Whispering Pines Photography
Capturing Your Memories and Turning Your Moments Into Art
As those of you who follow my blogs know, I have several goals this year with my photography. 2 of those goals played right into yesterday's hour by hour challenge ... first, to focus more intentionally on storytelling with my photography; second, to complete a Project 365. Well, we're now a month in, and so far so good on completing the Project 365.
Over the past few days, I've seen where several other photographers that I follow have been taking part in an hour by our challenge put out by Life Unscripted. So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and then decided that completing an hour by hour challenge myself would be a great way to bring January's month of Project 365 shots to a close.
12 hours worth of shots are in the storyboard above, but be sure to check out to full resolution images in my hour by hour gallery!
8am - although we are usually up and moving pretty early most mornings, Saturday mornings are our lazy mornings because it's pretty much the only day in the week where we don't have to be anywhere. For those of you who don't know me personally, my husband is an attorney with his own law office and my day job is as his firm manager/head of the litigations division. Needless to say, as a firm with a busy court schedule, we stay on the go! How busy things are is a big part of my focus on storytelling and documenting our lives ... it forces me to slow down and enjoy the little moments. Yesterday morning, I was the first one up and moving in the house and caught this shot of the wind chimes in our kitchen window and I got started on breakfast.
9am - everyone's starting to get up and moving (somewhat). Seanna has been back into joining us in bed some lately with the long hours that we've been working. Here, she was enjoying a few extra minutes in bed with her daddy before getting up. Of course, the next frame that I shot was her doing her "exercises" and stretching before coming up to the kitchen to eat pancakes.
10am - breakfast is done and now it's time for Cayleigh's morning ritual of bringing shoes up through the house to have someone put a pair on her. I should add, we have to comply pretty quickly or else she'll keep going back for additional pairs, lol!
11am - speaking of shoes, one of my morning projects was straightening the girls' room back up from the week. Part of that included gathering up all of the shoes that they'd scattered throughout the house as the week went on so that I knew what I was working with to put back in their shoe rack.
12pm - cleaning moved back into the kitchen and Cayleigh decided that the best way for her to help was to lay in the kitchen floor.
1pm - while Cayleigh and I were in the kitchen, Russell and Seanna had gone for a walk to check on the horses and to pile some brush. They came back with some "flowers" that Seanna had picked for me.
2pm - one thing about our house, you never know what the day will bring or who will stop by. Seanna had been quite disappointed that she didn't have anyone (other than Cayleigh) to play with earlier in the day, so she was quite thrilled with an unannounced visit by her cousins, Damien and Justis. Yes, all of the kids are definitely country kids because one of their favorite places to play lately has been on top of and around the hay.
3pm - getting ready for the senior session that I shot at the Stampfli-Stoker Homestead. I used my 3pm shot as an opportunity to make sure that my camera settings were ready to go before getting going with my client. A little historical note, this location is one of the oldest remaining Swiss homesteads in our area. Some rumor that it's haunted but I think it's just fun stories. Either way, the place carries a lot of significance for most from the area, including the senior whose session I shot.
4pm(ish) - the good thing about the Stampfli-Stoker Homestead for me is that it's only about 5 minutes down the road from home. So, while my 4pm shot wasn't right on the dot, I did capture this shot of a feed trough in the cow pasture as I was getting out of the car after the session.
5pm - again not right on the dot, but when you're out and about, there's a little bit of flexibility. Following my session, Russell and I went out to take the garbage off. While we were out, we ran down to the local grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner last night and breakfast this morning.
6pm - cooking dinner - pork chops, gnocci, and broccoli - starting to wind the day down, especially since neither one of the girls took a nap.
7pm - dinner is over, bath time is done, and the girls are settling in for a few cartoons before bed. Cayleigh decided to cuddle up with daddy this evening. About 30 minutes after this shot, both girls were asleep!
Which, of course, led to this shot... 8pm - cuddled up in bed with their stuffed animals.
My approach to my storytelling shots, which this hour by hour challenge certainly falls into, is slightly different than I hear many other photographers talk about. While I certainly use these exercises to continue to learn to look for light and use it dramatically (I mean, what photographer doesn't love light?), I also look first and foremost for the story. That means that I've had to learn to shoot with what light is available to me. Sometimes, that means that I'm working with very little light, but, knowing that such may be the case, I've worked (and continue to work) on being comfortable using higher ISO levels, focusing with a shallow depth of field (so I better get the main focal point right), and using slow shutter speeds (and since most of these shots happen too quickly to set up a tripod, that means I am constantly working on having a steady hand). Every photographer's approach is different, but I have definitely seen growth since I went back to a renewed focus on the story ... to capturing my everyday moments in a way that turned them into art.
One final note for you, don't forget about my Project 365 blog posts over on my Mom-Photog blog! Here's the link to Week 4's post. To see the full-resolution images from my Project 365, which includes the hour by hour challenge, go to my Project 365 gallery.