As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge {Portraits}

When I went to the beach a couple of weeks ago with my three daughters and the five nearby grands, I wasn't really thinking of Donna's photo challenge; I was simply trying to capture some candid shots of the children. I changed out my standard lens (18-55 mm...the one I always use because I didn't even know how to change the lens until recently!) for the longer one (80-200 mm) in order to be stealthy. I snapped photo after photo, with the grands playing happily, oblivious to the fact that they were being photographed. 

As I downloaded the photos later that day, I was thrilled to see that I had indeed captured some wonderful, natural poses. It was then that I knew that I had some photos I could use for this month's challenge, "Portraits." 

(All photos were taken with my Canon Rebel T3.)

* * *

Alaine (3) was perfectly content to sit at the water's edge with her pail and shovel, digging and digging. (She did eventually join the other children in the water, but mostly she dug.) 

I edited this photo in PicMonkey, increasing the contrast and shadows. The sky was overcast much of the time that we were there, so I needed to add some contrast without taking away the "feel" of the day. 

For Ben (5), it was not a "sit by the water's edge" kind of day! Lots of running and jumping and boogie boarding and splashing was more Ben's style, and all that activity required an energy boost in the form of a snack break. 

Again, I went to PicMonkey to increase the contrast and shadows.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day! It is hard to capture Owen (almost 8) just being Owen, but that's what I have here. Wind-tousled hair, happy smile, Owen through and through. 

Again, off I went to PicMonkey to increase contrast and shadows. (Now that I have learned to change lenses, maybe I'll learn to experiment with differences in editing too. Some of us take a long time to get out of that box!) 

Thank you, Donna, for another great challenge...and for slowly, slowly getting me out of that box!

Click the button below to see how others have met the challenge!
A Personal Photo Challenge


  1. You really got out of your comfort zone for this one, first by going to the beach, and then by using a different lens and playing with more Picmonkey edits. Hats off to you! The results were well worth it, too, so that must encourage you to venture out of the box again. Soon! Of course when your subjects are as cute (or cool, if they'd rather)as your grandchildren then you're halfway to a great picture anyway!

  2. Wow--great photos and editing! I need to get a camera that has a lens to switch! Though I had one years ago and was not too good at it. Your grands are just beautiful and it must have been such fun to do that stealth photography. I wonder if you'll frame any of these!

  3. These are wonderful! And a boy with a big smile...perfection! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs!

  4. Such beautiful photos! You sound like a professional photographer. I am still very much straight out of the point and shoot, or lately, the iPad Air. My bad, I know! xo

  5. Great subjects, location, and photographer and a pic monkey user! I have been thinking maybe I need to step it up with my pictures. I still rely on the camera and seldom use pic monkey.


  6. Bravo!

    The kids are all darling, don't tell the boys I said that, but that one of Alaine…precious!


  7. Your grands made the perfect subjects for this challenge.

  8. You had some beautiful subjects for your beautiful pictures.

  9. Oh how that you captured each one's personality. Hope that you keep using that new lens!

  10. wow I am totally impressed! These are great photos. I think my camera has another lens too. How sad that I don't even know. You have inspired me to check, and if so give it a try. Who knows, maybe I will venture out of the box too. Great job!

  11. Gorgeous Cheryl!
    The first one is so cute - oh to be that flexible again!
    All gorgeous little faces!

  12. Kids' photos are always adorable and beautiful. You captured priceless moments with those kids.

  13. You successfully captured the essence of childhood fun and innocence! Glad to hear that you are being nudged out of the "box" and trying some new things! I love the sweet smile of your granddaughter. The suit and bucket add nice jolts of color too. Terrific use of negative space on the second one. And the last one can't help but make us all giggle. He was definitely having a fun time! Wonderful job on the challenge. Keep up with the good work!

  14. These are fabulous, and how cute are those grands! :)

  15. Nothing like catching the granbabies unawares! Love all the cool shots!!

  16. Wonderful! The photos are beautiful, and your grandchildren are gorgeous. I see Owen has inherited his Grandma Cheryl's infectious smile :)

  17. Ahhh... the beach...haven't had a chance to get there your pics though, Excellent shots!

  18. Você fez belas fotos! Parabéns! As crianças estão "inteiras" nestas fotos!
    Um abraço!
    You made beautiful photos! Congratulations! Children are "whole" in these photos!

  19. What cuties! I love beach pictures so much.

  20. Lovely! that last one is great- such anice 'real' smile!

  21. You've captured some great moments here, Cheryl. All the photos say something about the subject. Lots of stories behind them. Owen's head-tossed-back-smile is a real winner.


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