One-Year-Olds Are My Spirit Animal.

My April Fool’s joke is that I didn’t post here last night, and I nearly always post at night.

My April Fool’s joke is that at 10:00pm last night, I looked at the clock and realized I had nothing to say and nothing to wait for. Yesterday. My April Fool’s joke is that it’s still cold outside, that Scarlet is now the sick kid, and that I had three doctor appointments this week. It’s only Wednesday. Apparently I scheduled all of my annual exams at once because I was probably on one of those kicks about a month ago in which I realized, “Hey! My body is my temple! I have to protect all this!”

child photography

So I must have made four or five phone calls right then and there, before I lost my nerve.

And now it’s over and instead of feeling relieved and joyous, I just feel rundown. I imagine it’s the continuous bad weather and my body is being all big and strong and fighting off the rampant viruses I’ve no doubt been exposed to this week, and I’m just exhausted from the uncertainty of waiting rooms and examining rooms. Even when all is well and all is routine.

It’s not routine for me, as I creep closer to the age my father was when he passed away, and I have none of the information I need to really know what happened to him, and to make sure it doesn’t happen to me. All I can do is show up. No matter how nervous or scared, I show up. I get things checked out. I freely give out my family history and I get information in return.

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What else can you do?

And with that, it’s time to talk about something fun! Photographing a one-year-old!

One-year-olds are my spirit animal. I think there is nothing on earth better than learning how to walk, talk and eat solid foods like a boss. Everything they do in the realm of throwing tantrums, pooping and vomiting, is much cuter than when their two and three-year-old counterparts do all of that. Much less volume too. Trust me, I know this. I have learned well.

The one-year-old shoot I recently did was specially scheduled because the client lives in NJ. As a baby shower gift, her sister had gifted the client with a photo session from me, and she happened to be in Massachusetts when we did the shoot.

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I was so honored to be hired again now that the baby is older, even though I live here and there are plenty of photographers in New Jersey! So I made it work with a weekend at my parent’s home. I wasn’t very nervous because I know the clients very well, but I still had to arrange to drop my kids off at my sister’s house, do the photo shoot, have brunch and quality time with my sister and her husband, and then drive home – narrowly missing an impending snowstorm. We made it home safely.

The client had sent me a phone photo of a room in her house, and it had so much light that we nearly had to put the shades down to avoid harsh shadows. That is a lot of light for an indoor shoot! It was an entirely fun 1-2 hours of my time.

It starts…

…with her approach. I didn’t even wait for her to come into the well-lit room. I just went with it.

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I used only natural light, although I have several lighting kits for backup. I used mostly a 50mm lens, but I also played a bit with a 35mm and a 100mm macro. My aperture was always between 2.2 – 3.2, and I used a shutter speed of at least 1/250.

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About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com, as well as Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead/QA Reader with Sway, and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

One-Year-Olds Are My Spirit Animal. — 105 Comments

  1. I hear you on family health history. My family has a lot of issues that, so far, I have been lucky enough to escape. However, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop!

    On to the one year old! Oh man, she is so precious and I love the shots you got of her! Especially the ones of her and her mom! I love reading your post when you share your settings and stuff! Bravo! All of the pictures are AWESOME!

    • I love sharing photo tips, because I think it helps people!
      As for family history, it’s so weird with mine. My mom’s side of family has nothing. I mean her parents lived to 100 without diabetes or cancer or heart disease.
      My father passed away at age 36. I’m pretty sure it was a fluke because he has two siblings and two parents that all outlived him, but still.

  2. Seriously, sick here again, too. Been battling a head cold this past week. Now, Kevin and my mom have it too. And I have a feeling it will only be a matter of time before the kids get it. God help me, I am so over the cold and the illnesses here, too. But on the bright side, you made me smile so much with your gorgeous photos of that little baby girl above. So, thank you for that and so much more always, my friend! 🙂

  3. That photo shoot is fabulous. She is so precious.
    Hopefully, your run of doctor’s office visits is over soon! I know you will be lucky enough to have a clean bill of health!

  4. Awww she’s darling! I think something is definitely going around because Madison was sick over the weekend and still is and then my sickness started yesterday. I’m very rarely ever sick and now I’m stuck in bed trying to get over whatever Madison had/has. I hope you all get better soon.

    • Oh no! So sorry you both got sick. I’m like you. I’m rarely sick, but when I am, I don’t think I take it very well. It’s hard to rest! So much to do.

  5. Aw, baby girl! I love these pictures, they make me so happy! I especially love the black and white ones. And is there a bit of a sepia tone going on with some of them, there is a color there that doesn’t quite look black and white.

    I can’t imagine what you must be going through as you approach the age your father was when he died. I have a small window of reference though. I was named after my uncle Angelo who died when he was 27 and for the longest time I thought I would follow suit. He died of Leukemia, which is not generally genetic so I know it didn’t really make sense that I would suffer from the same thing, but it did haunt me. I visited his grave a few times and with the flowers in the middle of his name, it could have been mine. It always had a lasting effect on me, even though I never met him. I don’t have any words of advice, but I can offer hearts and thoughts! <3

    • That’s so interesting about your uncle!
      My mom always tells me that she is a hypochondriac and so was my grandfather. She said he was the worst. Well he lived to age 100 and he never got cancer or diabetes or heart disease or anything else. So I just have to keep that in mind!

  6. First of all, that little girl in the green bathing suit MUST be you because it looks just like Scarlet. Secondly, your photo shoot pictures are absolutely adorable! What a cutie & I love all the one year old drool! 🙂

  7. Oh my gosh, all that adorable happy baby goodness! How can you not smile after looking at those? I agree with Lisa that young you looks almost exactly like Scarlet. On nerves/anxiety about the next year of your life, I’ll offer lots of virtual hugs. You know we’ll be here no matter what happens.

    • That really helps so much! Thank you.
      And that is totally me in the picture. It’s very interesting because I don’t think she looks like me now, but she looks like a little kid me.

  8. she is so adorable – love the pictures & that one where she is almost blowing a bubble is so cool.

    I have got to make those yearly checkups for myself (actually overdue) too 🙂

  9. This is my month for all those appointments too! I think it started because this is my birthday month and I made my mammogram appt last year in April days before I turned 41- talk about procrastination! And that baby is just so ‘squish able!’ How lucky you are to capture the magic like that!

  10. I thought maybe you stepped into your Tardis shed and went time traveling! LOL! What great photos, she is just precious. Those eyes! And I love the hair when they are that age, long enough, but curly in the back. So adorable. You take incredible photos, I am in awe of your talent. Great job!

    • Thank you so much! Sometimes it’s hard to keep the photo energy going during the winter because no one really wants photo shoots during this depressing weather. So I was nervous about not being good!

  11. Those pictures are so great – what a cutie!!
    Sorry that Scarlet has been sick this week – I was hoping that the sickness was done for the year!!

    • Me too! I guess it’s usually done in April. She has gotten so much better, and has been such a trooper. I think she stayed on track because there are so many exciting things going on this week and weekend and she doesn’t want to miss anything.

  12. I’ve been April Fooled twice today Tamara, making me feel a bit more gullible than I usually do. Your blog along with these lovely photos made me forget about all that for a few minutes. She is just so adorable, and you capture every drop of all of her sweetness!

    • I wasn’t fooled this year! We didn’t play any tricks within my family, but I definitely saw a lot of tricks on Facebook. I really love when businesses do something! There were some fun ones.

  13. ohmygoodness those photos!! She’s adorable and so ridiculously cute! And your experience with the doctor sounds so familiar. I know a bit but still there’s so much that’s unclear – or I know bits and pieces but don’t know which are actually true and which I’ve made up, if that makes sense. And the best thing about April Fool’s is how excited my kids get when they try to trick us!

    • My doctor was so cool about it because he was saying how it happens to anyone who has lost a parent. No matter at what age, we still question whether that will be our fate too.

  14. I kind of know what you mean – as I get closer to the age my mom was when she found out she had breast cancer, my doctor appointments are so full of anxiety. I don’t even want to go, but obviously that’s not the right choice! I always forget about April Fool’s Day because today is also my husband’s birthday. What a beautiful little girl. I so wish I would have had you to take pictures of my boys when they were little!

    • It’s really a strange thing. For years I felt invincible. And now that I’m approaching my mid 30s, it’s nearly all I can think about at the doctor.

  15. I can’t even talk about the weather, so I’ll just let that one go. But I want to move to Florida. ANYWAY, I’m deciding that a photo session with you is just about the best gift to give parents of a 1 year old — terrific!!!! I’m missing that young, optimistic, smiling energy.

  16. Aaawwwww 🙂
    Thank you for sharing those cutie-pie pictures, they made me smile!
    Glad to hear that your routine checks went well. I always have this bad feeling in my stomach when I smell “hospital scent”.
    One year olds are wonderful power animals to have. Mine is a wolf. I didn’t chose it, he just showed up, and I’m gonna keep him.

  17. I understand your anxiety about making doctor appointments. After my father passed, I refused to go for my annual checkups. With some time, I started taking more accountability for my health. I love what you said about showing up. That’s all any of us can do. xo

  18. What a happy, smiley baby! These kinds of shoots must put such a big smile on *your* face, too. One-year-olds really are such joyful beings 🙂
    Hope S is feeling better! It’s April now, so spring is really REALLY coming!

    • It definitely made me smile! I can’t wait to show her. I still have to pick her up from school and then we have a party, and then it’s video time.

  19. Such Beautiful Pictures!! Sweet baby girl looks like she was having such a good time and I bet she was so much fun to photograph. These picture made me smile 🙂

    • Well the settings I use are always based on the amount of light I have. That’s why you can’t do identical settings and get the same results unless you happen to be in the same place I am with the same camera!

  20. Precious. I always love your photos! I keep telling my husband we need to do a trip to Boston, because I love history, and I think we’d be somewhat close to you so I’d be all, “Photos!”

  21. Three Dr appointments in one week, that is kind of like a mean joke! No one likes sitting and waiting and waiting… Usually I can pull out a prank or two for April Fools, but this year I just felt too tired. I told the kids instead we were moving, they kind of believed it. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful baby girl for sure, that can put a smile on anyone’s face.

    • I was too tired for April Fool’s as well! Not cool at all. I’ll have to do something incredible next year…like not schedule so many appointments!

  22. I got a message on my voicemail that my doctor is moving to Atlanta, they wanted to reschedule my appointment, which brought on a sigh of relief. Why? Well, because 1) who likes to poked and prodded 2) the build up or the case of the what ifs 3) the aftermath, the long a&& wait to hear the “news”, which is usually good but still #2.
    You’ll be fine! Don’t work yourself up and I know that’s easier said than done, but seriously you’ll be fine.

    The pictures are beautiful! I miss having a one-year-old in the house. You’re pictures reminded me of my sweet babies when they were babies. 🙂
    ::hugs::
    XOXO

    • I miss having a baby too!! A lot.
      Ok so the news was fine but they had the email address wrong so I heard nothing for days. Then finally got an email and a voicemail that there were “no abnormalities at all” with my blood work.
      Whew.

      • SEE! 🙂 I’m glad you are fine, you’re more than fine, you’re a sweetheart with a heart that’s in perfect condition. Wishing you nothing but SUNSHINE!
        xoxo

        • I’m so relieved. It took a LOT out of me to go to the doctor. But it has to be done.
          And the sun is out today! I’m going to go exercise my heart right.. NOW.

  23. I’m so very excited that we will finally be taking family photos very soon. We haven’t done it since my daughter was born. I always schedule doctor appointments back to back and end up doing it all at once. I hate going back and forth to the doctor and ending up waiting over and over. I rarely think much about April’s Foods Day and enjoy reading the craziness. It’s fun.

    • Yay for upcoming family photos! The best.
      And next year I may spread the appointments out more, but on the other hand, it gets it all over with at once!

  24. These are amazing pictures, Tamara! I don’t think 1 year olds are my spirit animals, though, I prefer 3/4 year olds mostly. I am getting used to 7/8s and 11/12s too!!

  25. I love the pictures from your photo shoot! Such a beautiful family! And I can definitely relate to your anxieties about family health issues/diagnoses. I think your approach is best, take one day at a time, try not to think too much about it. My mother’s mother died at 48. My dad died at 56. The older I get, the more I am intentionally trying not to make these dates signposts in my own life journey. It’s tough though. So I get it.

    • It’s so tough.
      My doctor said it’s so common to mark these ages and wonder about ourselves. Some people are just convinced they will pass away at the age when their parents did.

  26. I’m watching Black Swan with Natalie Portman, holy crap I forgot how INSANE this movie is. Lol BTW I’m HATING these Cadillac commercials – have you seen them? Comparing themselves to great creators like Steve Wozniak.. not the same thing. Anyway enough about that. I’m slowly coming back to livelihood – Beautiful photos btw 🙂 Sorry to hear Scarlet is sick.. I am dying with this flu and the sinus pressure is the WORST I’ve ever experienced in my life. Thank god for nighttime medication because I called off today finally and just blacked out all day.. All week I’ve been a hallow shell of myself unable to do half of what I normally do. I’m catching up on blog reading today since I’ve been so out of it. You don’t need to just show up, you just take care of yourself too and you’ll be fine. Get those annual visits, mammograms, paps, etc.. all will be well.. As long as your doctor is competent and you pay attention to your body all will be well. The rest is destiny err whatever you believe in or want to call it. Heart-anything runs in my family; guess who has sucky cholesterol regardless of physical activity and/or eating habits?? *raises hands*.. My doctor may put me on medication just to manage it because that’s my hereditary heritage. Lucky me but it could be worse so I’ll take it. Just have to be mindful and manage family history/hereditary heritage accordingly. Otherwise, no need to fret none. It’s feeling like Spring here and I couldn’t be happier – time to make weekend plans and be more productive. At least, less weekend napping Lol. Happy Friday Eve Tam Tam -iva

    • Wow. This comment is a work of art! I almost don’t want to touch it, it’s that good.
      My cholesterol is super human, as if I eat a lot of sardines or exercise a lot. Since I do neither, it’s genes. My sister does everything right and was once asked if she eats fast food a lot, based on her cholesterol results.
      It’s strange. I always think I have diabetes and high blood pressure, though.
      I have neither!

      • LOL that is a 1% perspective of what goes on in my brain – no bull. There are literally hundreds of thoughts per second. One un-related to the next and more far-fetched than the previous. I have conversations with myself which sounds bad, but it’s more like internal commentary. A peer of mind walked by today and I kid you not the first thing that popped into my head was “stupid little sh*t” – thankfully I didn’t say it aloud. 🙂

        Is this your DJ sibling who is a newlywed? 🙂 Yeah the doctor asked if heart problems run in my family to which I responded with: ding, ding, ding! I always thought I had diabetes – it was just depression – this was in high school though Lol. I still fear diabetes!!! I have moments of high BP, I have a monitor and the doc makes me check it every so often. O_o.

    • And this cut me way off. I wanted to say so much more.
      Other than my father’s heart, there aren’t a lot of genes to be aware about. My uncle has Parkinson’s, though, and my grandfather had Alzheimer’s. All late in life. My mom’s parents lived forever with no problems at all. I always worry and wonder where I fall. I’m always convinced I have diabetes even though not one member of my family ever has. It’s just that I fear it. Although this world seems to be heading there anyway with our eating habits!

      • For whatever reason your comment in my mailbox was marked as “possible phishing attempt” – whaaaa!? Google, you know Tam Tam’s email – stop playin! Sooo Parkinson’s is a disease of the basal ganglia and in it, the neurons that produce dopamine die. Once neurons die they’re gone. Ok that was my trying to retain information by repeating it. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Lol. Back to your comment, sorry to hear about your Uncle – what treatment is he receiving? Is he coping well? Hmm there are ways to circumvent alzheimer’s not sure about Parkinson’s though. Hopefully, you’re off the grid for that.. I think sex helps with alzheimer’s and memory; I heard on the radio it helps increase memory power.. Sex helps with everything. Just keep f’ing. Weight gain is something I’m mindful of because that’s the first cue for diabetes – so it’s not a “I want to look good thing” it’s a “i don’t want to have a stroke and get diabetes” thing Lol. Ok I feel we have very lengthy conversations via your blog Lol.. I don’t think WordPress is equipped to handle these..

        • What the heck, wordpress? Well there was an update on the app and it shows up differently now. I don’t know why!
          Parkinson’s is so brutal. I’m not sure what he does! He takes pills that make him very tired. It’s a mess.

  27. I love this, I love all of this! It’s so precious how you captured her in all these candid shots. Every bit of her 1 year old wonder and beauty. I’d take this any day over a studio photo shoot!

    Hope you have a relaxing and rejuvinating weekend!

  28. So. Stinkin. CUTE! She is so adorable. Oh you are going to have fun with Eve when we get together for reals this time. One-year-olds are pretty amazing. It’s like something new every day. Like, the other day she pointed to herself and said “Eve!” for the first time ever. As a first-time parent that was pretty spectacular to witness and it was awesome that Sam and I were both there to witness it.
    And man does Scarlet look like you as a little girl! (At least I assume that’s you on the left in the picture at the top and not your sister.)

  29. So cute! I die. Seriously, what a doll!
    My April Fool’s was my husband texting me: Don’t wait for me with lunch, I’m at the ER. While I called as a joke. Just that it was actually true and he came home with 6 stitches on his arm… The nurse thought my reply to him was funny 😉

  30. ohhhhh squishy baby legs and bum!!! so stinkin cute. what a cutie patootie!! beautifully done. I love how natural they are all. gosh, you almost have me wanting another baby! *somewhere my hubby feels a strange disturbance within the force and groans* I love when the shot with the mom and how the toddler curls into her and grabs onto her shoulder, than presses her face into your neck. that’s the best. that’s a toddler’s I Love you.

  31. Ah! I checked in on Wednesday morning and did not see a post….The photos are so darn cute! Sorry to hear you feel run down and the kids are not feeling well. It’s hard to take care of yourself when illness hits the family. Hope you all feel better soon.

  32. I love the one year olds are your spirit animal line. Seriously, LOVE IT. I forgot how small and little a 1 year old is. I need one! I am definitely impressed with your knock-out doctor appointment schedule and ugh at shitty april fools trickery. At least you’re amazing?

  33. The newspaper in Tallahassee published photos readers sent in for their child’s first birthday. Sweet faces, big heads, arms that can barely reach to the top of the head … drool, baby clothes, big-kid expressions, baby noises and big kid play. It’s a beautiful age, and your pictures reminded me of when my girls were that little, too.

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