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Nov 4 2014

Why I’ve Stopped Taking So Many Pictures of My Baby

By at 12:59 pm

Why I've Stopped Taking So Many Pictures of My Baby

When my in-laws came this spring to meet Penrose, they brought with them a DVD containing several months worth of baby videos of my husband. They were taken in 1981, when household-use video cameras were new on the market. His grandparents and aunts feature prominently, as does his mother, and of course, my husband, baby Bill. His father is behind the camera, being directed by his grandfather. The videos capture the family sitting around, happy together, and there’s lots of loving footage of tiny Bill, who looks so much like Penrose it’s uncanny.

Although there’s a substantial amount of footage, it’s always taken somewhat deliberately, as in, “here we are all together, so let’s document the moment.” VHS tapes weren’t cheap, the camera weighed a ton, and the only way to share the footage was to get everyone together again to watch it, or tediously copy the tapes and mail them around. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 26 2014

WATCH: In Your 30s You Finally Get It

By at 2:57 pm


“Sisterhood: A Documentary” is a lovely short film about friendship, self-reflection, and what it means to be in your 30s.

When she received tenure from her job as a professor, one Pittsburgh woman decided it was time to celebrate her accomplishments in a meaningful way. Watch what happens when nine smart, accomplished ladies get together to enjoy a day of pampering and glamour:

Elizabeth Craig from John Craig on Vimeo.

(H/t Tamara Reese)

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Jun 18 2014

We Took the Family Trip of a Lifetime & Then We Lost the Camera

By at 3:14 pm


And on the seventh day of our trip to California, we lost our camera.

It was an expensive Canon SLR with zoom lens, battery, memory card, lens filter, and sun shade. On that memory card were some 1,500 photos and videos that we’d taken in one week. In an instant, we’d lost something eminently replaceable and something devastatingly irreplaceable.

On the trip, we had visited Yosemite National Park, celebrated my cousin’s bar mitzvah in Berkeley, and toured San Francisco, my husband Rob skillfully and happily composing and snapping both posed and candid photos along the way. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 2 2014

10 Gorgeous Shavuot Tablescapes To Inspire You

By at 12:27 pm

We are quickly approaching my favorite holiday of Shavuot, which begins on Tuesday night. Any holiday that celebrates by decorating one’s home with flowers and eating cheesecake is my kind of celebration! I thought it would be fun to put together 10 of my favorite floral tablescapes to help inspire your table decor this year.


1. Let’s start with this year’s Shavuot table that I created using dozens of peonies. These are hands down my favorite flower and they always bloom around the same time as Shavuot, so to me the two go hand-in-hand. Notice that I added height to the table by placing peony blossoms on top of candlesticks instead of candles. This is a great tip you can use on your own Shavuot table. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 29 2014

Why I Will No Longer Post Photos of My Kids on Facebook

By at 10:56 am


“Take it down,” my 12-year-old told me emphatically when I entered the TV room where my family gathered to watch an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game last week. Prior to the game, I had taken an adorable picture of him and his 9-year-old sister, linking arms, decked out from head to toe in their favorite team’s attire.

The picture was “likable.” It was fun, happy, and symbolic of our family’s love for my husband’s alma mater and the university that my oldest daughter’s currently attends. It was a must-share. Therefore, I captioned with, “We’re ready! Go BLUE,” and did what so many of us proud, kvelling Jewish mothers do–I posted the photo to Facebook.

“Take it down,” my younger son told me again, as I semi-pretended not to hear him. “But people have already liked it and commented on it,” I responded, realizing I was pleading with him. “Mom, please do not post pictures of me without asking,” he said with annoyance. My youngest daughter chimed in, “Yeah, mom, same goes for me!” Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 17 2014

Artist Photoshops Herself into Her Own Childhood Photographs

By at 1:44 pm
chino otsuka imagine finding me

1982 + 2005, France (China Otsuka)

Ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with your 7-year-old self? What about your awkward 14-year-old “don’t take a picture of me” self? Artist Chino Otsuka explores this fantasy in her excellent photo series “Imagine Finding Me.”

Otsuka manipulated old photographs from her childhood by placing varying images of herself in older years, side-by-side to her younger self in eerily authentic looking Photoshop creations.

Otuska explained the thought process behind her beautiful project:

“The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.”

Take a look at these images while you ponder what your kids might do with all those iPhone photos of themselves. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 16 2013

Interview + Giveaway: The Israeli-American Photographer Who Captured Motherhood in a Book

By at 12:11 pm

elinor carucci mother photograph book giveaway

Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carucci’s third photography book, released this past Setpember, is titled “Mother.” It’s an extremely beautiful, raw, and inspiring collection of photographs exploring Elinor’s pregnancy, birth, and the early childhood of her twins, Emmanuelle and Eden.

We got a chance to chat with the talented photographer on her inspiration for the book, what it was like to constantly photograph her children, and reconciling her career and her role as a parent. Want to get your hands on this beautiful book? Enter our giveaway at the bottom of this post.

What was your original inspiration for a book of photography about motherhood? 

The inspiration was motherhood. It’s as simple as that. The surprising thing for me was how little was actually portrayed about motherhood in the arts and photography. I feel that we’ve seen a lot of perfect celebrity photographs, and even in the history of art, a lot of Madonna and child images that, in a way, show a certain aspect of motherhood but definitely don’t go deep into the complexity of what it is to be a mother, to be a father, to be a parent. The inspiration was the intensity and the richness of the emotions and feelings, the complexity of the relationships that I experienced as a mother, and how much they were intertwined with one another and happening almost side by side, how intense of an experience it is. It is beautiful and joyful and magical and difficult and scary and full of failures and successes. It’s really a microcosm of everything we experience and feel, all of the emotions we have at once. The inspiration was to try to depict it the way I felt it, which was very rich and complex. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 17 2013

Stop Taking So Many Pictures of Your Kids

By at 5:02 pm

taking picture of kids in swimwearI remember how the cost of taking pictures used to add up quickly, and how tedious it was to keep track of your film. On my teen tour in Israel in 1993, for example, I was always judicious as my finger hovered over the shutter. I would never have considered snapping a picture of every person on my trip standing in front of the same stack of rocks on Masada. Who had the time, energy, money, and interest in developing all of those pictures? Did I want to load a new roll of film in the middle of a hike?

The advent of the digital camera feels like a curse. Taking pictures is such a regular part of our lives that my 6-year-old asks to see shots immediately and requests I take new ones if she doesn’t like something about the picture. And since I have four kids, it should come as no surprise that I am drowning in digital photos. I expected to have the classic situation of endless pictures of my oldest child and next to nothing for my youngest. Instead, I have an obscene amount of pictures of everyone, and I don’t know how to manage them all.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 24 2012

Photo Tips: Capturing Special Occasions & Parties

By at 2:04 pm

My beautiful Little Bird recently had her first birthday. In preparation for her big day, I decided to plan a decent sized party at a restaurant. As a photographer, I also decided to have a friend take some photos to commemorate the day.

blowing out candle

Ok, so you are probably thinking, “Why the hell would you want to spend money on a photographer for a first birthday?” Or for that matter, why pay for a photographer to document other important events in your little one’s new life, besides the obvious newborn shoot and maybe 1-year photo shoot. But I can tell you, I have shot my fair share of brit milahs, baby namings, baby showers, and first birthdays and it is nice to be able to look back and remember those moments. Not having to be the one behind the camera or relying on a friend or family member for the photos makes it even better. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 11 2012

Mom Stays In the Picture: Hanukkah Edition

By at 4:37 pm

Tamara and her kiddos

One of the most popular posts of late on the Huffington Post was one by Allison Tate about moms staying in the picture.

Her piece has been shared almost seven hundred thousand times not only because it was powerful and true and speaks to deep insecurities that so many of us carry, but because it was a call to action. When I look back at pictures of my own mother from when I was a toddler, I see nothing but beauty. While I have very few actual memories of that person I can see that she is young, happy, and bursting with love for the little red-headed girl she carries in the pictures. And every time I see one of those pictures I think to myself, “I wish there were more.” Read the rest of this entry →


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