captured in all her glory

When I came home from mailing our dossier, I found little miss outside with her brothers.

This picture makes me happy…it is her right now, captured.

Only that moment captured, well it actually took a bit of work. Do you ever see photos on websites and wonder how the photographer was able to capture it? I do all the time. I was going to delete all these pictures, then I thought it might be fun to share instead.

When I came home, I saw the boys building a fort in the backyard. I picked up my camera to capture their fort. On the way out, I saw FireCracker on the slide. Took a quick shot and then helped her down the slide.

Then she took off running away from me. I wanted to capture her cuteness, but she kept running. The first shot I got was overexposed.

Second shot, just kind of yucky. She was on the move.

A little better.

There’s the fort…built with our Christmas tree.

Then she began running back my way…still not a great shot.

Blurry…top half of the picture has more light than the bottom…I just kept clicking.

Next shot, this one was a keeper…loved the light coming down on her.

And then she looked back at me laughing as I chased her across the yard….and I really caught HER…in her all natural lit, butterfly winged, two year old glory.

Sometimes your favorite shot won’t be the first one you take…or the second…or the fifth…sometimes beautifully capturing a moment takes lots of shutter clicking.

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  • Celia - So glad you shared these. Your photos are ones we all look at and think, “how does she always get such good photos??”. So, it’s nice to see you show what came before the perfect photo. It gives the rest of us encouragement to keep on clicking!!! πŸ™‚ Happy New Years!

  • Molly @ mixedmolly - Thanks for sharing the pics you didn’t like and the reason for not liking them. That is really helpful and a great reminder that not every picture a person takes will be a masterpiece πŸ™‚

  • Mary - I love these pics!!!! I recently got my first DSLR camera for Christmas and it is refreshing to know not everyone gets the ideal pic on the first shot….What made me laugh the most was that her shoes are on the wrong feet!!!! She is so beautiful!!!

  • Katie - Love how her shoes are on the wrong feet on the slide πŸ™‚

  • Jamie - Beautiful Shot! I highly recommend Ashleys online class. I was in the first one she offered and I can’t believe how much I learned!

  • Melissa@WhereYourTreasureIs - I love the picture of her on the slide with her boots on the wrong feet. So sweet!

  • Natasha - I love your backyard and all the adventures your kids can have. The pic of your little firecracker is precious!! love it!

  • cailan - Yes, I keep clicking for that perfect one…though I’m thinking they still don’t come along quite as often as they seem to do for you, lady. I’ll persevere though! This is so darling.

  • Felicia - Thanks for posting this because I feel like I often take 100s of pictures only to get 1 good one. Of course some of that is due to lack of ability to use my camera correctly, but nice to know that even pros get bad shots.

  • Julie B - I love that your dossier came in the mail! Hmm and maybe we’ll make a fort with our Christmas tree…its just laying under the tree house. Happy New Year!!

  • Seriously Sassy Mama - I just need to keep clicking

  • Becky - I love this post. I take 1000 pictures and get one I love of my little guy – all the running and chasing and laughing is so worth it! My husband took him out and took pictures of him for Mother’s Day once with my camera and was like, How do you do it!!

  • my lovely mess - lovely photo! I was just wondering what other photographer do with all the unused photo they take, especially of their kids.. do you delete them?

  • Rhonda - Her boots are on the wrong feet…so funny. Thanks for sharing. Love your take on life and your precious babies. Also noticed that she’s “picking herself up by the bootstraps” on the slide. So cute.

  • Michelle Tuesday - I LOVE Little Miss Firecracker!! The picture of her on the slide with her boots on backwards is beyond precious! I love your blog!!!!

  • Dana @ Bungalow'56 - A great post Ashley, You are right, when even I, an amateur photographer who knows how many shots I need to take, to sometimes get “the one”… will look at your posts and just think you have some sort of magic touch when showing us all of these wonderful shots of your kids. Glad to know I’m not off track when having to work for the good ones : )

  • Paige Rodriguez - So true, thanks for showing this! Would you ever share your template that you always use for the tiny square pictures (usually with instagram pics)? I want to start blogging my phone pics once a month, b/c let’s face it, that little phone camera is wayy too handy! Thanks!!

  • Katie m - Love.these. Do u guys have the Ladybug Girl books?? They would be SO perfect for her…they capture her. πŸ˜‰

  • Laura M. - Thank you for this post! It is another reminder to just keep clicking. I get frustrated at my photos sometimes because I can’t get each one the way I want it, but then I am reminded by you and others that even “real” photographers have that same struggle. Patience. Patience. Patience. Thanks!

  • Jennifer M - I learn so much from you!

  • Crystal (chaoticlilshadow) - Haha I know all to well how true this is! I take so many horrible shots, just to get that one perfect one! And now I’ve stopped deleting the bad ones too, cause sometimes it’s fun to see the “progression” of shots!

  • Kim - Love that you showed all of these! I get so frustrated sometimes thinking I’ll never get those perfect shots, but I guess I just need to keep snapping away! Thanks for sharing!

  • amanda torres - I love her shoes on backwards on the slide. One of my favorites on kids. Shows their desire to be independent, but still needing help. LOVE IT!

  • amber - She is so cute. She looks like she could give any one of your boys a run for their money;). Which, I’m sure, is exactly how that was intended to be! lol And, thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you can’t just get that shot. Perseverance.

  • christin - Thank you for saving these to share. I always wonder that too when I see pictures online. This was very helpful!

  • Katrina - Just curious. Do you take your Christmas tree down straight after Christmas. I have a friend that does it the very next day. Just seems too early, kinda depressing. The house seems too bare after having all the Chrissy stuff there. I tend to take it down after the new year. Have a great new year. It’s New Years Eve here in Australia and 41 degrees Celsius in our scale which is very hot!

  • living eventfully - I have no idea why but this picture of Firecracker made me cry. They grow up so fast it makes me dizzy. UHG. Make it stop. Off to cuddle my 4 month old…

  • Melissa - Love this post….such beautiful pictures πŸ™‚

  • giozi - You can’t imagine how many attempts I do, and many times I end up frustrated, I also sometimes happens that the first is the prettiest, hahaha.
    Thanks for sharing your photos and attempts. This encourages us.
    Happy new year!
    guapa !!!!

  • Heather D - Thanks for sharing the not-so-perfect shots. Those are the kind I get and feel slightly inadequate and just stop taking pics. It encourages me to be a little more persistent!!! LOVE THE PHOTOS!!!

  • Adventures In Babywearing - Adorable!!


  • Whitney - I love this! Especially the shot that shows she has her shoes on the wrong feet. Your kids are just simply adorable!!!

  • Herta - All the best for a wonderful, eventfull 2012 to you and your family. Love these posts; your children full of joy and life and your generosity in sharing the process behind the ‘perfect picture/moment’…practise makes perfect!

  • Kelli - I love to see her tall, growing, and running!

  • Stacey - Great advice! Love the last photo…and the fort too!

  • tara pollard pakosta - Just my opinion, take with a grain of salt: “Never delete unless eyes are closed!
    I once read an article that said ever since we all went digital, we are deleting our lives, our stories, sure we take more pictures, but what’s the point if we are deleting them all! I challenge you to NOT delete *unless absolutely horrible*, and don’t go back and even look at them for a year, then go back after that through and delete the ones you really don’t want. I bet you will have changed your mind about a LOT of them! because these photos of her, I would not delete them, they tell the FULL story of who she is! sure they aren’t technically perfect, but the snapshots rarely are! KEEP those photos!!!”said in love!!!!

    okay, rant over, I really really really love your blog, your adorable kiddos and am soooooo excited & happy for this journey of adoption you are ont!!!


  • andie - such lovely pictures…. you captured her spirit so wonderfully. i love the fact that the slide shot shows her boots on the wrong feet! my son does this too!

  • Shana - Yay! Ashley – thank you for this!! This is so crazy helpful! I’m always wondering how folks got a certain shot. Nice to know that it does sometimes come down to persistance and luck.

    BTW – you’d be proud of me. I was messing around with my camera and caught a couple of amazing/hysterical shots…INDOORS. Which used to always result in blurriness. Some are still a bit blurry, but I did get a couple of good ones. I’m constantly amazed at how much your class helped. LOVE it. (The link is here, if you want to see:

  • mum - Thanks for sharing secrets to a great photo. πŸ™‚ btw, love the pull-up/diaper sag. πŸ™‚ My toddler always had one.

  • Celena - So glad you could share β€”
    I’ve been regularly reading blogs now since November 2012 & writing my own since June 2013. I’ve read tons of tips etc and I have to say, I’m extremely glad I ran across yours. It’s very similar to what I want to write: about my life, not JUST projects/crafts and not JUST recipes, but everything ME with a heavy focus on photography!
    Thanks for your insights.