I had the honor to talking to a group of moms last week about photography in regards to capturing the lives of your children. One thing I mentioned was capturing the everyday….the normal daily grind that makes up most of our weeks. Sometimes it is the normal stuff that we often overlook when it comes to pulling out our cameras. We often make sure to grab the camera for trips to the park, birthdays, and big events…but the plain ole’ normal stuff doesn’t always get captured. For me, it is that normal stuff I don’t want to forget. For instance….carseats.

Typically carseats do not stand out as something worth photographing…they aren’t exactly cute. But if you are a parent you know how tiny a newborn is the first time placed in one. You also know how it only takes a few months before you are grunting to get that belt buckled.

My daughter going home from the hospital:

3 months

and a random 7 month carseat photoshoot while waiting for daddy and Littlest Brother to load up…she has constant brother entertainment in the car

Mommy, why are you in Biggest Brother’s carseat?

If only those yawns would lead to sleeping inside the car instead of crying to get out

Photo Tip: The first picture below is just a standard subject in the middle shot.

If you move your subject out of the direct center it adds just a bit of interest to an otherwise standard photo (see second picture).Happy Monday!

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  • ashlee - i love my car seat pics when they are firstborn and so tiny but i dont have any after that. Thanks for the tips!! btw…i wish mercy would sleep in the car instead of crying as well. thats torture for a mom:)

  • jay - why are those corner photos (out of the center) so effective? curious if it has something to do with the fact that we have 2 eyes and lack for the third one in the center :) maybe it’s just easier to notice? hmm… ?

  • jay - Did anyone yawn after seeing baby girl photo? :) Yawning is a surprisingly powerful act. Just because you read “yawn” in the previous 2 sentences and 2 additional “yawns” in this sentence a great number of you will probably yawn within next few minutes:) If you are reading this in public place and you just yawned, chances are that a good portion of everyone who saw you yawn is now yawning too. and a good proportion of people watching the people who watched you yawning are now yawning as well. Simply by writing the word I can plant a feeling in your mind. Contagiousness at work :)

    Happy day :)

  • Susanne - A sign that my son has had a really good time on whatever our outing of the day has been is he is fast asleep in his car seat when we get home. I’ve started taking pictures of him crashed out in his seat as proof we had a great day. It’s the perfect end to the story.

  • Abby - Awesome tip… we are transition from two car seats to 3 very shortly…. perfect time to get the camera out. Thanx :)

  • Christin - Great tip. Thanks for sharing.

  • Casey - how adorable is she? my goodness! Great shots and thanks for the tips

  • Jami Schoettler - The pictures are ADORABLE. You little girl is so cute. But her carseat straps are too loose! Tighten that baby up! You shouldn’t be able to pinch access strap. Sorry, that’s one of my major peeves. ?Jami

  • meg duerksen - the other funny thing is how dated the carseats will seem when they grow up. think of the carseats they had 20 years ago?! crazy.

    love these pics ashley!

  • jo price - …so ok cute kids but how on earth do you manage to keep your back seat and the car seats so clean??? We would need to photoshop out the crumbs, sultanas, dog hair and tons of sand from our local beach…

  • Amanda - I love her adorable little hat!!

  • Jolie - Thank you yet again for posting great photography tips, never mind the utterly gorgeous photos themselves!

  • Brooke Whitis - So my friend and I bought two hats (like baby sister’s) for a baby shower we are going to sunday. we also bought gracious may shoes. OH MY GOSH. We were freaking out when we got the hats. They are so cute. Even cuter than the pictures, which is hard to even believe. Love them. And now I’m feeling your anger that one was stolen. WOw. I want to keep one. And I have no children. I just want to look at it :) So thanks for the ideas. I have my husband working on a pallet bed. He came home today with the pallets. Inspiring semi-thiefs all over the world :)

  • ashley sp - Thank you so much for this! I have a habit of, um, avoiding in the car shots given the sad state of my floor boards (three little ones later and my car is sorely neglected!)

We were sad for him to leave, but happy to share him. This is a LONG LONG LONG picture filled post. I tried to narrow it down. I thought of doing a slideshow. I thought of doing several posts….well I ended up just doing one big post. There are stories I want to share about some of the pictures. Some of the stories are filled with hope and joy, others reflect a country facing immense devastation.

Chris led a team of 8…most of which had medical training. They went with the purpose of medical relief, providing clean water for drinking and other basic survival help.

Like I said…we were happy to share him. Chris and a cutie from an orphanage. Her mother was unable to care for her due to her (the mom) health and had no other relatives able to care for this sweetie. She made the difficult decision to place her in a loving orphanage. Chris fell in love with her because she was full of energy, joy and ornery…reminded him of our kids.

Lines outside a medical clinic held by the team…listening to an audio Bible. Inside the clinic, giving a child medicine to help with worms (a major effect of the poor drinking water available).

At the field hospital. On the left is a sweet baby the team cared for, sadly this precious one did not make it.

Thirst No More volunteer Micheal….every kid loves a good balloon animal!

River…water for baths, washing clothes, and drinking.

On the left: She had her leg amputated below the knee. An infection grew and she had to have it re-amputated above the knee. The team said she was one of the most joyful women they had ever met.

On the right: Octavius, lost his 6 kids and his wife in the earthquake. He was buried and pulled out of the rubble.

Does anyone else thing they kind of look alike…the smiles from the first picture and the tongues? I think it looks like a daddy and his daughter. If he could have brought her home, he would have….but Haitian jail doesn’t sound so great!

Local Crafters: if you are interested in taking part in a craft fair on March 21st where ALL PROCEEDS go to Haiti relief contact Marty Sprague at {martysprague at cox dot net}

Chris is now working to help coordinate and finance a brick making machine that would be used to help rebuild homes in Haiti and provide additional building space for the orphanage he visited. If you know anyone interested in something like that, let me know:)

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  • raychel - Great photos. What an amazing experience for Chris and for you as a family to share in it! Can I ask what organization your hubby went down with? My hubby and his 2 brothers are heading down mid-march to work with Mission of Tears.

  • ashlee - wow, the Haitian people are so beautiful. It is such an amazing act of God to see people giving of themselves to help. It seems like such a small dent in a huge pile but what a blessing Chris was to so many people. Something they are likely to never forget:)

  • meg duerksen - beautiful.
    those are emotional pictures.
    it is impossible to even begin to imagine how hard it is for them right now.

  • Christy - Such a touching post, wonderful real images. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mary - Ashley, these pictures made me cry. Thank you for sharing them. And thank you for sharing your husband with the Haitian people. I pray that God would bless both of you and your family, and all other volunteers and families that have volunteered their time, tallents and resources.

  • Erin - What beautiful pictures of such beautiful people. We serve an awesome God. I love the ones of Chris with that little girl…her smile could not be any more infectious!

  • Jill - these are amazing. it is so wonderful that he was able to give him time and skills to help out such a worthy cause. it is great to see a positive view from a first hand experience. thank you so much for sharing.

  • Trinity - Thank you for sharing….I am speechless.

  • Lindsay Thomas - Those are incredible photos. It’s so great to see the kids smiling. I’m sure everyone that was helped is so grateful. Thanks for sharing!

  • bopha - what great pictures, thanks for sharing them with us. tell chris he looks like he did a great job with the team and thanks for going.

  • Yanet - Another post I had to see in the iMac (not the iPhone). Very touching.

  • Jeannette Swan - Absolutely amazing!! Chris was telling me about the brick making machine – sounded like a wonderful opportunity! God bless Chris and his team for taking the time to make a temporary and eternal difference in the lives of these people!!

  • Ashley C. - Beautiful post! I cried my eyes out. It really got to me when I started explaining to my two yr old, these kids have no toys, not a lot of food, some may have lost their mommies and daddies. Chris, thank you for going with your team. It’s people like you (and everyone else DOING something for Haiti), that make this world wonderful and special. Thanks for sharing Ashley!

  • Laura - Thank you for sharing those beautiful images and their stories.

  • Rachel - Ashley~ My friends parents are heading to Haiti soon and I showed my friend the notebooks you sent with your husband…she loved them and her Mom would love to take some with her when she goes! If you don’t care we are totally copying your post and making as many as we can to send over. How many did you send? Did Chris feel like he had plenty to hand out? I hope you’re ok with us making them…let me know if you aren’t! The pictures were wonderful. Isn’t it amazing that you could see JOY on the faces of those children? Oh that we could always find our JOY in Christ no matter what is going on around us!

  • liz elayne - thank you for sharing these pieces of your husband’s experience. we learn so much from one another when share this way…

  • Liz - Thank you for sharing these. I looked at the pictures with my 7 year old daughter and she was amazed. She asked how she could help? Which melted my heart. Is there anything we can do? I would love to do something for the children that my children could help with but I don’t know where to start. I would love to hear of any ideas you have.

  • liz - ashley…these are incredible pictures. i’m so glad you shared some of the photos and stories. our hearts are heavy and hopeful for Haiti. if anyone reading this wants to know about a great organization in Haiti and wants to help in some way…go to http://www.danitaschildren.org. If you donate any dollar amount to this incredible organization, you get a free Robbie Seay Band song called “Lament.” Danita’s Children is an orphanage, clinic, school, church and soon to be hospital. awesome place.

  • liz - and would you mind telling us the name of the orphanage Chris visited with the little girl he is holding? we are in the process of adopting a child coming over on a medical visa right now but are wanting adopt again when Haiti is re-opened for adoption.
    thanks:)

  • Margie - Yet again I am amazed! It is so inspirational to see someone going out and doing whatever they can to help…..your husband is an inspiration for going and you are an inspiration for staying home to be a mother when you really wanted to go! This is why I LOVE your blog, not only is it a great place for fun projects and fantastic photographs…..there is real substance to it also! I don’t even know you and your family but I can tell from reading this here blog that you all have very giving hearts!
    I can imagine your husband had a hard time leaving that sweet little girl behind, and all the other little faces he saw in need!

  • Jo - These are beautiful! Those children are so amazing, I really enjoyed seeing all those pictures! Thank you Chris and Ashley for posting them!

  • christina larsen - Beautiful faces amongst devastation.

  • emily anderson - i am just overwhelmed with emotion after looking at these photos. it just doesn’t become real, until you see things like this. thanks for sharing. wishing i could take home lots of babies from haiti.

  • Jenn - Ashley…I found your blog a few weeks ago and have been reading every since. This post was really powerful. Did your husband take all of these images? If so…you two share your talent for photography! What beautiful, resilient people…thank you for sharing this with us!

    Jenn

  • Jessleen - These pictures made me tear up. I’m fully aware of the situation in Haiti but I guess they never really hit me till I saw these pictures. I know it’s not much, but I’m going to donate half my Chinese New Year money to my local Red Cross benefit for Haiti. Thank you for sharing these pictures. :) (During Chinese New Year, married couples are required to give red packets which are red envelopes enclosed with some cash to the younger generations) I’m nowhere near starting a family like you are but I love your blog!

  • Ruth - I think I just left a comment on the wrong post! Sorry! I was letting you know that Faith Comes By Hearing, where the Proclaimers come from, is where several of my close friends work here in town. I want them to see your pics of the Proclaimer in action.

  • Meredith - Thanks so much for sharing his pictures…so beautiful!

  • Kate - As a to-be-adoptive momma, I can’t stop the tears. Their faces are so precious. Thank you for the sacrifice you made in letting Chris serve and thanks to Chris for going.

  • Lindsey Loo - wow
    amazing photos, id be a liar if i said it bring a tear to my eye.
    thanks for sharing :)

  • Amanda Fuentes - Great post, the baby w/ the bottle brought me to tears, she’s with Jesus now, bless her little heart.

    LOVE the Proclaimer photo! We raised money at VBS 2 summers ago to purchase Proclaimers for our missionaries.

  • Karen - Ashley, thank you for sharing these pictures. It’s really true, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Seeing the faces of those sweet little children in the aftermath of such horror…and they are smiling!! Made my heart swell. I could just take them all home with me! Your husband is doing great work. God bless him!

  • Jaimie - You are both such good people. It’s astonishing really.

  • Jolie - Oh my, what extraordinarily moving, emotional photos! And yet you can see a lot of hope in there too. You, your husband and your family are amazing. Just amazing. And very inspiring!
    (I managed to *lose* you in my reader thanks to the Google dramas, and have only just found you again. Hooray!)

  • patti - amazing photos. thank you so much for sharing!

  • Brooke - I have been to Haiti twice and I had the same experience (before the earthquake). They are such kind, sweet people, even in the midst of poverty and grief. Dirt floors, horrible conditions, but they are content for some hugs and smiles.
    So adorable to see your hubby with the kids. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dick - Great pictures, Wonderful post but too short!!

  • Jane - What wonderful photos. Yet heartbreaking at the same time to see the faces of people dealing with such devastation.

  • Melissa - Beautiful and heart gripping. Thank you Ashley and Chris for sharing.

  • Lacey McKay - These photos are incredible!

  • Kelley - So neat to see pictures. My husband is over there right now. We’re missing him but are encouraged by what God is doing through people like our husbands!

  • Meagan - Thanks for sharing these heart-breaking/warming photos! Looks like you’ve instructed Chris well—he took great pictures! Those children are just precious!

  • Jess - Thanks for sharing about Chris’ trip. Those Haitian children are just precious. It would be so hard to leave without wanting to bring them all home. The Lord is working in amazing ways over there. So neat that Chris could be a part of that!

  • Mandy - Fantastic pics! Your hubby is a doll! Thanks for sharing.

  • Stacy - I don’t remember how I found your blog but I just have to tell you I LOVE your blog. I love your posts, the way you write, your pictures…. just everything! It makes me happy! I have been going through the list you shared a few posts ago about the highlights from the first 500 posts. Thank you so much for doing that! You have such amazing stories! I wanted to ask you if you made the dress for your daughter in the post introducing her. And if you did you’ve got to post a diy post for it! You are so very talented! Thanks again!

  • Natalie - This is an amazing post! Very touching, it brought me to tears.
    I have a poem on my blog (I wrote) dedicated to them.
    It’s good to see people like your husband doing so much.
    God Bless all those who are giving time and money to help them rebuild there lives!
    Thank you for this post!
    LL Nat

  • Michelle - Ashley – I sent a msg to Chris on FB about a guy in our church who I hope can help with acquiring or funding the brick-making machine. I hope he’s able to help with this. What an amazing thing to be able to give to them to help rebuild.

  • kelly - AMAZING. I LOVE these photos and stories. So emotional and beautiful. Such a good reminder that even in the midst of darkness, God is good. So thankful he had a safe trip!

  • jessica hilliker - Thank you so, so much for telling their story in pictures. Powerful. We will continue praying…

Being a human shield against his sister for the protection of his puzzle. I can get out all the brightest, loudest toys…all she wants is what her brothers have.

I am so proud of all he is teaching his sister. Thanks Biggest Brother…as if she didn’t already stick everything in her mouth. Big Brother was not happy about this.

It is surprising her cheeks aren’t raw from the constant kissing I do on those big ole’ cute things. Littlest Brother thinks we have in indoor trampoline.

What happened to my daughter? My girl refuses to sit on her bottom. She ALWAYS throws herself backwards in defiance of sitting.

Oh, there she is.

Towers built solely for the purpose of crashing cars into them. We build so we can tear down. We build again. We tear down again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Littlest Brother preferred knocking it down with his belly….Biggest Brother preferred Littlest Brother disappeared somewhere else.

The evening before Baby Sister was in her chair crying from teething pain. Littlest Brother was in the highchair crying because I wasn’t getting his food fast enough. Big Brother and Biggest Brother were in the living room crying because they crashed heads into eachother. I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying…because sometimes that’s all I can do. It’s nice when they are all in good moods.

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  • Christy - oh my those cheeks are so squeezable!! And that pouty bottom lip! Adorable

  • Sarah - oh my! what fun you all have!! my little man also has those big kissable cheeks; how can you not love ‘em!! Ashley~ is that a chair baby sister is sitting on? it is fabulous!! where did it come from?

  • Erin - Love that belly shot…and the stylish layers he’s got goin on!

  • ASH - your kids are ADORABLE!!! :D

  • Trinity - Oh my goodness, I hear you….it is SO nice when they are in good moods. When we have a fit-free morning getting ready for school, we just have to do the victory dance and scream in excitement….very exciting and victorious!

  • christina larsen - Everyone has good and bad days; especially kids. They are precious.

  • Jill - I can feel your pain with everyone (including myself) crying during a “moment”. Glad to hear everyone is in good moods now!

    And I LOVE you daughter’s cheeks!!!! Very kissable. :)

  • Kate - So cute… SOOO cute!!

  • Alba - I can recognise the feeling. just breathe a little bit. one day you will look back and miss these moments. take care. thanks God for the good moods moments.

  • Kara - Ur kids are adorable but trust me I know the feeling. Sometimes really all u can do is just cry—feels good once it is out! :)

  • Shanalea - I love it when they play together and then cry right along with them when they don’t.

  • bopha - never a dull moment in the Campbell household…i can’t wait!!

  • Megan - So cute!

  • Lori Danelle - I find myself in tears when just my two are crying! Don’t know how you do it with four!! God bless ya’! :)

  • Emily Lusk - What cute pics of how your day is sometimes! Sometimes all we can do is laugh or cry when that happens! I am sure one day you will look back and think how did I ever do that!!

  • mindy - I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one crying on the kitchen floor!!

  • Rachel - My little baby’s cheeks are slowly getting smaller and smaller, what a sad day it will be when the baby chub is all gone :(

  • ashlee - sometimes all you can do is cry!! i certainly know that feeling!! little sister is so so cute! I love the pictures of biggest brother chewing the puzzle piece. thanks for sharing!!

  • Lesley - Ohh, i love that little lip!

  • Stephanie - Thanks for the last tidbit, it gave me a good chuckle as that is exactly my house, too!

  • Heather - sooo glad to know that i’m not the only one. today there have been many a tear shed by all three of us, but tomorrow is a new day and good moods are sure (i pray) to prevail.

  • Jesse - I really admire how well you are able to capture the everyday.

  • Jeannette Swan - You do such an awesome job of capturing all that goes on around you! Speaking of brothers teaching siblings stuff – Jordan was so proud when Corban was about 15 months old, Jordan taught him how to eat his snacks directly off the kitchen floor. Of course, Corban thought it was great fun and continued it for several months – why didn’t I take pictures of that???

  • Brooke - Well the pictures sure don’t look like a crying mess, they are adorable. But it’s good to know you’re human. You deal, like we all do, with life.
    Happy Thursday. Friday is here…

  • Yanet - Thanks for sharing. Makes me feel better about my sitting-in-the-kitchen-floor-crying moment(s). :)

  • Ruth - And, of course, I will let them know that your photos are copyrighted–and not to be used unless they contact you. :)

  • Lacey McKay - The pics of her throwing herself backwards are cracking me up! That was SO Madison! Still is. I need to capture it like that! She gets mad and doesn’t care what is behind her, she just throws herself backwards, even on the tile.

  • jessica hilliker - ALL I CAN DO IS LAUGH OUT LOUD HYSTERICALLY WITH TEARS IN MY EYES…I LOVE YOUR BLOG, ASHLEY ANN, I LOVE IT TO PIECES!!!