Playground Fun

Let’s get real, we’ve all done it.  How many photos have you taken of kids at the playground?  On the slides, on the swings, coming down the slides.  But really, how many of the same picture can you take of them at the playground before you have too many of the same photo?  Annddd…what if you post the same photo you’ve taken before on Instagram…{horrifying!} j/k haha.

Here are my tips to spice it up a bit and change up the routine.  Because, YES, even as a photographer, looking at the same photo over again is a bit boring.  “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou


Take photos from a different vantage point.  Try getting their photo while they’re climbing up the ladder or the makeshift chain thing…whatever it’s called.  Different levels make for interesting composition and a new way of looking at what your kids look like.  It might just be your new favorite pic!


Take photos of them through things.  Through the different holes or through the safety bars.  Even just getting the kids peeking through things creates a bit of a hide and seek feel in your photos and you can just feel the laughter coming from their eyes.  Is that too Mom sappy for you?!


Here’s a fun one taken a few weeks ago.  I knew that he was coming down the slide a different way and so I sat there waiting to get just his feet.  I have a thing for photographing feet…I know, I’m weird.


Let’s end with a smile because who doesn’t like a smile from this guy?  Melt my heart.



Excitement in the Mundane

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” – Bill Moyers

As I write this, my guy has upended his box of cars all over the floor {…for the hundredth time} and has decided he wants to cook and is looking through the latest issue of Food Network Magazine.   All while still at the wee age of two and a half.  So today I have decided to dig deep and give you a few thoughts on the way I take photos and how I think up new ways to take them.

Sometimes as a Mom and Photographer, commonly known as the Momtog,  I struggle with what kind of photos to take and which ones to keep.  Although most want photos of their children’s faces, I can handle some of their backs and feet so that when I look back, I can remember how little those feet and hands were.

So I encourage you to take a moment and take the photo as is and appreciate kids being kids…let them play and talk to their toy cars as if they were equals.  You don’t have to go somewhere to take photos {although that random field of yellow flowers does seem nice!}, take that photo while at home or out and about.  Surprise them and and peek out and that sudden grin will be all  you need for that moment.  And even if you don’t have kids, take a moment and take a breath…for truly capturing that moment, because sometimes, it’ll only happen once.  Here are some examples of my personal “mundane moments”.


{this was taken as is without his face as I wanted to show his hands playing with his car and I liked the contrast between the bench and the dock wall behind him}


{this was taken at the happiest place on Earth, and surprisingly there was no one in front of us…he turned around to make sure that I was still behind him :)}


{fresh in the morning and found him playing with his cars}

So there you have it.  No posing and no secrets.  Just let it be.  Every moment deserves to be captured, even if they seem mundane.

1st Annual Camping Trip – 2014

As a child I was blessed with some great parents.  Even though way back in the day when their English was limited, they took us on some great adventures.  We took many flights across the states to the East as well as road trips all the way up north to Canada.  It gives me the tingles to be able to share these adventures and begin new ones with my guy and my sister’s kids.

Since this is the first time we’ve all been in the same place at the same time, our family decided to go camping. {WAIT! I lie, the Disney cruise was the first time, oops!!}  And what better place to camp then Lake Silverwood in Hesperia.  As kids, our parents took us there on day trips and I remember those as some good times during our childhood.

Because our guys are very little, we didn’t want to trek too far for their first camping experience.  This was also the first time we were going camping with the Kiles!  {they were great fun with their jokes!}  Thanks for coming guys!  I hope we have more good times!


Obviously the kids were so hard at work putting up the tents that they were also the first ones to sit down as well!


After setting up, we were graced with some beautiful light!


Again, I took too many photos!  But our food spread was too good not to share!  I mean really Mom…who brings shrimp and squid camping?!  It was a bit gourmet…ookkaayy maybe a lot gourmet since we also had mimosas!


The kids had a blast at the lake.  It was hard to get them to leave!  The lake itself wasn’t too bad but the wind might’ve been a wee bit strong and made it a bit chillier than normal.


Lake Silverwood is a great place to camp with your kids.  Hopefully next year, we can do this again a bit longer at a different spot!

Shark Photo Prop

So we got Alien sharks, Sharkageddon, Megalodon, Escaping Jaws 2, annnd Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine!  Are you over it yet…I hope not as we get ready for Sharksanity on Saturday!  This shark week is getting better every day!  Follow me on IG @babababora to get a glimpse of my shark week shirt.


What’s a party without a photo prop?!  And a shark one at that!  With a little help from Pinterest and my awesome brother who basically made this entire prop for my Viking’s 2nd B-day party…it turned out fairly awesome.  With a few test runs and layers of paint later…he came out fierce!


Back in the day before no kid, I would’ve thought these photos props were lame but ya’ know what…they’re absolutely not!  Of course being me {the photogmom}, I made everyone take a photo with all the props we had.  If I had more time, I would’ve made red chum bean bags so the kids could throw them through the mouth and it would double as a game!  We also had a beach babe and beach hunk body to take photos with as well!


DIY Tip:  When making the beach bodies, you only need to use one board!  Paint one side the female body and the other side male!  And poof!…you can thank me for saving you money now.


Isn’t this photo too funny?!  So it seems every time I take a photo, Mr. Daredevil there (my handsome nephew) mimics me and puts up his invisible camera to take a photo now!  At first we didn’t know why until I figured out he was acting like he was holding something near his face.  Hilarious!


Look at these two cutie patooties!  She had on a seahorse dress and he had on a shark shirt!  They were both ready to party!


Don’t be afraid to be silly and scared that no one will like the efforts you made, for your biggest fan is the only voice that counts and at the end of the day will give you the biggest hugs!  Soooo GO… and make your sharknado of a party fabulous with as many photo props as you can make!  I give you my blessing!

Shark Week is HERE!!

Sunday post…weird right!?!?

My little man and I are super excited and this is our favorite week of the year…Shark Week!  And it happened to follow Odin’s shark/beach themed party!  So here’s a little sneak peek of upcoming stuff on the blog!


A close-up of Bruce the shark on his birthday cake!  {what amazing detail…too good to eat!}


Some sharks swimming and we had to have a shark watermelon {thanks Uncle Jon for carving it out!}


Annd…I never ever {RARELY} post a photo of myself on the blog but for his birthday, I will make an exception.  He only turns two once!  Check out our shark shirts! {photo credit taken by Megan Kile as I bossily told her what I wanted…lol}

We are sooo EXCITED and Discovery Channel is kicking it off tonight!  Whoop whoop!  Check out the rest of the week for more!

Orange County Fair – 2014

OC Fair, one word = hot!  An experience that hopefully the kids won’t forget and will maybe remember.  Corn dogs, lemonade, fruit…you name it, the fair has got it.  We ventured out on a cloudy Sunday morning and hoped it would stay that way but as fate would have it…sun came out and heated us up.   It made for a gorgeous day nonetheless.

Our favorite part was having the kids getting their faces painted.  Nothing I like better than enthusiastic and happy face painters!


I think the boys enjoyed looking at each other after the face painting.


Of course the fair had the requisite barn animals, rides, and carnival games.  One of the other highlights was entering the “air-conditioned” building full of artwork and masterpieces.  The cakes were fabulous to look at and the desserts that were entered into the contests were delightfully dazzling.


I am amazed at the time people take to grow their own fruits and vegetables! Sadly, everything I grow gets the Bora touch and eventually wilts away 😦


Check out that Eiffel Tower in the top middle photo…can you guess what it’s made out of?! Here’s a close-up shot.


Miniature perfume bottles!  How cool!

While there are many many pros of the fair, let’s face it…there are also cons.  While the pros far outweigh the cons, I gotta be honest and list some cons that kind of bothered me but I just “let it go” at the end of the day.

  •  Not many rides for the 3 and younger crowd
  •  Employees of the carnival games seemed to be “not happy” to be working the fair.  {C’mon guys, these kids are super excited to be at the fair and are super excited to play these games…the least you can do is smile when they actually win something}

I hope you enjoyed my OC Fair 2014 review!  I don’t want to end on a bad note so hopefully this guy’s smile will make you smile in return.  I know just looking at him makes me get the honey glow something awful!


Note: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Coming to America


{Photo Credit: Left is unknown and right is the fabulous Abra @ Abra Klinger Photography}

And you’re probably thinking Eddie Murphy?!  Well…not quite like him.  This is my story.  The picture on the left is my Dad and I taken in the Philippines right before we arrived in the United States in 1984.  Our family fled the country of Cambodia amidst the Khmer Rouge war with my older sister and went through Thailand where I was born and were sponsored by a church in California and had the latest addition to our family, my younger brother.  In the photo, I just turned 2.

The photo on the right is of course, my guy and I.  He is about to turn 2 as well.  This is probably one of my all-time favorite photos.  Though my parents had very little money, they were able to get film photographs of my sister and I when we were very young.  When my toddler gets older, I hope that this is also one of his favorite photographs.  I want him to be proud that he is half-Khmer and to be able to speak and understand it as my parents have taught us.

{Photo credit on the right is fellow photographer of Abra Klinger Photography.  She specializes in newborn/maternity photography! She is amaze balls!}

Sneak Peek: Baby Ellie

A little while back I had the opportunity to photograph this adorable bucket of love, Ellie.  Congratulations to Ry and Dan for the newest addition to your family.  With two little girls already I see many dresses and bows in your future!



Vintage mini-couches…love!



Newborn sessions can either be incredibly gorgeous or head south…really fast.  Photographing newborns and their siblings (if under 5!) can be especially challenging, but it also helps to be a little prepared for them…hence, lots and lots of toys!  I know there are many many sources out there for photographers (and mom-togs!) but here are a few tried and true tips that I definitely need to share:

  1. Rule #1…baby is BOSS!  Never forget that baby runs the show and controls the mood for your photos.  Making sure they are relaxed and comfortable is key!
  2. Having Mom feed them before the sesh helps immensely to keep them calm.  Milk comas are recommended.
  3. They need to be warm!  Whether outside with the sun or inside, keep them warm until you can get ‘um naked for that split second bum shot!
  4. Sometimes I do a loud shushing sound kind of like white noise from the old school tv days…this mimics the womb somehow and it’s a 75/25 chance of them calming!  There’s also a white noise app available, but when shooting with a bulky camera…less is definitely more!
  5. Patience is key!  Don’t be afraid to take your time.  Ever hear of Rome wasn’t built in a day?

That’s just a few tips direct from me to you!  But, if you have any that also works, please feel free to share or link!  Until next time…toodles with a few outtakes from that day to make you smile!



My little guy is starting to slowly speak in words that I guess I’m the only one that understands.  It is a mixture of sign language and words missing letters.  He hits 22 months at the end of May and regularly points to objects and says what they are.  Favorites right now are “dog, tuck (truck), fwouah (flower), laf (Olaf, and uh-oh along with the sometimes happy screeching that sometimes feel like fingernails scraping on chalkboard.




I also have been away from blogland for awhile but it is my goal to post on a weekly basis so please don’t give up on me and check back for new posts!  Thank you to all my readers!

Stealing Kisses


Although this photo was somewhat staged, it is one of my favorite photos and one of the very few that I share with my son.  I knew what kind of shot I wanted and so I set my settings beforehand and told my sister exactly what I wanted.  Although I may come across a little bossy sometimes, I am very specific about how I want my photo and what to include in the frame.  So I am very proud that my sister was able to capture this for me.  The photo credit shall go to her!

On a whim we decided to go to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.  I’m so glad we were there.  It was glorious…fields upon fields of gorgeous stunning flowers.  It was an amazing experience for the kids.  If you’re ever in San Diego from March through May, this is a must-see.  They are only open to the public for these three short months!


They have everything from wagon rides to ice-cream, the ever so refreshing lemonade I’m always searching for, a maze, a chicken coop, and little maps for the kids to stamp where they’ve been in the fields.  It was quite nostalgic complete with what I thought were probably real farmers!


My mom came with us and she likes to pose and smile directly at the camera…so naturally my Viking wanted to copy everything she did and this resulted in some funny shots for a 21-month old, take a look at the one below.  Have a laugh to start off your weekend!


…and I don’t want to forget the diva!