a new photo project I’ve been working on

My friend (hey you Shauna Reed) is so good at taking random ‘selfies’ with her kids on a consistent basis just doing their normal stuff. She has inspired me to do the same.  I’ve been snapping shots with my kids – lots of random shots. Most are goofy ones together and ones with me making a silly face while they are bouncing off the walls in the background. Pictures that I hope capture the way they see me and tell my story of motherhood back to them. Nothing fancy. No great lighting. Lots of bad cropping. None of that matters though, that isn’t the point. They are pictures just for us. The kids love looking through them. I think what has surprised me the most is that the kids (even the older boys) really like take pictures WITH me. There is something different that happens in them when I get in the shot too.

Here are a few from my growing  ‘family selfie collection’:

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He ‘photo bombed’ us…his sister was not thrilled. Brothers.9.14xshot-059.14xshot-10

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Since I am at a photography conference right now, I thought it would be fun to do a post with a perk for you. One perk of teaching photography courses is I get to try out different products to see what I like and what I want to recommend. Recently, I’ve been using an X-Shot extender with my phone. My kids think it is the coolest camera gadget – filling my photo album with more goofiness. It is pretty handy since I can’t hold my arm out far enough to capture me with all my kids! X-Shot is letting me offer you a $5.00 coupon…just use the code SYCAMORE

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The girls like to use it with my phone. The boys prefer to use it as a sword that extends…until I see them and I confiscate it back.

UPDATE: I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

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  • Lydia - Curious, how do you snap a picture?

  • Maggie - Is there a link to the product and I’m just missing it? I’d love to check it out!

  • Suzanne - I was wondering the same thing….how do you actually take the pic?

  • danielle - Ha! Of course it is a sword 🙂 Love boys.

  • Lisa B. - When I saw the photo of you with all the kids on Instagram I was impressed with what I figured must be and even longer arm span than mine! I have exceptionally long arms
    (they are the same length as my husbands and he is 7″ taller than me). and I thought, “I don’t think I could have gotten that shot!” Loved finding out the behind the scenes truth! 🙂

  • Mandy - Thanks for the coupon! I’m still unsure how you actually snap the picture but I ordered one anyway because it looks so handy! You can’t beat $4.95!

  • Kelsey - Mandy, I think the $4.95 is just for the piece that adapts the extender to fit a phone. The actual extender is around $35. Assuming I read the description correctly!

  • ranee - Yes..I was wondering about a link also. I checked out the x-pro shot extender, but am not sure if I’m looking at the right item. Thanks–looks so handy!

  • Sonja - To take the picture you need an app that has an auto timer like the Camera+ app that she has mentioned several times before.

  • Jenni - I have seen lots of ‘selfie stick’ IG pictures, but yours had me fooled. Good job not getting the stick in the pic;).

  • Emily - Awesome 🙂 Those are so great! Thanks!

  • Janine - I was wondering how you took such a great selfie! Either you had insanely long arms or are secretly Inspector Gadget. Lol. Then I scrolled down. How you you actually snap the photo with the extender? Timer?

  • LisaAnn - Thanks for the post. I tend to shy away from selfies and this encourages me to snap photos out of my comfort zone. (And I definitely could use a longer arm.)
    I hope you’re enjoying the conference and that you get the chance to enjoy some sightseeing as well. As a local, I’m definitely a SLC fan.

  • Rikki - The fourth photo with you and your youngest girl, seems so pure to me. You look so beautiful and real, I know she will appreciate that someday, as will you. Great project, I look forward to seeing more!

  • Amanda K - I love this! I’ve been trying to get in the picture more too. More selfies and handing the camera off to the kiddos. They are loving it and I’m enjoying having photos of me with my babies, who aren’t really babies anymore. 🙂

  • Diana - I LOVE this. My son is only 17 months and not quite into the picture taking yet. But someday, hopefully.

  • kimberly oyler - oooohhh i was wondering how you snapped that first pic. i need one of these.

  • AshleyAnn - Lydia – I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

  • AshleyAnn - Maggie – Sorry, I just added specific links!

  • AshleyAnn - Suzanne – I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

  • AshleyAnn - Mandy – I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

  • AshleyAnn - Ranee – Sorry, I just added the links! I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

  • AshleyAnn - Jenni – it took me a few tries to figure out I can adjust the angle of the phone on the extender and keep my arm out of it!

  • AshleyAnn - Janine – I wasn’t very clear on what I use to capture these photos. I use the Pocket XShot Extender and the XShot Mobile Phone Holder. Then I use the app Camera+, which has a timer.

  • AshleyAnn - Kimberly – you do, but that would mean changing your current selfie system 🙂

  • Amber - Thanks Ashley! I ordered one and the phone holder is free with purchase! I think it will also work well as a camera stabilizer when trying to get a picture of a landscape and I am having a hard time holding the camera still! Lovin’ the goofiness, it’s the best! <3

  • Claudia - we just purchased it and we’re so excited!! the phone holder was free with the purchase of the extender! thank you for the post Ashley, you inspire me, I hope I get to meet you in person some good day :]

  • robin - I love this idea! I just bought the Xshot and the phone holder. Thanks!

  • Rachel - Well I just love this. I am a fan too because I learned long ago that if I am EVER going to have pics of me and the kids, I am going to have to do them myself. I seriously need to get one of those holders though. My arms just aren’t long enough. 🙂

  • Tracey - I just love your blog. Fills my heart! I bought the xshot and it came with the phone attachment. Not sure if I am doing something wrong but do you find it hard to take a picture head on when have the phone attached? Mine seems to not be able to tilt all the way it needs to. Seems like only will work, as you did, laying down.

  • AshleyAnn - Tracey – it took me a while to figure it out too. You can loosen and tighten it and it will go different directions. It should work straight out too.

  • Melissa @ Bless this Mess - Feeling so inspired to be in more pictures with my kids! Thanks for the coupon code girl!