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Paws-itive beagles with Catherine and Matt from www.SprinkleGoodness.com

Our "Paws-itive"
Pets "Paw-Forward"
Good Photo Ideas

Where Our Pets
Great Photo Ideas

What's New

New Photo: Ladybug Cupcake with Summer Theme

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on September 13, 2016 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader, 

We're "paw-ing forward" Catherine's latest photo idea: Creating a summer theme from a chalkboard drawing, grass and flower props, and a ladybug cupcake.

It's now available on Dreamstime: https://www.dreamstime.com/red-ladybug-cupcake-spring-summer-food-theme-includes-black-artificial-grass-flowers-plus-sky-sun-drawn-image76622082

Hoping it "paws-itively" inspires you.


Buster and Angel, the "Paws-itive" Kitties

New Photo Supports Messages about Alzheimer Awareness

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on August 26, 2016 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

We're pawing-forward our mommy's new photo. This stock image by Catherine helps support messages about Alzheimer awareness. The word HOPE and Forget-Me-Nots is available at Dreamstime.

Hoping it "paws-itively" inspires you!


Buster, the "Paws-itive" Kitty

Look Up to Take Better Photos

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 4, 2016 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


Here’s a simple tip about how our mommy, Catherine, has improved her photography. We’re “paw-ing it forward” so that it can help you, too.

This tip is to simply… Look Up.


Here's an article on how "looking up" can present unique photo opportunities for you - with examples of how it's helped our mommy take better pictures.



Buster, the “Paws-itive” Kitty

Second Stock Image Ideas Newsletter Released and More

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on May 29, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

Looking for photos for your business or project needs? Are you a photographer seeking photo inspiration? My photo site www.StockImageIdeas.com can help.

On May 27th, the second newsletter for "Stock Image Ideas" was sent out among readers. It shares the following photography ideas: A “turtle cupcake” with a summer theme, an image about “Speaking the Truth,” and a “graduation” inspired owl photo described here.


Here's what else is new.

As our pets would say, this is a good article to "paw forward." It's about why some people succeed faster than others. It reminded me how important it is to focus on one area of my business and do it really well. Hope it helps you too. You can see the article here




A FREE Recording of The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale and More

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on April 30, 2016 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

This month Catherine found a “treasure find” on Twitter. She saw someone's post about Nightingale-Conant. They were offering one of the best self-help, life-changing recordings, ever, for free!!

The recording is called “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale. If you’re looking for “the ultimate secret” for success in life, you absolutely, “paws-itively” must listen to this.

We hope the link where you can access this timeless recording from Nightingale-Conant still works. If it does, you can download “The Strangest Secret” for free, here.

That was our “Paws-itive” news for the month April.

What else was new this month?

In “Creative Living,” Catherine launched our “first” “Stock Image Ideas for You” newsletter!! If you’re a photographer looking for ideas, or a photo buyer, you can see the archive of our first issue here.


Lastly, in “Pet Travel,” there’s a “purr-fectly” cool place where you can search for and find "pet-friendly" hotels, motels, resorts, cottages, and more -- throughout North America here



Angel, the “Paws-itive” Kitty

P.S.: On a mini personal note, Catherine was happy to see the amazing, wild groundhog return to our property. He showed up earlier this month. Catherine and Matt call him, “Phil,” the groundhog. Here’s a photo of him.


Catherine Shares 5 Tips on How to Better Compose Your Nature Travel Photos Published On This RV Travel Website

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on January 9, 2016 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

I’ve promised you tips on photo composition and I want to keep the promises I make.

So here is one article I wrote for an RV travel website: “5 Tips on How to Better Compose Your Nature Travel Photos”.

If you enjoy taking pictures of nature – or taking photos on your day trips or travels, I hope my article can help you capture the stunning scenery on your adventures in a magnificent, professional manner. You can discover all 5 photo composition tips here.




Photo Greeting: Bear Wishes Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on October 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, and we just wanted to say, "Happy Thanksgiving!!"

Here is a photo of a bear that visited our property in the summer-time... 

This bear sure enjoyed the bird seed in our feeder.

A Quick Photo Tip: I got this bear photo "safely" from my office window. My office is upstairs on the second floor of our home, so this photo was taken "very safely." I opened the screen of my window and took many pictures to get at least one image that turned out well. I'm grateful this photo turned out and that I can share it with you now.


Catherine, Matt and all our Paws-itive Pets!

New Photo Idea: Strawberry Heart Inspired by Fresh Grocery Store Strawberries

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on September 11, 2015 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

Fresh strawberries. They looked so nice in the grocery store that I wanted to take a photo of them. 

So Matt, my husband, bought the strawberries for me. He likes supporting my creative ideas even though I was happy to buy the strawberries myself. But I am grateful of how he encourages my creativity.

One of the strawberries was shaped like a heart and I wanted to do something special with it.

Here is my best "heart-shape" photo result…

The image represents loving strawberries as a favourite fruit or loving the healthiness of strawberries.

My “Strawberry Heart” photo is now available as a stock photo here. I hope this image helps you with your projects – or inspires photo ideas for you.

If it does, please do share in the Comments section (below). Thanks!



How to Find out Where Your Stock Photos are Appearing

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on March 9, 2015 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

“It’s on an e-book cover!”

I was excited to find my stock photo in use. A photo I took, “Planting Seeds of Faith,” appeared on the cover of an e-book. You can see it here as well as discover the reverse image search engine that helps you locate some of your online stock photos in use too.




Planting Seeds of Faith: Photo Inspired by the Bible Verse, Matthew 17:20

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on March 9, 2015 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

“Faith the size of a mustard seed.”

Those words first captured me many years ago (when I was in my late teen years or early 20s). It’s a phrase from the Bible verse, Matthew 17:20:

“...For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

-- Matthew 17:20 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

When I got into photography professionally, the Bible verse from Matthew 17:20 inspired me to take the photo you see with this posting. Discover more, including how this Bible verse can help you in your daily life, here.



Two New Valentine Stock Photos Available for Your Projects

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on February 7, 2015 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

If you’re looking for Valentine's Day themed photos…

…I now have two new stock images available. I had a heart-shaped box and numerous heart-shape foam heart props – and created two different photos from them.


One of the photos I created is called a “Chocolate Hashtag Symbol with Heart Shaped Box.” This photo can support social media messages about romance, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries or sending a loved one a box of chocolates.


The next photo includes one of my favourite desserts – cupcakes! I arranged these strawberry cupcakes to spell a loving message. This photo can support messages about Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays for husbands and wives, or more.

If you’re interested in using these photos for your project or business needs, I’ve listed the stock photo agencies they’re available at. You can see the list of agencies here.

Thanks for the opportunity to share these with you.




Hope Photos for Alzheimer's Healing

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 10, 2014 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

Do you have a friend or relative who has Alzheimer’s?

I do. My grandma, Granny Rea, has had Alzheimer’s for several years now. When we visit Granny Rea I wonder if she’ll still remember me. As soon as I hear, “Oh, Catherine!” I feel so relieved.

Granny Rea doesn’t recognize me as her grand-daughter though. She’s called me her cousin, before. And, that’s okay. I’m just incredibly grateful she recognizes I’m family.

I’ve only had one day so far where she did not recognize me at all. That was extremely hard for me to experience.

So, as a photographer, I decided to do something: take photos that support organizations looking for healing solutions to Alzheimer’s. Then, submit them to stock photo agencies – where they can be found and purchased – for websites, pamphlets, research reports, or any other published material a person or organization needs.

I’ve come up with a few ideas so far. Here is the first one I did -- available on several stock photo agencies, including Dreamstime…

My grandma helped me with this one during one of our visits… (Thank you, Granny Rea.)


I like incorporating engraved stones into my photos. In this case, I chose a stone with the word “Hope” to represent “Hope for people with Alzheimer’s.”

The flowers in these photos are forget-me-nots. They grow in our yard every year during spring. I selected them because one thing forget-me-nots represent are memory loss. For example, the Alzheimer Society of Canada uses the Forget-Me-Not flower as a symbol to represent memory loss. (Memory loss is “one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” their website explains.)

(On a little side note -- I’ve read forget-me-not flowers have more than one meaning. For instance, they also represent true love and remembrance.)

But because forget-me-not flowers also symbolize memory loss, I felt that it was a good choice of flower for my photo ideas.

I’m hopeful my photos will inspire positive ideas for your photography too. If they do, I welcome your thoughts in the comment section of this blog. Thank you so much.



A Winter Wonderland in Spring

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on April 18, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

How is the weather for your spring?

Today feels like spring again – windows are open in my office, fresh air is flowing in, birds are chirping, the snow is melting... just lovely.

But earlier this week – on Tuesday morning – I woke up to a winter wonderland. Snow covered the trees… snow carpeted the ground again… and it snowed throughout most of the day.

The first day of spring (March 20th) was snowing for us, too. Now, I must admit – I do love walks in the snow. But being spring (and still snowy), it inspired a photo idea. I’ll share it with you in a moment.

First, I’d like to share some photos of the little birds and a chipmunk that visited the other day… as the snow started to melt again…

As for that photo idea I came up with...

Well, I had purchased several packages of glittery Easter eggs from the store, Dollar Tree.


With the glittery eggs -- I originally wanted to spell the word SPRING on a white background inside my home studio. But with all our “winter wonderland” days – during the spring season – I came up with another idea.

Here it is:

As I write this, my photo has been accepted into four stock photo agencies: Fotolia, Deposit PhotosDreamstime and Bigstock. It’s also in a fifth stock photo agency called Most Photos.

It took me a while to get this photo right. But in the process of improving my photography – to get the right shot – it helped me create “a stock photo checklist.” This checklist is now something I can refer to, to help me choose the strongest image for stock photo agencies.

If you’re interested in stock photography, this checklist can help you select the strongest photos for submission... increasing the likelihood they get accepted for sale, too. You can find my stock photo checklist here (link coming soon!).



6 Creative Backgrounds from Common Items

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 23, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

If you are looking to create your own backgrounds – or sell background photos as stock… you’ll find opportunities all around you.

Here are six background images I’ve taken – using everyday items or products handed in.

Have you for instance, received items from a friend? Something they were looking to pass on?

Well, a friend of ours gave us her wind chime. It had a beautiful blue glass pattern. So, I took it outside and did an extreme close-up of only the glass section:


Our friend also gave us a unique Christmas ornament. I placed it on a red fabric giftwrap material to get this shot:


In another example, do you love crafts? Something in your craft collection could create a nice pattern for a background. I love sequins. So, when I purchased these sequins from a dollar store, I wanted to get a photo before I started using them for crafts or creative projects.

It was winter, and I remember placing the two sequin packets together outside in the snow. I was hoping the snow would help me get a white background. I’m still working on improving my white backgrounds, but here is what I got…

This next shot was taken in the autumn season at my husband’s parents’ farm. My mother-in-law gave us these squash (they looked like pumpkins!) and she had Chinese Lanterns, also known as "Jack-O-Lantern Plants," growing next to an old tree. So, I set the shot up a little – placing the squash at the bottom of the tree and moving the jack-o-lantern’s a little too, to the left of the tree.

For a fifth example -- here is a common item -- a car sun shade. I placed it outside on my car, and loved the pattern the sun created shining down on it. I thought it made for an interesting background image. Here is the result:

And, lastly, here is the foundation of our home... 

Areas around your home... the food you eat… the nature around you… and items handed in… could lead to interesting backgrounds, too.

How might you use these backgrounds?

You could make them available for sale on stock photo agencies. These photos here, today, are in my stock photo portfolios.

You could also create greeting cards or email greetings with them. I like making email greetings for family and friends. I’ll share some ideas with you in another blog.

Until then, please keep in mind I’m still learning to photograph backgrounds correctly, and I like to experiment – such as seeing if snow will create a white background. (Which, I can say is something that didn’t work the best. White cardboard is better!)

I do however hope these photos can help you see the possibilities that may exist around you too. I hope they spark creative ideas in you.

If they do, I’m interested in hearing how they helped you. Thanks so much.



Why Halloween Cupcakes Sold in May

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:

Last month I received a nice surprise…


Fotolia (one of the stock photo agencies I’m in) emailed me to let me know one of my photos just sold.


I was however surprised to see it was my Halloween Cupcakes that sold. It was only May 1st. Still springtime. Not even close to Halloween.


Then, I remembered something I’d learned: A designer will buy photos 3—6 months ahead of time. So, if it was a designer who bought this photo, then, he or she was indeed buying within that window of time.


I can’t be sure 100 percent. But it fits based on what I’ve learned. And, it’s exciting to see this happen!


I’m hopeful I might see my Halloween Cupcakes show up somewhere – like on a magazine cover or inside one – as Halloween draws closer.


Are you involved in stock photography? Have you seen this kind of buying trend happen with your photos (such as seeing Halloween photos selling in May or Christmas photos selling in July)?


Please feel free to share!



Mrs. Catherine OKeefe


When to Get Sunbeams in Photos: 3 Observations that May Help You

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:

This is a beautiful photo of a sunbeam shining over England’s Stonehenge.

I got this photo from the Microsoft Office clipart collection that I have access to, as part of my monthly subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 Home Premium.

So I do not know who took this photo. But whoever did – this is lovely. Thank you for capturing this moment in time.

Do you enjoy seeing sunbeams (created through gaps in clouds)?

I do. I find it heavenly.

I feel peaceful. Happy.

I remember on one occasion, my husband and I were driving home and we noticed sunbeams pouring over our home. It felt like a blessing to see. What a beautiful experience.

For me, sunbeams are spiritual. Do you feel the same way?

If yes, and you’re hopeful to capture sunbeams in your photography, as I am, today’s insights may help.

I’ve started paying attention to when sunbeams occur. So, when the right conditions appear, and I have the time to take photos, I can journey outside and get sunbeam images. For example, I’ve learned:

1) Sunbeams can occur when there are gaps in the clouds. So, on cloudy days, especially when the weather looks stormy, this is a great opportunity to be on “stand-by” with your camera.

2) On misty mornings, the sun filters through trees creating rays of light.

3) On humid summer days, after rain, mist can form too. With the mist, the sun filters through trees creating rays of light.

I learned about the 3rd observation last July. I was outside on a walk with our two beagle dogs. It had rained earlier in the day. But being summer, and humid, a mist formed after the rain. And, I noticed rays of light filtered through the trees.

Perhaps I’ve seen sunbeams after a rainstorm in humid weather before. But because I want to capture sunbeams in my photography, I became consciously aware of it last summer.

In fact, I think photography helps us become more aware of our surroundings, plus truly see the beautiful world God provided for us.

For example, maybe on that summer’s day, people saw a wet and humid day. But I saw how the rain created mist, and how the mist helped me see sunbeams through trees, creating a spiritual moment.

I hope these insights can help. Once I capture sunbeams in my photos, I’ll share what camera settings worked best. I also welcome your feedback or lessons learned, too.


Mrs. Catherine OKeefe



How to Make a Photo Reflector for Under $5

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on June 21, 2013 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:

If you'd like to learn how to make a photo reflector in a few minutes, and for under $5, this video may interest you.

Please note, this is a homemade video by me (created several winter's ago). For quite some time, I had it on my website but it never seemed to run. Recently my husband, Matt (now a video editor) polished the video for me and saved it in a different format. (Thank you Matt!) 

You can view my video on how to make a reflector by clicking right here.


Mrs. Catherine OKeefe

How a Walk Resulted in a Saleable Turtle Photo

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on April 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:


I’ve seen a duck… Canadian geese… a bunny… a member of the weasel family in its white winter coat… a grouse (chicken-like bird)… and even moose… all on the Trans-Canada trail behind our home…


But do I carry my camera to capture these amazing wildlife sightings?


No. But I really should because we never know what we’ll see during our walks. It’s exciting, even adventurous, wondering what we’ll see. Recently we saw cranes flying in the sky. So amazing!


But did I have my camera? No.


I did strike it lucky on one occasion – even though I didn’t have my camera on hand. On our walk my husband and I saw a number of turtles laying eggs. We were close enough to home. So I quickly went home, grabbed my camera gear, and returned to the trail.


Even in a short period of time, the turtles (all but one) had already left the area. But gratefully, I got a photo of the one painted turtle that remained. (The photo at the top of this blog is the adorable little turtle I saw that day. I can't remember if I lay down on the ground, but I definitely got close to the ground to take this photo. I was able to give the little turtle some space, too, because I used a zoom lens.)


This image is now one of my stock photos (a photo that’s available for sale, online. Photo buyers might use this image for a newsletter, website or blog, book, or another form of publication, even fundraising or promotional material).


The lesson is, and this is something I need to pay attention to, as well, is…

...always carry your camera with you on walks or during your travels because you never know what you’ll see!



Mrs. Catherine OKeefe


Natural Light: 3 Beginners Tips

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on March 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:


The sun... overcast days... and shade can all provide wonderful lighting options for you -- when you know how to use natural light, correctly.


As I journey along, I'll provide tips on natural light for you. For now, here is a brief lesson on natural light based on some observations I’ve made. Keep in mind, I’m still learning. But these discoveries have helped me, and I hope they can help you too… 


Working with the Sun


One of the biggest rules I hear is to "not" photograph in direct, midday sun. It causes harsh shadows. The challenge is, what happens if you're photographing a wedding during this time of day or are doing client portraits outdoors?


Here are some ways to work "with" the sun...


***Use a reflector

***Use shade (that provides an even lighting)

***When possible, wait for a cloud to move over the sun and diffuse the sun's light

***And, to make it even easier, when possible, recommend portrait appointments for early morning or later on in the day after someone's workday.


However, when you must work under the bright sun -- without the help of shade or reflectors, here's something to try:


During a super-sunny wedding, I found a setting that helped me get good exposure, almost consistently. First, I turned the dial on my camera to the "aperture mode" setting.


Then, I set the f-stop to f/8 and my ISO to 100. I also tried an ISO setting of 200 with the f/8 setting, which also worked. My camera then adjusted the shutter speed.


(Tip: I tried f-stops of f/4.8 and f/5.6 but I was letting too much light in and it was making my pictures look "foggy" so you want to stick closer to f/8.)


Overcast Days: The Most Perfect Even Lighting


Cloudy days are like a photographer's best friend: it makes for perfect lighting. BUT it does mean it falls into a "lower light" situation and you have to watch out for "grain". Grain looks like your picture is sandy. It's no longer crystal clear. It's a bit sandy looking -- like little sandy particles are making up the picture.


I have found these settings to work well on an overcast day: I like using the "Aperture Mode" setting on my camera. With the Aperture Mode setting, an f-stop of f/5 with an ISO setting of 400 worked well.


I also found f-stop settings of f/4.8 and f/5.6 with ISO settings of 200 to work well, too. (Note: With the Aperture Mode setting, your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed.)


Keep in mind, with f-stops like these, your subject will be in focus, but your background will be blurred. This does look good with photos of people and portraits.


A Safe Starting Point


When I'm needing a starting point, I've found f/8 a safe bet. From there, I can determine whether I need to let more or less light in.


What settings have you found helpful? I welcome your thoughts.



Mrs. Catherine OKeefe

Buttercups and Reflectors: What They Have in Common

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on March 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:


When you were a child, did you ever hold a buttercup flower under your chin and ask a friend or sibling if your chin turned yellow?


I remember doing that.


It was a simple, but fun outdoor activity. Today’s tip is kind of like that. In that, you’ll see your chin light up – but from a reflector, not a buttercup.


To do this, you’ll need a reflector, a natural light source (window light or an overcast day outside), and a friend or relative to try this with you.


To really glow, here’s what to do:


1) Position yourself towards a light source such as window light. (If you do this outside as spring rolls in, please don’t stare at the sun or bounce the reflector light off the sun -- it's almost blinding. It's better to try this on an overcast day outside.) Hold the reflector under your chin. Tilt the reflector a little so it bounces the light back onto your chin.


Ask your friend or relative if your face (and especially, chin) are lighting up.


To see it for yourself, exchange places. Maybe even hold the reflector under your friend or relative’s chin to experiment with the results. Tilt the reflector in different angles. See how it intensifies the brightness.


Have fun with it.


Why is this good to try? It is fun (especially if you’re interested in photography and how light works). It also shows you how using a reflector can add a nice glow to portrait photos. It literally brightens you (or your friend and relative) up.


What’s more, in portrait photography reflectors can help you capture the “sparkle” in someone’s eyes. It’s called catch light.


In a future article, I’ll explore more about that is. Why? Catch light is what breathes life into portrait photos. If you look at professional photos of people and pets, and you’ll see that their eyes sparkle. Literally.



Mrs. Catherine OKeefe