On Friday my oldest daughter turned 13. I now have a teenager and everyone tells me to watch out because the teen years are so difficult. What I didn’t understand was that I was the one who was going to get all emotional. I was not the mom who cried when her kids started school–I was relieved, but now that I see an end in sight to having kids at my house all the time I am starting to feel really scared. Who will I be when I am not known as Echo or Sadie’s mom? What will I do with myself when I don’t have so many kid activities to plan my week around? It really does just feel like yesterday that Echo was 2–so won’t 5 years fly by quickly too? I wonder if this is harder because we had kids fairly young and so didn’t have a lot of adult time without kids? I wonder if it is hard because my body is dropping extra eggs and trying to make me have one more baby–yikes. Perhaps in a week or so I will tell you how having a teenager in the house slows down time and I can’t wait until she leaves home. Right now–she is awesome, just a really fabulous kid (I mean teenager).
The original intent of this blog post was to show you that when Echo was a baby I took a break from photography. Even though I majored in photography in college, when Echo came along I was smack in the middle of getting my MSW and overwhelmed by anything other than school work and parenthood. I set aside my film cameras and just used a cheap point and shoot for most of her early photos. So–the quality isn’t great, I spent no time in photoshop, and I still treasure them immensely. Do I wish I had not lost my desire to take photos during that time—yes!! I always read on other photographer bio’s how they started their interest in photography when they had their first kid, but for me, having that kid sucked my creativity out of me. Luckily, the first affordable digital point and shoot cameras were around and they didn’t take much creativity or knowledge.
AND,this is what I love about photography. I love coming back to these moments and remembering. I like how they help me to tell the stories. I like making up stories for the photographs where I can’t remember where we were. So, to help me shed a few tears about my baby getting to be a teenager I thought I would share a few moments from her first two years of life.
The photos are in random order–showing her first couple of camping trips, her love of dress up, my total disregard of how to dress her, how young we were, how much junk I let her eat back then. They are so imperfect in so many ways, and I love them.
Okay, I feel a little better now. Man, those were some tough times. Diapers, temper tantrums, spending so much time trying to get her to sleep, playing make believe when I had barely slept the night before, camping with a sticky, smelly toddler who wants to go in and out of the tent all day long. They were really exhausting times, but also crazy fun.
Have a great time with your kids this week. Take some photos of them and photos of you together with them. Maybe, break out the point and shoot instead of your phone. These are old digital photos, but I still think they are better than most phone cameras. Plus, how many of you ever take those photos off your phone?
And then when you want to get the really good shots–give me a call. I would love to capture some imperfect moments of you and your kids.
One really difficult thing about living in Syracuse, NY is that we live far away from all of our family. And by far away, I mean two plane rides away. What we wouldn’t give to be a 3 hour flight away from family. Heck, I probably would have had more kids if I knew there would be a grandma or a grandpa around to keep me sane.
HOWEVER, it is great to have fun places to visit with the kids when we get to see family. Some family is in St. Louis, and some are in Omaha, NE (much cooler towns than you might image if you haven’t been before).
And–the favorite place to visit when you haven’t seen the sun in months—Arizona! This time, I set up some sessions while I was in town—an adorable baby session with my sister-in-law, and some horse sessions (a first for me).
Here are some of the actual sessions–sprinkled in with some pics of my kids thoroughly enjoying the sunshine.
I rarely get a non-smile photo of my youngest Sadie. I told her to be serious here.
One year old sweetness.
Dogs and baby–an obvious combination for cuteness.
A beautiful family.
My oldest Echo at an Arizona horse ranch–with the resident visiting small dog.
She turns 13 next week and my emotions are worse than when she started kindergarten.
I too struggle to get the “perfect” sibling shot. That is why I like to call these shots perfect.
This is what a horse does right after it gets groomed.
One of my fabulous mother-in-law’s (yup I’ve got two) with one of her horses.
So, I don’t know about you, but this winter is starting to get to me. The sun might be trying to peek out from behind the clouds today, but I swear I am suffering from some major lack of sunlight blah’s.
Luckily in the winter I mix things up a bit and take on sessions that I don’t really have time for in the summer–like head shots and band photos. And, thank goodness for some seriously adorable babies and kids to smile at me or else I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get out of bed each morning.
Here is a big mix of what I have been up to recently.
First some head shots for a beautiful, smart young woman who is starting her own business.
And then there was this adorable little guy.
I think he was showing off his muscles to me here.
And, funny adorable boys.
And more babies with big sisters.
And, let me tell you–if photographing a dad singing Insy wincy spider with his daughter doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don’t know what will.
I usually try to take the month of January to step back from my business and see what worked out and what didn’t work. To figure out where I need to impove, and to define what I am best at. The problem is I get distracted easily.
A distraction to get out at Green Lakes and pick up my camera and photograph something outside of my norm was a good distraction and lots of fun.
Okay–here is part two of this amazing wedding. I think you will see lots of my favorite things–laughing, a tent reception, a bluegrass band during cocktail hour, acrobatics, lots of dancing and singing. I think I will let the photos do the taking.
Liz and Connor thank you so much for choosing me to capture these moments.
Since I spent all weekend at this wedding I thought it was only fair that I showcase it in two blog posts.
Liz and Conner got married in New London, NH where they had spend their summers vacations. All the guests stayed in cabins (or camps), they had a little golf tournament the morning of the wedding and it seemed like a big fun family reunion. I don’t often travel for weddings, but I was persuaded to travel for this one because (a) I had photographed the brother of the brides wedding last summer and it was really fun (b) the location and laid back vibe of the wedding seemed right up my alley.
The cabin that the bride got ready at was pure camp–wood paneled walls, rocking chairs, stone fireplace–loved it.
My second shooter Tara came on this road trip with me and we had a great time. She even got to become a part of the story when she had to leave the guys to hunt down the grooms suit which he couldn’t find. Luckily we found the suit and Tara rushed it over to Connor.
Love dad’s first look of his daughter.
Connor got ready at an equally cool cabin.
A few of Tara’s shots of the golf tournament. There was much excitement when there was a hole in one.
I loved the lace on this dress.
The guys took a dip after golf–what a perfect day.
If you have stopped by my blog lately you may think I am only a wedding photographer, but I am actually a child and family photographer who also photographs weddings.
I can’t wait to show you some of the sessions I photographed this fall and summer. Up first–a group of ridiculously adorable kids all with their own cute personalities which I tried to capture the essence of.
I love love love this series.
I got some super cute smiles from this guy, but I just love the expression in this one.
Another classic family shot from me.
I hope this images give you a good idea what a session is like with me.
And–any more book recommendations from my year in review? I’d love to hear what you are reading.
Happy 2013 to you and to my poor neglected blog. It will get lots of attention this winter–especially since I have weddings that never got shared and plenty of sessions that only made it to Facebook.
As for books it was an okay year. A few books that I really liked, but mostly okay books. I didn’t actually read that many books. My “to read” list is getting longer every year and it is starting to stress me out that I will never get around to reading all the books that I want to read. I think if I give up on the NY Times I could do it, but that would be hard to give up. This is now my forth year blogging about the books I have read. Here is 2011, 2010, and 2009 if you are ever stuck looking for a book to read. Mostly I keep this list to help me remember what I have read. I know there are all sorts of online ways to do this, but for now I like just jotting the titles down in a notebook and then at the end of the year looking back to see what if anything I remember from each book.
This year I added the concerts and shows I have seen that stuck with me because–I am starting to forget them as well and thought it would be a good way to remember. Maybe this is why I became a photographer–I have such a bad memory I need visual assistance to help me remember anything.
As always, let me know your one or two favorite books of the year. I want to add them to my ever expanding to read list.
This was a book club book. I had loved Bel Canto so I was really excited for this book. While the book was very readable and we had a good discussion at our meeting, I was left disappointed and felt it was just a little too far fetched and left too many questions unanswered.
This was one of those books that I was seeing everywhere, but when one of my bride’s recommended it after last years blog I decided to pick it up. I don’t normally get into self-help books and although I really wanted to like this one, I didn’t. Everything she said was great, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was reading a book about how to be happier and I was reading about it instead of being out there and living it.
What to do when you need a vampire book to read and you have already read the Twilight books and the Sookie Stackhouse books? I came across a review for this book about a suburban vampire family and decided to give it a try. It was an entertaining read and I haven’t had to read about another vampire since finishing it. I hear the book was made into a tv show as well, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Maybe when I get bored with True Blood I will try to find it.
This book has been sitting on my husband’s book shelf forever. I think he read it back in college. The cover of the book never really appealed to me, but once I started the book I think it was one of the favorite books I read this year. It is squarely in the YA science fiction genre, but don’t let that discourage you–it is Ender that you want to read about. I hear it is going to be a movie this year. I think there are a few more in the series that I may check out this year, but this one stood on it’s own.
I just discovered the Kindle Singles. They are short stories, memoirs, or essays that run no more than .99-1.99. They are perfect in-between reads for when you just finish a book, but are not ready to dive right into another one yet. This one was a very humorous account of the authors experience with a serious medical issue. I laughed aloud on many occasions.
Another kindle single. I had seen many people read the Three Cups of Tea, and family members had recommended it to me, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. When I saw this single by Jon Krakauer (an author I have always enjoyed ) I had to see what his take was. As always, an eye-opening read by a journalist who knows how to make facts interesting. If you have read the Three Cups of Tea book, you should definitely check this book out.
The American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld was one of my favorite recent reads. I passed it on, recommended it, and they story just stuck with me. So, when I was looking for a book to read I thought I should try out another one of her books. I had no trouble reading this book, it kept me entertained, but I can’t really remember anything about it now.
This was another one of my favorite reads this year. Last year when I read the Hunger Games it was so great to get swept into a book–I had forgotten what it was like to stay up half the night to finish a book and I wanted that feeling again. It seems that YA books do the best pacing jobs to give me that feeling and all YA books right now are dystopian stories. This is another one of those stories, but well done. I am excited to see that another book in this series comes out later this month.
This book was getting a ton of press, but I wasn’t really into reading a memoir. Then I read Dwight Garner’s review of the book in the NY Times. In his review he tells how he was “puddle-eyed” while reading the book. He also said, Parts of this frank and witty book belong in “Best American Sex Writing 2013.” So–I gave it a try. It is a great book, but didn’t quite affect me the way it did Dwight Garner, and I wish it had.
This was my book club pick this year. Mitt Romney had been in the news a lot, and so had talk of Mormons so I thought this book that recounts the story of one of Brigham Young’s wives while also telling the story of the history of this religion was a perfect fit. This is a long book, but my whole book club read it and we had a really interesting discussion. Perfect bit of historical fiction.
This was one of those books that I had downloaded the free part from my kindle and although I didn’t intend to read it right away I couldn’t put it down once I started it. I ended up having to buy the kindle edition because it was way too popular at the library. Then I wanted my friends to read it so I could discuss the ending with them.
I was kind of uncomfortable reading this book about a kidnap victim who is kept in a shed with her small child. The book is told from the viewpoint of the 4 year old kid. I found the voice she created for the child was very effective and it was memorable.
I’ve heard either you like Anne Lamott or you hate her. I loved her book Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son’s First Year which I read back when my 12 year old was first born. I was excited and surprised to see that her son which she wrote about in that earlier book is now a dad himself and that story has now been documented. It wasn’t nearly as good as Operating Instructions, but if you had read that book I would recommend this one to see how everyone is now doing.
In 2011 I traveled to Guatemala to visit some friends who were living there. This story tells the story of the author’s journey from Guatemala north determined to “join the revolution”. It is also the story of falling in love when you are 19 and wanting to do something with your life. Like many of my books this year, it didn’t blow me away, but it was a good, quick read, and since I had been to Guatemala it felt a little more personal.
If you haven’t already heard of this book you will soon. I heard about it from my former bride, and it was a really powerful story of two teenagers with cancer and their love of a book. I really fell in love with these kids, and while teens reading this might relate to Hazel and Augustus the two teenagers, I found myself relating to the parents in the story.
As many of you know I have been heavily involved in the world of cancer, recently documenting my friends journey with breast cancer. Although this wasn’t always an easy book to read and I did get a little bogged down half way through, I would highly recommend it. Mukherjee somehow turns what could be very dry information into a page-turning story.
This is a great book, but reading another non-fiction book right after finishing The Emperor of all Maladies was a bit too much and the reading was slow going for me.
I still try to read aloud to my kids (9 and 12), but it is getting harder and harder. I did get in a few books this year, and Jason continued to read them the Lord of the Rings series.
Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Matthew Cordell (really fun book that I read to Sadie-great to read aloud, but she could have easily read it herself), Bread Crumbs by Anne Ursu(the kids and I enjoyed this while we were reading it, but I don’t remember much about it now), The Princess Bride by William Goldman ( I had read this book in high school and I forgot how exactly like the movie it is. Still, really fun to read to the kids and then watched the movie together).
Didn’t finish: Mink River by Brian Doyle (the writing was just too weird for me, but I’m sure it was genius), Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel( I am going to come back to this one), Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (really enjoyed this one, but lots of other books on my night stand made me want to rush it).
I saw two great live bands this year.
When we moved to Syracuse I promised myself that we would take advantage of living so close to NYC. We try to get out there once or twice a year and we try to see a show every time we go.
This year we caved and bought tickets to Wicked. We like to just get cheap tickets to things last minute, but Wicked is one of those shows that you can’t find cheap tickets to, and the kids really wanted to see it.
I got to go to NYC once with my girlfriends and I talked them into seeing One Man Two Goveners with me. I thought it was hilarious.
We were in NYC on opening weekend for the revival of Annie. It was fun, but packed with kids who had to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes and that was pretty annoying.
Peter and the Starcatchers was my surprise favorite this year. We drove out to NYC in time to see the 2pm Annie show. Then we had a big dinner, and at the last minute I decided that we should see another show. Jason was sure he would fall asleep. We got to the show and for the first 30 minutes Echo kept saying, “I don’t understand what is going on”–she said that while laughing her head off. This was one of those shows that I could see myself seeing over and over again. I loved it.
And that is my list this year. Happy Reading and Happy 2013!!