Category Archives: Photography

How Randomness Can Add Creativity To Your Photography


In many ways, the high technology of the modern world spoils us, especially when it comes to photography. Thanks to computers and Photoshop, there is more scope than ever before to be creative and to be expressive in photos. There are all sorts of techniques that can be used and many of them can help to make your work look more artistic and creative. Here are some fun camera hacks to help you add randomness and creativity to your work:

Move The Camera: Most professional photography courses emphasize the importance of keeping the camera as still as possible. The reason for this is to preserve things like lines and sharp edges and to prevent the photo from looking blurred. But sometimes you actually want to blur to convey a sense of motion to the image you’re snapping.

There are several popular ways of using the motion of the camera to take a better shot. “Panning”, for example, is a technique used most frequently in sports when following a target, like a horse, from one side of the field of view to the other. Another technique is “rotation” where the camera takes a photograph mid-whirls. Finally, there is camera throwing, where you literally throw the camera to take the shot. (With this one, you might want to prepare an area where the camera can land softly!).


The camera was not thrown for this picture!

Creative Focusing: You don’t need a full-blown DSLR to play around with focus. Some of the best bridge cameras in 2017 also come with options that allow users to focus either slightly in front or slightly behind the subject. The purpose of doing this is usually to pick out some other element of the photograph to focus on, leaving the rest of the image blurred. With the right foreground and background colors, this sort of technique can create intrigue and mystery.


I’m intrigued 😉

Zoom & Shoot: Another way to use your camera is to zoom in while you shoot. This has the effect of making the outer edge of the image blurred while keeping the subject in the center in focus. Zooming while shooting makes it appear as if the whole image is sort of popping out at you. It’s also possible to combine zoom with a slow sync flash, which can produce some pretty spectacular results.


Flickr Image

Shoot From Below: Top professional photographers have been using low-angle shots for decades to evoke a sense of scale. It turns out that the technique is extremely useful. Even regular sized objects take on whole new personalities when shot from below. What’s more, shooting from below is interesting for viewers. In our daily lives, we rarely see things from a mouse-eye view, and so when we do, it’s engaging if nothing else.


Holy moly!

Use Over Exposure: Another thing photography school warns about is overexposing your shots. But doing it in the right setting, especially when an image contains dazzling colors, can be really effective. If you bump up the exposure setting on your camera, sometimes you can generate beautiful effects with foreground objects contrasting nicely with the burnt out background of the scene.



Whether your passion lies in front of or behind the camera, learning the proper techniques can only benefit you in your line of work!


New Graduation Pic!

New Graduation Pic!

Heyy everyone and happy Thursday! Yesterday evening the professional photographers from my graduation uploaded the shots that they took for purchasing. I was feeling really nervous that there wouldn’t be any pictures that I liked because, unfortunately, I hated all of the pictures of me that my brother took! Luckily, there was one totally perf picture in the bunch that didn’t feature a weird walking across the stage angle or a (Yikes!) double chin!!

Instead of purchasing a photo package of the pic which was super costly, my parents and I decided to buy a digital download of the image so that we could print it out however we want. This picture was taken right before I walked across the stage and I freaking love it! Take a look:


Aw!! :*)

Even though we had to shell out the moolah to get this picture, it was so worth it, considering there wasn’t a picture taken that I deemed worthy enough to print out and frame. I love how this pic shows off the stole and honor chord so nicely and I really like the background, too! GREAT SUCCESS!!

I hope all of you have a fab day and I will talk to all of you soon! Who is ready for the holidays? Does anyone have any last minute shopping to finish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Weekend Photo Shoot

Weekend Photo Shoot

Hi everyone and TGIF! This weekend, I will be doing a photo shoot with my fabulous friend, Britta, who I had the pleasure of working with a few months ago. As an exchange of services, I will be conducting an interview with her so she can tell my readers and her clients all about the rebranding of her business. It should be a lot of fun and I am so excited to sport some fall fashion because it is my absolute favorite.

BUT, I need your help! I am looking for recommendations on outfits that I should wear. To help a sister out, please feel free to browse my Facebook page and pictures and tell me what in my wardrobe I should wear for a fresh fall look. You can also peruse through the “Fashion” tab on my blog to see some of my latest purchases that might not be showcased in a Facebook picture just yet. So take a look and I can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with! Much love. -Sarah

Vacation Photos

Vacation Photos

Hi everyone and happy weekend! I arrived back home in good ol’ CFalls, Ohio this past Wednesday after a wonderful week away in Asheville, North Carolina with my family. We had an amazing time hiking, horse back riding, apple picking, EATING, and shopping! My family had visited Asheville in June and we liked it so much that we just had to come back and this time our two dogs, Ollie and Gem, joined us for the festivities. 🙂 ❤

Take a look at some of my favorite photos from our fall vacation:

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^^^ So. Much. FUN!!

Fun fact for ya, the butterfly, hummingbird, and duck pictures are all made out of LEGOS! They were being featured at the North Carolina Arboretum and they were so incredible! Asheville treated the Mushenheims so well and my only regret is that I’m not there right this minute! Have a fab weekend, everyone! Much love. -Sarah

Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend. This past Thursday, I had to venture out to the Tri-C campus in Parma, Ohio for an extra credit lecture. Because I’m literally never in Parma since I don’t attend that campus, I decided to make a post on my Facebook to let my friends in the area know that I will be there for the afternoon in case anyone wanted to meet up afterwards. My friend, Danielle, replied and we decided to meet up at the bar that she works at in Lakewood which was about fifteen minutes away.

Because Danielle’s work didn’t open until four, we started at a bar that was down the street called The Patio. Danielle was treating me to twenty-first birthday drinks even though it’s over a year late so that’s what made me justify drinking at the bar at three in the afternoon! About halfway through our time at The Patio, an older gentleman walked into the bar and within ten minutes he came up to us and asked if we liked Playhouse Square (the beautiful theater in Cleveland).

Being an avid lover of the theater, of course I replied with an enthusiastic “YES”. This sent who I now know was Weldon Carpenter off to his car to retrieve a photo album and a surprise treat. While Weldon was at his car, the bartender explained to us that he was a historian and photographed Playhouse Square and the surrounding theaters since their openings. She also told us that he used to work as the personal chef to the one and only Miss Judy Garland.

Just as the bartender was finishing up her briefing on Weldon, he came walking in with a thick photo album and two teddy bears for me and Danielle. He told us that he has over one hundred and fifty little stuffed animals that he keeps handy just to make people smile. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a stuffie sitting on the bar that he must have gifted to the bartender when we weren’t looking. “Aren’t they beautiful?” he asked as Danielle and I held our new bears on our laps. And they really were. The beauty lied in the gesture and the bear he picked for me couldn’t have been any more perfect considering it was sporting a black t-shirt!

After we settled in with our drinks and teddies, we began to look through Weldon’s album, page by page. With every picture of each theater, there was a story or memory that went along with it and I was just mesmerized. To watch him smile and speak enthusiastically about the memories that he loved so much was something that was really special to me. None of my grandparents are alive so I haven’t conversed with someone in that age range in quite some time. Speaking with Weldon felt good and safe. It made me want to curl up in a blanket and hear more.

With every page turned, Weldon insisted on either one of us taking whichever photo we liked. “Don’t worry, I have plenty of copies and I give them all away for free”. His gentle prodding led to both of us picking out a photo that we loved and you could tell how pleased he was that we did. This man genuinely loved sharing what he felt was beautiful – and it was.

After we finished looking at Weldon’s photo album and listened to a few stories about how he met Judy Garland at his friend Mae West’s party we unfortunately had to part ways. Danielle had to be at work so we had to head down the street to the bar for a night of serving for her and more drinking for me. But all evening, I was still enraptured by the kind stranger who we spent a half hour with in the bar. The man who bore gifts and treats for complete strangers and left them feeling like they had just met their guardian angel or long lost friend.

When I got home, I Googled Weldon and found so many articles boasting that he was one of Lakewood’s local legends. Pages full of articles telling tales of theaters, photos, and stories similar to the one that I just told you. I felt proud. I felt proud that the city that he seemed to love so much loved him back. I felt proud that he was sharing his beautiful spirit and stories with the world. I felt proud that I just met him.

Will I ever see Weldon again? Maybe, if I head up to Lakewood around three or so, I’ll find him at The Patio enjoying a glass of red wine that he will be diluting with shaved ice. Maybe I’ll see him sharing a photo or a stuffed bear with another person at the bar. But until then, I’m so happy to consider Weldon Carpenter as A New Friend.

Hello, It’s Me

Hello, It’s Me

Hi everyone and TGIF! Welcome to the month of September here on lifewithlilred! My first week of the fall semester went as good as it can get but I am so looking forward to the three day Labor Day weekend! With summer coming to a close, I had to squeeze in wearing as many dresses as I can sans tights before the cold weather begins. Because I was feeling pretty, witty, and gay I enlisted the help of my lovely mother to take some new pictures of yours truly. I feel like I haven’t posted some Lil Red pics on here in a while so it was long overdue! Check them out and have an awesome weekend! Also, be on the look out for my fall guest bloggers series that premieres this week. The posts are amazing and I am so excited! Much love. -Sarah

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Monday Update: Vacation Pictures Edition

Monday Update: Vacation Pictures Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I have returned home from my beautiful Asheville, North Carolina family vacation and am ready to bring you the latest and greatest in my world. I have to admit, I’m not thrilled to be home since Asheville was so gorgeous! It was such a nice change to be surrounded by all of the art and nature that NC had to offer as opposed to the flat and boring Ohio. But before we begin this post, a round of applause is in order for all of my fantastic vacation guest bloggers! Thank you so much for all of your help in maintaining lifewithlilred while I was away. Great job! Now, let’s take a look at some vacation pics, shall we?

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^^^ Can I go back now, or?

My family had the best time exploring Asheville and we left with so many great memories. One of my favorites was going horseback riding for the morning through a ranch that provides trail rides on their vast 550 acre property. My horse was named Sassy and we were obviously a perfect match! Despite getting super sun burned thanks to our three hour trek, it was definitely a lot of fun!

You might notice some random pictures in the slide show like the snap of a flashlight in its packaging. That happens to be a birthday gift given to me from the Blue Mountain Pizza Company. Lol, I got a glass of wine and when they asked for my ID my dad mentioned that it was my birthday on that very day. The meal was delicious and at the end, our waiter came back with a super special birthday flashlight for yours truly because the restaurant gives presents to those who are celebrating. I can’t say that I’ll make very good use out of the flashlight so I regifted it to my dad who can at least do something with it!

One of our days was spent exploring all of the downtown shops in Asheville so make sure you check back for a post on my vaca purchases. As you can see, my mom and I proudly posed in front of a sign for Appalachian Naturals – the most amazing little homemade soap store that Asheville has to offer. We must have spent close to an hour browsing the store, selecting soaps, and chatting with the knowledgeable and helpful employees.

We left with an enormous selection of handcrafted soap, chapstick, shampoo, dog soap, bath bombs, and…a meatball? Haha, yes. One of the products that the store had to offer was a one pound ball of soap that was made from the excess shavings from the soap making process. It’s admittedly the most ridiculous thing ever but we couldn’t not get it. One of the employees told us a story about how a husband had startled his wife while she was in the shower and she ended up throwing the soap ball at him which resulted in two black eyes and a broken nose. Yikes!

The final picture of the slideshow is a family photo at El Poncho, a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia when we went to visit my brother and his wife to start our vacation. The food was SO good and we had such a great time. I got serenaded by the mariachi band for my birthday and throughout the meal they continued to come back and play for us. At one point my parents got up to practice their Rumba and ChaCha while the band performed. They were a hit!

At the end of the meal we decided to take a family photo and everything looked awesome except for one thing. The man on the farthest right has no relation to our family. Lol, we got photobombed so hard by this guy sitting at the bar and none of us can get over how good of a job he did. He seriously looks like he belongs in the picture. When we caught the culprit after we took a look at the picture we invited him into our family as an adopted son and brother. He has yet to accept or decline this offer.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update which displays some of the many Vacation Photos that were taken during our week in Asheville! Who is going on vaca soon? Where is your favorite spot to travel to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah