Blueberry Picking and practicing storytelling through the lens

I read Elizabeth Willson’s post about storytelling through your lens after we visited the local blueberry farm, but was a bit proud of myself for actually following most of her tips already. Since reading the post, though, I’m looking forward to trying this again and capturing each of the different images she suggested.

I’ll be honest, we chose to visit the blueberry farm for something other than photos – we were hungry for blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins. Still, it did provide a nice opportunity to capture my family interacting and their personalities. 

Like Elizabeth suggested, I did try some wider angles to capture more of the bigger picture and surroundings. I also focused in on details like little hands carrying buckets full of blueberries, and little fingers picking berries. And of course I also focused on my son sneaking blueberries when he was supposed to be picking, though I couldn’t say much, because I was doing the same thing.

I also made sure to capture my children interacting and luckily I didn’t have to take Liz’s suggestion to photograph the bad moments as well, since the visit went fairly well until Little Miss decided she needed a nap. Even then we were able to get her to the car and home for a nap before a major meltdown happened.

As for “getting in the frame” I didn’t use my own camera, but did finally ask my husband to grab one of the kids and I together with his cellphone so they would see that “I was there too.”

And like many I wasn’t thrilled with a photo of myself, but when my children are older and look at the photos, they won’t see what I see. They’ll simply see their mama. Or at least I hope.

For our next trip I’ll try more of Liz’s suggestions of trying different perspective and switching up with lenses, even though right now I’m only carrying around two.


Care for your dead

My dad had surgery on his wrist recently, limiting what he can do around the house and in his yard. Not being able to clean or mow the lawn or take care of his truck is hard for him because he’s always busy. Last weekend our family drove to his house to try to help out, but instead of giving us assignments around his home we ended up in the cemetery down the road, where part of our family is buried.

When we saw him loading the truck with dirt and shovels we were a bit concerned about what we were helping with. Our 10-year old told us we were filling in graves. That was alarming to say the least.

But, no, we weren’t filling in a fresh grave. Instead we were adding dirt on top of a grave that had sunk somewhat over the years. Dad said it was most likely a grave without a vault and instead only a casket, causing the ground to settle some over the years.

The cemetery is an old one, with many of the graves dating to before the Civil War. My dad’s grandparents, his great grandparents and great aunts and uncles are buried there, as is my sister, who died when my mom was seven months pregnant. She would have been my older sister.

 Dad is a caretaker, in a way, of the cemetery, probably because he’s on the board and lives so closes to it.


Where I’m from we take care of our dead by trying to keep their graves from falling completely apart, even though it’s hard when the really old stones crack and break and  fall over.  Still, Dad tries to make sure someone  mows the lawn and old flags and flowers are pulled off the graves when they start to fade in the sun.

I guess caring for our dead reminds us of them and what we learned from them. 

Even though we were there to help him, I kept catching Dad lifting and carrying heavy objects if we didn’t move fast enough or I got distracted by taking photographs and didn’t grab the wheelbarrow.

Miss G surveyed it all from the safety of “papa’s” truck cab as it started to rain while we worked. 

After we laid the dirt down on a couple of sunken areas in the cemetery we laid hay on stop and sprinkled grass seeds to help the grass grow.

Miss G decided she’d keep working when we got back to the house and Grandpa gave her a spade so she could dig in the dirt near his hostas and tulips. Luckily she only plucked a couple of tulip tops off . I was actually surprised with how long she spent working on her “project” (digging one hole and filling it and then moving dirt from one  pile to another.) That night she turned the bath water brown, which to me signifies the end of a very good day.

10 on 10 for July | Owego NY Photographer

The month of June was so busy I felt like I was spun in 20 different directions. I was and am grateful for the slow down times, the times when the kids and I can just explore and enjoy our time together, whether it is at a local creek or simply in our backyard. Of course I enjoy when my husband can be there as well but in the late afternoon and evening it is usually just the children and I while my husband is at work.

We spent one day exploring an almost bare creek bed and another making mud in the yard. Sometimes I feel like I have to entertain my children every day, but I know that’s ridiculous because when I was growing up my parents sent me outside and told me to figure out some way to entertain myself.  Of course, we lived in the middle of the nowhere so that involved climbing trees or digging in dirt or walking my Barbies through the yard. My family lives in town now so I’m less interested than sending my children out on their own to “figure it out,” but there are days I still encourage them to find an activity that will entertain and doesn’t need to be hooked to wifi.

Today’s post is part of a blog circle with a group of cool ladies from The Bloom Forum. To continue the circle, click on Madalyn Rael Photography and find out what she’s been up to the last month and, of course, see some gorgeous images as you continue around the circle of photography blogs.