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!

And Then He Was 7.

Dear Brayden,

2558.  That’s how many days it’s been since the first time I saw you.  The first time I held you.  The first time I saw your bright blue eyes.  The first time I felt responsible for someone else’s life.  Their well being.  And it was scary.  You scared me.  You still scare me.

You are a force to be reckoned with.  You are wise beyond your years.  You have an old soul.  You feel so deeply.  You think so much.  You love so hard.  And that is scary for a mom who wants to protect your beautiful, big heart.

Sometimes you might feel like you don’t fit in.  And I know that is hard when you are a kid and the only thing you don’t want to be is different.  But, being different is what I love so much about you.  And I have no doubt that one day that is the thing you will love most about yourself as well.

So keep feeling deeply and thinking too much and loving so hard.  Because there is no one alive who is Youer than You.  I am so thankful that you are you and I have gotten to love you for 2558 days.  And I will keep on loving you for a million more.



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Lego Box Tutorial

 Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.com

These boxes are all over Pinterest.  But, seeing the response that my Facebook and Instagram post got last week I thought I would post a little tutorial on how I made ours.

I’m not sure who originated these boxes.  If you know please leave a comment because I would love to kiss their feet.  My kids LOVE their Lego boxes.  I made them before we went on a weekend getaway.  We really try and avoid electronic devices whenever possible and I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying a tote bag filled with coloring books and crayons.  My kids have grown a bit tired of that so I needed to find something new to occupy them so we could enjoy a meal in (relative) peace and quiet.  We had to wait an hour for a table on our trip and my kids didn’t complain.  Okay, maybe they complained once or twice.  But, really.  That’s practically nothing.

Spoiler alert – all of Brayden’s friends will be getting one of these for their birthdays this year.  Really I am just doing their parents a public service.

Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.com

They are so easy to make.  I bought a metal lunchbox from Hobby Lobby for $6.99 (you can also find them on Amazon Prime) and you will also need a Lego Base Building Plate.  They can be found pretty much anywhere Legos are sold.

Next, I put the lunchbox on the Lego plate and used a Sharpie to mark where I needed to cut. I used regular old scissors to cut it and then I glued it to the top of the lunchbox with a glue gun.

Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.com

We personalized it with some stickers.

Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.comAnd then added a small box of Legos.

Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.comWe met at Chickfila and both boys played with their Lego boxes instead of playing in the play area.  I think that alone says how much they love them.

Lego Box Tutorial | momtog.com