beach, morning one.


Yesterday morning we made one last trip to Thomas’s Donuts and then loaded up for the 6ish hour drive home from the beach. Which turned into the 8ish hour drive home. 10ish or 11ish if you’re my mom and Tom. And the kids. Somehow we were lucky enough to swing a four day beach vacay with the added bonus of the kiddos going home with the ol’ grandparental units. Nice, huh?

My stepbrother Craig is a firefighter who gets a pretty limited number of vacation days a year. He’s too busy saving lives or something to relax much. So when he asked us all to join him at the beach for one of his weeks off we totally jumped at the chance. Craig’s a pretty stand up guy. I don’t think I could love him more if he were my own brother. In fact, I might even love him less. So it’s good like this.

On the first morning we were there we headed down to the beach as soon as everyone roused from our first night of vacation sleep. And after our first round of vacation donuts of course.

Beach smeach, I was only there for the donuts. And the drinks.

I wanted a new picture of my mom which meant I had to surprise her. She’s notorious for her picture face, which she lovingly passed down to me.

Although I’m loving this one which she was actually aware was being taken. Maybe one outgrows picture face around their 59th year? There’s hope for me yet.   Within a few minutes of being there Craig found a pretty gnarly looking sea creature. They all decided it was some sort of mussel…    

Although I’ve since changed my mind. I’m going with dolphin placenta.

Sorry ’bout that. I guess I should have warned you first. Maybe some comic relief will help?

My nephew Brody volunteered to be the first sand burial victim, which resulted in my favorite shot of the day…

Always (sometimes?) a good sport, I was next…

My good sportdom ended though when someone (CRAIG!) decided I needed a few extra parts.


This is the look of a displeased talking head… 

Speaking of displeased, no trip would be complete without a B-Ro meltdown.

 Or three.

I think this particular one was caused by the taste of salt in his mouth. A common ailment at saltwater beaches, so I hear.

Thankfully he recoved. And lived to whine another day.


 Brody and his Uncle Craig are pretty tight.

Calm down ladies, he’s taken.

Craig, not Brody. If you’re about 6 and about to lose a tooth or two, Brody is still very much on the market.

And finally, a few shots of my favorite girls on the trip…     More to come!

JackieJune 27, 2011 - 6:09 pm

So sweet! I love the beach. It felt like I was there for a couple minutes…back to my house and the bedtime routine grind! 😉

ChristyJune 27, 2011 - 7:03 pm

Love these! (And Sarah’s bathing suit – cute!) Here’s a question…how do you keep your camera safe from sand, sea and wandering toddlers when you’re at the beach? We’re heading on vacation in a couple of weeks, and I’m dying to get some beachy pics of my kids, but I’m skeered!

heather mayberryJune 28, 2011 - 6:06 am

looks like you had fun! i have the same donut fetish with shipley in nashville. they are the key to my heart, and thighs. i love your commentary! dolphin placenta and all!

nancy bootheJune 28, 2011 - 8:26 am

please, how do you get the ultimate perfect exposures on the beach with all the light and reflecting water and sand? How do you meter? I’ve missed so many bright sunshine shots that I would buy you donuts (and okay, drinks too) for a week for your answer. I’ve been taught how, but somewhere between the teacher and my brain there is a missing link.

TinaJune 28, 2011 - 8:26 am

Fun, fun! Glad you got to spend some time with family at the beach. Oh, and it must be age 3 because Carter has meltdowns at the drop of a hat too. This too shall pass. (But not soon enough!!)

adminJune 28, 2011 - 8:45 am

Nancy, beach shots are rough, that’s for sure! Try to plan your trips for the morning or evening when the sun is not high in the sky. If you do go midday just leave your camera at home. These shots were taken in the morning and it was actually overcast which helped. If it’s not overcast, put the sun to your subject’s back and then meter for their skin (the sand will work in this instance too!). Shooting in manual on the beach will be key.

Christy, I’m a pretty slack camera owner when it comes to the beach. I don’t have a filter on my lens. That would help with sand and such. I wrapped my camera in a towel and carried it down in a plastic bag. I only take it out for shots and then put it immediately back in the bag. Lens cap is on at all times when it’s not being used.

JenniferJune 28, 2011 - 8:52 am

That beach is so white and clean compared to our beaches! Looks like a great time. And whatever will you do without the kiddos? 😉

KelliJune 28, 2011 - 1:03 pm

The first time we took our kids to the ocean we were pretty disgusted. We found what we thought were breast implants on the beach and that there was medical waste draining into the ocean (but really, who throws out implants?). Turns out they were jelly fish.

ChristyJune 28, 2011 - 2:13 pm

Thanks, Erin!

nancy bootheJune 28, 2011 - 3:36 pm

THANKS, Erin. I can’t believe you took the time to answer my question, so I guess now I owe you donuts and drinks. Guess I’ll come to Alabama…unless you want to come to Wichita. (yeah,right.)

adminJune 28, 2011 - 3:52 pm

Happy to help Nancy! And always willing to accept donuts as bribes. 😉

Jessica WJune 29, 2011 - 8:14 am

Our sons must be the same person!

Kathleen DJuly 6, 2011 - 5:56 am

Erin these beach photos are amazing! A couple of questions: was the group shot self timed on a tripod or did you have someone else take it? It’s a great shot, especially since you get to be in it too. Also you have a bunch of shots where it looks like you are shooting above the people looking down. There is one of your brother and daughter looking into a bucket. How do you get that tall to get those shots looking down? When I hold my camera above my head to do that my focus is always way off. Any tips? I love the softness of your backgrounds. Your treatment of the photo makes the backgrounds almost appear to be a watercolor, which is just lovely. Well done!

adminJuly 6, 2011 - 7:23 am

Thanks for your kind words Kathleen. The group shot was self-timed but the camera was just sitting on some towels and our beach bag. Precarious to say the least! As for the shots form above, they were taken with my 50mm lens so I just stood on my tip toes and looked down. A wide angle lens will give you all the height you need.

ChrisJuly 25, 2011 - 6:33 am

I love beach photos….Thanks for sharing. You are right I cannot believe that Amy ( who I see all the time over at Wendy’s alum blog) has had kids. But you look great, too. I have a prp photo design and I love the drop shadow thing you have here. Is it an option? where did you find it?

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