{1 Photo: 32 Days} Part 1

I feel like I need to preface this post with a disclaimer.  I love December.  Everything about it.  What's not to love?  Twinkling lights, pine garlands, sparkling Christmas trees, candles in the windows, nightly baking traditions, lots of holiday gatherings, old fashioned B&W Christmas movies, a nonstop Christmas playlist on Pandora, and an abundance of cheer.  Yes, people may be stressed and frazzled, pulled in too many directions, but there is so much GOOD in the month that it's easy to get a little dazed and distracted by it all and allow yourself to just soak it up and enjoy the merry and bright month that only comes once a year. The Danish people have a word that embodies the concept of all things warm, fuzzy, and comforting:  hygge.  It's a light-hearted concept that they take very seriously, striking the perfect balance between satisfaction and feeling self-satisfied, finding hygge while sitting beside a fireplace in a warm, wooly sweater and sipping on some delicious Danish drink while surrounded by friends and good conversation.  Can you tell now why Denmark is on my bucket list for stamps in my passport?  Basically, the Danes embrace my high-on-December attitude year-round, which is something I think we should all aspire to do.

On that note, here's a creative way I've found to approach the contented state of hygge this season...

There is this amazing website for photographers (professionals, amateurs, shutter clickers, and everyone in between!) called I Heart Faces.  I discovered the site a couple of years ago for their weekly and monthly photo challenges.  This December they posted a photo-a-day challenge with the idea that participants will post one photo each day related to a specific daily theme.  Me being me (the one who is filled with Christmas cheer, dazed by twinkling lights, and all around cheery throughout the month of December).... well, let's just say I was ALL OVER this challenge when I read about it.

december i heart faces challenge

It hasn't been easy finding the time to take and submit a photo every day, but I've managed to make it halfway through the 32 day challenge so far.  I'm quite pleased!  You should check out the other submissions on their I Heart Faces Facebook page for a bit of holiday inspiration.

So here you go, my month in photos.

{Day 1: me}

{Day 1 - me}

{Day 2: elf}

{Day 2 - elf}

{Day 3: what you're reading}  This is one of my all-time favorite and most inspiring quotes from Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"


{Day 4: shadow play}  Okay, so maybe I cheated here and found an older photo.  This was taken last February on my birthday, an unseasonably warm day that I decided to get in my car and head to the beach.  Beachy, wintry shadows?  I'll take it!


{Day 5: someone I love}   Another old photo, this one of my best friend's son, Zachary.  Check out her blog here.

{Day 5 - someone i love}

{Day 6: burst of red}  I couldn't decide and I had two entries for this one.  The first is from Provincetown.  The second is from Saratoga on a nighttime adventure in search of a burst of red in their quaint little city.


{Day 7: the view from here}  And this show why I find Saratoga so quaint and beautiful!  I literally stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the road, mesmerized by the lights.  It's like stepping onto the set of It's a Wonderful Life.  That little house up there?  That's Santa's house.  No, seriously, that's where the kids go to sit on Santa's lap and write him cute little letters.  So sweet.  Every town should have one of those.

{Day 7 - the view from here}

{Day 8: shopping}

{Day 8 - shopping}

{Day 9: decorated}

{Day 9 - decorated}

{Day 10: stripes}  Wrap me up in Christmas lights and call it a night!

{Day 10 - stripes}

{Day 11: on the shelf}

{Day 11 - on the shelf}

{Day 12: sweet}  Wednesday night baking adventures commence!

{Day 12 - sweet}

{Day 13: 'tis the season}  Shaped bokeh.  Again, I am ALL OVER that!!!  No house in my neighborhood is safe from my camera. If you put lights up, they are just begging to be photographed!


{Day 14: B&W}  Sweet little Genevieve, a beautiful little snow angel.

{Day 14 - B&W}

{Day 15: something yum}

{Day 15 - something yum} (1 of 1)

So there you be.  That's my December, so far.

And if you want to read another post that made me burst out laughing time and time again, check out Kelle Hampton's post about her cup o' cheer holiday season.  The part about the Christmas village and 50 shades of good stuff happening up in that little village inn?  Yeah, she embraces the hygge, too.

Merry & Bright

'Tis the season to be merry, bright, and glistening with all of those gorgeous twinkling lights! One of my favorite things about this season is the lights.  I love the way they look and the magical whimsy that they lend to the night.  If I had my way, every inch of the town would be covered in beautiful white lights and draped in pine garlands... and not just in December!  Nearly everyone that knows me knows that I have a (minor?) obsession with holiday lights and I love photographing them and finding ways to incorporate them into my every day life.  Just a touch of Christmas year-round?  But of course!

(Advertisements seem to be making their way into the links in this paragraph... please ignore until I can correct this issue!  The only link I've added is og Genevieve's newborn session in the fourth sentence.)  So of course I jumped at the chance to do some holiday photo shoots.  This is the first of many.  I was thrilled to travel to six-month old Genevieve's house early on a Saturday morning to play with holiday lights, Santa hats, and a red tutu.  Genevieve was the first newborn that I photographed last spring, so this was an especially sweet photo shoot and I loved getting to capture her as she grows.  Looking back through the photos I found a few cute little facial expressions that she had made six months ago, too!

And now, let's let the lights speak for themselves...


One of my absolute favorites from the shoot?  This black and white one with the lights shining just so and illuminating beautiful Genevieve's wonderstruck expression.  As a photographer, I draw inspiration from so many places.  Lately I've been admiring the gorgeous B&W photos of the talented Kate T. Parker Photography.  After I processed this photo, which just BEGGED to be in B&W, I took one look at it and saw the inspiration connection.  Love it!  Right now it's topping the charts as my current fave, though that is always changing with each new shoot that I go on  ;o)

As we enter the most wonderful time of the year, remember to pause and appreciate the joy and the wonder of the season.  Stop on a street corner and just soak up the twinkling lights for a few extra seconds.  Breathe in the scents of the pine boughs and the peppermint candles at the supermarket, and appreciate the warm and cozy atmosphere in the kitchen.  Come together and create new traditions, celebrate old traditions, and SOAK IT UP.  Suck the marrow out of life.  Enjoy it.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived...  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”  ~Thoreau


I'm working on three different galleries right now, but this is one photo that stopped me in my tracks that I absolutely love.  More details and photos coming soon, but I was thrilled to get to photograph nearly six-month old Genevieve this past weekend for a light-filled holiday shoot.  So many favorite shots to go through, but this one in particular is just calling out to me right now. Love everything about this image!  Her hand-knitted hat that was passed down from her mother, this little toes curled around the lights, her wonder struck expression, the cozy sweater against the soft blanket, and the way the lighting is hitting her just so.  It's magical.

More holiday photos coming soon.  Remember, if you're interested in scheduling a holiday shoot, please contact me to schedule it by November 28th. Holiday photos, New Year's photos.... this one actually looks like a good one for St. Lucia Day!