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First day of school traditions and tips (sibling photos week 35/52)

The first day of school seems so far away already but it was in fact a couple of weeks ago for us - Liam is now in Kindergarten!

So far so good at his new school - he seems to be having fun and making friends. The other day, we ran into one of his new classmates at the playground and as we left, he gave him a hug and asked me if we could invite him to his birthday party (which by the way is not until February but we have been discussing for months already!).

Whenever we run into classmates they all seem to be excited to see each other and Liam has also been surprisingly forthcoming in sharing tidbits about his day.

Here are the traditional "first day of school" photos from this year.

And this is last week's sibling photo from Liam's first day.

Check out my Mom365 blog post on capturing natural smiles to get a glimpse behind the scenes of some of these photos!


Focus on love

Today and every day, I am grateful for what I have that so many lost on this day 13 years ago, and in the months and years following - life, loved ones, a future, hope, happiness.

Today is a difficult day.

But today I try and focus on… love.


DSLR free vacation and quiet time in midst of excitement (sibling photos week 33&34/52)

We just got back from a week of vacation in Florida. It was fantastic! We basically spent almost the entire time either in the pool or at the beach. At night it felt like I was still floating up and down after all the hours in the water. It was great to be outside so much but also tiring. By the time the kids were in bed, we were pretty much ready to call it a night too!

And guess what? I did not take my DSLR to the pool or beach once! I went with a waterproof point-and-shoot and my iphone. In fact, were it not for this project, I might not have taken any photos at all!

I did however capture the two boys playing with Lego guys in the hotel. One of the fun things about the vacation was getting to see them spend so much time together.

I also captured this moment while we were waiting for our Duck Boat tour. The light, just like the moment, was irresistible.

I'm so glad to have these photos from our vacation. I'll be honest though, my favorites are the beach and pool snapshots that I took with the waterproof camera. Knowing that I didn't have to lug the "big camera" everywhere, or worry about keeping it safe from sand and water was great. I'll share those another time!


Why cloudy days can be the best for taking photos of your kids (sibling photos week 32/52)

The playground on a cloudy day... a photographer's paradise! Ok so it is not the most glamorous or beautiful of locations, but, as I have shared before, the playground offers many photographic opportunities to capture your kids in their element.

One of the things I love about the summer is the long evenings of daylight and being able to take the kids to the playground between dinner and bed for one last expenditure of energy.

Of course, actually getting two active siblings in the same frame as each other can be a challenge, but what is the saying? "Good things come to those that wait."

I waited, and I captured this moment, totally un-posed, and lasting only for a split second before they were off again.

Photo tip

Photographing kids is kind of like photographing animals on safari. Ok, I have never been on safari but I imagine it to be similar - you have no control over your subjects and you just have to watch and wait!

Alright so maybe you have (slightly) more control over your kids than that. They can be posed. But I find it so much more rewarding as a mom and a photographer to (mostly) leave them be and capture what unfolds. Try it!


Make the most of summer vacation photo tips for moms and dads

Before the summer ends, take full advantage of my tips for better summer photos series here on Photosanity and over at Mom365.

The photo tip series for moms and dads includes: Top 5 tips for photo friendly outfits, summer photo location tips and tips for taking great photos on summer trips.

Top 5 Tips for Photo-Friendly Summer Outfits

What are the best summer outfits for photos? Summer is a great time to find bright colors, patterns and styles that really reflect your child's personality without having to worry about whether they are warm enough.

1) Pick colors that are rich, warm, and bright.

Ever noticed how colorful the architecture is in warmer climates? In the bright summer sun you want strong colors that hold their own...

Read more on Mom365

Summer Photo Location Tips for Families

The summer is a great time to use photography as a catalyst for creating memorable experiences for your kids as well as vice versa.

Here are some ideas for summer activities that also provide great photo ops.

1. The lake

No, not everyone has access to a lake in their backyard, but if you get the opportunity for some lakeside summer fun, it is a great opportunity for summer photos. Depending on the lake, it is generally easier to handle a DSLR at the lake than at the beach if there is less sand and no waves...

Read more on Mom365

Tips for Taking Great Summer Family Photos

We all know that "vacationing" with kids in tow is very, let's say, different, than in the pre-kid days. It's a lot of work! Yet the payoff of memorable and happy experiences for your kids can be great... and I know you want to capture those moments for years to come. So to help you along, here are some tips for summer vacation photos:

What photography gear to bring on summer vacation with kids:

1) Your iPhone and charger

These are a must, of course. Make sure you clear off storage space and have Photo Stream turned on so your vacation memories are backed up to the cloud while you are away...

Read more on Mom365

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