Just Get Out and Make Photos

One thing I’ve learned in my 17 years of professional photography is sometimes you need to just get out and DO SOMETHING, even when you’re not feeling inspired.

Being a parent, if you haven’t decided what you’re doing with yourself at a certain time, someone will come along and decide for you. Yesterday morning, my 4 y/o asked me to come outside with him to practice his skateboarding. It was very cold and there was a dusting of snow on the ground, so we headed to the porch.

I wasn’t planning to take any photos, but the sun popped out and the dryer turned on and there was the cool combo of steam and morning light that I had to capture.

We ended with a couple rounds of darts. Why not?

Moments in time

So is this a full photo story? No. It’s more of a vignette. Just a few moments in time. And often that’s enough. Life doesn’t always give you enough time to do a full story and really it’s better that way. I used to obsess about when to start or finish a story. Now I do what I have time to do and that’s that. It takes a lot of pressure off, frankly.

Admittedly, it’s different for client work, but that’s another blog post for another day.

Related Posts

Here are some stories I made about artists. I got out and shot for an hour or two and was happy with the result.

Carmel Indiana Pool Construction

carmel indiana pool open during construction

A Study in Contrasts

Contrasts always catch my eye. Whether it’s contrasts in tone, color or subject matter, I like to find ways to document them with my camera. This post examines the contrasts at a new Carmel, Indiana pool.

Pool Open During Construction

Our neighborhood has a new pool this year and the area around it is still under construction. This gave me a chance to shoot a lot of those contrasts that I like.

There’s the bright blue water and colorful swimsuits next to the expanse of dirt. Another contrast is the smoothness of the water and new concrete against the footprints left by construction equipment. And the most obvious contrast to me is the shiny, sparkling new pool set against the completely raw, unfinished site around it.

carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction
carmel indiana pool open during construction

Construction Noise

On this day there’s a hard-to-miss a bulldozer circling the pool. The rumbling of a diesel engine, the crunch of dirt and rock, plus the squeak of the metal tracks provides an interesting contrast against the splashing and yelling of children. Below is a video clip I shot on my iPhone. Turn on the sound to get an idea of what it feels like to be there.

carmel indiana pool open during construction

Related Posts

Thanks for checking out my photos of construction at a Carmel, Indiana pool. Here are some family activity posts you’ll want to check out.

Sidewalk Chalk

crayola-sidewalk-chalk-homeschool

Sometimes creation is destruction. That’s definitely the case with this Crayola sidewalk chalk. It tends to happen when the chalk is worn, broken, left in the rain, dried out and then left in the rain again. Or sometimes it happens with a new box. You can never be sure when the urge will strike.

With these photos and video, I look to capture the light-hearted fun, curiosity and experimentation that is happening.

crayola-sidewalk-chalk-homeschool
crayola-sidewalk-chalk-homeschool

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A Delicious Medium

Today we present a photo story of a young artist discovering a delicious medium. One of the many benefits of working from home when you have four (and soon five) kids who homeschool is witnessing, and subsequently documenting, their shenanigans.

This is what happens when you leave a tempting item on the kitchen counter within reach of a toddler. A new photo story!

chocolate syrup art toddler carmel indiana
chocolate syrup art toddler carmel indiana
chocolate syrup art toddler carmel indiana

It’s All Good

Photo by Courtney McCracken

We believe that children are inherently good. They’re curious about the world around them and are naturally inclined to explore and experiment. When messes happen, we laugh, take some photos and then clean up together.

Related Content

If you like these slice-of-life photo stories, be sure to check us out on Instagram. We also have a new Facebook page.

Also, here are some more stories on family exploration.

Indianapolis Public Schools

This time last year I worked on a project documenting Indianapolis Public Schools. I went to 10 different schools over the course of four days in April & May to photograph students in classes and activities. The images highlight the special programs and opportunities each school has to offer.

Here are some of my favorites. What’s the same and what’s different from when you were in school? Tell us in the comments!

Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools

Kids. Just being.

I had a co-op day recently at my kids’ preschool and thought I’d take a few photos.  It’s a kind and loving environment where kids can explore their own interests in their own ways.  They spend time outside every day, including in the rain and snow.

Scroll through the gallery below to see what it’s like on a typical fall day with a group of three and four-year-olds.  You’ll see them playing with some kindergarteners on the playground, too.

[metaslider id=1711]

CarmelFest

CarmelFest is a big Independence Day celebration held every year on July 3rd & 4th in Carmel, Indiana.  Since 2012, I’ve participated in the event as a sponsor and “official photographer”. I enjoy living in a smaller city where I get to see so many people I know celebrating our country together as a community.  It’s also nice to have a shoot where I can drink beer and eat fried dough and it isn’t frowned upon.

Every color, race, religion and orientation is welcome in the United States. And that’s a lot of what makes it a fantastic place to live. As descendants of immigrants, our household proudly celebrates this heritage. I love this theme of diversity in America so much that we created a slideshow to celebrate it. You can see it here.

One of my favorite aspects of shooting festivals & fairs like CarmelFest are the common themes of: joy with family and friends, a sense of community, service, respect for veterans, the enthusiasm of children, and the bonding qualities of music and food.  And don’t forget about some good ol’ fashioned American entrepreneurship!

And let’s not forget fireworks…Fireworks are tricky to shoot, which you probably know if you’ve ever tried to get a decent image of them in action. Maybe in the future, I’ll pull together a “how to shoot” fireworks post. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy mine.

If you’re in the sharing spirit, send this post along to some friends & family. And we’d love to hear about your favorite July 4th memories in the comments below! Prints for these events are available in our shop and we always share 20% of the proceeds for prints with a partner charity.

Want more photos celebrating America? View these additional posts…

Refugees in Indiana

<Happy Birthday America>

<Fairs & Festivals of Indiana>