audrey blake breheney

My everyday art are my iPhone images and my gallery is my Instagram feed.  I have never pretended to one of those photographers who is sharing my real life all the time, instead I am journaling my feelings which most of the time come out as conceptualized shots that I imagine, plan and shoot.  I am my main subject, my children join in sometimes both because I ask them and sometimes because they ask me, and my dog shows up or my house or ever so occasionally my husband.  But the images I make day in and out aren’t screaming to be placed in a frame on the shelf, although actually I would do that.  And when I pull out my big camera to shoot I am never in the shots, it is just my boys, so every once and a while I wish that I had a good family portrait.  Lucky for my I have pretty talented friends all over the country, so when I my dear friend, Bedtime Stories photographer, Audrey Blake Breheney came in town I got just what I had hoped for a beautiful real life family portrait.

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Jam sessions seem to be happening more and more in our house and it makes me so so happy!  Massi loves playing on his guitar and while he is learning to read music and play songs note by note he is also experimenting with cords, something he has yet to learn in his lessons.  When Giacomo joins in for a little dancing it always turns into entertainment so this time I thought I would capture it so we can always remember.

I always wanted to play the guitar, even took it in college for a semester, but it hurt my fingers and I wasn’t any good.  When my son asked for a guitar when we turned five and showed an interest in playing I was obviously very excited.  My father and brother both play as does Jim’s father so even though we didn’t get the music gene from our fathers hopefully it was passed down to our children!  They both take lessons, one guitar and the other piano, and seem to like it.  Especially Massi.  My fingers are crossed that he continues, because a boy showing up at college with his guitar is pretty cool!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

 

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I was having a pretty bad day when an email came into my inbox from none other than Instagram.  One of the guys who ran the WHP was writing to tell me week after week he had come to notice, and like, what I had been creating and he was wondering if I was interested in being interviewed about my process. Um…. YES!  I’m not gonna lie, I was really really excited.  It felt good to be noticed for the work I had been doing and also it was nice to hear that there were a small group of people that looked at all the submissions each week.

When we talked he explained that he and another person spent their Mondays reviewing every single submission.  And when we talked about people I had seen and loved their work I was surprised to hear that he always knew who I was talking about and would respond with something like – oh ya that was great but what about what they did this other week.  It showed me how what I once thought was this big company with no face actually had not only a face but a beating heart.  So if you too have hopes of an Instagram feature then taking creative images for the WHP might be the way to get there.  I had been submitting shots for almost exactly a year, week after week without fail, when I was contacted.  So keep on shooting, and submitting!!

To read the article Instagram posted on their blog click HERE or to see the feature on the Instagram feed click HERE.  And to see more of my Instagram images you can always visit my feed HERE.

The holidays are about coming together, enjoying family + friends, and having fun and we embraced that this year.  I will openly admit that I haven’t been good at teaching my children Italian, I constantly re-commit myself and it has proven to be a challenge.  When my family comes from Italy I want my boys to be able to communicate with their cousins like I was able to and still am but we aren’t there yet.  I am always so surprised at how well they play together anyway, at home they communicate without talking.  Now this doesn’t mean I am off the hook, I know that, but at least for now they have loads of fun regardless of language.  This holiday we not only spent with cousin from across the sea but also with friends from down the street that joined us on a little tropical adventure.  When I moved to Miami I always longed for these types of friends, and although it took time to find them we did… and I am deeply thankful for them.  So we had quite the group and we had an equally wonderful time.   2016-01-10_0001

 

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

Instilling a love of art in my children is something I hold near and dear and part of that is making trips to see art fun!  In Miami we have a great art scene and the PAMM, Perez Art Museum Miami, has been a wonderful place to take the boys.  On this trip I wanted them to pick their favorite piece in the museum but they had to wait until we left to tell us their choices.  They both fell in love with an exhibit of west Australian aboriginal art and we spent a lot of time in there.  At a certain point an older man was interested in their discussion and started asking them questions.  Massi asked him if he worked at the museum and he told the boys he was just retired and bored and loved it there.  My boys took to him and learned things I would have never thought to teach them.  In the end they both chose pieces from that exhibit as their favorites and Giacomo even wants to try to paint one on his own, even though he says “painting all those dots takes lots of patience!”  It was a truly wonderful experience and I look forward to taking them to see more art this month at Miami Basel!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

For this weekend’s WHP the theme was WHPfamilyrecipe and I immediately pulled out a cook book I began over a decade ago full of recipes of family and friends.  I decided I wanted to make my grandmother’s cake!  I thought that doing a time lapse video so people could see the cake in the making, and then I would take a few shots as well with a separate phone.  I took my phone and with painters tape attached it to the light fixture above my kitchen island… then I used the iPhone’s time lapse mode in the camera to record the entire process.  I brought the movie into the iMovie app to cut out the part when the cake was in the oven and then voila video was ready to post!

torta della nonna | my grandmother’s cake.
I still remember the excitement of my nonna coming over and bringing her chocolate ricotta cake, my father would be the most excited, and whatever was left after dinner would be enjoyed at breakfast! when I pulled my recipe book out for@instagram‘s #WHPfamilyrecipe I knew this is what I had to make!

WHPfamilyrecipe by @carolyn_mara

Here is the write up Instagram posted about this weekend’s hashtag project:

  Weekend Hashtag Project:#WHPfamilyrecipe

The goal this weekend is to make photos and videos of the food traditions that bring your family together. Here’s how to get started:
Pay attention to details to photograph while you’re cooking, like colorful ingredients, worn recipe cards and special table settings.

Use video to capture the process of making a meal, not just the plated dish — with a focus on lively moments like tossing pizza dough or precisely chopping a row of fresh vegetables.

Tell more of the visual story behind your favorite recipes by sharing who you eat your meals with, where it is that you cook and the ways we come together around food.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the#WHPfamilyrecipe hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

For more examples and inspiration, check out blog.instagram.com

This week’s weekend hashtag project was an exciting one full of inspiration for me.  I love spooky and I went totally creepy with this set of submissions for WHPspooky!  Below I am going to share the videos, the apps I used to edit them and explain how they were done.  ALL videos and editing are done with an iPhone.  But first let’s start with ideas…  I immediately thought of ghost like figures for spooky and came up with the idea of using slow exposures, it is something I have done with photography but had never tried with video.  I searched the app store and found an app called Magic Movement Camera.  I put my iPhone on a tripod, pushed record video, stood in front of a white wall and shook my head back and forth.

The next two videos were created using the iMovie app for iPhone.

I really liked the idea of using myself as a ghost and creating more of a scene and since my feed is light and airy I choose spaces with light colors and whites when possible.  So I chose the bathroom/tub for this video.  I started by putting the camera on a tripod and filming the bathtub empty, then I got in the bathtub and filmed myself for about a minute with my head tilted in different directions.  When I brought the movie into the iMovie app I cut it into small clips putting empty bathtub, then me in tub, empty bathtub, then me again, back and forth.  And then, I added fades in between in order to get a bit more of a ghostlike feel.  After I was done I asked my 5 year old to fake cry and brought that clip in as well.  I separated the audio from the video, erased the video and placed the crying audio under me in the bathtub.

For the next video I decided I wanted to play a bit more with the ghostlike quality so again I took one long video of myself walking back and forth and then split it up in iMovie.  This time I added much longer fades, 2 seconds each (the max available in this app) and it gave that overlapping ghostlike appearance.  And then I recorded myself heavy breathing and brought it in, again separated it from the video so I only had the audio and then duplicated it so that I had it on there twice making it sound like multiple people.

In the final video I did for this weekend’s hashtag project I decided I wanted the whole thing to feel ghost like and in order to do that I needed more capabilities that I had in iMovie so I did a bit of research and ended up downloading Cute Cut Pro so that I could layer two videos over one another.  I made the entire video and layered it over one long video of just the empty room.  Then I lowered the opacity of the video I was in leaving the room to be full and me to appear like a ghost in the room.  Finally I ran down my hallway in some boots and added the sound from that clip to the video. Boom!

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about how these videos were made!!

 

Here is the write up Instagram posted about this weekend’s hashtag project:

instagram Weekend Hashtag Project:#WHPspooky

Inspired by Halloween in the United States, the goal this weekend is to create spooky videos filled with suspense, like this one by@sandynicholsonphoto.

Here’s how to get started:

Natural sounds play a big part in hair-raising moments. Whether it’s chilling silence, or the creepy creaking of a floorboard — find ways to incorporate ambient noise in your videos that adds to the scariness of the scene. If you use music in your video submissions, please be sure to only use music to which you own the rights.

Build up suspense in your videos by starting with a quiet scene that culminates in a shocking payoff. Make videos with surprise spooky endings — and don’t be afraid to use humor for a more playful ending as well.

Costumes and props are central to Halloween. Dress up with your friends to create frightening-looking characters, and film a bone-chilling video around them. Be sure to find a location that adds to the haunted vibe.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the#WHPspooky hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

For more examples and inspiration, check out blog.instagram.com.

Video by @sandynicholsonphoto

Halloween is one of my personal favorite childhood activities, last year‘s November post I dedicated to costumes and this year we are continuing the tradition!  In our house we get a few costumes for Halloween, the one they wear to school and usually another scarier one that they can wear trick-or-treating.  This year for school Giac decided he wanted to be a carrot and I almost fell over!  I wanted to be a unicorn so I got a few costume options and on Saturday morning the boys were hanging out and Giac put his carrot back on and Massi put the unicorn head and ran around saying he was gonna eat the carrot for lunch!  It was hilarious and we made an adventure out of it!  It is ridiculous imaginative moments like this that remind me the beauty of unplugged play!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

This week Instagram introduced a new app, Boomerang, that allows you to create gifs and upload them to your feed.  I love gifs and welcome this new app with open arms!  I created a few different submissions this weekend for WHPboomerang but mostly had fun making them… as did my boys who wanted to see them over and over!

Here is the write up Instagram posted about this weekend’s hashtag project:

instagram Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPboomerang

The goal this weekend is to use the new Boomerang from Instagram app to turn everyday moments into fun and creative videos, like this one from @jeffreyfever.

Here’s how to get started:

Look for moments with great energy or movement – like the sudden burst of a balloon popping or a friend doing a hilarious dance – and focus on capturing the peak moment of action.

Tap and hold your finger on your subject to lock the focus and exposure, then press record as your subject moves through your frame, or move the camera itself to add motion to your video.

Because Boomerang videos play back and forth on repeat, think of ways you might play tricks on the eye with your submissions – objects or people flying through the frame or seeming to defy gravity.

For more ideas and inspiration, and to learn more about Boomerang from Instagram, head to blog.instagram.com. Boomerang from Instagram is available for iOS in Apple’s App Store and for Android in Google Play.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the#WHPboomerang hashtag only to Boomerang videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged Boomerang video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

This week the prompt for instagram’s weekend hashtag project was WHPactionpacked so I decided that I would use my two action packed boys in the images.  I always take the time to read the explanation (pasted below) and since this week was inspired by National Comic Book Day I decided to dress them up as superheroes for the shots and then we talked about ways to fly!  Jumping and swimming seemed to be the best options for us so they each got to do one!

WHPactionpacked

WHPactionpacked

 

instagram Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPactionpacked

The goal this weekend is to make photos, videos and illustrations that capture a peak moment of action. Inspired by National Comic Book Day in the US, here are some playful ways to make images that pop with energy:
Use dramatic lighting, creative poses and bright colors to make ordinary life feel more comic-like.
Keep in mind the environment in which your action is taking place. Control your backdrop by framing the desired scene in camera, then photographing your subject as they pass through the frame.

Try placing your camera low to the ground and shooting upward at your subject for a more dramatic perspective.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPactionpacked hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

For more examples and inspiration, check out blog.instagram.com.