Ice Cream Blooms

My garden is exploding with blooming roses at the moment. I have several David Austin Roses planted and they're all so beautiful. I decided to be a little creative with them this morning. Ice cream, anyone? :)

Happy Friday!

Lady by the Bay - David Austin Roses

The roses shown here are Grace, Strawberry Hill, Lichfield Angel, and Climbing Eden.

Lady by the Bay - David Austin RosesLady by the Bay - David Austin Roses

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in full bloom here in California and I couldn't be happier. There is so much beauty around and I've been trying to capture some of it. These are a few bits I collected on my walk the other day.

Lady by the Bay-Spring Love

I recently learned of the Steller app and have made my first story on there. I thought I'd share it with you here. This is a fun app where you can add photos and videos to your story.

Happy Spring!

I Made a Calendar!

In October 2013 I envisioned a floral design encompassing an inspiring quote paired with fresh flowers that were in bloom at that time. I decided to capture blooming flowers during the first week of each month thereafter until I finished an entire year's worth. Most of the flowers were from my own garden and others were fresh flowers purchased locally. Throughout 2014, I photographed my monthly floral arrangements and added a quote that I felt represented each month. This lovely 2015 calendar is a result of my vision. It can now be purchased in my Etsy shop.

Lady by the Bay - 2015 Floral Calendar

Lady by the Bay - 2015 Floral Calendar

Lady by the Bay - 2015 Floral Calendar

Lady by the Bay - 2015 Floral Calendar

I had a lot of fun creating these each month and am so happy to see them all together finally.

Hello, Autumn

Autumn is here! It's so exciting to see the leaves starting to change here in Northern California. This truly is the best time of year in the bay area. The weather starts to cool down a bit but is still warm enough, and all of the leaves start to turn their beautiful shades of oranges, yellows and reds. 

This is my favorite season. Time for sweaters, scarves, boots, soup, and (my favorite) pumpkin spiced lattes. :) I can't wait to get out and about, take long walks and soak it all in. And I'll be sure to take my camera long with me.

What's your favorite time of year?

Hello Autumn - Lady by the Bay

Weekend Road Trip - Big Sur

This past weekend we decided to take a road trip down to Big Sur. Each time we drive down we usually do it in a day and never have enough time to see and do everything on our list, so we check off a couple more things each time. It's one of those road trips no one could ever get tired of. California's Highway One is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. I thought I'd share some of that beauty here with you.

If you ever visit California, be sure to take a drive along its beautiful, rugged coast. You'll be glad you did.

Another drive we never get tired of is the 17-Mile Drive in Carmel. Sunday was a foggy day there and I really love the mood it adds to the photos. Each time we take this drive it's always different because of the weather.

The Beautiful Lone Cypress

It's hard not to constantly stop and photograph this gorgeous coast. Here are a few stops we made just to sit and take it all in for a bit.

I didn't know what this was but just thought it was so pretty. Found out it's Yucca.

One thing I never tire of seeing is the remarkable Bixby Bridge.

One item to check off on this visit was McWay Falls. There really are no words to describe how amazing this spot is.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual road trip down the coast with me. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Favorite Photo Editing Apps & Filters

Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

For most of us our phones have become our camera. The quality of the cameras in phones today is so good that it allows us to capture great images on the go without lugging around a full size camera. And of course we want to make our images look their best, so we turn to photo editing apps. There are so many out there though and it can take quite a bit of time to try them out and find which ones work well and that really are worth having and taking up valuable space on our phone.

I get asked quite often what apps and/or filters I use on photos that I post on Instagram. I love the look and feel of soft tones, pastels, vintage tones, film and faded images. I have a handful of apps that I use to achieve this look, that I've used the heck out of and can't live without, and I'd like to share them here with you, along with a few tips for using them to help you achieve the look you want in your images.


To adjust exposure, shadows/highlights, straighten or crop and sharpen my images, I always turn to Snapseed. This is the first app I go to when I need to edit a photo. There is no better app, in my opinion, with as much functionality for tuning your image just right.

Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & FiltersLady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

Now onto being creative with your photos. Here are some apps with some pretty awesome filters.


Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

I love using Hipstamatic for flower and sky shots because I usually stick to one lens and that would be Adler9009. Adler is the perfect lens for making the sky that pretty, "vintagey", aqua pastel tone. I get asked all. the. time. what I used whenever I post a photo like the one above. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.

And if you have an image you've already taken that you'd like to be able to apply the Hipstamatic lens/film effects to, you can use Oggl for editing those shots.


Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters
Ahh, Mextures... This is one of my very favorite apps when I want to add warm sunlight or glow to my images. There are oodles of filters in this app, from enhancers to light leaks to destroyed film. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you start playing around with it you can get lost in the creativity. It's really great because you use layers and can adjust each individual layer, and even move them around in a different order of layering. It reminds me a lot of Photoshop layers. And what's also great with this app is that there are tons of preset formulas created by other photographers that you can use as a base for your photo, or just leave as is. The app allows you to see your image as it would look with each formula as you go along. Sunflower and Sunfelt are my favorite light leaks and create a beautiful warm glow. Polaroid is my favorite vintage gradient and I use it often to get that, well, Polaroid look. ;)


Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

 Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

VSCO Cam gives your photos that lovely film look. Some of my favorite presets are F2 and S1, which give a soft tone to your images, and I love the 'fade' option. I may even edit a photo in another app and then bring it into VSCO Cam just to add the fade. Another thing that's great to use in this app is the shadow tint and the highlights tint. In the image above I added a slight green tint to the highlights which gave it a more vintage feel.


Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

EyeEm is more of a social photo app, like Instagram, but it has some really great filters that I can't live without. A few of them are Ailine (used in the above image), Vanilla and Gee09. They give my images that soft, pastel, faded look that I love so much. 

Rhonna Designs

Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters
Lady by the Bay - Mobile Photography - Favorite Apps & Filters

Whenever you want to add text, quotes or beautiful hand drawn images to your photos then turn to the Rhonna Designs app. There are so many wonderful fonts to choose from as well as many quotes, doodles, and art. The possibilities are endless.

And on a side note, I edited the above image in VSCO Cam first and then added the quote in the Rhonna Designs app.

Some other apps that I have on my phone and I use occasionally are Faded and Afterlight. I don't use them often but I do like them and thought I'd mention them as well.

Finally, I'd like to add that to achieve a beautiful, realistic look in your images play with the opacity of the filters; don't use filters at 100%. Also, try using more than one filter. Treat them as if you were painting. To create the perfect, unique color you mix colors together. Try that with filters and you'll be amazed at how beautifully they will turn out.

I really hope this helps you with some ideas for apps to be more creative with your photos and enhance them to make them their best. And if you have any questions at all please leave them below and I'd be more than happy to answer them.

What are your favorite photo editing apps?

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Pastel Mood

We've had lots of sunshine and spring-like weather around here in Northern California lately, and that's put me in a pastel mood, I guess. In looking back at some of my most recent Instagram shots I noticed this pattern. I love how they all flow together.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous February so far!

Lady by the Bay - French Fleur

Lady by the Bay - Savoy Vintage Camera

Lady by the Bay - Magnolia Bloom

Lady by the Bay - Vintage Camera & Books

Lady by the Bay - Magnolia

Lady by the Bay - Sunset

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

9 Instagram Accounts That Make Me Happy

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm sharing with you nine Instagrammers that make me happy each and every day. It sure wasn't easy to narrow it down to nine, as I follow a lot of talented people. These are some of the people who I always search for each day to see their postings. So be sure to check them out. You will be so happy you did!

From left to right:

  • alyfromuk2us - Aly sure knows how to capture California's beauty. It's always so fun to see it through her eyes. She is so talented and is the queen of sunset silhouettes.
  • missyjena - Jena has an exceptionally talented eye when it comes to capturing her lovely Vancouver. She has an impeccable fresh and clean style, and has such a warm and engaging personality. 
  • burnningbridges - It's always fun to see where the red umbrella will take you. Yuni takes the most mesmerizing photos with her daughter and the red umbrella. You just have to go take a look to see what I mean. Simply amazing!
  • idknowhowshedoesit - Gloribell's Instagram name says it all. I really don't know how she does what she does. The vignettes she puts together are incredibly gorgeous and classy, and I can only imagine how long they must take. You can see how much detail and love she puts into them. 
  • fatmumslim - Chantelle has such a fun, happy and colorful gallery. You can't help but smile when looking through her photos, whether it be her adorable children, beautiful Australian scenery, fun typography and patterns, or one of her delicious recipes.
  • o_reilly_s - Aurélie takes you on a beautiful journey through Paris on a daily basis. She definitely knows how to capture its beauty!
  • lefoxvintage - The way Vanessa uses Hipstamatic to capture the sky, flowers and nature is like no other. There's such a soft and dreamy touch to her images that is so beautiful, and you can always pick her images out of a crowd. 
  • ravenreviews - Samantha captures some of the most incredible landscape shots of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her feed is like a gallery of postcards. 
  • kodakmoments_bynina - Each and every one of Nina's photos tells a beautiful story that you step into and never want to leave. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Hipstamatic Love - My Favorite Combo

It's no secret that I LOVE Hipstamatic!! I have people ask me all the time how I get the tones that are in my photos, so I thought I'd share that with you here. I've been stuck on one lens for quite a while and occasionally change up the film. The lens I've been hooked on is Adler9009. I adore the soft, pastel look it creates. And the film I use the most is Ina's 1969. It's an off-white, textured frame with rounded corners. This combo definitely has a distinct style, but it's one I've found that fits me perfectly.

A little tip: This combo works best with natural light during the day. I've noticed if I try to use it in the evening it gives off a greenish/grayish look that isn't flattering.

So if you're a lover of soft, dreamy, pastel, tones then give this combo a try in the Hipstamatic app. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. :)

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

I Opened an Etsy Shop!!!

I've been participating in a group photo a day challenge for quite a while now, which you've seen me post about here on my blog several times. Well, this group has become like a family to me. The reason I say 'family' is because family supports you and encourages you to do the things you love, and this group does just that. I have made so many friends along the way and they have been encouraging me for a while now to open an Etsy shop to sell prints of my photographs and flower creations. So I finally did it!! It was such a great feeling to click that button to make the shop live and open to the public!

As of right now I have several photographs of nature and flowers, landscapes, city shots, some still life, and my flower creations in my shop. If you're wondering what I mean by flower creations, here is what I'm talking about.

To be able to create something out of flowers and have someone like it enough that they would want to buy it is so amazing and just motivates me to want to keep on creating. It's sort of an addiction now. :)

So I wanted to share the news with you here. Please stop by and take a look at my shop and let me know what you think. Thank you!!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay


I'm finding that I really enjoy playing with flowers and making little messages like this. Here's another I did today.

I think I'm on to something and will continue making these, and possibly make them into prints to sell on Etsy. :) I'm excited!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay


One of my very favorite things is coming up with a new photo each day for whatever the prompt may be for the FMS Photo A Day Challenge. I've been participating in this challenge for a year now and I adore it. It keeps my creative juices flowing on a daily basis, and today just happened to be a really creative day for me. Today's prompt was "Hello." I think about the next day's photo the evening before, so last night I thought this morning I will go out and take a photo of some phone wires/poles and hope to catch some birds lingering on the wires, but when I got up this morning I just wasn't feeling it. So instead I grabbed the cut up stems from the carnations I trimmed, and created this. The response was overwhelming; it really brightened people's days and made them happy. That's all I ever want, to share images that make people happy. I hope this makes you smile and brings some joy to you. :)

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay