9 posts categorized "mamarazzi"

November 01, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Gwen maddy halloween 2010 2
Without a doubt, this was our favorite Halloween so far! 

The girls were counting the days and minutes until they could put on their costumes and beg door to door for candy.  What a weird tradition!  We attended a neighborhood costume party then hit the streets.  An hour later, we had more candy than any family should eat and two extremely tired kids! 

And, as if getting candy wasn't already the most awesome part of Halloween, they got to HAND IT OUT this year too!  Seriously, I think they liked that part best of all.  They parked their kiesters just inside the front door and worked out all of the details about who would open the door and who would dole out the goods.  When the task was complete, they dismissed their door-guests with a sweet duet of "Happy Halloween!" then plunked back down to patiently await the next round of trick-or-treaters.  We're sure they would have kept this up all night if we let them but, alas, it was a school night so we eventually had to wash faces and brush teeth and trade those costumes for pajamas.  Even though they thought it was incredibly unfair and wholly unnecessary, two minutes later, they were both sound asleep!

(Since I'm sure someone will ask, that arrow Gwen is holding isn't real.  I Photoshopped it in!)

Here are a few more photos of our costumed cuties (minus the makeup):

Maddy cleopatra pose
Maddy walks like an Egyptian

Maddy cleopatra
Pretty little darling!  Don't you just love those shoes?

Gwen hands on chin
Gwen hated this dress.  She only wanted to wear her Avatar costume.  Even though she was miserable, she sure did take some pretty photos!

Gwen eyes left
Dreaming of getting to wear the Avatar costume?

Blog gwen looking right
Getting totally fed up with these photos?

Gwen avatar blog
Ah!  There's my happy (and beautiful!) Avatar girl!

Gwen body parts blog

I saw Mr Bones laying in a box in our garage and thought he might be perfect for the November theme over on We Picture {this}.  The theme is "Body Parts"!  Hee hee... even though I'm sure they had something else in mind, I like my take on it!

I hope everyone had a fun halloween!  We sure did!




September 19, 2010


I'm really enjoying this black shower curtain backdrop!  

This time, it was Gwen's turn to be my model so I let her pick a shirt from my closet and some fancy necklaces then I washed her face and applied a bit of lip gloss to her chapped lips.  Finally, I asked her if she was ready and she exclaimed "Let's rock and roll!"  A couple of days ago, she was saying "Let's get this party started!"  Seriously, where does she get this?  Anyway, here are a few of my favorite photos from this photo shoot:

Gwen mommy shirt black background border
This one is probably my favorite of the day.  If she's in a good mood - and she usually is - it's impossible to take a bad photo of Gwen. 

My kids wear the usual styles and colors of kids clothing 99 percent of the time so dressing them in one of my fancy shirts makes for a slightly more elegant and interesting photo.  I doubt this photo have looked this pretty if she was wearing her pink and purple Hello Kitty shirt.  Since my shirts are much too large for them, they look more like dresses. I fold the extra fabric to the back and use safety pins secure it.  Best of all, dressing up is great fun for them so it puts them in a happy mood and happy girls are much better models!  :)

Serene gwen black background cashmere 30 copy

I'm one of the contributing members over on We Picture {This} and this month's photo theme is "Laughter".  Since I'm not good about tagging my photos, there wasn't much chance that I'd be able to search through my vast archives for photos of my kids laughing even though I'm certain there are plenty of photos that would fit the theme.  In the end, it just seemed more efficient to take a brand new picture. 

It took a while but I finally did succeed.   Getting her to laugh wasn't really the problem because Gwenny is an amazingly joyful little girl.  The trick is catching the perfect moment when she's laughing whole-heartedly but still looks like she's happy and not crying.  You see, when Gwen is deep into a really good belly laugh, she looks like she's in excruciating pain.   I'll show you what I mean.

First, her happy laugh:

Gwen laughing ambrosia border Then, about 2 seconds later, her painful looking laugh:

Gwen laughing three frame

Doesn't she look like I'm standing on her foot? 

Gwen totally cracks me up!  Oh how I love this girl! 


May 25, 2010

Black & White Wednesday: Self Portrait (UGH!)

I'm one of a dozen or so contributors over on We Picture {This} (a Mamarazzi blog) and this month's theme is "Self Portraits". 

I didn't vote for that theme and I've been dreading it all month long and going back and forth over whether or not I'll participate this month.  But I'm trying hard to be a team player so I'm going to post something.  Even if I embarrass the heck out of myself (and that's almost a certainty).

My remote control died right after our Mother's Day photos so I had to resort to using the timer function on my camera.  I've tried taking photos in the mirror or holding the camera at arms length but, not surprisingly, those photos were all duds.  Funny even.  I'll share them later if we ever have a Blooper theme.

I took this photo this morning using the timer and a bar stool as a tripod.  I set everything up and set the timer then scurried around to the front and tried to strike a natural pose.  After the first dozen attempts, my kids thought it was a silly game and started laughing at me which, of course, made me laugh too and that's how this photo was born.

I'm reluctant to show you the original photo because I'm 48 years old and never post a photo unless I've slathered some "Photoshop anti-wrinkle cream on it first.  But I'll swallow my pride and do it -- just this once ;) 

But first, here's my Black and White version with the crazy flower/hair edit.  Yeah, I know it's totally over the top but I was on a roll.  I turned it black and white then layered on a texture then thought it needed a subtle little flower the threw subtle out the window then thought "Hey, what if I blended that flower right into my hair!"  See how easy it is to go too far with your editing?  But I like it anyway...

IMG_5454 hair bw

And here is the edited color version:

IMG_5454 with skin magic action

Okay, I reserve the right to delete this but here is the original photo -- straight out of the camera.
I don't really like what I see in this photo but this is the face my kids LOVE so I should love it too, right?

IMG_5454 original


For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
More of our Black & White Wednesday posts here:  Black & White Wednesday

More cool Before & After photos here:  Pixel Perfect

August 13, 2009


I've been trying to pay more attention to reflections so I staged this photo shoot on a bright sunny day against a freshly polished minivan window.   This might just be the cleanest that window has ever been! Then I dragged out a small ladder to get my super cute subject a bit closer to the reflective surface and tossed in a chocolate bribe just to get the smiles popping!

As you might expect, it worked!

Here's Gwen, clearly thrilled with the prospect of Godiva chocolate melting on her tongue.

Reflections of a (sideways) happy girl!

Maddy's face was equally ecstatic but I loved this closeup of her delicate little hand. This photo is almost Straight Out of The Camera (SOTC) but I cropped the photo and enhanced her hand a little bit because it was overexposed.  Isn't it stunning!?

Reflections of a happy girl

I I captured so many other super sweet photos during this shoot!  Really it was impossible to pick just these two so visit our flickr "reflection" photo album to see the others or click any of the thumbnails below.


April 08, 2009


This is one of my all-time favorite photos of Daddy with his precious Daughters. It was taken just a couple of weeks after we came home with Maddy (September 2006). Those who know us well, know about all the years (and the heartbreaking losses) we went through to get these two beautiful children in our arms and that makes this photo even more special to me.

Mamarazzi daughters redo resized    

(To see a larger version of this photo, click <here>)

I struggled with this month's theme ("Daughters") because ALL of my photos seem to be of my daughters and even though I think the pics are lovely, I couldn't imagine how I could take a single picture that was worthy of such a precious title. A Daughter is a relationship and how can one image illustrate something so beautiful and complex? Then I remembered this photo. Like I said, I've always loved it but it really wasn't technically very good at all. It was dark and the white balance was all wrong and it had a really distracting bunch of stuff (my messy office!) in the background.

So I fixed it.

To me, photography is all about creating a record of beautiful memories and not necessarily about producing photos that look perfect straight out of the camera. Someday I hope to be that good but, for now, I'm happy to use my photo editing skills to make up for my photographic shortcomings and help my photos be all they can be!

Here's the original photo (click for larger view):20060928 038

Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Mode: Manual
Lens: Canon EF-S 17-85 IS
Focal Length: 17mm
ISO: 400
Aperture: f4
Shutter: 1/60

I'm curious to know what I could have done to make this photo better.  I must have spent two days fixing then re-fixing this photo.  Then I noticed that one of my favorite sites (I faces was offering some "constructive feedback" this week.  Talk about perfect timing! 

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