12/3: DIY Spa Ornament

I know I said I’d be posting the DIY photoshoot workspace today, but I’m going to save it for later so I can feature someone special šŸ™‚

Today’s Shine Bright idea is a DIY Spa Ornament!


Aromatic Mint and Ginger soothing salts to melt away the coldest winter blues. Use the salts in a hot bath and then hang the ornament on your tree!

Nine of them for under $20 and made within an hour!

Bonus gift box too!


Enjoy šŸ™‚

12/2: 3 DIY Tripods

If you love DIY projects and saving money, I’ve got you covered!


Three options to remember this holiday seasonĀ when the group photo comes up: toilet paper, clothespins and business cards. Impress everyone with your MacGyver skills šŸ˜‰

3 DIY Tripod Tutorials

Tomorrow I’m going to show you how to DIYĀ a table top photo studio, so don’t put away that tripod just yet.

Shine Bright, Day 1

We’re starting off simple: Mood Music.

It looks absolutely nothing like winter here in Arizona, so I’ve been tricking myself into the spirit with my favorite Christmas songs. I like a good variety, so I’ve got Jazz, Christmas Rock, and A Capella topping my list! A little Christmas inspiration for your Monday šŸ™‚

Also, I’ve added a new drop-down list to theĀ menu bar at the top of my page. Simply click on “Shine Bright” to see a full list of links, or just roll your cursor over it for a drop-down of the pages posted so far.

Coming up tomorrow: Tripods and Self-Timers, how to use them to your advantage, and even a DIY option!

It’s December!?

Holy Cow

I can’t believe December is here already! It’s going to be a huge month for my honey and I. We’ll beĀ moving across country –Ā twice! Not to mention Christmas and New Years squeezed in there somehow.

It’s going to be a challenge to feel Christmas-y this year. Starting with the desert weather here in AZ, then moving cross-country twice, and being away from family for the first time during The Holidays… Oy.

But I have a plan!

‘Tis the season of sharing,Ā so I’m going to share 25Ā Holiday-themed tips and tricks to help make your seasonĀ shine bright. From family recipes, to camera tricks, to decorations. A new post every day to inspire even the scroogiest of us! Stay tuned this afternoon for the first one.

If you have an epic tradition you’d like to share, please do! šŸ™‚ All faiths are welcome, don’t be shy.

My New Views ~

It turns out the desert is not deserted,Ā and is actually quite beautiful. I finally explored theĀ area beyond our backyard and caught some of its beauty on camera.


I’m used to the lush green of NW Oregon, where there are enough trees aroundĀ to make one feel borderline claustrophobic. Here in Arizona, there isĀ space.


Until I arrived, I didn’t realize how much I missed the huge expanse of open sky that dominates the southern US. My thirst for change and different scenery is quenched – for now.


This area of Arizona does see plenty of rain, but only during Monsoon Season when violent rain and thunderstorms plague the mountains and valleys below. The rest of the year (or so I hear) is pretty dry. In fact, it’s not as desert-y as I expected: there are lots of little reminders of home!


I don’t have to look far to see the sun burst through a colorful tree – this beauty is just beyond our temporary backyard. I wonder if it will ever lose its leaves?


There are even a few pine trees (Pinyon Pines) to make me nostalgic for home. It’s been nice to see these pine trees here thisĀ holiday season;Ā they areĀ everywhereĀ in Oregon, especially around Christmas. The smell, the cones, the needles everywhere – it all reminds me of going to a tree farm and picking out the perfect tree to bring home and decorate with memories. A very popular tradition in Oregon that is nearly impossible here in Arizona.


There’s nothing like a little taste of home, no matter how simple and small it may be šŸ™‚

Throwback Thursday

Cassie and Mark

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen two people more in love.

It was such a pleasureĀ photographing them – talk about photogenic!






Wishing you two and baby Lorelai the best ā¤


Upon reaching Sierra Vista, we moved in with a wonderful little family who are generous enough to share their house with us. Justin and Samantha, and their sweet 7 week-old baby girl Delilah.

You can imagine my excitement upon hearing that I’d be sharing a house with a baby! I mean look at that face!


She was in an especially good mood on this day, so obviously I had to introduce her to my camera.


I think she liked it, little ham!


We’re already planning a Christmas-themed family photoshoot. I can’t wait to see this cutie in a Santa hat!