One of my/our favorite children’s musicians is Frances England. You may remember hearing her Pancake song on a commercial even. Anyway, this Holiday Family Creative Challenge came through my email the other day.

Her challenge to you is to download her new song (for free!) “Oh, how you’ve grown” and set your photos to it in a video. Then share it with your family, friends, neighbors… (and me!).  There is no real prize, but you can give yourself a satisfying pat on the back for having done something awesome with your photos (or videos). [You might score points with the grandparents too!]

If you participate, leave a comment with a link to your video. I’d LOVE to see it. I’m working on mine now. I’ll share it when I’m through. The hard part is deciding which photos to use.

I could kick myself! I just ordered all our holiday photo gifts, cards, etc and then discovered I could have saved a bunch of money using Ebates. I found Ebates through searching for coupons for something I was buying (snow boots if you must know). But once I landed on the screen I remembered I seen it before. Then it hit me. It was on ChristianPF. I love those people, so after re-reading I knew they would not be steering me in a direction they wouldn’t go themselves. Now I’m signed up and hooked on Ebates. As long was we are stream-of-conscience-ing it here… I was then like, “I have to tell my photo friends. They NEED to order prints and gifts too. WHO doesn’t want to know about saving 8%, 15%, 20%. So pardon the un-solicited advertisement here, but I love sharing good deals when I find them. Don’t you?

My favorite online printing is done on Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery. If I would have gone through my new Ebates account I could have gotten 8% (Shutterfly) or 15% (Kodak) cash back using these two printers. No joke! I’m so annoyed. The holiday order is my biggest of the year.

Other photo printers using Ebates (some of which I have used) are: Minted (5%), Snapfish (20%), and you could print your own cards using Vistaprint (5%).

Follow this link to Ebates. I think you’ll be glad you did. I’m just glad I figured it out before I started my online holiday shopping. The more I save, the more I can spend on well… printing more of my zillions of photos.

Posted in DIY

Candid photos are maybe my second favorite kind (right behind black and white). I think one of the tricks to capturing your own kids without them posing, is taking photos often. Eventually I think their brains say, “Oh, there’s mom with the camera again.” Sometimes I take a few posed ones, and then when we are ‘done’, I shoot a few more. Distracted children are also easier to photograph candidly, and whatever they are/were doing is what made you pick up the camera in the first place. So just get them back to that task. Don’t be afraid to recreate an event if you missed it.

CHALLENGE: Take a photo of your kids doing work.
Tying shoes,
Eating an apple,
Brushing teeth,
Making a sandwich,
Cleaning up (does that even happen if you’re watching?)…

Share the link to your photo in the comments below.

When you are photographing a growing family, you usually end up with a few kids who are shorter than the rest. This can sometimes look awkward. You know the photo…. Dad’s head is at the top of the image and preschool boy’s head is just sneaking on the bottom. Or worse, someone bends their knees to get their head closer to the rest, and then just looks all uncomfortable and miss-proportioned.

To compensate for this, try using a prop. In this photo I used an old milk crate. It blended in nicely with the set, which was my goal. (I prefer props to not draw too much attention to themselves and look authentic to the set. I’ll talk about that in a post someday.) By having the shortest child stand on the crate, I brought the focal points closer to the center of the image.

Other ways to compensate for height differences in family photos with children:
-Have everyone sit down.
-Hold smaller children on hips and pose them on outside (so they don’t get hidden in shadows). Here’s an example or like this.

-Sit on a couch like this

Let’s face it, mom is usually the unsung hero of family photos. She works countless hours to pick out the right outfits for everyone. Then deals with the whining from all involved about what she picked out. Finally, she is the one who makes sure the photos hit the walls and mailboxes of the grandparents who were the ones begging for an updated picture in the first place.

So in her honor, why not pose a photo where mom is the focal point? I caught this one a few weeks ago in a shoot with this stunning family. Can’t wait to share more of their photos with you.

Well that was rude of me, huh? I start this blog, and then I go missing for TWO weeks!!

Here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to..

Julian & Co. is one of my favorite jewelry designers. I was so honored when they contacted me to photograph their new line. Can’t wait to see what they do with all the photos. (I’ll post some more photos from this shoot soon.)

And the beautiful model is Whitney from Love Inhabit. She made my job easy!