The Curated and The Culled | 10 on 10

What makes a great photo? What makes a photo worth sharing with the world?

I’ve long been an advocate of curating your collection. Don’t show everything you snap. In a world flooded with images, why bother adding to the noise?

The images I cull may give you better insight into my world than my carefully selected images. In my fleeting, blurry moments, you can view the creation process. You can see that it doesn’t always work. You can see that sometimes one image happened only after rejecting many others. You can see that I shoot at the speed of life and sometimes I miss.

It’s real. It’s the reality we often hide from those just learning their away around composition and light and shutter speed. If you only share what is perfect, you may never share at all.

So, this month, my 10 on 10 are paired. The effort and the result. The good and the bad? The curated and the culled.



Can you tell which was forced? Can you tell which was his own free will? A little more than obvious, right?


I wanted to capture the spontaneous natural hug between Ian and the sweet server at his favorite restaurant. It was not to be. So we settled for good light and less movement.


Blurry again, this time without the excuse of people. Except for me. Doesn’t it just shout, slow down already.


He’d drawn a little happy face in the corner of the window at the Capitol. Cutting off his eye? That was all me? Doesn’t his expression say, “seriously, you need to take another one? How long have you been doing this?!”


The artsy shot gone bad. It’s funny how I still find myself shocked that exposure didn’t work the way my eye saw it when I know perfectly well how my camera works. I won’t even mention the angle or composition or anything that was going on. I’ll just claim it was an accidental shutter push.

And there you have it. My 10 on 10. Visit my friend Chloe for her take 10 on 10 view this month.

I hope these images lift you up!


  1. Martha Schlesselman

    I finally took some time tonight to just come to the blog and read around in here. Always full of gems, and this is no exception. I love these! It helps me not feel alone as I, too, have some of these same struggles. So thank you! In general I must add that love the whole 10 on 10 thing. What a great idea. It is indeed a good thing to take a breath, look back and honor the journey. 🙂

  2. What a great idea to pair those together. It takes awhile to get one shot sometimes with kids. I can tell your son is totally used to your process:-)

  3. Luciane Steiner

    I know the feeling when kids are not happy to pose and when I say I only need one picture they take it literally to one shot… Thank you for sharing your insights.

  4. Sharon Billings

    This is a wonderful idea! Something that we all do, but somehow feel we should be more perfect and each shot “perfect”. Of course, pretty impossible when we strive to capture the moment. I can particularly relate to your last comparison!

  5. “Shooting at the speed of life” says it all – it was the perfect reminder that its ok to have a few misses to get the photo you want! Loved the 10 on 10 blog circle – it was such a treat to hop from one beautiful blog to the next – Thanks for sharing!

  6. The speed of life…that’s my world! I have to remind myself sometimes that no matter what, my photos reflect “that” moment and my life right now seems to be full of lots of blurry and unfocused “that” moments. Lol! I keep many of those photos. Often they become my picture of the day. Some day, if/when things become more clear and more focused in my everyday, I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

    Thanks for this post!

  7. Rhadonda Sedgwick

    I too loved the phrase “shooting at the speed of life”. I love how honest and open you are too as that helps all of us in the process of growing and embracing where we are and what we do and how we capture it!! You’re so awesome! A great read and very enjoyable and smile-invoking!

  8. This was a great reminder to enjoy the process. When I first started shooting, I thought everything had to be perfect in one shot – yeah right! Now I know it might take a bunch to capture one little moment, but it is worth it in the end. Love this post, your words always speak right to me! Thank you!

  9. Great idea with pairs! Love your honesty :-). Enjoy February

  10. I love these comparisons. I think it is such a great idea to show a little behind the scenes peek at what ended up on the cutting room floor before the final image is shared. And Ian’s smirk at the Capitol is adorable.

  11. Cool idea, and great presentation. Also a way to get to know you – and your sweet son 🙂 I guess a lot of us are really trying to show the perfect side of life and build this facade that looks good. So happy to see that I am not alone doing the blurry pictures, cutting corners, missing the light and so on. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Love from Trini in Norway

  12. Shooting at the speed of life…I like that. Sometimes the those that aren’t curated can definitely tell you more about what was going in your life at that moment! I love the comparisons. Great concept!

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