Monthly Archives: January 2018

It’s the new year and many of you have some amazing goals and resolutions!  I bet for some of you, one of your goals is to FINALLY get all those family portraits (both professionally and snapshots you’ve taken over the years) OFF of your computer and somehow displayed in your home!  Am I right?!  I think we should all have that goal.

With this new age of digital photography, most of our precious family portraits and memories live on our computers all to often to be forgotten about or left to collect dust in their cyber space folders and zip drives.  We take so much time curating our family portraits.  We spend money on “good cameras” in hopes that we will take better pictures so that we can print them out and display them in our homes.  We even spend our hard earned money and invest in professional photographers to take quality family portraits in hopes that maybe these will be the ones that we frame and decorate our walls but alas, they still end up in zip files on our computer;  and why is that?!

I have my own theory:  we don’t make the time to carefully sort through and choose the ones that represent our family and our unique family culture the best!

There are so many demands on our time these days from work, home chores and demands and then school functions and errands we need to run for our children and to keep our family running!  There just isn’t enough time in the day to do the things we really need to do and the things we really want to do and love.

We also aren’t quite sure HOW to do this! How do we get these files off of our computer?  What are our resources?  What are our choices to display our images?  Sometimes when we start to think about them, it all seems overwhelming and we just throw our hands up in frustration.

This is what I want I want to help you with today!  I want to break it down for you and give you some resources so you can start because once you take that first step, I promise you the process of getting those images into your hands will become relaxing and enjoyable!  You might even become addicted, like me!

First things first, we have to tackle the TIME portion!

  • You have to CREATE TIME in order to get this done!  This has to be a priority!  I say this because even as a professional photographer, there are loads of family portraits sitting in my computer right now that I have to make the time to go through!  This happens to everyone:  we all have the intention to make those family albums, those baby books, those scrapbooks and then the days go by and those days turn into months and then years and before you know it, oh my gosh it’s now too overwhelming to even think about.

Here’s the thing, make it a goal and create action plans!  Carve out a little bit of time each week in your schedule! Set an amount of time that is manageable for you and start little by little!  This is what worked for me when I was 3 years behind on Linc’s yearly albums!  I set aside 30 minutes each Wednesday while he was at school at 2:00 pm before I left to pick him up!  I set an alarm (on my phone) so I would be reminded and once a week for that half hour I would get one or two pages of his album completed.  It was deeply satisfying and relaxing for me.  Not to mention, I also felt proud and accomplished!

One you commit to carve out time in your schedule the rest is easy!

The next step is the HOW and What!  How do you actually get the files off the computer and What are your resources!  This is the fun part!  There are so many ways that you can display your images, probably more than you even know.  What you choose will all depend on what type family culture you have in your home and what you like best!  Most of these websites I am going to suggest all have a drag and drop method which makes the how part extremely easy, it’s the deciding which method suits you best that’s the true hard part!

  • Printing:Prints are probably the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about how to get their images off their computer!  I love to print my images and there are so many great places to send your images for print these days!  The first thing to think about is where your images are coming from:  did you take them yourself with your own camera, your phone or go-pro or did you have them taken by a professional photographer?  If you had them taken by a professional photographer your images might have come from a gallery like PASS or PIXISET, if they did you can always print your images from that gallery itself and that is an easy way right there to have professional quality printing! You can also ask your photographer to print your images for you if they do that!  If you are looking to print your own photo’s from a professional print lab you can look at places like:
  • One thing about printing:  If you print from a one hour photo lab there will be a slight color difference than if you print from a professional photo print lab!  I honestly prefer Wal-greens for one hour printing because I think the color difference is closest to that of the pro print lab that I like to use!  This is my personal preference, you might have somewhere else that you like best and that is completely fine!  Your photographer might suggest another place that they like best for one hour printing and that’s OK too.  It’s all about your own personal preference.  Everyone is different and it’s what makes us different that makes us all shine!
  • Framing:  Now that we’ve talked about printing, it’s only natural to talk about framing and frames!  Once you have your photos printed, the best way to display them obviously is frames! Now I am always printing my images and I display them all over my house!  Some are in frames, some are hanging on my fridge, some are lightly taped to walls and some are just randomly placed around the house just for fun!  I love having prints around to change out on a whim so there is no short of prints around the house that don’t always have a home in a frame.  When I do want a frame for an image there are tons of places that I like to find them.  My go to sources for frames are:  home goods, TJ MAXX, Michaels (especially for larger frames and for professional framing), Hobby Lobby, Amazon if I am looking for a specific frame, Target, Ikea etc!  There are so many places to find amazing frames!  I love to add a mat  to my images to take my frames up a notche and make them look extra special.  You can have this done for you, Michaels does a great job, or you can do this yourself.  I usually buy foam board for the back of mine and then order custom card stock from amazon!  Here is a great tutorial on how to mat and frame your own artwork!
  • Canvas:  After printing and framing images, most people tend to think BIG and start going for canvas!  We have so many canvas prints hanging in our house (although most are upstairs!)  I love a great canvas piece and believe it or not, canvas does NOT have to be expensive if you are willing to search for a good deal!  Once again, if you work with a professional family photographer, ask them if they can order some canvas for you and what their price points are!  You never know if they have certain months where they can get deals or if they are running specials!  Certain places mentioned in the Printing section offer canvas prints as well and they offer deals (mpixpro and adorama for example!)  I also know that BJ’s and some other wholesale clubs offer canvas prints and some will deliver to your home!  My dad loves to order his canvas from BJs and he is always talking about his deals!
  • MIXTILES!  Our family just recently discovered Mixtiles and we are in love!  This company is such a gem and they have amazing customer service.  You might have seen them on instagram and if you haven’t, pop over and give them a follow.  Mixtiles are portable canvas “tiles”.  They allow you to stick these little 8×8 1 inch canvas tiles on your walls and then change them up, remove them and stick them again whenever and wherever you like!  All you have to do is download the app on your phone and choose your photos!  I decided to try these out for Linc’s playroom and I am so incredibly happy that I did!  We ordered 10 and they are perfect!  Right now, I’m contemplating purchasing another set for the other side of his playroom wall.  I’m awful at measuring and hanging things on the wall.  Everything I hang is lopsided and I end up putting about a million holes in the wall.  Tuck has fired me from even thinking about hanging anything.  With these little guys, Tuck and I just placed and pulled, stuck and re-stuck until we found a pattern that we liked.  Once Linc grows out of the style we having going in his playroom right now (which is a mixture of Linc dressed in star wars and super hero’s ) I’ll just pull them off and re-stick them on my side of the office!  If you are looking for a canvas that isn’t too huge, is budget friendly and can be moved around from room to room, this is absolutely the way to go!
  • Gallery Walls:  I love to walk into a home and find a beautiful gallery wall of family images!  You can even mix and match images with art work!  Gallery walls create wonderful conversation pieces and usually become a great focal point for your home.  Don’t know how to style a gallery wall?  There are wonderful resources from everything to layout and sizing on Pinterest!  Just type in gallery wall and you can spend hours finding the perfect match for your home and the exact space you are trying to decorate!  We have a gallery wall in our Kitchen that combines frames, posters, a wooden board with light up clips, a giant whale and so on.  We are planning to add a giant map as well so we can document our family travels!
  • Family Albums:  A long time ago before I even met Tuck, I was visiting a friend of a friend’s home for a Twilight movie party (hahah right!) and I remember sitting on her couch looking at all these incredible yearly albums!  She made one album for each year she and her husband were together.  She had albums that dated back to college but more importantly she had an album for each one of her children’s years (she had one son and one newborn baby girl).  They weren’t baby books, they were yearly albums of each of her child’s life along with family outings and adventures.  I loved the idea of that so I decided to carry that tradition on with Linc!  Now that Linc is 5, this will be the last year he has his “own” album to himself where I track him month by month and the album will become a family album of our adventures together.  Family albums are wonderful and it’s a fantastic way to take all those wonderful images: professional family portraits taken yearly at the holidays plus your own images taken during family vacations, summer beach days and pool parties, first days back to school and so on and place them all together in a way that they tell your own story of that year.  Family albums tell those around you about who you are:  they leave behind your legacy!  So, how do you create a family album?!
    • Many photographers will create an album for you based on one professional photo shoot!  I love to create albums based all around one big lifestyle session!
    • You can also find many companies to help you create an album:  Shutterfly is a big one that many families use (although it’s not my favorite), adoroma pix, mpixpro, persneckity prints all have beautiful photo albums and will help guide you through the process!  I love that you can create an album that is specific to your family and your unique tastes.  Linc has all kinds of albums from leather, to hardcover and even linen!
    • If your handy with photoshop, you can design your own album (I am going to run a tutorial on this) and then upload it to your favorite album company!
  • Family Calendars:  Just like a Family Album, most print labs also offer the option to print yearly calendars!  Don’t want that big of a commitment of making an entire family album?!  Go ahead and just pick a few images and create a yearly calendar for the family!  That way each month you can look forward to seeing and remembering a new memory with your loved ones!  You can use one image for each month or choose to use many and make a collage!
  • Cards & Post Cards:  Are you a big writer?  One of the cutest things I’ve seen in a while was when a photographer friend of mine took her family and created stationary and post cards to drop little notes to her friends and clients every once in a while!  The holiday card doesn’t have to be the only time you dress your family on a card!  You can put your family on post cards and regular stationary to send out all year round!

There are so many other ways to display your photos, even more than I have mentioned above!  You can make coffee mugs, magnets, mouse pads, covers for your day planners, cell phone covers, and so much more I can’t even begin to name them all!  All it takes is creativity and finding the right source by typing your idea into google!  The important part to remember is just to use your imagination and set aside the right amount of time in your own schedule to actually DO something with your images.  You want to make the commitment to yourself and to your family to find a way to display those precious family memories!

And remember:  No matter what you do, it doesn’t have to be perfect!  Just as the seasons change, so can the prints in your home!  We are always constantly changing out images in our frames and re-arranging our shelves and our gallery walls!  That’s why I suggested the mixtiles!  Our children grow and so can our decor!  This is precisely why I love to make family albums:  they keep a record of our family history and I can style them in our home and shelves perfectly!

At the end of the day, the reason we take images is so we can appreciate the time we spend together! We want to be able to re-live these special moments and visit them again any time we chose.  We can’t exactly do that if they are living on a computer!  So let’s get them in our homes where everyone can enjoy them!

resources for taking your images off your computer, florida child and family photographer brooke tucker photography

 

 

Every weekend Linc always says to us, ” I want to go somewhere FUN!”

It really doesn’t matter what we have planned, Linc just wants to get out of the house and go and do something together, the major point being, he wants to get out of the house together!  It’s actually funny in some ways because that is the main reason why we moved down here to Florida and Celebration in the first place.  I found myself always inside our house and not really wanting to go anywhere in Virginia Beach. You see, I’m a homebody with big dreams of being a social butterfly!

Do you ever feel the same way?

One of my main goals this year was to get us out of the house together as a family and enjoy time together: unplugged from all things “entertainment systems” (and that includes our phones and social media” and just completely tuned in and fully connected and present with each other.  The way family should be!  Our intentions during the week are always great.  This weekend we are going to do such and such, and then the weekend arrives and we find ourselves indoors tackling chores and watching TV or poking around the house because “there’s nothing to do!”

One way I decided to stop this lack of motivation and accomplish this goal of getting us out was to start creating monthly Family Bucket Lists!

These are exactly as they sound: as list of activities that we might like to do as a family together!  I sat down with all the different calendars in our area:  Disney, the local town of Celebration Calendar, Fun for kids Florida Calendar etc, and looked at all the events in the area that our entire family might enjoy.  Some were free events and some were not, some were more for Linc and some were absolutely more that Tuck and I might like.  The idea was to get us outside together as a family at least one day every weekend for the month and to keep us excited!  Some activities were also evening activities that would keep us connected as a family.  Other activities were silly little traditions I wanted to start.

One important fact I made sure both my boys knew were that these activities were just “ideas” and suggestions for our family for fun!  None of these events were mandatory and if we decided as a family we didn’t want to attend something or on the day it just wasn’t a good fit for us, that was totally OK!

The whole idea is to help create our own family culture:  one of love, fun, belonging, unconditional love, and friendship!

Here is our January Bucket List! (Our real Bucket List is Created on colorful Paper, Hand lettered and put up in our Kitchen which is the center “hub” of our family!)  

  • JANUARY 8 BUBBLE BATH DAY!!!
  • JANUARY 14 SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES FESTIVAL 
  • FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY
  • MAKE SNOWMAN PIZZA’S
  • FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
  • FAMILY GAME NIGHT
  • JANUARY 15 MLK DAY
  • JANUARY 19 POPCORN DAY!!!!
  • JANUARY 23 HANDWRITING DAY!!!
  • JANUARY 27 BREVARD RENAISSANCE FAIR
  • FAMILY DINNER AT TAVERNA OPA WITH FRIENDS!

 

And just for fun, here’s some images from our time spent at the Scottish Highland games Heritage festival this weekend!  This was a really good time for our family. I will say in the morning none of us “wanted” to go except me.  We all had other things that needed to get done and the day was shaping up to be a indoors day once again day.  Linc kept getting in trouble, there were time outs after time outs.  Tuck was grumpy and it was feeling like the whole day was just shot.  The festival was on it’s last day and it closed at 4 pm.  It would take an hour for us just to get there and that was without traffic.

Sometimes as the mom you have to be the barometer for your family.  No matter what mood you are in, you have to be able to put on the that happy face with the positive attitude and pray that the family follows and catches on.  It wasn’t until after 1 pm that I was able to rally the boys into the car and 2 pm before we got there.

Was it hard to get everyone out that door?  Yes!!  Was it hard to get everyone motivated, yes?!  Was I bummed we had to drive an hour and only spend maybe 1 or 2 there, heck yes!  But was it well worth it?!  Absolutely yes!

Once we all got there our moods brightened!  There is just something about being outside and experiencing something brand new together that lifts your spirits!

I swear, sometimes just even taking a car ride helps, right?!!

We got there and our entire family attitude brightened!  Instead of losing patience with each other, we were laughing together!  Instead of frustrations and annoyances, we were having fun and celebrating each other.  We were playing together finally and ya’ll… that is exactly what the weekend is about!

That time Linc met a real unicorn….

Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland gamesand daddy had magic unicorn wish dust all over his head!

Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games

Linc the Dragon trying his hand at the Highland games ( Tug of War, the Haggis Throw etc)

Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games Family bucket list, Florida scottish highland games

and to bring the fear really home, a nice Scottish man let Linc feel like a real brave heart and hold some real weapons!  We all feared for our lives!

If you are anything like me and you find yourself stuck indoors on the weekend and losing your patience with each other, try the family bucket list!

We are finding it’s a great way to pre plan fun things for the weekends to get you outside and trying new things!  They don’t have to be expensive, they don’t even have to be wild.  Take a look on pinterest and find new crafts or outdoor activities.  Take a walk to a new park or take a drive and have a picnic.  Those are on our bucket list for February!  The whole idea is to make a list of things to do on the weekends and then pick and choose what suits the day.  Some of ours have specific dates but others are there so that Linc and Tuck and I can say hey, this is on the list and that sounds like fun today!

Try it out and let me know how it goes!  I hope you find it as fun and helpful as we have!

 

OH MY GOODNESS YA’LL I can not say enough great things about what I am about to let you in on!  I feel like it’s the best kept secret in the world, except it’s totally NOT a secret!  There are tons, millions of people, that are enjoying this routine RIGHT NOW and they are living their dreams because of it!

In fact, it’s a MIRACLE ya’ll and it’s been a miracle in my life which is why it’s perfectly called The Miracle Morning!  

I know I probably sound like I’m just blowing smoke right now, but there is a whole community that backs the Miracle Morning that will speak otherwise and Mom’s…. this book is LIFE GIVING or at least if you are anything like me, it’s life changing!

I heard about this from my friend Alli (you can totally meet Alli here, she’s kind of amazing herself!) She happened to mention something in passing one day when I was hanging out over her house about her “miracle morning” and how she missed it that day and I was had this head tilt moment of wonder… what in the world could she be talking about.  She had mentioned something about how it gave her time to read, journal for her son Camden and then spend some time reading some scripture or pray.  I had a moment of clarity and thought that was pretty amazing and it was absolutely something I would like to implement in my own life.  I also thought she had totally made it up herself only to learn that nope, it’s an actual BOOK!

The Miracle Morning:  The Not So Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life (By 8am)

If you are looking for a book that’s a quick read and lives up to it’s title, this is your book!!

If you are anything like me:  a mama who wants so much to take care of her family heart and soul but also wants to spend time taking care of herself and growing personally and also has some pretty BIG GOALS to accomplish in the meantime THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!

I struggle ya’ll!  I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day and I have a difficult time finding balance in my life.  To be perfectly honest and lay my heart out on the line, I always feel like there is a hug tug of war going on between being a mom and the being the absolute best mom and wife that I can be and I mean all in and yet at the same time being able to be a great business woman for my photography clients.  I just feel like sometimes one or the other or both get the short end of the stick and I just can’t give the attention they both deserve at the same time.  It breaks my heart and I feel discouraged.  I also feel like I’m running a race I just can’t win.  I find myself exhausted at the end of the day and that leaves my creative well empty.  I don’t have the motivation at the end of the day to do what I love to do to fill cup like read, or write or work on personal development as much as I would like to.

Do you feel the same sometimes?

I decided to download this book onto my Kindle when we made the drive home to Virginia Beach and let me just tell you, I read the whole book in under 2 days!  It’s that easy of a read! I even re-read everything I highlighted and took notes on some of the statistics because they were that powerful!

This book teaches you how to use a routine S-A-V-E-R-S for short, to start changing your life and in my case, give you time and energy back into your day!  

Here’s just a quick little preview for you:

The Miracle Morning teaches you that you can achieve anything you want as long as you put in the work required and that work begins and ends with personal develop!  You can’t move forward unless you do the work on yourself.  How can you do the work on yourself if you can’t make time for it?  Right?!  This routine helps you CREATE the time by giving suggesting you wake up an hour early than you normally do or before anyone else in your house and preform 6 tasks to jump start your morning.

Those 6 tasks are the SAVERS

S-silence or meditation  A-affirmations V-Visualizations E-Exercise R-Reading  S-Scribing or Journaling!

The best part about the Miracle Morning and the Savers is that you can make them work for you!

I’ve been doing this for a little bit of time now and I can tell you it feels amazing to accomplish those 6 savers!  It actually lights me up and fuels me for my day!  It brings me a sense of peace and light and gratitude that motivates me and helps me continue through my day with joy and focus!

Now I have Linc so somedays I wake up early and I get to accomplish all 6 SAVERS and that is a blessing!  Other days I might get to accomplish SAVRS and save my exercising for after I drop him off at school.  Sometimes I don’t even get to my SAVERS until after I drop him off.  You just make it work for you and however much you can.  The book describes how to do the SAVERS in 6 minutes if you are totally pressed for time.  It’s all about just making it happen and carving out time and a space for yourself.

I feel like as a mom especially, this is something we desperately need.  We are always so focused on taking care of others and the chaos of the day that we hardly ever stop to take a breath.  If we do get a rare moment to ourselves, more often than not, we tend to fill it with another chore or task because we aren’t used to just sitting and doing something just for ourselves!

Taking even 6 minutes out of the morning or the afternoon to follow a quick routine like these SAVERS has given me a gift that I am extremely grateful for.  It’s given me a chance to practice gratitude!  That’s what I do when I scribe or journal.  Some mornings I write down 10 things I’m grateful for at this moment and at this time.  Other mornings I journal for Linc or work on our family albums which I have neglected since Linc was 3!

Miracle mornings have given me a chance to read for myself and already I have read 3 books this year (yes in 2018) and that’s probably more than I read all last year because I always tried to read at night and was too tired.

These SAVERS have given me a chance to learn to be still with myself and learn to just breathe, which has allowed me a chance to practice that in my other areas of life.  Hello patience!!

These are all things that as mothers we need, we crave and we want for ourselves and our family too.  These are pieces of our legacy if we allow them to be!  This is time well spent!

If you are like me, you will love this book and I hope that you spend a few moments checking it out!

Maybe it will change your mornings like it has changed mine!  Maybe it will give you a chance to create things for your family, a legacy like it has mine.

Maybe it give you the energy back like it did for me to go about your day with intent and purpose and joy!

Let me know if you decide to take up with Miracle Mornings!!!

 

 

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