Ohh, it is Lovee.

When I was younger I never understood the necessity of researching a product before I bought it. I was naive and brainwashed by society’s impatient need for something NOW. Thankfully, my dad is a research wizard and although it took me a while, I fully appreciate everything he has done to help me research and purchase anything “large.” My latest and greatest technological toy that was fully researched before purchase is a dSLR camera.


Canon Rebel T3i

I knew what I wanted: a dSLR fit for a beginner, under $500, and with image stabilization. My main goal was to finally take photos without the blurry look I got with my iPhone. I Consumer Reported the hell out of each and every model within these three categories and finally narrowed the choice down to this one. Purchases are much easier this way.

002003004When my new toy finally came in the mail, I took it out for a spin. The three photos taken above were before I realized there was an auto focus button, and I had to manually focus these. Hence a bit of blurriness still. I also re-sized them, which I think affected the noise.

That Frango canister was filled with chocolates from a customer given to my coworkers and I for Christmas. I saw the empty can in the corner the other day and promptly snagged it, what a perfect decorative jar! I adore the vintage look it has. I had more decorative ideas that I snapped photos of to try and get a feel for my new camera.

008009010My loyal readers know I have an obsession with wood products. This three sectioned wood tray was originally filled with three different succulents. The succulents died, but I kept the jars and the tray knowing I would reuse it someday. I finally figured out what to reuse it for. The typical coffee bean and vanilla candle, it smells like cupcakes. LOVE.

I also filled the rose topped jar from a few posts ago with coffee beans, and discovered the camera flash.

017I sometimes have a tendency to not read directions. I’ve always been one to figure something out simply by playing with it. I think this will be the first time I have to actually read the manual because there are so many options and settings. These photos were all taken at random on random settings and they aren’t as crisp as I would like. I did take a few of my cats on the portrait setting that turned out great.

014Kristina, who says black pets aren’t photogenic!?!? LIES!


So there you have it, some of my very first amateur photos with my new dSLR. These were all taken inside, while normally I go outside for natural light. These were also taken with the hands of someone that had no idea what they were doing. I look forward to coming back to this post a year from now and seeing if/how my photos have improved! I also can’t wait to start photographing some legit food porn.

First photo of food.

First photo of food. This looks better when enlarged.

First attempt at adding text to the photo. Very amateur. Click this photo for link to my recipe.

First attempt at adding text to the photo. Very amateur. This also looked better when enlarged. Click this photo for link to my recipe.

If you need to get a hold of me, I’ll be out with the trees and birds with this camera strapped to my face trying to get the perfect shot. New obsession commenced.


  • Does re-sizing your photos change the quality? 
  • What do all you photogs do in order to make a photo decently sized for a blog post, while still maintaining the quality?
  • Any helpful tips or tricks for a brand new wannabe?
  • Have you tried the coffee bean and vanilla candle combo? AMAZING.


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  1. im a newbie to my dslr even though i’ve had it for years but i’ve only recently been fiddling around with the settings other than manual. for me, i think the higher the image resolution, the easier it is to pla with them without sacrificing the picture quality. i also bought a shoe mount flash that has totally changed my pictures to images of gorgeousness. the flash that the camera comes with is ass and makes your pictures look like shit but with the mounted flash, it’s gorgeous. and you can also change the intensity of the flash!

  2. Your photos look great! I think we have the same camera :) Is it the Rebel? I can’t wait to see more of your work! I need to use mine more often this year. I stopped taking it places in August after I switched to the iPhone from the Samsung. The iPhone camera worked so much better than my Samsung camera but there is still something about a nice camera that I miss.

  3. Yay! I have the same camera and also love it! I am not an expert photographer by any means, but I have found that my photos are crisper/clearer/more focused on what I want them to be focused on if I use the manual focus. The auto focus is fine, of course, but sometimes it doesn’t do what I want it to do — and it can occasionally take a long time for it to actually focus and take the photo. I also usually crop my photos, but if I crop them too much it can affect the quality. Eventually I am going to need a new lens, because the one it comes with isn’t great for zooming/far away photos, but it does usually work well for food. I’m sure you will have fun playing with your new camera! I’ve had mine for almost a year and still haven’t leaned how to use all the features!

  4. Your pictures look amazing! And LOVE the idea of coffee beans and vanilla candles.. ermyyyygerrrrdddd <3 I know nothing about cameras – I have a decent one but still take pictures on my iPhone because its handy and always with me. This should probably stop soon.

    Have fun with your new toy!!! Maybe you will be a professional photographer one day?! Yes? None of this dental hygienist silliness.

  5. So jealous! What an awesome purchase. Me and my crumby iPhone photos are just chugging along over here. I really should invest in a nice camera but I will really need to sit down and do some research first, like you said.

  6. I bought a decent Canon and used it for a while, but found it to be a hassle. iPhone is so much easier but definitely lacks in quality. I really need to think about converting back to the canon one of these days, for blog sake!

  7. Great pics Britt!! To you questions…
    1) Does re-sizing your photos change the quality? – you do this on a computer yes. If you try to enlarge a picture your DPI will decrease and the image will be less sharp. So basically the number of pixels in each square inch is stretched out, more space, less pixels = FUZZY NATION.
    2) What do all you photogs do in order to make a photo decently sized for a blog post, while still maintaining the quality? – not a photographer but typically I put and image in full size because the post itself has a width max. 9x out of 10 your photo will take up the entire pane so it will be shrunk to the space, which has no effect on the quality.


  8. OMG KITTY! I guess the big secret to photographing black pets is a fancy pants camera. I might have to grow up and follow in your footsteps because your kittypic looks effortless. I’ll start saving for a big girl camera, but for now you’re gonna have to deal with my sweet black pooch ruining all the pictures with his lazerbeamz :)

  9. ahhhh your camera is makng you pro. i think in addition to having embossed cards for sale at the B and B , you should offer your photogaphy skills and take portraits for guests. YES. winning.

    I love the kitty pictures (yes…. I did just say that). I really like when animals are photographed and you can see the texture of the skin and fur and it is so different from humans (weird? kind of. whatever).

    Your father sounds like Mr Speedy – he HAD to research the pots and pans and luggage we put on our registry, whereas I would have just picked the prettiest and cheapest lol Must be a guy thing…

    There are a lot of great tips on Pinterest for DSLr cameras!! Check it out! have fun :)

    1. I am gushing over this comment..where to begin. From the top..

      Our B&B is going to be THE best one ever, people will fly in from France to get the royal treatment. I cannot wait. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU LOVE MY KITTY PHOTOS!! I totally agree with what you said about the skin and fur…yes..love.

      This is going to sound so disgusting because I initially referred to my dad being a research guru, but I think it’s totally hot when guys are proactive like that in purchasing important things..I hope you understand what I mean…oh man..

  10. Loving the above photos. Very artistic!
    I taught (basic) photography in ICT lessons to some of the kids at school last year and my biggest tip for them was to take as many photos as they possibly could. The more you take, the more chance one will be great! :)

  11. I’m sure you will be having loads of fun with this, as I am right now with my dehydrator, haha!
    In the past, I would spurn the directions/manual/guide if it came with something, but now I try to be more proactive about reading through those things. That way I encounter less problems later…or at least that is what I tell myself ;).

  12. Love the cat photos! So cute! Don’t worry…just spend lots of time practicing different angles, props and settings and LEARN your camera….these cameras have tons of settings that most people never learn and miss out on. The best advice I can give you is LIGHT is your friend….natural light. You will get the best quality, detail and clarity from natural light…but the position of the light also has to be right….TOO much light and it will have a powdered glare, not enough and the clarity suffers. Practice what time of day gives you the best and there will be little editing needed. But as you learn, you will also (if you want to) can really improve your photography skills by learning editing as well. Have fun! I LOVE photography.

  13. I want one of these SO badly!! I just have to save up money lol plus I am HORRIBLE with technology… like its quite embarrassing actually. It will probably take me a year just to figure out how to use the thing properly lol

  14. I’m in the terribly long and annoying process of deciding which camera to buy, so I’m SO grateful that you wrote up about your new camera! I love my Canon, so I’m now thinking that staying in the Canon Fam is a good idea! Your pictures are lovely! Love all the cat pics!

  15. Enjoy! Long ago my BF (now husband) had a DSLR so I got used to using one and wouldn’t be without it. I’m averse to reading manuals, used his without that for ages until he got a new one that I neglected to learn how to use— finally broke down and read an online manual, something I should have done much earlier. There’s still much I could learn, but it doesn’t stop me from using the camera day to day.

  16. Exciting!! Have fun playing with it! I think your pics are pretty great so far! But I’m looking forward to seeing some beautiful nature ones!
    My sis is a photographer and learned everything on her own. She’s amazing.
    I on the other hand took a photography course to learn manual and all the tricks but never practiced afterwards. So now I shoot everything in auto!
    I think to be a good photographer you need a natural, creative eye for a good shot. Based on photos you post here and on IG, I think you have the eye!

  17. Oh I am so excited for you and your camera and for me, because I will be the lucky recipient of all your wonderful shots….wait, does this camera have something to do with your new plans for Brittany. If not, it totally should.
    I’m digging the third candle shot, the one coming in at an angle. There’s something delightful about it. I also love the putty dats. They are adorable and always photograph wonderfully. Max takes issue with anything but being fabulously photogenic. He also nibbled on my pizza slice today (not my own creation) and then yakked on the floor. Guess his stomach caught up with him or maybe it was the faux food. Hmmm.

    1. You know, that would be quite the transition if my new goals included photography!! Alas, that is not where I am headed. HOWEVER, I will never stop taking photos..perhaps one day I will sell them!! That would be fun…

      Max won’t be eating pizza anytime soon. Either that or he will demand a Meghan masterpiece instead.

  18. What is love.
    Baby don’t hurt me.
    Don’t hurt me. No more.

    I want no other, no other lover.
    This is your life, our time.
    When we are together, I need you forever…
    Is it love

    You should sing this to your camera! AHH HA HA!

  19. Ahh what an exciting new purchase! These pictures look amazing and I’m sure you will have so much fun with your new toy. I always love the nature pictures you post and I’m sure they will be even more beautiful now.

  20. I definitely resize beforehand (680 px width) and before I add text.

    Best purchase you will ever make and you will definitely get better with practice. Read the manual and try to shoot on manual to get the best results. And yes, natural light will always make a difference which is a HUGE pain in my ass. Have fun!

  21. I got a new camera last christmas. Canon rebel. So fun just taking random pictures! I am by no means a great photographer, but fun to pretend :)

  22. YAY!!! Too funny — my dad is the SAME way and researches everything for hours. He’s the one who picked out my dSLR, and seeing as it’s still ranked pretty highly in Consumer Reports (his research source of choice too!), I’d say he did a good job. ;)

    Okay, so for starters… What kind of computer do you have and what editing software are you using? I mentioned GIMP, but that’s not necessarily the software that your computer uses to initially grab the photos. So are you a mac or PC person? Also, resizing the images generally doesn’t affect their quality, as long as you have a good resolution setting.

    For blog posts, I edit my photos at the largest size and highest quality settings. After I’ve exported them as super big JPG files (I edit them as .xcf, in GIMP), I’ll resize them using Preview (since I’m on a mac) and publish those smaller images on my blog. I generally use a size of 900×1350 pixels because they’re large enough to look beautiful yet small enough to still load quickly.

    Mannnnn I wish we lived closer so we could have a photography session and editing date! :)

    1. AHH I SO wish we lived closer!! That would be the best date! I’m on a PC and I don’t have any editing software other than the basic stuff that came with my computer. Things like contrast, brighten, color temp…very basic.

      1. Hmm, I haven’t used a PC on a daily basis since high school, so I have no idea about their photo editing software… But seriously, GIMP will do just about everything for you, I promise! :)

  23. OooOoo I like what you did with the jar! I have nothing to offer regarding photography. I have a Canon Powershot thing somewhere but rely entirely on my iPhone like some sort of scrappy teenager.

  24. You should check around and see if anyone offers photography classes. Sometimes a local community college might have some that aren’t too expensive. Or maybe even see if there’s a club in the area!

    As far as resizing, you could always upload them to a place like Flickr which offers various sizes that you can then share on here. They provide the HTML code that you then just copy and paste!

  25. Looking good so far!

    I want one, and now thanks to you I can say I researched and just get the same one as you. But first I need to come up with the money.

    PS- Great use of the rose stopper!

  26. Sweet kitties! You got some great shots of them! I am so excited for you as you get started with your new DSLR! I know you love it already, but you will love it EVEN MORE as you get to know it better! :) I love looking back on photos I took a year ago and being amazed at how much I’ve learned in a year! :)

    I resize photos to put them on the blog, but I always keep the original size photos as well just in case I’ll want them again later. You do lose some of the clarity in the shots, but to me it’s no biggie since my blog isn’t for professional purposes. For my photography business, I always give people their photos at full size so they can blow them up to massive sizes in printing if they wish. :) But other than that, I prefer to shrink them down a bit to help my blog pages load faster and to save space on my data usage (since my blog is a free blog and WordPress gives me a data limit).

    As for tips… just play with it! The more you play with your camera and mess with the settings, the more you will learn! And it sounds like this is exactly what you’re doing so you are well on your way! :) Also, the most helpful articles I’ve come across are pinned to my DSLR 101 board on Pinterest if that helps you at all. Though I have a Nikon so some of them are specific to Nikons. :)

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