Disclaimer: This post contains a photo of a cow giving birth. Don’t look if you don’t like photos of cows giving birth!
Holy cow, I say “holy cow” a lot on this blog. In real life, I say, “holy ***” a lot. Saying “holy crap” is too…crappy. So it’s a “holy cow” day today, and mostly it’s – holy cow, I have so much work due today, Friday. Holy cow, wild horses couldn’t stop me from participating in today’s Ask Away Friday with Bev from Linkouture. Holy cow, her questions for me are fantastic and fun.
She’s fantastic. We met through SITS, I believe, or mutual awesome friends. She’s a gifted artist and she lives in the same state as me, so chances are good that we will meet. Hopefully this spring or summer! I’d also love to meet her adorable daughter, Eve. You can see more from her and her answers to my questions HERE. And now onto this week’s #AAF. I’ve been excited for it.
To see who else is participating or to learn how to join the fun, head over to visit Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and/or Amber from The Bold Fab Mom. #AskAwayFriday is their beautiful and ever-growing creation!
1. What is the most interesting thing you have ever photographed?
I have to tell you that I have so many dreams that I’m seeing the most interesting, intriguing and beautiful things on earth (or beyond!) and my camera’s shutter button won’t click. Talk about anxiety dreams. In real life, that has never happened, I’m happy to say. As for the most interesting thing I’ve ever photographed, I think I need to separate that into three categories:
The most interesting thing I ever photographed that was PLANNED: I was once hired to do film photos of a woman and her horse, in sepia and b&w tones, in period (what period? I don’t know) costumes. The photos were a gift for her mother:
The most interesting thing I ever photographed that was SEMI-PLANNED, meaning that I had planned on taking photos of the wilderness that day, but had no idea what I’d see, was a mother moose looking over her twin newborns on the side of the road:
The most interesting thing I ever photographed that was UNPLANNED: It was a cow giving birth at UConn, but it was an emergency situation. I believe calves come out front feet first, and then nose. This was rear feet first, and then butt.
It wasn’t pretty but both survived. And we checked on them weeks later, and both mother and calf were thriving.
2. As a mother of two young children, a wife, an avid blogger, and a professional photographer, what helps you to balance it all? What advice would you offer to a new mom?
My best advice is to bond the heck out of those early days/weeks/months. Even now at 19-months and four-years-old, I will drop everything for hours with the kids. I can always make the rest up. And our bodies have good ways of telling us we’re doing too much, or not enough. Especially after having children! In the mornings, Scarlet is at school and Des naps. That’s when try to get the most done. Once a week or so, one or both kids will be with grandparents or friends, and I will be able to do a bulk of my photography editing/planning during the day. Otherwise, it’s mostly all on weeknights/weekends when Cassidy is home. That’s also when I will write my own blog posts. I do a lot of catch-up on the weekends. I also like to watch movies with Cassidy on weeknights or spend time together as all four of us on weekends. I can’t do/be it all, but I do get a lot done. With help!
3. You do such an incredible job of capturing your family in photographs. What tips do you have for photographing young children, both before and after they are mobile?
I actually wrote a crib sheet for BlogHer HERE once. Since then, I have definitely learned to embrace lighting, because although I think natural light will always be best, it can be limiting. Especially this time of year! I still say to know your camera, be patient, go manual, get down on their levels, be hilarious and loud and use toys to get their attention, follow them around if they’re mobile, experiment, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more! De-clutter your backgrounds. Face them towards the light..
4. Is there anywhere that you have not yet lived that you think would be fun to try out, even if only temporarily?
I have always wanted to live in California, which I did. I have always wanted to live in New England, which I do. I am obsessed with seeing Colorado..so maybe that. And I’d love to live in one of those small towns that seem to only exist on TV (ex: Men in Trees, Gilmore Girls, Hart of Dixie, Everwood) in which everyone knows everyone’s name/business/whatever, and there are parades in the streets, hometown pride, constant flattering sunlight and really yummy coffee. I do think such places exist! I do.
5. You have such an incredible following on your blog–I’m always amazed at how many comments you have–but I also see you commenting on so many blogs as well. How are you able to both respond to all of the comments on your blog, as well as read and comment on so many others so thoughtfully?
I nearly answered that more on that above, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s really not as much as it seems. Or rather, it’s so rewarding and fun that doing so is as natural to me as eating breakfast and spending hours with my kids. I need time with my “friends” too. You know, the ones who live in my computer. I knew it wasn’t overwhelming when I was able to keep up pretty well while on vacation last week. It’s how I mellow out during Des’ nap time or when alone at night. It’s about settling down with friends during my off-periods from parenting, wife-ing, working. I don’t get to all my blogs daily, but I always respond/visit back.
This is how I feel about y’all:
6. Music seems to play a very important role in your life. If you had to choose the five songs that have had the biggest impact in your life or that most represent your life, what would they be?
Without a lot of fanfare/explanation, I may just leave them right here and you can take from them what you will:
Tori Amos: “Cloud on my Tongue
Capital Cities: “Safe and Sound”
Tom Petty: “Learning to Fly”
Madonna: “Live to Tell”
Eric Clapton: “Layla” tied with Dire Straits: “Romeo and Juliet”
Bruce Hornsby: Umm…everything
7. As you know, I write a lot about creativity on my blog. What advice would you offer to other moms for finding time for creativity?
It seeps out! No matter what you do! You can’t hide from it, just the way you can’t hide from your kids! So I balance even that in my life. I bring a notebook and pen everywhere. I use my iPhone and voice command function in parking lots. And that’s just the writing ideas part of it. The photography? It’s in everything I do with my kids. It’s more about how I can clear the intense urges from my head, thoroughly enough, and then put down the notebooks/cameras/phones to roll around in the snow/dirt/sandbox.
8. Like you, I grew up in New Jersey and have since moved to Massachusetts. What do you miss most about living in New Jersey? (Personally, I miss the bagels the most!) What do you like most about living in Massachusetts?
Ah, not much! The bagels are up there, though! I miss my family and friends. I miss the roots that took 27 years to lay down. You can’t just rip them up and leave. Rather, you leave roots down there and every now and then, you need to visit and nurture your roots. I have no desire to ever move back, but I do miss the people. As for Massachusetts, I love that we’re 2-3 hours from NYC, 1-2 hours from Boston, three hours from Maine, and under an hour to Connecticut and the Berkshires. I love the wilderness in our city, the politics and people, the local, organic food, the dreamy springs and exquisite autumns..what we find in our gardens..
9. You recently took a trip with your family to Disney World. If you had to choose one moment from the trip, which one would you say was your favorite?
Ah, so many. And each one – more heady and life-affirming than the next. Perhaps it was that first morning, when my kids learned that a 70 degree, sunny day could be plucked from seemingly nowhere in the middle of January. And that behind every corner, was a new adventure/theme park/experience, but we were still just delighting in green grass..
10. I recently read the 20-part series of how you and Cassidy met (which is absolutely captivating and reads like a novel–I encourage all of your readers to read it if they haven’t already!). What made you decide to retell the entire story and share some pretty intimate details of your relationship?
Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for reading my story! I was pregnant with Des, and it was a bit of the calm before the storm. After the anatomy scan, I hoped to have a peaceful rest of pregnancy. I didn’t think it was my last chance to tell the story I had been sitting on for awhile, but I felt like Des’ birth might postpone it for a long time. I didn’t want to lose any of it first. I did, and still do, feel young and fresh and newlywed, and I wanted to re-live my story while still feeling all of those things. It totally took me back. And I haven’t read a word of it since! Maybe, hopefully, someday I will.