Captured: Boys

A New Photography Class at Big Picture Classes

Jun 6, 2015 in Learn, Photography / Comments

If you spend more than 5 minutes with me (or on my blog), it’s just a little obvious that I enjoy photography.

I’m incredibly lucky to live with two adorable little boy subjects who don’t completely hate when I pull out the camera to photograph them…yet. Capturing and documenting who they are has become second nature and a big part of my every day routine.

Captured: Boys - a class by Donya Gjerdingen at Big Picture Classes

Everything I’ve learned and practiced in the past 5+ years of being a boy mom and family photographer, I’ve put into my second Big Picture Class titled, Captured: Boys.

In this class I share several tips and tricks to help you create interesting and story telling images of boys. You’ll also learn techniques I use to photograph unexpected moments along with ways to capture different moods, relationships, perspectives, and more!

With a monthly subscription, all classes on the Big Picture Classes site are available to you. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, I highly suggest taking advantage of the two week trial and peruse all the amazing classes offered.

I hope to see you in class!

Project Life Tip | One Little Bird Blog

Jun 6, 2015 in Document, Project Life, Project Life 2015 / Comments

Hi friends!

I’m sharing a Project Life spread over on the One Little Bird blog today, and a tip about creating a cohesive layout using repeating elements. Hope you’ll hop on over and check it out!

Project Life Tip by Donya Gjerdingen over on the One Little Bird blog

Finding Direction

May 5, 2015 in Product Photography / Comments

As I posted on Instagram yesterday, I’ve been wandering in my head the past several weeks. Perhaps months. Trying to figure out my direction. And as a result, I spent the majority of Sunday clearing out four closets and ridding 10 bags of stuff from our house. #silverlining?

It seems that at every turn I take, I find someone who already has a head start in that direction and I don’t want to copy them or follow their path. I want to find my own path. I want to do something original.

But I also don’t want to sit still.

So I’ve set out to keep moving. To keep trying out new paths and directions. Maybe I’ll take a shortcut to another path mid-way. Perhaps I’ll find a way to walk through the grass and start my own path. I don’t know. But what I do know is that sitting still and doing nothing is the worst option.

Styled: Jones Market

So, I’ve started photographing things I love for fun. Pure fun. Like those blueberries last week. And these bracelets. Nothing is safe! I may start photographing junk on the way out to the garage soon. #hopefullynot

Anyways, hopefully this post will explain why I appear to be in a funk. A struggle.

I can’t be the only one. What are you struggling with?

Day in the Life (words + photos)

May 5, 2015 in Document / Comments

On Tuesday of this week I participated in Ali‘s Day in the Life. I love doing this project once a year. While I normally aim to capture every day moments of our lives, this project always reminds me to get in the photos myself and to capture *my* life, not just my kids’.

I also have found that using my iPhone works best for me. Any time I’ve attempted to use my DSLR and only my DSLR, I easily get frustrated with how imperfect the photos are. I guess my standards are quite a bit lower when using my phone, and therefore my perfectionist self can relax and just take the pictures.

I’m not sure what I’ll do yet with these photos (maybe another Project Life insert?), and I usually don’t figure it out until I start doing it, but gathering the words in one spot will help me get there. One step at a time.

Day in the Life words + photosDay in the Life 2015 photos + words

My days start when my husband wakes up for work. I usually lay in bed and check my phone while he showers, which helped me remember to start taking photos at 4:14am. I climb out of bed when he is done getting ready for work, groggily find my glasses and put on a sweatshirt since I’m freezing cold. Then I head downstairs to say goodbye.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

Coffee poured and I sit down at my computer and continue to wake up. I do most of my computer work in the morning before my kids wake up or during Alwyn’s naptime.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

I hear Alwyn awake around 6:20 and to avoid him waking up Ephram, I go get him and bring him downstairs. Within a few minutes he asks for “george” and so we go to the living room and turn on Curious George on Netflix.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + wordsDay in the Life 2015 photos + words

Breakfast and a million demands and fights over what we’ll eat begin when Ephram wakes up. Alwyn decided on Cheerios and milk while Ephram asked for his usual peanut butter toast. But once I made them both their breakfast, Alwyn decided he wanted a bagel like me and thought it was special that he could grab it and put in on a plate all by himself. He later ditched it after 4 bites.

I made an egg and ham sandwich on a bagel for myself.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + wordsDay in the Life 2015 photos + words

After we all finished eating and cleaning up the kitchen I urged them to get dressed. But it was raining and that meant quite a few snails were slithering up the windows. We spent the next hour getting dressed, playing with toys, watching a little more George, packing up Ephram’s lunch for school, and then leaving.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

Photographing Ephram in the car while waiting in the carpool drop off line turned into a bad idea when I accidentally made him sad by trying to get him to smile for a photo. I should have settled for the ‘extremely tired and out of it’ look he had on before this one. Oh well, his reaction is totally his personality so it’s part of our story. He reminded me the following day at the same time and he actually did smile for that one.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

One of my favorite parts of our day is school drop off. Ephram always makes sure to give me a kiss and hug these days, and then blows a kiss once he’s out of the car. Super sweet. Alwyn doesn’t attend yet but has made quite a few teacher friends this year and they look for him every day so they can wave and see him smile.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

9:31 and we pull into the garage back at home. My friend Jen is coming over to go walking, so I quickly give Alwyn a snack, check my email, and round up socks and shoes to wear on our walk. So glad the rain stopped because it was my first day wearing my Fitbit and I was curious to see if it recorded a similar step count to when I’m carrying my iPhone. (pretty close!)

Day in the Life 2015 photos + wordsDay in the Life 2015 photos + words

I took a shower shortly after we got back home while Alwyn played with toys. He asked for several snacks and then another episode of George which allowed me to start a load of laundry, sweep the kitchen floor, and finish up a project in my office. Then he came back and we drew pictures together at my desk until it was time to go get Ephram from school.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

It had started raining again by then and he was interested in the umbrella, so he played for a few minutes in the backyard before we left.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

Love Ephram’s smile here while telling me he finished his entire lunch at school today (a nearly daily struggle). Alwyn fell asleep in the car, so I picked him up and brought him to his crib for a nap.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + wordsDay in the Life 2015 photos + words

I realized I hadn’t eaten a proper lunch when I discovered we had leftover Chinese food in the fridge, so I warmed that up to eat while I did some naptime computer work. Ephram gets to play phone games, play with toys, and has an after school snack during this time.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words
Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

Beau came home early because he had a webinar call to do. Luckily Alwyn wasn’t awake for it so I didn’t have to keep the boys from fighting or being too loud while he was on the call. Meanwhile I took some photos for a project.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words
Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

After Beau was done with work he went outside to work on the yard. He’s trying to cure a bad drainage problem we have when it rains. The boys went outside with him and I began figuring out dinner.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

Worms + Bikes + Dirt.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

After a quick dinner (where neither Alwyn or Ephram really ate), we headed upstairs for a bath.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

The kids had an early bedtime so that they’d be in bed before I left for a Mom’s Night Out with friends. I get them ready upstairs, read books, brush teeth, and then we always come downstairs one last time to say good night to daddy. Then I talk to each of them shortly before they lay down – Alwyn likes to sing Twinkle Twinkle, Ephram likes to talk about which Lego kit he’d like to save his money for next.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

After the kids are in bed, we usually watch a show, have a glass of wine, or just chat until we head to bed, but tonight I left for a friend’s house. I stayed up much later than usual and have been paying for it all week, but it’s so nice to get out and laugh and talk without being interrupted by kids every once in awhile.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

11:27 and I finally head to bed.

Day in the Life 2015 photos + words

If you’re at all curious or are looking for more inspiration for documenting a day in your life, I highly suggest checking out Ali’s site. I love seeing the differences every time I do this project and it can be super simply done.

Styled: Blueberries

Stock & Styled Photography

May 5, 2015 in Food, Product Photography / Comments

From the moment I saw the “4 for $5″ sign for these blueberries at the grocery store to the following morning when I had a chance to set up my mini-studio space, I’d been dying to photograph these delicious fruit. There’s just something about food photography that gets my mouth watering.

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on White Countertop

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on White Countertop

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on White Countertop

Those unripe blueberry stems were found right in our backyard. I guess having a plant obsessed husband isn’t so bad! I can’t wait to pick our own blueberries with my boys (as long as we can keep the birds away from them). They eat them up like candy!

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on White Countertop

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on White Countertop

This last one I tried out on a piece of wood we had in the garage. I kind of like it!

DL Styled Stock Imagery | Blueberries on Wooden Countertop

I have no idea where I’ll go with these images. What I do know is that I find it to be a lot of fun to style and photograph things like t his. And everyone needs a little fun in their life.

Happy Wednesday friends!