Gift Guide for the Photographer

We all have those in our life that live for catching the perfect moments, and they die for that breathtaking images. Words stumble through their everyday vocabulary like f stops aperture, shutter speed, DSLR, SLR, point, and shoot. They shoot off either digital, film or those photographers that always have their iPhone and Snapchat ready. Well if they are the photographer in your life or maybe; it’s you here are a couple put gifts for those in your life that live behind the lens.

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Oh Snap Coffee Mug | Adobe Photoshop Subscription | Extreme Plus 64GB Memory Card | DSLR USB Memory Flash Drive | Gray Camera Strap | iPhone Lens Kit | Stainless Steel Thermo Lens Mug | Vintage Camera Messenger Bag | Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera | Camera Necklace | DJI Mavic Pro | Canon 5D Mark IV | Capture Life Keychain | GoPro Hero 6

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

megan

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Fall Saturday + Western, PA | Fall Playlist

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This last weekend I had a little change of scenery by leaving campus and got to get some fresh air by doing a little hiking, at McConnell’s Mill State Park. I have never been here but the views were breathtaking and I was so glad I was able to take my camera with me. I got to spend the perfect afternoon hiking with someone special while being able to shoot. It was seriously the perfect afternoon after a week full of rain it finally clears up for a few hours and the temperature was perfect fall day.

Midterms for school are finally over and I just have a few assignments and projects left before I can spend a relaxing week at home catching up with my family, friends, football and tons of Thanksgiving food.

I also wanted to share my fall playlist of what I have been jamming out to:

Rock and Roll by Eric Hutchinson | Back Home by Andy Grammer | Running Around In My Dreams by Tyrone Wells | Big Parade by The Lumineers | You’ve Got The Love by Florence + The Machine | My Body by Young the Giant | Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand | Carpet by Frenship | Hollow Life by Coast Modern | Greatest Love Story by LANCO

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

megna

Spooky Apartment Halloween Décor

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Happy Thursday and Happy October, I have the countdown clock ticking and we are currently at 11 more days. I seriously can’t wait for Halloween and even though it’s not the same as when I was a little kid, and my professors won’t be having Halloween parties during class, I will be wearing my Superman shirt to class on Tuesday anyway. It’s the spirit of things right. I love holidays, I love dressing up and I love to decorating and what better way than to decorate my apartment. I am so glad that I live with roommates that also share the same festive spirit with me, or at least pretend too

Is it bad that I have yet to pick out what I want to be this year? I have a few ideas but I have yet to purchase anything (procrastination at its finest). If you haven’t checked out my post from last week where I shared a couple of easy outfits you can purchase on Amazon, you should I am right now between the Top Gun Costume and a Crayon.

Would love to know what you are dressing up for Halloween, please don’t hesitate to share below, and if you have a link to your costume too, I would love to see it.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

megan

How to Take Your iPhone Photography to the Next Level

Not all of us have the ability to have a fancy DSLR camera and many of us that do own one don’t always have it on hand 100% of the time, but moment come unexpectedly when you want to snap a pic and the best camera I always carry on hand with me is the camera on my iPhone. Life is unexpected and capturing the moment with a moments notice is crucial. So today I wanted to share with you guys how to step up our phone photography game, to improve your photos and to get quality images straight from your phone.

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Lighting – This is seriously crucial and makes or breaks an image, having the right lighting could step the quality of your picture up immensely. Try to shoot outside with natural light as much as possible, natural light does not give off harsh off balance color ratios and keeps your image looks crisp. If you are out during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak try taking the photo completely in the shade as much as possible, if not get the image complete immersed and looking at the sun to avoid weird shadows.

Zoom – Even though most phones give you the ability to zoom, my recommendation is not to use it. Since phones are similar to point-and-clicks, the lens of your camera does not change meaning, the photo is losing quality every time you zoom in closer. For the best quality zoom, use those feet and move to get the best shot.

Aperture – A trick of the trade if you have an iPhone this could seriously save you, when taking a photo with the back camera, focus in on the subject and as the focus box pops up so will a little sun next to it, slide it up and down to get the perfect aperture, if you are looking to wash or lighten thing you might want to drag it up or down depending on the given lighting and the look you are going for.

Grid – Rule of Thirds, trying to take a professional photo try to remember the trick of the rule of thirds, your iPhone can also set you up for success here by turning on the grids. The goal is to have your item in focus in either the center grid or if you want to change things up have the focus in one of the side grids.

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In Settings, scroll down to Camera and Slide Grids on.

Angle – Changing the angle you get the shot can really change up your picture, try different instead of having the camera point straight at the subject try shooting down looking up, or go higher and looking down. If you want to take a picture of your meal or food, stand on a chair to have an areal view so you can see all the items on the table.

Editing – For editing the two main apps as my go-to is VSCO cam, I love all the filters and playing around with the exposure and color tones along with Adobe Lightroom now has an app and I have made preset settings and are quick and easy add-on filters onto photos, making it super easy to just add filters adjust the color tones and they are ready to be posted and sent out.

Sharing – The best part about taking photographs and photos is being able to share your images and work with others, whether it means posts albums on Facebook or posting a couple shots on Instagram or your VSCO accounts. Another great way to share your images it through a digital pictures frame like this one. Aura has digital frames that allow you to automatically sync with your phone to view photos live, and updates regularly with your smartphone. Getting pictures printed is a thing of the past, and trying to figure out how to upload photos to a digital frame is too, Aura connects to your phone so you can update it regularly and also choose which albums to play. I am loving rose gold one, and think it would make a great present for my mom to put in her office so she can show off all her pictures on her phone to all her clients and friends.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

megan

5 Tips For Taking Better Blog Photos

Happy Monday and I wanted to start off a great week by sharing a couple tips and tricks and tell you a bit about one of my new favorite camera brands Light.co. No better way to start off a great week for a little advice on how to take better blog pictures. It’s crazy how much technology has been advanced within the last couple of years. Light.co has created a camera that is the perfect mix between a basic point-n-click camera and a fancy DSLR without the hassle of changing lenses, and weight. This camera is amazing on what it is capable to do and I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test it out for myself. If you haven’t heard of this camera you have to check out the specs.

I love to shoot my siblings, fun shoots in the backyard and events in my free time. Today I wanted to share with you a couple of tips and tricks for taking better photos for your blog. This is what I have learned over the years, and I must say it’s been a serious journey of trial and error as I learned new techniques and ideas. I have to say I am constantly learning new ways to grow and explore the world of photography. Along with all the tricks in Photoshop, Lightroom, and wireless shooting. There is so much to explore and I just love having photography apart of my many passions and hobbies. Here are 5 tips to think about while shooting your next blog post.

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1. Use as Much Natural Light as Possible

I can’t say this enough if you want the best-looking pictures to try your best to shoot during

times, when the sun is up, shooting in artificial light just, doesn’t give the same natural glow and color that you get from natural light. If you are super desperate you can purchase studio lights and ring lights for around your camera but I still don’t think it is as good as good old natural lighting.

2. Shoot During Golden Hours

Plan to shoot an outdoor photos or an outfit of the day fashion post, plan to shoot during golden hours or a couple hours after the sun rises or before the sunsets. This will result in light that isn’t as harsh and gives off a nice glow to your photos. I shot my sister’s senior photos at around 8-9 am after the sun rose around 7. Shooting with the sun behind them gave her a nice glow.

3.If You Shoot In the Middle of the Day Shoot in the Shade

If you have no choice and you are shooting in the middle of the day or right before or after lunch to get the best photos try to shoot in the shade so you don’t have to deal with harsh lighting in your eyes or harsh shadows on your face or behind you. Shooting in the shades gives a nice and even amount of light and no shadows, while still allowing for natural light.

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4.To get the Classic White Background invest in a Foam Board

If you’re looking to shoot a clean background product shots invest in a foam board to lay your product on. I purchased one from Target for only a couple of bucks and I use it for every shoot. I like this better than white poster board because it doesn’t wrinkle up and you have a lower chance of ruining it

5.Use White objects to reflect the Light and Soften Harsh Shadows Inside and Outside

Double the usage of your white poster board by using it as a cheap light reflector. Using something white and large (like the poster board or a pillowcase) to bounce the light off of to reduce the harshness of the shadows in which you are shooting in. It lightens up the photo and makes products and outfits look so much better.

I would love to know what your favorite thing is to photograph, leave a comment below. And if you have any other tips you would love to share, don’t hesitate to message me, I would love to hear them! For more tips check out my tips for shooting sports for beginners.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

Xo

Meg

What’s In my Carry-on Personal Item | Travel Photographer

I plan on not checking any luggage and bringing a backpack and a carry-on suitcase with my clothes for the week. So this would be my personal item that I plan on putting under my seat. There is what I plan on putting in my camera backpack for the flight.

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Backpack/Camera Bag || I plan to shoot a lot of videos will on vacation and this is the perfect bag to fit my camera, a couple of lenses my laptop and a few things for my flight. This bag will be great because I can still bring a carry-on and just stick this under my seat.

Camera Gear || I will be bringing one body, with is my Rebel Ti4 along with two or three lenses, I will for sure be bringing my new 24mm lens, along with the 50mm lens and maybe the kit lens. I want to shoot a lot of videos so I will also be bringing my GoPro but it is not crucial that I have it in my personal item.

Snacks || I will be bringing tons of snacks since my two flight are a little over 11 hours I will definitely need snacks especially on the 8-hour flight from Dallas. I am currently have been craving Goldfish and Cheese-Its but I will be stocked with protein bars and mess free snacks. I currently am loving the Luna chocolate covered coconut it tastes like a candy bar.

Headphones || I don’t have a ton of room so my apple headphones will have to do for this trip, even though I love to travel with my Beats headphones they just won’t be making the cut. These aren’t bad headphones, and I don’t mind them too much.

Laptop || I will keep you guys updated as best I can when I am gone next week (no promises), I am not sure how much access to wifi I will have while I am gone, but will need it to download my photos so I can have clear memory cards for the entire trip. Which means I will be bringing one of my portable hard drives with me. I have a Spectre which I have been using since my freshman year of college and absolutely love it. This will also be great for watching Netflix movies on the flight with the new downloadable feature, you don’t need wifi to watch. Don’t forget your charger, I might stick this in my suitcase.

Jacket || I am going to need a windbreaker/ rain jacket when I am there due to the high altitudes when climbing and the rain, so I will be wearing it but it also rolls up pretty tight so I will be keeping it in my backpack just in case I want to wear it.

Portable Charger || It’s going to be an extremely long day of flying, and no matter how much I try to not use my phone and save the power and have it on low power mode, the battery will eventually die. This has been an extreme lifesaver when I am traveling on the road, my parents bought me one for Christmas and has held up well and works great.

Wallet (similar Kate Spade) || I will bring a wallet, and this is the one I have been using. It’s my favorite summer wallet, I purchased it three years ago in Maui when I was visiting, and now am going back with the same wallet. Looking forward to hopefully replacing it with something new.

Passport || I won’t be out of the country but I always like to take it whenever I am flying as a second form of Identification, I will be carrying my id with me but I would rather be safe than sorry, especially since we are flying outside of the territory. Of course, add a little style to your passport with any of these covers by Kate Spade.

Sunglasses || My go-to pair is this rose gold pair of mirrored aviator Ray-bans I purchased before my trip to Mexico this winter. I love the color and the look of the mirrored lenses and I think the shape looks great on my face.

iPhone & Charger || I seriously can’t go anywhere without my phone, and who could now of days. So, of course, my little buddy, packed with entertaining games and music is going to be a trusty companion on my travel days and charger.

Book || I am debating if I want to bring any books with me, even though I love to read and would have ample amount of time while stuck on the plane I am not sure if I want to bring any with such limited amount of room I will have.

Water Bottle || Fights are super dehydrating and you need water, and who wants to pay $5+ dollars on just a bottle of water, I always bring a bottle in empty and fill it up once I get through TSA. My current favorite is this Que bottle that folds up when you have no water in it.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

Megan

Preppy Sticker Collection

I love to get mail, and my favorite past time hobby my freshman year of college was making a weekly trip to the mailroom to check my mailbox. Something about having my own mailbox and opening it up with the little key each week excited me. By the second month of school, the entire mailroom knew who I was by how much mail I was getting.

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Today I wanted to share with you a few tips and tricks into starting and collecting your own (preppy/southern) sticker collection.

There are three different ways I’ve discovered to receive FREE stickers from my favorite brands and I’ve divided companies into three, easy-to-contact categories for you below.

#1: Snail Mail a S.A.S.A. (“Self Addressed Stamped Envelope”) to these Companies:

  • Vineyard Vines –
    • Vineyard vines sticker request, 181 harbor drive, Stamford, CT 06901
  • Over Under –
    • 4849 Dawin Road, Suite 1, Jacksonville, FL 32207
  • Hattan Home –
    • 21 North Front Street, Unit 102 #F, Wilmington, NC 28401
  • Sloane Ranger (Also include a $1)
    • Attn: Customer Service – Stickers, 1237 SE Indian St., Suite 101, Stuart, FL 34997
  • Ivory Ella
    • Ivory Ella P.O. Box 1908 Westerly, RI 02891
  • Southern Fried Cotton
    • Southern Fried Cotton, Attn: Free Decal, 118 N. Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Ashton Brye (Only $1 w/ free shipping)
  • Frocket
    • Frocket, 1212 Dolton Drive, Suite 308., Dallas, TX 75207
  • Zumbies
    • Zumiez, Inc., Free Stickers, 4001 204th Street SW Lynnwood, WA 98036

 

#2: Contact These Companies via E-Mail & Tell Them How Much You Love Their Product(s) & What You Plan on Doing With the Stickers If They’ll Be So Sweet As to Send you Some!

  • Sperry Topsiders
  • Menchie’s
  • Johnnie-O
  • Naked Juice
  • Just Madras (Contact Form)
  • Southern Proper (Include Name and Mailing Address)
    • stickers@southernproper.com
  • Peter Millar
  • Izze
  • Krass and Co.
  • S’well Bottle
  • The North Face
  • Life is Good
  • Birkenstocks
  • Converse
  • Oakley
  • Bartholomew
  • Simply Southern (Contact Form)
  • Balboa
  • Bison Coolers
  • Summer Ties
  • EOS
  • Exofficio (Contact Page)
  • Devon Maryn
  • Southern Charm Clothing (Contact Page)

 

#3: Fill Out the Official Sticker Request Forms Provided by These Companies (Linked Below):

 

Do you have any stickers from Companies I forget, please leave them below would love to add them to my collection!

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

Megan

 

101 in 1001

I love lists, I love crossing things off, I love to be productive and I love to accomplish new tasks. I’ve seen several bloggers do this and have decided that I should give it a go. I think this will hopefully push me into trying new things and experimenting and accomplishing some great goals in 1001 days. It’s a great combination between a bucket list and a to-do list, with just over 2-¾ years (or 2.75 years) to finish it all. This was started by Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling (Check Out Here Second List).

Date Started: Wednesday, June, 7th, 2017

Date Ended: March 4th, 2020

Travel & Adventure:

1.Visit a European Country

2.Visit New York City

3.See a Broadway Musical

4.Take a Trip Alone

5.Visit Canada

6. Vacation on an Island (7/11/17, Kona, Hawai’i’s Big Island)

7.Travel for a Blog/YouTube Collaboration

8.Visit my Family in Arizona

9.Visit Mackinac Island

10.Tour the White House

11.Explore Washington D.C.

12.Road Trip Around the Country

13.Try Sprinkles or Georgetown Cupcake

14.Visit Martha’s Vineyard

15.Go to Disneyland, CA

16.Take a Helicopter Ride

17.Explore Texas

Life:

18.Have my First Legal Drink (2/3/2018)

19.Get an Awesome Internship (Summer 2018)

20.Graduate College

21.Own my Own Downtown Apartment/ Loft

22.Purchase my First Car

23.Decorate a Killer Apartment

24.Get a Sweet Job

25.Meet Another Fellow Blogger/Vlogger (11/21/2017, I met Sarah)

26.Go VEGAN for a Month

27.Create my own Business Card

28.Go Gluten-Free for a Month

29.Go to a  Pittsburgh Steelers Game

30.Visit a Museum in Downtown Pittsburgh (3/31/2018, Heinz History Museum)

31.Run a Half Marathon

32.Send a Care Package to my Sister at College

Create:

33.Do 3 DIY Projects (2/3, Reindeer Mason Jars, Hot Chocolate Ordainments)

34.Learn Calligraphy

35.Start my own Vlogging YouTube Channel

36.Learn Final Cut Pro

37.Get 200+ Views on One Video

38.Create a Gallery Wall

39.Grow a Succulent Garden

Baking:

40.Get Hired to Bake for 5 Clients

41.Bake Macaroons

42.Make a Fresh Berry Cobbler

43.Learn how to Frost Cupcakes

44.Take a Baking Class

45.Make Ice Cream

46.Make a Fancy Pinterest Recipe

47.Frost Adorable Sugar Cookies

48.Bake a Multilayer Cake

49.Learn how to use Fondant

Blog:

50.Reach 500+ Followers on the Blog

51.Reach 1,000 Page Views in One Day

52.Create my Own Domain Name

53.Write a Collaboration Post with another Blogger (8/11/2017, How to Style Chacos with The Mountains are Calling)

54.Hire a Photographer for a Post

55.Switch to WordPress.org

56.Attend A Blogging Conference

57.Post 10 Outfit posts

58.Host a Giveaway (8/18/2017)

59.Write 200 Posts (5/10/2018)

60.Write a Sponsored Post

61.Add 4 Recipes / Food Related Posts to the Blog (1/4, Reindeer Chow)

62.Reach 1000 Followers on Instagram

63.Reach 500 Like on one Instagram Photo

Photography:

64.Photograph my First Wedding

65.Book my First Client

66.Upgrade my DSLR (12/25/2017)

67.Buy a Fancy Camera Lens (12/25/2017)

68.Learn Photoshop/Lightroom

69.Buy a Polaroid Camera

70.Purchase a Drone

71.Own a Mac

72.Open my Own Photography Business

73.Reach 1,000 Followers on Instagram

Just For Fun

74.Attend A Paint Party

75.Go Horseback Riding

76.Do Hot Yoga 10x (1/10)

77.Try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

78.Do a Juice Cleanse

79.Go to a Festival

80.Have a Movie Marathon (9/23/2017, We Watched Pocahontas, Pocahontas II, Beauty and the Beast, and Finding Dory)

81.Journal Everyday for 3 Months

82.Try a New Fitness Class

83.Treat my Parents to Dinner

84.Go One Week without using Heat on my Hair (7/11/2017, I went around 10 days)

85.Stop Drinking Coffee for a Week (7/11/2017, no heat and no coffee for 10 days)

86.Get a Henna Tattoo

87.Give Golfing another Go

88.Win a Giveaway (1/22/2019, Baker Babe Cookie Co.)

89.Attend a Gala and Wear a Long Dress

90.Leave a 100% Tip for Good Service

91.Run a Disney Marathon

92.Spend a Holiday with Someone

93.Build a Makeup Collection

94.Read 20 Books (20/20), The Lucky One, Nineteen Minutes, Firefly Lane, Chasing Harry Winston, The Longest Ride, So Much Closer, Secrets, Dreamers and Deceivers, FML, Al Capone Does My Shirts, A Pinch of Love, Descent, Small Great Things, All of Nothing at All, Brain on Fire, The Best Kind of People, The Family Man, What Made Maddy Run, See Me, Leaving Time)

95.Attend 4 Concerts

96.Make Someone Dinner

97.Go Berry Picking (7/28/2018, picked blueberries & blackberries)

98.Throw a Holiday Party

99.Make 10 Recipes on Pinterest (10/10 Sweet Corn Zucchini Pie, Cinnamon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash, Quinoa Taco Bowls, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Spinach and Artichoke Pastry Braid, Avocado Fries, Honey Brown Sugar Carrots, Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese, Blueberry Mojito, Watermelon Frosé)

100.Kiss Someone Under the Mistletoe

101.Make homemade Ravioli

 

Total Completed 17/101 ~ Updated February 15, 2019

You can read my one year update on my progress and the stories behind how I accomplished some of my hundred and one goals this past year.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

megan

Warby Parker Sunglasses

Summer will be here before we know it (if you are still in school), so it’s time to stockpile your closet of multiple pairs of sunglasses, lots of iced tea and a couple cute pairs of jean shorts. I am a huge sunglasses fan but never can decide on what kind of frames or style I like. This online eyeglass company Warby Parker is offering this great deal, for 5 days you can try on 5 pairs of sunglasses for free. Yep, you heard that right! So, for the next 5 days, I will give each one of these awesome pairs of sunnies a go around.

The box is so adorable and cute, each pair is $95 dollars, and you can get them all with prescriptions for those who wear glasses. Once I try on all the pairs I pick my favorite and can order them online. The shipping and returns are all free! It was super simple and easy, they arrive right on my doorstep and when I am done all I have to do is stick it in the mailbox.
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I am currently loving these retro looking glasses, out of the five pairs please leave a comment below which pair is your favorite! If you want to try out 5 pairs of sunglasses or glasses you should check them out here.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

Megan

Coffee Shop | Week Recap

Just wanted to do a little update and recap on my life for the lack of posts the last week or so, even though I finished finals a little over two weeks ago, I finally moved home (with the help of both my loving parents) this past Monday. After finals were done I had a little bit of unfinished business I needed to take care of so I docked on a week and a half extra.

It’s crazy to think I just finished my sophomore year of college and I am just half way done with my undergraduate college career. I am growing up and changing so much. As we were driving off campus for the last time for this school year, I was clearing envisioning the day we drove onto campus with our SUV packed to the brim and me sweating over the classes and word load I would endure over the course of the next few months. I thought people were crazy when they told me it would pass quicker than you think stepping onto campus my freshman year but look at me now I am now going to be a junior in college in the fall.

Before I left campus, I stopped by the cutest little coffee shops, drank some very delicious old fashion brew coffee and chatted about our summer plans with my roommate. I truly am going to miss her and the rest of my roommates this summer. I just wanted to share with you how cute this little coffee shop was.

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I have this new love for something old, something new, something with character and something with charm, but most of all I love a good cup of coffee and something sweet. I can’t wait to spend the summer exploring and trying new places and new foods and hopefully taking all y’all on the adventure with me. I just have my fingers crossed that this summer doesn’t go bye as quick as this past spring semester.

Spreading Sprinkles & Sparkles,

xo

Megan