Lifestyle – Research with Pappy

“Play is the highest form of research.”
― Albert Einstein

My parents visited us in Belgium to help us prepare for our big move to Minot, ND and this little boy of mine has been obsessed with his pappy since Day 1. He is so loving and so into all of our family and close friends but these two have just the strongest connection and they compliment each other so well that it isn’t hard to capture sweet pictures of them together.

This is a set I did trying to document their play. They let me be a fly on the wall (usually my Mess Maker wants to hold the camera for a few shots so it’s a battle to document him) but he was so into Pappy he just didn’t care.

I really enjoyed the chance to capture their connection, their play, and the details.

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See more of this little boy and my journey into documenting his youth here: Lifestyle ApplesauceLifestyle – The SandboxLifestyle – Playtime with Granny

Lifestyle Applesauce

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” –M.F.K. Fisher

My mess maker eats constantly and he’s pretty adept at using a spoon, fork, and a cup. I wanted to capture how cute and messy it is right now because in a few years a cup of applesauce won’t be so exciting and fun.

I worked on capturing new and exciting angles, getting the texture in the applesauce. getting the detail shots and pull back shots all while the dining room table was covered in things we were sorting through in preparation with our move–making angles very hard because I can’t stand trying to edit things OUT of the image. I had to be really conscious of that because I wanted to focus on my son and not our messy house. When you know you’re working with limited space, find somewhere that’s as clear as possible and work within that area. You’ll make your life easier when you get those images on your computer!

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See more of my mess maker here: Lifestyle – Playtime with GrannyLifestyle – Pizza Party in GreeceLifestyle – At the Mediterranean SeaLifestyle – Athenian Playground

Lifestyle – Playtime with Granny

Living away from family is hard. A lot of times we enjoy our freedom but more often we feel isolated. We build up friendships which is essential and a true blessing, but it’s hard to watch J grow up away from his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. But, fortunately, we got a nice long visit with Granny, Grandpa, and Auntie S (and a big trip to Italy) this month and I wanted to share a few of J playing with his Granny as, unfortunately, these portraits are few and far between and highly cherished.

To talk about these photos a little: the too bright sun kept coming and going while I was taking these so the shadows and lighting is really harsh. I wouldn’t want to work with this light with a client because it’s so hard to get a flattering portrait like this! The shadows from eyebrows can make a person look exhausted or completely black out their eyes! Keep that in mind when working on your own or looking for a photographer to work with–no midday sessions!

I, however, had to capture J with his Granny because they were too cute together and again–the opportunity to photograph them together is a rare one.

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See more of J here: Lifestyle – Pizza Party in GreeceLifestyle – At the Mediterranean SeaLifestyle – Athenian PlaygroundLifestyle – Athens National GardensPhoto Feature: Red White and BlueJ does Brit FeteHappy Father’s DayLifestyle – Looking through the WindowLifestyle – J & Co. Sensory PlaySplish Splash

Lifestyle – At the Mediterranean Sea

After playing at the playground, we headed over to the beach to cool down and cool down we did–the water was way too cold to really get in but it was refreshing. J wanted to play but the beach wasn’t really safe enough to let his wobbly little toddler legs to explore so I took the chance to grab a few photos before we headed back to some shade so he could nap.

I hate to keep fighting with the harsh sunlight and fortunately the beach sand wasn’t too too bright but it was a struggle to keep from over exposing the image and not having all features drowning in shadow but I think I captured some really sweet moments and my husband did too.

It’s important to be patient and not try to force poses when on vacation with a toddler and surly husband–capture what you can. Look for ways to frame the subject with the harsh light rather than trying to make them do anything. It’s better to get images of your family with harsh shadows then to get pictures of the toddler crying and the husband giving the person behind the camera looks that could kill.

Keep in mind that your family doesn’t want you to spend the entire time taking photographs. So after you get some good images that capture the moment, put the camera away and live. You may miss a super cute moment with the camera but you can’t live the moments and capture them too.

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Lifestyle – Athenian Playground

Baby J is back again, this time in a classic lifestyle session, albiet in a glamorous location. I wanted to share this because this is the type of momtography we should all be working towards not because of quality but because of life.

We take our kids to the playgrounds so often that we forget how important it is to document their play. It doesn’t matter if the sun is super harsh (seriously could the shadows be any sharper?! No!), find a touch of shade or just embrace it because–the moment is more important. Remember that. The moment is paramount. You can create gorgeous portraits in perfect settings, sure, but you can’t capture these memories without embracing the imperfections of light and color casts.

So take pictures at the playground! Capture these moments, they don’t last forever!

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Lifestyle – Athens National Gardens

I’m sharing a part of my journey–more from our family vacation to Greece.

I usually take a step back when we’re traveling to take photos and then I put my camera away. I’m sure that it sounds foreign that a photographer would just put her camera away but I want to live. I want to experience our vacation with my husband and son more than I want to document it. I still capture the essence of our day, like when we visited The Parthenon, but then we move on to enjoying the world we’re in. It’s hard sometimes with the toddler wanting to get down and explore when we’re walking on the street or in a museum so we always look for places to take him that he can be free–this time it was the National Gardens in Athens.

We walked through the gardens, I made sure to let him lead and capture the beauty that is a toddler in a park. He has no idea we are in a completely different country and that it matters at all; he just wants to play with a stick.

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Photo Feature: Red White and Blue

This week one of my images was the favorite in the Facebook group Photography: Support, Learn & Inspire with Cozy Clicks. I was then featured along with other photographers at the Cozy Clicks blog which is such an exciting honor as the group is filled with a great many professional and hobbyist photographers with a lot of skill and talent.

The image is one I took of my husband and son to celebrate my husband’s service and our relationship with it.

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As the holiday is upon us, let us celebrate together all that makes our nation great and continue to strive every year to be better.

Happy Fourth of July!

Ancient World Wonder: The Parthenon

Part of my journey through photography, because I am in the thick of it now, is trying to capture our family as we engage in our last few adventures before moving to Minot ND in the fall. We are really excited to be  in the states again but we will miss out on the great adventures we get to go on.

Admittedly, I have more collages of J playing in the hotel then of actual tourist stuff but I wanted to share this set from the Acropolis and talk about it a little.

My husband always tells me when we start the day to make sure to pause and enjoy the moment because we were in ATHENS at the PARTHENON. We are not crowd people so we really struggle to stay in the moment when it’s wall to wall people–really we both want to run. But we came, we saw, we photographed, and we left. Husband got a photo of me–of course we have traditional cheesy photos in front of ruins but I wanted to get a few of my sleeping baby to prove to him he’d been there. So I worked on framing and composition and directing the eye. Then I put the camera away and drank a litre of water as we descended from this high up perch that’s that much closer to the hot hot sun.

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Splish Splash

SplishSplash Collage.pngI’ve been working on my lifestyle images and it’s tough! It’s hard to capture something that doesn’t say “Snapshot” instead of “Professional Image.” It takes work and thought and trying a million different things. But finally, I got a set that make me think, “That, that is lifestyle.”

Splish Splash Taking a Bath, featuring Mess Maker J!

***My husband was standing just out of the shot while I was working because taking pictures is distracting and my son was in a bathtub of water. Do not take pictures of your young child alone while they bathe for safety purposes.***

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For this first image, I bent upside down, hair dangling in the water, my husband sighing in the background. This was my favorite of the images I got that way of him playing. I really wanted that angle and I’m so going to try it again!

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This was “dangerously close to the splashing baby” with my husband sighing again in the background. I was almost touching him the entire time I shot from this angle.

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Mess Maker J is super into Peek-a-Boo lately. So when it’s bathtime with mommy, we always get a few in and he loves it! This time I brought my camera along for the ride! It was hard to pop up and down and get my focus in time!

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When we play Peek-a-Boo, J always has to search me out. Those cute little hands! I love them!

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I have a cheesy child. He makes this face often and I love it! He always makes me laugh and I cheese right back.

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