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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

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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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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