Kids Eating Thoughtfully

As usual, there is no way I’ll keep this “Photo Share Friday” to just one photo!

For that matter, it won’t be one story either. I’m not sure I’m capable of that, since my career is pretty much that of a glorified storyteller. Oh, do I love stories. Even when I think they’re not that interesting, I prove myself wrong each time.

Pretty much every story has a hot core of infinite other stories.


I don’t know what the real story here is. Is it about being two years behind in editing photos (still)? It’s to the point where I’m editing newborn photos of my near two-year-old nephews. That’s ok, though. I have been giving them free photo shoots for two years now. It’s only a bonus when I email or text them with, “Oh yeah! Just found 455 new photos of Parker eating avocado.” No one hates that. It’s like when you discover a Jodi Picoult book you never read, or a Bruce Hornsby song you’ve never heard. A $20 bill in last year’s winter coat. A pint of unopened peanut butter cup ice cream in the freezer.

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

Perhaps this story is about a tradition, several years old, and FUN. We used to go to Hancock Shaker Village on random weekdays in early April – mainly because I’m allergic to crowds – although how much of a crowd can you get at a Shaker Village in the middle of the Berkshires? (more than you’d know) These days we have to go on weekends if we want Cassidy to tag along, but apparently we only wanted that once! Instead, we go during spring break – during the tail end of “Baby Animals” season. We get there early because the parking lot fills up. Like I said, crowds are relative. I can go to Disney World without blinking, but you expect that to be crowded. If I go to a grocery store on a random Tuesday morning, or a Shaker Village on a sunny Wednesday, other people make me itchy. I don’t get itchy from pollen or baby animals, though.

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It’s just.. perfect. We get free passes from the library, although I shouldn’t admit that, because they save us up to $40 and I always worry they’ll be flying off the library shelves. Alas, they’re always there. We drive the hour or so to the village – through winding New England perfection – and we pass through Camp Greylock and make jokes about the conditions there. There’s always a stop for ice cream (see photos above) and a stop in the gift shop – where each kid picks out one small souvenir. In fact, I can trace my financial success, or at least progress, to these spring break road trips. I remember the first time I bought the kids souvenirs with my own money. It was at Sturbridge Village with Bev and I was sheepish about it.

Luckily, she totally understood.

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

A third option is that this story is really about children eating thoughtfully. Even though I’m two years behind on editing photos, sometimes that’s for the best because it might take me another two years to catch up. I used to take my camera everywhere and I used to thrust it in my kids’ faces constantly, and sometimes I’d miss out on what we were all doing. Then I started doing more photography full time and it became less fun to be doing it in my personal time. THEN, I realized that was BS because personal photography is important too. I’m still trying to figure all of that out but I will report back.

Not only did it become less fun, but my kids became less fun about it. That doesn’t mean it stopped/stops me, even if I’m two years behind. The thing is – there’s a reason that wedding photographers take their breaks during dinner. Photos of people eating are somewhat terrible! And that also doesn’t mean it stopped/stops me. I think my kids eat quite thoughtfully! It could be because we hand-packed the picnic ourselves, and that can be exciting to kids. You made your bed. You lie in it. Even if it contains carrots, yogurt pouches, and sandwiches with the crust cut off. It tastes like..perfection.

Just when you think Des is the “Deep Thinker” of eating, then Scarlet comes along.

This is basically a yogurt ad, right?

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

Disclosure: This is not a yogurt ad. I felt the need to say that because I HAVE posted yogurt ads here.

This is the most beautiful pretzel photo I’ve ever seen.

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

Which photo most invites you to find out the story?

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

30+ Wedding Photography MUST-HAVE Shots

We are thick in the middle of wedding season, aren’t we?

That means we’re thick in the middle of wedding photography season. Now I’m someone who doesn’t shoot weddings as my #1 job, but as you know, I tend to put 100% of myself into every job I do. And of the four or so weddings I’ve photographed, each one has been a huge learning experience/inspiration. I don’t know if I’ll ever do them full-time, but the gift of doing them part of the time, and in a highly perfectionistic way, is that I really do know what I’m doing. It’s a lesson in self-confidence, and weather-confidence, and technology-confidence, but since it’s really mostly about that first part, since you can’t control the rest, that’s where I start. There’s a feeling I get either right away, or hopefully not too far into a gig.

And that’s when raw instinct takes over. It’s almost like I’m floating a little outside of myself. It’s what I’m born to do.

With all of the weddings I’ve photographed, I’ve either been given or have asked the bride and groom for a checklist of important shots. Trust me, I find my own big and small moments. That’s what I’m paid to do. That’s what they’re trusting me to do. I don’t know everyone, though. That’s why I rely on these checklists. I don’t always know about the sick uncle, whose dance with the bride might be his last dance of all. I don’t know individual stories – and what people are battling every day. And I can see so much in my photos, but I need those checklists to know what my client thinks is most important.

I get asked a lot of photography questions, and I always have fun compiling them into photography posts, thanks to a great suggestion by my friend AnnMarie. Some questions require whole posts. This is one of those times. People ask me what my MUST-HAVE shots are for photographing a wedding. Whether you’re reading this as a bride or groom, (or two brides/two grooms), or as a family member, friend, or loved one in a wedding, or as a photographer interested in weddings – I’d love to hear your own thoughts of must-haves! Here are the photos I don’t leave a wedding without having taken, OR ELSE!

I have compiled 30+ must-have #wedding #photography shots - whether you're getting married, or photographing a wedding. You can make your own checklist too!

1 – Dress. I like this one billowing out or sleek/stylish on a plain/natural background.

2 – Shoes. I never knew how important these were until brides started to make sure I noticed them.

3 – Bridal details. I’m talking beyond jewelry with painted nails, barrettes, complicated braids, and other closeups.

4 – Jewelry. Rings, of course, and special earrings, meaningful necklaces, bracelets, etc.

5 РAll flowers. Decorations, bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, groom and groomsmen boutonnières.

6 – Invitations. Generally there’s a framed shot at the wedding, but if not, I take one before or after the wedding too.

7 – Groom accessories. Cufflinks, jewelry, and other special touches. (With Cassidy, it was his Converse shoes!)

8 – Welcome bags. These are usually found in the hotel and also sometimes at weddings.

9 – Notes. These can be cards, letters, vows, that brides and grooms sometimes write the day of their wedding.

10 – Bridal portrait. There will be many of these, of course, but they are timeless and unique.

11 – The bride and groom’s first look at each other! Of course, this includes bride/bride, groom/groom weddings. LOVE!

12 – Emotions. Honestly this is why I became a photographer in general, and why weddings are in my wheelhouse.

13 – Bridal party relaxed. These are FUN!

14 – Solos of all members of bridal party. These includes children and groomsmen, of course.

15 – The bride in action. That’s too much fun to resist!

16 – Decorations and favors. One of my recent brides is an artist so it was important to her that the wedding decorations were super special. And her favors were just as much fun! I must have photographed them for 30 minutes!

17 – Family shots. You may need an assistant to locate/round up/point out relatives.

18 – The bridal party at the ceremony. The groomsmen too, of course!

19 – Wedding party kids. This is a favorite of mine.

20 – The bride and groom in action. Another favorite! They’ll be busy busy all day.

21 – The walk down the aisle. And that includes EVERYONE walking!

22 – The groom’s face while the bride walks down the aisle. And during the ceremony in general.

23 – Furry friends. Sometimes pets make a big appearance at a wedding!

24 – Traditions. In our family, it was breaking the glass and standing under a Chuppah.

25 – Sweeping ceremony shots. Sweeping reception shots too, of course.

26 – Guests. This starts before the ceremony and continues until the after party, if you can. This is the meat of a wedding!

27 – The kiss. But of course!

28 – Stolen moments and candids. Sometimes, they really do forget you’re there. This is the BEST!

29 – The food. Including and starring, of course, the cake!

30 – Aerial shots. This can be done in different ways – drones, ladders, higher elevations. I have found (safe) ways.

31 – Musicians. Enough said there.

32 – All dance. Formal and planned, plus late night and crazy.

Happy Wedding Season!