Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tis the Most Photographed Time of the Year!

Most of us tend to take a lot of photos around the holidays not to mention ringing in the New Year!  This is a time for family and friends, a time of merriment and fun.  As I mentioned in my last post, we went on a ski vacation in Canada, and met my parents and brother there.  I live on the East Coast, my parents and brother live in northwest Washington state.  We don't often see each other.  There were a lot of photo moments!

It'll be a great time to look back on.  Time with family is always treasured time, and the trip was once-in-a-lifetime.  Whistler is much bigger than the mountains we've skied on out East, and so beautiful as well!  (The enclosed gondola was nice too.)  We took pictures with the Olympic Rings, walked around the village and had a really wonderful time.  During the second part of our trip, in Vancouver, we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park...crossing the wobbly bridge 450 feet above the canyon floor!  The view was absolutely breathtaking!  There were bridge paths among the trees, giving us a squirrel's eye view of the forest surrounding us.  I have to say this was one of the most amazing places I have ever been.  And I enjoyed it immensely in spite of the fact that it poured rain the entire time we were there.

Needless to say between skiing, walking around the village and several places we visited in Vancouver plus Christmas itself, I took a lot of pictures this holiday season.  My dad also took a lot of pictures with his camera.  At the end of each day, I loaded all my photos onto my ipad with a great little card reader that  you can get at the Apple store or Photojojo ( and loaded to the cloud via a new photosharing app from Linea.

Linea is a fun convenient way to organize, save, and share your photos privately.  You can add captions and comments to your photos and when you share a line of photos with someone, that person can export the photos to their own computer if they would like, which is great for grandparents and far away relatives!  Another nice thing is once I shared my line of photos with my parents, they were able to add the photos that they had taken on the trip, so we could keep all the pictures together and view them as a photo story in a beautiful mosaic.

This isn't like Facebook where everyone can see your photos...its completely private.  The only people that have access to the photos are those that the line has been shared with.  And your photos are stored safely and securely in the cloud, actually in three separate places, using the same technology the Pentagon uses.  So it was nice to know that if something had happened to my memory card, or heaven forbid, my new camera, I would not have lost my pictures!  I could simply export them back to my computer from Linea.

If you want to try Linea*, its a free app available at the App store at Apple.  Or you can go to and click on the apple icon.  The app will work on both the iPhone and the iPad.  Linea also has a Desktop Viewer for pc and Mac, which is great for sharing with those who don't have either an iPhone or iPad.  There is a three pronged Linea Air icon next to the apple icon on that you would need to click on to install the Desktop Viewer on your computer.  You also will want to download Adobe Air onto your computer if you don't already have it installed.  All of this is free.  If you want to add photos directly from your computer, you can add them right there at  You can also add photos from the iPhone, iPad and the Desktop Viewer.

(Note: *There is a subscription to Linea available as well for higher amounts of photo storage.  The free version caps off at 512MB.) 

I'd love to hear how you share your holiday photos!  And if you decide to try Linea out, let me know what you think about it as well!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Compact camera vs DSLR?

The best camera is the one you have with you.  I love my DSLR, but sometimes its just not convenient to carry a big camera.  And my iPhone just doesn't do it for me, although I do use it on occasion.

I've been wanting a good compact camera for a while.  Seems like every time I tried one though, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.  To be honest, I was starting to feel like what I want doesn't exist and that maybe my expectations were just too high.  What I really want is a compact camera that takes good action shots.  Our family does a lot of skiing and I often ask my husband carry the DSLR (with the big lens) out with us onto the slopes so I can get some good action shots.  But its heavy, and he hates carrying it.  I'd carry it, but I'm too afraid I'll crash (my skiing skills are not quite up to par with the rest of my family, but thats another story altogether).

So right before we left for a ski vacation in Whistler over the holidays (which by the way is amazing and well worth a trip if you like to ski!), I saw one of Ashton Kutcher's Nikon commercials and decided that I needed to try out the new Nikon 1 (V1).  The commercial and Ashton were quite convincing, but I did read some reviews too before taking the plunge.

I wasn't disappointed this time...this one is a keeper!  Granted the skiing pics weren't quite the quality of my Canon DSLR, but I actually got some decent action shots.  The closeups were great, and scenery shots were pretty good too.  I'm still learning how to use the different functions, but in the high speed electronic shutter mode, the camera can take pictures at about 10 frames per second.  No lag time there!

There's also a movie mode and a smart photo selector that selects the best shot along with four other potential best shots.  But I think the thing I love the most about it is that it has interchangeable lenses.  It feels more like my DSLR, but I can carry it in my purse or my coat pocket.   And there's lots of bells and whistles to play with on this camera!

What's your favorite camera?  What do you like about it?  We'd love to hear what you have to say!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A New Chapter

One door closes, another opens.

And happily, the door that has opened is a natural extension of what I've been doing for so many years.

For as long as I can remember, I've been taking photos and telling the stories that go along with them.   Our photos tell our stories...they capture the moments that define our lives.  But if you don't write those stories down, they get lost along the way.  So for years, I have been creating albums for myself, and later my family, documenting both the visual piece and the story.   

For many years, I was a direct seller for a company specializing in memory preservation.  It was an amazing experience.  This allowed me, a stay at home soccer mom with three very active kids, to work around my own schedule and earn some extra income.  In the beginning, it was definitely out of my comfort zone.  But I found I genuinely enjoying meeting people, hearing their stories and helping them choose the right products to meet their needs.  I met many women (and men) along the way who feel as strongly about preserving their memories as I do.  I made close friends that I never would have met otherwise, from across the country to my own backyard.  And I gained invaluable experience.

For the last couple of years, I've belonged to APPO, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.  This organization has members across the US and Canada (and even some members in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand!) who help people who are overwhelmed by their printed and digital photos.  Our clients truly want to get their memories organized into formats they can enjoy, whether its simply getting those printed photos into a box, or creating a photo book or slide show, or even a piece of wall art!  However, they simply don't have the time to do it themselves, or the thought of doing it paralyzes them.  This too has been an amazing experience.  Its an honor to be allowed into the most precious moments of my clients' lives.   I've had the opportunity to work with people on everything from getting their loose pictures sorted into photo safe boxes to creating photo books to photo slide shows set to music and much more!

And now I have yet another opportunity to continue working in this industry, in a completely new way.  APPO is now sponsored by a new start-up company called Linea Photosharing, a technology company offering products to store and share digital images securely with family and friends.  I've been offered a position in this new venture involving these two companies.   I'll be sharing more in weeks and months to come, but if you'd like to see more about what APPO is all about, you can always check out our site at  I'm excited about whats to come...and I love that feeling of walking through a new door!