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The Way I View … Sweetness and Love

It’s the second month of our ClickinMoms Project 12 in 2012!  This is a circle project, so don’t miss the next interpretation, linked at the end of this entry!

During February, we challenged ourselves to capture images that fit this them:

The way I view… sweetness and love.

These images came at the end of a long day.  My kids were freezing cold, hungry, and tired, so to say they were not feeling the love when it came to taking direction would be an understatement.  But more importantly, you can see how much they just love each other (united against mom-learning-to-use-a-reflector, I guess!).

Photos of my children playing in the park at sunset

For another take on sweetness and love, take a moment to be inspired by Laura (another Maryland photographer!), as she tells a beautiful story of the example her parents have set for her.  (Not to give away too much, but her mom still has the first note her dad ever wrote her — that he dropped on her desk in science class!)

Welcome to March, everyone!

- Danie Smallwood, Bethesda, MD

Susan - March 2, 2012 - 12:29 am

Very cute. I’m loving the sun burst in the first photo. What fun this project is.

Jo Lien - March 2, 2012 - 11:10 am

They certainly look like they’re plotting against you! What a couple of cuties!

Mindy Newton - March 2, 2012 - 11:32 am

What a fun evening! I love the starburst shots especially!

Laura A - March 2, 2012 - 3:01 pm

Great photos!! So beautiful.

Micha - March 2, 2012 - 6:38 pm

Sweet, sweet images. I love the sunburst in these shots…and the tone. I really get that ‘end of a winter’s day’ feeling!

heather - March 6, 2012 - 12:03 am

oh danie, look at those pictures! of course i love the sweetness of them. but the sunflare is too awesome.

Celeste - March 14, 2012 - 1:54 am

Great post, Danie. Way to rock that evening sunlight! I love the images you’ve chosen for this post.

Lisa Frederick - May 16, 2012 - 7:21 pm

LOVE these shots with the light coming through the trees. Beautiful!

Puddle Jumping!

Picked my kids up from school.  It was raining.  I hadn’t cleaned my car out in an embarrassingly long time.  Recipe for disaster?


Then I realized I had rain pants and rain boots in the car!  And hoody sweatshirts!  Hurrah for never bringing things back into the house!

So we drove to a mostly empty parking lot with some puddles, and I told the kids to just go to it.  :)  I did ask occasionally that they not stand directly in front of a garbage can, but basically, I took pictures and they played.  It was awesome!  (No, seriously, they said so.  Score.)

Storyboard of son jumping in puddles in Cabin John, MD.Image of child jumping into a puddle

This next picture is a BIG deal.  My daughter had literally just learned days earlier how to jump (you know, both feet off the ground at the same time).  If you look closely, you’ll see this rain storm came at the perfect time for her to try out her new skills!

Daughter learned to splash in puddles

Reluctant daughter jumped in the puddles!Son helping his sister into the puddles

Now it can be warm and sunny again. :)




Mindy Newton - February 29, 2012 - 1:14 pm

So fun! Today we are getting our first day of rain in awhile and I’m hoping to get my kids puddle jumping in the next couple of days. :)

Danie - February 29, 2012 - 2:14 pm

Thanks, Mindy! Get on out there and have a blast! I’m listening to it rain again here right now…. :)

Bribing my kids to model

My kids and I have a sophisticated system of exchanging services — I’ll work my “Mommy magic” and find a beloved toy that’s gone missing; in exchange for which, that lucky child “cooperates” for five minutes while I order them about so I can photograph my kids.  That’s pretty fair.   Earlier this week, however, I had an assignment due for an online class, and I was under a deadline, so I shamelessly I resorted to unadulterated begging.  Combined with Easter colored M&Ms, served in awesome Spiderman and Princess cups.  I like to think that everyone won.;)

Here’s how it went down.

Things started off very peacefully.  My daughter was up for some “paci” humor — here, she was showing it off for me.

Storyboard - Photos of child with paci


But that was pretty much that.  Paci humor passed quickly, without my quite getting the shot I was looking for.  My son volunteered to help, and I lucked out with one of my favorite pictures of him. ;)

Trying to get sibling pictures. :)

As cute as they were, I had other ideas in mind.  Despite the cold, I managed to talk my daughter into shedding her jacket for about 3 minutes (note the purple car she held on to as a compromise), while we shot with this tiny bit of two-colored brick (there’s an ugly FedEx box inches to her right — camera left — in these pics!).  In the bottom two pictures, she’s cold and wants to stop — I love how she looks like she’s about to walk right out of the frame.  :)  But we were well and truly finished when she heard an ambulance (bottom right) and there was no interesting her in the camera after that!Finding Spots for Child Portraits in Downtown Bethesda

For the rest of this fun attempt, starting backwards, with the M&M bribe, here’s the full set of pictures.:)


Here’s to February warming back up, and lots of gorgeous Spring flowers soon!


Focused and tired – my daughter

We were at a playdate with 3 boys — 2 five year olds, and the other about to turn 3.  Everyone was tired.  It was chaotic.  My daughter chose to handle this by completely separating from the boys for a little while!  Here she’s studying the mystery of Crayola’s color changing markers.  Apparently I’m too old and she’s too young to appreciate this particular product.

Photos of my child examining a new kind of markerMy daughter, a budding marker artist, in black and white photography

Coloring is very serious business, as you can see.

My child coloring while I photograph her with window light

Eventually, she decided to rejoin the boys, who had started to watch the movie “Cars” (see previous post with the other two boys).  They hadn’t settled in yet, and apparently the chaos called for an emergency pacifier (aka, sneaking it when I wasn’t looking!).

I find I don’t mind TV nearly as much when my kids decide to use toys to reenact the scenes!

Capturing siblings at play

Contemplating the deeper meaning behind the “Cars” cars?

Suddenly, she found herself engrossed in the movie!

My thanks again the extreme indulgence of my good friend for letting me take so many pictures yesterday!;)


Julie - February 17, 2012 - 11:10 am

Love that you did these in b&w. They are so classic looking!

New Beginnings: ClickinMoms Project 12 in 2012

For 2012, I’ve joined a group of amazing women to participate in a Project 12 in 2012.  Each month, we have a generic theme.  We each take photos that illustrate an interpretation of that theme, then post on our blog to share with you.  :)  Where this becomes really fun, though, is at the end of each post, we link to the next photographer in the group. By following the links, you can see up to 12 different interpretations of the same theme!

This month’s theme:

New Beginnings

I had about 200 different ideas for this theme, from sunrises, to self-portraits of me working out (but that didn’t work out, so to speak!).  In the end, I stuck with my original idea — a quick recap of my daughter’s journey from crib to big girl bed to….

I am a mother before anything else these days, and this past month, my daughter has absolutely controlled my attention, all of a sudden becoming a little preschooler, rather than the baby I still feel she should be.  First, she potty-trained beginning on Christmas Day (Santa brought her a purple potty!!!).  A couple weeks later, we said goodbye to her crib.  My daughter had been begging for a big bed like her brother’s.

My baby girl, excited for pictures as we said goodbye to her crib!With the help of the awesome handymen from Case Design, that crib was converted into her big girl bed by the afternoon!  (No easy feat, since the rails that came with it did not, of course, attach properly.)  Up on her walls went the butterflies from my parents at Christmas, and her new bed was covered in purple sheets and a purple quilt from Pottery Barn Kids.  She couldn’t wait to try it out!Child photography - capturing my daughterThe first night, I slept with her, because we hadn’t thought to buy a side rail and I didn’t want her to fall out!  Plus, she was a little intimidated.  But nearly three weeks later, she was still stood next to her new bed, tearfully gazing up at me, saying, “I don’t want to sweep in mine big purple bed.  I want mine wittle pink bed.”  Meaning her crib.

Finally, in desperation, two nights ago I asked her if she’d like me to get her pack-n-play out.  I just couldn’t keep going to bed at 8:00pm every night with her.  She agreed, and her pack-n-play is now set up right next to her big bed.

Tripod indoor photography, my child sleeping in her pack-n-play

So, this was our “New Beginnings” this past January!   For another take on the theme, check out the incredibly talented Mindy, of Mindy Newton Photography, who’s been undergoing similar bed restructuring.

- Danie

heather - February 2, 2012 - 9:03 am

so sweet danie! going from crib to big girl bed is such an adjustment :)

Jo - February 2, 2012 - 10:27 am

I love this series (especially the first one — the light on her face is gorgeous). It’s so hard to transition them to the big bed — we had the hardest time getting my son to STAY in bed! :) Good luck!

[...] would love for you to click on over to my friend danie’s blog to see her take on new [...]

Melissa - February 2, 2012 - 11:19 am

Oh Danie…this is the sweetest! I think our babies don’t want to grow up just as much as we want them to stay little. (love your blog, too, by the way!)

[...] & see how differently we all interpret the same theme. After visiting my page, please visit Photography by Danie‘s [...]

Kelly - February 2, 2012 - 2:31 pm

aaw that is so sweet. Poor little thing felt to small in that big girl bed. By the way I love the bed. Hang in there she’ll adjust. My 4 year old is still in her little princess bed, the one that fits the crib mattress. :-)

Melissa M. - February 2, 2012 - 2:50 pm

So sweet!

Breanna - February 2, 2012 - 3:29 pm

love these Danie! & what a big transition it is!!

Kathy - February 2, 2012 - 4:42 pm

I love a transition like this as a new beginning! Great work :D

Laura A - February 2, 2012 - 4:51 pm

I love this interpretation of the theme! So many new beginnings with kiddos as they grow!

Danie - February 2, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Thank you, ladies! I’m so proud of her — it wasn’t easy for her to go back to sleeping alone in her room, even in the pack n play, but she was very brave. It’s so easy to minimize how incredibly HUGE these moments are for our little ones!

Mindy Newton - February 3, 2012 - 3:11 am

So fun to see this post of yours – I had no idea when I posted mine! Lovely images, I sure hope she gets used to her big girl bed soon!

Tamra - February 3, 2012 - 8:11 pm

Your story, especially with your photos to go along with it, is so sweet! I love the image of the peek of her on her big girl bed.

Danie - February 3, 2012 - 9:01 pm

Mindy — obviously, we have much in common besides photography!
Tamra — that is my favorite image, too! :)

Susan - February 12, 2012 - 11:10 pm

What a big girl. These are going to bring back such fond memories in the future.

[…] work & see how differently we interpret the same theme. After visiting my page, please visit Photography by Danie‘s […]