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san diego lifestyle photographer | what the last days of summer look like | august 2011

Like so many other photographers that I know, my journey into photography began with a desire to capture my family in a real and beautiful way.  I wanted more than my, then, run-of-the-mill snapshots.   I longed for pictures of my kids that were worthy of the coveted space above the fireplace.  I wanted my house to be plastered with the connections between my children and my husband and I.  And I wanted to be able to provide those images myself..

So I delved into learning the art of photography with both feet, as well as both my arms, my neck, my entire body.  I took workshops, I spent hours poring over books, I read online forums wee into the night.

That vision that jump-started my journey into photography is still a vision.  It has yet to be fulfilled.  Like so many of my fellow photographers, my vision sits, waiting for me to take the time to make it a reality.    Too often we are so busy working for clients that we miss capturing our own families as life passes by.

So I’ve decided that now is the time to fulfill my vision.

I’ve been lucky to have met so many incredibly talented and wonderful photographers during this journey.  People who share the same desire to capture their own families in a real and beautiful way.  I’m teaming up with eleven of these women on a very personal and meaningful project called, “What ________ Looks Like.”

Our goal is to capture our own families in a real and beautiful way.  Some people call it “lifestyle”, some call it “real life”, some call it “unposed”.  No matter what you call it, our desire is to snatch the moments that represent the relationships, the dynamics, the reality, the beauty, the truth, and the life of our families and record them here on our blogs as well as in print at the end of the project.

Each month we will each choose to fill in the blank with our word of choice.  Some of us may choose to use the same word all year and some may choose to change it up each month.  We will each link to the next photographer until our circle of 12 is complete.

We hope this project inspires you to take more pictures of your own families so that those unique moments that make your family unique will never be lost or forgotten.

Each of us will put our own spin on this project, making it more meaningful to us.  I wanted my monthly post to be in the form of a letter to Brooks.  When the year is complete, I hope to compile the monthly letters and images into a book.  My gift to him and to myself.

Dear Brooks,

As we went into the last days of our summer vacation, one of our jobs was to go through all of your old toys, books and clothes to donate.  You were so helpful in finding all of the things that you were done playing with.  Some of these items were much harder for me to give up than for you.  I remember when you got this Buzz and Woodie … I think you were two.  So many hours playing and playing with them.  And the beautiful stacking toys.  I bought them for you before you were born and loved watching you build and stack them over and over and over.  In this set, I also included Big Red (yes, you named him as soon as you saw him).  From the moment we found him at Nordstroms 3 years ago, there wasn’t a day that went by that you didn’t put him on first thing in the morning.  When we had jammie days, Big Red was all that you needed.  Then one day you got really mad at me and to punish me, you threw away Big Red.  I left him in the trash for the day to see if you would change your mind the next day.  But you didn’t.  You were done and you didn’t need him anymore.  Just like that.  I saved him from the trash that day and have him hidden away.  One day I’ll share the story with you, but I didn’t want you to ever forget your love for him.

All summer long you were begging to go to the Botanic Garden to play and explore.  We spent the first half of the day looking through the orchard.  I think it was the moment that you discovered you could really read.  You went from plant to plant, calling out the name and some interesting fact.  I’ve never seen you so excited to read!  You discovered that reading was more than just going through a book that your teacher gave you.  Instead of learning to read, you were now reading to learn.  I can’t wait to watch you blossom and grow as a reader this year.  I’ve always tried to teach a love of reading to the children in my class.  Now, that is my wish for you.  My dream is to see you so into your book that you need just 5 more minutes.  We’ll see.

Also on this day at the Garden, we spent time exploring in the Children’s Garden.  You loved this day!

As we were sitting around one late afternoon, you mentioned that you wanted to go to the beach and since it was summer, we could simply hop in the car and drive.  I loved the quiet time enjoying the sunset and watching you enjoy your snow cone and chase the birds.  You were a little disappointed that the snow cones at the beach didn’t taste anything like the delicious shaved ice that we usually get.  It was a lovely evening and I’m so glad you wanted to go.

Before the rush of the school year started, we also fit in another two week trip to Santa Barbara.  You’ve been saving up and counting money all summer long and you couldn’t wait to spend it at the candy store.  I’ll be sure to remember to share your love for counting and stacking up coins another time.  At the candy store you were in heaven!  Candy is your thing!  You don’t eat pastries or cookies and you don’t like cakes and pies.  You love candy!  You tightly held on to the bag filled to the top with taffy chews, mints and root beer barrels.  Another favorite treat you picked out was an old fashioned orange cream soda!  Delicious!!!

You are so happy at MomMom and Grampy’s house.  So, so happy to be there.  You probably don’t remember how Grampy used to get on the ground to play games with you and throw the ball back and forth with you.  I wish I had more of those everyday moments with the two of you.  Grampy is pretty far into his Alzheimer’s disease and now you often see him sleeping or resting in his chair.  We were supposed to document more of the two of you this summer and it just didn’t happen.  We will do it the next time we’re there.  This set also shows you with Skyler and your ‘stick place’.  You have a special little hide out that you spend your days.  When you get home from walks with MomMom and the dogs, you take your sticks up to the special place and you spend hours and hours with your amazing imagination.

Oh, sweet Millie!  I think Millie is your greatest love of your life so far.  She’s your very best friend in the whole world.  You give her no less than a thousand kisses and hugs each day.  MomMom has always loved that you go on the early morning walks with you.  And I know that Millie adores it!  You two are quite a pair!

As a special treat for being so cooperative doing your back to school pictures, I promised something from Target.  You picked out this incredible lego castle.  There were many directions and many bags to go through to build this cool castle.  Right away you sat down and got to work.  I was so proud to watch you tackle the challenge and a bit sad that you didn’t want my help.  You are so independent!  The castle has so many neat features and fun people.  TV took a back seat to this creation for the rest of the week.

The weekend before we went back to get ready for school we went to see Mary Poppins at the Civic Theater downtown.  This was our 4th performance of the season and by far our favorite.  As was our tradition, we arrived a little early to have a yummy lunch at the Yard House.  Of course the favorite part of your meal was the delicious soda.  You’re always so curious to see the tall buildings and different people downtown.  I cried at the end of the show when I was holding you up for the standing ovation.  You clapped so loud and so hard and your eyes were smiling with happiness.  You LOVED this show!  And even now, you are still singing the songs from the show each day.

Here we are at Trader Joe’s just before school starts.  You still love having your own cart to find your groceries.  One of your new loves is ‘the other green stuff’ … spinach.  We also picked up popcorn and applesauce for snacks.  The next day we went to school for the first time.  The classroom looks so empty and strange without all of the children’s projects.  It won’t take long to fill up the walls with beautiful work.  And finally, you … just one quick snap of you at your big first grade desk.  You’re right next door to me through that door.  I have loved taking a quick peek at you and seeing you hard at work.  I’m so proud of the student and friend that you have become.  Looking forward to a wonderful year.

And finally, I had to sneak in a quick glimpse of our daily routine … a game or 3 of Star Wars Trouble.  You often make up the games we play and I’ll now get to document some of those crazy, inventive games … but one of our favorites is this game.  You’ve learned so much about strategy and are still working a little on sportsmanship.  I know you don’t like to lose, but you are so much better at it now.

Well … that was quite a month!  I know September won’t be quite so filled with fun outings now that we’re back to school.

I love you to the moon and back!

Mommy

 

Thanks so much to my wonderful new group for joining me in this new project. I’ve been so inspired by them and can’t wait to be motivated by them.

 

Now, please be sure to keep going through the circle to the incredibly talented Nichole Van | Nichole V Photography in Woodland HIlls, UT

 

 

San Diego Family Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography on Facebook | The Bloom Forum

 

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August 29, 2011 - 6:25 am

maureenwilson - what an amazing month you all had. this will mean so much to B in the years to come. wonderful!!

August 29, 2011 - 6:25 am

brenda - you all are killing me with all of these awesome photos! Jules…this is something Brooks can always have….I picture him at 28 or so and sharing it with his kids….it’s incredibly special!!

August 29, 2011 - 7:11 am

{ WHAT “BEST FRIENDS” LOOK LIKE } » Crave Photography - […] check out the imagery of the different photographers participating!  To start, here is a link to  Jules Trandem | San Diego Lifestyle Photographer Posted in […]

August 29, 2011 - 7:21 am

MomMom - This is really wonderful. I did need a kleenex going through the months story. Millie loves Brooks so much also and LOVES having him here to play with her. This whole letter is great. More than great.

August 29, 2011 - 7:27 am

crave photography - Jules, these are amazing! You are SOOOO good at capturing lifestyle! He is going to treasure these photos and letters forever!

August 29, 2011 - 8:35 am

Jennifer N - WOW! Your images are just as touching as your story. I love the story of Big Red and how you kept it and how B is growing up. Seriously, I am in awe of this post and the format you took on writing a letter to B. I am SUPER excited to see what you come up with next. Pressure… because this was just amazing.

August 29, 2011 - 9:26 am

Stephanie Moore Studios {Tucson AZ Photographer} - Jules you did such an awesome job of capturing Brooks, he is so lucky to have all these memories. I love how you did it as a letter, it’s priceless!

August 29, 2011 - 9:29 am

Sara T - I love all these. You just rock at documenting him and telling all his stories. Beautiful.

August 29, 2011 - 9:44 am

Gina Oh - yes, i agree w/ brenda… you are KILLING ME!! love that your mom needs a kleenex… love that brooks will have this documentation… love love love…

August 29, 2011 - 10:19 am

christy - Jules, this is one of the most beautful things I have ever seen or read. Truly, what a gift you have! Brooks is such a lovely young man, and how lucky is he to have his life documented so beautifully 🙂

August 29, 2011 - 10:37 am

wendy vonsosen - Jules, well done! Love your letter format. Brooks is one lucky boy to have such a fantastic mother. These images are priceless but the one that stands out is B in his stripey PJs playing the Star Wars game with his bedhead. So authentic!

August 29, 2011 - 12:47 pm

tamara - Amazing! Loved your take on the theme. Priceless

August 29, 2011 - 7:50 pm

marla - Jules- you are such an amazing mom! You and Brooks have a wonderful relationship. I love reading and seeing all of the fun things you do together. What a fun way to document your family.

August 29, 2011 - 8:47 pm

Brianne Hall - Wow, Jules. This is incredible. What a special thing that you will be able to keep and preserve these memories in such a beautiful way. It’s a marvelous piece of work. Congratulations!

August 30, 2011 - 5:14 am

Jill VZ - Simply perfect Jules! You will treasure these moments forever! What a great idea!

August 30, 2011 - 7:57 am

Logan Photography - Love the pic of him at the red table, his smile is priceless!

August 30, 2011 - 9:17 am

tamsen - this is amazing! must have been a busy month! what an awesome way to capture all these memories for him. you are blessed.

August 30, 2011 - 12:38 pm

Danielle - love these shots!

August 30, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Melissa VanLeeuwen - Oh Jules, I love how your pictures tell a story! Something else on my list of things I must do!

August 30, 2011 - 3:12 pm

Kelly Q - Brooks is such a lucky boy that he will have these to look back on when he is older! Such a perfect snapshot of his life!

August 30, 2011 - 4:27 pm

Lindsay koehler - How inspiring! I would love have this documentation! Awesome pictures too!

August 30, 2011 - 7:45 pm

AmandaB - jules you do such a great job with this stuff! can you be my mom please? 🙂

August 30, 2011 - 9:02 pm

Deanna - I love this! What a wonderful set of photos for you and your boy!

August 31, 2011 - 11:10 am

Jenn Duguay - So incredibly beautiful – your photos and your words. And, something for your family to cherish. Love this project 🙂

August 31, 2011 - 3:17 pm

Rachael Ruffin - aw this is really special for him (and you!!) my kids love those little shopping carts at the grocery store too 🙂

August 31, 2011 - 3:40 pm

Beth - oh what a treasure this will be! I love all the photo’s and his freckles!

September 1, 2011 - 8:34 am

Nicki B - Jules! what a beautiful post. I loved reading your words and seeing how you and your little man spent the summer. Your book will be a treasure for sure 🙂

September 1, 2011 - 9:35 am

Jayme F. - Your post makes me teary-eyed as I look to the coming year with my own son. You make capturing the everyday moments look easy, though I know it is not. I loved everything about this post.

September 1, 2011 - 10:57 am

Ali C - What incredible memories to be documenting and I love that you are doing it as a letter to him. Your words will be as treasured as your images!

September 1, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Carey - what an utter treasure you have created here, Jules. your love for this child just stills me. i’m speechless.

September 1, 2011 - 8:27 pm

Kim Hill - Wow! Your images are amazing and I feel like I was right there with you and your son (and Millie). What a great idea and a I’m sure he will love these even more when he’s grown with children of his own. Such a wondering gift.

September 3, 2011 - 3:48 am

Tiffaney - What an amazing way to capture life long memories…

September 3, 2011 - 9:13 am

Christina - Is it weird that I teared up reading this?!?! What a special kiddo and your a good momma writing this for him. Great memories!!!

September 6, 2011 - 5:54 pm

Jobrina - Oh Jules! I’m finally back commenting on this, I was finally able to do some catching up after our move the other day and after reading and seeing this, I couldn’t even comment, I was so emotional, in such a good way! 😉 The love you have for Brooks is always so apparent and I have always felt such a HUGE connection when it comes to you and Brooks and me and Raney, although I’m not a single parent, it feels that way at times with Kurt’s work schedule, but it may also be the single child thing too. 😉 You are such an inspiration in so many ways, mom being at the top of the list!!!!! 😉 This is such a beautiful post!!!!!!

September 26, 2011 - 6:02 am

san diego lifestyle photographer | San Diego CA Newborn, Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Thanks so much to my wonderful new group for joining me in this new project. I’ve been so inspired by them and can’t wait to be motivated by them.  If you missed the first month, you can catch up on What theLast Days of Summer Looks Like here. […]

November 7, 2011 - 6:35 am

san diego lifestyle photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Thanks so much to my wonderful new group for joining me in this new project. I’ve been so inspired by them.  If you missed the first two months, you can catch up on What Responsibility Looks Like and  What theLast Days of Summer Looks Like. […]

December 5, 2011 - 5:53 am

san diego lifestyle photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] by them.  If you missed the first months, you can catch up on What Responsibility Looks Like,  What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like and What Almost 7 Looks […]

January 30, 2012 - 6:02 am

san diego child and family lifestyle photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] you missed the beginning, you can catch up on… What Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks […]

February 26, 2012 - 9:16 pm

san diego lifestyle portrait photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] you missed the beginning, you can catch up on… What Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

July 30, 2012 - 7:30 pm

San diego family lifestyle portrait photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] you missed the beginning, you can catch up on… What Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

November 4, 2012 - 6:37 pm

Life with Kaishon - This project sounds like so much fun! I am glad you were able to document your month so perfectly. Your son looks like he makes every day a grand adventure. I love that!

November 5, 2012 - 6:37 am

san diego child photographer | what choosing joy looks like | october 2012 | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] you missed the beginning, you can catch up on… What Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

January 7, 2013 - 7:39 am

san diego lifestyle family photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] you missed the beginning, you can catch up on… What Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

February 4, 2013 - 6:53 am

san diego lifestyle family portrait photographer | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

May 5, 2013 - 8:55 pm

san diego family photographer | what new adventures looks like | april 2013 | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

July 3, 2013 - 6:42 am

san diego photographer | what 8 1/2 looks like | june 2013 | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]

August 5, 2013 - 6:02 am

san diego photographer | what ___ looks like | july 2013 | San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography - […] Responsibility Looks Like What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like What Almost 7 Looks Like What Making Memories Looks Like What December Traditions Looks Like What […]