My Week in Instagram {Back to College Edition}

You read it right! After 3 glorious, healthful wonderful weeks of vacation, diabetes and pregnancy I went back to school. I had such a wonderful time with my family- celebrating Christmas, New Years, doing several photo sessions, and watching countless movies :) It was a low-key but really relaxing break and I loved it. It was hard to go back to school- even though I LOVE college, I still have that sinking “don’t-want-to-go-back-to-school” feeling. The first week back was a little hard- I was so tired every day! But I really like my schedule for this semester- it allows me to have more free time during the day because I now work mornings or evenings, instead of the middle of the day. My classes aren’t as exciting as last semester, but I’m still enjoying them and am taking every opportunity to embrace all the amazing opportunities I have every day here! I have more hope for this semester, this year of my life, than I have had in a very long time..perhaps more hope and freedom than I have had in my entire life. The Lord has been so good to me and I am living in His joy and freedom daily!

After that long intro, here are some photos from the week and a half I have been back on campus :)

1.13.13– On my flight back home! Because of my new, nifty iPod touch, I got to take all sorts of instagram photos from the plane. People must have thought that I was flying for the first time by the way that I was plastered to the window, taking tons of photos :)


1.14.13– First day of classes! This is me standing in an insanely long line at the bookstore, buying some very expensive books :)


1.15.13– This is my work! I love working here (except for at 8am ;)


1.16.13- This amazing thing happened- a magical place called The Chocolate Bar opened here at college. Oh my goodness. I went for the first time, did some studying, and enjoyed some hot chocolate and hazelnut gelato!


1.17.13– I think I go to the prettiest college in the world, especially when it snows :)


1.18.13– This is my favorite college meal! It’s a simple sandwich- brie, lettuce, and tomato. But the bread is AMAZING! I get this for lunch almost every day. Froggy! This is my favorite stuffed animal :) Today was a bit of a rough day, just frustrating, but as I was trying to get through my psych reading, Froggy cheered me up by checking out the frogs on the textbook ;)– Late Night Prayer! I love this group of people from my church. We get together Sunday nights to pray for our campus. These lovely girls are amazing! We are in a discipleship group together and we got together to eat ice cream in crazy cold weather! This is my roommate and me! We went to the Chocolate Bar and got gelato. Faithgroup! Love getting together with these girls Wednesday nights :) This is a photo of the temperature (it was negative 14 with wind chill), me with FROZEN hair from going to get my laundry from my dorm room, the laundry room, and my Honors class!


So there you have it! More about my weeks back at school than you wanted to know! Let me know how your weeks have been :)

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Project 365- Week One {2013}

Are you guys used to writing 2013 yet? I, salve for sure, viagra dosage am not. Where did this past year go? I have had a great year! Here are some highlights:

– I turned 18


– Graduated high school

– Went to Maine for vacation with my family

road trip

– Did a bunch of amazing photo sessions including shooting my first weddings

– Went skydiving


– Started college

– Celebrated another great Christmas

christmas tree 1

And lots more!

For Christmas this year I got the new iPod touch, which I’m super excited about because I can now take my own Instagram photos all the time (before I had to borrow my dad’s iPhone). I have decided to do a Project 365 with Instagram photos- I think it will be an awesome way to document my year and I’m really excited about it!

For my Project 365, I am using Instagram to take the photo and am using an app called Collect to keep track of all the photos. The Collect app is great because it will send you a reminder to take your photo, you have a calendar of the month and you put the photo in each day (which looks cool) and you can add a description that details whatever you did that day. Super fun! I’m not doing a themed Project 365, I’m just taking a photo that describes part of the day. Here are my photos from this week, and follow me at amiliaphotography :)

1.1.13- Sleeping Fenway Family Photo Shoot Christmas Lights Photo Session with my Sister The Loveless Cafe


1.6.13- Sisters


Stay tuned for more Project 365 posts in the following weeks :) And for some tasty recipes!

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How to Take Christmas Photos- Bokeh Tutorial

I love Christmas lights- they’re so pretty! And I also love taking photos with Christmas lights in the background when it creates beautiful bokeh (the circles that form behind the subject).

Here are some tips of how to take photos with gorgeous bokeh using Christmas lights!

1. Use a small aperture– to get really nice bokeh, order you need a lens with an aperture (or f stop) that can go down to 1.8 or 2. For these photos I was using my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. The aperture of your lens is how big the opening is to let in light- so when you have a low aperture like 1.8, patient the opening is really large and lets in a lot of light, stomach and your background gets blurry. Because your aperture is letting in a lot of light, your shutter speed will have to be higher to compensate.

bokeh web12. Put your subject several feet away from the lights. For these photos I used our Christmas tree and my dog was a good 8ish feet away from the tree. Varying the distance between your subject and the lights will give you different looks- the closer you are to the lights the smaller they will be. If you get really close, they will just look like lights, not circles. The farther away you are, the bigger the circles, but if you get too far away, all the circles will start blurring together.

bokeh web43. Put your camera close to the subject– My dog was far away from the tree, but I was close to him. That made the frame tighter and made for better bokeh.

bokeh web34. Adjust your ISO– My ISO was at 400 for these photos- that’s in the middle as far as ISO goes. ISO is how sensitive to light your camera is- if your ISO is low (100 or 200) your camera is not as sensitive to light meaning that your aperture and shutter speed have to be lower to let in enough light. Low ISO is good for when you’re shooting in bright light and gives you the highest quality photos. Middle ISO from 400-800 will make your camera more sensitive to light which is good for when you’re shooting in a well-let room inside. ISO in this range will allow your camera to take in more light and won’t take down the quality of your photos too much. High ISO (800+ depending on your camera) will allow you to shoot in low-light situations, but will also produce granier photos. I always try to shoot at as low an ISO as possible so my photos will be of better quality. Your ISO in these photos is going to depend on how dark your environment is- my living room has windows so it was letting in quite a bit of light.

bokeh web25. Have fun and don’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comment section! I know Christmas is over, but keep your lights up and experiment with some bokeh holiday photos :)

And for those of you who are curious, my settings for these photos were: ISO– 400, Shutter Speed– 1/100, Aperture– f/1.8

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My Week in Instagram #3 – Summer Edition

The first two weeks of my summer have been wonderful! The last day of school, malady my family and I went to Sweet Cece’s for our traditional end-of-school-ice-cream and I finally figured out why I love Sweet Cece’s more than any other ice cream shop. It’s because it’s much easier for me to make choices there! They only have 8 flavors at a time, no rx and if I can’t decide, information pills I can have more than one flavor! And I can put my own toppings on the ice cream and it’s all very low-stress.

My family went hiking last week and then went and got ice cream and that ice cream place had like 30 different flavors and mix-ins and options and it was all way too stressful. Don’t judge me….it’s just hard for me to make decisions! ;)

My family and I went bowling. I started out pretty strong and then went downhill. But my youngest sister, Ella (who is 6 years old), scored higher than everyone except my dad. She broke a score of 100! And she could barely even lift the bowling ball. What the heck???

So I can’t believe that I haven’t told you that we have a new kitty! Her name is Penny and she is tiny, cute, and such a trouble-maker. That’s her sitting on my shoulder. She hung out there a lot and slept on my shoulder the first day we had her.

See, I told you she was a trouble-maker! At dinner, she wouldn’t stop attacking our feet so she had to go in her kennel. Well it’s Fenway’s kennel…but now they have to share it ;)

This is how she fell asleep the other night. How is this comfortable??? It was really cute, though :)

Mmm fruit! I’ve been eating summer fruit a lot, especially watermelon- my family can go through a watermelon a day :)

So that’s been my summer, if you add in a whole lot of photography and photo editing! What’s the best part of your summer so far?

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Strawberry Drop

This past weekend I tried some high-speed photography and was really happy with how it turned out! To set up this shot, disease I used a stained piece of wood for the background and the surface and placed the wood by a window so I could get enough natural lighting into the photograph. I filled the mason jar with water and had my dad drop the strawberry into the water while I took the photos.

For this shot, phimosis my aperture was 2.5 and my shutter speed was 1/100. If you want to try some photography like this (and I suggest you do!), check make sure that your shutter speed is at least as fast as 1/100, preferably faster so that you can freeze the motion of the water droplets. Set your camera on continuous shooting and have someone else drop the object while you fire away!

Hopefully this summer I will have more time to experiment with my photography and try new things out like this :) Let me know if you get the chance to try high-speed water drops- I’d love to see your photos!

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