Lifestyle Photography: what it is and what’s to love

If you’ve ever endured a photography session at a traditional studio, perhaps inside a mall or department store, I’m guessing you’ve had an experience that goes a little something like this:

You show up about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, entering a room that has nearly reached fire code capacity.  There are no seats to be found amidst the sea of denim and Aqua Net, so you send the family into the lobby while you fight your way to the counter to check in.  Returning to the lobby, you find your son has successfully managed to remove every last trace of gel from his hair and your daughter is lying down on the ground, shoes off, practicing what appears to be the “stop, drop and roll” technique.

By the time they call you back into the broom closet to take photos, the kids are on the verge of a stage 5 meltdown and the adults are no longer speaking except through clenched teeth.  Despite the photographer’s desperate attempts at amusing a 3-year-old with a dog toy, the uproarious enthusiasm that played out in the lobby is nowhere to be found.

In an effort to avoid this grueling experience and to take a photo that captures the true-to-life spirit of their children, many families have forgone or at least supplemented the traditional “pose and say cheese” studios with what is known as “lifestyle photography.” Continue reading


“Going Turquoise:” Little farmer, big ideas

A few years ago if you had asked me what a hoe is used for, my response would have been comparable to that of a 13-year-old boy’s—wildly inappropriate and unbearably immature.

But, as happens more often than not, my children have inspired me to look at life and the simple act of gardening in a whole new way. My husband and I first started our garden when we moved into our home with its modest backyard.  He removed some palm trees, made a little raised bed and my son and I went at it.  We planted whatever our little hearts desired, just for the sheer joy of playing in the mud and seeing what would grow.  This is now our garden’s third year, and I still have not mastered the planting season, correct seed spacing—none of it.   In an effort to stick to a planting schedule and attempt to grow things in an orderly fashion, we have opted to give our little man his own garden space so that he can farm according to his liking.  The last couple seasons he has opted for sunflowers, which are a GREAT crop for little ones.  They are extremely tolerant and grow quickly as you can see below. Continue reading

Hurry up and stop growing!

When you’re a mother, it is absolutely vital that you master the art of roshambo—paper/rock/scissors, ick-ack-ock, whatever you call it in your household.  You need to get your mind right and have a plan of attack because when the screaming baby strikes at 3am and your head is cloudy and your senses dulled, this is when your husband will strike you with the old, “Paper/rock/scissors for it?”  He knows exactly what he’s doing.  He knows that in your moment of weakness you are going to pull out the same old move you always go for and he’ll be ready for it.  So, trust me, throw in a wild card every now and then, and mix your game plan up if you’re going to actually win this and come out the victorious sleeping beauty. 

The next time you find yourself at the losing end of this battle and you’re pin-balling down the hall to the baby’s room at unspeakable hours of the night (or is it morning?), you may find yourself wondering when you will ever sleep through the night again.  I know I did.  Continue reading