Archive for 'Creativity'

Yesterday’s gratitude photo challenge exercise was so fun! Once we got to talking after school about the things we’re grateful for, we quickly had a pretty long list. So we had lots of ideas for what to photograph… which then begs the next question — how should we create a photo story for them?

Parker’s thankful for the kitty babies. Most of the time, I am too. 🙂 They are often found asleep near each other and Parker thought it would be fun to lay down between them. I love his photo ideas! I set up the scene so he’d have lots of back light behind him. I’ve learned the sweet spots around the house for photographing, and this is one of my favorites, with a big window and lots of sunshine beaming through. Using my 50mm lens allowed me to set the aperture nice and wide so we’d have all our attention on their faces, with lots of softness and blur in the rest of the image.

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The other thing he’s thankful for is video games. I’m quickly learning what a big deal this is to an eight-year-old, but there’s still so much of me that wants him to stay little forever (I miss the simple things like Little People, and Matchbox cars). So he set this scene up while he was playing his favorite football game, wearing his Iowa State shirt (another thing he’s thankful for). Again, I used the light from the living room windows and a wide aperture. Keeping the rest of the frame simple helps draw our attention back to his face.

gratitude photo challenge

Now it’s your turn! Let’s see what you’ve photographed with the gratitude photo challenge. Post it on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #gratitude challenge. I can’t wait to see what you’ve captured! Cheers!

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To learn more about photographing your family portrait sessions or photography workshops for beginners, contact me via the website, or email me directly at info@cathymoresphotography.com. Cathy is located in Manhattan, Kansas, and frequently travels to her clients around the Midwest. To find out details regarding upcoming travel dates, or to book a custom session, please contact for more information and availability.

I’m loving seeing so many posts from those of you who are participating in the gratitude challenges lately. Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily mess that it’s easy to forget the simple things that we can be thankful for… and there are days we can all use a little reminder, especially as the hustle of the holidays is upon us. Right?

Gratitude Photo Challenge

(Like this graphic? It’s a free printable on the NAPCP blog! Enjoy!)

Today’s photo tip is a Gratitude Photo Challenge — think of it like an exercise all about expressing your thankfulness in a photograph. What kind of photo story can you make that will show how thankful you are? Yes, even if you’re thankful for laundry or the little ones’ toys on the floor. The best part is that you can do this exercise with your smartphone or your DSLR — whatever you have handy at the moment is perfect.

Here’s what to do — grab the kiddos and let’s get started!
• Talk with your children about gratitude, and what it means to each of you. Then, on a piece of paper, have each person make a list of 3-5 things they are thankful for. Moms, make your own list too! (With younger children, the idea of gratitude might be too big, so you can always ask them what they’re happy for.)

• Create a photo of the things in each of your lists. The sky’s the limit, so all the items can be in one photograph, or a series of several images. You’re the storyteller here!

• Share your favorite photographs from the challenge on your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feed, and use #gratitudechallenge!

We’re going to do this exercise tonight after school, so look for an update tomorrow on what Parker and I photograph. 🙂

I can’t wait to see what you’ve captured and how you’re celebrating your gratitude in this season of Thanksgiving! Cheers!

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To learn more about photographing your family portrait sessions or photography workshops for beginners, contact me via the website, or email me directly at info@cathymoresphotography.com. Cathy is located in Manhattan, Kansas, and frequently travels to her clients around the Midwest. To find out details regarding upcoming travel dates, or to book a custom session, please contact for more information and availability.

A friend wrote the most thoughtful post over at LemonWater the other day, and it has been on my mind ever since. (I love Olivia and Mary’s blog — it’s real life, knee-deep-in-poop parenting stories, thoughts on friendship and and an amazing place for women to support one another!)

Do you consider yourself lucky or hard working?

Is success just a matter of being in the right place at the right moment, or the outward face of a dream that you’ve worked toward your entire life?

When we hear about someone else’s good fortune, like a new job or a new baby, it’s so easy to look at them and tell them how lucky or blessed they are. And thanks to social media, that’s often the majority of we hear about — the new car, the great vacation, the renovations to your house. It’s so easy to judge or be envious about what we might think is someone else’s streak of really good luck.

But there’s so much more beyond the surface of that success that we don’t know. After I read Olivia’s post, I made a comment about it on Facebook, how much I appreciated her words, and she commented back that people probably tell me I’m lucky because I have my own business.

I pounded “Like” on the keyboard. Times 1,000,000.

Sure. You can say I’m lucky. The humble, modest part of me wants to nod and smile and agree. But I’m fortunate only because of the years of hustle, trial, error, tears, late nights, dreaming, failure, times I’ve been told “no”, and all the other parts of building this dream that look more like stumbles instead of successes.

I believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Luck shows up on the gravel path of your dream when you’ve dusted yourself off time and time again, after you’ve skinned your knees and dirtied the soles of your shoes so much that you can’t tell what brand they were. But it waits for the right moment to reveal itself, when you’ve put in the work and noticed an opportunity waiting on the road ahead.

We make our own luck. You create the blessings and good fortune you have in your life because you keep showing up. Earlier this week I taught the Growing CONFIDENCE workshop in Topeka and shared my story with an amazing group of women. They, too, wanted to have more success when it came to photographing their lives. So they rolled up their sleeves, dug deep into their hearts and their creativity, and started the preparation of their own journey to confidence. And when the opportunity presents itself, like at their child’s next soccer game or the next birthday party, the beautiful images they’ll create might look to someone else like luck. But we all know that luck arrived because they were well-prepared for the right moment.

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Yes, count your blessings. Be proud of the roof you have over your head, the family you cherish, the life you lead. Then, take a moment to acknowledge the effort and the journey you’ve encountered to be where you are today. And as you see others working toward creating their own luck, give them a shout-out and a high-five, too. 🙂

Happy Friday! Cheers!

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Fall is the perfect time to update your family portraits! To learn more about booking your family portrait session or a CONFIDENCE workshop, contact me via the website, or email me directly at info@cathymoresphotography.com. (I love hearing from you!)

Cathy is located in Manhattan, Kansas, and frequently travels to her clients around the Midwest. To find out details regarding upcoming travel dates, or to book a custom travel session, please contact for more information and availability.

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