October 11, 2011
I discovered something really enlightening a few days ago. To improve my picture taking skills, the most important thing I can do is get that little black box out, take the lens off, and start clicking.
Duh, I know. I don't aspire to be a professional photographer, but I do have a huge desire to have a mountain of pictures to look back on. The older I get, the less I care about "stuff". I think the greatest gift I coud receive from anyone would be a nice day spent together. The longer I exist on this planet the more I realize that the luster and newness of objects wear off. We forget about them, they break, we give them away. We replace them periodically with newer trinkets.
Memories though.. those usually stick with you for the long haul. I know that Charlotte will never remember what she got for her first Christmas. She probably will not remember the awe in her eyes when she sees our Christmas tree lit up for the first time in the evening either, but I hope I can capture that so she can look back on it forever.
I love looking at pictures from when I was younger.
Holidays are exciting around here. Ryan and I have had quite a few solid years worth of celebrations pre-Charlotte. Not starting a family yet never stopped us from finding our inner kids and dyeing Easter eggs, decorating a Christmas tree or carving pumpkins. We always had a lot of fun just the two of us, but I have discovered that joy is times a million when you see it through your child's eyes.
This past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew, Chase. Charlotte loved being a part of all the commotion. She was on sensory overload watching kids play, taking a "train" ride, hay ride, crawling through the pumpkin patch and having her first delicious taste of fresh cider and warm sugar 'n cinnamon doughnuts.
Here is a lovely picture of Charlotte eating her first fistful of pumpkin patch dirt. Yumm. On the glass is half full side, I'll say she's just boosting her immune system.
There are some weird shadows and colorcasts in the some of the pictures, but after messing around with them in Photoshop I decided that I liked them best like that... straight outta the camera.
This series of pictures was my favorite of the day.. or month.. or year. Or ever.
Now this is what I'm talking about. Not professional at all, I'm sure a ton of technical things are terribly wrong. But those are the faces of my favorite people at their most everyday, raw state. Ryan is not one of those people that have a nice fakey fake "say cheese" smile. But this? I feel like I struck gold capturing him in the moment. People that don't know him well are convinced he never smiles. This couldn't be further from the truth.
We got a daddy and mommy pumpkin in the patch, but couldn't find one small enough to represent baby. I remembered that they had smaller pie pumpkins in a bin up front, so Ryan and I found one to suit Charlotte. By this time, she was fighting to stay awake after a jam packed day. She was drowsy, but I lifted the sunshade on her stroller and handed her the smallish pumpkin to see what she thought, and she laughed hysterically! I think that she liked that it was just her size.
While we were basking in fall-funness that day, my sister-in-law Stacey wanted me to get a few shots of my nephew for his third birthday. I snapped pictures throughout the day, but was kind of bummed when our excursion was winding down and I knew I didn't really get anything frame worthy. At the end of the day, I pushed Charlotte around in her stroller a bit while everyone finished munching on cider and doughnuts to see if I could get her to take a snooze. I was pushing her on an out-of-the-way area of bumpy grass (her favorite) when I spotted a row of trees with the sunlight just peeking over and some weathered apple crates.
I brought Chase over, had him perch on a crate, and thought to give him one of the apples we'd bought to keep little hands busy. This was my first time getting pictures of a three year old, definitely a challenge! We got a few cute shots though, I think these are pretty adorable.
The next day, I sat down to edit Chase's pictures (they were dark, and needed some lightening, brightening, etc). Afterwards, I digital-scrapbooked the rest of the Orchard pictures. (I got the initial idea to start the digital scrapbook here.) Then I pulled up some older pictures of Charlotte for a tiny bit of editing and ended up going on a full blown digital scrapbooking binge. Thank you to my wonderful husband, who cooked and cleaned while I spent all day organizing memories.
It was about time I finished a page like this...
I can hardly wait for her first birthday when I'll get the first book printed. I love me some memories.