Getting my sh*t together

I do loads of stuff because I love to do loads of stuff. I get bored. I try new things. I learn. I evolve (well, I hope so anyway…).

That means that sometimes (most of the time) the inside of my head is a bit…chaotic. My brain tries to think about everything at once. How’s that working for me? Weeell…not that great.

 

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My brain…

 

That means that I am on a constant quest for structure. Get more shit done with less effort, and actually plan off-time that is just for me. I have a planner and a to-do list in my phone (perfect, no more double bookings and no more ideas forgotten!), I have a project planner also on my phone (that means I can plan my projects and get some structure while I am on a dog walk), I have a notebook in my phone for lists and ideas that I want to save for later, and I use Dropbox a lot.

But I also feel the need to actually use pen and paper. I always take notes when I listen to things, I “learn with my hands” so to speak. So using a paper calendar is something that has a lot of value for me. I like to write and draw. I like pretty colours. I’m creative!

But which one? There are so many, and they all claim to be the best! Believe me, I have tried a few…and been ALMOST happy. ALMOST content. But there is always that nagging “If only…it would be just right!”

So, a week ago I heard the words “Bullet Journal” for the first time. Interesting…could it be something for me? Right now I am in the middle of a “bullet journal challenge”, and having a lot of fun. And getting the structure my brain craves. In the way that suits ME and MY NEEDS. At least I hope so…

 

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Focus, brain. Focus!

One page in my Bujo (I’m getting the lingo and everything! I feel like a pro after…a whole of six days…I’m pathetic, I know…) is about my weekly schedule, the things I try to do the same way every week. Checking invoices, doing my books, planning, Instagramming, dog tip of the week…and this blog!

My favourite blog is still trying to find it’s perfect form, and knowing myself I think that it will keep on changing forever. But what I really want to do is two things:

  1. Teach about photography. Dogs especially. That is my passion.
  2. Use my blog as my personal outlet. Write for the joy of writing, share a bit of myself and my life. I always enjoy a blog that is like a window into someone’s life, I guess other people feel the same way.

So, on my weekly schedule, this blog appears twice. Tuesday: personal stuff about me and my life. Friday: something useful about photography. That is my goal: twice a week this blog will be updated. So it is written, so shall it be.

So it is written (blogged), so shall it be. The internet has spoken.

 

 

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Changing gear

 

I feel like I’m cheating on my camera.

I have always been a “sony-girl” from the day I fell in love with my a350 almost ten years ago. Today I’m in a steady relationship with a sony a77II, and we have had some good times! Always there, always working hard, always delivering good quality. And the raw-files are just…yummy!

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But four months ago I met Fujifilm XT-2.

You know how it is…someone you know tells you about that “new friend” that they really like. Kind of “Haaaave you met…?” And you can’t help but look, and chitchat a bit. You don’t want to be impolite! Next thing you know you sold your second camera and is in the store listening to a salesman praising Fuji. And you try it…even though you know you shouldn’t…

I’m sorry my darling Sony, but our love story has to end. I will still keep your little sister RX100 v, so I’m not “sony-less”, but I will have to let you move on to someone who will love and appreciate you for the fantastic camera that you are. It’s not you – it’s me…We just grew apart. I will always treasure the time we had, and I hope we can stay friends.

We will always have Fuerteventura.

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(What do you mean “It’s just a camera”? The relation between photographer and camera goes much deeper than that. Or maybe I’m a bit odd. Again.)

 

Dreams of future pasts

“What do you want to remember in five years time?”

A friend of mine asked me that question, as we spoke about my new puppy and what I wanted to do with her. Competition, what sport, etc. That is four years ago.

I thought it was an odd question, so I began thinking about it. Now, four years later, I think it’s a great question! What are my most cherished memories with her? Well…a lot of fun training. A few competitions. But mostly…life together. When she snuggles up in the middle of the night, with a sock in her mouth, just glad to see me. How she sleeps in my lap as we watch TV. That she loves toys, and treats, and jumping up in my arms, and lick my face. How she found a bag of fruit and vegetables and played with it whe she was home alone, and we came home to a sofa covered in grapes, zucchini arranged on the table, lettuce leafs all over the floor, and one happy pup (we laughed. What can you do?).

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Cutest pup ever!

So, as I thought about what I thought I wanted to remember, and how it differed from my actual favourite memories, I learned about myself and what is really important to me. Self-insight. Really useful 🙂

And I expanded the concept. What do I want to remember, not only from my time with my dog but from my life, in five years time?

“Well…I worked a lot. Fun? Yes, sometimes. Not what I really wanted to do though, but…you know…got to pay the bills. Travel? Yes, some. Funny, I always thought I would travel more. See the world, you know? But there was really never the time, with the house and all.”

No. That is so not me. I won’t let it be. If you want something, work for it!

And right now, I truly believe that in five years time I really want to remember that I left my teaching job, made it as an online teacher and photographer and can work from anywhere, and live part time in an RV with my husband and dogs.

This is my future home (or something like this, we won’t buy one until next year):

 

That’s the plan right now. Let’s see what happens. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes you just change your mind for whatever reason, but right now – this is the start of getting to a life that I don’t want to take a vacation from 🙂

A new life…

Two weeks ago I met the most adorable couple, their dog, and a child waiting to enter this world. The love and the connection was so strong, and I feel blessed to have had the honour of capturing these moments.

And they had a dog, of course 🙂

What wisdom do I want to share with this post? None. I just love the photos, and hope they bring you joy. Take care of your loved ones!

In my life as a photographer, right here right now

I’ve had two busy weeks, and feel like I’m playing catchup right now…and it will probably be like this for another week.

Last week I had four big dog related photo sessions and one without dogs, and I am so grateful I get to do what I love! Pregnant and Staffordshire terrier, wedding and pinscher, three beautiful retrievers,  9 different dogs at mini sessions at my dog club, and portraits and group photo at a confirmation in my local church.

I haven’t had time to edit more than a handful yet – but next week is all about editing! Here’s a small taste of what to come:

This week so far, I have been working around the clock with my upcoming video course for Moderskeppet. How to photograph dogs in action! But now I think all the material is filmed, all the photos are in, and all the voiceovers are recorded. Now my part is done, and the editor I work with makes the magic happen and the course comprehensible. I am really proud – it is some great stuff in there!

And today I’m focusing all my attention on my other job, as a schoolteacher, and will oversee and help my students at a camp where they learn clicker training this week. I look forward to meeting my colleagues at Glädjeklick 🙂

And I’d like to finish with a cliffhanger…We are going to look at an RV this weekend… Why? Wait and see!

 

How to pose your dog, three simple poses that stand out!

Posing a dog is different from posing a human, because the anatomy is different. With dogs you have to consider ears and nose, and they may not take directions very well.

To really get the Tops Dog portraits, you have to know your breed. What is this dog supposed to look like? Which features do you want to exaggerate? A bulldog is not the same as a greyhound.

But, you don’t have to get that advanced. Most of the time you just want to take a portrait of you furry friend! What matters most to me when I photograph my dogs is that they look happy, alert, and like they are enjoying themselves.

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Ears: in front. Even dogs with heavy ears have muscles at the ear base that makes them look more alert.

Eyes: calm or engaged. Looking at the camera, or calmly looking at something interesting.

Posture: Relaxed, interested, or alert.

Mouth: I love dog-smiles or mischief-lips…A closed mouth is better than a stressed panting mouth. Yawns are really cute on photo, but usually means that the dog is starting to get stressed – time for a break.

Pose one – “I love you mom!”

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A portrait from above, with large aperture. Focus on the eyes. A treat on the camera gets the look just right.

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Works really nice as a close up that really brings out the eyes (f/1,2). If you want the nose blurry or sharp is up to you, use a smaller aperture to get the whole head sharp.

Pose two: “Nose down”

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Again with a large aperture. This requires some training in advance. Perfect to put some flowers in the foreground!

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You can always take this photo when the dog is tired and near sleep, if it doesn’t put the nose down on command.

Pose three: simple profile

Dogs with really long noses often look nice in profile. It’s easy: a helper with a treat does the trick 🙂

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You can also turn the head a bit towards the camera, to get variation.

There you have it. Three really simple poses! Try them with your dog. Let me know which one is your favourite!