Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas Market in Bath, England

Bath Christmas Market

One of the things I have been anxiously awaiting to visit this holiday season is a Christmas market.  We went to the German Christmas market in London two years ago and came home with the fondest Christmas memories. I do not think we will get to London this year but it was our first time to check out the Christmas market in Bath, England.  We moved to Bath on the evening of the 23rd of December last year and had just missed the opportunity to visit it before closed for the holidays.  Days before the market was ready to be opened we were seeing all the signs of it being set up around the Bath Abbey.  From what I had seen online I did not think it would be as big as it was and the stalls seemed to fit every little alley, nook, and cranny around the Roman Baths area in town.  We even found glühwein to keep us warm as we enjoyed the evening of holiday cheer.  I will say there were quite a lot of people also enjoying the holiday cheer as the crowds were thick.  It did not stop us from having an amazing time and even meeting some great people.

We met up with a couple of Ryan’s work colleagues which made the night even more joyous as we could share it with family and friends.  Our christmas gift to ourselves was buying in on the 3 bottle deal at the hot sauce stand.  Since we love things spicy two of our three bottles was The End, the hottest one available and very tasty.  My kids fell in love with a stand that boasted tons of tiny figurines each with their own personality and character.  ‘Uncle’ Hugo bought each of my sons one for Christmas: Ronan chose a blue dragon and Maddox chose a black bat.  I got a chance to talk to the couple who were selling them who are originally from Australia but have been traveling over here.  While he drives she makes these creative figurines on a tray on her lap. I really loved all the Christmas ones she had available including the figgy pudding ornaments for the tree.

It was a lovely evening and I hope to keep checking back around the markets each time we are in town. There is something about being around the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas that really put me in a great mood.

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

Q: Have you been to a Christmas market this year?

* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Photography: Camera vs. Knowledge


My passion is photography. It is the reason I cannot be too far away from a camera.  My kids are growing up knowing how to pose for ‘mummy’ and are learning how to use a camera themselves.  My favourite thing about photography is how it is not limited to just one kind of person or even one kind of photographer. While I love to shoot travel photography, people, and self portraits you may like to photograph animals and pets. Perhaps you like to capture the little details around in life or maybe you are fascinated by black and white photos. When it comes to photography, the world is your oyster. Be inspired. Pick up your camera and shoot what you love to photograph.

Every week I get emails, comments on the blog, and messages across different social media platforms about camera equipment.  The most asked questions revolve around what camera I shoot with, what camera I suggest they get, or to give my opinion on which camera brand is better: Canon or Nikon.

I get it. Years ago when I was ready to get my first DSLR and I felt I had to get a Canon camera. Why? Due to the fact my favourite photographer used a Canon and since I was interested in fashion photography at the time I found most of the photographers I followed all shot with a Canon. My husband on the other hand was sold on getting a Nikon because he believes they have better quality glass (aka lenses) and we ended up getting a Nikon DSLR. I remember being sad at first that I lost the Canon vs. Nikon battle, but in the end that was ludicrous. Any bad photos I took when I first go that camera was not because it was a certain brand, it was because I was not an expert with using my camera yet.  I shot mostly in auto modes (this means aperture priority and shutter priority too) and was still getting photos that were blurry or with the incorrect exposure. Not to mention all the other facets of photography that I was not fully utilizing like composition, telling a story, and creating interest.

What Camera You Have vs. Lenses & Knowing How to Shoot in Manual 
Honestly it does not matter what camera you have or what camera brand family you use. Yes there will be differences between cameras. Comparing two different Nikon cameras that I have owned one could shoot with an ISO up to 1600 while another up to 3200, meaning the second shot better in low light situations. However, I have also taken photos with both cameras and have had people choose incorrectly which camera shot which photo. Take a look again at the photo I posted of my sons.


The blurred background behind them was not created in photoshop. This was shot in manual on a sunny day in open shade.  I wanted to create a shallow depth of field, meaning my subjects would be sharp in focus while the backdrop is blurry.  This is great for portraits because it draws your eyes to where your focus is in the frame.  I could have equally shot this with a different lens that does not have as wide an aperture at 1.4 and it would have come out differently. Or I could have used the same lens and on my camera changed the aperture so that everything in the frame was in focus.  I could have also had my kids step out of the shade and have the direct sunlight blind them in the eyes and cause harsh shadows on their face.  Take it a step further and I could have not got in close to them so that the sky would also be in the photo and rely on my camera to expose the photograph for their faces in the shade, making the sky overexposed, void of detail, and bright white. Of course in manual I could now compensate the exposure so that I have better exposed skies while still being able to have my boys nicely in the shot. You could basically have a line of photographers all shooting with the same camera but different lenses among them shooting at different settings (in regards to aperture, shutter speed, and iso) and have a different photo from each photographer. That is what inspires me as a photographer knowing how much control I have in manual as well as how much creative control I have to get to my end result.

With that said you do not need a fancy DSLR to take great photos. You can do it with a simple point and shoot with manual capabilities.  You own the technology and I encourage you all to push yourself this coming year to learn more about what you are capable of with your camera.

Need more help? Wondering why your photos are not exposed correctly?  Wondering how to get sharper clearer images?  Wondering what all the buttons on your camera do?  Then I suggest B. In Focus, which teaches to to shoot in manual while building you up as a photographer with your creative vision.


B. In Focus | An intro to photography course that teaches you to shoot in manual. Also great for intermediates who need a refresher on how to get their camera to do what they want it to. We cover white balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lighting techniques, composition, and creative elements of creating a photograph.

B. Retouched | A post processing class in photoshop for retouching people and faces.  We cover different ways to retouch people of different ages, quick fixes, and even how to apply make-up in photoshop.  If you are a beginner with photoshop, do not fear as we cover everything you will need to know to complete this course.

B. Processed | Geared towards the beginners in photoshop for photographers and bloggers. Learn what to do with your photos out of the camera to make them web ready.  From saving, archiving, organizing, and protecting your images to cropping, resizing, layers, and other elements in photoshop to make it a fun and simple process!

B. In the Frame | Love photography but want to learn more about your camera and push yourself further?  Self portraits are a great way to gain experience and learn new techniques.  With this course we cover creative self portraits which begin before you even pick up your camera, during the shooting process, and afterwards in post processing. If you are ready to embrace the creative side of yourself and create art this is the class for you!

B. Illuminated | Photography is all about light! B.Lux got it’s name from the measurement of light and in this course we go in-depth in lighting approaches and techniques. From shooting in natural light, in low light, and with additional light sources. I show you what you can do for a lot of money and what you can do for little to no additional cost.  We work both inside and out on location and you can learn all from the comfort of an online class and working on your own time. Get ready to embrace light and take your photography to the next level.


B.LUX Alumni | What they are saying about their course:
“Having bought a new DSLR and knowing little about using manual, I decided to try Bonnie Rose’s B.Lux photography course, B. in Focus.  After seeing Bonnie’s photography on her blog and having conversations with her, I knew I wanted to learn more from her.  I now have the basic concepts of using my camera in manual and I no longer need to bring a back up point and shoot on my travels.  Bonnie is great and if you need a push to get yourself learning in manual then this course is for you!” – Brittany



 For more information and to register for classes: 

* Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reseved

8 Tips for Family Photos on a Trip

8 Tips for Family Photos on a Trip

For me when I think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is family.  Directly after that my mind wanders to locations across the globe.  Basically because my family is spread out and we have not all ever lived in the same place.  There will come a time in the near future where my side of the family will be split up on four different continents! Returning to a childhood home in the states every year for the holidays just does not fit our expat family.  When it comes to planning our upcoming holidays my family has decided we will start choosing destinations where we can all meet.


Now not only will we be wanting to focus on our travel photography on our holidays, we will want family portraits at the same time too.  For us we never know the next time we will all be together in the same location, let alone that destination.  Time is precious on holidays and when it comes to family photos quality wins over quantity.  Take 600 photographs of your travels with family member scattered in the mix but do not get one great group shot of everyone and the opportunity is gone. How do you plan family photos when there is already so much going on with the holiday and travel plans?

Family Photos Wales

How to take Family Photos on your Travels

1. Communicate with your Group | Once everyone knows where you are going for your holidays it is time to start talking about the photographs.  My family knows that when I leave the house I will have a camera on me.  However, I cannot pretend that everyone is a mind reader and will know that I want to get family photos.  Some people will need reminding, others coaxing, and some will want fair warning so they can be feel amply prepared.

2. Prepare Before Leave | Any task will be pulled off more efficiently with before thought and preparation. Think about the location you are traveling to and how far your family will be traveling from.  It is best to not to ask your family to bring a lot of extra clothes or props just for a family photo.  With the right preparation and communication you can still pull off a rather stylized family shoot.

3. Stylize your Shoot | Think of a colour scheme that will work well with your group and let everyone know in advance.  However do not then leave it up to chance.  You either risk having everyone wear the same outfit or having one person looking out of place because perhaps they did not have dark trousers and wore light blue jeans instead.  The key is coordination and simplicity. For balance check ahead of time what everyone has and what they are thinking of wearing. The best way I have found this to work for my family is to think of a basic colour palette that you know people will have and then build on it with a little bit of colour.  Have different members of the group ‘pop’ that colour into their wardrobe in different ways.  If your ‘pop’ colour is green you may see it introduced in different items of clothing on each person and even in accessories like hats, hair pieces, jewelry, ties, scarves, and shoes.

4. Posing | Once you know what people are wearing you can work with colour balance and family relations to decide who will stand where in the photo.  Before hand look at family poses online that you like and bring it with you on your mobile device or printed out for reference.  You can try different poses but go with your favourite pose first. This will be beneficial if you are working with children (or adults) with short attention spans or a dislike for having their photo taken.

5. Be Efficient | If there will be children, older family members, people with special needs, or pets in the photograph, let them relax until you are read to start snapping away.  Let the other family members work with you to set up the group shot first.  Once you are ready to add everyone in then get ready to smile and aim to get ‘the shot’ there in the beginning.

6. Timing | It really is everything.  Think about the time of day you are shooting and how it will affect lighting and shadows.  Also take in account how the time of the photo will affect the members posing.  As my family photos involve children I like to take photos when they are not hungry, not tired, and before something that they can look forward to after the photos are finished.  My favourite time of day is the golden hour after the sun comes up. Others also like to shoot during the golden hour in the evening during the last light of the day.

7. Take the Shot | Whether you are having someone else take the photos or  you are using your camera’s timer or a remote, remember you are working with a group of people in one photo.  This means some people may be blinking or making a strange face in one shot, while looking great in another.  Start with having everyone feel comfortable and relaxed and then take a lot of photos to achieve a shot where everyone looks great.  The shorter the shoot the nicer it will be on those who feel uncomfortable or would rather be doing something else. Make sure to check the photos before you deem the shoot as ‘over’ to know you are satisfied with the results.

8. Have fun |  Once you have the shot you need then let your group have fun. Maybe break out some props to use or bring in elements from your trip to show off your holiday.  Let people mingle, be themselves, and pose with different people. This is a perfect time to get candids!

Family Photos in Wales

There you have 8 tips for family photos on a trip. Perfect for you to implement on your holidays this year!  I have other photography geared posts that you can check out including the How to Take your Family Portraits which you can read by clicking the image below.

howtotakeyourfamilyportraits_ACRblog (1)

If you would like to know more about photography, check out my B.Lux Online Photography courses at


Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.




1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link! ;)
3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday after 9 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
6. The First Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

* Side by side vertical photos by Miriam Pinkston Photography © 2013

Panettone & Yammos in Bath, England

How to Make Panettone

I have to share with you a gem we have found here in Bath.  A Neapolitan restaurant called Yammo!

Having lived in Napoli, Italia as a child and later as a teen I have become a food snob when it comes to Italian food. I resist going to any so-called ‘Italian’ restaurants in the USA and only found one in Malibu, California that came close to the food on which I was brought up. We stumbled upon Yammo one evening for dinner as our stomachs were growling, not knowing what was in store for us.  I was taking by surprise by finding a restaurant owned by a man from Napoli and won over by the amazing food. I have never tasted a pizza that tasted like the pizza from my home in bella Napoli, until I went to Yammo. One taste of the sauce on the pizza margherita and I was transported back home. We have since decided it is our favourite resturant in Bath and have returned to dine in as well as to order pizza delivery to our home.

How to Make Panettone

For my birthday this year all I would have loved to go home to see my friends and ‘family’ in Napoli.  My husband got me the second best thing which was to attend a Panettone demonstration with Ottavia of Ottavia in Cucina at Yammo with a free coffee and tasting session.  I have only ever eaten panettone, never have I made one.  Last year my mum (known as ‘Nonna’) and sister came for Christmas and we were all gutted that we did not get a panettone to share for the holidays.  Needless to say I was very excited to be able to learn all the steps for making this Christmas treat from Italia.

How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

I felt I had learned so much more than just how to make panettone from Ottavia at the panettone demonstration at Yammo.  Not only was I enjoying hearing her accent but she was filled with rich information about which ingredients will produce a better panettone and explaining the science behind cooking this yeasted rich bread.  In the photos above she shared tips of how to preserve the aroma from the orange zest by mixing it with your butter first, how to make your own candied fruits, the tools she uses for when she is kneading the dough, and how to hang your panettone upside down after it has finished baking.  How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

How to Make PanettoneThe demonstration was amazing. I only wish we could have made it there as part of the class. I did however get to buy panettone cases so I can try this at home.This was my first time having homemade panettone, having grown up eating the ones from the store for Christmas in Napoli, Italia.  It was really soft and the most delicious panettone I have ever eaten.  I cannot wait to make my own this year too!  Thank you so much to Ottavia and to Yammo for hosting such an amazing afternoon!

66 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BD
For delivery call 01225 938328

Ottavia in Cucina

Q: Have you ever tried Italy’s beloved Panettone or made one at home?  




Dec Sponsors

I would like to give a shout out to all my sponsors on my sidebar for the month of December.  We have Sarah Rose joining us for the first time from Bristol, England and returning to the side bar this month are Tara from Ontario, Canada and Louisa from Abruzzo, Italia. You will also remember Kate, Lix, Kim, and Melanie my sponsors continuing on through this month from November.  Thank you to these lovely ladies for their support to ACR.

25 Days of Christmas

Checking in on the Nutcracker this morning, Prince Ice, who was up last night playing cards with T.Rex for peanut m&ms.  Unfortunately with T.Rex’s limited arm reach and after the Maddox broke the Nutcracker by having him eat a jelly bean, neither of them could enjoy their winnings. So the treats were left for the boys to enjoy with a game of cards after school.


*photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

25 Days of Christmas with the Nutcracker Prince


It is the first of December and hence forth commences the 25 Days of Christmas at our house.  We as a family have adopted many traditions from around the world in our travels including St. Nicholas from Germany, La Bafana from Italy, and Christmakah from the OC. It began with my parents who adopted Hanukah into our holiday traditions as well as those mentioned from our years living abroad as a military family.  Now these traditions are carried on with my children and it makes this time one of our favourites through out the year.  When I was a young girl living in England during the first Gulf War, my sister and I were visited by Ed the Elf.  My father was away fighting in the war and having this special guest during the holidays helped keep up the holiday cheer in our father’s absence.  Ed the Elf came every day and although we never saw him (unlike that creepy elf on the shelf), he always left little notes, quests, and goodies. Last year I attempted something similar with a Moose, whom I could not find when we relocated from Brighton to Bath.  So this year my husband and I decided to do something different.

The Nutcracker Prince | As a little girl I loved ballet and I loved the whole story of the Nutcracker. So when we found this cute little guy at our T.K. Maxx store in Bath, we decided to take him home as part of a new holiday tradition.  We stuck him inside a box, with a note in his mouth and some goodies tucked inside and put him outside our front door. However I think the Nutcracker Prince was a little too eager as my boys did not hear the first knock on the door and already was making his escape. 😉


Here is the Nutcracker Prince with his letter for today
and two bags of jelly beans were found inside for each of my boys.  25DaysofChristmas

The note told the boys that he had not a name nor a bed to sleep in and asked if they would give him both.
I know my eldest knows my handwriting, but my youngest seemed so tickled by our new house guest.

Maddox was eager to have him eat a jellybean and broke his handle off in the process.
So I have nicknamed my son ‘Fritz’.  The boys even started working on making him a bed.
Here he is pictured with a blanket after he got broken. He has since gotten fixed.
The boys decided to name him Prince Ice.

I will keep you posted through out the month on how our Nutcracker, Prince Ice,
is doing and the things he gets up to during the night while we sleep.


Q: Do you have any Holiday Traditions passed down from your families?

* Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |