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Fun at the Park!

Getting fun pictures of my kids at the park sometimes seems like such a drag.  Been there, shot that.  I mean, seriously — we go to these parks all the time!  How many “new” pictures am I going to find?  So I went on a mission to look for little holes around the equipment to use to frame my daughter as she played.

Playground fun - photographing kids on playground equipment

Glen Echo Park, photographing with interesting shapes at the playground

Among the many shots I tried out that morning, these are a few of my favorites.  Framed just by that slide-climbing-structure-thing my daughter is obsessed with.  And yeah, it’s not the easiest thing to get a moving kid in focus whens hooting through a 1″ hole.

French fries at McDonaldAre you hungry yet?  After the park, my daughter announced that she was hungry (I think that’s just her new favorite word, but I find it impossible to ignore the “I HUNGWEEEE, Mommy!” call), so we ran over to the newly renovated McDonald’s over on River Rd. in Bethesda (which, incidentally, looks like it should be a Cosi, rather than a child-friendly fast-food restaurant, but that’s another story entirely).  I was determined to get some pictures of my daughter without the guy reading a newspaper in the background.  So to eliminate the distractions, I casually stood up on the bench next to my daughter’s high chair, and grabbed a picture before they asked us to leave.  (I did get a few weird looks, but hey, I love the picture, so it was worth it.)

Then back to campto pick up big brother.  Since the kiddos were dragging their feet walking back to the car, I gave up the fight and let them play in the dirt, figuring I’d see what I could get laying my camera on the ground and shooting up at them (since I was uncharacteristically wearing a dress that day, this meant shooting blind, camera on ground, me not on ground!).

Photographing kids at play by the parking lot for Glen Echo Park.  :)There is something just so precious about shots looking up at a child.  Don’t get me wrong — they don’t usually look great.  ;)  But when they do, it’s like you’ve placed yourself in their world for just a moment, where they’re constantly looking up at you.  And then, of course, sometimes, it’s just a little fun. :)

Looking up at your child in a photo is an unusual experience!


[...] Fun at the Park! {Glen Echo, MD Child Photography} [...]

Baby girl with paci

Who doesn’t love a pretty portrait of a beautiful little girl?

Toddler poses on sidewalk in Charlottesville Virginia

I was at an awards ceremony for my sister, who was graduating the next month from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  While she was showing her art show to my husband, I stayed outside with our doggie and my daughter, neither of whom were actively welcomed into an art gallery, of course.  (Though my dog is significantly better behaved than a lot of people in those situations, but I digress.)

This portrait will always remind me of her propensity to just sit down in the middle of sidewalk.  And the pacifier hanging out the side of her mouth is just so, well, Rheta!

But as much as I love that image, it’s the next sequence that I am drawn to over and over.  And if each stand-alone image is, perhaps, not quite as strong as that portrait above, still this day-in-the-life lifestyle photography captures a sequence of events I’ve seen unfold a million times.  This kind of lifestyle photography is no doubt my favorite — and nothing captures it better than a storyboard!  (Except, perhaps, for an album, but then it’s harder to hang up on your wall and email to eager grandparents!).

Bethesda MD photographer shooting with Charlottesville Va Artist Theresa Jeanne

There she is, just shooting the breeze, looking, actually, a little indecisive about her next mischievous move.  So, she smooths out her skirt, clearly using the time to think.  Suddenly, she remembers that a few minutes earlier, I’d talked her into taking out her paci, and putting it in her purse.  In panic, she checks her purse for the paci.  Not there!  She looks closer.  She rummages around (I’m reminded of Mary Poppins opening her carpet bag and drawing out a lamp).  And finally she emerges victorious.

That’s the power of a storyboard.  A single image just can’t capture all that action.


Ginny Drake - July 29, 2011 - 11:37 am

Love the pictures! You are,most assuredly, an artist with your camera.

I am nursing a broken wrist at the moment, typing with one hand. This is my second summer in a cast (broken foot last year). I’m NOT handling it well. All summer activities are on hold until next year -no golf, no running, no piano playing, no writing, no scrapbooking (my artistic attempt). Am reading alot; got through Les Miserables – what an amazing tome that is! Trying not to whine too much; the other “wine” helps.

did manage to spend a lovely week on VA Beach with kids and grands in July.

Hope everything is well with you and your lovely family. Hi also to Beth & Tom.

With warm regard,

What to do when the kids are sick?

It happens every now and then.  It’s never fun, but it’s a part of life.  One moment, the kiddos are running around like banshees, and the next — bam!  Sick.

The “stomach flu” hit us a couple days after we returned from California a few weeks ago, so Thursday was pretty much spent helping my little daughter regain fluids.  She turned out to be a big fan of the pedialyte popsicles.

Sick toddler eating pedialyte popsicles

Meanwhile, my son and I battled over whether he would “cut things” or help me with dinner, until I had the brilliant idea to wash his Crayola kid scissors and let him use them to cut the carrots into microscopic pieces fit for our fried rice dinner.

Photo storyboad of preschooler cooking fried rice in Bethesda, MD

Finished cooking dinner, my son then decided, quite out of the blue, that it was his turn to take pictures.  With my camera.  With my professional camera.  My Nikon D700.  Fighting the urge to simply say “no”, and madly trying to remember the fine print in my insurance policy, I agreed.  I showed him how to hold the camera (left hand under the lens — for adults, this results in sharper pictures because the camera is steadier; in the hands of a 4 year old, this was the only possible way he was going to be able to hold the heavy camera without dropping it!), and he finally managed to contort his hand so he could press the shutter.  We then launched into a discussion of photo techniques, as I encouraged him to try to get both our heads in the picture, for example.  After a while, he got more comfortable and started telling us how he wanted us to sit (or lie on the floor).

My Nikon D700 camera with 50mm lens, wielded by my preschool photographer

Looks like my problem of never being in any pictures is over!


beth - December 4, 2011 - 11:30 pm

you are so talented
(friend from FB)

Danie - December 5, 2011 - 9:09 pm

Hi Beth,
Thanks, sweetie! I’m always sorry we’ve never managed to actually get together, we shared so much history with the birth of our children and the aftermath. Any day now, right?
- Danie

Easter siblings

Frankly, Easter was so hectic I probably wouldn’t have even tried to get sibling shots that day — the kids had been pulled from the bath minutes before I had them out on the front steps, and dinner was almost ready — but at the risk of seeming overly materialistic, I just love this little dress on my daughter, and I was determined to have pictures of her wearing it.

Child Photos in Charlottesville

The next set of images just makes me smile.  To truly appreciate them, you have to understand that for some reason, my daughter believes that “kisses” means she should hold out her cheek to, well, everyone around, to receive a kiss.  This is true whether you ask her to give a kiss or someone else to kiss her. Or, for that matter, if you say “I love you.”  It’s adorable, and now I have pictures of it!  :)  Another of those “I LOVE being a photographer” moments.

Visitng Family in Virginia for Easter photos

Happy belated Easter, everyone!

- Danie {Bethesda, MD family photographer}

Robin - May 3, 2011 - 5:25 pm

aweee love these photos, both your kids are always so filled with great expressions! Love her kisses received and given :)

Waking Up

My baby girl is an unfortunately light sleeper, which means it’s virtually impossible to sneak into her room and get a picture of her sleeping.  And yet, this afternoon, I burst in, thinking I’d heard her talking, and was surprised to see her still sound asleep!  Thinking fast, I very softly tip-toed back downstairs, grabbed my camera, switching settings to my best guess as I tip-toed back upstairs, was relieved to see her still sleeping away, cute as could be….

And just as I raised the camera to take the picture, well, the pictures speak for themselves at this point, as she woke up to the camera in her sweet little face.

Sleeping baby photography in Bethesda, MD


Dad - April 16, 2011 - 2:55 pm

That’s a heartwarming progression from confusion to awareness and ultimately delight as she gives you her best ‘good morning mommy’ smile!