Posts Tagged: Kids

Competition – Project52

As the mom of three boys, you would think that last week’s Project52 theme, competition, would have been a breeze. Just bring along the camera to the court or the field and I’m set, right?

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.

While I got a lot of fun action shots, my favorites are actually of the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” they played to decide who goes first in their game of one-on-one basketball.

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!

Basketball Boys

In the last several years I have been on a mission to conquer the challenges of basketball photography. That crazy gym lighting and high-speed, close-up action can be so, so hard to capture.

I use all my tricks and am ecstatic that I can freeze those passionate faces and amazing leaps to the basket. And it’s thrilling to share the images with the parents. I know they love the pictures now. And how sweet will it be to look back at these 3rd grade shots when they’re playing for the high school or college or ???

Let me know if you’d like a game photographed before the end of the season…just a few weekends left!


Sam at home with his giant slingshot











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 🙂

I love the "wasn't that cool" look on his face right after he shot a pinecone. He's pretty proud.

Everyday Life – Boys at Play

Loving this New Year resolution so far. Trying to capture the little things, the memories I want to keep, is challenging and so inspiring!

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.

Backlit Boys

My biggest photo obsession in 2011 was backlighting. It’s a tricky fish to net for sure.  But, when I get that perfect glow shot, it feels so fantastic.

So, it’s no surprise that backlighting was my goal for my boys’ annual photo.  I started using it for clients and so wanted it for myself. These are some of my most favorite portraits of my kiddos…and my smiling Schnauzer, Otto. I’m still in awe that the dog thinks these sessions should include him and that he actually smiles!

My boys really liked this session, too.  It was quick. A low, about to set sun meant I couldn’t take very long. And, the location was convenient. I just dragged a bench to a spot with the light I was after in our yard. Easy.

Some things I’ve learned in shooting backlit photos:

  • Wait until about an hour before sunset on a bright day
  • Find tall trees, bushes, even the edge of a building to block out part (but not all) of that big fiery ball in the sky.
  • While the main light source is behind the subject, make sure that the front of the subject isn’t overly shaded. It’s even better if the ground is lighter or reflective like train tracks or a road or a sidewalk.
  • Move around with your camera until you can get a clear picture…I’m not a fan of the super hazy, backlit photos or ones with too many sunspots. Sometimes it’s just a tiny angle shift that makes all of the difference.
  • I like my camera set at about ISO 400 and aperture  f/4.  I want to avoid shallow depth of field or too slow shutter speeds. I quickly test shoot with different shutter speeds until the exposure looks right.  A light meter can minimize test shots.