Jul 30, 2014

ClickAway Photography Conference Giveaway!



What is more fun than a photography conference? Um, going to the conference with a friend, of course!!  So I am giving away two conference passes to ClickAway! One for you and one for a friend! Did I use enough exclamation points? I am pretty excited about this.

So the giveaway will be held on our Facebook page and on Instagram.  The giveaway is not affiliated or endorsed by Facebook or Instagram.

Here are the details:

  • Giveaway is for two free conference passes only. Transportation, hotel, food, etc. are not included.
  • To enter simply tag a friend you would like to attend the conference with in a comment on the designated photos on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Only one friend tagged per comment. Your comment is the entry and the commenter and tagged person will be the winners. But comment as many times as you would like. So 10 different friends? Comment 10 times with one friend in each comment. ;)
  • Giveaway will end at 11:59 PST on Saturday, August 9th. 
  • All Facebook comments will be numbered in the order they were posted (oldest comments first). After Facebook comments are numbered, Instagram comments will be numbered sequentially after that (also in order in which they were posted). Each comment counts as one entry.  Odds of winning are based on the number of your entries and number of total entries.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at info@shutterbagusa.com

I will be at ClickAway and hope to meet you there! GOOD LUCK!!!


Jul 15, 2014

My Most Versatile Lens

Last week I shared how much I LOVE my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 with VC.  I love this lens so much that I decided to buy the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 with VC, too.  I have always been a prime girl. My 50mm has been known to spend months on my camera without ever being taken off. Well that has all changed.

My 24-70mm lens has become a major staple in my camera bag. On my crop sensor or on my full frame, this lens is awesome!  I can go wide or shoot at a more appropriate focal length for portraits. I can shoot at my precious 50mm focal length, too.

Don’t get me wrong, the f/2.8 widest aperture is not as big as f/1.4 or f/1.8 like most primes. But many times when photographing your kids, you may not get the shot if you have to move forwards and backwards with a prime.  Sometimes you want that candid moment that a zoom can get you.  Sometimes your kids only stay in place for one or two clicks of the shutter, so trying to compose with a prime may be harder.

Yes, I own Shutterbag and try to run this business to be successful, but I am a mom before that.  My job is to raise humans to be good men and women.  I want to capture and preserve that journey for me and for them.  So having the right tools is always helpful. As the title says, this is my most versatile lens and the one I go to when I am unsure of how things are going to go or what lens I will need. This lens is my Swiss Army Knife of my camera bag.

In June I participated in #clickaday photo challenge with Courtney (from Click It Up a Notch) and only used my DSLR along with my 70-200 and 24-70. Here are some photos I took with my 24-70. If you want to see the 70-200 you can see them here.

Charley in the covers

Daddy love bw

Posing for me

Charley at the window

Monkeys in the pool

Cole Jumping

Diesel dog



I really love this lens and am so happy I spent my money on it.  Because let’s face it…I don’t get to buy camera gear that often and when I do it had better be worth the investment.  This lens definitely is.

Just in case you couldn’t tell in this post, I bought this lens myself. I am sharing just because I love this lens and get asked often if it is as good as the Canon/Nikon version.  I am so glad I bought this one for almost half the price of the Canon version. I highly recommend this lens if you are looking for a 24-70 or just a high quality versatile lens!

*Please note, these are daily photos I did for a personal challenge. These are not portfolio photos. I am not claiming to be the world’s best photographer. I am just sharing with friends.*

If you have questions about this lens or anything else, please feel free to email me or comment. I am always ready to help if I can, plus I love talking photography!.


Jul 10, 2014

My Favorite Lens

That is kind of a bold statement, huh? Favorite lens. But I love this lens so much that I will never give it up. I told my husband it will have to be pried out of my cold, dead hands. Which lens is it? It is the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 with VC. *sigh*

It is just dreamy. Don’t get me wrong, it is a heavy lens that can be a pain to carry around. But it is soooo worth it.  It is sharp and fast to focus. The lens compression is awesome and makes bokeh come to life.

None of this is new because I have told you before how much I love this lens. But I did want to do a follow up because the entire month of June I took photos with only my Tamron 70-200mm lens and Tamron 24-70mm lens. Courtney (from Click It Up a Notch) and I did an Instagram challenge called #clickaday and challenged people to take a photo each day of the month. I tweaked my personal goal to make myself only shoot with my DSLR.

Here are all of the photos I took in June with my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 with VC lens.  Warning, this is going to be a lot of photos.  :P

       Alert Diesel        Diesel Dog


       Baylor        Bunny


 Goose    Cat tails


Soccer ball    Squirrel


Dirty feet    Mushroom


Watercolor flower     Woodpecker


Diesel       Weed in the light


Charley with flare      Flower and sun peek


Berries   Mr Frog


Cat-tails  Dragonfly


morning-bokeh     orange-blooms


rain-on-honeysuckle   Lily-flower-bw

So there are a ton of photos I took with this lens. I get asked daily (literally daily) how I like this lens, if I would recommend it, and if I wished I had the Canon version?

As you now know, this is my favorite lens. I HIGHLY recommend the Tamron version of this lens. It is reliable, performs splendidly, and I cannot tell a difference between this lens and the Canon and Nikon versions I have rented so many times. At a fraction of the cost of the others, you cannot go wrong with this lens at all. It is A-MA-ZING!!!

I will share photos I have taken with my Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 with VC soon, too.

*Please note, these are daily photos I did for a personal challenge. These are not portfolio photos. I am not claiming to be the world’s best photographer. I am just sharing with friends.*

You can always email me with any questions you may have. I am here to help however I can. I love talking photography, so ask away.  :)



Jun 12, 2014

Name It & Win It Contest

When we debuted a new bag in the Spring, I had a hard time coming up with a name.  So I decided to do a naming contest for the bag. The feedback and entries were simply amazing and out of your suggested names I found the perfect name. That is how the Journey bag was named.

Well now I have another new design. While I do have a few names I like, I thought it would be so much fun to have a naming contest again. I always value your feedback for design features, colors, and now names so why not continue it?

We are all family after all, so let’s name the new bag together!


The rules are simple:

1. Suggest a name for the bag.

2. One name suggestion per comment. This makes it much less confusing to read for me. Winking smile

3. If your name is chosen as the winning name and you were the first person to suggest the name, you win the bag you just named!


The bag does come with a long strap (with a slip resistant, padded shoulder pad) and a lens cap pouch.

Head over to our Facebook page to enter the contest. Not on Facebook? Don’t worry. You can leave a comment below (just be sure to include your contact email address when filling out the comment section because that is how you will be notified).

Contest ends June 30th at 11:59 pm PST.

This is not a giveaway or a game of chance. The name will be chosen by me based on names submitted through this contest. This contest is open worldwide. You are responsible for any customs, duties, taxes if you win.

Jun 6, 2014

The Journey bag Goes On Vacation

My family doesn’t take traditional family vacations.  Usually we go to my hometown in Texas and visit my family.  This year we decided the kids were old enough to take the vacation we have been talking about since I finally got pregnant with our first child 8 years ago…Disney World!!

So when you have quite a few camera bags to choose from, which bag do you decide to take to Florida?

Since we planned on hitting the beach I knew I wanted one of our larger bags, Heirloom or Journey.  The fact that I knew we would be trekking around the Magical Kingdom and Sea World with three children made the large pockets and water bottle pouch of the Journey a perfect fit. 

Under seat on plane

The Journey fit perfectly under the seat on the plane. It kept everything close to me and not in the hands of baggage handlers. Scary!!!

Squirt bottle

I bought a small squirt bottle to fill with water so I could mist the hot kids while we were exploring the amusement parks.

squirt bottle inside

The squirt bottle fit perfectly in one of the front flap pockets. Actually it fit so perfectly, I completely forgot I had it the entire time we were at Disney World. Whoops!

Loaded up

Here is my bag all loaded up on the outside. Yes, the water bottle is in the pocket on the left side and my checkbook style wallet is in the pocket on the right side.


Here is what I had in the bag the entire visit (not on the plane with the liquids).

Journey at the Magic Kingdom

I carried the bag through the Magic Kingdom while my husband and I kept track of three wandering kids through the crowded park. Carrying the bag all day was so easy.  

Magic carpet ride

I took the Journey bag on the rides with me. Here she is on the Magic carpet ride while my girls and I flew around like Jasmine.

Shutterbag meets Ninja Turtles

The Journey even got to meet a few celebrities at the Nickelodeon Hotel! Note to self: when having your husband take a photo of you, please remember all of the posing techniques you have learned to avoid double chin, fat arm, and the overall bloated look.

On hotel bed

But at the end of the day when we made it back to the hotel, the Journey bag looked waaaaaay better than I did.  Look at how gorgeous she is. On the other hand, I was a hot, tired mess. 

If you want to see more photos and features check out the Shutterbag Journey bag on our website.

May 29, 2014

My New Office for Shutterbag!

I have gotten told many times that Shutterbag seems like a bigger company than it really is. Because it is me doing the sales, customer service, social media, packaging, and shipping. Well, my kids do like to help with the packaging and shipping part, too. Then there is my husband that monitors the spreadsheets to make sure I don’t go completely nuts.  Because let’s face it, I have big dreams. It is his job to reel me in at times and make sure I go for those big dreams one step at a time. 


I always say that we are a family. So come into my home and see my new office!

Up until now I was working at a desk in the corner of my bedroom. I had bags stored in gigantic Rubbermaid containers in a spare room.  When I got an order I would go down there and get a bag and then package it on my dining room table. Sounds like a high class operation, doesn’t it?


Well the spare room was just sitting there. It is at the opposite end of the house in an area that the builders of the house converted from the original garage, back in 1973. It was ugly. Very ugly. I called it the junk room. You know that drawer in your kitchen called the ‘junk drawer’ because it is full of crap you don’t know where to put? This room is that junk drawer.

Before – I told you it was from 1973 – Winking smile

Office 3


office 7


office 5


office 6


office 4


office 8

I wanted to make sure I took the same angles and shots, so you could see the true before and after. Sorry all of the photos are kind of crummy. I grabbed my phone and snapped away. Isn’t that fantastic…a photographer just uses her phone to get these shots. But in my defense I wanted all of my gear far from the paint as possible.


Now I have settled in. My computer is up and going on its new desk. The cabinet areas behind the slatted doors (yes, I painted each one of those slats with primer and then two coats of paint) hold my printer, scanner, and other stuff. The floors will be painted later this summer. I still have more planned for this space. ;)


This is my new packaging station.  The tissue paper is hanging up on a curtain rod. The desk has all of my tape, pens, markers, and logo stickers in the drawers.  No more dining room table.  This is the first bag I packaged on this table, too.  {Thank you Apryl for your order!}


So while I am still very much small time and have not added anything to my operation, I have a new area to call all my own for Shutterbag.

Thanks for coming over and taking a peek at my new office. Next time I will have some coffee ready.  :)