Tag Archives: photography

friday finds (part two): artifact uprising

This was the real Friday find for today, but before I started typing this one, I felt like I needed a little red velvet / no sleep pity party. Now that the pity party’s out of the way, I can pass on something you might actually enjoy / use.
One of the things I’ve really pushed myself to do this week is to turn off Arrested Development (addicting) and knock some little things off my lingering to-do list. M managed to manhandle the extra furniture out of the living room before he left for an out-of-town conference (all the stuff that won’t be there in the long run, but has been in there while we work on the dining room) so that I could actually see the blank walls and start to hang things up on them. Finally. It’s a work in progress still, but it’s getting there, after spending hours each night screwing in drywall anchors and devising a way to successfully install a very heavy typewriter vertically on the wall by myself. Hooray!
At the same time I’ve been thinking about how much I love Instagram. As a Facebook holdout, I find that IG is just about perfect for me. It allows me to see the occasional real time photograph from distant family and friends, while also sharing a little bit of what we are doing in the moment. I have my fair share of photos of the girls in there, but I really try to make an effort to post photos that are interesting and beautiful, and I also found that it was a perfect way to connect to family while on vacation. Sweet little postcards.
As I slowly fill the house with art and photos, I knew I wanted to get some of those images off the camera and in the house. Artifact Uprising has some gorgeous products specifically designed for those Instagram shots that you love. I ordered the calendar above – it starts at any month and goes for a year, so I’ll have September-August. I used IG photos I’ve taken in the past year that I love from sights around town and the changing seasons. It’s small – just 5.5″ x 7.5″ – but I love the format and plan to hang it in the grouping by the door that also includes my hanging clock.
We also have a gorgeous new coffee table in the living room, and I had planned to get a few IG photos printed to set casually on the table. When I saw this simple wood block with twelve photos that can be rotated, I ordered it as well. The calendar photos I chose don’t include photos of people, but the twelve I picked for this are cool photos of the girls.

I should have them next week, and I’ll let you know what I think about the finished product.  I’ll also take some photos of the living room now that the walls are looking so, so good. I’m officially deeming August “art on the walls” month. September will be “sewing” month – let’s see how long I can keep up the alliteration in my monthly themes.

more on photographing the older child

I mentioned before that the older one isn’t so into having her photograph taken these days.  I always hated having to stop whatever we were doing as kids (or as grownups)to stand still and smile for the camera, so I try not to make the girls do that too much.  But oftentimes an entire weekend with their grandparents will go by and we don’t have a single photograph of them together.  This weekend I was determined to capture at least a few.

We were waiting on our food at the garden on Saturday, and E and my dad were sitting next to each other.  I pulled out the camera, but they still seemed far apart in the frame.  They had been laughing together as they talked, but it wasn’t really translating through the lens.  I asked E to get up and stand nearer to her grandfather, but then the natural smiles were sort of lost, and they looked like the were smiling only for the camera.  I tried to loosen them up a bit by telling them they didn’t have to look at me and smile.  They immediately started staring at each other with these very intense, serious looks.  Trust me when I say that both of them truly delight in giving me exactly what I want… particularly when it can be delivered with a hefty dose of wry humor or sarcasm.  

I told them it was too bad they didn’t love each other, and then the next moment it was this.  Two peas in a pod.

The other technique for happy photos?  Sno-cones and popcorn.

tricky business

Taking pictures of kids is tricky business – and their reactions to having their pictures taken are always changing.  We’ve moved from the oblivious infant stage, through the curious toddler stage (what’s that camera/phone thing, and why can’t I grab it from you and play with it?), and into (and through) the preschool years that seem to be full of blurry action shots.  There’s the occasional cheesy smile stage – that’s one of the worst – and I try to photograph the girls while they aren’t looking.  Then there’s the constant “Take a picture of me doing this!  Take a picture of me doing this!” stage, and the stage where every single photo that is snapped is followed by an urgent request to “see the picture” on the screen.  That might be my least favorite one – the lighting is good, one of the girls is completely oblivious to me in the room, and I’m snapping photos of them engrossed in their activity – and then they look up and are now completely engrossed with looking at every single image immediately after it’s taken.  They become seven and eight and nine, and as soon as the camera or the phone comes out the eyes start rolling. Sometimes there’s even a grimace in there, or the fake smile / forced smile with eyes that convey their true feelings.  

F’s in a pretty good place at the moment – although she has to look at everything I do on my phone or with the camera.  E’s deep into the forced acceptance of her photography sentence – she can’t beat it, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to like it.  The lighting was so nice the other night at the ball field, and we were early, so the stands were just starting to fill.  I got my camera out and took a dozen shots of F – she was smiling, but it wasn’t really at me.  She was completely blown away with her surroundings (our first game of the season).  She had her favorite hat on (E’s old Cardinals hat with ladybugs on it – I’m convinced it’s the cutest baseball hat ever), and there were people walking around with cotton candy on sticks so she was pretty fired up.

E was equally excited.  Our whole section was filling up with her school friends, and she was starting to feel better after being sick for a few days.  It was a gorgeous evening, and there was every reason to be smiling.  Until, of course, I turned the camera on her.  Then it was this:

I could get around that by focusing back on F for a bit, and not letting E feel like she was the center of camera attention.  So now I have proof that she was indeed enjoying herself.  

Sometimes she comes to my office and complains that I have more photos of F on my wall than of her, and I remind her that if she’d stop making faces like she was being tortured by the camera, maybe we’d have a few more photos of her around.  I warn her that she’ll look back at her photo albums and find that she spent a four year chunk of her life with some sort of abdominal pain going on just below the surface if she doesn’t watch out.  She might find herself trying to write a college application essay on why she wants to be a scientist, but the only pictorial evidence of her formative science years are photographs where she looks like she’d rather be at the dentist or cleaning her room.

I take that back.  She could reference her second grade science fair – the one where I managed to sneak a photo of her sharing her findings with her friends.  She loves science.  She really loves designing the display for her science work.  And she completely digs telling her friends about it.  Just don’t ask her to smile.
(Also, oh my, look at that sweet second grade face.  Oh my, oh my.)