Shorts. T-shirts. Sun shining down and then covered by clouds. Bare feet. Basketball.

One of my students needed a study break. When he headed out the door, the rest of the class knew where he was headed. Before I knew it everyone was shooting baskets. 3.16basketball-013.16basketball-023.16basketball-04

3.16basketball-01Our youngest has been determined to join all the basketball games. She practices daily – always trying to get a basket. This week it happened for her. I thought it would be far in the future – she is so tiny and the basketball hoop so high. However, her persistence paid off and she can now swoosh the ball with the best of them.  It is ridiculously cute.

3.16basketball-053.16basketball-073.16basketball-083.16basketball-09As soon as I took the next shot, I smiled. I knew it would be one of those handful of all-time favorite photographs. The boys in the background – one in his signature neon green, one in his signature no shirt using all his effort to get the ball up, Corbett creeping up in height close to his dad. And her. Trying her hardest to be patient and wait for their game to end. Tiny in a big jersey. Little legs wrapped around her brother’s basketball.

This is why I pick up my camera everyday. I wasn’t trying to get ‘the shot’. I was just playing with my camera while they played. Real life – it is so much better than anything staged or formulated. Real life is captivating in the most beautiful way. 3.16basketball-11

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  • Nancy Farmer - I love this. Those girls know about that wrist action! I credit Dad & the older brothers for their teaching.

  • Hannah Hobbs - Oh that last picture is perfect!!!

    You’ve inspired me to go out and capture life more- thank you, Ashley!

  • Angie - It is a beautiful shot. I can’t believe how much she’s grown.

  • Byron - Great pictures all around!

  • Katie - Love, love, love this! Every bit of the family fun and LO’s persistence. :)

  • Jenny L. - Most kids would take the easy way and attempt a basket with an underhand shot. I love that LO is going for the real thing!

  • Sarah - I LOVE this photo!!! How lucky you were to capture it! It’s a printable one, for sure!

  • Lacey - Yes! I couldn’t agree more that these unplanned, unscripted, unposed photo opportunities are the best. Real life is certainly captivating. :)

Capturing the sparkle in their eyes…a few of my favorites:catchlights-04catchlights-13catchlights-14catchlights-15SnapShop Students: The newest SnapShop lesson is live – all about how to capture that sparkle in the eyes of your subject!

For those not registered, you can find more information about my subscription based photography website, SnapShop, by clicking here.

Today (3.22.16) use the code SPARKLE to get $10.00 off your registration. The offer expires at midnight.

flourishIn addition to the two main courses (photography basics for DSLR users and phone photographers), new lessons are added each month.


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  • kimberly oyler - firecracker looks so much like you in that first picture!!

  • Jenny - Your kids are gorgeous. Love your blog. The end.

We’ve been cutting boards, painting, sanding and covering ourselves in sawdust all weekend. I think Chris has finally come to the conclusion that being married to me means the projects never end. This weekend also involved lots of family time and celebrating the youngest of the Campbell guys. Yesterday I was commenting on how I didn’t write a blog post for today and my newly turned 8 year old said, “You can write a blog post about me.” I told him I would need some new pictures for that post, so we stepped outside….

3.12eight-013.12eight-023.12eight-033.12eight-04Off to the side, his brothers were playing basketball. It made for a good opportunity to snap a couple brother shots. Goodness I like these guys. They are so wonderfully strange and fun and hilarious. They make me laugh one minute and want to pull out my hair the next. I wouldn’t have it any other way.3.12eight-058 years ago we stepped into a hospital not knowing if we would walk out with a baby boy or a baby girl. I was convinced we would have a girl because everything was different about the pregnancy. The doctor held up a tiny baby and declared, “It’s a boy!” He hasn’t stopped surprising me since that moment.

Chris told him he is like the cream in an Oreo. The cream is what make an Oreo an Oreo…it holds the whole cookie together. He is that perfect center in the middle of our family. Everything kind of falls apart in our home when he isn’t around. He is the best combination of seriousness and total goofball. He has a special handshake for me and one for his dad…and does a million other little things in our home to make sure everyone feels loved and seen.

He also just smiles when someone calls him a “Momma’s boy” because he knows all those hugs and thoughtful gestures make me feel special and there are perks to loving your mom well:)3.12eight-06Happy Birthday to my favorite 8 year old!

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  • Southern Gal - Happy birthday to the cream in your Oreo!

    P.S. It’s wonderful to read of the way you and Chris speak blessings over your children.

  • Rae - This just melts my heart! The cream of the Oreo <3

  • Tiffany Nelson - My word, he is too funny. His eyes remind me of Flynn Ryder’s “smolder” in Rapunzel. Happy 8th Birthday, I hope he reads your post, it was a treat.

  • Danielle Huddleston - So cute! Happy Birthday! My boys are 8 and 9! Such a fun age!

  • Momofthree - Happy Birthday! Love all of the poses! I have a son turning 7 on Thursday and another turning 8 two weeks later – they are so much fun! Yet another age that I would love to be able to pause just to savor a bit before moving on to the next adventure.

  • carol - Happy Birthday to my favorite 8 yr old. Had a fun time with you yesterday. Love you

  • Jenn - Happy Birthday to your fun boy. love the pictures
    they look like lots of fun. your second boy reminds me of my current 8 year old

  • Carrie - The handshake thing made me tear up at work. Making people feel loved and seen is such a gift in this world. :) Happy birthday!!!

  • Laura J - Happy 8th Birthday from California buddy! Hope you have a terrific day!!

  • Cindy - I just Love the Oreo analogy! so wonderful and sweet! Happy 8th birthday!

  • Caroline Lim - Happy Birthday!!
    Its my birthday today too!
    But I’m in Singapore so my birthday is on 22 March.

  • Samantha - Great post! Such fun pictures :)

  • Natalie - Love that you got in front of the camera too! (and not at all awkward :) haha)

  • Steph - That was so stinking sweet! And what a cute boy band you could have, lol. Happy birthday to your son!!! Mama’s boys make the best friends and husbands, keep it up buddy 😛

  • Tessa - Oh my goodness! Littlest brother has gotten so big! All of a sudden he looks so grown up. Is it just me or did this just happen overnight? I don’t even know you personally, but I am just amazed at how grown up he looks. Happy 8 years!

  • Katie - Happy, happy birthday! You are such an awesome young man!