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Summer is here, and your camera is likely as busy as you are. Vacations and family reunions, beach days and hikes, picnics and sunsets – there is always a reason to snap a photo this time of year. If your kids are like mine, they will reach for the camera or phone and ask to take their own shots. For parents of budding photographers, here are nine biographies, how-to guides, and informational books to inspire all summer long. Smile!


 

 

 

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature

by Cindy Jenson-Elliot, Illustrated by Christy Hale

“Ansel was antsy.” So begins the book about a boy who hated being indoors, and who grew up to be a renowned nature photographer. As a child, Ansel didn’t fit in with the rigid expectations of school, so his father decided Ansel would learn at home. During a trip to Yosemite Valley, Ansel’s parents gave him a camera and his passion was born. He loved taking photos of the American landscape and his photography was sought after by the government and Life magazine. The book discusses Ansel’s life and legacy and shows examples of his photos. Illustrations of dim indoor scenes contrast against spreads of the lively natural landscapes Ansel was drawn to.

The Camera

by Chris Oxlade

From the “Tales of Invention” series, this book is for kids who are dying to know how things work – in this case, the camera. This informative book discusses life before cameras, the first photographs ever taken, how cameras have changed over time, and the impact of cameras on our lives today. Timelines, sidebars, diagrams, photos, and illustrations placed throughout the text beg for a closer look. A glossary at the back defines several camera-related terms and a list of resources is provided for those who want to dig further.

Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth

by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Gérard DuBois

Dorothea noticed things other people didn’t, observing the world with her heart as well as her eyes. Family issues and the lasting effects of polio made Dorothea a lonely child. She avoided school by wandering the streets observing people. As an adult, her photos of people suffering the Great Depression forced the country to take notice and inspired the government to help people in need. Several of Dorothea’s photos are included in the back matter along with an author’s note and timeline. Muted yet striking acrylic illustrations take us into Dorothea’s world of wonder and compassion.

Go Photo!: An Activity Book for Kids

by Alice Proujansky, Illustrated by Maggie Prendergast

This book is chock full of fun activities for young photographers. Each of the 25 activities is presented with a brief description, checklist of items needed, instructions, and tips. Kids can go on a scavenger hunt, explore with a camera obscura, turn a photograph into a mask, have a selfie fest, go on a treasure hunt, design an action flipbook, make postcards, and lots more. There is even a neat little tip on making a smartphone stand out of cardboard and binder clips. Technical advice is woven throughout the activities but the focus is on exploring and creating.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America

by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Gordon Parks experienced racism and hardship throughout his youth. When a magazine article inspired him to buy a used camera, his life changed forever. Gordon moved to Washington, D.C. where he decided to document segregation and the struggles of black families with his camera. Back matter provides more details about the events in the book and contains some of Gordon’s photographs. The illustrations pull the reader into Gordon’s world in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, and also portray several of his photographs.

Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys

by Amy Novesky, Illustrated by Lisa Congdon

When Imogen decided she wanted to be a photographer, her father built her a darkroom in their woodshed. After university, she opened a portrait studio, got married, and had three sons. She wanted to continue photography but had too many responsibilities at home. So Imogen built a darkroom and turned the garden into her workshop while the boys played. She photographed her children, animals, and flowers, including magnolia blossoms, her most well-known photographs. The author’s note contains a photograph of Imogen with her sons and more information about her life. Imogen’s story is portrayed in lyrical language and bold and textured illustrations.

National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography: Tips and Tricks on How to Be a Great Photographer from the Pros and Your Pals at My Shot

by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths

Who better to teach children how to take awesome photos than National Geographic Kids? There’s tons to learn about in the pages of this bright, informative guide, including everything from photography equipment and techniques for getting the best shot to concepts such as point of view. This book also breaks down the nuances of photographing different Nat Geo-worthy subjects from animals to people to landscapes. Children are given several “assignments” to try. Tips, definitions, sample photographs, and fun facts are peppered through this information-heavy – but kid friendly – text.

Photo Adventures for Kids: Solving the Mysteries of Taking Great Photos

by Anne-Laure Jacquart, Illustrated by Thomas Tessier

Photo detectives everywhere will love solving the mystery of how to take good pictures through framing and composition. Investigations, games, picture quests, and briefing papers will spur the detectives on their mission. Each successive activity builds on the previous one, so kids are advised to go through this book in order. A viewfinder at the back of the book helps kids frame different shots. The conversational tone is helped along by illustrated narrators chiming in through speech bubbles. A brief note for adults explains how to best support their children on their photo adventures.

Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs

by Joel Meyerowitz

The aim of this book is to help children look at and understand photographs, and in turn, look at and understand the world in a new way. In each of the 30 spreads presented in this book, one side contains a photograph and the other breaks down the image for young viewers, describing what is special about the shot and some of the photographer’s techniques and motives. The selected images include landscapes, people, animals, and still lifes. This book is best savored one photo at a time, over several viewings.

 

 

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When model Mara Martin was one of 16 finalists selected to walk in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show, she was thrilled to fulfill a lifelong dream. And when she woke up the day after the show to see that she and her baby daughter had made headlines around the world, she was thrilled all over again.

Martin breastfed her 5-month-old daughter Aria while walking in the runway, and the story spread quickly.


"It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least," Martin wrote in an Instagram post Monday. "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can't believe it is a headline is because it shouldn't be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that."

SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day says the breastfeeding moment wasn't planned in advance, but it worked out wonderfully. Day was speaking with the models backstage when she noticed Aria was peacefully nursing away. Having breastfed her own two children, Day recognized this as a powerful moment in the making, according to SI Swimsuit.

"I asked Mara if she would want to walk and continue to nurse. She said 'Oh my gosh, yes! Really? Are you sure?', and I said absolutely! I loved the idea to be able to allow Mara to keep nursing and further highlight how incredible and beautiful women are," Day explained.

Martin hopes that her moment in the spotlight can help other mamas feel comfortable nursing when and where they feel like it, but she doesn't want to overshadow some of the other women who took part in the show.

"One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country," she wrote. "One woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!"

And thanks to Martin's powerful motherhood moment, now, people are.

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Dear Jeff Bezos and all who have anything to do with Amazon Prime Day,

I just want to start by saying—I know you are trying to be helpful. I love you all for that. I honestly do. But, you are kind of making me feel a lot of pressure today. Like, in a good way, but also, in an anxious way.

Let me explain…

On any given day, as a mother to three children, I have a certain level of anxiety. While it's not constant, I do have my anxious moments. Why? Because there are various versions of the following: Me asking my two older daughters to get their shoes on what feels like 500 times as I am changing my 9-month-old's very, very, very messy diaper while I am trying to figure out what I can throw on to wear in about five seconds while I am repeating brush your teeth, brush your teeth in my head so I, in fact, don't forget to brush my teeth.

Not even to mention the mental load that weighs on my mind every single day. Remember to flip the laundry, fill out the school forms, cancel that appointment, reschedule this appointment, order more diapers, figure out what we're having for dinner, squeeze in a shower, lock the basement door so the baby can't get down the stairs, find better eczema cream for my middle daughter, get more sunscreen...the list goes on and on and on.

But then you Amazon Prime Day me and I'm having a lot of feelings about that.

Because you're reminding me of things I need to order, to think about, to be on top of more.

The little potty that's on sale reminds me that I need to step up my potty training game for my 2-year-old. That super cute dollhouse reminds me that I need to think about my daughter's first birthday in two months (WHAT!). That face mask reminds me that I need to remember to wash my face before bed because I forget waaaay more than I remember which is terrible.

But then I realize, these deals are going to save my mental load by fixing my life. Right?

Like, I never knew I needed an Instant Pot until you told me it was only $58. Now I am scouring Pinterest for meals I want to prep in my own. THIS POT IS THE TICKET TO GETTING MY LIFE IN ORDER.

Do we need more plates and cups for the kids? I mean really they only probably need about two plates and two cups each but YES. Yes I do need more cute kids kitchenware. THESE PLATES ARE THE TICKET TO BEING A GOOD MOM.

What would I do if I had five Echo Dots? I don't know, but let's find out because they're only $29! THESE DOTS ARE THE TICKET TO EFFICIENCY.

If I order a Vitamix at 30% off, I know I'll lose the baby weight. Think of all the smoothies I'll mix up! I mean, I just lost a pound even thinking about the smoothies that thing can whip up. THIS VITAMIX IS THE TICKET TO A SEXY BOD.

Buying this trendy, floral dress will step up my mom style significantly. THIS DRESS IS THE TICKET TO KEEPING MY COOL.

Okay, then after I add all the fixers to my cart, I realize… I have 99 things, but necessity ain't one.

I mean, I have everything from waterproof band-aids to bras to dresses for myself and my kids to an alarm clock and books. I basically feel like Oprah—You get an Audible subscription! You get an Audible subscription!—but instead of these products magically being paid for by Queen O herself, the money is coming from my bank account, which is a lot less fun of a game, TBH.

And if I am being honest, I don't need much help with my order-things-from-Amazon-and-pretend-it's-being-paid-for-with-Monopoly-money game as I am quite often coming home to an Amazon package wondering what it could be, opening it with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning—even though I am the exact person who ordered whatever is inside of that Amazon box.

But today, on Amazon Prime Day, you tempt me with all the deals. And yes, my anxiety, blood pressure and adrenaline rise. And yes, my bank account might temporarily decrease—BUT if we are being fair, with the savings I'm getting on things I would buy anyway, I am basically making our account increase overall. Right?

And while these things aren't going to make me skinnier, or cooler, or more put together—I'm okay with that. I am doing a pretty good job on my own. But some of them will actually help my life in a few different ways at a reasonable price, and I am grateful for that—for real.

Now, Bezos, please end this 404 error nonsense and let me purchase all the things!

Thank you for all the savings and excitement,

Mamas everywhere

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.


Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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  • Tia Mowry's honest post about her post-baby body is what every new mama needs to see 👏
  • Hilary Duff shares how pregnancy changed her body–and her confidence
  • J. Crew's new line with Universal Standard is size-inclusive—and we're here for it 🙌

Amazon shoppers were anxiously awaiting the countdown to Amazon Prime Day, but when the clock struck one, er three, the website went down.

On Monday afternoon shoppers were trying to get their hands on the much-hyped Prime Day deals but instead of low prices, many users just saw 404 errors, continuously refreshing pages, or had issues keeping or adding items to their shopping carts.

CNBC reports shares of Amazon were down during the shopping glitch, and many shoppers took to Twitter and Instagram to discuss how all they could see on Amazon were the dogs who decorate the site's 404 pages.

As cute as the dogs are, shoppers are getting tired of seeing them, so hopefully Amazon gets things back up and running soon. Analysts had projected Amazon would rake in $3 billion dollars this Prime Day. Time will tell how much of that was lost during the great dog picture debacle of 2018.

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