» Family Photographer Mary Schannen serving Dallas Texas and surrounding areas.

Really – Week 51 already????  This year flew – and the years keep going by faster and faster.

The theme this week is ‘stories’.  I took these the morning after Christmas last year.  The boys were playing so quietly with their new toys.  I call it ‘Peaceful Mornings’.


Ok- so now go check out my talented photog. friend – Jessica Marchetti Photography to see her stories. 🙂

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  • Katie - Beautiful light and gorgeous processing! Such a sweet, peaceful time 🙂

  • Stories | Jennifer Bruss Photography - […] visit Mary Schannen - to see her photo for this week! Recommend on Facebook Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on […]

  • Jen - Oh that light! Simply beautiful.

  • jess - love these! they are super peaceful. i love the light coming in the window. so gorg.

  • Melanie - These images definitely look peaceful. I love the peaceful mood of all the shots! Merry Christmas Mary!

Ok – over at Bloom there has been  a lot of discussion about  Visual Supply.  Visual Supply is the manufacturer of presets for both ACR and Lightroom that emulate the look of film.  You can even tweak some of the presets – darkening , adding contrast, highlights, tone, etc.   I was not convinced to try it until Bloom did an interview with Sean Flanigan, a photographer with a very unique, almost quirky style that I think is just fantastic.  Apparently, he shoots digital but processes with VSCO.  After seeing his work – I had to give it a try!

I’ve always loved the look of film but have never delve into that part of photography yet.  I started photography in the digital age.  I do have aspirations to learn film some day, but of course -photography is a never ending learning process. Until I invest in a film camera and fim itself – I will explore the VSCO presets and see how it turns out.

I got them yesterday.  We have our good friends from Chicago coming in tomorrow, so I did not get too much of a chance to fiddle – but I did process my 10 on 10 photos this week with the presets for ACR.  These presets are really fashioned to work with PS CS5 and I use CS4, so the grain functions did not work.  But I was ok with that (my iso was so up there on a bunch of these that I already had a good amount of grain!)

I know I should have a ‘uniform’ look to my photos, but I’m still not 100% sure which presets I am most drawn to.  So I chose my favorite look for each one of these.  There are a couple that I accidentally did not write down exactly which film preset I used, but most of them I did.  I’m sure the more I work with these, the more I will start picking my favs!

A little on the 10 on 10 – I’ve joined a group of talented photographers at Bloom on a 10 on 10 project.   Basically – We pick one day in a month, take one image per hour for 10 hours, then post them on the 10th of the month.  I’ve really enjoyed this project – It forces me to take my camera out and try to be as creative as possible with most everyday moments.  Even if it’s not creative – just documenting the details is enough to satisfy me!

After looking at these – Please head on over to Krista Lund to see what her day was like.

Morning Shower.

Not sure which preset exactly – one of the ilford HPS.

PINIMAGEDad doing the finishing touches – especially since Daddy himself has the same haircut!  🙂

Fuji 160C-

PINIMAGEPP&J always tastes better when you make it  yourself!

Again – not 100% sure – but one of the Fuji’s

PINIMAGEOn my last 10 on 10 post where I caught my son trying to get to his Halloween candy in the panty, there were a few comments about the  pantry in the background.  So I figured I would share my neurosis with you.  :).  This is my favorite room in the house!  I do wish it had a window, (and a seating area for reading would be nice too.) But I have to tell you, in a household of chaos, I walk in here and find my serenity.  I look around, turn the labels forward, make sure the containers and boxes are aligned,  make sure there’s not a food or cleaning item we don’t need or will never use (they will be donated).  (Some day I will have all those boxes matching – the plastic both on the upper and the lower shelves – lol).  For some reason, I enjoy emptying the cereal/crackers/cookies in the containers to fill up the shelves.  I have too many cleaning products – I KNOW!  I’m trying to cut down – and for a while was only using green products from a certain company.  They were ok – but I ended up reverting back to the chemical windex to clean the countertops (fruit fly drama – a whole different story).  So for some reason – no matter how much I go through those cleaning products – I still feel that we are using each and every one of them.  I really don’t like the way the plastic bags look.  My husband put that up there and I just kind of want to get rid of them (garage possibly?).  It’s just easy to put the bags there – ykwim?

Just to clarify – I’m really NOT an obsessive organized person.  I would like to be – but this is as much as I can maintain at the moment.  I created this in the winter-spring of 2011 – it was a procrastination project and it seemed to have worked.  🙂

Some day I’ll post an image of my friend’s pantry – not only is it organized – but she put damask wallpaper up on the walls!   I’m soooo jealous!!!  LOL

Kodak Portra 800-

PINIMAGEMy five year old’s wish list for Santa – Ok – Let’s see if I got this right – Michael Schannen, 11-25-11, phone, ipad,  itoca, exodioder, daeaoow, Hot Wheels Ro___, cihi chris cross cna…..     OK – any help here would be appreciated!  I should ask his teacher.  She’s an expert at reading five year olds…..

PINIMAGEKodak 400++ with fill light +++ (those bw presets are so yummy)PINIMAGE

Chris is obsessed with sports teams!

Kodak Portra 800 with Creamy Highlights

PINIMAGEFootball teams with their icons.  A favorite pastime for my older one!

Fuji 800z+

PINIMAGEA holiday visitor – He comes to entertain us every year.

Fuji 400H-

PINIMAGEOK – Seriously -  our dog ate our next door neighbor’s shoe!

Kodak Portra 160-PINIMAGE

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  • Jena - – Wow! You are going out to get what you want and dragging it back home with you. That was proabbly a really weird sentence, but what I meant was YOU’RE ROCKING THE FILM! I know we don’t know each other. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Aisha. I like your work. I shoot too. Enough about me though. I think this is a really exciting post because you’re making life work for you and by life I mean film, but I also mean life. Keep up the amazing shooting!

  • Angela - What a great blog

  • online pharmacy uk prescription - great site,good info!

  • celestejones - I love the variety that you have. Your processing is to die for, and the Christmas list. You just have to save that, so sweet:) TFS friend:)

  • Amy - Can you please come organize my whole house? Love all of these, Mary!

  • Melissa - I loved looking through your day! I appreciate the pantry photo….just as last month. 😉

  • Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - That first picture is so perfect, the black and white and everything about it is amazing. And your pantry looks so organized, please come do mine!

  • Cris - Mary, loooooove your work. I have been seing your pictures in the bloom. Great job in your 10 on 10. My have: #1. Crazy about the light, the motion, the editing… the peace it transmit.

    BTW I have no words to describe your pantry! Crazy!!!!

  • Krista Lund - these are all wonderfully taken and processed. a friend told me about these presets too! off to check out their site 🙂

  • Pam - Love that you expiremented with the different textures! I think the first one is my favorite. He looks so relaxed!

  • Jennifer - Love your images so much and yes, now I have pantry envy! And… I think your son may want… a dragon? Let’s hope Santa thinks that through first…

  • kit womble - I think the 3rd and 4th ones are iTouch and exploders? LOL!
    Very cute.

    I agree about the pantry, it looks darn organized to me! I was impressed! Damask is hard not to love though, so I understand what you’re saying 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these. They are wonderful!

  • Cara - I love this glimpse of your day and a look at these presets in action. I love your b/w’s with these and I now have a little pantry envy going on.

  • Laurie - You are so creative Mary.. I know you will rock film presets.
    It’s hard to imagine your friend having a more fabulous pantry than yours.. but I see how the damask can pump it up just a bit. 🙂
    Love your 10 on 10 post for Dec. I’m always inspired by your photo’s!

I’ve joined a 52 week group over at Bloom and this week’s theme is Time.

Ok – looking at this photo of my son – Where in the world does ‘Time’ fit in?  Well – this is my baby.  My baby who will be turning six in two days.  My baby who is about half way through kindergarten already, and just lost his first tooth.  My baby who is learning to write and read, plays a mean soccer, likes to tell jokes and is very artistic (ahem, I’ll take credit for that one!).  Where did the TIME go?  He looks so grown up in this image  – the pose, the outfit, the boots – no more baby clothes for this kid.  (He does dictate what he will and will not wear based on whether or not it’s ‘cool’).  I regret not having too many baby photos of him.  We tend not to dote on the second one as much.   They also grow up much faster than that first child.  (I could only imagine how quickly the third or fourth one grow!).

He started kindergarten, so feeling like an empty nester, we adopted two dogs.

Where did the time go?PINIMAGE

Now head on over to Jessica Marchetti – Dallas Family Photographer – to see her ‘time’.  🙂

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  • Katie - Another post to make me shed a tear! My youngest son is 5 and there’s something about the baby not being the baby anymore. 🙁
    Sweet shot of your little guy! He’s adorable!

  • Jen - Happy birthday to your son! These are precious days and memories. My parents told me the other day that THESE are the good ole days. 🙂

  • Melanie - Your son definitely looks cool (and grown-up) in this image! I think time speeds up once you have kids. Happy Birthday to your son!

Love these two – always so excited and full of life.  Carly is just a sweetheart with such a pensive expression at times and Cloie is always a bundle of fun and energy!  We love these two and am so glad they are good friends of ours!


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  • Nancy Schumacher - Mary these are so beautiful!! Love the processing on them. Love your work 🙂

  • Ginger Unzueta - beautiful ! I love those red boots!!! and love that pinwheel shot!!!

  • Kelly - Such beautiful pictures of two beautiful girls!

  • Tiffany - They are beautiful! Thank you!

  • sarah costa - Your work is just stunning. I love the first image and the girls throwing leaves into the water… all of them are just gorgeous.

  • Jen - I absolutely LOVE these photos, Mary! Beautiful! Your black and whites are breathtaking and the pinwheel photograph? Could be in a magazine!

  • leah - Love the haze and B&W conversion! Beautiful girls =) Thanks for sharing

Today is Sunday.  I was supposed to have a photoshoot, however the high today will be 50 degrees and with the wind chill, it will feel like 35 degrees!  I know in a good amount of the country, that’s not too cold, but in Texas, it’s chilly.  I really only take a very limited amount of paid sessions, so I would rather we reschedule for  a nicer day if the client is able to, and thankfully, today’s client was happy to reschedule the shoot.  So….I had a free day with the family.

My husband works a lot, and often from home.  For the Thanksgiving break – he was supposed to be on vacation from Wednesday through Sunday, but he had ‘Continuing Education’.  30 something hours of work he had to do over vacation.  Some vacation! – but that’s ok.  He got most of it done pretty quickly except for today……He sat at the computer most of the day (similar to me doing a few editing sessions).  I knew I needed something to do for both myself and the kids!

I ran out to Walmart.  Initially it was to pick up some quick photo props, however as I passed through the Christmas section, I got another idea for what we could do today.    Create an easy DIY Christmas Town.  (Again – I stress – EASY!)


House Gift boxes from Walmart – 1.75 each – I used six.

8 sheets scrapbooking paper

modpodge with sponge to apply it

Poster Frame


Christmas tree ornaments and/or any other item you may want to add – A lot of Christmas ornaments make cute additions.

Glue Gun


These are gift boxes I found that inspired the idea.  How easy and cute!

PINIMAGEAnd then I saw some Tree Christmas ornaments. PINIMAGE

Modpodge, scrapbook paper (8 sheets), trimmer, poster board frame, scissors and glue gun (not shown).  PINIMAGE

Really  you  could use any flat surface to adhere the paper to, but I found this multi-purpose poster frame at Walmart for $7.  I liked that it had plexiglass and a frame. PINIMAGE

Take the frames, plexiglass and paper off and you have a cardboard.  Put Modpodge on – then add your scrapbook paper.

PINIMAGEOK – Well for this project, I didn’t pay too much attention- bubbles all over.  You can push those out – and I could have tried a little harder, but I’m ok with this.  I trimmed the roads and cut the excess with scissors. PINIMAGE

Put it in the plexiglass frame.  (Edit – I would put some hot glue inside the frames before attaching them so they are secure.   I had to do that after the kids played with this for a while).PINIMAGE

With the glue gun, I added the houses and trees.  This is pretty bare bones, but we did this quickly yesterday.  I’ll probably add things like lights, and some more elements either this year or in future years.  I know you (espcially the scrapbookers) can be much more creative and detailed if you wanted to. PINIMAGE

Mikey couldn’t wait to get his cars to play!  He and a friend had a great time. PINIMAGE

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  • Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - Oh my goodness look at you ms crafty, this is so awesome!!! I love the colors!

  • Laura - What an amazing fun project!!! Great job documenting this and letting us all know about it!

  • Kim Rollwitz - What%20fun%20and%20what%20a%20great%20idea.%20Love%20the%20last%20shots%20with%20little%20fingers%20showing%20holding%20the%20toy.

  • Kim Rollwitz - What fun and what a great idea. Love the last shots with little fingers showing holding the toy.

  • Krista Lund - i heart pinterest too! what a cool project!

  • Sarah Bunch - Such a cool project, Mary!! You are so creative. I love it!

  • Sarah Bunch - What a cool project, Mary! I love this idea. So creative!

  • Tara Carman - So cute and crafty! My 3 year old son is quite impressed, too. 🙂

  • Carrie Terrones (Las Vegas Photographer) - Such a great idea…love the thought and creativity that went into this project!

  • Christine - Super cute and creative!

  • Melinda - Such a cute idea Mary! I know the kids had fun putting it together.

So much to be thankful for.  So much.

This is an older image, but it speaks to me this time of year.  We just put up the Christmas lights.  One needs fixing, but who cares.  The boys love it.  Even though often they often beg for material things – the ipad, a toy every time we go to Target, whatever their friends may have, at least when the lights go up every year, my boys are happy.  They just love the tradition of Christmas lights and that will keep them occupied for the season.  Appreciating something as special – I am thankful for that in this image.  I am also thankful that they are best buds.

Please head on over to see Katie – Kate Suzanne Photography – Heber Springs/Little Rock Photographer to see her Thanks and Giving image!


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  • Katie - Oh my! This is gorgeous! Such a dreamy, beautiful image 🙂 I LOVE it!!!

  • Liz - What a sweet & peaceful image. Beautiful!

  • Jen - Such a pretty image. I love this peaceful feeling!

  • Melanie - Wow! What a beautiful, peaceful image! We’ll be putting up our Christmas lights this weekend too. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

I have joined up – rather VERY late in the year, with a group of very talented photographers from Bloom for our 52 week project.  Basically there is a theme for each week and we post our interpretation of that theme.  This week’s theme is ‘Tradition’.   Ok – just so you know, we do not have our Christmas decorations up yet.  However, this year, I bought a small tree to go in a certain place – and I got some small decorations for this tree.  My five year old insisted on putting it up (of course as soon as it got home from the store!), so we have a little Christmas tree with just a few decorations so far sitting in the middle of our livingroom.

Not the most creative on the theme – but I had maybe 2-3 days to come up for something for this week and of course – so much other to do.  Hope to come up with something better in future weeks.

Although- I am all about the ‘little’ things…..


Please go visit my talented friend – Jenn Bruss, SC photographer to see what her interpretation was!

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  • Katie - Simply beautiful! So glad to have you in the circle! You do incredible work! 🙂

  • Melanie - Love your composition in this shot Mary! Welcome to our group! 🙂

  • heidi - I think this is a great pic for the theme!!! I really love the bokeh of the greenery and processing. Gorgeous.

  • Allison Jacobs - This is so amazing it took my breath away. I seriously can’t stop looking at it. So great!

  • Jen - Stunning. Absolutely gorgeous!!

Little girls are so much fun.  I adore my two boys, however I often love to play little ‘girl’ style.  They can be so whimsical, love sparkly things, and Katie’s laughter is such a delight to see and hear.  I just can’t help but to pull out the camera to catch it!


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  • diana evans - stunning!!!!

  • Cara @ Mischief and Laughs - Mary, these are adorable! You really captured her spirit. I love your processing on the black and whites. 🙂

  • Val Spring - I have 2 girls for you to photograph anytime you want! ;P
    Thees are stunning, Mary! Love every single one of them but my very faves are the first b&w and the one right above it.

  • Jen - Gorgeous work Mary! Your black and whites are fabulous. You really captured that amazingly free feeling of being a little girl!!

  • Krista Lund - these are SO sweet! I LOVE the first bw. adorable!

  • Chay Hastings - Huge fan of your work! Love the innocence in these. FANTASTIC captures, as usual Mary!!

  • celestejones - These are so light and airy. I love how cute and carefree she is.

  • Angela - Oh, I love the bubbles! Gorgeous light!!

  • Christina - Love the soft, pastel tones! So girlie!!!!

  • Louis Blythe - Great shots! Love the black and whites!

  • heidi - Oh, these are just so so so beautiful!!! 🙂

  • Susan - Beautiful!

  • Stacey - Beautiful as usual Mary. You are just able to capture her spirit and happiness. She may be cute, but you are an amazing artist!

  • sarah costa - Wow so gorgeous I love every image.

  • Jenny - All of these are just gorgeous!!!

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