Explore -t shirt-


Create Memories -t shirt-


Why You Should Take a Picture Everyday

There’s one thing that I love about photographing my everyday and it is the satisfaction of seeing our everyday and adventures in a book at the end of the years. It’s a way for me to preserve our memories and leave a legacy for my kids.

**This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases and affiliated clicks**

 I cherish the photos I take and the photos taken by my friends and family. Because I cherish them so much I love to share them. I love posting our family adventures on social media so that friends and family can see in real-time the adventures that we are taking but my favorite part is to create a photo book for each kid at the end of the year that has pictures from every adventure we have taken that year.

Starting a photography project is a big undertaking but I can guarantee you that it will pay off in the end. Here are 4 reasons why you should shoot every day!

You never know what your day will bring 

We don’t wake up each morning knowing how our day will unfold so taking your camera with you to capture your day is a great way to document the ups and downs. Even the ordinary needs to be remembered! If we can’t tell what a day will bring there’s no way for us to predict how a year will unfold, therefore taking a photo a day is a great way to remember how you began the year and how the year ended. And pictures are a great way to remember what we have to be thankful for.

Why You Should Shoot Everyday - Monarch Butterfly

You children will thank you

This became so true for me when my mom passed, I was extremely thankful that she had taken pictures of us as a family and pictures of us with her, they are a great way to look back and remember all of the good times. And now that she’s gone pictures of her are what sparks the memories I want to remember forever.  

If you have children your photos will most likely include your day to day adventures with them which will be so very exciting for them to look back on in the years to come. If you don’t have children it is just as important to photograph your daily life. There’s nothing more fun for your children than seeing what your life was like before you had them. Children love to see what you look like what you did and what you were passionate about.

Why You Should Shoot Everyday - Shoot for Your Kids

Your Photography Skills will Improve

There is something to be said about what an impact picking up your camera every single day can do for your photography. I was amazed at how much my photography style and camera skills drastically improved by taking a photo a day. By the end of the year, I could visually see an evolution in my photography skills as the days and months went by because I learned so much about photography and my camera every single day. 

Feeling of accomplishment 

It’s a really great feeling when you take your final picture of the year. You will feel it every time you see your images. This is why it is even more important to celebrate the completion of your 365 photography project with your family and friends by making a Blurb Book of all of your pictures.  A photo book is also a great way to see how far your photography has come, you’ll get to see the picture that you took at the beginning of the project and the picture at the end and I can guarantee there will be a huge difference in those two pictures.

So what is stopping you? Of every photographer who has completed a 365 project, not one has had any regrets. Whether it is to photograph memories for your family or to help improve your photography one day at a time there are too many wonderful reasons for you to pick up your camera and take a picture every day!

We would love to see your pictures be sure to tag us on social media with the #captureyouradventures365. 

Blurb

Memorable Vacation Photos

Vacations are special to us because they are the time we get to slow down, spend time with our families, and do something we love. These vacations/adventures are something that we all want to capture and share but have you ever picked up your camera on vacation taken the shot and then been disappointed with the result?  I know I have, but with some practice, I have found a system that works for me and I get the memorable vacation photos I want. 

Disclaimer: This contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). I only recommend tools and resources I use and love!

A Variety of Shots

My goal when it comes to taking vacation pictures is to create a photo book when we get home. So with that goal in mind I think about the layout of the book and the type of shots I want to capture. I know that for a spread (two pages) I need 3 to 8 pictures, so when I pick up my camera I try to take at least 8 pictures before putting it back down.  

This might sound crazy at first but hear me out. I will start by taking a pullback image so the viewer can see the entire scene. From there I will step closer to my subjects. I will move around them to get different pictures at different angles.  I will also focus on different things to show the details and what they are doing. Here are some angles to think about when taking pictures- straight on, from the side, from above, from behind, etc. 

Whether you’re on vacation or even just at home your pictures will be so much more interesting if you get low.  Get on eye level with your kids so that you can see the scene the same as they do. It is amazing how just changing your height can improve a picture.

More often than not when people take pictures they stand too far away. Don’t be afraid to have your subject fill the frame; it will be a much more interesting picture.

I like to get a mix of individual shots and group shots to mix things up. It is also a great way to show who we were on vacation with.

Memorable Vacation Photos

The Details

Most of the time the place we visit is just as important as the people who are there, so I want to make sure I am taking pictures of our surroundings (big landscape shots and tiny details). I will often start taking our vacation photos when I start packing our bags. When the kids were younger we had so much gear that we had to take with us I always thought it was just crazy!! Now that they are older we don’t take as much gear but I don’t want to forget that season of our life where each kid had 2-3 bags just for a weekend trip. Lol 

Pictures of signs and buildings are a great way to document your location.  These pictures pair really nicely next to pictures of your kids in a photo book and they bring back memories from the trip.  Don’t forget the epic landscape shots that will give an overall feeling of where you were. 

Take Candid Photos

When you take pictures of your kids engrossed in an activity you end up with gorgeous photos. These moment show them in the most natural way- investigating an ant hill, gazing at a painting in a museum, or climbing the monkey bars and isn’t that how we want to remember them? 

Besides, candid photos of your children mean they won’t have a chance to stick out their tongue or turn away from the camera. 

I’m pretty sure you would agree that family vacations should also be about the kids not just getting the perfect smiling group photo. So let your kids explore and immerse themselves on vacation just have your camera ready to snap a photo.

Always take a Group Photo.

If you’re wanting to take better photos on vacation don’t wait until the end of an outing or an adventure to take a picture by that time your kids will be impatient, tired and hungry. That is not exactly the best ingredients for a memorable photo of your kids.

That being said trying to get a good picture at the beginning of an activity or an adventure is easy either because all your kids want to do is explore they don’t wanna sit still to take a picture. Instead I wait to take a group picture somewhere in the middle of your adventure and if you don’t get it the first time move onto a different location and try again. We aren’t against bribery either. 🙂

Memorable Vacation Photos

Make them Part of Documenting the Vacation

Just like if you were home and your kids get tired of having the camera in their face all the time so to keep them engaged in taking pictures and willing subjects I always try to get them involved. Hunter is the easiest he loves to be in the picture and then if you let him hold the camera and take a picture he’s so much happier. This takes all of maybe 30 seconds and he is a much more willing subject later on. 

You can also involve your kids by doing photo scavenger hunt where you have them look for different things on your adventure and have them take pictures of the items or you can take a picture of it just gonna keep everyone engaged in the activity.

Use the Rule of Thirds

I think using the rule of thirds is my number one piece of advice I give anyone when they ask about taking better pictures so I’m going to give it again use the rule of thirds. If you want to know more information about the rule of thirds you can visit Using the Rule of Thirds blog post. The biggest thing to know is you can turn on the grid on your phone and on your camera to help you along the way.

Get in the Frame

Don’t forget to get in the picture as well.  You are on the vacation too so you need to be captured enjoying your adventures. Hand the camera to your significant other or even to your kids.  Just get in the picture, you will thank me later!!

Memorable Vacation Photos

Taking the photos is just the beginning 

Once you get home you’re going to want to edit the pictures and put them in a photo book so that you can remember the vacation.

When we get home I will upload all of our pictures into Adobe Lightroom based on the month and the date and maybe a little bit about what adventure we were on. From there I will go through and cull the pictures and pick out the ones that I like the best and tag them. Each kid has their own tag and each vacation has it own tag.  This year we didn’t get to go on spring break because of Covid-19 but I knew I wanted to document our “vacation” at home.  So I tagged the pictures from our vacation week “corona-cation”.

I have created our vacation books in both blurb and chatbooks.  I tend to like Blurb Books for the longer vacations that I have taken more pictures.  For the shorter vacations, I will do a chatbook

I have also shot an entire vacation with my iPhone. I put all of those pictures into a chatbook because it was easier. 

On your next vacation don’t forget your camera. Enjoy your vacation but be ready to pull out your camera and capture those unforgettable moments.  You will love looking back at your memorable vacation photos and remember the amazing vacation.  Share your pictures with us on social media @living_our_adventures or #capture-your-adventures, we can’t wait to see them!

Blurb

ABS Roof Repair

This ABS Roof Repair was performed on our 1998 Coleman Fleetwood Bayside.  We tried multiple repairs in various areas that never lasted.  The final straw was coming home from the beach and noticing a large section of the camper roof on the awning side (passenger side of the tow vehicle) starting to try and take flight. We had to stop and use good ole duct tape to hold the roof together so we could make it home.

Extensive Cracks in ABS Roof

Parts of the Roof:

Exterior ABS plastic roof with an adhered hard plastic awning channel, hard foam core, interior ABS ceiling which houses the interior lights and the inner track for the canvas, 4 mounts for the pop-up lift system poles and the track and snaps for storing the door when the camper is closed.

The Tools:

Screwdriver, Dewalt pad sander, a compressor with hose and blowgun, Roto-Zip, two 2 quart Mason jars, 1 gallon denatured alcohol, ABS pellets (we got a 5lb bag), 1 gallon of MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone), respirator, 2 or 3 cheap metal putty knives you are ok with throwing away, 2” wide masking tape, plastic drop cloths, 2 wooden paint stirrers, paper towels, old white T-shirts or a white sheet (to be cut down for rags), work gloves, step stool and order of Grizzly Grip appropriate for the square footage of your roof (having more than you need is better than not having enough – shoot for 10% more than your actual square footage).


*** I highly recommend you put on your respirator prior to opening up any container that has MEK in it.  This product, if used in an enclosed area, is much stronger than you think and will make you very light headed. We were doing this project toward the end of October and it was getting quite chilly at night so 90% of this repair was done in the garage. *** 

ABS Roof Repair-

Preparation:

First thing you need to do is raise the top of the pop up about 6 inches and remove the main seal from the roof. Clean the entire edge of the exterior roof and interior ceiling where the seal was touching so you will be able to reinstall the seal with ease when you are done.

Next, we used the masking tape to run along the edge of our plastic drop clothes. Apply the tape so you are only using about half the width of the tape then you can stick the other half along the interior ceiling edge where the main seal rested. This should keep the vast majority of the plastic dust from entering your camper.

Now, using your pad sander sand the entire surface of the ABS roof.  No need to go crazy you just need to rough the surface and get rid of any dirt and debris resting on the roof.

When sanding is completed turn on your compressor with your hose and blow gun attached and blow off as much of the dust from sanding as possible. Take some paper towels and the denatured alcohol and thoroughly clean the roof to get rid of any remaining dust.

Our camper had many little hairline cracks all over it. They were too small to work the ABS slurry into so we took our Roto-Zip with an appropriately sized bit and one by one opened up each crack. Afterward we used the compressor and blow gun to get rid of any debris left over and again cleaned down the roof with denatured alcohol and paper towels.

Making your ABS plastic slurry:

Due to the number of hairline cracks and the 5 sizable cracks in our roof we needed to make a large amount of slurry. In fact, while we were in the process of creating the first batch of slurry it became abundantly clear that it was not going to be enough to complete the repair so we made a second batch. Each batch started with a one to one ratio – 3 cups of ABS pellets & 3 cups of MEK.

Now is the time to put your respirator on. Take your 2 quart Mason jar and pour in 1 part ABS pellets and 1 part MEK and stir vigorously with a wooden paint stirrer. Put the top on the Mason jar noting that the lid with the rubber ring needs to be reversed when put on the Mason jar so the metal side is toward your slurry then you can tighten down the threaded outer band. The chemical reaction from the pellets and the MEK will melt the rubber ring if put on the traditional way.

Because of the amount of slurry we needed it was necessary for us to stir every 2-3 hours adding more pellets or MEK to get the correct consistency for our use. This process took about 48 hours. Depending on how much slurry you need this might be something you want to start in advance.

Every time we stirred the mixture we would put the respirator on prior to opening the jar and not take it off until the jar was closed and we were leaving the garage.

Apply your ABS plastic slurry:

This part along with applying the Grizzly Grip is what I like to call “Go Time.” You should have your supplies (respirator, gloves, MEK, rag, slurry, metal putty knife and step stool) staged and ready to go. This is one of those steps where once you start you should not stop until you’re finished.

Put your respirator and gloves on. For this task you may want to mentally break the roof up into 4 quadrants so this step is more manageable. Take the lid off your slurry and stir with your paint stirrer and set aside.

Grab your container of MEK and a rag or two. Douse a section of your rag with MEK and in the quadrant you choose to start on first go ahead and rub the rag over the areas you will be applying the slurry to and set aside. The MEK will start to slowly dissolve the areas you applied it to making those surfaces tacky and ready to receive the slurry you are about to apply.

Now grab your slurry, paint stirrer and putty knife. Since we had so many hairline cracks we took slurry out of the Mason jar with the paint stirrer and would put a good sized blob right in the middle of a bunch of these cracks. (Although we had many of these hairline cracks they seemed to be lumped in groups around areas of the roof that were stressed or from long term sun exposure, UV damage.) Using the putty knife we pressed the slurry into the cracks much like doing drywall work. Once satisfied with the amount of slurry in the cracks we then made sure there was a good thick layer of slurry on and around the area. Better to have a heavy hand on this part because when the solvent evaporates from the slurry it contracts and hardens. In our case we had to do 2 and in some places 3 applications of slurry. After each application of slurry had cured we would sand, clean with denatured alcohol and inspect to see if it needed another coat. This was the easiest part.

The worst area by far was under the awning channel. Pretty much for the entire length of the awning channel piece where the ABS roof met it on the underside was cracked all the way across. On that same side the ABS had delaminated from the foam core and there were 2 cracks that went from the bottom of the channel piece down to the bottom lip where the main seal attaches to the roof.

After much consideration we felt in the long run it would be more time efficient and an overall stronger repair to remove the ABS roofing from the side, clean up the cracks on those pieces and the cracked ABS along the bottom of the channel piece and reattach so we could fill all the spaces with slurry and move to the next step. This required 2 intentional cuts thru the ABS piece which turned it into 3 pieces that were roughly 10-11inches wide by about 3 feet long.

Once these 3 pieces were cleaned up and the edges of the cracked ABS were prepped it was time to reattach them to the foam core in the correct position. We used 3M Foam Fast 74 Spray Adhesive. This spray, along with some well placed pinch clamps, masking tape and the pressure of our hands for a minute or 2 was just what we needed to get these pieces set in their proper places.

With our ABS side pieces securely in place on the foam core it was time to apply the ABS slurry.  For repairs such as this one you go big! We pushed the slurry into every nook, cranny and crevasse. In fact, to reinforce the area of the ABS roof that met up with the bottom of the base plate for the awning channel we basically engulfed the entire area in a layer of slurry that was just as thick as the base plate. Using this much slurry took longer to cure but once it had and the area was sanded down and cleaned up the repair looked great.      

Grizzly Grip:

At this point you have finished sanding and thoroughly cleaned the roof with denatured alcohol. Break out your Grizzly Grip and follow the application instructions provided by the manufacturer. 

Grizzly Grip Application

A job well done:

Now that the Grizzly Grip has dried and you have reinstalled the main seal you are ready to show off your hard work……Happy Camping!!! This ABS Roof Repair was a lot of work and took time but it was well worth it in the end. We couldn’t me more happy with the end product and we know that it will last us for years to come.