Tuesday, July 24, 2012

100 Things for Kids | Denver CO Children Photographer

100 things to do with your kids this summer...

A little break from our summer activity to bring you list of things to do this summer, that wont break the bank, and if you are handy they will actually be FREE. If you are keeping up with our summer you know I am all about keeping the kids from being bored, but also about enhancing their education in the process and bringing them back to nature. so here goes...

1. Library-check out books that have IDEAS - give reason for further hands on study (activity). Reserve books through your online service at your local library that have items of interest for your childs age group, how to make paper airplanes, science experiments, craft projects, etc. even as we are learning about different artists we are practicing our learning by completing art projects...get creative with the books you can get...
2. Library-STORY TIME - something about a different setting breaks up the routine for the kids, gives them something to look forward to.
3. Local Park - go early, pack a lunch, bring a drawing tablet, enjoy the outside before its too hot.
4. Take a field trip.
5. Visit a fire department.
6. Play in the water - but aside from the everyday play in the sprinkler, kiddie pool - make games with the water - use the water with paint brushes and paint the fence (it dries clear, lol)...put coloring in the water and stretch paper across a fence - fill water guns with this colored water and then they are really painting with water colors.
7. Build a fort, go to nearby woods, gather sticks, broken branches, etc. build a fort, or house this will provide days worth of enjoyment both in the gathering/building/playing inside.
8. Take a nature walk.. take along a journal, let the kids bring cameras, then go home, identify everything your photographed, create a nature book. Thats a whole nother days activities (paper, photos, glue, scissors, notebook) this is especially good saved for a rainy day.
9. Take an "Alphabet tour"... again camera(s) in hand, journals - letter guides for younger kids - drive to town/city - begin with the letter a (Apple street) b (building) c (colosseum) d(dairy queen) e(eatery) you get the drift - when you are done - each child has a personal and creative alphabet memory book.
10. Check out kids free days at your museums.
11. Make homeade ice cream (if you dont keep heavy cream on hand you will have to buy it, but hey its still pretty cheap entertainment/enjoyment). Make popcicles, smoothies, ice cream sundaes.
12. Go on a scavengar hunt
13. Host a neighborhood carnival (we're talking bean bag toss, use the water gun to shoot the ducky, egg on the spoon, those kind of games) - each neighbor hosts a game/activity and gives out a snack/drink - makes for a very fun day..
14. Go to an outdoor concert (most towns/cities have a website where you can see what/when and which ones are free.)
15. Check your movie theatre for free summer movies (usually morning showings)
16. Go to the beach.
17. Check out your local hardware store - they offer free kids club building projects.
18. Cook with your kids (my kids are still loving to cook the evening meals with me) but let them plan it, be apart of the shopping, table setting - make dessert!)
19. Host a cooking party - invite some friends (your kids arent the only ones home and wanting something to do) - have each mom bring a few ingredients and spend the day making cookies, treats, etc. (maybe you know someone who could use some extra love and attention - make a whole meal with these friends, let the kids make cards, and go make someones day brighter and happier).
20. Teach the kids frisbee golf.
21. Go fly a kite (why not make them first).
22. Do a sewing project together. Make a picnic or story time blanket, apron, or summer dress.
23. Make sock puppets - put on a puppet shows.
24. Go outside for reading time.
25. Make and blow bubbles.
26. Hide all the army men, mini animals, etc. in the sand pit - have a excavation. (even read a book about archeologists before hand).
27. Play dress up.
28. Have a tea party.
29. Make an obstacle course out of your back yard and have races.
30. Play jacks.
31. Go fishing.
32. Go on a bike ride.
33. Camp in your back yard.
34. Melt and create with crayons.
35. Visit a local state park.
36. Go bowling (a lot of the alleys offer students 2 free games over the summer).
37. Plant a garden using seeds from your vegetables/fruits.
38. Tour local historic sites.
39. Make a star gazing map.
40. Teach the kids to knit.
41. Check with a local farm - offer to help feed the animals.
42. Set up a lemonade stand.
43. Set up hotwheels races in the driveway. (see which of their 100's of cars is awarded 'the fastest" - have them make a trophy to give to the winning car - then next time - the new winning car gets the trophy.)
44. Have a LEGO building contest (using x# pieces, only using blue pieces, creating something a certain height, create something that moves, etc.)
45. Make a doll.
46. Hunt for animal tracks. (get a book from the library to help identify them).
47. Have a dress up party (doesnt have to be halloween to wear those costumes).
48. Learn bird calls.
49. Use magazines to make mosaics.
50. Check your craft stores for make and take craft projects (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.).
51. Tour a factory.
52. Make musical instruments and become a 'home band' sensation! (think - pie pan tamborine, papertowl holder rain stick, string and cereal box guitar) - dont forget to dress the part!
53. Make tye die shirts. (play some groovy tunes, too)
54. Take a picnic to dad/mom/grandma/ etc... give them a nice break from their work day.
55. Make a tent in the living room.
56. Go to an Arboretum.
57. Make a bird feeder with pine cones & peanut butter (and bird seed of course).
58. Paint with fruit and veggies (and anything else you will let them paint with - think q-tips, old toothbrush, sponges, leaves.... etc.)
59. Play charades.
60. Have a "BORED" game day - pull out all those dusty games and let each child pick a game - if its nice outside - take em out on your picnic blanket.
61. Walk your neighbors dog.
62. Blow up Diet coke with mentos.
63. Make sillouettes.
64. Check out local VBS offerings - a lot of time you can volunteer while your kids attend.
65. Learn/Go Orienteering.
66. Make a compass. (ties in to 65)
67. Gather friends and have a "clean" the park day - celebrate your good deed with a picnic and play time.
68. Sculpt with homeade SALT CLAY.
69. Collect Seashells. (then sort by color/size. etc. - make a seashell necklace or use the shells to decorate an empty jar - adults should use the glue gun).
70. Play "I Spy" as you walk around your neighborhood.
71. Go to a farmers market.
72. Check with a local pizzaria to see if you can come in for a tour (they will probably want you to buy a pizza - so it may not be "free" - but fun!)
73. Check your newpaper for local summer festivals.
74. Make school related activities fun - create your own matching cards (I make mine using these cute digital supplies found here and here). Use maccaroni for math reinforcement, make a clock with a paper plate, help with geometry by giving building tasks, etc.)
75. Learn (play) street games.
76. Make Taffy.
77. Make a checker board and your own checkers. then play for a bit...
78. Make your own board games.
79. Make a Milk Carton Boat - and head to a pond.
80. Have a Christmas in July party and ask all the guests to bring donations for your local food pantry.
81. Participate in a free activity at Bass Pro Shop.
82. Have a major league team in your area - call about free kids tickets this summer.
83. Take a trip to tour your state capitol, local courthouse, etc.
84. Gather, paint, make pet rocks.
85. Plan a theme week (keep checking back here for more details about our themes this summer).
86. Volunteer at a local charity/Habitat for Humanity.
87. Have a pajama day, enjoy movies and popcorn (great for a rainy day).
88. Color.
89. Make a Windchime.
90. Write your own poems.
91. Do a toy swap (pack up those forgotten toys and swap with a friend - kids love new "to them" toys as much as they love :NEW: toys.
92. "Play" school.
93. Make paper dolls for boys, for girls, or for the more advanced.
94. Travel around the world. Have English scones for breakfast, Chinese Stir Fry for lunch, Italian for dinner. Make a craft to go with each country, get a library book with photos of these places. (maybe even see if you have a friend your child can become pen pals with.)
95. Have a switcher-oo day, you send your kids to someone elses house and their kids come to yours... kids LOVE this... just plan a few activities (you can choose from some on this list) and give them a great day as your friend will do with your kidos.
96. Play tennis, soccer, kickball, football, etc.
97. Make slime.
98. Make glowing fireflies. we get our glowsticks at Target's $1.00 bins and they come with 10, so its practically free.
99. Make a sandcastle. If you dont have a sand box, gather up all sorts of containers and some water jugs and head over to your local park - spend the day building a great sand castle together -lots of kids will want to get in on the action so its a great social time, too.
100. Enjoy an art lesson.

Most importantly remember the simplicity of childhood is found in the quality of the time spent together - enjoy each moment, create an environment of joy and excitement, learning and fun and I am certain this summer will be one we all remember for a very long time.

If any of these interest you and you want to know more about the "blue" links, check out this site for the clickable links....  http://www.digitalreflections.typepad.com/digital_reflections/2009/06/100-free-things-to-do-with-your-kids-this-summer.html

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday! | Denver Colorado Photographer

Happy Birthday!!
Is it not your birthday?
Welp today is my birthday:)
And I want to celebrate with you.

Instead of cake, I have another pretty sweet deal for you...
for those of you who schedule your upcoming session with me can choose a 1/2 off.
Choose either 1/2 off a session fee and only pay $50 for a session Monday through Saturday
1/2 off your Print Orders

Pretty sweet huh?
Welp its only available for those who schedule between now and August 20th though, so hurry up and email me to get your session set up!
You don't have to have your session between now and then but in the 2012 year to get the deal.
Offer valid on Maternity; Newborn; Children; Family; Senior and Boudoir sessions.

Have an awesome weekend Yall!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For The Ladies.... | Denver CO Boudoir Glamour Photographer

Boudoir Photography... or Glamour Photography...
you can call it what you like.
Its a great session for any woman to do for herself or for her man.
A great way to build confidence and to just have fun!
Come by yourself or bring a girl friend with you.
Get dressed up and have a professional do you hair and makeup and be a model of a day!
No nudes here- bring sexy lingerie... a silky night gown... your husbands dress shirt and tie... or all of the above! Or go for the Glamour side of things and get some great glamour headshots and model like poses in a favorite outfit. The options are endless!
You can go for a Sports Illustrated feel; a Victoria's Secret feel or anything you'd like.

In September I will be adding to my portfolio and have some awesome ideas that I want to try. So for those of you who have been wanting to get all dolled up and get some images for yourself just for fun or for an Anniversary present or a "Just Because" gift for your man, this is the time.

I will be doing these Boudoir sessions at a great price. They will only be available for those who agree to sign a Model Release only. I will be doing 1 hour sessions in my natural light studio (I recently remodeled for my Boudoir clients); unlimited outfits/prop changes; full CD of your edited images with print release. This is a $700 value for only $200. Full skin smoothing and getting rid of blemishes will be part of the editing process.
[Extensive editing such as getting rid of stretch marks and getting rid of some extra pounds in those pesky problem areas is available for an extra fee]
We also have a professional hair/make-up artist available for an extra fee if you would like to book her. She does amazing work and I recomend her for all of my Boudoir sessions. She will definately put your images over the top!

If you have any questions and would like to schedule your personal session in September, please email me at  brandycaruso@yahoo.com

Rain Rain... | Denver CO Children Photographer

Oh how I love it when it rains! But around Denver it rains all of, what like 10 minutes and then stops... That makes me sad because I would so love it if it just poured all night long. Its so relaxing to just fall asleep to the sound of thunder and the rain trickling on your roof.

Well one night it finally rained all night in Thornton and the next morning it was still raining and it dropped down to around 50 degrees. I've always wanted to get some fun candids of Aden playing in the rain and giant water puddles, so this one morning I was finally able to do that. We didn't have giant puddles like I wished because all the water ran down the street, but I still got some cute candids for about 5 minutes and then Aden was too cold and wanted to go inside..

Jumping in the "mini" puddles...

 My fav :)

Get outside and get some candids pictures of your children playing and having fun. Those are the things you want to remember when they grow up. And those playful smiles are the best :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Photographing Your Children | Denver CO Children Photographer

Photographing our own kids . . .  [[part one]]

. . . it can be a frustrating, make you wanna scream, pull your hair kind of endeavor. There are some ways you can plan in advance and be smarter than the little, tiny human.

Here’s a list of my 5 favorite tricks for outsmarting little ones:

1. Simple Props: take a bag (or 2) of props that you can provide choices from. They must all be choices that you are ok with being in the picture. Food is generally not a great one because they get so involved. Like stuff their face full of marshmallows & therefore have really chubby cheeks!

2. Choice of Two: Instead of saying, “Sit here.” “Hold this.” ” Wear this hat. “Don’t move.” “Look here!” Say, “Here are 5 hats, can you help me out and choose your favorite?!”

“Do you want to stand on the box/chair/bench OR sit on the box/chair/bench??” or “what do you think will look better?” (for 3-4 yrs and up)

“Do you want to put the marshmallows in hot chocolate OR do you want mommy to?” “let’s see how high we can count!” (Then only offer 1 at a time OR 1 treat per clickity click, and just keep them in your pocket). Sounds oddly like dog treats you say? Well yes it does. Sooo?

3. Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions (i.e., Mommy’s so silly – she needs my help!)

You’re going down a dead-end road when you ask little ones questions like, “what color is your shirt? is it pink?” All they can say is “yea” and their done. So are you! I hear this a lot too, “what are you playing with? is that your frog?” “yea.” Done. Don’t ask a yes/no question and don’t answer the question you’ve asked for them!

Instead, say, “Awww. That’s so silly {speaking of the frog} that must be your favorite dinosaur!”

Then they get to be all smarter than you. And, let the weird questions begin . . . just play dumb! They love feeling like they are teaching you something. Then they are doing all the talking (and laughing hopefully).

4. Random/Totally Weird OR Age Appropriate Surprises:

“Oh my word, I think I just heard a lady bug fly by!? Did you hear her?” “You have to sit really nicely and smile pretty and maybe she’ll fly by again.”

This one always has to be novel to get their attention, and obviously child appropriate. I’m pretty sure a little boy will not be impressed by the lady bug. And, you have to be so into whatever your story is. They are just sooooo immune to hearing “look, look”. The element of surprise makes for more authentic and organic facial expressions where you really see their personality. You can also keep them engaged longer by not yelling at them and acting crazy and standing on your head. Or bribing them with candy or legos. They get overstimulated with all of those “grandma” antics. (our grandmother does this – maybe yours doesn’t! lucky you.)

I’ve captured some pretty awesome giggles by whispering weird “secrets.” ( i.e., “Don’t tell, it’s a secret . . . daddy has on pink polka dot underwear!!!)

5. Stay Calm and Follow Their Lead:

As hard as this one is for us adults to do when we are seeking the perfect picture, you have to follow the little humans’ lead. These are always my best pictures. Believe it or not, the above pictures were not what I went to capture on this day. My three year old had his own ideas. And, even though it took every ounce of restraint I had, I followed his lead & it was better; much, much, better. So you just have to train your brain to do it. Otherwise, your pictures might be flat and emotionless.

Finally, hire a pro (at least once a year): Professional child photographers specialize in creatively capturing your kiddo and YOU. Photos are how we document the relationships and bonds in our lives. You don’t want to miss out on that by being behind the camera all the time. So many of our memories would not be imprinted in our minds without that concrete visual we get in a photograph. So make sure and do it! It’s important. Custom photography is an investment, so see who is in your area. Then choose someone you think you will feel comfortable being with and someone who has the kinds of images you imagine having on their blog/website.

This image he may look a little pouty but its his "serious" look. I try to tell my clients that not all images have to have children "cheesing it".... some of my all time favorite images of my son are of him without a cheesy forced smile and after the Moms see their children's images they too fall in love with the serious artful images compared to the one image where we try so hard to get a great smile...

PS... this beautiful location is up in the mountains in Evergreen Colorado :)
PPS... this whole outfit came from Target... my FAV place for session outfits... I had cute flip flops, but my son is attached to these darn blue crocks lol... so he got to wear them...

~ Brandy

Friday, July 6, 2012

Are You A Facebook Fan? | Denver CO Child Family Photographer

Just a reminder for those who are Fans of ours on Facebook.
Facebook changed alot of things to where you may not even see our updates at all :(
 Thats means you wont see our photo updates, you won't get links to the Blog for new posts, you won't even see contests going on or our great deals!
If you want to be in the loop for all this info, please make sure you go back to our Fan Page on Facebook:
and scroll over the "liked" button and there will be a little drop down bar that will appear. You will then click on the "show updates in feed" area and CLICK that... Tada! You will now get our updates:)

I hope you will take a moment to update this on Facebook, or if you're not a fan right yet, that you will go and LIKE us :)

Fan only Deal coming later this month for our Birthday celebration!! So make sure you like us and keep and eye out...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Emma & Finn | Denver CO Twin Baby Photographer

Meet seet little Emma and Finn!
8 month old twins and oh so cute!
It was a gorgeous day at Wash Park when I took their pictures. One of my favorite locations in Denver for sure.

 I love doing vintage edits. Im starting to lean more to the vintage style instead of what im doing now.

Happy Birthday America! | Denver Co Family Photographer

Happy "belated" Fourth of July everyone!!
I hope you all had a fun day yesterday with your friends and family. I know alot of the Denver area cities had a ban on fireworks but there were a couple still doing displays, which I was super happy about Thornton having fireworks last night. You just can't have a July 4th celebration without fireworks! I got some very pretty fireworks images last night:) But I haven't uploaded them just yet, so here's a beautiful shot from last years fireworks display...