Cultivating A Creative Soul

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Cultivating A Creative Soul

Let The Kids Find Their Creativity

There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.
— Mahatma Gandhi

As some of you may know, my parents and I are homeschooling my son (13yrs old).  Fridays are Art days in our household and my son has picked photography for his first unit. I am teaching him to shoot from his sweet little heart... to dig deep and create something that lights up his soul... to set out on an adventure and  pay attention to all of his surroundings so he can capture what makes him feel good.

In this blog post I cover at topic near and dear to my heart. You will also get an update on what my boy is learning in his photography journey :)

I am a firm believer in discovering or unleashing the creative soul we all have within.

I read a lot... and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT ;)  In the last 3-4 months I have read and listened to a total of 13 books. Ha!  Two that stick out as I write this blog post are 2 audio books I have been listening to:

  1. One by author Richard Louv, titled "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder". 
  2. The other by my new favorite person in the whole wide world (seriously I love listening to her!!), Brene Brown ,titled "The Power of Vulnerability; Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, & Courage".

I have been listening to these through Audible.com.  I have a membership and this allows me to get FREE books ALL the time ;)

Anyways, in "Last Child in the Woods" the author discusses "the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, he links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression."

The discussion on children not getting outside and developing certain disorders is obviously a whole other topic, but what it really got me thinking about is that we tend to begin to develop some of our lifelong habits (good or bad) in our childhood.... whether it is something learned along the way or something we learned in our home environments, from our parents.

In Brene Brown's talk about Vulnerability she speaks about developing a pattern in her research on Wholehearted Individuals and some things they all have in common; which turned into her developing 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.  One of those guideposts is Cultivating Creativity and Letting Go of Comparison.  She states that we ALL have this ability within us... whether it's photography, painting, piano or other instrument, writing, telling stories, speaking, drawing, designing, fashion, creating picture collages, creating videos or movies, scrap booking, blogging, Lego building, etc.

Don't worry, there will be more pictures to look at; keep reading ;)

As I am reading the two books, they both resonated with me on the importance of not only getting children outside to play, but also the great need for us parents to allow them them the time and help them discover and cultivate their creativity. 

One way we can help them is to cultivate our OWN creativity... monkey see, monkey do... right??! ;)

Some kids are too busy going from one sport to the next, then onto homework, then bed, then repeat!  They aren't allowed the space or time to cultivate their creativity.  What would be better time spent then taking an photography class together, or a painting class, or visiting a museum together to take in some art?? 

Let's lead by example and get out to create and get creative with our children! :)

Art has a huge presence in our home.  For awhile I encouraged my son to do something creative for at least an hour each day... this eventually became a habit for him and he now seeks out something to do creatively most every day. 

With him learning photography we can cultivate this creativeness together.  And super lucky for us our backyard is absolutely gorgeous and there never seems to be a dull moment to be had out there! ;)

Here is the picture Camden took in the moment I captured of him above:

Image by Camden

An inside into what we've been covering the last few weeks in his creative photography time:

For the past 2 weeks we have been working on capturing images using different angles and points of view.  Some examples of different angles and POV (points of view):

  1. Getting down low
  2. Shooting from above and looking down
  3. Shooting from below and looking up
  4. Continue to work on the Rule of Thirds in frame

We have also been watching our backgrounds and making sure we pay attention to the picture as a whole.

  1. Checking for extraneous objects
  2. Make sure there is not another object or color fighting for the main attention over your subject
  3. Shooting for some negative space

Most importantly, we continue to shoot what grabs at our soul...I allow him to roam free and photograph what he wants, how he wants... to cultivate his own craft. :)

A few Fridays ago it SNOWED!! Very heavily too!!  We set out and prepared ourselves for that cold morning into the ginormous flying fluffy flakes. We grabbed our lens hoods and our clear bubble umbrellas to help shield our cameras from getting too wet.  Camden didn't want to have to hold onto his umbrella, so he stuffed the handle down the back of his jacket to keep in place over his head; quite brilliant if you ask me ;)

Winter came on REAL quick here in Minnesota!!  Check out the image below for photographic proof!!!  We walked down the path and then BAM there was SNOW!!

I absolutely LOVE following him around and watching him create!  Below are some images of Camden in action:

Creations by Camden that day:

The Following Week:

The snow has melted and everything is back to brown.  Camden grabbed some Legos and we ventured outside again to feed our souls.

Below is the image that he captured above:

Image by Camden.  I love how he chose to include so much negative space!

Then he thought it would be fun to put the Joker on his side to make it look like he was laughing ;)

You will find us photographers in all sorts of different contortions to get "the shot" ;) Below Cam is gettin' down and creative!!

And the shot he took in that moment ... Robin climbing a tree :)

Image by Camden

Camden asked me, "Mom, does photography ever get boring?"  I answered him by saying, "Not if you continue to photograph what makes you happy. There will be times you may feel like you are in a rut, but your creativeness will always be there and will always return."  He smiled and said, "Good, because I really enjoy it." :) 

Here are the rest of his creations from that day:

Now, kudos to you if you made it this far in my blog post!! Ha! ;) Thank you!!

Cultivating Creativity is important because it allows us all time to simply play... to do something that we love and enjoy... to feed our souls. Teaching our children this at a young age could do wonders for them as they grow and mature.


TELL ME:

  1. WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET CREATIVE? (WITH OUR WITH OUT YOUR KIDS)

  2. WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO TO GET CREATIVE?

I WANT TO KNOW!! COMMENT IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW! :)


BOOK A SESSION!!

And if you did make it this far and would like your child(ren) photographed while they are learning something new or to have photographic documentation of them doing something they love then let's dot it!! Click below for online booking. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
MN Discovery

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MN Discovery

MY COVER BOY

This past August I found out that an image of mine that I took of my boy won the Make it Minnesota Instagram photo contest sponsored by The Works Museum in Bloomington, MN!! :)  As part of my win I not only received a family membership to the Museum, my image also landed the COVER of the August Discovery issue magazine!!

The Instagram contest was all about discovering curiosity through imaginative photography. In this contest, they encouraged Minnesota photographers to challenge their creative boundaries by capturing moments that celebrate learning, exemplify curiosity, and explore the depths of imagination.

This was my winning image!

Thank you SO MUCH Make it Minnesota and The Works Museum!!

For this photograph, I held a fern leaf over him as he had his face to the sun. As usual, he was a willing participant ;)


ABOUT MAKE IT MINNESOTA


"Make It Minnesota is bi-quarterly magazine featuring Minnesota Creatives across our northern state. Our goal is to promote a vibrant, localized Minnesota economy."

What they are saying about this Discovery issue: 

"Every story is a rare glimpse into the beautiful diversity of curiosity that exists right here in Minnesota! Dive in to learn more about Franconia Sculpture Park, Seed Sages, June Wunrow, WAAM Industries, Arlee Park, and Beatty Stone Farms. Also featured is a curated list of local favorites by Hayley Matthews-Jones, founder of MPLS Craft Market - this list includes 112 Eatery, Tbsp. liège waffles, Ginger Bean Clothing, Cuchara Chick, Lawless Distilling, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the Minnehaha Mile! From there, we are also proud to feature recipes from Betsy Nelson, AKA That Food Girl and the winners of the 'Capturing Curiosity' Instagram Contest sponsored by The Works Museum."

Order your very own copy of the Discover Issue! "In each issue of Make It Minnesota, we aim to be a different kind of publication. One that feels like a collective effort created by members of our own communities. One that engages us and connects us with our local makers and artists. One that celebrates ideas, innovation, and authenticity. We invite you to join us!"

if you would like to subscribe to this amazing local magazine or to order a copy for yourself

ENJOYING OUR ISSUE

Yesterday we set out to relish in the beautiful MN fall day and read through the magazine.  Here are some images I captured of my son enjoying his 5 minutes of fame ;)

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Photography Lesson: Day 2

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Photography Lesson: Day 2

Photography Lesson: Day 2 with my Son

by: Shannon Kathleen Photography

 

Today marked the 2nd day of Art Class, Homeschooling Style.  This student of mine is incredibly eager to learn!!  This eagerness of his is more soul filling than I could ever imagine!

We hopped in the car with our cameras and drove down to Keller Lake Park in Maplewood, MN.  Our lesson today was more about noticing the little things... searching for and finding beauty. 

What we focused on:

  1. Walking around and looking for beauty.
  2. I instructed him again on watching his Shutter Speed and Aperture for taking in and taking out light in his images (keeping it very basic for him).
  3. He also learned how to turn his lens off auto focus and switch to manual focus... he has become a lover of manual focus!!!
  4. Working on different angles: from above, low to the ground, and shooting through objects.
  5. Different lighting situations: dappled light, full sun with the sun behind the subject, and full sun with the sun facing the subject. Then adjusting Shutter Speed and/or Aperture for each situation.
  6. Shooting on Blurpose -- taking a blurry image on purpose.
  7. Having fun. This is the most important element ;)

All images shot by Camden using a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens; all in Manual Mode.

The following image my son took of me in some dappled light. Prior to taking the image we talked about including part of the bridge railing to use as a leading line to me, his subject. 

In this next Diptych image, the one on the left I took of him and the one on the right he took at that exact moment! :) I love how he kept in mind our lesson about shooting through objects.. he purposefully included some of the flowers in the foreground to create layering in the image.

Here are a few more shots he took as we walked along. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him find a little flower, dandelion, and whatever he deemed beautiful to photograph :)

For these last few images he worked in harsh full sun light behind his subjects and how it creates a haze as well as taking images on Blurpose ;)

Thank you for following along! :)  When I asked him what he learned today he said, "shooting in different light and learning to shoot in different angles".

At his dental appointment today the dentist asked him what his favorite subject is thus far in Home School .... he said, "Photography" :) :) :) My life is complete ;)



Follow Shannon Kathleen Photography on Instagram! :)

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
A Life Change

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A Life Change

A Life Change into the World of Homeschooling

September 18th marked Camden's 1st day of the 7th grade ... Home school style 📚 ❤️ When asked what he thought of his 1st day he said, "It was awesome!"
A few months ago we decided to embark in to the world of homeschooling. There are many reasons, but most importantly it is to help this bright and amazing little man to continue to thrive and become the best all around, well rounded human being he could possibly be.

Home School Picture Day

My parents and I are Camden's teachers. We started by introducing 2 subjects to start with... his picks: American History and Math.  The first 2 weeks have been going so great thus far!! And most importantly, he's loving it :) 

Camden is also getting some Physical Education by playing golf and football, playing catch with my dad, and going on walks with my mom :)  I mean, come on!! What better way to get some physical activity than with your grandparents!!??!!

Last Friday he and I started his 1st Art Class!  He wanted to start with photography (god bless his soul!). He was so eager to learn and I loved every single millisecond of it.  In this first lesson and going forward I am simply teaching him in Manual Mode and how to shoot from the heart... to shoot what is beautiful to him.  He is learning how to adjust his Shutter Speed and Aperture to adjust his lighting and depth of field.

Below find the images that this precious little man of mine took on Day 1:

Camden's very 1st image he took in manual mode with a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera :)

The image on top is one I took of him taking an image... and the one on the bottom is the photograph he took at that exact moment of a bee!! :)  <<insert proud momma here!!>>

The image on top is one I took of him taking an image... and the one on the bottom is the photograph he took at that exact moment of a bee!! :)  <<insert proud momma here!!>>

The above 3 images he was working on photographing from a few different angles to get slightly different looks.

And below are the rest he took all on his own too!  He had such a blast putting his legos into different areas to capture as well as finding beauty in the nature around him :)


Are you following me on Instagram yet?? No? Head on over by clicking on any image below! :)

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Bella Grace Field Guide to Everyday Magic **GIVEAWAY**

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Bella Grace Field Guide to Everyday Magic **GIVEAWAY**

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Sponsored by Bella Grace Magazine | Hosted by Shannon Kathleen Photography


I have yet again teamed up with Bella Grace Magazine for a giveaway!!  Keep scrolling and reading to find out how to enter and what you could win.

FUN FUN FUN!! 

Back in March 2017 I was published in Bella Grace Magazine Issue 11. One of my photographs was the cover of the magazine and I had a personal feature inside.  Check more out HERE :) We did a giveaway too and the winner received a free copy of the issue!

If you would like to purchase this issue in which I was published for yourself click here and scroll down to look for Issue 11 :)

I am SUPER excited about this new GIVEAWAY!! 

WHAT YOU GET:

This time the winner will get the new Field Guide to Everyday Magic that just launched on August 1st!! 

Here is what it is all about:  "Field Guide to Everyday Magic was inspired by its sister publication, Bella Grace Magazine.  It is filled entirely with the worksheet-style prompts, captivating photographs, and inspirational quotes that Bella Grace Magazine has come to be known for.

Women of all ages will enjoy soaking in the eye-catching images and thought-provoking prompts in this exciting new spin-off. Each page is designed to inspire and help readers shine a spotlight on the here and now — the radiant glow to be found in seemingly ordinary moments."

Features Include:

  1. 144 high-quality matte pages
  2. Sturdy cover stock
  3. Interactive workbook space designed for readers to respond directly on its pages
  4. A new compact size! Slightly shorter than Bella Grace, this special workbook is designed for you to tuck into your purse or beach bag. Take it with you for whenever inspiration strikes.
  5. Zero outside advertising
Field Guide to Everyday Magic

This is full of mindful ways to journal and embrace the everyday magic of life. It’s already moved to the top of our “bestsellers” list!!

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. You must be a U.S. Resident to enter per Stampington & Company guidelines.
  2. Click the button below to enter!!! :)

This blog post contains Affiliated links.

The image used as a banner for this blog is an expert from the Field Guide.

Bella Grace Field Guide to Everyday Magic

The image shown above here is the cover of the new Field Guide!!

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
DESTINY

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DESTINY

FINDING OUR ULTIMATE DESTINY

Deep Thoughts By: Shannon Kathleen Photography

Does our purpose on Earth directly link to the people whom we end up meeting? Are our relationships and experiences actually the required dots that connect and then lead us to our ultimate destinies?
— Jennifer Elisabeth

The above quote offers some great questions to ponder ...

I believe there is some sort of link between us and the people we end up meeting, that we meet everyone for a reason.  It may be days, months, or even years until we realize why we met a certain someone or why we crossed paths with specific people, but I like to think there is a reason for it all.

Look at the image above... I mean, reallllly look at it ....

Just like in this image, we all live these parallel lives that eventually end up meeting together or crossing paths at some point, and as a result you get this amazingly connected and satisfying feeling that fades into the beauty of life.... is that where our destiny lies?  Is that when we can finally see it?  Is it not until we actually accept that our relationships and experiences here on Earth are the dots that connect and then lead us to our ultimate destinies?

People we meet make great mirrors.  If we pay close enough attention and stop to think about our interactions with others, we can learn a lot about ourselves.

For instance, I have always believed that we continue to keep encountering difficult people because it is us (ourselves) that need to learn how to react (or the response of not reacting) to their difficultness. 

I also believe that when we see something we do not like in another person it is actually something that we ourselves need to work on as well... they are a small reminder for us to continue to work on this something within ourselves. 

Acceptance and being open to seeing that others are our mirrors allows us to feel more comfortable and at ease around these "difficult people" and with ourselves :)

Although many things may still need to happen before you identify what your exact work will be, I know that every single person whom you’re meeting and every experience that you’re having is necessary to you discovering your purpose. They are points on a map leading you to the moment where a match will finally be lit and you will be able to see through the darkness.
— Jennifer Elisabeth

I believe there is a meaning in most everything that happens.  Look for the little things and search for those deeper meanings. Be awake. Remain awake. There will be a match and you will see.

Sometimes you have to let go a little bit and travel the path of least resistance but this doesn’t mean that you quit when things get tough, as you are working towards a goal! It just means that you may only be able to see a rough draft of your final destination, right now, and that it’s safe to explore along the way.
— Jennifer Elisabeth

As William Shakespeare said: "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."

That simple quote is so profound.  Many times it is very easy to get caught up in the current of life and then we forget (some don't realize) that we hold this power to finding our ultimate destiny. 

Step back to the edge of this tidal motion of life and pause.  Look around you and take notice of your actions, your words, others actions, and others words.  Stop trying to be less of who you are. Then dive back into this crazy world of ours and get after it ;)  Be the person you want to be and maybe, just maybe you'll inspire someone to do the same.

Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.
— Jennifer Elisabeth

Feel free comment below and leave me a note! :)

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Reach For The Sky

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Reach For The Sky

The Cycle Of Success  

Success works as a cycle - growth and contraction, balancing and unbalancing - all while you’re encountering hurdles that get higher and higher over time.
— Julien Smith

We can all feel that growth and contraction ... that balancing and unbalancing no matter what we do in life and/or work.  It can be challenging to remember and trust that these hurdles get us higher and higher over time. 

There’s calm in each and every day, we just need to practice reaching out for it.
— Ron Baratono

Let's have a discussion :)

Comment below or visit HERE to enter the conversation

  • What steps are you taking to achieve success (in anything in life)?  
  • What hurdles are you currently encountering (in any area of life)?  
  • Are you feeling balanced or unbalanced at this time?
  • What helps you to feel more balanced?
  • What do you reach for when needing to find calm in your day?

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Now Booking Wedding Elopements

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Now Booking Wedding Elopements

BOUTIQUE WEDDING ELOPEMENT

PASSION . ELEGANCE . CREATIVITY


WHY HAVE AN ELOPEMENT?

It's not uncommon for weddings to take on a life of their own, morphing into something bigger, more stressful, and more expensive than you ever imagined, or particularly wanted! Not to mention the endless (well meaning) advice, expectations, and pressure from friends and family.

With a Boutique Wedding Elopement you still have all the things that make up a magnificent day without all the fuss and pressure leading up to the day! :)  No venues to scope out, no guest lists to draft, and maybe best of all, no exorbitant checks to write!

wedding elopement (3).jpg

Weddings are a once in a lifetime event that tell the story of two individuals coming together to form one family.  My job is to be the narrator of that story - to preserve it for you and future generations to look back on and understand what life, love, and happiness meant to you.

elopement ceremony

I chose the word "Boutique" because I am like a small and fine atelier that gives attention to the smallest detail.  Lovely things are my favorite things and I love lovely events :)

moody bride and groom

How to have a Boutique Wedding Elopement:

  • Invite TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT, TEN, TWELVE, FOURTEEN (give or take a few) witnesses
  • Find a priest, judge, or ask friend to officiate for you!
  • Write your own vows
  • Find the most perfect and beautiful location, park, or backyard (Ask me for my opinion!)
  • Get yourself the most fantastic dress/outfit and splurge on all the little details that make you and your day feel special --the bride in all the images shown was wearing an amazing head band purchased at Urban Outfitters - CLICK HERE to see! It's only $20!
  • Don't let money fuel the decision: The price tag shouldn't prohibit you from having a ceremony you'll love - A wedding can be done potluck-style in a grove of trees with flowers picked from friends' gardens!
  • Don't forget your something borrowed and something blue!
  • Hire a photographer (Me!): Just because tons of people (or any at all) aren't attending isn't a reason not to take photos. Spend the money to document your vows
  • Better yet, make the whole thing a surprise elopement for your guests!! Once everyone arrives you tell them they are there to witness your elopement!! How fun would THAT be??!! :)
pull back of ceremony

WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HIRE ME:

  1. 2-3 hours of oh so special photography time with yours truly.
  2. Location of your choice -- OUTDOORS ONLY. 
  3. Unlimited consultation and planning assistance including (but not limited to) locations, timeline, and permitting requirements.
  4. All of the final and artfully edited images delivered via a beautiful online gallery - where you can view, share, have unlimited downloads, and order prints.
  5. Print Release for personal printing rights.
  6. You will also receive a complimentary custom album from your session. I want all of my clients to take away something tangible from their session. Leave the design to me! I will design and deliver a beautiful custom album that will last for generations to come!

=$950 [Extra if location outside the Twin Cities]

I want to be your creative and passionate photographer for your intimate and heartfelt ceremony!!

Splurge on what is important in the end... all the little details and some amazing captured images of your meaningful day to have and to hold forever more :)

Below is a recent Wedding Elopement that I photographed to entice you some more ;) A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Katy and Scott who made (literally) a picture perfect bride and groom!! Their love for each other was so palpable :)  Scott and Katy gathered up their loved ones and met at the beautiful location of Irvine Park Historic District in St. Paul, MN.  I love how they planned this around them and their love for each other. It was such a beautiful and intimate ceremony!

Enjoy!!

QUESTIONS? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Make It Minnesota

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Make It Minnesota

My Human Of The Wild

Make It Minnesota Magazine is a local publication created to share the stories of makers and innovators that span the great northern state. As stated in the magazine, "They are here to build a timeless collection of tales from each region across the state of MN. They aim to strengthen and promote sustainable, beautiful, altruistic, unique, and creative communities." 

This local publication teamed up with Ely Folk School for an Instagram contest all about discovering the wild around us through portrait photography! The contest was themed: Humans of the Wild – A Portrait Contest. This contest encouraged all Minnesota photographers to get creative and share interesting portraits of people in the wild, exploring the connection between humans and nature.

Ely Folk School is based out of Ely, MN. There mission is: "To build community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota. "

I entered this contest by tagging the hashtag #MakeItMN_ElyFolkSchool on a few of my images. Within a few weeks I found out that I made it in to the top 20! {*YAY!*}

From there, the Top 10 entries would be chosen and published in the next Wild Issue of Make It Minnesota magazine, which released this past June 2017.

Last week I found out through this Instagram post by Make It Minnesota that my image was actually picked to be in the Top 10 and published in the current issue of the magazine!!

in the trees

My Human of the Wild

This image of my son, Camden, was picked among 9 other images to be featured in the May/June 2017 issue of Make it Minnesota Magazine :)

You can order your own copy HERE!!  Order a single copy of the Wild 2017 (Vol 2. No 3) for $7.95 or a 1 year subscription of the publication for $30.00 --these options are under "Order Options" :)

I ordered two copies, one for us and one for my parents :) Our copies arrived today in the mail, so naturally we went out into the Wild to look at it ;)  Enjoy!

-- FYI -- that amazing image on the cover is by my Instagram friend, Jennifer @sageeimagery

http://makeitmn.com/

All of the Top 20 entries can be seen HERE. 

View all of the entries at the tag #MakeItMN_ElyFolkSchool on Instagram :)

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
July BOGO Special!

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July BOGO Special!

SHANNON KATHLEEN PHOTOGRAPHY FINE ART NATURE PRINTS FLASH SALE!!

For the month of July Shannon Kathleen Photography is having a flash sale on their nature prints!! See below for details!!

Butterfly photography

Nature print BOGO sale!!

Buy any 8x10 or 16x20 print and get one FREE!!

Visit: https://shannonkathleenphotography.pixieset.com/fineartprintsforsale/

Use this code at checkout: JulyBOGO

Terms & Conditions:

Special on BY ONE GET ONE FREE for any 8x10 or 16x20 print! Minimum order amount is $18.00 // Shannon Kathleen Photography owns the copyright to all of the images. You are granted personal use of images, however they may not be edited or altered in any way. You may not use the photos taken by Shannon Kathleen Photography to profit off of, or enter in any photo contests.