Guest Post : Flea Market Shopping Guide


Good Afternoon! Today I bring you a guest post with some great pointers for flea market shopping, my favorite pastime! The folks over at Urbanara offer up some great tips for finding the perfect pieces for your home. Enjoy and happy shopping!

Here are a couple recent treasures I scooped up:

Aren’t they stunning? I spotted them, and instantly fell in love!

Flea Market Shopping Guide:
(guest post courtesy of Urbanara)

Here at URBANARA, tucked away in Mitte, Berlin, we are surrounded by a great range of flea markets selling the best in vintage fashion, to beautiful homemade jewelry and beautiful antiques. Ranging from the mighty Mauerpark, to the host of Turkish markets that dot the city every Saturday and Sunday, Berlin is a flea marketers dream. Let URBANARA give you the best tips for making your Sunday morning trip to the market as fruitful and stress free as possible.

1. Early bird catches the worm: This might be quite obvious but always arrive early for the best deal and the most beautiful items. Flea markets are becoming a really popular and fashionable way to decorate your apartment so very often the first hours are the most valuable. Get down there early to catch the bargains and find the best buys of the day before someone else snatches them up!

2. Think outside the box: Find new uses for antique pieces. Furniture is probably the easiest to do this with. Use dressers as sideboards, a sofa for Continue reading

Tips For Photographing Your Kids : An Interview with Evan Kafka

I feel so lucky to have a creative husband, and even luckier that he’s worked with the very talented photographer Evan Kafka. He does amazing work with kids, and has shot for big companies including Parenting Magazine and Huggies. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit, and share some of his tips for capturing those perfect moments with your own children. Enjoy!

How do you get the perfect reaction / expression from a baby?

Be ready and shoot a lot.  Work the moment.  Don’t just stop at one or two photos.  Keep the camera close by.  Also, it helps to have a friend play peekaboo behind your head while you shoot.  It can be helpful to get in close, so you can engage your baby while you photograph.  It’s nice if you can reach them and tickle them from time to time.

How do you get your little ones to follow direction?

That’s a tough one.  When I’m shooting my kids, I just try to be ready.  Like an ultra famous movie star once said to me “you’re gonna have to work with what you get”.  It can be very frustrating.  I try to make it fun, keep it interesting for them.  When they are really small, we just try to set them up.  If we want a crawling shot, we give them something to crawl towards and then get their attention when they reach the optimal area for the photograph.  For tighter headshots it’s helpful to have someone hold them in certain ways so the adult is not really visible.

What lens would you recommend to parents who have a DSLR?

I think everyone should have at least one fast, or bright, lens.  These are lenses with a large maximum aperture or lens opening.  It’s confusing because the lower the number, the bigger the aperture, and the more light passes through.  The most affordable fast lens is usually a 50mm.  They are usually F1.8 or 1.4, much brighter than any zoom lens.  These will allow you to shoot in low light without flash.  You can use a large aperture, even in bright light, which gives you a very shallow focus effect that can help soften a busy background.

What is a fun DIY type solution to create a solid white background for your photo shoot?

Seamless paper by Savage is not that expensive.  It comes in 4.5′ or 9′ wide rolls. B&H will ship it for about $15 and many local camera shops carry it in white. We usually hang the roll up and drape it down but that requires stands and a crossbar.  It’s also possible to tape the top to a wall or the side of your garage and then sweep it with a soft bend and roll some out along the ground/floor.  You could also try it with a sheet but you will probably see wrinkles unless you can keep it very bright.  Pay attention to the light where you are setting it up.  Unless the light is exceptional, it’s probably best to set it up in a shaded area or, if you’re indoors, at about 45-90 degrees to a window with indirect sunlight.  Or, if you have an external flash, you could experiment with bouncing it off a ceiling or wall.

What is the best tip you can give for any mom or dad who wants to do a photoshoot of her child?

Luck favors the prepared.  Get everything set and ready, maybe while your baby is napping.  The worst thing, and believe me it’s happened to me, is to be having some sort of technical problem while your baby is happy and ready.  We all know they have a limited attention span.  If you’re not ready, better to wait until you are before you present the situation to your child. Also, do some test shots of a doll or stuffed animal to make sure things are looking good.  And if the phone rings, don’t answer it!

If possible, leave things set up for a day or two, incase your baby is not in the mood and you can try again later.

A big thank you to Evan for all of his great tips! If you’d like to know more about Evan, or see more of his work, please check out his website & blog:

* All photos in this post are property of Evan Kafka, and may not be used without his permission.

3 Days of Music for Little Ears : Tips for Taking Kids to Festivals


We had a great time at Lollapalooza this weekend! Not only did Syd have an awesome time while we were there, but she woke up every morning excited to go back. I have to admit I was a bit nervous the first day… We have taken her to a couple festivals in the past, FYF in Los Angeles and Pitchfork here in Chicago, but Lolla is a whole different animal. It’s much larger, which means loads more people, super drunks, and wild teens. Thankfully we didn’t witness a lot of craziness, and missed the big storm that rolled in on Saturday.

After a fun and successful weekend, I wanted to share my top five tips for taking kids to music festivals:

Continue reading

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