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Recent studies suggest that you can get a huge boost in happiness by increasing your thankfulness.

Perfect timing as we’re coming up on the most thankful holiday of the year. 

Last year, I sent around four days of photos I shot for stock of all the things I’m thankful for. This year I’d like to encourage you to engage in a little photo shoot with me.

Take whatever it is you’re thankful for and set up a shoot around it. 

THANKFULNESS, DAY 1: The Pacific Ocean

This week of Thanksgiving, why not get out on a photo shoot to capture the things you are thankful for

Thankfulness for me this year comes from where I live.

Last year, I moved from Portland, Oregon down to the Oregon Coast. Next year, I’ll be packing up to leave for a long stint in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sometimes, where you live has a HUGE impact on your life. This past year was one of those years for me. 

To look out my office window and see sparkling ocean… towering clouds… or even a wide swath of white fog… to take the dog down a set of stairs and let her run free on the sand… to picnic on the back deck and smell the sand and sea below… to listen to the ocean as I fall asleep at night…

All of this has added up to be one of the best experiences of my life. And while it was short, at just over a year, it was a great gift—one I will remember forever—to live this close to the sea. 

So where do you live?  Is there something there that you’re thankful for?  

A friend.  A big backyard.  An amazing yoga instructor.  Moss-covered trees.  Yellow and red foliage in the fall.

Get out and take a picture of whatever it is—even if you think the photo will be complete rubbish.  While you’re out, experiment with different angles and viewpoints.  Get up high and down low.  Get close and then far away again.  Use your zoom and then don’t.  Turn your camera vertical and then back to horizontal.

Your photos will turn out best if you go out in the early morning or evening.

I tend to use the lowest f-stop number my lens will allow when I’m out shooting for fun.  And then I go all the way to f-11 when I’m taking landscapes and want more of my images in focus.  If I bring a tripod, I experiment with video, too.

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