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What you need to know on the importance of photo preservation

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What you need to know on the importance of photo preservation

Taking a portrait photography class in college, I had this really sexy teacher. And by sexy, I mean photographer-nerdy-artsy-sexy. I was married at the time and I'm pretty sure he was younger than me- so don't get your panties all in a wad. It was one of those crushes that only exist in the world of which was my class. But I really did admire him for a lot of reasons. Until one day, when I laughed at him (privately and internally of course) but now regret doing so. On this particular day, he brought in a collection of pictures that he bought off of someone on e-Bay. You see, he was a collector of old photographs and he loved scouring e-Bay for people's old photos. The reason I thought this was funny of course was because these photos were not of him or his family and friends. He didn't know these people. He didn't have relationships with them. He didn't have any context for the images and what was happening inside of them. So I laughed at him. I thought that was the MOST RIDICULOUS thing anyone could ever do. What a waste of money right?  

In this day in age of digital media, it's really hard not to partake in the ability to keep our photos in the digital world. I mean, whats not to love about having these photos as a "back up" forever? Or better yet, whats not to love about the ability to see these photos as much as we want or as little as we want? The funny thing though, is that people don't do it. Life happens. We get complacent and we forget things. We as a whole, let those images rot on that digital media and we don't ever celebrate them. (Now, if you are one of those people that clearly is opposite to this, then please forgive me. Good for you for being someone that will routinely take the opportunity to look at your digital memories and revel in them. I'm just saying that it is a true rarity for people to find that time.)

But, studies show that people that look at their photos more often are happier and have kids with higher self-esteem and self-confidence. So how do we take that knowledge and turn it into something that will benefit us? Well duh...PRINT your photos people! While you may love to have the ability to see all your photos on your digital media (and I'm not telling you to take that ability away), this is so important. But after printing them, what do you do next? And why do we keep old photos at all? 

First things first, I'm not going to rehash how to keep your photos safe. I've done that already and I even have a free download for this interested. (Go ahead and sign up for the download at the bottom of this post.) But rather, I'm going to talk about photos like the piece of history that they are. 

Thinking back on the day that my teacher brought in those photos, I never really thought of physical pictures of being a "thing of the past". Fifteen years later, I see now, that is a huge problem. Our kids will never know the feeling of looking at the old pictures of yesterday and feeling them in their fingers. They won't see the color differences comparing real life vs. whats actually "coming out" on the image. That is, they won't know those feelings unless we give them that power. The power to see their images in print and the power to keep them, relive them often and show to their own children. Technology is changing daily and pictures are becoming more "real life" than ever before. With today's photography editing software, today's pictures are becoming larger than life and "better" (subjectively) than ever before. But the power behind a photograph is more than a memory, it's history in the making. Everything about old photos screams history! The clothes, furniture, and landscapes are all important features of the past. What would happen if we didn't have any photos of the World Trade Centers before their fall in 2001? What would it be like to not have photos of a volcano before it's last eruption? What would people do on movie sets without pictures of history so that they can properly examine how to replicate different era's for their film? (And yes, I realize that last one is a stretch- but what can I say? I love my movies.) 

So, I look back on this day in my class and I wish I hadn't laughed. I wish we, as a whole, took this situation a little more seriously. We need to switch our focus to looking at old photos as a history lesson. Not of the history of technology and cameras going from old to new, glass plates to digital jpg's, but rather a history lesson of how we behaved, learned and did things in the past. I'm not laughing at my teacher now, I'm looking at him as a person to revere.  If only we all valued photographic prints more in this way. 

Much love,

Heather 

P.S. You might enjoy my other posts on The 6 ways you can save your memories and why ages 0-8 is the best time of your life so you don't want to miss them! 

P.P.S. Do you want to schedule me as your photographer when I move to Idaho? Go ahead and sign up for my waiting list! You will get $100 free off your next session and get first dibs on when I open up in the new area. Don't miss out!


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Are these the 10 most amazing adventures in Boise?

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Are these the 10 most amazing adventures in Boise?

Tying her shoes was difficult. The laces didn't want to do what she wanted and she sat there and raised her hands in frustration. Now age ten, she had tried to tie her shoes many times before with complete success but today she couldn't do it. These were the days I wished we only had to deal with velcro. SO. MUCH. EASIER. But when you are talking about hiking shoes, laces are what is needed to make sure the shoes are on securely and tightly. Preventing ankle issues on a hike is imperative. No one needs a sprained ankle on a long hike with little ones. 

In Idaho, I hear there are tons of activities to run around and do. However, not all of them include being outside and doing a "sport". I did a little bit of research and I can't wait to get to these places to check them out. Clearly, I am meant to be outside and spoiled by nature's greatness. If you are local to Boise, please let me know what you think about any or all of these places! I can't wait to check them out for myself, but having the locals give me guidance is so much better! 

1. Zoo Boise

Looks like a great place to kick back and see some cool animals? Is that right?

2. Camel's Back Park

I think the thing that intrigues me the most about this place is the access to the foothills. I wonder if the view is to die for? Do you know?

3. Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center

Sounds like this is a place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature. Have you been there?

4. Ridge to River Trail System

If you know me at all you would know that traveling on the extensive trail system that goes through the foothills of Boise sounds just like something I would do on a daily basis. Have you traveled the whole 190 miles of trail?  

5. Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

So by the looks of it, this place is clearly a nice area to spend some awesome winter days. Snow snow snow! But I hate snow. Please tell me there are things to do there in the summer months? 

6. Discovery Center of Idaho

Anything hands on and experimental is totally my jam. Did you know I have a degree in biology? Yes! And so I love science! Can't wait to visit this place. My kids are 13 AND 10. Do you think they will be happy there?

7. Barber Park

Now this place seems like somewhere I can really get behind! Floating on down the river sounds so majestic and calm. Am I right, or no?

8. Historic Hyde Park

If there is one thing I love about the area we currently live, it's that I love our little Main Street. The shops and eateries and just overall places to do things and see art, is a really big plus for me living in this town. Knowing that I am going somewhere that is going to have something similar, makes me so happy. What is your favorite thing to do in Hyde Park?

9. Idaho Botanical Garden

While plants are usually my husband's area of interest, this place looks amazing! Can you imagine having fun here and getting your picture taken? YES PLEASE!

10. Ann Morrison Park

This places looks sort of traditional and usually not up my alley but I am willing to explore everything and this spray fountain looks pretty cool! I have also always wanted to learn how to play bocce ball. Do you know how to play?

So I need to know! Have you been to these places? Have you actually seen the sites of Boise and it's foothills? Do you have a favorite spot I listed or maybe DIDN'T list? Please tell me about your experiences and PLEASE join in on the fun! Maybe we can go see some of these together. 

Much love,

Heather 

Want me to document your life? Get on my waiting list! Check out how to get started or contact me today! I am anxious to hear what your next adventure will be in photos! 


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How to raise your child's self confidence on the sly in 4 simple steps

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How to raise your child's self confidence on the sly in 4 simple steps

The nervous tension building in the pit of my stomach, it was my turn. My turn to sit on my dad's lap and drive down the road. My turn to be brave and try and drive in a straight line. My dad would control the foot pedals (because of course at the time I was too short to control them myself) and I would control the wheel. Having control of the wheel was the most exhilarating experience. Driving a car that is so powerful makes you feel like you have all the power in you. Growing up in a rural area really does have its perks sometimes. No matter how many times I veered off to the side of our dirt driveway, my dad would always steer me back to the right direction, giving me calm orders and letting me experience the moment for myself, building my confidence as I went. 

Self-confidence is not something that always comes naturally in people. Sometimes, we have to be given the opportunity to shine and other times we need a little guidance. But there are proven strategies that we can do every day to help our kids become the strong and independent people we want them to be, all on their own. The best part is, they won't even know you are guiding them with these few simple steps. 

1. With praise

Alright, I know a lot of teachers. I have taken a lot of parenting classes. I have gotten down to some of the nitty gritty of what causes some childhood behaviors (having a child with social behaviors myself) and I have to say this is the easiest thing we can do. Amazingly, our kids don't realize that you are boosting them up when you give them this daily. It can be as simple as praising them for getting up on time from bed, or thanking them for their good work placing dishes in the sink after eating. When you tell your kids they are doing a good job at anything (as long as they truly are doing a good job at it), you are giving them the best tool they can have. Now, don't be one of those parents that gives their kids praise for EVERY little thing. I mean, for one thing, it's really hard to do. And for another, you don't want your kids being TOO confident! Cocky kids are no fun! Pick your praise with intention and I promise you, you will get them to try harder at the task next time and really see a change in their attitude when they know you are cheering them on, especially when it's coming from people they love. 

2. Assign chores

This one may not be as intuitive as the last one, but let me tell you it works! Giving your children jobs to complete around the house (that are age appropriate of course) will allow them to have not only a sense of responsibility in the house, but it will also give them a sense of accomplishment when they complete something worthwhile for the people they love. Now, I am the first one to say that every kid is different. Kids are not going to come right and say to you that they appreciate the challenge and they love helping out the family. Your kid may even groan and moan and whine and complain about this said chore. They are not going to actually thank you for this opportunity to do their laundry or to clean up the yard or put away their toys. But what you are teaching them is way more subliminal than that. Remember that they are tips for raising your kid's confidence on the sly- not out in the open for everyone to see. When they see that they can do certain life chores, they grow up to be better functioning adults that are more capable of handling the tough life stuff. 

3. Give them choices

Another aspect of raising children that can make their own decisions, and feel confident enough to do so, is by giving them the ability to make there own choices at an early age. Do they want to wear the blue top or the green top today? Do they want to work on cleaning their room now or when they get home from lunch? There are tons of ways to add choices into their lives. And if you have a child that is stubborn like mine that wants that third choice, you give them a chance to learn what consequences are all about! Ha! Sometimes not picking a good choice is just as big a part of raising them with self confidence than when they do make a good choice.  It's all about growing up and learning as they grow. But they don't know that! 

4. With photos

One of the interesting parts of today's society is that we are a digital nation rather than a print nation. This is not new news. Another interesting part of this, is that because we have become more of a society to share things online through social media and other means of digital sharing, it becomes more apparent that people are printing less and less of those digital memories. I am not here to talk about how social media is changing the face of our nation and lowering our self esteem as a whole. That is a topic all in itself that I may write another day. What I am here to tell you is that, because we don't print these memories, they get forgotten. And while there are always more memories to be had, there is never a time when going back and reliving the old ones, doesn't bring joy to your life. Just think about how good you feel when a Facebook Memory pops up in your feed that you love so much you have to share it again. Is every memory worth printing? Is every memory worth reliving? I would argue yes, but again that is another topic for another day. So what does all this have to do with your kid's self-confidence? Interestingly enough, when your kids see themselves in a photo, it shows them a few things. It shows them they are loved enough for you to print their photo and it shows them that you are willing to take the time to remember something about them. All in all, this is a proven effect of raising their self-confidence. When you think about it, it becomes a no-brainer. Again, it's not a conscious thing we think about in our brains. It's all subliminal, just how we like it. 

So a little each week, just think about these things. Of course there are way more ways to add subliminal messages to your kid's lives that increase their confidence, but you know, you can go in search other them yourself. In the mean time check out the top three adventures that will actually raise your spirits. 

Want me to document your life? Check out how to get started or contact me today! I am anxious to hear what your next adventure will be in photos! 

Much love,

Heather


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3 ways to guarantee your children's happiness

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3 ways to guarantee your children's happiness

Running down the driveway, I was so ready. I was ready to get inside and use the phone to call my best friend. Seeing her literally moments before on the bus, I wasn't even sure she would be home. But considering that she had moved very close to me, I knew she would be home soon. Having an old turn dial rotary phone, the physical calling of her number felt like it took forever! I couldn't step more than five feet away from the wall mounted phone or else the cord would break. 

Happiness comes in all styles, shapes and sizes. And when we are happiest, we tend to remember those moments the most.

This information shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I mean, it's probably not something that we consciously think about, but that doesn't mean it is not true. The other thing about happiness is that it's really dependent on the person that is going through it. Meaning, some things will make you happy that may make me not as happy or even unhappy. So how can we guarantee one's happiness? We really can't. Ok I said it. But if you stick with me I think you will find that these things are universal. 

1. Hugs and loves

Let's start with an obvious one. Of course, we all know that if you give your kids love, hugs, kisses and support, they will be happy. Do you really need the stats here? I don't think so. This is a powerful one folks so please please please don't forget it. EVERY DAY.

2. Let them be themselves 

Never underestimate how strong it is to let a kid behave like they want to. From an early age, we teach our kids to conform. Sit at the table quietly while you eat. Don't interrupt when someone else is talking, Don't run in the house. Wear a jacket because it's cold outside. And we do these things because we care. There is no doubt about that. Yet, what things in life can kids control? What things can they decide on that is just for them, allowing them to be the individual they were meant to be?  Do they get to pick out their clothes? What hairstyle they want to have? What they want to eat for dinner (as long as they are eating a healthy option?) It's so hard to let kids feel like individuals and also have the ability to stand out amongst their friends as brave and bold. When we teach our kids to conform too much, they feel stifled and afraid to express themselves. so within reason, try and let your kids do a little more for themselves. Maybe that means letting them have pink hair, and maybe it doesn't, but always ask yourself what they can control for themselves and see that smile just go from ear to ear.

3. Hang pictures of them on the wall

This one maybe you didn't know. This one is not something that people really think about a lot and I am here to change that. It is proven that kids feel loved and supported when they are shown how important they are. And to show that they are important, you not only need to let them make choices for themselves but you also need to love them. All of these things go hand in hand. These things show kids that they feel trusted, loved and supported all in one swell swoop. The next step is to think about how to display them and what feelings they get from seeing themselves on display. But whatever you decide, you need to just do it. No more excuses. It's the final piece of the puzzle. Showing their importance in ways that aren't just for them but for others to see.  

So don't hesitate to try these three things and revel in your success when they work!

Much love,

Heather

P.S. Do you want to hire me as your family photographer? Go ahead and contact me and let me know what you want your next adventure to be and how I can capture that for you!

Also, make sure to check out the top three adventures that will actually raise your spirits


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Why, in a world of digital copies, you need to be a physical print

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Why, in a world of digital copies, you need to be a physical print

Working on my personal file storage, my computer started yelling at me. 

Of course, not physically yelling, but you know, that kind of yelling where things are stalled, you get that ugly wheel of death and you don't know how long it will be until it stops? The wheel tells us that things are moving slower, or I am trying to do things too fast.

In my case, this time, I believe it is because my computer is really full. Full of data, full of pictures, full of applications. So it is moving really slowly. 

I could get a better computer. I could upgrade my memory or my GBs or whatever it is that will make my computer perform better. Believe me when I say, computers and I don't mix well. I have to really do my research before I do anything. And most of the time, this research consists of talking it over with my mom before I make any sudden moves. My mom has a degree in computer technology and I figure she is a good place to start when I have questions. 

But in this case, I think my computer needs a deep cleaning. Cleaning from the inside out. Really a hard core kind of thing where I get rid of a lot of unimportant stuff I don't need anymore. Old files my son doesn't need for his school anymore, old pictures I have no intention of ever doing anything with and don't need to keep. (Believe me when I say- there are a lot of those and they are not easy to part with.) 
 


The one thing I have to remember about those images I need to delete is this; I don't need them all. 

Yeah, don't shoot the messenger here. I mean, really, we have come a long way in life but in this sense I feel we have gone backwards. Let me explain. 

Back in the day, if you wanted to see what pictures you took, you had no choice but to take them in and get them printed. There were no options to see the images in your camera first, let alone see them in a space like a computer and just keep them stored for all eternity. When it came to prints, we either were the kind of people that were intentional about our picture taking and didn't have that many, or we were happy photo-shooters that just took a ton of pictures and hoped for the best and saved them all no matter what. Were their eyes closed? Yes. Keep it. Were they not looking at the camera? Nope. Keep it. Was the image way overexposed because the sun was too bright? Yes. Keep it. 

People that hold prints in their hands are happier and more self assured in life. It's just fact.

In my own family alone, I can tell you how much more fun it is to actually look at a family album in print then to see those same images on the computer in a digital file. 

Now, I am not telling you to delete all the images in your computer. No, I am not. What I am telling you is that studies have proven that physical prints can make people not only happier but they can also raise our self esteem. People have a hard time getting rid of pictures in print. There is something about prints that we cannot part with. And I think when you throw in the idea that people have a higher self value when they have printed images of themselves that they get to see every day,  self-esteem and self-confidence are all a part of this package.

As much as I want to be that person that can get rid of all the file she will never print, I can't do it.

I will never be able to print all the pictures I have in the computer. But I know that having the prints of the ones that are the most important to me will never be a waste of time or money spent. As I wait for my spinning ball of death to stop spinning, I will have plenty of time to think about what images I want to get rid of and why. While there is an importance in keeping the files in case of future emergencies, like getting my prints again in case of fire, I will always know that the prints are the most important thing.

So don't just flip through them to look and leave them there,. flip through them to decide what to print so you can get to hem easier and see them more often. Your brain will thank you. 

Much love,

Heather 

P.S. If you want the best guide to printing you will ever see, then go ahead. A free download that you can trust to give you the most important info in the right order to make this an easy task. 

And yes, if you want to contact me for a session of your very own, please do so. I never throw away your images. Just in case. 


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Top three adventures that will actually raise your spirits | Boise Family Adventure Photographer

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Top three adventures that will actually raise your spirits | Boise Family Adventure Photographer

Sledding down the butte in my backyard, I was six years old. My sister, two years older than me, sat in the front of the sled. We always argued over who got to sit in the front. She won the battle this time and later regretted it. Falling headfirst into a bush, it was always hard to navigate around them as we went down the hill. And honestly, it made my day. Let's not for a moment think that I let her forget that moment...EVER. 

The adventures we go on as kids, often mirror the adventures we enjoy most as adults.

I am not sure why this is, but I can tell you that I would absolutely love to go downhill on a sled in the snow right now. Having kids myself, it makes it so much easier to share these kinds of experiences because its almost as if I want them to experience all the adventures I had as a kid. Knowing that I enjoyed them so much and knowing they would too if they just gave them a go, I try and implement as many as possible.

What are some adventures you did as a kid that you want to have your kids enjoy? Let's explore some of the most common things we like to do and see how they will make you happy.

1. Having past adventures

I know this sounds pretty simplistic and generic, but stay with me on this. I have no idea what you enjoyed doing as a kid. Hanging out at the local theater and becoming an expert people watcher? Riding a bike? Going on a hike? Playing at the local swimming pool? Again, the things you did as a kid for fun will echo what you want to do with your kids now. So start remembering your own adventures and surely your excitement will rub off on them when you go to complete them. 

2. Trying something new

Exploring the area in which you live, not only gets you out and about to meet new people in your direct area, it also is a fun challenge to find new adventures. Have you ever done paddle boarding? para sailing? hot air balloon rides? Try something different and see what kinds of adventures you can come up with.  This is guaranteed not only to raise your spirits, it teaches your kids that there is so much more in the world than their parent's past adventures. 

3.  Just staying in

People often think that adventures have to be outside doing something fun and exciting. Now, while I love those kinds of adventures, there are so many more adventures to be had indoors too. There is nothing like having a day where you just stay in and relax. Our bodies need to be in relax mode every once in a while. And I can't tell you how many times I got to know my kids on more of a personal level just by hanging out and chatting or watching a favorite movie or reading a favorite book. Playing a board game and eating dinner together are some examples of what fun can be had indoors. The togetherness is not only a necessity for you, but a necessity for them. Don't downplay the importance of these down times. 

Now, while my sister was not happy about the result of the sledding event, it did not prevent her from getting back out there and trying again. This time we tried a little harder to navigate around the bushes, and she let me go in front just a few more times than her after that. 

What adventures are you waiting to have with your kids? Are these adventures season dependent? or can they be done whenever you want? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Do you want me to come around and document your next adventure? Contact me today to set something up! 

Much love,

Heather 


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Beware of mean geese: how to overcome your fears

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Beware of mean geese: how to overcome your fears

Sitting inside, looking out the window, I would watch for them. They liked to hang out in front of the door and I had to know if they were out there. The moment I would walk outside they would chase me. My mom used to tell me how to handle them so they wouldn't chase me but it never seemed to work. However, the fact still remained, I had to go outside and walk by them so I had to face my fears. 

Facing our fears is one of the toughest things we have to do in life. For me, I have tons of fears. Fears that my kids aren't eating well enough, fears that I'm not documenting them enough for them to have in the future and fears that I don't do enough. Do you ever feel this way?

In my heart I know I am doing enough, I am feeding them well, and I am documenting them when I can. That is all I can do. And you shouldn't feel like your fears are doing anything else but just meaningless scares too. So let's imagine for a minute that we are the most amazing parents out there. We have too much to really worry about that it doesn't make sense to have fears that we aren't enough.  

But when you look into your kid's eyes and they just appear to be having the time of their lives, what is there to really fear? If they are happy- you should be happy. 

 

So let's all just get over it and not worry so much. Live is too short for that. If you want to hear more about my musings on life, go ahead. Let's join together and walk out amongst the geese. Control your fears. Don't let them control you.

Much love,

Heather 


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When the kids are sick and you are sick of it

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When the kids are sick and you are sick of it

Cough, cough, sneeze, complain.

My ears are ringing with -Mommy I'm thirsty, not hungry, I don't want to go to school, my throat hurts, I want ice cream and I don't want to get out of bed- unless of course you will let me watch my favorite movie while lying on the couch...

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