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I feel like I haven't really blogged in a long time..
I want to blog more..I really love it and have things I want to share about
+ it's really therapeutic for me..looking forward to doing this more.

Some recent things to woot about..

+ I recently got my hair colored with highlights / ombre and have really been loving it..took some getting used to but I have really been enjoying it. For anyone local, if you're interested in getting your hair done -- message me + I'll pass on my friend Cassie's info!! She does beautiful work + is so nice.
Hazelnut creamer -- this stuff is BAE. We recently got a coffee maker + I've been making iced coffee a lot..so good.
+ Walmart jewelry -- this is basically a deathtrap..so much good stuff + so cheap..you've been warned -- going in that section.
+ Chipotle rice -- lately when I've gone there I've just been like "Hi, I would like a mountain of white rice.." #basically HASHTAG like the only reason to go there..
+ Chickfila Ice Dream -- I'm done with all other ice cream, guys.. Also, I would like my own personal Ice Dream machine.. which will probably never happen in my life -- but a girl can dream -- right?!
+ For King + Country -- been loving their music lately..we recently got to see them in concert -- oh my word, guys -- hands down one of THE coolest concerts I have ever been to in my life -- and that's saying a lot. Like I can't even..if you ever get the chance to see them -- DO IT. Some of my favorite songs : Run Wild, To the Dreamers, Without You, Long Live, Steady + I've gotten more favorites since originally typing this.
+ Anne of GG -- one of the most timeless movies in the history of ever. So good.
+ Random, but if you want some great videos to watch check out Lara Casey's page -- HERE (Faith Over Feelings + Impossible is Possible -- you should be able to watch them even if you don't have Facebook). Love Lara's heart..really good..I loved what Ari was saying about how you have to go through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff.
+ Hilarious tweets..(i.e. like THIS and others recently that have made me laugh) //  I met with a friend recently + she reminded me of a hilarious childhood story that had me dying..so great + like so good to laugh.

Some August goals + some of these will carry over into September here..


+ I want to blog some personal thoughts about grief..and that's about all I can say about that right now..
Guys, I recently tried to film on Snapchat why I dropped off with my Grandmother's passing + I could't do it… too hard. But anyways, I want to blog about this and share some thoughts with it..
+ Workout..I was on track with this + have been out of it for awhile -- I had an illness that knocked me down after my Grandmother's death and just haven't physically had the energy to do it..like mentally I have wanted to but my body couldn't keep up -- I'm doing better now + want to get back in with this.
Guys sometimes I can't believe all I've walked thru this summer here..between my Grandmother's passing, an illness, another relative that just passed away..it's a lot when you think about it.
+ Do stuff I like to do..like embroidery, or reading..it's good to have variety and other creative outlets with things..
+ Write out goals for the year -- I think I may have started on this but still haven't finished it..
+ Start school pictures project with my brothers..still haven't started this yet.
+ Practice photography..start taking 10 minutes a day to practice photography. Some of the best people out there are just so good because they practice their craft all the time + I want to be better about this.
+ Get back into my 365 project..I've fallen off with this again -- but it doesn't really matter + I'm just going to finish it whenever it gets done. I'm giving myself grace with a lot of things given how my summer has been here.
+ Start reading The Finishing School by Val Marie Paper. Excited about this book!!
+ Work on memorizing 1 Corinthians 15 -- haven't done this (well, I've done it a little bit) and I'm not ashamed about it…I've had a lot going on this summer + will get back into it at some point here.


+ Host my HANNAH ELISE INTERNSHIP this next week -- looking forward to this + the girls that are coming!! Going to be a great week!! You can see behind-the-scenes on my InstaStory this next week here --> @HannahElisePhotography!!
+ Mark days off for the fall here..I took a half day of vacation yesterday + that was really rejuvenating..I have issues with actually enjoying things sometimes haha -- I'm a very task-oriented / work-mode-mindset-person / have a lot of responsibility so it's hard for me to break away from that mindset and actually enjoy things. #selfemployedprobs #laughingcryingemoji Anyways, I'm going to block off days off for the fall here and I'm excited about this + will be really good.
+ Blog my Spring Models Shoot -- this is coming soon!! Get excited.
+ Get in the habit of "One Touch" with e-mails -- a friend recently told me about this idea from a podcast she listened to by a lady -- she basically has a "one touch" with things -- like you get your mail, go through your mail + you're done with it -- you look at your e-mail once + then you're done with it that day. I want to get in that habit with things, and not have e-mail run my life + love that idea of one touch with things. 
+ Blog a Score Thrifty -- even if this is kind of a different version than I normally do with these -- I want to get one of these up here.
+ Blog outfits series -- I was going to do a blog post awhile back with particular outfits I liked -- but then have kind of moved on from those..but I was thinking I might start a new series of just current outfit faves I like + do those every so often for fun + share style.. would anyone be interested in this??
+ Something I've been thinking about recently is how it's so cool how we can be the hands + feet of Christ -- like in that Matthew West song "I asked God 'Why don't You do something? He said 'I did -- I created you'" -- we get to be the movers + shakers and go do those things for Him + fill those needs. So cool..we get to be His extension of that + doing those things.
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What would you like to see more of on here?!!
I always love hearing from you guys on here -- so please comment below!!
Hope you guys have an awesome weekend!!
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Since I still have some room for girls at my HANNAH ELISE INTERNSHIP this August --
 I decided to extend the deadline once more in case someone is still interested in attending!! :)
I'm stoked about the girls I have coming + would love to have even more be here for this!! 
If you're new here -- this is a girls photography internship that I am hosting +
is for girls who want to turn their hobby into a business or grow the business they already have!!
I would seriously love to have you come -- this will be an amazing experience for you 
+ super fun!!

I pour my heart into these + is going to be jam-packed with information for you!!
I definitely don't know everything about photography, but am really grateful to have learned a lot
after almost 5 years of being in business + doing 200+ photo sessions -- and love to share with you what I've learned over time + help equip you to get your business off on the right foot + succeed!!

**Applications due by August, 10th @ midnight CST**
**please save your application as a .pdf before sending + attach a picture of yourself!!

See what we did last year by watching this video or by clicking HERE or HERE!!

Sometimes last minute decisions are meant to be..
and I'm praying the right people will run across this or hear about it through social media!!
If you know of someone who would be interested that does photography -- 
would you take a second + e-mail them the link to this post?!!
Thanks so much in advance, guys!!

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Hope you all have an awesome weekend!! 
I'm looking forward to getting back with blogging again here soon..stay tuned!!
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Hey guys!!

Just a final reminder that tomorrow (July 12th, 2016) is the DEADLINE TO APPLY 
for the Hannah Elise Internship by midnight CST!!
I definitely don't know everything about photography, but am grateful to have learned a lot in the last 4+ years of being in business + I would love to share a ton of photography / business content
from what I have gleaned over the years!!
And if you would like to become better at photographing families + portraits, 
and be empowered to start your business off on the right foot, avoid mistakes I've made +
be equipped to succeed then I would love to have you attend!! :)

Click HERE to apply + click HERE to watch a video from what we did last year!!

And again, if you know anyone who would be interested in this + could spread the word
to them about it that would be awesome!!
Thanks so much, guys!!

This is the beautiful Jenna from a recent senior session..isn't she stunning?!!
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Guys, I just can't even.
About two weeks ago my beloved Grandma Frankie passed away,
and maybe I'll share more about that down the road here...one of the hardest things I've walked thru.
These last two weeks have been really hard..but God has been good.

But in regards to that with my internship -- I have contacted the girls who were accepted and since I still have room + didn't have time to market or promote before the original deadline ended due to my Grandmother's passing --
I am extending it here since I still have space and in case anyone else is interested. 
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Have you been needing a push with your business or
are wanting to turn your photography hobby into a business?
I have been there with needing a push and know how that feels.
I would love to have you attend if you're interested in this + share what I have learned over the past 4+ years of running my business and help you get your business off on the right foot, avoid mistakes I've made
+ help equip you to succeed.
If you have enjoyed my SOME THINGS I'VE LEARNED posts or my #HANNAHELISETUESDAYTIP posts on my Instagram and would like a motherload of information -- then this is for you!!

TO APPLY : please fill out THIS APPLICATION,
+ e-mail it to hannah@hannaheliseblog.com by Tuesday, July 12th at midnight CST 
and I will be contacting those who are accepted by July 14th.
If you have any questions on anything don't hesitate to e-mail me (hannah@hannaheliseblog.com),
send me a DM on Instagram or message me on my Facebook Page!!
**please save your application as a .pdf

"Where do I even start???? The Hannah Elise Internship last summer changed the way I take pictures. I was able to connect my knowledge about the creative/artistic side of photography with the technical and business side."

"Going to Hannah's internship was THE best thing for my business. She was such an encouragement! If you're thinking about going to one of her internships... Don't think twice! You will not regret it!  You'll leave with so many helpful tips, knowledge, and tools for your business! And lots of lasting friendships!" 

And if you're reading this and can think of someone who might be interested in this  -- 
could you please E-MAIL them the link to this post, SHARE this on Facebook 
or TAG them on my Instagram?!! 
I would SO appreciate your help in spreading the word about this!!

Thanks so much, guys.
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I am super excited to announce that I am hosting another photography internship!!
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Last summer I hosted my first official one, and I have been debating on whether or not I would host one this year --
anyways, I've had time recently to figure it out + am stoked to share about this!!
And a heads up that is probably the only one I am doing for this year --
although I would love to do more down the road, Lord willing!! :)

A brief intro about me -- if you're reading about this for the first time + you're not familiar with who I am!! :) 

I'm Hannah Elise -- a 23 year old Christian photographer, living in Eastern Iowa. I am a 2011 homeschool graduate + when I finished high school, I didn't go the typical college route and instead started my photography business and also have taught piano students over the past several years, been involved with a girls ministry, am part of a large family (I'm the second oldest of 8 kids) involved at my church, done traveling, etc. I'm mostly self-taught, but have learned a lot from friends, google, interned with Jessica Shae in 2012, done mentorships with Cheyenne Schultz + Ariel Renae + taken the Magic of Light workshop by Summer Murdock. I've been running my business for almost 5 years now and have done over 200 sessions within that time. While I definitely don't know everything about photography,  I am grateful to have learned a lot over the past 4+ years of being in business -- and if sharing what I've learned (and mistakes I've made!!) can help someone else start their business on a better foot or give them the tools to equip them to succeed -- then that is totally worth it. Seeing girls I've mentored grow in their work + being able to photograph people better makes my heart swell -- and what it's all about!! If I can help more girls go back home to their communities + photograph people even better -- that is SO rewarding!!
Some of my favorite things include : thrifting (#goodwillforever), Chickfila, traveling, 
hanging out with friends + I love color and unique outfits. 
You can check out more of my work + get to know me better on my WEBSITE,
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As mentioned before, when I first started my photography in the fall of 2011 I didn't really know what I was doing,
and the next year I really felt like I needed some type of "push" with my photography business
+ had the opportunity to attend Jessica Shae's SUMMER ADVENTURE INTERNSHIP 
which was exactly what I needed at that time!!

Some of you may be in that same spot where you're just needing a push with your business,
or wanting to turn your photography hobby into a business
+ I would give you all the steps and practical knowledge to take it there!! :)

Two years ago I hosted my first photography WORKSHOP + after that realized I wanted to do something longer + more intensive to be able to go in-depth with things -- and last year hosted my first INTERNSHIP and had girls attend from Canada, Illinois + Wisconsin!! 

You can read the RECAP from last year HERE + watch this video below to get a peek at what we did!!

Watch on YouTube HERE

Anyways, I'm super stoked to announce that I have another internship scheduled for this August + would love to have you come!! :)

Here are the details..

Who : Girls ages 16-25 who are wanting to turn their photography hobby into a business OR grow the business they already have!! 
When : August 23-26, 2016 (Internship will begin with lunch on Tuesday + wrap up with lunch on Friday!!)
Where : Hosted in the Amana Colonies, IA, which is one of THE prettiest places on earth + where I do a lot of my sessions!! Click HERE or HERE if you need convincing!! :) All of the photo sessions at the internship last year were shot in the Amana Colonies and it is just beautiful -- view them HEREHEREHERE + HERE!!
Investment : $700 which includes..
+ All your housing (we will be staying at a BEAUTIFUL venue -- so stoked about this!!)delicious meals!! 
+ Teaching / sharing on various topics -- which is going to be EVEN MORE CONTENT than before!! 
TOPICS INCLUDE : camera basics + shooting in manual, posing, lighting, finding shoot locations / what backgrounds to use for sessions, walk-through-of-a-client-process, tips on photographing / working with clients + getting genuine expressions in pictures, practical tips for going home + getting your business off the ground, client communication, editing, basics of Lightroom, blogging + how I personally blog, branding, running your business from home, packaging / products / client experience, business tips, how I work with children / my hacks for posing, marketing (I'm kind of a marketing freak + nothing fires me up like that!!), using social media, etc. along with Q&A + discussion time -- so come with any questions you have!! :) Content will be super practical and down-to-earth for you to apply + make sense..I'm all about this. Each girl will also get a bit of one-on-one time with me as well. :) You will leave with a sense of community + having people to bounce ideas off of + ask questions to in the future and having those connections + friendships will be totally invaluable for you down the road!! We will have tons of practical lesson time (like with picture examples to explain things!) and I would love to hang out with you while we learn together + this is going to be a blast!! :) 
+ Observe how I pose + photograph my clients during family + portrait sessions we will be doing with awesome models -- and get to take some pictures yourself at these for your portfolio!! You will get to see how I capture families + work with individuals + apply what you're learning at the internship with these!!
+ Some printed content which you will get to take home + have for reference + a sheet with all the links for gear/equipment/resources I use.
+ New headshots of yourself -- taken by me!! :)
+ And a few other surprises that you will receive when you get here!! :)

You will be responsible for travel to + from the internship and if you're flying in, 
you would need to arrive at the Cedar Rapids, IA airport (CID) so just a heads up on that!! 

Some reviews from my girls who attended last year..

Where do I even start???? The Hannah Elise Internship last summer changed the way I take pictures. I was able to connect my knowledge about the creative/artistic side of photography with the technical and business side. Hannah did a great job choosing models for us to photograph every night and I loved the time we would spend after the sessions critiquing each other's work....That is another thing... The group of girls that came were so much fun to get to know. It was amazing how close we became in just a week and I know I will be friends with those ladies forever! :)

The minute I found out that Hannah was hosting an internship I knew without a doubt I wanted to be there! The time spent with Hannah and the other girls was so much more than I ever hoped it would be!!!! The teaching times were SO beneficial and Hannah covered a lot of good information. My favourite thing about this internship was it was so practical and helpful. What we learned throughout the day we were able to practice at the photo-shoots during the evening! I came to the internship feeling stuck and not knowing how to launch my business but I left knowing exactly what I wanted to do and how to go about doing it! But it wasn't all work, we shopped, ate at adorable cafe's and coffee shops, laughed until we cried and made great friendships and amazing memories too:) I would definitely recommend the Hannah Elise Photography Internship to anyone who is interested in starting or growing their photography business!  

Hannah Elise's internship is one of the best things that could've happened for my photography. It gave me confidence and knowledge in areas that would've taken me a long time if I tried to figure it out on my own. Things that would've taken me much trial and error Hannah helped explain and show clearly. Hannah was so sweet and helpful taking the time to help us all individually.  Being able to learn and grow with the other interns was awesome. A highlight has been all the friendships I have made. I would go back and do it all again in a second. I am very excited to apply everything I've learned. 

Hannah is a wonderful and super thorough teacher! I learned so much!!! One of my favorite things was that, she brings every conversation back to Christ! Loved watching her work with her clients! And I have to mention, she has lots of marketing tips! Going to Hannah's internship was THE best thing for my business. She was such an encouragement! If you're thinking about going to one of her internships... Don't think twice! You will not regret it!  You'll leave with so many helpful tips, knowledge, and tools for your business! And lots of lasting friendships! 

-- Amanda, Amanda Joy Images | Instagram 
p.s. see Amanda's internship recap HERE

TO ATTEND, YOU WILL NEED: dSLR camera, notebook + pen, 
laptop, + an attitude excited about learning!! 
Also bring some spending money in case we do some thrifting or shopping. :)

Overall this is just going to be SUPER fun + SUPER packed with information for you --
as I mentioned earlier -- EVEN MORE CONTENT than before!! 

So, I would love to have you come --
and am super excited to meet,  get to know, 
learn together + hang out with you guys!! :)
TO APPLY, please fill out THIS APPLICATION and e-mail it to hannah@hannaheliseblog.com!!
Also, I will reply to your e-mail once you've applied just to let you know I've received it! :)
**edited to add -- please save your application as a .pdf document 
and attach to your e-mail!! thanks so much!!
**EDITED -- application deadline extended until August 10th, 2016
+ you will be notified on whether or not you were accepted by August 12th!!

Please only e-mail if you are serious about coming and will be able to make the investment.
Depending on how many people apply I may not be able to accept everyone due to size limits,
so thanks in advance for understanding about that!!

Once you are accepted, a 50% deposit will be required to hold your spot
+ the rest of your tuition will be due 3 weeks before the internship. 

**If you have any questions on anything before applying, 
please don't hesitate to contact me + I would be happy to answer your questions!! :)

If you know someone who would be interested in attending-- 
could you please E-MAIL them the link to this blog post or TAG them on my Facebook Page or Instagram about it?!!
Thanks so much in advance for helping spread the word about this!!

p.s. If these internship dates don't work for you, but you would definitely be interested in attending a future internship -- please send me an e-mail + I will add you to my running list and notify you 
if / when I do more down the road!! :) 
--> hannah@hannaheliseblog.com
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So this is something that I've loved + learned over time..
blurred cement can actually make great backgrounds for portraits!!
I'm a firm believer that beauty is everywhere -- 
and you can make pretty much anything work for you -- if you're doing it right + using light well. 
I think maybe it's because I've lived in Iowa and not in places like Utah that has killer locations or Nashville with urban backgrounds everywhere -- and have to search a bit harder with locations for sessions, finding those hidden pockets for backgrounds + making things work for me.

Blurred cement is like magic..so great -- and can be so creamy + smooth as a background if you use it right.

But anyways, pretty much anyone has cement, gravel or dirt at their disposal -- 
so here you go, guys -- one of the most universal backgrounds people can access!! :)


1. Shoot angled down on your subject.
2. Have the light coming from behind if you're shooting in sunlight (you can also use cement backgrounds when it's overcast or in a shaded spot -- it works then, too)
3. Use a wider aperture like 2.0 - 2.5 to get the blurred background.

I've included my settings below each photo for these photo examples so hopefully that is helpful..
have fun with cement, guys!! :)
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Blurred cement :  50 mm f/2.5 1/800 ISO 100
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Blurred cement : 35 mm f/2.2 1/500 ISO 100
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.5 1/1000 ISO 500
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Blurred cement / tin wall :  50 mm f/2.2 1/400 ISO 100
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Different angle with this -- but blurred cement can help make great foregrounds in pictures..
50 mm f/2.2 1/2000 ISO 400
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Blurred cement blocks as foreground : 50 mm f/2.0 1/500 ISO 1000
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.0 1/4000 ISO 500
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Blurred pavement (check out that creamy golden blurred goodness.. #allthehearteyes) :
50 mm f/2.0 1/250 ISO 100
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.8 1/400 ISO 200
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.2 1/800 ISO 160
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.0 1/4000 ISO 320
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.0 1/2500 ISO 320
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Blurred cement steps : 35 mm f/1.6 1/3200 ISO 500
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.5 1/1600 ISO 500
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Blurred dirt : 50 mm f/2.0 1/3200 ISO 500
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Blurred dirt : 50 mm f/2.5 1/2000 ISO 200
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Blurred gravel / grass : 50 mm f/2.0 1/800 ISO 100
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Blurred cement blocks in patio area : 50 mm f/2.0 1/500 ISO 250
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.5 1/320 ISO 500
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.5 1/320 ISO 500
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Blurred cement -- parking garage : 35 mm f/1.8 1/1000 ISO 320

To read more SOME THINGS I'VE LEARNED posts with photography tips -- click HERE!!

If you enjoyed this post + found it helpful -- please E-MAIL it to a friend, SHARE on Facebook
TAG someone on my Instagram or FACEBOOK PAGE, or PIN the above image!! :)

What things have you learned as a photographer that work good for backgrounds?!!
I'd love to hear!!

Happy Thursday!!
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