Visual Memoirs - Morning Walks
Visual Memoirs

June 11, 2011
Mikes is 2 years old in this image. It was a nice summer morning so I decided to take him out for a walk after breakfast. At this stage, Mickey was obsessed with keys and often had a pair in his hand everywhere he went. This morning we were walking, he had his keys and we got to a cross walk. I yelled “Mickey don’t go in the street without mommy!” He froze and then took a tiny step..MICEY! He laughed and took another step...MIKES! He turned around and I snapped this image of him. I miss our morning walks.

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Visual Memoirs - Tween
 Too cool for pierogis, but not for slushies.

Micah has been to Pierogi Fest almost every year of his life. This year, he acted as if he was “over it” and didn’t want to participate in any of the activities. He spent most of the day playing Pokemon Go on his phone. Something new this year at the fest was kool-aid slushie. When he saw this he immediately became interested and joined in. This slushy and pizza were the only things he asked for the entire afternoon. For me, this image will alway represent the time in his life when he was still a kid, but almost a teen. Silly but serious, too cool for pierogis and family, but not for slushie.

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Letters to My Sons - Four
4th Birthday Portraits - boy


It seems like you’ve been three FOREVER. Your birthday being at the beginning of the year always makes it seems this way. When I wrote my letter to you last year you were just beginning to introduce us to who you really are. Your personality has settled in, you have very firm beliefs (like how orange fruit snacks are disgusting) and a way of doing things in your own independent way.

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Between three and four you:

  • traded in the Power Rangers for Spider-Man

  • started pre-school (and became line leader!)

  • insist on dressing yourself - most times as a Superhero

  • play video games

  • got really good at solving mazes and puzzles

  • ask for very little help with anything

  • want to help others as much as you can

  • build your own “adventure sets” with legos, cardboard blocks and waffle blocks

  • discovered you like to draw

  • prefer the beach or a vacation over a birthday party

Your sense of logic and reasoning when things don’t go your way is mature beyond your four years, so is your sense sarcasm. Daily we shrug our shoulders and say “You have to let Celly be Celly”. You continue to amaze us everyday.

My wish for you this year is that you never lose your fearlessness, your curiosity or your big heart.


Happy Birthday Celly

Love Mommy

Visual Memoir Project

Memoir (US: /ˈmemwɑːr/;[1] from French: mémoirememoria, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life. A biography or autobiography tells the story "of a life", while a memoir often tells a story "from a life", such as touchstone events and turning points from the author's life.

Visual Memoirs Old Prints

My parents recently gifted me a box of old family photos.Looking through those images brought back so many memories and stories. I asked him about the people I didn’t recognize and the stories behind some of the images. They told me what they could recall and I remember seeing the joy in their faces as they remembered people and places they hadn’t thought about in years.  It was an afternoon of storytelling, lessons, sentiments, and discovery that started me on an unexpected chapter of my photography journey.


I want that same feeling for my kids. I want them to look back and see their childhood, their life in words and images. This project will have a mix of old and new entries. I will use the old images to trigger my memories to write about people and events I’ve long forgotten about. New images will be documented so that they will never be forgotten. Feel free to bookmark this page, or join my newsletter to follow along and get tips on how you can start your own photographic memoir.

Do you have any old photos from your childhood? What are you doing to preserve your memories now, let talk about it in the comments.

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Visual Memoirs - My 21st Birthday
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Midnight - September 2, 2000
This picture was taken in a liquor store in my 21st birthday. I’d talked my parents into letting me have a party starting on the 1st at around 930 or 10pm. At midnight, I would go to the store and buy my first bottle of alcohol as an official adult. The lady behind the counter asked for my ID, checked my birthday and said “Baby you have to be 21!” I proudly proclaimed “But it’s midnight, I am 21”. She got as excited as we were. She ran from behind the counter, gave me a birthday hug and offered to take this picture of us (because of course I had a camera with me). There to celebrate with me was my sister, my cousin and a friend. I only took maybe one sip of the drink, I just wanted the experience 🤷🏾‍♀️. What story do you have to tell about your 21st or any milestone birthday? Let’s share our stories in the comments.

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Project 365 - Week One
iphone 365 project week one
  • The welcoming “HELLO” sign that greets me everyday at work

  • Cellie when his dinosaur would not cooperate with his style of play

  • My favorite room in my home

  • Cleansing

  • A warm winters day

30 Days of Gratitude
Stories of Gratitude

Every day, I write down one good memory, or one thing I’m grateful for, and I’ve noticed that it has subtly changed my perspective on life. Last year to switch things up, I did a personal project called 30-Days of Visual Gratitude. It was a photo challenge, and it has been one of my favorite personal projects to date. I even had a few people join in on Instagram and Facebook. This year I decided to revamp the challenge and add in a storytelling aspect for myself and for those who don’t want to participate using photos. Whether you’re using images, writing or both, the premise of this challenge is the same, to tell your story by making gratitude a daily part of your life.

Stories of Gratitude

Let the prompts take you back to a time, to a place, to a story that illustrates significance to you. Then, share it. Personal stories like these act as gateways to true gratitude. Through their telling, the value of that object, person, or memory will become evident to all you share it with. Storytelling provides a new way to express your gratitude and also the opportunity for that person, place or thing to be appreciated anew. Maybe your story will even inspire someone to thank a person they’ve taken for granted or realize the value in something they never fully appreciated.  The list is mostly just a way to motivate me (and you) to reflect on what we have and to stay present so that we can acknowledge more. 

The Challenge

For the next 30 days, choose a prompt and think about a memory or something you’re grateful for. Look through old photos to trigger a memory, or take an image to create new ones. I'm going to be adding photos to my entries as a way to visualize and share my thoughts. If you do decide to take daily photos just remember that you don't need to be a professional photographer and any camera will work to join the challenge. Even if can’t post daily, focusing on gratitude as much as possible will allow you to feel happier and provide a fresh perspective on things. Try the prompts in order, or pick one randomly for each day. The prompts are open to your interpretation, the goal is to tell your stories. If you decide to share, please use the hashtag #StoriesOfGratitude so that others can see your story and be inspired. I can’t wait to share and see some of your stories!

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Memories to Record this October

It’s October.

Is it me or did this year go by really fast? The weather is changing and Fall colors everywhere. It’s the perfect time to get out and take some family photos, get in an end of year back yard cook out or just take a walk and enjoy the colors and crisp Fall air. September was all about finding a routine. The lazy days summer quickly turned into the busy days of school and work. This month I’m focusing on slowing down before the busy holiday season begins.

This month, and until the end of the year, is all about traditions. These are some activities that the boys and I look forward to every year to begin our holiday season.

Memories to Record this October

  • Apple Picking - Most people love the beginning of Fall for all things pumpkin. For me, it’s all about apples. There are so many delicious foods you can make together as a family with apples. What are some of your favorites?

  • Fall Colors - I found this great site that shows you when Fall colors will be at their peak in your state.

  • Playing in the Leaves

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  • Pumpkin Patches and Hay Rides

  • Visit a Farm - Many farms are open for Farmers Markets, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes.

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  • Sports - I someone is running in a marathon or 5K, try to document them before, during and after their run

  • Sunsets - Fall sunsets are full of haze and golden light and are absolutely breathtaking.

  • Halloween - Check out my 5 Tips for Awesome Halloween Photos of Your Kids

    Are there any traditions your family does each Fall? Please share in the comments.

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