About Daffodil’s Photo Blog

I live in Florida with my husband and my dogs, and for many years I was a high school teacher working with students with special needs. I retired in May 2014 and I’m enjoying my new life with more free time! I’ve always enjoyed photography.

In 2010 I’d had a Canon Rebel XSi for over a year that I’d only used sporadically, mostly because I’d become too comfortable with my everyday camera, a Canon Powershot SX100 IS, an advanced point-and-shoot. It was much easier for me to grab and use the SX100 than to work on learning to use the XSi! I decided to start this Photo Blog as a way to get myself to use the XSi regularly and to become more familiar, comfortable, and skilled with it. I started off with the kit lens that came with the camera, Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, along with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and a Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS zoom lens.

Overall composition of a photo wasn’t going to be my focus at first. I wanted to begin by just learning to use the camera and the lenses I already had. So I started off experimenting with settings, camera functions, lenses, and so on.

My plan was to take and post at least one photo a day in 2011, using my Canon Rebel XSi. I got off to a good start with my first photos on New Year’s Day 2011!

Over the course of 2011 I got two new lens, a Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and a Tamron 90mm f/2.8. They have become my favorite lenses. The 70-300 is a good zoom lens and I’ve especially enjoyed it for bird photography. The 90mm works well for closer photos and macro shots. I still use my Canon 50mm f/1.8 for indoor photography without flash, and I occasionally use the Canon 18-55mm for wider angle shots that my other lenses can’t handle. But the Tamrons are my everyday favorites.

I got another new lens for Christmas 2011, a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, which is great for wide-angle shots. It also works really well for doll photos when I want to photograph the whole doll, but don’t want to have to back way off to do that.

In 2012 I got a Canon 7D camera which was a big step up from my Rebel XSi.

In 2014 I added another lens, a Sigma 18-250mm. This is a handy lens because it’s fairly small and not heavy, and it covers everything from wide-angle shots to zooming in from a distance. My other lenses are generally better at the specific things they can do than the Sigma is at doing everything, but it’s great for taking a wide variety of photos without having to change lenses.


38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jovanniojvl
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 23:35:42

    I’ve only just discovered your blog, but I already think it’s cool. Amazing how you capture all the wildlife, and the pictures of you Masterpiece Dolls are really cute. Keep it up!


  2. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 19:55:58

    Thank you for your nice comments! I enjoy taking some photos every day and sharing them here. I’ve learned so much about photography from this daily practice–as well as learning about birds, bugs, and other things I see! The Masterpiece dolls are some of my favorite dolls.


  3. Jovanni
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 21:49:40

    Would you say this is your passion, or is it just a hobby?


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:30:31

      That’s hard to say! I’m still learning photography as I go and I really enjoy it a lot, so definitely a hobby and maybe a passion too.


  4. Jovanni
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 23:27:02

    Well it’s great to go and do what you love. As for me, I spend a lot of my time on my passion: which would be drawing. But whether it’s your passion or hobby it’s always good to just go out and have fun.


  5. Eleenie
    May 11, 2012 @ 01:58:14

    I’ve just discovered your blog, the photos are beautiful!


  6. Jessica
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 00:42:00

    Congrats! You have been nominated for the Sunshine Award! Your posts always brighten my day! Please click here for more information: http://iadoptedadog.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/its-an-honor-to-be-nominated/.


  7. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 23:05:09

    Thank you, Jessica, I really appreciate that!


  8. Robin
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 21:21:04

    I am so glad I just found this part of your blog where you explain all your lenses!! What a journey and it sounds like you have your specific favorites. I certainly am looking into a 50mm and a 90mm. My Nikon d90 came with a 70-300 which I love for all purpose but mediocre for indoor pics of my doll collection. Here’s my flickr if you have time to take a peek! http://www.flickr.com/photos/serendipity505/
    You have me wanting to take photo’s of the birds outside!! What a lovely hobby! Thanks a bunch and have a wonderful day!


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Jun 18, 2012 @ 22:06:18

      Hi again Robin, glad you found this section of my blog. The 50mm is a great second lens–not very expensive compared to most other lenses, good in low light, and capable of nice sharp photos. It was the second lens I bought. I love my 90mm for close-up shots and I’ve been using it a lot with the anoles in the yard right now. I’ll go take a look at your flickr–thanks for sharing!


      • Daffodil's Photo Blog
        Jun 18, 2012 @ 23:08:47

        Robin, I just looked at your flickr and you have some gorgeous photos of your dolls! I love Dakota in the straight red wig!

  9. Charlene Gilcreast
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 13:02:48

    I LOVE your photos and Masterpiece Dolls! I’m still searching for one of these dolls. Can’t wait to make a choice…they’re all so cute. I was wonder where in FL you live. I have family in Destin and Panama City.



    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 22:13:26

      Hi Charlene, thank you for your nice comments! I’m sure you’ll find the right Masterpiece doll for you–there are many to choose from. I live in northeast FL, pretty far away from where your family is located.


  10. Jesse
    Feb 24, 2013 @ 13:34:29

    Your pictures are amazing. You do some incredible, diverse work. I’ve spent hours looking through your blog over the past few weeks. I especially like the insects and birds. I’m a master’s student in mechanical engineering who researches the mechanisms and fluid dynamics of flapping flight and I was wondering if I could talk to you about using one of your hovering bee pictures for my master’s thesis.


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 15:40:53

      Hi Jesse, thanks for your nice comments–I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog! I don’t have a problem with your using a photo for your thesis. I’m emailing you about this.


  11. frankie
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 00:13:05

    I thought i recognized those dolls…was doing a search for pictures of reattaching my Twinn heads and your Tasha boy popped up wearing his FLorida green t shirt. Your pictures of life around you are wonderful fun.


  12. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 22:31:23

    Hi Frankie, nice to see you here! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I guess Andre (Tasha boy) is pretty recognizable! I do have Twinn photos (and other doll photos) mixed in with the dogs, anoles, birds, etc.


  13. sarah yourston
    Mar 20, 2013 @ 21:57:45

    i love looking at your blog each day. it always cheers me. thank you. i will add a link to my website/forum where i’ve already recommended your blog.


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Mar 20, 2013 @ 22:09:27

      Thank you so much for your nice comments, sarah, I really appreciate it! Going outside for photos after work every day is my time to wind down and relax. I’m glad it cheers you each day!


  14. sarah yourston
    Mar 20, 2013 @ 22:10:57

    i hope that’s ok . not sure about blog etiquette? my forum is small with 13 members and a trickle of guests…2-10 each day. i am a member of another forum and could add your link to my signature. that has a much bigger membership. how would you feel about that? i have a fun blog about my chickens and could put your link on there also.
    thanks for the daily lift….


  15. Karen Scott
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:20:24

    Hi. I was searching for Masterpiece doll Faith to find out what size shoe she wears and came across your blog. I really enjoyed looking at your photos. They are lovely. I have one MP doll, Third Times a Charm and I love her. I am ordering Faith soon. She has such a sweet face. Can I ask you what size shoe you got for her? Thank you!


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 22:15:17

      Hi Karen, thanks for your nice comments! I love my Faith and I hope you will like your Faith too. She amazed me when she arrived–she is a very BIG little girl, the size of a real 6-year-old! I wanted a life-size little girl so I’ve been very happy with her. Faith wears about a size 12 1/2 in shoes. Right now my Faith has on a pair of tennis shoes that fit her nicely and are 12 1/2. She has other shoes in both size 12 and size 13 that fit her too. It depends on how the sizes run for that maker or shoe style–avoid really narrow shoes which can often be too tight on her. Third Times a Charm is very sweet–Faith will be a nice big sister for her!


  16. Sophie
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 13:22:22

    I love your insect photos! I’m an Ecology student, with a specific interest in Plant-Insect Interactions. I have to give a presentation this week on my dissertation, and was looking for a good image of a tobacco hornworm for one of the intro slides…would it be ok to use one of yours? If so, I’d like to reference you properly…would you please be able to send me your surname and initial purely for referencing purposes? My email is src46@st-andrews.ac.uk.
    I understand if you do not wish that I use your image!


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Apr 28, 2013 @ 20:18:52

      Hi, Sophie, thank you for your nice comments! Yes, you can use my hornworm photo(s) for your dissertation, and my first initial/surname for referencing is K. Cusick. Good luck on your presentation–I hope it all goes well for you!


  17. Julia
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 14:28:45

    I found a photo you took of a dead branch against a grey sky and wonder if i can use it for our school for posters in the halls. Do you charge for use?



  18. kara2008
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 12:04:22

    Hi Daffodil

    One of your images (https://daffodilphotoblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/shamrock20111018_13zb.jpg) is THE image I need to illustrate a very important blog-post I’ve been asked to do for April 16/Day 28 in memory of a young man with special needs who died last year – http://107daysofaction.wordpress.com/.

    May I have your permission to use the picture, please, and if you are agreeable to its use, how would you like to be credited?

    Many thanks



  19. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 13:15:01

    Hi Kara,

    You are very welcome to use the image you mentioned in your 107 days of action blog. You can credit it to K. Cusick.

    I teach teenagers with special needs including some students with autism spectrum disorders, so I was especially interested in your blog and its purpose. I was sorry to read about the young man you are remembering–he could easily be one of my own kids.


  20. Brian Bateson
    Oct 17, 2015 @ 15:43:38

    I happened to discover your blog when I was trying to ID a plant. You have some excellent and interesting images. I especially liked your photos of the green anole capturing the sphinx moth. Have you seen Argiope auantia, the “garden spider”, capture a full gown anole?


  21. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Oct 17, 2015 @ 22:23:43

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comments! I enjoyed looking at your Flickr.
    I’ve seen photos of an anole captured by a spider at the website Anole Annals, but I’ve never seen it in real life. I had some huge Golden Silk Orb-weaver spiders in my yard last year, but they never managed to trap any of the anoles.


  22. Linda Mathiesen
    Dec 22, 2015 @ 17:06:15

    I found your page because I have been collecting the My Twinn dolls and I like the boy ones but they are either hard to find or really cheesy. I love your dolls and I have to ask…. how many do you have?? I think yours a really well done, do you design them yourself? I couldn’t find more information on the dolls (like the anoles or dog pages)


  23. Daffodil's Photo Blog
    Dec 22, 2015 @ 22:37:20

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your comments on my dolls! I do especially like the little boy Twinns and I do have a lot of them–around 40 boys! (Plus about the same number of girls.) My first My Twinn doll was a Wendi boy from the My Twinn Friends page over 10 years ago. It does get a little crowded on the doll shelves, and I really do need to start moving some of them along to new homes–maybe after Christmas.

    Many of my boys came from My Twinn during the Denver era when the dolls were mostly of very nice quality. You’re right, there aren’t nearly as many boy Twinns around as there are girl Twinns. Some of mine came as boys, but a lot of them were girls that I turned into boys with a wig change. I’ve changed eyes on some of them too, and I often paint freckles on them. Micah, my Micale boy from the other day, is a Virginia custom boy and came exactly as he looks in the pictures.

    A few years ago I had a summer “boys camp” in my backyard with 12 Twinn boys–9 of mine and 3 that belonged to a collector friend, Joan, who came down from Ohio. Peggy who runs the Logan’s Ladies website about My Twinn dolls included some of my camp photos here:


    (There was a lot more at camp–arts and crafts, tug of war, a kickball game, an awards ceremony. Joan and I were exhausted after two days of lugging 12 Twinns around the backyard and posing them for pictures!)


  24. Daniel Adams
    Feb 02, 2017 @ 11:02:07

    Hello I accidentally found your site a few weeks ago and was intrigued with your Masterpiece dolls. My mom has been a doll collector all my life have over 500 + dolls, so many we had to build rooms to hold them. Over the years she bought me several dolls, even though I am male. I grew to appreciate them. When I told her about yours and Masterpiece dolls was surprised she didn’t know the doll. Since then I now have 3 of my own and plan to get more. Thanks for your site, Daniel


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Feb 02, 2017 @ 20:43:47

      Hi Daniel,
      Thanks so much for your comments about my dolls! I like the Masterpiece dolls too, and I enjoy my little group of them. I appreciate their being life size because it makes it so easy and inexpensive to dress them! I’ve found many things for my Masterpiece dolls at Once Upon a Child (children’s resale shop) for just a few dollars, especially when they put things on clearance or have an end of season sale. It’s nice to hear that you found out about these dolls from my blog site, and now have some of your own!


  25. Daniel Adams
    Mar 02, 2017 @ 12:02:50

    Hello, I just have a question I was hoping you could help me with. I recently found and store that had a Christopher and Ethan for sale which I purchased. Both dolls came with clothing that had their names on them, was this how they came from Masterpiece? Also what size clothing do you buy for Ethan? I see you said size 8 or 9 size shoes, I’m guessing that’s kids size. Thank you.


    • Daffodil's Photo Blog
      Mar 02, 2017 @ 13:05:59

      You were lucky to find both Christopher and Ethan! Lots of people seem to want them! They are both beautiful dolls.

      Ethan’s original outfit was a long-sleeved tee shirt with a short-sleeved striped button shirt over it, with cropped pants, socks, and shoes. There was decorative writing on the tee and the pants, and I think his name was on the tee. Christopher had a long-sleeved red and white striped tee with his name on it, light blue jeans, socks, and shoes.

      The outfits are nice but to me more like doll clothes than real children’s clothes, so I like to use kids’ clothes for them. (I always keep the original outfits though.)
      For Ethan, usually size 3T to 4T. He’s slim so 4T is often loose, but the 4T pants length is usually better than 3T pants. Slim fit pants are good if you can find them. For Christopher, I have mostly size 24 months to 2T. Right now he’s wearing a 24 months tee and 2T jeans. The fit can vary a lot between the same sizes made by different brands, so it helps to compare clothes to something you know fits pretty well.

      As for shoes, yes, 8 or 9 for Ethan, wide width if you can find them. 8 can be snug on Ethan but possible. He also has some shoes in size 9 which are easier to get on and off. Christopher is currently wearing size 6 shoes and once again wide width helps. Shoe sizes can vary somewhat by manufacturer just like clothes.

      Hope that helps!


  26. Daniel
    Mar 03, 2017 @ 00:35:20

    Yes very much, Thanks. I agree that I too like them in real kid’s clothes better. The way you explain their doll clothes is what came on them. I have already changed Christopher and he looks much better, need to get him some real shoes though. Ethan’s clothes are okay, but I like the pictures you have taken of yours in real clothes so I am going to find him some. Yes, I too was surprised to find both dolls. They seemed to never have been out of their boxes either. Hoping to set up a site and take some pictures of them. Thanks for the information.


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