What’s In My Camera Bag

By Nicole brought to you by Focus Camera, where I get all my camera supplies!

When I was 18, my first friend was getting married. I picked up my Nikon film camera and went to work to cut costs for her. It went beautifully and I fell in love with wedding photography. I spent the next 12 years shooting almost every weekend. What started out as favors for friends and family turned into my career. I transitioned from film to digital work in 2005. I always prefer the look of the grains of film over the pixels of digital, but the ease of post processing and lessened costs of shooting with digital outweighed the appearance of those beautiful circular grains that only shooting film can achieve.

When I became a single mother in 2013, photographing weddings began to be less of a passion, and more of a necessary task to do to keep my family afloat. But as we all know, when a passion because a pressure things change. My work went downhill, and my anxiety about showing up to photograph a 3-day wedding began to be too much. I couldn’t be away from my kids for that long, and something needed to change. That is when Small Fry budded!untitled-3

I transitioned out of weddings to almost strictly lifestyle work. Now, THIS is where my passion resides. Lifestyle and editorial photography is what I enjoy and where I spend 90% of my working hours.

Often people email in to Small Fry and ask about my equipment. So, I wanted to put together a post to share links to all of the go-to lenses and my most favorite camera body and accessories. Although I have used many, this is what my current camera bag carries. These pieces are essential and to be honest, I don’t imagine ever needing much more. My list is simple, and not the most expensive equipment on the market, but it does the job perfectly.

First the body. A Nikon D 750.

Battery grip has become a game changer for me. I shoot a lot of my images portrait over landscape, so having this second trigger saves me. Plus the extra battery life gives me peace of mind. You can buy them in accessory bundles like this or get them standalone also!

My go-to lens I use for just about everything the Nikon 24-70 2.8.

For low light I always break out the Nikon 50mm 1.4

Back up lens the 50mm 1.8. Its inexpensive and takes almost as beautiful of photos as the 1.4. I would recommend this lens to anyone. Especially beginning photographers.

Reflectors, although I rarely need then when shooting in Studio, I use them often outdoors. You can never depend on evenly dispersed light outside. Tripods I use sparingly but are a must have. Especially when shooting video footage which the Nikon D750 does beautifully. Less than $20 on Focus and will keep everything looking great!

Check out Focus for the best in camera supplies, and be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions! xo – Nicole

Gift Guide: Books

By Emily. I love to give a few books to the boys each Christmas. It might not be their very favorite gift under the tree, but I want them to know how valuable they are and they should be treated like a gift! Brevity was never my strong suit, so here’s three guides filled with favorite titles. Broken down by the WORLD, HUMAN EXPERIENCE, and ACTIVITY. Add your favorites in the comments below! And find all our past book recommendations here.

BOOKS TO LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD:world

This is the World! — I read this with Hayes almost every night, he is so curious and loves hearing about new places. // Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy — Her books are incredible and suck everyone in. // 50 States — Learn info about each state with awesome illustrations. // Out of Sight — great for younger kids, teaches about animals with the element of surprise. // Before and After — Cause and Effect in nature // Technicolor Treasure Hunt //

BOOKS ABOUT FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES: Kids Book Guides - Books for the Human Experience Home — Written by the Decembrists’ Colin Meloy’s wife 😉 a beautiful book that talks about the various places people can live. Great for family’s who are moving, too! // King Baby — for families with new babies or babies on the way! Hilarious. // The Heart and the Bottle — A sweet story that talks about loss and staying open when we’re hurting. // I Can Do It Myself! (The whole Empowerment Series) — Great for toddlers with budding independence. // Vincent’s Starry Night – Children’s Art History Story Book — teach the stories behind art masterpieces. // Sparkle and Spin — A classic and so beautifully illustrated, all about words. // What Do Grown-ups Do All Day? — A book to teach about jobs and responsibilities // The Snowy Day — race and predjudice consciousness.

ACTIVITY BOOKS: (We did a whole post about these here, but added a few more to the list!)activityPaint By Stickers — this has been a huge hit at our house, we LOVE working on them together!// Make & Move Robots – Pop Out Puppets // Pop Up Shadow Search — Shine a flashlight on them, search the shadows, lots of fun! // Pierre the Maze Detective Coloring Book — like I-Spy but you color it too! // Stickyscapes: Paris (All Stickyscapes titles here) — These are so fun and interactive, and amazing looking. // Under the Ocean Pop-up Book — One of the most beautiful books I own. I die over it!  Close up below.// Ocean Coloring Book — another awesome coloring book! //61nmpjq54l

Need more ideas for Coloring Books? Laurence King Publishing has the best collections! Our friend Brittany has published two botanical books!

Holiday Gift Guide – For Mom

We’ve got a gift guide for Mom that you don’t want to miss today! We tried to think outside the box with this one so you can give Mom unique gifts for Christmas!mom-2

1- We love this Dry Bar Blowout Kit. These are some of our FAVORITE hair care products and since Mom is super busy and can’t get to a blow out very often..she can do her hair up right with this at home kit!

2- We’ve been long time Chatbooks supporters and this is a MUST HAVE for mom this Christmas. This subscription service brings cheer to your door step in the form of books made up of your instagram pics! At $6/month this is an inexpensive gift for Mom that will keep her smiling all year.

3- Who’s says Mom doesn’t want technology? Since passing her phone to kids to get by during a Costco run, she’s probably pretty used to her phone dying. Not anymore with this Ventev Powercell Battery Charger that will give her 12 hours of additional talk time!

4- Silver Sneakers…..nuff said.

5- We love our Petunia’s and now this clutch is too much….LOVE it.

6- Sara Happ is the queen of lips and this lip slip is the best balm on the plaaaaanet. This stocking stuffer will make Mom FREAK OUT!

7- We love anything from Shop Ashley Lemeuix but this lace dress has our eye.

8- Sakura Bloom is gorgeous for Moms who love to wear babies…these baby wearing industry darlings make stunning prints out of gorgeous fabrics.

10- It might be December but that doesn’t mean Mom doesn’t need a swimsuit for her upcoming vacation. Our favorites, Raising Wild, are moms that make swimsuits for moms.

Hope you like some of these selections! Let us know some of your favorite Mom finds in the comments!

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Frye at Zappos

By Emily, brought to you by Zappos!

This month’s partnership with Zappos is all about FRYE! If you own a pair of Frye boots or shoes you already know this — Fryes are amazing. As soon as you slip a pair on you know that you’re wearing something expertly crafted with comfort in mind. The pillowy foot bed, the thick sole, that leather smell. As we prepared for this post and I was passing along info to both Jenna and Nicole we all said the same thing – “They just feel different than any boot I own.”      ncc_2675

Leslie Short

Maybe you’re like us and thought Frye would take a more western approach to all their boot styles,  but this season we are dying over their take on the classic Cheslea boot – the Dara or Clara styles – the over the knee trend and a slip on heeled boot!fryechelsea

I have two distinct memories of Frye boots. First, I remember when I was growing up my mom had a pair of Fryes in this oiled leather and she is a size 8 1/2 and I’ve always been a 7 1/2 and I would steal them anyway. I’d tromp around in these loose beautiful boots and feel like a million bucks. When I saw the same shade on Zappos website I knew I had to have them. jennazapposnov-2-of-6

Madeline Short

Then, as a struggling college student, I bought a pair of eggplant purple vintage Frye’s and lived in them! When I was purging my closet, I decided to sell them and did a bidding style listing. I actually made $100 off them! Frye’s hold their value so well it’s such a great investment!! Even better lots are on sale at Zappos right now!

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Madeline Short

If you’re looking for an amazing gift to give (or for yourself) we are so sold on Frye’s they feel so luxe and with Zappos return policy you can have confidence in making this kind of investment. They have hundreds of options on their site, too! Such a great selection.jennazapposnov-4-of-6Also Frye is such an amazing casual boot, it looks killer with jeans but we all love them styled with dresses and Sunday’s best! Obviously, since we all basically wore the same look – funny how that happens unintentionally. 😉screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-7-25-00-amSo what is your favorite? Shiny leather, lush suede? Tall, short? Classic, western? So many options! We hope everyone gets some Fryes under their tree this year because they’re the best boots we own, by a landslide!ncc_2706

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Sierra Trading Post: Manly Gift Guide

We’ve got a gift guide for the guys today! Since Andrew is OBSESSED with Sierra Trading Post I took this on one. Here’s what he picked:untitled-design-5Hoodie — Mountain Hardwear is Andrew’s fave and this is like half off! // North Face Hoodie — 30% off // Fill Power Jacket — another 50% off coat that every guy needs! // Down Vest — Marmot is an industry darling and this is 50% off too! // Moc Toe Boots — Red Wing is a must for the outdoors, if your man works construction or any other super active gig. They last for years! // Sweater Jacket — for date night when you want him to look less like he just got off the mountain. // North Face Zip Up — A perfect little half zip as a base layer or the only layer if you live in California. // Sunglasses — almost 60% off // Minnetonka Slippers — perfect Christmas gift and only $30! // Active Comfort Shorts — something cozy for home or the gym! // Mid – Winter Snow boots — an awesome snow boot option that doesn’t scream snow boot!

Note from the man himself:

Hey guys! Andrew here. The reason why I like wearing outdoorsman gear as my every day is because it’s durable and stylish. Sierra Trading Post makes it affordable too which is really nice since I’m kind of a jacket junkie. I think they are a cool online outlet to find top brands at super discounted prices. You have to be on top of it because the deals go quick but you can find crazy deals. I recently bought this Mountain Hardware jacket which I love because I prefer down jackets for warmth and weight, but the downside to down is you shouldn’t get it wet. Both of these jackets are synthetic and crazy light weight. Great for layering and quick drying. The micro is a windbreaker and light rain jacket so good for hiking, biking, climbing. Both jackets fold into themselves in one pocket for easy packing. Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia are my two favorite brands for outdoor gear and apparel

And didn’t you just die over all the percentage off?! SUCH good deals for your mountain man. But never fear there’s also great stuff for women and kids too! Buying all our family’s outwear this year from Sierra Trading Post, they’re also offering Free Shipping on $75 or more with code ACJDEC6. Valid through December 31, 2016.

Rammell Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was so much fun this year. We have spent the last three Turkey Day’s in California and it’s such a special time just the five of us. I do love a kitchen full of family and friends but there’s also something super special about spending this holiday together with our little family. And in that case, I didn’t want to cook a ton of food…so we went to our family’s special place, Terranea. Andrew made this darling video I’m excited to share, hope you enjoy!

Music: City of Angels by The Head and the Heart. Purchase on iTunes.

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#lighttheworld

We are so excited about our church’s #LightTheWorld Holiday campaign. Each year they put out something beautiful for the world to enjoy and connect us closer to the true meaning of Christmas, but THIS year is the best yet. 25 Days, 25 Ways to serve others. That is truly what Christ, what Christmas is about. We will be participating with our families and wanted to share it with you all as well to get started on December 1st. #lighttheworldWe wanted to share a beautiful little DIY to help you kick off Day One: He Lifted Others Burdens. All you need is a wreath, some tags and your helping hands! First, decide who you want to serve, we have our kids pray and meditate and come up with a name. #lighttheworldIt might be a widower, someone who is ill or has lots of small children and needs extra hands. Maybe they’re lonely or disabled or just someone you want to get to know better. Have your kids fill out several tags with service ideas and then tie them to the wreath. #lighttheworldWhoever you choose to gift it to can cash in the service tokens whenever they need! Once its done, you get to deliver the wreath and the recipient can display it and remember each day someone loves them and is ready to serve. #lighttheworldSUPPLIES: Boxwood Wreath // Circle Tags // Red Twine#lighttheworld

Here is the first half of the month so you can plan ahead, too! Get all the details here.

english-25-days-calendar-preplay

DASH: Boots // Coat

SUNNY: Boots // Coat

Light The World

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Womens Winter Boots

By Nicole:

If you are with me, you are thrilled about this SNOWWW. Its dumping today in Utah and I’m on cloud nine. I cant not wait to Ski! But before that, I cant wait to get out and trudge around in it. Some of my favorite winter boots or on sale for GREAT PRICES! I have rounded up all my tops picks right here. Links each listed below!

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Black Sorel Tall // Black Sorel Short // Caribou Sorel // Navy Sperry // All Black Sperry // Sperry with Laces // Short Hunter Boots // Hunter Chelsea // Original Tall Hunter in THREE colors! // SSQUARED2 Bufallo Check // Natives // Moon Boot //

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Amazon Cyber Monday

Goodness gracious Amazon!! So many deals today.cybermonday

60% off a Kitchenaid Mixer. // 40% off a Blendtec // If you have a baby you MUST have this gadget. It’s not gross at all, nothing comes near your mouth but it clears their nasal passages and is a miracle worker. 70% off!  5 Camera security system. Theft is up like crazy where we live, so many packages taken off porches and break ins, Happy Holidays right?! This system is a steal and gives you some peace of mind. // Star Shower Christmas light display (best purchase I’ve made in years. Takes minutes to plug them in and it covers your house in glittering lights. Such a good Christmas hack if you’re too busy or too tired to get lights on the roof. Great option for renters or townhouse type living, too! // 30% off Ray-Bans! Classic wayfarers, aviators and more! This pair is a fave around here. // 50% off a Steam Mop (must have for tile!) // TUMI is the highest end of the luggage industry and their spinner luggage is a must have. Its 50% off right now! Cozy Snow Boots // Sleek Puma sneakers, great for the gym or padding around the house.

 

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