Why It is a Good Idea to Revisit Locations

| In The Light |

There are only so many locations around me that I have deemed worthy of visiting, of spending time to find a composition. With this in mind, I am left with a choice: travel multiple hours away, or simply revisit locations multiple times a year. Quitting is never an option. Even though I do travel hours away at times – such as when I went camping in Western Pennsylvania or when I went out to Wyoming – I am more often inclined to travel short distances, spending the entire day exploring the same location. Why would a person do this, besides saving for gas?

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Photography Life

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A few of our favorite things: 2017 holiday edition

We like to shop around here but what we really enjoy doing is sharing our most loved items with our favorite people – YOU!

As we do every year, just in time for the holidays, we’re dishing on all our favorite products. From lenses to books to household items, these things have us hooked.

Prepare this year’s wish list and you may just discover your very own new favorite thing!

iRobot Roomba 960

I couldn’t live without my iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum. We have a very furry Golden Retriever and two cats that are always dragging dry leaves into the house. I love that I don’t always have to pull out the central-vac everyday. A fun thing that Roomba owners do is name their vacuums.

Annie Sloan Paint

Upcycling furniture is quick and easy with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax. There is no need prep your furniture prior to painting which is perfect for me because the fewer steps the better. The paint dries very quickly so you can complete a project in one day including waxing. The paint cleans up with soap and water.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

I have dry, curly hair that I prefer to let nature have it’s way with, but when I do blow it dry, I don’t like to have the heat on it for too long. The Dyson Supersonic dries my time in a fraction of the time my standard dryer took, leaving my hair much healthier than it was before.

riversole skin care products

I am a product junkie and have spent a fortune on finding the perfect skincare regime. I recently discovered Riversol, which is perfect for sensitive skin. It’s available in various formulations depending on your skin type and developed by Canadian dermatologist, Dr. Jason Rivers. You can even “try before you buy!”

Nickel and Suede leather earrings

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite color because I cannot. The fun textures, patterns, and color of these earrings have me checking their website often. Even after a long day of wearing them, the lightweight materials keep my ears from hurting.

beauty counter sheer lipstick

I love a good red lip but it can be a serious challenge finding the right shade to compliment my skin tone. Not only does this shade look amazing on every single person but it’s from a company that’s committed to keeping their product free of harmful ingredients.

Revive Kombucha Boogie Down

I was a kombucha skeptic for way too long. This stuff is so yummy! I have yet to try a flavor from Revive that I don’t fall head over heels for but right now I am on a “Boogie Down” kick .

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Molly on the Range cookbook

I am a cookbook addict and this one combines outstanding recipes (challah waffles will change your life) with delightfully written anecdotes. Oh, and the photography is BEAUTIFUL.

waterproof buckle-up boot

Living in New England it seems like we are always dealing with weather: rain, mud, ticks, snow. These waterproof boots are amazing and so incredibly comfortable! I can shoot all day in them and my feet never hurt.

Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack camera bag

This bag holds my laptop, camera, a few lenses, and there’s still room for accessories and a good book. It’s wonderful when you are going away for a weekend and hope to keep all your gear to one bag!

Deva Curl low-poo

I have wrestled with my curls my entire life and no product line has ever worked to tame them as well as the DevaCurl line. My favorite products are the No-Poo (their odd word for shampoo), the Decadence conditioner, and the Light Styling Gel.

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss

This is my favorite item in my purse. I’m not much of a makeup person but I always keep this gloss with me. It’s just the perfect combination of soft color and shine.

Zacuto Z-Finder is the BEST for tilt-shift photos! I have terrible eyesight and this saves my butt whenever I use my tilt-shift lens. If you have been struggling to make the most of your lenses that manually focus, you want one of these.

I LOVE the ThinkTank Airport Advantage bag for weddings. It fits so much stuff AND in a pinch, it’ll fit under an airplane seat, which means I never need to worry about it getting checked.

Photo Mechanic is a god-send when it comes to culling photos. Lightroom has a slight delay when it comes to opening previews importing files. This way, I can cull my weddings before importing them into LR! So much faster and saves so much time.

LibriVox is where amazing people have donated their time to creating audiobooks for various books in the public domain! These are free and available for download on their website, or you can find them on iTunes.

I was recently introduced to DotDotSmile dresses when my friend started selling them. They are so twirlable and photograph so well and my 9 year old daughter loves them! The ballerina style is my favorite!

Another friend introduced me to LipSense lipstick that stays on so well! I normally can’t keep lipstick on but with this it’s on all day, sometimes into the next day. I also love how you can layer the different colors to get the perfect shade.

Since I don’t own a pool and only swim in one occasionally I decided to get a GoPro 5 instead of underwater housing. I love how easy this is to take everywhere since it’s so tiny!

The Telesin Dome for the GoPro dome is one of my favorite purchases of the year! It has allowed me to get amazing split shots of above and below the water line both in a pool and the lake.

The brown leather color of the Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop literally goes with everything. I like that it can be paired shorts, dresses, or jeans and is comfortable enough to be worn all day.

I honestly wouldn’t have considered the ProTactic Camera Backpack from Lowepro if I didn’t need it this year for a hike to get to my photo destination. I ended up loving all the compartments and didn’t feel the need to worry about where my bag was being left while I was shooting.

Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm takes off all my makeup and makes my skin feel amazing! I no longer have dry patches and my face looks and feels cleaner and brighter.

A little drop of Drunk Elephant’s Marula Luxury Facial Oil goes a long way! I use this oil on my hands, ends of my hair, and dry spots on my face. I’m usually barefoot or in flip flops. Once a week I try to put some on my heels with socks for the night.

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It seems like I have tried all the protein powders and I’ve always either disliked the flavor or the fact that I can never get rid of the clumps. But Isopure Protein Powder is SO smooth in texture and SO tasty in flavor. They have a ton of flavor options and while I’ve liked all of the ones I’ve tried, my hands-down favorites are the Dutch Chocolate (low carb) and Creamy Vanilla (zero carb). I love drinking these as a way to get in the protein I need in my diet without feeling like I have to eat a ton of meat and I never get tired of the chocolate and vanilla flavors.

The Canon 40mm 2.8 Pancake lens is itty bitty and packs a big punch! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to pick up a copy of this tiny little lens, especially given it’s inexpensive price point. It has earned my respect and a place in my bag for it’s great image quality and has become a go-to option for when I need to lighten my load. Think day trips, vacations, or any other time space/weight limits are a concern. It’s a versatile focal length that works for a variety of genres.

I discovered bareMinerals BarePro powder over the summer when my winter foundation became too light. I didn’t want a liquid foundation in the heat of the summer as those can make me sweat. They  leave me feeling like my skin can’t breathe when the temperatures rise so I was looking for a powder with the coverage of foundation but with a lightweight feel. I love the pressed powder form of this makeup because it’s less messy than loose powder. It gives me the coverage I need to even out my skin tone but my skin feels light and naked!

I started juicing this year and it has been amazing and helped me feel great! My favorite combo is a whole bunch of kale, a head of celery, a fully cucumber, a green apple, a lemon, and a thumb of ginger. I add just a splash of coconut water and divide into mason jars.

I have a black thumb but a need for greenery around my house. This year I discovered the beauty of quality fake plants. Some of my favorites include this Sansevieria, this fiddle leaf fig tree, and these string of pearls.

I am way late to the game on the whole dry shampoo thing but this stuff is seriously amazing! I don’t have to wash my hair every time I take a shower. Who knew? And this specific kind of dry shampoo is the best I’ve found so far!

Full disclosure, I’ve only had my Allbirds Wool Runners a couple of weeks but they *still* made my list. I have to convince myself to put on any other pair of shoes now. They’re merino wool, washable, incredibly comfortable, and unique enough to be a little stylish.

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I’ve been wanting to add basic meditation practice into my crazy days for some time now and the Breathe App has finally given me a way to manage it without adding stress or guilt for skipping it. You can choose from many guided meditations or enter how you’re feeling physically and emotionally and let it give you a suggestion.

I have a wonderful knack for say, dropping my keys into the dog’s supply bin. Or leaving them in the pocket of … something? I’ve added a Tile to my keychain and have another in my purse. No more lost keys or wallet! My family rolls their eyes at me far less these days.

I live for Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage ‘Sausage’! I use it in soup, on pizza, and in salads. It is the only vegan fake meat that I hoard in my freezer! So yummy and it is great for company.

I have a complete obsession with Bizzy Lizzy’s Vegan Gluten Free Muffins. I eat a vegan variety muffin every morning for breakfast… and sometimes lunch or dinner, too! They are dense and taste amazing!

The Westcott Flex 2×2 Cine is expensive but worth it. It’s truly like having a window at my disposal any time of day. You can even bend it into shapes to wrap light! Winter is dark here and I’m excited to have light for my food projects!

Being a vegan, I am always looking for things to add flavor to my homemade Burmese tofu, flatbreads, veggie burgers, etc. The Saveur Spice Mixes, Rubs, and Salts make boring dishes come to life!

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I resisted the urge switch from PC to Mac for a number of years, but I finally made the switch last year and I couldn’t be happier. My iMac is like my new best friend! It’s so intuitive I think it reads my mind.

If you don’t have a wireless trigger for your camera yet, grab a Pulse. It lets you control your camera wirelessly using an app on your phone. It’s tiny, sleek, and easy to use. I love that it shows you a little thumbnail of the resulting image right on your phone, too!

We love these dollhouses so much we actually have three! With one for each girl, they spend hours disappearing into a world of imaginative play. They are very well made (I’m sure our future grandkids will use them!) and the colors and styles fit in seamlessly with our light and neutral home decor.

I’ve only had this app for a couple weeks and I already love it. It is a family circle app that allows you to see the location of and connect with members of your circle. The automatic notifications when a family member leaves or arrives at home is my favorite feature.

These Hunter boots last FOREVER! I wear them just about everyday in the spring and fall because not only are the durable but cute too.

RE9 Advanced Restorative Cream lotion leaves my skin looking smooth and refreshed. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and bonus, a little goes a long way.

The Money Maker is incredibly comfortable even after wearing it several hours. It’s durable and I’m able to carry a lot of gear on it. I love that I can be hands-free when I’m out and about with my boys.

Mac’s Matte Lipstick in Russian Red smells amazing. It’s long-lasting and the color is so rich.

The long, flowy Angela Dress by Myrtle and Moss Props is essential for windy days! A must-have in a photographer’s toolkit, as it fits all sizes.

I love how the Mophie Juice Pack Air case makes my iPhone Qi compatible! I am always driving around, so charge wirelessly and on-the-go is priceless.

Reading the inspirational stories from Female Entrepreneur Association makes me proud to be a woman in business!

The Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone is crystal clear! Perfect for everything from recording videos to skyping with friends.

Gahhh, the Nikon D850 camera is my new favorite. It incorporates everything I love about my Nikon cameras with such amazing tones and colors!

Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector was recommended to me by a friend and I’ve been hooked since! It doesn’t seem like it will match your skin but it is creamy and blends perfectly! It hides dark circles and puffiness so well.

I have so many camera bags but the Kelly Moore Jude one is my favorite! I love the shape and how much gear it holds. It also fits perfectly under an airplane seat which makes it perfect for traveling.

There is nothing I love more than that clean laundry smell and the Arm and Hammer Scent Booster crystals are so good! They make our laundry smell amazing and the scent lasts for a long time. I can’t get enough!

Since moving to the country with some land, I’ve done nothing but dream of my own barn and a small farm full of chickens, goats, pigs, llamas and a donkey. We just got pigs but until the rest falls into place these adorable watercolor prints from Fox Hollow Studios will have to tide me over. Can you imagine how cute these would be in a nursery?!

I’ve always loved the idea of gardening but never had much of a green thumb. Floret Farm’s new book has been an indispensable tool in helping me nurture the plants I’ve obtained this summer. Well, that book and a few awesomely helpful friends. I’m so looking forward to next year’s bounty of roses, zinnias, cosmos, hydrangeas and clematis!

Y’all, I have never loved a set of presets as much as I love Tribe Photo Co’s Wolf Pack presets for Lightroom! I’m not the biggest fan of editing but they make the process so much easier and funner. I actually look forward to spending a little time in front of the computer and putting the finishing touches on my photos now!

  • Nina O'Connell

    Nina O’Connell, Head of Accounts & Education Admin:

I use many of the Herbivore products so it’s hard to just choose one. The Pink Clay Cleansing Bar keeps my sensitive skin soft and clear.

I use the 100% Pure eye cream at night and in the morning. Not only does it work, but it smells amazing.

The Razer Firefly is extremely comfortable, does not move and it glows with interchangeable color options. It’s the best mouse pad ever.

Don’t buy me candy or roses, Ultra Fine Point Sharpies are the best gift ever! Writing with them makes me happy.

The Jackery Portable Charger gives my phone 3-4 full charges and you can’t beat the price!

The Canon 5D Mark IV does not disappoint! The upgraded autofocus system is a game changer for me. Even in low light situations, the autofocus is fast and accurate.

The Yeti Rambler goes with me EVERYWHERE. It keeps my cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. No more warming up my coffee 14 times to get through the morning!

I love Tzivia Gover’s Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life book! It’s one that you can read a little or a lot. It’s all about staying grounded and finding joy in your daily life.

I love bareMineral’s Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream so much. My face is always a little bit dry and I don’t like wearing heavy foundation. This is a light and lovely combo of moisturizer and foundation in one. It covers imperfections in my skin as well as helps even it out.

My kids and I love these bento boxes! They fit perfectly inside their lunch kits and don’t spill. My boys love when I make them their custom lunchable or pack them california rolls. It’s a great alternative to all the sandwich bags we would go through with four kids taking lunch to school!

The Pandora music app is my most used app on my iPhone because we love to listen to all types of genres everywhere we go. I love that it’s commercial free and we can jam out anytime to whomever we want, whether it’s during a ‘car dance party’ or we’re cleaning at home!

My absolute favorite blush on the planet! Twinkle Pink!

Not only do I *love* the phone pocket in their shorts but they also have pockets in their sports bras and some tops! They’re TOTALLY affordable, too!

I just adore my S’well bottle! It keeps drinks cold OR hot for hours like nothing I’ve tried before and they’re hand-painted!

When I need some energy during a long run, I absolutely LOVE these Sport Beans!

west elm duvet and sham

I love the simplicity of plain white linens, but the pintuck detail gives this West Elm organic cotton bedding an interesting little twist. It also looks great when photographing your family in or on your bed!

fresh sugar lip treatment

I always struggled to find a lip balm with SPF that didn’t taste strange to me but this is definitely my favorite – great consistency, never seems to dry out, is tasteless, and comes in a solid-feeling metal tube that I have yet to lose!

YogaTX

Because life is often too crazy to go to the yoga studio every day, YogaTX is a lifesaver. At the end of a long day after, I love to unwind with these videos. All I need is my laptop and I can squeeze in a 30 minute yoga session anywhere !

profoto a1

This little light, the Profoto A1, has completely changed the way I travel with and work with my light on location. And the best news? It fits in my bag easily AND has a continuous light source that I can use in low-light situations!

madewell jeans

The Madewell Cruiser Straight jeans remind me of my favorite jeans from my late teens/early 20s. You know, the jeans that were made of real, honest-to-goodness denim that did NOT stretch. Don’t get me wrong, I love my skinny jeans, but THESE are the ones I reach for first.

fujifilm x100f

The Fujifim X100F is my favorite walk-around camera out there. Period. And my favorite part is that it can stand in for my “real” camera because of the amazing autofocus and the wonderful IQ.

qaba hair oil

I got a blowout before a big trip at a salon in LA and they put Qaba oil on my hair. Not only did it smell incredible, but it kept my hair soft, frizz-free, and coordinated with the spray to keep it perfectly styled for the 13 hour flight and beyond. I had to go back and get my own!

  • Jan Tyler

    Jan Tyler, Customer Experience Manager, Mentor:

hydro flask

My whole family uses these. We have every size available. They are perfect for keeping drinks hot or cold and have a great handle for carrying. My favorite thing about the Hydro Flask is that I can throw it in a bag and the bottle does not leak or sweat.

burts bees lip balm

I have a Burt’s Bees lip balm stashed in every pocket and bag I own. I love the natural ingredients and the variety in flavors. My current favorite is pomegranate but all of the flavors are wonderful.

kind granola bars

I have so many food allergies and diet restrictions that it is often hard to grab a snack on-the-go. The KIND oats and honey granola bars are the perfect fix. It’s like carrying a sweet dessert in my bag.

breville the infuser espresso machine

The day hasn’t begun around here until I have a latte in hand, and crafting one for myself has become something of a me-time ritual. I chose this over a pod-based system or full automatic because I prefer a dedicated grinder and fresh, dark beans from a local roastery (now brewing: Dark as Dark from Blanchard’s Coffee Roastery Co in Richmond). We also use it to make amazing steamers (Torani cupcake syrup at the moment) for the kids.

anylist

AnyList is amazing for everything from grocery lists to packing lists to bucket lists to anything else you might want to organize and remember. With the premium version, you can set up store-specific lists by aisle/department and share your lists among family members – now everyone around here is responsible for remembering the milk, and we (literally) stay in sync when it comes to last minute changes and additions.

artisan bowl with yam noodles

Sweet Earth’s Artisan Bowls are amazing, and this one – with yam noodles, veggies, and a to-die-for sauce, is the best of the best, hands-down. I prefer it to take-out (both in nutrition and in flavor!), and it’s perfect when I want a quick hot meal or a healthy late night snack. And you can get them at Target, of all places (as if you needed another reason to go!).

chende hollywood lighted makeup vanity mirror

Chende Hollywood Vanity Mirror is glamorous and, yes, a little frivolous, but if hair &andmakeup is a creative or personal indulgence for you like it is for me, then you can appreciate how fabulous this is. It can stand on a vanity or be mounted on a wall, and you’ll feel a little like a movie star every time you turn on the beautifully even, dimmable, daylight temp bulbs along the frame.

capri blue volcano hand soap and lotion

Capri Blue is my favorite scent. I love to use the room spray and I have the candles all over my house, so it only makes sense to have the soap and lotion, too!

restoration hardware cloud modular sectional

OMG! This couch is seriously like sitting in a cloud. It is the comfiest couch I have ever owned and well worth the money. Once you sit down, you never want to get back up.

fels-naptha

This stain remover is a life savor for moms with kids in sports! This gets even the dirtiest white softball pants sparkling clean. My kids call this soap the miracle bar and anytime they spill on something white they tell their friends, “it’s OK, my mom can get ANY stain out!”

skechers go step lite ultrasock

I absolutely adore Skechers in general but the Ultrasock is a new favorite! They are not only comfortable but keep my feet warmer without a sock which is a bonus because I don’t wear socks unless absolutely necessary!

kindle paperwhite

I really enjoy reading and I love the convenience of being able to download a book at anytime. I also love the small size as the kindle tucks away perfectly into my purse so I can take it with me when I’m on the go and the glare free screen.

vitamix

I’m not certain how I survived without one of these! Being able to make smoothies, drinks, dressings, spreads, soups and even ice cream quickly and easily is my kind of appliance. I use this daily.

davids me to we tea

This is the perfect blend of fruit and tangy! It’s my go-to beverage for chilly winter afternoons and at the ice rink for all those early morning hockey practices. Plus, it’s Me to We and helps support clean water for communities in developing countries!

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November Nikon, Fuji and Olympus Savings

Nikon Lens Rebates

Although we are still a few weeks away from the big holiday sales in the USA, a number of camera manufacturers have already started their instant rebate programs. Nikon has started their popular instant lens rebate program, while Fuji has gone big on their GFX medium format sales, offering rebates up to $ 1,000 when bundling the GFX 50S with a lens, or up to $ 550 per lens when buying GF lenses individually. Fuji is also offering some X-series deals on lenses, but they are not as attractive as the ones we had previously seen in the past. Lastly, Olympus is offering a great rebate program as well, with instant rebates up to $ 200 on their gear such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and other popular lenses. Below are some of the best deals we recommend to our readers.

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Photography Life

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Why and how I photograph my child in public places

As a lifestyle photographer, I crave real moments.

I crave the moments of my child or spouse doing something that just captivates my soul. The times when my inner me screams, “I WISH I HAD MY CAMERA!”

I’ve been there. SO. MANY. TIMES.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

Why I take pictures in public places.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

From that moment on, I started bringing my camera with me wherever I went, and let me tell you, it completely changed my perspective.

Many times I hear from others how they get nervous to bust out their camera in a public space. They’re fearful of something like the manager telling them not to or another person looking at them funny.

I won’t lie, I felt that fear a time or two.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

Then I came to my senses and realized that my memories were more important than a bystander’s judgement and if a manager told me no, then I’d just put my camera away. There is literally no harm in taking photos of your children or loved ones in public spaces, and it should be encouraged.

We are living in the days of really good cell phone cameras which is great. Honestly, how often do you use that as a crutch to not bring your bigger and better quality camera? I know I have, many times.

Although my camera’s phone works great, it’s still not my camera. It’s still not the professional quality that my family’s memories deserve. So now I’ve simply made it a habit to bring my camera when I go places. Even if I take just a couple photos, each one pushes me that much further out of my comfort zone.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.
I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.
I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

My experience taking pictures in a public place.

A big hurdle for shooting in an everyday place is exactly HOW to do it. As an example, I’ll be using a recent Trader Joe’s trip where I photographed my son using their shopping cart for the first time.

Once, when I was checking out at our local TJs, I thought about taking photos of my son there. I then asked the cashier when the least busiest time was. He informed me that weekdays right when they open for about two hours is relatively quiet and a great time to come.

I mentioned to him that I was thinking of taking some photos and he just nodded, thinking it sounded cool. I guess I wasn’t really expecting more from a young checker.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

The next week I arrived at Trader Joe’s with my son, camera and a plan. The first thing I did when I got there was immediately adjust my settings for the indoor light. I wanted to make sure my settings were set and shutter speed fast to be able to capture every moment with accuracy.

Then it was time to see what my son would do when presented with a mini shopping cart. Um, he LOVED it! Although, he did go rogue on me quite a few times and just ditched the cart.

As my son was enjoying his surroundings and “shopping”, I focused on moving just as I would if I was just any other customer. Honestly, that part is the key – keep your movements and actions normal as if you aren’t even shooting. This not only keeps you relatively discreet and not a distraction to other patrons but it forces you to capture the real moments as you would normally see them.

As I was photographing him, he was having a blast. Hardly anyone cared what we were doing at all. I mean, it’s pretty obvious I was holding a DSLR camera but never once did we become a distraction.

In fact, at one point, a random customer approached me and asked if I was Archer Inspired. I responded yes. She then informed me that she recognized me from pictures of my son on my business Instagram and because I was holding a camera. So hey, shooting in public spaces may actually be a brilliant marketing idea, too!

Related: Street photography and the law: 7 Things you need to know

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

All of this to say, I know that taking your camera out for anything other than a paid shoot may be a bit intimidating. I can understand the fear of judgement or acceptance. But let me tell you, it’s worth it. The memories you capture from the raw and authentic moments in your everyday life deserve to be captured beautifully and accurately.

Challenge yourself, push yourself out of your comfort zone and fear and bring your camera with you next time you go grocery shopping.

Take photos of your kids or just the produce. See the everyday mundane tasks in a different light. Bring your creativity to the normal and average places and see the beauty in them. Photograph without fear and without hesitation, I promise you won’t regret it.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.
I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.
I knew I needed to embrace the “lifestyle” portion of my work and really dive deep into that. That’s when it hit me, the moments I wanted to capture were in my day-to-day life, during my errands like in the middle of grocery shopping.

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How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

As a mother of a growing boy and my own small army of nieces and nephews, I always felt natural photographing children. There was something inherently free and joyful about it.

With zero inhibitions and a healthy dose of ego, kids can be delightful in front of a camera. My son was no exception to this rule.

The challenges of capturing my son grew significantly as he got older each year. While kids often have a mind of their own, teens grow more conscious of how they fit into a complex, growing world around them.

They become acutely self-aware in these evolving teen years. Their “what will people think” meter as well as their “I don’t have time for you” gauge become altered dramatically as their age increases – both seemingly exponential.

As the little ones often don’t mind you having a camera in their faces 24/7 to try to get those sweet, lasting memories, it becomes a little more invasive to take a photo of your sweet, sleeping teenager.

Privacy and trust become the forefront of conversation as doors literally close that were once open. Things that didn’t matter so much when they were young suddenly become a big invasion of privacy, despite their own oversharing on their social media platforms (that Snapchat is gonna be the death of him).

It’s no longer on your terms to bribe them with candy, treats or a trip to the toy store. At this age, their reward is their privacy.

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

As my son grew past that sweet, squishy little boy phase that didn’t mind my camera in his face into a child who cringed at the mere sight of a camera in my hand, I knew I wanted a way to capture who he still was without losing any of these special moments.

The more he grew, the more he seemed to slip away, like water through my cupped hands. The memories seemed to be disappearing with a fevered pitch.

So I devised a plan that would allow me to get a photo and him to not spend so much time in front of the camera.

Now, as his birthday rolls around each year, I take a few minutes to write some thoughts about him on my blog. I write about where he is. I ponder about where he is headed in life. I wax poetic about how I feel about being a mother – being HIS mother. I do it to record him a little more deeply. I do it to tell his ever evolving story from my perspective.

Blogging a birthday post about him becomes something that I do every year now. I imagine I will do it for as long as I can, as long as it feels right and not too invasive.

At fifteen, I am not sure what that means anymore. But that’s okay because as I have found, life is an evolution. It’s a series of stories woven together by words and captured memories.

Related: Meeting them on their terms: Photographing older kids

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

My posts about him are as varied as he is. Some punch a wallop of emotions for what we have been through that year. Others are lighthearted and free, like his summer birthday. And some are just reflective and simple.

Each year is different. The words are as different as the variety of photos I seem to get of him.

Photographing him feels a little like stolen time now. He hesitates, but still cooperates.

I am lucky though. It seems that the older he gets, the more he understands how important this is to me.

While I try to keep things brief when I do get him in front of my camera, I always manage to capture something authentic and sweet. It feels comfortable, like the old jeans I love to pull on at the end of a long week. It feels like him. Like home.

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

There are a few ways to get what you want from your private teenager. Here are a few of my best tips.

1. Trust

One of the most important factors I find works best is trust. If I promise not to share something on social media, I better not go back on my word.

Their privacy is important to them. And, just as you feel in your daily life, your trust with them should not be broken.

2. Communication

Whether you are setting out expectations (Let’s go outside and grab a few photos. I won’t take more than 10 shots) or just shooting the breeze about new bands, a favorite hobby, or what their weekend plans are, I find a good communication is key in both loosening them up and setting expectations.

If you plan on sharing this on social media, have a conversation abut that. They need to know where they are going.

Related: How I successfully photograph my older kids

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

3. Empathy

You are going to get a lot further with them if you remember what it was like to BE them. Trust me on this.

4. Brevity

The quicker you can get the shot, the better your chances of continuing this process. So set it up without them. Check the light. Get in and get it done.

How to photograph your teen and respect their feelings

5. Engagement

Maybe conversation isn’t enough. Take a portrait of them doing what they love. Playing guitar. Playing their sport. Or playing video games. If that is what they are into, meet them on their level.

6. Respect

Treat them as you would be treated. Leave your preconceived notions at the door and stop complaining about their hair/skin/clothes. That closes doors for them to feel good about themselves.

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