Danny sat patiently in his stroller as I lay on my stomach on a dock to get this shot. It’s a water lily on Lake Newport, here in Reston, Virginia. I love the way the reflection of the green trees creates a wavy leading line to draw attention to the blossom. The early morning light is beautiful here.
The key to this photo was my low angle. Lying on my stomach on the dock got me low enough to reveal much of the flower’s reflection. The flower was in direct sunlight that was soft and lovely because it was so early in the morning. If I had taken the picture later in the day, the harsh midday sun would wash out the white flower and be far less pretty. The green leading line toward the flower is a reflection of the green trees beyond the lake. My wide aperture kept that reflection out of focus and therefore enhancing the flower, rather than distracting from it.
This photo is available for sale here: Lake Newport water lily
Last year on March 11, I photographed most everything that happened in our family. I chose the date at random, as an example of a typical day in our lives at that moment in time. This year I decided to do it again, and compare the same date in two consecutive years. What a difference a year has made in our family!
On March 11, 2011, Daniel was 2 months old, we were sleep-deprived, and it was a chilly, late winter day.
On March 11, 2012, Daniel was 14 months old, we were much more energetic, and it was a warm, early spring day.
On both days, we had early morning cuddles, frequent feedings, outings for coffee, walks in scenic locations, and time with grandparents. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of dinnertime or naptime last year, so that story ends upruptly. This year I kept the camera going until Danny was tucked into bed.
Here is a fun comparison of the two years, side-by-side. I think I’ll do this every year. Give it a try with your families! It was so fun to go back through last year’s pictures and see how far we’ve come.
My big news of this year is that I’ve lost 33 pounds since January! These before-and-during photos are from June 2011 and then May 2012. I’m not too far from my goal weight now.
I joined Weight Watchers on January 2nd of this year. I’ve done WW several times in the past, but I decided that this time I was going to stick with it. I would be diligent and really make it happen. I’ve been counting every point, eating healthy food, and exercising consistently. I’ve watched 1-2 pounds come off each week.
My exercise started as walking on the treadmill and outside with the stroller. I began running in February, increasing my distance slowly over the following months. In March, I ran a 5K and was thrilled to be able to run the whole thing without stopping. Now I walk about five miles a day, and run 3-4 miles three times a week.
I’ve gone from a size 14 to a size 8 in four and a half months! I’m going to need to go shopping again soon, because some of my size 8s are getting loose.
I feel so good these days. I’m more energetic, better rested, and happier than I was last year. I look forward to blogging more about my weight loss process and fitness adventures!
How has your New Year’s resolution gone this year?
Our friends here at Lake Anne have a magnificient kwanzan cherry tree in their front yard. As much as I love the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms, they have nothing on Michelle’s and Charlie’s tree.
I took this photo in March just after sunset, when the sky was a lovely twilight blue. I used a tripod with a 30 second exposure at ISO 1000. An f stop of 1/16 gave lots of depth of field to keep most of the blossoms in focus. During the long exposure, I used a small flashlight to illuminate the blossoms. I dusted a little light on each branch. It felt like painting.
This photo is available for sale here: Kwanzan cherry tree
I’ve decided to start blogging again. For the past year, I haven’t known what to say here. I’m not taking wedding or portrait clients at this time, and that’s pretty much all I’ve blogged about for the last few years.
I’m still taking care of Danny full time. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching about my career in the meanwhile. I haven’t done any portrait or wedding assignments since August, and I’m still not taking bookings. I haven’t decided when or if I’ll go back. I did wedding and portrait work for eleven years. I feel like I might be ready to move on to something else.
Wow, I’ve been away for a long time! For ten years I blogged frequently, and now I’m writing for the first time in six months. Of course it has been one of the biggest years of my life, and I have tons of photos and stories that I could have written about. Instead I’ve spent lots of time with Daniel, who grows more adorable and fascinating every day. He is now eleven months old, and active, bright, curious, and affectionate.
I’m on extended maternity leave, but I did do a few client shoots this year. I did some family portraits, maternity sessions, and one wedding. But with a baby who rarely slept and a husband with long work hours, I ended up overwhelmed and exhausted. After Labor Day, I stopped doing any photo shoots, and worked only on albums and print orders for existing clients. Nowadays Danny is sleeping through the night and napping regularly, and I feel much better. I finally have a chance to blog once in a while. Hi!
I haven’t decided yet when I’d like to return to work, and what kind of work I’ll want to do when that time comes. I plan to make some changes to my business structure, because my new life won’t accommodate the long hours and frequent travel anymore. I do miss the adventures and creativity of my photography business, though. We’ll see what happens. For now, I’m loving my new adventures.
Jack and Nancy, celebrating their 50th anniversary with their family
July 22, 2011
In the ten years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve never been so far behind! My sweet little Daniel is an adorable bundle of pure attention hog. He’s totally worth it, of course, but I do miss blogging. Hello, everyone!
I wanted to make sure that I took the time to blog these photos of Nancy and Jack and their family. Their daughter, Susan, has been reading my blog for a while, and now it’s her family’s time to be featured here. They traveled in to the DC area to celebrate her parents’ 50th anniversary with a weekend of activities. The day of our photo shoot was officially the hottest I’d ever experienced, with a high of 106 degrees and plenty of humidity. They were such a happy, fun family that they grinned through the heat. People with a sense of humor are my favorite kind.
Happy anniversary, Jack and Nancy! I enjoyed getting to know you and learning about the adventures and love that have filled your last 50 years.
Daniel, four months old
May has been a big month for Danny, because his grandparents came from England to visit him! Mike’s parents came for three weeks to spend time with their first grandchild, and I loved seeing Danny cuddling and giggling with them.
Danny gets more fun all the time, and four months is a cute age. He’s still tiny (only 13 pounds), so he’s still small and sweet in my arms. Little toes! Squishy cheeks! Light as a feather! But now he’s at a stage where he still feels like a cuddly newborn, with much more of a personality. He is cheerful and fascinated with everything around him, so I take him out everyday to see the trees, geese, flowers, and people. He loves colorful picture books and sitting at the dinner table. The best part is the giggling. Those open-mouthed, toothless giggles.
Sleeping is still a struggle. It’s easy to get him to bed at night nowadays – he goes down contentedly, and sleeps for about five hours before needing to eat. The hardest part these days is the napping. He refuses to nap, and when he does, it’s only for half an hour. I can spend an hour or two trying to get him to nap for just 26 minutes. It’s amazing how much of my day is devoted to nap efforts – I thought naps were supposed to give me free time, but it’s quite the opposite.
I love cuddling with him during his last feeding before bedtime. He gets sleepy and snuggly in my arms. We expect that someday Daniel will have a little sibling, and I won’t have as many moments like that where it is just him and me. So I appreciate those evening cuddles, because like everything else, they won’t last forever.
Hi, I’m Charlotte! I’m a photographer in Reston, Virginia. I love hiking, running, and exploring the world with my husband and young son.