A Photographer’s Thoughts

I’ve been thinking with my camera a lot these days. I know that might sound strange, but it’s true. My camera is my rock, my steady and when days are turned upside down and routines are twisted, I use my camera to steady myself and to see the world as it is. Changing. 

The light is different, the trees are exploding with blossoms, there are rainbows of color everywhere I look. My house has all of its people in it ALL THE TIME…doing so many things. We talk to one another on computers. We bake cupcakes.  We read books. We walk our neighborhoods. We take care of our pets. We draw and paint, cook big dinners, and we wash our hands A LOT! The streets are quiet, so we sleep a bit more and we take quiet moments to think about people and their struggles. I send up tiny thoughts to the birds, the flowers, the Spring and use my camera as way to document my days.

So, here’s an idea for you photographers out there…first, ask if you could use a family camera or cell phone camera. I know that not everyone has their own camera or cell phone but see if you could use a camera to document your world. Or ask a grownup to go on a walk with you and photograph together. 

You can follow my suggestions for “finding” things to photograph or you could use the camera/phone camera every day at a certain time and make a “photo of the day”.

Here are some ideas for you and things that I have been photographing:

A Rainbow of Spring- I like to challenge myself to photograph the rainbow.Red tulips, orange carrots from my garden, yellow daffodils, green moss, blue bells and the blue sky, pink cherry blossoms and purple magnolias.

My Bunnies- we’ve got two rabbits- Nibbles and Truffle. These bunnies are super cute, but they don’t like to be held.  They are ok if I photograph them, though. I like to sit near their cage, and I wait for the perfect moment to snap their photo.

My Delicious Meals- food photography is awesome! We made waffles the other morning and the sun came through the window and lit up the mango that I put on top. It was like spring in my kitchen. Oh, and the cupcakes that my daughters made!

My Family- I like to make portraits. I like to document the activities we do together. I like to document them doing their reading, math worksheets, their online music lessons. I like to photograph them watching movies together and talking to their grandparents via Facetime. It’s an historic time- anything and everything goes!

Collections- I went on a hike last week to a rocky beach and collected rocks- they were so beautiful. I laid them on the concrete floor of my studio and examined the details and photographed them.

Other ideas that you might like to photograph around your house could be a collection of your favorite stuffed animals…One time I set a red stool against a plain background and had my kids collect their favorite 10 stuffies. Each stuffie got its picture made…kind of like ‘school day picture day” but for stuffies!

Dress up: You know all those costumes that you have around the house…ask a family member to “model” for you…funny hats, capes, masks, etc. Or model them yourself…create a selfie station.

More advanced photographers might want to challenge your photography skills by learning how a camera works- study how different shutter speeds will create different kinds of photos. What is the lens aperture and how does that work to make different images? What is a silhouette? Think about waiting for the “decisive moment” to push the shutter. And most importantly, watch the light and how it lends itself to the scene.

Once you’ve collected some images, the fun part could be to print them out and make a scrapbook of your collection. If you can’t print them at home or would rather save them on ink, there are many online options that you and your grown up could choose. All have mail delivery options. Shutterfly, CVS online, Printique are some that I’ve used.

I’d love to see what you see…if you have some images that you’d like to share, send them my way.

3-D Paper Flower Bouquet

Let’s make pop-up spring flowers! Daffodils and tulips are blooming- let’s decorate some paper, cut them out and glue them together to make our own bouquets.

Materials needed:

White Cardstock or Copy Paper for vase, flowers, stems, and centers (3-4 sheets)

Black or any color paper you’d like for background (Cardstock or construction paper)

Colored pencils, crayons, or markers


White glue

Paperclips, optional but helpful

Let’s Get Started

Flower templates attached or use these as guides and free hand your own shapes. If your printer allows, use cardstock as the heavier weight of the paper will make the flowers “pop” and hold their form. If you only have copy paper, this will work just fine too!

**Decorate the petals, stems, centers and vase before cutting them out.

Let’s make the vase first: cut the decorated vase out. The paper is 4.5” x 6”. Fold the ends on dotted lines and glue the folds to the background. The vase should pop off page. You might use some paperclips to hold in place until glue dries.

Stems: give them some color and glue flat on background- as if coming out of the vase. Vary the lengths of the stems to give them some variety and to make room for the flowers- the stars of the show!!!

To make a tulip:

Cut out 4 decorated tulip shapes. Fold along center of each petal and glue sides together so you have a 3-D tulip. You can now glue a flat side to the background at the top of one of your stems.

To make a daffodil: (4 petal flowers with square center) 

Decorate and cut out. Fold the petals up, along square center (there are dotted lines on template)  Glue the flat square to the top of a stem. Now, add a center. 

Cut out a strip of paper. Cut fringes, roll up, fold over a little bit on the side that doesn’t have fringe and glue to center of flower.

To make the 8 petal flowers:

There are two sizes- big and small. Decorate and cut out. Fold along doted lines and then, make 1 cut between two petals. But only cut to center

Slide these two petals, back to front and glue together. You might need a paperclip to keep flower petals together until dry, but you can go ahead and glue another petal flat to the top of another stem.

Included on the sheet are some shapes that look like an X with a circle center. Decorate and then cut out. Fold the arms of the X up or curl them. You can wrap around a pencil to give it some roundness. Glue circle center to the center of the flower.

Now, your vase should be full of colorful, spring flowers! And they won’t wilt!