Happiness and Joy: Theme Thursday

Oof.  When I saw the topic for this week, I knew it would be a doozy.  I have a very critical eye for my own photos and I knew just “any” photo wasn’t going to cut it.  Happiness and joy can’t be manufactured, so it wasn’t like I could just sling the camera around my neck and set off in search of some “happiness and/or joy,” shoot it, edit it, and post it.

The truth is, on some level, I search for happiness and joy with every picture I take.  I’m either searching for joy written on the subject’s face (or elsewhere within the photo), or hoping that the beauty of a photo will bring the viewer joy.  I suppose it’s fine when I’m doing it for myself, but to have it assigned to me?  Suddenly it took on a whole new weight.  Daunting, to say the least.

For the first time in this series, I failed to get even a passably good shot this week. Since I wasn’t able to get the shot I wanted,  I went back and looked through my recent photos and I found these two.  Both are unedited except for a slight color correction in the top one.


F/2.5, 1/160, ISO 800 

My niece and goddaughter, Gemma Belle, who lights up my life nearly every single day.  Happiness, personified.


F/1..8, 1/250, ISO 800

This is my lovely sister in law Vanessa (Gemma’s mama) and her other daughter, Siena Jade.  The joy of being a mother.  


As you can see, I also added a watermark of sorts (using iPiccy) to my photos.  I have been wanting to for some time now.  I’m not entirely content with the results, so expect some changes next week.  

Tell me:  Do you watermark your photos?  Why or why not?  If so, how do you do it?


  1. I love Gemma’s picture, that head tilt is like she’s being troublesome and really enjoying it!

    I don’t watermark my pics because I’ve never looked into how to do it. Lazy as charged!

  2. I love your second photo. It really captures the joy of motherhood as you put it.

  3. Love them both. I had a hard time with the topic for the same reason you said. You can’t fake happiness or joy, so you just have to be ready for the shot when it comes.

    I don’t watermark. I know how easy it is to crop/photoshop out a watermark, so I don’t bother. If I ever see one of my pictures being used somewhere, there’s timestamps on all my photo files, so I can prove they’re mine.

  4. Aw, so cute. Great photos.

    I have started adding a watermark to my photos. Mostly so that it easily relates back to me. Yes, it can be photoshopped out. But it will stop most folks from using it without permission. (Kinda like locking your house door at night. It won’t stop someone who is determined to get in, but it will stop those who were looking for an easy grab!)

    I use Gimp, with the Watermark “Script-Fu” plug-in thingy, then export as a jpg. It sounds more complicated than it is. 🙂

  5. This is one of my lifetime goals: to take a decent mother daughter shot. Yours is absolutely perfect, and kudos for the black and white.

    And I agree, really every picture I ever take has the object of capturing the joy of this life.

  6. Great pictures, beautiful subjects. And I love their names!
    I haven’t watermarked; I have a hard enough time doing simple editing and uploading them all. Not sure I could handle an extra step, although I’m sure it’s pretty simple once you figure it out!

  7. The first photo just makes me smile and the second one is breathtaking!

  8. Love these! Such beautiful shots.

    I’m the same way trying to capture happiness/joy – how they express it changes so much through the years that I want to be able to look back at their crinkly funny chuckles for years!

    And I don’t watermark because I don’t think I take pictures that anyone would want to steal!

  9. I am so jealous of your photography skills! I love your goddaughter’s grin in the first photo, but the deep and quiet beauty of the second photo is really what overwhelms me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. Lovely pics! I have been trying to watermark my pictures….I’m not altogether thrilled with any of my marks yet, so a work in progress and sometimes I forget, but I figure, I don’t mind if people use my pic, but hey…let’s give credit where it’s due, b/c SOMETIMES….I actually get a decent shot 😉 That said….I’m still working on it.