I love having a pre-session “date” with clients at my favorite coffee shop, Sherwood’s Symposium Coffee. We get to chat, get to know each other, make eye contact (without a camera in my face), pick a location, have excellent coffee, and get creative. Meeting Kelly, I knew I had a kindred spirt. She loves capturing her little girl and it was clear that the annual photo session was going to be fun. I mean, seriously, we decided to bring bubbles!
I have some special locations that I love to take families. Places where kids can be kids. Parks with walking trails and fun things like ponds and rivers and tall grasses to play in. If kids are busy and having a good time, they really don’t worry all that much about me and the camera. The park we used for this photo session is wonderful. I find something new every time I visit. And, it really says something that we could get such interesting backgrounds and scenery in early December. There is eye candy all year round.
Do you know of any great parks or recreation areas near Sherwood, Newberg or Tualatin that offer up interesting textures and nature in the winter? Leave a comment because I LOVE scouting out new locations.
Social media can be a burden. Hours are precious. Daydreaming is a lost art as most of us admittedly need to cut back on our screen time.
But sometimes a little dose of social media can bring you joy. And isn’t that just the best way to start your day? A cup of coffee and a smile. Nice.
Instagram is my smile-a-day social media app of choice. No surprise I suppose since I am a photographer and it is all photos. I also love Instagram because it’s quick, simple and my Instagram community is so positive. I follow feeds that are happy, inspiring, creative, funny and beautiful.
I want to spread the joy and share my favorite Instagramers. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Bev Weidner (@bevcooks): Oh, this food bloggin’ mama of twins is hilarious. I was already a fan of her recipes, but now I can’t take my eyes off her babies! You will laugh out loud at her photo captions.
Sarah Cornish (@my4hens): This lady has an incredible talent for capturing the beauty of the everyday with her kids. And, she’s an inspirational soul. Her words and stories to go with the photos are meant to lift you up and find the good in even the hard days.
Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea): This guy is blessed. He travels in a pimped out FJ60 with a fabulous dog named Maddie and takes amazing pictures. Just how does he get Maddie into these stunts and poses? He captures her and the world with stunning creativity and skill.
Jane Samuels (@janesamuels): This UK artist showcases her eye-popping, color-bursting landscape photos on Instagram. They never fail to make me stop and just study the image and long for a hike into quiet and wide-open spaces.
I am just a teensy bit obsessed with hummingbirds.
Anna’s Hummingbirds hang out in Oregon all year round. They are my pets. I thaw their feeders in the winter. I make protect the weaker little guys by strategically placing feeders around my house. I have a male or two that think they own a feeder and run off those who dare to attempt a sip. I’ve even been known to turn on the sprinkler system on a hot day just because the hummingbirds like to play in the spray.
Spring is my favorite time for Anna’s Hummingbirds. The cherry blossoms send them into an out-of-control feeding frenzy and then the courtships begin. The males show off to the ladies by climbing up to 130 feet into the air and then swooping to the ground with a burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers. It sounds a little like the fire alarm screaming “BEEP” when the batteries are low.
My annual Anna’s Hummingbird photo shoot takes place on my front porch that overlooks ornamental cherry trees. I wait for the sun to light up the trees in the late afternoon and shoot with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens plus the Canon EF 2.0X III Telephoto Extender. It’s important to sit back and watch for where the hummingbirds like to hang out. Anticipation is key. My camera settings go between an F/6.3 to F/7.1 aperture and fast shutter speeds of 1/500 or higher. Adjust your ISO for the best exposure.
And, of course, it’s a massive photo op for me. Love it.
One flute player shined extra bright the other night. Amongst so many serious and nervous faces, she seemed to actually enjoy herself up there. Nice!
LRMS parents: please be sure to go through the many, many fun photos taken both for the big portrait session and for the various concerts. You can contact me or Mr. Stai if you’ve forgotten the password.
He goes by the name of Smokey or also, and I do say this with affection, Fatso Catso.
We also call him Killer due to the many, many, many mice he has hunted and conquered on our property.
Smokey is not shy, but is usually quite uninterested in being photographed. He looks left, right, up, down and sometimes just closes his eyes. But, he rarely turns a glance toward me or my camera.
Smokey must have known this was a special photo opportunity. The Moms with Cameras Project52 theme was “learning,” and he graciously laid right down on my son’s workbook to “read.” I practically squealed a “thank you, kitty” and ran to get my camera. I knew I had to work fast.
So, yet another successful and fun Project52 assignment. If it wasn’t for the “learning” theme, I may have just passed this image up and never grabbed my camera. Now, it’s one of my favorite portraits of one of my favorite animals.
Wrong. Oddly enough, after many years of back-to-back sports seasons, all three of my guys took the winter off.
The good news is that all of this sudden downtime in our schedule is getting the kiddos to reconnect with each other (and me). I’ve never played so many after school basketball games of “Pig.” And, the boys love to play “Knockout” on the driveway.
So, it turns out, all I had to do was go out on the driveway to get my competition pictures.
The hands are filthy from playing with a damp, dirty ball on the driveway and for some reason, that game always gives them the giggles.
This Project52 work is fitting so nicely with my New Year’s Resolution to take more photos of my kids in “everyday life.” Very fun.
Oh, and, my close up got picked for a Moms with Cameras favorite of the week. Woohoo!
Living in the country is a gift.
For me, living in the country means space to garden, to raise crazy things like goats and chickens and to find peace in quiet spaces and skies that actually get dark at night.
For my boys, especially my youngest, the country is space to have adventure, to create contraptions, to build forts and to play, play, play.
It’s not a surprise that I decided Sam and his latest homemade contraption, a GIANT slingshot, was my target for the Moms with Cameras Project52 “home” theme last week. Giving Sam the space and the tools to be creative and just get outside more is a big reason why we call this lovely place our home.
And, I’m excited to share that the Moms with Cameras leader included one of my pictures in her favorites for the week. It’s so nice to get a little “good job” from another photographer 🙂
My “Everyday” project this week is Sam and his nearly daily outdoor adventures with our neighbor, Aidan.
Frequently, I refuse to watch their escapades. They usually involve building contraptions that are, well, let’s just say “not good ideas.” They aren’t horribly unsafe, but would definitely add to my gray hairs.
But, this time I decided to bravely wander over to check things out. Luckily it was pretty tame for them. Aidan and Sam showed off Aidan’s new zip line (safely installed by his dad, thank goodness).
Their project of the day was finding creative uses for an old barn door. In this photo, they were setting it up on a pile of gravel as a makeshift teeter totter…that they stood on. Nope, no sitting for these guys. It was all fun and games until Aidan jumped off and Sam went flying. Yep, two gray hairs at least for that one. Just a few scratches for Sam.
What I love most about these pictures are the genuine smiles of kids at play and that Sam is dressed exactly as he is most days with Aidan. Boots (so Mom doesn’t yell at him for muddying up the school shoes), a hoody and athletic shorts. The kid will not wear pants. He’ll put on a stocking cap and gloves, but keep the shorts. I’m guessing it was about 40 degrees outside that day. Brrrr.
I’m on a bit of a black and white kick with these lifestyle photos. It connects the photos together for me. Could make for a fun album at the end of the year.
In my mental life bucket overflowing with New Year’s resolution ideas, I have one that I’m excited about. I want to freeze my boys in time with photos.
While I admittedly take a lot more pictures than most, I still fall into the trap of being an “event” photographer for my family. I capture the annual portraits, sporting events, vacations, birthdays, etc.
But what about the little things that I love and want to remember always about my kiddos?
So, one of my big resolutions for 2012 is to truly observe and soak in my boys. I want to photograph the little, everyday things that will help me always remember who they were in 2012.
My first “Everyday Life” project is my Sam. Nearly every morning I will find Sam in this same spot on the couch, reading with Otto at his feet.
These photos will always put a smile on my face and remember Sam’s huge Tintin comics obsession, his crazy bed hair that he twirls while he reads, and how he always stops to fill me in on something exciting he’s learned in his books.
Walking in to “Supply Night” at Edy Ridge Elementary held an extra thrill for me this year. Not only, would Sam and I meet his new 4th grade teacher, but I was also going to see my much-anticipated art project on display.
At the end of the last school year, I played the “roving photographer.” Our principal wanted to fill the halls with large, candid photos of the kids and teachers that are the spirit of Edy Ridge Elementary.
I had so much fun. I snapped photos from the corner of classrooms, assemblies, the lunchroom, the crosswalk, the library, the playground, etc. And I learned a lot from working with Pam Ward at The Design Ward in getting the photos ready to print and follow our school themes of “Safe, Repectful, Responsible.”
While there are some really great shots to still find a place for, these photos in the slideshow are some of those on display so far. The response has been fantastic…just what we had hoped for.