Category Archives: Other

The occasional wedding, couple, or senior that steps in front on my camera. I must really love them!

I really wanted a camera bag for Christmas, but no one that buys me gifts spends enough on me to get me a cute messenger style camera bag. Not to mention that there are very few that I think are really my style (usually the one’s that are meant for men are the the ones I like best). I found a lot of tutorials online for converting purses into camera bags. They all very a little bit, but here is my version.

I am including images from the first bag I modified to be a camera bag and the second which only holds a camera and one lens (this one I made for my stepmom for Christmas).

Materials:

  • 1-1.5″ velcro (amount depends on how big of a bag you are making, but I used 1 packages)
  • 1 bag (Choose the size based on what you carry. I chose a larger purse with a messenger strap from Target for $30)
  • 1 yard of soft fabric (I used a cotton, pajamas type fabric)
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • 1- 2 pack of 1 inch thick poly foam ( I used one that came in a 15X17 inch rectangle and didn’t need to cut it!)

Step 1: My foam piece (15X17 inch) fit exactly into the my bag perfectly, so there was no cutting or measuring required. I simply laid my foam piece down on my fabric (folded in half) and cut my fabric to fit my foam, leaving about a 1.5 in border on every side.

Step 2: Sew the fabric around the foam like a pillow case. (In other words, turn the fabric inside our and sew 3 f the sides together. Then turn right side out and stuff the foam inside and sew the opening closed tight around the foam.)

Step 3: Put the covered pad inside your bag and decide how wide of a bade your bag has/needs. For the size and shape of mine, my pad divided almost equally into thirds to form a bottom or base. I marked these out using pins.

Step 4: Next I sewed a straight line down each of the thirds to make my pad fold nicely to form a base. Because of the thickness of the pad I left my sewing machine foot up and had my brother help pull the padding and fabric through. I also used a heavy duty needle in my machine.

Step 5: Cut the soft side of the velcro into two strips that are equal to the length of your pad. Pin them in place and sew them down using two passes to keep it from curling. Use the method above (and a lot of patience) when working with the thickness. Also give your self grace when you curse at the sewing machine or me for making you think this was a good idea. I promise, the hard part is over after this step! πŸ™‚

Step 6: Insert the pad in your bag! Now figure out how many dividers you want. For my bag I made 5. One for each end of my bag to pad the sides (you could actually sew these to your pad, but since I don’t love to sew, I used them as removable velro inserts like the rest), and 3 othersΒ  to divide up the bag into areas for my lenses, flash and camera. In order to choose how large to make your inserts, measure the width of you bag with the insert and a piece of equipment in it. I drew out the dimensions on paper and inserted them into the bag to check to see if they were wide and tall enough.

Step 7: Now using your paper,Β  measure off the foam and cut the rectangles out. Now measure the fabric by laying out the foam and leaving an inch on two sides, and leave 2ish inches on the remaining side so that you will have plenty of room for the flaps and the velcro strips.

Step 8: Sew your foam into your fabric leaving a one inch flaps on the two tall sides. Sew along the foam on these sides to keep the foam in place. Now sew on the rough sides of the velcro to the flaps (one facing one way and one the other, check cheap department store bags if that doesn’t make sense but when you put the insert in your bag the flaps will make it a Z shape. Does that make sense?).

Step 9: Repeat for as many inserts as you want and you are done! This took me about 4-5 hours. It is hard to tell because of the shopping and needle breaking that occurred, which made the project stretch over two days. My sewing level is novice and I had no help so you can definitely do this for yourself! The second bag (the smaller teal on shown), I sewed using the same technique only I sewed the endsΒ  (sides) of the padding together after I had the pad and fabric sew together. I didn’t make inserts for it since it only hold a camera and lens. πŸ™‚

Happy sewing!

This is Josiah and he turned 4 this year in August. He is a little on the anti-social side, but he is brilliant. He reads, writes, and keeps time in music and has for a long time. Josiah sings constantly and he has a particular love of classic rock. Here are two from today. There are about 20 more on Facebook that explore other things he is into right now like riding scooters, and playing puzzle games on the iPhone that I cannot even begin to beat. πŸ™‚ You can view them here: http://www.facebook.com/crystalgarciaphoto

I shot this in our bathroom (for darkness) using Christmas lights hung on the door, card stock with a music note cut out of it and a 24 inch softbox with a hot shoe flash inside. πŸ™‚ I often imagine this is what Josiah’s world looks like.

Yesterday Brian and I went to our first Ashland Halloween Parade with the kids. It is really fun because everyone dresses up and gets to be in the parade; young, old, humans, dogs, families, photographers, unicyclers, men, women, men dressed as women, women dressed like men πŸ˜‰ .

The weather was nice, the costumes were creative, and the music and children were all very lively! Autumn has so much fun she cried when it was time to go home. Josiah, not being a man of crowds and chaos, was not as impressed, but suffered through with some candy and our neighbor girl Jane by his side, who we ran into during the event. After the parade we went home and Brian and I and my brother dressed up and passed out candy. It was a fun night!

This guy is an “oil spill.” Awesome.

I would like to start this post by saying that I believe that where custom photography is concerned, every family session should be different. Sometimes I think we (both the photographer and the subject) wrestle with creating art that shows who the family is versus how the family would like to be seen. I don’t think that the two are often the same, but I think the closer together they are, the more peace, contentment and joy we allow ourselves to experience. That being said, some kids are cuddly, some are messy, some are serious and some are giggly. Sometimes the differences are in the age and stage the child or children are in and sometimes its up bringing, anxiety, or personality that play a part. My biggest goal when photographing a family together is that I do what I can to bring the stress and feelings of pressure down on everyone involved. This often takes time, songs, dances, funny stories, running, jumping and just playing.

I just couldn’t help it. I mean how many of you have an animated disco family photo anyway? πŸ™‚ I sure don’t!

Having said that, Jennifer and I have known each other a long time. My hubby used to work with her at a magazine in Louisiana and Jennifer has seen my work pretty much since it began. Jennifer even did the proof reading of my photography workbook for moms! Even though we are not super close (we have never hung out on the weekends or anything), I know that Jennifer knows my work, what to expect and trusts me. This is an awesome relationship to start a shoot with!

Jennifer’s two younger kids are in such a fun stage! They know what they like and how to act silly. Unfortunately they are also products of school photography and many years of conditioning to the phrase “say cheese.” I want to address this issue here because many of the children I have been photographing for a while now are growing into this stage. So what do you do when you have a child that “cheeses”? Well for one thing you stop telling them to say cheese at your camera. Next you start shooting. Shoot in bursts taking multiple images at one time (this is easier with a DSLR). Shoot just past when it feels comfortable to keep holding down the shutter. Let kids photograph you, and do not be concerned with what angle or side they are shooting you at! And when you see the picture, don’t gasp at your double chin or point out the new wrinkle beside you eyes. Doing so teaches kids to be nervous and worry during photos. Most of go out and do something fun with your kids, take lots of pictures and then put your camera down and enjoy the TIME with your kids. This helps your child understand that while you value capturing memories, the thing you are most concerned with is MAKING them.

Okay that is all for now. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed every minutes of these kids and this family. Jennifer was great and went inside after their family photo and let me run through the woods with the kids for quite some time and just do our thing. Her son, who didn’t want to take pictures at all said when we were going in: “Are you going to do this with other kids or just us?” I said “This? Just you!” To which he replied: “Can you take another picture of me?” πŸ™‚

So remember the best remedy to a cheesy smile is fun.

And one last GIF πŸ™‚

To all my moms, my mom friends and anyone else who has ever tried to function on the sleep a newborn provides, feed a 9 month old or grocery shop with a toddler. A little humor for your day!