Simply Real: Mommy Got a New Toy!

Two Christmases ago, Thomas got me a Nikon DSLR.  I kinda consider myself to be a casual photographer.  I was the girl on campus who would stop in her tracks, walk back ten feet, and take a picture of a pretty flower, or the two birds sitting under a bench.  But I always just used my cellphone!  I had always wanted to get into photography... and Thomas gave me what I needed to start.

Over the next year I played with my camera... never venturing out of the preset modes.  I began to read a lot of photography blogs, and I tried out techniques I had found on Pinterest (I'm obsessed... go ask my sisters and mom >.<).  No matter what I read... they all said the same thing.  "You have to brave the open waters... and get into Manual mode."  Now of course there's nothing wrong with the preset modes on a camera... in fact they're very helpful for when you might want to take a quick photo and you don't have the time to determine the perfect settings.  They're also what really helped me to get a handle on the basics of photography and they helped me to understand the settings on my camera.  Eventually, I built up the courage to start shooting in Manual mode.

Half the fun of photography is experimenting and learning! As imperfect as this picture is, I don't have the heart to delete it because of the moment I was able to capture.

One of the things that makes Thomas such a great husband is his ability to read me.  He can tell when something makes me upset... When I'm uncomfortable... and most of all what makes me happy and light up inside.   Thomas said he'd known that I had a love for photography for as long as he's known me.  He said he could just tell that it was something I really enjoyed.  He could also tell that I absolutely loved my camera... but that I felt limited with what I could do with the lens I had (I had the 18-55mm kit lens).  Don't get me wrong... I've taken a bunch of photos that I absolutely love with the lens.  But I felt that my pictures were missing something.  I began to look at a lot of photos on Pinterest (...again) and I took mental note of the styles of photography that I gravitated towards.  I tried to remember any tips that these photographers would share.  I started to notice that many of them were using a 50mm prime lens.  I began to research more about this lens and I had learned that it's actually a great lens for beginner photographers who are looking to take their photography to a different level.  It's versatile, yet provides a challenge to the photographer.  This also happens to be the lens that my sister-in-law, Roxanne, recommended that I get as my next lens.

Thomas had been trying to convince me that it was time for me to get a lens... but I just couldn't ever bring myself to do it!  I guess he got tired of telling me to do it... because for our one year wedding anniversary he got me a 50mm Nikkor lens.

One of the first (and one of my favorite) pictures I took with my new toy!

I don't know how he even pulled it off.  We just got home from running errands and I was with him the whole time so I don't know how he hid the package from me.  The second he handed it to me I opened it up and we went for a walk around the neighborhood!

If you follow me on Instagram or if you've known me for a while you know how much I love to stop and capture a shot of nature.  So far I am totally in LOVE with what this lens has allowed me to do!  I also feel like this lens has forced me to really think about my shots before I take them.  I find myself thinking more about what I want the focus to be on and how I can add depth to a picture or how I can capture something different.
It was quite an experience trying to keep up with Brayden! My sister, Lauren, and I went on a walk one afternoon with our kids... So, we decided to bring our cameras along.
I really look forward to all the beautiful memories we get to capture as a family!

Since I've already been doing Daily Dose of Chloe (almost all of the photos were taken with my cell phones... iPhones or Samsung Galaxies), I'm making it a point to use my DSLR at least a few times a week as well.  That means we can (hopefully) expect better pictures (and probably some whoopsies like the first pic)!  I am so grateful for everything that I have in my life.  I couldn't ask for more!  I hope everyone has an awesome week!  Here's a few more pictures from this week's shenanigans.

I don't think it's possible to describe to anyone how much Thomas loves his daughter... but this picture does a pretty good job at showing it. <3

Our little koala bear.

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