Here’s a real thought that I have been mulling over lately. Stick with me ok?

Why do we become disenchanted with who we are? Why don’t we ever get ENchanted with who we are? That might be a bold way to start this post, but hey…that’s how I roll (yes..I did just say “that’s how I roll”).

I received a really nice email just a couple days ago. A fellow mom wrote to me that us as stay at home moms, “…find it hard not to look around and compare ourselves with others and get down on ourselves.” Yes…I agree…100% yes.

Then my husband and I were chatting about him starting a blog…he voiced that he didn’t think he had anything to say. Um…that is very very wrong. But honestly, that is how I feel most of the time. I can’t wait to read his first blog post and I know he reads every single one of mine.

Just being honest here…I don’t feel I have much to say…much to give or much to display. I think that is why I go long stretches without blogging, not because I’m busy, but because I don’t feel what I have to say is worth anything to write about.

You have to realize, I am a God-fearing-believing-Bible-toting woman. If there was anyone who shouldn’t struggle about her self worth it should be me. The girl with a good childhood, didn’t (really) have a rebellious streak and has a close relationship with God.

And yet. I. still. do.

and you do too.

My goodness we have so much to say, so much to give and so much to write about. Why is it so hard sometimes? Because of fear. Fear that no one will read…fear that many people will read. Fear that we will get burned or criticized for who we are. Fear that we will be real but others will think we are not.

I want to become disenchanted with a life of self doubt. And become enchanted with a life grounded on God and on what He thinks of me and no one else.

I want Him to remove the film that lays thick on my eyes and skin. The film that tries to protect me from hurt and scars, but only leaves disease behind. The film that was put there last year by individuals who didn’t understand the love of God. The film that I put on myself every day when I say I have nothing to give. I want to be made whole and love what I do and do what I love.

Join me.

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  • Linda Mae Churchill - I so love reading your blog. You have beautiful photos and inspiring words. Let God use you to encourage others, especially those you are not in direct contact with. God has given you this desire to write and so just do it! Let the words flow through you whatever they might be. Be honest and people will continue to read, be awestruck and inspired. Keep it up Amy. I will continue reading. <3ReplyCancel

  • Juanita - Amy, I SO look forward to each and every one of your posts! You are a fantastic friend, a wonderful example and I value your honesty. How many of us feel exactly this way and yet are afraid to voice it…because of how we will be perceived…because we might shatter an image that we work so hard to create…because…well there are a thousand reasons. I am working on this myself and I never would have thought this was a struggle for you and yet that gives me hope! We have so much to be thankful for and we have a hope, that so many don’t have, but the truth is, this is a daily struggle. If only we could see ourselves as He truly sees us, as an amazing work of art, that He put thought into and lovingly created. I truly am praying for that revelation, not just as head knowledge, but to REALLY know it in my heart…I will pray it for you too. Love you friend!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - You have so much to give, so much to say! And so do I! I love this post Amy, well done!!! <3 you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Thank you for responding!! I love hearing your hearts as well. I think it is even more so for stay at home moms. Bind together….follow the Lord’s leading…and obey when He says to be real. That is what my goal is right now.ReplyCancel

Every now and then I get an email full of questions about photography. What has happened in the past is that I would take the time to write it, be personal about it…and then the person who asked never writes back, *sigh*.  So here’s a Q&A post that more than just one person can benefit from. If you have any questions that you would like to see featured on the blog, shoot me an email at amy@amyschuffphotography.com or click the contact link above.

These are the top three questions I get asked…

1. What camera do you use and what lens do you prefer?

I use a Nikon d300s and I always, always have my Nikkor 50mm 1.8f on my camera. The 50mm is a wonderful lens, very affordable and every beginning photographer with a dslr should have it in their camera back. It is a great lens to learn on. The 50mm is a “prime” lens, meaning it does not zoom. I prefer primes because they make me move fast, keep me sharp on my feet and I just don’t like having to zoom a lens.

2. What editing software do you use?

I shoot in RAW and edit slightly in Adobe Camera Raw and then finish off the photo in Photoshop CS4. I manage my photos with Bridge. I’ve only been shooting in RAW for a few months…and I LOVE it. It makes my editing time so much faster.

3. How do you get your client’s eyes so sharp? They always look so full of light.

First off…thank you! That is a true compliment and that is also a great question! I get asked that a lot because what makes a photo?? The Eyes. Ask any photographer and they will tell you, taking photos is ALL about the light in their eyes. When you are about to take a photo of your subject, make sure they are in great light, whether that is in a corner of a room by a window, or under a big shade tree away from harsh sun, or in the bathtub where the white of the walls will reflect into their eyes. Your subject needs to be looking slightly up and turn their body until you see the catch lights in their eyes. When you’ve got it, focus your camera on either eye and shoot.

image recipe:  2.5f, 1/100, iso800 – the light is coming from a large window in front of her (behind me).

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  • Dayna - Hey Amy – Thanks for posting this! So funny – I’ve actually been wanting to shoot you an email to ask what camera you would recommend! Thanks for your insight…I will be trying this whole concept of capturing the light! Bless you guys – DaynaReplyCancel

  • Dayna - oh – PS! haha….also – with the 50 mm lens – do you find that it is difficult to catch spontaneous stuff with it? I’m always feeling like I want a zoom so I can be out of the way and try to capture natural things going on without people feeling I’m in their space., but zooms are also heavy and can be awkward. What do you think?ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Hi Dayna! I do agree that with a prime lens we can be in people’s spaces. There are lots of pros to having a zoom lens, I just don’t mind moving around a lot and don’t find I miss the shot all that much. You’ve got to be fast though!!ReplyCancel

I remember one family gathering when I was a young girl, we were at my Aunt’s house I believe (a place that we didn’t go very often). These family reunions happened once a year, mostly at Christmastime. Now as a young woman I understand why we had such distance, but at the time I didn’t understand it at all.

At this particular reunion my Aunt took me into her garage to show me a dollhouse, complete with furniture and dolls. It was beautiful, it was more than my little eyes had ever beheld and it was not to be played with. Another thing I couldn’t understand.

As their Christmas present, my husband made our girls a doll house. It had always been my dream that if I ever had a little girl, she would have a doll house and she could play with every inch of it. It turns out that my husband had the same dream too. Pink shutters, a chandelier, a picture of our family hanging in the living room, twinkle lights and carpet…it was all put together with our two little girls in mind. As soon as the girls opened it, they put in all the little dolls they could find, they filled the rooms with beds and created furniture with whatever they could find. I love their imaginations.

I have to admit…I love it too. At one point I told my husband I’m not sure who he was making it for…the girls or me.

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  • Ashley - THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND DREAMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How utterly sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Deane - Sigh- seriously love it. I want one too!! hehe. Your husband is so talented. Maybe I will request this out of mine too….. but… I dunno how great it will turn out! haha,ReplyCancel

  • jeanette Krzyzek - Love it. Jeremy did a wonderful job. I wish I could shrink myself down and live inside of it for a couple of days! Looks so Posh! Love love love! :)ReplyCancel

  • Juanita - Jeremy did such a fabulous job, I am very impressed. I never had a dollhouse growing up and totally wanted my girls to have one. We brought Bryttain hers, for her 3rd birthday and all 3 kids play with it still on a DAILY basis. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • Renee - These photos are so whimsical and girly, I love itReplyCancel

  • Jeremy's Dad - I love it. I didn’t know it had a chandelier or a photo of the family on the wall. Truly a special touch. Makes one wonder why an aunt would show a young girl something they couldn’t touch.

    You and Jeremy have made up for that. What a blessing you guys are!ReplyCancel