Category Archives: photography

What do you like to do you in your free time?

This question has been a hard one for me to answer for years, mostly because I don’t feel like I have a lot of free time. I’m in mom mode almost 24/7 and kids are constantly interrupting me. I used to have a lot of things that kept me occupied during my “free” time. I played the piano, played the guitar, wrote music, went hiking, created art, edited videos, and much more… just for fun. Now I find that my free time includes cleaning or staring blankly at a screen.  I think a lot of moms feel like this, you give yourself over completely to motherhood and you seem to lose yourself. While I don’t completely agree that I’ve lost myself to motherhood, because I feel like motherhood has changed who I am and I think my old self is far too small for my new life as mom. However, I do feel that as a mother I need to have a strong sense of self in order to be the best mom I can be. This is often found through self-care, the one area that I find myself neglecting. I’m getting better about making time to care for myself but it’s still only maintenance. I’m learning that self care goes beyond taking a shower, going shopping alone, working out, or getting a pedicure every so often. Self care is about making time for things that bring me life. It’s about creating “free time” to have a hobby.

For many years now I’ve been playing with photography. It’s an intimidating and expensive hobby but it’s something that brings me peace and joy. I enjoy capturing moments and my role as mother has only intensified my desire to capture so many moments. There have been time when motherhood was so overwhelming the only self care I could manage was a shower every few days but the newborn phases are gone and now I can carve out a little time for me. I just recently pulled out my dusty old camera and have decided to start photographing moments. My craft may not be perfected but for me photography isn’t about the end result, it’s about slowing down and stepping back to observe and embrace life around me. It’s a form of self care for me. As a mother, as a wife and as a human I think find free time to have a hobby is so important.

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5 Creative Photos for your Holiday Cards #HolidayCardPhotos

5 Creative Photos for Your Holiday Cards

It’s that time of the year that I start panicking about Christmas gifts and cards and decorations and all that accompanies the Holiday season. However, of the last few years I’m learning that sometimes gift giving can be as simple as a picture. Photo Christmas cards are beloved by our family members, especially when they are of my adorable kiddos.

Creative Christmas Photo Ideas

The first step to a good photo holiday card is a great photograph. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer or know how to use fancy photo editing software to get a great picture, you just need to use a little creativity.

Here are 5 of my favorite Creative Photo ideas of your Holiday Photo Cards:

Matching Outfits – Everyone wearing the same shirt or even similar colors automatically creates a pleasant palate for a photograph.

Local Outdoor Landmarks – Get outside, not only will the natural light make everyone look great a nice background or famous landmark makes for a very visually interesting picture.

A String of Lights – This is one of my favorites. It’s so simple but does require a decent camera setting. I suggest testing out your setting and different lighting options before committing to this set up to ensure great pictures. But I have to admit, the glow for the Christmas lights brings a magical touch to any picture.

Holiday Ornaments – A photo of everyone hold their favorite Christmas ornament is not only festive but serves as a great memento for the future.

Real Life – Don’t get overwhelmed with creating the perfect pictures. Let life happen, especially if you have small kids. Embrace the messy hair, the funny faces and the distractions. This is real life and everyone appreciates a look into your real life.

After you take some great photos then you creating a festive and memorable holiday card is easy. There are so many fun card designs available.

Paper Culture Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards from Paper Culture

Paper Culture Holiday Card

 

This post was inspired by Paper Culture known for their eco-friendly photo holiday cards and personalized gifts.

This is a sponsored post for Global Influence.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Tips for Photographing Your Own Children

photographing children

I’m not a professional photographer but I play one on TV… no wait I don’t even do that. I like to pretend I know what I’m doing when it comes to photography but I’m really just faking my way till I make something that resembles a decent photo.

My most common subjects for photography are my own children. I try to capture their everyday shenanigans and make it look pretty but I don’t often try to get posed group shots for things like holiday cards… cause it’s hard to photograph your own children. They don’t listen to you the rest of the year why are they going to suddenly become perfect photography subjects. They aren’t. But there are a few tricks I’ve learned (mostly from trial and error) that I want to share.

1. Go in with low expectations – Seriously, if you want some perfectly posed kids photos you will be sorely disappointed. Go in with the mindset that the day may be a complete flop. I prefer to let my main goal be, HAVE FUN. If you aim to create a fun experience for you kids you might actually get some unplanned awesomeness from your kids.

2. Choose a child friendly location – But not too child friendly. I once attempted photographs at a playground on a gorgeous day and my kids just disappeared into the flock of playing children. They never sat still and I was beyond frustrated. Choose a location that isn’t too distracting but is also safe and child-friendly. We like to visit local parks (not playgrounds) that have wide open spaces that allow children to run around.

3. Use props – I try to utilize new and unique objects that hold their attention long enough for them to sit still. Toddlers especially need props. Bring along a chair, bench, blanket, basket, stuffed animal, snack, toy, etc…

4. Have a helper – Have another adult accompany you when taking your children’s photos. The other adult can help wrangle kids, make funny faces behind you so they might smile, or carry your stuff around. If possible have a helper, often my helper is my husband… he doesn’t like the photographer’s helper job very much but at least I’m not out there alone with 3 kids.

5. Go with the flow – You’ve already set your expectations low but you have to remember to go with the flow. If the kids want to pick some flowers or sit on a tractor or play with the leaves use that to your advantage. You want to encourage them to have fun so you will get smiles. If they aren’t having fun you will have some sad faces in the pictures.

6. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. – If your 1st attempt at photos is a bust, don’t force it. Kids aren’t always feeling it and if they are overtired, hungry or just in a bad mood you should stop while your ahead and plan pictures for another day. Everyone will appreciated it.

Like I said, I’m not photography expert but these tips helped me get some decent and funny photos of my boys.

photographing your children