2014 Photo Challenge

Happy 2014!  Wow what a whirlwind of a Holiday Season.  Sorry I have been so absent lately – two bouts some nasty cases of viruses through the household makes for some sleepiness nights and eh…I will spare you the rest of the details.  The only one to survive without getting sick (KNOCK ON WOOD) was little Jonah bear (phew!).  Luckily I had days off from “work” so I got to snuggle with my boys and take care of myself but feeding a baby while having this “norovirus” is not my definition of a Happy Holiday.  Bring on 2014 and goodbye sickness!

To kick off the new year I am sharing my 2014 challenge with you all.  They say, one of the more important things when you set a goal – write it down and share it.

Not too long ago I splurged and got a nice DSLR and some online photo classes and more or less self taught myself how to take a decent photo.  Main objective: capture our kiddos and family through the years because time flies!  I leave the professional shots for their birthday each year to the pro (Rusty Wright from Waldron Photography - he is INCREDIBLE!) but I want to make sure 1) I am putting this nice camera to good use and 2) while I am not too sentimental about other items and can purge like no other, I love photos and truly cherish them.  My friends actually give me a hard time because it seems as though we are constantly taking new family photos but like I said, photos are my thing.

2014 Challenge – take ONE photo each week of each kiddo.

Don’t worry – I won’t share each week with you but I wanted to give you Week 1.  How does this tie into decor?  Well I plan to turn this into a great photo book at the end of the year.  Again, I use My Publisher to make my photo books because I think they have great quality and sales.

Also, if anyone is a rookie like I was and still really am and want to learn basic lessons but don’t have the time to go out and take classes at a local university or such, I would highly recommend Nicole’s Classes.  I took the Photo 101 class and plan on taking Lightroom 101 this March.  I am so excited to actually start being able to properly edit photos!  Best yet, I snagged a recent deal so the online class was only $80.  Having the ability to read through the lessons and watch the videos but also have the accountability of completing the “homework” and having a live teacher to ask questions was exactly what I was looking for and need with my busy schedule.  Check it out – they have a TON of amazing classes that are wonderful at Nicole’s Classes – I want to take them all!

This week my viewpoint was pretty standard and basic “headshot” type but I can’t wait to see how these photos evolve over the year and am already looking forward to making my coffee table photo book for 2014!



jonah - week 1

Do share – what have you challenged yourself to accomplish / change / improve on in 2014?


Say Cheese

A couple weekends ago, we had professional family photos taken. I decided that I wanted a photo in which we would have not just our immediate family, but also my little man’s grandparents, aunt, and uncle.  I was really excited about these photos because I don’t have anything with both sides of the family in it. And I wanted to put these on display in my house, so there were a few things I had to think about when planning them out:

1. Choosing the color scheme. Since the colors in my house are mostly grays, I asked everyone to wear some sort of grey and/or white. People in the photos shouldn’t necessarily have the exact same combination (i.e. – don’t have everyone wear a blue shirt with gray shorts). The photo is more balanced when there are variations among the group. It’s also important for people to wear clothes that they feel comfortable in. Don’t make your dad wear a tie if he NEVER wears a tie. It’s not a true representation of who he is, and he’ll look stiff in the picture.

2. Picking the scene. Since I wanted everything to stay very much in the white/gray family, I chose to take the photos by an old school house. This provided the perfect backdrop. When thinking about where to take your photos, whether it’s in a studio or outside, think about how the colors of the background not only enhance what your family is wearing, but also your interiors. Also, think about what “style” you want the background to be – industrial like buildings downtown, casual and around your own house, or maybe you want rustic like an old barn. Plan it out and talk with your photographer about what look you’re going for. Once you frame these photos and put them on your wall, they can truly become art when they coordinate with the feel of whatever room you put them in.

3. Bringing meaningful ”props.” When you’re having photos of your children taken, they are way more comfortable when they’re “playing” during the photos. For instance, my little man loves to write and draw. So I brought a framed chalkboard that he could write on during photos. I also wanted to capture that side of him because it’s such a big part of who he is. Bringing a toy, balloons, or something very personal to your child can help bring out very genuine laughter and smiles that you want to capture.

4. Telling your vision to your photographer. It’s important that he or she understands the look you’re after and what kinds of poses you’d like. Having that conversation ahead of time helps them be successful in the end and gives you the best possible photos of your beautiful family.

Now that I’ve shared my tips, here are my photos! I’m so thrilled with them!! Thank you so much to Casey of Little Things Photography for taking them – check out her blog for more information on her services!

Family Photography

Family Photography


Interacting in Family Photos - Little Things Photography - Middle Redefined

Interacting in Family Photos – Little Things Photography – Middle Redefined


Using Props

Using Props


Being Silly

Being Silly


Pure Joy

Pure Joy