Tag Archives: photography

Currently: Christmas Time!

Y’ALL. I started this post in plenty of time to get it ready for posting last Wednesday, but then I FORGOT. SO! Here’s my Currently post for December, a little later than it should be. Oops.

December is here! Advent is here! And I am literally the happiest person. It’s my favorite time of year. Everything is extra beautiful, covered in greenery and frost, anticipation runs through our veins, and gift-giving abounds. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. So, since it’s the first Wednesday of the month, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde for December’s Currently party.

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Lighting || both of our Christmas trees, and our front porch columns! If I had my way, I’d probably cover everything in lights because I love them so much. But Hubby thankfully anchors me down a little bit. Here are our trees and front porch!

Spending || a little less than usual on Christmas presents, I think. I’ve just slowed down a little on how much I’m doing. I know my kids will get plenty from their grandparents, too, and Hubby and I aren’t getting anything else for each other because we just splurged on a Vitamix and a couple of pieces of furniture. I don’t want Christmas to feel “small” for anyone, presents-wise, but I doubt that will be a problem!

Choosing || which of our family photos we’re turning into canvases for our own home, and which we’re giving to our parents! (Did I just ruin their surprise?) It’s the biggest decision to choose a favorite photo from our recent session with Urban Bloom Photography when they were ALL.SO.GOOD. Here’s a little preview…

Sending || Christmas cards! I just finished addressing them and put them in the mail yesterday! It’s one of my favorite things to do at Christmas, and I absolutely LOVE getting them in the mail! I ordered a few less than last year because I always have ten or so left over and now I’m afraid I’m going to have to order a few more! YIKES.

Singing || ALL of the Christmas music. I love Christmas music, specifically Christmas hymns and songs about Jesus (because I’m a worship leader, duh) and also just regular songs about snow and Santa and the whole deal. This year, EK is remembering lyrics and learning Christmas songs at school so it’s extra fun to sing with her!

Leave a comment and tell me what you’re up to Currently!

How to Achieve the Perfect Family Photo

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

As you start thinking ahead to the holidays, you might be pondering ways to get the perfect family photograph. Whether you want to frame it as a gift for Grandma, or plaster it on a card to send to 500 of your closest friends, getting a perfect photo of your entire family is likely on your to-do list. If you’re like me, and you have young children, I have a few easy tips to make the process easier, and ensure a valuable, timeless product at the end of your session. You don’t want your Christmas card to look like mine did last year (see #2 – actually included on last year’s Christmas card). Here are my suggestions as you plan your endeavor to get the “perfect family photo”:

1. Hire a photographer. Like your mom, brother, or an unsuspecting stranger with an iPhone. This will ensure that the person taking the picture has the skills and equipment necessary to catch the perfect moment of a genuine group smile. (Or if you’re on a budget, invest in a selfie stick.)IMG_2199.jpg

2. Dress your brood well. First, make sure you give your kids coordinating names that will result in the same monogram for each child. Then, choose a neutral color for everyone to wear, and make sure each shirt is monogrammed in a coordinating “pop” color. It’s also important to wear hair bows, shoes, jewelry, belts, and scarves that match the monogram’s accent color. Finally, make sure you don’t eat in the outfit in which you plan to photograph. You wouldn’t want that marinara stain to ruin your Christmas card!img_0033

3. Strike a pose. Make sure each subject in the photo is being still, and smiling with just the right amount of teeth showing. Hands folded in laps and slight head tilts are recommended. Never allow movement while the pictures are being taken.DSC_0232.jpg

4. Keep your eyes open. To be certain that none of your photos include a blinking subject, make sure your family knows that blinking is not allowed. Pass the eyedrops around before you get started, so that there will be no need to blink to prevent dryness of the eye. (Note: this also prevents the eyes half-closed look, as though the subject is about to sneeze.)DSC_0269.jpg

5. Work the natural light. Morning and evening are the best times to take photos outside. Skip breakfast or dinner to ensure that the lighting is perfect. Tell those cranky, hungry children if they’d just smile, you could all go eat… and maybe have some of your own natural light.DSC_0186.jpg

6. Choose a few props. Pumpkins are always a nice choice for the fall, and beaches, snow, mountains, or lakes could be nice choices for other times of year, too! Be sure to bring things like these with you for the session.DSC_0026.jpg

7. Let your family be themselves. As long as it’s their happy, cute, lovey-dovey selves.DSC_0548.jpg

I hope that these simple tips help you get the perfect framer of your family!

Currently 

Hey, y’all! I might be a day late on joining my usual Currently link up, but better late than never, right? I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy and the other fabulous bloggers to bring you this week’s Currently. Join us to let us know what’s going on with you currently!

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Enjoying || some sweet moments between all the siblings. EK and j have been getting along a little better (I’m scared to type that for fear it’ll make it stop) and D has been getting some incredibly sweet snuggles from both of them. Lots of hugging and kissing around here, y’all.

  
  
Hoping || to get a few specific pictures this week. As of right now, the only picture of the five of us is yesterday’s epic selfie (below), and I’ve only got one (okay) picture of the three kids. Part of me is saying, “Eh, there’s a lifetime to get those pictures.” But the rest of me wants at least one while D is still tiny! Here’s hoping I get a better one than this:

 Trying || to stick to a schedule. Having a newborn is tough when they’re supposed to eat every two hours. Try keeping up with that while also making sure the other two are entertained and have what they need, as well as pumping a couple of extra times a day to keep my supply up? Bordering on impossible. To heck with laundry and dishes. Yikes.

Thankful for || an incredible husband who’s been taking a late-night shift with D to let me get some sleep early on in the night. He’s a rockstar, y’all.

Reading || the last bit of the Maze Runner series. I’m in the book that is actually a prequel to the rest of the books… so I’m getting that back story I was craving the whole time! When I finish this, I’ll be working on Loving the Little Years  and starting something else to be my “pleasure reading”. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Well, that’s all for now. Please comment and let me know what you’re up to!

The Great Pumpkin Patch Meltdown

I had a grand idea. It was to get Hubby and our kids, Hubby’s brothers, their wives and their kids all together for a photo shoot. It’s fall, so we figured a local pumpkin patch was the best place to do it. We planned our outfits, picked a time that worked around everyone’s naps, and planned our weekend around it. J can sometimes have a super long morning nap, so I ended up having to wake him up to get him ready to go. I was a little worried whether or not he’d let go of me and hang out with the other kids so we could get some good pictures.

Little did I know, he wasn’t the one I needed to worry about.

EK had had a totally normal morning, and right when we got to the pumpkin patch, she was really sweet on all the littler babies. But then, we decided we wanted to put the babies in a wagon (this place had those red Radio Flyers you could put the pumpkins in to take them to the car) and have EK pull it. But it was tougher than it looked (when it was full of pumpkins and babies), so I tried to help her a little.

Note: She didn’t want the help. Cue the biggest “terrible two” meltdown I’ve ever seen.

This was a lay-on-the-ground, scream-at-the-top-of-her-lungs sort of tantrum. My even-tempered child turned into an angry monster over whom I had no control. No one could do anything, so we all stood around, a little nervously, and try to pretend no one noticed the tantruming toddler.

Hubby’s mom finally picked her up and took her to get a snow cone from the stand nearby (because it’s okay when grandmas do that) so that we could try to continue taking photos. But as soon as snow cone time was over, it was meltdown #2. Or maybe the meltdown had only paused. Either way, the cute photos of my daughter were pretty much over.

What does a mama do in that situation? Wait it out. In a public place, surrounded by family and strangers alike, I just had to let it run its course. Thankfully, everyone was gracious and turned a blind eye to the ground-shaking sounds erupting from the small body. It was her first real tantrum, and we haven’t had another one since.  Here’s to praying that it was a one-time fluke… right?

The mischievous face of my darling two-year-old, pre-meltdown. I think she was plotting all along.
The mischievous face of my darling daughter, pre-meltdown. I think she was plotting all along.