The original UNmanual was released three and a half years ago and has sold close to 1000 copies.  It was more wildly successful than I could have ever imagined and hearing that it has helped so many of you capture the memories of your family so easily and effortlessly makes me so happy.  Because that’s how it should be.

It’s been quiet here on the blog not because I have nothing to share with you, but because I have been pouring myself into creating the UNmanual2.


The UNmanual2 is something I’ve been dreaming up for quite some time.  I wanted Mom*togs to be able to see how I interact with my own kids when I shoot, what the environment I shoot in looks like, and how I use light.  My kids, my house.  Nothing special or fancy, but just how I photograph my kids living their lives and doing their thing.

The UNmanual2 consists of 13 video guides and reviews all of the basics from the original UNmanual, so if you did not purchase the original UNmanual don’t worry.  The UNmanual2′s lesson based structure will ensure that you too become a master of DSLR manual shooting.  If you did purchase the original UNmanual, the basics of DSLR manual shooting will be a nice review, but I’ve also added a lot of content for those of you who have mastered the basics and are looking to take your photography to the next level.

To compliment the UNmanual2 I will be releasing the UNmanual Editing Guide next week.  It will consist of video tutorials on how I use Photoshop to enhance my images and get them to look like a better version of everyday life.

For those of you who purchase the UNmanual2 on Black Friday you will receive the UNmanual Editing Guide (priced at $149) for free the second it’s released! No code needed.  It will be added to your course page automatically!  You can register for the UNmanual2 here.

Also, I released a course on how to improve your Phonetography.  It’s completely free.  Just my little gift to you.  You can register for that course here.  

I hope you enjoy the new UNmanual as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Naps are for Babies (and Tired Adults)

Why is it that we can’t fully appreciate naps until we are adults?  If someone told me to go lay down I would thank them profusely and fall asleep the second my head hit the pillow.  Not scream and stomp up the stairs.  Kids!  They don’t even know how lucky they are.

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 2.0, 1/125, ISO 1600

When I want to take pictures of my kids sleeping, I am sure to have my settings set to what I think they should be before I walk in.  In this case I knew it was pretty dark in her room so I bumped my ISO up to 1600 and had my aperture open to let in more light.  After I get the shot, I then get more brave and open up windows if necessary and try different angles.  I also make sure that it’s time to wake up.  I will never wake a child for the sake of a picture.  No picture is worth that risk! ;) IMG_7965

Merry Christmas (almost 2 weeks late)!

December is always a blur.  I’m kind of a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas.  Actually, it’s not so much that I’m a procrastinator.  It’s that I am always so busy with work and stretched so thin that I have to usually wait until right before Christmas to get everything done.  And I always take my own kids Christmas pictures on Christmas Eve.  Which would explain why I never, ever send out Christmas cards.

But, this year December was a blur for a whole other reason.  I had to have surgery at the beginning of the month and I wasn’t sure how bad the recovery would be (spoiler alert: it was bad) so I got all of my shopping done and all of the Christmas activities with the kids done before the first week of December was even over.  It was great, except that I couldn’t remember what I bought the kids (other people did all of my wrapping too) so I was convinced that I ruined Christmas for everybody (spoiler alert: I didn’t).

I was so proud of myself for getting the kids Christmas pictures done so early.  And then I didn’t even post them.  So, better late than never, right?  Merry Christmas :)

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 2.8, 1/500, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/500, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/160, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/160, ISO 125

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F 4.0, 1/200, ISO 320

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F 3.2, 1/160, ISO 320

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F 3.2, 1/6400, 320

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F 3.2, 1/6400, 320

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F 3.2, 1/250, 1000

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F 3.2, 1/400, 1000

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Kids Take Over Instagram


B has recently begun to show an interest in social media.  He’s 6.  He loves texting and if I take a picture of him he asks if I’m going to post it on Facebook.  Which is funny because I rarely post things to Facebook.  In Kindergarten they even created their own mock Facebook pages.

Obviously social media isn’t going anywhere.  It’s here to stay.  And I don’t think kids are ever too young to start educating them on how to safely use social media.  Brayden also loves photography so I started thinking of a way to mesh these two lessons together and thats where #kidstakeoverinstagram was born.  I told him I’d let him take over my Instagram account one day a month.  A little social media / photography lesson all in one.  The first Saturday of every month I’d love to encourage moms to let their kids post on their accounts, which will foster a great discussion on the dos and don’ts of the internet as well as sharing our passion of photography with them.

Will you join me?  Saturday, January 3rd will be our first Kids Take Over Instagram.  Simply let your kids take pictures and post them on your Instagram account with the hashtag #kidstakeoverinstagram.  Brayden will be taking over my account and I’ll be giving some tips for your kids along the way.

Can’t wait to see what your kids come up with!


A Million Questions

I love that Brayden loves to read.  It’s like the neurons in his brain have started firing rapidly since he really started reading this year.  He reads everything.  Street sign, store names, my cars navigation system, brochures, my text messages.  Anything he sees he reads.  The problem is, the kid won’t stop asking questions about whatever he is reading.  I thought we were past that stage.  Nope.  It’s come back with a vengeance.  And the questions are harder.  So much harder.  Like, I have to Google the answer hard.  What did parents do before Google?  How did they survive???

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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Canon 5D Mark II, 28mm 1.8

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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