Archive for Things that come to mind












The Autumn
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

I love this poem because Elizabeth Barrett Browning reminds us that in the seasons of life there is many things….. happiness, sadness, and everything in between. Not to dwell on those and just realize that it is all like the autumn wind it will ebb and flow. We may not like the seasons but like the autumn wind they will too change to mold us who we are.

The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

the next artist link is here…..  Life by Danie




Sometimes in order to better yourself as an artist, you must come up with things that push you to create based on feeling and how your mind’s eye sees the world. I belong to an amazing group of photographers that have a monthly challenge, and in this challenge, I was given just one word and create an image and blog post directed at my creative interpretation of that word. For this month the word given is…Blue.

Now, when I think of the word Blue it can have countless meanings to me and all depends on what hue of blue we are talking about so this post can go many different ways. For the sake of making it simple, I am going to just base it on the deep dark blue that is almost black. I came up with the image first then decided to explain what I was feeling as I created the image second. I am a photographer so the visual aspect is easy for me but the written one takes a lot more work so here it is.




I choose to interpret a deep dark blue one that is almost black, I think of the depths of the ocean or the vastness of the universe and tie it into the human psyche. One of the most complex things that we are still trying to figure out is how vast and uncharted the human mind and soul is. I have been experimenting with different types of multiple exposures and I always get the same feeling of unease when I see them.

I know I am not alone when I say that I struggle every day with many things in life. I struggle with the fact that I want to be the mother that my daughter deserves and feeling that in my mind I often fall short and never live up to the expectations I have for myself in my head. I struggle with the fact that my house is not always clean and so spotless that one could do open heart surgery in it…when in reality my house if far from that clean because the second I turn around the one thing I just cleaned is dirty again. I struggle with being the wife I want to be for my husband. I struggle with being a severe people pleaser and never feeling like I could do enough. I struggle with the fact that I am a confirmed empath and every single human emotion that is felt in a 10-foot radius by anyone I soak up like a sponge. I struggle with trying to be a good daughter and sister and friend and family member. I struggle with am I a good enough person. I struggle to run my photography business and keep it afloat financially because I have yet to see a paycheck from it after 3 years, just a lovely bunch of debt.

I have tried hard to be all these things and still have time for me and at the end of the day, my emotional energy tank is usually on empty and Nicole is no longer a priority. It is not empty because I have a daughter or a husband or family or friends, it is empty because I am the one draining it with my unrealistic expectations of what type of person I should be and just be content with who I am and the knowledge that I am human and the superwoman I try so hard to become does not exist.

I have a very hard time taking pictures of myself so this image is going out of my comfort zone. Yes, this is a picture of me, a crazy mess of a person. In the past, I did not despise pictures of myself when I was 50lbs lighter and did not have so many telltale signs of ageing and years of needless worry on my face. But now I take a picture of myself and look at it with disgust.

I was asked a question once by a very intuitive older woman. She asked me if I were to hear someone telling my daughter all the nasty things I tell myself and expect the totally unattainable expectations of her that I do of myself what would I do. That answer was simple to me and took little effort and no time to answer. I would say some choice phrases that I could not say here and then I would make sure they felt my momma bear wrath. This wise woman then asked my why I did it to myself. She told me to pretend that I have an inner child and to protect that child like I do my daughter, not only protect her from others but most of all to protect her from myself. This made me see things differently because I would never treat another human being as bad as I treat myself and no wonder my health is suffering because of it.

Life is all about the balance, the yin and the yang where all things you do must have a complete opposite to balance the equation. Yes, I do need to push myself to be better at all things and certain amounts of it are healthy and makes me grow as a person but then I need to come back around and pat myself on the back for a job well done sometimes and look backwards to see how far I have come and how much I have accomplished. The photograph shows how many different directions I go with day to day life and trying not to dive deep into the vastness. Without this balance, there is so much darkness in the human soul with just a small dose of light to make the hue a deep dark blue.



The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

To keep this circle going please Click Here to read the blog on the Color blue and her creative take on it  by the talented

Life By Danie.



Nicole Cowan owner of Sweetellabella Photography and instructor of those that want to learn the art of photography.

The owner of Sweetellabella Photography and instructor of those that want to learn the art of photography.




Earlier this year I started a something that I really wanted to do for a long time! A project for myself and something therapeutic to show the world what I see. All to often I scroll down my Facebook feed and see bad news and quite frankly things that make me sick to my stomach. People hurting each other and animals.

What I really want to say is that Facebook goes nuts and posts go viral but most of the time it is the bad stuff that everyone wants to post, like, and chime in on. It makes things look bleak and scary. If you sit down and get too much of it depression, fear, and hopelessness tend to set in and that is poisonous to the human spirit. There is far more good in this world than bad and I really choose to believe that. Don’t let the media suck you in and spit you out.

Sweet little souls project was my way of trying to defeat that and spreading pictures of the most innocent and pure things we have and that is our children and the animals that God has gifted to us. I feel that even the small amount of people that can see them the way I do as hope, gifts, and I can go on and on with how these sweet little souls touch me.

I hope those that see my pictures can take what I intended them to be with them. Think postive and embrace the good too.

If you have an Instagram I want to see your view of these sweet little souls so hashtag your photo


Thank you!!

Nicole Cowan

owner of Sweetellabella Photography and teacher of those who want to start their own photographic journey



Do not be afraid of criticism from people who think they are better than you.

Do not be afraid to create what you want.

Do not be afraid that the other photographer is “better than you.”

Do not be afraid of what people might say behind your back.

Do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.

Do not be afraid to break the rules and create.

Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Take what you do and rock the heck out of it and be proud!!

Nicole Cowan – Owner of Sweetellabella Photography and teacher of those that want to start their own photographic journey.



Hello!! I am starting off my new blog for people that want to learn and know more about how to start taking better pics with these awesome DSLR cameras that they bought and they are still on automatic mode and using the kit lens. What are these things you speak of? well I will explain.

I always love when I get the comment, “Oh your camera takes such good pictures.” And to that I would like to answer with, “thanks, I taught it everything it knows.” Although that is the best thing to say I usually just smile and nod then go about my business. People! a camera is just a tool just like paints and brushes are a tool for painters. You can give me the best darn brush and paint there is out there and I am still going to paint you a stick squirrel and give him the name of Sam. The painter uses the brushes to paint but they are the one telling them what to do.

Photography is the art of vision and using your skills to make the viewer see the subject as you do by manipulating light to cause a feeling or emotion. It is one thing to see personal snapshots and feel emotion because you know the story behind the image now taking a photograph and tuning it into art is telling the story without having to explain in words to a complete stranger that has no idea what the story is, and that is the art of photography.

I am not looking to teach people like a professor of photography would, I am looking to guide people so they can create what they envision and take images for themselves. I can only give the technical information and the suggestions on how to improve but in the end where the individual takes it is up to them. No two photographers have the exact same vision and we all see life and process things differently so once learned how, photography will be a way of expression … no two photos will ever be the same.

All the technical stuff is coming out in my first ebook with how to use your camera and the lenses you will need for the trade. in volumes after that and in this blog I really want to touch on the how to take that and run with it to convey and evoke emotion in the viewer of your photography.

I have went into many different aspects of photography and have finally settled on a very narrow version of photography that speaks to me and that I am good at capturing. Are you ready for my lengthy title… I am a lifestyle and fine art photographer of animals and children. That is a lot of words, I know. I tried weddings and I never seemed to like what I did there and then I tried stylized photography with props and it was all too much for me. I tried doing pinups and that too was fun but, just not me. Over the years I found when I was spending time hanging out with children and animals and just following them around I was always relaxed and the whole experience became like therapy to me.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.” was a quote by Ted Grant that I find to be 100% accurate of how I feel about black and white photography.

My outlook on my subject is not the clothes they wear or even how they look on the outside, I find that my purpose in photography is to show you who they are on the inside. I am sure that is why I have gone this path, mainly due to my own personality and ever since I was a child I could read people like a book. I am a huge observer of human emotion and human expression and I have often many times in life had people tell me that they could not hide their emotions from me and joked if I could read their minds. No mind reading involved I have just always had a knack for picking up on small subtle emotion that lots of other people tend to overlook. I believe in my own way this is why I can pick it up in photography and know where to focus. This is why lifestyle photography or more of a photojouranlistic approach to photography has been what I went for. And this is why the model and vogue type photography is just not my forte. Where other people have a keen eye for color and fashion and posing the human body for different looks I just don’t work that way I guess. Let’s just say if you are looking for a modeling photo or a boudoir photographer heck even a wedding photographer I am just not your gal, but I have some photographer friends that are geniuses at it that I can refer you to.  Find out what you want to be! and you might start taking pictures in a totally different genre and end up taking pics in another that you never thought of as your photography journey goes on.

This is just the first of many things that I have going on inside this crazy brain of mine and why I really think I need to start blogging and writing books to help others start a journey that has meant so much to me and by far photography is the way that I become a better person it is my outlet of emotion and creativity. I thank you for reading and hope that you will enjoy all the posts to come. My book is still in process of being written and all the good spelling and grammer corrections. As you will find is not my strength so I will informally put in an LOL here followed by a 😉

Nicole Cowan

Owner of Sweetellabella Photography and teacher to those that want to start their own photographic journey.