Continuing to look back at some favorites from the past year…
We live rather close to the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, and while sometimes it’s inconvenient (oh the traffic) and noisy (fireworks every night, upsetting the dog, who thinks it’s a thunderstorm), we’re always glad when the calendar shows it’s time for the North Carolina State Fair. Sure, the rides are fun and the pig races are hilarious to watch, but in the end, I think it just boils down to this: Fair food rocks our world. Deep-fried Oreos, funnel cake, giant grilled turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob, deep-fried cheesecake, alligator-on-a-stick, and of course corndogs. There’s nothing like a State Fair corndog, y’all.
Yesterday, the State Fair closed up shop for the year, returning our neighborhood, lives, and diets to normal. See you next year, State Fair!
When you live within a few hours’ drive of the beach, doesn’t it seem almost like you are obligated by law to go on a daytrip to the beach every once in a while? That’s what I was thinking, too. So that’s just what I did with a bunch of photographer friends: we hit the beach on a lovely October afternoon with our cameras all charged up and ready to go. We had such luck, too…all of these happy smiley families that we know happened to be there at the same time! An amazing coincidence, to be sure.
Many thanks to our lovely models and the weather for cooperating.
Recently, I had a little getaway weekend. I’d call it a Girls’ Weekend since I stayed with my dear college roommate and visited with lots of friends, but it also happened to be my dear college roommate’s wedding weekend so I guess I can’t actually say it was just a girls thing. At any rate, we had a lovely, fantastic, happiness-filled, wonderful time helping Erin and Sam celebrate their wedding and I–to absolutely no one’s surprise–happened to bring my camera along.
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs! But, Sam, I’m not sure you’ll be included in the next Girls’ Weekend.
My boys and I are enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation before school starts back up and they begin Kindergarten (a whole different post involving copious weepy moments and “how did they grow up so fast?”s from me), and one of the things we’ve particularly enjoyed in recent days has been reading the pug’s mind. Okay, to tell the truth, we can’t really read the pug’s mind, but with a new fun photo prop I picked up to take to a dear friend’s upcoming wedding, we can pretend that we can. Behold, the answer to the burning question, “what does the pug think about all day (when she’s not sleeping)?”
What, you were expecting algebra equations or elaborate architectural diagrams? Sorry, that would be a different breed (I guess German shepherds, maybe), but the truth is that pugs are really far too busy thinking about yummy treats to be bothered with algebra.
How are you spending the dog days of summer? If you answered, “starting to think about family portraits for holiday cards,” then you’re in luck because I’ve got some fun plans in the works for just that. Stay tuned for specific dates on holiday family portrait mini-sessions coming in September!
Just about five years ago, shortly before I had my bilateral mastectomy, a bunch of wonderful friends got together and had a local photographer do our family photos on the local college campus. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I treasure those photos, how comforting I found it to wake up after the surgery, groggy and exhausted and feeling like absolute hell, and I saw one of the photos, framed, sitting on my tray next to the big water bottle and hospital TV remote. It gave me energy and motivation (not to mention joy) to see that photo of me and my little family. It was not just a “back when” photo, it was also a promise of what a lovely family I could continue to enjoy, once I’d fought the good fight against breast cancer.
Since then, I’ve had rather a soft spot for families in similar medical situations. I love being able to give others that same feeling of energy, motivation, and joy through family photographs they can focus on during the tougher, darker days of their health situations. It’s how I pay it forward, for what my friends and local photographer did for me and my family. I hope it helps these families even one-tenth as much as my family photos five years ago helped me.
One day earlier this year, I met a friend and her kids at a park with their grandfather, who was a day away from having major skin cancer surgery. He was concerned about the surgery changing his face dramatically and wanted some photographic memories of a happy day with his grandchildren. And that’s just what he got.
I’ve done some other Pay It Forward sessions for families facing big medical issues, and they all leave me with a full heart. Ahhh. Mission accomplished! I know I’m not the only photographer out there with a soft spot for families like this; just check out the links in Week 31: Random Acts of Kindness over at I Heart Faces for a great deal of proof of that. Hurrah!
Miss S recently marked a very big milestone in her life: her bat mitzvah! Her friends and family (including two sets of grandparents, the lucky girl) helped her celebrate on a beautiful summer evening. I loved how this stylish young woman just rocked the color purple — please note that even her glasses have a fantastic hint of purple goodness to them.
Mazel Tov to S and her family!
Big grand fireworks shows set to the 1812 Overture* or the Washington Post March may make everyone say “oooooh!” and “ahhh!” but sometimes even just a few sparklers and roman candles can be pretty ooh-tacular to watch, too. Here’s a photo from a few Fourth of Julys ago, when we enjoyed (from a safe distance!) some neighbors as they set off small fireworks over the water.
Have a safe and happy fourth of July, y’all!
* my personal favorite.
I recently took one of my boys along with me on a photowalk with some photographer friends. He originally wasn’t going to go with me, but when he heard there’d be a few other kids there, he said he wanted to go. I suspect he just wanted to go show his SillyBandz to someone other than his brother (who is pretty tired of hearing about SillyBandz by now). Anyhow, off we went to Apex, where we had a lovely time (not to mention some ice cream!) with some other Triangle-area photographers. I wish I’d gotten more time to talk with everyone, but there’s always next time, right? Here’s some of my favorites from that afternoon in Apex. Enjoy!
Before we even arrived in North Carolina from Mississippi a few years ago, I found and joined a moms’ group in the Triangle. It’s a wonderful, supportive, helpful, friendly, and fun group — not just for my family, but for families all over the area. And the group recently had a fantastic party to celebrate its fifth birthday, complete with food, fire trucks, games, food, kite-flying, food, face-painting, and some unbelievably amazing cakes. I was one of the roving photographers pitching in and capturing as much of the fun as possible on a little memory card. Here’s a few of my favorite moments from the day.
A Happiest of Happy Birthdays to y’all. And … is there maybe any cake left?