October 2017 - Hello Fall - Long Island Family Photographer | Hello Olivia Photographer

No joke - October kinda sucks.  I've had a pretty nasty case of bronchitis for most of it - so trying to take a photo everyday was sorta rough - especially since there was like ZERO motivation to get off the couch, let alone take and edit photos :) 

 

But luckily, it seems like colds and sickness are finally leaving the Dominianni house (hopefully for the rest of the fall/winter)

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Olivia LOVES her Aye Aye (a nickname that will likely stick forever). 

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This is an image that's going to be a familiar scene. This kid now needs a laptop for homework.  If you haven't seen me rant and rave yet, its 45 minutes of homework, EACH NIGHT. 

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A Cute mini Session in Ridge - with Olivia and her cousin. Mustard colored twirly dresses in amazing golden light for the win. 

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She was PISSED when I mistakenly bought Strawberry Jello instead of Cherry.  HEAVEN FORBID!!!

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Attempting to Play Catch Up - Hello Olivia Photography - Suffolk County Photographer

My goal for this weekend it an attempt to catch up on blogging (I've noticed that every blog post I've got is basically me catching up on blogging)!

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This summer, Olivia learned how to ride a two wheeler! To be honest, coordination is not her strong suit, so I was afraid she wasn't ready.  I also though that if she fell or got hurt, she just might give up a bicycle forever.   I'm happy to report that I was TOTALLY wrong, and she did an amazing job.  She was able to ride within 10 minutes.  

I think sometimes as a parent, it's hard to let go of the fact that my little isn't so little anymore.  This was one of those moments where I got all emotional - this is a first step to independence and I was not prepared for it. 

Our summer was fairly routine.  Lots of time outside enjoying our beautiful long island weather and just doing stuff. Instead of writing about all the things we saw and did - I'd rather just look at the photos :)

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Summer Recap - Long Island Photographer | Hello Olivia Photography

Did the summer just speed by to you guys, or is it just me? It literally FLEW.   I blinked and it was over.

I mean, it's almost October already!!!!

So what the heck did we do this summer?  I can tell you what I didn't do  - BLOG ANY OF IT!!!  I am seriously the worst with keeping up with this thing.  There always seems to be something more important to do - so sadly this blog suffers.

The summer of 2017 has been a pretty busy one.  Filled with a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. 

To begin, at the very beginning of summer - I took a trip to Denver.

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That trip was something else.   It was the first time in my life doing something completely and totally for myself.  It was my first time ever away from my family.  It was my first time everin a state that doesn't hug the Atlantic.

I had high hopes that this experience was going to be amazing - and in many ways it was.   I met some amazing people.  People that have more talent than I could ever imagine. There were people that I clicked with that I know will be life long friends.

Sadly mixed into that amazing group were a few....

Well...

You know how it goes. 

The workshop itself was a disaster. Without going into detail of all the little things that happened, the workshop experience as a whole made me realize talent comes in all shapes and sizes.  It made me realize that I am so much better off blazing my own trail.

After coming back from Denver, my good friend Mike Wade from Rural Life Photography talked me into a challenge to help me get some of my photography mojo back. He proposed an F8 24mm Challenge:  Every photo for three days needed to be shot at f8 with a 24mm lens (luckily for me, I have several 24mm lenses to keep it fun). 

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Needless to say, f8/24mm has become a new favorite for me.  There is this quote attributed to Arthur “Weegee” Fellig "F8 and be there".  After shooting exclusively at F8 for a month it makes so much sense now. You'll never miss a moment when you shoot at F8.  You're right there in the action ready to go.  That works for me! This challenged really recharged my batteries and saved me from what could have been a photography ending rut.  Luckily Mike saved the day.

So, that pretty much summed up June.  Now to work on blog posts for July and August.  I'm sure I'll finish those up some time next year!!!

 

 

 

How I'm ruining the photographic industry - one click at a time | Hello Olivia Photography

I recently came across a facebook post –  you’ve probably seen a post like this too. Once, twice, maybe a hundred times.   It’s that post that denounces the current trends in photography. How using presets = laziness. How we don't know or understand basic photography rules. 

Trends such as:

Improperly exposed photos:

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Washed out colors:

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Excessive blur:

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Flares:

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These posts usually go hand in hand with similarly themed posts about how the affordability of DSLR’s is ruining the photography industry.  Now ANYONE can “claim” to be a “professional photographer”!!!

These posts drive me crazy.  Why does it seem like only creatives knock other creatives down for trying to be creative?! 

While the post in question wasn’t directed at me or any one person, let’s assume for a moment that it was.

Who created these so called hard and fast rules of photography? Why can't I freely share what I deem to be "My Art"?  

Sure, my photos are not for everyone.  My kid never looks at the camera. She never smiles.  I'm all about the editing with presets and love the trends - but who's to say I'm not a photographer, or I'm less than because I like these things?

Pablo Picasso is a famous painter - yet I'm not a fan. Does it make him less of an Artist because his art doesn't resonate with me? Not really. 

Social Media is both a wonderful and horrible place to present your art.  Everyone has an opinion.   Keyboard warriors dictate their opinions without a second thought from the comfort of their couches.  Sometimes its constructive, oftentimes it’s not. 

Who is anyone to judge?

As a dreaded “Mom-tographer” I’m lucky enough to be able to shoot whatever I want without a care for consistency or what other people think.    I'm all about applying Marie Kondo’s methods to my photography journey.   I shoot what brings me joy.

I’m sure we all have an image that brings us joy, but is a technical failure.  Want to see one of my favorite images ever? It’s my only wedding photo…. and its SELECTIVE COLOR – THE HORROR!!!!

But guess what?  I still love it now as I loved it then.

 

So, what’s the point of all this?    I write this because after shooting and continually learning for the last five years – I’ve finally developed a thick skin about other people’s opinions – however I’m not that far removed from being a newbie either.   When a photographer I admire writes about people like me or you ruining their industry – It kinda sucks.

When people knock other people’s art,   it does nothing to uplift our industry.   It provides nothing more than a platform for more people to complain about all the things that are wrong and none of the things that are right.

As a child of the 80’s, I have a ton of JC Penny studio images.  Images like this one that tell you nothing about how I was as a kid - but hey - check out that exposure and focus!!!

For my own kid, I have a ton of different photos that may not be deemed “Professional” but it leaves you in no doubt of what this child is like....

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Sure I’m breaking some rules and maybe my exposure is a little off – but as an artist, I GET TO MAKE MY OWN RULES – and guess what?  YOU GET TO MAKE YOUR OWN RULES TOO!!!!

While it’s not my intention to ruin the industry, I want to give all of you photographers out there permission to shoot whatever you feel like shooting.  If it brings you joy – do it.  If it’s a technical mess, but makes you happy – shoot it.

If you're not "hand editing" and just dumping a preset on your images - that's cool. 

If you never "Learned on Film" -  you're still a photographer in my eyes. 

If you also love the treads - that's awesome!

Just continue to be a bad ass rule breaker like me.  Rules are boring.  If we happen to ruin the industry in the processes, I'll totally take the blame. 

WEEK 17-20 - Long Island Family Photography

As usual, I'm behind in blogging. NO SURPRISE THERE! 

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The last 3 weeks have been pretty busy for us.  We snuck in a vacation to the Poconos (Shawnee!), had family visit and have pretty much been out and about every weekend enjoying the sunshine and nice weather. 

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Now that it's FINALLY nice outside - we can actually do things! Mostly free things, like walking outside, going to the beach/park etc after work/school or just hanging out enjoying the sun. 

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While away, I had the opportunity to take some photos of my nieces.  I have no idea what the heck happened, or how they got so old but one of them is a senior and graduating this month. I can't even deal. These two were my original photography muses from back in the day and to see them as adults is kinda wierd... and makes me feel OLD. 

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Week 16 - Long Island Childrens Photographer | Hello Olivia Photography

So, it recently came to my attention that I have NEVER brought my child to a south shore beach.  For real.  We are north shore peoples and I like the quiet comfort of the Long Island Sound.  I had an experience once as a kid out in Montauk with some crazy waves and the undertow that has clearly scarred me for life.  

I had a family session yesterday at Robert Moses State Park in Fire Island and I took my little assistant with me.

She immediately asked why the sand was so soft (No ROCKS!) and ditched her shoes and ran for her life to the water.  It made no difference that the water was freezing.  To those of you that are not familiar with Long Island Beaches, there is a difference.  Most people prefer the waves and sandy beaches of the South Shore while 1 person prefers the jagged rocky beaches of the North Shore -------> Me.  I'm all about shoes on the beach and waveless water

I'm guessing Cedar Beach is never going to be the same for this kid.  

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While I usually don't blog my family sessions, this is most definitly a favorite from the session and possibly one of my all time favs.  Those sandy fingers and the suspenders...... it makes my heart melt!!!!

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So, for someone that typically spends most of my time out east on the North Shore - I spent a ton of time out in the Babylon area this weekend. 

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We may or may not have trespassed for this photo - but I'm sorry (not sorry) - that door was amazing and was the perfect contrasting color for her yellow Alice + Ames dress.  I'm sure the police would have understood. 

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While Saturday was a mostly rainy and gloomy day, we tried to make the best of it - especially when there are puddles to be jumped in and messes to be made. 

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Lately, I have been trying to make a collective effort for details. Those little things that will totally be forgotten in the future. For example, I have zero clue what my kindergarten back pack looked like.  For Olivia, I remember how much she loved this backpack when we bought it at Target last year. Now it is starting to show signs of wear -  I can't believe the school year is almost over!

So, that sums up our week!! See ya <3

Week 15 - Long Island Photographer | Hello Olivia Photography

This was an interesting week. I had to have the other half of my wisdom teeth removed (FUN TIMES) and Olivia was off from school  - so we both had the whole week off - which was pretty amazing.  Being able to spend one on one time together and enjoy some sunshine was amazing  - even with my swollen chipmunk cheeks!!!!

 

Here’s a look at our week:

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This image pretty much sums up her relationship with her Dad.  She rules the roost with a fist of IRON. 

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A little backstory on the ice cream cone.  I have ALWAYS associated ice cream with my dad. Before I was born, he was the ice cream man!  Long story short, Mr. Softee is our favorite and it was the first ice cream cone of the season - so that one got dedicated to Grandpa up in Heaven. 

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Back to blogging - Long Island Photographer | Hello Olivia Photography

As I write this, I'm somewhat annoyed with myself that I haven't updated my blog in several months. I guess we've been busy running around with work, school and just living life! 

Now that the weather is getting better, there are always so many things to do outside - which I suppose is way better than plugging way on the computer :)


We took a trip into Patchogue for dinner a few days ago.  It was finally warm enough to go without jackets - which is a great thing for all of us.  

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This is probably my favorite time to go there too - it's not crazy crowded, there are actual places to park and you can walk around to all the amazing murals without too many people getting in the way.  

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And with all these images - I'm caught up!!!  Perhaps one day I'll be able to add some actual content with these photos, but it's too nice out to type away on the computer <3

Where is the sun? Long Island Photographer - Hello Olivia Photography

Alright guys.  I'm sick of this. It's freaking cold, gross, dark and just plain GLOOMY.   I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!

But seriously, being a full time working mom juggling my art on top of all my usual "adulting" duties is a real drag when the light is just uninspiring. 

I feel like there is only so many ways to recreate the wheel when shooting in the winter- but enough of my complaining.  Here's what we've been up to:

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This has been our Long Island weather in a nut shell. Miserable, nasty, FREEZING....insert whatever adjective you wish to describe how absolutely gross its been here.  (Wow.... I'm really whiny today!)

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I managed to get home from work with about 10 minutes of daylight to spare.  Liv has been begging us to ride her bike, so it was a perfect opportunity.  She's getting to a point where I *think* she might be ready to have those training wheels taken off, but we'll see how it goes. 

She's the type of kid that might lose her $h!t if I take them off - but you never know.   In May, we go to Pennsylvania for a week and the kids ride their bikes for what seems like 20 hours a day.  I'd love for her to be training wheel free by then so she can do a little off roading.  

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Yep... this is my kid.  You leave them alone with a book filled with stickers and this is bound to happen.  I chose to NOT take the photo of my kitchen table and wood floors that were also filled with small VERY STICKY stickers.  FUN TIMES. 

 

Enjoy the rest of the week friends!

Week 1 Video for Make Films | Long Island Photographer - Hello Olivia Photography

While I'm still just winging this video thing, I'm seriously in love with it.  I just finished up week 1 of Xanthe Berkeley's Make Films and It's freaking awesome.

My assignment this week is was to shoot a weekend story and I shot not one, but two (the second will be shared at some point, I'm sure). 

I feel like I learn a bit more with each video and it's VERY exciting. 

Our week was sadly dark, rainy and cold. Long Island at it's finest my friends!!!  I almost feel like I am just biding my time until daylight savings is over and I can shoot in daylight again on weekdays. 

This is always the hardest time of my 365.  I'm constantly trying to recreate the wheel with low light or artificial light images.  Thank goodness for the Ice Light.  That baby has saved my 365 on more than one occasion.

Anyway - here is a look at our week!

Olivia with the black eye.... She thinks it's the COOLEST THING EVER.   Me not so much. She ran headfirst into the bannister for the stairs like it didn't even exist.  Of course I get a call from the school about it - and of course Olivia makes up a random story about how it actually happened.  Those are ALWAYS fun phone calls.  

Ironically, I think I might have done the same thing a time or two at her age!

That's pretty much all I got this week. 

 

<3 

Kristina 

Trying something New - Long Island Photographer | Hello Olivia Photography

I'm trying something new!!! There are so many amazingly talented photographers out there that have ventured into video in the last few years and I have put it off long enough.  I'm making a collective effort to really learn how to make films!!!!

Shooting still photos give you a visual idea of whats going on, but films give you so much more.   I have a LOT to learn, but I'm loving the experience so far :)

Check out my January video.  I made mistakes. I have massive issues with keeping things steady, but I've learned SO MUCH already.  I have no idea why on earth I waited so long to take the plunge. 

To really learn the basics and get a good foundation, I'm starting a class this month with the wonderfully talented Xanthe Berkeley and can't wait to learning more about shooting film.  I set a personal goal of one completed film project a month to share.  Considering how much I like these, I may shoot more.  I love having these visual time capsules!! 

Now on with the 365... 

We had snow this week on Long Island, and I had my camera at the ready to capture our everyday moments:

Thinking more about goal setting - It's really been so important to me to document and shoot images everyday - that sometimes I get so focused on just getting that photo, or editing that photo or updating facebook or my blog, that it is taking time away from ACTUALLY DOING THINGS.  I've made a personal commitment to my family and myself to be less connected to social media in general so fingers crossed that I keep up with it   :) 

 

 

 

Year Three in the Books!

Anyone that has started a 365 can tell you how exciting it is to begin this kind of project - but to finish? That is another story.  The feeling of completing a project of this magnitude is a little bitter sweet. It's amazing to have a years worth of memories preserved. 

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I mean look at all of these images? It's such an amazing feeling to know that I took these - however, its a little sad that it's the end.....

On this day - January 1st - many photographers and creatives will start a 365 and many photographers and creatives will fail.

Why?

Unrealistic expectations, time commitments, burn out, and other outside factors. Believe me - I get it. You miss a day and it's all over....right?

Ummmm, no!

The most important tips I can give to anyone starting this project is to embrace the following:

1. There are no rules. Keep the project simple.  If you focus too much on taking AMAZING photos everyday, or following a given "theme" - especially one you draw a complete blank on - you'll suffer.   Keep it simple.  I just shoot one thing that I want to document a day. My kid eating. My kid running. Some pretty light. Simple everyday things.

2. Think of the WHY. Why are you doing this? Write down those reasons now while they are fresh in your head. Trust me, you'll need to remember that WHY when you're sitting in bed at 11:30 at night and remember at the last moment you forgot to take a photo :)

3. Journal. I keep a photography journal with stories I want to tell, techniques I want to try and locations I found and want to find.  Anytime inspiration hits, I jot it down. By writing them down, I better commit them to memory and can recall them as needed.

4. Make routines.  Blog once a week (or in my case bi-monthly), or edit on a particular day. Routines quickly become habits.

5. Join a group. Facebook, Flickr, photography forums and the like all have accountability groups.  Posting to those groups and commiserating with others really helps to stay accountable and focus on the project at hand.

6.  Be prepared for amazing growth. But youre not going to notice it :)  What I mean by that, is you wont notice any growth in your day to day.   One day, as you’re dialing in your settings, youll realize that the camera settings have become second nature.  Youll notice that youve composed a scene in your head before youve clicked the shutter and youll have the photo already edited in your mind.  Youll develop Vision.  As you keep going, youll develop a voice and finally a style.   Youll learn what you like and what you dont and youll improve upon yourself as you continue.  Typically every three months I would go back and look at my first image compared to my now. Its pretty amazing.

7.  This goes right back to #1 but it's important enough to have its own paragraph.  YOU CAN SKIP A DAY.  You read that right.  It's OK to skip a day and I have skipped days.  It's inevitable. Life happens.  The key is to just keep on going. Pick up that camera again and keep on shooting. 

I can think of a million other things to add, but I'll keep the list simple.  

With all that said - Heres to another year for growth and memory preservation. So, I guess that means we're back to day 1!

1/365:

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Week 48 & 49 - The end is almost here!!!! | Hello Olivia Photography

Can it beeeeeee? Another 365 is almost in the books. That's three full years you guys!!!  I have to say that that I am super excited for all of the things that came in 2016 and certainly proud of all the new things I've learned on this little journey of mine. 

As I made my goals and plans for 2016, I tried to keep it simple and manageable and I really think it worked for me.  While I'm not processing I've actually mastered anything or I'm some world class photographer - I'm truly happy with the growth I've seen in my storytelling and that I've found *some* sort of balance between Home/Family/Work/Photography. 

I think my biggest challenge this year was diving into the unknown world of film, however it really turned out to be the biggest reward.  I feel like I'm more purposeful, I shoot less and live in the moment more - and all of that has made the transition into the digital realm as well. Before I would shoot hundreds of photos to get one or two shots.  How I shoot 5 and have 4 that work for the story I want to tell.  

Anyway, this all leads me to the next chapter.... What's Next.  Am I going for year 4? What big plans do I have?

Honestly, I'm about 99% sure another 365 is happening, but I'm thinking of changing it up. Either incorporating more film, or having a 30 day / 1 shot film challenge (that would be interesting), and 100 days of summer dedicated to film or if I somehow win lotto - a 365 of only film.... (Maybe one day!)

Concerning new things on the agenda to tackle for 2017 - I'm taking an amazing IN PERSON workshop in Denver in June and as of right now, I don't have much else in the works.   I'll have to start thinking of things I want to tackle as 2016 comes to a close. 

Enough of my rambling for one night - heres a look at the last two weeks!

 

 

 

 

Week 47 - The Holiday season approaches! Hello Olivia Photography

This week was a shot yet busy week preparing for Thanksgiving, finishing up a massive amount of family sessions and spending time with awesome families that I love shooting over and over again.   

For my own personal work, this week was mostly about artificial light  - my frenemy and partner in crime this winter. 

I'm trying to stay away from my usual tricks - IPAD Light, TV light and even OCF to an extent.   Obviously I can't re-create the wheel to much, but I'm trying to honestly force myself to think out of the box this year and try to shoot with new light sources as much as I can. 

Anyways - check out our week!

 

 

Week 43-46- Long Island Lifestyle Photographer / Hello Olivia

How on earth is it mid November already? Seriously, wasn't it summer just a few days ago????   With school, work and client sessions, Fall has literally past by in a blink of an eye.   It's CRAY!!!

So, to be perfectly honestly with you all - I need to share a bit of a secret. I hate this leg of my 365.  I STRUGGLE every year - and each year, it gets a bit harder.  There are only so many ways to recreate the wheel, and taking images from November-March is a ROUGH go. 

I have countless IPAD shots, Countless OCF shots.  I honestly need more. I'm so board shooting the same stuff using the same techniques - so I'm going to really attempt to branch out into a genre that I normally avoid. Street Photography.  Not "real" street photography - but my own spin. I'm going to make the attempt to shoot at night, using available light just doing the things we do - just being out and about on Long Island.  I'm hoping it will give me the creative push I need to keep going through the winter months. 

So, with all that whining and complaining over with, here is our week: 

Orange!

Whenever I think of the fall, I always associate it with the color Orange.  That warm, rich, amber hue just reminds me of all of my favorite things.   The smell and crunch of fallen leaves, warm cozy sweaters, delicious Chai Lattes from Starbucks and Thanksgiving (my favorite of all the Holidays!). 

I'm blessed to live in an area with tons of wooded areas and open space, so we have ample opportunity to see the color Orange in our community constantly.

 

It's hard not to find this gorgeous color just about everywhere I look right now <3

This blog entry is part of the Artists Inspired Blog Circle series.  Click here to head on over to the blog of the amazingly talented Kellie Brindley-Koonce of Kellie Brindley Photography to see how other artists in this circle have interpreted this month’s theme, ORANGE!.

The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

 

Week 41... and 42 too. Hello Olivia - Long Island Photographer

Oh blogging.... why is it always the last possible thing I have time for? 

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Now that fall is completely in full swing, I have this constant need to "do stuff" in the fall. Probably since our daylight is numbered and the nice days are going to become a thing of the past as the dreaded winter months are coming. 

We took a trip to suffolk farm to enjoy the animals and the almost barren pumpkin patch - but luckily we found a few keepers to take home. 

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We also had some time to visit my beloved New Paltz to get in some apple and pumpkin picking.  We honestly couldn't have picked a better day - they weather was gorgeous!

Otherwise, the remainder of our days was filed with work, school and ample amounts of homework and housework (my favorite). 

Until next week!!! 

Pink!

Given all the colors of the rainbow, pink is definitely not one of my favorites.  As someone whose favorite colors {Black & White} are the absence of color – pink is just not something I’m into.

Enter my 5 year old daughter.  She is like the United Colors of Benetton.  An explosion of color.  Being the ultimate girly girl that she is, naturally Pink is the GREATEST COLOR OF THEM ALL.

Pink clothes

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Pink lips

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Pink cheeks

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Pink shoes

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Pink everything.

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I’m not exactly sure how I produced such a girlie girl, but life works in mysterious ways <3

 

This blog entry is part of the Artists Inspired Blog Circle series.  Click here to head on over to the blog of the amazingly talented Sarah Keene of Sarah Keene Photography to see how other artists in this circle have interpreted this month’s theme, PINK!.

The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.