’t wait to start planning our Disney trip! My daughters birthday is at the beginning of March and it ended up working perfectly that we planned to go over her birthday when she turned 3 years olds. Luckily that time frame was right before the large Spring Break crowds!

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Here a few quick things I’m glad I did while planning!  It’s ok to plan early! It’s ok to be on top of things! My husband and I knew we wanted to plan early for a few reasons.

1. Budget $$$- We wanted to make sure we had this trip paid off when we could and early! Things can add up quickly when it comes to Disney. Between what hotel you pick & dining experiences planning early is super helpful to make sure you were able to do what you want!

2. Photo Pass – Being a photographer, I knew I would have my own camera with me, but spending the extra money on the Disney Photo Pass was important to me. My husband bought me an awesome “point and shoot” Fujifilm x70 (LOVE!) camera to take with me on trips so I wouldn’t have to luge all my gear with me. BUT my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t be in any of our pictures! They have people all over the park to catch your photo ops that you can just sit back and enjoy with your child without feeling obligated to take a photo.

3. Hotels – We ended up booking the Art of Animation resort and I know everyone has their on preference when it comes to hotels, but for our daughter it was the perfect option for us! She LOVES The Little Mermaid so staying in the standard Little Mermaid room was perfect! They have fun photo ops around the resort from Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars and of course The Little Mermaid areas. Best part, when you stay on a Disney Resort there are no worries about transportation! Disney Express to and from the airport and shuttles buses to the parks from your resort!

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I will break down my trip more in another post about what I learned while in the actual parks! But hopefully this helped you a little. Research and PLAN AHEAD! It’s the best way to get the most of your trip!

Valentine’s Day 

What do you think about this day? Do you consider it a “Hallmark Holiday”? 

I’m one of those girls that loves Valentines and showing people love. BUT I also think love and kindness is something that should be shown on a daily basis. Being a Mom now, I find that it is my job to teach my daughter the importance of being kind and showing love to people everyday of our lives. It doesn’t always mean gifts and flowers. It means being there for someone. Supporting someone emotionally when someone might need to most. It’s about being a good person and having a good heart. 


I want her to learn that whatever she does in life, no matter what day or holiday it is do everything with love. But for now I will enjoy helping her with her Valentine’s for her friends at school or even making a card for her Daddy. Pinterest does have some cute ideas when it comes to homemade Valentines. When she gets a little older I hope to do some of these cute Valentine ideas. But for now I will just do the store bought Troll Valentines that she asks me to do since Poppy is all the craze these days. 

Happy Valentines Day! 

Hello Blog World! 

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A blog is always something I’ve wanted to start! So today’s the day! As I sit here in my bed thinking about all the things I want to share, post and create to show the blog world, I’m also nervous about exploring this new venture and if anyone is actually interested. If you have read this, then WELCOME! I’m happy to have you and look forward to showing you my world behind the lens of a new stay at home Momtrepenuer!