Party Details & DIY

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Taking Better Party Photos {+ Point and Shoot vs. Pro Camera Comparison}

When it comes to featured party submissions, one of the biggest issues we see time and time again is poor photo quality. This can be heart-breaking because we know how much time & energy goes into making these parties so beautiful (trust me, we know!), but it’s hard to properly see all that creativity through harsh lighting and blurry images. We also understand how difficult it can be to translate a party from real life to the camera screen though, and there’s just no getting around the fact that lighting and equipment play such a big role in making that happen.

So, I was very happy when Maria Healey, an incredibly talented professional photographer from my own neck of the woods, approached us about sharing some party photography tips with our readers. She touches on 2 key things here: 1) making the most with the equipment you’ve got (even if it’s an iPhone camera!) and 2) illustrating the differences between standard Point and Shoot Camera results and and Pro Level Camera results (a Canon 5D Mark II to be specific!).

Read on for her tried-and-true tips and insight…


Taking Better Party Photos {+ Point and Shoot vs. Pro Camera}
– by Maria Healey

I am so excited to share my passion for party photography today on the HWTM blog! I’ve had the opportunity to photograph some amazing parties and styled shoots, and it’s been my pleasure to have a variety of those featured on the HWTM blog.

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DIY Tutorial: Quick & Easy Glittered Utensils

Guess what… a party craft doesn’t have to be complicated to be great! These Glittered Wooden Utensils are super simple and one of my favorite quick & easy ways to add sparkle to any table – from kids table place settings to grown up appetizer and dessert buffets. And while we all know that glitter has a tendency to kind of get on everything, this particular little project is much less messier than you might expect – with a little help from a handy thing called glitter tape! (P.S. Glitter tape comes in all sorts of colors too!)

This is a very straightforward project, but I know that sometimes a quick glance at a visual graphic of the steps can still be helpful, so here ya go:

DIY Tutorial: Quick & Easy Glittered Utensils

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Printable Flamingo Party Silhouettes {+ Summer Blog Hop}

I’m a fan of flamingos all year round, but there’s no denying that they fit in especially well during the warm summer months… which is probably one of the reasons I’ve seen flamingo parties (and flamingo everything else!) popping up so much lately.

So for this month’s (Summer Themed) Free Printable Blog Hop, I decided to offer up these cute & girlie Flamingo Party Silhouettes, as seen on the charger plates in our recent Flamingo Fiesta Party theme. I’m thinking they would also be really cute strung into a banner, used on chair backs, or attached to gift bags. You can now download these silhouettes over on the flamingo party recap post, along with the 8×10 Drink Sign and Blank Tent Cards. (You’ll find download links for all 3 items at the bottom of the post.)

Printable Flamingo Party Silhouettes {+ Summer Blog Hop}

P.S. Make sure to scroll down for lots more (free) summer inspired printables from the other Blog Hop participants below… the designs are all so cute! Here are a few hints on what you’ll find: rootbeer floats, lemonade, summer bucket lists, watercolor, retro sunshine, pool party… sounds a lot like summer fun to me! Enjoy :)

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FREE PRINTABLES! Toy Inspired Royal First Birthday Bash

As promised, here are links to download the {free!} party printables that I designed for our recent Royal First Birthday Bash collaboration with Fisher-Price®. I had fun with these and hope you guys are able to put them to good use! You’ll find a preview of everything below, followed by the download links.

As always, if you end up using our free printables we LOVE to see/hear about it, so please let us know! And be sure to check out the main post and Fisher-Price® Royal Birthday Party Guide for lots of coordinating party ideas and DIY project tutorials. Enjoy! :)

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As I’m sure many of you know, planning a party can often be hectic and/or expensive, so when it comes to simple & affordable hacks that don’t skimp on classiness, I’m all in!! And I’ve also got the perfect example to share with you today…  Elizabeth from Bump Smitten sent over this ingenious trick for […]



Well hello lovely Hostess With The Mostess friends! It’s Jen, your favorite Orange County photographer. Today, it’s going to get REAL serious! As you may know, family pictures are one of my specialties (if you’d like to get some ideas and inspiration, check out my Facebook page, right here). I adore family sessions and the stunning […]



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