Archive: ‘Little Kids’

Final Day of Art Camp Day 4!

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

We got tons done on our final day of camp!

It started with drawing on the place cards again and today was ‘self portrait’ day. Here is the card before we gave it to the boys, I just drew in the outline. . It makes it much easier to get a head start on the drawings:


They just personalize them!




We made sharks out of rocks complete with black duct take fins! I loved seeing all the different teeth variations!

Square teeth:


rectangle teeth:


Sharp scary teeth!


Andrew kissed his shark (note black lips!)


Then we moved outside to our creative tie dye shirt project. We decided that we would not do complicated twisting and tying – – but rather a single initial would be perfect for active boys and not so much time left!




Love the shirts!


I had to grab a random shot of Evan’s crazy hair in the sun! It says summer to me! (Don’t forget to get shots of the simple everyday things you notice about your kids.)


Tilt the camera…


Where is the surf board????


Our final project was painting the pirate Lego faces on canvas. We had cut outs of the certain shapes to make the face. They traced the cutout on the canvas then painted. We washed/rinsed  the canvas with coffee to give it the old world look…


You can see the pirate Lego  poster we were using for our inspiration in this shot:



Finally, I had to get a group shot as camp was coming to a close! We had SO much fun and it all went by so fast!


Tip for getting groups: break them up into groups of three or four – – Moms like it best and you can see everyone easier!


Thanks for stopping by for a visit and checking out our Art Camp for Boys. The pictures don’t capture all the fun (and noise!) but they do a pretty good job! The camera mom tip here is to TAKE PICTURES of the everyday stuff that your life is made of. Say I Love You with your camera  — It works!!

More precious baby photos coming this week, stayed tuned!

Art Camp Day 3!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Captain America came to camp today! The boys drew their favorite super hero and a free draw picture and got ready for a fun ‘dirty’ project!









We made cement stepping stones! So after experimenting with the cement recopies on line we came up with what we think is the perfect mixture:

8 inch square pan, 4 cups quick set cement, 1 1/2 cup water


Using fluted disposable cake pans we poured the cement and the boys began decorating…


These gems worked perfect, we found them at the dollar store!




Then collected shell were added (what a perfect home for the beach treasures you bring home every year from your summer beach vacation.)


Perhaps the most fun project yet …. getting our hands dirty was fantastic!



We let them dry over night…


then painted the handprints to get them to stand out.



We brought out the hammers for the next project… we were now entering ‘boy heaven’: hammers and dirt!


We used the ‘nail’ alphabet from a local craft store to hammer the boys names on ‘washer’  bracelets.


Once they picked out the letters for their names they got started with the hammer.


My co-worker was the brave soul who held the nail while the boys used the hammer!




After the letters are done color them in with a black sharpie. Here is the finished project! All the bracelets have the boys first name and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)!


Finally, Be sure to take time to photograph the ‘Happy Campers’. Remember the rule to get them to face the window or door light to get the right light on their faces…you will always be glad to make the effort to turn toward the light!


Art Camp Day 2!

Friday, September 7th, 2012

We painted birdhouses on our second day or Art Camp!  It was hard to get the right exposure with the strange indoor light; I am reminded of how natural light is much better for photography! But the light didn’t matter to the boys!


They had a wonderful time painting the bird houses…


… and painting their bodies!



Turn your camera to get different angles…it will make your photos more interesting and the action more real.





Our portrait theme for the day was draw your favorite sports hero!



here is the same thing but turned toward the light – – gives it a better exposure.


Love the football helmet here!






img_1962   we also worked on our marshmallow catapults today: using popsicle sticks, a plastic spoon,  close pins, a little paint and a lot of glue!















It took a lot of talent to get those marshmallows in their mouth! But they did!


The tips today are:

1. Keep your camera ready for action, that means it needs to be on your kitchen table or nearby, not locked away in the camera case.

2. Shoot the process. When your kids are doing something don’t wait to get just the finished product get the  ‘process’. i.e. getting dressed up for the final dress up pose, photos of the process of drawing or creating an art project, putting shoes on for the first day of school, even getting ready for the big game can all be fun shots you don’t want to miss.

3. Put your camera on the auto no-flash setting and don’t worry too much about all the other manual settings when you are trying to get the process…you may not have time to do both. Don’t miss the shot because you were trying to set the perfect f-stop.

Stay tuned for 2 more days of Art Camp!

(I’m trying to get an issue worked out with my site.  I will open comments soon so you can ask questions!)

Party On!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Two tough 8 year old (count the fingers) pirates! … Scary looking!


The party is about to start and everyone is getting very excited…. I like to have parties in the late afternoon so I have more time for last minute touches and am not so rushed. Plus a summer birthday party can be brutally hot at noon so the dinner time parties work best for us.


(The nets came from a left over vacation bible school program!)

The boys picked out their plates and the tables were set!! There are so many choices these days for cute party supplies that we just get a little of a variety instead of trying to make a decision on one choice.



We loaded the treasure chests with goldfish and the shark with fruit…


got the food on the table:


and put the flowers in a vase.


The treasure chest was loaded with black ‘cannon ball’ water balloons


and drinks were put on ice…


Friends came dressed for the part and the boys started arriving!


We gave them their hats, earrings, eye patches and bandanas and they worked hard to get the right pirate faces!


The gang is all here!



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.. ‘playing dead’ happens a lot at a pirate party‘


Finding clues around the pond was necessary to get to the final treasure…


which was actually ‘buried’ in 12 little bags at the bottom of the pool!


Diving in to get the treasure out of the deep end was was worth it when it came to buying the loot!











The pirate ship got a work out….


and everyone had fun!


We finally got to eat the ‘sandy’ cake!



Sparklers are always a wonderful way to end any celebration and they are fun to photograph.



sparkler settings: shutter speed 1/4 second ISO 400 F Stop 3.5

We had a blast and the boys loved every minute. Celebrate your life and take time to photograph it along the way. Dive in and get off the green box and get more confident with your camera, you won’t know what you can do until you try it over and over! I promise your final treasure will be priceless!

(If you have any questions about the party planning post them on the Confident Camera Moms FB page I will be glad to answer them!)

Baby Sophia Finally Meets Her Big Brothers!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

She is here safe and sound and as precious as we all imagined!



Sophia had a big ‘welcome to the family’ by her three big brothers!


Not too much writing today – – just a few tips to let you know that I used my 50mm lens and the wonderful window light that the hospital provided! No more dark dingy rooms from years gone by – – we had wonderful light for a wonderful birthday! party



Someone looks a little worried!







Just can’t get enough of this precious little girl!

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One thing is for sure – — she will be loved to pieces by all those brothers and everyone else of course!


Best wishes to Sara and Mitch as they bring little Sophia home….I’m sure you will be seeing more of Sophia as I have the honor of capturing her babyhood! Can’t wait!

No flash and virtually no editing thanks to the beautiful window light. General camera settings 50 mm lens; ISO 250, F Stop 2.0, ss 1/160

Baby on the way!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

The miracle of life is never ‘old news’ and in my opinion, you can never start taking pictures too early!


This sweet mom has three little ducks… following her everywhere:


Pretty soon there will be a fourth little blessing to add to this shot!


Here are a  few mom tips for these type of group shots:

1. What to wear?

This is a hard thing to figure out especially when you have more than 2 in the shot. It can be stressful enough to get everyone in the car for the drive over to get the shot – so worrying about what to wear needs to be figured out well before hand. Pack a few things  – options are good.

First clothes tip: leave the white shirts at home. Faces will look better against the darker backgrounds. the dark brown and blue is a good choice.

Second: mixing the plaid on the little guy works well to break it up. A small plaid on the smallest person is good.

Third: long sleeve shirts keep you focused on the faces which is your goal. Eight bear arms would have been very distracting in this group shot.


2. Think in triangles. Can you see some of the triangles that the faces are making in this photo above? Not every face is on the same straight line across.

3. This composition below isn’t ‘triangles’ but it works as it shows ‘order’.


4. Find the shots within the shots when you can get the emotion of the moment even if it doesn’t include all the subjects



5. Tell the story. this shot is a storytelling shot for sure!


6. Show the relationships. I took the shirt off the little guy for a bit – -I love baby skin to show.


7. Show perspective. All the little hands show age and size. Our kids hands are such a wonderful memory for us moms.


8. the silhouette shots are so fun and so easy to do and I love the ‘uncluttered’ story they tell.


9. Generally I don’t like props but  — I love this bear with her belly.


10. Another relationship shot that says so much about this little guy and how much he loves his momma.



11.  Get faces close together. It may be a bit awkward but ask for it.


And ask them to get even closer.


The biggest tip is to take time to get the photos of the most precious moments in your life. You will be so happy you took the time!!


Shots were taken at around 3:30 in the afternoon against dark green evergreen trees and the subjects facing the open sky – you can see the lights in their eyes.

ISO 320  F stop 4.00 and the shutter speed  varied between 1/320 – 1/1000 depending on the sun going in and out of the clouds!

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)

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?

Learning on 2 Wheels

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Photographing the most obvious childhood ‘rites of passages’ is a must for a camera mom.   Bike riding opens a big wonderful door to a world of outdoor play and where so many life lessons are learned!

For my boys, taking those training wheels off was a very big deal!

Kids learn how to set a goal and work hard to accomplish it!



They learn how to take care of their wheels!


They learn how things work.


They learn how to go faster.


They learn how to put on the brakes!


If they saved their money for their bike, they learn the value of hard work.


But the most important lesson of all is perhaps the lesson of sharing the road with their good friends and making memories that will last a lifetime….


Now that lesson is worth taking a picture of!

Camera Mom Tip:

Don’t forget to photograph the obvious, everyday stuff in your life!!

most pictures taken with a low ISO a low f stop and ss 1/200


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