Fun ideas for beach photography
Baking brown butter treats at home
Taking pictures of two girls
Easter Family Picture

Tips for Photographing Food

how to photograph food

One might think that photographing an in-animate object such as food would be pretty easy. I mean, it sits still, unlike toddlers, right? I’ve spent years taking pictures of families, and when I dipped into photographing food, I realized it was MUCH MUCH harder! {Pin this image above, not from the NYIP page} Today, I’ve got 5 simple tips for photographing food for ya.  I’ve started a collection of plates, utensils, papers, fabrics, and other… Continue Reading

Tips for a great start


We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day,right? Getting off to a great start in the morning is necessary to a successful day, especially with crazy life schedules. I’m so excited to share that I’m parterning with Kellogg’s for the next month, and will be sharing some great recipes and tips inspired by my on-the-go chaos.  So come back and see the various Tips for a Great Start I will be featuring throughout the next… Continue Reading

Document Your Life: 15 Ideas for Creative Self Portraits

Creative Self Portrait Tips

I believe in moms being in pictures. Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands and set it up. I wanted to share some ideas on how to get a little extra creative with those self portraits. It’s a fun activity to document your life, and important, too. So today I’m over at the New York Institute of Photography sharing 15 ideas for creative self portraits. Check it out!!  CLICK HERE to read… Continue Reading

Photo Tip Tuesday: How to Color Pop Images

color pop images #photoshop #photography

I really want to get back to sharing more photo tips, so this post is about how to color pop images.  I shared this post several years ago when I was a contributor at The Idea Room, but I’m changing it up some to share here. I use photoshop SOLELY to edit my images. I know a lot of people love Lightroom or even PicMonkey, but I don’t know those programs. For those of you… Continue Reading

Better Blogging Google Hangout

google hangout

I’m so excited, I’m going to be a guest LIVE TONIGHT on this fun google hangout series! All you do to watch it live is to go to THIS LINK and PRESS PLAY at 8pm Eastern time tonight. (I went before and didn’t press play and wondered why it wasn’t starting). This hangout is for anyone wanting to more about blogging, maybe wanting to start a blog, or just curious as to what goes on… Continue Reading

A Peek Inside my Camera Bag: Body and lenses

Inside my camera bag @Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke

Lets talk equipment today, and I’ll share with you a little peek inside my camera bag at my camera body and lenses. Photography is an overwhelming hobby in many aspects. First, you have to figure out what camera to buy, then teach yourself how to use said camera, then there is gear and all sorts of other fun stuff to learn to improve your photography. It can make ones’ head spin. I’ve got opinions on… Continue Reading

How to Start a Photography Business

photog biz

I hear from so many people with questions on this topic, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the best way to ease into the transition on starting and maintaining a photography business, or if nothing else so those that hire a photographer will know what they are paying for. It is so wonderful that moms who choose to stay home with their children–have opportunities to make a little money on the side, and… Continue Reading

How to get great images when Natural Light Isn’t Available

how to get great images with a flash #phototips

  I am a HUGE lover of natural light, I love the beauty that the sun brings to my images, but when it’s late at night, great natural sunlight isn’t available. Though my camera can handle a higher ISO (1600 or so), the light from lightbulbs just doesn’t give me what I want, so I’ll pop on my flash.   I know there are many bloggers out there who are photographing product in the evening when the… Continue Reading

Swapping heads in photoshop


Now let me say that the actual “head swapping” isn’t too tricky, it’s the clean up that can be daunting.  A few years ago, I couldn’t do it at all, but I’ve practiced and now get quite pleased with myself after it’s done.  For clients, I don’t usually do it unless they ask.  Every once in a while, I’ll see the perfect shot–except someones eyes are closed, and I’ll swap before showing them.  I’ve found… Continue Reading

My TV debut~KSL Studio 5

television debut

I posted on my facebook page on Sunday night that I’d be sharing some photography tips on Monday on a Utah TV station. I’m here visiting family, and about a month ago, I was in contact with a few different people that work with the station, who asked if I’d be interested in coming on their segment and sharing some photography tips.  “Of course, that sounds fun!”  I said immediately. So here I am on… Continue Reading

How to get great candid shots

I love capturing candid moments! They are my favorite.  They are the moments that people think they don’t care about….but once they see them, they love them more than the posed.  When you hear the word “candid” it seems rather spontaneous, but truth be told, as a photographer, I often have to set up those moments that lead to great candid images.  I’ll tell people to do certain things.  Sometimes it may be awkward, but… Continue Reading

How to shoot a great Silhouette


I LOVE a great silhouette, and it took me quite a while to really figure out how to take them consistently.  The secret is to expose for the sky. If you aren’t shooting on manual mode, you’ll need to get that figured out, in order to have more control of your camera and it’s settings. If you need help with that, check out Say NO to Auto. The tips below were originally shared in my… Continue Reading

How to use and install the Google Reader Next Button

food pix 2450

When I posted a while back about the changes I was making to my blog, I got some great feedback on options for those reading from Google reader. This week, I just read a post on Infarrantly Creative called, What every Blogger Wants you to know.  I thought…oooh, what do I want everyone to know? I was hooked, too. It’s a great read on the important of page views, and how to help a blogger out,… Continue Reading

Get Focused: 12 creative tips & techniques to bring your photography to a higher level


It’s here!  Book #2, the follow up to Say NO to Auto.  I’m so excited for this to debut. This book is for those individuals who feel comfortable shooting in manual settings and are ready to move onto the next step.  Inside, you will learn how to get tack sharp images, and expand your creativity along the way. Get Focused  is geared towards the photographer who wants to better understand the focusing functions on their… Continue Reading

Say NO to Auto~3 Basic steps to Understanding Manual Camera Settings

01 copyXblog

Do you have a nice, fancy camera that you don’t know how to use?  Do you feel frustrated that you are always getting dark pictures on Auto?  I’ve created a book small enough to fit in your camera bag, but with enough detail to help you shun the auto mode forever.  I first released this as an e-book in January 2011, with revisions done in July 2011.  I’ve had 100% positive feedback (see comments below)… Continue Reading