You’ve probably figured this out by now, but taking photos in bright sunshine isn’t the best for portraits. Squinty eyes, harsh shadows and the wrong colour temperature mean that while you can most definitely capture moments, great portraits aren’t going to happen. Good ones, maybe, but not great ones. Light really is King when it comes to photos. If I have to take portraits on a sunny day, I’ll opt for shade or make sure to position the light behind my subjects.
If I can help it or control it, I will make sure that I take photos during the “golden hour.” I could get all technical on you with light in degrees of Kelvin, but it’s simply that hour or so before sunset and a little bit afterward, where colour is warm and the light is pretty.
It is the same with before and after the sunrise, but I prefer to be sleeping when the sun rises at 5 a.m.
This applies to photos of my kids as well. Some of my all-time favorite photos of them were taken during the golden hour.
Being outside at that hour doesn't always work. If we're taking photos outside midday, I will position everyone in the shade, if possible.
Do you run outside during the golden hour to take photos like I do? Or make use of available shade? It really does make all of the difference.
Dads seem to get a bad rap in the media. They're often portrayed as awkward when it comes to parenting, in all of its facets. They also can't cook (LIE), and never clean (My husband vaccuums and washes our floors once a week, on top of the other cleaning that he does), and expect their laundry to be done by the Laundry Fairies.
While this may be the case with some dads, it certainly isn't the majority. It is 2013, after all. My husband is more hands-on than most, which makes me think that he's the best (husband, and) dad my kids could have ever hoped for.
Here are the top ten reasons why:
1. He's a boob. When our kids were newborn babies, he would take one middle-of-the-night feeding so I could sleep longer than an hour between feedings.
2. He deals with crap. He's dealt with more diaper blowouts/middle-of-the-night barf sessions than most men.
3. He can cook. It's not his favourite — it's my deal — but he is totally capable and does it on nights when I can't. I love that he models this to our kids.
4. He can build/fix/MacGyver anything. The kids are helping him and learning from him. Future husband and wives, you're welcome.
5. He supports them in everything they do. He takes them to piano lessons and volunteers at their school and buys them whatever gear they need to do what they're involved in.
6. He models healthy love. He's a quiet guy, but he has no problem verbalizing his love for me (Complete with schmoopy kisses) in front of them. We love that we can mortify them and show them how marriage works at the same time.
7. He makes them laugh. There are times for correcting errors and times for teaching lessons and then there are times when you need to be silly and dance in the kitchen with a cucumber as your prop.
8. He shows them unconditional love. Our kids know that they can rely on their dad for a listening ear, for advice, or for a cuddle before bed.
9. He is my equal partner. My kids see how a balanced marriage works, every day. We both have our strengths and weaknesses, and do our best to use them together to keep this house running. They have learned how to have a healthy debate, and how to compromise, and how to just throw up your hands and laugh when one of you is overwhelmed with hormones (me).
10. He shows them that you're not to old to learn new things. Our kids started piano lessons this past September. So did my husband. Tomorrow night, he will be the only adult in a sea of elementary school aged children for the end of the year recital. I love it.
I could keep going, but I've limited myself to ten. The reasons that he's a great dad also make him a great husband, because how hot is a guy who breaks the media stereotypes? SO HOT, that's what.
Tell me what makes your husband an awesome dad. I'd love to hear it.
My husband and I are far from perfect when it comes to being parents — far, FAR from perfect — but we have really great relationships with our kids. They push boundaries, yes, but that's what kids are supposed to do. They know that we're the "bosses", but they also know that we are their fiercest defenders and advocates. We spend a lot of time together as a family and get along pretty great, for the most part. There are a few things that I think have helped foster our good relationship, and I thought I would share them.
1. Sit down together for dinner. We eat dinner together every night, unless my husband and I are on a date night out. If one of us has a meeting or is out of town, the other one of us still makes dinner and sits at the table with the kids. We talk about our day and to help foster that conversation, we have the kids tell us what the best part of their day was and what the worst part of their day was.
2. Say sorry. Nobody's perfect, including me. If I snap at the kids or raise my voice, I apologize. I'm merely modeling the behavior that I want them to exhibit.
3. Do fun activities together. As much as I like date nights with my husband, I also love when we do something fun as a family. Sometimes it's a hike, sometimes it's a day at the mini golf place, sometimes it's a week on the Oregon Coast. We build memories together, and that tightens our bond.
4. Talk openly with them. I was bullied as a kid, complete with some Mean Girls action. I've talked about this with my kids, and how I didn't feel like I could talk to my Mom about it. I want them to know that I am always here to listen, and so I share struggles that I had at the same age.
5. Break the tension with laughter. Tense moments happen, whether it's my daughter melting down or my son getting a talking to about his preteen attitude. Sometimes we just deal with the situation and walk away, sometimes my husband rips a well-timed fart to make us all laugh.
Being a parent is hard, but it doesn't mean that it can't be awesome as well. What do you do to foster a great relationship with your kids?