A Photo a Week Challenge: Smile

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Smile and the world smiles with you. As photographers, we are constantly trying to find that perfect smile. One that doesn’t look forced or phony. One that will make our client/subject smile that way again when they look at their photo. My husband has my favorite smile. It also helps that he isn’t afraid to do things that might look foolish. He is also a consummate photo bomber, so he’s wonderful, silly-but-oh-so-genuine smile has graced the photos of many of the unsuspecting people in his life (and the not-so-occasional stranger).

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT SHOW ENDINGS OF ANY KIND.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.
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A Photo a Week Challenge: Nostalgia

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So I seem to be stuck on a theme. Last week the challenge focused on endings. This week it is nostalgia. Memories are powerful things. And the way our brains store and retrieve memories means that they aren’t always exactly accurate. Since the invention and wide-spread use of photography, we are able to capture moments and memories in a way that could never have been dreamed of just 200 years ago. This photo is my mom’s lilacs. The house I grew up in had several lilac bushes. Light lavender, deep purple, white. So many colors lining the back wall of our home. When my parent’s moved, the new house didn’t have lilacs, and my mom missed them very much. When it came time for my folks to leave large houses and move into a condo, my mom insisted on a lilac bush. The community my parents moved to allows the residents a bit of autonomy when it comes to plants around their unit, so she got her wish. Every time I walk by lilacs, my mind is flooded with memories of my childhood home.

These words from a song the children at my church love to sing pretty much sums it up for me:

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.
(My Heavenly Father Loves Me, words and music by Clara W. McMaster)

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT SHOW ENDINGS OF ANY KIND.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Endings

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Life is full of beginnings and endings. Each experience has high points and low points. This month, we experienced quite the milestone. Our youngest child graduated from college. We are now truly empty-nesters. We are so excited to see what the future holds for our young man, but it will be strange to no longer have a reason to travel to Cedar City frequently or field calls about long-distance car repairs. As he moves on to the next chapter in his life, we will be looking about in a new way, too. No matter what the future brings, this one thing remains true: time moves more quickly than I like.

(This picture has all of our kids but one. Our oldest was wrangling our two adorable grandkids.)

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT SHOW ENDINGS OF ANY KIND.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

I just can’t get enough of these eyes. I’m also including a slideshow of previously posted eye images.

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For more from this challenge, visit Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sunshine

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We have a popular hymn at our church called There Is Sunshine In My Soul. I love the words to the first verse:

There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light.

This song reminds me to find light even on cloudy days.

This last weekend, we visited our daughter and son-in-law in Chicago. As a surprise, we took our son with us. It was his first trip to Chicago, and our daughter didn’t know we were bringing him. The kids have had a difficult year. Their mom was killed in August, and they’ve struggled to find any sunshine through their grief and pain. This weekend helped me to know that they will make it through and help each other as they navigate these new waters.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SUNSHINE

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row

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I’ve noticed a new trend in group photography: putting everyone in a single line. This has the advantage that everyone is in the same plane for your depth of field, but it can also cause its own issues. If you are shooting an extended family picture, they won’t all fit. You can also get too many jarring level changes. For this shoot, the kids in this family weren’t too many for the first problem, and having them sit helped with the second one.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SUBJECTS IN A LINE OR ROW.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge: Black & White Portrait

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It’s been a while since I participated in this challenge, but I really like their challenges and helps. For more, check out the Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge: Black & White Portrait.