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Life Lessons From My Little Girl
Life Lessons From My Little Girl

 "Brady, do you know who I am?"My sweet little girl looked at me and scrunched up her forehead, rubbing it hard with the palm of her hand.  She looked frustrated and confused, and very scared.  She could not answer me.  She could not speak to me.  I could tell that she knew me, but she could not say it.  Mom.That moment was the beginning of five of the longest hours of my life, when my sweet little girl had a partial seizure, stripping her of her speech and her motor skills.  That moment was just this past weekend, a long weekend watching my daughter lose a part of herself, then slowly come back to us day by day.  She and I spent three long days in the hospital, while doctors and nurses poked and prodded her, running tests to rule out everything from meningitis to stroke.  We cried together, snuggled a lot, and eventually got back to laughing and talking together, while our boys came to visit and took care of things at home.And after what felt like an eternity, my little girl and I left that hospital and went home, back to the love of our family and friends, and two brothers who were thrilled to have their sister back. I can say with certainty that I will never ever forget this past weekend.  But not just because it aged Scott and me at least 10 years each.  I know that I will look back at this weekend ...

The Day Everything Changed
Life Lessons From My Little Girl

 I thought this would be an easy blog post to write, but for some reason it's been the hardest one yet.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because it's not that easy to put down in words how one day, one event, can change the entire trajectory of your life.  Maybe it's because I'm feeling a little emotional about that day because it's moving too quickly into my yesterdays.  I'm thinking it might be a combination of many things.Like most moms, I can remember that day vividly.  I can remember the nine months of anticipation and excitement leading up to that day, how excited I became as my belly grew, how engrossed I would become with every kick.  I can remember the complete shock when my water broke and we knew the baby was actually coming.  I can remember how clueless I was that day to what actually lay ahead of me, the absolute certainty I felt that I was about to deliver a girl, and the pure shock (and delight) when the doctor said “It’s a boy!”.  I can vaguely remember the 24 hours of contractions and labor, the 3 hours of pushing, the momentary mention of needing a C-section, and the enormous and somewhat pointy headed baby that we eventually delivered.  I can remember the hospital room, the movies we watched as we waited, the hour my mother arrived to hold my hand, the moment Scott fainted, and so many other ...

Who Am I Really Expected To Love?
Life Lessons From My Little Girl

 Happy Valentine’s Day!  I thought it would be fitting to spend some time today thinking and talking about love.  After all, today is the holiday for love.  But I don’t want to talk about romantic love today.  You’ll be bombarded with that all day as it is.  Today I want to talk about brotherhood, about love in the universal sense. I’m not necessarily speaking politically here.  We all struggle with feelings of love, and with feelings of hate.  We can look across the globe, or as near as our neighborhood to know that love can be a hard thing to come by these days.  But why is that?It’s important for me to note here that I’m not writing this post to educate anyone on something I’ve already learned, as if I’ve got this all figured out.  Far from it.  This might be one of the most difficult challenges I face everyday, and one I’ll struggle with until my final days.  In fact, it is because of that struggle that I want to write today.  Perhaps I am not the only one struggling with this.I also don’t want to throw my Bible at you, and get all preachy with you.  I know that some of you might not come at this from the same viewpoint that I do.  But bear with me, because I do want to share my faith with you a little bit, concerning this topic. ...

Five Composition Tricks To Try Today
Life Lessons From My Little Girl

 Two of my last three blog posts were about photography, specifically lighting.  Today I’m going to talk a little bit about composition.  No, not every blog post will be about photography.  I do love geeking out on all things involving a camera, but there are other things to talk about, and talk about them we will. However, today let me share with you a few simple tips on how to improve your everyday photos with composition. Simply put, composition is the placement of objects and elements in a work of art.  So how you decide to compose your photo can mean the difference between a throwaway snapshot and a beautiful portrait.  There are a lot of tips out there when it comes to composition.  Today I’m going to share five simple ones. Get A Little CloserWho or what is your subject?  What do you want your viewer focused on?  One of the best ways to take the guesswork out of this is to get closer to your subject.  Let her fill up your frame.  I often tell myself to get close enough to feel like I’m too close.  Then get a little closer.  Leave no room for question.  Let your subject take over.   Get THEM A Little Closer (To Each Other)It is often the case when people are in photographs together that they are uncomfortable with getting too close.  But the closer ...

Five Ways To Empower Our Girls With Photography
Life Lessons From My Little Girl

 Most girls I photograph love having their pictures taken.  They jump in front of the camera and strike fantastic poses.  Big smiles, funny faces, exaggerated gestures.  They love it all, and it’s a blast to photograph them. But something happens between then and when they become women.  Their fearless joy at having their photo taken disappears.  They become insecure and second guess themselves.  Their expressions become guarded.  Their poses become less about having fun, and more about flattering their figure.  It’s as if someone got to them as young ladies and told them they weren’t amazing, weren’t wonderful, beautiful, powerful, unique, fabulous creatures. Instead of seeing themselves as fabulous, they see themselves as flawed.  Rather than celebrate their uniqueness, they criticize the fact that they’re not like the other girls.  Confidence is replaced with doubt, power is replaced with apprehension, fear, and hesitancy.   Perhaps, though, it doesn’t have to be this way.  What if we could find a way to reverse this tailspin into insecurity?  Is this possible?   I believe it is, and I believe it can be done using many different resources.  As a photographer, I like to use my camera as a tool for empowerment, and here’s ...