How to make a regular walk, 5x cooler with a five year old.

Hey there,

It’s me again, for the second time this month! I guess you could say the WordPress and I are getting pretty serious, Ha!

I have to say that what I’m about to share with you is possibly pretty commonly thought of. Definitely not assuming I’ve coined this idea but just to add, I didn’t look it up on google or pinterest before hand and I’m actually pretty proud of that. I had an idea and went with it, my son ended up loving it and was thoroughly engaged the whole time.

Hands down I would add this into my favorite top five things Cohen and I have ever done together.

Taking walks around our neighborhood is a favorite past time of my son’s. So just before we were about to head out for a loop around the block, I had an idea to make it a photo walk – He takes his camera and I grab mine. I’ve done this a couple of times before; Cohen might take a couple pictures, get uninterested and then ask me to hold his camera for the rest of journey. But for some strange reason, at the same time the thought crossed my mind to take my camera I remembered my photo 1 class in high school. Some of the first assignments we had were “Object, line, texture, reflection…” And I just thought “wow, I didn’t realize it then but it’s almost like a scavenger hunt.”

Then it clicked, Cohen L-O-V-E-S scavenger hunts. I actually had done a Pokemon themed hunt at his birthday party and it was such a huge hit and yet it had never occurred to me to implement that into a photo walk.

Calling Cohen over, I told him let’s make a list of some things we can find on our walk to take pictures of like a scavenger hunt and he was all about it. Instead of him handing me the paper to write out a list like I thought he would; He sat down and drew a picture for everything we came up with.

We decided on:

  • Any kind of bug
  • Any kind of flower
  • A white mailbox
  • A brown leaf
  • A sign
  • A capital “G”
  • A bird

I didn’t go too overboard with the list because I didn’t know how it was going to go until it did but I got to tell you it was a parenting WIN. He was so focused and adorable!! Scoping out ant hills and getting so excited when he found the next thing on the list. I took just a few pictures of him which I’ll add, just enough to remember the evening. My absolute favorite is the one where he had gotten a picture of a bird right before it flew off and I was hyping him up “Did you get it?!? You got it?! Oh my gosh that looks so good – you’re a great photographer!!” And he was so proud of himself you can just see it in his eyes looking at it on the back of his camera. MY HEARTTTT ❀

It was in that moment that I could see myself in Cohen. I mean he is my mini me through and through so it’s always there, but we connect very deeply with art so this was just the absolute best bonding experience for us.

If you’re a mama with a five year old and a camera, try this game/hack/idea whatever you want to call it for yourself. It was so touching and Cohen just loved every second so maybe yours will too.

With Love,


The importance of a photograph

Hello there,

Last weekend I ventured to New Hampshire, but for the first time in my life it wasn’t just to visit with my extended family. My nana on my mom’s side had passed away two weeks before and the whole family was gathering together to have a celebration of life for her. In all my 27 years of life I haven’t felt a loss of someone close to me until now. I did lose my Great Grandmother when I was pretty young but until now Nana is the first of my close knit group of people I’ve grown up with to pass. I can still hear her laugh, I can still feel and smell her nana hugs, I’m still remembering how she would draw on my back to put me to sleep when I was really young.

Growing up so far from the rest of my family really put a shield over the idea that they wouldn’t be there one day. I never experienced seeing her sick with pneumonia or having to go in for dialysis. What I saw of Nana was all the love and laughter we shared in the small visits we would take up there every so often. But the truth of the matter is she had been fighting a hard battle behind the scenes for a long time I was just getting glimpses of it towards the end.

Before the hours of visitation had started at the funeral home my mom, aunties and uncles poured over hundreds of photographs that had been collected by the family; Trying to pick and choose which ones to display around the room. There was a slideshow playing on repeat that everyone who came to pay their respects stood memorized in front of. Memories of good times of nana’s life with all of her 5 kids and then of course her siblings growing up and all 16 of us grandchildren.

It was in that moment that the importance of a photograph really struck me. There would be nothing to look at that day if there was not someone at some time who thought “This would be a great picture.” And actually had a camera to snap it. So many memories that wouldn’t be shared or reminisced. So much life that would have long been forgotten. While we prayed our goodbyes to Nana and left for the mercy meal it hung on my heart how much I need to photograph my own life; and this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way but seeing my nana’s life play out through photographs really brought the feelings back up to the surface. I think about how wonderful it is to be a photographer and capture these precious moments of all these babies for all my moms I meet and what an impact that makes on them when their baby turns into an adult. But what about the impact it makes on the adult that will someday have to say goodbye to that mom. That same picture is still standing – it’s gone full circle. Photographs really have a rippling importance in many lives and generations and I had been overlooking the big picture.

Being a photographer, at least for me has played this very strange trick on me. What I used to do freely and used to love to do I see as something I want to separate myself from when I’m done now. When I’m home I just want to put screens and cameras away and just be in the moment to soak in everything I miss when I’m either out shooting or my face is in my computer editing. I can count on one hand how many things of my own life I’ve photographed lately and that’s a problem… When I die what are they going to play at my funeral? All of the pictures I’ve taken of other people? A few of my instagram selfies? This trip really put all of that into perspective for me (again). I’m happy I have what I have but it’s not much compared to what it could be and the reality of that hit me like a dump truck.

So for the rest of day I took pictures.

I didn’t really think about it. I just did it. Some were of my family posed and some were just because life is too short. Who knows when the next time I will see my cousins who live in Texas will be. Or my aunts and uncles from MA. The next time I do see them they won’t look the same, they’ll be older with more smile lines on their faces. My younger cousins will be graduating and off making a life for themselves soon. Everyone changes and life moves so fast. Even just looking at Cohen now, he is a completely different looking boy then he was even just 2 years ago.

Photographs are so important. You can remember a lot but it will never be everything. There will be many very minuscule times you take a picture that you won’t ever think will matter and when enough time has passed you’ll be so glad you have it. Or someone you love will.

Be blessed,


Throw back circa 99′