When I tell you I was discouraged by my 'photo-shoot' with my niece, that was an understatement. 

I was having this whole loathsome dialogue with myself… "Why did you agree to this?  You are lost here!  You can't take good pictures!  You're just a wanna be.  Quit trying to be something your not."

It was pretty rough.  I mean, not entirely… Inga Grace is such a cutie, even a total hack could have gotten a good picture of her.  But I had built up the whole thing in my head so much I really thought I was going to bust out a Audrey Woulard session or something.

And when I sat at my computer and looked at blurry picture after blurry picture and pictures with bad lighting and pictures with the wrong subject in focus… I slumped my shoulders down.

I looked at my camera…

…and I regretted trying.

I was embarrassed.  I was disappointed in myself.  I felt like I had failed.

I think my mom sensed that I was on the verge of quitting.

She emailed me and said that if I wanted to take a course in photography online she would foot half the bill.


(hope starts to ignite)

You would do that for me?

And I got an idea.

See, my sister had originally wanted Inga do a photo-shoot with Rialee Photography in Fargo.

But it was pretty spendy.

Her sessions run anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.  When Angie showed me her site I just sat in awe of the beautiful images.  The eyes.  The innocence.  The precious children caught in totally unforced and spontaneous joy.

Here's the amazing part in all of this… she teaches.

And I'm signed up.

Its not until next year… so I have a whole season of Holidays to get blurry in the mean time…

but I am not quitting.  And I have hope!


I am so excited to become the student of an artist.



To learn how to make my kids appear in pictures how I see them.

*Thanks so much for sharing your favorite photography sites with me… I enjoyed every single one!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Sweet lady, you are too hard on yourself! I think your pictures are beautiful and brilliant! I understand that you will have a few that won’t turn out, but you need to understand as well that you have a LOT that turn out AMAZINGLY well! You are more talented than you think, my dear … 🙂

  2. You have more talent in your pinky finger than I do in my whole body! Your pictures are beautiful! But I too have stared in defeat at blurry picture after blurry picture. I have even posted a few on my blog because that’s the best I could come up with.
    I have been wanting to take a photography course so I checked out your link. I am seriously thinking about it! I need to talk to the hubs about it first though.
    I am so excited for you!

  3. I like your pictures Amanda! I do know what you mean about capturing the picture the way YOU see it. When we were at a mutual friends, hmmm hmmm, I noticed a book on how to take photographs of babies. I thought to myself….yes, self taught….why don’t I self teach a little?
    So what did I do? I went online and ordered a book by Tom Ang, “How To Photograph Absolutely Everything”. I just got it and haven’t read but three pages. It’s a huge book and I am sure I will get some good tips. It was $16.47 on Amazon. Can’t hurt huh?
    I am also hoping to get a DSLR soon. That will help with how fast the kids move.
    I’ve seen all your recent stuff on your blog and you DO take great pictures! You want to know what picture you’ve taken that most stands out to me? You’re going to laugh….it was the one of your filled mason jars with “something” in it. It was a semi side shot. Do you know which one I mean?
    I also have a photo friend from high school who told me to join up with a group and they can help you. I suppose by saying what they did and such. My trouble is I don’t know the language enough to be in something like that…YET!
    It will all come…and lucky you….you are going to be taught! Will you teach me when you’re done?

  4. Did you take these pics that you just posted? They are great! I especially love the first one!
    I’m a wannabe photographer as well! However, I don’t have a great camera and I get really frustrated when I miss shots b/c of my stupid camera, or when the quality isn’t as good as I know I could get with a better camera. How great that you are going to be taught by such a great photographer! Yay for you, and Yay for not giving up! When you have a dream for something…follow it! 🙂

  5. Those pics are gorgeous! I can only imagine how your photos will look after a class! Don’t be so hard on yourself…you have a great gift! And it will be so fun to see that gift opened up even more! You’re awesome…can’t wait to see more! 🙂

  6. I bet you’ll absorb so much from your artist/teacher. It will be much more personable than an online course. And wait until she sees your enthusiasm…

  7. I often get frustrated when my photos don’t turn out the way I plan and *hope*! I can totally relate!
    Keep at it and soon you will get where you want to be! (or at least this is what I keep telling myself!)

  8. Sooooo jealous! I feel like that sometimes too. 😉
    Looking forward to the day I can afford a Kelley Ryden workshop!

  9. How exciting is this! Your pictures look amazing to me. I am the world’s worst picture taker (can’t even call myself a photographer). I’d like to blame it on the camera, but sadly I know the truth.

  10. Good for you! It’s easy to listen to the voice of defeat sometimes. Just keep at it and ask God to help you. It’s amazing what He will do when we lean on Him.
    Rich blessings to you!!

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