A Year in My Life- July

Oops, I did it again. I forgot to share my “A Year in my Life Photos”. I was about to start writing Augusts post, when it dawned on me that I had completely skipped over July! I guess it will be July today and August tomorrow.

As can be expected the beginning of July was filled with parades and fireworks. We had a lot of fun going to a few different performances of the Army National guard that Cameron plays in. The kids always holler and scream when Daddy marches by. They’re his biggest fans.

A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic
We were lucky to run into some friends at the local fireworks show.
A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic
I’d rather take pictures of these cuties than the fireworks
A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic
Army National Guard Band playing the National Anthem
A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic
Maddy loves her baby
A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic | LuLaRoe Julia
Rocking my LuLaRoe Americana Julia as a long shirt
A Year in My Life Documenting Our Family- July | smithsquad.com |military family | Patriotic
Daddy marching in the smallest parade we’ve ever seen.

July was also great because we had a visit from Cameron’s brother and his cute little family. My kids absolutely adore their little cousin. We got a bit of rain while at the park, but that didn’t slow anyone down!

Get out of the way!
Get out of the way!
You can definitely tell these two are related.
You can definitely tell these two are related.
"just singing in the rain!"
“just singing in the rain!”
ok, maybe they don't ALL like each other.
ok, maybe they don’t ALL like each other.
Cheese!
Cheese!

It was a pretty fun low key month. The most exciting thing happened on July 23rd when I submitted my application to become a LuLARoe Fashion Consultant! MY call to purchase my initial inventory should come any day now. I can’t wait to get started in this business. I love their clothes and I know I’m going to rock it! If you haven’t gotten in on my LuLaRoe presale yet check it out. Pre-sale deals end on the day my inventory ships, which will be in about 10-14 days. Also make sure to join me in my Facebook group to get in on some fun giveaways leading up to my big launch party in a few weeks.

Are you doing a photo challenge this year? I’d love to see your work. Drop a link in the comments so I can check it out. 

A Year in the Life June- Documentary Photography at the Pet Store

Once again I completely forgot to post my A Year in the Life pictures from last month. As usual the littlest ones were the stars of the show! I must admit right around 1.5 is my favorite age. Learning to walk and talk, but not quite into the temper tantrum stage yet. Even with a new baby around Wally once again was the main subject of my camera lens this month.  DSC06481   DSC06493 DSC06496

The best shot of the month is this one of Wally with Hannah. Wally is absolutely IN LOVE with his sock monkey. He is also over the moon for his new baby sister. When Grandma sent Hannah a sock monkey outfit I knew I needed a picture of him holding the both of them. As you can see Hannah wasn’t too fond of the idea. Wally was unperturbed. He just shoved that paci in her mouth, positive that losing it was the only reason she was sad. Poor girl didn’t stop crying till mommy rescued her, after getting the picture first of course lol. DSC06491

The older kids managed to sneak into a few pictures by holding the very photogenic new baby. Maddy especially loves to help take care of Hannah. I have  feeling these two are going to be best buds.

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Ben likes to love on her too, but not quite as much as Maddy. He gets bored pretty fast adn is ready to pass her on.

One fun thing I did this month was take the camera with me when we went to the pet store. I’ve always been a little too self conscious to bust out the camera in an unusual spot like that before. This time I just went for it. I had a TON of fun. I love that I was able to capture so much of my kids personalities in an everyday situation. I even remembered to hand the camera off to the hubs and get in the pictures myself!

Would you like to preserve these types of memories as well? I can teach you how. Stay tuned for my workshop announcement, coming soon! If you’d like to hire me for a documentary session please contact me for more details and to schedule your date.

7 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Baby

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just have a professional photographer following you around all day documenting every little precious moment as your baby grows?

While I can help you freeze one special day in time forever I can’t be with you 24/7. With that in mind here are seven tips for taking better photos of your baby that will be treasured for generations.  If I am shooting a session for you please feel free to ask me to demonstrate any of these techniques and pick my brain for more tips. I want you to have the best photos possible of your family!

 

1- Catchlights

tips for tkaing better photographs of your baby, catchlights|EmilyJPhoto.com|Newborn photographer in Atlanta Georgia|Athens Birth Photography|In Home Family Photographer
I turned on the bathroom light behind me to get a nice catchlight without the harsh shadows that would have come if I turned on the overhead light in the room

Catchlights are the little sparkle you see in a person’s eyes. They can really bring a photo to life! When photographing your baby try to get a light reflection of some sort in their eyes. You can do this by turning on a light, moving baby into the light, or making sure that you are not standing in between your baby and the light source.

 

2- Move Back

tips for photographing baby, get back|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography
I moved back in this image to show the baby’s name on his nursery wall.

It is our natural tendency to want to fill the frame when taking a photo. Often, however, there are important details of the story that can be captured by moving back. The special blanket grandma crocheted or the artwork from Aunt Sue on the wall. Don’t forget to include these details that will tell your child the story of their infancy.

 

3- Get Close

tips for photographing baby, get close|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography|In home family photography|On Location family photographer
For this image I chose to get in close to capture his chubby little baby feet that were filthy after the first time he experienced mud between his toes.

Sometimes the background details aren’t important and simply introduce clutter. Sometimes there is one special feature you want to focus on. Get in close and grab shots of their tiny toes, little hands, delicate lips and other features that change all to quickly as they grow.

 

4- Focus on Relationships 

tips for photographing baby, focus on relationships|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography|In home family photography|On Location family photographer
When Wally was fussy his Daddy would sing and he would instantly calm. That moment was far more important than baby sleeping peacefully alone after Dad was done.

Often the most precious images are the real life unscripted moments that show the relationships between baby and others in their life. Get images of mom, grandma, siblings, etc. interacting with baby. Focus in on what makes their relationship special. Maybe it’s a special sway when they walk or a silly game. Make sure you capture those little moments that will make the best stories.

 

5- Use Different Angles

Documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|Bath time photography|Intimate family portraits|Daily life family photographer|In-Home Professional photography session
I moved around to shoot this scene from many angels and get a variety of fun images.

Get up high to show how small baby is. Get down low to show the world from their perspective. Move to the side to capture a profile image. Don’t take all your pictures of a scene from the same spot. Move your feet and try to capture the entire story from a variety of angles.

 

6- Shoot Through the Moment

tips for photographing baby, shoot through the moment|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography|In home family photography|On Location family photographer
The original “perfect moment” that I captured and thought I could put my camera down.
tips for photographing baby, shoot through the moment|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography|In home family photography|On Location family photographer
The even more perfect moment I caught next.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve put my camera down only to have baby do something adorable 10 seconds later. Yes this is my baby cat, but human babies do it too! If you are capturing a specific moment or interaction wait a few seconds after you think you have the shot and be prepared to take a few more images. Often my favorite shots are the ones I get AFTER I think I have the perfect image of the moment.

 

7- A Good Camera

tips for photographing baby, shoot through the moment|Emilyjphoto.com|Atlanta Newborn Photographer|Athens, GA birth photography|In home family photography|On Location family photographer
Yep, even us professionals take a million shots with our phones!

While a high quality DSLR camera is going to get you the most creative control and beautiful shots it doesn’t do any good if you never pull it out because it’s bulky and packed away in a bag to keep it safe. It is often said “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Don’t shy away from using your phone if that’s the camera that’s handy. There are tons of apps out there that allow you to have more control over your phone’s camera and get great images. I great compromise option is to get a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. I personally am using the Sony A6000 (affiliate link). It’s a great compact size that is easy to throw in my purse or leave out on a shelf for quick shots at home, and gives me all the same control as a more bulky DSLR. I have also heard great reviews on the Fuji and Olympus mirrorless cameras.

I firmly believe that it is in the every day moments that the most important adventures of life happen. It is these daily interactions that create the memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. Don’t forget to document them for your children and their generations to follow. If you would like to hire me to capture a day in your life please read my details page to learn more about what I offer and then contact me to schedule your birth, newborn, or family life session.

Family Pictures at Freeman’s Mill Park in Dacula, GA

I had the pleasure of taking family photos for a good friend a while ago. We decided to do the session at Freeman’s Mill Park in Dacula Georgia. I really love this beautiful outdoor location for family photos. there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy time together while getting some great photos in front of gorgeous scenery.

The park has a waterfall with a stream leading to a restored historic gristmill. It is such a beautiful and fascinating location. There is also a large grassy area to play in, beautiful flowers, hiking and biking trails, and a pretty awesome playground. It is one of my favorite parks to go to, and the kids love to explore it as well.

When you come out of the parking lot you can take a right to go down to the playground or a left to walk down a path to the mil. Along the path are beautiful trees and flowers and well as a rustic wood fence. The perfect background for a few family shots!

Lifestyle family photography|Atlanta newborn child and family photographer|Documentary photography|Dacula, Georgia|Barrow county

At the bottom of the path is the wonderful old Gristmill. Unfortunately on this day there was another photographer taking engagement shots so we weren’t able to get any pictures in front of the mill. As you follow the path around the mill you will see the large water wheel and the stream. The water level has lowered to the point that it no longer flows under the wheel. It is really fun for the kids to be able to explore around the wheel and see all of the gears that made it work.

Lifestyle documentary family photography|Emily J Photographer|Atlanta, Gwinnett, Georgia|Hall county|Barrow county

If you continue down the path next to the street you come to a rock wall and the waterfall. It is a beautiful spot. There’s a small sandy beach you can climb down to or an entire section of wall you can climb on without getting wet. They do have signs posted asking patrons to stay out of the water. The rock wall is a fun backdrop for sibling pictures, especially when they have such fun adventurous personalities.

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I had such a blast exploring Freeman’s Mill Park with the Gee family. I’d love to have you show me around your favorite park as well. I’m always up for a new adventure. If you schedule your session before August 15th (session to be completed before Nov 31st) you will receive a $150 credit towards your final product purchase. Just click that contact tab above and fill out the form.

Goodbye Gee family! Let’s get you in front of my camera again next year.
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