Photography Classes Coming Soon!

by SomeGirl on August 17, 2013 · 6 comments


Wow, time flies! It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since I last posted… but what a sweet year it’s been.

My little one (who’s not so little anymore) and I had some great “just us” days while my oldest was off at school.

My oldest progressed greatly with his reading and was deemed no longer needing vision support with prism glasses.

I learned lots of new recipes as we found out our food allergies/sensitivities through an iGG blood test. Unfortunately we found egg both boys are highly sensitive to eggs (yolk and whites) so we sold our sweet chickens. :(

Btw, once we took all of our sensitive foods out of our diets aches and pains we didn’t even realize we had disappeared! I had no idea my little one was having headaches most days and my oldest one’s eyes were burning near continually. Thanks be to God for this new found information!

And to top everything off we went on a wonderful journey around the midwest this summer… 6 weeks exploring Estes Park, The Black Hills in South Dakota, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Moab (which was HOT, HOT, HOT), and Gunnison, Colorado. One of these days I’ll get on here and share vacation photos, but if you’re interested to see some now check out my instagram account and scroll down just a bit. :)

Now… both of my boys have started back to school and left me at home wondering what to do with all of my free time (other than dishes, laundry, errands, and cooking). I contemplated coming back to blogging on a regular basis (and I still might do that). But, God has laid upon my heart to use my giftedness (teaching) and my interest (photography) to serve the Thirsty and further His kindgom.

So, I’ve decided to offer private or small group lessons on “How to move out of Auto on your DSLR” in and around the DFW area in an effort to raise money for Living Water International (you know how much I love their work of providing clean water and sharing the Gospel all over the globe, right?).

If you know anyone who might be interested, send them this post!

I also wouldn’t be opposed to video chat lessons, if you’re interested in that or know someone else who might be. :)

Thanks for helping spread the word!

I haven’t determined a price yet (suggestions are welcome), but I do know that all proceeds from my lessons will go directly to Living Water International.

I’m super excited about spending an hour or two doing what I love in order for others to hear the Good News and have life-giving water for generations!


Here are a couple of referrals I’ve received from former students (more to come soon…):


“Michelle makes complicated photography jargon simple and easy to understand.  She gives clear, useful directions and encourages you to practice what you’re learning while she teaches you in a conversational, hands-on style.  Friendly, helpful, and eager to teach, I highly recommend Michelle Debenport as a fantastic photography teacher for both beginners and more advanced photographers alike.” – Michelle from Intentional.Me


“Michelle patiently explained the exposure triangle in a way I could understand while giving me some rules of thumb to remember for different settings. Her quick, easily absorbed tutorials changed my photography game, as evidenced by immediate results!” – Michelle from So, I Married a Mennonite


Yeah, Michelle is a pretty popular name. ;)


“When my camera was so new, and my skills so poor, it was Michelle who first took me under her wing. She made complicated concepts easily understandable, empowering me to capture pictures with light and beauty in a way I hadn’t been able to before.” – Jacque from Mercy Found Me



Turning my passion for teaching AND others’ desire for learning how to use their DSLR camera INTO clean water and The Gospel message being shared around the world!

Let me know if you’re interested in a “How to move out of Auto” DSLR class. All proceeds will go directly to Living Water International – providing clean water in the name of Jesus. || Private lessons offered in and around the DFW area.




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You Can’t Get the Time Back

by SomeGirl on September 10, 2012 · 8 comments

You can’t get the time back.

That is a thought that has run through my mind many times as a parent of young children…

You can’t get the time back.

When my oldest son was 5 and we had recently moved to a new city with a new baby, I kept him out of preschool and spent lots of long hours out in the yard exploring and rocking on the porch all because of those six little words…

You can’t get the time back.

Now that my youngest is 5, that last year of being a toddler (wearing 5T), and moving into elementary age on the edge of losing his first tooth, I find myself thinking the same thought…

You can’t get the time back.

And so, I find myself in the yard, on the floor, at the table, in the kitchen, at Target, on field trips, everywhere but on the computer lately, trying (but not always succeeding) at making the most of our moments together because…

You can’t get the time back.

I hope this explains a little of where I’ve been lately and why I don’t have plans to come back and blog for awhile. My little one won’t be little for long and I’ll have lots of time to share and receive thoughts here in the future. But for now I’m going to be focused on fraddling with my little guy and praying that God will use our time together to build great character in his life. I’m setting my heart and mind to be very intentional with the time we have because, as you know…

You can’t get the time back.


Lots of love to you all!


♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

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Can you hear me squealing with excitement??

by SomeGirl on August 27, 2012

Can you hear me squealing with excitement?? I just came home from a live TV spot promoting our new e-book, Be Free: A 14-Day Challenge of Food Discovery. One of these days I’ll have to tell you what a God-thing this was… to have us newbie, nobody, just published two days ago, e-book authors appear on a huge show like Good Morning Texas! But, at the moment I’m spent (as I’m sure you can understand after pushing to finish our book, co-hosting the wonderful Mamas Write conference, teaching a photography class to dozens of bloggers, and getting up super early for this (watch our interview from GMT below):



I’ll come back soon to tell you more of what God is laying upon my heart…
Lots of love to you all!!

♥ Michelle

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Welcome to my virtual lemonade stand! I’m so glad that you are here!

Today is a very exciting day! Today, Jenny at The Southern Institute is raising money to help bring clean water to people who are in desperate need, and I am pitching in! Jenny is partnering with Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit that works hand in hand with African communities, providing clean water and hope. Today we can help by buying a glass of virtual lemonade (she makes the best), and donating the money to this wonderful organization. I’m so excited!

Jenny’s goal is to raise $1000, and I know that with your help we can help her do it. $1000 will bring clean water to 1000 people! Would you partner with me and Jenny to help the people of Africa… people like Semiya?

How can you say no?

Buy a glass of Lemon:Aid!

No donation is too small.

Whether you can donate $1 or $20,

each one of us can make a difference!





Click the button above to buy a glass of ice cold Lemon:Aid!

Thank you so much for making a difference in the life of someone who lives a world away from us… both literally and figuratively. Together we can make a difference! We can show them that we love them well, that we care about what they are going through, and that we are willing to put our words into action!


I’ll be back soon… I have a lot to fill you in on! ♥ Michelle

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It’s been awfully quiet here on the blog, but life’s been nothing like that. School starts for my oldest a week from tomorrow… in JULY, believe it or not!?

But, I’m so excited about his new project-based school that I don’t mind. (And it’s way too HOT here in August to do anything fun outside, so he might as well be in the air conditioning learning fun stuff.) ;)

So, here’s a bit of what’s new…

The e-book I told you about the other day (written by Michelle Acker,  Heather Smith, and myself), BE FREE: A 14-Day Challenge of Food Discovery is set to be released the 1st week of August… which is right around the corner!

My oldest son’s last bit of sensory processing therapy (cognitive therapy with Learning RX) is past the halfway point!

And the Mamas Write mini-conference for bloggers (that I’m co-hosting with some other WONDERFUL gals on August 25th in Arlington, TX) is coming together quite well.

We actually had a planning meeting today and took a video to let you have a peek into the fun learning and inspiration that lies ahead of us.

Here’s Heather, Kristin, Eryn, Michelle, and Me to tell you what’s in store and…

why YOU would be so glad you came to Mamas Write (no matter where you live – it’s not just for DFW area bloggers, and it’s totally worth MUCH more than the $40 ticket price)!



Oh, let me add… I am going to be so busy at the conference that I’m not going to be able to tweet all of the great nuggets of wisdom from the conference like I normally do.

Would anyone like to volunteer to be my designated tweeter at the conference?

I have been given official permission to sponsor someone to come tweet for me… would YOU like to do that?

Ticket, breakfast, lunch, fellowship, and LOTS of great information included are FREE with the offer.

Just let me know in the comment area below and include your twitter handle.

You’d be tweeting from my account, btw. Thanks!


♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

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Take advantage of any time you’re all going to be dressed up… a wedding, birthday party, or in this case, an adoption party for some dear friends.

Choose a well-lit spot

If outside, try to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon when the light isn’t so harsh. During the bright part of the day choose a shaded area. Shoot outside on concrete. The concrete will cause the light to reflect back onto your faces, grass will suck the light up. If it’s too hot (or cold) outside, find the best lit room in your house, make sure you’re shooting during a bright time of day.

Use a Tripod

If you’re not fortunate enough to have an extra person with you to take your family photo, set your camera up on a tripod. (Here’s an instagrammed shot of my husband setting up his tripod.)

Adjust Settings Beforehand

Have some of your models come in to sit while you adjust the position of your camera and your camera’s settings.

For our indoor space my husband started at ISO 1600, f-stop 2.8, shutter speed 100 and ended up with our final shot (below) at ISO 2000, f-stop 2.8, Shutter speed 80.

Arrange Family

Have the rest of your family come in to see where you’d like each member to sit or stand. I personally like portraits where our family is sitting… when we stand we never know what to do with our hands and bodies, but sitting seems to help with that.

Use Timer

Once you’ve adjusted your settings, tripod position, and you know where everyone is going to end up, you’re ready to set your timer and capture your family portrait. If you’ve done the work before hand well enough, you might even get lucky like we did and end up getting a good one on the first try! (That has NEVER happened before! It probably helped that we were late for our friends’ party and needed to go, so we didn’t have time to be nit-picky.) ;)


One last note here… It’s nice to have everyone color coordinated, but not too matchy. We may have gone a little overboard with the blue, but I like it. A big key is to choose clothes you all feel comfortable in, and to look like you normally do. These are some of our favorite clothes, so we all feel very good and I think it shows.

As far as positioning goes, a nice natural touch is good for a family photo. Nothing staged, just what you might normally do. It helps to just be yourself. If you don’t feel natural in your pose, you won’t look natural in your photo. If you feel comfortable, you’ll look comfortable (and usually much happier).

And, for the record, I wouldn’t recommend crossing your legs at the ankle and pressing them back against the sofa… It makes them a little wider looking than normal. (I’d really like to photoshop those down a notch, but I’m going to resist the urge.) ;)

Post Processing

FYI: Almost any professional photographer will take a little time to adjust their photos on the computer before sending it to a client, so feel free to do the same. Most photos can benefit from a slight exposure, contrast adjustment before being printed. (I probably over adjusted these photos, but I’ll go back and re-adjust the group one a little better before printing… just wanted to get them out and up here real fast for you guys.)

Hope you have fun and get some great family photos!

Btw, now is just the right time to start thinking about portraits for Christmas Cards… it’s not as busy as it will be once school and fall activities get underway. :)



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