Photo Challenge Results!

As you all know, we wrapped up our Not Your Momma's Gratitude Challenge in November.  Since last week was our money week, I decided to make this week a photography week!  Get ready for an image overload.  I asked the two other participants in the photo challenge to share their four favorite photos from the challenge a little about themselves.


It almost isn't fair that Stacey participated in this challenge because she has two of the cutest kiddos of life and some serious photography skills to boot. Here's what she said about her favorites...

"I love the movement one because I was really able to capture everything in flight."


"Smile was a fave because of all the colors I was able to capture. And the scene was pretty as well."



"Something New was so fun because the editing I did made it look like a classic picture."

Something New

"Technology - loved this because it was such a crisp and clean B/W picture.  The funny thing about both of these pics is that they are the opposite of what you would expect. New is faded and Technology is B/W."



Debbie is a friend of Stacey's who also has some great camera skills. She says...

"I'm a mom of 2 girls, ages 6 and 15 months old. I absolutely love family and kid/infant photography.  When my husband purchased me my first DSLR camera 3 years ago, I couldn't get enough of taking photos of my girls. To my surprise, I had many people asking me if I used a professional photographer for all of my photos. To their surprise, it was ME! Throughout this last year I have really committed to using the manual setting on my camera and have started to have a better understanding on lighting. I would like to improve on landscape photography and to achieve more crisp and sharp photos on my portraits."

Her favorites are leaves, favorite color, movement, and smile!

Leaf 1 Favorite Color-Chihuly Movement-2 Laughter


Treana is me and I just love taking pictures and trying to get better at it.  I am currently teaching myself Photoshop and trying to improve everyday.

This is my favorite room! It represents so much work that we've put into this house.


This is my picture for Gratitude and I took it of Sam and Avery. IMG_3032

Leaves. Clearly the winner. IMG_2694

Hands... my husband's. Love him. IMG_3153

You can see all of our gratitude challenge pictures on our Facebook page!  Which ones are your favorites?

Throwback Thursday: Gratitude Photo Challenge!

**I originally posted this in September. Since the #notyourmommasgratitudechallenge starts November 1 (!!!), I felt a reminder was necessary. Just so you know, I am still totally struggling with the following categories: music, work, accomplishment, and books! How is it possible that books is such a hard one for me?!? It's a light issue I think. I might just photograph the wedding photo book that we just got in the mail from Blurb. Ok. Enough BLURBING (hahha)... on with it! NOVEMBER!?!? You ask. Why are you posting when it is still September October? (You guys are so smart to ask such questions). The requirement is that you post a photo a day and I live in the real world where life is busy... crazy busy. This will give you the whole month of October to get your photos together. I am so nice and thoughtful.

photography 1

What's In It For Me? Can I Win Something?

The winner of the gratitude challenge (besides yourself for taking note of small things that give you joy) will also win a $50 Amazon gift card from yours truly. Now listen, I get to enter too. There will be three people that will vote on the winners (2 pros, and one normal person). They won't get to know whose pictures are who's and they will select a winner.

The Rules

  • You must be an amateur... no professionals.
  • You must have a camera that has a manual setting. It doesn't have to be a DSLR fancy pants camera per se. I have seen some power shots that have a manual setting. I would encourage ALL OF YOU to take that camera out of automatic mode and put it in manual. (I'll be posting some of my beginner tips from a beginner over the next month to get you pumped about growing your abilities).
  • We don't want iPhone pictures here people. This is a chance to improve your manual photography... so TAKE IT!
  • It doesn't matter when you took the photo, so long as YOU took it. Don't be that person.


  • You can edit the photo as much as you like. Since I am amateur status all the way, I typically still edit in iPhoto on my computer. At times I will experiment with Photoshop on LB's computer, but usually that ends with things being thrown...
  • Each of the 30 days in November, you will upload one photo to the House of Bennetts page on Facebook with a short caption that captures the spirit of that days category/theme. You will also tag it with #notyourmommasgratitudechallenge and #houseofbennetts.


The Themes By Day:

  1. Smile
  2. Leaves
  3. Morning Sky
  4. Books
  5. Something Funny
  6. Inspiring Person
  7. Nature
  8. Something Old
  9. Hands
  10. Written Words
  11. Movement
  12. Technology
  13. Animals
  14. Something New
  15. Friendship
  16. Your Favorite Room
  17. Clothing
  18. Gratitude
  19. Artwork
  20. Transportation
  21. Nighttime
  22. Light
  23. Something You Use Everyday
  24. Laughter
  25. Love
  26. Favorite Color
  27. An Accomplishment (a good candidate for a before and after)
  28. Work
  29. Music
  30. Self Portrait (I refuse to say Selfie)

At the end of the contest, you will upload your 30 days of submissions to a Dropbox folder and email me the link (houseofbennetts AT gmail DOT com). This is the collection that will be judged by the judges because that is what judges do. :) We hope to announce the winner no later than December 10 so that you can put that Amazon cash to good Christmas use.

*Helpful tip: you should upload your pictures to your Dropbox folder as you go through each day, that way on Day 30 you can submit the whole collection of your best work.

You must still upload to Facebook every day to be eligible to win the $50 Amazon card.

*If your collection wins, but you didn't upload each day, you will still be featured on the blog, but the gift card will go to the second place person who uploaded each day.

So comment away, either on Facebook or here at House of Bennetts. Share tips. Share praise. Keep it nice. We're all here to learn together. I will be doing a few periodic posts on gratitude reflections throughout the month of November and I hope to incorporate some Facebook uploads that catch my eye!

General Tips

Shoot outside... in cloudy weather and not direct sun. Also, check out this super simplified pin that helps ground what I think of as the three basics: apperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

manual photography basics

I typically set my ISO first and then go from there. I like to think of ISO as "Is the sun on?" If it is, I can use an ISO way down low (100-200). Even in pretty cloudy weather, if I am shooting outside the highest I typically need to go is 800. Most of my shots indoors (unless I am lucky enough to have a ton of natural light streaming in) start at 800 - 1600. The higher the ISO, the more grainy the picture. Sometimes that can be a fun look, but also explains why outdoors shots are so smooth/clear!

So start there. Start somewhere. Just start. Let go of being self-conscious or afraid. You can do this! And you never know... you might win a $50 gift card on top of improving your photography skills. Win win I say.