I’ve been feeling a little bah humbugish about the holidays. We don’t have our tree or inside decorations up yet, I’ve only bought a couple of Christmas presents, and Buddy our elf, just made his first appearance yesterday. I feel so behind. Yet, it’s only December 3rd…
We did put up our outside lights last weekend. At least that is done. But, Chuck is now informing me that he needs to put up more lights. Men.
I love to take outside Christmas light pictures right after the sun goes down. You don’t need flash yet, and still get the glow of the lights. Just be careful your shutter speed isn’t too low. If you are shooting kids you will get motion blur! All of these photos were taken at 4:50. Right after the sun had set.
Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 2.0 1/125, ISO 1000
F 2.0 1/160, ISO 1000
F 2.0 1/160, ISO 1000
I love preschool just for moments like this.
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-70 2.8
F 2.8, 1/1000, ISO 125
You think it’s challenging trying to photography one baby on the move and a 4 year old. Try twins and a 4 year old! That’s exactly what our Mom*tog of the Week, Amy Lyon, does and does it so well! I love how she tries to capture the perfect memories, but sometimes the perfect memories are imperfect. And those are the shots that really make memories.
It was this sweet image that Amy captured after returning back to her babies from a long weekend away that really caught my attention.
So simple, yet so unbelievably sweet. Totally pulls at my heartstrings.
Thanks for being our Mom*tog of the Week, Amy!
Name: Amy Lyon
Location: Raleigh, NC
Kids names and ages: Keat (4 1/2), June and Clara, (twins, 11 months)
Your blog or website: http://thelyons.wordpress.com
Camera you shoot with: Nikon D700
Favorite lens: Nikkor 35mm f2. While it isn’t the most expensive or highest rated Nikkor prime lens, it has turned out to be my go to and rarely leaves my camera body. The 35mm focal length on my full frame body just works perfectly for capturing 3 constantly-moving kids in a variety of locations, light, etc. The 50mm was just to short of a focal length for my needs and my nice 24-70 f2.8 is just too dang big to carry around all the time. Plus, I’ve knocked my son in the head with it on more than one occasion when it was swinging from my hip. That’s not going to help him smile for pictures anytime soon.
What inspires you to keep blogging and taking pictures of your kids when I’m sure you are very busy?
We have family and friends scattered around the country that we just don’t see as much as we’d like to. Blogging is an easy way to keep them updated and it makes them feel like they aren’t missing out by not seeing us in person. That’s a big part of it. The other reason I do it is to “use” some of the millions of pictures I take everyday. I can only frame and display so much in our house, so I feel like the blog is an revolving frame that I can showcase. And aside from photography, the blog is always good for ranting or story telling.
If you could have any photographer mentor you, who would it be?
Just one? I can’t begin to pick just one. Let’s see…DrewB, Kelle Hampton, Millie Holloman, Jessica Claire, Rachel Henderson, Tina Wrona… to name a few. I have so much to learn still about photography and every one of those photographers brings something different to the table. Some bring perfectly exposed and beautifully sharp images and others are amazing at capturing the personality and spirit of their subjects. I’ll take advice and tips from any of those ladies anytime!
What do you find most challenging about photographing your children?
That’s easy…my children are what I find most challenging Ok, seriously, I think the multiple subject factor is the hardest. Before the girls, my son was the center of our world and our pictures. I learned a lot as he got older on shooting manually and finding the best natural light. Then the girls came a long and now I have to make sure everyone is in focus, not crying and not whining, I don’t even try to get them all to smile or look at the camera and I just hope they are in decent light when it’s time to shoot. I’ve learned you have to just roll with it and shoot a lot. After all, the spontaneous crying shots are sometimes the funniest shots you get.
What piece of photography equipment is on your holiday wish list?
You know, since I’m not a pro, I’m (finally) pretty happy with what’s in my bag, but if money were no object and Santa really did exist, I’d probably ask for the Nikon D800 and Nikkor 35mm f1.4. Yeah, I’ll keep on dreaming.
I remember when my mom would let me bake cookies with her. It’s honestly my very favorite childhood memory. Just time alone with my mom. And now it’s one of my favorite things to do with Brayden. He loves doing things by himself and while it’s hard for me to let go, a little eggshell in the cookie dough never killed anyone, right?
We used to bake a lot before Kennedy was born. So, while she napped on Friday we baked. And I thought it was the perfect time to get out the remote shutter to snap a couple of pictures of us doing our favorite thing together.
Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 2.0, 1/200, ISO 800
Sorry for the Mom*tog of the Week hiatus! Between traveling and shooting non-stop something had to give!
I’m excited for the Mom*tog of the Week because she has been consistently posting images of her sweet British family. I love seeing how things are so different, yet so the same on the other side of the world. I love how Amelia’s images are timeless. Almost fairytale like. And I will admit that when I read her posts I read them with a British accent. Because everything is better with a British accent.
Thanks for being our Mom*tog of the Week, Amelia!
Name: Amelia Abrook
Location: Hanworth Park, United Kingdom
Kids names and ages: Leila (five) and Willa (two)
Your blog or website: www.justgivemeacamera.
Camera you shoot with: Canon 7D
Favorite lens: I really like prime lenses, my favourite (and only!) lens is the 35mm f/1.4L. I take a lot of pictures of the girls indoors with not a lot of available light and I read that this lens is magic in low light conditions and I have not been disappointed. I find it a really versatile lens, I can take portraits, full body shots and wide angle photos, it’s all a matter of moving my feet! I previously used the Canon 50mm 1.4 which is a fantastic lens but indoors I found the focal lenght too tight on my crop sensor camera. I’m currently saving for a 135mm f/2.0L so I take candid portrait shots and, from what I have read, I have a sneaky suspicion is could become a firm favourite.
How did you get into photography? My dad sparked my interest in cameras and photography. My earliest memory is sitting on the carpet with my new born sister in my arms, I am looking up at my dad recording the moment I first held my sister with his Olympus OM. I loved that camera, it felt solid and reassuring in my hands and I loved how the world looked through the viewfinder. My dad was always capturing family moments. I often sat next to a huge pile of family photo albums reliving those moments. One of my favourites images was a candid shot of my sister when she was about 3 years old swinging on a tree swing back lit by the evening sun, I wanted to take photos like that. And of course there’s the photo of me age three years & nine months staring glumly at the camera whilst I awkwardly held my wrinkly baby sister who is a dark shade of pink from the exersion of crying. I’m pretty certain that I inherited my affinity for capturing little family moments from my dad. I really started to get serious about photography when my daughter Leila was born. I wanted to capture beautiful photos of her but I felt continually frustrated that the photos that came out did not look like how I imagined they would look in my head. I started to do a lot of research and came to realise I needed to learn to use a camera manually to have greater control.
What photographer would you love to have shoot your next family session? They are wedding photographers and their talent blows my mind. I would feel like I won the photography lottery if Jakob and Cole from Nordica Photography (http://nordicaphotography.com
What is one aspect of photography that you find challenging? I find all aspects of photography challenging! I feel like I’m constantly trying to learn and improve, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how much I have yet to learn. Other times I find it exhilarating and it feeds my passion. If I had to choose one aspect I am really trying to concentrate on it would be ‘seeing light.’ I kept reading about ‘seeing light’ but never really understood what it meant, I feel so silly now but I imagined it had something to do with having the ability to know what exposure to use! Drew’s post on ‘seeing light’ was like a revelation. I’m hugely grateful to photographers like Drew for sharing their knowledge and experience.
What piece of photography equipment is on your holiday list? I received my Canon 7D my first DSLR last Christmas and I cried when I opened the box. My husband and his family had clubbed together and bought it for me and it meant a lot as, not only was it incredibly generous, it opened the doors for me to pursue photography, something I had wanted to do since I was a little girl. I love my 7D but some day I would like to go Full Frame. I would be thrilled if Santa delivered to me a Canon 5D iii and perhaps, if he thought I had been extra good, a 24mm f/1.4L ii so I could take some wide angle environmental portraits!