May 26, 2016

The Laughing Life

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She makes me laugh Charlotte Family Photographer

Lately, Grace has been saying “could I have been any more gosh darn spastic?” (a quote from the movie, Legally Blonde) and she makes me laugh every time she unexpectedly says it. Our family loves to laugh and talk in movie quotes, but for some reason my little (can she really be 12?!!) girl saying this line the way she does cracks me up. Charlotte Family Photographer

Laughter is good for your health

I have heard that laughter is the best medicine. I researched it a little and actually found that laughing is one of the best things that you can do for your well being, emotionally and physically (no big surprise, really!).

A few facts:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughing More

Of course, knowing something is good for you and actually doing it more are two very different things. Here are a few ideas that could bring more laughter into you and your family’s life today:

  • Read each other Laffy Taffy Jokes. These have got to be some of the silliest in the world, but they sure can be fun if you don’t take them too seriously.
  • Smile more. Watching funny movies or quoting your favorites is sure to bring at least a smile, if not full blown laughter to a dinner table or other setting with those you love. (Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre are some of the most fun and quotable movies our family loves to quote)
  • Try not to take things so seriously. If you can laugh at a situation that you would normally stress over, it can change the whole feel of it. (This is probably the hardest thing to do, but probably the most important. It seems those two go together a lot!)
  • Spend time with funny people. Everyone has a sense of humor but some are more practiced at it. Find the time to be with those that make you smile and laugh. Sometimes just slowing down the pace of life lets your family relax enough to see the humor.

Who and what is making you laugh, in your family, these days?

 

Charlotte Family Photographer, Charlotte Family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographerDavina Fear , Charlotte family photographer and Familyness Adventurer. She believes in bed time chats, bike rides down mountains, and in families who see that real life doesn’t have to be polished to be beautiful.

She blogs at davinafear.com, and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where everyday is anything but ordinary, going to school is a big deal, and growing up feels like it’s happening too fast. If you like to laugh together, and don’t want to miss this moment, get in touch by writing to davina@davinafear.com  CLICK HERE to get your free e-book for familyness photos.

 

May 25, 2016

The Purpose of the Task

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

 

Ask Kids to Help charlotte family photographer

Ask your kids to help in the kitchen. “What? That’s so messy and takes so much longer.” You say to me. I won’t argue. You are totally right! it does take longer. It is messier. charlotte family photographer

Take Time to Connect

It’s also a time to connect, to make the experience about strengthening your relationship, talking about what happened today or about what will happen at school (if you’re making breakfast). Working side by side to create something together bonds you in fun and lasting ways. You get to be proud of what you made together or laugh at how badly it all turned out. In the everyday activities of life you get to write stories together. It doesn’t take an outing to the zoo or a big trip to Disney World to create stories that will be retold years from now.

Three times of day

Think about three times of day that you can begin thinking of as perfect opportunities to strengthen your relationships through your everyday tasks and activities.  Choose one of them to begin practicing inviting the people you love to help you out.

A few ideas:

Helping get a bathroom ready for bath time

Feeding your family pet

Helping with breakfast by setting the table or cracking the eggs

Prepping for school by helping with the backpacks and shoes

Making their school lunch

Tearing up the lettuce for the dinner salad

Gathering the books from around the house

 

Be patient

It may be a little difficult to change the way you approach the tasks, chores, and activities around your home.  It’s totally worth it though!  As your kids grown into teenagers it becomes even more awesome to get to chat with them as you work together if you’ve started the ritual or tradition of the purpose of the task being about the relationship you’re building more than about the chore you are doing.

What chore or task did you decide will be the one that you start making about relationship building?

 

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

Davina Fear is a Charlotte NC Family Photographer and Familyness Adventurer. She believes in bed time chats, bike rides down mountains, and in families who see that real life doesn’t have to be polished to be beautiful.

She blogs at davinafear.com, and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where everyday is simple and complicated. If you don’t want to miss this moment, get in touch by clicking here.

May 24, 2016

Simplify your family life

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just one thing charlotte family photographer

Years ago I met a lady who told me that her kids got to choose one thing they loved to do at a time. They could learn the piano or play soccer. They picked one. It kept their schedules simple and let her kids be kids. charlotte family photographer

keep it simple charlotte family photographer

It’s been so nice for our kids to do just one thing! If this sounds good to you, too, look for ways to take things out of your schedule rather than add to it. That way, you get time for the things you really love…like tickle wars before dinner.
questions for your family
what is your favorite thing to do at school?
if there were only one after school activity you could do, what would it be
if you had to give one thing up, what would it be?
After asking these questions, begin thinking about how to take the things out of your life that no one in your family mentions.  IF going to soccer practice doesn’t make the list….take it off your Saturday mornings.
This can be difficult to begin doing at first, especially if you’ve been super busy running to everything every single night.  It will take some practice and some time. Stay with it for 3-6 months and see what changes for your family.
What have you done to simplify your family’s life?
charlotte family photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer, charlotte documentary photographerDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She loves seeing the good in the world and she wants to photograph your family’s everyday awesome-ness.  She specializes in photographing the craziness of everyday life for families.  She enjoys weekend hikes to hidden waterfalls and quoting Nacho Libre.
Davina blogs at davinafear.com and loves when Hot Guy wears his brown cords.  Have you signed up her FREE book: The Art of Familyness Photography?  CLICK HERE

May 13, 2016

Jackson Family

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

It’s going to be ok charlotte family photographer

On our road trip to Utah I got to photograph this super awesome family! charlotte family photographer

Julie’s mornings start of with her hitting the ground running. The cool thing about their family is that, even though they have 4 kids and everyone going all kinds of directions, they take time every morning to around the breakfast table to be still and silent together. charlotte family photographer

They all remind each other that no matter what happens today, everyone is going to be OK.

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

it’s a little thing

What an awesome neutral ground to start off each day knowing that everyone is going to be OK!  Little things make a big difference in everyday life.  So many parents are doing so many things so well!

I get to hang out with such awesome families!  Each family does little things that they don’t even realize they do, that are so powerful.  I love it!

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

in sync (not the boy band from the 90s)

Grant is a dad that’s right in the thick of things with Julie, you can tell that they are in this family thing together.

While she’s helping with homework, he’s stirring the stir fry and talking to their daughter and then a few minutes later, Julie is prepping for the ice cream taste testing extravaganza that will happen after dinner while Grant is helping with homework.

They have a great way of just passing the baton off to each other so seamlessly that it’s obvious it’s just they way they do things.

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

giving space to be themselves

Each of their kids is so interesting, too!

They’ve done things like start a dog sitting business (already made lots of money at it), founded the stage crew at their school, going fly fishing and kayaking, play racquetball, noticing when another kid is struggling, referreeing for recreational soccer, creating their own little garden on the deck of their house, and remembering to always say thank you.

My favorite thing about their family, though, is how kind they are to each other.  Being together is their favorite thing and it totally shows in their everyday life.

 

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

fun family activity

The Jackson’s have taste testing extravaganzas!  Sounds fun, right?

A few months ago they did an eclair taste test (say that 10 times, fast) to determine who makes the best eclairs locally.  They bought an eclair from all kinds of places and bakeries, they each got to taste every eclair.  A chart was created on their big board and they kept track of each person’s rating between 1-10.  The eclair with the most points was deemed the winner of best eclair in their area.

This time, they did their taste test with vanilla ice cream to determine which was best.  Want to know which one won?  Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post! 😉

Want to do your own taste test?

  1. Choose what you’d like to taste test

  2. Get at least one of each brand or one from every bakery in the area

  3. Set up a chart to track everyone’s ratings

  4. Add up the results

  5. If they are local, take them a prize for being the best in the area

Have fun!  If you do your own taste test, come back here and share what you tasted and what won, in the comments! :)

 

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

what Julie said about her first look at their photos:

We all just sat down together before bed and watched our video for the first time. What a fun experience! You’ve captured so many classic looks, happenings, and mannerisms. Thank you. Now you’ve got us begging for more!

It would be much more convenient for me to sit and watch this video with you so that I could explain to you how this photo is my favorite because Scotti always does that with his hand, or how Everett always makes that face when he talks to me.  I love the picture of Grant and Sammi making dinner.  I love the picture of Loosey, our dog, sticking her face out from under the dinner table during the prayer.  So typical.  I love the trampoline picture with Everett up in the air.  I love the ones of the piano and the ones of helping with homework.  Those are exactly the things I wanted to get.  I love the ones of Scotti off to the side hula hooping because that is also so typical of all of us.  There is always a second to get a little hula hooping in, right?

 

charlotte family photographer, charlotte family documentary photographer, charlotte family lifestyle photographer

**PS The taste test winner was Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla!**
DAV_8730aDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She loves seeing the good in the world and she wants to photograph your family’s everyday awesome-ness.  She specializes in photographing the craziness of everyday life for families.She also knows what Wingardium Leviosa means and wishes her kids could have gone to Hogwarts (but they would come home every night and not stay all term).

If you are like this family and dinner time is a little crazy, with homework and trampoline jumping and piano practicing…and you’d like to remember these little everyday moments (with you in them), call or text Davina at 704-964-5882

She blogs at davinafear.com and loves when Hot Guy wears his brown cords.  Have you signed up her FREE book: The Art of Familyness Photography?  CLICK HERE

April 28, 2016

Five steps to creating art with your kids | charlotte family photographer

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art + you + kids charlotte family photographer

Taylor is a wonderful photographer and mom!  I’ve worked with her several times and was so excited when she hired me to photograph her full-of-personality little family!  I arrived early in the morning just as everyone was waking up and photographed them as they had breakfast together, got dressed, read books, went for a little walk, and a trip to Target after Dad left for work. charlotte family photographer

At the end of the session I asked Taylor about a couple of the gorgeous art pieces she had on the wall and discovered that she had created them together with her kids!  I loved them and loved hearing about her process of creating these amazing pieces as projects with her kids (I also knew immediately that the next time I photograph them this creative process will have to be included in their session.  I can’t wait!).

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Taylor + kids + art

I thought you would love hearing about Taylor’s process as well for making some beautiful images in your home.  I had never thought of creating paintings or mixed media work WITH my kids!  I love seeing their pieces and hanging them up but I wish I would have done this process with them when they were little.  It’s such a wonderful opportunity to chat and learn together.  Like I always say, “The purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship.”  Clearly, that’s what Taylor is doing in a creative and fun way with her kids.

Here are Taylor’s tips: charlotte family photographer

1) Have a (semi) plan. You have to have some sort of inspiration, such as a color palate and a theme, before you start. I don’t recommend just throwing paint their way and then saying “have at it.” You’ll only make a muddy mess and you won’t end up loving the creation. Prepare the colors you plan on using ahead of time in small disposable cups, and this will create an image where you already love something about it…the color.
2) Make it fun! Use different techniques that are kid friendly and will keep things interesting. In some of our works of art, we used several different mediums. This also kept the kids engaged and learning as they went!
3) Don’t over think it. Give plenty of direction, but don’t completely control the outcome. You want to have some sort of vision, but you also don’t want to be lecturing your kids on how to do things the right way. Kids will be kids, and sometimes the place a piece is going isn’t what you’ve had in your head. That is totally okay! Be willing to let the work go where it goes. In the end, you might be surprised at how much you love it!
4) Do it often. My kids absolutely love creating. It’s the thing they always suggest doing when there seems to be nothing to do. Canvases can be bought pretty inexpensively at craft stores or online. Be okay with making a mess! This is usually the only thing stopping us from one more creation…
5) Remember why you’re involving them in the first place. When I asked my daughter what her favorite thing about painting is, she said, “Because it’s fun to do something with just you and me.” My kids LOVE to spend time where they feel like they’re actually accomplishing something…but they love quality time even more. At the end the day, even if it’s not your favorite thing hanging up in your home, your children with link the image that they help to create with special time with you!
See more: Also!  You can follow Taylor and her daughter, Vera, in their creative adventures making modern art mixed media and paintings on Instagram: @verapaints

 

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what Taylor had to say about her photo session: charlotte family photographer

 

“As far as our picture day, I initially had feelings of anxiety about letting someone into our messy lives, and seeing us as we were. With littles, there’s always this “how are they going to behave??” looming in my thoughts. Generally being self-conscious of myself in pictures, there was also  that nervousness going into the day. However, when you arrived, my heart was immediately put at ease! I remembered why we had hired YOU. You were so gracious with my crazy house and loud children. The day became a joy instead of a stress! When we first saw the pictures, we piled in front of the slideshow to watch our day unfold…and I fell in love with your photographic style all over again. We loved all the sweet moments you captured that were SO US. Ike’s crazy faces, Vera’s drama, Asa’s smile. I could go on and on. It was such a beautiful snippet of our life where we are now…even as crazy as we are. And after watching it for the sixteenth time while my littles were sleeping in their beds…I fell in love with my life all over again.”

 

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DAV_8730aDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She’s addicted to pumpkin bread and she wants to photograph your family’s everyday awesome-ness.  She knows what Wingardium Leviosa means and wishes her kids could have gone to Hogwarts (but they would come home every night and not stay all term).If you are like this family and breakfast is a little crazy, walks turn into running away from barking dogs, and trips to Target are easier with a prize at the end then it’s time for us to talk.  Call or text Davina at 704-964-5882

She blogs at davinafear.com and loves when Hot Guy wears his brown cords.  Have you signed up her FREE book: The Art of Familyness Photography?  Make sure to get it here.