One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  It is a community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn

12-months • 12-techniques • 1-photo a week • 52-opportunities for growth • for the everyday photographer • a new year, a new artist.

(more…)

Balance: 

“stability of one’s mind or feelings.”
“the way to some kind of peace and personal balance”

I believe that when we feel good about ourselves and believe in our own self-worth, we’ll be a better service to others.  That will eventually lead to a much healthier lifestyle… effortlessly.

I have learned that reaching balance isn’t something that can be achieved in one day or one week, or one month.  It takes discipline, determination and consistency for a period of time, sometimes through a few trials and errors to see what really makes your life “balanced” in your own term.  As I have stated at the beginning of the year (on Instagram), my word for this year is “BALANCE.”  My goal was to create a balance in health, family, social, financial, business, civic, and spiritual.  For this month, I wanted to jump-start on two things (1) exercise, to start my journey to a healthier lifestyle and a balance in health; (2) Networking with other creatives.

My 1st goal didn’t go as well as I would like it to be.  I want to go to the gym so that I can be by myself and have a trainer to guide me in the right direction.  Though I do take walks, runs with the kids here and there, I couldn’t find time for the gym.  This was a month of many unforseen happenings but I’m proud to say for the month of March, I have started to have a morning routine to get some exercise in.  My trainer sent me some videos he thinks that would benefit me since I still can’t go to the gym yet.  Not only that my little girl has joined me as well.

My 2nd goal for February was to start networking with other creatives, to meet them in person, to learn more about what they do.  I am excited that I got to meet an incredible individual who had been in the creative industry for a long time.  She’s a retired stage performer who has a beautiful creative mind and talent.  I wanted to interview her and have more of a one on one with her.  Though that didn’t happen; I’m just thankful that she was able to accommodate and work with what we had.  I got to witness her styling someone while we were there.  Then she styled me and made me feel so beautiful.  I love how she can transform a simple piece into a glamorous one.  She is one incredible individual who doesn’t let life obstacles stop her.  She’s strong, determined and most of all, she’s full of ideas to make women beautiful.  Her motto is “everyone is a star” and she will turn you into one.  I have learned so much from her not just being an artist but also being a person who loves what she does.  Hopefully we’ll have another session in the future.  In the photos below I would like to show you a few pieces that she styled me in and I couldn’t resist.

I’m proud to say that I have been very consistent with some of my 2018 goals personally and professionally so far…

  1. Reading our family daily bible/prayers
  2. Consistently document our everyday life
  3. Consistently participating in weekly insta loops
  4. Consistently participating in our monthly blog
  5. Volunteer and doing community service
  6. Enjoy moments and beautiful things around me
  7. Document our family through videos and pushing my bounderies to learn video editing, I am learning so much and having so much fun.

To do this without the support of my partner in crime would have been impossible.  I’m thankful for having him by my side supporting me and encouraging me.  He is always up for any of my crazy ideas but sometimes he would pinch me back to reality too.

I’m also thankful for God’s blessings on my family.  Everyday they help out and work hard at what they do.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I’m excited to be writing and photographing about “BALANCE”  with a group of talented photographers as part of the blog circle of “Project Something Beautiful.”  Check out Dawn Switzer for per piece describing BALANCE through photographs.  See you next month.

One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  A community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn 12 techniques a year (1 technique per month).  We usually have about 4 or 5 weeks to learn that technique for the month and to practice it with our camera.  Along the journey, we shared our images on social media and in the group for feedback.  This month, a group of my photography friends decided to show case our favorites from the month of January.  

“Tell me and I’ll forget.  Show me and I may remember.  Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Instead of showcasing, I decided to write more of what I have learned from January.  The technique I took on was to capture subjects under low light conditions.  Low light is not necessarily night photography, it is only when the light source is limited whether it is sun light or artificial lights.  Let’s take your bathroom for example, most of the bathrooms have limited light source, it might have a small window that has some lights peeked through but the rest of the room is dark.  I called that little light peeking through “light pocket.”  Low light technique can be very addicting if you know how to manipulate little “light pockets” to your advantage or you can create a low light condition by limiting lights pouring into the environment you are setting up the shots.  Some might ask, why would you limit lights into your environment?  My answer is to create a light source focus only on your subject.  This will create nice shadows and lights on your subject to capture the true feelings of the moment.  After capturing some photos using this technique, I have a few notes or more of lessons for myself in the future.  I hope you will find this helpful.  I love this technique so for sure you will be seeing more of it in Storyteller Through Photos in the next coming months.

Lesson 1: When I walked into a room, here are a few things I ask myself: Where is the light coming from?  What kind of light source do I have? (natural lights or artificial lights) and Where will I place the subject using the available light source to capture the story?  A little careful assessment and preparation will help create more emotional and dramatic photos.

Lesson 2: Manual Mode is as always highly recommended.  You got the full control!

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO, prefer noisy photos over blurry ones.  Know your camera and lens well to see how much noise they can handle.

Lesson 4: lower shutter speed (long exposure) to get more lights, tripod is highly recommended in this method to avoid camera shake – still need to try this.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open, which means low f-number.  When you get past the kit lens, you will never go back.  Kit lens usually has the owest F/3.6 while other lenses with F/1.8 or 1/4 can create much more desireable low light photos.  If you are working on a budget, I would say try 50mm 1.8 (I should with Canon).  This lens is a great learning tool for beginner.  Though I have moved on up with other lens, I still go back to this lens from time to time because it’s so light.  I can easily carry it in my purse anywhere with the camera.

Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.

Lesson 7: use light (natural or artificial) to create dramatic effects.

Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos.

Lesson 9: Don’t forget to have fun and use any of the combinations above to your likings (just like cooking, you are the one creating the recipes to your tastes).  Photography is art, create your own recipe, even breaking the rules is acceptable to create your own piece of art.

here are some of my favorites from January everyday’s moment

In the photo below, the light was coming from a window of his left.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO camera setting: SS 1/100, ISO 3200, freelens (no F stop info)

 

This photo was taken with 50mm, 1.8, you can see a little haze around him, I actually used my range oven light to light up his face.  I used double exposure with a little plastic to create a little glow in the photo.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open. SS 1/125, F 1.8, ISO 1250
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights. My light source is the bathroom ceiling light, having the door slightly open to light up just this guy’s face.
Lesson 7: use the lights through window to create light and shadow effect
Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos. The entire house lights were shut down, only one flashlight they carried on a stick with them.

My talented friend Suzi from Moments by Suzi also played along with this technique, please check out her low light favorites here, you will enjoy her work just as much as I do.

That’s it for this month, please check back for February photography technique.  Untill then if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to hear from you.

 Thuvan – Your gal behind the lens here at FrameThisMomentPhotography

Reflect…..

What is the definition of reflect?


To think, ponder or meditate quietly or calmly about…{something}.
To self-reflect is to examine one’s past, present and a look into the future.

Quite often, I reflect on the paths I have taken, where I am and where I want to be.  I have experienced hurts, pains, disappointments, betrayal but as equally I have received immeasurable love, support, and blessings from my family and friends especially of my husband for 11 years and my 4 blessings blooming.  The scars have shaped me, the hurt and pain have strengthened me and the blessings have pulled me through and through during my darkness and miseries.  God has graced me much more than I deserve to have such a beautiful growing family with a business that I’m inspired to grow one day at a time.  I have overcome many hurdles along my photography journey to get where I am.  I’m learning and pushing forward no matter what.  I know that there are people who believe in me, believe in what I do and so I’m focusing my energy on learning and creating beautiful images, and bringing beautiful piece of art and heirloom into homes and families.

20180121-Leaves bokeh-6 2

 

This year, I made a promise to myself to bring balance into my daily life.  Here are a few things that I am doing:

Personal Goals

  1. Read and reflect a bible verse each day
  2. Take care of myself so that I can take care of others especially my husband and my 4 children by exercising at least every other day, eat well and make myself look presentable at all time.
  3. Choose joy no matter what and always know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Volunteer and do community service
  5. Develop professionally by keep on learning so I can grow my business and genuinely network with people.
  6. Let live and let it go
  7. Go out and meet with others
  8. Put myself out there and not be afraid of judgement.
  9. Enjoy beautiful things, sing a little, dance a little, laugh out loud and cry a little if I must.
  10. Last but not least, appreciate myself knowing that I DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Professional goals:

  1. Attend at least one photography state/national conference
  2. Complete my 365 days project (a photo a day) to push my boundaries and go out of my comfort zone.
  3. Document once a month my family via video using different techniques, post it on youtube and sending it out to critique via circle of friends, check out my January 2018 Video 
  4. Participate in monthly blog circle
  5. Participate in insta loops
  6. Lead a photography project
20180121-Reflection Mama-4 2
This photo is courtesy of Jojo, my oldest son.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I’m excited to be writing and photographing about “REFLECT”  with a group of talented photographers as part of the blog circle of “Project Something Beautiful.”  My feature photo was captured using double exposure, and the last one was captured with a technique called freelense.  Check out Britney Wharton Photography for per piece on REFLECT.  See you next month

“THE FOUR HEAVENLY FOUNTAINS
Laugh, I tell you

And you will turn back

The hands of time.

Smile, I tell you
And you will reflect
The face of the divine.

Sing, I tell you
And all the angels will sing with you!

Cry, I tell you
And the reflections found in your pool of tears
Will remind you of the lessons of today and yesterday
To guide you through the fears of tomorrow.”

– Suzy Kassem –

 

2018 January

January Photo Gallery

I challenge myself to do a photo a day then published it in this gallery.  I have different prompts every day or at least every week so that I can get familiar with different techniques.

This month’s prompts: lowlight, freelensing, rule of third, compassion, lights and shadow, in the frame, self-portrait, teaching & learning together, brothers, out of focus, morning snuggle, step by step, celebration, season – winter theme, backlight, curiosity, negative space, what I see, imagination, bath time, play time, run away, reflect, double exposure.  So far my most favorites were lowlight, freelensing, teaching and learning, and double exposure.  Double exposure, lowlight were very challenging, freelensing is quite difficult too but I’m getting the hang of it.

Continue reading “2018 January”

Our family secrets of summer fun in Houston

June is the beginning of summer in Texas.  Most of the school is out by June and summer activities began.   By all mean, I’m not an expert for summer fun.  I’m only doing this to give my kids some childhood memories, teach them how to care for others and just simply enjoy being a kid.  I hope our activities will give you some ideas to do with your kids.  Please do share what you do with your kids in the summer so we can learn and maybe do it in the next summer.  We still have two more months to go.  This is only June activities, I have so much more but I will save it for the end of the summer to compile all of our summer activities.

1- Involve in at least one sport event:

This year both of my older kids were involved in the summer swimming league so most of my Saturday is consumed around swimming meets until 3rd week of June.  They enjoyed swimming, meeting new friends, hanging out with old friends, school friends and just have fun all together.

20160506- IMG_7223 Swimming Team Summer 2016

2- Visit Hospitals especially children hospitals:

Early part June, we decided to go visit some folks in the hospital, the first person we met was Ashley Johnson.  She’s currently going to school in California and came home for the summer.  You can follow Ashley’s Journey here on instagram, Ashley’s Instagram.  She’s a very sweet young girl.  In our conversation, we found out that Ashley was also a swimmer who got the chance to see Michael Phelps when she was little.   She’s also a friend with our team coach so the kids actually enjoyed talking to her. This is something we will be doing throughout the summer after our summer road trip.  20160607-IMG_0489 Jonah Jaden Ashley Johnson

3-Enjoy nature: 

There are so many things and places are free around you.  Take a stroll around your neighborhood in the afternoon/early evening.  Let the kids go outside and shout out to natures.  It is healthy for them, it is good for them to appreciate little things in their life.

20160529-IMG_9902 ThienAn Anvy & Jaden

4- Some electronic time:

Although I’m not big with electronics, I would like to give them some electronic time so they can let loose and enjoy their own time, connect with friends from afar.20160529-IMG_9960 ThaiBinh

5. Library trips:

Go to the library, check out some books.  Let them open their mind with some imagination through readings.  The libraries usually have reading list recommended for all ages, you can find all kind of books for them to read during the summer.20160616-IMG_1502 VBS Decoration day

6- Volunteer:

Volunteer and involve in the community organizations, whether it is at church, nursing homes or at any food bank or anywhere that you are comfortable.  That’s when you get to meet people (interesting people), people from far away, people that you might never meet otherwise.  Open up their minds with the reality of world that there’s so much more than what they see.  This year we got to meet a young man who has traveled to US from France.  He’s one of the leaders for Vacation Bible School for our second baby.  A very nice caring young man.  20160623-IMG_1850 VBS 2016 at CTR B&W

 

I hope your family will have a fun and safe summer.

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Kids are Kids

This is our second “6 on the 6th Blog Circle” and I’d like to write a little bit of what has been happening around here in Houston, Texas.  When you finished with my blog, please check out Elaina B Photography and see what she has on her page, then the one after that and after that… keep going until you end up at my page again ^_^.  As always, we love like(s) and comments.  Thank you for checking us out – with a cherry on top.  enjoy!

The week that I got back from my Atlanta trip, Cypress (the Northwest side of Houston) was flooded after one night of heavy pouring rain.  The flood had killed 7 people, destroyed 1000 homes possibly caused up to 5 billion in damages (according to CNN).

20160419- IMG_6536 Cypress Flood
Turn around, don’t drown

 

The Schools were closed so we had the kids at home watching movies, reading books.  On the third day, the sun came out so EVERYONE in the neighborhood also came out.  That included us.

20160420- IMG_6589 Jaden & Anvy
Big brother helped little sister up when she fell
20160420- IMG_6599 Jonah Jaden & Anvy
water puddles on the streets are fun to play with

 

It was fun to watch the children being out and enjoying themselves.  The whole neighborhood was out either biking, walking or even canoeing on the risen water creek.  I wouldn’t recommend jumping off the bridge but they seemed to have fun.  I remember my friends doing this when I was little.  I didn’t know how to swim so I tend to stay away from these activities.

20160420- IMG_6637 Flood 2016
One.! two.! three.! then you are on your own.
20160420- IMG_6695 Flood 2016
This isn’t a river, when the water is gone, it is just a creek. Water went up to about 13 feet high.

 

Some adults walked by with their heads shaking, some stayed back to watch, some stood by to give them tips of safety.  I was one of the ones to give them tips.  There was no way of stopping them, might as well teach them how to do it safely.  They were really not bad kids, they were very polite.  When I started the conversation with the few of them, they talked and responded back in a very respectful manner.  Kids are just kids.  They need to have some fun after being “held captives” during the flood.  I’m glad they found something healthy and fun to do rather than smoking, drinking or doing drugs.

Just a heads up, if you ever visited Houston and got caught in the flood, just “turn out, don’t drown”.  The level of water on the street is unpredictable and it would be too late by the time you say the word “Oops”.  Your life and others can be in serious danger, please don’t risk it.  Nothing is more important than yourself and your family at the moment.

Thank you for stopping by, until next time.

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Bluebonnets of Texas

The updates of bluebonnets locations are at the end of this post.


So what’s the big thing in Texas during late March and the month of April?  Bluebonnets!!!

Bluebonnets (AKA Lupinus subcarnosus) are wild flowers which only grow in Texas.  As historian Jack Maguire put it “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.”  He also affirmed “The bluebonnet to Texas is what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”  Although it’s been told that it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets in Texas, it isn’t.  On March 7th, 1901 the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower.  In 1930s, the Texas Highway department began a landscaping and beautification program and due to this program’s efforts that the bluebonnets now grow along most major highways throughout the state extended all the way to Mexico.

Another flower that blooms at the same time with bluebonnets and compliment them so well is Indian Paintbrush (AKA Castilleja indivisa).  You can find these two flowers either grow blending amongst each other or in separate fields.  The vibrant orange color of Idian Paintbrush and the blue/white of bluebonnets make the drive in Texas beautiful during March and April.

While visiting the field of Bluebonnets, please keep in mind not to destroy these beautiful delicacies, many stories go around the bluebonnets and a lot of them are unpleasant.  A few things to keep in mind:

1- Do not pick or step on the bluebonnets: Some said it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets (however it isn’t) but it is also a nice courtesy to allow others enjoy the bit of nature in the beautiful spring of Texas who come after you.  It’s not first come first serve, it is let us all enjoy what nature provides us.

2- Do not trespass people’s private property: Jumping over someone’s fence is trespassing and IT IS ILLEGAL.  Please respect people’s wishes.  It is their private property, it is their bluebonnets they grow.  Having bluebonnets in their private property doesn’t warrant you access into their backyard/frontyard.

3- Be Safe: I have seen people just stop along the state highways or interstates so they can take out all of their kids for photos.  Please be sure to park in a place where cars are away from the high speed highways.  The little ones are quick and sometimes it only takes a few second for them to lose their mind and run off.  Please please be careful.

 

Here are locations of the bluebonnet sightings 2016 as of April 13:

  • Highway 281 & CO Rd 103
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM1431‬ west of ‪#‎MarbleFalls‬ to ‪#‎Kingsland‬ and on to ‪#‎Highway29‬.
  • Kyle, TX on fm 1626 by Plum Creek division
  • Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM965‬ north of ‪#‎EnchantedRock‬ State Park in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬.
  • Eleanor Tinsley Park on Allen parkway, Houston, TX
  • Hwy I-20 and Wheatland Rd (DFW)
  • Terry Hershey park in Houston (it might not be available this week)
  • #‎Killeen‬ Peeps! Y’all still got bluebonnets on Stan Schlueter Loop
  • Texas Hill Country: HW 16 between Goldthwaite and Fredericksburg, HW 71 between Llano and Brady, CR501 between Pontotoc and Lometa, and CR574 west from Goldthwaite.
  • Texas Hill Country: If you’re in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬ and looking for a ‪#‎bluebonnet‬ field instead of roadside bluebonnets, ‪#‎TurkeyBend‬ Recreation Area off ‪#‎Fm1431‬ is a sweet, little field.
  • Mansfield Tx in the Lone Star Exit
  • For those in the ‪#‎Brenham‬ area trying to avoid the crowds, give this area a try. It’s outside the Bellville area, SW of the Brenham area, FM 2754 at 159 (159 runs between Bellville & Industry)
  • In Ennis, TX off of the Bluebonnet Trail off of Union Hill Road
  • Tigerpoint Road and FM389
  • behind Philips Veterinary Hospital
    5375 US-290, Brenham, TX 77833
  • Along Legacy Dr near Dallas Parkway
  • Pace Bend Park
  • Round Rock
  • Hope y’all enjoy, I will try to update the list one more time in the coming week.

 

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