Thursday, January 30, 2014

Silverlime Giveaway

Traci over at Silverlime has donate this adorable necklace for us to giveaway.  You can also buy them off of her site for $55. 

Here is how you enter to win (you can be entered as many times as you participate):

1.  Comment on this or any other post.
2.  Share the giveaway on your blog. (leave us the link to the post)

1.  Comment on any of the posts or post pictures to the group.
2.  Share the giveaway on your facebook.
3.  Like our facebook page and/or join the facebook group.

1. Post a picture to the pool. 

1.  Tag your photos #letsgatherinspiration
2.  Share the giveaway and tag us @letsgatherinspiration in your post. 

The giveaway closes on Valentines day.  That will give everyone plenty of time to enter several times.  Good luck. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


There is art in our mornings.  Have you ever took a breath in and looked around at your morning?  To just enjoyed the moment? The light, the routine, the smells, and the sounds.  All of it is beautiful to me.  A few years ago there was a group on Flickr devoted to people who took photos of their morning for a full year.  A lot of the photos were so beautiful and inviting. 
This morning I sat down with my planner/journal and a hot cup of cocoa and took in the morning.  I planned the up coming week and finished the art journal page for this week.  (A friend and I have joined a free Facebook group that gives us weekly prompts.  It has been a lot of fun.)

What are your favorite morning rituals?  Show us a shot of your mornings.

You can post your pictures on your blog or flickr and leave a link below for all of us to see. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Let's Gather Inspiration Project

I have a difficult time finding something to shoot some days.  I live in Alaska so I shoot a lot of landscapes and wildlife.  Truth be told, it is not my favorite.  I love shooting people and things. By things I mean beautiful and inspiring things.  Items in my home, things I see out in the world, anything that is forgotten or not thought of as beautiful.

There is so much out there for inspiration in shooting children and capturing those memories.  I think that is wonderful but my kids are grown.  Most times it is just me, my husband and my dogs.  Sometimes I steal the neighbor kids and shoot around with them.

For those of us that are empty nesters or childless, sometimes the prompts and/or inspirations leave us behind.  I can't tell you how many times I have bought a book about photography inspiration and 80% of it is about capturing moments with your children.  I am grateful that my children have these resources but I really would love more resources directed to help me too. 

That is what is so great about this group of contributors.  We are all in different stages of life.  I am the only empty nester in the group but each person has a different vision in their photography.  I am excited to see where this goes.  I am looking forward to each persons view and outlook on photography and a creative life in general. 

The other day I was looking around for my daily shot and could not find much.  The light coming in the window was beautiful.  Sometimes the everyday and ordinary in your life is worth a shot.  Thank goodness for my large collection of vintage cameras.

What is filling your shots these days?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Meet Mandy

What you shoot with:  Canon 5D and 40D as backup
Favorite lens:  My 50mm 1.4
Flickr: mandy_reger
Blog or website: (it's just a site for proofing with's not even finished. 

A little info paragraph about you and what inspires you....a bio of some sort.

I am a 31 year old mom to two girls, age 11 and 9.  I have been married to my highschool sweetheart for 12 years now.  I started taking pictures in 2007.  I bought my first dslr, and book after book and started reading about how to shoot manually and took a bazillion pictures and learned by trial and error, and a LOT of studying and reading.  I love taking pictures.  I LOVE the beauty of the world, and I see things in a whole different perspective after starting to take pictures.  Photography is my passion.  It brings happiness to my soul.  I took pictures as a business for several years, and have decided that this next upcoming year I will just be finishing up some gift certificates for people and nothing more.  I have been so busy over the years, that it exhausts me, and my family is suffering for it.  I need to take a step back and get back into taking pictures because I LOVE it...not because I have to do it and it is a chore.  I am very excited to start taking more pictures of my two sweet girls, and more nature photography.  I know a lot about photography, but I also have SO much that I need to learn.  I am excited to be a part of this and to learn and grow and share with you all, and to see your beautiful photos as well!  What inspires me are more candid photos, with feeling, deep moody photos with a lot of contrast move my soul.  I love the light, sweet beautiful light, and I'm a sucker for sunflare as well.  Anything that I see that moves me, I just want to capture its beauty the best that I can.  I am a sucker for a good black and white.  They speak to me more than anything else.  I have a desire to learn more, and grow, and am looking forward to this!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Meet Sonya

Sonya Bitz
What you shoot with:  Nikon D3100 and D60 as backup
Favorite lens:  My 50Mm
Instagram:  akphotographer
Blog or website:

A little info paragraph about you and what inspires you....a bio of some sort.

   A little info about me…I am an artist at heart.  I love all things color and I like to think I live a colorful life!  I have two little boys (3 and 5) and they are the love of my life! They keep me motivated to get out of bed and to strive to be a better mother and overall person.  I want to live a life that they may say " My mother was an amazing woman".  I went to college for Interior Design with a minor in art and I have used  my art minor for many things since being a mother.  I love to watercolor…it is my "go to" medium, but I love painting in general.  Oils are expensive and quite frankly, my husband would complain of the smell if we had oil paintings in this tiny apartment of ours.  I am open minded and understanding to our crazy family life! We are always adventuring out somewhere and coming back with great stories to tell about them!   I love all things creative…from sewing to painting to drawing to cooking and even attire! Yes…even getting dressed takes some level of creativity in my book!  I hope to get to know everyone in this group and I am thankful to be part of a group of creative artists and share inspiring ideas!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Meet Leaca

Leaca Young
I live in Alaska but I am from Wyoming
I shoot with two cameras 50D and the 5D Mark III
My favorite lenses are my 50 1.2 and my 24-70mm 2.8
I use my iPhone 5S for most everything.  It saved my bacon last year with my 365. 

Instagram:  @leaca_travels

I have always been drawn to photography.  Newspapers and magazines always peeked my interested as a kid.  I loved the way they captured moments and froze time.  My father was always taking pictures and I love that about him.  My husband bought me my first DSLR in 2007.  I joined Flickr and joined some groups.  That is where I really learned photography.  I am still learning and it seems it is from surrounding myself with great inspiration. 

Meet Marina

Marina Spooner
Long Island, New York
50 1.4, 14-24 2.8 – love them both!

I’m inspired by the feeling I get when I see something that strikes a chord in my heart.  It might be beauty, ugly, truth or serenity.

Meet Claudia

Claudia Lauro
Sony a77, iPhone 5
50 mm 1.8, got an olloclip for the iPhone for Christmas that will be fun :)
On Flickr I am, Cosi!
On Instagram I am, Cosibella
I have been very bad at up keeping my blog :( 

First let me explain Cosi, it's Italian for "thereby · so · thus · that way · this way · like so · like that · like this · such ·this · in this way" - I chose it for my flickr name years ago because there were so many ways of photography for me to learn when I first joined. I studied many different photographers'  styles and techniques. Armed with my point and shoot when I entered the digital era, I tried new techniques, like adding textures, making my own textures, shooting throughout the lens of another camera (Ttv), blurry shots, and experimenting with every function I could teach myself in Photoshop Elements! 

People would say my photos were "so beautiful" and pretty soon people were asking me to photograph families, events, and seniors. I wanted a name for a business I could build. I also wanted it to have an Italian ring to it in memory of my Dad. So I picked Cosi Bella, so beautiful!

All that to say I am still building a business that I can hopefully grow bigger, when I am done home schooling my youngest who is in 6th grade, I've been doing it since his brother was in kindergarten. What a blessing it has been to have been home with them all these years, watching then grow, and teaching them at home! It also afforded me the opportunity to "get back into" photography, I started when I was 14 - yes, film, darkrooms, jobs managing photo labs and selling cameras all before kids. 

Needless to say, I am still learning, I struggle with losing my photo mojo, especially in winter when I have to chase the light around the house. I've found I need to continue to study photographs/photographers I love to get inspired. I'm inspired by the everyday details of life, and challenged by iphonography and the elusive great selfie shot.

Meet Charlaine

Name: Charlaine Williams
Where you live: North Pole, AK
What you shoot with: Nikon D700 mostly prime lenses
Favorite lens: 50mm 1.4
Instagram: northpolemama
Blog or website:

I like to capture memories and beauty and light, I guess like any photographer

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Photographers....who are they?

These days I dare you to find someone who is not taking pictures.

If they cook....they take pictures.

If they draw, paint, sew....they take pictures.

If they have children....they take pictures.

Everyone is shooting these days.

What are you taking pictures of?   

Monday, January 13, 2014

Start a project

When I first started taking pictures and joined Flickr I came across the phrase project 365 and project 52.  I was clueless. 

Project 365:  a picture a day for one year
(can be started at any day of the year and ends on the same day a year later)

Project 52:  one picture each week for one year
(can be taken any day of the week)

I learned that if you really want to improve your photography, a photo a day will do just that.  You find yourself really seeing the world through a lens, even when you are not holding your camera in your hands.  It also allows you to look at the very first picture of your project and your very last photo.  That in itself is the best reward. 

If you have never done a project like this before it is best to make it as easy as possible.  And take pictures of everything.  Really document your life and your surroundings.

1.  Use your mobile phone to take some of the daily/weekly shots.  It takes some of the pressure off.  Some use solely use their phones.  Always have some sort of camera with you.
2.  Take a shot first thing in the morning to tuck away just in case you do not get to it later in the day.
3.  Share your photos on Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook.  Accountability to
others is a great way to succeed.
4.  Download project 365 apps to help you keep track.  I use Collect.  At the end of each day it will even remind you to upload your shot. You add it to the app and it adds it to the calendar.  See below.
5.  Most of all forgive yourself if you miss a day.  Just keep shooting. 

Other sources of information.
6 Inspiring 365 projects
Project simplify
Project Life 365
Digital Photography School 11 tips for 365
Capture Your 365

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Northern Lights BASIC Instruction

ISO is totally depended on your camera.  I go really high and really low.  I like to see what it does.  Just play with it.  Most will tell you to keep it 600-900.  If you have too much grain it ruins your shot. ALSO, use a tripod.

Northern Lights

Today the Northern Lights are going to be out in the lower 48.  It is an excellent opportunity to test your skill at shooting night sky photography.  I am no expert in shooting the Lights but my husband and I found the easiest way to capture them.  We mainly just share them with friends and family. 

Here are a few shots we have taken recently.
 It was not very dark out on this day.  I thought they looked kind of cool.
 This was my first time shooting the lights.  I was kind of a ball of excitement.
This was Christmas.  I thought it was a nice gift.

creative spaces

For years I have fought for my creative space.  With a growing family and living quarters that did not always accommodate or grow along with my family.  Let's just say it was low on the list of priorities.

One day I spoke with my husband about this need to have a creative space.  He suggested I take a corner of our bedroom and make it my own.  So, for years that is what I did.  Where we live now I have a craft/exercise room.  I love the craft side of the room.  I have my Inspiration boards, my supplies, a little desk, everything I need to create.  It is my little slice of heaven but that little slice of our room worked out just fine too.

I think it is important to at least have an inspiration board somewhere.  You will be surprised what it can do for you.

Do you have a creative space?  An inspiration board?  Inspiration notebook?  Share with us your creative places.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

shine your sink

This may sound crazy but it is very difficult for me to feel inspired if I have housework or other duties to do.  I feel to guilty spending that euphoric inspiration time if I have a stack of dishes in the sink.  

My sink has become this symbol of freedom for me.  If you think this crazy lady is kidding you, I am not.  Just take a stroll through my Flickr or my Instagram feed and you will come across images like the one above.  My sink.  

I have a routine.  I wake up, make my bed, clean the bathrooms, consolidate all the garbage cans into the main one, vacuum, start a load of laundry, do a 15 min zone clean, unload the dishes and load the breakfast ones and go to the post office.  Then I shine my sink after everything is done.  It is a significant part of my day.  It means I am free!  

I can take the rest of my day and spend it how I wish.  Normally that means exercise, shower and get dressed.  After that I go for a photowalk, photodrive, any kind of photoshoot I can come up with.  Sometimes it is so cold outside I just take a picture of my sink.

What do you do to help those inspiration gates to open up?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Be inspired by YOU

In 2013, I joined the NOW YOU Workshops to do a project 365.  As you can see I did not hit every week but I am still proud of what I did accomplish. 

My husband is in a dangerous field of work. A couple of years ago he had a particular scary thing happen while he was working.  I remember looking around my house for pictures of us together.  I found very few.  I remember thinking about how much I loved to take pictures. Why couldn't I find very many pictures of us?  There had to be more pictures of us and I looked again.  Again, I could only find very few.  Trying to find pictures of me in general was just as difficult.  I realized I had to change that. 

I believe in photography.  Capturing moments that you cannot get back.  Holding on to people you may never see again

When I figured out I had this love of photography I made a goal to photograph all the people I loved and admired before I die.  Didn't I owe that to my children and their children to see me in photographs?  That is why I decided to make a change and take more "selfies".  I am so grateful I did.  Now it is so much easier to take a shot of myself and see me with out a lot of stress.  It does get easier the more you do it.

Selfie:  A picture taken by you with any part of you in the picture.  This includes shadows. 

Share with us your "selfies" and maybe some tips and tricks if you have some.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Mosaic

1. <a href="">Peaceful and content</a>, 2. <a href="">shiny happy sparkly new year...</a>, 3. <a href="">it's so cooooold!!</a>, 4. <a href="">saved from the frost</a>, 5. <a href="">The Jack River</a>, 6. <a href="">13 nov 13</a>, 7. <a href="">fall bouquet</a>8. Not available9. Not available

Where do you gather inspiration?

Inspiration can come from some of the strangest places.  Commercials, thoughts, images, songs, the list goes on.  Then there are times the inspiration well runs dry.  I think this is when we need to take a new approach to inspiration and look where you might not have looked before. 

Today I gathered my inspiration right outside my front door.  I gathered with family and friends and went on a walk in snowshoes.  

Places I have been going lately:
Brainy Quotes
Shutter Sisters
Now You Workshops

I almost forgot Pinterest.

Share where you are gathering your inspiration from these days and image that came from that place.

Also, we started a thread to post your daily walk pictures.  Each month we will start a new thread.