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My word for 2015 - EASE

Every year for the past few years I have picked a "word of the year". I've found it really helpful in keeping me focused and headed in the right direction. When I've had difficult decisions to make, my word has been surprisingly helpful in guiding me.

In 2013 my word was THRIVE. In 2014 it was SUSTAIN. I started out the year with way too much going on and gradually over the year made shifts small and large so that my life would be more manageable - and sustainable.

I had to say no to a lot of things, which is very hard for me, but what it meant was that I had a transformative year, and it wasn't just me, but a team effort with my husband, supporting friends and family, and even the kids! Our family had a year that I am truly so grateful for and I am excited about the year ahead.

My word for 2015 is EASE. I still have a lot going on and in order for me to be at my best, I need a little more ease in my life - "guerrilla" self-care, better planning, realistic goal setting, thoughtful and intentional daily habits, all resulting in some space to play, have fun, try out new ideas, experiment. Ease doesn't mean easy, in fact to me it means being rigorous so that I'm not maxed out. And it means being able to be more present and able to more fully experience the precious fleeting moments of my children's lives.

Of course, as always, it's a work in progress, but I am learning more and more to enjoy the journey and worry less about the destination. Thank you for joining me!


5 photo projects for the new year

It's a brand new year and if you are anything like me, you are setting goals and making plans for the year ahead that include several photo projects.

But are you feeling overwhelmed by all the photo projects on your to-do list?

I'm over on Mom365 explaining my top five essential photo projects that have you covered. Pick even just one of these family photo projects to focus on this year. Break down your project into small steps.

Then, schedule them out in your calendar and you CAN get it done!

Read more on Mom365


The best photo project you will do this year - my tips on Mom365

With holiday madness behind us, the end of the year drawing near and a movie queued up for a rare quiet evening at home the other night, I decided to review and catch up on my photo-a-day project, and I was pleasantly surprised to find very few gaps in my calendar for 2014!

I've been doing this project since Liam was born in 2009 and I have photos for almost every day since then but, well, let's just say that for past few years, I still have quite a bit of backfilling to do.

However, this this December 31st I closed out the year with a photo posted for every day!

Learn how you can do the same and help to make 2015 a special year of capturing the moment with your family.

Read more on Mom365


Soft and lovely - outdoor photos on cloudy, happy days (sibling photos week 52/52)

I love a good cloudy day at the playground after the rain. The light is diffuse and moody and everything looks soft and lovely.

And so it was when we headed to the playground during the post-holiday weekend so the kids could try out their new stomp rocket and bubble guns, both of which were a big hit.

I hope the holidays brought you at least some moments of peace and joy (ours did) and that the new year brings you love in abundance.

Thank you for being here.

And PS yes, I will be rounding up my year of sibling photos in the new year - see you then!


Camera lenses parents need and how to use them (sibling photos week 49/52)

As anyone who has taken any of my workshops knows, I recommend the 50mm f/1.8 lens as the best portrait lens the least money can buy that can give you the "subject in focus, background blurry" look, also known as shallow depth of field.

But I also get questions from my 50mm users asking what the NEXT lens they should get that allows them to get more in the frame without stepping back so much. This is a particularly pertinent question for New Yorkers who often don't have much indoor space to step back into!

So, after the 50mm I recommend a 35mm or even a 28mm or 24mm lens.

This photo was taken with my 35mm, which also allows me to get closer to my subject than my 50mm. At this crowded cafe, it enabled me to photograph Liam and Jack while sitting right next to them! As a mom, I find it is a great lens for capturing those moments when my kids are in my face or, in some cases actually on top of me while I photograph them as in these photos from the summer.

My 35mm is also my go-to lens for group photos, especially when there are other parents photographing the same group with their phones - with a 50mm you won't be able to get far enough away without having other parents in the photo. In fact, even a 35mm may not be wide enough for that - be ready to either yell at everyone to get out of the way or to whip out your phone yourself!

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