My parents got me a new camera for my birthday. I’ve had the same Nikon camera (D40) since high school. It was totally the top of the line way back then and was an amazing tool for all the photos I took for yearbook class. I felt so fancy with that thing! It’s a great camera and I’ve absolutely loved using it over the years, but it finally started to feel dated. (Namely, it doesn’t take video and my FlipCam finally bit the dust.)
I’m not a photographer (at all), but I’ve had nice cameras my whole life because I always got the hand-me-downs from my dad. I had this gorgeous Nikon film camera in elementary school and to this day, there’s still a layer of glitter everywhere from the one time I took it to the beach and wore sunscreen with a shimmer. I even went to a few photography camps during the summer. However, I think I only went because I had a crush on a boy who was also there and I was obsessed with mixing the chemicals in the dark room. #nerd. I found all the sheets of my negatives on time I was home and cracked up at how awful my “artistic” photos of palm trees were.
My parents got me the Nikon D3200 body (my Nikon lenses all fit!) and I splurged on the 50mm lens! When it came, I couldn’t wait to open it and go outside to take photos. I recruited the cutest model I could find, that would be Garrett, and hit the streets to practice.
I’m so so so slow at making adjustments for shutter speed and aperture, but I wanted to get out of the habit of relying on automatic mode as a crutch. Practice makes perfect, right? I felt more confident after just an hour of knowing when to slow down the shutter and when I need to quicken it without taking 30 test shots.
Photography is one thing that I definitely need to work on for my blog. Thank goodness I know incredible photographers in the city who work with bloggers… but I’d love to do more of the shots by myself. (I took these apartment photos with my old camera!) 
So I am not an expert and I find dense photography blogs and books IMPOSSIBLE to understand. I always feel like an idiot when I try to read through these crazy complicated things about changing dials and buttons on the camera. However, I have found a couple of great blogs that break down the basic in plain English. * insert praying hands emoji * 
– Wish Wish Wish breaks down the basics of what everything means. I love she divides the “vocab words” and then describes what it means with examples. OMG “aperture” actually makes sense now!
This little smirk… gets me every time.
“More photos? Really?”
Yesterday, Teddy and I met our friends in the park. Erin (and Leslie!) has a little puppy named Yoshi. She is four and half months old and adorable. Teddy had a crush!
Does anyone have any favorite photography blogs (or blogs with tips and/or inspiration)? I’d love to check them out 🙂

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Caitlin Cheevers

I took the Mastering your DSLR course from A Beautiful Mess and LOVED it. I still have to mess with my settings and get used to it, but I finally understand what the different settings actually mean.

alaina shea

They're looking good! I'm (sorta) a photographer, and you wouldn't believe the awesome tips you can find just on Pinterest – there are a few I have in my Photography board that are nice and simple info graphics on aperture and such.


I bought the online courses from Shoot Fly Shoot and found that they explained everything really well and gave great examples to help you to understand! Check it out!

Jyll –

CT Cupcake

Maybe the New School has a class or some of the colleges in NYC probably have not for credit adult enrichment classes. Show us more photos of that fabulous NYC skyline!


I'm a photographer, completely self-taught, and I learned everything from online resources. A few of my favorite photog/teacher bloggers are Melissa Jill, Jasmine Star and Laurence Kim. They are all Aces in the industry and love sharing the knowledge of photography with others.


Such great pictures Carly! Love the post. We can't wait to have another playdate with you and Teddy very soon. Yoshi is sending her love. 🙂


I just bookmarked this post! I have it on my 101 in 1001 list to learn more about my DSLR camera. I want to do a lot more photography for my blog too, both myself taking photos and having others take photos of myself.

Kasey {preppylove}

Actual College Student

You are in NEW.YORK.CITY and you can't take pictures of anything besides your boyfriend and dog? As a reader I would've LOVED to see pictures of the architecture of the city, or maybe the buildings around your neighborhood. I have to say, it's getting quite aggravating hearing about your boyfriend and prop dog in every single post.


I definitely want to take more photos! Can't wait to have a weekend to explore so I can spend more time out and about.

And Teddy is not a prop. I love him and would appreciate it if you recognize that I have a pet (whom I love very much). If it bothers you, stop reading. Find another blog. Find another website. If you're finding my posts aggravating, you should stop reading. There are so many options out there and I realize that my blog might not be for everyone. It sounds like it's not for you…. move on.


Since i'm new here i was waiting for you to post something about taking pictures for blog, i love it. I'll try and read carefully all those websites you listed as important.
I'm your reader from slovenia in europe, i love you and your blog. I can't wait to get up in the morning to read what's new:) (don't worry about bad comments, there are a lot of us who think your blog is stunning!)

Ps. On pinterest there are a lot of great photography tips from bloggers:)

And here is my new blog, hope you like it:

Alyson Naville

I enjoy photography as well and two of my favorite subjects are my dog and husband. 🙂 loved the pictures and I love reading all the different aspects of your blog. (Garrett and Teddy included) thanks for the photography tips!


Check out Okello Dunkley's classes >>

Well priced and EXCELLENT. I can't recommend him highly enough.

My favorite lens is the 25-70 mm f/2.8 – I used to shoot exclusively with my 50 mm until I got that baby. It's the best!


My cousin is a photographer and I am in love with her style and talent. She's by far the best photographer I know. Her is a link to her website, she also has a blog that she posts on a lot



Always shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. It pretty much captures and conserves all the data in the photo. Also, adobe photoshop Lightroom is great for importing, adjusting and converting your RAW photos. You might be able to find a local brick and mortar camera store that offers classes, they're seriously the best people to learn from because most of them have formal training and photography is pretty much their life.

Constance Browne

I've had a Nikon d40 for the past 6 years – I love it! But I feel the same way – I'm looking to invest in a d5100 in the next couple of years. My d40 is just a little outdated. Love your photos!

Constance || Prep Northwest