5 Tips for Taking Texas Bluebonnet Photos With The Family

5 Tips for Taking Texas Bluebonnet Photos With The Family

Texas bluebonnet photos with the family is a nearly annual event. I force the entire family out the door, somewhat dressed to capture photos of the kids together. In case you aren’t from Texas, family bluebonnet photos are a thing. Yes, you will see crazy people on the side of the road in a patch of bluebonnets, snapping pics. We try to be safe and find out of the way places, but yes – file us under the Texas crazies.

This past weekend we headed out take some pics, in hopes of actually having all of the kids in 1 photo. 4 kids together at the ages they are at – are NOT easy to photograph!

Beautiful Texas bluebonnet flowers bloom all along the highways March thru April. Here in North Texas there are a few spots and hidden gems – but the real deal is down south in the hill country. The roads are lined with these gorgeous flowers. (Side note: the bluebonnet is our state flower.) 2 years ago, we planted a nice patch of bluebonnets, hoping that this year is the year that they bloom!

On any given spring weekend that the flowers are in bloom, you can see lines of cars surrounding these patches (or fields) with people taking bluebonnet photos.

tips family bluebonnet photos

This past weekend, the bluebonnets were perfect. They will soon be dying out, so if you haven’t shot you pics – you have probably 1 more weekend before they start dying. If you are headed out, I’ve rounded up a few tips I learned while shooting the kids the last few years. These aren’t photography tips – but real life mom of 4 taking family photo tips.

5 Tips for Taking Texas Bluebonnet Photos With the Family

Bluebonnet photos of the kids

1. Clothes

We went with 3 different colors, mixed and matched that would work well with the color of the bluebonnets and the greenery for the photos. Looking back, I’d put our oldest boy in a different shirt – but we headed out last minute and the fact we could even find clothes is amazing.

Also, make sure the clothes fit right. Poor Zeke, the overalls just didn’t fit him right. Mom fail, but whatever – the kids are all together in the blue bonnet pic and aren’t screaming.

2. Boredom

Kids WILL get bored. Let them run around, don’t worry so much on the smiling face (that would be way to easy!). Capture a few photos of them in the moment, whatever they are doing.

Zowie in the bluebonnets

3. Get Individual Photos

Make sure to capture individual photos. It’s fun to look back thru the years of Texas bluebonnet photos to see how much the kids change.

Izaiah in the bluebonents

4. Make it an Event

Every year we do this, it’s like the pumpkin patch. The kids expect it (hence the yelling anytime we drive by any Texas bluebonnets) and we try to make it fun. Let the kids play. That being said, make sure they are fed, have gone to the potty and nap if needed. We missed 2 of those 3 and due to that couldn’t stay as long as I would of liked. We are also NOT above bribing the kids. One year we brought M&M’s but uhm that made for messy photos. This year, we promised ice cream – and delivered.

Zeke in the bluebonnets

5. Bring a Blanket or Quilt

I can never remember this little ditty. While you maybe able to capture a few shots here are there, the truth is the ground is rough and totally uncomfortable. Watch out for ant beds, I may have found the perfect spot – sat my kid in it to only have my husband start yelling ANTS!

Where is Your Favorite Place to Shoot Texas Bluebonnet Photos?

Updated: original bluebonnet post: April 2012

Texas Bluebonnet Photos With Kids by Digital Mom Blog

Learn Photography Basics for Free! – Best Buy Camera Experience

Learn Photography Basics for Free! – Best Buy Camera Experience

Many years ago, my husband surprised me at Christmas with my first DSLR camera. It was a Canon Rebel XT and that camera started my love affair with taking photos and Canon. Over the years, I’ve gone thru numerous DSLR cameras – each Canons and with each new DSLR camera purchase there always is SOMETHING new to learn. 

I took a great photography class right after I purchased my Canon 40D. I learned more about lighting, shooting in manual and composition. It really pushed my love more for the art of photography. As I purchased new DSLR cameras through-out the years – one thing became clear. The basics of photography are consistent with each upgrade, BUT EACH camera is different and in order to successfully photograph an object – you really NEED to know how to use your camera.

Free Photography Basics and Camera Help

This past weekend, my sister (shout out to Dallas Socials) and I attended the Best Buy Camera Experience in Dallas at the Park Lane Best Buy store. The Best Buy Camera Experience is a FREE class given each month at 3 different locations in Dallas that goes over the basics of photography and has knowledgeable camera experts on-hand to help you learn to use your DSLR camera. The class is helpful and is anyone can attend!

Best Buy Camera Experience Class

I’ve had my Canon 70D for several years now. I thought I knew everything about this camera, until a Canon expert I was talking to said something. I asked him to repeat it and show me what he meant on my camera. He showed me a simple tip which will change the way I shoot. I had no idea how easy it was to access a certain feature on my camera, I had been way over complicating switching modes. 

Another valuable thing I was able to do, the Canon expert let me try several lenses on my camera. While I know I can do that in-store with their demo cameras, it just is a personal experience trying lenses on your own personal DSLR. I was able to do several test shots to see how the various lenses feel and shoot. 

My Canon 70D was purchased at Best Buy a few years ago. I know I had purchased an extended warranty, but for the life of me couldn’t remember when. The team was able to help get me the info I need to get my camera serviced. (I can’t wait to have a clean camera for the holidays!)

If you are in the market for a DSLR camera, stop buy Best Buy. They have lots of convenient Dallas locations and offers a great selection of cameras, lenses and accessories. I know when I am in the market for a new DSLR camera, I want to be able to hold it, test out the features and compare the device side-by-side with other similar products. That is definitely an advantage of shopping at Best Buy!

Best Buy Camera Experience

If you’d like to attend a Best Buy Camera Experience – register and learn more at bestbuycameraexperienceshop.com

Here are the Dallas, TX locations that offer the Best Buy Camera Experience:

  • Store 58 (Park Lane) – 9378 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75231
  • Store 148 (Grapeview) – 1515 W State Hwy 114, Grapeview, TX 76051
  • Store 180 (Frisco) – 3333 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX 75034

Not in Dallas? No worries – Best Buy offers these classes at numerous stores through-out the nation. Check out bestbuycameraexperienceshop.com for more information.

7 Pictures You Must Take on Thanksgiving Day

7 Pictures You Must Take on Thanksgiving Day

Following up on the success of the 7 Pictures You Must Take on Christmas, I thought I’d give you some suggestions for photos to take on Thanksgiving.

I carry my DSLR in the car on holidays (okay, and most of the time I have it hidden in the trunk). There are only a few times a year where all of the cousins are together and everyone is looking presentable. So why not make the best of it and snap some photos? And hint, hint – these make excellent Christmas gifts.

Thanksgiving Day Photography – What photos to take on Thanksgiving Day

These aren’t my finest work, while quality is great – capturing the moment is just essential. I look at these and can tell you the exact scenario for every shot. Something I have mentioned before, but will again – I am by no means a photographer. I just like taking photos that capture a part of the story. You want the Thanksgiving day photo that you take to be something that you look back on and are instantly transformed to that moment. So remember that as you are snapping this turkey day!

Thanksgiving Day Photos

Enough yapping, let’s look at the 7 photos to take on Thanksgiving:

Baking the Thanksgiving Meal

There is so much love that goes into the Thanksgiving meal, capture the baking process. Mom in her apron. The kid helping mix the mashed potatoes. Setting the table. These are fun shots that induce memory.

Photos of the Thanksgiving Dinner

All that hard work in the kitchen deserves recognition. Just think, 20 years from now your kids will be looking at these thinking – “MOM! How do I make that pink stuff?”

thanksgiving-photos-meal2

Isn’t this turkey cheese ball adorable? 

Thanksgiving day food on the table

This Thanksgiving day photo was from 2016 at my sister-in-law’s. Her feast never disappoints and there are ALWAYS Thanksgiving leftovers. (Read our Thanksgiving leftover recipes!)

thanksgiving-photos-meal-time

My mother-in-law always makes an amazing Thanksgiving feast.

 

Thankgiving Photos - Meal

Photos of the Kids

thanksgiving-photos-kid

thanksgiving-photos-kids

see food now eat it

 

I’m sorry, kids doing the “See Food” move is hilarious to me. I love watching the expression of kids as they dive into the macaroni and cheese.

Take Photos of the Family on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Photos family

Grab a family photo while you can. You may want to do this before eating. Kids tend to like to wear their food – but those make fun photos as well.

family photo on thanksgiving

Here is a Thanksgiving pic of me and my siblings with our dad. My sister’s lovely baby bump with Bryce also made the photo!

Elderly with Kids

thankgiving-photos-elderly

I can’t think of a tact way to say this, but it’s important to note. Time is a commodity you cannot replace. Make sure to grab the picture of your kids with Aunt Sarah. Stick a few lollipops in your pocket and bribe them. Photos are sometimes all we have left when someone leaves us, so capture them when you can.

Football Game

Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Game

We are in Dallas and there isn’t a Thanksgiving dinner that isn’t complete without the Dallas Cowboys game on. Take a photo of grandpa SCREAMING at Romo.

Photos of the Turkey Coma

pre turkey coma

The recliner shot – relaxed, DONE WITH THE DAY. Okay, so it’s probably all of the carbs that are killing your energy level – not the turkey but still. Start snapping as the naps and laziness happen. It’s inevitable in our house to see a few heads nod off (this is me, during the football game.)

PHOTOS = MEMORIES

Remember to shoot photos for memories. When you shoot, just think to yourself, “What do I want to remember from today?” Let that be your guide and then start clicking!

It’s also important to note – enjoy this time with your family. Don’t spend all of your time behind the camera, and put down that smartphone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

7 Must Take Photos on Thanksgiving Day

 

7 Pictures You Must Take on Birthdays

7 Pictures You Must Take on Birthdays

Every birthday, as either myself, husband or one of my kids blows out their candles – I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness. Another year has passed which means time is flying by.  I am all about embracing the moment and birthdays give you the opportunity to do just that.

Last year I published, 7 Pictures You Must Take on Christmas and it’s been a huge success. Christmas is another special day and there are certain photos I snap every year. I just celebrated a birthday and in my extended family, we have birthday season coming up where we have a handful of birthdays within a few weeks. Each of these days there are certain birthday photos I like to snap. Keep this list handy and use it as a shot list for your next birthday party.

Must-Take Birthday Photos

Must Take Birthday Photos

Birthday Morning

We decorate either the birthday kids’ door, or the hallway or the house (depending on mom’s schedule) the morning of the birthday. It’s always fun to see their reaction and to kick off the day with a party.

birthday door

This was my daughter’s birthday door when she turned 10.

birthday decorations photo

This is the hallways in our house. We decorated it crazy birthday style so that when our 4-year-old woke up and ran down the hall to our room, he would be awaited with a early birthday morning celebration.

Birthday Boy or Birthday Girl with Their Cake

Nothing says – OH THIS IS A PHOTO OF MY KID ON THEIR BIRTHDAY then a photo with their birthday cake.

birthday cake photo

Our son, E was going thru a too cool not to wear 3D glasses stage.

birthday photo candles

The photo of this photo makes me giggle… NOW. The day of Izaiah’s party – it rained. We had a park pavilion booked, but with the down pour there was no way we would be celebrating his day at the park with kites and fun outdoor activities. So plan b. I SWORE I never would have a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese – but alas, this place accommodated our crowd and as much as I still am not a fan, my kid still asks for another birthday party there every time we pass there.

Blowing Out the Cake

One of my favorite shots each birthday is the kids blowing out the candles on their cake.

birthday photos - blowing out birthday candles

Opening Presents

One year, I am going to follow thru on my attempt to get pictures of my kid with every present that they own and send it as a thank you to the gift giver.

opening birthday gift photosSomeday…..

Family

There are only a few times a year that we are with some of our friends and family on birthdays. Take this opportunity to snap a few pics!

birthday photos to take

Just the Birthday Kid

Take a photo of just the birthday kid. Try to be intentional with this, as this is a fun series to shoot. Each year, on their special day a photo of them.

birthday photos

It’s funny looking back on how a photo can tell a story.  In the below photo, I remember Zeke had just gone thru a tragic mishap with scissors and his pinky finger. We were doing anything to keep him happy because he had a massive bandage that prevented him from moving his finger and hard to move his hand — so we fed him a chocolate cupcake before the actual birthday cake to keep him happy and busy.

birthday photo z

My girl on our 11th birthday. We decorated our chalk board wall with a birthday message to celebrate her big day!

Growth Chart

We have a massive ruler, similar to this one – that hangs in our main hall. I love this thing. I remember my parents’ marking our height on the kitchen door growing up. Unfortunately, they moved and the door stayed. I wanted something to mark our kid’s height on that would stay with us for years to come. We note the kids’ height and the date, so we can see how much they grow year-to-year. We only do this once a year for each child.

birthday photo - measuring growth chart

Each birthday, we mark the kids’ height and take a photo. It’s a fun photo that the kids enjoy taking each year.

And there you have it! 7 ideas for birthday photos to take. Have a suggestion? Leave a comment. And don’t forget to check out Must Take Photos of Christmas.

5 Tips for Finding Great Outfits for Photos

5 Tips for Finding Great Outfits for Photos

A special thanks to PS From Aero for outfitting our kids for this post.

Trying to get your kids to smile for the camera is only the start of your problems when it comes to getting your kids photos made, what about the outfits?? I don’t know if you are like me but I am so weird about wanting the kids to coordinate when we do photos! Take it, we only do an actual photo shoot once a year or so…

5 Tips for Finding Outfits for PhotosSo… let’s talk finding great outfits for photos. Here are 5 tips to hopefully get your mind churning while you shop.

 

1. Don’t wait until the last minute!

I feel you! I can be a procrastinator but here is the thing. I have 4 kids – 3 boys and 1 girl. Trying to find the outfit takes TIME. Don’t rush it and don’t be last minute on this detail. Plus it will make picture day a lot less stressful is everything is already in order.

2. Shop Online

Remember tip 1? Before you freak out on “BUT WILL IT FIT!?” Let me explain why I say shop online. Typically shopping online gives you more options. You can do a visual of what coordinates with what and SIZES.

For instance, for our Christmas photos, I wanted our boys to all wear the same jeans – but not the same shirts. My boys are 4, 5 and 10 slim. Finding those in-store is a maybe, but online I know I could at least find a color that had all available sizes.

PS from Aero bootcut dark jeans

Here are the jeans we ended up with. I love the dark jeans from PS from Aero and love that they had the adjustable waist. The boys will wear these for at least the next year (and our poor youngest, for the next 4 years.)

Also! Let’s say you already have one outfit and you want to match another – shopping online is great, you can have the piece in front of you to find out what would work best. We had already bought my daughter a new black dress that I heard repeatedly that she wants to wear in photos.

 

3. Don’t Just Buy for Photos!

Okay, so maybe if you have the financial means to – Go FOR IT! When we just had 1 or 2 kids, we could swing it – but 4 kids, clothes just for photos isn’t going to happen. Buy clothes that you know that they will wear again and work with what you have!

One thing I love about the jeans we received from PS from AERO, is that I know they will last. The boys have several pairs of PS from Aero jeans from the last few years that aren’t torn apart, ready for recycle – their clothes are well made and survive my boys (which says A LOT!)

4. Say NO to TOTAL Matchy Matchy!

I have vivid memories a decade ago trying to arrange a photo shoot for my husband’s family. There were around 12 of us, with several being kids and not knowing what to do – I just told everyone to show up in white shirts and jeans *NO!!!!!* This is like a HUGE photo sin. WHY? Because well, not everyone (MEEEE and my pale white husband and kid) does not look good in white. Plus all of that white on white and jean on jean makes for a big cluster of a mess. Let’s just say that.

Christmas Photo 2014

With the kids in this year’s photo – I wanted to do grey and black. The boys in various combos of grey and my daughter in black. This is what we ended up with.While I LOVE color, I knew we were trying to do something in front of the tree do to it being a VERY ugly cloudy wet week.

Overall, while I wish the kids would of cooperated better (can all the parents just do a universal LOL or SALTS) – the picture captures each personality and at the end of the day that’s just what I wanted (and coordinating but not too matchy matchy outfits and to just get something of them together!)

5. Don’t Stress It!

One of my friend’s husband decided to SURPRISE her with family photos for her birthday. Sweet, right? Except well he told her the day of the photo shoot. Husband’s first – the thought is AWESOME but warn your wives. Second – don’t stress it. At the end of the day you are just trying to capture a moment. Here is a moment captured that well, captures the moment for sure!

my crazy kids

My CRAZY KIDS! So love them, crazy and all…

Don’t do too many mixed patterns. Stick to colors that coordinate. And for the love of Jesus and all photos taken in the early 2000’s, don’t go too matchy matchy!!

I hope these tips helped when trying to find photos for your next photo shoot. Good luck!!

Here are the links to what clothes from PS from Aero the boys wore:

striped thermal tee ps from aero

Striped Thermal Tee

long sleeve thermal tee

Long Sleeve Activate Thermal Tee

woodlawn-plaid

Woodlawn Long Sleeve Check Woven Shirt

PS from Aero bootcut dark jeans

Dark Bootcut Jeans

Here are some of my other finds! I adore these…

cant stop wont stop

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop T-Shirt

mad about plaid

Blue Plaid Shirt

Thanks again PS from Aero!

 

Great Gift Idea: Canon T5i Rebel from Best Buy

Great Gift Idea: Canon T5i Rebel from Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Since 2000, I have purchased at least 8 digital cameras – all of which have been Canon cameras. It never fails around this time of year, I’ll have a few people ask me – what kind of camera should I buy. And if they are in the market for a DSLR – I always point them to the latest Canon Rebel camera. You can’t beat the quality for the price!

Canon t5i rebel camera

I also send them to Best Buy to purchase the camera, why? It’s always good to see what you are buying when you make a purchase that is going to cost a few hundred dollars. Best Buy has a great staff that can help educate you in your purchase. You don’t have to wait on the product and you can’t beat Best Buy’s prices. No seriously, you can’t – if you find the camera cheaper – Best Buy matches most stores (even Amazon!)

Canon t5i rebel camera

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

*offer valid 12/7-12/20

The latest Canon Rebel is the T5i.  This  best-selling DSLR camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.

•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

best buy shopping