Monthly Archives: December 2013

Merry Christmas and Snap On

I do like Advent. It’s a nice way to count down the days to Christmas and build up the excitement. The chocolate calendars are in the fridge, and we have another Advent calendar with little stockings, which magically gets filled every year with little toys and trinkets  🙂

This year I also wanted to make a visual Advent calendar. One photo for each day. It was so much fun planning, brainstorming with the kids, organizing the props and then getting all the shots done.

Well, the chocolate calendars and little stockings are now empty. It has been another wonderful Advent.

Sharing with you all the photos that accompanied us the past 24 days, and wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year. Snap on and make lots of great visual memories these holidays  🙂






Botanical Weakness


This is my weakness: I don’t have a green thumb. Some things grow better than others, some are a lost cause right from the start.

If plants die, it may be of lack of something, but it’s not of lack of me trying, that’s for sure. Apart from guidance from the local nursery and botanical books, I use words. My family laughs at me, because I talk to my plants. I encourage them, I praise them and I threaten them, too.

Now, there are some plants, that just don’t ‘get’ me. One could probably say that we just don’t speak the same language 😉  Roses, for example: tried many times, failed every time. In the veggie patch, carrots always fail, even though they are apparently sooooo easy to grow. And I confess, I have killed a number of cacti.

Cucumbers on the other hand grow like weeds, so does my parsley and my chives. The ponytail grows faster than any at the nursery, it seems, and the fountain grass can hide our complete family plus camper van (which we don’t have).

But the best of all is the Agapanthus: love them, love them, love them. They grow beautifully. Seem to survive on the smallest amount of water and fertilizer and thrive on the most amount of words.

And, I swear, they like having their photos taken. This is a snippet of the photographic result over several days.


Pets allowed

My first Santa Photos this year. As a photographer that is.

Of course I have taken the kids to get their Santa Photos taken. Neither of them is a screamer, so all went well. Then they both grew a bit too fast, or maybe it was just a coincidence that all Santas in our area were midgets. No offense, but it is just looking a bit weird if the 10 year old sits on Santas lap in an odd sort of hunched over way to accommodate his long legs and smile in the camera while trying to lean back, but not too far, so that Santa can see the camera, too. We checked but didn’t really see any Santas or set-ups with maybe an extra wide bench, so we didn’t go anymore.

I remember I always used to watch the photographer, being a bit disappointed with their lack of obvious enthusiasm, I mean, hello, you get to take photos of people, it’s supposed to be fun! Their helper usually was the one jumping through hoops to make everybody feel at ease. Some of the photo packages were very expensive, too, overpriced actually, in my opinion. But as long as people line up … the joys of demand and supply.

Now, the local Cafe/Bistro and myself had the idea to do Santa Photos in our suburb. A lot of thinking went into the organization of things, decorations, Flyers got printed, emails were sent and prayers to the weather gods were issued, as the photos were to be taken outside, in the Cafe’s little courtyard.

I did some test shots, making sure that the green coloured shade sail wouldn’t give Santa a sickly greenish tint as well. And I did my best to prepare myself for any obstacles on the day: the sun moving, leaving people half in and half out of the shade, how to deal with crying children, how to avoid having people standing in my way, and obviously getting a hang of my flash and all my camera settings.

It did go well, no long queues or dramatic mishaps. We had little children, teenagers, Grandfathers, a lovely 90 year old Nan and quite a few dogs. Somebody had thought of bringing their cat, but in the end they didn’t 😦

I understand now why the photographers I used to watch were not that enthusiastic. I tried hard to be, but in the end I was very focused on my job: making sure the photos are great. I would have liked to watch myself, to be able to compare. Some lessons were learnt, and if we do it again next year, there will be some more decorations, definitely a carpet, and a little bit of a different set-up, but overall, I think it all went very well.

So thank you to all that came down, and if you are in our area and didn’t, maybe you’ll feel like coming next year. Bring your cat, I was really hoping for a cat.

Anyway, here are some of the Santa Photos, enjoy.