Guest Blogger: Val at Chicken Scratch

Hey ya'll! I'm Val, the blogger behind Chicken Scratch blog and the artist behind Chicken Scratch'd Designs. To sum myself up in just a few lines I would say: I'm a hair designer turned Mama. I'm an artist to my core and I blog about it all plus more! One of my very favorite ways of exercising my artistic expression is through photography! And, that is what I'm here to show you all about today. But, before I get started I want to explain exactly why I am here talking about photography…

I began following Natalie about a year or so ago. I immediately fell in love with her cute videos of her and her hubby, her amazingly photogenic personality, and of course now I'm smitten with her son and the way she documents his life along the way. Her ways of documenting life excite me and inspire me…and thats why I wanted to share with you all  my own version! 

Like I said above, I love photography…but more importantly I love using it to document my life…to freeze little moments…little moments of my little people. As all you Mamas know, these little moments slip through our fingers SO FAST. We all have the memories..some of them burned in our memory forever but some of them fade as life gets busier, crazier, or like me you have a second child and then you really start to lose your mind ;-) LOL!!! And for those reasons is why photography means so much to me. I want to look back and see exactly how obnoxiously large that purple headband was on my newborn baby girl. (Ummm…clearly it was rather large…ahem...larger than her head --1st photo on my daughters collage below.)

Janae-A.K.A. Nae-Nae or Nugget…my 5 pound first born. She is still my tiny little chicken nugget…even at age 3

And this is Jay- A.K.A. Rooster Dude, The Dude, Jay-bird (6months)

| The Details |

I use a Nikon 3000. I edit in iPhoto.
You will notice above that I take monthly photos until age 1. From there every 6 months. For every shoot I consider a few things. What new skill or milestone through babyhood can I showcase??? Is he/she smiling, sitting, standing..etc??? I try really hard to make my monthly shoots show off what my baby has worked so hard on since the last shoot! I also try to incorporate the seasons whenever it is safe and appropriate. (snow, leaves, football season, a holiday, summer sun, and so on) Lastly, I always try to get up close and get a great facial shot and then one further back showing most or all of their body…so you see how big they are getting!!! From there as far as all the themes…well I just dream those up. Thats were the artist in me really enjoys the creative process. But if you need help with ideas then you  find Pinterest an AMAZING source for ideas! But whenever I'm brainstorming the themes in my head I play off whatever sort of things they are into at that time like my daughters age 3 shoot (last photo on her collage) she loves to put on makeup right now and play dress up. So it only made sense to do a mini glamour shoot! She LOVED it. I also occasionally base it around a fabulous new outfit I bought them  too! Overall, the less forced the photoshoot is, the better cooperation you will get from them. The more you just allow them to play and do what they like the easier it is for everyone. Trust me!

I hope if nothing else today that I encouraged you to get your camera out a little bit more and freeze more some of these little moments that will be gone in the blink of an eye!
I am not a professional photographer and it shows in all my photos. But having a nice camera does really help capture clear crisp rich photos. I AM taking a little course right now in photography and if that is something that interests you then you can visit me over at Chicken Scratch and see some of what I'm working on as I learn more!

Finally, Thank you Natalie for letting me write for your readers today. It was been a pleasure…and such a treat to spend time putting this together -reminiscing while pulling photos! :-)

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