Now that my son is seventeen-months-old and walking (running!); we are really using our backyard. We live in sunny Miami, so as long as it isn’t raining, we are out there nearly every day—normally in the late afternoon when the yard is in partial shade to avoid the sun. With him safely fenced in, I can relax a little and let him explore, get dirty and make a mess of anything he chooses.
Out there today, I found myself mentally taking notes about the yard and what needed fixing.
“The plants are overgrown, and the grass needs a trim. We could use some new outdoor furniture and some better looking planters. The vegetable planter needs to be moved because the Swiss chard isn’t getting enough light…the spider webs are out of hand and this stuff needs to be straightened up. That paint on the porch needs a touch up…”
My mind went on and on. Then I noticed the slanting rays from the sun and how beautiful they looked. I grabbed my camera and changed my focus.
Walking around the backyard and looking through the lens, I saw how the overgrown grass and plants looked a little wild, the spiders webs caught the light and sparkled; their bodies like colorful painted armor…and look at all those bugs they were catching!
My old planters where crusted with moss and the cracks and weeds were a little charming. If you didn’t look too close, the furniture wasn’t so bad. My son sure didn’t care.
I watched him squeal in delight as he ran in the soft overgrown grass, and threw sand out of his sandbox. I looked up and saw the clear sky and felt the soft, warm breeze. I listened to the sound of parrots in the trees and was thankful.
Someday I’ll get around to fixing up the back yard. It will be well-manicured and everything maintained and in its’ place, but not today. Today we will enjoy it. I’ll enjoy spending time with my son and we will laugh and run and squeal and make messes. We will make memories because he’s growing so fast and he’s not going to be my baby boy much longer.
Easter is quickly approaching and while I was thinking up recipes to share, I came across this image I took of my son last year. I didn’t have the blog at that time and needed an outlet for my creativity. My fat little 4-month-old fit the bill. What better muse could you ask for?
My musings resulted in a lot of fun photographs, including this one (above) from our Easter baby photo shoot. It took 2 days, some assistance from grandma and a few different outfits, but I eventually got the shot I was looking for. Going through the outtakes is as fun as the final result, so I thought I would share some on Love and Duck Fat. Maybe they will inspire you to take some fun Easter photos with baby.
To get this shot, I purchased a LOT of Peeps. I separated them all and left them out on a baking sheet for a few days so they wouldn’t be sticky. My first try was in our bedroom with a sheet set up as a background (and to corral the sugar).
The lighting in the bedroom wasn’t very good, and the images looked cluttered. So I tried again the next day in another location.
My goal was to get a big smile on Grayson’s face, but he was a little freaked out by all the Peeps. They look cute and squishy, but after a few days of drying out, the Peeps were rough and hard. They also looked like something good to eat, so in-between shots, I had to remove Peeps from his fat little fingers. We tried a shot with him sitting up (with support from behind), but that didn’t work either.
I moved the photo shoot into the living room under a window that had filtered light. Grayson was even less willing to smile on this day, having had enough of the Peeps, sitting in baskets and mommy making funny faces. I gave up on smiles and worked on getting a good, clean shot with lots of Peeps. Here’s our model taking a break to stretch.
I would say the hardest thing about this Easter baby photo shoot was getting the Peeps to stay in place. I wanted to hide his diaper, but he kept squirming–like babies do–and I had to pile them on over and over. In the end, I had to add in a few well-placed Peeps in Photoshop to get the image I wanted.
Writing this post has inspired me to try another Easter photo shoot with 16 month old. I have a feeling it will be a little more challenging this time to get him to stay in one place! I hope this gives you some inspiration (and a smile) as well. Happy Easter from Love and Duck Fat.
For more baby photography ideas, see these posts: