Around The House

our space

I belong to a really great photography group on facebook that is centered around storytelling through images. Unlike other groups I am a part of I have never seen a picture that makes me scratch my head or gringe…it is full of really talented people. One of the features on their blog is an hour by hour photo challenge. That’s right. Forget about your 365 daily or your 52 weeks thingie. One photograph every single hour.

I haven’t done it. Yet.

I want to, but I just haven’t. I haven’t ever done a 365 but I have done multiple weekly projects. I even did a first week of each month project one year. This is different though. Storytelling, whether in words or with images, needs to be cohesive and sometimes I feel like I am jumping from one thing to another thing all crazy like. I mean, I can point my camera at something every hour and click the shutter button. But thinking through the shots and stringing them together with a flow and a story…that requires thinking a little differently.

But I did realize that I take random pictures around my house on a fairly regular basis. Maybe because of color or the way the light is hitting something or just because it somehow holds meaning in my day.

This is pretty much where every day begins for me. I get up and first thing is push a button to get the coffee going. While it brews I typically feed the cats and give them fresh water, maybe start laundry and unload the dishwasher. But when I hear that final gurgle and swoosh my feet immediately bring me back to this spot.

I also try to get my bed made as early as possible. I just feel like I have accomplished something with it done. But I will confess that it doesn’t happen until later in the day. Even much later. Once I finished putting the throw pillows on it literally as Rob walked through the door at 5:30. But if it gets made it’s a win, right?

Sometimes, I might just grab the camera because I have noticed a spot in the house that I particularly like the look of or maybe something I don’t usually notice. In the past year or so I have managed to keep several different houseplants alive and that makes me happy and I like the look of live (non noise making live things) in our space.

Laundry. Man, I do a lot of laundry. There are six of us living here at home and the towels alone can really pile up up! I used to hate laundry but then I learned to see it as a sign of God’s providence and care for my people. We have what we need. Actually more than we need. I came to view it as a blessing (that can sometimes get out of hand) and one that has a beauty all its own.

Food. You have to know that food pictures are going to be a part of my random shooting. Yesterday, we enjoyed the company of some dear friends that visit our area once a year. It is always such a sweet time and one we really look forward to each summer. We made kabobs and while they were on the grill my friend picked some basil from our garden and proceeded to concoct a delicious chimichurri sauce to go with our meal. She didn’t even bat an eye when I told her to hold still so I could grab my camera. The light was just too good to pass up and the colors all looked so pretty.

She added some lemon zest too and it was so tasty drizzled across the skewers and on top of the rice.

I realize that a year from now, even a month from now or probably by next week if I am being honest, no one is going to be recalling these particular pictures much. But I will remember things whenever I do come across them again…the joy of friendship, the kindness of God in meeting our needs, the simple pleasures of a good cup of coffee and delight in keeping a houseplant alive.


Stopping for a moment to grab my camera to take those pictures helps me cultivate a way of looking at my world with eyes that find beauty and a heart that finds thankfulness.

And that’s gotta be a good thing.

No Chance Friendship

families

The long awaited Stout family portrait! Okay, it’s been about two weeks but still I think it’s safe to say that they have been eagerly waiting to see the photos from their session. We took them at a park in Milton and I always forget just how lovely a location it is for portraits. The ground can be a bit mushy because it’s by the river but they were troopers.

I love doing multi generational pictures. And I love how the personalities of the kids are so front and center. The only thing that would make this better were if Patricia and her husband and kiddos could be in it. (Fingers crossed that maybe one day that will happen!)

We tried to recreated one image with Al and Mary from our first family session back in 2012. I don’t think we did too badly. Al’s hair definitely looks a bit lighter though.

Whenever I do multigenerational pictures I like to get various group shots like all the men folk, all the women, folk, etc. We did these as well as a really great father, son, grandson portrait that I love.

We also did some sweet pictures of each smaller family units. I was really happy to get these pictures of the Johnson family because they will be moving to Virginia in a couple of weeks. Man, are we going to miss them! Sean has been a teacher at the school our girls go to and having wonderfully delicious dinner parties talking about literature with him and Heather has been a highlight in our lives the last few years. I know that Virginia is gaining a gem with their move.

Oliver wasn’t sure how he felt about all this photo business and it was such fun catching his expressions throughout the session. Alice has not been home since we did his pictures at around three or four months old so it was great getting to know him now that he is a little older and meeting his little brother Teddy. And who doesn’t love Josh and Alice? Two of the funniest people I know and such fun to hang out with.

It was just such a perfect morning especially considering that not an hour after we wrapped it up the bottom fell out of the sky. I loved spending time with these dear friends both behind the camera and just in sweet fellowship while everyone was in town.

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

We Go Way Back

throwback Thursday

Man, I thought last week’s throwback post was a sweet stroll down memory lane! But on Tuesday I did family pictures from some dear friends and decided I would look back at pictures I have done with them over the years and oh my goodness, it was so fun to remember all these times!

The first time I photographed anyone in the Stout family was also the first time I was surprising someone with pictures. I approached the kids about doing pictures as a gift for my friend Mary on Mother’s Day. That was way back in 2008 and they were just the cutest bunch of kiddos! Heather and Patricia, the twins, are the oldest, next is Alice, and Jerry is the baby of the family.

And this is where I needed to double check my dates while I was writing this blogpost. Because I was looking at those pictures and the next thing I photographed was Heather’s bridals. Three years makes a huge difference in the life of someone. HUGE.

I mean seriously. Those first pictures would have been taken about the time the twins turned seventeen. Three years later I would have photographed Heather’s bridal portraits and then her and Sean’s wedding.

Crazy, isn’t it? In June of 2012 I did family pictures before Patricia moved away and I think Sean and Heather moved to Dallas, maybe?

It was funny to me as I looked at the pictures how I could suddenly remember that day clear as could be. That is what makes pictures important I think. The ability to call up moments that happened so long ago but seem like they happened yesterday. It was also the last time I had the whole immediate family in front of my camera. Alice would graduate not long after we took these pictures and her class was the first time I did senior class pictures. All five seniors. (The perks of being in a small classical Christian school.) She was also the only girl in the class. Those were good times.

Alice moved to Idaho for college, joining Patricia who had since married and I cannot remember which came first on these next pictures. I want to say it was the family pictures but I might be wrong and it was the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Stout. Which was amazing because the family was able to pull off a huge surprise party without them knowing a single thing about it until they got there.

Also, by 2014 Heather and Patricia both added sweet babies to the family fold. (There are now ten grandchildren with number eleven on the way.)

Jerry graduated and moved to Idaho and then on January 1, 2016 Alice came home and got married.

The next time she was in front of my camera it was a year and a half later and I was photographing her son.

I love doing pictures for the same family over the years and watching them grow! I am looking forward to sharing some of the pictures from Tuesday’s session with almost all of the family. I have my fingers crossed that maybe one day everything will come together and I can do pictures of the whole family. I don’t know when that might happen but I am keeping my camera batteries charged!