Family Photography | Life Stories: The Story of My Kids and Me

When I first decided that I wanted to learn how to use my camera, it was because I wanted better pictures of my kids. That began a journey that has lead me to where I am today. I’m a photographer now. And Lord knows, I have a lot of beautiful pictures of my children…images I will cherish forever. What I don’t have, mind you, are many pictures of me with my kids. It’s easy for me to be behind the camera, but it’s something entirely different to be in front of it. No one knows how to use my big ol’ camera, so for the most part, I am happy being behind it.

But, I know how important it is to have pictures of my parents…. I LOVE the images I have of my mom and dad.  There really just aren’t enough pictures of my mom and dad when I was growing up…pictures of them with full heads of hair, no wrinkles, no age spots, young and just beginning their lives as parents. So, I decided to change that for my kids. I want them to have lots of pictures of me. I want them to remember when I was young(ish) and carefree(ish).

I want them to remember me.

This desire lead to a monthly project I am participating in this year called “11 on 11.” You can see the first installment right here! This was to be like a lot of other blog circles, where photographers share their favorite personal images from the month, but this had a twist. I suggested to this amazing group of photographers that we include a self portrait, and while there may have been some inner grumblings about it, I’m pretty dang sure they are all starting to love the idea of including themselves in their pictures. It’s fun!

My first self portrait photo shoot of my kids and me was amazing. We laughed the whole way through. It didn’t seem like work. I didn’t have to beg.

It. Was. Magic.

I shared this image as part of my 11 on 11 project.

But I have so many more I wanted to share. So without further ado, here you go… the story of striped pajamas, crazy children, and me, their mother.

They were already playing in my room when I decided to grab my studio lights, tripod, camera, and remote, and get snapping.

My son’s elbows trip me out. Eep!


I can’t stand how much she’s grown up.

I have mad balancing skills AND mad “hide-the-remote-so-you-can’t-see-it-in-the-picture” skills.  :)  Oh wait.. the remote is sitting on my tummy. At least it blends in with my shirt.

That last one cracked me up. I asked them to give me their “nice faces” and that’s what I got. Hahaha! They totally know how to wrap me around their cute little fingers!

If you like what you see, you can always follow me on Facebook.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these as much as I enjoyed shooting them! Who knew self portraits could be fun?

I forgot to mention that this Life Stories thing is a blog circle I have been participating in for over a year now. You can read more about it here.  This might be my last one. I have more on my plate than I can chew, but gosh I have loved doing them!

Next up is the Azure Marie Photography. Azure is a very creative person with a unique and wonderful eye. She’s also gorgeous and kind right down to the very bones. Love her. You will too.…

Family Photographer | January | 11 on 11

I am SO excited to share a new project I will be doing this year with some insanely talented photographers!  I am humbled to be a part of this group and KNOW you are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE all the images shared by these ridiculously talented photographers!

You may have heard of the project 10 on 10, where photographers share 10 images they took that month and share it on the 10th of the month. Well, in honor of Spinal Tap, we’re doing 11 on 11. If you don’t know what my Spinal Tap reference is, here’s a clip:


So, yes, indeed. These will go to 11! I will be sharing 11 images I’ve taken of my family and will share them on the 11th!  The catch is, that 11th picture needs to be something different. For me, that something different will (hopefully) be a self portrait of me with my kids. I am so seldomly in front of the camera, and so desperately want pictures of me with my kids, so this project is my little push to make sure that I not only document my kids’ lives, but also include me in some of those pictures!

Let’s get started!

My freakishly tall daughter had the honor of placing the star on the San Francisco Union Square Christmas Tree this year. We’re so proud. Hehe.

My son graduated to yellow belt in karate. He already has a black belt in Cute.

My beautiful mom celebrated another year on this earth, for which I am incredibly grateful. Also pictured here is my amazing dad who lended his lungs when my mom couldn’t get those candles out. For those who don’t know, my mom has been battling brain cancer for almost 3 years now. Good thoughts and prayers are always welcome. It’s been tough.

The dude got a Flashrider 360 for Christmas and clearly owns the neighborhood now.



We went up to Reno to ski and play in the snow.  She allowed me pretty much this one picture in the parking lot before running off but dang, how I love it.

Taking a break from sledding to eat some snow. He may have eaten his weight in snow that day.


We stayed at the Circus Circus in Reno. I woke up to see my little guy sitting on the heater, peering out the window at the newly fallen snow.

Up the escalator to go to Circus Circus’s Midway of Fun.

She bought some light up glasses with her winnings.  It took her a gajillion minutes to decide on what to get and then she wore them for about a minute before she was done.

A shot of my daughter’s eyelashes while she was doing some artwork at the table. Love finding quiet moments like this.

And now for the 11th picture!  This was shot by me, using a tripod, one light set up, and my remote.  My remote has a 2 second delay, so once I fired it, I had two seconds to hide it and get ready for a shot!  LOL!  We had SO much fun!  I couldn’t decide how to present it, so I went a little crazy. :)

I will have to do a separate blog post to share all the fun pictures I got!  I rarely use studio lights and hope to try to use them more this coming year. I’m so glad I am challenging myself with this monthly self portrait. I hope I can keep the creativity going for 12 months!

(Hey! I DID do a separate blog post of our striped pajama insanity! You can check it out right here!)


If you like what you see, you can always FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK.

Next up is the incredibly talented Australian photographer, Leah Robinson of Leah Robinson Photography. I absolutely adore her work and know you will too!  Go have a look!…

Family Photographs | Life Stories | The Story of the Pumpkin Patch

Looks like I’m going to try to keep this Life Stories project going another year!  We’ll see how it goes.  Briefly, my amazing photographer friends and I decided to do a monthly project documenting our own lives.  Our everyday boring lives.  Could we make it look magic?  Because, ya know, it is.  Our everyday boring lives ARE magic because they are filled with love for our families.  And so we embarked on this photographic journey that we named “Life Stories.”  It’s been a year since we started and many of us wanted to continue because it’s been nothing short of amazing.  So proud to be part of this group.

It’s been a year since I posted images from our trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  It was my first Life Story.  You can see those images RIGHT HERE if you’d like to take a walk down memory lane.  And now it’s that time of year again.  My kids are really into pumpkins and really, what’s not to love?  Brightly orange colored pumpkins littered all around the ground.  So many to choose from and only ONE that is right for you.  My daughter, especially, takes her pumpkin finding responsibilities very seriously.  We found our way back to Joan’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch. 

It was a bright and sunny day.

They quickly got to the tasks of choosing their pumpkins.The little guy dropped his pumpkin and the stem scratched his knee.  He wasn’t happy about that.  I went to get him a bandaid from my camera bag and simply couldn’t stop myself from taking some shots of him sitting amid all those pumpkins.

Can you blame me?  Look at him!

He was a bit annoyed with his crazy mom who takes pictures of sad boys.  He refused to smile for me.

But I worked my mama magic.  Look at him pretending he isn’t listening to my hilarity.

My little guy.  I love him.  I love his toothless smile.  I love his personality.  I love loving him.

And look at this sweetie.

She has this thing about baby pumpkins.  Ever since she was a cute little toddler, she’s just loved baby pumpkins.  When she was little, she would carry a little pumpkin around with her and put it right at her bedside when she slept.  It cracks me up.  She treats it likes it’s a baby.

My kids are goofy.

I have no idea from whence this goofiness comes.

Total mystery.

I adore my kids.

Now all we needed to do is ride those pumpkins to the car and head home.  Another great visit to the patch.

I’m already looking forward to next year.

Next up is the amazing Northern Illinois photographer behind Heather Wilson Photography.  She never disappoints! Head on over for some beautiful images and then click your way through all the links to find your way back here!…