28 June 2013

Session One: Kids Don't Sit

This sweet family is one of my favorites in the neighborhood and they were my first volunteers after I offered free sessions to my friends and family. I was so pumped to spend the evening playing and being silly with these two adorable, energetic boys! We chased bubbles, colored with chalk, and even scooted on skateboards.
After sending the big brothers to play, I spent a few quiet moments with the six month old little sister, who is absolutely precious! Plus, check out the gorgeous dark hardwood floor and the amazing natural light in their living room. (Can this be my studio? Pretty please!?) 

And while admiring the floor just try to resist this little darling and those sweet cheeks!
This was a perfect way to start off my string of free sessions. Although I was nervous at first, they welcomed me into their home and let me be silly and learn as I went.

I left a wiser person, knowing that you need to bring your A-game when photographing kids because they sit still for no one.
(And if they do sit, it is on accident and they make sure 
you don't catch them smiling.)

27 June 2013

Target Practice

At the beginning of May I was feeling brave and made an announcement to my friends and family on facebook. I was just getting into my professional photography course (NYIP) and I was dying to use the techniques I was learning on someone besides my poor little guy. Let's be honest, he might think it is creepy in ten years when he realizes that I have pictures of him doing (almost) everything! 

Sleeping, check!
Eating a peanut butter sandwich, check!
Sleeping while eating a peanut butter sandwich, check!
Loading the dishwasher in the nude, check! (Not for sharing, I do have some control.)

Back on topic, I offered free sessions to my family and friends and they graciously (and bravely) responded! They let me invade their lives and sometimes their homes, to practice my photography. And it was absolutely the best practice I could have asked for! Being in a situation where I was entertaining children, adjusting camera settings, and trying to compose for the perfect photograph was difficult. So difficult.

Sometimes I wanted to quit and just forget the whole thing, pretend like I never said anything about anything. I've never heard of photography. Must have been someone else. BUT I had a session scheduled just about every week for two months and I had to keep going and keep shooting.

Driving home after each session I remember thinking, "I totally bombed that! I was all over the place and completely frantic. I will be so embarrassed when I hand them a disk with 3 blurry images burned to it." But then I would get home, get brave and import the photos into Lightroom. That is when the magic happened. Suddenly the moments when I was trying to hurriedly decide between a higher ISO and a slower shutter speed turned into beautiful photographs that I was proud of. 

Sure they weren't perfect, but I was progressing. With each session I became more confident in my abilities. I began to learn how to wrangle children, calm newborns, and get natural smiles all around.

I love thinking that I can capture a moment of time with my camera. A single moment that can take you back to the joy (and fatigue) of having a new baby. 

Back to the smiles and silly songs.

Back to the love of (a rambunctious ) family.

Thank you for letting me share my work and my story with you. Keep smiling!

26 June 2013

365: Life Skills

The vacuum comes out and I have a helper, oh yes I do! J is quite persistent about being responsible for the messes he makes (ha!). 

"Oh mom, let me take care of that for you!" He says (in my dreams...
where he also changes his own diapers and sleeps in on Saturday mornings). 
"You really should just go curl up with a book and a cookie 
while I track down the grapes I dropped." 
I'd like to think that this new found love for the vacuum will continue, possibly forever and always. I can just see J's sweet young wife in twenty-something years, thanking me profusely for teaching my son the value of a clean and well-vacuumed carpet (or hardwood) floor. 
He also has started unloading the dishwasher (whether clean or dirty). So if anyone is in need of an adorable helper for simple chores, I know just the guy!

24 June 2013

An Adventurous Mountain Jaunt

For some reason I want to throw the word "adventure" into every post title. Adventure makes our everyday activities seem much more hard-core and thrilling. Plus, if I think of something as an adventure it is much more exciting when we all make it out alive.

This weekend our adventure took us to the trailhead of Naomi Peak, the highest point in our county! Everything was ready and J and I were appropriately bribed (we don't walk for more than a mile without red vines, swedish fish, and a white chocolate macadamia nut Clif Bar). 

Unfortunately we were greeted by cold, gusty winds and so our adventure began by eating our picnic lunch in the car (joys of a hatchback!).
After lunch we braved the weather and began walking the nature trail around the lake. (Note, not the trailhead like we were planning originally.) We decided it was just too cold to hike all that way so instead we opted for a shorter route with trees protecting us from the wind.
 And J the T-rex came along. It was so nice of his short-armed, roaring self to join us.
This hat has been the greatest mystery to me. After months and months of ripping it off (and throwing it as far away as possible), he decides that he likes it. In fact, he wants to wear it all the time. Because he is one cool dude.
Our two hour nature walk around the lake was enjoyable, although slow moving. J insisted that he could walk on his own. He also insisted that he needed to stop every few minutes to pick up and throw a rock, rescue an ant from the trail, or play in the mud.

When we finally completed the mile loop (did I mention two hours? and my list of excuses? oh good, you caught those!) it was back to the car for a quiet and peaceful drive home.


21 June 2013

Watch Him Go

When out walking around the block J came across his favorite church with his favorite ramp. It is a fact that we cannot walk past the church until he has run up and down the said ramp at least nine times.

Well as he was doing his routine, I thought I would try to capture a picture of J using the panning technique. The goal being a relatively sharp subject on a blurred background to emphasize his motion and speed. All I had to do was set a long shutter speed (1/8 second) and turn my camera and body along with him as he ran past and I released the shutter.

Now let me interrupt your thoughts for a minute. I know what you are thinking, "Hey um, nice try but that is not at all sharp. It looks like a blur of a boy. Epic fail." But to your credit, I'm sure you would say it in a nice way (if you said it out loud at all).

In my defense, this was my first try and in the first shot his pants and a part of his arm are in sharp focus. And the others... well he looks more like he is a ghost or maybe Dash Parr?

Thankfully I take criticism well (meaning we can still be friends) and after reading an article or two about panning, I will be ready when we come to that ramp tomorrow.

17 June 2013

Month 16

Happy Sweet Sixteen Months!

Thankfully your sixteenth month hasn't been as stressful as I'm sure your sixteenth year will be. Lately you have a teenager sized attitude, but at least I don't have to deal with dating and driving too.

Last June when I was writing your four month letter, I was most excited about you rolling from your back to your front. Now I am excited when I can catch you long enough on your back to change your diaper. Oh the changes a year brings!
Obviously you still have the same dark blue/grey/green eyes and I still pose you on the bathroom rug right before you get in the tub. (But now you get hungry before bath time and need a snack?)

A year ago I was thrilled to take you to the zoo to see the animals for the first time. (Because everyone knows that a four month old appreciates... never mind. I'll admit it was more for me). This year you are able to recognize and say the names and sounds of certain animals! Some of your favorites are ducks, dogs, and birds.
We even had a nest of baby robins right outside our bedroom window which you thought was awesome, until Dad started feeding them your strawberries.
You thought that was NOT okay.

Last year we were tickled if you noticed when we came into a room and greeted us with a smile. This year, we were ecstatic when we left you overnight with grandparents for the first time and you didn't even notice we were gone. (Well happy for the most part but just the tiniest bit sad you didn't miss us).

For a boy of sixteen months, you seem to pick up on things quickly. Too quickly. Whenever I get the camera out you say,"CHEESE!" and give me the cheesiest, crooked smile that you have. Now I have to be especially careful and quiet when I want to capture you with a normal expression.
Oh the photographer in me hopes you grow out of this phase! But at the same time, the mommy in me says, "Oh how I love that adorable little weirdo of mine!"

07 June 2013

365: Snack Time

J has decided this week that he is much too big for high chairs. He is a big boy now. (Can't you tell?)

Why be confined to a small space where you have to sit still and eat?  
Why cage your Cherrios on a small tray when they can be spread 
far and wide across the whole table? 

Obviously, J is an advocate for free-range snacks.

I have also realized pros for this new eating style. 
1. I get to use my vacuum more. (As in hourly, maybe constantly depending on the day and the flight trajectory of said snacks.)
2. It helps me remember to share MY lunch and snacks with him because he is close enough to help himself.
3. He looks so adorable posed on a big chair instead of a high chair.

Oh the joys of toddlerhood! I can't wait to see what this boy comes up with next!

05 June 2013

Three Years

Three years ago today, Joseph and I were married and our adventure as a little family began. We had everything planned out and we knew exactly what this life had in store for us. We would never fight, never disagree, and NEVER forget to replace an empty toilet paper roll.

Oh, and we were completely and totally in love!
After months of being married, we thought it was the greatest compliment when people still thought we were newlyweds. In our minds, this newly-married giddy love was what all the older married folk wished they still had. 
After three years of marriage, I now see our mistake.

Our newly-married love was nothing compared to the love that came when life was harsh and unforgiving (the empty toilet paper roll). 
The love that came when sacrifices were made and dreams were put on hold. 
The love that came when unplanned adventures helped us grow closer together.
The love that came when we made mistakes and had to laugh and learn together. 
The love that came when my husband became a father.
I'm so grateful that love increases with time and I have forever to watch our love grow and bloom!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...