Check Me Out on Etsy

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It is so exciting to see my business come together.  My business name is currently being published in the newspaper to become official.  My amazing fiancé made a logo for me that I feel truly captures who I am.  Next up, we have Etsy!  I’ve had a shop on Etsy for a while now that featured my graphic design work, but now I have a shop specifically for my travel photography business.  Take a moment to check it out and let me know if you’d be interested in me working with your photos.

Liberated Traveler Etsy Shop

M Light Design Etsy Shop

I recently made a Venice print for myself.  Below are the images I used and the final product.  I think this is a great way to capture the essence of a place and its memories in one image.  Perhaps you need one in your home!

Building a Business

The Liberated Traveler has returned!  Although it has been a few years, I identify as the Liberated Traveler more than ever.  I’ve recently started the process of starting my own business under this name.  Sometimes we can’t travel as much as we’d like, so traveling needs to come to us.  The goal of my business is to keep our travels memorable.

Although I will offer a variety of keepsakes, my business’s primary service is travel photo editing.  When traveling to far off lands, we often capture hundreds of images that later remain locked in our devices.  Let those pictures out!  I will take your photos (whether taken with a camera or phone) and enhance them to professional-like quality.  From there, they will be available for download or purchase.  I will also put together keepsakes that will make the most out of your images that can be available for purchase.  Here is an example of how photos can go from lack luster to feeling like you are there again.

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One of the travel keepsakes I’m most excited about is custom word art prints.  These custom travel word art prints are a great way to display the essence of a trip.  I take your photos and mask them with letters so multiple images can come together to create a print.  I’m excited to make a shadowbox from a couple trips I’ve gone on.  Stay posted for this exciting keepsake.  Here is a print I made for my aunt with her images.

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Venice of the North: Bruges

Brugge3Bruges (Brugge) is a quiet town in Northern Belgium.  It is easily accessed from Brussels, which makes it possible to visit if you are staying in Paris.  Bruges is physically possible in a day trip, but it is well worth an overnight stay or longer.

Getting to Bruges

If you are coming from Paris, you will want to take the Thalys high speed train from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi, and connect to a train that will take you to Bruges.  You should book your Thalys tickets ahead of time because you can save money.  I booked directly through their website and was able to get a deal for 44 Euros round trip.  You cannot reserve seats on the train from Brussels to Bruges, so it is easiest just to get the tickets at the station.  The journey is just under 2.5 hours and cost me under 75 Euros total.  If I would have gone through Rail Europe, I would have spent over 100 Euros.

*Tip: I received a better deal when I switched the language to Belgium/English.  Be sure to test this out if you are purchasing a ticket.

Sights in Bruges

The town itself is a sight to see.  It offers crow-stepped gables architecture lining the canals.  I highly recommend that you get lost wandering around the town.  You are surrounded by a large canal, so you can’t get too lost as long as you don’t cross over it.  I struggled to ever take a direct route to where I wanted to go, but the quiet backstreets and canals offered a view past the touristy center.  Here were my top five favorite sites:

1. Markt Square-Belfort Tower-City Hall-Although this area is touristy and a bit pricey, it is the main square in Bruges.

2. Burg-This square is the neighbor of the Markt Square.  The variety of architecture provides a unique collage of Renaissance, Baroque, and more.

3. Church of Our LadyThis church holds the only Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.  The church is undergoing restoration, but your visit will help support their efforts.

4. Begijnhof-Stroll past the peaceful homes and courtyard for nuns and quiet visitors.

5. Canal Cruise-Seeing Bruges from the water is just as important as seeing Venice from the canals.  Float past the major sites as you glide on the water with the swans.

*This short list provides some highlights, but there is much more to see.  For more ideas about sites to visit, check out the Bruges Official Tourism Website.

Eating/Drinking in Bruges

Belgians are known for chocolate, beer, waffles, and fries (along with many other specialties).  Plan on walking around a lot to burn off all these calories.  If you order fries, don’t forget to order it the way they like them: with mayonnaise.

Staying in Bruges

I think my favorite part about Bruges was the bed and breakfast we stayed at.  It was one of the most unique, comforting places I’ve ever been to.  The husband is an architect and the wife is a retired teacher.  Their creative style creates an environment that is welcoming.  If you are looking for an affordable place to stay with lots of charm, stay at B&B Marie Rose Debruyne.  I will share more about my experience with them in a post tomorrow.

*If you like the photos you see here, check out my portfolio.

 

 

 

Travel Inspiration

Let's Fly AwayIt doesn’t take much for me to be inspired to travel.  I daydream constantly of strolling the beach in the Cinque Terre or finding the perfect spot at a cafe and spending half my day there.  I’ve decided to create photo art to inspire those that might need a little more persuasion to travel.  I’m starting with simple words featured with a photo, but I plan on creating a variety of images that fall under different themes.

Here is some of what I’ve designed so far.  If you like what you see, visit my portfolio to see what other creations I develop.

Capture the Colour

I am always game for a new photo competition.  Capture the Colour was brought to my attention by a great blog known as Continental Breakfast.  I love the opportunity to acknowledge the work of other bloggers and share photos based on a theme.

For this challenge, the blogger simply shares photos that he/she thinks represent each color.  Then the blogger nominates five blogs to encourage their submissions.  I hope to see these amazing bloggers  share their perspective:

Postcards from Around the World

Clicky Chick Creates

Jean’s Photography Blog

Tvor Travels

(Pre) Concept-Break Your Journey

Here is my view:

Yellow

Yellow and Blue

Red

Au lapin agile red room with piano man at the cabaret

Green

Vineyards

White

white night1

Blue

Soccer-Crowd

Photo Books Now for Sale

portfolio pictureI’m so excited that Zenfolio has updated themes and products.  Mpix is their primary printing company, and they print with amazing quality.  They are now featuring books as one of their products.  Can you imagine your empty coffee table filled with hand-selected photos that reflect your personal interests?  Or even better, imagine hiring me to travel with you to take your photos, and creating a coffee table book from that ;).  A girl can dream, can’t she?

create a bookIf you are interested in creating a book, I suggest you browse my photos and add to your favorites first.  Then simply select “create a book” and choose what kind of book you’d like.  From there, you can access all of your favorites to compose your book.

Even if you have no intentions of buying anything, I’d love for you to check out my portfolio and tell me your thoughts.  Maybe even leave a guestbook comment if you are feeling super generous.  Some of my favorite moments are when I realize that I can capture an image that someone else would appreciate.  Happy browsing!

National Treasure Trip: East Coast 2006

13-0851After National Treasure came out, we knew we had to go back to the East coast.  Yes, I was that kind of dork.  On this trip we didn’t go as far north so we could go further south.  This road trip included:

-Gettysburg (again, this is my favorite civil war battlefield)

-Antietam

-Philadelphia (one of my favorite cities in the States)

-New York

-Washington D.C.

Have you ever followed the trail of your interest?  A movie?  An artist?  Hopefully I’m not the only one…

East Coast US in 2006

13-0851After National Treasure came out, we knew we had to go back to the East coast.  Yes, I was that kind of dork.  On this trip we didn’t go as far north so we could go further south.  This road trip included:

-Gettysburg (again, this is my favorite civil war battlefield)

-Antietam

-Philadelphia (one of my favorite cities in the States)

-New York

-Washington D.C.

Have you ever followed the trail of your interest?  A movie?  An artist?  Hopefully I’m not the only one…

East Coast US in 2005

My dad recently recovered files from old computers, and I discovered some of my 1-031photos from past trips.  This was in my early days of photography.  Digital cameras were very limited with megapixels back then, so the quality of the photos may not match what I’ve shared recently, but I still thought it would be fun to post.  More photos to come along with previous trip itineraries.