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Thanks for spending 31 days with me. | Day 31

I can’t believe we’ve been together for 31 days! Special thanks again to Nester for assembling this motley crew. And additional thanks to Emily, Emily, Jen, Kendra, Melissa, and Sandy for allowing me in such great company.

On Day 1 I told the story that flipped the switch for me – how losing all those images ignited my passion and drive for photography. In almost direct opposition to that post, I end with this…

Live the moments.

Don’t be so distracted fumbling with the machine in front of your face that the moment passes you by. Capturing life in photos should be an accessory to the memory – not the memory itself. To accomplish that, you have two choices: get a mindless camera and hope for the best, or get so good at your camera that using it becomes so second nature, you’ve no need to fumble because you know the camera like the back of your hand.

Either way, the photos you take should only add to the experience, not subtract from it. Your family may not appreciate stopping at each moment to gather and “cheese” at the camera. Learn to love the candids, the natural moments that are what they are. Down the line, you’ll appreciate these the most.

Thank you for spending 31 days here. I hope you learned a few things and your family will have a better collection of memories because of it. I welcome you to come back each Tuesday for Sweet Shot Tuesdays so you can share what you’ve learned and the images you love. Lastly – the learning doesn’t stop here. True, I won’t be posting daily (phew!) but I plan to continue sharing what I love about photography and have more opportunities for you all to share what you’ve learned.

An ebook is in the works! If you’ve learned something here, I’d love if you’d considering getting the ebook version as well. I will be updating some days, adding some edits and turning some videos into screen caps instead (gone are the 15 minute videos!).

iowa photographer

Doing what I love.

Thank you! See you Tuesday!


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have taken photography classes over the years but none successfully taught me how to actually USE my Nikon dSLR. Thank you! Thank you! I’ve shared some of your tips with my husband, and he said, “THIS i what we should have learned in class!.” I appreciate that you took your own time to do this. It’s changed my photography, and it will make taking pictures of my little boy so much more fun :).

  2. Thank you so much Darcy, you great teacher!!! I learn lot with the 31 days tutorial, now i converted to manual 🙂 I love shooting portraits just upgrade from Canon Xti to 5Dmkiii with 50,14 – 85,1.4 – 135,2.0 Lens. let me know when the ebook coming out I’ll buy it …

  3. I know you published this over two years ago, but I just wanted to say thank yousoooooooooooooo much for simplifying and leaving me able to learn what three pricey college photography courses did not. You’re awesome!!!!!

  4. This was such a great series! I can’t wait to read the other 31 days of photography and your digital media series. Still working on figuring out layers in Photoshop Elements but you have already given me so much to think about with my photography!