Mama with a Camera

This week’s lesson from Erin Cobb’s tutorial was all about taking the faceless shot. She also gave some terrific tips on how to get your child to actually look at the camera. The post made the sounds ring in the ears of every birthday party and holiday we have had the last four years “look this way…look at me…no look at me…cue finger snapping (my sister is nodding her head right now!). I tried several of Erin’s strategies and found that the one that worked for us was telling him not to look at the camera. And after telling him to go find something else to do and not look at the camera I inevitably ended up with this shot:

I still can’t quite get a smile, but it only took me two photos to get this picture…that’s progress!

After this I moved on to attempting a faceless shot, which by the way, I found much more difficult than I had originally planned on. I couldn’t figure out quite what to take a picture of if I wasn’t running around trying to get a picture of our little cupcake’s face!

So I tried some fancy shots of odd objects….

But wasn’t really pleased with the results.

I then started flipping through photos in my folders (can you flip through photos in folders…I suppose click through is a better term) to see if I had taken any shots like this in the past. I was pleased to find two that completed the idea of the lesson.

This one….

I know what he is about to do in this photo, however, if you don’t have the back story you can make up your own.

And this one…

A rare calm moment at Granna and Papa’s…or not. You can decide!

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May to May

This time last year I began posting just a few tidbits here and there about our life. So here is a quick post of May to May…my how our little cupcake has changed!

May 2009….

May 2010….

More hair, more teeth…same blue eyes, same nose 🙂

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Mama with a Camera

I was super excited to read the next post from Erin Cobb’s blog series that I have been following. This series was entitled “Be Different” and was all about focusing on the different moments than the standard shots that you get at birthdays, holidays, etc.

When I was thinking about the “different” shots I first tried different angles of our little cupcake.

My result was a little bit too much of a fishbowl effect…and not really different than other pictures I had taken before.

Later as I was getting ready for work, and our little cupcake was sitting on the counter helping me get ready, I realized I hadn’t taken a picture of him sitting on the counter helping me get ready before.

We have a routine where I do my hair while he sorts through all of my make-up brushes. I set him down on the floor and then we went to grab my camera. I placed him back up on the counter and got ready to take his picture, but then I realized what would be really different is a picture that actually has me in it. One of the things about having a first born is you try to capture everything they do and I don’t want him to look back at all of his pictures and it looks like he lived alone!

I placed him back down on the floor and then tried to figure out where I could safely put the camera to take a timer picture. The linen closet seemed to be the best spot. I placed it, turned the timer on, and quickly placed my little helper back on the counter right before it took the shot. I know that my best pictures happen serendipitously because this is what I found when I had time to check the pictures later…

(Yes I did remember to take the camera out of the linen closet.)

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The Happy Gardener

Last year, I peered out at our garden with a mix of sympathy and dread for the poor little ailing plants. There is a short on Sesame Street that’s called Desperate Houseplants (yes a spin on the show Desperate Housewives). Every time I see it I laugh because that’s how I imagined our plants talking. This year is a much different story. With an eighteen month old who pleads to go outside at least once a day (rain or shine on some occasions!), our plants are well tended.

With the unpredictable April weather we have dipped into colder temperatures again and off and on rain today. However, that didn’t stop us from going outside to check on the plants, the hoses and of course scooped a little dirt. I couldn’t resist taking just a few pictures of our plants and our little gardener.

The cabbage is flourishing!

A few more yellow flowers on the tomato plant…just waiting for the tomatoes to start growing…

My small herbs are doing well enough that I was able to transfer them to a larger pot…

(I couldn’t resist adding a little glow to this picture, they look yummy already!)

And of course we couldn’t do any of it without the help of our little gardener who checked the plants….

And made sure the hose was working properly….

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Busybee Thursday on a Friday

Oh goodness. I had been told that the height of stranger anxiety/separation anxiety was around fifteen, then eighteen months. I am waiting for it to finally subside at least so my hair will stop going gray. I don’t think my little cupcake realizes I can only get it colored every six weeks. Why am I lamenting on this anxiety?

We planned a nice trip to the park with a friend of mine and her daughter. Upon our arrival my son immediately lost it, refused to go on the swings, the slide, and pretty much had a complete melt down. Then it started to rain. We decided to leave and have our picnic back out our house. It took almost the entire time of our play date to get my little cupcake to realize A) I was not leaving to go to work and B) that was actually okay to actually have a good time.

We finally had a moment of “happiness” outside after lunch and we couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures. I am imagining showing these at their high school graduation one day!

This is what happens when you try to get an eighteen month old and a twenty month old to stand together!

Still not sure of each other.

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Mama with a Camera

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to take better pictures of our little cupcake. My goal is to be able to take a few pictures and have them turn out well, rather than taking many pictures and have them not turn out all. I got inspired from some lessons on Erin Cobb’s photography blog. She has started weekly posts called Mama with a Camera that have some great tips for taking better pictures. So here are the fruits of my learning so far!

Week 1: Fill the Frame

I could think nothing better than the sweet little chubby cheeks and wispy dirty blond hair of our son…so that’s what I focused on in this first picture.

I was pleased with the picture, except the shadows. It’s hard for me to find a time to take a picture that’s not at high sun.

Week 2: Show the Scene

For the second picture I focused on what we were outside listening for…airplanes. One of our little cupcake’s favorite things to do is listen for airplanes outside. He stretches up towards the sky and runs through our backyard trying to follow the noise of the airplane. His goal is to catch just a glimpse of the plane as it streams across the blue sky and peeks out among the white clouds. I panned way out with my camera and put everything in focus to capture the scene (and him).

This one I couldn’t be more pleased with. The colors were absolutely gorgeous and I love how you can see the clouds so clearly as well as his little swim rash guard and shorts.

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Can this garden be saved?

Some gorgeous new basil….

So much easier when you buy the plant instead of trying to revive a plant!

Tiny yellow flowers waiting to become pah-toe-toes (or tomatoes as you might call them.)

And the cabbage might become a cabbage patch after all!

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Half-Way to Two

Although the eighteen month mark was a few days ago, I have not yet gotten this post together. I could list all of the important landmark stats, but as I was writing this I found myself think more of all of the things that are so markedly Super A right now.

So here they are….

All he wants to eat is rolls and yogurt and all he wants to drink is apple juice. He asks for them nicely like this “please Mommy…please”. He cannot always have these things. When we tell him no he says “but I ah nice boy”. Except he says nice boy like Mario from Super Mario Brothers…imagine it having about four more syllables than it needs.

All he wants to watch is Little Einsteins or “cartoons”. How he knows cartoons means something different than regular television is beyond me.

Strangers (AKA the check-out person at the store or random shoppers) always say these two things to him “are you sleepy?” OR “boy he is tall!” I always want to respond “yes he is tall, and no he is not sleepy he just isn’t interested in smiling at you.” HA!

If you ask him if he wants to go outside he runs and grabs his shoes and goes to the back door. He has a routine outside. First, he checks the plants. Second, he checks the hose. Third, he decides he needs his scoop to dig some dirt. Oh and we can’t even think about bringing him inside without making some sort of bribe (juice, Little Einsteins, playing with playdoh!) or he’ll scream for fifteen minutes once we are indoors.

He’s on a constant search for a fire truck, race car, a doggy barking, or a bird chirping.

He’s happiest reading books, playing with blocks, or playing in his kitchen. Oh and playing hide and seek…just don’t ask him to hide. He won’t have it.

If we are going on a car ride for more than ten minutes, he falls asleep…which is sooo me. I can see trips with him as a teenager, IPOD on, earphones on, asleep in the car, his last comment being let me know when we get there.

He is the very helpful, not a day goes by that I don’t hear “here you go Mommy” as he hands me something I am putting away. He loves to put away socks, dust, vacuum, and swiffer. Ahh the swiffer. My floors have never been cleaner!

And that right now…is sooo Super A.

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