by Dawn Gorneault
Let me start by saying that I am by no means a professional photographer. I am just an average mom who likes to take pictures of her children, family and friends. I am usually the one lugging the camera bag around during sporting events, vacations and holidays. I take great pride and joy in capturing moments and sharing them with others. While I am a fan of the traditional “posed” picture for family vacations and holidays, I really do enjoy those memory triggering, emotion capturing shots. I thought I would share a couple of my favorites with you, and hopefully they will inspire your creative side and you can take some pictures of your own to share with us to help inspire myself and others as well.
My first pictures are from when my family and I went to Hershey Gardens in Hershey Pennsylvania. It was my family, my sister’s family and my parents. I will start by saying that the gardens are beautiful, and if you ever get the chance to go, I recommend it as a nice relaxing day for your vacation.
What first caught my eye, was when my kids were wandering through the rose gardens. There were dozens of rose bushes in all different colors. I watched as my children passed by one rose to lean and smell another. I grabbed my camera and focused on their noses in the buds as they inhaled the aroma of the flower and enjoyed not only the beauty of the rose, but the smell as well.
Continuing through the gardens, we encountered many flowers, trees, shrubs and fountains. Many photo opportunities came about and I took advantage of all of them. But my most favorite shot from the gardens is my “Family Tree” photo. We came upon this grand tree towards the end of the garden. The large branches hung down to the ground. There was a “doorway” into the tree, to get to the trunk. As we were all entering the tree, and climbing on the massive branches underneath, I couldn’t help but think of the photo opportunity available to us with this tree. I could have my family hide in the branches of the tree with only their heads or faces being seen and take a picture from outside the tree. The end product was more than I could ever imagine. This picture hangs in my dining room and when new guest come over to visit, they get to explore the picture to see if they can locate all the members of my family in my “Family Tree
My next picture is from one of our many vacations to Myrtle Beach. This destination has become a favorite of our family. We have gone there for the past 5 years and I can honestly say that we have had a different experience each time we have gone. On the day we took this picture, the husbands and the boys went to play golf, so the girls (and Grampa) went to the pier. We walked along the pier and did some shopping, played in the arcade and had some ice cream. As we walked further down the pier, we decided to go down to the water. It splashed at our feet at every wave. We started to play and run and jump around in the water. I handed my camera to my Dad and told him to take our picture as we all tried to jump at the same time. I will say that it took some time for us to get the perfect shot, but we had a great experience while doing it, and it is all we could talk about later when we meet up with the guys. So much so, that the next year, they boys had to take one just like it.
The last picture is from another family vacation. My parents wanted to take all their grandchildren to the Magical World of Disney. So we packed up our families and headed south for a week in Disney. With three boys and two girls in tow, we headed off bright and early for Magic Kingdom. My son was the only one who hadn’t been before, but like many say, the Disney experience changes as kids get older. So the other kids were just as excited because they could now ride the rides they weren’t tall enough for before or weren’t interested in before. After a long day of character meet and greets, long lines for rides, eating on the go and many, many pictures having been taken, I felt like I missed that picture that would spark that memory and sum up the day in a single shot. The sun was starting to go down. We came around the corner and there it was…the castle, lights on, sunset sky in the background, and the kids looking at it in awe. They were looking and pointing. They knew that that was the symbol of Disney and I grabbed my camera and took the shot. I got it, the shot to sum up the excitement and magic of the day. It hangs proudly in my house and every time I look at it a slideshow of memories of that day passes through my mind and a smile comes across my face.
My kids are now 12, 15 and 18. These days go by quick, and I am so happy that I have been inspired to take pictures that spark these memories. And I hope that I can inspire you to do the same.
You can share photos and ideas with us to keep our inspirations alive as well by commenting on this post.
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