I have had a few questions about how I am taking underwater pictures. Last year for Mother’s Day Chris got me an underwater case for my point & shoot. It is my favorite summertime toy. My friend just got a point and shoot that is waterproof without a casing…makes my camera look like a bag phone (remember those?!). Canon has underwater casing for several of its point and shoots…though it is probably cheaper now just to buy a point and shoot that is already waterproof.

Here’s a few of from some recent pool trips.

At times I get frustrated because my 6 year old is typically the only one who I can get face shots of underwater. I can usually just get body parts underwater of the other three. I am trying not to think about what I can’t get underwater right now and celebrate what I can. For instance, there is a day coming that Littlest Brother will be all over the pool…not holding tightly to a little board.

One day Littlest Brother won’t float on the steps quite like this.

One day all three of my boys won’t be able to stand together on that top tiny step.

And one day it won’t be such a HUGE deal that Big Brother put his face underwater for me to take a picture.

The next picture just makes me laugh. I usually shoot on automatic mode with the flash off with my point & shoot. We were under an umbrella and the flash came on, kinda ruined this shot, but it is still hilarious to me.

And since the majority of my kids wouldn’t pose underwater I did a little underwater modeling myself. I am thinking I should start using this creepy picture for all my guest posts and interviews on other blogs instead of the great ones Shannon took….

A few tips if you are taking pictures underwater with a point & shoot:

1. Take advantage of shooting in the middle of the day with all the bright sunlight

2. Have your subject face the sun underwater.

3. For shots laying down in the pool the shallower the water the better, as you get deeper the light gets darker.

4. Goggles help big time for keeping your subjects eyes open.

5. Practice at just pointing your camera and shooting the picture, it is way hard to try to look at the screen or viewfinder underwater and take the picture.

6. The calmer the water, the clearer your shots will be.


The Absolutely Delightful Giveaway winner is:

Donna – I know I am loved when my kids come running out in the garage before I’ve pulled all the way in, to give me hugs after a day at work. One of the best parts of my day:)

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  • Liz - I love looking at your pictures! :) I’m anxious for the day (next summer perhaps?) when my little one is big enough to spend all day at the pool. Quick question – where do you get freezer paper? I’ve looked at 4 different grocery stores and none carry it!

  • SeaminglySarah - I love the pictures! And I have to admit (I’ve posted comments before about loving winter more than summer) that now that we have a kiddie pool in our front yard I am enjoying summer with my toddler daughter MUCH more! I’m still a ski fanatic though.

  • Martina - Great photos! Thanks for the tips. I just googled for a waterproof iphone case. I’m about to get an iphone and I’m hoping it will also be the only point & shoot and a digital video camera I need.

  • Kara - YES u should totally start sending that pic–haha!

  • meg duerksen - i want to know about the waterproof camera your friend got.
    what kind is it?
    i want to find one….sometimes hauling that big slr gets old….oh yeah and it’s not waterproof!

    you do look creepy.

  • Heather - i had no idea there were cases for point and shoots. thanks for all the tips. i’m off to amazon to check it out!

  • robyn - i totally get what you mean with how big a deal it is to see them conquer the water! even if just putting their face in! i beam with pride as my little guy gains confidence in the water!

    i may just try and find a case for my point & shoot… but that would require digging out my point and shoot so…. maybe not!

  • angela - I have the Olympus point and shoot camera that is water proof and shockroof (5ft you can drop it). I love it, has worked very well. I did a lot of research and this was the best one I found (last minute before a cruise) and cheap; under $200.00. Takes good pictures in all settings too.

  • chantelle - I think we are connect by the stars(or some other cool but normal way) 6 days ago our family had underwater shots taken-I post about them on my blog on Friday. (I prepost when I have writers block from working on my thesis)
    You are so full of great ideas-In 3 weeks I have collect 9 vintage bread plates for dessert plates-that is my fav idea of your yet! thanks A!

  • shelly@familyblt - I think you look creepy-kewl! Those underwater shots are too fun!

  • tiffany - Hi, my cousin, Lacey, told me to read this post. I’m doing underwater photography with my regular natural light photography. I agree with your tips. Another thing that you do but didn’t mention is getting the subjects to not blow bubbles or dunk too quickly. On Monday I did a double photo shoot. Above then underwater. We did it at high noon which was dificult for the regular photos (harsh shaddows), but good for the underwater ones. And I use the Olympus waterproof camera for the underwater shots. It’s a MUST for a mom in the summer. I’m dreaming of a housing for my DSLR camera though.

  • Jodi - We plan on spending a lot of time at our town pool & beach this summer! I love these pictures. I love the slight vintage edge to them. My favorite is of littlest brother with sun flare!

  • amy - try getting your kids those big goggles where their nose is covered as well…that seemed to do the trick for my kids with putting their face under…of course for pics most of their face will be covered with goggles so maybe not the best idea. lol

  • kristiina - awesome shot of you—-very hollywood w/o being diva if that makes any sense AT ALL 😉

  • mel - your pictures are amazing and you truly are an inspiration for me…love to visit your site.
    greetz from germany

  • nori - i love your self portrait underwater shot! so chic!! :o)

  • PeaceLoveTerri - Awesome shots!

  • Marbeth - What kind of point and shoot camera do you have/suggest? I had a Kodak V550 for years, and it just died.

I have. Last week we had a bunch of grumpy little people pouting around here. I fought back by trying out a recipe from Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook.

It was a moment of sweet in a lot of sour.

Let’s just say on one night, I put my kids to bed at 6:15pm….over 2 hours early. That french breakfast puff was yummy the next morning too.

I hope your day is filled with more sweet than sour!

The Absolutely Delightful giveaway ends tonight, scroll down a few posts to enter.

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  • Yanet - Yes. Yes I have.

  • Katie - Ashley, this is so great. I’ve been reading for a while, inspired by ways to be more intentional with my children and make our home more beautiful. But, of course, there’s no magic pill for a happy, well-functioning family, and no matter how I plan or act, we are always going to have a tough time or two. Last night I was thinking about not getting my hopes up too high when it comes to perfect behavior in the kids and I thought to myself, “Even Ashley has tough days.” Not that I have you on a pedestal or anything . . .

  • Sarah - Glad I’m not the only one…

  • Lesley - Why must you post something like that this morning! 35 weeks pregnant and I fought the urge to stop by the donut store just to find this when I got to work! Ahhh. I’ll have to try out that recipe.

  • SeaminglySarah - My daughter and I were playing with the brand new kiddie pool in our yard yesterday. We were laughing and playing and just enjoying the moment. I couldn’t believe how wonderful that moment was. The rest of the day was far from perfect. But I want to remember only the wonderful poolside fun we had. Thanks for reminding me there is always some sweet in the sour!

  • Megan H - Yes, just had one of those days.
    Looking forward to trying PW’s recipe, glad you enjoyed them!

  • Sarah - I am so glad you posted this. It is good to hear you have bad days too. I have my share and I always think you are perfect (I still do). It makes you a little more real! BUT I am sorry for the sour days, because the sweet ones are so much better!

  • Christina - What camera set up are you using for the pool shots? Love your blog!

  • kristie - thank you, thank you and ummmm THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I’ll be honest having a 12 year old girl and 6 year old boy, I feel we live each day in a bipolar way. We just swing from one extreme to the next and some days we all cope better than others. This couldn’t have come at a better time…it does sometimes feel it is just us and no one else has to deal with it, but again thank you for showing it honestly.
    PS:::I love everything about your blog, I’ve been following for a few months and it has become My FAV!

  • giozi - Everybody is crying today :(

  • meg duerksen - oh yes i have.
    actually i had to get up from typing that first sentence to break up a fight over computer time. ugh.
    too much togetherness isn’t always a good thing.

  • christina larsen - I’ve made those before. They are super yummy. My kids call them cinnamon muffins.

  • Shannon - I think it’s required summer time activity to have at least a few (or twenty) rough days. My kids are all over each othr bickering and fighting, that’s when my creativity has to take charge.

    It is hard to get TOO mad when they give us cute faces, like Firecracker in the black and white. That pout is delicious!

    Thanks for reminding me to catch the not so pretty moments on camera too!

  • jessica - Oh my yummers!!

  • Katie H. - Ohhhh it is SO nice to know that others have these same kind of days!! I keep saying that I am going to make a shirt that says, “STOP Starring…he’s 2….AND he’s 1…AND YES there is one inside me too!” It never fails we have our days like this when we are out about in public. I find joy in taking pics of them in these kind of moments too because they make for a cute “I miss my Grams” or “I want to come back to Papa’s house” cards.

  • susie whyte - oh, breakfast puffs. mmm. that cookbook is single handedly going to get my husband kicked out of the navy for being overweight. :)

  • patti - i totally had that kind of week last week too. this week is ok. still feeling off, but trying my best to work through it! that’s all we can do, right? that, and make some french breakfast puffs! 😉

  • the inadvertent farmer - May your days be filled with sweetness with all the calories removed! Kim

  • annie - oh yes – we’re having one today. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a 6:15 bedtime. In fact we might have one tonight. ;o)

  • Mara - I was beginning to worry that I was the only one that had days at home with the kids that wouldn’t seem to end. Hope this week is better!!

  • Asha - Um yes, everyday. seriously…and i only have two!

  • shelly@familyblt - Seems like almost everyday! I really like pics of kids crying sometimes, they are just too cute

  • amber - I made those last week too:). Had one with my cereal this morning, then thought I probably just had my fill for calories for the day….oh well. Grouchy kids….oh man, it stinks.

  • rachel denbow - Sebastian has come home from VBS these last two days acting like a thirteen year old. He went to bed an hour early last night, too.

  • Trinity - All of your little crying and pouting faces make me laugh, but I know if they were MY little crying and pouting faces, it would not be so funny! And I don’t know why it makes us all feel better to know that someone else has a bad day….I guess it makes us feel not so alone. Great post as always Ashley!

  • jill@ a pocket full of posies - ummmm…think I might just be in the middle of one today! only it’s not the people that are acting a little “sour”!- it’s the silly horses!!! nothing a little sugar cube for them and some dark chocolate for me can’t cure though! surely that will make it all a little “sweeter”!

  • amanda torres - Is it bad that I’m laughing? It is…sorry! Just love hearing about those whiny days. Makes me feel like I’m not in the trenches alone on somedays.

  • AshleyG - ooohh I see you went the ‘THE’ starbucks in seattle??!! I have that same mug 😀

  • Kara - ha–yes I know how that can be! Early bedtimes happens here too sometimes. I think some days the best thing for all is to hit the hay early. Then u wake up the next day and eat a good little treat :)

  • Kim McM - Awww, you will cherish these photos in the future. I bet your children will too! Sometimes I wish I could turn back the hands of time and relive parts of the past. Some parts more than others, that’s true………… but wait until your kids turn into teenagers! Oh my, parenthood is not a job for the faint of heart. I have a friend who said the reason God made babies so cute is that when those babies became teenagers, their parents would remember that they used to be their cute babies, and not kill them.

  • lifeologia - oh. I wish I could put my daughter to bed 2 hours early. It would be a dream;)

  • Elisabeth - Ashley Ann, we loved your painted pots idea so much that we did it for father’s day and posted the pics. Thank you for such great inspiration!

  • Alba - yes! stopt specially on weekends! stop specially in hours to go to bed! stop 6:15 pm????? stop I would go to bed at 6:15pm! stop let them do whatever they want! stop sleep myself! stop

  • emily anderson - we have had early bedtimes a lot in this house too…must be the summer season—the kiddos are bored…which equals grumpiness.

  • Danielle - Days like that really can be tiring! Sometimes I have no clue what is going on!

The June SnapShop has come and gone….one SnapShop each month for the last 4 months…I’m ready for a break to have some extra time for creative projects around the house! This round of SnapShops was half gals, half guys. It was a fun change from the traditionally women-filled SnapShops. Just fyi…guys are always welcome to attend a SnapShop…anytime. Here are a few of my shots from the day. It is always a struggle for me to try to take any pictures while also helping 10 photographers. I got a few, but I will say I have already seen a few of the student pictures…and they are better than anything I got!

As I was preparing that morning for everyone to arrive Biggest Brother informed me that he was going to be a photographer for part of the day.

Some of the teaching sessions.

Indoor shoot…with Legos and really cute boys.

A little outdoor practice shooting…the leaves on the tree were causing shadows on the objects on the table…yeah for teamwork.

While everyone was photographing the models I noticed how they arranged their sunglasses and cups.

Just not picturing a group of boys doing something so cute with cups & glasses.

A couple of my pictures from the outdoor session. In this session, each photographer is told to shoot completely in manual mode (that is M…not Av, Tv, A, S, or P).

After I took the photo above, I kept thinking “I have taken this picture before…why is this familiar?”.

..Oh yea, rewind 3 years ago….

It was crazy hot outside…they were troopers to say the least!

For the second half of the outdoor shoot the models had a whip cream fight and played in sprinklers. It was fast and crazy and this is the best I got from that time.

So if you were a student at this SnapShop….that was crazy out there and difficult to shoot!

I’m not sure what it is about this picture I really like, but I do like it so.

When it was all over one of the wives of one of the students shared with me a text she received during the day. Thanks for sharing that!

I’ll share some of the student pictures next week….

Happy Monday!

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  • denise - Carl loved it Ashley! You are amazing and so gifted. Thanks for sharing that gift—take a man’s picture and he will have a great memory, teach a man to take pictures and he will preserve memories for a lifetime. (my words of wisdom for the day) Love you girl!!!

  • Ryan - What an incredible day! Let’s do it again next weekend! :)

  • Mariah - Fun day! I’m so glad that I was able to come. I saw myself in the background of one of your photos… Man. That girl is preggo. :) Loved it! Thank you and Chris so much for opening up your home to all of us and teaching us such great tips. It’s been a VERY long time since I have done something like that for myself. I had a wonderful day!

  • susie whyte - is that ryan arrowsmith in the orange?? i always love the recaps of your sessions. they look so fun!

  • Kristie - Ashley, I am so glad I came to the Snapshot, I haven’t stopped talking about it since I left! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh how fun! Maybe one day I will be able to escape to OK for that! :)

  • lifeologia - Great stuff. When your class is learning. I’m always learning 😉

  • Ryan - @Susie – guilty as charged! Have we met? :)

    I’d like to say, in my defense, that I NEVER wear shorts…but it was hotter than hot, so I had to give in. I want to apologize to everyone who’s having to endure my pasty-ness.

  • shelly@familyblt - Can’t wait until you do an online class!

  • Jodi - I don’t think you can ever take a bad picture. Your eye is just too good for that.

    I am really looking forward to your online SnapShops Class. I would love to see (along with photography tips). A photography workflow. Your “soup to nuts” day to day in getting your pictures to getting them on the blog. And blog vs print. That sort of thing. I am trying to get myself into an easier workflow. :)

  • GoodGirlGoneGlad - Looks like another great class Ashley and thanks again for those pointers!

  • karen davis - If I am EVER in your area (being in Korea until 2013 makes it difficult to be anywhere else!) I would LOVE to take one of your classes… so jealous of everyone that gets that opportunity!