5 Tips for Reviving Your Bookcase

By Kim Vargo /

Styling your bookcase can feel a bit intimidating; really, I know. (I’ve been there before, paralyzed with fear, too!) With all the stunning imagery of impeccably styled shelves around the web, you might wonder how fellow home lovers keep things feeling so effortless, right? I truly don’t believe there are steadfast rules when it comes to a beautifully styled bookcase, but if you’re looking at your own overstuffed and chaotic shelves and feeling ready to breathe new life into your display, here are a few easy tips I’ve learned along the way to keep things feeling fun, fresh and most importantly, more like you.

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Teach Kids to Write Thank You Cards in 3 Steps

By Kristin Appenbrink /

I will forever be a fan of a well-written thank you card. As much as I love the convenience of email, texting, and social media, there’s something about the thank you card—it’s one of the few lasting signs of good manners. And thankfully, it’s an easy skill to master, even for your kids. That’s one of the reasons thank you cards have remained as we’ve ditched other etiquette rules. They are quick to write and can be relatively informal, but they still show more consideration than a text message. Read More “Teach Kids to Write Thank You Cards in 3 Steps”

Met Your Match? Meet the Wedding Collection

By Rachel Castro /

You’ve gotten engaged (congrats!), you booked your reception and now you can’t wait to spread the word to your family and friends. Enter our new, versatile save-the-date decals that double as a memento and a calendar heads up. These are part of the mini and full invitation suites that include items such wedding invitationsRSVP cardsescort cards, and photo books. The style ranges from the formal affair with the Black Tie suite or The Coastal Collection which would work great for a destination wedding or less formal affair. A favorite for the DIY bride is our new wedding decals perfect for creating a romantic photographic collage at the reception.

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How to take a Day in the Life on Instagram

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

For any photographer, be it a hobbyist or pro running a business, a Day in the Life project can help you grow tremendously.

To document your day, or a child’s day is an important slice of history as well.

When its the last time you charted a day from start to finish? If you never have, hopefully you will find some inspiration to do so now.

Recently, I charted my own day via Instagram. It was a lot easier than suing my dslr but still challenging enough that when it was done,and that final shot was taken, I went to bed completely exhausted and fulfilled knowing I had created my own time capsule to reflect on in the years to come.

Here are some tips on how to make your Day in the Life come to life!

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How to Take a Great Holiday Card Photo Outdoors

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

Holiday card photos can be fun for the entire family. Forget about the forced, posed family photo and instead, seize the opportunity to take family photos during outdoor adventures.

Head right outside your home or to a local park. The key for shooting outdoors is to film during the most flattering light. Golden hour never disappoints as the sun drops in the sky and casts a beautiful, warm glow. The golden hour in photography is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during when the daylight is softer than full sunlight.

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How to Take a Great Holiday Card Photo at Home

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

Every year, we put enormous stress on ourselves to get the ‘perfect’ holiday greeting. What usually happens is as follows: dress the children up, kids don’t cooperate, we end up screaming, and it’s far from having a holly jolly ANYTHING.

Here are some tips to help ease into this year’s holiday greeting. Home is, after all, where the heart is.

I’m a true believer in snapping your holiday card photo or your client’s holiday card photo at home. But instead of all piling up in front of the tree here are a few other spots that can make your holiday card photo more of your own:

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Trying New Photography Techniques

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /
© Jennifer Tonetti Spellman 2014

Whether you are a full-time/part-time photographer running a business or a photo enthusiast/hobbyist, there comes a time during the year where we all experience downtime.

Personally, I take off the month of December each year to recover from Fall shooting madness, regroup on my business and plan for the year ahead.

It’s also this time I do one of my most treasured things: embrace the downtime for new photography techniques.

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How to not be Annoying when Taking Family Photos

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

One of the hardest things about being a photographer with children is this incessant need to film them. Itʼs like the itch that can never fully be scratched.

I will admit, I’ve overdone it at times. I’ve let the desire to get the shot overtake me, make me angry if I didn’t get it, and just basically ruin the very moment I was trying to capture.

This side of me came out big-time when I was doing my 365 in 2013. I drove the whole house crazy – including our dog – to make sure I got the shot of the day. But that all changed this year when I decided to put down the camera, and realized that I was potentially hurting relationships in my home with my daughter and even husband {though he isnʼt the main focus of the images}.

Allow me to share with you some ways on how to keep snapping, but lessen the irritating factor when taking pictures of your family.

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