2014 {fresh + modern} Senior Mini Sessions | Portsmouth Ohio Natural Light Senior Photographer

2014 Fun Modern Funky Senior Portraits Mini Session Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography

Hey Guys! I know how hectic senior year can be, and before you know it, the year is almost up and you still have not had your Senior Portraits taken. Well, don’t stress because Brandon Smith Photography is offering some AWESOME Senior Mini Sessions this month! There are limited spots open though, so hurry and book your session soon. You can book your session by email or even by phone(day or night). See you soon! (Please pass this along and share with anyone who still needs their portraits taken.)


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2014 {Spring Mini Sessions} | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography

2014 Portsmouth Ohio Super Fun Natural Light Photography Spring  Easter Mini Sessions

Okay guys, here it is! Brandon Smith Photography, 2014 Spring Mini Sessions. These sessions are for a limited time only and there are limited spaces available, so please make sure to book your session now! Individual sessions will be custom to each client and can take place at your own home, either indoors or outdoors, or at an agreed upon location. After the session, I will personally create you an account with my print lab and upload your images to a personal album.  The first 5 people to book will receive 10% off your Spring Mini Session fee! See you soon!

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{YUMMY!} Raw Brownie Bites | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography


My name is Brandon, and I have an eating problem….I can’t STOP! Seriously though, I love food! This is a major problem, since I do try my best to stay in shape and eat healthy. Sooo…what is a person to do when they have a serious hankerin’ for something sweet? Easy. Make a healthy alternative to an all time favorite. Tonight is family night, and you best believe we will be topping our homemade banana, vanilla ice cream with these babies! Enjoy!


1 1/2 cup walnuts(save 1/4 cup)
8oz pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened 100% cocoa powder


1. Blend your walnuts and pinch of salt in a food blender, until the walnuts are ground up pretty fine.(May have to stir walnuts around to blend evenly.)
2. Add in your dates, vanilla and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix until everything is combined. Every once in a while, stop the blender, and add a couple drops of water to help the mixture stick together.(If you do not have a good blender, this is going to be a PAIN to mix…sorry. Works best to do a little at a time.)
3. Transfer the mixture into a separate bowl, and let the fun begin. Pour a little olive oil on your hands and begin to roll out 1-2″ round balls in the palm of your hand.
4. Crush the remaining walnuts and roll the brownie bites in them until covered.(optional)

There you have it, simple and SWEET 😉 You can enjoy these as soon as they are finished, toss them in the refrigerator for later or warm them up and slap on top of some healthy homemade ice cream.






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{Coffee} Protein Shake | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography

Hey guys! Here is another super easy and awesome tasting recipe for you. I personally enjoy a hot cup of coffee(depending on the brand) and LOVE protein shakes, so it only made sense to combine the two. I was blown away at how good this tasted, and if made right, it tastes better(and of course is much healthier) than any coffee energy drink on the market. Here ya go, ENJOY!

(Some protein powders may “sour” when added to other really hot ingredients, so experiment or try an iced version.)


1. 80z fresh brewed coffee of choice (Gevalia Kaffe Espresso or Majestic Roast is the coffee I enjoy  best.)

2. 1 Scoop vanilla  protein powder. ( I generally always buy Body Fortress for price, taste and quality.)

3. 80z unsweetened almond milk. (Vanilla almond milk for a richer taste and texture. It will add more sugar though.)

4. *optional* 1 tablespoon honey.


Brew up a cup of your favorite coffee to start. While the coffee is doing it’s thing, blend together your almond milk and protein powder until nice and frothy. Pour your coffee into a large cup and then pour in your protein shake. Drizzle a little honey on top for a little extra sweetness and BAM, a healthy(IMO) alternative to those coffee energy drinks or dumping a ton of creamer in your coffee.

*Shake may need warmed up for 30sec-1min after adding protein. For an iced version, just let the coffee cool before mixing with protein and then add ice.*

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{Spicy} Tuna Cakes | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography


It wasn’t until here recently that I actually ate my first tuna cake. I love tuna, but they never really appealed to me.  Holly and I began eating Paleoish (some foods and ingredients are just too damn expensive!) a week or so ago, and we have started eating a lot of different meals. This was one that looked really tasty.  These things are the BOMB! Moist, crispy, a little spicy, and packed full of flavor! Plus, they are healthy and really, really filling. Feel free to make any substitutions you wish.


1 Large Sweet Potato

1/2 Yellow Onion

1 Bell Pepper

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (I replaced Ghee with this, but you could also use olive oil.)

4  5oz Canned Tuna, Drained

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon Jalapeno or hot pepper of choice *optional*

2 Large All Natural Eggs

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes


Cutting Board

Paring Knife

Measuring Cups

12-Cup Muffin Tin

Large and Medium Bowls

Silicone Brush

Wire Rack

Skillet *optional*

{Let’s Get to Cooking}

Step 1:

Start by washing the sweet potato, and then stab the entire surface of it(not your hand!)


Step 2:

Wrap the sweet potato in a wet paper towel and toss it in the microwave for around 5-8 minutes, until it is soft.(Additional sweet potatoes will require extra time.)

Step 3:

While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350℉, and finely chop your onion and bell pepper.

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Step 4:

After the sweet potato has cooled enough to handle, peel it and mash the heck out of it with a fork.


Step 5:

Mix together the tuna, onion and bell peppers in a large bowl.

Step 6 :

Add the mashed sweet potato to the tuna mixture and gently mix them all together with your hands.(If you have kiddos, they may enjoy doing this for you!) Season to taste with salt/ pepper and any other seasonings you enjoy.


Step 7: *optional*

Finely chop your hot pepper and throw into the mixture.

Step 8:

Last, add in the eggs and red pepper flakes.(Blend the eggs good into the ingredients.)


Step 9:

Melt 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil(30-45sec. in microwave) and grease the muffin tin with the silicone brush.


Step 10:

Scoop the mixture into each greased muffin tin cup and flatten with a spoon. (Or again, let yours kiddos use their hands to do this.)

Step 11:

Pop your muffin tin into the oven for 25-30 minutes and relax.(Enjoy a fresh brewed cup of your favorite organic coffee!)

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Step 12:

Pull your tin out and insert a tooth pick into each tuna cake. If they toothpick comes out clean, they’re ready!Diptych 1

Step 13:

Now we need to get the tuna cakes onto the wire rack. The easiest way to do this is by placing the wire rack over the muffin tin, flipping everything upside down and gently tapping on your counter.


Step 14:

The tuna cakes can be eaten right away, but I like to put them back in the oven for a few minutes on the wire rack.

Step 15: *optional but recommended*

Melt some coconut oil in a skillet and fry the tuna cakes on medium high heat. This will help make them a little crispier.(Much better IMO.)


Step 16:

ENJOY!!! These babies are delicious and filling, so 3 or 4 cakes should be plenty per person. 12

Enjoy Life, Eat Clean, Go Hard!

Thank you for all your comments, shares and Pins. You rock!!!








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{DELICIOUS} 3 Egg Omelet | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography

For the most part, my diet is pretty clean and I exercise regularly, but we all have plenty of room for improvement. From time to time, I will create posts about awesome recipes, and also, fat blasting workouts. This is a new addition to the blog and I hope everyone enjoys it 🙂

I am sure that most everyone has at least made an omelet, so this is a super easy and filling meal to kick start your day(and metabolism).


(It is much easier to cook any meal if you already have everything prepared, so go ahead and get out everything you plan on using for this meal.)

Let’s get cooking!

1. Grab any yummy veggies you are going to use, and chop them up.(I prefer to use mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and spinach.)

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil( or olive oil) in a medium size skillet over medium high heat.

3. Toss your veggies in the hot skillet and cook for several minutes, then lower the heat a little.(PLEASE make sure that there is not water in with the veggies when you do this.)

4. Crack 2-3 eggs into a bowl and scramble them up good. Go ahead and add any seasoning you wish now.( Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder,etc.)

*If you can handle the heat, use a lot of cayenne pepper. This is a great way to fire up your metabolism!

5.  Next, pour your eggs in with your sauteed veggies and cook until the egg is completely done.(You can fold the omelet over, if you wish.)

6. Plate your omelet and grab a few slices of a large, red tomato. Place the slices into the skillet and cook until both sides begin to get a little crispy.

7. Slide the tomato slices over on top of the omelet and there you have it!

As I continue to post different recipes, I will add in more detail steps that also include actual measurements as well. I hope everyone enjoys this awesome tasting breakfast!

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{DIY} Weathered Wood Photo Frame | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography

Hey Guys! I’ve been meaning to create a DIY tutorial for some time now, soooo…here goes nothing!


Woodworking has always been something that I have enjoyed. Not until recently have I realized how relatively easy, and inexpensive, it is to create your own frames that are much, much nicer than the cheap store bought ones. Here is how I created mine:

{Tools Needed} :

1. Table Saw and or table router.

2. Compound Miter Saw and/or hand saw with miter box.

3. Tape Measure

4. Liquid Nails, wood glue, etc., Clear Coat, “L” Bracket and/or staple gun.

5. Last, but not least…Proper PPE!(These Mechanix Fast Fit Gloves are amazing!)

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(Don’t forget to take a half angry looking selfie before starting your project 🙂 )


I was lucky enough to find some really old wood flooring that was already weathered beautifully, but there are plenty of online tutorials on creating Faux Weathered Wood.


(If you are using old wood you have found, make sure you lightly wash away any build up dirt/grime and let fully dry before starting. You would be surprised how FILTHY it can actually be. )

Depending on the materials you are using, you may have to use your  table saw to rip the wood to the proper width for your frame. Next, you are going to want to create the frame’s inset that will hold the photograph and/or glass.


This can easily be done with a router table, or like I did, by making multiple passes with your table saw using the blade set to the correct depth.(The depth will depend on the total thickness of your photograph/mat/glass.)

Next, you are going to make your 45 degree cuts using either your compound miter saw or hand saw with the miter box.

(*IMPORTANT* Remember, when making your 45 degree cuts, make sure you are cutting your 45’s in the correct direction. Also, the inside length of your frame needs to be 1/4″-1/2″ smaller than the actual image.)


Now we can begin assembling the photo frame. I placed a bead of liquid nails on the inside of my 45 degree cuts, and then clamped the corners together. After the adhesive has properly set up, I secure the corners on the back with small “L” brackets, and also several staples for extra strength.(You could also use a Kreg Jig to create pocket holes. The Kreg Jig is awesome!)


One of the last steps is to simply apply a layer or two of clear coat to the frame. (I found a spray type to be the easiest) This is really only necessary for old, weathered wood as it will help prevent further chipping or cracking of paint.


And there you have it, one beautiful(very inexpensive) weathered photo frame! The next tutorial will go over properly installing your matted image, glass and other hardware for hanging the frame.


Thanks so much for swinging by!  If you have enjoyed my DIY tutorial, I would greatly appreciate your comments, shares and Pins.


4 Responses to “{DIY} Weathered Wood Photo Frame | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photography”

  1. Jeni Bocook

    Looks awesome Brandon! I’m def going to be needing some of these!

  2. Lolly Jane

    Fab tutorial and that wood is GORGEOUS! Love the upcycled frame- looks great! Thanks for the link back! (:
    PS Love the “angry selfie” Haha!

  3. Katie

    That wood is so perfect! And tutorial is great! I love it!

  4. Brandon Smith Photography

    Thanks ladies! I think it turned out great. Lolly Jane, you have the best tutorial on the web for fake weathered wood(I have looked at a lot of tutorials too) and I will always give credit where it is due.

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Miss Austin | Southern Ohio Natural Light Childhood Photographer

What can I say, this little girl is a STAR and I am pretty certain she will be famous one day. Her momma is also pretty awesome and talented. I started photographing Austin way back in 2010 and every session since then has been such a blast. She is so full of life and I love everyone minute I am able to spend capturing that.  Happy 5th Birthday Austin, you ROCK!!!

2 Responses to “Miss Austin | Southern Ohio Natural Light Childhood Photographer”

  1. Dee Miller

    Austin you are beautiful just like your mom. Beautiful pictures. Love you both. Happy soon to be 5th Birthday Austin. Love Aunt Dee and Uncle Ray.

  2. Katie

    I LOVE every photo from this session. I know, I think I say that every time..but it’s true! You are amazing at what you do. It doesn’t hurt that you’re a great guy who is wonderful with kids too! You’ve been capturing beautiful images of Austin since she was one and I’m so glad I have so many awesome photos to share. As long as you’re in this business you will always have me as a customer telling everyone how great you are! Thank you! 🙂

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The Man Behind the Camera | Southern Ohio Natural Light Photographer

Rarely do I find myself on the opposite side of the camera, but I figured it was about time to do so. (I needed a good updated photo anyways). Don’t let the thin jacket and skinny jeans fool ya, it was below freezing with a windchill probably in the single digits! As photographers, sometimes we get caught up in always photographing others and forget how important it is to also be in front of the camera. Hope everyone is staying warm out there!

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Senior Mini Sessions | Southern Ohio Senior Photographer 2014

Hey Everyone! There are a lot of beautiful locations right now with all the recent snowfall, and I am really wanting to create some stunning images before it melts. These Senior Mini Sessions will be 30min. with one outfit and a single location. I will have several Senior Mini Sessions throughout the year, but if you are looking for some amazing images in the snow, now is your chance.  Please contact me as soon as possible to book your session so that we can discuss your personal style and session details.

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