Posts Tagged: mishelle lane

BlogHer ROYO: How to Take Great Pictures, Whether You Have a DSLR or Point-and-Shoot

It’s been a while, but like almost everything, thanks to time whizzing by, it got away from me.   When Lotus told me that our recording from our photography panel with Rachel at BlogHer was up I had to share it here, along with the actual slide show that we put together for the session.

There’s information about composition, technical stuff, as well as technique, and creativity!  I hope that by listening and viewing the slide-show you are inspired.  As always if you have any questions, what-so-ever, feel free to ask!

I suggest you view the slide-show in full screen.  The pictures ROCK!

Click to play audio:

The Story of BlogHer {Part IV}

Mishelle Lane - BlogHer10 - Saturday-53 Mishelle Lane - BlogHer10 - Saturday-47
Mishelle Lane - BlogHer10 - Saturday-49 Mishelle Lane - BlogHer10 - Saturday-52

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a professional photographer.  I watched others develop their careers, envious of what they were doing and how quickly they had come into their own.

After leaving the portrait studio scene in the late 90’s—for motherhood—the only time I touched a camera was to take pictures of my quickly growing brood of children.   I took it everywhere with me, that much I remember, but the flash was always used and it was only used for snapshots.  I very rarely dabbled in the art of photography; at that point it was just day-to-day documentation.  And, that was more than OK.

In late 2004, though, something sparked in me.  I grabbed our mock-DSLR (a Fujifilm Finepix S5000) and started snapping.  I re-learned some things that were instilled within me during my first photography class in high school, and ran with it.   Little-by-little, I was engrossed again.   Come to think of it, I think the abandonment of my little 1.3MP point and shoot had a lot to do with an incident I like to call “Candy Apple Meets Fujicam in Mishi’s Purse”.  I really don’t like to talk about that much, though.

Fast forward to today.  I am alive with photography, and I see things differently as a result.  I do creative things with my camera, often creating art that is specific to myself and how I see the world around me.   I work as a photographer—documenting events, a family’s beauty, the love of a couple, the sexy appeal of a gorgeous mother.  I travel and speak about photography with other talented photographers.   I do not take light for granted nor my ability to bend it.    I continue to embrace it.


When I asked Lotus if she wanted to submit a “Room of Your Own” for BlogHer, I honestly had no idea what we were getting into, but I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew) that we had to do it.   Imagine how thrilled we were when the ROYO was placed in our hands.  Not only would we be presenting a session based on our idea, to the mix would be added none other than Rachel Devine.

I had followed Rachel (or Sesame Ellis as she’s known) on Flickr for a long time.  I loved her style and loved the fact that she had started blogging, too.   Being a big fan of her work intimidated me a lot.  I told Lotus that I was kind of scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it because Rachel was on a whole different level.

Then it happened.

We connected.

Rachel, Lotus and I connected.

There was this new dynamic that was introduced that is way deeper than any words I choose to use can describe. It’s a mutual respect and admiration that we have for each other.  It’s something that rapidly grew in our short time together, brainstorming and cultivating our presentation via email, Google chat, and Skype.

The meeting before our session, the ROYO itself, the dinner shared at Pazza Notte on Saturday night, and all the hugs and kisses–in between–are now a concrete part of my forever memory.

I <3 My Friends

Thank you Lotus and Rachel—
Thank you for your photogranerdiness!

Meet Mishelle

Photo of Al by Betty in Vaginally Challenged ROYO at BlogHer09

Seventeen years.  That’s how long it’s been since I’ve been graduated from high school.   It’s been over twenty years since I was in the thick of those early high school years.  Those early years where you worry about who you are friends with,  or you worry about who likes you, or how you look, or if you are even good enough.

I tried not to let those worries over-take me, and more often than not they did not.   Instead of choosing who to befriend I decided that I would be friends with everyone.  I’d put my best foot forward and I’d talk to [you] even if you liked green and I hated green; being totally devoted to blue.  If you liked me despite my love of blue, great, that was your choice!  I’m also certain I worried how I looked but I’ve always had this weird thing where I think that I’m the skinniest girl in the whole wide world.  Like, seriously, at my heaviest weight I still thought I was a supermodel.    Confidence, or what have you, I guess?

Enter adulthood.  Enter marriage.  Enter motherhood.  Enter Oh-My-God-I’m-Thirty-Five-and-I-Have-Saggy-Boobs-and-I-am-Fifty-Pounds-Over-Weight-No-Scratch-That-It’s-More-Like-Sixty-But-Who-Cares-Because-I-Still-Am-a-Super-Model-Only-Holy-Moly-Why-Zits-Now!?!

I still feel like I’m that girl from high school that is wanting to be friends with everyone; even those who like green while I still hate green and am devoted to blue as ever before.

I still put my best foot forward, even if I might trip over some Thomas Trains or my own big feet or whatever other obstacle is in front of me.

I still feel like the skinniest girl in the world, and if you don’t see me that way well you must need some glasses (but don’t get the LASIK because it will inevitable fail and you’ll end up in glasses again, only to have them broken by a little boy who thinks he’s Harry Potter, although he says “Scary Potter”, and you don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you see him with your twisted frame upon his head, but I digress.)

* * * * *

We are like dominoes.  Black and White. All falling for each other.

At least I feel like a domino with my dots visible to [you] all and my falling all over [this] life, making mistakes in how I fall, how fast or slow, but always able to be set back up on edge.  Only to fall over and over again. 

Yes, I do believe we are like dominoes.  White and Black.  I enjoy falling for you.

It’s ironic that a friend of mine sent me this song, last night, as I was trying to figure out how to introduce you to me.   If you know me, you know me, and I’m glad to know me, too.

Heads are turning
Each one is yearning
As the one they’re looking at turns away
Hearts are burning
Everything is churning
As the one they’re looking at is getting away
Oh we are like dominoes and we are falling
We’re dominoes and we’re falling head over our toes
And she’s falling for him
And he’s falling for me
And I am falling for somebody else
Who’s falling for you
Oh we are falling like dominoes
Oh we’re falling way too fast
Minds are dreaming each time
Believing that you’ll appear on my doorstep
Maybe today? Maybe today?
Hands are praying
Don’t you hear what I’m saying
Oh I tell you if you borrow me that kind of love
No I won’t run away
I say we’re dominoes and we’re falling head over our toes
Oh we’re falling way too fast
And if I had, oh, one wish it would be to be back
Up on my toes and I would fall as you fall
And turn around
And we would fall down nose to nose
Not like dominoes that are falling
And are falling all in one row now
I say we’re dominoes
And we’re falling head over our toes
And she’s falling for him
And he’s falling for me
And i am falling for somebody else
Who’s falling for you
Oh we are falling like dominoes
Oh we are falling like dominoes
Oh and how I wish
Oh how I wish we were
Oh falling
Oh nose to nose

My Bliss Bubble


{one word.}


I am so amazed at the weekend I just spent.  Not only did I get to meet some of my best internet friends and get reacquainted with ones I had already met,  I made new ones too.  And not only did I make new ones, I fell in love with them.  It was an amazing weekend.  *I can’t even begin to link and name names. That would be insane.  My hope is that I reached out to as many people as possible.  Not only with my camera, but with my spirit and voice.   That’s my hope.

My Shoes

I Did Attend

The weekend started when I woke up at 5:00am, on Friday, to get ready to drive from my home town, northeast of Atlanta, to Nashville.  I left early because I am notoriously late.  That day I was going to be early, dammit.  And I was.  I got there and had time for a quick bite of breakfast and some iced coffee.  Then I went and registered. Then I pulled out my camera and started clicking.  I got some great mingling shots and was feeling pretty good.    I kept checking to see if my room might be ready early so that I could put on my pretty outfit, but it wasn’t.  Then the third time I had checked, the front desk gal sent me on my way with a key. Thrilled; I was beyond thrilled.

I gathered my million things from the van, ran into some awesomeness in the parking lot, and proceeded to get to my room. I was fully prepared to fall into my king sized bed for half-an-hour and then put my face and my outfit on.  However, I got up to my room (315, whut-whut) and it was a mess. The bed was slept in, there were towels on the floor, coffee cups were on the nightstand, and the ironing board was still out and plugged in, though off.  I called to get them to come remedy it, but wasn’t about to leave my stuff there.  I just got online and chilled.  And I tweeted about the state of my room.   Little did the hotel know my little tweet would pale in comparison to the tweets of The Elevator Incident with the Elevator 13 (a/k/a #elevator.)   I was paid a little visit from a new bloggy pal, too.  It was really nice to chat as I got dressed and ready to go.

Kickin Out The Kohl's Shirts

Little did I know that as I started to shoot Friday’s events I would feel majorly inadequate.  I don’t know where these feelings came from other than some bad shots with the really bad lighting.    Honestly, my confidence level dwindled and soon it was non-existent.   I was a total wreck.  Luckily I shared my feelings with a few of the right people.  A few “right people” who have become some of my “favorite right people.”  I went upstairs, had a reality check, and returned to do the fine job that I was called upon to do.   I walked between sessions,  then attended a dressed up cocktail party, then partook in some camera jabbering in the lobby, and then was completely surprised.   Michael showed up a day early; it was awesome.  We caught dinner and then went up to our room.  Bow Chicka Bow Wow.

In the Pink Slip

My Southern Fairy Tale

I woke up on Saturday, got ready, and headed down to the breakfast and special screening.  It was awesome, to say the least.  The special surprise, that morning, was that two of Yanni’s Voices were there to spend some time with us.  It was dazzling, endearing, funny, sexy, wonderful, and just a great experience.  Everyone was more than happy to wait in line to get autographs and a picture taken with Nathan and Ender, too.   The line was deep but I loved taking every single picture.  What I really loved was hearing what women were saying to the guys.  From “I felt you in my bones” to “you made my eyes well up with tears,” I heard all the comments and felt the love, gratitude, and excitement.

Me and the Yanni Boys

I Blog Because I Care

The rest of the day was spectacularly fantastic.  My mojo was definitely back and I worked that camera.  Then it was time for my panel. Michael came and took over snapping while I was up on the panel with Leslie, Deanna, and Jenny.   I think it went really well, too.  Deanna, Jenny, and Leslie are just so awesome.     Afterwards I made some more connections with bloggers over lunch.  Then it was back to work.  Before I knew it the day was at the end and I ran into my boyfriend–errr–Chris Mann!  What an awesome guy.  I’m so happy that I got to be among one of the first to shake his hand.

Apprentice Design/Photography Panel


The Mannventure

In the midst of all this my girlfriend Maggie showed up.  The hug! Oh Em Gee, the hug, it was awesome! Maggie and her man Tom drove from Oklahoma and we planned to hit the cocktail party for a bit and then dinner in Downtown Nashville.

Jen Lancaster, the key note speaker, was the grand finale and the conference day was finished  with some raffle prizes.  I experienced so much love, generosity, more love, happiness, and even more love.  It was BLISS!     I got to take some pictures of Chris with all his Twitter Boos and his new Blissdom Boos.   Then I rushed upstairs to get my dress on to make it to the cocktail party.   Michael was ready to go and thank God the knee highs didn’t leave extremely bad marks on my legs.

Project 365 in B&W Day 38

I totally missed singing some Karaoke, but it didn’t matter. I got to see some of my new pals sing and I got to mingle with the best girls of the blogosphere.  I took a ton of pictures of the dance floor, which was flooded with hot babes who were dancing and singing their hearts and souls out.

Shortly thereafter Maggie, Tom, Michael, and I headed out.  We piled into our mini-van and made our way to the Big River Brewerey for dinner.  The company was perfect.  Conversations flowed and it just felt so good to be in the company of friends.

New friends.
Awesome friends.
Good times.
Good people.
My Bliss Bubble.
Please never pop.

Danielle Love

After we ate and drank we headed back to the hotel for a night cap.  At this time I got some requisite dancing in, too.  We closed the Pink Slip bar out by sitting around laughing, drinking, telling stories, and enjoying each others’ company.

On Sunday morning I was accompanied by a special bunch of women on a Photowalk of Downtown Nashville.  It was so relaxed and wonderful.  We all walked and talked and learned about each other; it was just a dreamy way to end the Blissdom09 weekend.

Photowalkers and Jazz Hands

Even now when I think about it I can’t say much other than this:


{one word}



*I apologize for the lack of links.  I’ll work on it as I can.  Now I’m off to get the 1200+ pics that I took, weeded and perfect, uploaded to the Blissdom09 Flickr Group!

Copyright © 2023 SECRET AGENT MAMA
Creative Commons License by Michelle Lane is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
MLP logo by Inksplash Designs - Webmaster: Michael