Photography 101 for Bloggers: Take and Edit Better Photos

Photography 101 for Bloggers: Take and Edit Better Photos | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Great photography is such an important part of creating, growing, and maintaining a successful blog. Blogging is extremely competitive with hundreds of individuals launching new blogs each month. Creating stunning images that reflect your brand is critical for setting yourself apart from the crowd.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed browsing successful blogs and think you’ll never take pictures anywhere near that good. I see so many bloggers who give up on the notion completely and resort to one of two strategies.

  1. Getting by with the same mediocre smartphone or auto mode DSLR shots they’ve been using for months or even years.
  2. Relying exclusively or nearly exclusively on generic stock photos.

Poor quality or average photos don’t cut it. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s true. And turning to stock photography, even really good stock photography, isn’t the answer.

But my photography is terrible. I’m paying to use high-quality stock photos. Why isn’t that a good strategy?

An occasional stock photo on a blog is okay. But you’re not creating your own brand by adding the same 3-4 fonts and colors to stock images for all of your blog posts. Again, I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this strategy isn’t a good move. I think the following examples will drive home the importance of using your own, high-quality photos to build your blogging brand.

Blog Food Photography Comparison | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The first photo is a quick shot of homemade hummus, straight out of the camera. I used a DSLR camera. Case in point that the camera doesn’t take good pictures. The hummus is in a Tupperware container in unflattering yellow kitchen lighting. There are several distracting elements in the background. The second photo is a shot of the same homemade hummus. Yes, the exact same batch of hummus. And I used the same DSLR camera. The hummus is in a chip and dip platter, surrounded by sliced veggies and crackers. I added a spoon and drizzle of olive oil to give the shot a more polished, professional aesthetic. I also took the second photo with artificial natural daylight bulbs so it’s well lit with flattering light.

Anyone can take the first photo. It’s mediocre at best, and it will never get noticed among the competition. The second image is strong with a great composition, good lighting, and lots of detail. It will stand out on Pinterest, Instagram, and Yummly.

Photography Post Header Images Comparison | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The above photos are header images bloggers have created for posts about improving your photography. The photos on the left are header images using stock photography or what might as well be stock photography because it’s so generic. Anyone could have created the images on the left. They give me no confidence in the bloggers’ photography skills. They also provide zero clues about the blogger or the brand of the specific blog. The photos on the right are header images using the bloggers’ own photos. All of these graphics are well branded without being obnoxious and feature high-quality images the bloggers shot and edited themselves.

Income Report Header Comparison Part 1 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Income Report Header Comparison Part 2 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

My final example is header images for blog income reports. The upper images are strong headers that represent the blogs’ styles accurately. The lower images are just a few of the hundreds of stock images with text bloggers have used for their income reports. I sorted through 100 images on Pinterest to find the two strong examples. Learning to create these types of images is huge for your blog brand.

I’m not a photography expert or an expert in blog photography or blog branding. I don’t pretend to have all the answers about photography or to create the most amazing blogging images. I’m still learning so much and know there are so many photographers who blow everything I do out of the water. But I’ve learned a lot about taking and editing photos and have made a few key purchases, all of which has helped me take my photography skills to where they are today.

DSLR Camera | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Invest in a DSLR camera

A DSLR is a major purchase, especially when you’re brand new to blogging. But it will help you achieve results that simply aren’t possible with a smartphone camera. Yes, smartphone technology has come a long way. And yes, there are lots of photographers creating amazing images, all with their smartphones. As a blogger, there’s nothing wrong with creating an occasional social media post or even blog post with exclusively smartphone images. But you’ll be able to achieve so much more with a DSLR.

I’ve been shooting with Canon cameras since 2010 and can’t recommend them enough. Canon offers consistent, high-quality cameras with impressive battery life and an extensive selection of lenses. For beginner DSLR users, I recommend a Canon t6i or 80D. Purchasing the 50mm f/1.8 along with the camera body and kit lens will open up a whole new world of shooting potential for your blog. From there, you’ll be able to figure out what type of lenses are the best fit for your photography style and blog content. You can read more about the current camera equipment I shoot with over here.

DSLR Manual Camera Mode | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Learn your camera settings

Regardless of the type of camera you’re using for your blog photography, you should learn everything you can about that camera. Whether you’re shooting with an old smartphone or a brand new high-end DSLR, learning the camera settings will make a huge difference in your photography. I see so many bloggers using a DSLR with a kit lens on Auto Mode, and the photos don’t really look any different than smartphone photos. There are tons of free articles that explain camera setting basics. I also explain camera setting basics in full detail in my product photography ebook, which is a great resource for anyone just starting to learn the ins and outs of styled shoots. Additionally, I recommend Pinch of Yum’s Tasty Food Photography (which is a great resource for all bloggers, not just food bloggers).

Invest in the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

Once you’ve invested in better photography equipment, it’s time to invest in better photography editing equipment. Most people don’t realize the vast majority of photos they see in print and online publications are edited. Editing is not cheating. It helps you turn your good photos into great photos. If you’re already editing your photos with a free program, such as Google Photos or Picmonkey, that’s a great start. Learning to crop and complete a simple light adjustment makes a big difference. You can use a free program to add text and borders to create header images and other blog graphics for sharing posts on social media.

When I first got serious about photo editing, I bought Lightroom outright. You can still purchase Lightroom on its own. However, Adobe now offers subscription plans for all of their software. I switched to the Creative Cloud plan in mid-2016 so I could upgrade from an outdated version of Photoshop Elements to the full Photoshop and upgrade to the current version of Lightroom.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud photography plan is $9.99/month and includes Lightroom and Photoshop, two powerful software programs for editing images and creating blog graphics. They allow you to do so much more than you’ll ever be able to do with a free editing program. Subscribing to the cloud plan gives you access to all of the latest software updates, eliminating the need to shell out $150-$300 every few years when a new version is available. Since 2013, I’ve been primarily using Lightroom for editing and Photoshop for resizing images and creating blog graphics. I was nervous about taking the plunge and adding another monthly fee to our budget, but I’ve never looked back. I use both programs every single day I’m working on my blog.

Buttery Crescent Dinner Rolls, the perfect touch for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's dinner. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Gather a set of basic backdrops and styling props

Of course, there’s no limit to the amount of money you can spend on photo backdrops and styling props. But you can start building a basic collection on a very small budget. Most likely you already have a few items at home you can start using today.

Backdrops and styling props give your photos a professional finish. The above example is from my buttery crescent dinner rolls post. For my backdrops, I used a few tiles I got from Home Depot and my black chalk poster board, which is just black foam core with white chalk detail. For this recipe post, I used a couple different plates to style the rolls (click through to see the other plate) as well as a fork, towel, water glass, and pumpkin. I got the backdrop supplies for less than $10 and picked up the pumpkin for $2. I already owned everything else. You can read more about my go-to backdrops here and here.

For shoots against natural backgrounds, pay attention to distracting elements. From stray mail on the kitchen counter during a recipe shoot to a branch intersecting with a person’s head during a fashion shoot, distracting elements make a well-composed photo look merely average. Courtney’s Stitch Fix Review #1 is a great example of a shoot against a natural background without any distracting elements.

DIY Lightbox with Desk Lamps and DIY Lowel Lights | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Shoot in natural light or with daylight bulbs

I know there’s endless debate about shooting in natural light versus artificial light. Many bloggers swear by natural light and will never use artificial light. There’s no question natural light is amazing. But there’s nothing wrong with using artificial light either. Numerous professional photographers use artificial light and achieve amazing results. I urge you to experiment with both types of lighting to figure out what works best for you.

When you aren’t shooting with natural light, shoot with daylight bulbs. I shoot with natural light as needed for certain types of post, such as home tours. The rest of the time, I use the lighting setup pictured above, which I outline in my DIY photography lightbox tutorial post. I have two desk lamps with 60W daylight bulbs and two DIY Lowel lights with 100W bulbs. I use these lights with the lightbox and for larger shoots. This combination of lighting enables me to keep my ISO levels at 100 or 200 to create detailed, bright images.

DIY Paper Christmas Lights Decoration Tutorial | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Start shooting and editing with Pinterest in mind

For most bloggers, Pinterest is a huge traffic source. Creating high-quality vertical images greatly increases your odds of getting lots of repins. You don’t have to shoot all your blog images in portrait orientation. But you should have at least one or two vertical images in each post that will make great pins. It takes time and practice to get in the mindset of shooting and editing with Pinterest in mind, but it’s well worth the effort.

If your strongest image is a horizontal or landscape orientation image, consider creating a vertical Pinterest graphic that includes the horizontal image. The above example is a graphic I created for my DIY paper Christmas lights tutorial that includes a horizontal image of the finished paper lights.

Photography 101: Never Stop Learning - Making an effort to learn new technical, composition, and editing techniques on a regular basis is key for staying current in the field and continuing to improve your skills as a photographer. | https://www.roseclearfield.comLearn from the best

One of the best ways to improve any type of creative skill is to learn from the best. As you read blog posts from bloggers you really admire, pay attention to what makes their photos so great. Don’t blatantly copy favorite bloggers’ photos but consider what makes their images strong and use those assets to improve your own photography. For example, if a food photographer creates strong compositions with well-placed props, think about how you can use props in your own recipe shoots.

5 Tips for Improving Your Photography | https://www.roseclearfield.comStrive to keep improving your photography

As a creative, it’s way too easy to stagnate with your skills. It’s good to have confidence in your photos and feel that you’re creating images that enhance your written content. It’s not good to fall into the mindset that your photos are good enough so you don’t need to work on your photography skills anymore. You should always strive to keep taking and editing better photos for your blog. From week to week or even month or month, you may not notice any difference in your photos. But when you look back at your photos from six months or a year ago, you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come with your photography skills.

More photography resources!

Top 10 Common Photography Mistakes to Avoid | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Top 10 Common Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Why I Don't Watermark My Photos | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

[Disclaimer: This post contains a few affiliate links. Using these links to purchase products and sign up for services is a simple way to support my blog without costing you anything extra. Thanks!]

Do you have any additional photography tips for bloggers?
Share your insight in the comments!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

My Favorite 16 Photos of 2016

Today I’m sharing my favorite 16 photos of 2016. The photos I’m sharing are MY favorite photos. They’re not necessarily the photos that got the most likes on Instagram or Facebook or that performed well here on the blog or on Pinterest. These photos are simply the photos that I’m most proud of from the past year. Enjoy.

4/28/16

Hobbes 4.28.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

6/20/16

Lake Michigan at Night 6.20.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

6/24/16 (full post)

Boat on Lake Michigan at Golden Hour 6.24.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

7/16/16 (full post)

Tall Ship in the Kenosha Harbor 7.16.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

7/16/16

Kenosha Lighthouse at Night 7.16.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

7/26/16

Back Lit Lily 7.26.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

8/18/16

Full Moon Behind North Point Lighthouse, Milwaukee, WI 8.18.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

8/30/16 (full post)

Rock Cairn at the Beach 8.30.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

9/17/16 (full post)

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Doors Open Milwaukee 2016 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10/10/16 (full post)

Mitchell Park Domes Fall Show | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10/13/16 (full post)

China Lights at the Boerner Botanical Gardens | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10/22/16 (full post)

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10/22/16 (full post)

New Orleans Street Musician in the French Quarter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10/29/16

Grant Park in the Fall 10.29.16 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

12/21/16

Basilica of St. Josaphat at Christmas, Milwaukee, WI | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Finally, the last photo is the photo that I was most proud to take in 2016. You may remember me sharing it back in this post. Our good friend Joe’s son is the fourth generation to be baptized in this church. Joe’s grandma (his son’s great-grandma) passed away less than two months after the baptism. I’m so honored to have been a part of this family moment and to have helped them capture it forever.

Four Generations | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Now that I’ve shared my 16 favorite photos of 2016, I’m sharing some of YOUR favorite photos of mine from the past year.

2016 Best Nine Collage for Instagram | https://www.roseclearfield.com

I really appreciate all of the support for my photos both here and on Instagram! Following me on Instagram is the best way to keep up with my latest photos as well as other random happenings that I share in my Insta stories.

Here’s to a great year of photography in 2017!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top 10 Posts for 2016

Today I’m taking a few minutes to share my top 10 posts for 2016. I started roseclearfield.com just six months ago and have been blown away by what all I’ve been able to accomplish in those six months. Of course, I owe so much of that to you, my readers! I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you!

How to Clean a Glass Shower the Easy Way | https://www.roseclearfield.com

How to Clean a Glass Shower the Easy Way

My 5 Favorite Pinterest Cleaning Hacks | https://www.roseclearfield.com

My 5 Favorite Pinterest Cleaning Hacks

DIY Paper Christmas Lights Decoration Tutorial | https://www.roseclearfield.com

DIY Paper Lights Christmas Decoration

Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Thanksgiving - Sparkling Cranberry Pomegranate Drink | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Thanksgiving

Last-Minute New Year's Eve Party Ideas | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Milwaukee Events - November 2016 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Milwaukee Events – November 2016

P. F. Chang's Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps | https://www.roseclearfield.com

P.F. Chang’s Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Why I Don't Watermark My Photos | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

Top 10 Common Photography Mistakes to Avoid | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Top 10 Common Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Bailey's Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake

Thanks again for all of your support these past six months and for your continued support in this new year! XO

Save

My 2016 Reading List + Tips for Reading More Books

 

My 2016 Reading List + Tips for Reading More Books | https://www.roseclearfield.com

I’m so excited to be talking to you today about my 2016 reading list. For various reasons, I decided not to set a lot of personal goals in 2016. One of the few goals I did set was a reading goal. Goodreads makes it really simple to set a yearly reading goal. It tells you what % of your goal you’ve accomplished and whether you’re behind or ahead of your goal (i.e. 1 book ahead of schedule). You know exactly where you are at all times, which definitely helped me stay motivated.

2016 reading goal: 24 books

I’m sure that some of you are impressed while others are rolling your eyes. Honestly, I had no idea if it was a realistic goal for me. I hadn’t read that many books in one year in…a long time. My list of “to-read” books just gets longer and longer, and I wanted to get serious about putting a dent in it. The more I read, the more I keep adding books to my to-read list. So the list isn’t actually getting shorter. But in 2016, I did get through quite a few titles I’ve wanted to read for some time.

2016 reading total: 42 books

I’m not going to lie: I’m really proud of myself. I may or may not have talked about my reading goal and progress toward said goal with quite a few people this year. During the first half of the year, at least once a week, I thought I’d never even make it to 24, let alone over 40. But somewhere near the end of the summer I really picked up the pace. Then in the fall, I got into audiobooks (more about that in a bit), and my reading pace skyrocketed.

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge Graphic | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Here are the books I read in 2016. I’ve listed whether I bought, borrowed (from the library), or was gifted each book and whether I read the physical book or listened to the audiobook (all audiobooks are library books). Goodreads displays the reading challenge books in reverse chronological order with the most recent reads at the top. As such, I’ve listed the books in the same order.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – borrowed, audiobook
Almost Interesting by David Spade – borrowed, audiobook
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling – borrowed, audiobook
A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart – borrowed, book
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – borrowed, audiobook

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – borrowed, audiobook
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – borrowed, audiobook
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – borrowed, audiobook
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – borrowed, book
Dress Your Family is Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris – borrowed, audiobook

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – borrowed, audiobook
The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke – borrowed, book
Bossypants by Tina Fey – borrowed, audiobook
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris – borrowed, audiobook
Every Day by David Levithan – bought, book

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan – borrowed, audiobook
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – bought, book
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – bought, book
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan – borrowed, audiobook
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – borrowed, audiobook

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequest – gift, book
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert – borrowed, audiobook
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – borrowed, audiobook
Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong – bought, book
The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz – borrowed, audiobook

The DH by John Feinstein – bought, book
Old Records Never Die by Eric Spitznagel – borrowed, book
Here’s To Us by Elie Hilderbrand – borrowed, book
Luck, Love, & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert – bought, book
Pieces and Players by Blue Balliett – bought, book

The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer – bought, book
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin – bought, book (and it’s signed!)
The Assistants by Camille Perri – borrowed, book
Your Favorite Band is Killing Me by Steven Hyden – borrowed, book
There is Life After College by Jeffrey Selingo – borrowed, book

The Martian by Andy Weir – bought, book
The Song Machine by John Seabrook – bought, book
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy – bought, book
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe – gift, book
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – gift book

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day – bought, book
My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell – bought, book

The highlights

Favorite fiction

All of the young adult books I read this year were really good. Stand out titles include Tell Me Three Things, Flipped, and The DH. Most of the adult fiction I read was pretty hit or miss. The few great titles I read were First Comes Love, Ready Player One, The Martian, Attachments, and A Boy Made of Blocks. The Assistants was also extremely well-written.

Favorite non-fiction

I consistently read good non-fiction in 2016. Stand-out non-fiction titles include The Song Machine, Outliers, The Pumpkin Plan, Seinfeldia, and There is Life After College.

Favorite autobiographies/memoirs

With the exception of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened To Me, I really enjoyed all of the memoirs I read. You’re Never Weird On the Internet (almost), Stories I Only Tell My Friends, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly, Old Records Never Die, Dad is Fat, Bossypants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and Why Not Me? are all worth a read (or listen!).

Christian women will enjoy My Sisters the Saints and Bread & Wine. I don’t even know where to categorize David Sedaris’s books, but I’ve enjoyed all of them thus far. He’s an amazing storyteller. I even enjoyed David Spade’s Almost Interesting, if nothing else because I always find it fascinating reading about people’s experiences working on SNL. Finally,  have to mention When Breath Becomes Air on its own because it deserves that sort of recognition. As expected, it was a really tough read but so amazing. When you’re in the right frame of mind, please give it a try.

Favorite audiobook

HANDS DOWN, my favorite audiobook was Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, which I mentioned in this post. I was expecting a light, funny read, not a fascinating, comprehensive overview of modern romance. Aziz does a fantastic job combining his in-depth research with personal anecdotes and humor. I got through the audiobook in just a couple days. Please check it out.

To skip

Don’t bother reading Here’s to Us by Elie Hildebrand, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened to Me by Jenny Lawson. The plot of Here’s to Us is decent, but the characters are so awful I just didn’t care what happened to any of them. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake was poorly written and mind-numbingly predictable with badly-drawn, generic characters. It Ends With Us was really manipulative to the point that I’m still sort of upset about it. I know that Lawson intends for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened to Me to be funny, but it’s not. It’s self-centered, vulgar, and offensive, and Lawson is a downright irritating human being who tries way too hard to be funny, edgy, and witty.

Writing reviews

One component of my 2016 reading challenge was writing occasional reviews. Writing reviews doesn’t come naturally for me at all. I really admire and appreciate people who feel compelled to write high-quality, comprehensive reviews of any kind. I didn’t push myself to review all my books, beyond a star rating, but I did review a selection. They’re all available on Goodreads.

6 Tips for Reading More Books | https://www.roseclearfield.com

There are a few key tips that made a huge difference toward accomplishing my reading goal, which are as follows.

  1. Watch less TV. Watching less TV is the most obvious tip, but it’s so true. I want to scream when people say, “Oh, I’d never have time to [fill in activity]” when you know they watch several hours of TV every night. I do watch at least one hour of TV most days. But that’s it. If I’m watching more than one hour of TV, I’m always getting something done while I’m watching.
  2. Keep an ongoing reading list. I’ve kept an ongoing Amazon wish list for years, which among other things, helps me keep track of new books I want to read. Whenever I come across an idea, I put it on the list. You don’t have to read everything on the list. But when you’re browsing online or at the library, you’ll always have ideas in mind. Many reading-related sites, such as Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and OverDrive, offer daily or weekly newsletters with info about new releases, sales, giveaways, etc., which is a great way to get new reading suggestions, too.
  3. Mix it up. Personally, I don’t want to read too many of the same type of book in a row. I’ll enjoy reading multiple memoirs throughout the year if I don’t read them all in a row. Most people are the same way.
  4. Read the books you want to read. You don’t have to apologize to anyone because you didn’t read a classic or a New York Times bestseller this year. I read multiple books in 2016 that none of my Goodreads friends have ever read and that only have a few dozen reviews on Amazon. At the time of writing this post, Old Records Never Die has just 23 Amazon reviews, and it was one of my favorite 2016 reads.
  5. Listen to audiobooks. I previously mentioned that Lindsay tipped me off to getting library audiobooks through OverDrive, which was a complete game changer for my 2016 reading challenge. I often get through a 5-7 hour audiobook in 3-6 days. Generally, I prefer memoirs and non-fiction audiobooks read by the author. This list is an awesome resource. I’m always looking for more audiobook suggestions. If you have any, please let me know!
  6. Place holds for popular books through the library. I’ve waited anywhere from a couple days to a couple months for most of the audiobooks I read in 2016 as well as a few physical books. I like to keep 1-2 books on the hold list at any given time so I always have one coming within the next week or so but don’t get overwhelmed with too many titles at once. Since you’re not paying for them, it’s not a big deal to return one and check it out again later if you do get too many at one time.

Just a few of the books on my to-read list for 2017! | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Just a few of the books on my to-read list in 2017!

2017 reading goal

My reading goal for 2017 is 30 books. I proved to myself in 2016 that I can read well over 30 books in a single year. I don’t feel the need to top my 2016 goal for a couple reasons.

  • First, I want to enjoy the books I read, not just plow through as many as possible to reach a certain number.
  • Second, in mid-2016 when I was falling behind on my goal and hadn’t started reading audiobooks yet, length and subject matter dictated several of my book choices. I want to have the flexibility to read a few longer or heavier books. For example, I’d love to read 11/22/63, which might take me a month. Yes, I’ll get through at least two audiobooks alongside it, but it will still take up a big chunk of my reading time. A 30 book goal allows me to fit in these longer reads, which I like.

I’ll be talking about my reading goal periodically when I provide updates about all of my 2017 goals (more on that next week!). I also have a new Pinterest book board where I save my favorite reads. Follow along!

Do you have a reading goal for 2017?
What tips do you have for reading more books?

[Disclaimer: This post contains lots of Amazon affiliate links. Using my Amazon affiliate links to shop for books and other products is a simple way to support my blog without costing you anything extra. Thanks!]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Deer in the Yard, the Winter Edition

We kicked off the new year with a small herd of deer wandering through the backyard. Somehow I haven’t shared any deer pictures on the blog before?! There are quite a few deer in the neighborhood. It’s not uncommon to see them out and about, particularly at dusk. In 2016, I fortunate enough to snap pictures of deer right in the yard a few times. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the couple shots of the doe and fawn we saw over the spring and summer (here and here). I didn’t share any fall deer snaps here, though.

There were three deer wandering through this time. They stopped for a few minutes to graze. I’m not sure what they were eating, to be honest. There’s not much growing this time of year! But they found something to nibble, and then they moved along to the neighbor’s yard. I’m a city girl and have never lived anywhere this remote before, so it’s still quite the novelty to see so much wildlife in the yard. (We even had a fox visitor this fall!)

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Deer in the Yard in Winter | https://www.roseclearfield.com

~

 

More photo shares!

Liles in the Neighborhood July 2016 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Lilies Everywhere

Rainbow Over Lake Michigan | https://www.roseclearfield.com

A Rainbow Over Lake Michigan

Snowfall on the Lake Michigan Beachfront in Southeast, WI | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Snowfall on the Lake Michigan Beachfront

 

Save

Save

Save