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!

10 Year Olds and Micro Loans

Did you know that Whole Foods sponsors writing contests for kids?  Well, I know at least our Whole Foods does.  While shopping recently I saw that they were accepting entries from kids for essays about what you would do with a micro loan.  I’m not going to lie.  Brayden wasn’t thrilled at the idea of doing more writing than what is already assigned in his homework.  What 10 year old would be?  But, we are always encouraging him to go the extra mile.  And… we told him about the $35 in prize money as well.  He actually ended up writing a really cool essay about how he would use his microloan to start a dog shelter in our backyard and he would rent the dogs out to go for walks along our walking trail, which is how he would pay the loan back.  That’s actually not a bad idea!  He won and besides the prize money I love how several employees told him how much they loved his essay.  He loves writing but 10 year olds can use all the encouragement they can get, right?


Skaters Gonna Skate

The face you make when your skate session is over, but you’re not done skating.

*** Canon 5D Mark IV, 35 1.4 F2.0, 1/80, ISO 2000

I don’t normally like to shoot under 1/125 for my shutter speed, but it was necessary here since the light was so dim.  If you instruct your child to hold their breath for 3 seconds and not move you won’t get any motion blur!


Thanksgiving Baking

I can’t cook.  Like at all.  But I do love baking.  Every Thanksgiving we make Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls.  They are a bit time consuming, but so worth it.

*** Canon 5D Mark IV, 35 1.4

F2.0, 1/400, ISO 800

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My family also loves pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  They are the easiest thing you will ever make.  And everyone always loves them.  I’ve never tried them because I’m the only person in America who doesn’t like pumpkin! Take one box of spice cake, one can of pumpkin, and one bag of chocolate chips. Mix it all up and put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350.  You’re welcome ;)

Ele Story

Kennedy only wears dresses.  I have to force the kid to wear pants or shorts.  I don’t hate it though.  I know this stage isn’t going to last forever. For now she can have all the dresses.

I wanted to share this shop with all you moms of dress loving girls.  Ele Story is a super sweet shop with timeless dresses.  The dresses are very well made and Kennedy loves that they twirl great.  Kennedy is tall so I also appreciate that these dresses are longer.  We sized up so she will for sure get to wear this again next Spring!

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