Ever wish you could get a peek inside the minds of your favorite photographers? We are here to help! We are bringing you the best, most inspiring photographers from around the world and having them share a few of things that inspire them, make them smile, and are essential to their creative process. We will be taking notes right here with you so that we can add their best-loved items to our own lists!

Today we have Chanel French, Atlanta-based photographer and Clickin Moms Mentor, sharing a few of her favorite things.

1. My Canon 50mm lens

My “nifty fifty” lens definitely lives up to its name, and is pretty much the only lens I own. Its versatility and price point make it a staple item in my camera bag – I never leave home without it!

2. Red velvet cupcakes

…do I seriously need to explain this one? Red velvet cupcakes (hold the nuts, please) are my kryptonite. ‘nough said.

Related: 7 unusual and creative ways to approach food photography

3. Freelensing

Freelensing is SO fun once you get the hang of it. It takes practice to get good at it, but once you do it’s a great way to add versatility and creativity to your portfolio. I love the ethereal feels it lends to my photos and I take any opportunity I can to incorporate it into my photography.

4. Self portraiture

I’m a BIG proponent for self portraiture and I encourage EVERYONE to at least give it a try a few times (because let’s be honest… the first time you try you’re probably not gonna nail it, but that’s okay!).

Is self portraiture awkward at times? Sure. Does it feel a bit vain? Maybe. But is it absolutely magic when you nail it and experience for yourself how it can help your self confidence grow? YES. So much yes.

5. Reading

Getting lost in a good book is always ideal to me. I’m a big fan of fiction, personally, and I’m always looking for a good book recommendation. Some of MY recent favorites are The Cuckoo’s CallingYou Are A Badass, and Children of Blood and Bone.

If you have any must reads for me, please feel free to share!

6. A hot cup of tea

A hot cup of tea is the perfect way to start your day and an even more perfect way to end your night. My favorite tea is Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy by the brand Yogi Tea (a close second is their Soothing Caramel Bedtime).

Combine my love of a hot cup of tea with my love for a good book and you’ve got the perfect way to spend a few hours. My favorite way to doctor my tea? A spoonful of honey & I’m good to go!

7. Dancing

I feel free and powerful and untouchable when I dance. If you felt that way, wouldn’t you love it too?

8. Adobe Camera Raw

I am probably ACR’s biggest cheerleader and they should probably just sponsor me now. Seriously, 99% of my editing takes place in ACR (the other 1% goes down in Photoshop). ACR is very user friendly and I’ve been pretty much able to learn how to use it all on my own, which makes it an automatic winner for me!

Related: ACR and Photoshop video tutorial

9. Dramatic lighting

I love moody, emotive, super dramatic lighting. I love how it can lend itself to the story of an image and elevate it’s overall impact. If I am going to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of flat light. But give me some dramatic lighting and I’m in loooove.

10. Bullet journaling

I’m a lover of all things planners, notebooks, and office supplies in general. Seriously, the office supply aisle in Target is easily my favorite aisle. So once I was introduced to bullet journaling I pretty much fell in love AND set it as my mission to get anyone else I come into contact with addicted to the method, too.