Lifestyle – The Sandbox

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ― Alan W. Watts

There is beauty in the crash between J’s playing and my own.

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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 – Pizza Party in Greece

The less glamorous side of vacationing with a toddler is spending a lot of time inside the hotel room–or in our case apartment. They need naps and some don’t take them on the go and they need to be in bed. So some nights when we’ve run around all day, we come back for dinner in–this night was pizza–and I love to capture images of my son in the room (this is just one set, of course) because these are just as important in the grand scheme of things as the moments at the Parthenon.

When I get my camera out at times like this, I just let J play and see what comes out. He love, love, loves playing with windows and doors and so it was fun to get to see his silly side come out and to enjoy our evening in. And it allowed me to capture gorgeous images and document who he is now when our home life is so hectic I sometimes forget.

See more of my journey with J here: Lifestyle – Athens National GardensAncient World Wonder: The ParthenonJ does Brit Fete, Dream BigHappy Father’s DayLifestyle – Looking through the WindowLifestyle – J & Co. Sensory Play.

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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!