I’m trying to break these travel posts up a bit…I want them recorded here, so hang with me for a couple more! Our main adventure in Colorado was to visit Chris’ sister and her family. Our trip fell right between my nephews’ birthdays. Celebrating with the boys made the trip extra special. Gunnison is just south of Crested Butte (where our extended family lives). We spent a couple days around town for birthday celebrations.

While in Gunnison we walked a short trail to the river. The trail was about a 1.5 miles to the river. It looped for a longer distance, but we just stuck with the short distance. The multi-use trail we went on was located in the Van Tuyl Ranch. Click here to view a trail map guide, we used the east side of the trail marked in blue around the Van Tuyl Ranch. It was very easy walk…perfect for little ones that wanted to run far ahead.8.15gunnison-018.15gunnison-028.15gunnison-03I forgot her applesauce to mash that bar in…she was not thrilled with me, but she sure looked cute. She passed her bar along to her brother.8.15gunnison-048.15gunnison-05The boys were far off in the distance. I didn’t feel like running after them with my camera!8.15gunnison-06While in Gunnison we also spent time at the rec center (for a birthday party). Visitors can pay a drop in fee for a day and have use of the whole facility…pool, climbing wall, gym, games, etc. I think the price is $5.00 for kids (for all day). Of course, I’d rather be outside, but this ended up being a big highlight of the week for my kids.8.15gunnison-078.15gunnison-09We also celebrated my nephew’s birthday at a local Niky’s mini Donuts & Dogs shop. The mini donuts are made to order…so many topping options.8.15gunnison-10My favorite donuts were the plain, too much sugar doesn’t appeal to me. My kids felt the opposite.8.15gunnison-128.15gunnison-14There is so much more to do in Gunnison, but those are some of the highlights for us. It is directly on the way to Crested Butte. There is also a great playground right off the main road (Jorgensen Park). If you have stir crazy kids that need to get out for a bit while you are traveling, that park could be a lifesaver!

CLICKHEREtravel

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  • Jenn - fun times
    can’t wait to take our kids to co one day
    we have a donut food truck that is very popular here called big foot little donut. i haven’t had them yet but they are made to order i think and tiny

  • Mary - Your legs are amazing! Wow! I just had to say it. You’re in great shape! *sigh* I’ll get there one day (or back there I should say)

  • Laura J - I thought you were going to have to do the Mama-bird thing for Little One! Looks like a nice hike. Thank you for sharing your travel adventures.

  • Farah - I love your travel posts (actually, I love all of your posts). Thank you so much for taking the time to write them! I have followed your blog for several years, but I have never commented. I need to get better about that! I cannot believe how much your children have grown. Your family is such a joy to follow. You have also inspired me to plan a road trip out West. I live outside of Atlanta, so not exactly close by, but it WILL happen one of these days :)

  • Cindy - I love reading your travel posts! We made a similar trip this summer! Started off easy tent camping at the KOA in Gunnison then roughed it a little more and camped at Lake Irwin near Crested Butte…so beautiful!! We made a stop at Niky’s Donuts too but my favorite was Third Bowl homemade ice cream in Crested Butte. We were in town over the 4th of July and got to watch the parade in Crested Butte and fireworks from Jorgensen Park. We got a couple new stamps in our national parks passport while we were there too…the Curecanti Recreation Area and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. There is a beautiful trail at the end of the south rim of the Black Canyon…we walked out in beautiful clear skies with awesome views and then on the hike back, the clouds were rolling in and we were literally walking in the clouds…amazing experience! I got a blanket personalized with our last name from Lands End and over the past few years have picked up patches from the places we visit on our travels. I sew each patch to the blanket when we return and its become a fun record of our journey…the kids love looking at the places we’ve been & the remembering the fun adventures we’ve had! Hoping to do Yellowstone soon!!

  • Charity G. - So many coold things to do. I love your last comment about the park. Finding them along the way makes traveling with my boys so much easier. Every year we travel from California to Texas and when we go through Santa Rosa, NM there is a park we always pause at and let them play. It brings a little more sanity for all of us, and it has some pretty awesome older toys (merry go round, metal slide, etc.) that make it even more fun because it’s the only park where they get those type of playground experiences.

Dramatic title, huh?

My oldest is now officially a 6th grader. It is weird. SO WEIRD. I remember quite a bit from my childhood prior to 6th grade. However, no single school year marked my life like 6th grade. If someone were to ask me, “What was the worst grade?” My answer would be 6th grade. No hesitation. No question. Hands down 6th grade.

If you were to ask me if I would repeat 6th grade. If I had to do it again and not change a single thing. Would I? Absolutely. No hesitation. No question. Hands down I would.

Isn’t that how it works though? Sometimes the hardest things we go through mark us in a way we would never want to change. 6th grade was that year for me. And now I have a child the same age as I was back then. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking a lot about 6th grade lately.

Here I am…my first day of 6th grade. Try hard not to covet my bangs and perm. And outfit.

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Where I live, 6th grade marks middle school. Several elementary schools feed into a middle school. It is a mixing of schools, friends, sports teams…young kids on the verge of adolescence trying to find their place and figure out who they are. It was 6th grade that I decided who I was going to be, which path I was going to go down, what kind of decisions I was going to make and ultimately who my friends would be.

I entered 6th grade with a group of friends. In a few short months it became clear I was no longer part of that group. Over the course of the school year I was the butt of a lot of jokes and pranks. These weren’t little jokes and pranks. These were the kind that brought me to tears daily. The kind that caused my mom to ask repeatedly if I wanted to change schools or be homeschooled. The kind that the police had to be involved. I had to give statements. My parents gave statements. The kind of ‘jokes’ and ‘pranks’ that today we would call bullying in awful way. I CANNOT imagine if social media existed back then. Now, as the parent of a 6th grader, I CANNOT imagine how hard it was for my parents to watch that year unfold.

In the midst of the horrible, I made two new friends…Nicole and Rachel. Nicole lived down the street. She would give me a heads up when she heard things were going to happen. She had my back and watched out for me. She became a safe place for me and a friend I treasure to this day.

Rachel would become one of my life long closest friends. I am confident that without Rachel I would not have stayed at that school. Not only did she help me make it through that year, she has helped me make it through every year since. Her influence on my life has been steady and strong. I would face every prank, endure every mean word and deal with every rumor again because it led to my friendship with Rachel. Hands down. No question. No hesitation.

8.156th-01

In many ways 6th grade was the most pivotal year of my life. It was the year that I first really came to face to face with the reality that everything is not all sunshine and rainbows. I had to decide how I was going to respond when others intentionally hurt me. Truly, it was that year that my Christian faith became the foundation of my life. It was that year I decided the type of person I hoped to become, how I wanted to treat others, what kind of life I wanted to live. It was an intensely hard year and it was the necessary stage to set all the best years of my life. Hands down. No question.

My oldest just started 6th grade. It is wild to think. Sometimes I still see a little boy, but then I remember myself at his age and I am reminded he is at that verge where the boy becomes the young man. If the friends he has today remain his friends for the years to come, I couldn’t be happier. He is surrounded by solid, fun, great young men. I want their influence in his life. I also pray that along the way, in really hard seasons and really extraordinary ones, he would have a friend, like I had Rachel, by his side.

And whether he likes it or not, he’s always got me…

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8.156thgr-018.156thgr-028.156thgr-038.156thgr-048.156thgr-058.156thgr-078.156thgr-088.156thgr-098.156thgr-108.156thgr-11I’m often asked about how I get him to take pictures…I just ask. I let him read this post and asked if he would pose for a few pictures. It wasn’t on the top of his list of desirable things to do, but he also didn’t put up a fight. I don’t ask often and when I do I think he knows it is important to me. I also let him come up with a few ‘faces’ we should make. I am sure you can’t guess which faces an 11 year old boy wanted to make…

(he is laughing reading this because he didn’t think I would actually post those last pictures…I just won some mom points and maybe lost some readers!)

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  • Southern Gal - I love your perspective, Ashley. Middle school is so, so hard. (Our community was the same way. Several elementary schools pouring into one middle school. I can remember struggling to fit into any group. I really never did feel like I belonged with any.) Not changing any of it shows how much it impacted who you are today. Hugs.

  • Dawn - Thankful for the person you are. It makes me sad to think of people being mean to you! Tomorrow my son begins kindergarten and I have been praying so much that he would be surrounded by friends who encourage him and are kind (and that he would be that kind of friend also). Hope 6th grade is a good year for your oldest. He sure seems like such a good kid!! :)

  • RachelC - 6th grade. I can’t believe you have a 6th-grader! You are old. Ha. Also, speaking of 6th grade, I can’t get Michael W. Smith’s “Friends are friends” forever out of my head…not sure if it’s remembering the time period or trying to be funny inside my head to keep from crying like a baby at reading this post. You are one very special woman. I’m so grateful for a friendship that has withstood all the mountains, valleys, distance and change over the years. And mostly thankful to Jesus for you and his continued pursuit of us (in many ways together) over the years. So exciting that you have a front row seat to watch C go from boy to man. Did I just call him a man? Well, an almost man? Woah.

  • Kristin S - So thankful the Lord brought Nicole and Rachel! Those kinds of friends are priceless. I remember my mom gently steering me away from some friends and toward “Nicole and Rachel” friends. I’m so thankful she did. It wasn’t blatant but looking back she didn’t let me sleep over with some of the “cool” girls. I was mad then but when I saw the awful pranks they pulled and how mean they were to those who were their friends just days before, I was so glad.

    And that last picture? Priceless. Yes, we all know what that face is. :-)

  • Bronwyn - These pictures are hilarious! I CAN guess what you are doing in the last few!! 😉 My oldest starts 6th grade this year too. It’s the first time that the grade feels “too grown up” for me. Fifth grade still sounded little, but sixth is, like, almost high school! Not quite but…. My son has had a wild journey of severe health problems (he’s healthy now!) which have lead to an array of learning obstacles. His fifth grade teacher was a dud so we are really hoping his sixth grade teacher will be the spark he needs to LOVE school this year! Looking forward to surviving the ups and downs of parenting a sixth-grader with you!!

  • Mandy J. - Lost readers? No way! I love that you aren’t afraid to show your silly side and I love even more that you take the time to capture photos of yourself with your children. Those are keepsakes that they will cherish forever.

  • Carrie - Love it. Ya’ll are too cute. And get it Mom Points! May God bless him this year!!

  • Jenn - what great pictures of your and your friend. my heart clinched reading your post about 6th grade. what an awful experience but i get how it has shaped you and made you who you are today. bless for your sweet friends that God placed in your life. there is nothing like friends that love big like that.

  • Natalie Lacy Lange - This is such a good reminder of what we should be praying for our children. Of course, we want each year to be easy and happy for them, but it’s clear that the hard years are the years that grow us into the strong people that we are as adults. My prayer for my boys is that they will turn to God during the tough years and walk in faith.

    Oh, and we must be about the same age, because I have a picture of me and my sister wearing the same outfit and hair! Different colors/patterns on our homemade jams, though! 😉

  • Rachel - There was something about this post that really moved me. Thank you for sharing. You already had me as a reader but you sure didn’t lose me with this post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Maria - Does he get to read the comments too, because he’s sooooooo handsome!! Beautiful boy, beautiful mama. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self. I wonder if you might realise how far reaching your words go? THANK YOU.

  • Heather - awww so cute. I hate those pivotal year memories. UGH.

  • Melanie - Look at you now, Ashley. The woman you are, the family you raise nad I bet if you look at your former bullies and what kind of people they are now it is a good feeling for you.

  • Dana H. - I am so sorry you had to go through that. It was 7th grade for me, and it had a tremendous impact on the person I am today. I wish we could help kids understand that the wounds they inflict at this age are not easily forgotten. I talk to my kids about it often but not sure it gets through. Thanks for sharing.

  • LeeH - This is what I like about your blog, you share yourself with us. Many blogs just post a craft or a recipe but you tell us about what’s going on in your life. And you respect your children. Thanks

  • Abby - Love these pictures of you with your boy. Also loving your long hair–beautiful!!

  • Debbie - You are so full of perspective, and I think that’s why your blog resonates with so many of us. The middle school years are so hard on so many of us, but with those trials, we grow. I hope your son grabs these years by the horns and pushes through just fine!

  • Shannon@Heart...Captured - Haha – I love all those matching silly faces. My oldest just started middle school as well – so hard to believe!

  • Trisha - It’s often the most difficult times that bring about the wisdom and compassion that enable all the wonderful things you are now. I think your kids, your family, and the world, really, are so much better because of the way you look out for others and the ways you inspire all of us to do the same. Hopefully the kids that tormented you grew up and became better, too. Thanks for sharing the pictures–you guys are too cute.

  • Rikki - I’m right there with ya girl! Middle school was not all it was cracked up to be for me either. Rough is an understatement. My boy starts middle school next fall already, and that really just blows my mind. I’m thankful for spaces like these to know we’re all in some of this together. I look forward to this next season and all it will bring!

  • Angela - He is as handsome as his Mama is beautiful. And while situations may really stink, clinging to God in the middle of your hard is never a mistake. Thank you for sharing this story! (Also, killer bangs, man! ?)

  • Lauren - I remember that age range… that was around the time I lost someone who I thought was going to be my “Rachel”. I remember her calling me up and telling me how I was holding her back and how her mom thought we needed space. She was going to a private Christian High School and needed to focus on other people and relationships. I was crushed. Broken hearted. It was horrible. It made me stronger, though. I went on to have a fantastic high school experience (after the blahs of middle school). I think maybe she was holding me back. :) These pictures are so special!

  • Brandi - This does sound like the worst! Middle school is tough enough! My oldest daughter will also be starting sixth grade. I remember it being so awkward and finding it so hard to fit in (which you hear a lot but it didn’t seem like anybody else felt that way at the time!). I see the opposite in my daugther–it seems like rainbows and sunshine follow her everywhere…if only it could always be that way. To be honest, we haven’t had a lot of drama yet with my older kids (oldest will be in high school), and I don’t look forward to the heartbreak or hurt feelings that will inevitably come.

  • jay - <3

  • Val - Dear Ashley,
    My heart aches for your 6th grade self! But what an amazing spirit you have that you focused on God, and what those kids meant to hurt you God turned it into something blessed! Praise God!

    I went into Year 11 (second last year of high school in Australia) and found out my so called friends that I’d spent the last four years with were no longer my friends. I don’t know why, they just decided to give me the silent treatment. At 16, there’s enough going on in life to not have to deal with that.

    That sparked my dropping out of school and falling pregnant to my boyfriend.

    The hurt that the world threw upon me God turned into something much better. My boyfriend married me, me had another child and this year we celebrated 28 years of marriage. I can’t imagine my life without him – he’s been my greatest support, refuge and love.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. The foundations you’ve laid with your family will set you up for life. Bless you xx

  • Melissa - You are a special mama, and he is lucky to have you…
    beautiful post Ashley ?

  • Morgan - Wow! I think the school year I just finished (9th grade) was probably the hardest school year I’ve ever had. Schoolwork is starting to get difficult, I had a very difficult and time consuming class, and the teacher just disliked me with a passion. So this is so relatable! Thanks for your honesty!

  • KatieH - That same Rachel you speak of went from my friend to my sister and I couldn’t feel more blessed for our relationship as well! She is a one of a kind!

  • Arlene - One of my all-time favorite posts–and that’s saying a lot because I love so much of what you write. And to you, winsome 6th grader: I have no doubt you will impact the world in ways you cannot yet imagine. May God continue to build deeply into your life and spill out of you onto others!

  • Emily - That was my 7th grade – pivotal. My oldest is starting Kinder and we’re about to move and he’ll switch schools and it’ll be pivotal for him in its own way. I should set my interval timer and get some shots of he and I together on the stairs before we go. Thanks (again) for the inspiration (again) :-)

  • Debbie C - When I look at the strongest women I know, they are the ones who have endured through tragic loss, hardship, great pain. And while I often envy their strength, since it’s not something I can conjure up or fake, I am not sure I would want to pay the price they did to attain that strength. Thank you for sharing such a painful time in your life with us. Truly it has helped form you into the strong, compassionate, loving person you are now. You have touched so many of us deeply, every week. Thank you. Also, I love your hair long and wavy. 😀

  • Kath - What a wonderful wonderful post. I was also that kid in primary school (I think not quite to the degree that you got it though so my heart really goes out to you). I was the nerd, no friends to play with, no party invites etc etc. I do think it’s made me a better person though in a crazy round about way. A lot of empathy for others and I’m not fussed about being one of the ‘gang’ now, whatever that gang may be. Thank you for being so open as to share this story.

  • JessicaP - Yay for Rachel, an awesome girl who can play Super Mario like a boss by the way. :) I had no idea you went through all this, and I am so glad that you are able to recognize how God worked it for your ultimate good. I pretty much despise my 6-12 grade years, and I have a difficult time seeing anything redeeming in them. Can’t say that I’d willingly repeat them if given the chance. They did teach me how to endure though. That’s something I suppose. Thanks for sharing your heart and your hilarious pictures. ?

  • Juli - I have an 11 yr old… I know that face! Matter of fact, I got together with my best friend from childhood at a restaurant, recently. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years. Halfway through the meal, my son felt confident enough in her presence to say, “Mom, guess what I’m doing!” (while making that face) I was only slightly mortified and very grateful that Kathryn has a boy, too! Your son looks very much like his Daddio in these photos.

  • amber - What an amazing story. Heartbreaking & beautiful. And getting to see some of who you are today makes it even more incredible. No wonder Jesus shines so brightly through you.

  • Brittany - Thanks so much for sharing! For me it was 7th grade, and not because of a new school or new group of people – but because girls can be so very mean. I was lucky, too, to find out who my true friends were and am so blessed to still call a few of those my friends today. It was a horrible year, but I found out how tough I am, that I’m better than harsh words and mean pranks, and that no matter what – I liked me and it didn’t matter if they did or not. I know that year shaped who I am now and that every time I run in to a situation where people are cruel or immature, that I’ve survived worse and am better for it. I’m glad your kids have you to look up to and confide in as they navigate their own tough times. You are one amazing mom. (p.s. can’t wait for September snapshops!)

  • Lacey Meyers - First of all, these photos totally have me cracking up! And second …. goodness, I ache for what you went through in 6th grade but obviously, as you recognize, this is such an example of how God uses all things for good for those who follow Him. Because your experiences didn’t ruin you, they strengthened you, and likely your parents and your two dear friends, too. <3

  • suzy - Oh reading this post brought back so many bad memories for me! I too was teased, but I know this is why I became a middle school teacher in my adulthood. To have loving and caring teachers mattered to me most during those times. Now I homeschool my children, two of which are in middle school. I watch their struggles, and I am so glad I am here to help them. They are developing a strong sense of who they are and finding friends that will help them along the way. Beautiful to watch and hard to watch all at the same time.

  • Aj - This couldn’t have come at a better time. My nieces are starting JRHigh in a new city and I am so concerned with their integration and hearts. Your experience, though awful, confirms that our God can ‘work all things for good.’ It was just the reminder i needed that He is intimately involved in every detail of our lives and the ones we love. Caring and shepherding us as only He can! How wonderful that we can cast our anxieties on Him and trust He is working in all situations!

  • Kelly - As a sixth grade teacher, this makes me sad. I am sorry to hear about your difficult experience, but I am sure it helped shaped you into the strong woman you are. I will try extra hard this year to be mindful of bullying and prevent it. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Amabile - You’ll never lose your readers, Ashley. Your writing is just too beautiful. :)

  • Kellie - Holy cow…I just had my first and here I am freaking out about him turning 5 months…I cant even imagine 6th grade!!!! So crazy!!!!! Those last pictures are pretty awesome haha!

  • Shivaun - Ashley, you are such a beautiful, strong woman and mother. Thank you for sharing this painful story that I think many people can relate with; I can. I wonder if God does not allow such heartache in order to create more sensitive and supportive mothers? As a mother of many now, I really keep my radar up to make sure my kids are doing all right. You are an inspiration!!!

  • Katherine - I enjoy your blog because you are so real, appropriately transparent, and respectful of your children’s individuality and privacy. Thank you for setting such an outstanding and refreshing example on public social media. Your authenticity is beautiful.

  • Dana - Thank you for writing your post. I am new to your blog and are moved by honest you are. My son experienced the worst year of his life last year in a new middle school being one of few minorities. He was just doing what other boys were doing and trying to fit in.(but he got singled out and punished) Fast forward almost a year later, new school, 4 “Rachels”, a youth group/new church and almost done with his “diversion”. I still can’t pray for him without crying. Life is hard and is not always fair, but in the end your were okay. That is my prayer for him everyday, that he will just be okay and persevere. He has always been such a kind, kid with an old spirit. He just wanted to be like everyone else. Thanks again for the post.

  • Vicky Kindschi - If you lost readers, they were not one’s you wanted to keep anyway! Mom points are worth far more!

  • Amy Cornwell - I so love the last few pictures…both he and you are awesome for sharing those and for sharing your story. My daughter is super sensitive and has just started 4th grade. I’m fearful for what the years to come hold for her because of her sensitivity but will just keep praying and leading her. Thank you for sharing!

  • Emily - Thank you for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes for multiple reasons…

    I know several moms, friends, and students that I will be sharing this with.

    Thank you!

I thought I would combine a travel post with some photo tips. I’ll start with some travel info and then the photo tips are included with the photos.

While staying with family in Crested Butte, we ventured to a few surrounding areas. We spent one afternoon at Taylor Park Reservoir. It was a low-key, beautiful getaway. The drive there was stunning – lots of fishing in the river along the way. The majority of people we saw in the area were there to ride ATVs – tons of trails. We just hung out on the beach. I thought for about half a second I might fall asleep under an umbrella, but 5 boys made sure that didn’t happen. The water was FREEZING, but we had plenty of fun on the beach. We packed lots of food, fishing poles, and a few ‘beach’ toys.

All the photos below are from one area – where we hung out.

Photo tip: If you can, find an angle where your subject has ‘negative’ space around him. When I first took this shot I was at a lower angle. My son blended in with the mountains. By adjusting myself for a higher angle, I was able to get a shot where he really stands out. 50mm, ISO 100, 1/1250, f/5.0

8.15reservoir-01Photo tip: Pay attention to your horizon line. For the most part you want to keep your horizon line level. Sometimes photographers will slant a picture to make it more ‘artsy’. However, if you are slanting the picture for a specific reason it is better to keep the horizon level. In the next two shots, I was distracted by the boys and not paying attention to the horizon. When I look at both shots, I want to tilt my head to make them straight. You can often rotate an image on your computer to straighten it. If I try that with the first picture, I end up cropping out part of my daughter and the boys. Bummer..head tilting to view this it is.

8.15reservoir-02The next shot I was able to straighten the image on my computer without cropping out my son. You can see that straightening the shot did result in some cropping. To straighten this photo, used the beach line in the background to determine when it was level.8.15reservoir-03Photo Tip: Take advantage of the ‘burst’ function on your phone or the continuous shooting option on your camera. These functions allow you to take several images quickly with the press of one button. This shot was taken with my DSLR. Once he got up, I started shooting. The continuous shooting option allowed me to capture this image before he fell in the water.8.15reservoir-08Photo Tip: When your subject is looking to the left or right, it often works best to place them on the opposite side of the frame. Since he is looking to the right, I placed him on the left of the shot. This gives him room to ‘look across’ the image, keeping the viewer’s eye on my photo.

8.15straighten-02

I don’t have a photo tip for this one. It’s just cute. She caught a lot of stuff other than fish and wanted a picture with her catch.8.15reservoir-04Like the shots above – I ‘framed’ her with the water and have her ‘looking across’ the image. 50mm, ISO 100, 1/640, f/3.58.15reservoir-10This girl spent a good hour with her uncle fishing. He taught her how to use his fishing rod and she was hooked. She didn’t catch a fish, but that did not matter to her. I took several shots of the two of them together, but I’m not sure if her uncle wants featured on my blog. My final photo tip is to capture your family/friends. It would have been easy to photograph just her in all her fishing cuteness, but I have a feeling one day she’ll like looking back at the photos with her uncle.

Also – swimsuit and a hoodie. Colorado, we are fans of you. 50mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f/3.58.15reservoir-09Just a reminder – this September will be my final SnapShop courses (phone and DSLR). If you are interested in learning more about how to capture every day moments, storytelling through photography and the basics of photography, click here to learn more about SnapShops.

 

CLICKHEREphototips

CLICKHEREtravel

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  • Tanya - Your photos are adorable! Great tips too, especially the ones about negative space and straightening horizons.

  • stephany - Ashley, I grew up camping and fishing at Taylor Reservoir!!!! We camped away from the lake, but would rent boats from the Trading Post and fish the reservoir!! So many great memories came flooding back to me when I saw this post!

  • stephany - Oops! We rented boats from the Marina at the south end of the lake, not the Trading Post! So much fun!!

  • Amanda - I love your photo tips. It’s helpful to see the “mistake” picture too. Like “do this..not this”. You make everything look so natural and easy, I never would of noticed the horizon line being slanted.

  • Emily - I love all of these! Also, last night I looked up your tutorial for painting subfloors. Thank you – many years later – for that one!

  • Jenny - Looking at your photos never gets old. You definitely have a gift!

  • Jenny B. - Great tips, Ashley! I just signed up for the Snap Shop phone course. I’m excited! :)

  • RaD - LOL! The only problem I have with burst shots is I almost always want to keep the whole sequence because they tell a neat flipbook like story when you look at them on the computer. I took photos of my son doing long jump with the burst and got the greatest picture of him in the air preparing for his landing. It’s an awesome shot. But the rest of the pics are still on my external hard drive because I could not bring myself to delete them, they just look so awesome all together.

    So if you are like me and you do the burst too much you could end up with hundreds of pictures in a short amount of time. :)

  • Desiree - Thanks for the photo tips!!

  • Christin - Thank you for breaking this down and sharing it on the blog! This was super helpful!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - You always give the best tips. Thank you!