58 In Articles

It’s a Canon


A Canon Rebel XSI to be exact. Just like Sister’s. You see we have the tendency to do that, you know, copy each other. The decision was so easy for me because she had already made it {thankfully, with the professional assitance of Marla}. I knew just what I wanted for the body and just what I wanted for the lens. And since the yard sale was such a success I decided on another lens too, a 50mm. It’s a fixed lens {that’s what I call it} it doesn’t zoom. I bought the wide angle lens Shelli, a very kind friend in Atlanta who just so happens to be a wonderful photographer too and just so happened to have it collecting dust on her shelf!

Marla had a last minute change of heart and almost sold me on the Nikon D90 but I’m glad she didn’t because Erika and I can exchange lenses if we so desire and the Nikon D90 was a little more $$$ but did have that oh-so-tempting video mode!

I don’t have Photoshop and I have no idea how to edit pictures the proper way. I’ve been using Microsoft Office Picture Manager and needless to say it’s pretty BASIC. You’ll see in some of these I selected “Auto Correct” and the results are less than par, but with time I hope to figure out the editing software that came with my camera but it’s all foreign to me right now.

I have been having a lot of fun and this little camera has been glued to my eye. I know the little wrinkles on my forehead are going to get worse because I squint to close that left eye all day long! Oh, the price you pay for pictures! I’ll just have to go get some Oil of Olay Regenerist night cream and lather it on all day! 🙂

First, let me show you my eggs. I started them about a week and half ago and they sure are fun. Not sure what I’m going to do with them but I love that they represent new life during this time of year. I also love that Morgan planted the same grass seeds in a cup at preschool and when I inquired to her teacher about where she got the seeds she gave me about a 5lb bag of leftovers! I have 6 or 8 more of these little guys and Morgan colored faces on them with permenant markers. They’re still cute, in a “preschool” kind of way.


Next let me show you what it’s like to be a young man in a house full of stingy women. Good thing Grandma {better known as “Mom”} is here to rescue him when he needs it. Speaking of Grandma… she was a kind model for me to test out the different camera settings today.


Isn’t she cute? And she doesn’t normally wear her glasses that low… I think she was pretending to be more “grandmotherly” than she is. She seriously doesn’t look like a grandmother, does she? Anyway, he’s crazy about her. Look what she does to him. He can be completely fine…


And she walks in and he completely melts….


Moving right along to the women in his life that don’t have the same affect on him…

Ruler #1: the Raiger {who “speaks softly mumbly and carries a big popsicle stick”}


Ruler #2: Morgan {thumb-sucker extraordinaire– who has been doing AWESOME at stopping, you can even see her bandaids in pictures below!}


Neither of these “rulers” were thrilled about sharing their yogurt popsicles with “spit-up breath” brother. He was ticked. And she was real concerned.


He reminds me a little bit of a puppy, ok, a lot of a puppy. Give him a tail and he might bark!


Finally {with a little coercing from the camera woman} they did. But it was a tad too cold on tender gums that are about to break forth with small painful teeth…


So they snatched their popsicles back and waited…


And he cried to the woman behind the camera, “Please help me!”


But I couldn’t. You see, I was really enjoying my new camera and couldn’t put it down over a popsicle. No one was bleeding. So I kept shooting.

And they worked it out on their own… I love it when that happens.


Then I played with the camera some more.


And some more.


And Paiger thought it was hilarious.


Then everyone came inside for much needed baths, given by the highly renowned GRANDMA.


And if this is what this camera is going to do to me {keep me up 2 nights in a row past 11pm} I may have to return it.

Tomorrow is the day that Sister will find out what she is having! Do you know how excited I am about this baby? Obviously, I love babies. And this child better watch out… his/her MommaSissy is going to love it like crazy! I already do. What an amazing blessing and gift it is. Morgan has a Willowtree statue on her nightstand of a pregnant woman {that someone gave me when I was pregnant with Morgan} and she always says “it’s to help her to remember to pray for MommaSis’ and the baby in her tummy”. Our whole crew is so excited about this little one, thank you, Lord for the miracle of life, may it be a healthy, growing child, and please let it’s legs be open tomorrow at the ultrasound! 🙂

Good night, friends!

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    March 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I am in love with John Martin…those popsicle pictures were incredible!!!

  • Elizabeth
    March 25, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I couldn’t wait to see what camera you got. I have the exact same one and I love it. I’ve had mine almost two months and I’m still trying to figure things out. You took some great pictures. I love how you posted the sequence with the popsicles. Enjoy practicing with your “models”

  • erika
    March 26, 2009 at 4:33 am

    edible. all of it. did you make those popsicles? they look very yummy. i wish i was there with all of you 🙁 john martin is hilarious… i’ve been up since 5am… counting down the hours… 3.5 more to go.
    i love you and your precious family. thanks for praying for us.

  • erika
    March 26, 2009 at 4:34 am

    ps- mad camera skills already. rock on. you must have learned all that from me? right? 🙂

  • burgmom
    March 26, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Ohhh…..I have been eyeing up that camera. Is it easy to use?

    I loved the pictures of the kids. It won’t be much longer and he will be able to take the popsicle out of their hands. LOL.

  • maggi
    March 26, 2009 at 4:45 am

    I see this camera is having the same effects on you that mine is on me. I’ve had mine for over a year and its like I got it yesterday. My husband laughs at me cause I DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT MY CAMERA! Glad you got the Canon, THEY RULE!!!

    Your models are adorable!

    Enjoy your camera.

  • Mandy
    March 26, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Love the camera…the kids are precious and I love that baby boy…he is too cute…I want to swoop him up and give him his own popsicle! I am partial to baby boys these days since I have a new one! Keep on snapping away…Enjoy your day! Mandy

  • Kat
    March 26, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Those pictures are fabulous! I brought tears to my eyes to hear how excited you are about your sister’s baby, my sister is pregnant too and I just know how special that is. Have fun with your new camera, can’t wait to see more pictures!

  • Mandi
    March 26, 2009 at 6:09 am

    love the kids. love the pictures. love your blog. thanks for sharing your life with us, mandi

  • kdurec
    March 26, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Those pictures are precious! I love how babies beg for food like dogs! 🙂 And it only gets worse when they start walking, but you already know that!

    I loved the Teddy Roosevelt reference. 🙂

  • Melissa
    March 26, 2009 at 6:30 am

    So glad you’re having so much fun! Love the pics! Photo editing software….try Adobe Photoshop Elements. It’s more user-friendly than the full version of Photoshop and much less expensive–$77 at Sam’s. My students are using it right now and loving it!

  • Erin
    March 26, 2009 at 6:43 am

    JM is hilarious! Can’t wait to see everyone! Is the week of May 2-11 ok? June won’t work out bc another girl is out that week. I’ll call you later to talk about it. Can’t wait to see what Brookie is having!! How exciting;)

  • Melissa
    March 26, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Forgot to mention a couple of things….you can download a free 30 day trial of Photoshop Elements from the Adobe website. Also, I have some short lessons for things like changing the background to b/w, etc. that I can send you if you’re interested.

  • Ashley
    March 26, 2009 at 7:15 am

    How exciting, Darby! I love the pictures, and I am so impressed you already have such rockin’ knowledge! Keep practicing! I keep telling myself that I need better models. The war beagles do not suffice. Next model will arrive sometime in early June. Whohoo!

    PS. I ordered the 50 mm for my D60; it was very costly just b/c Nikon lenses have the motor built in. But, I had researched to no end and knew it was the best for portraits, kids, etc. So fast and great in low light. You’ll LOVE it. Mine should arrive TODAY!

  • Courtney
    March 26, 2009 at 7:17 am

    have you heard of/checked out Picasa?? you can download it for free and it’s GREAT – lets you change lots of stuff in your pictures! i LOVE it. i just got photoshop…but it’s so overwhelming i haven’t done much with it. i still go to Picasa because it’s so easy, and does a great job!

  • andi
    March 26, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Howdy friend!!!! I got a Rebel too. We’ll have to discuss photo soon. I need help, like in a big way! I have so many ideas and of course, no idea about how to create the shots I want. You of course, will have read that silly manual and be able to help a mooch like myself figure out what in the world all of these buttons are. Let’s do a personal tutorial? PLEASE!!!! You must help me so as not to let a good camera go to waste. I do want to catch up with you more than learn the camera. Can’t wait to hear about the ultra sound! The pictures looked great!!! I am also in need of a bit of decorating advice those silly windows in the family room are haunting me.
    PS-i got outside couch cushions. dying for them to come!!!!! mousetraps?

  • Kellie
    March 26, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I have the canon rebel too – it’s the 350D – not sure what all the differences are….. just have the basic 18-55mm lens, but may look into that 50mm fixed lens thingy – KNOW NOTHING about photography, but sure LOVE it! How bout a tutorial???? SOOON!!!! Ya’ll better do a post soon on what Erica’s having – I can’t wait to know!

  • Teale
    March 26, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Darby, your new camera rocks. I had my eye on it already after seeing Erika’s pics… is it really user-friendly? Since you have all this free time (cough, cough…) I would love to see some shots using the different lenses. I know nothing about that stuff. Precious pics of kiddos!
    (oh, did you make the popsicles?)

  • Linkis Family Love
    March 26, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Raiger looks like you, JM and Morgan, like Justin. Do you get that observation often?
    Two questions: What kind of grass did you use in your eggs?
    How did you make the yogurt popsicles? We have the popsicle molds, but not sure what to do with them, now? Oy!
    Hope you LOVE, LOVE your camera. I got my “big girl camera”, aptly named, Flash, last year, and I LOVE it! I STILL haven’t read the directions, bc it has been so easy to pick up, point and shoot.
    Happy Thursday!

  • Rachel
    March 26, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Your pictures are looking great! (It helps you have the most adorable kids to be your models too.)You may want to check out http://www.picnik.com for some photo editing. It’s not the most professional, but it’s fun and easy to play around with.

  • Becky
    March 26, 2009 at 9:08 am

    i haven’t gotten to shoot any pics outside since i got my new one. i gotta get with it. sop sop sop up every last one of ’em. even mom. hey, i’ll be in dothan in 2 weeks. will you be there?

  • Dianne
    March 26, 2009 at 9:15 am

    What great models you have!!!! Can’t wait to hear from Erika about the baby.

  • Debra
    March 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    … and that’s the very camera I should have treated myself to…I’ve heard so much about it!
    My next treat to myself I guess…
    Takes amazing photos. Have fun with it and thanks for the tip!

  • Hillary @ The Other Mama
    March 26, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Love the pics! Esp. the one with John Martin in the background with yogurt pop on his face. And the one with your mom kissing him.
    Will be thinking about Erica all day! So exciting!

  • Pizza by the Sea
    March 26, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I think this is my favorite Darby post ever. The story is so fun and that picture of John Martin crying while Paige cranes her neck back is priceless. Go you with your new camera.

  • Shireen
    March 26, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Told you that you’d be a pro-photographer. I haven’t been commenting…oh, but I’m keeping up! 😉

    I canNOT believe your mom’s been with you guys ALL this time!! I know you are SO thankful!

    Your children are gorgeous and handsome, Darby, and your hair is SO long!!! 🙂

    Along with everyone else, I’m LOVING the pics! They are absolutely wonderful!!! They say SO much!! 🙂 In fact, just as you’ve shown with the popsicle (are those homemade??? :)) “incident,” your camera has just told a sweet story!

    I can’t get over how much JM is growing, girl!

  • Sarah
    March 26, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Love your photos; they are great!! Have you tried http://www.picnik.com? it’s a free photoediting website. I’ve played around with it a bit and it’s very cool.

    I have to ask…did you make those posicles??

  • :o) mg
    March 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Your mother is beautiful and quite photogenic. I love how the picture of her (wearing her glasses low) has her in focus and everything behind her is blurred. Great new camera. I have camera envy now.

  • The Hams
    March 26, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Hi Darby,
    I am a friend of Ashley and Tegan’s who “blog stalks” you =) I love reading your posts and I must agree with you on the camera purchase! I bought the same camera when it came out last Spring and I LOVE IT! With a son who is almost two and twins that will be here in 3 weeks, I can say that it’s a great camera for taking shots of little ones! Your pictures are great!!

  • MyLittleHappyPlace
    March 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I've been glued to Erika's blog & FB page today WAITING!! I KNOW you know 😉

    The pictures are amazing! Which lens did you use on those? If its the 50mm, I'm very impressed – I love mine, but with my body (Nikon D40), its not an auto-focus, so I'm always a little slow catching the best candid moments.
    Good stuff, all!

  • Anonymous
    March 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I LOVE that you LOVE your new camera, because we get to see all the pictures of your beautiful children.

  • Keri A. Ward
    March 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Darby, its me again “Yada Yada”! I have some ideas that you can do with your grass. My aunt has some of that same stuff and last year she used it as part of the table center piece for our Easter family dinner. She put some in a basket with cute little eggs and bunnies on the table. SUPER CUTE. I think she planted it in an old brownie pan so there was a LOT and it ended up looking like a piece of sod. (hehe) I like what you did with the eggs. 🙂

    Your photos are splendid and the ones of the kiddos are just priceless. You are doing an awesome job capturing those moments.

  • Laurel @ Ducks in a Row
    March 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Thos popsicles, in the pool – I can only wish. It’s snowing today in Denver!!

  • Katie
    March 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I don’t know you Darby, but I love your blog. I found it through a friend/sorority sister of mine from Troy. Just a fellow blogger and I’ve never commented before, but I figure you’ve seen me pop up before and needed to let you know who I was.
    Katie Snow
    Millbrook, AL

  • The Southern Lady
    March 27, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I forgot to add…We did the band-aid’s on Mad’s thumbs when we were trying to break her habit (interestingly enough she was also four). It only took three days and voila! No more thumb.

    Best of luck to the sweet girl!

  • Candice
    March 27, 2009 at 9:17 am

    How do you make the popsicles? Your kids are cute, the camera is amazing, I am jelous, and oh yeah, you are so lucky to have your mom stay with you. I wish my mom could stay with me forever, she only lives like 7 miles away, but it’s different when they are in your home, I know you know what I mean.

  • Kate T.
    March 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Congratulations on your fun, new camera!

    I was going to suggest Picasa, too, as an easy and free introduction to photo editing. I also got a great deal on Paint Shop Pro through Frys.com; with a rebate I only paid like $13 a couple years ago. It has a lot of the same functions as photo shop (levels, curves, layers, etc.) but fit better into my budget.

    Also, I came across a book that has really helped me with my slr. It’s called, “Photographing Your Family: And All the Kids and Friends and Animals Who Wander Through Too”…It’s written by a National Geographic photographer and was sooooo helpful in helping me get used to my slr, and learn how to do some really cool things with it.

    Anyway, your blog is so fun to check in on. And congrats again about the camera! :0)

    –Kate T.

  • The HoneaBees
    March 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I saw Photoshop at Costco a few months ago for about $50-80. I thought that was a good deal. (not sure if you have a costco)
    I have the Nikon D60 and LOVE it…but am still learning!!
    Your pics are awesome!

  • No.35style
    March 31, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    precious pictures and your ring is gorgeous!!

  • The Brooks
    July 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I was wondering if you could tell me which of your lenses you use the most. I have the same fixed width lens that you have but am considering getting an additional lens. If you tend to use your fixed width the majority of the time, I will just stick with that one. It is just a pain sometimes b/c I can't zoom in or out. Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Michelle
    September 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Hi! You have inspired me to learn more about photography. I am about to purchase the same camera however I was wondering what your thoughts are on Canon Rebel T1i? I believe it is similar to the XSI but with video capabilities. thanks

  • Megan
    November 20, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I love your pictures on your blog! So do you primarily use your tameron 17-50mm and the canon 50mm prime lenses or have you started using other lenses since this post about your camera? I’m thinking about getting the 50mm for my rebel xs.

  • Talysa
    November 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I have this same camera….have for a year now and I have been using the kit lens (not impressive) and I have a telephoto zoom lens which is somewhat impressive. I am asking Santa for a prime (fixed) lens for Christmas…thinking the 50mm. But I am curious…do you use your wide angle lens very often? Happy with it’s pics?

  • Donna Arnold
    December 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I also have this camera and love it! Which lens did you use on the shots of the kids?

    December 9, 2009 at 11:29 am



  • Devon
    January 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Ohhh, I am so excited! I just purchased the same camera! My brother has had it for awhile and LOVES it. Here’s to some Darby-quality kids photos in my near future!!

  • Tracy Forrester
    March 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Hi! I am new to the whole blog thing and one of my favorite pastimes which I never have time for is scrapbooking. Do you scrapbook as well or is blogging your sole resource for documenting your kiddos life?

  • Daisy
    March 21, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Your pictures are breathe taking. And it gives me hope to know that you did not use photoshop to make them pop so well. I have a Canon Xsi, but mine do not pop. I have the stock lenses that come with it. Do you think the purchase of your Tamron Lens makes a huge difference in your pictures? Really no photoshop?? I am in awe.
    Oh an another thing…I had a set of twins almost five years ago and it’s so sweet to see how close you and your sister are. Just makes my heart melt for my own. Give your mom BIG {{hugs}}

  • Danielle
    April 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Which lens do you use the most? I have the kit lens and a 50mm. I LOVE my 50 but being a fixed lens it doesn’t work for everything and I’m not a huge fan of the kit lens. My next lens I’m planning on a 70-300mm but now you got me thinking….

  • annette
    June 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    love your photos of husband and the rat snake! soooooooo glad he didn’t kill a harmless animal just going about their own business. my husband is the same way. shows sign of his character and kindness and understanding about all of god’s children…yes, even snakes. : )

  • Darlene
    December 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    you are super talented!

    I have this page bookmarked… and I am dreaming of finding this camera used. Any suggestions?

    helpful post 🙂

  • Brandy
    January 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Darby. Love your pictures and your blog! Which wide angle lens do you use? I want to get one for my Canon, too 🙂 Blessings!

  • Ashley
    September 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Hi Darby!

    Love your photos and was wondering which lens you use most often. When I click on the flickr sight I see 85mm and 2.8f. But I’m having trouble finding it.

    Any advice??


  • Duncan Derby
    January 15, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Thanks again for the article post. Want more.

  • Mike
    April 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I also use the Rebel XSi for my blog photos.

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