Sunday, April 3, 2016

3 Year Old Photoshoot

There is a cool place not too far from my house called DIY Photography. Basically it's a photography studio that anyone can rent out to do their own photography. When you rent the studio, you can use all of their equipment including cameras, lighting, backdrops, etc. Anyways, I follow them on Facebook and about 2 weeks ago someone posted that they were wanting to experiment with some different lighting techniques and needed a model. Anyone want free pictures taken, basically. Half joking, half serious, I asked if he would be willing to shoot a 3 year old. He must not have had any other takers, because he told me yes.

His name is Ryan McClain and he has focused mostly on landscapes in the past. It can be really difficult to make a living selling landscapes, so he decided to switch his focus to people. He is more interested in doing stylized shoots, or glamour-type shoots, so I don't think this was quite what he was hoping for. But he was willing to do them anyways, and I really appreciated it, especially since I hadn't taken any good pictures of Blake around her birthday.

He quickly learned how difficult shooting little kids can be, especially someone like Blake. If she is actually holding still, then she is doing something crazy with her eyes, mouth, or hands. I was dancing, singing, jumping around, doing anything I could think of to try to get her to smile. It is both helpful and not. As I am doing things, I noticed she was copying me and doing all sorts of crazy things with her hands.

But sometimes her "smile" kills me. Often when I tell her to smile, she has her head tilted up really high and this goofy little grin, if you can even call it that.

You can tell when she really decided that she was done with the whole picture thing. Even bribes of giant bowls of ice cream didn't help.

With a lot of effort on everyone's part, he did manage to get some decent ones. I wish I would have had more time to think about her outfit or do her hair different. When he said he would take her pictures, he wanted to meet us at the studio within about an hour, so I didn't give me much planning time. Even so, I am happy with how they turned out and think they really captured her personality. 

And I saved my very favorite for last. I think I will blow this one up a bit and put it in her room.
I appreciate Ryan being willing to take her pictures. He is still trying to build his portfolio and figure out his style, so he appreciated the practice, but he definitely did us a much bigger favor than we did for him. Check out his other stuff here.

*It was during Blake's pictures that I learned more of the type of photography Ryan is looking to do. While I think he is willing to do most anything, he is really most interested in those glamorous shots. Again, not thinking he would actually agree, I volunteered to let him practice that kind of picture on me. He said yes and we scheduled a photo shoot for myself. He even hired a make-up artist to come help out. I'll do a separate post with that photo shoot. It was a lot of fun!

Easter Weekend 2016

Our Easter weekend started Saturday morning at our bishops house. He hosts an Easter egg hunt there for all of the kids in our ward. It starts at nine o'clock sharp and is usually over around 9:03. But the kids all seem to love it. Austin started the day in a cute spring dress. but I had to change her outfit before noon as she had spit up all over the first one. 

After Bishop's house, we went over to the Syracuse Easter Egg Hunt at a park not far from our home. There was about ten thousand kids there, or so it seemed. They had different area's roped off for different ages, and the lawn was covered in eggs and other treats. They passed out free doughnuts and water, and the Easter bunny was there to get pictures with. Will didn't waste any time and filled almost his entire basket with eggs. Blake didn't quite understand it as much and wanted to look at what she got before grabbing more. We still came home with way too much junk. We hurried over to the Easter bunny and were fairly close to the front, when the kids decided they didn't want to see him. We stepped out of line. Not 5 minutes later, the kids were throwing a fit because we weren't going to see the Easter bunny. And by now the line was about 8x what it was when we had been standing there. Too bad kiddos. 

Saturday after lunch, we took the kids down to Jungle Jim's. If you have never been there, it has some indoor rides, bounce houses, arcade, etc. I remember going there often as a kid so it was fun for me to go back and see my own kids enjoying it. Will's favorite ride was these rockets. When you pull the lever, the rocket goes up and down. 

I usually try not to post blurry pictures, but I thought this one kind of looked like they were traveling super fast. 
Blake's favorite ride was probably the roller coaster, though she kept calling it a train. Lance and I got to fight it out about who got to go with the kids. Their faces on the first ride was hilarious. I was busting up laughing every time they came around. After each ride they seemed to enjoy it more and more, until by the end they were riding with their hands up, screaming, and laughing the entire time. 

While the kids ran around going on different rides, Austin was happy to either sit in her stroller or be held. I thought it would be more difficult taking her along, but she did awesome and really didn't cause any trouble. It may have been a different story if I had been alone with all 3 kids, but with Lance and I, it was easy peasy. 
Lance and the kids tried the hurricane simulator. None of them were impressed. I think I had the most fun out of everyone, standing outside watching. 

The kids rode all of the rides several times, jumped on the bounce houses, and played some arcade games. I've come to the conclusion that I really need to take Will to Nickle Cade. He loves playing the arcade games and I think he'd almost rather do that than the rides.  

They had a good time and I think I'll try to bring the kids back sometime. There is a super good deal on Tuesdays, so perhaps I could brave it alone to give us something to do during the day while Lance is at work.
Sunday morning, Will was up early and came down to lay by me in bed. We were talking for a while, and I could tell that he had forgotten that it was Easter. So I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. Suddenly, the light switched on and he remembered that we said we could maybe make an Easter breakfast. I asked him to go check and see if we had any strawberries. I sat and waited in anticipation for his reaction when he walked into the kitchen. I wasn't disappointed. As fast as he could, he came running downstairs, "Mommy! Mommy! You will not believe it! You won't believe what is on our table! The Easter bunny found us! Mom! Mom! Come and see!" I told him to go wake up Blake and we would all go see what the Easter bunny brought us. 

They were so excited about everything in their baskets buckets. I should have guess, but one of their favorite things was the fake grass. I kid you not, they were super excited to play with the grass. *Face palm*
After we looked through our baskets and thoroughly investigated everything, it was time to make breakfast. Originally I had planned on making some french toast topped with strawberries, but the kids were begging for bunny pancakes. I wont even try to deny or hide how "special" the first few attempts looked.
After a few failed attempts, I was able to make a few that could possibly be identified as bunnies. Maybe. As we went on, we kept adding additional things to help decorate it. 

 The house was filled with laughter and smiles.
After breakfast, but before church, I gave Will a haircut. The picture makes it seem like he was sad about it. In reality, he had been asking me for days if he could get a hair cut. He didn't want it to cover his eyes or to get long like a girl. I'm not a big fan of his whole head buzzed, so I decided to try the style where it is super short on the sides, but left quite long on the top and combed over.

I really liked his hair....for about a day. His hair refuses to do anything but lay straight down. This type of hair cut pretty much requires that it be combed to the side, otherwise some of it just flops down over the shaved edge and looks goofy. Even with lots of gel, his hair just doesn't really want to stay how I want it. So I may be cutting the top part within a few days.

We all took baths and got dressed in our Easter outfits. We were running a bit late, so we didn't get any pictures until afterwards. As usual, the kids were not thrilled about taking some pictures and did not want to cooperate. I just wanted one decent one of all of us, but there is always one kid that is making a face, not looking at the camera, or something. It's amusing to look at all of the attempts though.

Doesn't Will look super thrilled?


Even though they are goof balls and make it impossible to get a decent picture, I sure love them and I am so grateful to be their mother. During Sacrament meeting, I told Will that he could go up and bear his testimony. (It was fast Sunday due to Conference being the following weekend.) He thought about it for a moment, but was a little scared. And he thought he could only go up when it was the primary program or if the primary was singing. I told him that anyone could go up, and I asked him again if he wanted to. I told him that I was going to go up, and if he wanted to come with me that he could, but he would have to do it by himself.

We walked up and took a seat by the stand. I was carrying Austin, and holding Will's hand. I asked a friend to keep an eye on Blake, but she took off after us and joined us on the stand.  I asked Will if he wanted to go first, or if he wanted me to. He told me that I should go first. I bore my testimony, then sat down and waited for Will. His testimony was short, but super sweet. He has such a strong spirit about him and is such a great example to me. 

I've very blessed to call these three mine.