1. 30A Thursday: Beach Safety

    The Beaches of 30A and Destin

    For this week’s 30A Thursday I want to talk about Beach Safety. Here in Walton County we have a flag system on our beaches to give beach goers a heads up on the water conditions (as you can see below). Please be aware of the conditions before you dip into our beautiful emerald waters. Note these aren’t just suggestions! The red flags aren’t something to mess with. I personally don’t get in the waters when there is a yellow flag and I’d never get in the water with the red flags either.

    Beach Safety

     

    Another danger lurking in the water here are riptides. Please, please! I beg you to watch this video about rip tides before visiting our area. Far too many times do I read articles like this one. It happens all the time and the worst part is it is preventable. When I first moved to the area from Plano, TX I got caught in a riptide. I had no idea what it was and I’m lucky that I didn’t drown. I have a little bit of a water fear (I know funny right considering my photography style) so I am always hyper aware of the shore. I remember getting in the water to cool off and noticing I was being swept out into deep waters rather quickly. I panicked at first and started trying to swim towards the shore and noticed that my efforts were in vain. I looked to see if anyone was near me to call out to them and I saw a person in the water walking back towards the shore. I decided to swim towards that person (horizontal to the shore) because I figured if they could walk through the water there, I should be able to do it too. I swam horizontal and felt the current eventually let up and I was able to swim back to shore from the spot I saw that person. A bit later, I saw another swimmer having the same trouble so I yelled to them to swim like I had. They were able to get out too. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at that time. It honestly took me a while to figure out that what I had experienced was a riptide. Not everyone is as lucky as I was so I would like to do my part in educating the families that visit the 30A area. Watch this video and please share it with your loved ones!

  2. 30A Thursday: Places to Eat on 30A

    Seaside, Florida

    I often get emails from clients asking me about family friendly places to eat on 30A while they’re visiting, so I figured I’d spotlight one of my favorite family friendly places for lunch. If you haven’t ever been to Seaside, Florida put it on your bucket list right now. It’s such a quaint little town right in the middle of our popular little beach area in Santa Rosa Beach known as 30A. My favorite spot to eat in Seaside is right on their Airstream Row. I’m such a sucker for airstreams so for me this spot is just a little bit magical. If you go at dusk these little restaurants are all lit up with twinkle lights which totally adds to that magic.  They have several delicious options to choose from so you’re bound to find something for those picky eaters in your life. I personally love the grilled cheese airstream, Meltdown on 30A. They have a goat cheese and pancetta grilled cheese which is to die for. Seriously. Seaside also boasts an amazing hotdog airstream with equally delicious dogs called Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs. It’s mouthwatering. As you can see below, this is a great little spot to visit with your family. The family below chose the yummy Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs for their dinner. They ended with a delightful little snow cone from Frostbites. Sounds like a perfect little evening right? It is!

    places to eat on 30A Thingstodoon30a-2

  3. Family Photographer | EASY Ways to Keep Memories Printed

    Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

    Being A Family Photographer is all about Family!

    I took these pictures of my daughter in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort over near my old house. I’ve passed this little spot thousands of times and not thought too much about it. One day while I was out for a walk I noticed how gorgeous the leaves were as they hung lit up by the sun. In true photographer form I ran home, dressed up my daughter, and headed over for a few quick pictures. That was last year. I’ve shared one or two of these on my Instagram account, but honestly I hadn’t really looked though all of them. I’m in the middle of printing albums of this years photos and last years photos because I really didn’t make printing for myself a priority over the past 10 years [insert gasps]. What’s the saying? ” The Cobblers children have no shoes.” Yeah, well I don’t want to be the family photographer who has no prints of her own family… so, no more! I have a few resources I love for printing so I thought I’d include some of my favorite EASY ways to keep my memories printed.  Grab a coffee, a tea, a beer, or whatever floats (oooh did someone say float? Root beer float? Who am I kidding I don’t have the macros left for that today!) your boat and settle in for some mind blowing goodness.

    Insta Goodness!

    In the day of the iPhone, there is a lifesaver I adore by the name of Chatbooks. Seriously, Chatbooks is the best thing ever for a busy mom like myself.  I subscribed to their Instagram books and because I’m very particular about the images I share (hey! they have to be perfect! Check them out and see for yourself! here and here lol) not all of my beloved pictures make the “Instagram” cut. Enter Chatbooks iPhone favorites subscription. This makes me feel like I am on top of all of life’s snapshots. I love it! Pro tip: These little albums make great little gifts for loved ones!

    Procrastination Kills!

    My next area of printing organization is QUIT PROCRASTINATING! Yes, that’s me yelling at myself. Seriously though, find a system that works for you to keep your digital images organized. This makes printing a breeze! So just do it. Personally, I am still figuring out the best system for myself.  I think I’ve found a great way that works for me, but that doesn’t mean it would work for you. My suggestion for non photographers would be as soon as you upload your images to your computer, cull through your images and get rid of the snaps that aren’t worth printing. You know, the images that are blurry, the one with your cousin’s eyes closed… you know. Once you have the images you would want to print uploaded, you have a few choices.  You can print everything as a 4×6 and buy a cute insert album from Michaels, you can use Chatbooks to print little books, or you can save those images in a folder and create a huge book at the end of the year. All of these are good options and aren’t that hard to manage. Either way just make sure you are backing up your pictures (especially if you are waiting to print them all at the end of the year in a giant book)! I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so hold tight and I’ll get back to backing up your photos. My favorite printing resources for my non photographer friends for these options are Mpix, Blurb, and drum roll please…… Chatbooks. Seriously, they aren’t paying me for saying this. I just really love them. Also, they’ve teamed up with Rifle Paper Co. and I’m obsessed.

    Back That Thang Up!

    Let’s get back to backing up your images. You know those CD’s, USB’s, and external hard drives that you’ve been using to back your stuff up? Those have a shelf life! They aren’t meant to be long term storage for your digital photos. In this day and age we have so many resources to back our photos up so make sure you take advantage of those! I have backups of my backups. Personally, I have a method that has worked for me thus far and here it is. I store my images on my computer, then I copy them to two different external hard drives, then I run my Mac time machine, then I make sure all of this is also being backed up offline by an off site company, then I throw salt over my should, click my heels three times, and wish upon a star. I mean business when it comes to my memories yo.

    They were framed!

    I know there are a thousand and one ways to do things so I hope this, in the least, will give you some ideas when it comes to printing and organizing your own photos. My final pro tip is this. If you know you aren’t going to print the photos you pay a professional to take immediately after your session, invest in them. As a professional family photographer I can tell you this. We know what we’re doing when it comes to turning your digital photos into functional heirlooms. What do you mean by functional you ask??  For instance, I don’t love canvases hanging up in my house (don’t hate on me lol), but I love framed prints. Framed images can change as quick as my children grow and at a lower cost. Life hack! Perhaps you feel the same way and didn’t even know it? Talk to us, we can help. I’ve never regretted the money I’ve spent on professional photographers. The only regret I’ve ever had was perhaps not investing enough. Going the cheap route for important pictures, never pays off unfortunately. AND it makes me sad to think that your beautiful photos aren’t being adored the way they should be! So there you go! Cheers if you made it all the way through this post! Now feast your big, beautiful eyes on these fantastical pictures below! xo

    Family PhotographerSandestin Family Photographers