Sunday, April 14, 2013

{Sneak Preview} Lydia Turning 1

It has been my pleasure and fun to photograph my niece Lydia as she has grown up this year. I can't believe it, but this doll of a baby is turning 1 in just 10 days. Time really flies and its been fun to get to know my niece and spend time with her during her first year of life.

For today's photo session my sister in law wanted studio pictures of Lydia in her birthday outfit, in a tutu with pearls and some with a balloons. It was fairly obvious the balloons weren't going to work in the studio so we switch to the yard for those pictures.

I don't open up and create my "studio" often. Its only on special occassion when a client really want a shot that I will break out my old equipment. I do love the empahsise on the props and the subject with the simplicity of the studio. Although my love is really taking the lighting outside and trying to create with props, stylizing and environment. This is where my heart goes lately.

Here is the princess for her first birthday pictures.

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Then here are two pictures of my helpers today. They were heading off to baseball practice, but I enlisted their help to get the lighting right since my studio only gets set up once in a while.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Toluca 4s

Rounding out our baseball this weekend was a little baseball for my almost 4 year old. Since he was so jealous of his brother's baseball playing we decided to sign him up for Toluca 4s this spring. Usually I would wait until he is 4.5 but I realized he'll probably be playing soccer next fall and we're signing him up for Burbank Little League next season so he'll get at least one session of t-ball instead of going straight to coach pitch, so that means my 3 year old started today.

I will give a hand to whomever is running this organization now. This league is way more organized and better run than when Erik was in the program. It just functions well and I felt like Elliot was really getting something out of it.

The way 4 year old baseball works is that each child moves from station to station and learns skills. I think they get about 15 minutes in each station before having to move on.

Elliot first station was a ball throwing. It confused me at first because they were basically throwing a wiffle ball at Elliot's head. Then Carl reminded me it was so the kids wouldn't be afraid of the ball and I thought it was brilliant. It was pretty darn cute to watch.

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The next station was practicing throwing the ball. I was impressed with Elliot because he actually stepped with the right foot a majority of the time. Way to go Elle-belly.

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This is a concept that is actually hard for most t-ballers let alone 4 year olds, when to run. So in the next station they practice running through first base and then practice running all the bases. Elliot is still working on the fact that he needs to hit all the bases, but he is a work in process. Honestly though this was his favorite station. He told me "I was so fast, I won the race." And every time it was his time to run he jumped for joy in excitement.

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Elliot's last station was hitting off the tee. He struggled with this one a lot. Definitely something he is going to have to practice.

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Overall we officially have a baseball player and one who was very proud to be heading to his own activity that was all his.

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Also while watching Elliot practice we got a surprise visit from a certain cousin. The kids had the best time playing in the park afterwards enjoying their time.

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Easter Egg Time

There are certain milestones year after year that I have to set up a photo session to capture. Coloring Easter eggs is a must for me. I personally don't have pictures of me with these big childhood milestones and since I am picture obsessed I just wish I had one or two morsels to remember this yearly event. Instead I rely on feelings and vague memories to remember this time in my own childhood. For me its very important to have a picture to go with those memories since my memory isn't that great and when my kids are gone all I'll have are these books of their childhood. Everyone says it goes by so fast so I just want to capture as much as I can.

I know its two weeks before Easter and there is tons of time for egg decorating, but in our house we eat eggs like candy. A dozen last less than a week so why not have a little fun for a couple of weeks with some decorated eggs. That and in a moment of dad brilliance my dear husband bought two egg decorating kits instead of just one so I have to use them in some way. Well probably do this again in a couple weeks.

So in my fridge I had two dozen eggs for us to eat this week and thought, it was a perfect time for us to get started on some coloring. Here is the before picture, one dozen for each boy. No muss no  fuss.

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Waiting for the eggs to die is the hardest part for the 3 and 5 crowd. I was impressed today they had more patience than normal. The would look at it decided it wasn't dark enough and put it back. This my be my darkest set of colored eggs yet.

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Then viola we have finished eggs and they are ready for sticker and all that crazy junk that makes no sense in the egg decorating kit.

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Then off to the fridge they go, good enough to eat. Although Erik did have a moment of sadness when he realized they would be gone. I asked him "what did you think we would look at them forever, they are just extra pretty and fun for us to eat this week." He got it and then we thoroughly enjoyed an egg each. Yummy!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess

The month is Dr. Suess month and it seems as if all the schools are celebrating him. Even Erik told me he read "Green Eggs and Ham" in school today. As per tradition, today was the day the three year olds in mommy & me school got to cook. Not only did they get to cook, but they got to cook green eggs and ham. Very exciting.

Elliot isn't much of a chef. I am the type of mom who loves my kids in the kitchen with me and encourage them to help at any opportunity. They can crack eggs, measure flour, mix anything as long as they are learning. Erik is very eager to help constantly and I call him a future chef, Elliot has never had a strong desire to cook, but will have occasional moments of brilliance. But cooking at school, how deliciously fun and different.

The first thing we did was cut up all the ham. Since we eat eggs and ham at home Elliot is a ham cutting expert. We wash, then cut, and its interesting to see how well the kids work with the utensils.  I definitely like the learning that is going on in this process.

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After cutting up all the ham Teacher Karin lines up all the children and they get to crack two eggs. Some of the eggs make it in the bowl and some end up on the ground. There are definitely some shells that get in the bowl, but easy to dig up. Elliot needs to practice his cracking, but he definitely learned something while doing this.

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Then after they all got to crack two eggs the then got a chance to use the hand mixer. Some kids it was a challenge, but since we have this at home and use it a lot Elliot was an old pro and anxious to try.

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Then the magic happens. All the kids crowd around Teacher Karin counting out drops of food color and she mixes it all up and guess what, the eggs turn green!

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Then the final stage of this whole process, the kids get to read the book and learn how why they are making green eggs and ham. I can't believe how excited they were to read today, they could hardly sit on their bottoms it was so much fun.

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Then viola when story time is done the eggs are ready for the children's feast! I had no doubt Elliot would gobble this up because he loves eggs and ham. It was definitely a hit with most of the kids.

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Here are some other cute moments from today. I needed to shoot some additional shots for Elliot's photobook and here are my favorite gems. 

The boy Elliot's talking too is named Elliot as well, even spelled the same way. These two boys have been in mommy & me on and off since they were 1 years old, but now that they are 4 they now notice they have the same name. They had the most adorable conversation today that went something like this.

"I'm Elliot and your Elliot"
"We both have the name Elliot"
"E-L-L-I-O-T"
"Heehee that is my name"

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Silly bell time. Elliot likes to put a lot of them on his arms, but heard the word "no" today so it didn't work out. He was fine with just two!

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My future engineer. Definitely is heading in that direction at 3 years old. Only the future knows...

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About Heather

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I am a Los Angles based photographer and mom of 2 wonderful boys. Photography has been a passion of mine over 15 years now, ever since I picked up my first camera in journalism school and started developing my black and whites in a darkroom. The instant an affordable DSLR came out on the market in 2002, I had to have one and have been shooting digital since. Once I became a mom I realized how much I enjoy photographing children and how much better I could understand their nuances so it became a passion of mine. Their is such innocence and beauty in their pictures and I feel privileged to be a part of that. I am constantly trying new approaches and tuning my skills to create the art that is in my head, not just the art that I can create right now. I am very interested in off camera flash, and the depth and clarity it adds to my photographs. Sometimes I take breaks from my blog and photography, but it seems to never leave me completely. I always come back.