March Workshops! February Meet Up! This Month’s Assignment & January Notes!

Hi Mamas,

It is a busy month here at Mamas With Cameras! We are opening our March Introduction to Digital Photography and our Level II: Shooting in MANUAL! workshops for registration! We try and post the Introductory workshop to all the local Mamas’ lists (Level II usually fills with our intro alums!), if you are willing to post it to yours, please send me a note and I’ll forward you the SSP!

FEBRUARY 27th: Monday Night MEET UP! Save the date!

Please mark your calendars for our February Meetup! Feb 27th 6:30-8:30pm at Mosaic Coffeehouse ( 4401 2nd Ave NE  Seattle, Washington 98105). This month we will be covering natural light shooting tips for Winter with Mimi Inglin. Mimi is a fellow mama and photographer who specializes in contemporary, natural light photography. She has lots of tips about finding and using natural light in the winter for photographing children, both indoors & out! If she looks familiar to you when you visit her website it is because she is also a TV anchor for KING 5 news! 🙂


This month’s assignment, suggested by our January speaker Kim Screen, is “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”! It’s just what it sounds like, ladies. Get up close and capture those little details that you love about your kiddos, or experiment with cropping photos you have in different ways to highlight different memorable features of your child. As you’ll see in the notes, it could make a great photo book!

Get shooting, and bring your prints to the second half of the February meeting to share with the other Mamas!


Our speaker, Kim Screen of Good Stock Press & Bindery treated us to a beautiful, inspiring and wonderfully creative presentation focused on getting our photos OUT of our computers and into actual books that our children can look at in 20 years! We were settling into our new location at Mosaic Coffeehouse, enjoying tea and the company of all the mamas we’d missed over our winter break! My only wish is that I could somehow pass around Kim’s amazing sample photo books that she brought, which had me misty-eyed over a baby that I didn’t even know personally!

My notes follow, but feel free to leave a comment if I’ve missed anything!

Kim began by asking the group where they currently print their photo books and  talking about her different photo book software favorites:


1. Pinhole press:

-started by a paper company, beautiful paper

-nice binding offering

-more expensive, more special

-too many options can be paralyzing- Pinhole limits your choices, forces you into templates, which helps get it done.

2. Blurb

-greatest flexibility for adding text & photos

-Unique creative concepts for photobooks

-Concepts to inspire your photography

-Photo treatment & text


Kim is a fan of small sweet, single custom books

1. Pick a concept

It’s hard to organize & pick pictures w/out concepts. Here are some fun concepts that Kim suggested to the group:

a) “My favorite things”

Interview your kids and have your kids give direct quotes to incorporate as text (don’t edit their speech patterns, it’s cuter that way!).

For this concept, think about what are they into- favorite outfit, toys, bed, friends

b) “Ruthie behind the camera”

Give your kid the camera, for the cover, take a picture of them taking pictures

c) “Things I am grateful for”

Capture a moment in time, things that you and your family are grateful for right now!

d) “A day in Lila’s shoes”

photograph of shoes on the cover, on the inside morning to night

e) “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”

Photos of head, ear, knees, feet- more of an artistic approach

f) “Ruthie’s Big Adventure”

Pick an adventure- and document it. Write down the things that they say during your day-long adventure.

g) “Hey, look what I made!”

Here is your solution to all that artwork I brought home from school, but don’t limit it to just that! Take photos of the food they made, the mess they made, things they make themselves.


1. Curate well. 2 photos per page. Pick the ones most important

– Create a must-haves folder and a “nice to have” folder.

2. Keep it chronological

3. Balance your photos- balance horizontal, vertical & text

4. Bundle similar pictures- series are an exception to the 2 picture rule, you can have 5 or 6 of the same photo series on a page, they are less jarring to the eye when they’re similar.

5. Use consistent spacing between photos

6. Text treatment- where you can take your photobooks to the next level. If you nail it, it will make a really big difference.

a) Gather your text

-title and dedication pages

-interview your child “what do you like best about your mom” don’t correct their voice, write down verbatim

b) edit your text- less is more

c) let text breathe- leave white space, visual breathing room

7. Pick 2-3 fonts, not more than that (check out free fonts!) one primary font that it very readable. Blurb pulls the fonts from your computer, so if you get fonts at Dafont you can use them in your book!

8. Place text creatively – on top of a photo, vertically, horizontally

At the end of Kim’s presentation, everyone was fired up and ready to get cracking on a new photo book! We are working with Kim to develop an afternoon photo book making workshop, if you are interested in being on the notification list for that, then please leave a comment!

Other random tips from Circle Time:

Expodisc  is a lens filter that will give you the exact WB that you need so that you can input custom white balance. (Note: Wenmei has compiled all the product recommendations and endorsements from the mamas into a Mamas With Cameras page on Amazon, check it out!)

Paper Coterie  has an alphabet book template that is very cute

Classroom in a Book  has Lightroom & Photoshop tutorials in a book format.

Thanks for hanging in there for this whole post (at least I know Anju is reading :-)!) Can’t wait to see you ladies next month! Happy shooting!


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