After getting more comfortable with my camera and, of course, the “Aperture Priority” setting, I wanted to know more! I picked up a book on digital photography by Scott Kelby called, The Digital Photography Book. How fitting, right? Why did I choose it? Easy, Amazon told me it was the #1 best-selling digital photography book EVER. I quickly read through and marked up Parts 1 and 2. One of the best suggestions Kelby gave me was to buy the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. Turns out it’s both affordable AND wonderful!

nikkor 50mm f:1.8

My camera came with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens, but let me tell you – once I took it off and put the 50mm prime lens on, I haven’t gone back! You’re probably wondering [or maybe I just think everyone is as interested in this stuff as I am, in which case you can skip down to birthday party stuff ;)], “what does all that ‘##mm’, ‘f/#’, ‘prime’ lens stuff mean?”. I’m still learning about this and hope to invest in more lenses, however, this is what I understand thus far. How many millimeters (mm) the lens is capable of means the focal length of the lens. For example, the smaller #mm, or shorter the focal length, the wider your view or magnification. The larger #mm, or longer the focal length, the narrower your view, or higher magnification. Here is an illustration from to help you understand:

nikonUSA focal length

The “f/#” part tells you the maximum aperture size the lens is capable of. Remember that illustration from my first blog? Based on that illustration, my new lens at f/1.8 can get pretty open (lots of bokeh, yay!). A “prime” vs. “zoom” lens just tells you whether the lens is capable of zoom or not. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length and zoom lenses have adjustable focal lengths.

Below are some photos from my son’s birthday party using my new lens for the first time (AND my very first “staged” photo shoot – how exciting!!).  His party was camo/huting-themed, of course! If you know dad, a camo party was a must. Dad even went out and gathered a few fresh ducks to make his delicious duck-stuffed, bacon wrapped jalepeno poppers.

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Birthday Outfit: Fuzzy Cheeks Boutique

Camo Straws: Puppy Cat Crafts

Smash Cake: Cake Crumbs Bakery

I learned a lot from photographing Bane’s birthday extravaganza. I hope to continue to learn through each click on my camera. Next I’ll be reading, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I’ve heard great things and will fill y’all in after I’m done!

♥Always, Cynthia

p.s. A special thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for the awesome barn door, Gij, Aunt Julie and Uncle James for keeping Bane in line for the photo shoot, all of the above for helping with the party décor and food, Auntie Landry for Bane’s smash cakes and of course to my awesome husband for letting me go crazy+overboard for Bane’s first birthday and for the continuous love and support. Love you all!



  1. I’m just SO proud to call you my best friend! Look at you go, you picture takin’, bloggin’ hot momma!! LOVE YOU!

  2. Awesome post, can’t tell if you’re an awesome photographer or if you just have a really, really, really handsome son. I am so proud of you!

  3. It looks like Bane had a wonderful first birthday party! Your pictures are beautiful! I still haven’t learned how to use my camera properly, so I am looking forward to your posts. I bought “Understanding Exposure” but haven’t read it yet. Thank for for the inspiration!

    • Thank you!! You’ll have to let me know what you think of “Understanding Exposure”, I have yet to start reading it! I hope to keep posting useful lessons that I’ve learned! I just need to play catch up 🙂 ~Cisa 😉

  4. That was a very fun day. You’re a great mommy and Drew is a great daddy. AND, your camera skills are rockin!

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