Finding Direction

/ 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)

/ 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

/ 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!

Project Life 2015: Early April

/ Document, Project Life / Comments

As I’ve mentioned before, I am approaching Project Life spreads every few weeks this year, as opposed to the weekly spreads I have completed the last few years. I absolutely love this approach and I really think that finding a frequency that works for you is one key element to being successful with your Project Life album.

So this spread covers early April – roughly the first two weeks – including Easter, some rainy day pics, and a trip to the fire station.

Project Life Early April | Donya Luana

Another key element, is finding cards that you love. And right now, the Studio Calico monthly kit is my very favorite. I just received my May kit last Friday and can’t wait to dig into it once I gather another set of photos to print.

Project Life Early April | Donya Luana

And as with many of my spreads, you’ll notice I have roughly half color photos and half black and white, carefully choosing color photos that “go” together.

The turquoise “these are the days” card is from the Jade Edition of Project Life.

Project Life Early April | Donya Luana

Another fun element I added to this spread was two of Ali Edwards digital stamps from her Rain or Shine set. I used this technique to print them onto peach colored labels (from the Studio Calico kit) before adding them to the spread.

Project Life Early April | Donya Luana

And that wraps up early April!

Supplies: Design A Pocket Pages, Studio Calico monthly kit, Becky Higgins Jade Edition, Stampin’ Up Corner Rounder, Black Pen

Family Session – Sunny Evening at the Park & Home

/ Klein TX Family Photography / Comments

Klein TX Family Portraits | Donya Luana

This session was rescheduled once for rain, and nearly rescheduled twice when a morning storm knocked out the family’s power for most of the day! But the weather that evening ended up being perfect! The sunshine couldn’t have been more perfect for highlighting this beautiful family.

P family, thanks so much for putting up with the mosquitoes! That’s what Photoshop is for, right?

Spring TX Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Lifestyle Family Photography in Park | Donya Luana

I love how he is smelling her hair. All those jasmine flowers blooming but his favorite thing is to smell mom.

Spring TX Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaNorth Houston Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Maternity Photography in Home | Donya Luana

Such a sweet big brother. I have no doubt he’ll be amazing when baby #3 comes.

Klein TX Childrens Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Park | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Portraits | Donya Luana

Back at home, we photographed the kids in their rooms.

Klein TX Family Photography in Home | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Home | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Home | Donya LuanaKlein TX At Home Family Session | Donya LuanaKlein TX Family Photography in Home | Donya Luana