Archive for the ‘Tips, Tricks, & DIY’ Category

What to do with all those iPhone photos…

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Some of my favorite photos of the girls are on my iPhone. I thought it’d be a shame to not do something with them. So I arranged them in chronological order in one inch x one inch squares and printed them as a 12×12 collage. Now this is what greets us as we come home from a long day of work and daycare.

[Tips & Tricks] Family Sessions: Interacting with Children

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Family sessions are always fun. When the children are around the same age as my girls, it makes me feel like I have an in. Usually I’m good for at least one laugh from the kids and if I’m lucky the parents will crack a smile too! This session was from a while ago, but I realized I never did an “official” post. I felt like sharing some of my thoughts on interacting with kids (from the perspective of having a couple of my own and trying to take photos of other people’s too).

On interacting with children…

  • Kids want to laugh. Usually they’re just looking for a reason. You’d be amazed at how far it’ll go just to be silly with them.
  • They love when you’re willing to embarrass yourself or if they know something you don’t. Don’t be afraid to sing. I’m generally a sing-in-the-shower-or-only-in-the-car-maybe-after-a-couple-drinks-during-karaoke type of girl, but I break this rule when it comes to kids. I don’t have a great voice, that’s for sure, but kids know so many songs and that’s a good way to connect. The best laughs I get from kids is when I sing to them a song they know, but accidentally put their  name in it… something like… ahem… Twinkle, twinkle, little star how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a Cedar in the sky.. oh what? what do you mean it’s not Cedar? How does it go then?! OR a personal favorite of my own: “Ga-gooon went the little green Amara one day, Ga-gooon went the little green Amara, Ga-Goon went the little green Amara one day and her eyes went Ga-Ga-Goooooon”
  • Get on their level. This is easy for me since I’m already pretty short, but I love taking photos of children when I’m eye to eye with them.
  • Kids don’t necessarily like to pose. And if they do, it’ll last for  2.75 minutes. If  you’re lucky. Really there’s only two ways to go about this. If they’re really shy with me, I’ll do posed  shots first since they want to cuddle up to mom and dad and look at me from afar. Then I suggest letting the kid(s) play and I’ll engage with them and get mostly candids.  If they’re open to it, I’ll do candids first and let them warm up to me and THEN ask them to do the more posed shots.
  • Older kids like to “help.” I suppose it’s part of gaining independence and wanting to show how they are such “big kids”, but whatever it is, kids love to help. If a toddler is not feeling like participating in the session, I’ll usually enlist them as my “helper.” They’ll either help me by making faces at their parents/sibling(s) and making them laugh or I’ll even let them press the button on the camera and show  them the LCD. It’s really more about getting them engaged in the process and eventually I’ll ask them to get in with their parents and will show them their  photo. Once the child feels more connected to it, he/she tends to be more open to getting their own photo taken!
  • If you have children, schedule a photo session based on their schedule. From personal experience, I know that my 3.5 year old has good times and bad times. She’s most cooperative when she has napped, been fed, and of course bribed :)

Now, what’s YOUR favorite trick for taking photos of kids? Hope you’ll share!


How to Plan a Reunion

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

10 years ago I graduated from Mt. Shasta High School. It’s amazing to me that at 18 years old I thought I had the world figured out. I thought I knew what my life would be, who it would be with, etc. Really I had no idea. I think the thing that scares me most about being a parent is being able to provide my daughters with a sense of perspective.

Right now it’s things like: No, it’s not the end of the world that I [fill in the blank with all those things 3 year olds care about] … went up the stairs first, asked you to brush your teeth, turned off the T.V., folded your socks down when you wanted them up…

But what scares me is when they’re teenagers…Yes, I know it feels like you can die of embarassment, but you wont. Yes, I know if feels like you can die of a broken heart, but you won’t. Yes, I know I seem mean cause I won’t let you go out until all hours of the night. Yes, this seems like this is the most important [event, night, experience] of your life, but really there will be more.

I suppose that’s just part of growing up. Brent and I often talk about him growing up in LA and me being the little country bumpkin that I am at heart. One of the things I love (and hate) about a small town is that you know everyone (and they know everything about you). It’s hard to get away with anything or not have people talk, but it’s so fun to have friends that you’ve known since kindergarten and struggled with through the woes of being a teenager, only to celebrate your lives as adults and find love and comfort in the ups and downs of your friendships. I can’t say that I know what’s better or worse, but I can say that it was great to see the people I grew up with. I love that we could look at each other and see our goofy elementary-school-selves and be excited for each other as full grown adults!

With that, I’d like to share with you my “How to Plan a Reunion” post… so here it goes

1. Enroll with eventbrite.com. Set up your event to be able to accept credit card payments.

2. Harass your high school class with e-mails, facebook posts, and guilt them into paying ahead of time.

3. Luck out that two of your classmate’s mother owns an awesome bar and grill like the Wayside and is willing to let you have your reunion there… on the the biggest/busiest weekend of the summer.

4. Enroll the help of your super great/supportive/organized/awesome class of 2000 officer (and her equally awesome husband) and make her deal with location/food/rentals/ etc. Then have her make her husband cut rounds of wood on a whim that it might look cool.

5. Marry a graphic designer. Be supportive when he decides to take a calligraphy class. Buy two cases of two buck chuck, a sticker maker, and an xacto-knife.

6. Buy a dozen and a half mason jars. Make your 9 month old baby girl eat as much baby food as possible so you can wash out the jars and peel off the labels. Raid the jar collection your dad has in the kitchen cupboard. Buy a ton of tea lights and votives and put them in aforementioned jars of assorted sizes. In the largest size mason jars, buy LED lights and stick them to the top to make “laterns.”

7. Stay up late making silly MP3 CDs with horrid music from your past.

8. Enroll your mom and class officer to help collect wild flowers day of.

8. Make a mess of your parents house arranging flowers and spend the afternoon screaming every time you find an ant/spider/bug in wild flowers.

9. Enroll the help of anyone who will come + their significant others to help set up and decorate.

10. Rush home to change and shower.

11. Return to reunion to check people in, collect more money and proceed to drink two kegs of beer with your former classmates.

12. Eat, drink, enjoy… and try to remember it all in the morning.

Any questions? Feel free to ask! Here’s a few photos of all that hard work come to fruition…