Week 17: Let there be light!

Since I started working from home over 10 years ago my office has been in the basement of our house.  In fact in our past three houses my office has been in the basement and none of those three offices had a window.

It worked well until it didn’t and after the longest and darkest winter that I can remember, it was time for us to figure out a new solution to our shared workspace.  

Going from a dark office to a dark studio and then back to my dark office and only emerging into daylight at 2:30 to get the boys from school was no longer an option so we reconfigured our living space so our office is now upstairs in the brightest room of the house.  There’s plenty of room for my husband and I to share the space without bumping elbows and the cats are thrilled that we now spend most of our day hanging out in the warmest and sunniest room in the house with them.

Don’t forget to photograph your home along with the people you share it with.  If you decide to update the rooms in your house, re-decorate, renovate, or even organize your space, make sure to take before and after photos.  My boys all love to look back at our photo albums and see their old bedrooms and how the decorations in their rooms have changed over the years.

Week 18: The marshmallow ritual

When we started camping over three years ago we quickly realized the time honoured tradition of roasting marshmallows over the campfire was going to have to re-invented for our boys until a little more time had passed.

Tired kids, fire, and sharp metal sticks does not a beautiful memory make and so for those first two years of camping most of our marshmallow roasting was done after breakfast.  Why? To avoid injury and tears and the stress of keeping exhausted kids from tripping into the campfire. It was only last year that we were able to transition our dessert time to the evenings and it seemed like a momentous milestone when it happened.  We have now reached the stage of life where our kids are going to bed closer and closer to our own bedtimes and are around in the evenings and looking to connect and spend time with us. They especially love campfire evenings because of how late the sun sets and how long they’re able to procrastinate going to bed: “but mom, it’s still light out!”

Even if you’ve photographed the same activity or event dozens of times, don’t forget to take out your camera and phone and try to see what’s happening in front of you from a new perspective.  Challenge yourself to take completely different photos than you did the last time or to focus one aspect of the situation that you find really beautiful, like the light, the colours, the focus on your child’s face, the movement, or another compelling aspect of the scene that you want to remember.

Week 19: Maycember

sara mcconnell with her children

I laughed out loud when I stumbled across the video from the Holderness Family all about Maycember, a term I’d never heard before.

With Mother’s day and then three family birthdays just a week later, not to mention the start of outdoor sessions and the inevitable Spring baby boom, May is a month of chaos and celebration for our family.

Every year we visit the tulip festival for my birthday and this year was no different, except for the fact that we had returned from four days of camping the night before and were getting ready to celebrate two of the boys birthdays over the course of the next 10 days.  It was warm, there were crowds, and there were dozens of reasons not to take a photo (did I mention the crazy crowds?) but I’m really glad we did.

So many times we race out of the house or meet up with family or friends without thinking about what we’re wearing or what our hair looks like.  Don’t let that stop you from getting in photos with the people you love. I feel like this photo perfectly embodies the hashtag #photographerschildren – look at all that colour and style!

Week 20: Blossoms

Since my youngest son’s first birthday, I have taken yearly photos of my boys amongst the cherry and apple blossoms: their cooperation was their birthday gift to me 🙂 This is the first year that there have been no blossoms on the trees for the week of my son’s birthday and I have been eagerly anticipating their arrival for our annual tradition.

The arrival of flowers in Ottawa is celebrated by tens of thousands of people, which can make getting photos in amongst the tulips and other blossoms challenging.  The best time to head out to take photos is first thing in the morning (before 9 am) and on cloudy and rainy days.