Documenting Life

As some of you may know already or if you read My Story, I'm a wedding and portrait photographer.  I make my living documenting milestone events and moments in the lives of others.  It is my dream job.  Being able to capture these special moments for people is amazing.  As a photographer, I strive to not just tell people where to stand and how to pose, but to capture how they are as a person, as a couple, as a family.  I think these photos, with the real smiles, real expressions, and real moments are the ones that tell the story.  These photos will tell future generations who we really were.  What we were about.  What and who we loved. How we lived and what mattered to us most.  

So, why am I telling you all of this?  Because for the past few years I have gotten away from documenting my own family's life.  Business is going great.  I am capturing some great moments for my clients, but when it comes to my own family, I am slacking.  I realized I never take out my "fancy" camera unless it's for work.  I got lazy. That's the bottom line.  It's just so easy to take  a snap shot with my iphone, I mean, I carry it with me everywhere I go anyhow.  I was also finding that with my pro camera in hand, I missed out on a lot of the fun and I worried about keeping my camera protected too, especially if we were outdoors like at the beach or something.  So, a year or so ago we purchased a nice high end digital rangefinder camera that is small and convenient, so we've been using that for our trips and leaving our pro cameras at home. And although I love the convenience and ease of the smaller camera, I feel like something is missing.  There is something about my professional DSLR camera that I can't capture in the smaller camera.  

The other problem I have with documenting life is that photos rarely live outside of a screen.  With sharing on Instagram, facebook, this blog, or my photography blog, I'm not getting photos printed.  I remember being a kid and getting so excited when we'd develop a roll of film and eagerly flipping through the photos, careful not to get any fingerprints on them.  Or as I got older, making scrapbooks and putting the pictures in albums or small "brag books".  Remember those? I want that for my kids.  I want them to be able to sit down and open a book and look through the images and remember all the fun we had on a certain vacation, hiking our favorite trails, or just on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  

After giving this much thought, I've come up with a plan.  Because, come on, you know me, there is always a plan!  First of all, I've got to be realistic.  I know that I won't carry my pro camera everywhere.  It's just not who I am.  So, there will still be lots of documenting with my iphone on instagram.  However, I'm excited to check out Chat Books.  They are small 6x6 60 page books where every photo you shear to Instagram creats a page in your book series.  The best part is that you can easily remove photos and add captions to create perfect book each time.  Because come on, I post a lot of photos of food and running that probably don't need to be printed each time.  The best part is that each book is only $6 and they also offer subscription plans.  I can't wait to try them out and let you know how they are!  

My days of scrapbooking are over.  Who has time for that?!? But, I do love the photo books from My Publisher.  I made one for our 2013 summer vacation and the kiddos love looking through it!   I know I said I had a plan, but I'm honestly not sure how I want to go about these books, yet.  Ideally, I would love to make books for each season of the year or at least from each of our family vacations. Any ideas? Please share them in the comments!  

Lastly, like I said, I know I won't take my pro camera with me everywhere we go.  But, I will make it a point to take it on longer vacations and periodically on hikes and stuff.  I want to document, not just the special occasions, but pieces of everyday life too.  Because it's the everyday adventures and shenanigans that make up our life.  It's the forts made out of sheets in Elysee's room, the cool kendama tricks Diego does daily, the family game nights, the bbq's with friends.  It's these moments that make up our life.  It's these moments that are worth documenting. 

Bonus:  In an effort to keep up with documenting our lives, I ask that you join me too! I know I am not the only one struggling to take out the camera, be it the point and shoot, camera phone, or DSLR.  I challenge you to document your life for the month of August.  Let's see how much we can photograph and document in one month.  I'll be sharing my favorite moments here on my blog and if you are also a blogger, I'd love to have you share your favorite photos on your blog.  Maybe this could even become a monthly or weekly blog swap!  Who's in? We may be surprised to see that the ordinary moments are the ones that make life extraordinary.  

Bubble Run Las Vegas | Race #2 of 14 for 2014

Last Saturday I ran the Bubble Run with a few friends and my 5 year old daughter!  It was her first 5K and she just loved it.  I knew people would be dressed in costumes, especially tutus and I explained this to her and asked if she'd like a fun outfit for the run.  Her reply was this, "No way! I'm not wearing a tutu! I'm in it to win it!"  Clearly, she has a bit of a competitive streak!!   

We picked up our packet on Friday and since kids under 6 run free she didn't get a tshirt or bib.  Of course, they sold kid packets for $20 and I had to get her one.  I'm so glad I did.  The bib really made her feel legit and the goggles they provided worked great to keep the bubbles out of her eyes.  Friday night, she could not fall asleep from the excitement, but had no problem getting up early for her 'race'.  She was ready for the fun to start.  

It was so cute seeing her reaction at the starting line when the bubbles/foam started coming down!  The race had a total of 4 different color bubble stations: pink, green, blue, and yellow.  We did a bit of running and walking, but I think for a little 5 year old, Elysse did great and never complained about being tired.  Every time she saw a bubble station she would start running and we ran all the way to the finish line.  I was very proud of my little runner!  After the run, they had a little area with a DJ and they were giving away prizes and of course, lots more bubbles!  It was hard to get our little party animal out of the bubble pit!  

All clean before the race!

All clean before the race!

Obviously, this wasn't a timed race or anything too serious for me (believe me, I have enough of those coming up!) This race was just a fun time and a good way to encourage a healthy lifestyle for my kiddos.  I want them to grow up feeling strong and healthy and having some positive experiences and fun memories being active!  My 9 yr old didn't want to do this one, but he's all signed up for Saturday's Jr. Spartan! 

What are some fun things you and your family do to stay active and healthy?  I'd love some more ideas, so feel free to share them in the comments below :)