One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  It is a community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn

12-months • 12-techniques • 1-photo a week • 52-opportunities for growth • for the everyday photographer • a new year, a new artist.

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One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  A community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn 12 techniques a year (1 technique per month).  We usually have about 4 or 5 weeks to learn that technique for the month and to practice it with our camera.  Along the journey, we shared our images on social media and in the group for feedback.  This month, a group of my photography friends decided to show case our favorites from the month of January.  

“Tell me and I’ll forget.  Show me and I may remember.  Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Instead of showcasing, I decided to write more of what I have learned from January.  The technique I took on was to capture subjects under low light conditions.  Low light is not necessarily night photography, it is only when the light source is limited whether it is sun light or artificial lights.  Let’s take your bathroom for example, most of the bathrooms have limited light source, it might have a small window that has some lights peeked through but the rest of the room is dark.  I called that little light peeking through “light pocket.”  Low light technique can be very addicting if you know how to manipulate little “light pockets” to your advantage or you can create a low light condition by limiting lights pouring into the environment you are setting up the shots.  Some might ask, why would you limit lights into your environment?  My answer is to create a light source focus only on your subject.  This will create nice shadows and lights on your subject to capture the true feelings of the moment.  After capturing some photos using this technique, I have a few notes or more of lessons for myself in the future.  I hope you will find this helpful.  I love this technique so for sure you will be seeing more of it in Storyteller Through Photos in the next coming months.

Lesson 1: When I walked into a room, here are a few things I ask myself: Where is the light coming from?  What kind of light source do I have? (natural lights or artificial lights) and Where will I place the subject using the available light source to capture the story?  A little careful assessment and preparation will help create more emotional and dramatic photos.

Lesson 2: Manual Mode is as always highly recommended.  You got the full control!

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO, prefer noisy photos over blurry ones.  Know your camera and lens well to see how much noise they can handle.

Lesson 4: lower shutter speed (long exposure) to get more lights, tripod is highly recommended in this method to avoid camera shake – still need to try this.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open, which means low f-number.  When you get past the kit lens, you will never go back.  Kit lens usually has the owest F/3.6 while other lenses with F/1.8 or 1/4 can create much more desireable low light photos.  If you are working on a budget, I would say try 50mm 1.8 (I should with Canon).  This lens is a great learning tool for beginner.  Though I have moved on up with other lens, I still go back to this lens from time to time because it’s so light.  I can easily carry it in my purse anywhere with the camera.

Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.

Lesson 7: use light (natural or artificial) to create dramatic effects.

Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos.

Lesson 9: Don’t forget to have fun and use any of the combinations above to your likings (just like cooking, you are the one creating the recipes to your tastes).  Photography is art, create your own recipe, even breaking the rules is acceptable to create your own piece of art.

here are some of my favorites from January everyday’s moment

In the photo below, the light was coming from a window of his left.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO camera setting: SS 1/100, ISO 3200, freelens (no F stop info)

 

This photo was taken with 50mm, 1.8, you can see a little haze around him, I actually used my range oven light to light up his face.  I used double exposure with a little plastic to create a little glow in the photo.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open. SS 1/125, F 1.8, ISO 1250
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights. My light source is the bathroom ceiling light, having the door slightly open to light up just this guy’s face.
Lesson 7: use the lights through window to create light and shadow effect
Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos. The entire house lights were shut down, only one flashlight they carried on a stick with them.

My talented friend Suzi from Moments by Suzi also played along with this technique, please check out her low light favorites here, you will enjoy her work just as much as I do.

That’s it for this month, please check back for February photography technique.  Untill then if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to hear from you.

 Thuvan – Your gal behind the lens here at FrameThisMomentPhotography

Our family secrets of summer fun in Houston

June is the beginning of summer in Texas.  Most of the school is out by June and summer activities began.   By all mean, I’m not an expert for summer fun.  I’m only doing this to give my kids some childhood memories, teach them how to care for others and just simply enjoy being a kid.  I hope our activities will give you some ideas to do with your kids.  Please do share what you do with your kids in the summer so we can learn and maybe do it in the next summer.  We still have two more months to go.  This is only June activities, I have so much more but I will save it for the end of the summer to compile all of our summer activities.

1- Involve in at least one sport event:

This year both of my older kids were involved in the summer swimming league so most of my Saturday is consumed around swimming meets until 3rd week of June.  They enjoyed swimming, meeting new friends, hanging out with old friends, school friends and just have fun all together.

20160506- IMG_7223 Swimming Team Summer 2016

2- Visit Hospitals especially children hospitals:

Early part June, we decided to go visit some folks in the hospital, the first person we met was Ashley Johnson.  She’s currently going to school in California and came home for the summer.  You can follow Ashley’s Journey here on instagram, Ashley’s Instagram.  She’s a very sweet young girl.  In our conversation, we found out that Ashley was also a swimmer who got the chance to see Michael Phelps when she was little.   She’s also a friend with our team coach so the kids actually enjoyed talking to her. This is something we will be doing throughout the summer after our summer road trip.  20160607-IMG_0489 Jonah Jaden Ashley Johnson

3-Enjoy nature: 

There are so many things and places are free around you.  Take a stroll around your neighborhood in the afternoon/early evening.  Let the kids go outside and shout out to natures.  It is healthy for them, it is good for them to appreciate little things in their life.

20160529-IMG_9902 ThienAn Anvy & Jaden

4- Some electronic time:

Although I’m not big with electronics, I would like to give them some electronic time so they can let loose and enjoy their own time, connect with friends from afar.20160529-IMG_9960 ThaiBinh

5. Library trips:

Go to the library, check out some books.  Let them open their mind with some imagination through readings.  The libraries usually have reading list recommended for all ages, you can find all kind of books for them to read during the summer.20160616-IMG_1502 VBS Decoration day

6- Volunteer:

Volunteer and involve in the community organizations, whether it is at church, nursing homes or at any food bank or anywhere that you are comfortable.  That’s when you get to meet people (interesting people), people from far away, people that you might never meet otherwise.  Open up their minds with the reality of world that there’s so much more than what they see.  This year we got to meet a young man who has traveled to US from France.  He’s one of the leaders for Vacation Bible School for our second baby.  A very nice caring young man.  20160623-IMG_1850 VBS 2016 at CTR B&W

 

I hope your family will have a fun and safe summer.

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Father’s Day – A special note to my partner in crime

To my children’s dad,

You are one of a kind.  I’m glad to have met you and together we created a family with three children.  Our kids are the most luckiest because they have the best dad in the whole wide world (I might be biased a little here but what can I say?)  The children adore you.  You have been there since day one and I have no doubt that you will continue to be this way with them even when they are older.  You show kindness, love, care and patience in everything that you do in our day to day.  I’m lucky to have a partner who’s as compatible or even more than me so we can share duties, love and laughters.

Today I have decided to document these special moments as a dedication for you as a dad. I love you to the moon and back and I’m sure our children do as well.

We started the day with our traditional breakfast in bed for all special occasions, this was more special with the assistance of our eldest.  He woke up early so he could help preparing this special meal for dad.  Then we headed out for church.  After church we were supposed to have lunch but spontaenousely we decided that it’s a “junky” day for dad so we broke all rules and got snacks instead.  Then we headed to our uncle’s house for a party to celebrate dad.

At the end of the day, he granted them “special visas” to sleep in our bed too… Now I’m re-thinking what I said earlier about… ^_^

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Our oldest woke up early to make special scrambled egg
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Our 2nd son and little daughter kept an eye on dad, making sure he didn’t wake up until it was time.
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He later admitted that the bacon smell woke him up 🙂
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Yes, corn was served for breakfast, one of his favorites.
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Then he had to share lol
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Everyone loved daddy’s breakfast.
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everything was gone in a matter of minutes except for the coffee, they all know they can’t have that just yet.
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Baby girl said she wanted a picture with Papa.
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Daddy walked in while she was putting her shoes on.
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Guess who helped putting it on for her?
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Then who else helped brush her hair?
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We are ready for our day.
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What mama saw and prayed for.
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Papa received a special blessing.  Her face though, I didn’t see it until I processed the photo
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walking hands in hands
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Baby girl shared her portion with Papa
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Papa is collecting his dues from the other two ^_^
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Papa enjoyed his special treats ^_^
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Yum yum!
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Oh yeah!

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What’s so funny Papa?
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He’s a wonderful son as well, not so much through words but through his actions.
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winding down for the day, when they announced their special visas to take over my bed hmmm!!!
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The day is done.

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Life as it is…

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This month on the blog for “6 on the 6th blog circle“, I’m writing about a man that I happened to run into.  After you are done reading my blog, please check out LoveMammarazzi to see what she’s sharing today on this blog circle.

On May 19, 2016, after meeting with a friend for lunch, I was in a hurry trying to get home in time for the kiddos to be home from the school.  It was pouring outside.  As I was entering the freeway, I noticed a man with plastic bag over his head trying to run but I could tell he wasn’t strong enough to make a quick run for such rain.  I slowed down, rolled down the window.  I was going to give him my umbrella but when I saw his face with a big smile, I immediately knew that I had to give the man a lift.  I asked where he lives and he said it was just down the street, the man pointed ahead saying it’s only a few blocks away and that he’s fine just walking.  I told him to hop in and I’ll give him a lift home.  He introduced himself as “Jose”.  I asked who he lives with and he said “nobody”.  He said that he’s staying in the shed with a family and that he has no family.  He finds jobs here and there to make a living and that he took the boat, the train and car to get to Texas.  He always had a smile on his face.  He asked what is it that I do.  I told him that I’m a photographer.  He asked me if I could take some pictures for him, then he said not right away because it is raining right now.  When I got to where he stayed, I asked him if I could take a few photos of him and where he lived, he was excited about that.  As soon as I saw where he lived, this overwhelming feeling came over me.  It’s truly not a living condition.  Although his living condition isn’t ideal, Jose always showed a great smile on his face.  He told me that nobody ever took pictures of him.  He never had any pictures taken when he was a little child either.  Even with the rain pouring down, he offered to walk me to the car.  I told him not to worry about me, I can get to the car by myself.  Jose’s living condition reminds me of how fortunate my life is.  I sometimes complain about little things that do not go my way and they are not even that important after seeing him.   He’s a pure example of “happiness is within,” it is not materialistic, it is something that you must recognize and that even under the worst circumstances, happiness can be found.  Jose, it was my honor to meet you and for gifting me a valuable lesson in life.

 

20160519-IMG_8949 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8955 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8951 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8948 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8956 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8960 Jose

 

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Day in the life – Self Documentary Portaits

So it finally happens.  Today was the last day of school.  I have been excited but worried at the same time.  I’m excited to get to spend the time and make memories with my little loves.  I’m worried that I don’t have enough things for the kiddos to do or keeping those growing brains busy enough but I’m leaving it up to the guy upstairs to help me having a great summer with the little kiddos and the family when we have our road trip.  Inspired by the idea of documenting “day in the life” by some friends in the Clickinfriends, I’ve decided to use this day to document what’s going on in our life.  This is not only for me but it’s also for the kiddos to see years later.  The difficult part of this challenge is to be in the frame at every photo.

The past year has been great for both school kids, they start to find their own interest and what sparks their little growing brains.  As a mother, each day away from them is a day of many worries but I place my worries in the hands of the Creator because there’s nothing I can control.  I can only control what I’m teaching my children.  Before sending the boys off to school, I try to remind them of the following hoping, praying that when they grow up, they will become useful individuals for their own family and for the society as a whole: “My sons, remember: always listen and respect your teachers (and any adults). Help your friends especially those who are not as fortunate as you. Treat others just like how you want to be treated. Study hard so you can play hard. Don’t let an opportunity pass you by. Love your youth because it only comes once. Watch your surroundings, pay attention to strange signs and strangers who you feel not belonging. Always say sorry, thank you and please. Be ready to forgive at any given time. Life is too short to hold grudges or let sadness take over your life. Always have the desire to learn new things, to meet new people and to make new friends. Remember that it’s important to have happiness but it’s even more important to bring happiness to others because ultimately that happiness will come back to you ten folds. Eat ice cream, read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, enjoy simple things in life. One thing I’m still learning is to listen, learn to listen before you get to my age. Treat elders with grace, passion and respect because you will be old one day too.  Always treat the ladies right because like your mom, they bore and gave births as well.  Remember to pray and count your blessings everyday. I will Pray for your safety and protection from God Almighty.”

Overall it was a great day.  Other than the usual happenings everyday, I was at the school with the kiddos for their end of the year parties, I visited my mama and was reminded how spoiled I am.  She made me green mustard kimchi, my most favorite and barely mentioned it at family gathering on memorial day that I was having a craving for it.  A few days later, here it is.  We celebrated end of the year as a family, the kids got rewarded for doing well in school.  Because it was raining, there were a few photos were taken with my phone.  I’m a little (just a little) disappointed that my bus stop surprise was not as good as I planned because of the rain.  I wanted to spray the kids with crazy strings when they got off the bus but it started raining so I squirted a few, grabbed the camera, the umbrella to hurry home so the kids and the camera do not get wet – well the camera mostly because the kids really they could play in the rain ^_^.  I’m glad to have had this challenge and had so much fun doing it although it was a bit tiring.  The picture of me hugging my husband at the end of the day was just how I felt.  I wanted. to. crash!  My most favorite photo was when the kiddos pulled out my oldest’s first year album and started admiring the places he got to go, things he did.  We had a good time looking through the photos with a few good good giggles.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Summer is officially here, we would like to wish you and your family a great summer, safe travels and make great memories with the ones you love!

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Bluebonnets of Texas

The updates of bluebonnets locations are at the end of this post.


So what’s the big thing in Texas during late March and the month of April?  Bluebonnets!!!

Bluebonnets (AKA Lupinus subcarnosus) are wild flowers which only grow in Texas.  As historian Jack Maguire put it “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.”  He also affirmed “The bluebonnet to Texas is what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”  Although it’s been told that it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets in Texas, it isn’t.  On March 7th, 1901 the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower.  In 1930s, the Texas Highway department began a landscaping and beautification program and due to this program’s efforts that the bluebonnets now grow along most major highways throughout the state extended all the way to Mexico.

Another flower that blooms at the same time with bluebonnets and compliment them so well is Indian Paintbrush (AKA Castilleja indivisa).  You can find these two flowers either grow blending amongst each other or in separate fields.  The vibrant orange color of Idian Paintbrush and the blue/white of bluebonnets make the drive in Texas beautiful during March and April.

While visiting the field of Bluebonnets, please keep in mind not to destroy these beautiful delicacies, many stories go around the bluebonnets and a lot of them are unpleasant.  A few things to keep in mind:

1- Do not pick or step on the bluebonnets: Some said it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets (however it isn’t) but it is also a nice courtesy to allow others enjoy the bit of nature in the beautiful spring of Texas who come after you.  It’s not first come first serve, it is let us all enjoy what nature provides us.

2- Do not trespass people’s private property: Jumping over someone’s fence is trespassing and IT IS ILLEGAL.  Please respect people’s wishes.  It is their private property, it is their bluebonnets they grow.  Having bluebonnets in their private property doesn’t warrant you access into their backyard/frontyard.

3- Be Safe: I have seen people just stop along the state highways or interstates so they can take out all of their kids for photos.  Please be sure to park in a place where cars are away from the high speed highways.  The little ones are quick and sometimes it only takes a few second for them to lose their mind and run off.  Please please be careful.

 

Here are locations of the bluebonnet sightings 2016 as of April 13:

  • Highway 281 & CO Rd 103
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM1431‬ west of ‪#‎MarbleFalls‬ to ‪#‎Kingsland‬ and on to ‪#‎Highway29‬.
  • Kyle, TX on fm 1626 by Plum Creek division
  • Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM965‬ north of ‪#‎EnchantedRock‬ State Park in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬.
  • Eleanor Tinsley Park on Allen parkway, Houston, TX
  • Hwy I-20 and Wheatland Rd (DFW)
  • Terry Hershey park in Houston (it might not be available this week)
  • #‎Killeen‬ Peeps! Y’all still got bluebonnets on Stan Schlueter Loop
  • Texas Hill Country: HW 16 between Goldthwaite and Fredericksburg, HW 71 between Llano and Brady, CR501 between Pontotoc and Lometa, and CR574 west from Goldthwaite.
  • Texas Hill Country: If you’re in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬ and looking for a ‪#‎bluebonnet‬ field instead of roadside bluebonnets, ‪#‎TurkeyBend‬ Recreation Area off ‪#‎Fm1431‬ is a sweet, little field.
  • Mansfield Tx in the Lone Star Exit
  • For those in the ‪#‎Brenham‬ area trying to avoid the crowds, give this area a try. It’s outside the Bellville area, SW of the Brenham area, FM 2754 at 159 (159 runs between Bellville & Industry)
  • In Ennis, TX off of the Bluebonnet Trail off of Union Hill Road
  • Tigerpoint Road and FM389
  • behind Philips Veterinary Hospital
    5375 US-290, Brenham, TX 77833
  • Along Legacy Dr near Dallas Parkway
  • Pace Bend Park
  • Round Rock
  • Hope y’all enjoy, I will try to update the list one more time in the coming week.

 

Thoughts behind this blurred image…

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Ever since I learned photography, I have always been taught to get the images as sharped as I can.  The best images presented by the best photographers are always very sharped.  So over the time, improving this skill has always been my top priority.  Today I would like to present to you an image that’s captured by a technique that normally general publics do not approve because it might appear as an error or a technical issue.  It is not just the foreground or the background being blurred, the entire photo is blurred.

This image was captured with intentionally blurred (AKA OOF = out of focus), it’s a technique that I have watched and learned through the photos captured by Shannon Kathleen Photography.  I have been following her for awhile and all of her intentional blurred photos have a fun inspirational story behind it.  The more I read about these blurred photographs, the more I was intrigued by this technique.  This photo was taken a few weeks back when I was standing from a far observing the kiddos running around and played at the pond.  In my mind, I wanted this image to be in my brain forever and ever.  I immediately thought of Shannon and her intentionally blurred technique.  Although in real life, everything is sharp and nice, but I wanted this photo to be blurred representing what I saw as a memory, a beautiful memory  of my precious little ones with some mysterious sensation.  It was what my mind experienced at the time the frame was taken.  I felt so excited to be able to put this image into a photograph, a memory that only I can understand and belongs to just only me.

Today, I’m excited to find out that this photo was featured at Reflections – Capturing Life in ART – photography/forum.

Thank you so much for the feature.

 

You Are Not Alone

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Photo credit: Pamela Lewis Photography

 

Hellooooo!!!

It’s April.  This is the month marking my beginning in a blog circle participation called 6 on the 6th.  On the 6th of each month, I’ll feature 6 photos from that month and will be linking you to some other amazing photographers around the world to bring you varieties, at the end of this blog, you will find the link to the next blog from one of the photographers.  If you keep hopping onto the blog at the end of each, you will end up here with me again.  Happy blog hopping

Since this is all new to me, I guess I’ll just start by introducing myself.  My name is Thuvan, I am a wife, a mama of three who lives in Houston, TX.  Two years ago, I took the plunge and “accepted” an offer to be the CEO of this household (in another word to be a stay at home mom).  It was an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  The decision was easy but the process was tough because I struggled in my daily tasks.  Mainly it was because I decided that it was a good time to pick up my passion for photography.  Talking about passion, once I started shooting I couldn’t stop and once I started editing I couldn’t stop either.  House chores started to pile up, laundry loads were getting higher and higher and I hardly ever got enough sleep.  It was as if time was never in my favor.  For many days, I was stressed and struggled to balance my life.  I still do but it’s a little less since I have learned to manage my time better.  I felt alone and battling it by myself.  I remember someone realized how eager I was to accepting a social event because I couldn’t wait to get out “you couldn’t wait to get out of the house huh?”  It was as if I was waiting for someone to come and help me.

20160212-IMG_1192 Van & Laundry
Dirty laundry, I’m not afraid of you!!!

It was then that I decided to do something about it.  It was then that I decided to network with others that have the same passion.  Other photographers across the state, across the country and across the globe.   It was during this time that I have learned to partner, to trust and be friend with so many other creatives out there.  We lifted each other in our daily struggles, we inspired one another and motivated each other to keep going. It was more than just competition.  There’s a community out there with enough people to care for you for whatever your passion is let it be photography, arts, crafts.  You are not alone in your own world.  Don’t get me wrong, the chores are still there, the dirty laundry still gets piled up but at least in my busy mind, I’m a lot happier.  My family is happier and more balanced.  So go out there and search for those who have the same interests and passions as you, get connected.  Do not be afraid because you will gain more than you know it.

I love photography.  I love capturing natural reactions in families, children, babies and couples.  I want to create images that people will still be at awe years down the road because they show raw emotions.

These are some photos of my family during Spring break of this year.  We didn’t go on a vacation like everyone else, we used this opportunity to do a little bit of charity work and spending time with cousins biking, fishing and oh just enjoy the beautiful spring of nature.

 

Hop onto Asea Tremp Photography  and check out her blog. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to look around and let me  know if there’s a topic you would like for me to discuss.  How about some tips in photography? Activities to do with kids? anything you would like, I will do my best researching and bring you the information.

 

 

 

 

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