February’s photo theme was “sweentess and love”. I had ideas for cute photos of Ben and Lily, sweet Ben looking cute, and lots of creative props. Only, when I went to use those props, I was thwarted by a willful toddler who I forget wants NOTHING to do with the camera. *sigh*

So, I had to cheat, and use a photo that I already posted with my weekend update. My “sweetness” is my favorite pie, baked by my husband’s grandmother (lemon meringue pie):

lemon pie

And my “love” is of course, Ben. This was taken ad hoc one night, during one of our “play” sessions that we have after dinner. Ben loves to put on fireman hats, and we both run around the house putting out fires. He is all about the camera when he can see himself, so I used the front facing camera on my phone to snap this one, and he hammed it up for me :)

photo.JPG

photo.JPG

So, technically, I wasn’t practicing with my “real” camera… but it’s a photo in the theme ;) I’m going to make a concerted effort to think of an idea to execute beforehand for March’s theme. My biggest problem is that I’m a “pray and spray” shooter. I take photos with whatever the situation throws at me, and hope I got a few good moments. Which, I know is how “lifestyle” photographer tend to shoot (not spray and pray, but not with pre-planned ideas in mind)… and really, I think I lean more towards enjoying “journalistic” style photographs that tell a story about the events going on around me. I rarely think of an idea for a photo and then try to recreate it. So that’s what this challenge is all about for me… trying to reach outside my comfort zone :)

Such fun times! I can’t wait to see what Rebecca from “Francis Family Fun” came up with this month! :)

(Ben is 3 years 2 months 2 weeks and 1 day old)

Project 52: Week 8

Saturday, February 25, 2012 with no comments

I used to love taking self portraits. Maybe it was the 20-something version of myself… the only responsibilities I had were my animals. No husband, no boyfriend, no children… just me, my camera, and my computer. I was in shape, went out with friends, and tried to fill my days with adventures.

Now, I still fill my days with adventures, but they revolve around my family. I’m not in my mid-20′s anymore, and my body is a little worse for the wear. I fill my nights worrying about how to fix up our house, where my kid is going to school, how we are going to save to help our kid(s) in college some day.

This week’s assignment was “self portrait”. The light kept changing as the sun ducked behind clouds, so it made it tough to keep the exposure correct. My remote also doesn’t focus the camera, just fires the shutter, so my focus was a little bit of luck. But I liked the end result… matched my mood this morning :)

week eight: self-portrait

I definitely need to jump in front of the camera more… even despite my not-20-anymore-self. I have very few photos of Ben and I together. My aim going forward this year is to at least ONCE a month get in front of the camera with my family! In focus, bad lighting, bad hair… no matter. At least I’ll know I was there! ;)

Here are the “outtakes” for this week:

week 8 outtakes: self portrait

week 8 outtakes: self portrait

week 8 outtakes: self portrait

And kudos to anyone who recognizes that mug ;) It’s my old “carrie.cc” coffee mug… who else is a dork enough to have their website on a mug (and then pose with it)?? :) Happy Saturday!

(Ben is 3 years 2 months 1 week and 3 days old)

Project 52: Week 7

Sunday, February 19, 2012 with no comments

We were so busy this week that I had to wait until we arrived up north for some down time to think about this week’s theme. “Red Hot” evokes a lot of images, and thankfully with the help of Joe’s mom, I was able to dig up some red hot items from around the house :)

red hot (week 7 outtake)

week seven: red hot

red hot (week 7 outtake)

The first two are more “red hot” and the last one is more “red”… but I still had fun arranging these! The second image was my submission for a contest for February (with the same “red hot” theme)… the others were my “outtakes” :) Red is so pretty! Next week’s theme is “self portrait” which is probably the HARDEST thing for me, getting in front of the lens. Should be interesting though!

(Ben is 3 years 2 months 4 days old)

Project 52: Week 6

Monday, February 13, 2012 with no comments

This week’s entry is a little late, but we had a busy weekend :) This week’s theme was “culture”, and you’d think that working at an agency that deals with international cultures I would have found a million ideas for this theme. I had grand ideas… but chickened out when it came to whipping my camera out at work. My coworkers understand my hobby, but random employees throughout the building, probably not so much ;) So I stuck with my own house, which is overflowing with “DC” culture: politics!

week 6: culture

This 52 week challenge has really had me stepping out if my normal “spray and pray” mode, and attempting to create my “vision” each week. Even if the photos don’t turn out great or technically correct, I definitely feel like I’m learning a lot! :)

(Ben is 3 years 1 month 4 weeks and 1 day old)

Project 52: Week 5

Friday, February 3, 2012 with no comments

For this week’s theme, I was tossing around ideas of trying to get a self portrait in, but to be honest, I’m still terrible about nailing focus taking it by myself with my tripod. So my idea was to capture Ben with Lily… and with some coaxing (and bribing with teddy grahams) I managed to capture my vision of “best friends” :)

week five: best friends

Of course, there were some funny outtakes. Lily is anybody’s best friend once they have FOOD! And like the wonderful lab she is, she tolerates EVERYTHING :)

week five: best friends

week five: best friends

I was slightly out of focus because my aperture was too wide… I might try again this weekend in the daylight hours! Either way, it made me laugh :)

(Ben is 3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days old)

Monthly Challenge: beginnings

Thursday, February 2, 2012 with 7 comments

As part of my effort to push myself to be more creative in photography, I’ve joined another challenge where each month we have a theme, and you take photos and blog about “How you view…” and each month it’s a different idea.

This month, we are documenting how I view “beginnings” :) As the start of the new year, it’s a fairly appropriate theme, and I took my time to wait for the right moments to capture my “view”.

I view beginnings as any other optimistic person would: as a clean slate. We have a running joke at work about the term “clean slate”, but despite the sarcasm, I really do approach each new experience with hope and positivity.

How I view... "beginnings"

I tend to charge ahead, leaving the past behind me, and using the “new” beginning to start over. Of course, I always look to the past and hope that I learn from my mistakes, but each beginning for me is the start of something potentially great :)

How I view... "beginnings"

As part of this challenge, a few ladies and I are forming a “circle”, so that you can see other viewpoints on the same theme :) Please follow my fellow ClickinMom, and enjoy Jessica’s creativity this month: Jessica’s site (She’s not tall…)

(Ben is 3 years 1 month and 1 week old)

Project 52: Week 4

Saturday, January 28, 2012 with no comments

This week’s theme was “bokeh”, which is that effect you get when you have a subject in focus in the foreground, and the background is blurred. I had a hard time narrowing down my ideas for this… I love, love me some creamy bokeh :) Especially with pin points of light in the distance. I kept my eye out for some great opportunities, but it wasn’t until this morning that I saw the sunrise in the backyard, and the leaves in the bushes reflecting the gorgeous sun:

week four: bokeh

With all the warm weather we’ve been having, the bush was still a bright green, which gave me some lovely colors! Feels like spring out here! Granted, I ran out to get this shot without shoes on, and the ground was still definitely frozen… but still felt like winter was on it’s way out! :)

(Benjamin is 3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days old)

Project 52: Week 3

Friday, January 20, 2012 with no comments

This week’s photography theme was “food” and I really struggled hard with this one. I’m not the world’s greatest cook and to be honest, I really, really don’t like to cook, bake, or anything related to “creating” food. I only do it out of necessity because Joe doesn’t get home in time to cook dinner on weeknights ;) So my cuisine isn’t exactly photography friendly, and not very “interesting” material. I played with a few fruits and veggies… but I hated the lighting, and finally just started looking for interesting shapes in the kitchen to play with. Low and behold, I give you… gummi bears!!

week 3: food

I’m sure some of my foodie and animal friendly friends would argue whether gelatin is really “food” or not, but hey, I like ‘em, and we scoured Wegmans to find the “healthiest” gummi bears in the store! Ben loves them, especially after he was introduced to the wonderful world of fruit snacks after our trip to Michigan last year ;) To be honest, I’m still not thrilled with the lighting for this one. The flourescent lighting in our kitchen doesn’t give much depth, and I feel like this was thrown together more than the last topic. The 52 week challenge is definitely making me slow down and think about my shots, but I really feel like I could have done better here. Maybe I’ll stage another gummi photo shoot tonight, but for now, this is week three for me :)

Happy Friday!

(Benjamin is 3 years 1 month and 5 days old)