Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Art Display and Storage Box

Children are prolific artists. It can be challenging for parents to figure out where to display and store even a few of their masterpieces. Here is an inspired idea from Maya Donenfeld. A way to highlight your child's most recent work of art, while archiving some of your favorites. You can decorate the frame however you like, but keep it simple so that it doesn't compete with the art itself. And do not forget to write the child's name and the date on the back of the art. This will make it easier for future collectors and art historians to identify.

You can find complete instructions on the bookhoucrafts blog

This would also make a good gift for grandparents, or doting aunts and uncles, with new work delivered on special occasions, or whenever inspiration strikes.

Newborn Portrait Session

Here are a few favorite photographs from a recent newborn portrait session.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Portraits at Gymboree

I will be photographing at Gymboree Play + Music again in a couple of weeks. If you have children five years old or younger, this is the perfect opportunity for them to explore all of the fun Gymboree play equipment while I capture the moment in black and white portraits. The kids are generally having such a good time they do not even notice that I am there allowing me to capture their true personalities. If you are interested in attending or getting more information, contact one of the Gymboree locations below. Sessions are almost full, so do not delay.

Lake Oswego/Bridgeport
Friday, September 24, 3:30 – 4:15 pm and 4:30 – 5:15 pm
Call to reserve your space, 503-670-1683

Cedar Hills Shopping Center
Monday, September 27, 3:30 – 4:15 pm
Call to reserve your space, 503-384-0542

Monday, August 02, 2010

Cereal Box Marble Run

I love this simple cereal box marble run from Made by Joel. Check out Joel's blog for detailed instructions (and lots of other creative projects for kids). It fits perfectly into our ongoing series of posts celebrating the creative reuse of cardboard packaging and would be an easy project for a lazy summer morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

Parenting has been one of the most exciting, challenging, joyous, exhausting, exhilarating, edifying, and rewarding experiences of my life. Here is a photographic tribute, from portrait parties and sessions over the last year, to all of the dads. Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Cardboard Tube Marble Run

We finally got a chance to put together the cardboard tube marble run that we saw in a recent issue of Family Fun magazine (click the link for complete details).

We cut up some 8.5x11 magnet sheets that we had sitting around to attach to the tubes, but you could also use those pizza delivery fridge magnets that you probably have too many of. In addition to marbles, we used round bells that added a fun sound component to the maze. We are trying to come up with some additional objects/shapes to add to keep the maze interesting. We would love to hear any ideas you may have in the comments.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Egg Carton Seed Starters

If you've followed this blog for awhile, you have probably noticed that I like to find creative ways to reuse everyday objects. With this simple little project, you can take an old egg carton and start a garden. It is such a simple project that almost any age child can participate, and in the process learn what's involved in caring for a plant and enjoy the resulting harvest (vegetables always taste better when you've grown them yourself).

For our first planting this year we chose lettuce, but we have also enjoyed growing herbs (they are easy to grow in a small space, they are practical for cooking and they provide a great sensory experience for the kids with their various smells and tastes).

For this project, you will need:
Egg carton
A sheet of plastic wrap (optional)

Cut the cover off the egg carton. Since we were going to keep this on the windowsill, we covered the inside of the lid with plastic wrap and placed it under the egg carton to catch excess water.

Put a little soil in each egg carton cup.

Put seeds in each cup, then cover with more soil.


Water regularly, following the directions on the seed packet.

Once the seedlings are big enough, you can cut the egg cups apart and place them directly into a larger pot or the garden (if they are made of paper pulp, instead of styrofoam, the carton will biodegrade).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Simple Fun

Photographs by Greta Eskridge

Do you ever feel that we over think and over spend when it comes to entertaining our kids? Often it is the simple things that bring them great joy. Babies shun their brightly colored, flashing, musical toys for the simple pleasure of banging on pots and pans.

Little ones would rather cook in the kitchen with you than play with the kitchen sitting in their room. Making a rocket made out of a used paper towel roll and a paper cone brings as much satisfaction as using a fancy kit. It doesn't have to be fancy for them to enjoy it.

We just put up a swing in our backyard. I have envisioned a play house complete with swings. The proper kind. This one is a board and a rope. It is just right. Just perfect, actually.

Do you have any simple, homemade toys that bring happiness to your children? Please share.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

iBox is Here

All of the tech buzz may be about Apple's new iPad, but we are pretty excited about our new iBox, a cardboard laptop computer we made ourselves.

We used an old box with a single flap top, an Apple sticker (if you have a Mac your probably have a couple of these lying around), a picture of a keyboard and track pad that we cut out of an old Mac laptop box (though I had planned on either taking a picture of a keyboard and printing it or drawing our own custom keyboard), a letter-sized sheet protector (available in clear or non-glare) to use as the monitor, and screen shots of a few of our favorite applications and websites, that we then printed and slide into the sheet protector when we want to work on a specific application (of course we can also create our own "applications" to put on the screen).

We also added a USB port (a hole cut into the side of the box) to plug in peripherals like a portable cardboard hard drive and our digital camera.

For more fun projects using cardboard boxes, click here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mother's Day Portrait Sessions

Mother's Day is right around the corner. There is a lot for a Dad to do on this holiday. He has to think about his wife, the mother of his children, his own mother and something from the kids to their mother. sdfs

Dads, you might consider breakfast in bed, sending her off to brunch with her girl friends, or having the kids make her some painted pottery. Or, you might consider something different this year. (Mom, if you are the one reading this, just go right ahead and forward it to your husband.)

A common complaint among mothers is that they are never in the family pictures. As the one behind the camera in our family, I can relate. More often than not, Mom is the family photographer. It isn't a job she minds so much, but it would be nice for the kids to see their Mom in a photograph every once in a while. So, whether you are a mom or a dad, you might want to remedy this problem and schedule a Mother's Day portrait session

A portrait session is a perfect Mother's Day gift. It lasts much longer than flowers or even a coffee mug. There are lots of ways to arrange this. Dads can surprise Mom and schedule a "Mom and kids" portrait session. Or he can be there too, for a whole family session. Just make sure you give Mom enough notice to change into something cute. She'll appreciate that.

Or you, Mom, could take the initiative and set up a portrait session yourself. There is nothing wrong with stating exactly what you'd like for Mother's Day this year. Some husbands actually prefer to have things spelled out for them.

You might even consider hosting a Mom and kids portrait party and get some of your other Mom friends in on the fun. They are probably missing from a lot of family photos, too.

Whatever you decide, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can get your portrait session scheduled, or send out a gift certificate, before Mothers Day actually arrives.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Cardboard Art: Building a Robot

Photographs by Greta Eskridge

I knew that long-time client and friend, Greta Eskridge, would be a great addition as a guest blogger here at the Dodgen Photography blog. Seeing her post about the cardboard robot her son made, sealed the deal (in case you didn't know, we're big fans of cardboard creations). In Greta's words:

My son James loves to build things out of cardboard. If he sees a box lying around the house, he is sure to ask if he can use it. This time he wanted to make a robot.

It was a pretty straight forward project.

First, I cut off the back of the box, then a hole for his neck and two holes for his arms. This allowed him to slip it on and off easily by himself. We used an additional box, with eye holes cut out, for the head.

Next, he decorated it. Besides markers or paint, some glue and various shiny things are just right for decorating a robot. Tin foil would also be fun.

He was pretty pleased with his creation.

A little imagination goes a long way with a cardboard box.


For additional photos, go here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Hikes

Photographs by Greta Eskridge

Spring is the perfect time to take a hike. Everything is in bloom, the skies are blue, the sun is out, but the air is still cool. It feels good to be outside.

Kids are great hikers because they are naturally curious and they love to explore. As long as you don't expect them to hike an eight mile trail with you on your first time out, they will have a good time. A little planning goes a long way in making your hike successful. You might find these tips on hiking with kids helpful.

I took these photos at Riley Wilderness Park in Orange County. It is just beautiful right now, and one of the many parks to explore in Orange County. You might find it hard to believe, but the OC is rich with hiking trails. There are beach hikes, mountain hikes and everything in between.

I have found these three sites to be helpful in locating good hikes.
Brian and Ashley's Hiking Blog!
Wilderness Parks
Hiking Trails

We hope you and the kids will make it out to a trail this spring. If you do, please share your adventure with us. We'd love to hear about it.


Photographs by Greta Eskridge

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dodgen Photography is Going Green

Press Release


Long Beach, California, April 1, 2010 -- After years of photographing children exclusively in black and white, Dodgen Photography is adding a new color to their repertoire - green. With so many companies going green these days, it seemed only a matter of time until photographers jumped on the green bandwagon, and Dodgen Photography is taking the leap in a big way.

Dodgen Photography's owner and primary photographer, Jeremy Dodgen got his inspiration for the change from photosynthesis, the process by which green plants use sunlight to synthesis foods from carbon dioxide and water, generating oxygen as a byproduct. Dodgen hopes to create a similar synthesis in portrait photography and be a breath of fresh air in a color-saturated portrait world.

While revolutionary in the photographic world, Dodgen points out that their is a long history of the use of green in portraiture, including some of the most famous men in United States history. Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, Franklin have all been immortalized in green.

Dodgen wants to assure his current, as well as potential, clients that this move is not just about the money, stating "we won't just capture green backs, we'll capture faces, feet, hands…the whole person."

There are definite economic benefits to the green initiative, including job creation. To help with the effort, Dodgen Photography recently brought on several leprechauns to develop just the right hue of green. It soon became apparent that there would be the added benefit of reduced carbon footprint, after all, leprechauns have really small feet.

Quoting a favorite actor, musician, and green advocate, Dodgen knows "it's not easy being green," but adds "when you see the green sparkle in the children's eyes, you know all of the hard work is worth it."

Contact: Jeremy Dodgen
Office: 562.856.2755

Dodgen Photography is a renowned for their ability to capture a child's true personality, in their one of a kind green and white portraits.


Below are a few photographic examples demonstrating why green is the new black:

Dodgen Photography is going green to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Ella couldn't be happier with the changes.

Happy April Fools Day!