Photo Fun at Disneyland and #DisneySMMoms

June 3, 2014

It’s no secret that I’m a Disney fan. In fact, it runs in the family. But, you probably knew that already. What’s been so much fun is that it seems now more than ever so many of our many Disney paths are coming together. I can’t help but envision the Hub at Disneyland. In case you don’t know that story, all roads within Disneyland lead to the hub. Yep. It feels kinda like that. Disney people, places, events, opportunities have been popping up like hidden Mickeys. It feels, in a word, magical.

For one thing, I’m really looking forward to getting to share my passion for photography at the soon-coming Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Celebration in Phoenix.  I honestly can’t think of two things that go together any better than photography and Disney. Which got me thinking. What is it about Disney (more specifically the Disney Parks) that makes it so much fun to get ridiculously snap happy? Let’s see…the key word here has got to be happy. The Disney Parks are quite simply, my family’s happy place.

Being So Cal natives (yes, 99% of my family and extended family lives here) certainly works to our advantage when it comes to visiting the Disney Parks. Which means, we’re there a lot. And we’re taking more pictures than we know what to do with. And why not? Nothing could be more fun to capture than magic and make-believe! Am I right?

To celebrate the kick-off of the Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Events this summer, I thought I’d share a few of my Favorite Phone Photographs from Disneyland, plus a few words on the shots that might inspire you to shoot more on your next visit! Bonus: Over at Disney Sisters, we’re sharing phone photos captured at Disney California Adventure. Just because, we love both parks so much!

The Iconic Shot

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland

True, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle has been photographed a gazillion times but you gotta get the shot! I have noticed that shooting it almost every visit, there are always external variables that change the way it looks. In this case, I was lucky to have some interesting clouds to add some drama. Capturing it from inside of Fantasy Land (instead of from Main Street) brings a little something unique.

On a Ride

Autopia Ride at Disneyland

It’s not always easy to capture a moving target. In other words, ride shots aren’t always that easy. In this case, we pulled up at the end of riding Autopia, waiting in the traffic (it is So Cal afterall) and as the car began a slight curve, I was able to call to my daughter so she’d peek her head out. The cars were still so I could capture a prefect moment of her very first solo-ride on Autopia. Focusing on her happy face turned what could have been a regular snapshot into something a little more special.

Sweet Treats

Dole Whip at Disneyland Park

After all these years of visiting Disneyland, I can’t recall ever getting a Dole Whip. That was, until recently. Now, I’m hooked.  When it comes to capturing a shot like this, I wanted the main focus to be the treat itself (which it is because of the cropping) but my favorite part of the shot is my daughter’s smirk. So began our Dole Whip love affair.


Main Street Disneyland

Rarely would you consider processing pictures from a trip to Disneyland into Black & White but in this case, the monochromatic pallet made for some good old fashioned Disney magic. My daughter’s high tops against the texture of the Main Street grate helped up the classic factor.


Night Shots

King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Park

Disneyland at night is fill of wonder.  The way the park is lit up at night will make anyone a believer. I have such good luck shooting night shots with my iPhone, I never hesitate trying my hand at capturing a magical glow. From the glow of dusk to the darkness of late night, photos of Disneyland at night are some of my all time favorites. In this case, I choose to blur the lights with the selective focus tool in Instagram. It gave it just the effect I was after.

Giveaway time:

Phone Photography Project givaway

Now for some more fun! All you need to do is leave a comment here on this post, sharing your favorite Disney photo subject  (could be anything) and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a spot in the online summer photo class The Phone Photography Project and a copy of Elevate the Everyday: A Photographic Guide to Motherhood. If you love taking pictures as much as I do, you will LOVE the class and the book.

You have until Sunday 6/8 midnight PT to enter. I’ll announce winner on Monday. YAY!

I did mention that Disney Sisters are sharing photos too, right? Go check them out. They’re rad. My sisters and their pictures!


Updated 6/10: Congratulations Stephanie! You won the spot in class and a copy of Elevate the Everyday!

Feeling Lightheaded (in the best way) with a Lightheaded Beds Giveaway

November 4, 2013

The Glow of Lightheaded Beds

I’m big on sleep. As in, bordering on the obsessed. Since the start of my adult life, I have been a huge sleep advocate. From afternoon naps to sleeping in late whenever possible, sleep for me has always felt like the best gift I could give myself. I distinctly remember driving across country in my 20s and taking every opportunity to sack out in the back of the VW bus, as I listened to my best friend say, “I can’t believe you’re sleeping through this”.  But, I didn’t let that stop me. I just, unapologetically fell asleep.

Many years later I had my first child and the patterned continued. Not as much for me and my sleep, but for hers.  Ever since then, my family can attest that sleep has become one of my main motherhood “things”. Since my kids we’re just babies through today, I have fixated on the importance of sleep, doing everything in my power to keep to any shred of a sleep schedule that I could grasp. For some parents it might be food, for others maybe play, but for me, it is and probably always will be sleep. From keeping track of napping hours to being vigilant about regular bed times, I have been a mother on a mission to ensure my kids are getting the sleep they need, and maybe even more than they need. I did admit it borders obsession after all.

Once my daughter started High School I had to start letting go of my tight grip on her sleep schedule. Freshman year was a huge transition for all of us, with my teen’s busy schedule, rigorous homework load and never ever enough time in the day for her to get it all done. So, the days turned into nights—late, late nights—and I had to helplessly watch as she slowly weaned herself off of the sleep routine I had pushed so hard to set. It wasn’t easy, but I had no choice. And now, as she’s headlong into her Junior year, it’s just as bad, if not worse as on many nights I go to bed long before she does, although I will admit it still pains me to do so. At least now, she’ll sleep in on weekends (when she doesn’t have something going on) and she’ll nap whenever possible (I believe she might be coming around to my way of thinking).

Thankfully, I am still able to somewhat regulate the sleep schedule of my 10-year-old which now I know will be short lived. Alas, I will do what I can when I can. Viva la Sleep!

It would stand to figure when I was recently given the opportunity to give my girls the experience of new—and awesome—Lightheaded Beds, I was pretty excited. My draw to Lightheaded Beds is obvious to anyone who knows me. Beyond the emphasis on style and variety of the beds themselves (beds, headboards, footboards, storage) they feature the coolest way to feature photographic images IN the headboard of the bed itself. I know, it’s brilliant, right? For sure one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” inventions. Anytime I can “create my own” anything and use my own photography it’s a plus! And it’s not only the photo part that I love, it’s the glowing nightlight part that made it that much more awesome.  Sure, I have a teenager than doesn’t sleep as often as I wish she would, but with her new Lightheaded Bed, she can be in bed while studying, reading, using her laptop, ipad, iphone with this beautiful glowing photography (her beloved NY at night skyline that I shot on a recent trip) illuminating her as she works and eventually drifts off to sleep. Yes, there is a timer that can be set for the light to go out all by itself. Swoon. If you don’t have your own photos to use, but you love the whole idea of a Lightheaded Bed, you can order from their huge selection of options right from their website.

As for my 10-year-old, this is one of the best beds I could have ever asked for for her, mainly because of her love (and need) of a nightlight. The glow of her photo (a shot I took of the Disney World skyline on our visit) not only comforts her but helps ease her to sleep. One of the most exciting things about this bed for her (and I would imagine children even younger than her) is not just the choice of what photo she can display but having her very own remote control where she can set the strength of the light and the timer, all by herself. It’s pretty sweet.

Lightheaded Beds Disney

Want to check out a Lightheaded Bed for yourself? Besides being available online, Lightheaded Beds are now available at your local Sam’s Club. Coolio!

And drumroll please…as a part of this sponsored post, Lightheaded Beds in partnership with Today’s Mama is offering an awesome giveaway right here on my blog so that YOU can win your own Canterbury style Lightheaded Bed in white or chestnut and a coupon for a few photos of your own or from their library of options. Huzzah! You’ve got 2 weeks from today to enter. And hint: for a way to get an extra entry,  just follow Your’s Truly on Instagram. Easy-peasy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!

Traveling Along The Pursuit of Happiness Path

September 4, 2013

 The Pursuit of Happiness

Have you ever gone through a period of time in your life when everything that’s put in your path seems to somehow correlate or connect with something else on your path? Like all of the things that you’re going through, dealing with, meditating on, wondering about, struggling with are all tied together with an invisible string? I’m in that kind of period right now and there hasn’t been a day that’s passed over the past few weeks that hasn’t given me this overwhelming feeling that there are important messages being whispered, truths being revealed, breakthroughs being made, transformations occurring.

I have had this sort of thing happen a number of times throughout my life. I have actually had times when I felt like I was moving through my days in slow motion, acknowledging that when I moved slow enough with heightened awareness that I could actually hear the Universe dictating my next move to me before I made it. I know, crazy, right?

This time though, it’s different. Instead of hearing the instructions before I make a move, it’s more like I’m getting signs of affirmations after my steps forward. On one day I’ll start cleaning out my closet and the next my horoscope reads that my well-being depends on my ability to create space. Or soon after having a conversation with a friend about longing for more childlike play in my life, I get an invitation to an amusement park. These simplified examples might seem like insignificant coincidences but I consider them synchronicities; nods of encouragement from the Universe, Yes, Tracey, keep walking. You do know the way.

This is exactly how I felt reading every chapter of Britt Reints’ new book An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness. Through Britt’s bravely honest stories and her refreshingly crystalline insights I am reminded that I am indeed, moving in the right direction in my daily journey into my best and happiest life. Britt’s delivery is much like that of a trusted friend; someone wise who speaks earnestly from experience, someone kind who only wants the best for you (but doesn’t sugar coat the truth), someone comforting who assures you there is nothing wrong with you and reminds you that everything really is going to be OK, even when it’s hard. And you know what? I totally believe her.

I finished the book with tears in my eyes feeling like someone had just wrapped me in a warm blanket and kissed my forehead which is exactly what I needed because, let me tell you, the path can really take a toll. But, I will continue to forge ahead, grateful for respites like this book that nurture and renew my spirit along the way. Britt reminds and reassures us that “happiness is not a linear path, but rather a circular journey along which we are constantly learning”. Indeed.

Let’s walk on.


Amateurs Guide to the Pursuit of HappinessI’m thrilled to be offering up a signed copy of An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness by Britt Reints today to one lucky person! It’ll be a random drawing. Leave a comment on this post between now and Sunday 9/8 at midnight ET for your chance to win. This is an awesome book so you are going to want to win!

And speaking of winners, want a chance to win a class registration in Picture Everyday? Britt’s giving one away on her blog In Pursuit of Happiness. YAY!

desire to inspire

November 4, 2011

You probably wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that my greatest desire in my life’s work is to inspire people; to see the beauty in everyday life, to tell their stories, to look at the world through new eyes (including the lens of a camera). That being said, I was honored to have been invited to contribute to the new book by Christine Mason Miller called Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World (due out in late November).

From now until the book hits the shelves, Christine (aka Swirly) will be featuring all of the awesome contributors from the book on her blog. I am delighted to be in the company of such inspiring ladies!

Pop over and check out the inspirational goodness in anticipation of a book with a Desire to Inspire! And in celebration of the book, Christine is generously giving away a wall piece to one of you! All you need to do is to leave a comment here between now and Sunday night at midnight PST for you chance to win one of these beauties!

Looking forward to hearing from you! And while you’re here, do share what inspires you. Something about inspiration…when you share it, it becomes that much more inspirational. Am I right?

Oh, and FYI, Amazon offers a fantastic glimpse into the pages of Desire to Inspire so you can sneak a peek! You can’t imagine how beautiful it is!


and the winner is…Heather S. YAY! Congrats Heather!

3 times the fun : a giveaway

August 13, 2011

Summer is still the season at hand and the Clark family is managing to squeeze in as much fun as possible. As tells the story of my Instagram stream.

And speaking of fun…I’m so super-excited to be giving away a spot in my soon-coming class The Art of Compostion. You know, the class I’ve been talking about non-stop because right now I’ve got compostision on the brain!

You know what else? Shutter Sisters (this weekend) AND Ali Edwards (next weekend) are giving away class spots too. That’s what 3 times the fun is all about! Friends and Fun! Woohoo!

So, all you’ve got to do is comment here between now and Sunday at 8pm PST for your chance to win a complimentary spot in class. And be sure to head to Shutter Sisters today and Ali’s blog next Sat. for more chances to win the goods!

And while you’re here, I’d love to here about your summer fun, before it slips away.


and the winner is…

Diane Meade-Tibbetts. Congrats Diane! Woohoo!

summer fun

July 29, 2011

I have been so excited about this news, I’m about to burst! I am delighted to announce my new partnership with the amazing ladies of Big Picture Classes and the stellar team of Paper Coterie in the creation of the new (and totally adorable) Picture Summer photo book!

The Picture Summer book was designed with my Picture Summer e-class prompts in mind with the intention that once you captured 30 super-splashy images of summer, you could then easily upload those images into this customizable photo book appropriately called Picture Summer. Fun prompts to shoot for from the class and a keepsake book to honor your photography? Yep! I’m totally in love.

In honor of the summer fun, Big Picture Classes, Paper Coterie and myself are all giving away a Picture Summer class registration and a Picture Summer book bundle to blog readers. We’re calling it a blog hop so you can hop around to all three blogs and enter to win at any or all of our blogs!

Leave a comment here between now and August 4th midnight EST for a chance to win. A winner will be selected from the comments here on Aug 5th.

If you’re so inclined, we would love to see what kind of summer fun you’ve been having this season! Share some of that summer photography with us! 


(Drumroll please)

And the winner is….Chris who commented,  Sounds like fun! and love the new look of the blog!

Congrats Chris and thank you to everyone who commented! I appreciate your support so much.