{Photography} Capturing those moments

Recently I was looking for a clear, smiling photograph of my daughter that I could use for a certain project but realised most of the photos I have of her recently are from my iphone, blurred because she never sits still or just action shots filled with background clutter. Up until a couple of months ago, I did regular photo shoots at home with her so I was a little disappointed in myself that it had been a while.

With that in mind, I was determined to capture some good updated photos of her, only this time decided it would be nice to include a few with other family members and loved ones too, thus making Easter a perfect time for updated photos.

Here are a couple of the favourites (although the sunlight was still a bit harsh even in the shade for a sunny Queensland Easter):

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And a couple of tips from a fellow amateur for capturing your own photos you can be happy with.

Keep them candid. Posing a child or toddler can be near impossible so your best option is to just go with the flow. It results in more natural smiles too.

Natural light is a must. Outdoors or well lit areas of the house with natural sunlight are optimal. But direct sunlight can be too harsh so try the shaded area on a sunny day or either the early morning sun or late afternoon sun when it is softer.

Move. There is no point trying to capture photos all from the same spot. You’ve got to change your perspective and get right in there with the camera.

Keep the camera handy at all times. I am always ready for an on the spot photo shoot with our daughter. Some of the best photos are those captured spontaneously simply because the camera was nice and close and easily accessible.

Don’t stress. Not every play with the camera will be a success but the more you practice, the better chance you have of capturing photos you actually love!

And a favourite from a later trip to the park the following week (Still not perfect on the timing but how great is that smile?):

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Having a good photo editing software helps too, just to tweak those photos a little more. I will do a photo editing post soon.

Happy snapping 🙂

 

{Weekly Photo Challenge} Letters

My beloved camera… Which means this weeks photo was taken with my iPhone (in poor light) as I just remembered I had not yet completed this weeks challenge.

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{Organisation} iNSD Declutter

So this Saturday is (Inter) National Scrapbooking Day. I am not sure where it all started but it is a thing that’s been going on for a couple of years now and well celebrated amongst scrapbookers around the world. Even here in Australia 🙂 It is all a bit of fun and a good time to use up some of the ever growing supplies us scrapbookers like to hoard.

Personally I am not sure how much scrapbooking I will get done this weekend due to family events and other going ons, but it is a good excuse to start getting into this dreaded craft room and start sorting it out, so this week I will be sharing a couple of craft room decluttering projects.

The first item on the agenda, downsize my magazine collection. I was previously subscribed to all of the major scrapbooking magazines in Australia but these days, only 1 physical and one digital subscription.

This morning I went through the massive pile of magazines and pulled out only the ones I have had the honour of being published in (yes, I’m scrapbook famous). And the rest… well I listed them up on an online garage sale group on Facebook along with a couple of other supplies I had previously tried to sell. And what do you know… half of my listed items have already been purchased, which means a little bit of cash while taking the first step of downsizing my ‘crap’. I removed 68 magazines in total. I now have 1.5 empty cubes in my Ikea Expedit! And the remaining magazines fit into the space I had in a couple of magazine holders.

Do you still subscribe to magazines? What do you do with your old ones once you’ve read them?

Stop Hiding Behind the Camera!

Hey you there.  Yes you!

Stop hiding behind that camera!!

Now smile!!

Does the sound of that make you cringe in horror? The very thought of someone taking your picture…Uh oh… and I can hear you thinking it now. “But I never look good in photos.” Or “My hair looks bad.” “This outfit isn’t fit for photographs.” The excuses go on and on. I know, because I too have done it on occasion. The old “Don’t get me, just get the kids” line. Or easier yet, being the one who always takes the photos just to avoid being in them.

But why as mothers are we often so scared of the camera? When you go through your own family photographs from your childhood, if you are lucky enough to have some available, do you notice one of your parents seems to be absent more than the other? How does it make you feel? Personally, I want those memories captured. Photographs tell the story long after the people are not here to tell it themselves. That may sound a little sad but it’s very true. While you might find it hard to imagine someone wishing you were in more photographs, chances are sometime in the future it will be your children or grandchildren or even great grandchildren wishing they had just one more photo of you to cherish.

So I challenge you now… step out from behind that camera and start starring in those pictures. It does not mean you have to be in every photo. But your family and future generations will appreciate it later.

How do you get in more photos, you may ask? There are a few ways.

Hand the camera to someone else. Your partner, your friend, your child, that honest looking stranger walking by. There is nothing wrong with asking someone to take your photo. You need to be present in your memories too.

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Use technology. Today we have more and more options to make photography simple. Use the self-timer function on your camera. Reverse the camera on your smart phone and take a good ol’ selfie. Some of my favourite photos from the last year are selfies with my daughter.

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Have a professional photo shoot. Gone are the days of your Sunday best and heavily posed photos. These days professional shoots usually mean candid and casual, outdoors and out of the studio. It is a great way of capturing the whole family together and I recommend it every couple of years at least. Especially when the kids are younger.

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All these ideas still make you nervous? That’s okay. You can start small. I challenge you right now to start practicing. See, it didn’t hurt at all 😉 I dare you to post your next photo in the comments on this post. Would love to see some mummy pics!

Remember it is not always about looking your best. It’s about being present in your family memories.

Share-It Saturday

Has anyone else got a slight soft toy problem at home? We do. They seem to keep breeding, despite my requested ‘no-more-soft-toys’ for special occasions.

Here are a couple of Pinterest ideas that may help:

This last one I have actually tried. It’s no help for the really big soft toys, but it has at least kept the smaller ones all in one place.

 

{DIY} Project Life

I have been a scrapbooker for many years now. While many people start once they have kids, I kicked off my scrapbooking hobby after an overseas trip, as a great way to incorporate my photos and memorabilia into the one place. From there the hobby really took off and I have since been on many design teams for scrapbooking manufacturers, stores and challenge blogs.

Apart from those very early pages that were extremely basic, flat and symmetrical, my scrapbooking style became very 3D and interactive. Lots of large embellishments and layers of papers and flowers. This means I had to switch to D-ring scrapbooking binders just to fit my pages and in fact, many are still in piles in my craft room waiting to be added to albums.

When my daughter was born, I started to have a little panic. If I kept scrapbooking the way I was, the pages were going to take over my house. We would be buried alive by scrapbooks. Uh oh! So I needed a solution to my creative overflow.

That’s when I found Project Life, which is a simplified way of scrapbooking as created by a well known figure in the scrapbooking industry, Becky Higgins. Project Life can be described as a combination of old style pocket photo albums and modern day scrapbooking, essentially turning each of those little ‘pockets’ into a mini scrapbook layout. This can  be done as simply as sticking photos in pockets and journal cards in others, with nothing more than a pen to write your memories, or it can be a little more elaborate, with embellishments, digital scrapbooking elements and mixed media.

Project Life is not only simple, and compact, but it also has me scrapbooking the every day moments that got lost with traditional scrapbooking, when you often end up choosing the best photo with the not so important memory attached. It is perfect for me. And a whole year of project life fits in one or two albums, as opposed to about 10 pages of my previous traditional style layouts.

You can learn more here

So when my daughter was about a month old, I got my first order of Project Life supplies and started on a baby album, which included a backward scrapbook of my pregnancy and birth. All you need to get started is:

  1. 12×12 Binder
  2. Project Life Core Kit
  3. Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages

Since this time most other scrapbooking manufacturers have since jumped on the pocket scrapbooking bandwagon and have their own versions of card packs and albums, such as Kaisercraft, Bo Bunny, WRMK, MME etc. So many choices, not to mention the abundance of free journal cards you can find on the net to print yourself.

Depending on where you are located, Amazon stocks a huge range of Project Life and pocket scrapbooking products, although delivery is not available to all countries (like mine).

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Or for us here in Australia & NZ where Amazon doesn’t ship, try:

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So if you have been looking for a space saving way to keep up with your memory keeping, Project Life may be just the thing you are looking for.

I will do another post soon to tell you how I minimised my scrapbooking habits even more with digital project life 🙂

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Letter to Lily at 15 months

Dear Lily

I love you. You are the most amazing person I have ever known. I never knew it was possible to love this much until there was you.

Each day I am amazed by the things you do. You learn so fast and I love being your teacher. We lose minutes…. Hours… Days to playing and I love that I am also your best friend. I hope for that in the future too. So few parents are lucky enough to have that with their kids once they grow up but I will do my best to always be not only your mother but your friend too. Just remember that sometimes it will not seem as such, as there will be tough decisions you may not always like, but it’s only because I always want what’s best for you and to protect you from hurt and danger.

Being your mother has been easy. It’s a big learning curve, but you’ve so far not thrown us too many challenges. I’ve learnt a lot from you too. You’ve taught me to be more patient and shown me I’m a lot more patient then I realised. You’ve taught me to live in the moment and focus on now. That may have meant the house was always a mess & some things didn’t get done, but having most of your naps in my arms are precious moments I would not give up for a clean house. Having you as my world has changed my priorities. Career is not as important as family, although having the financial security to give you everything you need is important. It has meant considering my options and thinking outside the corporate square.

I am ready to expand our family of three now, missing those moments when you were growing inside of me or so new in this world and completely dependant. But at the same time, I am also glad these things take time as I love having so much time to enjoy just you. I know I will love your siblings just as much as I love you, but for now I am loving being Lily’s mum. It is by far the best role I’ve ever had and I hope when you are older, you will feel that I did it the best I could because there is nothing I wouldn’t give to make you happy.

I love you to the moon and back my darling girl.

Love mum