Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of 2011

I don't like to make New Year's "Resolutions" because the word alone lends itself to failure, and who likes failing?  So instead I'll just discuss my "To-Do List for 2012."  Among the obligatory weight loss and more quality family time, I really want to get back to blogging.  I maintain 3 blogs that mean a lot to me (this one, my cooking blog, and a family blog), though I apparently use the word "maintain" loosely.  But I love to blog, and I love having these creative outlets, and I really want to give myself some kind of routine in the coming months.

To start off, I figured I'd share my favorite shots from each month during the past year.  They might not be my best work from a technical perspective, but each one not only makes me smile, but also taught me something.  Enjoy!

January: For Christmas last year, my husband gave me a new lens.  I couldn't wait to host a little photo shoot with my kids... and Ryan couldn't wait to explore with his new telescope.

February: This isn't even that great of a shot, but I am in love with the look of concentration on his face.

March: This shot is a little distorted but how can you look at that face and not smile?

April: Another shot that's distorted since it's so wide, but I love it.  It's hanging up in my family room.

May: I don't remember what captivated Danny's attention (presumably a plane or helicopter) but I'm sure glad I captured that sweet expression.

June: This is another that makes me laugh - taken during a little dinner al fresco.

July: This is one of the shots I took when my "baby" turned 2.  It didn't make the frame, but he's holding a giant ballon in the shape of a 2 and is enamored with it.

August: I love this shot of my two landscapers!  And the glare is truly indicative of how beastly hot it was.

September: Ryan looks so official and dedicated in his soccer get-up!  Too bad his David Beckham stint only last a practice and a half.

October: He was determined to carry his own pumpkin, and only after he dumped it into the wagon did he finally admit to it being heavy.

November: I have nothing to say about this shot except that it makes me giggle every.single.time I see it.  You can practically HEAR him saying "aaarrrrrrrrrrr."

December: I just love this.

Bonus: This was taken on Christmas morning, and I snapped it before my flash was ready to go off.  This resulted in a super dark photo that I nearly deleted before doing any editing.  I'm so glad something told me to hit that auto-contrast button - their faces are PRICELESS as they see Santa's bounty for the first time.  This photo serves a reminder to me that photography is not about capturing the perfect photo - it's about capturing the perfect moment.

Happy 2012!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jamie's Bridal Shower

I was thrilled when Jamie asked me to photograph her bridal shower. She's such a fun lady and I'm excited to have gotten to know her over the past couple of years.

I have a crazy amount of pictures to get through, but I couldn't wait to show Jamie a few right away!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Up Up and Away!

This past weekend was the annual Quick Check Balloon Festival, and the balloons launch from an airport not too far from us. We usually drive around and find a spot to park (usually in a location where we can also purchase Munchkins!) but this year we hit the jackpot.

As we drove around "following" them, we actually stumbled across where they landed. And they clearly don't have a designated landing site, as evidenced below; they land where they land, even if it means landing in someone's front yard.

This one literally landed in the middle of the road. They eventually moved it to a driveway so that they could properly deflate it and pack it up.

Many landed within a block or two of each other. The neighborhood was just buzzing with crew trucks and excited families. Can you imagine going out for a pizza and coming home to finding this?? (Or worse... coming home to find out that you MISSED this!)

My kids, of course, thought our night was just amazing. I'm pretty sure we'll never experience a balloon festival quite this exciting again!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Happy Sunday! Usually Sundays are pretty bittersweet - who doesn't kind of dread the end of the weekend?? But my weekend was pretty busy, actually, so I'm almost looking forward to going in to work tomorrow for a few hours. :)

Plus, Sundays bring the next 5 items on Ashley Sisk's scavenger hunt list!

1. FINGERTIPS: I recently upgraded to an iphone, and my oldest has used it more than I, I think. He's a master at Angry Birds!

2. WALKING EMPTY STREETS: "Walking empty streets" is what I WISH I was doing in this photo, rather than waiting in a very long line to cross the border!

2. REPEATING PATTERNS: We chased some hot air balloons last night during the Balloon Festival and watched them actually land in people's yards.

4. FLOOR: I love catching them being silly. And I really want to bite his belly.

5. THEN AND NOW: This is, obviously, from the archives... but in the middle of a crazy heat wave, it's sometimes nice to think about the weather from a few months ago!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

some vacation favs

We just returned home our vacation to Toronto and Niagara Falls, and I spent much of this evening going through and editing our pics. From a technical perspective, here are some of my favorites:

All set to cross the border!

A cable car driving alongside the harbor:

The CN Tower:

I don't really know what my son is doing but this gesture w/ his hands appeared in multiple shots:

Lookin' cool while waiting to enter the Blue Jays/Yankees game:

My youngest loved the Hippo Tour!

After about a week in Toronto, we drove to Niagara Falls for a couple of days. This was our view at breakfast...

...and this was our view at dinner!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthday Photo Shoot

I dressed up my youngest in his birthday party shirt (which matched our "Very Hungry Caterpillar" party theme!) and headed out to the backyard for a mini photo session. HOW is this boy two already?!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Make-Up Scavenger Hunt

Here are a few of the shots I've taken over the past few weeks in failed attempts at completing Ashley's scavenger hunts:

1. TOY:

2. BLING: This was our cake topper for our wedding. I love all the details, including the fresh wedding bands on both of their hands.

3. LETTERS: Where did the "e" go? :(

4. BEADS: These are from a Mother's Day present that my oldest made for me about 3 years ago. It broke, spilling the beads all over the street, about 2 hours later. But I snatched as many as I could find and keep them in the box he made for me.

5. CHORE: Yuck.

6. LOOKS LIKE A LETTER OF THE ALPHABET: My coffee cup, of course, making a Q.

7. FARM, or HIDDEN: I can kill both birds with this one since this is a photo of my son's FARM puzzle... and the horse seems to be hidden. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Ack! I'm behind again! I've been starting each week but then falling behind. I have some catch-up shots to post later this week, but first - an actual completed Scavenger Hunt!

1. BARE: My fingernails! This is a rare occurrence where they are actually polish-free. Not long after the shot, however, they were painted a brilliant shade of Back to the Fuchsia. :)

2. REFLECTIONS IN GLASS: This shot is several years old; that baby in the stroller is heading rapidly to age 5! This was taken in Washington DC in the reflection of a very dirty storefront.

3. SEEING DOUBLE: This shot could easily be titled "Seeing Triple" or even "Seeing Quadruple." My youngest cannot go to sleep w/out his Mickey, and we actually have a plethora of spares.

4. HEADLIGHTS: I nearly tripped over this truck but the stream of expletives slipping out of my mouth was instantly ceased when I decided to use it for a scavenger hut shot. (PS: Ryan calls them "Hess Hess trucks" - I love that he says it twice.)

5. BLACK AND WHITE: This is another oldie-but-goodie, also taken from DC. I love the little piece of advice on the bottom of the cup.