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NEW Release | 30 Tips for Perfect Family Photos eBook

The date has arrived for the photo session, and you and your client have met at the appointed location. You watch as your client’s family unloads from their mini-van. All sorts of “what if” scenarios run through your mind. You begin to have a surge of fear run through you. Where do you begin?

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I love my family. I grew up having pictures of everyday life taken all the time. The 8-year-old has a funny hairdo. We take a picture of it. Dad is working on a plumbing project under the kitchen sink with a toddler trying to help. We take a picture of it. The 5-year-old climbs into the dryer: not quite what we consider normal, or acceptable, but memorable nonetheless, so…you guess it. We take a picture of it.

We take pictures of everything: of our house in all four seasons of the year; of the fort made in the yard; of the little girls playing dress-up and re-enacting a wedding; of the young people working tirelessly on their computers; of the land-clearing project in the backyard; of the dessert that was made for supper last night; of….every day happenings in every day life.

All of this to say, family is important to me, and so are pictures. Why? Well, for me it goes deeper than just finding pleasure in taking pictures. For me, it is enjoying the family God gave me. It is living in the moment. It is savoring the beauty God has placed around me in the precious lives I get to watch grow up around me.

All too often, a family doesn’t take time to capture the moments. The joys of family-life are overlooked. With the increase of technology, cameras are readily available, and are now being carried in almost everyone’s pocket on their cell phone. We should take advantage of this technology, taking dominion of it, and using it to encourage the body of Christ.

I’ve had a hard time finding conservative, wholesome resources that I can recommend to other Christian photographers who ask me about tips for photographing families and children. Because of this, the Lord laid this project on my heart, and then He gave me the main points to start with. I took that to mean I should write. Then James Staddon of Lenspiration graciously offered to partner with us on the project. After years of waiting, the vision has become a reality. May Jesus Christ be praised!

Maybe you’re a homeschool mom with a point-n-shoot camera. Maybe you’re a student with an SLR. Maybe you don’t own a camera of your own yet, but are still interested in photographing people. Whoever you are, whatever phase of life you may be in, and whatever equipment you may or may not have, I hope this little book will be a blessing to you and will give you fresh ideas. I am not an expert; just a photography enthusiast with a heart for the family and a desire to capture the present to preserve it for the future.

 

Click here to purchase the 30 Tips for Perfect Family Photos eBook, with a new release price of only $6.00!

Lyon & Healy Lever Harps for Sale

We are currently selling our Lyon & Healy Prelude lever harp, which we purchased through the Atlanta Harp Center in late 2013. It has been lovingly cared for and enjoyed. We are now selling it because of a recent upgrade. There are some “wear and tear” marks on the column and base. Levers are in excellent working condition. This harp has a vivid, clear, and warm tone, easily comparable to the L&H Chicago pedal harps.
Preludes are wonderful for gigs, studio use, and students. They are able to handle pedal tension gut strings, and feature pedal harp spacing, making them an excellent option for those who would like to progress to a pedal harp. Includes a tuning key and dust cover. We are asking $4500.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions.

 

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Also, we are selling our Lyon & Healy Troubadour III, age unknown. The soundboard and levers were replaced in 2015. The rest of the harp is in like-new condition, and is structurally sound. This harp has a beautiful lever harp tone – clear, vibrant, and it carries well. It would make an excellent student instrument or gig harp. We are asking $3000.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions.

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Engagement Pictures

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I love taking pictures (as you probably know by now), but it’s an indescribable delight to take pictures of two people who are in love. Especially when it’s my sister.

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This precious couple has chosen, for the glory of God, to not have physical contact prior to their wedding day, so my job as photographer is to create images that have a look of connection without contact. One great way to do this is with large letters that spell “LOVE,” or by using chalkboards with special messages written on them. I also like using the ampersand for a new way to say “this person + this person = new couple!” So exciting. I rejoice in the work of the Lord in Daniel & Kathryn’s lives and the many blessings He has bestowed upon us and them. God is so good.

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Pictures with the {E} Family

This was a fun photo shoot! Packed with people, we enjoyed thinking creatively about how to pose them, trying to form as many triangles in the image as possible. We also had fun using photo props, like the galvanized tubs. And my handy black cloth was a must-have, since the grass was still slightly wet from the early morning dew.

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9 people….and 9 dogs

As a photographer whose heart is in family photography, I love taking pictures of people. Yes, large groups of people present it’s challenges (and make me all the more thankful for editing programs), but I still enjoy it. But when you have a large group of people, and a large group of dogs, it makes for an even more exciting picture time! Thankfully, we didn’t have to use the self timer or remote, because Mom took the pictures for us. With gnats abounding, puppies squirming, sunshine streaming, and laughter sounding, we’re thankful for fast shutter speeds to optimize the prospects of getting a picture with everyone’s eyes open and all the puppies in the proper position! Fun times, indeed.

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It’s been quite the family project to raise these little animals (that aren’t staying so little very long). The Creator has beautifully made each of His creations to glorify Him. The instincts and natural processes of a mother dog with her litter is no exception, and they are marvelous to behold.

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We, too, have been created for a specific purpose: to glorify the Lord, and to enjoy Him for ever. How will you choose to embrace the day He’s given to you, with the responsibilities and challenges He ordains? May we be faithful, even in the little, seemingly mundane tasks of each day, for the purpose of glorifying our Creator.

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“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 150:6

[There are still a few puppies available. Contact us for more info!}

German Shepherd Puppies–Update

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Thought all of our readers would enjoy a German Shepherd puppy update, since the little four-legged critters are growing in size and personality every day. Their playful antics make us laugh as they chase each other around, playing games of hide-n-seek, and discover new toys.

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Some excited owners have made their selection, but there are still a few German Shepherd puppies left who are eagerly awaiting their time to be chosen. For more information on these beautiful dogs, click here or contact us.

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A Day at the Biltmore House & Gardens

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During the HEAV Convention in June, we were blessed to vend right beside a dear lady named Kat representing the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC. Before leaving the convention, she surprised us all and gave us free one-day passes to tour the house and gardens!

As a special birthday celebration later in July, we had an open Saturday and decided to go – and because of Kat’s generosity, we were even able to include Mom’s sister and her family in the fun! What a delightful day! The Lord gave us beautiful weather, sweet fellowship, and precious memories as we learned more about the history of this intriguing mansion and marveled at the beauty of our Creator’s handiwork.

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IMG_6116-JLStudios-150725Sisters <3

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2015 HEAV Convention

Yet another journey in June was to Richmond for the HEAV (Home Educator’s Association of Virginia) Convention. With the days packed to bursting with busyness, fellowship, opportunities to serve and minister to many precious people, and much more, we all came away truly blessed and uplifted.

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One of the numerous blessings of the weekend was seeing the standard of righteousness that the HEAV has set. Throughout the convention, frequent and unashamed acknowledgement of the LORD and His Word was clearly evident, and for that we were immensely grateful.

Convention activities… Smile

** Jessica was privileged to join our friend James (with Lenspiration) in leading a team of photographers for the convention.

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** At any convention, the Neely Team always loves the vendor hall… so being able to operate a booth ourselves and walk the floor many times visiting others was certainly a highlight. Smile

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** Participating in music, both in the HEAV High School Graduation ceremony and in the lobby background music, was such a joy! Matthew & Amanda joined us at the convention on the day of the graduation, so having Amanda in the ranks again to sing/play brought many smiles.

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Facelift on Udemy.com! | Ribbons & Hair Bows Galore

Check out the new facelift that has been made to the Ribbons & Hair Bows Galore course on Udemy!

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Ribbons & Hair Bows Galore – a step-by-step video course designed for anyone who would love to create stylish personal accessories and who wants step-by-step guidance in starting out!

Join us on Udemy.com, as we explore several different ideas to get you started on your own hair bows and hair accessories, ranging from casual “play day” bows to ones suitable to adorn a darling little flower girl at your next family wedding. (Also included is the practical hair bow organizer — sure to be Mom’s favorite!) Each lecture provides step by step instruction, and clear video footage, so that even the most hesitant beginner can learn with ease. My goal is to equip you — no matter what your past experience or skill may be — with the knowledge you need to create accessories for your own families, for gifts, or for an on-the-side entrepreneurial venture.

Hair bows and accessories can be quickly and easily made at home for a fraction of the retail cost, and the projects themselves are so much fun that it may just serve to satisfy and “arts and crafts” craving that overwhelms you at times. So, grab your ribbon, scissors, and creativity, and prepare to have a blast! Let’s get started!

Course description:

  • Over 10 lectures and 1.5 hours of content
  • By the end of the course, you will be equipped to confidently create feminine, fashionable hair accessories to use for your own families, for gifts, or for an on-the-side entrepreneurial venture.
  • Make 4 different hairbows, ranging from ones appropriate for a “run around at the park” kind of day, to ones fancily formal and the perfect, stunning addition to a mass of curls at the next wedding or music recital!
  • Make a wild hair tie to hold those flyaway ponytails!
  • Make a hair band/bow set, perfect for busy mornings when Mom doesn’t have time to style the hair. Just comb it out, slip it in, and run!
  • Make the classic hair bow organizer — Mom’s favorite! No more mess in the bathroom or on the dresser — simply hang the organizer on the back of the door and clip the bows to it! Viola!! — you have a far more tidy room and it will be a simple job to select the bow you want for the day.