Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let it snow!

Books are a big part of our family's holiday tradition. We pack up most of our Christmas and winter books at the end of the season so that we can rediscover them the next year. I have always been a big fan of pop up books. With the turn of each page a new three dimensional world comes into being.

If you have ever seen Robert Sabuda's intricate pop-up books, you know that they are wonders of engineering and creativity. In addition to several books with Christmas and winter themes, he has created pop up books based on such literary classics as Narnia, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose. He also has a line of boxed gift cards. If you are looking for a last minute gift, I would definitely recommend checking out Sabuda's books.

If you are feeling crafty and want to make your own pop up cards or books, Sabuda's extensive website provides detailed instructions (including photographs of each step) on how to create your own. There are over forty designs including, seasonal holidays, animals, Star Wars characters and more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it snow!

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."
Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, 1925

In my 10-plus years of photographing children, I see similarities to Bentley's passion for photographing snowflakes and mine for photographing children. Children, like snowflakes are each entirely unique and beautiful. Now as a parent of two, I see even more clearly how this beauty is ever changing and melting into new complex and fascinating works of art.

Snowflake Bentley tells the true story of a farm boy who was so fascinated by snowflakes that he made photographing them his life work. Wilson A. Bentley's passion for snowflakes led him to spend 50 years pioneering the scientific study of ice crystals, and developing a technique of microphotography that allowed him to capture the integrate details of snowflakes for others to see. Mary Azarian's beautiful woodcut illustrations for the book won the Caldecott Medal in 1999.

If you want to see some examples of "Snowflake" Bentley's work, Snow Crystals contains more than 2,000 black and white microphotographs of snowflakes by Bentley, graphically demonstrating that each snowflake has its own unique beauty.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it snow!

Cutting paper snowflakes is an annual tradition in my family. Hanging favorites from over the years is one of the ways we mark the season change here in Southern California.

The trick to great snowflakes is proper folding .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, New York, 1941
Photographed by John Phillips

From the archives of LIFE magazine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Art Projects

One of my favorite Thanksgiving activities as a kid was to sample all of the delicious foods that were being prepared. Of course, I was constantly being shooed out of the kitchen by the cooks. Here are a few projects to keep your young ones busy this holiday. Click the links for instructions and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo-Realistic Paper Turkeys

Cereal Box Turkeys

Fingerprint Turkeys

Pine Cone Turkeys using feathers.
Pine Cone Turkeys using pipe cleaners.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Visiting the White House

Barack and Michelle Obama's recent visit to the White House reminded me about Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out,
a new anthology of White House history, in the form of illustrations, nonfiction writing, short stories, poetry, texts of actual speeches, transcripts of television interviews, and "illustration essays." It includes an amazing collection of work from over 100 award winning children's authors and illustrators, as well as, historians and former White House employees and residents. It is a great place to help our kids dig deeper into the history of our country during this historic election year.

Also, check out the official website.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Google Life

Children at the Guignol puppet show, Parc de Montsouris, Paris, 1963
Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

No doubt, looking at the black and white photojournalism in Life magazine when I was a child inspired my future career and the style of my work. Google has a new feature that allows you to search through millions of images from the archives of LIFE magazine. One of my early favorite photographers was (and still is), Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Witness to Remembrance Art Opening

I have been way too busy photographing to blog lately, but wanted to post a quick reminder that the opening for the Witness to Remembrance photography project (mentioned here) is tonight, October 25 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. If you cannot make it tonight, there are a few other opportunities. Go to the project website for details.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We're Turning Ten

This month we are celebrating our tenth anniversary and invite you to join with us by creating a piece of art centering on the theme "10". Get creative, have fun, involve the family. 1. Draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, write, you choose your favorite medium. 2. Send the completed piece (or a photograph of it) to us via e-mail or mail. 3. We will post the pieces here and/or in a special gallery on our website.

Below are a few works from our fifth anniversary celebration to help get you started.

Avery, Self-Portrait at Five

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Hannah, Five Cameras

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The Hobson Family, Five Hobsons, Five Ducks

Note: the Hobsons incubated mallard eggs, cared for the five ducklings that hatched and then turned them loose at the creek that passes through their backyard. "[The ducklings] more wild than not...stop by every few days to say hello."

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Ian, Family of Five (including baby in utero)

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Sally, Five

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Will, Self Portrait with Jeremy

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Kaija, Untitled

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Images from the 2008 Olympics

Copyright Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Copyright Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Copyright Adam Pretty/Getty Images

There are lots of places to see pictures from the Olympics, but what makes The Big Picture unique is the lack of advertising and other clutter, and the size of the images. They are BIG, which seems especially fitting when considering the scale of the event. Check out images from the Opening Ceremonies, women's fencing, highlights and the Closing Ceremonies

Finnish photographer, Kari Kuukka, created some interesting panoramas combined with ambient sounds of Beijing. Pan around the images using your mouse, to get a sense of what it was like to be there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

It only took a day or two after bringing Ella home, that I learned how different life with a girl was going to be. When Ethan was a baby, he mostly wore white onesies and a pair of pants, with only the occasional matching shirt/pant set. But with Ella, much of the clothing has come in matched sets that include a hat, dress, diaper cover, socks and sometimes shoes, and almost all of it is pink.

I have nothing against pink, but I had no idea there were so many shades of it, and none of them seem to match. I might as well just put a shirt on her that says, "my color-blind, styleless dad dressed me," because even though I can find pink socks, a pink diaper cover and a pink dress, the shades and pattern inevitably clash. Granted, complex color and style combinations has never been a strong suit of mine, which is part of why I choose to photograph in beautiful black and white. Almost everything matches in black and white.

Here's a recent photograph of Ella, and big brother, Ethan.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Marble Magnets

We made marble magnets last year for Ethan's teachers, grandparents and other family members. We chose a few photographs of Ethan for some and he painted others. Not Martha has detailed instructions and lots of other magnet design ideas.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Michael Hughes' photographs bring together lots of things I love: travel, kitschy souvenirs, amusement parks and photography. Be sure to check out the whole set of photographs.

via not martha

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer Adventure

Looking for some adventure with your kids this summer, check out 101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12!. The thing I like about this book is that it encourages curiosity, a sense of adventure and civic awareness, all without spending a lot of money on travel expenses, since most of the must see places are general enough that you can find them close to home.

Adventures include visiting an elected official's office, an artists studio, a marvel of engineering, a parent's office, a wildlife refuge, a landfill and the teacher's lounge.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Photo Tips from National Geographic

The pros at National Geographic have a great site with tips to help improve your photography, no matter what your interest - travel, people, landscapes, adventure. The site has articles, videos and of course, lots of beautiful photography.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I love art created by children (which is one of the reasons I enjoy photographing at preschools - so much art). I find their creativity, and freedom from the "rules", inspiring. All this to say, I was really excited and inspired when I came across the work of photographer Yeondoo Jung whose Wonderland project was inspired by the drawings of children. (via How About Orange)

(Images © Yeondoo Jung)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Announcing Ella!

Just in case you have not been to our homepage in awhile and do not receive our e-mail newsletter, meet our latest addition.

By the way, if you would like to receive our occasional e-mail newsletter, you may sign up here.

Portfolio Update

I updated my portfolio this weekend. The new portfolio includes a lot more images, more categories (babies, children, siblings and family) and a better viewing experience. I would love to hear any feedback in the comments or via e-mail.

Summer Reading

We recently discovered Pictures from Our Vacation at the local library. It is a fun picture book about picture taking, road trips, day dreaming, family, and memories...a great book for summer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Give your feet a vacation

For a different take on vacation photos, check out Photojojo's idea to photograph your summer travels by photographing your feet and the ground they cover.