diy colored flash diffusers

I'm having such a great time playing around with my old(ish) DSLR, Sony Alpha 200 and my new portable flash (super inexpensive yet high quality - search Bower SF02965 on Amazon) that I wanted to share it with all of you.

But... like I've mentioned before, I totally suck at tutorials. I try but I just can't bring myself to meticulously take the pictures during the process and organize everything just right. It just takes the fun out of it and I'm not sure why it's worth doing if I don't enjoy being in that in-the-moment, creative zone and getting my hands dirty.

So... what I can do is give you a good idea of how I made these and then maybe you can go from there. You can do it! If you have any questions, I can try to answer them in the comments below.

Have fun! Experiment! Break the rules! Do it your way!

Step One: Find a translucent, creamy white, plastic take-out container. Not opaque like a milk container but still white.

Step Two: Make some (very) loose measurements - I totally eyeballed it four times - and cut your plastic so that it will fit over your portable flash with overhang on top and bottom. Now score the plastic with a craft knife at top and bottom where you'll be folding it over the flash. This just makes it fold over easier.

Step Three: Use Sharpies to color your diffuser if you want. You could make a solid color like I did or experiment with gradients.

Step Four: Fold over a long piece of duct tape so that it's not sticky except for at the very end. Now you want to wrap it all around the sides of your plastic diffusers to keep the light in (instead of flooding out the sides) when you snap a pic. Then wrap a regular long piece of duct tape around that so that everything is secure on all four sides.

Step Five: Add clear male velcro to your flash and small female velcro dots to the inside of your diffusers. Because your flash is inexpensive, adding a few dots of velcro doesn't hurt so much and you can have more fun and be more inspired by your equipment instead of feeling like things have to be babied due to the fortune you spent. These cameras are pricey enough, amiright? May as well have a good time using them.

That's it. These are really fun to play with in low light so that they illuminate your subject nicely with various hues. I'll try to get some pictures of the inside of the diffusers, velcro, etc. as well as some test shots with each color in the near future and tack them on to this post with a quick edit. ;D 

simple love and gratitude

I love listening to my husband sing in the shower. We've got an anniversary coming up and that sound has been one of my favorites for six years now. I can't help but curve into a cheek-sore smile every time I catch him belting out a few lines off Sam's Town. Some notes are flat, sometimes he cracks, occasionally he even gets a couple lyrics wrong. None of that matters one bit. Among many in my life, those moments are something I'm extremely grateful for.

Being able to experience gratitude is one of the keys to happiness, in my opinion. But don't take my word for it. Do some Googling on your own, check out this site, then see what you think.

One of the things that seems to get in the way of gratitude is fear. We're often too afraid to express gratitude, especially if we've been hurt in the past and we're sure someone will use our niceness against us. Or sometimes we hold grudges and let old resentments stop us from expressing positive feelings in the moment. We think the other person doesn't deserve our gratitude because they've wronged us in the past. These fearful emotions seem rational at the time but all they really do is keep us feeling separate from those important people in our lives that we care about and appreciate.

So, let's resolve to put ourselves out there. Let's be brave for love and express our deep gratitude for even the simplest moments in life. Because in between those extremes of craziness and humdrumminess we can hear our wild hearts beating in time if we listen hard enough. It's then we remember who we are and know real joy.

Journal/Sketch Prompt: What are you grateful for today? Can you come up with at least one thing (three if you're feelin' feisty) that makes your heart sing; something that causes a wave of joy to crash over your shoulders and makes you laugh or even cry?