Category Archives: Photography

ups and downs and smiles and frowns

I got all the clothes* out, ironed, and ready.
The girls got their hair trimmed and primped at the salon.
I walked into the house and gagged.
My poor pup had a tummy bug and it didn’t end well for her or the floor.
I went to clean it up only to realize that we were out of paper towels.
Because of course we were…

I started spraying and soaking and scrubbing and soaking some more.
And with a mother’s ear, I heard screaming from across the house and through the yard.
I rushed out to find Mr. Adventure hanging from the tree with his shirt impaled by a branch.
(The others were just standing there watching. Proof in the gawking effect, I suppose.)
I helped him down to discover that he really was scraped up quite a bit.
We went in and cleaned it and dressed it and gave many magical mommy kisses.
And he walked out of my bathroom looking like a mummy.
But apparently that wasn’t good enough so he went and created his own solution.


It doesn’t stop with poop and blood. Oh, no…
When we do something, we make sure to really do it.
My happy-go-lucky girl had a late night, so she was exceptionally grumpy.
My little bit fell asleep in the car so we woke her and got her out of the car…
And then she promptly ran into a tree.
(I couldn’t make this stuff up).

So this is the first thing the photographer saw when he met us.


I voiced my frustration on Facebook and I love that one of my friends immediately laughed.
Because you know what happened for me in real life?
At one point I just started laughing and couldn’t stop.
It’s something I learned from my parents and I try to keep living it and passing it on.
Real life isn’t always pretty and sometimes it’s really hard,
but there’s usually something to laugh about.
(We are dark humor people, so there’s always something for us to laugh about).

As we were pulling out of the driveway on our way to the shoot I checked the mail.
A little brown package tied up with string and addressed to me.
Unmistakably Studio Jewel.


I’d been waiting on this bracelet for years and here, on the day I needed it most, it came!
The best part? The verse I chose to have stamped on the bracelet.
God has brought me laughter… Genesis 21:6
And there it is.
God has brought me laughter.
(But it’s nice to have a reminder sometimes).

*The girls designed their own dresses and “we” made them.
I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to show them to you!



Soak Up Summer

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I’m not here right now because we are soaking up every ounce of summer.
I have some really exciting things planned in next few weeks, so keep an eye out!

A Pop of Color

Yesterday was a full, full day. The little two stayed with my dad while the bigs and I went on a field trip for three.  We started out by taking the van to the Honda place for an oil change. That wasn’t technically part of the field trip but it did teach about scheduling because man today could not have run any smoother if I’d tried. That makes my little planner’s heart so happy! We went to Mellow Mushroom for a tour and tips – not monetary tips, but tips on how to run a restaurant and make pizza. We played on the playground, and we took another tour…Kroger this time. (I have something interesting to share about that. Remind me to tell you later if I forget!)

BUT this post? This post is about the thing that Lydia loved most about the Kroger tour: flowers. I love fresh flowers, but rarely buy them. She wanted them and even offered to use her own money, so I caved. (She probably planned that, didn’t she? I’m such a sucker!) And maybe it wasn’t all for her. In all of my redefining, I’ve decided I need to do more to help keep myself me. I need to do things that I love and that make me happy. Because the old adage is true: If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So flowers for her, flowers for me. And then I can further “myselfness” by taking time to photograph those beautiful blooms. Here are a few of my favorite shots.






Picture Perfect

Last week we tried to do Christmas pictures.
It ended like this:

I almost deleted every single one of the pictures I took that night and decided not to.
One day I’ll laugh at how crazy it all was.
(Heck, I already laugh about it.)

So I kept my eye out for a day when everyone was in good form (which is pretty rare around here).
Yesterday morning we were all laughing and giggling and having fun and I thought, “This is it! Go! NOW!”
I promised a picnic and ice cream if they’d take pictures.
(I am not above bribery.)
And so we did.
And they did great.

Oh, I also promised they would get to take pictures, too!
And although I love the pictures I got of all of them, my absolute favorites are these I snapped on the way back to the car.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.   ~Robert Brault


And SNAP the job’s a game*

I love that moment when this:

Becomes this:

*If you aren’t singing “A Spoonful of Sugar” right now, I’m not sure if we can still be friends.


There is so much goodness, so many rich, full moments that I can’t keep up.
Life swirls around beautifully and I settle happily into the blur.

The woosh of our days drowns out the static of the world with static of its own.
And wrap myself in the warmth of knowing that I am here in this moment, taking it all in.

Life is spinning quickly, with plans to spin faster and faster.
But now, unlike so many times before, I’m doing more than just barely hanging on.

Want to know more about how to make photographs like these? Click here to see my post on the One2One Network blog.


Branching Out

Photographic Memory

So many of my memories are tied to the photos I hold in my hand, hang on my wall, see on my screen.
I scroll through image after image and re-ride the roller coaster of my life.
I have thousands of images categorized and cataloged chronologically.
Sometimes I wonder what will happen to them all when I am gone.

I don’t print enough of them.
If I did, I tell myself, that’d be just another thing to store, to organize, to save.
And I can’t pick my favorites and print just those.
When I’m in Mommy-mode, they’re all my favorites.
But when I’m in photographer mode, I find flaws in each one.
Not of the subjects, but the lighting or the angle or the color.
I should have seen this.
I should have changed that.
I should have shot that from above.
I should have, I should have…

Taken with iPhone4S.
Edited with Magic Hour app.

The past few months I’ve favored my phone to my camera.
I love that it is always with me.
I love that it is easy to use.
I love that I can edit quickly and share with others.
I told myself that I was trying to be more in the moment.
I was trying to live it instead of capture it.
And sometimes I was glad I did,
But there are also times when I wish I’d taken ‘real’ pictures.

Take with Canon 40D.
Edited in Lightroom 4.

I scan through our lives and see our life beautiful, but grainy.
Each shot brings back the moment, the emotion…and yet, it seems insufficient.
And I worry that maybe I should have made more effort, maybe I should have tried harder.

But in the end, my pictures are for me and for them, and will we look back and care that the lines are a little blurry?
Or that we don’t see the catch light in our eyes?
Or that you can’t blow it up to colossal sizes?
Or will we just be grateful that time allowed us to stop it, if ever so briefly, and savor it for a lifetime?

Taken with iPhone4S.
Edited with Magic Hour app.

I want to capture everyday.
I want to capture everything and nothing.
And although I love the sharp lines and brilliant colors,
I don’t think it really matters how I do that, but that I do it.


If you don’t give a little, you’ll pop.

Good night, my angel…

She fell asleep with her hand on my head.
Her rhythmic breaths make my eye lids droop.

Eyes closed, I see her dreams from the outside in.
She smiles and I am grateful that they are sweet.

I don’t want to go to sleep because sleep signals the day’s end.
And days like this should never end.