Open Thread Thursday!

Since it worked pretty well last time, I’m going to make it a regular feature!

The way it works is you just post any question you have in a comment and other readers can comment with an answer to your question or post one of their can be about parenting, photography, or just whatever you feel like throwing out there!

So, what’s on your mind?

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Open Thread Thursday I thought we'd try something new today!  If it works, I'll make it a regular feature :) Back...
Open Thread Thursday! The way it works is you just post any question you have in a comment and other readers can comment with...
Open Thread Thursday! The way it works is you just post any question you have in a comment and other readers can comment...
Open Thread Thursday The way it works is you just post any question you have in a comment and other readers can comment...
Yvonne says:

Anybody out there who is thinking about getting a cleaning lady IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY! Have someone come every other week. You will never regret it. I would get rid of my cell phone before I would get rid of my cleaning lady!

For all the working moms out there trying to balance everything, I have a book for you: “Just Let Me Lie Down.” I forget the author. An easy read and you can read one paragraph a night for a couple months until you finish it. Or a couple years.

Aimee says:

Ok to correct my histogram statement. :-) I do know what it is I just never use it.

Aimee says:

If you have a canon you can lock your metering and get perfectly exposed skin tones every time. You just have to re meter and lock each time the light changes. I spot meter for portraits and I have no problems with exposure being off. It works best on subjects who understand that they need to be still for a sec to lock metering. I tend to use partial for the kids. I don’t use the histogram. Couldn’t even tell you how it works.

Also you need to be in AV to use this method. It is amazing.

When people ask me how I do it all, I tell them I don’t. That article reads exactly how my life is. My friends always want to know how I have time to blog. Well I make it one of my priorities. It isn’t an option. Am I the best house keeper? No, but why bother when the kids mess it up right behind you!

Maggie says:

Thanks, guys! Basically this started a bit ago when DS’s best buddy started calling me Maggie. It stopped, but then after our 4th of July BBQ when there were a lot of people around the first name calling started up again. Sigh….I suppose we just have to hope it will drop soon. I just feel silly because I would laugh at it if it wasn’t my problem!

Judy, I feel worse for you! If every important female in my DS’s life was “Momma” too, I would be feeling totally jealous. I’ll hope more for you than for me that this is a phase!

ariana says:

Fiona, yes, that’s it! The mode basically tells the camera WHERE to draw it’s information from. So I use “spot” metering which draws from the center focus point ONLY. The advantage to that over say evaluative (where it takes into acount EVERYTHING in the frame) is evident in say a backlit situation where if you used evaluative you would way underexpose because the light from behind is so bright.

But even then, reading the histogram is pretty essential IMO – I really NEVER just meter and then shoot without checking the histogram first!

Fiona says:


My in-laws said that where the child calls you by your name is one to watch out for and that my husband did it when he was young. The way to get around it they reckon is to have the significant other in your life or other significant figure in your child’s life call you what you want your child to call you. So it’s like your husband calling you Mama, Mom, Mommy – whatever it is….and you calling your hubby ‘Dad, Daddy, Papa etc. It seems weird….but apparently it works….

Judy N – Awww I feel sorry for you. My baby said Nana (Granny) before Mama – I was so hurt. She’s only 7.5 months – as if she even understands what she is saying…but it still hurt. Poor you. It will pass I am sure.

Ariana – I did watch the histogram tutorial a long time ago, and now I actually have a histogram….I will watch again. Thank you for the link. Can you tell me though…what is the relationship between exposure and metering? Is the metering mode you choose telling the camera which part of the image to concentrate on when calculating correct exposure? Why doesn’t everyone just use their histogram? Is there anything funky you can do depending on the metering mode used?


Fiona x

Judy N says:

Hey Maggie,

Well, my DS started calling all the ladies he loves in his life (both grandmas, his aunt, a good friend of mine who babysits him occasionally) “MAMA”…and it makes me sad, too. Why can’t I be the only one with the title of “mama?” I feel sad (and perhaps a bit jealous?!?!) when I hear him calling other people that…and a part of me goes into denial assuming he is actually saying “gr’MAMA” or some other stretch of the word to make myself feel like I’m the only true mama. ;) I’m hoping this is a phase, and hopefully, your DS calling you Maggie is one, too!

ariana says:

LOL Maggie (or should I say “mommy?”) I haven’t had this problem yet so maybe someone else can chime in! My guess though is it’s just a phase – did he only RECENTLY grasp that you have a name (other than mommy!)? He might just be trying it out!

Fiona, metering is definitely important to get you in the ballbark but reading your camera’s histogram to make sure you are exposing correctly is REALLY what’s useful. Have you seen this tutorial?

JB, how do you find the time to do everything BUT dust and do the floors? Somehow, no matter how much free time I have, I never manage to find time to scrub the bathroom ;)

Carol – I will try! That’s part of what I wish I had more time for :(

Maggie says:

Ya’ll…I need help! Ariana, this may work better as a Mommy SOS, but I’ll post it here because it is on my mind and I hope I’m not the only person that has this problem!

Lately, DS is calling me Maggie. Sometimes Mom, sometimes Momma, most of the time Maggie. As in…wakes up from nap and yells “MAGGIE!! MAGGIE!! ALL DONE!!”…and while I find it a tiny bit funny (if it was someone else I would probably laugh at the problem) but it is totally frustrating to me. If I don’t respond, he’ll eventually say Mom or Momma, but his first choice is always Maggie.

I know it is silly, but I feel like a bad mom because he won’t call me Mom :(

Fiona says:


Love this thread.

Metering is a mystery to me, but so much of what I have read says that it is necessary to master this aspect of photography. Would love someone to come along an explain!!!

More hours in the day would be fantastic. Lots of money to pay home help…yep…I wish I had that too!

We moved house recently and the in-laws came to help. I must admit I was mortified about the dust bunnies ALL OVER when anything was moved….MIL wasn’t impressed but really…life’s too short.

Ariana, great product you have there, I hope one day I will buy it…need to go pro first…long way to go!

Fiona x

carolyn says:

First of all, thank you for being so open to discussion and idea sharing on your blog!

Something I’ve been struggling with is feeling sexy again after having and breastfeeding two children (they are both under 3). I’m not speaking so much physically as I am emotionally, though I know they are intertwined. It’s more about getting my head around who I am now and how the mother side of me can coexist in the same body as the sexual side of me – especially since my body will never look like it did before I was pregnant. Is anyone else struggling with this or have any advice?

jbhat says:

I need more hours in the day too. Or maybe I just wish I had enough money to hire someone to dust and do the floors. How much does that cost anyway?? I am betting that it would be worth it.

carol says:

hi Lauren.. just like Ariana, i was just going to say have you read EASY AS PIE? well, thats the only advice i can give on pricing.. email me if u need info.

Ariana, i miss your photography tutorials! i’d love to learn more from you…

ariana says:

Lauren – thanks for the link to that post!!

As far as the sales issue, I’m just navigating this as well. But, my sense is that the way to raise sales is to make sure you are reaching your target market (ie people with MONEY!) and the best way to do that is to raise your prices!! You give the whole disc for $500, which is a disincentive to order anything else. Have you read Easy as Pie yet? That totally change my perception on pricing. Yes, you will lose clients, but the clients you DO get will be your target market and you will work less for more. That’s the plan anyway :)

Lisa: spot metering really is more touch and go from far away. To be perfectly honest, I mostly just adjust exposure based on reading my histogram and almost ignore the meter completely. GASP!!!

Jen says:

Ariana, related to your first post, I’m totally with you. I think, for me, it’s been about acceptance and removing the guilt. In my pre-parent life I used to be really into endurance sports. For the first year after my son was born, I felt terribly guilty every time I saw my bike. So I sold it. And I bought a new camera :) The first week I felt really weird about it. But now I know it was the best decision for me, for now.

I’m also a list maker. Just putting the things down and creating a plan is a bit therapeutic. But it’s important to not beat myself up when I completely fail on my weekend list. Sometimes a beautiful day demands a bike ride (on my remaining bike, the one with a bike seat :) ) with the family.

I still stink at balance, but I’ve found removing the guilt and accepting that I can’t do everything right now is ok. My nails need to be filed, there are house projects in various states of completion, our meals are getting more pathetic by the day, but when I’m with my son, I’m happy. When I’m photographing, I’m happy. Summer is fleeting, and a fun day at the pool trumps a freshly painted bathroom any day.

kari says:

ariana – i could ditto your post…. and that is pretty much the comment i would (should) have left on your post yesterday… but alas… i had no time!

my question / quandry has to do with TV… how much is too much? do you limit the television time? the ALWAYS available kids programming seems harmless enough – but so many are SO against the boob tube no matter what channel it is on. i am finding it hard to put a boundary around this issue.


Lisa says:

I am confused about the whole metering process. I have been metering off the subject’s skin for exposure but when I move say 5-10 feet back and take the picture it is underexposed. What am I doing wrong?

lauren says:

I’ve been in business now for 2 years and I think I’m severly lacking in the sales department. Most of my clients orders consist of small gift prints. Very rarely does anyone order anything larger than a 11×14, and I’ve never even sold a canvas. I don’t have a studio – I’m on location and work out of my home office – so I don’t have anywhere to “show” people how great these large prints, groupings and canvases look. I love your previous post about the wall gallery with real looking rooms, but aside from transitioning to in-person ordering and discounting, what else can I do to ramp up my sales of larger prints and specialty items?

ariana says:

This is what’s on my mind: there is just not enough time in the day!!! Between work, parenting and photography I just can’t seem to keep a house that isn’t disgusting, have any alone time with Jeff or basically do anything else.. it may LOOK like I am balancing it all well – but really I just neglect too many things :(