The Rest of the Wedding Cake.

Did everyone from your baker , your friends and family tell you to save the top tier of your cake for your first wedding anniversary? Were you one of those brides whom had a bad experience with frozen cakes? Therefore, you are reluctant to saving the top tier, but you paid a pretty penny for that thing and hate to throw it away. Well, I don’t know about you, but that was me.

Who knew I would try marriage again. Nonetheless do something traditional as save the top tier of my cake for the one year anniversary . Did you know the tradition symbolized recycling to your wedding into the celebration of your first child? It’s also a sentiment of good luck and prosperity. Often times this is done out of sequence. Children come along before marriage.

I’m not saying it’s a good or bad thing; however I can think of many reasons why some things should remain traditional.

cake My cake was plain and elegant. May I emphasize it was plain.  This is the top tier. It looks a little beat up from other items in the freezer pressing against it.

How to Freeze a Cake:

  1. Wrap it in plastic wrap. ( Preferably brand name)
  2. Zip it in two freezer bags. ( The good ones; don’t be cheap)
  3. Try to have a spot in the freezer solely for the cake. ( I didn’t have the space)

It may not look delicious here, but it was more than good. Looking at this image I can smell the fresh butter. Have you ever tasted a cake that tasted better after it’s been frozen for a year?  This cake was it girls!  The icing was amazing. Typically I expect the icing to taste like food coloring. That old yuk sour taste. No girl, this cake was smooth and flaky. It wasn’t spongy, crunchy, hard, dry…you get the gist.  I’m not good with food descriptions. Hats off to all of you food bloggers.

Don’t judge me too harshly on my photo. You see that sliced piece? I literally cut it for my myself. Immediately I dropped it on the plate and ran for the camera. I’m so mushy this way. Memories are important to me. More important than a technically correct photo. Besides as soon as I saw this shot, I thought of my finger prints pressed in the top, from unwrapping the plastic.  This is what preserving the memories is all about.

 

 

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Unfortunately Retiring

How many of you love fortune cookies? It’s my most fondest memory as a child when going out for Chinese food. It was like the toy in the happy meal box from McDonald’s, except  better.

Recently I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and as usual I couldn’t wait to read my fortune. I crack the cookie open and read it. Then I eat the cookie. Some of the messages are humorous, some make me feel good, and occasionally it seems like there wasn’t much thought in creating the message. No fret I got a good one this time. fortunecookieWhat do you think of my photo skills guys ? Huh, huh…let me know

The message was appropriate considering the unfortunate news I heard. Donald Lau, retires after 30 years because of writers block.  He was the chief fortune cookie writer at Won Ton foods. The man is tired. Can you blame him. He use to write 100 fortunes a year, but lately he writes 2 or 3 a month. Wow! That’s a huge drop guys. Oh well I hate it, because  I have enjoyed decades of his mini messages.

The cookies will still be around. David Jung, invented the cookie in 1918, but no one seems to have clarification on that. There is also someone named Makoto Hagiwara, who has also claimed to have invented the cookies. Whatever! That was BC’s ago I’m not going to worry about it. Someone invented them and they are good.

Perhaps all fortune cookie lovers will have to sit on the edge of their seats for what’s new in our fortune. In the meantime, let me know what you thought of my cookie image. hehe..  I’m proud of my photo. I looked on Google to see if I could find some unique fortune cookie shots and they were alright…:)

 

 

Does your Camera Really Matter?

 

A camera is a tool, they doesn’t actually take pictures, the person behind the lens does. It’s like saying does that car drive well? Ok may be this isn’t a great analogy with  the self driving cars in existence.

 

For instance this shot. It was taken with an entry level camera. A Nikon d3100.  The berries are frozen. Here I’m trying to work with a strobe. Artificial lighting is foreign to me. It shows in how drab this shot looks. However I can use this camera to get better images. untitled-4201-1

What about this one?  easterTaken with the same camera using natural light. I’m not saying it’s a winner, but the composition is better and I won’t get into the rest. I think we can agree it’s better.

untitled-3779

Do you see the improvements?  With practice and patience  it gets better with the same camera. This is still a work in progress. The waffles aren’t as sharp as the berries. When you can see this ( If you are new at photography ) That’s when the knowledge is starting to sink in. Now you know; what you don’t know. Understandably food images are most desire when colorful, has a great composition and the exposure and focus is perfect. The main premise is to make you drool.

A large part of getting great images is achieving the skills.

Why Aren’t you Reading my Blogs?

It’s become frustrating . May be I’m thinking too hard and I should just write and let it flow. Besides I used to do it as a child. I loved writing. No one scolded me for writing run on sentences, or for using repetitive words. The sky was the limit with creativity. I had so much written my English teacher would beg me to stop. I didn’t about the fact my teacher had to grade it for content, creativity, grammar and punctuation. The more I wrote the more the teacher had to read. In essence I was praised for my writing.

Today there are proper steps for a successful blog:

  1. I have to freaking have a catchy title
  2. Make my blog scannable…what?
  3. My blog should be under 1000 words…but I have a lot to say
  4. Make sure its comprehensive
  5. Blog often or on a set schedule

Should I stop here?

I started and stopped blogging so many times.  I love sharing my experiences, talents and knowledge. Should I stick with a niche? I have a passion for  photography, love for cooking, I enjoy given fashion advice  ( Especially for men) and one of my pet peeves is a person who doesn’t clean and keep things organized .

With all of this being said, what should I focus my blogs on? Why can’t I share them all? You’re supposed to be here asking me questions. I’ll try and keep them short, capture your attention with great content, use a catchy title. I can’t promise you I want be all over the place.

 

 

 

coffeemug-2987 This random shot doesn’t make any since. It doesn’t have any thing to do with this blog. I know! However, I don’t know what interest you. This is apparent, because you aren’t reading or liking my blogs . As a photography lover, I have tons of images stored. This is my coffee mug, that I used to drink my hot chocolate. If you love photography , I’m sure you’ve seen this mug before. If you haven’t can you click the like button for a starving blogger? Give me some hope.

Thoughts of Baby Being Snatched.

Sharing my story brings chills to my spine.  However, I feel compelled to share it since the latest newborn abduction case has been revealed. It’s  far from resolved at this moment. This case takes me back to the dark experience I had after giving birth.

It was exactly 24 years ago when I was almost Shanara Mobley. If you don’t know by now she was a teen mom when she lost her 8 hour old newborn to a nurse impersonator. This case is all over the internet. You’d have to be sleeping in a cave to have not heard of the case.  I decided to share a different perspective. The missing now young lady  and her abductor is the main focus thus far, but has anyone thought of what it felt like being the distraught biological mother?  I can only imagine.

I’m following this case closely. Not as if its the first of it’s kind, because in the 1980’s according  to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;there were at least 118 newborns abducted from hospitals. There are still five missing.  According to reports most babies are stolen from medical centers that serve a high volume of low income families. May be the abductor thinks  teen moms  have more children. Perhaps the abductor thinks they are too young to be mothers and they are doing them a favor but taking their child.  No matter what the reason is abducting a baby is a crime! I think it should be punishable to the fullest extent.

It’s disturbing to to read comments regarding Shanara Mobley’s case.  Many people think the baby was better off with the abductor. That’s like saying it’s ok to steal. Regardless of whom the biological mother is no one has the right to intervene in a babies custody. I ponder if  others making such comments would agree if someone stole their baby; the child would be better with someone else.

I didn’t plan to make this blog very long, but I’m getting caught up in my emotions, of envisioning my story. I gave birth at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.  She was only 1 hour old. It was a glorious day for me. I was 23 and married.  She was finally born.  I weighed only 100 pounds and she weighed 10 pounds at birth. Yes, a huge baby with deep dimples in her cheeks. She stared at me for a long time as the nurses wheeled me to my private room. She was laying against my chest; while I count her little toes.   When I counted her last toe, a caucasian woman walked into my room. I didn’t noticed her right way, because I couldn’t take my eyes off of my new baby. I was preparing to feed her. The woman said in a soft voice, she’s beautiful. I looked up at her and replied, thank you. Then she held her arms out as if she wanted to take my baby. I asked her, where was she taking my child. She said, to have her pictures made. The lady had on a white peppermint uniform like the women wore in the gift shop in the hospital. She kept repeating herself,” she’s so beautiful.”   Her arms are still held out to receive my baby.  I raised up my arms as if I were passing my newborn baby to her. Then suddenly I drew her back and ask for ID. I asked for the whereabouts of her name badge. She reached for her chest and replied, “oh I left it down stairs” . I insisted she go and get her ID. I also asked her why is my baby taking pictures so soon. She was only 1 hour old. She said, they ( whoever they was) wanted her to go ahead and get them done.

As the nurse impersonator left my room, she looked a bit irritated. She told me she would be back with her ID. Immediately after she left I called the nurses station. I asked about a nurse taking my baby for pictures. Several nurses were saying on the speaker, they never sent anyone for my baby. I asked over and over in tears if they were sure. The nurses assured me they didn’t.  I grew furious that someone could be  selfish and attempt to take my child from me. Needless to say that impersonator never returned to my room. From that time forward  I was afraid for anyone to come for my baby. I cried when they took her for test. They simply suggested that I follow them. The times I didn’t follow them I’d call several times until my baby was returned. I used the bathroom with my baby on my lap. She slept in my room until I was released from the hospital.

No one ever asked me any questions about this nurse impersonator, but I’m sure she stole someone’s child. It was her intentions that day. Every year on my child’s birthday I recall the experience and thank God she wasn’t abducted. Thank goodness I wasn’t drugged, or the impersonator became forceful and grabbed her from me. Unlike many other mother’s I was lucky.  I believed my child would have been sold to a black market selling ring.

Many abductions occur when a woman experiences a miscarriage, and feels pressured to save a relationship with a husband or boyfriend.   Normally this type of woman has a history of deceptive behavior. I wonder periodically if my baby was targeted.

I can only imagine what Shanara Mobley went through. She celebrated her birthday without her child every year. The real victim is Shanara Mobley. The abductor stole her child 18 years ago and undoubtedly should pay for every one of those years.

 

img_2087 This is my baby at Northside Hospital . She remained in my room after that horrifying experience.

What’s Your Opinion On A Bride In Flats?

Traditionally brides wore  heels.  It was expected as much as wearing a gown.  Before I give you my opinion here’s one fun fact: Many moons ago it was a German tradition; the bride had to collect pennies before she became engaged to buy her wedding shoes. It was meant to have the marriage start off on the right foot. Then the bride would get all of her single bridesmaids to sign the soles of her shoes. At the end of the day, the name most faded on the shoes would be the next to get married. What do you think about that? It’s a long ways from catching the bouquet ..huh.

Shopping for a wedding gown is an event in itself. The focus is mainly about the overall look. Normally  no one remembers the shoes, but everyone recalls that gorgeous dress sliding down the aisle.

Unless you are wearing a short dress, the shoes aren’t really that important.  Times has changed drastically. At some weddings there are no garter fetching and throwing photo. I think that should be eradicated anyway. That’s another blog. Of course you can do whatever you like.

Here are 11 reasons you should wear flats at your wedding:

  1. You will be more open to running and twirling your gown for a picture
  2.  Your flats will not likely get caught in your dress
  3. Decreases your chances of  a slip and fall
  4. Much cheaper than heels
  5. No one will remember them
  6. You can stand for longer periods of time
  7. Heels aren’t practical for a beach or gravel
  8. Dancing  at the reception is tough sometimes with heels and a gown
  9. Heels cause blisters after walking around for long periods. ( Especially if they are new)
  10.  Flats  increases the chance you’ll wear them again
  11. Wearing flats will make your hubby look taller

What style flat would be great for your wedding:

  1.  Ballet style shoe
  2. Sandal
  3. Satin bedroom slipper ( Bride in rhinestones) 🙂
  4. Embellish flats
  5. Converse sneaker
  6. Flip flops..a little too dress down; but do you
  7. Cowgirl boots

This isn’t to suggest that brides who choose to wear five inch heels are making a fashion mistake. At the end of the day it’s about personal choice. A bride who decides to step outside the box shouldn’t feel beholden to a certain style that isn’t right for you.

Remember it’s your day.  Wear a bright colored heel if you likeuntitled-4182-1

 

 

 

Is Food Photography Easy?

Having a cupcake is now a special treat these days. My goal is to cut back on sugar tremendously. So tremendous I will not be having anything sweet on Valentine. No, don’t feel sorry for me. It’s a health choice I made. To know me, is to know how much sugar I can eat.

I took one bite into my cupcake and place it back onto the plate . The way it fell over  I thought it looked beautiful.  My artistic eyes were speaking.  I’m always trying to find the beauty in everything. I raced to  get my camera and shot a few frames. This is the closet to what it  looked like  in my head.

After the hype was over, I began to ponder how in the world food stylist make food look so yummy. The easiest part is  the subject doesn’t talk. I tried to make the white space of the dish useful, by keeping the cake liner in place. I used the thrifty 50 to bring in the light, right before dusk.  There was a reflector on the camera right and window light on the left.

Food photography takes practice and patience. This is an example of a shot that isn’t too bad, but certainly can use some improvement. It looked a lot better in my head. untitled-4176-1

 

 

 

Should You Trash Your Grainy Photos?

So you want to know why your photos are grainy? You took this shot that looks great on your LCD and you can’t wait to upload it to your software. Once you see it your smile quickly turns upside. Oh no! It’s grainy and it doesn’t have that punch of color you saw on the back of your camera. The grain occurred  because of lack of light. Therefore, the camera had to use a high ISO to produce a light image. As you noticed from my sample shot the grainy image also loss color and vibrancy.

What should you do? It really depends on what the image was meant for. If you were practicing shooting in low light, its up to you if it’s a keeper or not. If it was for someone else you may have problems.

I shot this image to use as wall art in my home. The grainy look was intentional. For self gratification I mimicked a piece of art I saw in a department store. It was grainy and lacked that punch of color that’s often loved. However it was exactly what I was looking for. myflower

 

Breaking the rules isn’t always a bad thing. If you are shooting an image for a client, be sure to shoot to please your client. Ask plenty of questions and confirm the details with a contract.