Summer is here | Athens PA Child Photography

The Boy still has a day and a half of school, but it already feels like summer has arrived. We pulled out the sprinkler and then he became fascinated with the mud it left in our front yard and decided he should paint himself with it. I don’t remember him playing in mud like that before so this was a new one.

I treasure our summer days, especially now that my son is moving toward his tenth birthday this fall. These 9 years with him have flown by and I love watching him simply being a child, even if the mud he played in did clog our bath tub drain and possibly ruined a pair of his shorts.

In the modern days of technology and video games it’s a welcome sight for me when I see a child jumping in puddles or running through sprinklers or doing anything outside.

I hope this summer is much like last year and is filled with more outside than inside time.

This post is part of Melissa Firman’s 99 days of blogging.



She likes the mud. A lot.

This is my first blog post for the 99 days of blogging with Melissa Firman.

It’s a simply post but I think the photos say it all. Go play in a mud puddle today. I did. My shoes are ruined, but my heart is light.





A little snow must fall. . .eventually | Athens, PA Photographer

You would have thought we had never seen snow before the way Jonathan and I quickly dressed ourselves and the baby and headed outside into the cold.

“Quick! Before it melts!” I called as I buttoned Grace’s new Christmas-styled coat.

With a winter that was featuring temperatures way above normal I knew the day could warm up fast and turn our yard into mud instead of a winter wonderland.

I also knew the forecasts were calling for record breaking warm temperatures for Christmas and we wouldn’t be having a white Christmas, so we’d better enjoy the snowy scene while we could.

I placed Grace in the slushy white snow in the side yard and watched her look down at it with a confused look on her face. She’d been too young last year to really notice the snow but this year I watched her poke her finger in it on the grass, my shoe, her brother’s shoe. She seemed to be genuinely puzzled by the cold substance on the ground.

I’m sure it will be another year before she really enjoys the snow the way her brother does, building snow forts and snow men (though we’ve never actually been able to make a real snow man).

As for when we will get any measurable snow again in Pennsylvania – your guess is as good as mine.

Five tips for capturing authentic images of your kids | Elmira NY Child Photographer

Over the years I have had people ask how I capture the personalities of children in my images. The answer is much more simple than you might imagine. I’ve pulled five quick tips together for capturing authentic images of your children.

1) Always Have a Camera

I rarely leave my house without a camera. I say rarely because it has happened, but if it does, I feel very incomplete. I’ve been known to even carry my camera on a trip to the store, simply because I never know when a great moment is going to happen. It’s like the Boy Scout motto “Always Be Prepared.” While I’m not a huge fan of the images my cellphone creates, at least having that to capture an image can make sure you capture a moment as it happens.


2) Don’t Say “Smile for the Camera!”

I’ve rarely asked my son or any child to smile for the camera. It’s so easy to capture the real person when they aren’t being asked to think about how to smile. Capture them as they are, doing what they love to do, in the place they love to do it in. That can be at home, at a park or surrounded by some of their favorite things or people. If they are asked to look at the camera, they have to stop and think about how they look, what they are doing and if you want them to smile or not.

For me some of my favorite photographs of my children are of them engaging in a favorite activity for that time in their life. Years down the road, I can look at those images and see in them, not only my child, but what they liked to do at that age.


 3) Stalk Your Children

I follow my children as they play. I stalk them throughout various times of the day. I essentially become their personal paparazzi.

Of course it is important to put the camera down and be in the moment sometimes, but other times I have fun following my son and daughter around and snapping images as they play, rarely asking them to stop what they are doing and pay attention to the camera. The less they think about the camera being there, the better, when you are looking for candid images.


4) Keep snapping.

Don’t take only one photo of the moment. Keep clicking the shutter to capture the perfect image of the event or activity or moment. Children move fast and constantly. You have to do the same and never miss a shot. You don’t have to keep every image you take but at least you’ll have several to choose from for the family album or to hang on the wall. This doesn’t mean you have to snap away during and entire event or time together, but definitely take more than one or two images if you really want to capture authentic images.


4) Focus On the Moment

Don’t think about photography perfection but about perfection in moments. When taking authentic images of your children, don’t be so concerned about her hair being out of place or chocolate on his face or her shirt being ripped. Is she laughing? He is sticking his tongue out while concentrating like he always does? Then that’s what matters the most


5) Let your children to be children.

This goes with the previous tip. If you truly want to capture who your children are, then let them BE children. Let them play. Let them climb trees.

Let them splash in mud puddles and lick ice cream cones with their church clothes on and even pick their noses.

Let children be real and your camera will capture who they really are.