Finding Extra (in the) Ordinary :: Tiny Toes

It's hardly ever quiet when the kids are awake, but when "quiet" happens spontaneously, it is heaven.  Especially when it's our little firecracker, Kaili, who rarely sits long enough for me to read an entire story at a normal pace.  I'm happy to know that she does like books after all.

I hope you can find a little quiet too, exactly when you need it.

View all photos in Finding Extra (in the) Ordinary series.


Finding Extra (in the) Ordinary :: Day 1

After finding a spark of inspiration, I decided to go forward with my personal photography challenge -- capturing something extraordinary in my otherwise ordinary day.  I'd like to do this as a photo-a-day, but admittedly it's a bit ambitious.  But what's a challenge without it being challenging, right?  So here are a few from Day 1.  It was unusually warm yesterday so Jax and I were outside playing with the melting snow and ice.  Pretty ordinary, but certainly not through the eyes of a 3-year-old!  He found a sheet of ice in the back of his yellow toy dump truck and we both examined and admired each tiny detail. 

I love how the sunlight played with the cracking surface of the ice... and the gentle gradation of colors shining through is so beautiful to me.  I'm happy I snapped these photos before I (fumble fingers) dropped the ice and shattered it.

We then built a tiny snowman.  One arm was three times longer than the other, but he was a happy little guy.  I say "was" because by the end of the afternoon, all the snow on our deck was gone, and all that was left of our little friend was a tiny pile of twigs.

Here he is with Jax.  :)  So what's the moral of the story?  Enjoy the little things before they're gone.  ;)

Have a beautiful Saturday, everyone!


Brilliance :: A Visual Life

Ever since my first (and only) photography class in the 7th grade (which is like an eon ago), I've been a silent admirer of brilliant photos and of brilliant photographers.  I suppose that's redundant because they go hand in hand.  Since then, my interests refined in other directions and I never really pursued photography as a form of art or self expression.  But, as with anything else you can think of, it is never too late.

At the blogger meet up last weekend, Sandy had mentioned a video about the photographer behind The Sartorialist.  I had heard of this blog, but had never visited before.  The video sounded interesting so I went digging.  It didn't take much digging at all of course.  I quickly found it and just as quickly, found myself feeling truly inspired by it.  If you're not yet familiar with The Sartorialist, it's a hugely popular fashion blog where photographer Scott Schuman posts daily photos of everyday people who catch his eye (albeit his ever-searching, former director of fashion in New York City, style-radar-having eye).  He has documented people in NYC, Paris, London, Milan, and Seoul, just to name a few.  If you're into people watching, this is definitely a blog to keep an eye on.

A couple of things he stated in the video really resonated with me.  He mentioned that he didn't have a formal background in photography, but his initial lack of knowledge helped him to refine what little he did know into something that ultimately worked for him.  He strives to capture "the most beautiful image...in the most simple way" that he can.  So camera in hand, on the streets, with natural lighting, every day sights, and passersby.  Simple.  Brilliant.  So doing this required a lot of patience... and waiting... and "just reacting" to his environment.  And the end product--amazing photos that capture a definite mood that is sure to elicit something from the person who views it--perhaps something different every time, from picture to picture.  I love that.  And that is the thing I love about photography (as an onlooker of course.  I can only dream about being the one who actually captures brilliant photos).

I love the idea of being immersed in your own environment, yet viewing it with a new eye, each and every second.  So I was sparked and excited to think about how I could translate that idea into my own everyday, as a photography exercise.  It was tough and somewhat defeating in my mind.  Do you know what my everyday is?  Some of you can probably guess.  I'm at home full time with my 2 kids (my 3 yr old son and my 1.5 yr old daughter), plus I take care of my 8 month old nephew several days a week.  How in the world would I find anything interesting or eye-catching about my visual environment, which usually looks like a toy tornado just ripped right through it?  And there's not much happening on the streets of Kansas in the middle of January, much to your surprise, I'm sure.

So this is a definite challenge for me... one that I wasn't sure if I could take on.. and may still be unsure about it as I type this.  But now that I've jotted it down in virtual ink, I suppose I've committed to following through.  So now I'm going to embark on this personal photography exercise -- finding extra in the ordinary.  I'm not really sure what will come of this, or if I can even rise up to this challenge.  But dammit, I'm going to try!  Anyone else up for the challenge?  Who's with me???  Let's grab our cameras!

Here's to finding inspiration in your everyday.


KC Blogger Meet Up

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with several bloggers from the Kansas City area for lunch at Blanc Burger.  I'd never really considered myself a "blogger" per se, rather just someone with a blog... that I update.. *ahem* rather sparsely.  Therefore, I don't think I'm quite deserving of the blogger title, at least not just yet.  So it was a sweet surprise when out of the blue, Sandy (of Sandy a la Mode) invited me to join the meet up.  Of course I was in!

Before Saturday, I'd never met any of these ladies nor was I familiar with their blogs.  And I don't think any of them had ever met in person either, though I think they knew each other from the blogging world.  What a treat it was to meet a group of genuinely interesting and fun girls!  And on top of having awesome personalities, they're all super adorable, each and every one of them!  I had such a blast chatting it up over fancy burgers and truffle fries (which are served in tiny shopping carts! can we say super adorbs?).

Taken by Angga's husband, who is 10-feet tall (ok, not really)
Then, as would be expected when six bloggers meet, the cameras came out!  So each of us has our own version of these pics.  The above two were the only ones I had where all six of us were mostly within the frame.  Thank you to Angga's husband, who volunteered to be our paparazzi.  :) 

From left to right:  Ashley of A Hasty Life, Sandy of Sandy a la Mode, Shea of Bon Chic Bon Gastronimique


From left to right:  Angga of Reserverade Fashion, Michelle of Second Street East, and me.

After lunch, Shea, Sandy and I trekked out into the cold to do a little window shopping at the Plaza.  Despite it being freezing out, these ladies braved the cold for an impromptu photo shoot for their blogs.  Now that is some dedicated blogging!  I just volunteered to take the photos because I am no model!  Sure I used to choreograph hip hop, but thinking of modeling poses baffles my brain.  Not sure why there's a disconnect there for me, but there is a definite gap.  So I'm not sure how they managed to do so, but Shea and Sandy convinced me to step in front of the camera.  Here are some snapshots that I lifted from Sandy since all the pics were on her camera (hope you don't mind, Sandy!).

So this is how the pros do it.  Laid back, even while balancing on a bench!


 And then it was my turn.  Poor Sandy and Shea had to coach me the whole time.  Did someone say "horse stance"?  Nope!  That was all me.. and that is why I need coaching. 

Kohl's catalog, here I come!


The last two are my favs because I don't look like a total goober in them.  Thanks to all you ladies for a really fun day!  And thanks to Sandy and Shea for showing me how to model!  Maybe from now on I'll come out from behind the camera a little more.  Maybe.   :)

Hope you all had a phenomenal weekend! 

More updates to come this week (including the whereabouts of my Warm Hearts Necklace)!