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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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Ice pops and wide shots - photo tips from our Brooklyn Flea visit (sibling photo week 31/52)

For a couple of weeks in a row now, I've started a new summer tradition with the boys... stopping by Brooklyn Flea to enjoy the most delicious ice pops in the world from People's Pops.

I first discovered these pops three years ago at the High Line but to tell the truth, in all the craziness of, you know, having a second child, I completely forgot my vow at that time to visit them at Brooklyn Flea until this summer.

But seriously, they really are the most delicious ice pops in the universe and now my boys love them too. I love how Jack is looking at Liam in this photo trying to figure out exactly what to do with his pop. The first time he just licked it and it ended up a dripping mess, but he has now learned to take bites out of it like a pro.

Photo tip

Stand back and capture the environment surrounding your kids as part of the story of their life.

And eat ice pops.


Let the funny moments happen and be ready to capture them (sibling photo week 30/52)

This sibling photo is just kind of a funny random one at grandma's - Liam is dead pan and Jack is cracking up! Also note poor Jack's rolled up shorts as he got a boo-boo on the back of his knee.

Photo tip

Funny moments like this can't be staged or foreseen. Sometimes it's about what you just happen to catch. Have your camera out and ready even when nothing in particular is happening and then wait and see what unfolds.


Friends, scooters and our favorite park (sibling photos week 29/52)

One of my favorite things about Brooklyn is Prospect Park. It's about a 20 minute walk from our house and I spent a lot of time there with Liam during his first summer. I still remember the first time I made that walk with him after my c-section and how, as I stepped through that tunnel into the wide vista of grass and trees so carefully designed by Frederick Law Olmsted over 100 years ago, it felt like my life was opening up again after a long winter of being either heavily pregnant or recovering from major surgery.

Special places hold special meaning that can be captured over time through photography.

I don't get to the park as much as I used to, but last weekend we met up with Liam's oldest friend (literally!) for a play date and the boys had fun scooting up and down one of the paths. They were given strict instructions about the limits of how far they were allowed to go and they kept to them!

And yes, Jack did lag behind a little but he did a pretty good job of keeping up.

Photo tip

If you can get your kids doing a repetitive activity such as scooting up and down a path, you get repeated opportunities to capture them in action.


Questioning stereotypes I thought no longer applied - boys, girls, Legos and pink guitars

I've been thinking a lot about gender stereotypes lately. I dropped Liam off at his Lego camp on Monday and it was ALL boys. We're talking midtown Manhattan here, people - yes, the camp is called "Jedi Engineering" which probably accounts for some of the bias, but really, not a single girl in the whole of Manhattan or the five boroughs? As a girl who loved Legos (and Star Wars) growing up and who went on to become an architect, this makes me angry and sad.

I polled the parents in the Ask Moxie Facebook group and many chimed in to say their girls love Legos and Star Wars too so I know I am not imagining things. I realize that Lego is not for everyone but I hate to think that girls are still getting stereotyped this way, and so are boys. I would hate for my boys to think that Legos and engineering are only for boys. It is 2014! I am so disappointed.

Yes, I have two boys, and they enjoy a lot of stereotypical "boy" things. I am also told that boys are more rambunctious and loud and constantly in motion than girls. Certainly I have seen girls who sit and play quietly for way longer than my boys typically do, but we also have girls over for play dates who absolutely match the energy and craziness of my boys!

My boys have older girl cousins who love Star Wars and Lego but they have also inherited pink "girly" toys from them that they love. The pink stroller and pink electric guitar are hot items in our house and both boys love the color purple.

I'm not saying that boys and girls are the same or that they're different. Everyone is different. My hope is that my kids grow up in an environment where every child is encouraged to pursue their own interests and build on their own strengths regardless of what gender or other stereotypes dictate.

PS I did get many encouraging responses in the Ask Moxie Facebook group about what sounds like more equal gender participation in Lego robotics camps and classes at a slightly older age. Maybe as kids get older they are making less stereotyped choices about extracurricular activities for themselves? My husband is an engineer and he said over half their summer interns this year are women.