So far this summer I’ve managed to come up with fun projects to keep the kids busy while I’m doing things, but yesterday I was out of ideas. So, I let McCurdy use one of my older cameras. As I heard him clicking away around the house, sometimes in odd places or from odd angles, I thought he’d have one or two “keepers” on his memory card… but I had no idea he would come up with so many cool shots. When he was done, I realized that he had shot in RAW and so we had a lesson on digital darkroom processing. I think I might need to offer him a job. Here is a sample of what he shot and processed yesterday:
Charlotte painted her a bulletin board for her room, and I’ll share some images from that process later on.
Working on: King, Carter, Reese.
Today’s editing music: “Summer Breeze,” Seals & Crofts (and the sound of this much-needed rain on my windows).
Music is a big deal at my house. We don’t watch a ton of tv, but the house is rarely silent — somewhere, there will be music playing. But when it comes to music, I’m moody. Maybe it’s the fault of the artist in me, but I go through stages where I’m inspired by different styles and musicians, and during those times if you visit my house or ride with me in the car, you never know what you’re gonna get. I change themes about every week or so, especially if I’m hard at work on a specific project… and my kids know that if they don’t like this week’s theme, at least it won’t last for long. I have iMixes for portrait editing. A couple for cooking (usually Motown). Some for the gym. And many, many for driving: my destination (or lack of a planned destination) usually determines what kind of music mood I’ll be in.
One thing that you may have noticed if you’ve followed the blog for a few years is that I am always inspired by good singer-songwriters. I grew up listening to artists like Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, and Don McLean and that intimate style still influences my own life and work. One of my modern favorites is David Wilcox, who has an amazing gift for putting images and experiences into words. This is one of my favorites:
Photographers, be sure check out the video page. I think it’s fascinating to hear a different kind of artist talk about some of the the things we face with our own work… things like sharing something you’ve created with the world and reaching (or missing) an audience. I think you’ll be inspired, too.
It’s been awhile since we did one of our Monday reviews! The kids are home from school today for the President’s Day holiday and they have a few selections to share with you. I can’t believe that they’re about to have birthdays again — my babies will be 5 and 7 in just a couple of weeks. They’ve been picking out birthday presents since just after Christmas and I don’t want to actually get them anything until we get a little closer to the actual dates, because they’ve changed their minds so often.
Charlotte chose their Book of the Week: Purplicious by Elizabeth Kann. Our friend Pinkalicious still loves pink more than any color, ever, but all the girls at school like black more, and make fun of her choice of favorites. Charlotte’s classmates have entered the “you’re a baby if you like ____” phase so we found this book at just the right time, courtesy of the school book fair. On a side note, when was the last time you actually went to a school book fair? It’s still as much fun as it was when we were kids. I love the smell of all those new books, and I love the special deals you can only get on book fair day.
I should have known without even asking what Mac’s pick for Song of the Week (and Movie of the Week, and Video Game of the Week) would be. We live in the Star Wars Universe right now and I bet we will for the next few years. I was 7 once, and I remember going to see Return of the Jedi for my birthday that year. It’s good to know that the Force is strong in my children, too.
Thanks to everyone who has emailed to ask when the Monday with Mac and Cheese posts would be back! We’ll try to keep up with them every few weeks until summer break gives us a little more time again.
We got it together enough this week to make decisions about what to post on, so here are this week’s picks. Thank you to everyone who emailed last week saying “please tell me you’re going to keep those Monday posts up!” We have been super busy. Things will calm down again in December but for now, we’re just a busy family.
This week’s picks in both music and books are brought to you by the letter M. Mr Mac, that is. Charley decided that she would pick next week, and maybe that would make things easier. Sometimes she is the peacemaker and while it sounds sweet, what it really means is that next week, she’ll say something like “boys get one turn, and girls get two.”
So on with the picks. This week’s pick in books is Pirateology. If you have a preschool to middle school boy (or a girl — Charlotte says “we like it too!”) you might want to take a look at this next time you’re at the bookstore. It’s full of random pirate facts, and jam packed with illustrations and info. It’s the kind of book you can sit down with for two minutes while you’re waiting your turn in line at the post office, or for thirty minutes when you’re bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t take much commitment but it IS easy to get lost in.
His pick in music was no surprise at all. “Sweet Home Alabama” has been one of his favorite songs since he was a little boy. We eat at a local restaurant called Pat’s Place about once a week, and he started requesting this from the jukebox as soon as he was old enough to talk (which was actually pretty early). He says to tell you that the runner up was “Take On Me” by Ah-Ha, which is “one of the coolest videos of all time.” (I have to agree with that, too). The video is a link to a 70s recording, so the quality isn’t so hot, and the live version is not much better… but this is Lynard Skynard we’re talking about. I’m playing it while I’m typing and both of my kids are singing along in the kitchen.
We’ll be back next week with some girl picks by Charlotte, and I hope to get closer to caught up on blogging sessions this week. I know I’ve promised that before, but my priority is session processing and orders right now. Hope you all have a great week! Check your email this week for some important studio news!
I had forgotten how busy things get as we settle into the school year. After school appointments and activities (we’re doing Cub Scouts this year and loving it), regular school events and PTA meetings, and general holiday season studio busy-ness hit all at once. Right now the kids are doing homework and I have just finished cleaning up from dinner… and we’re still not done for the day. I hope that we can keep up the “Monday with Mac and Cheese” posts though, because I know they’re something that the kids (and many of you) really look forward to.
October just may be our favorite month of the year. We always try and do as much “fall” themed stuff as we can possibly fit in on my days off, which are few and far between since this is our busy time at the studio. We do always manage to work in some fun family time, though, and this year we have a few trips planned out to Lost Maples and Guadalupe River State Park — if you have kids and you like doing outdoor activities as a family, GRSP has a lot of fun things on the calendar for the fall. And every year, starting on October 1, the kids beg to watch their favorite fall movie: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I love it too. The music is fantastic and reminds me of being a kid, and every time we watch it together it takes me back to when I was their ages. Of course, then, it only come on once a year. Now, thanks to modern technology, we can watch it EVERY DAY. Sometimes more than once. It’s still good, every time.
Their song of the week pick goes with the Autumn theme, too. For all of you who have the Noggin channel, you probably already know this. If so, sing along (that means you, Laura V). To me, I Don’t Like Candy Corn has become a modern-day sign that fall has arrived. I love it and we sing it all the time. And today we bought the first candy corn of the year. I hate it, but my kids think it’s great. I am happy to give them my share.
I have a few sessions to post but we have a busy BUSY week on the books at the studio. Please remember that we are closed on Sunday and Monday, and that we work by appointment and do a lot of location work this time of year. So, if you plan on dropping by the studio to pick something up, please give me a call in advance so I can make sure that someone is there for you. I hope you all have a great week!
The kids and I had a very busy week and weekend… and one of those days today where we just didn’t get our whole “to do” list done. I have been trying to get ready for all of our shooting and ordering sessions this week and the kids had their own projects going on around the house. So, we didn’t have time to do our library run today, and the kids did not pick out a book for you. But don’t worry: I took care of that.
For all the moms out there who need more than one “what to read” suggestion a week, check out The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. This was one of my favorite books when I was still a librarian, because it gives you a great place to start when a parent comes in asking “where do I go from here?” Trelease gives some really good information about the importance of reading aloud, but the real benefit here is the Treasury of Read-Alouds, which is organized by type of book and level. You can buy your own copy at any bookstore or you can browse through it in your library’s reference section.
Their song of the day took a lot of discussion. The wanted to share something “new and different” but as you may have already discovered, what is new and different to them is probably old to many of you. For the past week they’ve been requesting anything and everything Fleetwood Mac, so their choice for today is Dreams.
I’ll be back in the studio tomorrow and will try and get all phone calls and emails from the weekend returned by the end of the day. I will be with clients ALL DAY so if you call and don’t get a real person, please leave a voicemail and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get a free moment. I hope you all have a great evening! I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning with the rest of the “catch up” sneak previews.
I hope you all made it safely through the bad weather! I hear that we did not have any here, but I know a lot of you have family and friends in the Houston area. I spent the weekend driving… well, not the whole weekend, but it sure felt like it. I had a great time with the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma, though! When things are slower at the studio I really enjoy traveling, but when we’re busier (like right now) I know that I’m missing a lot of calls and emails! I’ll get back to everyone who called or wrote tomorrow and Wednesday.
Right now, though, it’s time for This Week’s Picks by Mac and Cheese. This week the kids have chosen our most recent “big chapter book” to share with you: Ramona and Her Mother, by Beverly Cleary. I know that a lot of parents out there read this series when they were young, too, so many of you will be familiar with the irrepressible Ramona Quimby. I love that we get a glimpse into the mind of a very smart seven-and-a-half year old, because not only can kids relate to her, but as adults it helps remind us that we once thought and felt many of the same things.
For their Music pick this week, they chose a song that I’ve been singing all day. Tonight is the harvest moon, and it should be rising shortly. I love this time of year and the temperature is almost fally, so it feels perfect for a full, orangey pumpkin moon. Unfortunately, the sky is completely overcast so we will miss it! So because of tonight’s “lunar event” I have had Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” stuck in my head all day, to the point that I think my kids know all the words now.
Y’all have a great week! We will be very busy and in and out of the studio, and I know many of you need to book appointments, so I will try and get back to you first thing tomorrow. I am also getting a little behind in blogging featured sessions, so I will try and catch up on that this week. Good night!
After a very busy week of work, school, and back to school “events” we’re taking the weekend off to relax. As always, we’re closed on Mondays, but I’ll return all phone calls and emails tomorrow.
I can’t believe that it’s already September! This is the time of year that I start getting really really tired of the almost 100 degree days, because I am ready for some crisp Fall weather. I know — I should probably live somewhere else because we won’t have our first cool night until sometime around Halloween.
We can’t go to the library today because it is closed for Labor Day, so we’re planning on spending the day riding bikes in the neighborhood where I grew up. Mac will have his first day on just ONE training wheel. Even without the library trip, though, they chose a book and a song to share today.
Since we’re all longing for Autumn, the kids chose Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert, which they say is “kind of babyish but it’s pretty.” I agree with them: it’s a beautiful book and has long been a favorite, but it’s one that Mac can read to Cheese himself. The colors and textures Ehlert has chosen are gorgeous.
I hope you’re all having a fun and relaxing week with your families! I’ll be back later on this week with more portraits of cute kids and families to share with you. To all of our friends in South Louisiana, you’re in our thoughts and prayers today. Be careful and stay safe!
We’re finally getting some rain after a very dry summer. But it has been raining so steadily that when we went out earlier to get some groceries, all of the low areas were filling up with water. I remember that this same week last year we had a lot of rain and some flooding, too, because we had to reschedule some portrait sessions.
We decided to stay close to home for the rest of the day and so far, the kids have made a bedsheet tent, put on a dance show in the living room, and made me come up with an iMix of rainy day songs. We are going to have to put off our weekly library visit because of the weather, but they still chose a book to share with you all.
I love the illustrations in The Dick and Jane Collection. Mac loves it because it’s easy to read — actually, it is how he learned to read. So now Charlotte is learning with it, too. It’s a classic. The stories are very simple and are not the best for parent-to-kid read-alouds, but they’re perfect for new readers.
This week they’ve chosen a video in addition to their music pick, because we have a new favorite in our house. Sesame Street: Old School is so much fun to watch. Parents will love seeing their old childhood favorites again, and the segments are timeless enough that today’s kids will learn and still be entertained. The biggest plus for me: no Elmo. Their pick in Music is also our favorite segment. I know that if you’re anywhere near my age, you probably won’t be able to resist singing along. I’m listening to it while I type this and it takes me back to just before dinnertime during my elementary school years, before we had cable.
I’ll be back in the studio tomorrow to return all calls and emails. Have a great Monday!
We had a nice weekend away from the computer and the phone (mostly) and now we’re gearing up for school to start again. Today we went on a School Supply Hunt. It’s like a treasure hunt, but not quite as much fun. Every year there is at least one item on their school supply lists that you just can’t find anywhere. This year it was the Mead Primary Composition Journal. We finally found one at the Walmart on 3009 — and they have a nicely organized and mostly FULL school supply section for all of you locals who are still hunting. As much as I dislike having to go to Walmart (the crowds & the lines) it was worth it to finally find this last piece on our school supply list. It was not the most fun day for the kids though. We went to the library, too, but they would really have rather taken this last big Monday off to do something more exciting. I, however, usually LOVE school supply shopping… I love buying new notebooks, and the way new pencils and erasers smell. Once a nerd, always a nerd. But by the time everything is picked over and we’re getting this close to the beginning of school, it is much less fun.
On our weekly library visit today, the kids picked a book to share with y’all that made both of them happy. John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith is their pick of the week, and we all thought it was good. Lane Smith’s slightly irreverent humor will not be to everyone’s taste, but it fits pretty well with our little household. My kids loved the story of how John, Paul, George, and Ben (and Thomas too, but he’s always been very independent) all had special “talents” that helped them when forming our nation. We are a History Channel kind of family, so they thought this funny but educational look at the young founders was fantastic. There is a true and false page at the end that helps separate fact from fiction.
In music, they chose one of my all time favorite James Taylor songs: Blossom. They’re very familiar with 70s singer songwriters because we always have music playing in the house, and so does my mom, and it’s usually all the same music. This is off of Sweet Baby James, which I still consider one of the best records of all time.
That’s it for this week! I will be back in the studio tomorrow to return all calls and emails. We have a very full week!
Shelby Lane is a custom portrait photographer
in Victoria, TX, serving the Crossroads area (Hallettsville, Port O'Connor, Port Lavaca,
Cuero, Corpus Christi) as well as limited appointments in New Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin, Houston,
She specializes in artistic newborn, baby, child, and maternity pictures and
family photography, as well as unique and creative portraits of high school
seniors on location in the Coastal Bend and Central Texas areas. Be sure to check out our family beach photography sessions, offered on a limited basis on Rockport, Port Aransas, Mustang Island, and North Padre Island beaches.
Our goal is to customize your session experience to create one of a kind
portraits of your children, family, and high school senior, creating art that