Category Archives: brphotography

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

5 Steps to Improve your Photography


If you have been around this blog for a while you know that I have a hobby of taking self portraits.  While the proclaimed ‘selfie’ has been around since the days of Myspace, taking a simple self portrait is more of an art.  For me it began in last year with a new photography series I wanted to do revolving around one themed self portrait a week with my friends. Every week we had a theme based off a song title or lyrics and we each brought what that meant to us in a self portrait.  Challenges like this can be fun and a great way to keep you accountable as you learn more about your art and craft.  I really push people to start taking self portraits when they want to get better at photography because it can help you grow both technically and creatively.

f r o m   B o n n i e   o f   A   C o m p a s s   R o s e

1. Start taking Self Portraits. You never need to find a model or tell someone else how to pose. Forget about needing a tripod or a remote.  I take most of my self portraits without either of these items.  All you need is a sturdy surface and the self timer on your camera.

2. Take One Photo Every Day. There are many challenges out there to keep you occupied with your camera every day.  There are even social media groups that participate these types, including on Instagram.  Perhaps you do not want to be tied down to a specific or limited theme.  Just keep your camera available and shoot what sparks your fancy.

3. Do not Delete. Just because some of your photos did not turn out right, do not rush to delete them off your camera.  Learn from your mistakes.  The best way to figure out how to improve your photography is to study the photos where you did not achieve what you wanted with those where your photo turned out perfectly.  Learning to trouble shoot can take you to the next level as a photographer.

4. Be Inspired. Find ways to inspire your photography.  Look at elements within a photograph and go from there. Perhaps focus on locations. Where can you take a photograph and what mood would it set?  Start being observant to the world around you and find things in your part of the world that make you enjoy photography.  When you love what you do, it shows through your work.

5. Take a Class. Love photography and want to improve?  I offer B.Lux Photography courses and in December I am introducing two new classes, with more to come in 2014.  No matter where in the world you live, if you have have the willingness to learn you can take these online courses.

BLUXB. In Focus | An beginner’s course or a refresher for intermediate photographers who want to take back the control from their camera and learn how to shoot in manual.  We discuss both the technical and the creative aspect of photography as we get to know your camera.  Tired of getting fuzzy or outof focus photographs?  Not sure why the colours never look right? Having a hard time with lighting and want to know how to work with many different types of lighting situations?  Do you want to take better photographs?  You have the technology in your hands and you have the creative mind! Now put it together with this course and really push yourself as a photographer.  This four week course includes a bonus teacher free week with a final project at the end of the course.

B. Retouched | Do you like to photograph people and take portraits?  Not sure what to do with the photos in post processing? In this four week course we learn how to use photoshop specifically for the need of retouching people and faces in your photography.  Learn how bring out their natural beauty and how the steps differ depending on the person’s age.  From spot retouching, to smoothing skin, and even how to apply make up!  The final project in this course will teach you how to take your black and white photo and bring it back to colour with the retouching affects in photoshop.

B. Transformed | An introductory class to photoshop for photographers and bloggers.  Whether you are diving into photoshop for the first time as a photographer or are wanting to take your photos to the next level on your blog.  We get started with learning the basics to help get away from feeling overwhelmed and start getting creative. In this online course you get on screen videos of how to work in photoshop. From working with layers, filters, brushes, and simple retouch & healing tools.  We then look at how you can protect your work, make it web ready, organize and archive your photographs. Help photoshop work with you.







M A K E   F R I E N D S   &   F O L L O W   L O U I S A!
*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 


The Importance of Being Earnest – Bath Drama


One of the fun things about being involved with a theatre group is attending script readings. Last night my theatre group, Bath Drama, had a rehearsed reading of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. As with the reading I was in last month (A Letter from the General), it was a rehearsed reading that the actors had prepared beforehand. Directed by Judith Howard, the cast of eight  brought the show alive with the farce and witty dialogue of Oscar Wilde.

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


“A trivial comedy for serious people. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff are two men that are both pretending to be someone they are not.”

Q: “Have you ever read or seen the Importance of Being Earnest?”

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



The War on Girls: Beauty

I love people. As a photographer I love photographing people because of how we are all different.  I like that we do not all look a like.  That we each carry our own personal armoire of stories, scars, and triumphs.  To me a person is not really beautiful because of their skin, their body type, or what clothes they wear. I love finding the beauty in people.  I love hearing what makes a person happy, what drives their passions, and hearing about their hopes and dreams.  That moment where a person opens their mouth to speak fueled by the ignite of life behind their eyes.  Eyes really are the windows to a person’s soul and why I love to photograph people.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe everyone should be able to see and realise their own beauty and worth. 

We can be our own worst critics, seeing the faults in ourselves that no one else can see.  To find things unworthy of beauty that are our personal characteristics. To dislike things about ourselves that others in fact love about us.  Since we need our reflection we spend more time seeing others than seeing ourselves. Yet some of us spend more time scrutinizing and critiquing ourselves. 

This week remind yourself of how beautiful you are and how precious is your life. Then make sure to encourage the girls and women in your life.  We are made beautiful. We have the power to live beautiful lives.  It just takes the belief in yourself.  See the world as a beautiful place and life will look beautiful to you.
* photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

The War on Girls: ‘inDependent’

In this next installment of The War on Girls I take another look at how society is failing us.  I feel the need to preempt this with the fact you may not whole heartedly agree with me.  I am not a medical professional and I do not claim that all medications are unnecessary.  Perhaps you function perfectly well with them and live a ‘normal’ life.  Or maybe you are living in a part of the world where it seems unfathomable and unbelievable that one could live a life dependent on anything but a superior being. Then again maybe this story will be all too real for you and a truth you too share.  Which ever walk of life brings you to The War on Girls series at ACR, I thank you for your open mind and taking the time to hear my words.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
There was a time in my life where I was dependent on drugs just to get through the day.  I was taking them to fight off the depression and anxiety that plagued my life after the sudden death of my father and during a near divorce in my marriage. Out in public, even with friends, anxiety attacks would make me want to rush home and just be alone.  In my solitude I could not find comfort and the emptiness would swallow me up.  I did not feel safe in my own skin.  My pills became my security blanket, helping me to feel…well to feel nothing.  They did not make me happy and they could not make me forget. However, a quick swallow and life would just slow down for a long enough moment that I could relax and calm down. My depression weighted on me heavily and often I just wanted to sleep.  Something my medication helped me do easily.  I may have not been having to feel the entirety of my sadness but I was not living life fully either. 
It was not the solution I had sought after for myself.  I had tried to be independent and take it all on by myself.  Even my closest friends did not know what I was keeping to myself.  My religion told me I could take it all on with prayer and my nomadic free spirit pushed me to carry the weight myself. But when it got to be all too much after my father’s funeral, my mum urged me to see a doctor for medical help.  I had seen therapists before and I was hungry to talk to someone.  To have someone hear me who could listen and offer advice.  My psychiatrist however spent more time filling out my prescription than he did asking about how I was doing or listening to what I had to say.  I became seduced by the magical idea that a miracle pill could help me. After all it had helped friends I know.  Was I buying into the idea that having prescriptions was trendy? I was too sad and too anxious to focus on anything but change my current state of mind. 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

“There were issues with the dosage while I was taking it as they tried to find the right amount over the course of my treatment. After getting my dosage raised once and still taking it in the morning, it would knock me out so quickly. I would not even know I was getting tired until I was fast asleep. It was more than that it was the way it took away the passion and the heart of my personality. I may have not been myself with dealing with everything going on in my life, but I was definitely not me on Klonopin either. My emotions felt very flat and if I was needing to take another pill I could be really irritable and upset. I remember just wanting to be alone a lot of the time. Being around my in-laws at all brings on a lot of stress and I just sat in a closet once during the Christmas holiday to find some quiet and past out amongst the coats and the darkness until my husband found me. There did not seem to be an end to this tunnel because it was masking the problems. It was not fixing the loss of my dad or the cracks in my marriage.” 

– Excerpt from ‘Overcoming Klonopin’

You can click the link above in the excerpt to read the whole story of my personal journey with taking Klonopin.  In the end I found alternative people with optional solutions to help me find my happiness.  I realised that it was okay to ask for help and that I would have to rely on myself and be okay with that fact.  While I cannot change my past I look at my experience as a way to connect and reach out to others.  I cannot help but think that people like me have been failed by society and the people around us.  In a world where it is so much easier to find a medicinal answer to our ailments instead of a solution for the underlining problems.  Where everyone wants to get the job done and fix things but no one wants to take the time to listen.  Where we feel too scared to reach out to our friends when we are ourselves drowning in pain.  When as girls it is easier to just say we should ‘see a doctor’ or be put on medication then to see us as beautiful, raw, individuals with our individual flaws.  I have in-laws who continue to see me as a broken individual, a fragile rose with thorns, a person who should always have to see a doctor. Why?  For the believe that depression never ‘really’ goes away.  Who makes these rules and puts these shackles on us just because we are girls who feel ever pain and strain of the world around us?  Why must the girls of this world be made to feel like we are worth less and unable to be built up stronger than ever before?
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
I am happy to say that I found my happiness in England.  The anxiety attacks which still plagued me every now and then up until 2011 stopped as soon as I relocated back to Europe.  It amazes me that the personal triggers and situations that I knew all too well, do not phase me in my ex-pat life abroad.  I finally feel like myself.  I am not saying I do not ever get sad. I am not immune to monthly mood swings, culture shock and homesickness.  I recognize that things like ‘seasonal depression’ do exist with the changing seasons and shorter days.  For me personally I focus on a more positive look at life and I know what things can quickly turn my mood around. Cuddles from my boys, kisses from my husband, and being outside on a country walk do more for me than my pills could have done.  It makes me thankful to know that life does get better.
The photographs in this post were from my project, Secret Lies of Men & Women.  The middle image pictured was the main image chosen to represent my woman who was dependent on drugs and alcohol. The lie written on her hand states ‘i am inDEPENDENT’.  I chose to write the the word ‘dependent’ in all caps as it was the real truth visible in the image series. 

*Model: Pua | Make-up Artist: Dhyana Leung
**Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Self Portrait: ‘Peek’

My first self portrait for November has to deal with lies ahead for the rest of 2013.  We are now officially in my favourite time of the year.  This month alone is filled with Bonfire night and fireworks,  a blogger meet-up in London, my husband’s birthday, my birthday, a friend’s wedding, Panto rehearsals, and preparing for Christmas! So much is still yet a head and I wonder what is all in store for us this holiday season. 

Self Portrait: ‘Peek’ by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |
I try to do one every week and post on a Saturday. 
If you would like to link up with me, add this button to your blog.
I would love to see your photography!
Get out those tripods, remote controls, and set your self timer!

How It Works: It must be a ‘self portrait’ and does not need to be an image you took this Saturday. Feel free to link up to past Self Portrait posts in your blog. This link up will be every Saturday so feel free to use that as your motivation to learn more about your camera, hone in on your photography skills, try out new post processing techniques, and let your creative spirit come alive. Join the Self Portrait Saturday challenge!

Are you shooting with training wheels? 
Tired of blurry or incorrectly exposed photographs? 
Perhaps your subjects look great but the skies are always blown out and not sure why? 
Wish you could take better photographs with your camera?  
Ready to take your photography to the next level?

Get your camera to do what you want it to do by taking back full control over the camera.  
B. In Focus is a four week online course with a fifth bonus ‘teacher free’ week. Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera or a complex DSLR you can take this course.  You already have the technology and the creative eye, now learn how to combine the technical and the artistic side of photography to become a better photographer.  

Listen to what current students are already saying about B. In Focus!
“LOVING this course!! Shot in Manual a wee bit today!”
“You’ve done such an amazing job with all of this. Thanks so much for this!”
Interested in learning more about B. In Focus? |  Find out more and Register here!

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

War On Girls: ‘All I Need is Love’

“We all fail to appreciate each day just how much we already possess. 
Light, air, freedom, the companionship of friends.” 

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
I Want More.  This is easily a subject that can attack us all no matter your sex or age.  Christmas is just around the corner and already ‘wish lists’ and Father Christmas are on my children’s radars.  At any time of the year I find myself holding several ‘want’ lists in my memory for either next month or as soon as it becomes feasible.  It is almost shocking how often our ‘wants’ are disguised by the word ‘need’.  As a consumer I see how the newest phone releases send out the message that you need to have the newest model to keep up with with the rest of the world.  In our current day technology ages faster than ever before, but the need to want more is not a new phenomena. 
I Need More.  As a girl growing up I remember wanting the latest new thing.  I fell in love with the American Girl dolls and loved when I got a new catalog so I could circle all the new items that I just had to have.  Though an iconic toy from my childhood, they would be replaced by other material items through out my life.  As a photographer I feel as if I am always ‘in need’ of the newest and latest or just better item then what I have in my kit. It is not like we are going to wake up one day and realise we do not need something that we want.  It would have to be a self made choice to find happiness in life and not in the material world.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Materialism and the War on Girls.  How does this affect our younger generations of girls growing up in today world where society is heavily centered around consumerism?  When I was growing up as a teenager overseas I had moved on to catalogs geared towards clothing for teenage girls like Delia’s and Alloy.  Every time a new issue would come in I would be plagued with things I wanted and ‘had to have’ and then would bug my parents for new clothes.  I cannot imagine what it would be like today with a teenage daughter.  Mail order catalogs have pretty much been replaced with hoards of online shopping options.  Add that with the bombardment of materialism messages sent out from online,  fashion blogs, television shows and movies, magazines, advertisements, and visual stimuli available by smart phones.  Top that off with the cherry of viewing others for what they have and you have not and it becomes a pit of never being satisfied.
All I Need Is Love.  I took the photos in this blog as part of a photographic series I did entitled ‘The Secret Lies of Men & Women’.  While the woman shows you the lie written on her hand ‘All I need is love’  you can see visually the truth being that she feels she really needs money and love of designer purses with the image of credit cards, cash, and purses.  When does needing material hide what we really want out of life?  Are we missing out on other areas of our life, relationships, or opportunities because we are more focused on what we do not have?  How does this affect the relationships we make and the ones that are continuing in our life?
 Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
  1. You ARE valuable.  Life  in itself is so precious.  We never know how long we will have on this life or with the people we cherish most.  Remind the girls you know, that they are valued in your life and in the world.  The focus should be on the person and not on what a person has or has not in life. 
  2. Your self worth comes from the inside.  A person’s worth is not based on numbers or possessions.  Nor is a person’s beauty about their place in society or how they look on the outside.  You are beautiful with our without the must have fashion item of the moment.  You are beautiful in your skin. You do not have to be deemed ‘perfect’ by someone else to be worth a second of happiness. 
  3. Do not believe everything that you hear.  Just because you hear an advertisement that says you ‘need’ this or that to satisfy _______, it does not mean you have to believe it.  If you know a young girl who feels she needs to own something to be worth something to her peers, help her see her self worth.  Encourage, love, and inspire the girls around you to love life for more than material things in the world. 
Q: How do you see yourself in today’s ‘Material World’?

* Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
** Model: Lolo Leialoha Seabiscuit | Make-up Artist: Dhyana Leung