Once Upon A Time

Where does your imagination take you when you hear the words, “Once upon a time”.

Adventure? A Journey? Adversity? Heart ache? True Love? What about Happy endings? What about all of the above! (That would be my answer for sure!). No matter what age group, I feel that every human being can somehow relate to ‘Once upon a time.’

In April 2010, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s  gave a talk entitled “Your Happily Ever After”. He speaks of how each of us has an opportunity to create our own Happy ending, regardless of the circumstances are placed in our way. This particular article has literally carried me during times of trial, gave me hope, and remembered that no matter what, God loved me.

Design Choices

The focus of my Magazine spread is for girls from the ages of 12-18 to recognize their inner beauty and most of all to feel love. Teenage years can be brutally lonely and it can be difficult to have confidence. Ladies, you are worth it! There is so much to be grateful for. You can do hard things and you are BEAUTIFUL.

Most of these girls will confess that they are ‘grown up’ at this point of their lives and much too old for fairytales; but let’s be honest…. the dream of having a perfect “Happily Ever After” never subsides, even (and especially) during the teenage years.

Bookmark your fairytale

One reason I love to read fairytales is because whenever the book begins with ‘Once upon a time’, I am assured that no matter what happens during the story, a ‘Happily Ever After’ is most likely going to accompany the ending. Which is why I decided to incorporate and repeat the bookmark shape at the beginning and the end of the article. I felt that it added it added the element of ‘closure’ that we all deep down desire.

All about the Color

I wanted to create a color scheme that would be feminine and warm (purples and yellows) but then also have a sophisticated flare (blues). Because I am focused on young women between ages 12-18, I added the brighter purple hue to add that youthful feel but then to satisfy our 18-year-old, ‘mature’, crowd I added a softer purple.


You’ll see two different fonts in my spread. First, a sans serif font called Helvetica. It is simple and basic, but it contrasts well with the decorative font ‘Youth and Beauty’. I was drawn to the ‘Youth and beauty’ text type for multiple reasons. First, the name. Teenage years can be rough! More than anything I hope that President Uchtdorf’s message along with my design can help teenager girls see their inner worth and true beauty. Also, I felt that this text created a feminine and lovely atmosphere and set the tone for the article.

Let your photos tell the story

The photos I used for this magazine spread came from two photoshoots that I shot within the last few months that I felt related quite well to the audience for my spread.First, the photo of my friend Loryn making a wish. The photoshoot where this was taken was for her senior portraits. I tried to utilize the ‘rule of thirds’ in this photo to help the eye naturally draw to the dandelion. Let’s be honest; we can ALL relate to this photo and cannot even look at it without wondering—what would I be wishing for right now?!

Photo by Michelle Hall

The second photo is of my friend Mercedes. She heads out on her mission this week to Kentucky. As a missionary as well as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we read the Book of Mormon and believe it to be the word of God. As this will be a part of Mercedes focus of the next 18 months, I tried to use the principle of leading lines to draw the focus to the message she will be sharing found in the Book of Mormon. I felt this picture helped capture a few things for my audience. First, is in order to make obtain their Happily Ever After, they need to have faith. Also, a mission is a big decision. At this time of their lives, big decisions come at them from EVERY angle. I hope that this picture helped them to realize their need for God in times of big decisions.

Missionary & Book of Mormon

Photo by Michelle Hall

You got this!

Don’t give up on YOUR happily Ever After. You deserve it just as much as anyone else. It is up to you to decide if you are going to make it. Choose now what you will do when life is at its best and at its worst. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf states in his this article, “it is how you react to adversity that determines how your happily ever after will play out.” You got this!


For more information on how to find your happily ever after (and to read or watch the full text to the article) visit https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/your-happily-ever-after?lang=eng.


Better Photos in 3…2…1!

Better photos in 3….2…1!

For as long as I remember, I have always loved photos. However, I’ll be honest, my photos have mostly been just another average Utah Girls photo collection. Thankfully, this class has taught me some great life lessons and skills! Truly, great photos can be taken by each of us! Three principles I have learned in my visual media course that have helped train my eye for better photos include 3 simple tips that, if used, have helped me gain a greater appreciation for the art of photography! Other than the photos I took myself, I found all of my photo examples from pexels.com.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of thirds states that if you should separate an image into nine points.  You should  then do your very best to place your focus in your photo on the intersections or along the lines of your ‘thirds’. This creates a balance within the photo. Below is an image found on Pexel.com of which I think is a great example of the rule of thirds.  Go ahead, look at the image. Where does your eye naturally go first? Was it the camera? Me too.

Camera Man


The person is set right along the right hand line. The main camera, which is the focal point of the image, is drawn right at the intersection of the image making it easy and clear for the viewer to recognize what the photographer was focusing on. Your eye naturally is drawn to the image and the rule of thirds adds emphasis in the drawing. This is all apart of the rule of thirds!

I decided to try out the principle of thirds on my nephew, Connor.  In the first image, he is centered. The photo is nice, but watch this!(Scroll to 2nd photo)  When I applied the principle of thirds (as seen in image two) voala! The image is a lot more balanced and helps focus the eye right at Connor. It also complemented the natural background around him. Before using the rule of thirds, you could see the background, but not as much. Now, using the rule of thirds, you can not only see the background, but it complements the focal point.

Baptism Pictures

Leading Lines

This is one of my favorite principles that I have learned so far. One reason I love photos is because they help tell or create a story in our minds. You can get to know someone very quickly by looking through their pictures.  The principle of ‘leading lines’ can do the same: tell a story. Lines entice your eyes right into the picture. What I mean by that is that images that follow this principle are almost asking you to ‘jump in’ and take a journey with them! Don’t’ believe me? Look at the image below.


Runners on the Bridge


Notice how the couple is happily running along the path? Just ahead of them, another couple is falling in love walking on the bride. Where are they headed? I don’t know but I sure want to go with them. It seems to be leading to some awesome place if all of those people are moving toward it. The walkway, fencing, down to the nails in the bridge draw our eyes into the picture naturally. The principle of leading lines draw our attention into photos quick and powerfully. 

2017 senior photos

Senior pictures

My picture was taken a few months ago when I took Senior pictures for Loryn.  The leading lines on the road take you straight from her graduation focus down a beautiful path. This photo, of the many I took that day, has always caught my eye because the lines naturally draws my attention into the photo. 

Depth of focus


It has been my experience in life that those I am closest to are those that I take the time to get to know the most. Surface conversation can get old really fast; and those friendships don’t seem to last too long.  Same principle applies in photography. When a photo has depth, you are more likely to be drawn into the image. Our minds automatically separate the layers from one another. One type of depth of focus that is increasingly popular is when there is a shallow depth of field. This occurs when your subject is in focus but the background is not. When everything is in focus, this is a deep depth of field. Typically, the depth of focus will have three areas. The foreground, or the main and central focus, the middle ground, and the background.   In the picture below, the girl is in a shallow field of focus. The background is a little more blurry and foggy which leads our eyes primarily to the girl contemplating her life. The girl, herself is in the foreground.


My example of depth of focus is a little silly, but it was a project that my husband and I had a good time with. At our house, we love when Buddy our ‘Elf on the Shelf’ comes and visits us each year. That could be a post in and of itself. This is a picture I took for my nieces and nephews showing that I ‘caught Buddy on camera eating our candy!’ Anyway! Back to depth of focus. Buddy is the main focus. He is in the foreground. The middle ground of the photo is the present and the blue ornament. The Background is our lovely living room. Depth can help us get a feel for our surrounds and what the ‘atmosphere’ of the photo is.

Elf on the shelf

That’s a Wrap!

There you have it. Three simple and easy tips to help increase your ability and techniques in photography. I am excited to start implementing these tips into my own photos as well. Don’t rush yourself when taking a shot. Take your time. Ask yourself, where is my subject placed (rule of thirds), is there any lines I could use to draw my viewers in? (leading lines), and where is my focus (depth of focus). You got this! Now go for it!

Eternal & Essential

It is easy to take for granted those who have influence me the most. One of those people, is my mother. Mother’s day is just around the corner. What are you going to do for your mom? How will you let her know that you appreciate her? Flowers? Chocolates? Whatever you do, do it from the heart. After all, she is your mom. She knows your intention :). 

As seen below and stated in a recent conference address, Elder M. Russell Ballard has stated “ There is no role in this life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.”Not only does the text depict the importance of mothers in our lives; but every element of the design. From the pastel colors and floral designs to the typography—all elements combined create a sense of elegance and beauty that help us to remember our mothers. Today we are going to focus on importance of typography in design. 

Image Source: https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/category/mothers-picture-quotes?lang=eng

Author: LDS Church

There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than motherhoodScript

What catches your eye the first time you see this text? Most likely it is the beautiful italic script. This particular script could be categorized into script that connects. The size and weight of the font help to add emphasis to the ‘key phrases’ in the text. If you didn’t read the whole text, you would know that the text was about motherhood because of the sizing. Your eye is naturally drawn to it. Also this is true ‘italic’ because it transforms the form of the letters into different shapes. 


The thin, horizontal serifs on the lowercase letters, vertical stress and radical thick/think transitions in the strokes help us to identify the smaller text as modern type. Like mentioned before, the eye is naturally drawn to the larger script text; but that doesn’t mean the smaller text is any less important. The designer did a great job at maintaining a focus on the main purpose of what they were trying to communicate; mothers. The smaller text allows for contrast to be had with the script; which adds strength to the design as a whole. Modern text adds strength and dignity in the text. 


The sizing differences allows for contrast. The different types also give strength to the structure of the design. The overall color in the design use warmer colors for the text and cooler colors for the floral design. This is a nice design because our eyes attract to warmer colors and reed from cooler colors which also draws our focus right to the message. The modern text is placed strategically. The lines of modern text are always placed where the x-height of the script type is.  

The two text types together add the loving elegance and grace that mothers portray along with the strong, dignified role models that our mothers have become in our lives. The two types together are dynamic.