Archive for May, 2014

Water Baby No.2

May 19, 2014

Its a right of passage, when our babies hit the 3 month mark, they hit the pool. Yesterday was Cullen’s moment. We set it up so that Cullen’s first time, would be all about him. No boisterous big brother splashing around stealing his thunder or trying to dunk him.

Slowly slowly Cullen was lowered into the water.

And there he is, not a bother. Almost smiling at the experience.


Then it was time for a little surf board floaty action.

Chillin like he’s at the beach.

Flirting or maybe he’s pleading with the other mothers poolside.

Time to get dunked.

A little momma & Cullen swimming time.

Bundled up nice and warm, proud of his first swim experience and ready for a nap.

American Track League

May 17, 2014

The Husband is currently in the throws of  The American Track League. The brainchild of his own making its a series of 8 track meets being hosted in 8 different cities throughout the US. The series kicked off 3 weeks ago in Bloomington, Indiana, then it was on to Charlottesville, Virginia, this week it was the hometown meet here in Atlanta, Georgia. Being that it was local, Keane, Cullen and I were able to go and enjoy a great evening of competition. Keane definitely enjoyed himself, I on the other hand seriously underestimated the level of difficulty involved in taking a very active and curious toddler to an event with a 13 week old who was proving to be a real challenge this particular evening. Thankfully there were a lot of friends on hand who were able to offer additional sets of eyes on Keane as he dashed around the track and in-field areas trying to get involved with each event, while I worked on trying to meet the loud and immediate needs of baby Cullen in the hopes of getting him off into blissful sleep.

Before the meet started there was a 40 yard dash challenge, which was open to anyone and everyone willing to step on the line and put down a time. The person who recorded the fastest time was then offered a lane in the 100m event. Of course, Keane was the first competitor to throw down, and just as Keane was getting into his 3-point start position, Cullen went into meltdown mode, demanding food and under no circumstances was he willing to wait for me to capture his brother running the 40. I was sure I was about to miss getting any kind of photo of Keane’s moment, but just as Keane began to run, 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the shot put, Adam Nelson came up to say “Hi”. I responded with an urgent “Hi” and immediately handed him baby Cullen and his bottle and asked him to hold it down while I raced to the sidelines to grab a photo or 2 of Keane.

As he approached the finish line Keane spotted me trackside and immediately changed his direction to run towards me. Luckily I was just beyond the finish so he did get to cross the line and clocked a time of 17 seconds, Go Keane!

As the fans begin to arrive the house band (The Velveteen Playboys) gets the crowd warmed up and ready.

Keane got a little upset cos he had to stay off the track during the races, so to make him feel better we brought him out in between a couple of the events to run the 40 again. Daddy reminds him where his startline is.

And while the band played, Keane got into his start position.

Then took off down the track.

Daddy and Keane.

Cheeky Half Smiles

May 14, 2014

He has the biggest gummiest smile and throws it around very liberally with any kind of human attention. But trying to capture this, has proven very challenging. As I sing, clap and make idle chit-chat, Cullen will kick, squirm and smile big and wide in pure joy, but as soon as I pick up my camera, his curiously is peaked, his smile disappears and he beings an intense study of this unusual piece of clicking equipment.

During our playtime yesterday I put forward a big effort, laying the theatrics on thick, hoping to secure a shot of his happy face. But again, as soon as the camera went up, the smile was gone. I did manage to get a couple of cheeky little half smiles, and for now, I’ll take it.

Baby Maya

May 12, 2014

This blog post is about baby Maya, the daughter of my good friend Rachel and a very special little girl. Maya was born 9 weeks premature by emergency c-section when Rachel developed preeclampsia. Although weighting in at just under 2 lbs when she was born, tiny Maya had the heart of a lioness and literally put up the fight of her life to claim her place in this world. It was a very long, stressful and emotional journey for Maya and her parents. She remained in hospital for just over 8 weeks and during that time there was much progress but also many setbacks. But with an amazing family and a hospital staff that can only be described as second to none, Maya made it.

I was honored to meet baby Maya 3 days after her arrival and captured a couple of photos of this almost 2 lb little fighter.

Fast forward 10 weeks and here she is. All 6 lbs of absolute gorgeousness.

Maya has now been home for 3 weeks, and 2 weeks ago I was happy we were finally getting to do her newborn photos. However, our first attempt at capturing these photos was a semi-epic fail. Maya made her feelings about our photographing plans very clear by pooping and peeing on both Rachel and I right as we tried to get her in position. Once we got her and ourselves all cleaned up, Maya still insisted she was not in the mood to be photographed. She fell asleep for less than 5 minutes, so I was able to get he above and below shot. But after that, each time we tried to soothe her off to sleep and place her in position, she woke up yelling at us.

The only time she really settled was when she was being held my her momma. So we used the opportunity to get some adorable mother and baby shots and decided to try again a few days later to capture her newborns.

Rachel’s furry baby, Pepper loves Maya.

Ok, so last Friday we went round 2 with little Maya, but this time we were ready for all of her challenging ways. Rachel arrived with coffee to keep us awake and alter while we waited for Maya to drift off into blissful baby sleep. She also brought her mom, so we had extra assistance and someone on hand to quickly remove Maya’s paci (thats a soother for all my Irish peeps) giving me seconds to snap all I could before she started to squirm and quick as a flash, grandma had to replace the paci, least Maya wake up. Rachel actually snapped a few “behind-the-scenes” images of our shoot and here you can see a little glimpse of what actually goes into capturing all of those dreamy, fluffy images of tiny babies. Its a very deceptive game of patients, creativity, weird shooting angles, assistance with pillow elevation and paci (soother) removal and administration, as well as fitness as you work ferociously to secure every angle and every image you can before baby wakes up. Make no mistake about it, cute photos, takes work. Hard work.

But its so worth it when you walk away with images like this.

At the end of the shoot Keane and Cullen go in on a little of the action. Maya was actually born 2 weeks after Cullen, but obviously 9 weeks premature, but it was still fun for us to put them side by side for a little size comparison.

Breast Cancer 5k 2014

May 10, 2014

For the second year now my friend Mike and I and Keane have participated in the Atlanta Breast Cancer 5k. This year however, we welcomed a new member to our running group, baby Cullen. And as you can see from the photo, he screamed the place down in sheer excitement and anticipation of the big event.

A mom and baby shot with 2 very distracted boys.

This years team name was “Cheeks & Deuces” Cheeks is Keane’s nickname and Deuces is Cullen’s.

Cullen cringes at the idea of having his photo taken.

Keane gets a little 3-point start practice in as we wait for the starter to fire his gun.

And we are off! We somehow managed to talk Keane into staying in the buggy for a small part of the run.

But eventually he wanted out and he was straight into his 3-point start. Set!


Apparently my friend Mike breaks into a sweat and has a mini panic attack when I hand him my camera and ask him to take a photo of me and the boys, as a result the focus and composition can be a bit off, but I think he did fine here.

Obviously Keane had no plans to stay in the buggy, after a water break and a few minutes rest, he was off and running again.

Ok, so this is where Mike’s panic is really revealed. I had him run on ahead with the camera so he could capture Keane’s big “cross the finish line” moment. As you can see the photos are a bit if’y, but I don’t care, cos I know its me and my little 5k champion.

Back of the shirt shots.

Keane was not leaving until he got his hands on some balloons.

Mission accomplished.