Blog Circle – Close-Up Portraiture

January’s topic for my monthly Clickin’ Moms blog circle was close-up portraiture… and who better for me to focus on (omg, focus on.  Total camera nerd pun.) than my two favorite little people in the whole world?

 

The thing is… my boys don’t like me to take their picture.  Not even a little bit.  They see my camera pointed at them, and they run the other way.  Or bury their face in the couch cushions.  Or just stick out their tongues.  So I pulled out all the stops for a bribe.

 

I offered them a dollar.  And here is what I got.

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

close-up little boy portrait

 

I think I got my money’s worth – do you?

 

Now head on over to the lovely Anna Hollister’s blog to see how she views close-ups.

 

 

Lensbaby Project – January

“Oooookay Julie,” you may be wondering, “what is a Lensbaby?”  Well, let me tell ya.  It’s a cool kind of lens that fits right on SLR cameras that you can use to get some really cool effects, like tilt-shift (making things look miniature), blur, selective focus, etc.   So I was super excited when my husband got me the Lensbaby Spark for Christmas, and even more excited to find a great group of ladies on Clickin’ Moms who all wanted to challenge themselves to take great photos with their Lensbabies.  Should that be Lensbabys?  I don’t know.

 

It’s been a challenge learning how to use the Spark, but it’s been a lot of fun.  And it forced me to go out and shoot for ME – which I don’t get to do very often.  I don’t really have a ‘theme’ for my photos this month other than ‘trying to figure out how to work this thing.’  But here are a few of my favorites!

 

sledriding with Lensbaby Spark

Now go check out Long Beach Photographer Miss Chia‘s Lensbaby photos from this month!

The Way I View… Blessings

This is my second month participating in a blog circle with a bunch of talented ladies I met on Clickin’ Moms.  Since November is, of course, the month with Thanksgiving in it, we are sharing the way we view the blessings in our life.  There really aren’t words to describe how blessed and thankful I am for my little family – so I will share about a thousand photos instead.  I have a wonderful husband who has supported me through finishing college, graduate school, throughout my career, and now my photography business.  I fell in love with him because he made me laugh… and he still does, every day.  Also?  Handsome.

mike

We had quite a long November (thanks pneumonia) and decided to celebrate Thanksgiving alone, just the four of us.  I missed our big, extended family, but it was a great decision and just what we needed.  I spent the day cooking (which I actually really enjoy), hanging out with my boys, and taking a few pictures of the little moments we spent together that day.

 

During our Thanksgiving dinner, I set up the tripod and used the remote to capture a couple of shots of us enjoying our dinner together.  These shots aren’t perfect, but they capture us pretty well… especially the second one ;)

 

This one is proof of what happens when a little boy has too much pumpkin pie (and discovers his mama’s camera remote)!

 

The day after Thanksgiving, I set up the tripod again and captured some little moments with me and my sons.  I have been wanting to do this for a while and I am so glad to have these photos.

Those little moments?  These are the blessings I am so thankful for.

 

Head on over to Laurie’s blog to see how she views blessings.

 

 

The Way I View… Dress-Up

I am so very excited this month to be a part of a blog circle with a group of suuuuuper talented ladies!  This is how it works: every month, each of us writes a blog post on the topic of “The Way I View… something.”  This month’s “something” is dress-up, to coincide with Halloween.

 

As the mom of two boys, there isn’t a ton of dress-up happening in our house.  There is plenty of acting like ninjas and Spiderman (both of these involve jumping off the couch into a pile of pillows in order to save the world, obviously) and pretending to have “creature powers” like the Wild Kratts – but none of these things really require costumes.  So the only time my boys really do dress up is on Halloween.

 

I thought for a long time about what they should be for Halloween – they are still at ages (2 and 4) where I can persuade them to be something theme-y and matching.  They have been pretty obsessed with the Winnie the Pooh movie this year – we’ve watched it probably a hundred times.  The movie is actually really cute and clever, so I don’t mind that much.  Plus, my younger son has a stuffed Pooh Bear that he is really attached to.  He even brought Pooh to the hospital with him last month when he had pneumonia (my poor little baby).

 

So… I thought the boys could be Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

 

Thanks in part to that hospital visit documented above (thankfully all is well now and my little boy is back to his healthy, sweet self), October somehow flew by and I didn’t get to take the boys outside in their costumes for photos.  When I realized a few days ago that it was the next-to-last day of October and I still needed to get these photos taken, the ground was still a muddy, cold mess thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  So I made do with an indoor setup.  I’ll still try for outdoor photos whenever I can since outdoor photos are more my style, but I kinda love these just the same!

And this one makes my heart happy – I just love how much these boys love each other!  I love that they are best buddies.

Now go check out the crazy-talented Anna Hollister Photography to see how Anna views dress-up!

at the library with my loves

One of the things I am desperately wanting to get better at is documenting everyday moments in my boys’ lives.  I take my camera with me when we go on big trips, but I hardly ever carry it during our everyday errands.  I am also totally guilty of begging my kids to look at me with pleasant expressions on their faces… and while that makes for cute photos (sometimes, anyway – I mean, it rarely works since my kids are so.over.it.) – it’s not them.  So today I took them to the library.  I let them explore.  I hung back and watched them and let them be themselves.  And – I brought my camera.  Here are some of my favorite shots from my morning with my very favorite people in the world.

 

(You can click on the photos to see them bigger.)

 

Road Trip Randoms

August was a busy month, not only for photography, but also for VACATION! My little family took not just one, but two road trips. And yes, I will take an award for surviving two road trips with a 2-year-old, a 4-and-a-half-year-old (“the ‘and-a-half’ is VERYIMPORTANTMOM!”), and my husband who looooves to come up with – ahem – “better” routes than GPS shows us. About 3 hours “better.”  Yeah.

Aaaanyway. Our first trip brought us to Greenville, SC, where we visited my lovely sisters-in-law and our niece and nephews. Being mama to two boys doesn’t give me very much girly time, so I practically begged my niece, Abby, to let me buy her a pretty dress and take some pictures. FINALLY a model who would stand still and pose for me! Here are a few of my favorite shots of Abby! Isn’t she beautiful?!?

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Our second road trip was up north (instead of down south) – we went to visit one of my very favorite friends and her sweet little family in Massachusetts, and we all spent several days on a lake in Maine. It was SO relaxing and SO good to hang out with them. We did a family photo swap, and here are some of the photos I took of Jess and her family!

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So we had a great time driving up and down the East Coast, spending time with cousins and friends and dogs and boats and water. And now, here it is, almost Labor Day – and I am already dreaming of our next road trip vacation!

I Shot My Friend :)

I just realized I never posted any of these photos I took of my very good friend Jess. She visited me from Boston(ish) a couple of months ago, and since she is a photographer too (check out her work here!), we decided to shoot each other. With our cameras.It is SO strange being on the other side of the camera, and we both laughed a LOT. It was lots of fun, and she is super pretty so my camera loved her. Here are a few of my favorites:
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I am really lucky to have such a fun and talented friend! My family and hers are going on vacation together later this summer, and I can.not.wait. I am sure our husbands and kids will be totally sick of our cameras by the time the week is over, but it’s going to be an absolute blast!And you will get to see the photos she took of ME when I launch my new website (that should happen sometime within the next couple of months)!

My (Not-So) Little Boy

My older son turns four tomorrow. I don’t know exactly where the time has gone, but I do know that somehow he has changed from a snuggly baby into a smart, funny, amazing little guy.A few weeks ago my father-in-law sent me his old twin lens camera to play with and I thought that it would make a great prop for a vintage-themed photo shoot (I’ll learn to use it for real someday soon, I promise). So I dressed my little boy up in an adorable (um, I mean handsome) vest, tie, and cap, and bribed the HECK out of him to get him to cooperate.I might be a little biased, but I think he’s super adorable (I mean handsome. He keeps reminding me!) and I am so happy with how the photos turned out. Now I have to decide which one I want printed on a canvas for our wall. I can’t pick a favorite, so get ready for picture overload (and feel free to tell me which one is YOUR favorite in the comments)!
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Happy Birthday, Henry. I love you so.

Birthday photo fun!

I’ve been browsing Pinterest a lot for ideas for upcoming photo shoots (I’m not addicted to Pinterest or anything – I can quit anytime I want). I saw a cute idea that I thought would work perfectly with one of my son’s first birthday photos. Isn’t this a really cute way to document each year and describe the birthday boy (or girl) in just a few words?
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I’m really happy with how this turned out, and I am definitely going to try to make this a tradition with my two boys!