Tag Archives: Photography

Because…

It’s time.  It’s time to focus my lens, to adjust the aperture a little lower to blur the background and focus in on the subject.  On Christmas day I pulled out my big professional camera for the first time since July to capture life.  As I looked through the viewfinder attempting to capture my 16 month-old amusement with the Christmas tree, it hit me.  I miss this.  Much to my surprise, at the sight of my camera the Little Monster immediately raced to the front of the tree, plopped himself down and gave me the cheesiest grin I have ever seen.

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-1 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-12

While I love living life on the other side of the camera (and appreciate the convenience of my iPhone camera), intentionly capturing the little details that tell our family stories seemed like a thing of the past. Then it really hit me, I’m a hypocrite!  Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design} LLC was created in January 2011 with the tagline “capturing the moments that tell the stories of your life.” I created the business to offer photojournalism specialty to lifestyle photography.  Back then I would combine my appreciation of writing (blogging) with the ability to capture photos to best tell the story.  My passion grew and so did my clientele.  I was capturing real life, little details that weren’t staged or scripted, helping tell the stories of who individuals were, the nuances in families, and amazing things happening in our communities.  Ironically something began to change, it became work.  A wise person once told me, “it’s important to follow your passion, but be careful you don’t kill it.” My passion began to wane and every session felt like more time away from family.

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-13 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-16 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-18

Enjoying Life has not had a post since Spring of 2015.  There is not even a story or record that my youngest was even born on this blog.  The good news is I have still captured these moments.  But what happened in the past 2 years is I began to dread sitting down at the computer after a shoot to edit the photos.  I almost resented it. I took on fewer jobs and began to consider the end of Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design}.  Well Christmas solidified the decision and my last photo shoot for hire was December 26, 2016.

Thank you to my many clients who invited me into your homes, trusted me to capture the most amazing moments of your life both big and small.  For coming back time and time again.  I have stood beside you as you saw your future husband for the first time, holding your baby, watching you drip with sweat as you attempt to get your 1 year old  to sit and smile.  For learning to have a tissues as I capture your child’s senior photos, or M & M’s to entice the little ones.  For having grace to keep the shoot scheduled  to capture your family knowing that one of the chairs would now be empty.  Each shoot helped me grow into a better person, not just a better photographer. Being a natural light lifestyle photographer requires the technical and artistic skills to “make it happen.”  You gave me the confidence to take the helm of rowdy group of over 75 people. The business skills to manage financials and predict profit margins without knowing the depth of the job. As the business developed so did my IT skills, learning code and editing shortcuts and hardware needs to stay competitive in the market.  With each photo shoot you helped me see the world in a little different way.  Thank you. I am grateful for an awesome 5 year run at my own business.  It was exactly what I needed to be able to sit here today and say goodbye and be completely content with the decision.

I will continue to pull out my camera, hone my photography skills and admire amazing lighting.  Except my camera will be focused in this direction. Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-2

It is my hope that I will sit down and enjoy telling OUR stories again.  As our family closed the books on 2016, we did so with bittersweet hearts.  2016 marked several unforeseen milestones in our home and hearts.  While beautiful girl’s smile reminds us of the good, the “Love You” snowflake made by Little Man in the background was a memorial to our dog who unexpectedly died in November, along with several family members. Little Man placed the love you facing out so our “(loved ones) in heaven could read it.”  Our family is grateful for photos such as these so that in years to come we are still reminded to smile, to remember, and hold tight to the memories that created our 2016 family stories.

2016 closes the chapter on Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design} because…It’s time! Thank you for helping write this chapter of my life.  It has been a meaningful 5 years.

Leave a comment

Filed under Deep thoughts, Flow of Creativity, scarpbooking

1,055 days of Motherhood

I have been a mother for 1055 days.  There are days when I pause amidst the chaos and reflect on “what did  8 hours of sleep really felt like,” or “when was the last time I had 10 minutes completely to myself (showering doesn’t count).”  Today was one of those days. Little Miss Mae was up every 3 hours for almost an hour each time.  In her defense she’s cutting 4 teeth and is completely uncomfortable.  Little man coughed his way through the night, then all morning had snot streamers every time I turned around.  The dog is dire need of attention, this means he follows me and paces endlessly around the house, which would instigate anxiety from any relaxed person.  I shot their morning routine to hell, and realized at 10 AM we needed breakfast, I couldn’t even make pancakes right.  Might have something to do with having 2 blow outs and several snot streamers from both kids during that time.  Who knows what ingredients I missed. I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting a glimmer of hope.

Then I grabbed my camera.

I’m overdue in recognizing all that I have to be thankful for.  Check out what 3 AM looked like for me…

She has been title by many different people “the happiest baby on earth.” 99% of the time it’s true.

I need to do a bit of narrating for a bit.  I have my own photography & design company (Little-d-Tales) whose slogan is to capture the moments that tell the story of your life.  What you will not see is my lack of sleep or short fuse, instead you will see all the miraculous things that mold and shape who my daughter is at 7 1/2 months.  See how many little details (get it) you can notice in the next few photos.

Okay quiz time:

  • How many creases or rolls does Miss Mae have on her left leg?  5 is the correct number in the picture.  Trust me there are a few more under the diaper.  Did you notice the ankle roll?  I love her adorable little chubbs!  I took this picture to help me remember all the fun little rolls in the most peculiar places (wrists and ankles?!)
  • Do the length of her toes go in chronological order?  Nope, her 3rd toe is slightly longer than her 2nd toe.  She has funky toe nails too.  Why does this matter.  A little blemish of mine is the disgustingness of my feet.  My husband jokes all the time about how he hopes the kids end up with his feet!
  • Which pictures show her teeth coming in?  Actually 2 of them do.  The smiling and crying one expose different teeth.  She actually has her front 2 top teeth and front 2 bottom teeth coming in all at once.  One is more prominent on top so you only see 1 in the happy photo.  I try not to compare to my little man, but occasionally it’s interesting to me how different they are, despite how similar they look.  My little man had 4 teeth at 6 months, her’s are just starting to push through at 7 1/2, in fact the first one broke through last Thursday.
  • Based on her fabulous bed head, what do you presume her hairstyle was earlier in the day?  If you said pony tail sticking straight up on her head you would be correct.  With all that baby hair and new growth, there is hair of all different lengths.  Clips come out in .2 seconds.  Despite her longer hair, she HATES hair pretties and either pulls the out the second they go in or she fights you to the death while you attempt to put them in.  The pony tail on top of the head (think Bam-Bam) is our best option at this point, so it’s the fall back hairstyle.

These are all little pieces that we overlook in our everyday life, and yet at this age things change, develop and disappear before you have the chance to notice and appreciate it.  I have always LOVED her cry.  She puts every ounce of expression into it. Although I just noticed the bottom lip isn’t curled.  Either she was far enough into the cry or she has outgrown that too.  Gee, I hope not. Okay that was 3-4AM.

Here’s 11 AM….Bath time.  I am falling into the 2nd child trap (not having as many picture of the 2nd) as soon as EllaMae was wrapped in the towel and grinning from ear-to-ear, I realized I had a moment in front of me that I wanted to capture and share.  I should mention my husband is away for the week and misses these bambinos, so I thought of him as I sped to my camera before the moment passed. No quiz this time, just me narrating as needed.

True story, she is smiling all the time.  She smiled because she saw me with the camera.  She’s had some practice with a mom like me.  Either way I think she’s amazing.

Obviously she doesn’t sit for long now that she is moving around.  She quickly rolled to a sit an attempted to take her towel off.  Proved to be more difficult that she anticipated, so she went back to smiling for the camera.

And of course, big brother (little man) has to do whatever his sister does.  He was in the bath with all but 2 toys, which means 82 were in the tub… he noticed a few  toys on the floor.  From Miss Mae’s perspective, “thanks for pointing that out.”  Just goes to show she doesn’t let much slow her down, including a towel.

I really hope we are functioning in a judgement free zone.  I promise you that the stuff on the floor was the product of my sanity.  When both kids decided to explode out the back, douse themselves in syrup from breakfast, and the never ending snot streamers tying us all together, I opted for the least restrictive path to the bath, which meant clothes of all shapes and sizes were dropped to the floor. Getting Miss Mae dressed I decided I NEEDED this shot.  Again- no judging me or this shot.

And then there is little man! Fresh and clean.  After each bath I always snuggle him up and pretend he’s my “little papoose.” He was a bit disappointed he didn’t get a hooded towel.  We’ve been trying to transition him into big boy mode.

I had pulled out his clothes, but he was determined to dress himself.  Clearly I underestimated him.

He was so proud of putting his own socks on.  We really should celebrate our little successes more frequently.  He has taught me that.

While I was finishing up with Miss Mae, little man continued his adventures in the tub.  I was so impressed after his bath to see him in his bedroom getting dressed.  No word quite capture his determine to dress himself.

To make this story even more enlightenting ( at least to me as a mom) is not just recognizing them as individuals with unique traits and characteristics, but also as siblings.  After bath time was an attempt to have nap time.  As I tucked little man in, miss mae kept trying to get on his bed.  When I set her down they broke into squeels of excitement.  As you can see they LOVE each other!

So this Thanksgiving day I’m grateful for chaos, chubby cheeks, curiosity and independence; Siblings and parenthood.  Cleanliness and messes, infants and toddlers.  May I not lose sight of the amazingness taking shape before my eyes and enjoy the beauty that I have created despite it’s imperfections. May I learn to recognize and appreciate the moments of silence when they do exist so I am prepared to embrace the chaos later! I am grateful for the opportunity to notice and capture the little details that will add to the chapters of our life story. In the past 1055 days I have learned how to be a better person, my husband and children inspire me everyday, and I am eager to continue to learn and grow together.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  May you notice the little things that make your life grand 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Bundle of Joy, Exploring, Flow of Creativity

These are the hands….

One of my most favorite parts of our wedding ceremony was “The Blessing of the Hands.” Everyday I am reminded of how true this saying really is to me.  Having surgery last week, everyday tasks like getting dressed, or changing my little mans diaper are difficult.  I snapped this picture a few days ago as a reminder of the all the strength, love and nurturing works that my husband (as his hands) provide our family.

The words in the Blessing are as follows… (Btw- the author is unknown, I did not write this, but modified it slightly for our reading. I’m sharing with you how it was read at our wedding.)

These Hands that are holding you on your Wedding Day, are the hands that will passionately love and cherish you throughout the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will comfort you when fear or grief wrecks havoc on your mind, or the hands that will wipe a tear from your cheek.
These are the hands that will hold your children in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting & encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will hold your family as one, and give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will continue to reach for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

I’m grateful for theses hands everyday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Quotes, wedding, wedding jazz

Can’t say I wasn’t warned

My little man turned a year last week and I feel like all the precious infant-ness of him is fading fast. While he’s carried some little man qualities since birth, I feel like in the past week he has grown up so much. Here’s a glimpse of his 1 year pictures. 

Oh, little man will you please grow down.  I know you are still just a little peanut (literally- he’s in the 7th percentile for weight), but everyday I come home you seem to be doing something new, something different.  It’s  bittersweet really.  I hope we are giving you the roots to stay grounded and the wings to reach your dreams.  Yet, I’m not ready for you to leave for kindergarten tomorrow. 

You add laughter to our days, and joy in our hearts- but Caleb A Dusek, will you please grow down??? 
I’m sure in a year I’ll come back to this exact post and say “how niave of me”

Leave a comment

Filed under Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

Mother’s day Photo shoot

On my first (and very beloved) Mother’s day we tooks some time for both Brent and I to get individual pictures with the little man.  I can’t get enough of him and all his cuteness!

If you can’t tell I love mommyhood and spending time with my little man. 🙂  Happy Belated mother’s day to all you mother’s and an upcomg happy father’s day!

Leave a comment

Filed under Flow of Creativity, The Caleb Times

Payton’s Photo Shoot

Every year I treat my niece’s for a “special day” with Aunt Heidi for their birthday.  Since I started doing photography on the side, one of the things they like to do is have their pictures taken.  Here’s a few highlights from Payton’s a few weeks ago.  It helps that the girl is so photogenic she doesn’t take a bad picture!

And her favorite…

Leave a comment

Filed under Flow of Creativity

Keaton’s Photo Shoot

Here’s a few of my favorite shots of the photo shoot I did with Keaton, my godson. Unlike his sister Dakota, he was very cooperative.  I even managed to get a slight smile out of him 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Flow of Creativity