It doesn’t matter where you live, everywhere you go you are bound to run into a pumpkin patch and the hoards of families chasing after them. It’s become an American tradition. Drive on over to the patch (usually set up with tons of family fun activities), and take photos wearing your favorite matching flannel shirts.
Well, we aren’t a real “matchy” family (this is totally a word, I checked), and in South Florida flannel is just cruel. Although it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from trying it. We used to favor a local pumpkin patch for its fun corn maze and pumpkin picking. We’ve stopped going since it’s become a circus with thousands of families cramming their kids onto a tiny patch and snapping away with forced smiles in the hot South Florida sun. That and I have a thing about petting zoo’s. Animal captivity is not my jam, and I don’t want my kids growing up thinking this is where animals belong (they belong in nature). This just isn’t fun anymore I thought to myself last year, so I started finding other ways to achieve these fun fall photos, without losing the fun.
Fall photos aren’t much fun if you’re sweating profusely. Kids especially cannot seem to hide the look of utter discomfort, and can you blame them? Dress for the sate in which you live. Yes, those photos of a family in flannel on a hay stack are adorable. But that doesn’t work in 80 degree weather. There are ways around this, I was able to dress my boys in fall-themed gear, but I kept them in shorts so as not to overwhelm them. They were still cool and confident, and ready to smile!
Keep It Candid
Often times all I see are kids wanting to run, jump, and play – not sit still for a picture. For this reason I love the candid shots of my kids playing, or just discovering on their own. There’s nothing worse than a picture of a kid pretending to play. Don’t be afraid to break free from the posed photos and watch the magic unfold as your kids are comfortable just being themselves. It’s a beautiful thing folks. Even if it means a non-traditional photo of kids just being kids, the outtakes are my favorite anyhow. Also, consider different angles. Nothing says “real-life” like a shot that is shown through the eyes of the photographer. Changing your angle will allow for you to capture all the little nuances that can get lost in translation.
Think Outside The Box
You don’t have to stick to a traditional location – the pumpkin patch isn’t the only place to take a cool picture. Pay attention to your surrounding, there may be a park with a wooded trail, or even a farm nearby that will allow you to achieve the same type of look (minus having to wait your turn behind hundreds of other aggravated families). I drove past this open fiend down the block from a much smaller scale pumpkin patch the past few months, all the while thinking to myself, this would be a great spot for some cool photos. Once I saw a few hay stacks available for the season, it was a no-brainer for me. There weren’t any lines, and I didn’t have to worry about getting unwanted people / items in the shot. It was all smiles! Well, mostly…
If you are lucky enough to own a professional grade camera, then you probably know how to shoot already. If not, a camera phone can work wonders nowadays. There are a few key points to remembering if you are using either of these. Lighting is everything, bright indirect light is the best. Composition is key, try incorporating background elements that aren’t overpowering (example: red barn in the background) If editing your photos, keep it simple – don’t overdo it. Chances are, those little smiles don’t need a filter, the more you tweak the more you lose the integrity of a sharp image.
Last but not least, make it fun. Don’t stress about all of the outside factors and remember what it is you are trying to convey in these shots. A family that loves each other and is celebrating the season. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the act of looking like we are having fun, that we forget to seize the moment. No need to force a smile if you’re all enjoying yourselves. Chances are, you are a busy family that is fortunate enough to have a day to spend together. That’s reason enough to smile.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StickItToLint #CollectiveBias
With how busy our lives have become, I find solace in simplifying routines and getting this household running like a well-oiled machine. School carlines, drop-off’s, pick-up’s, play-dates, and swim lessons contribute about one-quarter of our family’s busy schedule. Like most families there’s also work schedules, laundry, homework, dinner, and of course family game night!
Although I consider myself a reformed Type-A Over-Planner, old habits die-hard. Sometimes there is nothing quite like the stability of knowing a system is always in place. There when you need it, always dependable, good old-fashioned structure to make you feel safe in a world of chaos. By chaos, I am referring to our laundry pile…
In a house filled to the brim with active males, I am knee-deep in dirty laundry (amongst other things, but I’ll save that for another time). Raising boys is not for the faint at heart. Skinned knees, bloody tees, mud in places you couldn’t imagine. I’ve made it a point to separate their play clothes from school clothes, but a few always creep their way over. I created a laundry station where I can manage the madness and keep everything looking neat and tidy. This station has everything I could need to assess any damage on the kids clothes, or my husband and I can go to any last-minute grooming needs.
Having it all in one place just makes sense, especially since the use of these products is usually completely spontaneous in nature. In my basket I keep the following:
- Stain Remover – My homemade concoction containing vinegar and lemon essential oil always does the trick
- Scotch-Brite Dish Cloth – For those manageable grass stains
- Laundry Soap Concentrate – To pre-treat any foreseeable stains
- Scotch-Brite Scrub Brush – For the hard to handle stains that just won’t quit
- Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller – For all of the lint or pesky pet hair that can cling to your fabrics
The Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller is key to keeping your threads lint, hair, and fuzz-free, and tears cleanly guaranteed! My husband makes it a point to hit this station on the way out each day, making sure he looks well-groomed (he is in the male grooming business after all).
Bonus Tip: The Scotch-Brite™ Lint Rollers are great at removing dust and lint from your area rugs. It also doubles as a fun craft with kids. You can attach your favorite shapes to a Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller and dip into some tempera paint. Simply let your kids roll the brush onto a blank canvas and watch as their eyes light up creating their own masterpiece!
You can find the Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller in multiple aisles at your local Walmart retailer (Cleaning Aisle, Sewing & Notions or Closet & Laundry Sections). I was able to find mine in the laundry aisle as well as the aisle with cleaning products next to the sponges and brushes. There are a variety to choose from including Stickier Lint Rollers, as well as the adorable printed lint rollers now available. Now you can remove lint in style!
Only one month left in the countdown for the release of Disney’s highly anticipated Moana! Luckily we have all of these holidays in between to keep us busy. Well, that and now these really fun coloring sheets starring all of your favorite characters from this fun family movie.
Moana is in theaters nationwide on November 23rd, 2016.