Out and about!

March 7, 2018 in Lifestyle - 12 Comments

Out and about!

March 7, 2018 in Lifestyle - 12 Comments


Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”

These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.


Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer. She has 16 million followers on Instagram, so maybe she’s doing something right… besides just being Chrissy Teigen.) (Note that I have nothing against Chrissy Teigen. Nor has she, to my knowledge, ever claimed to be a professional photographer.)

Meanwhile, my boyfriend was asking about things like ISO. “What’s the ISO on that camera?” was one of the questions he asked me after I told him I’d found one and that I’d researched it and that it was “DEFINITELY THE ONE THAT I WANTED”. Because he’s a photographer, he assumed that I was looking at things like “ISO”. Because I’m a ‘picture taker’, I was not. Instead I was focused on: “What does it look like? Is it small, is it lightweight, is it cute?” (I don’t know why this mattered, but for some reason, it did, a little bit.) “Is it easy to use? Will I HATE learning how to use it?” and “PICTURE QUALITY.” – which really just meant, “It HAS to take better pictures than my iPhone or it’s not worth it.” So, the majority of my research consisted of reading reviews written by other ‘picture takers’ like me. Reading reviews was crucial – because I knew I didn’t want something I had to LEARN. I know that sounds crazy, considering I was buying a CAMERA – but I wasn’t buying it to start a photography business on the side, I really just wanted it to add better content to my blog, and because taking pictures is fun. (AND BECAUSE I got tired of whipping out my iPhone at places like the Grand Canyon and The Golden Gate bridge. Call me old fashioned, but those pictures – vacation pictures, pictures that you want to save – should be on a CAMERA, not a phone.)

I realize this is starting to sound like a sponsored post for the camera I bought. Trust me, it’s not. It’s just that I haven’t written anything in a while, and it turns out I’m a little rusty.

So anyway – long story short – I bought a camera. It’s cute, it’s lightweight, it’s easy to use. It’s a mirrorless – which will only mean something to the ‘camera people’ reading this, but I feel like it’s worth noting if you’re thinking about buying a camera. (Or maybe I’m just trying to prove to you that I actually researched them. I did, I swear.) Anyway – now all I want to do is take pictures!… of everything.


Over the weekend, we headed a few towns over to a cute little suburb with plenty of boutiques, local businesses, and – what has turned out to be – our new favorite brunch spot in downtown Naperville! It reminded me of a place that I’ve been to in Nashville that offered hospitality and a certain small-town charm. I am all about places with small-town charm (which I think is a side effect from all of the Gilmore Girls I watched growing up).




I’m a sucker for cute small-towns. I grew up in a small town- granted, it was more fields than town, but still. Walking through one always makes me feel like I’m the lead in a Hallmark movie. Maybe I’ll make friends with the baker, or the shop owner, or the whoever and together we’ll save the town, or the bakery or the shop or the whatever, and all of the townspeople will cheer and hoist me on their shoulders and we’ll all live happily ever after.

And there will be a parade. There’s always a parade.

Or maybe Kyle and I will just walk around and take pictures and I’ll say things like, “How CUTE is this area?!” and he’ll say, “Yea, it’s cool” to humor me. That’s how it usually goes.


But seriously – come on! HOW CUTE?! Right?!

Look at this graffiti wall. I don’t know what kind of town Naperville used to be “back in the day”, but this makes me imagine it as a horse-and-buggy, soldiers-coming-home, women-wearing-polka-dot-dresses-and-going-to-the-market kind of town.

And maybe there was a flood, or something. I don’t know. It looks like that one guy is pushing is car out of the water – and I don’t know WHAT’S going on with those horses, but they looked spooked.

But still. CUTE, right?!


I like this town because it has “nice” graffiti. You know?


These three shops were my favorite, right below. This was actually in Glen Ellyn. (That will only mean something to you if you’re from the Chicago suburbs. Which, if you are, I suggest you head on over to Blonde Boutique as soon as you can – they had soooo many cute things! I wanted to buy the entire store!)


So that’s the story of our little adventure.  What’s your favorite thing about small towns?!



  • Bree March 7, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I love your ideas about the difference between a photographer and someone that just enjoys taking pictures. I will have to use this as well.

    Lovely post.


    • Jenn March 8, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      It’s so true. After seeing what photographers go through to get “just the right shot”…. I’m like, “yea, nope. No. Totally not what I do.” Haha!

  • Oluchi March 8, 2018 at 4:43 am

    I love the town pictures!!!

  • wingedeyegirl March 8, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Love your Posts !

    • Jenn March 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you!! 🙂

  • megisacat March 8, 2018 at 7:44 am

    oooh this makes me want a nice camera so I can be a slightly better “picture-taker” haha those photos are gorgeous! Also I like your multiple sidenote/parenthetical style of writing. 🙂

    • Jenn March 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you!! 🙂 And YES – you should get a camera! They’re so much fun!

  • laurenhemmingmarsh March 9, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Such beautiful photographs!

    • Jenn March 9, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you!! 🙂

  • Kathleen Denly March 9, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Ha ha. I am totally a picture-taker. My husband is a photographer. Sometimes he hands me his 50lb, 5 foot long camera and tells me I should use it because I will get a better picture. I look at him and ask if he remembered to set it to “point and shoot mode.” He rolls his eyes and takes it back. I am mostly happy being a picture-taker, but I admit that sometimes having a photographer around to explain why my supposedly simple camera isn’t behaving properly comes in handy. And if you twist my arm I might admit that the portraits he takes are better than my selfies. But I am still not learning how to change a lens or figuring out what that icon flashing on the screen means. I will leave that to the photographers and stick to my point-and-shoot.

    • Jenn March 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Haha ME TOO, girl!

  • jmaretick May 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Nice pics!

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