Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter Photos

With the Easter holiday rapidly approaching you may want to take a few minutes now to prepare your camera and gather your ideas on what part of the holiday you are going to document.  Many parents will dress their children in special Easter outfits and gather them for a photo shoot or family portrait.  While this is a great idea and an excellent opportunity to capture a family photo, there are a few other events during this holiday that make for awesome photo ops.

1.)    Easter egg decorating.  This is a wonderful photo opportunity for those parents who dye and/or decorate eggs with their kids.  These photos will remind you of that innocent age when your kids expressed their artistic and creative side in a way that only their young minds would allow!  Plus they will bring back great memories when your children are grown with kids of their own.  A tip you may want to keep in mind is that if your egg decorating will be indoors, make sure the area is well lighted and the background is free of clutter so your pictures will be even better.

2.)    Easter egg hunting.  Documenting this event with photos is a great way to remember the excitement of when your children really believed an Easter bunny dropped off all those awesome eggs for them to find.  It also gives you a great opportunity to capture facial expressions of the excitement your kids felt when they found those eggs.   Just remember they will be moving at a faster pace, so you may want to have your camera set on action mode to avoid blurry photos!

3.)    When you sit down and explain the true meaning of Easter with your kids, have someone take a few pictures.  This will remind you of the time you spent with your children when they were young and so eager to learn.  Maybe sit down with your kids in a circle, or in your lap, and when you open the Bible to read the true story of Easter, have your spouse or a friends snap a few pictures.  These pictures may not be something you frame or share with others, but they will always have a special meaning to you and remind you of some of the most innocent times you shared with your little ones.

Below are a few of my daughter's first and second Easters:

This was her first time decorating eggs...she was VERY excited!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pink, Pink, Pink and MORE PINK!!!!

I recently found out my baby #4 is a girl!  FOUR GIRLS!!!!  What have I gotten myself into?  My husband so desperately wants a baby boy so it was very hard breaking the news to him; especially after he had convinced himself and the family it was a boy.  At the ultrasound appointment, the doctor informed me it is the man that carries the Y chromosome needed to make the boy so the fact I can blame all of this on my husband makes it so much easier.  I told him to get it together, and then come see me about making a boy because I cannot handle another girl.  Even my daughters were disappointed when they learned they were not having a baby brother.  My oldest insist this just means I will have to have another baby so she can have a brother!  I did always dream of having five kids but now that I have three-about to be four-I am not sure if I can handle five.  I guess the positive is that every time we have a baby its a 50/50 chance of being a boy!?!?!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Crazy Mama!

As I reflect over the past five years, I realized as a parent I have let my children do some crazy, over the top things.  The funny thing is, I never really even notice it until someone else sees a picture and asks "Did you really let them do that?".  It has made me stop and think, am I a bad parent?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, I never noticed how crazy we are getting because we are busy having so much fun and living in the moment!  While I don't think that qualifies me as a bad parent, I do think it means I have to be careful as a mother to make sure I am not confusing my kids between the difference of having fun and being safe.  Below are a few crazy things we have done you have any to share?

Indoor Swimming.  Yes, this is a swimming pool in our living room!  At the time, we had a large wasp nest in our backyard and it just seemed like the safer option....and I got my tile floors cleaned at the same time!

Eat an entire cake.  In our defense, it was her birthday and she had been waiting for a Brobee Yo Gabba Gabba cake the whole year.

Where a swim suit the whole the middle of winter.  My kids love being active, but swimming is one of their favorites.  Letting her wear the swim suit was a compromise to not filling the bath tub up with water so she could practice her diving skills!

What crazy moments have you shared with your kids?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Portraits on the Cheap

Hiring a professional photographer or visiting a portrait studio can be expensive, especially for those of us who live on a tight budget.  Here are some easy tips for taking your own family portraits and still getting that professional look:

1.  Pick a good location.  Luckily for me, we have several parks and nature centers nearby so there are plenty of places to pick from.  Try and find a place that will provide a unique but colorful background.
2.  When you are planning the photo shoot, don't forget about the sun.  It has the ability to make or break your pictures.  I always go first thing in the morning, usually around 8-9 a.m.  If you plan anything after 10 a.m., plan for shadows, squinting faces, and sweat!  Or, if your not a morning person, try something around 6-7 p.m., right before the sun goes down.
3.  Make sure your kids and anyone else that will be in the picture wear solid colors or colors that coordinate well with each other.  Doing this is just another step you can take to ensure a successful photo shoot.

4.  Make sure you bring your tripod!  The last thing you want is a family portrait without you in it!  I was able to capture our family picture (below) by using the timer on my camera and a tripod.  It was that easy!

BONUS TIP:  Another little secret I will share is the quality of your printed images will depend greatly on where you choose to have them developed.  A few top online professional developers I would recommend are:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Babies and Baskets

Baby Mesha

It's extremely important for me as a parent to capture images of my children while they are so young because as every parent knows, these moments will fly by in the blink of an eye.  The secret to capturing innocent moments like this include a few easy steps:

  1. Get them while their sleeping!  If your kids are anything like mine, they are light sleepers and will wake up at the slightest noise or movement.  So for me to pull this off, I had to wait until she was long over due for a nap and had fallen into a deep sleep.  Once she reached this state, it didn't matter how many times I moved her or re-positioned her, there was no way she was going to wake up.
  2. Start early!  This image was captured during her first six weeks of life.  The reason I recommend this age is because they usually sleep the most during this time frame and not mention they are so little!
Baby Mayanha

  1. Use props!  For this shot, I used an old wicker basket and a baby blanket my grandmother made for her.  This not only adds different textures to the image but it also makes the picture even more sentimental.
  2. Have fun and enjoy yourself!  Like I said before, we only get to experience these moments once in life so make sure you make the most of it!

          Baby Mariah

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Grandkids

I love the way this picture shows each grandkid's own personality.   Before I took the picture I was trying to get all the kids to look at me and smile but when that didn't work I gave up.  It wasn't until after the photo shoot when I was reviewing the photos that I realized how beautiful this image really was.  Not to mention how calm and relaxed grandma is, even with all those wild grandchildren!