Straw Necklaces

 

I’m very excited to welcome Michelle Sterling from Avery and Augustine to Mom*tog!  I fell in love with her fun crafts, simple and clean photography, and of course her super cute kids!  Oh, and she blogs for Land of Nod.  Which is very cool!  I feel so lucky to have Michelle sharing some of her favorite new arts and crafts with us this Summer.  Perfect for those Summer days when it’s just too hot to play outdoors!

A little about Michelle:

- Who are you and where are you from?  :)
Hi, I’m Michelle Sterling, a photographer living in Orange County.  I’m also a speech and language therapist.  I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and spent my college years in Fullerton, Santa Barbara, Barcelona and San Francisco.  I took my first photography class in junior high and a few courses in high school.  I started carrying around my camera more in college and eventually landed a job as a second shooter at weddings.  From there, I started shooting more weddings and portraits on my own.  Most of my earlier work was on film, but now it’s pretty much digital.   Currently, most of the photographing I do is for my blog, Avery and Augustine, although I take on occasional portrait sessions and commercial gigs.-  How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have 2 children: Avery is 4 and Nate is 2. :) -  What camera are you currently shooting with?
A Canon 5D Mark II.

-  What’s your favorite lens?
Definitely my 24-70mm 2.8 L. I find myself shooting with it most of the time because I love the wide aspect of it and the fact that it’s also a macro lens.

-  Your photos are so bright and airy.  Do you have a studio or a set up at home?
Thanks!  I have a white backdrop and shoot with natural light and reflectors (one of them being a huge piece of foam core.)

-  Besides your children what is your favorite thing to photograph?
I’ve always had an interest in photojournalism, which has influenced my work a lot.  I love documenting details that tell a story and evoke a feeling or mood of a place or particular day.  My favorite shoots are photo essays, like the kind in Kinfolk Magazine, or day-in-the-life sessions.  There are so many big and little moments that happen in the span of a day and it’s good to take a step back from all the busyness, and observe and capture some of those little moments that make up the story of your family’s life.

-  How do you keep taking pictures fun for your children?
I try to capture them doing things in their daily routine–building a race track with blocks, eating popsicles, throwing a pretend party.  Photographing them in their natural environment of play or daily routine captures them in a spontaneous and authentic way.  The photos that I like to see are the ones that encapsulate how my children are at a moment in time: Avery’s creativity and liveliness and Nate’s two-year-old uncontainable energy.  When I do shoots for my blog, my children are usually making art, doing simple cooking, playing with toys, etc., so I photograph them engaged in what they’re doing and the fun moments that arise from those things. :)

Thanks for joining us, Michelle!  We are happy to have you!

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Hi, I’m Michelle and this is my first post in the summer series I’ll be doing on Mom*tog!
If you have leftover straws from a party, you can make necklaces with them, which is also a great fine motor activity for preschoolers.  The original idea can be found at Real Simple.  All you need are a few paper or plastic straws and twine or string.  Cut up the straws into little pieces and string them onto your twine to make a necklace or bracelet.  My daughter Avery had fun choosing different colors for her necklace that ended up being a wreath for her hair.  You can also use the straw bits to practice letter formation and talk about letter names and sounds.

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine.  You can see her work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

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