Archive: ‘Kids and Sports’


Monday, February 4th, 2013

It is time for winter basketball and I am having more fun than ever with these shots! I am setting my ISO to about 1600-2400, my f stop at 2.8 and my shutter around 1/600.. higher if the light will let me.

Gotta get that action!


and those shots..


and the ‘direction’…


and the naps!


and the little sister!


and the ‘watching’…


and the ball…



even when it is bigger than you are 🙂


and the hug..


and the handshakes…


and the victory!


and the swoosh!


And…don’t forget the …

looks on their faces and the magical moments that only your ‘mom ‘ eyes can capture…so be ready; because once those moments are gone..they are gone forever.


Get  your camera ready for the new year and for your kids next sporting event! You can do it!!!!

Happy shooting!

Baseball Stories

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I have a few more baby tips to post this month but I just had to get these fall baseball photos up! These are all shots from the past few weeks, they are generally not edited meaning they are straight out of my camera because I don’t have time to edit much. I use my Canon 70-200 2.8 lens for all sports…it is an ‘investment’ lens, but…I can’t think of anything I would rather invest in! I keep the ISO at 100 for day games, F-Stop 2.8 then I adjust the shutter speed keeping it really high for the action…1/500-1/1,200 if possible.

I think that the plays in baseball are so fun to capture… but the photo stories are what I love! Here are some reasons why I love baseball:

1. You don’t have to be really big to play this game.


2. It is good to get dirty. (check out the ball in mid air, the fast shutter keeps that ball clear.


3. What other sport can you get a shot like this! Note frozen action again with fast shutter.


4.  I like getting the real story on the ‘out/safe’ call…see what I mean? Still waiting for the  ump  to ask for my ‘photo’ help on these close calls.. he hasn’t asked for my opinion yet!


5. I like how little 8 year old boys make up a team.


…and have such a good time.


…and you can be on the same team with your brother…


6. I love that Evan can’t play without ‘eye-black’…


…even at night!


(I also love that baseball fields have really good lights at night so I can still get good shots!)

7. I love the baseball stuff… it’s just cool…the old leather, the balls the earthy colors….


8. I love that ‘Super Heroes show up at every game!


(you have to admit that he looks like a cousin of spider man  – – I am creating a new super hero character: Baseball Boy!)

9. I love that Andrew caught that foul tip on the third swing and got the batter out…(check his glove closely for the ball)…and I got the picture to go with his very exciting story  that he shared at the end of the game! …. (did I mention how excited he was?!)


10. Finally,I love the little moments that I get to be a part of….. from a distance.


These shots are all posted with little or no editing, just a little contrast adjustment on a few of them. It is important  to get comfortable with your camera so you can spend time getting the shots and not spend all your time post editing.

Mom tip for the day: look for the stories and click away. The plays are great and you don’t want to miss them but don’t forget to watch the boys through your lens off field to get the rest of the story.  Shooting sports is exciting because it is so unpredictable  – – but it can also be hard because it is so unpredictable. Practice as much as you can.  It will pay off!

Put Your Photos To Work For You!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ~ Mother Teresa

Everyone knows that appreciation and recognition is so important – – and photos are the perfect way to make someone feel appreciated! We all love to see photos of our life! Admit it  – – photos make you feel loved and special! So be sure to put your photos to work for you in the areas of your life where you can use them to recognize your loved ones and their friends and their accomplishments!

Here are a series of posters that I have put together for our gym girls. I used StoryBook Creator software to make my job easy! These are printed 20 x 30 and we hang them at the gym after each meet, they provide tons of recognition for the girls – -and you can  bet they feel appreciated!

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Who can you appreciate with your photos today?


Be sure to print and enjoy  your photos. My favorite software is StoryBook Creator for these projects and many other digital books and projects that I do. Please contact your Creative Memories Consultant or me for more additional info!

have Some Fun!

Monday, February 6th, 2012

So what do you do with your photos?

These are posters that I made for the gym. I used StoryBook Creator software and it was so easy. I printed them  20 x 30 and they are being enjoyed!

I had to make up a few before I could decide on the one I liked best….

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Be sure to print out your favorite photos and enjoy them – -you work so hard to get them.  Photo books and prints are good but every now and then do something a little different with them.

Have a great week! And go take some pictures of your family!

Basketball A-C-T-I-O-N

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Another week, another game!

We are into sports at our house – – if  you haven’t figured that out by now! I believe that kids should do anything but play video games so we have a ‘video game free’ home.  (see my other site: if your child struggles with video gaming and/addiction).

The flip side to gaming is that they need to stay busy doing other productive things! So, we try to do a winter sport and a spring/summer sport. This makes for a very busy kid and  Camera Mom but I love it!

The twins just started basketball.

I am new at the whole ‘shooting-7-year-old-basketball’ thing so they are learning how to shoot and so am I!

I wasn’t sure where to start so I started with the ball; seemed like the most natural thing to do since it was the only thing NOT moving at the time! I think it is always fun to shoot sports equipment – -just to test the light and get started.


I realized quickly that unlike gymnastics, basketball is full of fast paced, unpredictable  ACTION. Here are some tips using A-C-T-I-O-N as my guide … remember that cheer from cheerleading? Stepping back on that high school basketball court brought back some memories for sure:

Here we go – – Give me an “A”!

A is for Adjust your settings! Fix  your camera and turn off that flash. Gym lighting can be really weird but using the flash with weird lighting is not so hot. I used a higher ISO and a low f-stop. Remember to keep the shutter fast because if you don’t  you will just get a blur with the movement. Take some test shots. One tip here it to set your ISO high then put your dial to the AV Mode (Aperture Priority) button. This setting will allow you to set your f stop but the camera will adjust the shutter speed as needed. I found this to be very helpful. You can also try the TV Mode which allows you to  set the shutter speed to be above a certain number and the camera will then adjust the aperture to get enough light. This is good if you are in darker settings and you want to be sure your shutter is fast enough to stop the movement. Be sure to keep it on Auto White Balance for now.

C is for Catch the Action: I try to get their faces  but that is pretty difficult as they are moving fast and I am not sure how to predict where they are going yet  – – their coaches aren’t sure either! So just click away and get the action shots while they are happening. Watch the game through your camera lens. If you try to watch the game with your camera in your hand hoping that you will quickly raise it and get the shot, you will miss it every time… watch the game through your lens and learn what I call ‘proactive shooting ‘. I will go into more details on that subject in an upcoming post. But generally it means to anticipate the shot ahead of time.



T is for Tilt your camera: the angle will allow you to get more of the subject in your frame and make things a little more interesting.


O is for Open your eyes for the detail: every sport has sideline details that are part of the story you are trying to tell with your photos.


Is he really showing them plays on a clip board?! Wow, my kids were doing well to run the right direction!


Do you keep your hands in your pocket for basketball?? I’ll have to check the rule book on that! Evan loves pockets!



N is for Never underestimate the power of the simple shots you get when the action is not happening. I love the way this shot shows that they are the little kids on the team. One day their shoes will be big, but for now, I will enjoy these little shoes.


There you have it. Maybe not the best shots but I know that I will get better as I understand the game and practice more … and so will my boys!

Next week we are going to talk about how to get your camera to focus on what you want it to focus on instead of something else in the foreground or background.

Have fun shooting action shots of your kids this week playing ball or just playing in the backyard!


Most of these shots were taken with ISO 1250, no flash, F stop 3.0 and shutter speed between 1/150-1/200 using my Canon 50 D and big lens (70-200)

What is worth Keeping?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I have tons of Holiday photos from the last few weeks to share – – but we just returned from  a  gym meet so I will share those first.

With this new year giving us a fresh slate to work with and a fresh beginning to make changes and refocus, I will offer some fresh ideas on what I believe makes a good photo…at least good enough for my family books. In my effort to share with you what I think makes an image worth keeping I will share some images from this weekend.

What makes a photo worth keeping?

1. The good ones are composed (put together) well.

The low number on the f-stop blurs the background in this shot making it easier to see the subject; so if you don’t like the background…just blur it out when you can. Filling the frame with the subject also helps make this one a keeper.


This photo below may not be the perfect exposure but it is an example of using the uncluttered background to make it a better photo. The blue background is outlining her body in this action shot. I have quite a few tips for sports photography and ‘finding an uncluttered background’ is at the top of that list. The light was so bright that I lost the detail in her hands but I think I’ll l keep it.


2. The photo you want to keep contains an idea and provokes a reaction or emotion from the viewer.  The idea here is skill and hard work! These photos ‘show’ what hard work looks like!




3. The photo offers different layers of emotion.


This ‘look’ at her coach describes a relationship. The photos you will want to keep will describe emotions and tell ‘relationship’ stories.

4. The ‘keeper’ photos allow the viewer use their imagination and feel the action. Action photos stir you to ‘feel’ (my back hurts after looking at these!). Learn to shoot a lot when you see action … you are bound to get something worth keeping. Remember to watch the action through your viewfinder…that is the only way you will catch it.




5.  Less can be more: It is not necessary to have the whole picture to tell the whole story.



6. A good photo takes advantage of awesome light – – it is rare so grab it when you see it.


7. A ‘keeper’ tells the behind the scene stories.


As Melissa grows up, I seem to love the simple shots more and more. Her hands say so much about her personality; they tell the story of how she works through her sport and reminds all of us that hard work takes time and that it pays off. Remember to photograph the important character details of your kid’s  life.

Have fun going through your photos and keeping the ones that you love. Make a resolution this new year to get them organized and enjoy your photos in a digital family album! Go to my CM site (Digital/Storybooks) to get started on your books!

Camera Mom tips:

Most of these shots were taken using my 70-200 2.8 lens. This gym had very good light so my job was almost too easy if that is possible! 

Baseball Favorites

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I have been out shooting a lot of ‘life’ these past weeks and missed a week on the site, Oh No!

The boys finished up their Fall Ball season- – here are some favorites from the last few games:

Always look for the details wherever you go and lower your f-stop to get the blur.


The bat colors are fun to photograph every season.


Sometime you get lucky and the sun works for you.


And sometime you remember to watch the game through your lens and actually get the ‘play’.



I love his red socks and he loves the red dirt!



I like the shadows of the fence with the ball, don’t forget to shoot the ball whatever sport you are shooting if there is a ball.


How can this not be one of my favorites! The tip here is to watch the game through your camera lens; if you don’t you will miss it! He was a bit excited to get to first base! I love the look of the little boy on the left!


Was he really standing on his hands??? YES!


The end of the game is the best…especially when you win!


But the most fun is the hope that you will be the one to get the game ball..complete with an orange Gatorade smile!


Stay tuned for one more post on the final game of the season!

Camera Mom Tip:

My tip for today is to remind you to back up your photos in a few places before the busy Holidays hit! Do it today!

Playing Catch

Monday, November 7th, 2011

When I picked up my camera to capture this fun story of the boys trying to catch pop ups in the front yard, I knew I didn’t want the same‘ol shots. So I tried something different and got out of my ‘traditional box’ and got down on their level…grass and all. I literally got on my elbows for these and I don’t  know who had more fun in the front yard that day – – me or them! We were all playing catch: they were trying so hard to catch the ball and I was trying so hard to catch the moment!


I love the ‘face’ that Evan is making – – – he is trying so hard!


Can you just hear him laugh??!!


Evidently Andrew has his own ‘face’ when playing.


I like the angle here and the perspective.


Andrew is happy that his brother caught one!



the f-stop made these shots pop. If the trees were as in focus as the kids they would not have been as interesting. The f-stop was 2.8, the ss was 1/650 (because they were moving fast).


I got lucky and got him looking at me…


Again, the angle here makes this shot way more interesting.


This shot below could have been better if I was able to get their faces but at least I did get the ball!


This shot is just fun!


But if I had to pick my favorite I think this is it; the sun on his face and the grass all around makes me smile.


I am so happy that I decided to play ‘catch’ with my boys! These shots are priceless to me!

Camera Mom Tip

Get down on their level and shoot the everyday stuff!


don’t forget to back up your photos!!!!! How many copies do you have?

Fall Ball

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Some people have told me that sports can be hard to shoot. After all…you get the team shot and the kid up at bat or maybe under the basket or running downfield. Exciting..yes but exactly how many shots can you have of the same things? 

I agree that it can be a bit of a challenge. I have even talked to professionals who say that it is hard to get anything ‘new’ game after game.  My camera mom feeling about that is that you have to look for the story and once you start looking you will find something very worthwhile about your sports photography! Here are a few shots from our last game. Soon I will post a whole section on my favorite ‘storytelling’ baseball and gymnastics shots so stay tuned!

I never get tired of these type of shots; this shot says so much about the game of baseball: the friendships, the boy-ish-ness, and yea…the all important snack after the game!


Does it get any better then this? The victory at home plate! This shot is different every time for every kid so be sure to have your camera ready and remember: don’t wait for ‘the shot’ just  keep shooting…


The run from first. I love getting the in-mid-air shots.


The stuff hanging around the park.


The granddad keeping score.


the little sister..playing.


The untied shoes.


The run home.


The successful (?) play…


The big ball in those little hands…


The secrets shared that we will never know..


There are so many stories to tell with my camera on the baseball field;  stories that only you the camera mom can ‘see’. I can’t wait for the game this weekend to see what else I can capture in this ‘baseball story’ this season!

Happy photo storytelling!

Look What we Found at the End of the Rainbow This Rainy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

We were out for lunch this rainy Friday, walked out to the parking lot and saw this ‘baby’ under a car… wet, friendly, sweet and very lost.  She is about 5-6 weeks old and apparently got separated from her mama somehow.  So, my oldest son decided that he had a new pet and the rest is history!


You have to admit that there are not too many things cuter than a kitten!


(most of these shots are straight out of the camera but this one was edited in Memory Manger to darken the contract)

She has stolen all the hearts in this house,


including our dog who has taken on a new job as nanny!


…she has proven to Chris that she loves watching Sunday afternoon football (as much as I do!) so he says she can stay!


It rained all weekend…and even though our baseball games were all rained out that didn’t stop Evan from playing ‘baseball’ in the  driveway. I love rain photos – – just be careful not to get your camera wet!



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Most of these baseball photos were taken with a high ISO 1000 because it was dark and rainy,  f stop 2.8 and ss 1/500 to capture the action.

The kitty photos were taken indoors with the ISO set to 2500, f stop 2.8 and a very slow ss 1/32, because it there was not much light coming in the window with such an overcast day. I generally don’t shoot lower than 1/200 with my kids but sometime you have to sacrifice clarity for exposure!


We had a happy relaxing weekend! Hope you did too!


A few Camera Mom Tips for photographing pets:

  1. Turn the flash off! This will avoid the green eye problem.
  2. Be patient and wait for your shot.
  3. Get animals interacting together when you can.
  4. It helps to have someone stand behind you to get the pets attention because you can’t tell them to look at the camera…or you can tell them but they won’t know what the heck you are talking about!
  5. Keep treats in your pocket (instead of candy!) to keep them interested.
  6. Get on their level.
  7. Pay attention to your background and move around to avoid complicated backgrounds.
  8. Get their face in the shot.
  9. Pets like natural light as much as people.
  10. Grab the shot when you can; unlike your kids you can’t redo your pet shots very well, once they run out of the room or under the chair they are gone!

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