Seven images from when the smoke arrived last month.Read More
We didn't go far this Spring Break. In fact, our mini-cation was something of a stay-cation, just two hours away from home. And yet for those few days, everything was different, we were different. We fell out of our daily routines and fell into the simple joys of time spent together. Other simple joys included: the scent of pine needles, a fireplace in our hotel room, naps on the deck, never ending bike trails. Our room had a tv, but it was never so much as powered on the entire time. Electronics were set aside for real live games of chess, spoons, Uno.
I wasn't sure my husband was going to make it back from a work trip in time to join us, but, he did and it made all the difference. It allowed us each to have some one-on-one time with the boys when they wanted to go in different directions. On the last day, the littlest one wanted to try indoor-boogie boarding on the wave rider while the eldest wanted to do more exploring on his bike. Julius took to the waves and I hit the trails. I let Jack choose our route and direct us on our ride. In turn, he was a little more willing to be in front of the camera.
Oh, hello March! Today is the seventh which means I'm sharing seven images from the last month. February was a bit of a doozy. Am I the only one who hits a bit of a February slump? I tried to ward it off this year by treating myself to a couple of bouquets. The above bouquet is technically from my husband, who always buys flowers for Valentine's Day. I just happened to pick them out and order them. Ranunculus are my most favorite.
But tulips aren't far behind.
I could easily post seven solid flower images but I feel like I owe you all some updates. First and foremost, a lost tooth update on my youngest since he lost one of his top teeth last month. Below on the left we have him on crazy hair day at the beginning of the month, and a couple weeks later the other top tooth was gone. Of all the milestones, this one feels so significant, because it so changes the face. There's no going back to baby faces once those baby teeth are gone.
Can we talk about Instagram? I still enjoy Instagram despite all the algorithim nonsense. But I can't do it on the daily. Three times a week seems to be my speed. I enjoyed playing #colorcolourlovers on Instagram along with Xanthe (and Hula Seventy this year). I drive by this pink bus every time we go to swim lessons, which is often, and #colorcolourpink gave me the excuse I needed to stop and take a photo.
And one last update: yoga has been a part of my life for many years and last winter I got my 200 hour teacher training certificate while we were still in Okinawa. I subbed a few times in the months before we left and when we moved in to our house here in Oregon, I claimed this little space in our house as my own little yoga sanctuary for my daily practice. My update has less to do with my personal space, I just really love it. The update is this: I'm going to be teaching once or twice a week (tbd) at the Y here starting in April!
Do hop on over to Kristina Rust to see her 7 on 7!
Oh hey! I'm dusting off this blog again. This time with a monthly feature - seven images posted on the seventh of the month. I'm doing this as part of a blog hop with fellow photographer friends. I'll leave a link to the next on the list at the bottom of this post. Wild but true, I've known many of the photographers in the circle for seven years! As it were, my youngest turned 7 (7!) in January and a bunch of these gals might remember photos of me in late stages of pregnancy with him. I haven't blogged regularly in ages, and I'm still pretty new to living in Oregon, so this post is a mixed bag of getting reacquainted with my people, pets and new surroundings.
And this is the birthday boy. Note the gap in his top teeth -- his days with at least one of those top baby teeth were very numbered.
And the obligatory cheesy before and after grin. :D
If you haven't already, meet Nala. She is our "outdoor" cat. Every time I turn around, one of the boys (my husband included) brings her inside. She joined the family to be our vermin hunter. She looks pretty fierce, no?
The owners of this barn very kindly coated it with a fresh coat of red right before it snowed. Thank you!
Last but not least, I'm not sure I've ever lived so near a National Park. Crater Lake is our neighbor and she's a beauty. I see many more trips to visit her in my future.
In the meantime, hop on over to Kris McNeil Photography to see her 7 on 7 for January.
I'm spending the month toting my camera with me everywhere I go as I get to know my new surroundings here in Klamath Falls. My dear friend Angie did the same when she landed in Colorado recently and given my longstanding Instagram handle (@tarawanders) how could I not do the same?
Each new place we've moved has a different color palette. Different textures and different light, and it is always a process of discovery to get to know them. Follow along on Facebook or Instagram if you wish!
As I drove into Klamath Falls this morning I noticed the very beginnings of fall colors -- a few yellows with just the slightest pop of orange. I'm more than ready to break out my collection of sweaters and do all the fall things. This time last year we were in Okinawa where it was way too hot and sweaty to think about making hot apple cider and soups and chili. Autumn in Japan was beautiful in its own way -- a few trees changed colors and dropped leaves -- and our trip to Kyoto at the tail end of fall was especially beautiful. This photograph is from our visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha and I was thrilled to learn it is one of the twelve images featured in the annual calendar put out by the Kadena FSS.
First beach day of the season!
My oldest son will start second grade next fall in his sixth school. He did three years of preschool in three different cities and the same will be true for elementary school. He's nonchalant about moving again. He likes it here in Okinawa but he also really liked Alaska and he likes the idea of being back stateside again. I'm not worried about either of my boys. But moving so often has taken a toll on me. I've learned I need a good year in a place to feel settled. When I learned we'd be moving, again, sooner than we anticipated, again, I took a big step back from the hustle of being a photographer in brand new location. I did a three month yoga intensive to get grounded again and ended up completing a yoga teacher training. If I've been quiet here, that's probably why.
We've never lived as close to the ocean as we do here in Okinawa. We've swapped moose and bears for sea creatures and creepy crawlies, many of which are poisonous, but that's a story for another day.
On this particular evening, my husband took us to a new-to-us beach spot where he'd recently been diving. The sun was setting and I had my camera on the tripod ready to capture the melting-into-color skies. But then this moment happened. My littlest discovered a starfish. He clutched it, dried and shriveled, to his heart.
I had but a split second to yank my camera from the tripod. The light was fading fast. I was at all my limits -- I was shooting completely wide open, in the ISO weeds and shaky hand held shutter speed territory. I wasn't sure I got the shot but my littlest paused for only mere moments before he ran into the waves to gently place the star fish back in the water. He wished with his whole heart that the ocean would revive his starfish. He hasn't stopped talking about his wish to save that star fish.
From a technical perspective, this shot was a disaster. Of the two shots I was able to take, I'd missed the focus on one. I'd shot below my hand held limit (1/100). I quickly upped my shutter speed to 1/160 and cranked my ISO to 5000 and took one more shot. I try to avoid those ISO upper limits as the image quality does suffer. If I'd had time for one more frame, I would have tried to better compose to give myself a tiny bit more room for his lips but I never had the chance. After the second click of the shutter, my son rushed the starfish back to the water. And though the image may not be my technically greatest it ranks near the top of my all time favorite captured moments.
Once a month I'm joining a Storyteller Blog Circle with wonderfully talented lifestyle and documentary photographers, all are fellow Offset artists. We each share an image and the story behind capturing it, meant to teach and inspire.
If there is a lesson here, it is to always take the shot, always try, even if you know it is going to be technically challenged. Moments like these are fleeting. You won't capture all of them and sometimes you have to let go of technical perfection but you may just capture an imperfect little piece of your heart.
Please do stop by and visit our fearless leader Andrea Moffet of Little Story Studio to continue the Storyteller blog circle.
Fifteen of my favorite images from 2015.
Three handsome boys, fresh snow and lots of energy! That's what this lifestyle portrait session was all about. And fun. It was also about fun. Mom was pleased we got all of them smiling (and gasp!) looking like they liked each other, haha, but I didn't have to do anything to coax that out of them ... this session was simply boys being boys being brothers.
We've been living in our snow pants lately. Whether or not there is snow on the ground, most everything is covered in frost and everybody seems happier when all their parts and bits are nice and toasty.
We drove up to Eklutna Lake just to get outside the other day. The boys resisted at first but guess who didn't want to leave? They quickly busied themselves ice cutting (thank you, Frozen) and stick gathering and log crossing and just generally enjoying themselves outside in a pretty dang pretty setting. The blues are so blue, but there was something about the textures in the muted browns were really catching my eye. Not my typical photo share, but then Alaska is not your typical place.
A full fall color family lifestyle session in Chugiak, Alaska.Read More
I had a rare day of nothing planned so these two indulged me in a photo shoot, and even donned some dapper duds for the occasion. Don't be surprised if you see one or more of these again on our Holiday cards later this year.
ps. Fireweed is in bloom! And if you look closely, you can see a bee buzzing in the fireweed portrait, thus he is leaning as far away as he possibly can.
Family portrait session in Eagle River, AlaskaRead More
Are you on Steller? Steller is my new favorite app and not just because they're featuring this story in their PLACES collection. I like the aesthetic, the ease of use, the ability to tell a story with a set of images, rather than just one.
Let me know if you're on Steller so I can follow you!
My soon-to-be six year old is obsessed with all things Star Wars. His birthday party theme, it is.
Here are a few favorite party details:
Bubble wand lights sabers. I spray painted the handles silver. I'd hoped they'd be able to play with the bubbles outside. The rain kept us indoors, but didn't stop the kids from using the wands as light sabers.
Death Star Piñata. The silver spray paint also came in handy to create a simple Death Star pinata. Formerly a dented soccer ball piñata, in silver it looked just fine to me, without any other detailing.
Glow stick light sabers. Yoda adorned the gift bags, sporting a glow stick bracelet light saber.
... stays in Vegas.Read More