Saturday, June 29, 2013

(Belated) Happy Friday - Priorities

This has been a very busy, busy week.

We all get so busy that the priorities get shifted and moved about like beach sand. Take a minute and think about where your priority was this week. My priorities this week...spending time with my girls, having lunch with friends, cooking for more meals from scratch (made his belly happy) and just sitting and talking with a dear friend I hadn't seen in 25 years.

Always a favorite for our family...the beach. This day was one of those were I gave up on anything else happening and just spending the day with the family. This was an incredibly L-O-N-G walk around the Matanzas Inlet. But, the girls managed to find all kinds of distractions on the way to the beach. The walk slow as the sun that was setting across the river. Instead of hurrying everyone along, it gave me a great opportunity to take some beautiful images.

So my apologies for missing a post here and there...I know you understand.  :)

Enjoy your weekend!





Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Photograph an Active Toddler

I'll be honest with you...photographing younger children is challenging, especially toddlers. Even for me, and I've raised 5 girls! The most talented photographers will tell you that it's all about patience, practice and prayer.

A good deal of it is also stating the obvious...THEY'RE TODDLERS. It's the age of burgeoning autonomy, energy and exploration.

I approach a family session with getting everyone together for that group shot first. This is your best chance of the group shot that Mom wants the most. After the first 15 minutes the Toddler's hesitation and reserve starts to wane, and as a photographer (and the parent) you need to embrace this natural characteristic of this age group. You start to lose them and that's when you just play and enjoy...or let them play with sticks. (See that session over here!)

Some of the most natural moments are when a child is at play. I just loved the idea of capturing ALL of those moments into one photograph. This is a fantastic way to show the fun, curiosity and energy of a child. I'm want to tackle this in a park or pool setting next.

I sent his Mom a "Sneak Peek" and it actually caused 2 distinct emotions - joy AND anxiety. Could you imagine 8-10 little guys running around your house??


Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Friday - 1st Day of Summer

It's official - the first day of Summer is upon us. Most of our kids have been out for a few weeks now. We got a jump on the "summer family vacation" this year and boogied out of South Florida the same day the girls got out of school.

I posted some Instagram photos here the other day of our family summer trip. But, for this week's "Happy Friday" post I'm sharing a few of my favorites from Fall Creek Fall State Park.

My ongoing Duck Project added a new friend to the story. One of the girls stumbled across this baby snapping turtle. He was quite the attraction at the bottom of the falls and hung out with us for a while.

There are several falls within the park. This massive and beautiful falls is Fall Creek. The girls REALLY tested my "mommy nerves" when they decided to make their way around to the back of the falls. (They weren't the first...there was a trail.) Those tini-tiny specs behind the water falling down to the rocks are my girls. They were SO proud of themselves.

If you're thinking about what to do this summer. Turn to your parks. Our family has had the BEST time visiting our parks at every municipal, county, state and national. They are a great resource for education and fun. Discovering a park can help foster confidence, curiosity, team building and most of all, great memories. (That's my PSA for the week.  ;)

Get out there, take some pictures and enjoy your Summer!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Change of Scenery - Photographing a Road Trip

Those of you that follow my adventures know that I love a road trip. Our road trips have been confined to our state, mainly because Florida is so freakin' long. This time around we decided to take to the road and head to Tennessee. Over 2,000 miles and 35 hours of driving over 10 days. (I know...I know...I was definitely glad to be back in my own bed.)
The reward was fantastic! We saw nature at its most beautiful and powerful...waterfalls, hungry predators, graceful wildlife, awe inspiring vistas and wondrous caverns. We got to share memories of our own childhoods with the girls. We visited love ones that have passed and was blessed to visit with family not seen in years or even decades. The Rubber Ducks met a new friend and I faced my vertigo head on. (and didn't pass out!) And even documented Tropical Storm Andrea that followed us all the way up through Florida.
A fellow photographer recently took a family vacation and decided to only take ONE lens (her 50mm/1.8). She didn't want to lug all the gear. I don't blame her. She went through the same rationalizing and weighing that I would. What if I want to get that zoomed in distance shot? What if I need my flash? What if I need my tripod to get that group shot...with myself included!
I really didn't think I could do it this time, so I brought all my gear. Tripod included. It did come in handy to have my zoom lens. One morning we witnessed a water moccasin catching & eating his fish breakfast. The zoom lens allowed me to get some great detail of that snake and his meal.
BUT, I broke a personal record and posted 50 Instagram photos documenting our trip! I found myself juggling back and forth with my DSLR and camera phone. Knowing that our friends and family were looking forward to following along & seeing how our days unfolded, so I posted at the end of each day.
In a recent post, I wrote about how much I enjoy/love Instagram and the benefit of training my eye. This trip continued that journey and I found it to be even truer. I love how the story unfolded. I took these out of chronological order and rearranged a bit based on Road Shots, Nature Shots and more of the Storytelling Shots (like the Ducks with the baby snapping turtle).

It truly is doable with just your camera phone. I've got a great album here. The important thing to quickly snap that shot and enjoy the time. SOME day, I'll upgrade my phone with a faster shutter camera and may leave the heavy DSLR at home. Some day.    :)
(Wander over to to see more and to follow me!)