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Sunshine & Smiles | Moments Monday

My favorite moments to capture are the ones that you could never otherwise manufacture, even with the best actresses. They speak of raw human emotion, especially the ones with joy and laughter. Those two things cannot be faked, but they are often drained away or layered with pretension when others are aware of a camera nearby. That is why it’s so hard to capture the “real” in life. Little kids learn early on that when a camera comes out, you say “Cheeeeeese” and often they don’t even look your way. It’s just like a trained parakeet chanting a learned word in association with an object. Or if they do look, it’s often with a smile that matches the word they are saying– full of cheese! 🙂

I try to counteract this by staying at a distance, and always being on alert when my camera is near. Often, I take posed pictures. But my favorite ones are ones like these that I sneak in and snap the moment it happens. But it requires a readiness, an anticipation. Maybe to some, that would be stressful- to always be “watching” for these moments. But to me– I thrive off of it. It’s how I best experience my life and then they paint the snapshot of the events in which I can look back and remember them by.

It’s definitely more of a photojournalistic approach, but it’s the type of images I’ll share for Moments Mondays… the un-staged, the genuine, the real that makes you feel.

The two sweeties in this picture are my nieces, Lola and Tillie. They are sisters, and so very different. The oldest is sweet by nature with a soft heart and a sensitive spirit. She can be brought to tears in an instant, and her blue eyes and smile melt your heart. Her younger sister is spirited and silly and spunky. She is always bouncing and her eyes are always bright. She is 7 steps ahead of you at any given moment, a true Curious George, a worrywart at times, and an old soul filled with passion and creativity.

They are different but similar, and they are sisters, sharing that special bond that can’t be explained unless you have it. I shot this image while we were together with their family over Memorial Day weekend. They were kicking around a soccer ball with their dog, and this moment frozen in time captures the essence of sisterhood… activity in the sunshine, bright smiles, laughter.

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