Okay, maybe the idea was a little crazy: three small children (two of whom prefer to crawl in two different directions) + a truckload full of farm animals, but doesn’t matter because it was COMPLETELY worth it. We pretty much had it all that day (including a little lamb which helped create one of my most favorite images EVER) but one animal you will notice that is missing is a pig. We had two of the most adorable little piglets show up that afternoon, but those little dudes are FAST and both the baby humans and the baby pigs were equally terrified of each other. The whole thing was quite comical, actually…trying to corral three children and a bunch of baby animals. We made it happen though and we definitely celebrated the twins’ birthday(s?) in style.
I got something in the mail yesterday. It was the culmination of 365 days (+ a few more this year) of documentation, sweat, and tears. Literally. I was shaking a little bit as I opened it and flipped through all 242 pages of it. When I finished, I will admit to being a little tired. It was difficult to relive last year through these pictures, but at the same time, it was necessary and I was surprised to find that I was smiling more than I was teary. I will be ordering three more copies…one more for each of my children to keep forever as well. I am glad it’s over. But I am proud:
For the next 48 hrs, the THIS link will allow you the chance to flip through the entire album via iBooks on an iPad (for those that were asking to see the inside). Note that April 27th and May 2nd are not misprints. Those are very intentional and were the most appropriate ways I could think of to attempt to convey our feelings at that time. Once that link expires, you can always see all of the images in the collection via this Facebook album.
The book is 11×13 from Blurb designed using InDesign (which I learned via these album design tutorials). My husband hung up the shelves for me last night (I love him) so that our albums could be displayed and more readily accessible to everyone to flip through whenever we want. Though I would have preferred the shelves to be white and probably could have made them myself MUCH cheaper, I was in a hurry to take advantage of my husband’s willing spirit, so we snagged these from Target. The lip on the end is *very* important as they hold the books on the shelf and keep them from sliding off. They could also be a little bit deeper to hold more, but in this particular space, they work well and don’t get in the way of the walkway, so I guess that’s good.
Thank you to everyone that followed along with this project last year and I would LOVE to see anyone else’s 365′s if they are willing to share. Post in the comments below! And if you started one this year…GOOD LUCK!
P.S. My husband asked me two questions after looking through this book:
Him – “Are you glad you did it?”
Me – “Heck YES!”
Him – “Do you want to do it again?”
Me – “Heck NO!”
Those are the words that come to mind when I recall the afternoon I spent with this family not too long ago. I loved everything about this session. I loved the carefree nature of it all. I loved the wind-swept hair and beautiful freckles and gorgeous giggles and the love…the love of ranch life…the love of family. The sun betrayed us because we could have played all night.
My favorite mom + daughter pic is HERE.
A funny one that shows baby girl’s reaction to a fizzy drink HERE.
Another fav larger HERE.
She is the daughter of my husband’s cousin. When she was little, she had these long, beautiful, caramel and chocolate ringlets of hair and I’d watch as my husband’s father helped her feed the fish in the pond in his backyard. I must have been newly married back then and I remember hoping that I would someday have a daughter with long hair and my husband’s father could help her feed the fish in the pond in his backyard.
Some wishes do come true, and sometimes, they don’t always play out like you imagined them. My husband’s dad did get to spend a few years with his grandchildren, but not quite as many as I had hoped for.
It was my honor to see this little lady again to take her senior portraits. We are all very proud of the beautiful, confident young lady she has become (Pop/Uncle Virgil, included).
I feel like I’ve been with this family forever. We have certainly shared a lot of memories together over the past several years and it was an honor to help celebrate the 1 year birthday of their baby girl. For tradition’s sake, we revisited the same place we did big brother’s one year session, and even did a little bit of photo re-creation. Funny enough, I think it was just as cold as it was last time we were there, lol. And don’t miss this shot of speedy as she crawled up the stairs and out of sight, over and over and over again . Oh, I do adore her!
Based on the totals of all of the popular votes (outlined here), one winner chosen by yours truly, and one winner drawn at random, I give you to the 2013 Pinkle’s Pics of the Year (in no particular order):
I am thrilled for each of their families and very much look forward to creating their family videos this summer. I will be contacting you all soon to make arrangements. A HUGE congratulations and I’m just over the moon to get to add these to the line up of winners.
I’m a military wife (love that man of mine in uniform), teacher, and PNW girl at heart. As a military family we have lived in Germany, Texas, and of course my fabulous home state of Washington.I have two amazing kidsI’m entering into the world of parenting a teenager this year!! Say a prayer for me!!I love to go junking and antiquing!!I’m obsessed with collecting globes and maps (I blame my parents for having us live all over the world growing up)On paper I’m 4’9 but I like to say that I’m 5 foot because ya know that extra inch makes me feel soo much taller!The more I shoot, I have found that I like to shoot with more of a photojournalist approach, telling a story as it unfolds. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?Like Michele I’m a hugger (it’s in my nature to nurture I can’t wait to meet y’all!!
And a little hostess Q&A:
Best thing about being a photographer? Capturing and freezing real life moments for my clients that they can enjoy forever.
Toughest thing? Juggling being a wife, mama, and a photographer. This year more than ever, it’s all about setting boundaries and sticking to them A friend told me once that you only get 18 summers with your kiddos and in my case half of those are gone. Can’t believe it, but 6 more summers and my oldest will be 18!! Say What!?!!! So more than ever I’m all about enjoying as much time with my family that I can If you could photograph anyone/anything in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why? I’m all about getting out and exploring these days!! On my bucket list is a trip to Thailand, China, New Zealand, Kauai, Iceland, just to name a few..have camera will travel!! We actually just bought a vintage trailer to fix up and travel all around the US. I can’t wait!!!
Why does the Pacific North West ROCK for serving as a host town for a workshop? The PNW rocks in general! I mean where else in the world can you find a coffee shop on every street corner You coffee lovers are gonna love it here!! A few of my other fav’s are our local farmer’s markets, rad murals by local artists, waterfront living (our workshop house is amazing!!), ability to day trip to Seattle, Mt. Rainier, San Juan Islands, Portland, Olympic Peninsula..I mean the list goes on. Need some pointers on MUST SEE spots while visiting feel free to give me a ring a ling or I’ve compiled some of our favorite spots HERE.
If you could describe your business in 3 words prior to the Pinkle Toes workshop, what would they be? I would just say in general I was lost and really struggled with having confidence to find my own voice and stick to it.
And what about after? Inspired, encouraged, renewed
Best part of your Pinkle Toes Workshop experience? I LOVED getting to hang out for several days with women from all over that loved photography as much as I did!!
Most challenging part? Not gonna lie..for me it was a lot of info to take in all at once. BUT that’s why I LOVED the workbook that we got to take home with us I still go look at it from time to time.
Advice to anyone who attends the workshop you’re hosting? Leave your insecurities at the door and HAVE FUN!! Michele is such a loving, kind-hearted, and inspiring mentor. No question is too dumb to ask. We’ve all been there at one point and we all are still on our own path of growing and learning.
And now, I’d like to treat you all to some of Casey’s phenomenal work and PLEASE visit her ADORABLE website, too:
Pics featuring Casey at the Austin workshop HERE.
(If you serve or live near the following areas, this might be the perfect workshop opportunity for you: Olympic peninsula, Kitsap peninsula, Seattle, Lacey, JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord), Dupont, or even Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
…but until then, let’s take a look at some of their maternity pictures we were *barely* able to squeeze in before baby #3 (yes…that’s right…#3) made an appearance . We shot these just before Valentine’s Day and I loved that she chose those awesome red skinny jeans and that we got to tie in my favorite little heart umbrella. Don’t miss this image HERE.
His mama first contacted me about doing his senior portraits back in December of 2012. She had me at “I want to put a piano in a creek.” I told her find me a piano and it will be done. And she found me a piano that has been sitting on my porch for close to a year. I cannot even begin to tell you how HEAVY that thing is and it’s a true miracle that we got it loaded to come to my place. For one reason or another (like FLOODS and ICE), we kept having to reschedule his session, but when the day finally came, when the stars aligned and the weather cooperated and the creek wasn’t rushing and the wonderful piano moving volunteers’ schedule aligned with ours–well, it was just AWESOME! You should have seen the looks we were getting as they pushed the piano down a sidewalk and right INTO the water. People were coming in from all over the place just to sit down and say they played the piano in the creek.
But no one could play it quite like he did. Even grossly out of tune and missing several keys, he was still able to make that piano sound good. He’s quite the talented musician and I’m just so thrilled we were finally able to make this session happen for him and for his very diligent mommy. It was truly a magical day!
Well, much to my surprise, the Ridgewood, NJ workshop sold out within days of opening for registration. (Don’t worry…we still have other dates in Texas, California, and Washington with some openings left. Along with tentative fall dates set for Perth and New Castle Australia!).
I would still like to keep with my plan, however, of featuring each of the hostesses for the upcoming workshops on my blog, so let’s go ahead and start with my dear friend Lena with Live Love Laugh Photography in Ridgewood, NJ (Follow her on Facebook):
I am Lena Antaramian, an award-winning Bergen County, New Jersey children and family photographer and owner of Live Love Laugh Photos. I am a mom to very different but equally amazing twin girls and a wife to a smart and funny man. I love dogs, books and sunny spring days. I love all types of food, dessert in particular; cooking it is a different story though. I love bags and believe you can never have too many. I am a world traveler and after visiting many countries, living in a few and meeting people from all over the place I truly believe that the world is a wonderful place and people at their core are good. I get teary-eyed when I witness emotional connections and moments – a hug between a mother and a daughter that shows more love that can ever be described with words, pure joy that is a belly laugh of a toddler, happiness on kids and parents’ faces when they are being silly together. And I feel very privileged to capture and help preserve them for my clients.
- What makes your photography business unique to you? Do I sound like I have a huge head if I say that ‘I’ make my business unique? There are other photographers who have a similar processing style and technical skills but there is only one ME. My clients get my unique artistic vision when it comes to their images and setting them up in their homes. They have great time at their sessions because I make them fun for everyone. They get gifts and personal gestures along the way that make them feel appreciated and cared for. They get unbeatable customer service from me every step of the way. And all of that contributes to the amazing experience they have whenever they book a session with Live Love Photos.
- Best thing about being a photographer? This sounds cliché, but I truly believe that the best part of being a photographer is being able to preserve memories for our clients. It is pretty amazing that we, as photographers, have the power to freeze time!
- Toughest thing? I see shots I want to capture pretty much everywhere I go and sometimes it is hard for me to stop taking pictures and just be in the moment because I always want to preserve the moment by capturing it.
- If you could photograph anyone/anything in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why? All of my grandparents. Three of my grandparents passed away before I became a photographer and I never really photographed them. I wish I could capture the wisdom and love in their eyes. I do have one Grandfather (the older you get, the more amazing it feels to be someone’s granddaughter) and I did make it a point to photograph him. I am thrilled that I have portraits of him that I love.
- Why does Ridgewood, NJ ROCK for serving as a host town for a workshop? Well, for one thing, my town has the best Nutella crepes West of Paris! [Michele: I can attest to that!] It has a lot of charm and personality: cute boutiques, amazing restaurants (NYC quality food at New Jersey prices), plenty of urban and park like settings for photo shoots. And it is only 25 miles away from NYC!
- If you could describe your business in 3 words prior to the Pinkle Toes workshop, what would they be? Style not clearly defined, middle-of-the-road in terms of success
- And what about after? Consistent (in terms of style and processing), successful, high-end.
- Best part of your Pinkle Toes Workshop experience? I’ve learned A TON from Michele and 3 years later I still use what I’ve learned but if I had to pick just one part (and it is not easy!) it will be gaining more confidence. I attended the Pinkle Toes Workshop 3 years ago – at that time I’d had my business for two years and felt relatively confident in my work, business practices and pricing. But after attending the workshop, and having one-on-one with Michele really helped raise my confidence level.
- Most challenging part? Lack of sleep:) We were learning morning till night and while I would not change that for anything, I had to sacrifice on sleep:)
- Advice to anyone who attends the workshop you’re hosting? Be ready to learn from an amazing photographer and business woman, eat yummy food, spend time with awesome people and have a great time all around!
And here is just a sample of Lena’s FABULOUS photography: