Letters To Laura (5)

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As I lay in my bed with pretty bad ear infection and a Titanic-size-headache, I’m trying to write your monthly letter and you look at me like you are wondering “Why do you even bother mommy?”. Cause, baby girl, you are growing up so fast. I was pregnant with you 9 months and now you are 9 months old. For 18 months our lives are connected. And it passed in a blink of an eye. That’s why I’m trying to remember every single detail, every achievement and every word you say (if you can call your jibber-jabber words).

You are standing by yourself almost all the time. You walk holding onto couch and then try to stand on your own, without any supporter. Where’s the hurry baby girl? You’ll have all the time in the world to walk. And stand. And run. Take it easy.

Everybody falls madly in love with you. You are like Puss in Boots from Shrek – you are using your cute nature and innocent, wide-eyed expression to soften everyone’s hearts. And then you attack them with kisses and hugs (small drooling bites accompanied by hair pulling). Nobody minds.

You have 2 teeth! And we have little marks all over our furniture to remember that.

You talk non-stop. Your jibber-jabber sounds like real sentences but I have no.idea.whatsoever you are talking about. Sorry about that.

You hair is growing more and more – soon enough you’ll be able to wear bows and hairbands and all that other girly stuff.

You crawl sooo fast. Soon enough I’ll have to run to catch you. You got that from your father – he was the “crawl champion” (while I was sitting like a stone all.the.time. and then just walked away one day).

December brought a huge change for you – we decorated your room and moved you. But… You still need a little human touch to fall asleep so we cuddle with you on our bed and then carry you to your baby bed. You love your new room – its colourful, full of light, baby proofed and all your toys are within your reach.

You understand “no” but not always obey it. If we tell you not to touch something with your hands, you try to get it with your legs. How can so much personality be wrapped up in one little nutty baby?

You clap your hands all the time. When you talk, when you sing, when we are changing your dipper (like “Yeees, I pooped again!”), when we are buying fruits on the local market. Time are place are irrelevant in your clapping schedule.

If you want something that is out of your reach (like remote control which is your favourite object to throw across the room recently), you work hard to get it. Like, really hard. Nothing gets in your way. And you object so hard when I try to take the remote control away from you – you are my personal little Che Guevara.

Your favourite game is peekaboo. You could play it all day long. It’s kind of exhausting but you love it so much I just can’t say no to you.

Your little pointy finger still explores all the little things; nothing goes unnoticeable: a crumb on the floor, a stain on my trousers, your father’s slippers, dirty dipper. Your curiosity is inexhaustible.

We celebrated your first Christmas! The tree was the superhero in your eyes; big and green with all those colourful and glittery ornaments and with all the lights. You stared at them for hours.

My dear friend Frano from Gle Fotka studio took these photos of us the other day and for that – we will be forever grateful…
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Letters To Laura (4)

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You were 8 months old on Saturday. 8 months.

You drink all by yourself. Both water and milk. You grab your bottle and drink/eat and half way through, you pause, check how much more you have and continue. And you repeat that action couple of times. As much as that fills me with pride, it leaves a strange empty feeling inside of my heart cause you don’t need me to feed you any more.

You are reading out loud to me; it doesn’t bother you at all that the book is up-side-down.

You try to stand on your own two feet but your legs are still to weak. Your persistence is incredible –  if I did for 15 minutes what you are doing for an hour, I would die. Your energy is limitless.

You make so many new sounds now. Mostly ta ta ta. Is it possible you are calling out to your dad already? If that’s true, I have to admit, I’m kinda jealous. Just a little bit.

You move ALL THE TIME. 24/7.

It doesn’t seem to me you are pro crawler for now; all you want to do is stand up. Most of the time you are in “Downward Facing Dog” pose; seriously, you could teach yoga class how to do it properly. Please, baby girl, wait at least two more months before you start walking. Ok?

Your explore everything; first with your fingers than with your mouth (yes, that phase is still very actual). Today you got your hands on piece of cotton wool; ohhh, the wonder. In the afternoon, you explored our woolly carpet. Again.

You saw snow for the very first time yesterday. We were glued to window for an hour or two just looking outside. All that time you were looking out than back at me. Out than back at me. Like you were saying “Look mammy! Look!”. You help me look differently at things I’ve been taking for granted for so so long.

You love play time. We spend hours every day playing with you on the floor. One of your favourite games is hide and seek; the other day I hid behind a sofa and after I revealed myself to you, you laughed so hard you fall back. So sorry about that.

You have 1 tooth! Weeeee! 19 more to go.

The “Battle of the Shoes”. And your constant intolerance to any kind of shoes on your feet. Boots, slippers, tennis shoes – you take off every pair in a matter of seconds. And its freezing outside. What kind of girl are you?! Girls should be crazy about shoes! If we lived somewhere worm 365 days a year, I would let you be barefoot but here… sorry little girl, this is a battle you won’t win.

You can sit up on your own now. I missed your first “sit up” cause I had to got to the bathroom (grrr!); I left you on your tummy and when I got back – you were sitting up smiling back at me. Couldn’t you wait for 5 minutes more for me to be present? No?

There is a belief children choose their parents/families before birth. If that is true, thank you for choosing us. I promise you we will be the best parents we can be. Love you, baby girl.

Barbara Tursan Misic Photography

Diary of an Instagramholic: November

got a new hairdo – love it :: embraced the idea of reading just 15 minutes every day (and made a huge list of books I wanna read) :: all three of us were sick as dogs; I haven’t been so sick in more than 2 years :: finished all albums and delivered them to happy customers :: ate.the.best.burger.ever. :: helped a friend film “behind the scenes” video for his photography business and, have to admit, I kinda liked the whole cinematography concept :: due to our sickness, I still have 3 or 4 washing machines of laundry to iron :: enjoyed the last sunny afternoons before the winter comes :: went to Interliber (I will never confess how much money I spent there. never ever.) :: our Canon family has a new member and I LOVE it (cant wait to show you the images)

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Looking forward to December, slowing down and some relaxation 🙂

Letters To Laura (3)

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It’s getting hard to keep up with our “photography monthly/birth anniversary”. We spend every day together and yet – time flies. This month I decided to do something different. I decided to make a “movie monthly/birth anniversary” instead of photography one. You father asked me how come I’m doing it now and I didn’t do it when you turned 6 months. Cause 6 months milestone is so important but it seems to me that 7 months milestone was more important to you and the change you shown.

You toss and turn so quickly that you are able to come from one side of the room to another in a matter of seconds. You look like a cool surf girl sliding up and down our parquet with your hands and legs in the air.

The “anything-you-can-grab-ends-up-in-your-mouth” phase is more actual than ever. I vacuum the floors and try not to worry about germs; mission impossible. Especially when you try to put my big toe in your mouth.

You can sit on your own for couple of minutes and you love the change of perspective that provides. And when you get tired, you end up on your tummy and sliding begins all over again.

You pout your lips and make a rawr sound when something is not according to your plan. Its hilarious.

You will be a musician of some sort; no doubt about it. You bang your arm and leg in rhythm every time you hear a song on a radio. And  this goes for hours. Your father and I are keeping our fingers crossed your instrument of choice will be guitar  Or violin. Of piano. Just please, don’t choose the drums. We beg you.

The only way I can get you to sleep during the day is to “sleep” by your side. It drives me crazy and melts my heart at the same time.

Almost all of your baby hair is gone and is now replaced by new fuzzy brown hair.

The only thing you fear are blender and hair dryer. Why?

You are extremely social. At least with other kids. You face lighten up every time you see one of your play-date friends. You smile all the time, share your toys and show you affection the same way as you show it to me (by grabbing their hair and trying to give them a big slobbery kiss). They don’t quite like it, but you don’t really care.

Bath-time is the new IT thing. When you see your tub, you get so excited I have to hold you really tight. Or you will fly away – towards the tub. We could bath you in our bathing suits cause you splash so hard and laugh even harder that bathroom floor is all wet. Together with us. But it brings you so much joy we don’t mind.

You wake up in the morning before us, turn on you belly and watch us from your crib. Just waiting for one of us too wake up. And when we do, you smile so loud and shower us with so much joy that we melt. You give us the best possible way to start the day. Every day.

I’m looking forward to your development and independence. Baby girl, we love you.

Laura | 7 months, November 2012. | VideoShow from Barbara Tursan Misic Photography on Vimeo.

Lifelong Love Affair

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You know you found the “one” when he gives you the last one of his favourite chocolate cookies. And when he gets up in the morning to take the baby to another room so you could have just a couple more minutes of sooo needed sleep. You know you found the “one” when he gets up and make you coffee after he finally sat down on “his couch spot” and his favourite TV series is about to start. And when he learns enough about photography so he could make jokes with you. You know you found the “one” when he thinks you are beautiful without any make-up on. And when he spoons with you although he really doesn’t like that. You know you found the “one” when he shows you he loves you even when you are fighting and when he constantly reminds you how much you mean to him. You know you found the “one” when he gets up early in the morning on the weekends so he could have breakfast with you (although he is THE prototype of anti-morning person). And when he proudly calls you his wife.

My love, I love you. And I will always share my last scoop of Häagen-Dazs with you. Happy Anniversary…

Letters To Laura (2)

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Today you are 6 months old. We had to lower your crib; that’s how big you got. When did you grow so big?!? You are not that helpless, small bundle of joy any more…

You recognize your name and turn around when I call you; although sometimes I fear you think your name is “Zec”. You know exactly what you want and you try hard to accomplish it. It astonishes me how mad you get when something is not going according to your plan. Just the other day, you got angry at grand grandma and you ignored her for almost an hour. One full hour. She called your name, sang your favorite songs, made noises with your favourite toy and nothing. You didn’t even blink. I’m afraid to think of your adolescence years and the spite we can expect then…

My hair is your favourite toy. You giggle when I swish it in your face and rawr. You surprise me with you strength every time when you pull my hair; if you continue to do so my sweet baby girl, your Mamma will be bald on your first birthday. And your Pappa will no longer have a beard. Imagine that family album.

And your second favourite toy are curtains. Yap! Off all the toys, you adore our curtains. You can spend hours seated in front of them just watching them, touching them, trying to put them into your mouth… When I think about it, anything you can grab ends up in your mouth: my iPhone, remote control, coffee cup, water bottle, your shoes, toys, my hair, blanket, your socks.

You watch me put on make-up, cook or iron from your rocking chair and you absorb everything like a sponge; your grandma showed you how to stick your tongue out  couple of months ago and you still do it (thanks a lot mom).

You have a bald strip in the back of your head. It doesn’t surprise me since I find you up-side-down in your crib every morning; what are you doing in your sleep?!?

I’m so proud of you and the way you eat solids. Carrots, potatoes, broccoli, apples, bananas, pears, plumbs… you love every new taste I prepare you.

You snore loudly while you sleep and it’s hilarious. First time I heard it, I woke your Daddy up to tell him to stop snoring. And then we realised that loud sound is coming from your crib.

These 6 months have been the longest and slowest at the same time; quite the paradox right? Baby girl, can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the future.

Photo courtesy by our dear friend Frano from GleFotka Studio

Book Review: Your Baby in Pictures by Me Ra Koh

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I picked up this book for two reasons:

  • to inspire me to capture Laura and her first year in most creative way possible,
  • to educate me which moments parents want to have captured by their newborn photographer since I’ve been photographing more babies lately (both from past clients and dear friends) and I’m not specialized in this particular photography niche.

Regarding technical aspect of the book it was quick read for me but it was interesting to study her “recipe” below every photo (she explains how to achieve both the pose and the camera settings itself). Most interesting/useful part was learning about special moments and details you don’t wanna miss (like the disappearing bald spot Laura has right now) divided into age-groups (zero to three months, three to six months, six to nine months, and nine to twelve months). She also gives many useful tips for gaining a child’s cooperation (like turning up the heat up so the baby won’t be fussy during the shoot). Some helpful tips from the book:

  • Set your camera to “Center Focus” and then, if needed, reframe the shot to catch the moment; that way you won’t waste valuable time by changing autofocus point  all the time.
  • Shoot in Continuous mode; it will allow you to capture multiple images of those hilarious children facial expressions or action moments in just a few seconds.
  • Choose parking lot instead of the park as photo session location; sunlight reflecting off green grass can give babies a weird tint while sunlight bouncing off the concrete flatters the skin.

Who would I recommend this book too? Not so much to photographers who are already experts in children photography as to future parents or photographs like myself who are trying to learn more about that photography branch.

Also, I can’t decide which book to read next: “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon or “Love Is the Killer App” by Tim Sanders. What do you think?

Book Review: Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers by Lawrence Chan

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Lately companies that are client orientated and that are selling the whole package including the experience itself rather than just the product are more successful and more competitive on the market. The same approach to the business concept is used more and more every day not just in the service industry but also in the whole economy. The biggest problems that companies are faced with are differentiation and positioning itself on the market and the role of new/social media  is becoming bigger and bigger. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs, Flickr, 500px, Instagram, Google+… There are so many options out there and its hard for business owners to create a killer marketing/social media program that works. Especially if you consider the fact that we as customers are being bombarded from all directions all the time.

Earlier this year I defended my master thesis (“Marketing plan for photographic crafts”) and during secondary research I stumbled upon an interesting book by Lawrence Chan “Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers“.

Little digression… Did you know that 555 million web pages were recorded in 2011.? If you compare that to 2010. (when 255 million web pages were recorded), it means 300 million NEW web pages were recorded IN JUST ONE YEAR. And did you know there are 152 million blogs on the internet? Its no surprise how hard has become to create an efficient marketing/social media program.

Here are some advices/tips from the book:

  • Conventional media is not obsolete; you need to learn how to incorporate social media platforms into your marketing mix.
  • Talk with your clients – not at them.
  • Your content needs to be interesting and valuable to your network; or else they’ll leave you.
  • You should give your client a reason to talk about you and then give them the tool to do it (Facebook for example).
  • Schedule weekly/monthly blogging calender; not just the topics but time to write them too (this one is a life-saver to me; I would always schedule to topics but never the time to write them – the result: non consistent blogging).
  • Take a stand and be firm; explain what you are NOT.
  • He explains and gives great examples of crafting brand statements (you can read the entire article on his blog).

To tell you the truth, the book left me with a zillion questions and I mean it in the best possible way. How to find out what my target market wants? How to use social media more effectively? What is my brand statement? What I want my clients to feel when being photographed by me?

I could go on and on but instead I strongly suggest you buy the book and read it. Digest it. And apply useful information to your business. Create marketing/social media program specific to your niche. You don’t have to be digital photographer to use the tools and advices from the book; in my opinion, they are applicable to service industry in general.

Hope this was helpful. Off to the next book: Your Baby in Pictures by Me Ra Koh. Happy Monday!

Letters To Laura (1)

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Every day when I wake up, I see your beautiful face smiling back at me and I melt. Every. Single. Time. And every morning I wonder what we did to deserve you and your unconditional love. True, we have great days and not so great ones. And on those days I fell like a total failure cause I just don’t understand what you need at a given moment so I apply method of trial and error; forgive me for that. But I’m getting better, right?

You know, no one ever looked at me like you do. No one gets so excited every time they see me like you do. I swear, sometimes I feel like you will fly away by flailing your arms and legs like that. And no one ever loved me so unconditionally like you do. I don’t have to be pretty or funny or smart or in a good mood for you. You accept me as I am. I love you baby girl. And I am so grateful every day for being your mom.

A change of perspective…

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My mother warned me. She told me years ago: “You’ll see, one day when you became mom, how everything changes. Opinions, priorities, every-day routines, stuff that mattered-and-couldn’t-live-without-them. Everything becomes irrelevant and you are no longer the most important person in your own life”. I produced a noise that could be translated as “Y-e-a-h riiighttt” and I promised myself “That will never happen to me. Ever.”. And of course I broke that promise in these four months. Countless times. And I will break it countless times more. Cause its seems to me that my life divided into two eras – era before Laura and era after Laura. Things I stressed about before, I laugh at now. And things that didn’t matter to me at all became the world to me. On Wednesday, our Boo turned four months. And we love her more and more with every passing day and cannot imagine a morning without her smiling back at us from her crib. Yes, I know it sounds corney to someone. And I don’t care; I enjoy every day in my new-perspective-changed-life.