This summer I was given an opportunity to take a drive down Highway 1 to shoot some coastal scenes for a local magazine. I was expecting it to be fun, but I was honestly not expecting such raw (and cultivated) beauty. Nor was I expecting to see such a change in the coastal vistas and offerings from Pacifica to Paso Robles.
To me, there are few things in the world more fun that attempting to capture a child’s true essence with a camera- that fleeting moment that can never (especially with kids) be planned. The look that says it all, the glimpse of genuine curiosity or glee, even the tears and the tantrums, will remind us forever of the person they were and have become. And now that we have a LOT of time at home with them, take advantage!... While shooting kids is always a bit of a game of luck, here are a few tips to make it easier, whether you are a budding pro or a parent with a camera.
I am not a parent who is above bribes. Nickels, jelly beans, a few minutes of screen time- pick your poison. But I have learned that these “incentives” need to be coupled with at least a tad of interest and a skosh of engagement by your target rascal or they can fall flat.
I have searched the internet over for recommendations on itineraries and activities that will appeal to teens and adults alike in Paris; there is a dearth. Since I have taken my two boys a couple of times and have more trips on the docket, I thought I would share my experiences and plans. This is my list of places and activities I have enjoyed with my boys ranging in age from 10 to 16. Typically, I make a “half-agenda”, aiming for one museum or major site per day (tickets in advance), and then let the spirit of la flânerie take over.
" Where to go in wine country for a day or two?", you ask. My enthusiastic reply of late is “Yountville”! With so much to offer: eats and drink within a four block area, Yountville is one of my favorite places in NorCal wine country. No designated driver? No worries; park and walk the whole town in a leisurely day. Better yet, stay the night in one of its many hotels and inns. Yountville runs high on luxury, indulgence and beauty, but maintains a quaint charm and sense of ease. It is also accessible to both Napa and Sonoma, and only about an hour from the city.
Mono Lake is one of oldest lakes in existence, known in part for its bird life, evidenced by the nests on top of some tufa. Watching the gulls chase after the ground-dwelling, mass-moving sand bugs yesterday was entertainment itself. But today, it is 5:15 AM and all is still- not another soul in sight. I am mesmerized by the sounds of the birds in the water and on the tufa, flying overhead, skimming the water, disrupting the beautiful reflections on the lake as they swim towards shore. As I sit, the sun comes up over the glacier-cut hills and sets the Sierras and lake alight. It was a moment I will likely never forget.