Introducing My BritMums Live Sponsor – Skimlinks

6.03.15

Britmums Live is a 2 day blog conference held in London each Summer. Last year was my first time attending and I am very happy to be heading back there this June courtesy of the wonderful team at Skimlinks.

Skimlinks is a company that helps you to monetise your online content by converting normal product links into affiliate links. They have over 20,000 approved merchants which means most places you link to, they already work with and so you can be earning commission.

I saw Alicia Navarro talk at BlogFest last year and was intrigued. I loved the idea of affiliate marketing working unobtrusively within my blog posts and pages. No massive, flashy adverts, just the links I would automatically have included in a review or wishlist post, being turned into affiliate links ‘behind the scenes’.

It’s the only affiliate programme I’ve ever made any money with and the team is so friendly and helpful; I’m proud to be representing them at Britmums Live 2015.

You’ll be reading more about Skimlinks over the coming months, and in the meantime you can find out more about Skimlinks at their website or on their Facebook page.

Disclosure: Skimlinks are paying for my Britmums Live experience for 2015.


Posted in category: Blogging

Get to Know Your Histogram

6.03.15

The histogram on your camera is a graph counting how many pixels are at each level between black and white. Black is on the left and white on the right.Get to Know Your Histogram | photography tutorials| Pinnable Image | snowingindoors.com

A dark image will move the graph to the left and a lighter image will move it to the right.

The photograph below was shot in the dark end of the kitchen so the histogram is more heavily weighted towards the left side of the graph.Get to Know Your Histogram | photography tutorials | snowingindoors.com2

You might have heard the term, ‘clipping’ before when the histogram is discussed.Clipping is when the graph ‘spills’ out the end of the graph, meaning information is missing.

When the left side is clipped it means your shadows will lose any detail and just show as plain black like on the sofa to the right of Annie in the image below.Get to Know Your Histogram | photography tutorials | snowingindoors.com1

Clipping to the right side of the histogram means the whites lose their texture and detail, this is also called, ‘blown highlights.

The sky in the image below is blown out because I exposed for Annie rather than the sky behind her. There is no detail shown in the clouds as a result.Get to Know Your Histogram | photography tutorials | snowingindoors.com

If you’re taking a photo and spot clipping on your in-camera histogram, reduce your exposure. You want to get the histogram as close to the right edge without it actually touching it.

Many modern cameras have a setting called ‘highlight warning’. This will make any over exposed areas of your photo flash or blink. Check out your camera’s manual if you are unsure of where to find this setting.

If you shoot in JPG format, getting your exposure correct is really important, whereas if you shoot in RAW then you can more easily recover some lost detail.

Reading your histogram is not nearly as tricky as you may at first think and can be a useful tool when trying to work out the exposure of your image.

 


Everything’s The Worst – Play Dates

5.03.15

As a huge fan of 30 Rock and Liz Lemon, I’ve started a blog series called, ‘Everything’s the Worst’ where I get to moan about whatever takes my fancy! Fun times eh?!

Everything is the Worst Badge | snowingindoors.com

First up on the list – Play Dates

1) To start with, the very name, ‘play date’ makes me want to stab myself in the face, but I can’t think of a short, easy alternative name for them, so I continue saying, ‘play date’ and hating myself for it

2) The mess! Oh my word, if you thought your kids were messy, try adding another one, or more, into the mix.

Four kids, all with attention spans of no more than 35 seconds, all wanting to play different things will cause your entire house to go from tidy to, ‘screw this, let’s just move and let someone else clean up’ in about 36 seconds flat.

3) The noise of a play date can only be likened to the sound aboard an aeroplane plummeting to earth. There will be screaming, yelling, hysterical laughter, shouts of, ‘Mummy!’, fighting and crying.

4) Other people’s kids! I love my kiddos, I have to really, they’re half me and so they’re my fault, I have to put up with them and their weird or annoying habits, but I’m sorry, if I didn’t give birth to you then wiping your nose on the back of my jumper will not endear you to me!

5) Snacks. When people come round to play you have a duty as the host to provide ample refreshments. I am a mean Mum, my children drink water and snacks are normally fruit or simple biscuits, but try serving that to another kid and you can bet there will be upset.

They demand cakes and fruit juice, ‘my mummy lets me drink hot chocolate with marshmallows and always gives us homemade chocolate chip cookies at snack time’.

Well I’m sorry annoying small person, I don’t care if she keeps you topped up with espresso and croquembouche, you can dunk this half stale gingerbread biscuit into this store’s own brand squash and darn well enjoy it!

6) Other people’s children care nothing for your schedule. Snack time is 10 and 3 here, but you can bet they won’t like that.

7) You have to prepare a craft activity, worthy of Pinterest fame, that each child will turn their nose at, so you end up sat alone at the kitchen table, while the kids destroy the upstairs of your house, making dolls from clothes pegs and wondering why you bother.

In my experience all play dates (argghhh!) end the same way, I turn on a movie and then hide in the kitchen until it’s over.

The only redeeming factor is that polite society demands that then my child is invited to their house and I can rest easy knowing the other Mum is going through exactly the same thing – mwah ha ha!

Liz Lemon Everythings The Worst 30 Rock

Any other reasons why play dates are just the worst?
Any favourite Liz Lemon moments to share?


Posted in category: The Kiddos, Tongue-in-Cheek

Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos

4.03.15

Photographing your newborn baby needn’t be a daunting task, and with a little effort you can end up with some awesome photographs of your baby’s first days.

Today I want to share my top 10 tips for getting amazing newborn photos without too much effort and with your own camera.

Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos  snowingindoors.com

1) The key to a successful photo session with a newborn is heat, and plenty of it. You need to ensure the room is really warm, if you’re sweating then it’s probably perfect! The heat will help keep the baby asleep and will ensure they’re comfy if you’re photographing them naked or just in their nappy.

2) Go slowly, don’t force a pose, the baby will let you know if they’re happy with what you’re doing.

3) Use only natural light. Find a good spot next to a large window and set up there. Don’t use flash, it can startle a sleepy newborn, result in harsh shadows and make their skin look thin.

4) The best time to photograph a newborn baby is just after a feed. If they’ve got a full tummy they are far more likely to be happy, doze off, and stay asleep. Fit the photo session around the baby’s schedule.

5) Try swaddling. If your baby isn’t falling asleep swaddling them can help and it also results in some gorgeous photos.

6) Don’t shoot up the baby’s nose! Move around and try lots of different angles but try not to shoot up their face, it’s not very flattering.

7) Don’t forget the details, make sure you photograph their little toes, the wispy swirl of hair on top of their head, their tiny fist wrapped around a sibling’s finger or their cute little lips.

8) The window of opportunity for those sleepy, curled up newborn photos is within the first 2 weeks. In the first 5-10 days is the ideal time and should miss the arrival of the baby acne.

9) Make sure you include older siblings, but wait until the end of the session, so if they wake the baby it doesn’t matter.

10) The use of clothing is a personal choice. I think newborns look best when photographed naked, but that of course will result in accidents, so a plain white nappy can be a suitable, unobtrusive alternative.

I took Ezra’s newborn photos up in our bedroom over the course of an hour and was so happy with them.

I simply hung a white blanket up over the wardrobe door, put on a space heater and the central heating and had some fun with the Bear.

Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos At Home | snowingindoors.com (2)Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos At Home | snowingindoors.com (4)Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos At Home | snowingindoors.com (3)Top 10 Tips For Amazing Newborn Photos At Home | snowingindoors.com (6)

Babies change so quickly and the way they look those first few days doesn’t last long.

Did you take newborn photos of your baby or get someone to do it for you?
Do you have any tips to share?


Street Art Walk

3.03.15

Last weekend we took a stroll to look at some of our local street art.

There had been a paint jam the week before and we had watched some amazing artists painting the tunnel.

Annie wasn’t in the mood for being photographed, until I told her to dash about, now that she loved!

Local Street Art Graffiti | Point + Shoot Photo Linky | snowingindoors.com (1)Local Street Art Graffiti | Point + Shoot Photo Linky | snowingindoors.com (2)Local Street Art Graffiti | Point + Shoot Photo Linky | snowingindoors.com (4)Local Street Art Graffiti | Point + Shoot Photo Linky | snowingindoors.com (5)Local Street Art Graffiti | Point + Shoot Photo Linky | snowingindoors.com (3)

We’re lucky to live somewhere there’s lots of local street art. It’s helped make the cycle path much brighter and transformed the old railway tunnel from a scary dark place to a gorgeous and colourful one.

Are you a fan of street art?
What did you get up to this weekend?


Posted in category: Point & Shoot