Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

My brother has lived in Jasper, Indiana ever since he graduated college and his daughter, Emily, has spent a week with my parents every summer.  This summer, she stayed for twelve days!  I know my mom was very excited about her being around for more than a week, but I was really excited – I would be able to see more of her even though I keep a hectic schedule.  And I love this girl to bits and bits, so spending time with her is a must.

I threw out the idea when she first arrived in Louisville to do a photo-walk.  I don’t think she knew exactly what I meant, but over five days of emails she got the gist.  I picked her on Sunday morning, we headed out for a delicious breakfast of pancakes and then I took her down to my alma mater, the University of Louisville.  I thought the campus would be a great place for a photo-walk because of the scenery (trees, buildings, landscaping, albino squirrels), but I also thought it would be cool to show Emily where her family went to school.  Both my mom and brother graduated from UofL as well, so it was fun to tell her the stories from over the years of visiting campus together when I was younger and my own days as a collegian.

I think the idea went over pretty well.  :)

I armed Emily with my old Rebel XT and gave her two lenses to work with: the 18-55mm kit lens and the fantastic 50mm f/1.8.  We set her camera on aperture mode, we reviewed aperture and what numbers were important, I showed her how to change it on the camera… and then I let her do her thing.

Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

Emily went right at it – she was snapping at everything that caught her eye.  So as she took photos, I’d take a shot of the same set up and we’d compare.  We covered the rules of thirds, properly using the focus on the camera and she just soaked it all in.  She was a sponge.  It was awesome just to watch her “get it” as we wielded cameras side by side.

Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

I told her that I had plans to photograph her as well.  And I agreed that if she posed for me, I’d pose for her.  So I let her pose for me first, took some photos and showed them to her along the way.  Before I posed for her, I slapped the 50mm on her camera and had her open the aperture.  She definitely fell in love with that little lens – come the first shots she got, she noticed how the background was knocked out and she did a little dance.

She’s nothing like her aunt.

Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

Then the experimenting started.  Story telling with a wide aperture.  Admiring flowers.  Looking down a rail.  Finding reflections.  Getting down on the ground.

I’m pretty sure I’ve squat down on the ground like with clients several times.  And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. ;)

Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

She’s a girl after my own heart, in her own world and having fun.  It seems like it was just last year she was a little thing with chubby cheeks and the same long red hair.  I can still hear her tiny four-year-old voice yelling up my parents’ stairs in the morning to wake me up.  “Aunt Book-ah-nay! Come pay wit me!”   And now she’s thirteen.  Starting eight grade and as tall as me.  It’s hard to believe that she’s grown up this much.  And I’m just proud of where she is in her young life.

She makes me happy.  And I love her for that.  Forever and always.

Photo-Walk With My Niece | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

To see the photos I took of Emily on our photo-walk, click here.

Caili - Oh! This is so FUN! Also, I agree that the 50mm 1.8 is fantastic. For the price, unbeatable!

Emily - Love you too Aunt Brooke!!!

Brooke - Oh Em, I love you more.

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] this week I talked about the photo-walk my niece, Emily, and I went on down at UofL’s campus.  Not only did I have the intention of walking and […]

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

Watching our friends’ families grow is wonderful – and this summer there has been no shortage of babies to help us keep watch.  Laura and Erik were on this list… with their second baby… a boy this time.

Baby Evan came along in mid-June and he wasn’t exactly a little guy, but oh-so-handsome.  The first time I saw him, he looked like a little man sitting in a baby bouncer.  A square baby jaw and a cleft in his little baby chin, there’s no doubt that he resembles his father.  But only with a little less beard. ;)

And Claire – oh how she’s grown! – thinks Evan is funny and calls him Buddy.  Which is quite possibly the cutest thing in the world and was witnessed several times throughout their session.  I believe mom and dad enjoy this too as Laura’s eyes would meet mine and she’d repeat Claire’s words.  “Hey Buddy.”  Words that are sure to never be forgotten and endlessly heard for years to come.  That’s what I love about growing families – their stories.

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

Laura’s a beautiful momma.  And that smile is a perfect Laura smile.

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

Baby toes.  Who doesn’t love baby toes.  And a favorite of mine. ♥

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

*eskimo kisses*

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

Evan was fighting a nap.  Until he laid in dad’s arms like this.  And then the sleep hit hard and he snoozed away.

Funny how one position or one pair arms can just change everything in less than a minute.

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn PhotographerBaby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

Claire with her little brother.  A major series of “Hey Buddy” and “Hey Brother” and cuteness galore.  But of course, there’s always Mickey Mouse to turn back to when Baby Evan doesn’t talk back…

Baby Evan {newborn} | Crestwood Newborn Photographer

To say I love this family isn’t saying enough – we’ve been friends for years, have many memories that we’ve shared from college until now and I know that only more will be made.  I just like that they keep me around and let me play with their kids and influence them with wacky animal sounds.  Yeah, I love that. xoxo

katie - So cute!!! Look at those pouty lips! Ridiculous. And that was such a sweet family. Congrats!!

Caili - What a peanut! Those shots of the parents alone with him are perfect. Just perfect.

My Five Fave: Flat Sandals

Anyone that knows me in the real world knows that I do not wear heels.  Unless the occasion, or outfit, requires it.  This includes but is not limited to: weddings, funerals, work events, interviews, nice dinners and the ever so fabulous three-course cruise boat dinners.  I sometimes wear heels for the heck of it.  But I don’t like driving in them.  I don’t really like walking in them.  And Mike and I are basically the same height and I don’t like to be taller than him.

But flats… I love flats, my feet love flats, and I’m so happy that they’re popular right now!  More specifically flat sandals.  Even more specifically, bright and inexpensive sandals.

My Five Fave: Flat Sandals

1. Coral braided (Target)  2. Brown braided (Target, not available)  3. Yellow Studded Slings (Payless)
4. Teal Braided Gladiators (Target, similar)  5. Black Studded Gladiators (Payless, not available)

Why?  Well, they go with everything.  (Everything.)  They’re nicer than flip-flops.  (Yeah.)  Safer too.  (I’ve had accidents in the past.)  And they help me pull an “outfit” together better.  (I’m not fashion savvy, but I try.  I really try.)  They are a staple, my go-to, and I keep being attracted to more just like them.  (I tell myself no.  All the time.  No.)

The sad part is my pedicure.  Or lack there of.  Actually, there’s a lack of toe nail to be precise.  I had an issue with a dog crate at 4:30 in the morning.  I then had another issue with a broken nail, blood everywhere and laying down on the ground so that if I passed out, I’d fall as little as possible.  So my colorful flat sandals that are usually worn with colorful toes are now paired with band-aids.

I wish I was making this up.

But band-aids or not, my little pigs will not be put in socks while it is still warm enough to tramp around in sandals.  And these five pairs will be making the rounds with me the rest of the summer. :)

Susan - The yellow and turquoise ones are calling my name! Love them!

Christy Tyler - hahaha – I love this. Also – we are the same person… :) Flats for the win!

rachel corbett - I also like flat sandals. Too clumsy to be wearing heels! You also know I am not one who gets pedicures/manicures ever. But I hear you on the toe thing. I dropped something on my big toe and now I have a huge spot of blood underneath the nail. So big and dark that it almost looks like i painted the toenail – just the one! But it doesn’t stop me from wearing open toed shoes to work. :)

Caili - Omgosh the toe story scarred me! But the shoes are terribly cute.

The Yagers {family} | Louisville Family Photographer

I think it’s safe to say I have officially lost my mind – since I posted this blog post of this most wonderful family… and didn’t write about them!!  But never fear, blog posts can be edited and I have so many kind words to share!

It’s hard to believe Stella is already six months old considering it feels like last week I took her newborn photos.  But she is becoming such a beautiful little gal.  She’s got a button nose that’s super adorable, blue eyes that are so bright and the most longest, perfect eyelashes.  She has the best of her mom and dad right there on her face… and the best of her mom and dad to snuggle and kiss on her too.

The Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family Photographer

Oh Stella – you’re breaking my heart over here!The Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family Photographer

*a favorite*

As much as swoon of Baby Stella, I’m just a big of a fan of her parents, Kelly and Scott.  I always have a great time with them and their family photos come out perfect each time – they are genuinely themselves and fabulous to be around!  It doesn’t hurt that we have mutual friends either. ;)
The Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family Photographer

*another favorite*

The Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family PhotographerThe Yagers {family} | Louisville Family Photographer

Again, so hard to believe Stella’s grown so much over the last few months.  Thank you, Kelly and Scott, for allowing to spend time with your sweet little girl – I absolutely love photographing Stella, but seeing you guys talk with her and give out never-ending kisses is what makes it the best!  I can’t wait to see how much she grows in the next six months!! xoxo

Brooke Murphy Photography is a Louisville Family Photographer and works on-location in Louisville, KY and surrounding areas. To see more of Brooke’s work, visit her portfolio. You can also follow Brooke Murphy Photography on Facebook to see her latest projects, specials and sneak peeks.

katie - She’s ridiculously adorable. I might be kind of partial to the black and whites too. These are fantastic!

Caili - That first one…..the second one…the fourth one…the one smack dab in the middle…the last one…her EYES! Well done friend, well done.

Susan - Those eyes! Those eyelashes! But I’m a sucker for the Mommy/Daddy smooshface kisses. What a happy family! :)

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | On The Menu

This year we didn’t host a party on the Fourth of July.  With too much stuff going on, Mike and I decided we’d just have to sit this year out.  (Super sad face.)  But a friend from college, who had moved back to California with his family, happened to be working in Louisville over the holiday week.  So  while we didn’t host a party, we still went to a friend’s house to spend time together.  And we, of course, didn’t go emptied handed.

I whipped up some cake batter rice crispy treats, one of my favorite go-to, super-fast desserts that always get gobbled up.  And they were gobbled up for sure – between 10 adults, we scarfed them down like we were still in college.  But the point of this story was admit that I had some left over ingredients… and got a little hankering a few days later… and made some magic in my kitchen.

I made myself a rice crispy treat in a bowl.  With full intention of eating it all myself.  And I did .  And it was fabulous.  And then I shared my yummy (yet slightly embarrassing) dessert on Facebook.  And I got good feedback.  Enough good feedback that a friend texted me a picture of her rice crispy treat in a bowl a few days later.  It instantly made me feel better about spooning gooey cereal into my pie hole.

But I thought I’d recreate it for you here (I know, I’m taking one for the team) in case you wanted to get some serious happiness on in your mouth.

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

There’s no exact measuring on anything, I just took what’s in a full batch of rice crispy treats and then slimmed it down for one serving (or two… or three… but who seriously eats just one rice crispy treat?)  So all this includes is:
• a small pat of butter
• handful or so of mini-marshmallows
• rice crispy cereal – however much you want

And all you do is melt the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add the marshmallows and microwave for another 15 seconds.  (Marshmallows expand, so watch the microwave.)  Remove and stir the two together and pop in the microwave for another 10 seconds.  Add the cereal and stir, stir, stir.  And viola – you have a rice crispy treat in a bowl.  In my personal opinion, more marshmallows the better – you can never have “too many” marshmallows because it just makes it all gooeyer.  Nom.

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

After I posted this on Facebook, one friend recommended adding cinnamon.  I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon, but I did realize I could have added a bit of yellow cake mix to give it the “cake batter” taste.  We both then began going back and forth on the different cereals that could be used: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Cheerios, Lucky Charms.  She’s a great influence.  :)

If you love fresh rice crispy treats and need some in your life every now and then, just keep the ingredients handy.  It takes less than 1 minute to prepare and to eat it warm is the absolute best.  Of course, if you let it cool a bit, you don’t need a utensil.  But it’s already in a bowl, so why not?

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

Susan - In the dining halls at college, they would always keep marshmallows around for the hot cocoa (this was Connecticut – I think all New England schools were required to have hot cocoa fixings for the 10 month winters we had to endure). Needless to say, there were quite a few bowls of rice krispies/mini marshmallows/pat of butter spun in the dining hall microwaves. YUM.

The bowls weren’t as pretty as yours, though.

Melissa - I was hoping this was the yummy recipe you were going to blog about! I am buying some rice krispies today!