30 Minutes in February: New Views

30 Minutes in February: New Views

This month has felt very chaotic while we are in the midst of selling the house we’ve called home for the last three years and the home where Elodie was born to move into a new home.  We have slowly picked out each piece of this new home and have many more finishing touches coming soon.  It is a very exciting, albeit a little bittersweet time in our lives.

This 30 minutes photography blog is a circle blog where I join other photographers from around the world in sharing a little moment of our ordinary lives.  Please be sure to see the link at the end to see what Janet Crouch did this month as well.

In our 30 minutes this month, we are taking a look at our new home in it’s somewhat raw form.  It’s not quite ready, although it will be soon.  New construction is an interesting process and this will give you a small peak into what we’ve been up to this month.

Here our daughter leads us to the front door, “Come on in!”

This is the kitchen, it’s almost completed.  The final touches will be done in the next few weeks and then we will be DIY-ing some additional upgrades as well. We plan to do an upgraded faucet and a complementary backsplash.  Open to ideas on colors that will look good, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Have to play peek-a-boo with all these empty closets. “Is this where they keep the treats?!”

I think one of our favorite parts of this home and what we really led us to finalize our decision is these gorgeous sunsets over the lake.

Time to check out the backyard and that view.

Beautiful sunset light pours over the backyard every evening.

As new life is popping up everywhere here too.

Soon we will get to enjoy these gorgeous views daily and we are truly looking forward to it!

 

These photos were all taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and Sigma 35 mm ART lens and lightly edited in Lightroom.

Thank you so much for joining me in this month’s 30 minutes.  Be sure to check out Janet Crouch Photography for her blog on donuts and find us on Instagram to share your own daily life photography!

 

 

 

How to Edit Photos in Lightroom Mobile

How to Edit Photos in Lightroom Mobile

Have you ever wanted your photos of your vacation or kids to stand out a little more? Do you wish that they were a little brighter, more bold or have that “pop” that you see?

I’ll give you ten quick steps to make your photos have that bright, beautiful pop that you want! These steps are made for anyone to follow and the preset is for everyone to use. You can be a regular mom, a Disney mom or a professional photographer! These are easy to use for everyone!

Ten Steps To Better Photos Today

  1. Download Lightroom Mobile for free from your App Store. Sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Click on the small blue picture icon with a plus sign on the bottom right corner to add a photo to your Lightroom library.
  3. Select a photo from your photo library, then you can start editing. I recommend either starting with your favorite preset or going directly to the “Light” category on the bottom toolbar.
  4. I recommend adding a preset but you do not need to. You can get my favorite preset for free by signing up for my Newsletter here and following the instructions below to add it to your Lightroom Mobile app.
  5. Then go to “Light” / “Exposure” first and move the slider to the right or left to achieve desired brightness. I almost always prefer the slider to the right a bit for a brighter photo.
  6. Next, go to the “Color” / “Temp.” I recommend usually moving more towards the yellow side for a warmer photo as that’s my preference; however you may prefer cooler photos and then should slide to the left toward blue.
  7. For a nearly last step of editing, go to “Crop” on the toolbar. Start by straightening your photo. There is an automatic “straighten” button or you may manually rotate the image lining up the grid with the natural horizon of the photo. This may appear to only make a subtle difference at first; however, it can offer a dramatic improvement to the eye. To crop the photo, just pull a corner in and hit the checkmark to crop.  This can be helpful to get a closer look or remove unwanted crowds or blank space from corners of a photo.
  8. Tap the checkmark in the top right to save your edit in Lightroom.
  9. Click on the share button which is the second button in on the top right menu bar “Share to…” which will lead you to being able to click on the words “Share to…” and from there you can save your image by clicking “save image” or share it socially from there.
  10. Enjoy sharing your bright and beautiful photos with family and friends!

Using The Art of Adventures Free Preset, Main Street Adventures

To download my favorite preset, sign up for my newsletter, and then follow these steps to load the preset into Lightroom Mobile. You will only have to set this up once and then you will be able to use this preset – forever!

  1. After you sign up for my newsletter, the preset will be automatically sent to your inbox.
  2. Click on the “download the preset” button.
  3. This will take you to a OneDrive file which you will save by clicking on the three dots on the top left and “download.” This file may appear blank at times, do not be alarmed.
  4. Open Lightroom Mobile app.
  5. Click on “Add from Files” and add the downloaded DNG file, “Main Street Adventures,” to Lightroom Mobile.
  6. Click on the DNG file in Lightroom mobile to open it and be able to edit it.
  7. Click on the “…” in the top right. Click “Create Preset.” Name the Preset “Main Street Adventures” and add the group “The Art of Adventures Presets.” Keep all blue check marks checked. Then click on the checkmark in the top right to save the preset.
  8. Open a new photo in Lightroom Mobile and on the bottom bar scroll to the far right to find “Presets” and apply your new Main Street Adventures to your favorite photo! Follow the steps above to fine tune the adjustments to your liking.

Before and After Main Street Adventures Preset

This specific preset is more based on outdoor photos like you will see taken on Main Street USA with buildings, shops, castles, flowers and the sky as your backdrop!

Take a look at these before and after examples!

PhotoPass Photo Before | Main Street Adventures Preset Added After

iPhone X Portrait Mode Photo Before  | Main Street Adventures Preset Added After

RAW photo from professional camera BEFORE | Main Street Adventures Preset AFTER

I hope you find these tips for using Lightroom Mobile and this free Lightroom Mobile Preset helpful! Tell me in the comments what else you’d like to know about taking and editing better photos of your family today!

“Capture Your Moment” Disney World PhotoPass Mini Sessions

“Capture Your Moment” Disney World PhotoPass Mini Sessions

Maybe you’ve heard… Disney PhotoPass introduced a new PhotoPass session as of February 10, 2020.  These “Capture Your Moment” PhotoPass sessions are times you get with a dedicated PhotoPass photographer.  Read on for all of the details including what is included, how much these cost and some tips on making your experience the most magical!

*Note: The first seven photos in this post have been edited with my preset which you can get for free by signing up for my newsletter. To see photos as delivered by PhotoPass, see the end of this post.

What You Get and Pricing

For the 20 minute session you pay $50 or for 40 minutes you pay $100. There are no set amount of photos guaranteed. If you do not have Memory Maker or an Annual Pass that includes PhotoPass photos, then you will need to purchase the photos separately. Use of special props provided by Disney is included. Some of these props are not available at any other PhotoPass location.

Extra Details

Disney recommends that you check in 10 minutes prior at Town Square Theater. Once you meet with your photographers, they will explain the process and walk to your preferred location. Your time starts as soon as they take your first “good” picture not when you check in or start walking. Disney is providing some props or you may bring your own so long as they fit within park guidelines. Clothing also must abide by park rules for example no wedding attire is allowed for these sessions.  Over the phone I was told anyone over 18 must have photo ID and proper admission tickets; however, they did not check our IDs. Your session can include up to 8 people. There are no changes due to weather changes unless Disney makes the change due to extreme weather.  So if it’s raining, which it’s known to do here in Florida, the session will continue so be sure to make the best of your rainy day session with an umbrella or poncho! 

Locations and Props

When we met with the photographer, we were given options of several areas around Main Street and Cinderella Castle.  We asked for a location where you could see the castle and less crowded.  A spot to the left of Cinderella Castle was recommended and I was happy with it.  You can have your pick of locations though! Some props are available such as a special “&” sign with a not-so-hidden Mickey, a pair of ears that say “Future Mouseketeer Fall 2020,” some magnetic letters and more. You may also choose to add your own props. Some ideas would be your own letter board or wooden sign, balloons from home or from Disney, a stuffed animal side kick or some treats like a Mickey bar or cupcake.

When and How to Book

To book, you call Disney reservation line at 407-939-7758. You can book up to 180 days in advance. Times available are generally from 9:15 AM to 7:45 PM on the :15 and :45 of the hour. So, for example, you can pick 12:15 or 12:45. If the park is open later, they may have later times available so you’ll need to inquire about exact times when you call to book. When you book, full payment is due that day and Disney’s 24 hour cancellation policy applies where you can receive a refund so long as you cancel 24 hours prior to your reservation. 

My Personal Review

When we arrived, our PhotoPass photographers were extremely nice and professional. It was very nice to have two photographers, one acting as an assistant. One was helping with props and trying to get our daughter to look toward the camera. The other was actually taking the photos.  We had two amazing photographers: Ricky and Chase. We have had Disney PhotoPass photos taken by both Ricky and Chase previously.  Both are very talented and kind and actually two sets of my favorite photos ever taken by PhotoPass were by them so I do believe that Disney chose some excellent photographers for this program. They helped us choose a location and happily walked us to the location and were great with my daughter.

We chose this as a way to celebrate my birthday. As a photographer, I have many photos of my family but I’m rarely in them outside of Disney PhotoPass photos so it was nice to be able to celebrate in this way.

Our photos were, in my experience, typical of the better PhotoPass photos I receive. As a professional photographer, I can tell you the quality is good and you can definitely print these even at a pretty large size.  You could use a preset to brighten them and get the colors a little more to your style and that would perhaps make them even more to most people’s liking. For more tips on editing, find my post on using Lightroom Mobile here.

Is it worth it? Only you will be able to determine if this will be worth it for you.  We saw a gender reveal being done on Main Street at the exact same time and it was done very well and I am confident it was captured well. I once waited for 30 minutes for a photo on front of the castle and it was completely blown out and unusable so PhotoPass in general is not a guarantee whereas with this session there is a higher standard and more time.  Using Capture the Moment, you will get the time and attention of a highly qualified photographer with no waiting and they will make sure the photos are of good quality before you walk away. If you do not want to wait in a line and you want to make an announcement at Walt Disney World, I believe you would love this experience. For less than $1 per photo, we got a fun and unique experience that we enjoyed!

Tips on Making the Most out of Your Experience

I recommend arriving early to ensure that you are in the right location. Getting to Magic Kingdom almost always takes longer than expected and it can take time to even get around Magic Kingdom and I wouldn’t want to miss any time for being late. It is also a good idea to have a general idea of which location you would like. I also recommend bringing along some props to make your session extra magical!

We chose to have our session at 5:15 PM which is within the golden hour – the hour before sunset. A time a little closer to sunset may have provided a better sky although photos also may have been even darker. For best lighting, photos will always be optimal the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. If you would like nighttime photos, they do offer after sunset photos as well. PhotoPass photographers use on camera flash.

The Future of PhotoPass Capture Your Moment

I went to experience these PhotoPass sessions on their very first day available so they may implement changes or improvements over time. For now, these sessions are only located at Magic Kingdom.  Although unofficial, I was told that there are plans that Disney will offer them in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios possibly as early as mid year 2020 and then offer them in Epcot 2025 after construction in Epcot has concluded.

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Examples of Unedited Photos Provided by PhotoPass

I received 66 photos during my 20 minutes. These are some the images I received in MyDisney Experience PhotoPass photos from my Capture Your Moment session so that you can see what was provided. These are all unedited, not even cropped, posted as I received them.

I would love to hear your opinion.  What do you think of this Capture Your Moment session? Are you planning on booking one for yourself or your family?

Pregnancy Announcements

Pregnancy Announcements

Pregnancy Announcement Photo Sessions

When you get the news that you’re expecting a little baby, you’re sure to be filled with lots of emotions and then you’ll be excited to share the news: you’re pregnant!

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to share your pregnancy announcement with your family and friends? I have lots of ideas that will help you share this special news in a memorable way!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to schedule a pregnancy announcement?

Please feel free to reach out right away. My schedule fills up quickly and I may not be available last minute. As for what week in pregnancy, that’s totally up to you! Some families love to share immediately whereas other families wait until 12 or even 20 weeks. It’s a personal choice.

What if I have a creative idea that I haven’t seen before?

Tell me about it in an email and I’ll let you know how we can work together to make your vision come true! And if you are looking for more ideas, please feel free to let me know that too. For example, you may want to tailor it to the season or a hobby you have.

How much is a pregnancy announcement session?

I am offering a special pregnancy announcement sessions: You will receive up to a 15 minute session and 5 edited images for $75.  This can then be applied to any full maternity or newborn session. So if you are booking a maternity or newborn session with me, your announcement is FREE at booking! GIFs and videos are an additional fee. Please email for more information or with any questions.

Where are pregnancy announcements done?

I have a list of locations that are included in this price.

What should I wear?

You may have your own style already picked out, I can help you find your style or I have a small client closet.

What if something happens and I need to cancel my session?

I have a compassion clause for cancellation due to loss or you may apply the funds to a different session.

Check out this video announcement:

Are you ready to book a session? Email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com to start the booking process today!

 

 

30 Minutes in Our Life: Moving

30 Minutes in Our Life: Moving

Moving.  Moving has so many emotions attached to it.  It’s almost always bittersweet as you close one door and open another, literally.  You are moving from one place where you grew your families’ memories to a place where many new memories’ will be built.

For this move, we also get to learn from the knowledge of my husband.  He is a builder.  So our daughter gets to follow along and learn as he checks our house to make sure everything in the process is running smoothly. This month, our 30 minutes in our ordinary life was spent doing just that: our daughter exploring our new home under the supervision of my husband.  They did some quality assurance checks, checking to make sure everything looks up to standards.

Here she is checking out the upstairs with the loft and bedrooms. Yes, she’s in her ballet outfit because we came from ballet but can’t forget boots and a hard hat for safety!

She’s excited and everything looks good!  She’s planning where all of her castles are going…

Next on to check out the downstairs with the kitchen and the tile. And of course, a snack break!

Everything looks good, Dad! High five!

What tips do you have for moving with a little one? We will be moving into this house in just about a month and will be posting about our move daily over on Instagram – we’d love to have you follow along!

All photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and Sigma 35 mm Art lens, edited in Lightroom.

These 30 minutes in the life blogs are part of a blogging loop so be sure to check out Janet Crouch Photography today as well!

 

 

Glitter Mini Sessions

Glitter Mini Sessions

Anytime Glitter Mini Sessions

 

When: Anytime

Where: Park in Winter Garden, Florida 34787

What’s Included:
30 Minute Photo Session
15 Edited Digital Images
Glitter makeup done for you (optional)
Magical glitter added for final delivery (environmentally friendly)
Printing rights

Price: $150

Perfect for milestones, memories, or making someone’s day with a beautiful photo gift!
This session is designed for 1-2 people. Children, Adults, Couples, and Pets all welcome. If party is more than 2 people, please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com with details.

Ready to book? Email me and be sure to ask how to get a $20 Print Credit!

A Joyous Morning: 30 Minutes in December

A Joyous Morning: 30 Minutes in December

This month, our 30 minutes were simple and festive. The 30 minutes it took my daughter to open her Christmas gifts is also just about the most festive thing I can think of. There’s so much joy on Christmas morning. Not because of physical gifts.  But because it’s together time; a reminder of all the magic we work hard to provide all year long, wrapped up simply and festively to celebrate the holiday season.

I’m wishing you and your family a joyous and festive holiday season and new year!

Can you tell what her two favorite gifts were?

These were all taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and Sigma 35 mm Art lens and edited lightly for color in Lightoom.

Please continue on in the Circle Blog by checking out Blueberry Hill Image’s Festive Five as well!

Are you interested in booking a photography session in the Winter Garden, Central Florida area? Please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com.

Gorgeous Engagement Session in Clermont

Gorgeous Engagement Session in Clermont

This stunning couple showed up to their engagement session ready for some sweet romance, to celebrate and announce their engagement!

Nick has brought Analice sunflowers throughout the time they’ve been dating, so sunflowers included in their session was the perfect addition to represent their love.

I love the soft greens and pinks from these fields that helped their session come out so incredibly dreamy.

Of course every engagement session needs to highlight the other star of the show: the beautiful engagement ring! Representing the promise of love and dedication to each other.

The start of a new adventure together: I cannot wait to see where this journey leads this gorgeous couple!

Congratulations, Nick and Analice! Your love for each other shined throughout your session. I know that the beginning of this next chapter is sure to bring amazing love and joy for the two of you.

If you’re interested in booking an engagement, couple, or family photography session in the Central Florida area, please email me, Jess, at theartofadventures@gmail.com

Gorgeous Family Session with Two Little Boys in Winter Garden

Gorgeous Family Session with Two Little Boys in Winter Garden

This family has a lot to celebrate this holiday season: they have a new baby boy and a little boy who just turned 3! They came to their session ready to celebrate and have fun, which is perfect.

First, some photos of this little guy turning THREE, with a big 3 ballon! It says “I am Three” in both English and Dutch as their father is from The Netherlands.

Then he picked a flower for Mommy! The sweeeeetest…

These little boys with their big eyes! So adorable!

Some snuggles, tickles and play time is always included in sessions with little ones. Although little brother seems a little skeptical of all the silliness!

So thankful for another stunning evening with beautiful light for this family session in Winter Garden, Florida.

This gorgeous family rocked their family session.  Adjusting to life with two littles isn’t always easy, but this family makes it quite beautiful!

Are you interested in booking a session in Winter Garden or Central Florida? Please email me at theartofadventures@gmail.com.

Lebkuchen – Plant Based, Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Lebkuchen – Plant Based, Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Click on this image to pin for later.

With German heritage and living in Germany for a year, Lebkuchen is one of my absolute favorite parts about the holiday season. So if you’re eating plant based and gluten free, can you still eat this delicious holiday tradition? The answer is yes! Read on to learn how to make this easy and delicious cookie.

This recipe also makes a great recipe for a cookie exchange as you will impress all of your friends and your plant based and/or gluten free friends will feel included and be so thankful!

Lebkuchen is a spiced German holiday cookie coming from the German word “kuchen” or cake. Throughout the holiday season, they can be found hanging in German Christmas markets decorated with hearts or saying “Ich Liebe Dich” – “I Love You.” So I always thinking of this as the German love cookie.  Sharing Lebkuchen is a way to spread love, kindness and joy in the busy holiday season.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Grab your Plant Based and Gluten Free Lebkuchen ingredients.

Soften the butter and then add to sugar and neat egg substitute.

Combine dry ingredients separately.

Chop candied orange into thin pieces.

Cutting Candied Orange

Combine all ingredients slowly adding oat milk as well.

Continue to add nuts, candied orange and Gran Marnier.

Place small amount of dough on cookie sheet. Then bake.

Place the glaze on top and then enjoy!

Find the full recipe, including a printable version here:

Lebkuchen - Plant Based, Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Plant Based Gluten Free Lebekuchen
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Christmas Cookie, cookie exchange, Gluten Free, Lebkuchen, Plant Based
Servings: 24

Ingredients

Lebkuchen Spices - Use 1-2 Tbsp per recipe

  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ tsp Ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Anise Seed
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg

Lebkuchen

  • cup Ground Almonds or Ground Hazelnuts (or mixture of both)
  • ½ cup Softened Vegan Butter I use Earth Balance
  • 1 cup Sugar Organic
  • 4 Neat Eggs
  • 3 cup Gluten Free Flour Cup for Cup
  • 1 Tbsp Lebkuchen Spices
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • tsp Double Acting Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Oat Milk Or other non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup Candied Orange Peel, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Glaze

  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar

Instructions

Lebkuchen

  • Preheat Oven to 375°F.
  • Soften butter and then mix in sugar and eggs until fluffy.
  • Combine dry ingredients: flour, spices, cocoa powder and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  • Alternate adding dry ingredient mixture with oat milk in small amounts to promote consistency while preventing clumping.
  • Fold in nut mix and orange peel.
  • Stir in Grand Marnier. 
  • Drop 3 tablespoons of cookie dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Turn down oven to 350°F if cookies are browning too much.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then move to a cookie or cake rack to cool.

Glaze

  • Prepare the glaze while the cookies are still warm.
  • Place ½ c. sugar and ¼ c. water in a small saucepan on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and Grand Marnier. 
  • Sift powdered sugar over hot sugar syrup and stir until dissolved.
  • Brush warm glaze over cookies with a pastry brush while they are warm. Let cookies cool if you can (I like them warm too) and enjoy! 

What other plant based gluten free recipes would you love to see? Tell me in the comments.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out what recipes are being posted monthly!

Happy Holidays to you and your family! – Jess