A Businesswoman, a Tibetan Monk & a Mommyblogger Get on an Airplane
No, You Cannot Has Nice Things

Swag in Action

I took approximately 40,982 pictures of this bee. I do not like bees. I do not like pictures of bees. But here, look at this picture of this bee, and be grateful that I'm not making you look at all pictures where the bee is a little blurry blob because I WAS VERY OBSESSED WITH THIS BEE FOR SOME REASON.


New-found camera skills aside (I should have increased the shutter speed, since I wanted to capture freeze-frame bee wings because I had it in my head at the time that freeze-frame bee wings were the ultimate in photographic accomplishment), there's a reason I should stay away from "arty" shots and photos of boring things like flowers.

For example, my eye for composition is so keen that when aiming my camera at an entire garden of gorgeous blooms, the only one I managed to keep in focus was the dead and wilted one.


It's a metaphor, man. You wouldn't get it.


What does this button do? Oh.

That one was snapped during our initial demo of all the cameras, when we were all particularly giddy and snap-happy, even though there really wasn't much to take photos of, besides the carpet and the chandeliers and oh look! A chandelier!


Okay, clearly it was time to turn the cameras around on our own dork asses.


Tracey, by the way, performed admirably as the group's go-to photography guinea pig, and at one point had about seven different people aiming a barrage of Cyber-shots and Alpha DSLR cameras at her, ordering her to help them test out their metering modes and the Cyber-shot's creepy robot Smile Shutter function, which allows you TOTALLY PWN your bratty, ungrateful child who only smiles two seconds AFTER you've snapped the picture. Because it waits until your kid actually smiles to actually take the picture. The Sony people claim it's an "algorithm," but you and I know it's actually very small hamsters who will one day arise and enslave us all.

Anyway, Tracey handled the mommyblogger paparazzi admirably, and didn't roll her eyes too badly when I made the obvious LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE joke, since I am very Hip and With It when it comes to the kids today and their YouTubes.

Hey, speaking of high-definition video cameras! And dorks!

DORKS from amalah on Vimeo.

You stay classy, La Jolla.

And...that was my trip to California. While I'm not under any obligation to write about the event or Sony or the swag (HAVE I MENTIONED THE SWAG), hats off to Sony, man. I've had some baaaaaad experiences with accepting even the smallest gift or sample from big corporations -- sample arrives, sample gets boxed back up and shipped back on my own dollar because nooooo, I won't sign away the rights to my child's image for your marketing stock photography library in exchange for a photo printer, THANKS THOUGH -- but I'm really glad I went.

I mean, the whole point of squeezing my increasingly pregnant ass on a cross-country flight was originally just to get some quality Sweetney time <insert some mid-90s Bryan Adams here, in your head, on repeat play FOREVER>, and other than that I was secretly expecting the whole thing to suck and be all kinds of eye-rolly. And then everybody there was so nice and laid-back and I got a massage and fresh strawberries in my room and a giant bed that I took up as many inches as possible with my giant body. Plus Tracey gave me chocolate and this body cream that smells like cupcakes and I got to share a limo with PlainJaneMom (confidential to Erika: do I owe you $400? I'm a little afraid to look, frankly) and talked about my boobs with Jenny and HAVE I SCREAMED At YOU ENOUGH ABOUT APERTURE. AND THE FACT THAT I KNOW WHAT IT IS NOW.


Okay. That's really it about California. And aperture. I'm done now. I promise.

And now for some extremely boring camera talk, for the two of you who might be interested:

My Canon Digital Rebel, for now, probably beats the Sony Alpha, but only because I already own some really excellent lenses for it. Lenses that are just plain better than the one that comes with the Alpha, but hey. We paid a lot for them, they sure as hell better be better. HOWEVER, for someone just moving away from point-and-shoot and learning how to use a DSLR, I think the Sony is MUCH easier to use. I like the menus better, I feel like I can get to the different settings faster, and the adjustable liveview screen just flat-out rocks. (Although I'm so used to looking through the viewfinder on the Canon that I find myself turning it off more often than I thought I would, but that's probably just habit. When I first got the Canon I couldn't BELIEVE I couldn't just hold the camera out in front of me and get a preview of what I was shooting.) I'm very, VERY interested in getting a better lens for the Sony, especially since I don't have to pay extra for image-stabilization (it's built right into the body of the Sony) (image stabilization = the reason your no-flash pictures on a point-and-click camera look all blurry, Ms. 5 PM Alcohol Shakes).



(Taken with the Cyber-shot in the low-light ISO setting.)




DUDE, it's springtime! Even if you don't like bees, the joy of not seeing snow through your new camera's viewfinder is reason enough to click away! I'm totally jealous of the swag, by the way.
House of Jules


Also jealous of the swag.

PS Do you know how cute Noah is?


Um, when you are too pregnant to fly and get swag can you send me in your spot?


Your eyebrows look nice!

(And the cameras are cool, too.)


I have an Alpha and I love it. I use it professionally every single day and I like that it can match or beat the pants off of any other DSLR out there. It's all in how you use it.

The lens that CAME with my Alpha is shite and I actually BROKE IT. Not how a normal person would break it - the APERTURE BLADES FELL APART. SHITE!!! I tell you. I have since built up a nice collection of lenses that cost as much or more than my camera and if somebody told me I'd have to give up my dog, my car or my camera I'd have many sleepless nights of which one it'd be.


I love my Alpha. LOVE. The reason why I picked it after intense research and back and forthing is because I own a Minolta film camera with fancy-pants lenses, and I can use my Minolta lenses with the Alpha. Rock. On.

Love the pictures of the boy. I can't wait for my own in 26 weeks... assuming it's a boy.

Heather B.

I love my Sony Alpha. LOOOVE. So you know, if they gave you lenses and stuff with it feel free to pass them on to your nearest and dearest.


Erika Jurney

Gah, you made me look and it turns out I owe YOU $400. I do not understand how something could be described as 'classy' and 'professional' and NOT be pr0n? Or maybe that's just me...

(BTW, I'm completely horrified by just how much fun I had at the hands of the Corporate Man. Official: I am a whore. But that's OK because whores get to wear lots of sparkles.)


I am super impressed with your bee pic! And I don't even like bees!


I don't much like bees either, but come spring, when I see fat lazy bees bumbling around drunk on blossoms, something inside me feels happy and says "awwwwww...".


I just can't get over the adorableness (yes. word.) of Noah.


I love the dead snapdragon photo.

I wish I could progress beyond the point and shoot shit, but frankly, I don't have the chops.
You know that we are now expecting all sorts of arty pixofNoah from you, right???! RIGHT???!
Welcome back to the Right Coast.


Okay, so can I pay you teach me how to use my Alpha? Because I got it for Husband right after it came out and I swear I still don't know what to do with it

::hiding in shame at my own lameness:::


swag.. brag..


OMG. Noah is way too adorably cute in these photos. Holy cow, you two made a good-lookin' kid. . .


OK - can you explain Aperture then? Because I'm smart, I really am, and I just don't get it!!! (I use a Rebel - love it)

And Sony was a client of mine years ago - they were soooooo nice!!


and so ... i love you, i mamapop with you, and all i have to say is ....

he's a total adult now.


a total. adult.

when did noah grow up in five seconds while you were in cali? cuz i'm sad for it.

Kerri Anne

Seriously, the bee picture is awesome.


I didn't think it possible, but Noah is even cuter with the new camera.


You know, if i didn't know better, I'd be telling you to lay off the heavy drugs while pregnant, cuz they aren't so sweet for the baby. But I have been reading you for a while and know that you are just a WILD WOMAN who can get REALLLY excited, so hey - I'm happy for you and your new camera! Mucho jealous.


Awesome swag! Love the photos too!


If you're lookin' for something to do with whatever DSLR you're not as fond of, may I suggest myself? :) I'm still taking wildflower photos with a regular digital camera, cause I can't swing a DSLR right now. Aren't I a heathen?!


You were in San Diego!?! You coulda totally hung out with me! A long time lurker...

...in fact, it's been so long it's kinda creepy...

Anyway! Nice pics.


I am so jealous of your swag. Here I am, bargaining and pleading with my husband to let me get a new DSLR camera even though there's not one thing wrong with our digital point and shoot (except that it's slow, and it doesn't allow me to attach lenses, and I can't get an external flash, and if I want to get better pictures, I NEED a DSLR), AND my birthday is only a few days after Mother's Day and if he wanted he could just combine the one gift of a camera for both occasions (see how generous I am for him?). I'm working my rather large ASS off over here trying to get him to acquiesce to my command that we (meaning I) need a new camera because I've suddenly had my interest piqued by photography even though I do this all the time, pick new hobbies, buy the stuff, then lose interest, it's DIFFERENT this time, right? *breathe in from the long run-on sentence*

And here you get one for free. So, yeah. Fantastic pictures. I'm very jealous. Wish me luck on the pleading. I've even offered a Reverse Birthday BJ. He's a lucky man to have me. And he should reward me thusly.


I like the bee pic too.

And also cannot believe just how much Noah looks exactly like you these days. Only, you know, a boy. But seriously. Peas in a gd pod!


that bee pic is wonderful. great composition and tones depth of field. applause!

did you take that picture with the kit lens that comes w/ the alpha? what is the range of that lens? me like!

Jamie AZ

I am sure there are reasons that the Canons or Nikons are better than the Sony Alpha series, but I'm happy with it. I got the very first version to come out, the A100, because it uses the lenses that I already had for my Minolta film camera (Konica-Minolta sold their camera business to Sony). I took 4 years of photography in high school and college, but sadly don't remember enough to really use the camera to it's full power. I do need to get out there and start playing with all the manual settings though! When does a mom find the time? :) Congrats on your new swag!

Jenny from Mommin' It Up!

so, so funny. love the bee pics and the cute Noah pics. and of course, discussing our boobs. that was really the highlight of the trip. and dangit i am pissed at you for posting the bathroom door sign before i got a chance!

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