Reflection photography…

Windows are valuable assets when shooting photos indoors. Often rooms are poorly lit – but shooting against a window gives more than enough light for a proper exposure. You can use the light to partially light your subject – or you can use that light to shoot part of your subject and capture their reflection. I don’t do this often enough, but I love the result. Especially when they’re really concentrating on something (like watching someone make chocolate at the chocolate factory tour – or a throwback to when Hallie was a little one watching the mailman come and go!)

Reflections are another way to creatively tell the story of your kid’s childhood. Try it. Practice it. You’ll end up loving it.

reflection photography

reflection photography


He’s my favorite. And there was a perfect halo of light surrounding him while the sun slowly faded behind the house while we were outside playing with the kids. Backlight can be difficult because exposure is really uneven and hard to meter. But this afternoon the sun was still high enough to create the halo and still reflect off the concrete to light his face.

He doesn’t love when I take photos of him, especially by himself, but I sneak them on occasion.

Nikon d750 | 24-120 Lens | 1/800 | f4.0 | ISO 100


I’m always searching for ideal light in shooting photographs. When shooting outside, I can usually find the light I need. Shooting inside is a completely different story. Light is scarce and spotty and difficult and I tend to avoid shooting inside if I can. But inside is where life happens. It’s where our story is – where my kids are growing up. So I’m working to embrace the light and the shadows and use them as part of the story.

Today it told the story of a curious little boy who likes to climb up and look out windows.

Window Light

Nikon D750 | 24-120 Lens | 1/125 | f/4.0 | ISO 640

Grass Angels…

This kid knows how to enjoy a moment. It was simple and spontaneous and it only lasted a few minutes – but as I was trying to gather the kids to take a group photo, he was doing grass angels in the long winter grass. “Stop and smell the roses” needs to be reworded for little boys, “Stop and make a grass angel”. Childhood is too short.

Nikon d750 | 24-120 mm lens | 1/160 Shutter | f/ 4.0  | 160 ISO

Homework diaries…

Homework consumes far too much of our after school time. They have homework packets. Then flashcards. Then spelling words. Then nightly reading. And suddenly it’s almost dinner time. I don’t like it. I’m okay with some homework but loading on the home work isn’t productive. If Hallie gets 100% on every spelling test, why must she spend an hour and a half writing weeks worth of spelling lists in alphabetical order. It’s unnecessary.

This is how our typical afternoon looks:

The kids file off the bus and they are famished. We talk about the day and eat some food. Then the backpacks are opened and notebooks litter the table. I park it at the table next to them in-between keeping Briggs happy and helping Cannon in the bathroom.

Homework Diaries

Hallie can do most her work on her own. She starts going through her list and ends up asking me questions on how to do math problems in ways I was never taught. I proceed to teach her the way I know and she tells me she can’t do it that way. We then have to search the internet to figure how to solve the problems the way the new curriculum requires.

Homework Diaries

In between helping Hallie – Bennett is not so patiently waiting to be helped. He has two homework packets. One in english, one in spanish. He works through his packets quickly but usually doesn’t follow directions and ends up erasing everything. One day he’ll learn to wait for me to read him the directions. His homework requires more parent involvement and I’ve recruited Steve for reinforcements when he gets home from work. Steve speaks spanish with him as they do the homework which mimics his classroom setting.

Homework Diaries

Hunter is at the table with us as well and we don’t hear a peep from him. He has the least amount of homework of the three and Hallie can’t stand how much sooner he finishes and can leave the table. His classroom is really focusing on teaching the kids how to code working with robots so the minute his book work is done, he wants to do coding lessons on the computer.

Homework Diaries

As much as I wish this was a nice quiet library setting for them to finish their homework, it’s not. Instead, it’s loud and chaotic and there always seems to be three people that need something all at the very same moment. Which is why I despise homework time, but it does have one redeeming quality. While we sit around the table together – they talk and talk. They remember things about their day and they share it. They talk about the boy who got in trouble at recess or something funny at lunch. They tell about things they learned or things they observed. They’re little chatterboxes. I suppose that makes the homework time worth it regardless of how trivial the assignment may seem.

Homework Diaries Homework Diaries

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