Food buddies

Our pup knows who to visit for a snack at our table; her food buddy is the best bet!

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Favorite Photo Friday: family photos

While my husband captures an image of our youngest daughter, our oldest throws in some bunny ears to elicit a smile.

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Storytelling: a girl, a camera, and her dog

With our younger daughter off playing at a friend’s house, I had some time one-on-one time with our oldest. We decided to have some photo time together, which is always fun for both of us.

She has long since outgrown her point and shoot camera and is ready for her own DSLR. When I handed her my old Nikon d50 DSLR with a 50mm 1.8D lens to use for the day (technically, this is my husband’s camera now), she was thrilled! She jumped up and said, “I want to do a photo shoot with Honey!” (Honey is our 1.5 year old Spanish Water Dog.)

I grabbed my own camera as she and Honey ran out the door to have some fun; I definitely wanted to capture her story.

She started with using a pine cone to get Honey’s attention and to get her to stay still,

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which worked really well for a few minutes (my daughter’s photo is below).

P_photo_of_Honey_0285As she tried a new perspective, I saw a lot of my own style of photography. Obviously, she has been paying attention and observing me for years.

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Jean_H_de_Buren_photo_fun_5929 When Honey lost her focus, and we were winded from chasing her all over the yard,

P.photo_of_Honey_0598we took a break and headed inside to take a peek at her photos.

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She loved her photos, and found herself laughing at how many photos she had of Honey running out of the frame.

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To wrap up the photo shoot, our daughter made a sandwich, and, of course, shared a bit with her buddy, Honey!

Jean_H_de_Buren_photo_fun_5983We both had a wonderful afternoon and are already planning our next photo session!

The writer

While the girls were both involved in a quiet activity, I took the opportunity to tiptoe down the hallway and peek into their bedroom. There, I discovered our oldest, deep in thought, letting her ideas flow onto the pages of her new notebook.

Although she was aware of my presence, she remained focused and continued to write. This allowed me the time to capture an image of her doing something that she loves.

These natural moments are some of my favorite ones to photograph.

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Girl Power

WIth their cousin’s Superman-themed birthday party coming up tomorrow, the girls and I have had a lot of conversations about Superman’s story, his strength, and powers. While it has been great to explore the amazing powers of Superman as well as Spiderman, and the Incredible Hulk, I found a few things lacking in our conversations: female super heroes and girl power.

So, this morning, I changed things up a bit and started telling the story of the female super hero that I know best: Wonder Woman. Growing up, I LOVED her and created my own super hero adventures, spinning around in my room, and transforming into Wonder Woman just in time to save the day. While pretending to be Wonder Woman, I was powerful and unstoppable.

I felt that the girls and I could all use a dose of Wonder Woman today; thanks to YouTube, we were able to watch scenes from a few episodes of the 1970s television show; it was inspiring to see another strong female (even as a fictional character) and now they’re hooked!

Today, we chose to demonstrate our strength and athleticism, we played and ran with determination, and celebrated our own power.

Today, was about girl power!

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Not what I had planned…

With a great photo idea in mind, I arrived at school early for pick-up, found the perfect parking spot, set my camera, and waited for the girls to walk into my viewfinder. I was ready to capture the excitement of the end of a school day on a Friday afternoon.

While I waited, I began to think about how I wanted to send this yet-to-be-taken-photo to my husband, as he misses these moments while he’s at work. Then, SURPRISE!  Our youngest suddenly appeared in my viewfinder, ahead of schedule and was almost out of the frame when I captured this image. With all of my preparation, I didn’t even have the time to focus properly!

This was not the image I had planned, yet it is one of my favorites from the school year; I laugh when I see this photo and remember how happy the girls were to be starting the weekend.

Some of my best planned moments often turn into something different, and altogether wonderful!

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A small change

Today, I am fortunate to be able to sit in my favorite bakery, sip my favorite tea, and have some time to myself. I know that I need to capture my photo of the day, but, since it has been my experience that photos/moments/perfect lighting present themselves to me if I’m just patient and observant, I am not worried at all. I am waiting, patiently.

As I started editing photos, this little dog sat at the table just outside of the bakery window. I smiled when I realized that he and I were both being patient, although for completely different reasons. His owner returned to the table and I decided that this dog was the perfect subject for my photo of the day today.

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Normally, when I capture street photography, I prefer to remain anonymous. But, today, I decided to make a change; I decided to stop being anonymous and instead introduced myself to the dog’s owner. I let him know that I enjoyed watching his dog, took a photo of him, and wanted to share the image. He gave me his email address and I sent the photo to him right away.

What a difference a small change can make; I was so energized after sharing my work!

As it turns out, this little dog’s name is Happy and happy is how I truly feel this morning!

I am a storyteller

Today, I came across a box of photos from 1996-1997, which I haven’t opened in some time. These were important years in my photographic journey as it was during these years that I fell in love with black and white photography. My Canon AE-1 camera was by my side just about everywhere I went; I learned to take photos from different perspectives; I often stayed up through the night until sunrise, just so I could process my film and print my own photos in my darkroom (where time passed by so quickly, that I didn’t trust that the time on my watch was accurate). I was in love with the whole process.

So today, forgetting about all of the tasks I had planned to accomplish, I simply sat down, pulled photos out one by one, smiled, and enjoyed myself.

Then, when I saw these photos of my dad, I stopped.

Jean_H_de_Buren_dad_-9919I stopped, in part, because I vividly remembered taking these photos of my dad, and how much I enjoyed following him around as he performed some of his training routines (as a decathlete). I remember taking photos of my dad setting his timer on his wristwatch, before getting ready to run at the track; I photographed him resting in between sets, with his hands on the weightlifting bar in the garage;  I photographed him sitting on the bleachers at the track, looking out, reflecting on his last performance, and preparing for the next.

But, the other reason I stopped is because I was surprised to recognize and discover my current photographic style in the photos I captured 17 years ago. I saw storytelling, through capturing the details.

I was surprised to make this connection and discovery, because, since I stopped working as a portrait photographer, I have been unable to explain my photographic style to anyone, including myself. These photos of my dad pulled everything together for me.

I  know that I love capturing events unfolding in front of me; I love capturing everyday moments; I love capturing the details, which often go unnoticed by those around me; I love capturing connections between people; I cannot get enough of photographing beautiful light; I love pulling images together, to tell a story.

I may not have been able to say it until now, but in my heart, I know that am a storyteller.