Inspiration | Garden City, NY Family Photographer

A week or so ago some friends of mine asked if I wouldn't mind taking some photos at their wedding next year. Of course I said yes, and immediately started pinning wedding images that I liked on Pinterest - which then led to pinning maternity images...which then led to pinning baby images...which then led to pinning images of children. I fell down a deep, deep rabbit hole of photography inspiration. Seriously, for the last week I have been BURSTING with inspiration. There are so many gorgeous, gorgeous images out there. I am in awe at the vision of so many wonderful photographers.

We are getting family portraits taken ourselves in about two weeks, so I started looking at possibilities for set-ups we could do. Then I started looking at portraits. So much good stuff. When I stopped for a second and looked at what I had pinned, I realized that there was a common thread among all the shots that I liked, despite their genre or subject. I like a candid, photojournalistic type style. I like muted hazy colors. I like the look and feel of film photos. I like photos that capture subjects in a moment of time, seemingly unbeknownst to them. I like natural, unposed portraits. I like the feeling of taking a peek into the subject's life, without the self-consciousness of them knowing they are being photographed.  

Seeing all these pinned images together in one place provided me with such clarity. I feel like I finally know what my vision is, what my style is. I can't stop staring at all these photographs. They are so, so good.

I called my friend Lyn, who I did a shoot with a couple of years ago, and who is currently pregnant with her first child. I'm going to take some maternity portraits of her next month. I am so excited for the experience! Lyn is such a fantastic model and a good friend - I want these photos to be a gift to her so she can remember this special time in her life.

My friend Lyn, during a shoot we did a few years ago.

In addition to currently being so inspired by photography, I recently started keeping a Project Life album, and all of a sudden I am buying paper and pens and stamps! And thinking about writing again.  I have always documented life. I started journaling at age nine, which then became blogging in 2006. I have always taken photos and until I got a digital camera, I also kept scrapbooks. I have never been a fan of really girly, decorative scrapbooks. Mine were always very plain - just photos and text. I think that's why Project Life appeals to me so much. Many of the kits have a very clean, simple look. I decided to start a book documenting our summer. I am hooked. I know I'll keep going after the summer is over.

All my old scrapbooks

My spreads are very simple right now. I've just been working on getting the photos printed and arranged. I am almost caught up with the printing (I think I have two more weeks worth of spreads to do). When I'm caught up I'll go back and add more journaling and text. For our vacation, I dedicated a page or two for each day. Now that we are home, I will keep two pages per week documenting our daily lives. I am so excited and inspired by this new hobby!

I am excited that Project Life has me writing again. I have been blogging for almost seven years now (!) but I definitely still struggle with finding my voice. Also, there is only so much you can publish on the internet without getting into trouble. I have definitely struggled with that over the years, especially when I was having a hard time with work or personally. I ended up defaulting to mainly posting photos so that I wouldn't accidentally write something that would end up biting me in the ass. I am excited that I will have the freedom in my Project Life books to write about more personal experiences without worrying about who might read them. To get some more practice with journaling I signed up for Ali Edward's self-paced class "31 Things" at Big Picture Classes. I receive a prompt everyday via email and I write something based on that prompt and then put the writing together with a photo in a book called "31".  

I've also been reading Elise Blaha Cripe's blog a lot recently - delving back into her archives. Elise's blog was where I first learned about Project Life, and I love her spreads and their aesthetic. Elise has a lot of posts in her blog archive about "mini books", small scrapbooks created to tell the story of a vacation or a specific theme. I love the books she has created. I am hoping to create my first mini book with the photos I take later this week for "A Day in the Life" using instructions in a pdf from Elise's shop. Elise has also created a few beautiful books digitally on Blurb, which have me thinking about a few books I want to create, too - mainly for Lila: one documenting her 365 and also one of her monthly and weekly photos.

So many projects and so little time! (There are also lots of household projects I want to be doing as well - like working on decluttering a lot of areas in our house and cleaning up and organizing our basement!). I am spending all of my commute time on the train working on what I can and also staying up way too late. I'm also trying to take at least a half an hour of Lila's nap time everyday for me to work on these personal projects. Oh how I long for a whole day devoted to just "making" and "creating". Ah well, at least I am able to carve out tiny bits of time here and there for that purpose. Projects like these keep me sane. They keep my brain working. They make me happy.

What are you inspired by right now?