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How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

"Televison has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object." ~Laurence J. Peter I was talking to my friend the other day and the subject was all about T.V. How much T.V. did you watch as a child? Did you like it? Was it entertaining for you and did you crave more of it? Of course I watched a little too much T.V. This was before they realized that television was not something that was necessarily good for you in large amounts. Don't sit too close or you can get cancer. Don't stare at it too long or you will freeze that way! Ha! That's a good one! I have to say that I am a true lover of television. I love my movies but I also love my T.V. What I don't like is how much T.V I actually watch. I wish I could just get rid of it! I can't seem to find the energy to stop. It takes a major effort to not watch my favorite shows. As my shows become older and they start to "go away" or get canceled I try really hard to not look for a new one in its place. If I remember to fast forward through the commercials (thanks to the invention of the DVR) I won't see those previews for the new shows. Maybe eventually all my shows will go away and I won't have any more to watch. Well, that is wishful thinking on my part. I am weak.

As for my kids? We have strict rules in our house about how much T.V. and Wii time they are to have each day. To be honest, it wasn't always like that though. I admit to having the television be a babysitter when I was cooking dinner or wanting to be by myself for a minute. It was helpful when my kids were really little. I don't know what I would have done without it honestly! Then when my mom told me that we didn't have a T.V. when I was a toddler I was totally shocked! How did she do it??!! Mind blown.

But how can we get our kids to watch less, do less and be less around all the electronics? Not just T.V.? Video games and anything else that keeps them from being active, being imaginative and being kids? Let's explore some things.

1. Know why it's bad for them

The first step to figuring out how you will take it all away is knowing why you need to take it away. T.V. can be entertaining, it can be educational and it can be pure fun! But you have to take it all in bits and pieces. Too much is not good. Too much has proven to be bad for your health as you exercise less and eat more and get less done! Who wants all of that? The first step to fixing the problem is to admit that you have a problem.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

2.  Put a time limit on it

In our house, we have so many activities going on that we hardly have time for television anymore. But on the days that we don't have much going on, there is a tendency to let the kids watch a little too much T.V. Our rule is that you have to turn it off by 6:30pm. This is two hours before their bedtime. This allows us to have a more successful bedtime routine too because there is nothing distracting them from doing what they are supposed to be doing which is getting their PJs on or taking a shower. So bottom line is set a rule that you can follow and have a reason to back it up. Put a time limit on it and actually set the timer. Nothing is worse than giving a time limit and letting it slide. That does nobody any good.

3. Make them work for it

Nothing shows appreciation more than a good work ethic. Chores for T.V. time. So crucial. Really works well around here. You set the rules. For every chore they do you can give them minutes to spend watching T.V. or playing video games- whatever the vice. In our house it's homework completed equals Wii time coupons. T.V. time is so seldom that it works itself out in the end. But long sortie short- make 'em work for it.

4. Cut it out completely

Some people need that complete cut off. Although it's hard, you can do it. Even if it is for one day a week to start out, you are doing better than yesterday. One day, you will forget that you wanted to watch whatever it was or play whatever it was. Then maybe you can work your way to more days at a time. Baby steps.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

5. Fill your time wisely

If you fill your time with other things, you don't have time for T.V. or games. Go on a hike or take your dog for a run. Get out and fly a kite. Read a book! Better yet, read an educational book! Shocking to think those are still out there. The possibilities are literally endless. Outdoor activities are great. Save T.V binge watching for rainy days. This is not the excuse you need to spend more time on the internet or social media. I said fill your time WISELY.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

Get my point? Take it away by a little bit or by a lot- you will be happier in the long run. Realize that it is not healthy for you and fix it. Keep it away. Pick and choose what is most important to you. Priorities are important. Let them be more about you and less about the things you have. Stay tuned for when I talk about what will actually happen to your kids once they watch less T.V.

Like what you hear? Take a look at some of my other posts on how important it is to be less busy and why they need you now- and not later. Contact me today to make some more memories and get those photos you have always wanted to decorate your home with. So fun and so necessary. Let me know what I can do for you!

Much love,

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ― Lin Yutang Wait, what? I'm not wise because I am too busy? I can't believe it! No one told me being too busy would make me dumber. Unbelievable. Not really though right? The more busy I am the more I find myself being forgetful and careless and getting sidetracked. I'm sure it goes that way for everyone to some extent. There are really two kinds of people in the world, those that are good at multitasking and those that are not. Isn't it so true! And I don't mean to say that not everyone can multitask to some extent but it does take practice. Is that something you can be proud of? I would say that most people are proud of the fact that they can multitask, especially if they are super good at it. But is that something that one can really be proud about?

I want to argue today that while being good at multitasking is not necessarily bad, the need to do so is.  Why do we find the need to be such good multi tasking fools? I think it's because we are too busy. Too busy with school activities, too busy with home activities and too busy with work activities and too busy with life in general. I say it all the time and I know so many other people that do too. "I'm so tired." We all know this is code for: I run around too much. I need a break. I need one day to just sleep in until 12 noon. I need a vacation!

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Unfortunately a lot of us cannot do that. Besides those people out there that literally can't stop working those three jobs so they can pay the bills or those college students that are working full time just to pay for college, there are a lot of people out there that make the choice to be busy. Me personally, I love to be busy. I don't necessarily love being in the car all day long some days or labeling somedays "take-out only" days, But I enjoy being busy with my kids and their activities. Love seeing them do certain things and have fun. I'm sure that is why a lot of parents take their kids to soccer practice or dance class or piano lessons or karate class right? To see their kids succeed in things that they are never able to do themselves. And of course to see their kids have fun. Why can't we just stop at one or two activities throughout the year? Why can't we ever say no to the extra activities the PTA has asked us to accomplish. There is always something extra that can be done. Why do we have to do it and how can we say no to it? When does it get to the point of damaging our mental status where it will hinder our ability to do  every day jobs like loving our kids and just learning to watch them grow? Let's explore some ways for you to be able to lead a less full life. It's hard, but one eventually has to just say...

1. No

Just say no. If you have too much on your plate, then just say no. It's not your responsibility to take care of everyone else's needs all the time. Yeah it's very sweet to think that you want to take care of everyone yourself. You can do it! I know you can. But do you need to? "Can you paint this for me tonight so it's ready for the play tomorrow?" "Can you help me with my job?" "Can you do me a favor?" "Can you........." "Can you please......." It's never ending. I'm not saying cut out all volunteer work completely but man- pick and choose so you can leave not only a healthier life less busy, but a less complicated one. Just say no. It will be ok. Trust me. They will move on and get someone else - or not. Not much is life or death. You will know it when it is. ;)

2. Forget the extra curricular activities

Ok so not really ALL of them. But do you really need to be involved in baseball and piano and swimming lessons all at the same time? Let's just try for one thing a season huh? Trim down the fat y'all. You will be glad you did. Your house may even see you more often. And it won't get so lonely (or dirty). Why did you buy or rent your house- so you could spend as much time outside of it as possible?? Haha I doubt that. You have to realize that doing all these activities is a choice and not a necessity.

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

3. Stop bragging about being busy

I know I do it. I don't really do it to brag about myself really, but just to let people know I'm frustrated with my busy schedule. But I do it to myself which is silly. Learning how to not put people on a pedestal for being busy will help you in deciding that it's not worth it to be that busy. Look at it as negative thing and you probably won't want it as much. There will always be that mom that can do a tad better than you on things. Live with it. None of us have the same talents and strengths. It is what it is. We have to work together to stop this cycle.

4. Schedule your relaxation time

Make sure that throughout the day or the week that you are making time for yourself to relax. It's crazy that we as a society are so busy that we need to schedule time to be un-busy on our schedule. What's that all about? Andy Griffith sat on his front porch almost every night relaxing after his crazy days with Barney Fife. And he didn't have to take Opie to baseball practice. I'm pretty sure he walked himself. Well isn't that ideal. Around here, even if I did trust my kid to walk to practice, it would be impossible as it's a 15 minute drive just to get there in a car! Sheesh! That's not ok! But back to what I was talking about, take your time with things and make sure that you schedule your relaxation time!

5. Revisit your priorities (your kids)

You know that voice in your head that is telling you that you need to do this for your kids? I don't know. There is some truth to it. They usually enjoy some activities but once it crosses that line of you doing this for you (and not them) then it's time to stop! And these "priorities" will see a lot more of you if they weren't so busy all the time. As for you being too busy? If you have a hard time with #1 then you need to rethink who you are doing those extra projects for and decide if it's worth not spending time with your true priorities. Just sayin'

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

If you want to read more of my rants about being around more for your kids then please go ahead and read some of these other articles.  Summer can't wait and neither will I and How to be present for your kids and not social media I know it's my opinion but I like them because I wrote them!

And don't forget that you contact me really easily and schedule your next session! I can't wait to talk with you about all of my opinions. It's fun to talk shop too! Let me know what you want and I can work on it!

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I Am! ~Dr. Seuss. I couldn't resist. If you know me at all then you know I am a great lover of Dr. Seuss. I collect his books for my kids and I just love reading them, even today. I think this quote is so important. For those of you that may be in the minority and maybe have never read this story (are there really any of you out there?), it's about a guy named Sam trying to get this other guy to eat his green eggs and ham. He tells him to eat the meal in different places and in different fashions and the guy says no until finally he gives up and he actually likes the green eggs and ham! Go figure. I think most of the time our brain tells us we won't like something based on looks alone and not by the actual fact that we may like the thing we are staring at. If only our minds would get out of the way. That being said, kids and often times adults will have issues with eating healthy things. Whether it is a fruit or a vegetable or something else that is healthy, sometimes it's just not wanted. Sometimes it's ok to have food items that you won't eat as long as you are eating well otherwise. But in the case of some people (mostly kids), it's hard to get them to eat anything that may resemble normal food. Chicken strips or fries anyone? Macaroni and Cheese? There are so many things I want my kids to eat that I just know they will enjoy but how do I get them to eat them? These are the things I try and hopefully they will be helpful for you too.

1. Ask them how they want it

This may seem a little bit obvious but I think this is something that most people will actually forget to do! Just ask them. What do they want? How do they want it cooked? Or not cooked? With sauce or without? Whatever gets them to eat it. If they give you an answer then go with it and make it work. Then hold them to it. If they wanted it that way, they have to eat it that way!

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

2. Give them choices

Ok this one is another obvious one for me but sometimes we don't have the ability to give our kids choices. Especially when you don't want to make two meals. In our house they have to eat what they get and they have to eat vegetables off the plate. We are not always successful but depending on the night it works well! If I ask them what they want before we start cooking and both options are a viable addition to the dinner I am making, then what do I care? They are now excited to eat it because they were given the power to choose.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

3. Spread out the love throughout the day

Give them options of good foods all day long, not just dinner time. The more often they eat things throughout the day off of the healthy menu the less they have to eat in one sitting like dinner. Carrots and ranch in their lunch sack and strawberries for breakfast. Lots of options and lots of ways to make it count all day long.

4. Involve them in the cooking

Some kids get really excited at the prospect of cooking something that they made themselves. This does many things for them. It tells them that you value their services and it helps them learn to love cooking. Get really into it! Buy a chef's hat and an apron for them to wear. My daughter will put her apron on just to get the chance to crack one egg at breakfast. Cooking becomes a chore when you are an adult but as a kid you think it's fun! Explore cooking with your kids and get them to love it. They love the process and therefore are more willing to eat what you are making together. They see exactly what is going in and they know they will love it. Better yet- if you grow your own vegetables, have them help you pick them from the garden when they are ready. Teaching your kids these life lessons are so important at a young age. It might take a little longer but truly they do get faster as they get older.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

5. Hide them

Last but not least, you can hide the veggies in the meal. I do this all the time. Especially when the meal is the same color as the vegetable! I have grated yellow squash finely into macaroni and cheese, or even added butternut squash that was cooked and pureed. I have added lots of different veggies to spaghetti sauce. The red overpowers almost everything you throw at it within reason!  I have even added veggies to the meat when we make sloppy joes or hamburgers. There are tons of options for this. If you can't get them to eat it while knowing about it then you at least have to try to get them to eat it unknowingly. It's not sneaky, it's parenthood. Enough said.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I am a true lover of all things in the kitchen because I love to cook! Ya know what sounds like fun? Taking pictures of you and your family cooking together. It's an awesome experience to do it as a family so why not document it? And what better photos to display inside your kitchen then those of you all cooking together? See? There are tons of ideas floating in my head. If you have an idea that you would like to throw at me for a photography session then contact me today! I am up for "almost" anything. ;)

If you want to see more of my stuff then go ahead and take a look around and stay awhile. I love documenting my own life as well as yours. When was the last time you had a family photography session? Is it time you scheduled one?

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Ok so today I was thinking about why and how I have the motivation to take pictures of my kids every day. Well, almost everyday. People always ask me how I do it. What camera do I have and what lenses? But people seem to forget to ask me why I do it. Is it because they know the why behind my projects or that they can presume to know the why? Do I really talk about it all that much that people don't even need to ask me because they already know why I do it? That is entirely possible! The "why" is almost the more important question isn't it? Would you do it? Could you do it? First we must figure out the "why" behind taking pictures of your everyday life and then we must figure out the "how" to do it part next. My life is a series of activities that are brought on mainly as a result of my work related activities and my kid related activities. Don't get me wrong, I love my work. And as my work is something that is literally documenting everyday lives of other people, I find that I almost have a greater need to photograph the needs of my family even more. And I think I enjoy it more only for the obvious reason. It's my own family and my loves! What can go wrong with that?

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Why do I do it? Why is it important? And, why should you do it?

Well all of those questions are completely acceptable to ask but in all honesty they will be different for different people. I know for me, I want to take pictures of my everyday life so that we have a visual memory of our lives. I want my kids to know, when they get older and look back at these photos, that our lives are not perfect. Our lives are everyday messes and struggles and triumphs and joys. Documenting all the fun things with the not-so-fun things will help us remember that there are always going to be struggles in life and you will get through them eventually. When we leave these types of things up to our memory, sometimes our memory will fail. I don't want to take that chance. I want my kids to know they were loved and cared for and appreciated to the best of our ability. Please don't take this to mean that I think without this there is a loss in one's life. But for me, I not only want to do this for my kids, I need to do this for my kids. It's important to me.

So you decided that you want to do it too! How do you get started?

Ok so as I always tell the kids that take my beginning photography classes, it's not about the fancy camera or the equipment, it's about the ability to use that equipment to its fullest. Now, I won't go much farther than this other than to say that yes, better equipment will bring sharper and possibly- I dare say- better images, however it's all in the user and the ability and nothing else to make certain images great. But for the purposes of your own project, you could do whatever you like! Mobile smart phones now-a-days have really nice quality cameras in them and there are tons of places to edit those photos (pic-tap-go anyone?) and tons of places to display those photos (Instagram and Facebook?) There are tons of ways to get it done. It just takes dedication. And for heavens sakes please be forgiving of yourself if you miss a day. It's ok. No one will tell on you. There are no cameras in the sky looking down on you telling someone that you are a failure. No one cares. Place your own rules on your own project.

I have to warn you though that photography can be quite addicting so please don't blame me if you get sucked in! It's just a matter of time. (Psst. Don't forget that I teach adult beginners photography classes too!) For some basics you can go ahead and check out my series on how to take a better photos. There are some really great tips in there! Make sure to read all three posts so you get the full benefit.

Now, do your images have to be great to be worthy? Um, that is a big fat no. Take it from someone who has been doing a 365 project for a while now (taking a picture a day for an entire year) that you don't need to be great to accomplish your goal.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Now what do you do with all those pictures?

Unbelievably most people love taking the photos but then they don't do a thing with them. That just drives me crazy! Ok, so for full disclosure here I have dreams of doing things with my pictures too but I have a few excuses that are not the same as yours as to why it has not happened for me yet! But really, get those photos off your computer and into print. You won't regret you did.

Print them at your local store and place them in a traditional photo album. This, although to me the most boring way, is still a great way to get your photos in print. It provides a way for them to be seen everyday if you wanted! Isn't that the goal here anyways? You can always try printing an album, by month or my year or by week! It depends on what your dream for those photos are! Table top books make great discussion pieces when guests come over to visit. You can get these in so many places like Blurb.com or even Shutterfly.com. They may not be the most quality places to get your work printed but they get the job done and they are very inexpensive pending what you want included in that album. Put them on your walls!! Make collages of small prints and hang them proudly. All those embarrassing moments will never be forgotten if they are in print. Each time you walk by you can laugh or cry or just be sentimental. Photos tend to do that to people. Mushy mushy.

But what about those times you aren't that confident and you want a professional to do the job for you? Well, duh! That's where I come in to play! I can take professional portraits of your family that you will cherish for years to come. My clients never regret giving people quality portraits as a gift or having them hung up in their home.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

And don't forget that from now until April 20th I am having a contest for free stuff so please don't forget to take a look at that while you are here! I love doing this for people and I can't wait to do this for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your complimentary consultation and talk about your dream session.

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Do less, with more focus. ~Unknown You know them. Those really busy days of the week that you dread and when you are done all you want to do is curl up in a ball and go to sleep? Yeah I'm sure we all have them. Whether you are a working parent or not, it's always hard to get through them. Sometimes its soccer practice or music lessons or homework. Don't forget the normal everyday stuff too like meal planning and laundry and chores. That list almost seems double for those that work outside the home but triple that work inside the home. Here are a few steps you can take to make those days easier. And if you get really good at it then you can even use these tactics on days that you aren't as busy so they even become easier! Meal prep seems to be the most daunting thing (at least for me) and also the most important so I took the liberty of suggesting more ideas under that area.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Make sure you have a normal routine

Even if you have to "break" said routine on this busy days, having a routine in place will help make the rest of the day go smoothly. Making sure your kids get up on time each day (at the same time), eating breakfast, reading to school and getting to bed on time will all help with those extra added tasks when you have to add them. Routines make it so you don't have to think about the "normal" stuff and just focus on what you have that is extra. Now, making sure you get to soccer on time doesn't seem that bad. You may still be rushed but your brain and body will take it with ease.

2. Prepping meals in advance

Ok so this now we have all heard before right? Well as much as you think you don't have time to prep meals in advance for those busy days, you are wrong. You have to schedule that time and make sure you do it. It would be so much easier on all of you if you had a plan in place, and were able to execute with style on those days that you need it. There are tons of ways to do this. Take one weekend day per week or one slow night at home and choose what you want to make. Whether its a breakfast dish that you will freeze or its a dinner dish that you will have ready for the net day (or the day after), it will be one step further to getting that busy day in check. While prepping one meal - make double and freeze one. This for me is the easiest way to plan for extra meals. I don't find it takes that much time extra to chop up double the onions. This is prep times one and meals times two! Time saver! The cool thing is that once you start to do these things you will get used to it and they will become second nature.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

3. Use your crockpot

On those days that you won't be home to cook but you will actually be home at dinner, the crock pot is a great solution. There are also tons of recipes out there that you can prep and freeze to get ready for the crockpot making the day you use them super easy! Crockpots are great ways to get healthy meals when you are not ready to make a complicated meal at home.

4. Do your other chores in advance.

No one wants to be that person that leaves the dirty baseball uniform or dance leotard in the laundry and not have it ready the day of the big event. Make sure a couple days in advance that you are prepped for the busy day. Even if you have it all packed in the car with a list handy so you don't forget anything, you will better off. Make a list of things you can't forget the day of the busy day and that will prevent small things like water bottles and school books from being left at home.

5. Take turns to do the driving

Where I come from - it takes me at least 15 minutes to get to school, 40-45 minutes to get to dance class, and 30 minutes to the nearest big grocery store. We are always in the car it seems. On the busy days where driving is more prevalent try and find other parents going through the same thing. Carpooling is not only good for the environment but its good on you too. It gives you a break to get some needed things done and by taking turns with this it will be a cooperative movement for all parent drivers out there!

6. Take a deep breath

So there are days where you just couldn't get the crockpot to work and you ran out of your last frozen meal. You slept in and the kids were a little late to school or you ended up being 15 minutes late to guitar lessons. Take a deep breath. Nothing is life or death. Everything will be fine. Don't forget to forgive yourself. We are all human and we are doing the best we can.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Take a look at my everyday life and you will know that it's not perfect! I am not perfect. Nor do I try to be. Stay tuned for more of my antics tomorrow and we can explore this everyday life together, with all of its struggles and bumps in the road.

If you would like me to document your everyday then please contact me and tell me what you think you want! I'm sure we can make it work! I love hearing people's ideas for sessions. Let's go have some fun together! Don't forget to check out my contest that ends April 20th. I can't wait to share some freebies with those that enter!!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

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My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

Well if you have followed me at all you know I have belonged to blog circles before. Blog circles are posts that connect with other bloggers somehow so that you can see what they did with the theme of choice that month. It is so fun to collaborate with other photographers in my "virtual" life and bring some of the talent to your doorstep. But what I really love is that all these ladies are just that talented that they might somehow rub off on me! Well this month the task is this; I need to take a little bit of time in one day and take ten pictures. Well, as you know I have been taking one picture every day (or somewhat every day) for a while now, but ten pictures in one day was surely a challenge! I am going to be honest. I had a really hard time with this. I may have to rethink my strategy next time. I can't wait to see what others have some up with. So Easter day my parents came to visit us. I figured this would be the perfect day to get pictures of the kids being with the grandparents and having good time collecting eggs etc but as it turned out, the rain overtook our party and everything had to be moved indoors. No big deal! My kids didn't care.

Let me first let you know that I am not one of those parents that "overdo" any type of holiday. Easter is no exception. The bunny came to hide eggs (that we colored ourselves) and thats it! No baskets. No candy. Nada. Some of you may think I'm crazy but I really don't like to overdo things. Next year I may even jump to the step of teaching my kids what Easter is really all about. Baby steps. This was our first Easter at our house officially in forever so I didn't want to set the standard high. ;)

The other plans I had for that day were that we needed to get some cooking done. On the menu were English Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins, Apple-Carrot Muffins, Pizza Dough, Challah Bread, Dried Apple Rings and Dried Banana Chips. Ok, so I didn't get around to making all of that but I got close. Here are some of the pictures from my day. After cooking was over and before dinner we decided to play a good 'ol game of UNO. Man! I hadn't played that in YEARS and it was so much fun. A new favorite in our family now as my parents gave us the game. HAHA! Can't wait for more quality family time.

At first I was all excited because I was planning on showing you every step to every recipe I was making all day long. That quickly faded when I realized that it would take me too long and as I am an inherent lazy person, I chose to do just a sample of each. And if you watch closely you can see the "photobomber". Sneaky dog. I love my new puppy so much! I just couldn't stop laughing when I took this. She is totally into everything and my pictures should be no different!

So first up was my Dried Banana Chips. I placed them in this lemon water solution for about five minutes to soak, then we had to let them dry on the plate. I just bought my dehydrator and I have been itching to use it more often. Today was the perfect day for that!

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

Next up, I had my daughter take the bananas and place them on the trays for drying. One look at the recipe telling e to dry them for up to eight hours, made it apparent that I would not be drying any Apple Rings today. Bummer. Those are my favorite. Another day!

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

Next up was the Pumpkin Muffins. I tell you what, these are just the best darn things anyone could ever eat and they are literally three step easy. Mix, pour, bake. Done.

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

All this and my parents weren't even over at my house yet for the egg hunt! Once they did get to my house the fun actually began. My kids had all morning to search and find and "leave" the eggs in place. They were ready to win the egg hunt! As you can see they certainly did! My parents never had a chance!

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

And I just want to say really quickly here that this photo is not the most flattering for my family but it's a moment that cannot be forgotten and I love it to pieces. All our moments are worth keeping.

Next up is English Muffins. This recipe has a four step process that is labor intensive and difficult. Oh who am I kidding?! It does have four steps but they are all so easy that anyone could do these and I don't have an after photo but man trust me. Homemade english muffins are literally the best. You will never go back to store bought ones. Ever. I guarantee it.

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

In between steps on my English Muffins and starting my Challah Bread we got some good quality time in with the grandparents and played some UNO! I love love love UNO. Doesn't take that much thought and it's fun. You always want to play another game. I want to note here that I take a risk when posting this next photo. My mother will love it! Inevitably she will ask for a copy of it and I will say ok but then I will forget. It's a life long struggle for me to remember to send photos to the people in them when it comes to family. Like I don't have enough to do?!

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

My everyday continued... | Placerville Everyday- Family Photographer

So if you are paying attention you have figured out that I did not get a chance to finish my Apple-Carrot Muffins or my Apple Rings but man oh man that Challah bread was something else! So good!! If you want to take a look at some of my other everyday pictures then go ahead and take a look at some of my previous blog circles and don't forget to leave a comment. I love hearing from you! Next in line for this circle however is Lisa and I am sure you will be pleased if you go on through the entire circle.

And don't forget, if you want everyday photos like this then you can call me, email me, text me anytime! Just contact me! I am waiting for you to build the session of your dreams. If you would like to know a little bit more about my contest going on through April 20th then please head on over to my Facebook page and take a gander at this post. You might find it interesting!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't. ~Unknown Clutter is evil. It does unmentionable things to your mind. Unknowingly you get sucked in. Am I right? When we look at magazines and pictures of our dream houses (I know I'm not the only one that does this!) they are all color coordinated, pretty and sophisticated. They always have fresh flowers but in the real world many of us don't have time to get a decorator to our house and stage our homes with all that neat stuff right? And if you are one of those people that always have fresh flowers in your home- I just have four words for you. I am completely jealous. Yep. But in most homes all that clutter just makes for a ton of dust. How do we get rid of all the unnecessary stuff? And how do we know what is good to keep, what is good to giveaway and what is good to trash?

Ok well, being that I am of the mindset we need to recycle as much as we can, it's important to at least try to give away as much as possible. You will be surprised at what people will want to keep for themselves. How does that saying go? Someone's trash is somebody else's treasure? It really is true! You never know what other people need certain things for and since we can find so many double uses for things nowadays- it's virtually endless what can be done. But back on track...how do you decide what stuff to get rid of? In my last post I decided to dive into the subject of decluttering and why it is good for you. There are so many reasons why we should declutter our homes, ourselves and our lives. But how do we get started? And how far do we take it?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Throw away all trash

My kids share a room. It's a really small room. We try to maximize on space with some organizing techniques but really there is no way around the fact that the room is small. Normally, I am in constant check with their room to make sure it is clear of trash. The hardest part about having a small bedroom is that everything is visible because hiding something is usually not an option. Not to mention that my kids are still getting the hang of hiding things from me. You never know what I am going to find in their clothes drawers! But the ONE THING I always notice above all else is trash. I will pick it up sometimes and other times I make them pick it up. The reason for this is two fold: 1. They probably don't think of the items as trash and 2. I don't want to fight with them about it! But no one likes trash. Grab an empty bag and get going. Things will smell better and while picking up you may even find things you can recycle or reuse. Think outside of the box with what can be considered trash!

2. Take five minutes a day per room

Stop and think for a minute how long five minutes REALLY is. Like if you were to sit for five minutes and count the seconds- it would seem like that is the longest task you had ever been asked to do! It's like watching water boil.  IT TAKES FOREVER! Taking just five minutes will allow for time to pick up any trash and put knick knacks in their proper place is so huge. It may even allow for some deep cleaning especially once you have been doing this awhile. Things become a habit after 21 days and you start to declutter more often as you see it pop up!

3. Look at things from another perspective

All it takes is pretending to be my mother in law and my house will a bit cleaner because of it! If you imagine yourself as a guest who is going to look at your home and see what they see it may be easier to let some of these things go. Try to think of yourself as a toddler tramping through your house. What things can they reach and can you put them somewhere else or just let them go too?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

4. Ask yourself, "Am I going to use/need this?" and "Why?"

Well doesn't that just say enough? People forget that there is a definite difference between needing something and wanting something. Can you distinguish the difference?

5. Become more organized

By putting all things in their proper place, you are not only organizing your life, you are decluttering and saving your sanity all at the same time. Get your kids involved in the process and they may actually help keep things that way. Sometimes it is not about what you have that is "extra", it's about how you are storing your things. And if it doesn't fit, then it goes. Period.

6. Avoid distractions while you work

Getting down and dirty with your task will help you in the long run. Don't get distracted. Work in small spaces for a short time so other things don't have the opportunity to creep in an bug you.

7. Not all family items are meant to be kept

This one is the hardest for most people. "But it was my father's!" There is a fine line between keeping something that was an heirloom in your family. I believe that all pictures of course need to be saved always ;) but what about other things? Small momentos from your families past are important to save. They may not technically be worth anything. And by that I mean monetary value, however, they are obviously personal in nature and need to be kept. I would say the only exception to this rule is if you don't have room for it. This is surely an individual decision but one that needs to not be taken lightly. I have room for my grandfather's piano in my house (barely!) but I still have room. So what about your own children's things? "But I want to keep her very first outfit she ever wore!" What? Bottom line, if you don't have room for it, the item needs to be scrapped- or get rid of something else so that it can take its place. Not everything needs to be kept.

8. Go all the way with it!

Haha! Another way to do things is to go all the way. True minimalists live in tiny houses (and I mean TINY) and they have lofts for rooms and live on lots of property so they can experience nature. In concept this is beautiful. I just don't know if I could do it!

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

If you missed my first post about the reasons why we need to declutter and why they are beneficial to your health then please read it! It's so important to put our health into the equation. Also think about what we are teaching our children! Please cut the clutter!

One good way to make sure you have "good clutter" is to make sure it's all about you. It has to make you happy or else why have it? Do need an updated photo of your family? I bet you do! It's something we all tend to put off and then wish we hadn't. Contact me today and we can discuss the finer details of your upcoming session. See what I can do for you! Can't wait to speak with you about it!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…~Henry David Thoreau

The one thing I think of when I think of clutter is all of my grandmother's knick knacks sitting on a shelf. My grandparents were wonderful people. They had a formal living room which I was allowed to play in however it all too often seemed boring when there was nothing to do in there. It held a nice couch and some chairs in front of this really big bay window that looked out into the front yard. I remember that my grandmother would put towels on the back of the couch and on the arms so the cat wouldn't rip the couch to shreds. This room also held my grandfather's piano which I lovingly have now in my home. It needs some major work and more often than not it ends up being a table of sorts to set things on as we enter the back door (but that is another story for another day as I am getting completely off track!) These shelves in which these knick knacks stood were probably made of glass and they probably looked really nice. I don't remember what they were exactly but I'm sure I never touched them! (Yeah right...) All I can think of now is why would anyone want to have that kind of stuff in their home? Why all the extra space and why make more work for yourself? The extra room to clean, dust and keep maintained. And for what? So no one can use it? Ok so let me just say I am not completely against having these sorts of things in your life. Knick knacks (quality ones) that you have purchased along your life travels, are fun to have. They give you memories and probably good ones at that since you kept the darn things. I still have a few knick knacks like this on my bookshelves at home and in my kitchen window. But you will not find many. I don't like dusting and inevitably these things require a little bit of maintenance. I am very low maintenance. So therefore my house is very low maintenance.

All that being said, we all have extra things in our lives that we probably don't need right? I hope that if you were to look at your house today you could pack a small box to give away to goodwill or maybe be able to put some old clothes in a bag that you don't wear anymore. What's the rule? If you haven't worn it in six months you should get rid of it? What? I can't afford to have that kind of spending budget on clothing. I keep all my clothes until they have literally fallen apart. But I am getting off subject again. We all probably could do a little bit of "cleaning up" in our lives. Knick knacks, clothes. old toys, and other items that get little use in your home could probably get some use somewhere else just fine.

Why is it important to declutter your house and the life around you? Well studies say...wait. I'm not going to tell you what studies say. I am not an expert. But these are my reasons for keeping a decluttered home and maybe they will make sense for you too.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

1. Less chores

Let's face it. The number one reason I don't keep a ton of stuff is so I don't have to clean it, wash it, dust it, dry it, iron it (who irons anymore anyway?), step over it, you name it. Keeping less stuff in your life is really a nice thing when you think about it. It's less work to keep everything in check when you have less stuff. Believe me. It's true!

2. Less stress

Yep. The more things you have to worry about the higher your stress level gets. It just makes sense. The more you see in view, the more you have to think about physically and the more you can get distracted. The more distractions the higher the stress! I know so many people that live off this kind of stress. Nope. Not for me. Let it go.

3. More time for me

The less time I spend cleaning, washing, dusting, drying, ironing, insert your annoying -ing here...the more time I have to spend with my family and the more time I have to pamper myself. That's a fact that you cannot argue with. I dare you to try.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

4. More money

Say what? Simple. The less you buy, the more money you have. The more you give away or sell- the more money you have. Need I say more?

5. More appreciation for what you have

The less you have, the more you appreciate it. It's amazing how a minimalist view can give you more appreciation for what you have. You may even learn new ways to use old things that you hadn't thought of before. And think about what your kids will do when you get them to focus on the most important things in their life. It might be a game changer. When you have a lot of stuff you become bogged down with too much to do that you become bored. Weird huh? It's a little counter intuitive. It just goes to show that money really can't buy happiness. Teaching your kids this lesson at a young age just might make their future a little brighter. They can keep these experiences in their heart and use them wisely once they become adults. What a gift that would be.

6. Helps you stay focused and organized

This one is a no-brainer. Once you have less in your life to worry about you can more easily take the things that are most important to you and organize them better because of the simple fact that you have less items to organize. This will help you stay more focused and in the long term this will make you happier. It's a win-win. Just take my word for it.

7. Frees you up to do other fun things

With less to worry about, you have more time on your hands to focus on the important things in life. Want to actually get through that book you have been reading for over a year? What about finding time to actually exercise? Ok I do realize that there are lots of people out there that actually exercise daily or multiple times a day. Can you come over to my house and give me some motivation? I may need it. And now that I have more free time we can work out together! YAY!

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

I could go on and on and on. But I won't. However it is really important that you take these things into consideration when you are thinking about buying that new really cool item you want. (Yeah, tell that to my movie collection...) Nothing is better than good ol' fashioned family time. Think on that one.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

So how do we do this? How do we declutter so we can have all these great things in our lives? Well that's for another post so stay tuned for How do you declutter your life: Part Two. It's coming. You know you want to read it.

In the meantime go ahead and hop on over to some other posts that may interest you. My Kids Were Here is a blog circle I joined way back when and I just love looking at old photos of my kids and their lives. After all, aren't they what I am living for? Take a look and tell me what you think.

And when you are done make sure to send me a quick message telling me all about the photo session of your dreams! I can not wait to hear from you!

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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CONTEST CONTEST! | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

So to spice things up a little bit I have decided to hold a contest. There are not many rules. Its simple really and who wouldn't want to win? Anything free is really the most awesome thing. CONTEST CONTEST! | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

What's this contest I speak of? Ok so the winner will get a $100 gift certificate towards your session fee or prints. Say what?? A FREE $100?! What are you waiting for? Here is what you have to do:

1. Share this status on Facebook and 2. Comment why you want a session with us!

Now that is not very hard. While you are at it go ahead and see what other promotion I am holding this month. The sooner you get your session in the more stuff you just may receive so hurry up and contact me today to schedule your consultation.

CONTEST CONTEST! | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Hurry! This contest only lasts until April 20th! You don't want to miss out on this chance to get free stuff!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

How is it that every time I get some free time I spend it on Facebook or some other social media site? Is it that I am so tired that I need that time to just be in my own moment and actually feel like I am doing nothing and zone out? I choose to believe that but then the activity becomes addicting right? Whether you are a Facebook junkie or twitter fan or pinner of things you inspire to or an Instagram user, you are in my boat. I find that I spend more time online when I have more things to do around the house. It's almost as if I am trying to ignore my duties at hand. Social media is a way for me to "check out". I think to some extent we all have this type of problem. Now, it doesn't have to be social media that is our vice. What about T.V.? You know-it's so important to be able to catch up on your favorite show right? Isn't that how Netflix gets business? The idea that people will spend hours a day just binge watching a show they have never seen before. I have totally done that. The show Bones was my vice for a good two weeks. Every day I was watching that non-stop and yes, being a very bad mom (wife, stick in other term here) in the meantime.

So how do we get away from that? How do we break the cycle? They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. But where do we start? How do we get away from those vices? I would actually rather spend this extra time with my kids. But how do I do that? Let's see if I provide some insights for you and then ultimately take my own advice.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

1. Take your smart phone out of the equation.

Are you like me? Do you need your phone by your bedside when you go to sleep? Do you use your phone as an alarm? Do you have the urge to check all your accounts as soon as you wake up and then just sit there for too long- which makes you actually late in the morning. Those of us with children know that there is nothing worse than making an already short morning shorter when the adults don't get up on time. I do this at least three times a week or more. So how do we stop this? We have to take our phone out of the equation. Don't let it sit by your bedside. Go buy an actual alarm. They are totally inexpensive and easy to use! Don't get caught up in the idea that it will only take you a minute to get your "social media fix". It doesn't ever work out that way. 5 minutes will always turn into 15. Am I right? Take the phone away. Trust me, you will be better for it. You will get up on time and you will actually get things done and leave the house on time. No more rushed mornings. (Hey, I can dream can't I?)

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

2. Schedule me time.

This one is huge! Scheduling time for yourself and making you the priority over all else sometimes has its perks. Getting a mani-pedi or doing some shopping (clothes or even groceries- you pick) is such a benefit to the soul. We all know this internally but we often don't do it. Why? Lack of time right? Think of the time you had spent on social media of choice today. Think about what you could have done to get yourself recharged instead of being a slacker. Yep. A slacker. Don't have money to recharge at the spa? Go for a walk and be by yourself. It will help you so much in the long run. I don't really need to quote any resources for this. We all know it to be true. And this "me" time will keep you off the media sites. Period. And when you are more centered and happy you are happier around your kids. Win-win.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

3. Schedule kid time.

This one is so important. Our kids don't want much in life. Depending on your child(ren) and their age(s) I can guarantee you that they want to spend time with you. Ok, so maybe your teenager would rather spend time with their friends and your middle-schooler may feel like you are more embarrassing than anything else. But I have to say that down deep they still want your appreciation, they still want your time and they still want you to be with them. For every child this will be different. And obviously this will vary greatly by the age of your kids. It doesn't have to be anything special. We are not talking about spending a ton of money on something that you can't afford. I am not talking about buying your kids things that they think want. Spending time is all you need. Coloring for 15 minutes with your preschooler, taking your teenager to the new movie you both want to see, or just having a ten minute conversation at dinner time about their day. All of these things are proven to make better families, better relationships and a happier life. That is what we all want right? Once you actually schedule the time and you make the commitment to turn the phone off or leave it in the drawer until later- you will see that it becomes a natural thing. It's not hard, it's just that you need to make it work for your life and make it a routine.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

4. Schedule your social media time.

One thing that can really help is to schedule the time you will allow yourself to be on your favorite social media of choice. Whether it's an hour or something else every day- schedule it. Obviously it will change day to day based on our activities but if you actually schedule it and commit to not being on those sites until that time you will be a lot happier. Think of all the things you are missing when you are on social media for 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. Honing down on the time you allow yourself to be online will allow for more productivity throughout the rest of your day.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

5. Cut it off completely.

For some people the need to cut off the social media completely is something that is necessary. There are a ton of ways that you can block the websites from coming into play. Cutting things off cold turkey is really hard. I know I couldn't do it! But some people that know themselves know that they may need this to get rid of the habit. Can you imagine the amount of free time you would have to get stuff done if you take away the time sucking problem all together? Wow. Unimaginable for me. No words. But  if this is something you need then please go ahead and take a look at these sites to help you do that. For Mac users you can try Self Control and for PC users you can look into Cold Turkey. Other sites like Barracuda may be what you need.  Also, for iPhone users, there is a way to turn off some websites in the settings panel. Some of us who have no self control need this option so they can actually get the work done. It's sad but true. I am one of those people. I may need to check some of these options out more closely. ;)

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

Bottom line? Take a look at how much time you spend on your favorite social media sites, decide if it is worth the time spent and if you don't like hat you see please take steps to change that! It's so easy to decide to be present with your kids and stay away from the online ickiness. Oh who am I kidding. It's fun! But everything in moderation right?

Want to learn a little bit more about the way I think? Try out Summer can't wait and neither will I and Creativity and Me. Both posts are worth a read and may even help you through some tough times too.

It is my specialty to give you images that you will enjoy from day to day. Photographing your everyday is what I do best. Whether you like more of a posed session or something less structured it can be done! I specialize in getting you what you want out of your session. Contact me today so we can discuss things!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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New Jewelry Offerings! | Placerville-El Dorado Hills-Folsom Children-Family Photographer

So I was thinking today that most people may not be aware that we sell custom jewelry with along with our normal wall portrait orders. This jewelry is literally amazing! I have a necklace myself that I just love love love. I wear it all the time and it has my little kids on it so why wouldn't I love it?! These make great gifts for moms or grandmas and your favorite aunts! New Jewelry Offerings! | Placerville-El Dorado Hills-Folsom Children-Family Photographer

But what about the men you say?  Well don't forget about he key chains, money clips or paper weights for your favorite dad, grandpa or uncle! I am so excited to be offering this and I just can't wait to see what your creations will look like!

Contact me today to get your custom portrait session scheduled. My spring calendar is filling up fast and I really want to make your session as memorable as can be!

Now, if you have been paying attention, my last post discussed what I do to prepare for a photography session. You will surely want to stay tuned for the part two of this educational series about me!

Much love.

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How I Prepare for a Photography Session | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

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How I Prepare for a Photography Session | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" ~Benjamin Franklin

While brainstorming my discussion topics today, I got a little distracted. For those that know me, this is not an unusual occurrence. I tend to get distracted all the time. You know- when you walk into a room and you have zero clue as to why you are there? Or you sit down to your desk to get some work done but you get sucked into Facebook and you can't get out again? This happens multiple times a day for me. Couple that with the fact that I am homeschooling my son, am a cub scout den leader and acting as a chauffeur most days of the week, you can virtually forget the idea that I actually might accomplish something meaningful in one day. So what do I do to help this? I plan ahead. I make lists and I stick to them. If I have a master list I can get anything done and I can always refer back to it when I notice that I have gotten off track.

So on my list today was to start brainstorming for a new session I have coming up. I will photographing three little ones and their parents. I get really excited with multiple children sessions, especially when the number is an odd one. Working with three or even five kids gets all my ideas flowing and I can't wait to begin! Needless to say I am excited but I just wanted to make a small list for you today to show you what kind of planning goes into a session like this one. It's no easy task to get everything ready. Without my list I would be completely lost.

1. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork:

This one task, although a boring one, is probably one of my most important. Paperwork is a must. Keeping track of model releases and contracts, mileage and extra costs per session is surely a hard one! If it were not for some really awesome computer programs to help me out I think I would be completely lost. But all in all I feel like I am in control of the madness that is paperwork and I have to be proud of that. Boring tasks are never fun to complete. Multiply that by several clients per month and you have a confusing mess! I love that I can take control of this with ease.

2. Meetings, meetings, meetings

From the consultation to the ordering session there is a lot of times that I am in contact with my clients face to face. Several emails and lots of questions later we have planned the perfect session at the perfect time and at the perfect place. My thinking never stops and my lists are never ending throughout this entire process.

3. Gear check!

Before the actual session takes place there is a ton of things I need to make sure I have ready before I can meet my clients. My gear is obviously a very important part to my business. It is not the end-all be-all of how wings work but without it I would be lost for sure! Checking to make sure things are working properly and are clean are just some of the steps I take to make sure I am prepared. Having a backup camera and battery and a "plan B" is something never to take for granted. Photography gear is just that- gear. It's not a brain or a fool proof method to anything. Having backup plans and back up gear is an essential part of this business. Having it all in tip top shape is the next step. I check my gear before each and every session- even if I had a session the day prior. You never know when things are going to fail.

4. Props?

Well for those that follow my work, you will know that it is very rare that I use any type of props at my sessions. I always try to use natural props or things that enhance the portrait rather than take away from it. Client requests are always taken into consideration and I love that people sometimes will have great ideas for themed lifestyle sessions. Because, as you know, I do everything completely customizable. So, bottom line? Making sure I have all the props I need and making sure they are clean and ready is obviously very important.

How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

5. Research!

This one is super important. I am in constant "photographer mode" when I am driving around. There is nothing I won't do to get a great location if we need it! I want the background to your portraits to match your style and vibe of your home. No small detail goes unnoticed when it comes to the location of your photography session. And, on any given day you can spy me catching up on my cartoon themes so I have some background knowledge when I go to sing them to your children. Or- you can catch me reading my son's Scooby Doo joke book so I have fresh joke to tell to get a laugh. You could also say that anything Disney is my forte so I have plenty of kid knowledge in my back pocket.

6. Tricks of the trade!

Photographing kids is probably my favorite part of this job. I love getting families the artwork they deserve for their homes. I love getting that great "money shot" where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. But, for the most part, the kids are the best. With some cool tricks I have up my sleeve we usually have tons of fun. Some of my tricks may even surprise you! Naming my pet "giraffe" who lives on my camera is kinda fun for the little ones and the stickers they just may get in the end of the session can make any kid happy!

How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

Bottom line is, no stone goes unturned to make sure I am prepared for your session. You can bet that what ever you want I will probably be able to do (or at least consider!). And, if you have no idea what you want thats ok too because I love surprise sessions. To do this for people every day is surely a dream come true and it makes my heart sing.

Want to know more? Go ahead and contact me today to discuss the finer details of your next session! I can't wait to hear from you!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

Enjoy yourself. These are the good old days you are going to miss in years to come. ~Unknown

 

So unbelievably I am still trying really hard to complete my 365 project. Ya know- where I take a photo every day for a year? Well, let's just say that I am a few days behind but I am not sweating it. The coolest thing about it is that I am not sweating it actually. According to my previous post about starting the 365 project, I am right on schedule! I am trying my best and I am not giving up. I think I am about ten days behind. But actually I am not behind. I am right on track. I am doing what I love when I can find the time. I am trying to find moments in my daily life I would not have had otherwise shared had it not been for pictures. It doesn't matter to me if you understand the photo nor does it matter to me if you care about the subject. What matters to me is that it is a memory in my life that can never be taken away and it cannot be replaced. Some may leave me with happy feelings and others with sad feelings, all of which are ok. These feelings are my little secret. Only those that know me well may know some of these feelings without asking. I know this to be true- I am enjoying every minute of this life I am leading. Whether or not I show it daily, I am loving my life. My crazy busy schedule shows that I am trying to live it to its full potential and I want to remember these "good old days" for years to come. I want to hand these memories to my kids and say that we did that once. We went there once and we loved it. Can you say that to your kids? Are your memories fleeting glimpses of your actual memory? Don't let that happen to you!

My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

My Everyday: Continued | Placerville Lifestyle Photographer

 

I can capture these daily moments for you too! Or I can do a special session catered just for you and fully customizable! Your needs are mine. Let me know if you want to book a spring photo session. I can't wait to make it what you have always dreamed of! Contact me today!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

"Every artist was first an amateur." ~Unknown The three most important things a photographer needs in order to take a photograph are a camera, a subject and light! It's funny because we don't usually think of the third one very much. But for obvious reasons, light is surely a necessity! If you don't have light you cannot have a photograph. Sometimes your camera will help you get light in dim situations (i.e. the flash) and sometimes you can add light yourself (i.e. lamp light or other alternative light). You can also just rely on the environment to give light to you (i.e. the sun or the moon). Today we will talk about the third option, taking light from your environment and making it work for you. I think every photographer knows that this is a life lesson that never stops. Learning how to manipulate light in your environment is not only challenging, it is very intricate and difficult to explain. The best way to learn it is to just experiment with it. Try different angles and see how it works for you. See what you like. Here are a few examples to get you started.

1. Side light.

Side lighting is just that: light that comes from the side. There are tons of ways to get this type of lighting. You will see it often inside homes next to your window. You can also see this outside next to a building or in a doorway when you half in the light and half in the shadows. Sometimes your subject will fall completely dark inside the shadows and other times they won't. But placing your subject just in the middle is the important step here. Anything else and it becomes a different type of light. Trust me. There are many!

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

2. Back light.

Back lighting is something that takes a while to master. When you have the light coming into your camera from in front of you a couple things tend to happen. You can get lots of glare and haze if you are not careful. And, as you can imagine, your subject will become dark because the light is behind them! You can make this work for you by making your subject a silhouette but sometimes that is not what we want! Sometimes just moving a few inches from left to right will make a difference on how the light shows into your camera. Here are some examples of mine.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

So go out there and experiment with light! It is so fun to be able to know how to manipulate and mold the light to do what you want. Not only that, your pictures will thank you for it.

If you missed my last two lessons please feel free to take a look. It is amazing what wonderful things you can accomplish with just a few tips under your belt. First you can learn all about composition and when you are ready go ahead and read about how simple backgrounds can make your subjects pop.

Lastly, if you think this is all fun to read but are not ready to take it on yourself then please don't hesitate to contact (me!) the professional so I can do it all for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your dream session!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

We all know that photography is art. It is a very subjective type of art just like all other forms of art media but there is a good way to go about starting out and a not-so-good way about starting out. The good way is to learn the rules. For some people it can take years to learn photography. Everyone not only learns at their own pace but they learn different things at a time making it a really intricate type of art.  Those of us from the photography industry know that it takes a lot to be happy with your own work. Sometimes, I myself, go through periods of self doubt and then the next day I will feel better. It really depends on your personal learning curve and what you are learning. I have compiled a few things that I think will help anyone take a photo better. Whether you are taking portraits of people or pets or the field next door to your house- all of these learning tricks will make a difference in your own personal work. If you joined us last week we talked all about composition in How To Take Better Pictures: Part One. Composition is really important to your photo- it tells the viewer where to look in the photo and it makes things either pleasing or not based on what your mind likes to see. Please go back and read it if you haven't because I think it is a very valuable lesson.

This week we will explore how to focus on your point of interest and make it look more appealing. For most people the point of interest seems really obvious. If you are taking a picture of a person then that person is your point of interest right? A lamp on a table or a flower on the ground, the main object in your photo that you want everyone to see is the point of interest.

But what if you have an idea of what you want others to "see" in your photo and they don't see it right away? What have you done wrong? Let's explore some scenarios that make sense.

1. Make sure your background is pleasing and not distracting. What is a background and what makes it pleasing? A background is any part of the photo that you have taken that is behind your point of interest (your subject). If you take a portrait of a person at the park- the background is all the trees and the bushes behind them. The key to a good background is one that is uniform and not too busy. You want your subject to stand out but also be separate from the background. When they blend too much you don't have a good solid portrait. Sometimes people forget to check to see if there are any "tree branches coming out of heads" or other distracting elements in the frame. The best photographer will sometimes miss this. Sometimes just stepping a couple feet to the right or left can make a huge difference. Let us look at some examples.

In these photos- there are nice pleasing backgrounds. The first one has a solid color and no distracting things are surrounding the subject. It forces the viewer to see what you want to them to see- the subject.  The second photo also has a solid background and forces you to see only the subject on front and nothing behind.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

2. Make sure your subject stands out from the crowd. It is really important that people know what you want them to focus on. Sometimes there are too many distracting elements to a photograph and it won't allow your viewers eyes to settle on what you think is the most important thing in the photo. Also, contrasting colors can help too so things stand out a bit more from the rest. When we are in "snapshot" mode the background is not really important but when taking a portrait it is an certainly something to consider.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

Well I hope these things have given you an idea of what it means to have a good background when photographing your subjects. Sometimes we get so focused on our subjects that we forget to think about the details in the rest of the image. A good photographer will know how to do this well. That being said- if you like the photo then nothing else matters. All of the "bad" photos that I have taken are still important to me because they remind me of a time and place that I never want to forget.

Portrait photography is my passion. It is so important to me that I make you look good. I will not rest until I can get that perfect shot. If you want me to do this for you then please contact me today. I would love to make a custom family portrait session just for you. It is what I do best!

Don't forget that this weekend is my kid's photography class. If you want your child to be a part of it then contact me ASAP so they can get on the list!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So as I am in the midst of getting ready for my kids photography class coming up, I have had a ton of requests for an adult class as well! Of course I teach an adult class that goes way more into depth but why wait? I decided to give you a tiny taste of the things that are taught not only in my kids photography class but the adult class as well. Super fun and super informative either way! So if you have an inkling to learn more then please contact me and we can just schedule it! Adult classes are fun and can be one on one if you so desire. Today I decided to teach you a little about composition. What is composition you ask? Well Webster's dictionary defines composition as some crazy thing that I just can't repeat! It really isn't that complicated as it is made out to be. So we will ignore that. Composition is the way you arrange the items in your photograph so that they are pleasing to the eye. Easy right? Well, for some, yes composition can be easy to "see" but there are rules we must follow. And when you get really good you can even break the rules and people will still like what you have done. But, don't think you can get away with not knowing the rules first. This is art people! It is very subjective.

Today the rule I will discuss is called the Rule of Thirds. In the photography world we abbreviate that into three letters: ROT. ROT is the easiest rule in my opinion to get down. It is very black and white. People can "see" this one the easiest. The idea is that when you divide your portrait into three sections you place the subject of your photo into the 1/3 spot. What? No one said we were going to be talking about fractions! Let me break it down for you al little bit better. Here is an diagram of the ROT rule.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family PhotographerNow, this is separated into three sections each from top to bottom and left to right. The idea is that if you place your subject anywhere on the lines, and most definitely where the lines cross you will have a good ROT portrait. It will be pleasing to the eye and it will help the viewers look around the photo. This is a very basic concept and it really is great once you get the hang of it! Here are some examples of mine to get you started. Super fun and easy to do.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So go ahead and start experimenting with your photos and see if you can't retrieve the same results! I am an open book so ask me any questions you want and I will answer. Most importantly have fun with this and stay tuned for another installment of this series coming at ya next week. We will be exploring more about composition and other techniques that will give you the ability to take better pictures.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

If you are interested in getting your kids into this class and having some fun please let me know as spots are filling up quickly and preregistration is required. I can't wait to do another one of my adult classes either so if that is something you are interested in then please let me know so I can give you the details.

And as always if you are interested in me taking your portrait rather than you learning then don't hesitate to give me shout out for this too! I love making people's dreams a reality in photos.

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Beautiful Lifestyle Baby Girl Photographer |Newborn-Family Photography Folsom

So here I am thinking of one of my recent and beautiful sessions and I just feel so lucky. Lucky to have this job. Lucky to have great friends and lucky to have people in my life who will support me in everything that I do. That mushy stuff aside this was one of my absolute favorite photo sessions of all time. The amazing part was I had no clue how this was going to turn out. It was a surprise to me! Sometimes you have to find the light and work with it. That is exactly what I did on this instance and I, for one, feel like things went amazingly. Beautiful Lifestyle Baby Girl Photographer |Newborn Photography Folsom

Beautiful Lifestyle Baby Girl Photographer |Newborn Photography Folsom

Your first child isn't any more special than your third or fourth or your twelfth but for some reason they tend to be the ones that are photographed the most. Having a photographer in the family, I am sure this child will not be without photos of itself or any of its future siblings! (Now, aren't we getting ahead of ourselves here?) I am sure this couple is only thinking of one thing right now- how to take care of one child and make it work. I remember that feeling and although fun at times, it is really difficult at times too. For those of you with children, you totally understand what I mean by this! But let's carry on and see what all the fuss is about! Meet little miss I. Now, I have photographed some pretty cute babies before but this one sure takes the cake!

Beautiful Lifestyle Baby Girl Photographer |Newborn Photography Folsom

Beautiful Lifestyle Baby Girl Photographer |Newborn Photography Folsom

She was the cutest little cross-eyed baby and I just couldn't get enough! Having worked with the mom for years in the animal business of my past it was an honor to be able to photograph her first child and them as a new family of three. I can't wait to photograph her again when she turns one year old (or perhaps sooner?). Babies grow too fast and the ever-changing facial features make it hard not to want more photos taken than that! Have a look and don't hesitate to post a quick comment and tell me what you think!

Are you dreaming of a fun family photo session designed just for you! Then I am your gal. Contact me today and we can discuss all the wonderful juicy details!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Kids Photography Class | Placerville Children Photographer

"You don't take a photograph. You make it." ~ Ansel Adams It's that time again. I am so excited for the next run of my kids photography class. It is so much fun to teach these littles about how to compose things properly or how to try and be creative. Furthermore they are like sponges and inevitably they end up teaching me something as well! What I love about it is that they come willing to learn this awesome craft of photography. You never know who will be inspired to become the next Ansel Adams.

Kids Photography Class

So if you have a child itching to learn the art of photography then come on out and let us have some fun! It's always exciting to see what they come up with. The class only lasts two hours but it's jam packed full of information and fun experimenting with the camera.

Wondering if I will add an adults class to the schedule? If you want to take my adults class then please contact me today so I can let you in on my little secret.

If you would like to schedule a time for me to come out and take wonderful portraits of you and your family then please let me know! Spring is coming fast and my schedule is filling up quickly!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

Back again with a awesome session on a family farm. This family was so much fun to be around and I have to say that I am thankful to call them my friends now! Its been so great getting to know them over the last few months and I hope there are many more to come! I love it when families request the pets to be in the pictures because you never know what you are going to get. I think we did pretty good considering one dog was a little rowdy puppy! Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

Family Photos On The Farm | Placerville Family Photographer

You can't help but love the beautiful light and lovely people. It really makes all the difference ya know? Do you own a farm that you are proud of? If you ever want me to make some magic for you then please let me know! It's such an honor to be considered for this special moment that I can't even explain how much I love my job!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

So this marks one of those times I have just loved every single detail about a session. The dog behaved. The lighting was perfect! I couldn't ask for  a nicer couple to talk with and it was the most fun I have had in a long time. J and D were the best to work for. They wanted engagement photos and they were very specific on their needs. I love that because it makes it so much easier on me. A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

 

Working with dogs can be a challenge but honestly its not that bad! They can be fun and quirky and jumpy and lovey all at the same time. My background in animals definitely gives me an advantage here!

A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

 

Sometimes I am not sure how I get some expressions but this one really hit the nail on the head so to speak. One of my absolute favorites of all time.

A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

 

And lastly there is nothing like a good sunset to help with the mood. I love it! Don't you?

A Sweet Couple and Their Dog | Family Photographer Folsom

 

We laughed, we cried, we had a good time! Is this what you want for your upcoming session? It's amazing what we can do when we organize your dream session together. Contact me today to get started. I can't wait to hear your ideas.

Much love,

Heather

 

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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