Category Archives: Natural Light
The days seem to be meshing together and sometimes I really have to think back and make sure I did something for the day. This morning, as we do a couple times a week, we visited Smokem. Watching him, back lit in the arena doors, I wanted to do a picture, but I actually wanted one of me. I adjusted the camera settings and set the focus and handed the camera to my daughter. We did a couple before I had one that I liked. After I was done, she and my son both wanted to have one done as well. So today’s portrait includes me. I’ll share the one my daughter took, as well as the two I did of them.
I am 48 days into this challenge. Some days have been really tough to pull something out and I feel like it was half effort. Other days I feel like I pulled out all of the stops and really created beautiful images. I have ideas I still want to include in this challenge, stuff that has been in my head for well over a year, things I am working hard on and trying to find the time to get it together. Then there are days, when I see something, and have to act.
The other day, when I photographed my daughter and my niece reading books, I happened to glance over and see this old gas station. This place has been here for years. I remember seeing it almost twenty years ago when I was in high school. It never quite registered in my brain until I saw it that evening out there doing pictures and I thought I had to use it. So I got these little coveralls, created a name badge, bought my four year old his own tools, and headed out to photograph my little blue collar boy. I also did something I rarely ever do, and that was photography in full direct sunlight. It can be so tricky to get it right, but I have seen other photographers really do some amazing work with it, and I decided that I was going to use it today.
And then I had him stand away from the pumps a little bit to get a different angle.
And he pulled this face and informed me nicely “This will be the last picture, okay Mom.”
So I took this last picture, and he was done.
Today was pack meeting. My brothers were never big in scouts, but my husband and his brothers were. I was also the Webelos leader for a long while and I LOVE scouts. My son is about to turn nine, and we, sadly, struggled getting him to his meetings regularly until the past couple of months. So he had to put a lot of work into a small amount of time to get my son his Wolf before he aged up to Bears. Last night at Pack meeting he got bombarded by awards and he was beaming. He got his wolf, a gold arrow point, and a bunch of belt loops! He was so proud!
With his friend! These guys are scout buddies!
It was a bad day. The kind of day that leaves a mother counting the days until school starts again. I love my children. I do not love my children teasing each other and fighting and not listening when mother says “Stop that this instant!” But the wise Bill Cosby reminds me that “all children are brain dead” and we simply have to hope for a better day tomorrow.
I had a plan for today, but couldn’t get it together. I thankfully brought my camera to my kids horseback riding lessons today because there was literally no other chance today to do anything worthwhile and I am not sure I would have had the patience by the end of the day anyway. Also, my kids love their lessons. I love that this is becoming part of our lives. I love that we are totally becoming fully horse people. And I love the proud feeling I get seeing them up there in their grubbies and helmets and gaining this unique confidence.
Today I promised my daughter she could be the subject of my portraits. I decided I wanted to do something that reflected something she loves to do, and that is read. This girl reads all of the time. She loves to read. She is allowed to stay up later than her brothers to read and I can’t count how many times I have found her, fast asleep, lights on, book open and falling from her hands.
And her cousin is in town from Idaho, so I took the chance to get a couple of her as well.
I’ve decided to work my way through costumes and accessories I have gotten over the years, inspired to do shoots with and never followed through on them. Today, I knew we were making the drive to Fairview, Utah, for the birthday party of little “E” from my recent blog post. Fairview is about an hour away and very rural. It was the perfect chance to pull out this beauty of a jacket I picked up a while back. Those who know me know my love for anything from days gone by. I love old books, cameras, furniture and CLOTHING! I like trying to recreate the past. I love daydreaming of the lives of those who’s hands they might have passed through.
This particular find reminded me of an image of my Grandpa Sam as a young boy, in chaps and a ten gallon hat and holding a toy pistol. This is a beautiful suede western jacket from the 1950’s. I could just imagine a little boy playing Cowboys and Indians with his friends, running down the street and having amazing, imaginary, battles. So that is what inspired this particular shoot. I wanted my boys to look like I could have pulled these images out of an old card board box hiding on the shelf in my grandmothers closet.
And then we went to the party, and had bacon, and jalapeno bratwurst, and the kids had waffles and sausage, and the cake was donuts and it was pretty awesome. They played games and had fun on the slip and slide (oh, and not one of these kids knew how to properly slip and slide, time for some lessons…) and it was getting late and we headed home. And on the way home I was watching the light. I LOVE light. It’s my friend. And this light, was beckoning to me to stop the car and do more pictures… so I did. And I am smitten.
So after yesterday’s huge session and the fact that it took days to prepare for, I started trying to justify not doing today. I did four kids yesterday so I can count four days right? I won’t let myself skip a day. I am really good at finding excuses and not seeing things to completion and I am trying really, really hard not to let me sabotage myself.
Yesterday was so high stress I took today really low key. First we went to the horse and I had gotten some pictures of him. And I considered counting that for today… but since he isn’t a human child, and at about 20 years old he can’t be considered a child in the human world or the animal world, I convinced my four year old to blow me some bubbles instead.
Oh… and the horse. 😉
I’m forcing myself to sit at the computer and write today’s post. I am so very, very tired. As you know already (that is, if you read my blog, which I know you do because you love me right?) I spent the last couple of days sewing a costume for my daughter for today’s big shoot. The boys were easy, but my daughters was not. I really dislike sewing. I can do it, but I really prefer to pay someone else to do it for me. But I had to be ready for today.
There is a lavender farm here in Utah. Rows and rows of beautiful purple flowers which bloom into the summer. I have wanted to do portraits there for two years, but I always miss it. The plan for today was to make the hourish drive down to Mona and photograph my children in the lavender. I had already made the reservation and since the harvest is happening next week, and all the lavender will be gone, I had to do the session today. I was up until almost 2 AM finishing the costume and the head piece. Then the plan was to be up at 6 AM to get to my moms at 7 AM so my sister in law could do my daughters hair. At 5:30 AM I got a text from my brother, his wife was having an allergic reaction and they were going to the ER. She is okay, thankfully, but plans changed. I let the kids sleep a little extra and then got my daughter up to curl her hair myself with my really cheap and crappy curing iron. It took over an hour! But it looked fantastic.
Thankfully, I had loaded the car the night before so I just put all the kids in their buckles and headed out. We weren’t too late, only about 20 minutes later than I wanted to get there, so it was good. The downer was the gray skies. I was worried it was going to rain on us, but it didn’t and really the clouds don’t look too terrible.
We got there, got the kids dressed and I set up and then I remembered really quickly why I attempt a portrait of my four children in one picture only ONCE every year.
My monologue directed at my children went something like this:
“You, sit here. Now you, sit there. You and you, there and there. Turn here. Stop picking your nose. Look here. Sit back down! Hold this. Look here. No, look here! Hold still. Look here! Smile. No, SMILE! Let go of your sister! Look at me! Now! If you don’t sit still, look at me and smile you are going to be grounded for a week! I said don’t pick your nose! Don’t pout! LOOK AT ME DANG IT!”
There was more to this scene, but you get the idea. Anyhow, I have a whole year before I have to try this again…. right?
But it was all worth the effort. I am so happy with the effort and the results and as a reward for “good” behavior, I took the kids to Trafalga! (Or, as my four year old calls it, and the rest of us have adopted the translation “Triggerfalga”.)
And then, while I was shooting, we got a visitor. A gentleman who is a landscape photographer, told me about some nearby ponds that would be beautiful for these. I was determined to go but three out of four children had already changed back into their normal clothing, so my youngest was my subject for this quick little jaunt to the ponds. I would love to go back and do some more there as it really was a pretty area.
I know, it’s another half effort post. We spent the day running errands and sewing costumes for my big shoot tomorrow. So tomorrow’s post will be a big deal but tonight, it’s my swim kids. They love the pool and with the horse keeping us busy, we haven’t been to the pool. I love their wet faces.
I promised I would get in the water if they let me take their pictures.
Today was a rare day, spent 100% at home. I didn’t go anywhere. Why? Because I spent the whole day working on a costume for a shoot I am planning for Thursday. I pulled out the sewing machine, something I try to do a little as possible, but every time I do pull it out, my little seamstress must sew with me. Today she made a whole outfit for her American Girl Doll and a matching skirt for herself. She doesn’t use a pattern. She makes it up. She’s made some pretty creative things, including little stuffed animals she’s given to her siblings and friends, that she sewed entirely by hand.