Monday, June 27, 2011

Minty Fresh Monday: Mom Tips- Top 5!!!

Welcome to Minty Fresh Monday! Mint (adj.) meaning new, fresh, sweet, brilliant, awesome.
Hello, brilliant moms and dads!  I'd like to share a post that I did for the very first Mom Tip Monday on 
I'm so excited that Angie asked me to share my top 5 tips on photographing your family.  I know that as parents, you 
want to have gorgeous photos of your children that will become gorgeous heirlooms in the future. As a mommy and a
photographer, I know how hard that can be.  So, I'm here to help.  I give you my top 5 tips on getting great photos that
you will cherish for a long time. 
#1. Capture details. 
Get closer to your child. I once had a mom tell me before our session that she just loved her boys' eyelashes and feet. 
Guess what I tried to focus on? Yup. Adorable feet and long eyelashes. One of my favorite things about my son is his 
little Buddah belly. Think about it. If you know what your favorite features are, use that to your advantage! Focus
on those things and try to highlight them in your photographs. 
#2. Lighting is everything. 
If you are fortunate enough to have a DSLR camera, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to use it. Turn
it to the manual setting and don't look back. I found a wonderful resource for learning how to shoot manually at digital
photography school.  Trust me, it will make all the difference in your photos. If you don't have a DSLR, or
you're just too afraid to learn how to use it, at least try one thing: take your subject outside. Get some extra gorgeous 
light during the "magic hours" of sunset and sunrise. Turn off that flash, please.  
#3. Get a different angle. 
Walk all around your child while allowing them to play. Get high. Get low. Experiment. Snap a shot, and then try
another shot from a different perspective. 
#4. Keep learning. 
Keep practicing. Have a camera with you as much as you can.  Even if it is just thecamera that comes with your
phone, you will still begin to learn how to best captureyour child.  Practice framing and looking for light. 
Practice looking for moments and it will translate to your "real" camera, too. As a full time teacher, I assign 
homework all the time. Do you know what homework really is? It's extra practice. And guess what? The kids 
who practice more are the kids who make the most gains. You will get better if you keep practicing. For both of
my son and my daughter, I took a photo of them every day. Now, that's quite a commitment that I can't expect
everyone to make. But I think it would be a fantastic goal to try to take one photo each week. That's do-able 
right? If you'd like to join me, I'll make a weekly challenge on my blog where I'll share tips, and you can share 
your questions and photos with me. 
#5. (I like to save my favorite for last.) Capture real moments, not "dress-up-and-say-cheese."
If your family is anything at all like mine, they don't dress up and say cheese very often.  If your
family makes messes, runs around nekkid, jumps in puddles, or creates works of art, then capture THOSE 
things. Let them play, and just keep snapping.  Chase them around! It's fantastic exercise! (Do your children 
really stay still and "cheese" all the time? Mine don't.)  You'll get something you love.  Chances are, the photos 
of your child making a mad face or wrestling with their brother will resonate with you more in 10 years than a 
photo of them standing stiffly in their itchy Christmas sweater will. 
I hope these tips have been helpful, and I hope you've been inspired to get out
and shoot!  Come join the weekly adventure on my blog!
**Featured on**

I Love
New Steal Daily - 9am MDT

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fabulous Friday: Ice Cream

Just because, I couldn't get it off of my mind.  Here is my favorite ice cream in the world- Bryer's Mint chocolate chip.  (Yes, it's a bonus that it has the word Mint, ha ha!)

Mmmmm, deliciousness.

So, for my Friday find, I'm going to give a little shout out to Baby Steals:

I Love
New Steal Daily - 9am MDT

They have some amazing deals for moms on a budget, and beginning Monday, they will be offering tips to mommies everywhere.  Guess who will be giving the first tip?  Yours truly!  I have already been brainstorming and writing a few ideas- I am so excited!!!
Stay tuned.  I can't wait to share it with you.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Water Works

Have I mentioned yet that I'm on summer break?  Mmmm, hmm.  I am!  I really love having this time to spend with my family.  We went to the local pool the other day, and it was really fun playing around with them, watching Lilly SWIM by herself and show off her floating techniques.  I'm so glad that we invested in a few swimming lessons for her.  
The coolest part is that her little brother wants to do everything that she is doing, and has no fear of the water.  He wants to jump in and tries floating and uses his arms to swim while we hold him.  
These two water babies are so fun!
How are your kids at the pool? Do they love it? Are they fearful? Are they fearless? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Minty Fresh Monday: Shine

Mint. (adj.) meaning new, fresh, sweet, brilliant, awesome.

Being a teacher sometimes has it's perks, for sure.  I got to play host to twenty or so silkworms in my classroom, and I decided to sneak three of them home to meet Lilly.  She loved holding the little caterpillars, giggling at how sticky their feet were. 

When they made cocoons for themselves, it was pretty exciting, but not quite as exiting as the day when Mr. Moth came out.  Mr. Moth was fuzzy and had the coolest little antenna that looked a bit like little eyebrows.  He doesn't fly much.  He just searches for Mrs. Moth and tries to make little eggs with her.  My four year old squealed with  excitement as she got to hold Mr. Moth, and Jack wanted in on the action, too.  It's been a really great experience hosting these little moths.  I think we may try some Praying Mantis eggs next year.

(say hello to Mr. Moth)
So, watching Mr. and Mrs. Moth flutter around, and knowing how short their life span is, it made me start thinking... We have a short time here on this planet.  We need to make our mark.  We need to shine.

David Gray- Shine

Have a fantastic week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!

I have been lucky enough to share some amazing moments with families this year.  I love to see the special moments people share with each other.  Perhaps because I feel lucky enough to have had one of the greatest dads ever, I especially look for moments that kids share with their dads.  
Fathers are very special people, and I hope each one that I've worked with can see the joy that they bring to those around them. 
"I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart."  ~Terri Guillemets
Dads, this post is for you.   

Happy Father's Day!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday: Love Locks

Today, while munching on the yummiest snack ever, (yes, you heard me, double-stuff oreos.  You are the yummiest!!!)

I stumbled on something I thought was really cool.  They are called Love Locks, and people across the world add locks together to symbolize their love for each other.  I think it's beautiful and amazing, and I'm going to find a place to add our own locks soon.  What do you do to show your family that you care?
Have a gorgeous weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wallpaper. Who knew?

Sometimes,four year olds have the greatest ideas. It was a hot June day, and Lilly and I were looking for something to do. I was a little to tired to drag out the box of craftiness, so we decided that we would just explore the house and see what we could do.
We entered the garage, and that's when she spotted it. Two rolls of wrapping paper. I was saving it from Christmas, to be used next year. She said, innocently, "let's decorate!"
The wheels started turning, and we decided to make photo backdrops out of it. It was so much fun! I loved turning our walls into removable art. I definitely need to do it more often!

show me your wrapping paper!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Minty Fresh Monday: Imagine

Mint. (adj.) meaning new, fresh, sweet, brilliant, awesome.

Getting inspired by other artists is the name of the game.  I adore Ron Howard, and I'm amazed by the entries that I see coming in for Project Imagin8tion.  If you have some brilliant photographs to share, you've got one day left to enter them.  Go now! Inspire others.  Good luck!

have a fabulous week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fabulous Friday: Inspirational Finds

Oh, how I love my iPhone.  I love the photos I can take with it, and as I've mentioned before, I am currently addicted to Instagram, and post photos all the time.  I am adding this to my wishlist (remember, my birthday is in September, so you have lots of time to save! ha ha!).  I love these little lenses from Photojojo.  I really want to try them out.

Buy the Fisheye, Macro, and Wide Angle Camera Phone Lenses at the Photojojo Store!

Aren't they awesome?
Have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Summertime always makes me think of sidewalk chalk, blue endless sky, and bubbles.  Honestly, it's one of the things I always try to bring with me when doing a family photo shoot. Nothing is more fun than a bottle of bubbles!  It really brings out some family dynamics that may otherwise go unnoticed.  Here are some of my favorties!
 Share your bubble photos with me! I'd love to see them.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Minty Fresh Monday: Little Wing

Mint. (adj.) meaning new, fresh, sweet, brilliant, awesome.

Well, dear fans, it has been a while.  The last month of teaching always proves to be the most difficult and hectic, leaving me with very little energy to work on the things I love, like photography and blogging.  My apologies.  But I'm back! And for those of you who have been enjoying my Minty Fresh series, I've decided to make it a weekly thing.  My Minty Fresh posts have been about sharing quick photography tips, and I will continue doing so.  I'm going to switch it up every now and then and also introduce you to brilliant people, and new discoveries. 

Today, I'd like to share something that is close to my heart.  My husband is an AMAZING musician, and is an up-and-coming film maker.  He recently finished a project that I'd like to share here- his first animated short, called Little Wing: Descent.  Our 4 year old daughter debuts in the role of Lilly Wane (aka Little Wing).

Little Wing: Descent from Matt Mintz on Vimeo.