School Photo

I may be biased, but I don’t think my son knows how to take a bad photo.

Also? I can really see how he takes after me, especially since he and I are the only ones with green eyes in our family. He’s pretty proud of that.

Selfie at the Bridge of Sighs

 

Miss C wanted to take a selfie at the Bridge of Sighs during our recent visit to Venice.

Just as she found the perfect position right on the edge of the landing, an older couple forcefully pushed themselves behind her and CLASPED ARMS over her to get a photo themselves, and then talked to their travel buddy photographer as if Miss C wasn’t standing there.

As I watched this from across the bridge, I was ready to go speak my mind to those rude Europeans. But before I could move, Miss C just calmly took her photo and then leaned into them a little, grinning into THEIR camera as if she was their grandkid. They (and their travel buddy photographer) were so focused on themselves, they didn’t even notice her doing that. They took a few snaps and then walked away.

Is it really a photobomb when they themselves put her in that position? Love my girl and her sensibilities.

1000th Photo

This is my 1,000th Instagram pic. A selfie, of course. First Instagram pic was taken in October 2011 as Martin and I headed into downtown DC for our first date night after our son was born. #1,000 was taken in our hallway in Germany after sending the girls off to school and before I headed to work, and the boys went out with Martin’s mom and brother.

Life is good.

The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!
The kids had such a good time with their Oma and Onkel Christian!

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I know that Germans love their peace and quiet, so I try to be respectful when I’m calling for the children as they are playing outside.

But every now and then, I forget myself and I end up yelling [in English] something like, “If you don’t get your lil’ asses into this house RIGHT NOW, you will be SO SORRY, you have no idea. YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!” Then I scan the neighborhood as my children run into the house, certain to see some older German frau on the phone calling me in, but I never do.

And now I know why. I just heard my German neighbor calling in her children. I have absolutely nothing to worry about. 😉

Prom and Photos

 

got to tag along and take photos for my American friends as they sent their daughters off to prom. I’ve always been curious as to how the American kids celebrated this tradition over here in Europe. Continue reading

Photo Memory

Martin and Jaz, October 2014. Jaz is three.

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap] was going through the photos I took this past weekend and I had to stop when I came to this one of Jaz asleep on Martin’s shoulder.

I instantly recognized that it looks very much like a photo I took in May 2006 of Miss C and Martin at a local Relay for Life event. So I pulled it up and confirmed that yes, my kids make the same face when they are asleep and yes, my memory is still sharp despite decades of irregular sleep patterns, skipping the fish oil pills, parenthood, and all that jazz.

Martin doesn’t understand how my brain is able to work this way, and it drives him nuts. I can recall a single photo I took nearly ten years ago, but I can’t recall where I last put my favorite pair of shoes. (Maybe downstairs by the door? My closet? Under my bed?)

This drives him nuts.

But come on. Look at these photos! How could I ever forget these sweet little faces? 🙂

Martin and Miss C in May 2006. She was two and a half.

 

Capturing Your Own Future American President

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Photographer Matthew Jordan Smith showing us a preview of his work during our photo shoot with him in Washington DC in August 2013. Photo used with permission.

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]F[/dropcap]or the last two years, photographer Matthew Jordan Smith traveled to every state in America to photograph children from 100 families to create his book, Future American President: 50 States – 100 Families – Infinite Dreams.

The book is a visual story of the dreams of children across the United States, and a reminder that anyone can aspire to and ultimately achieve greatness. By featuring children from diverse backgrounds and every state, the hope is that children will see themselves in the hopes of their peers while informing them about individual state facts and past American Presidents.

Martin, the kids, and I are so honored to be a part of the book. While the Boys and Girls Club of America helped Matthew find a lot of his families, Matthew actually found us through this blog in the course of his research (when Parents Magazine readers named us “Best All-Around Mom Blog“, and of course, we agreed to participate. The book’s theme and intent are right in the step with the things Martin and I believe for our own kids.

And also? I couldn’t help, but be amazed by Matthew’s body of work and experience. Not only has he been featured on America’s Next Top Model, the View, and other television shows, he regularly photographs the likes of Oprah, Samuel L. Jackson, Halle Berry, Taye Diggs, Vanessa Williams, and countless images you’ve certainly seen in magazines, billboards, and publications. He’s also been recognized for using and sharing his talents to raise awareness for various social issues, such as his first book entitled Lost and Found, which focused on missing and exploited children and was endorsed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Was I initially nervous and slightly intimidated by his biography and the fact that he regularly works with the world’s most gorgeous and famous individuals?

Yes.

But as soon as we connected, I was  immediately disarmed and won over by his gentle nature and down-to-earth personality. Once we worked out all the details, he flew here to Washington D.C. to photograph us in front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and beautiful Tidal Basin. Not only was it thrilling to be the subject of a legit photo shoot in such an iconic setting, but the children really enjoyed watching Matthew and his assistant as they worked. And as a father himself, he knew just what to say to engage the children, and took the time to patiently explain his cameras, how the lights worked, and even handed over his camera for Lola to use as she snapped some images herself. (I don’t think I took a single breath during those moments!)

We’ve seen some of the outtakes from that session, and we can’t wait to see the completed book when it publishes later this year, especially since Matthew is inviting others — including YOU — to put their own future President on the book cover itself.

It’s a limited-time opportunity that’s available now for those who would like to personalize their book.

He put together a short video explaining how to photograph your own Future American President and submit it to the publishers, which you can see below. You can also read about the submission process HERE.

Oh, and did I mention you can actually talk with Matthew and me about the book, the personalized cover, AND ask Matthew anything you want to know about photography and working in Hollywood?

Oh, yes.

That is happening.

On Monday, July 28, Matthew and I are going to hold a Twitter chat.

Beginning at 5:30 pm East Coast Time/2:30 pm Pacific Coast Time, we’re going to take to our Twitter handles and have a conversation using the hashtag #FPChat2014.

If you are on Twitter, you can follow me HERE. You can follow Matthew HERE.

Once you are logged into Twitter using your own Twitter name, you can tweet at us with any comments or questions you have. Be sure to use the hashtag #FPChat2014 so we can see what you have to say and include you in our responses!

We hope you join us!