instagram recap | september 2018

This past year has been crazy and busy and full of new things and somewhere along the way I stopped documenting our lives quite as much. The kids are all so busy - often out doing their own things…so what do I take photos of now? I’ve been trying to work on making more of an effort this past month but I can see that I’m still falling short of where I want to be. This month (hello October!!) I’m looking forward to a new month with new goals on getting the images of our daily lives that I love.


Why is documenting our daily lives so important to me? I often forget these days, or just think that it’s ok not to take the photo or make the post. But when I look back at a series like the one I did 4 years ago on my Carrie Owens Photography blog (31 days of documenting your everyday life) I see so many amazing things that I’m grateful that we have the images that I would take of the family. Do my kids get tired of me asking to take their photos? Maybe. But I know that they appreciate it, it’s a little reminder to them that they are important. That their story is important. And it is.

For October my goal is to post something on my instagram (carrieowensdaily) of our daily life everyday. Which means a lot of football and polo and basketball. And a lot of days of me at home working or out doing “boring stuff”. The challenge that I am giving myself and would like to challenge you is to look for the little things in the everyday. The things that you will for sure forget in a couple of years time. Capture the big moments, of course, but look for the in between moments. What little details tell the story of your everyday life in October of 2018? I’m excited to tell the story of our next 31 days.

happy instagramming,


one little word | january 2018

The One Little Word project is from Ali Edwards and more information can be found on her blog here. There are many other people who follow a similar idea in choosing a guiding word for you for the year, rather than a resolution. I love this project and each year I choose a word. Some years I carry that word with me throughout the year and others it simply fades in and out. This year I have chosen a word and am following along in Ali's workshop with her designed prompts. I am looking forward to sharing my progress here on the blog in the year to come.


how does the word [home] translate for me?

For me, home doesn't just mean my house, where I live. It means more than that to me and there are many ways in which I will use this word in 2018 to drive my goals and intentions.

home | a place where one flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates.

PHYSICAL | house
WORK | businesses
SPIRITUAL | wellness
EMOTIONAL | family

Within each of those categories and areas above, there are many facets that I want to explore and am excited to get moving with. 

32 VB.jpg

I love that quote above and need to keep reminding myself of that daily. Give myself grace as I work towards my goal and understand that progress (any progress) is good...and keeps me motivated to continue on.

My One Little Word album progress for January

title page

I'm loving this process so far and working towards my goals with intention. I've already started working though my February prompts and I'm excited to get that one finished as well. 


instagram recap | january 2018

I've always been a huge fan of documenting our daily lives. As the kids have gotten older, the photos tend to get fewer and farther in between...but the moments are still happening. I think that it is so important to keep taking those photos - even if they are mostly of the same things each day - and to really work on stretching myself to see these daily little pieces of our lives for the truly amazing moments that they are.

There is a lot of basketball in those photos - and swimming. This month I really want to work on getting images that tell a different story about those events. Getting out of my comfort zone. What angles do I need to take, how close up should I get - what little details can I capture? What will best show our lives as they are at this moment.

The thing that I'm most excited about these that they're printed (along with others) and going into my Project Life album for 2018. Not only is it important to take the images, but it's so important that they live outside of my phone and instagram.

Happy photo taking + life documenting - get out there and see how you can tell the story of your family today!


why I love the one second every day app

Have you heard of this app? It's really and truly wonderful. I remember seeing a friend of mine using it a couple of years ago and I thought how cool it was...but I was sure I could never keep up. I later saw another friend's finished video from her 2015 year and it was simply amazing. I knew that it was something that I had to try for 2016.

Watch my 2016 video below...with sound and you'll even hear snipits of voices and laughter.

There are a lot of days that seem the same in our to school, kids to practice, mealtime and homework. There are many days that we're up and out of the house when it's still dark and home from practice after dark...there are many days where I do wonder if we're really capturing anything with the silly little one second. And then I sit back and watch the video above and I'm so grateful that I make the effort. And when I hear that my daughter logs into Facebook just to watch it...that makes me happy too.

If you get a moment, check out the website, download the app to your preferred device (your phone...although I do have it on my tablet also as my devices are linked) and give it a try. There's a great support and idea group on Facebook and so many great things that you can do with this project.


  • Use the inspiration that you see on the site and other videos that you see online, but don't get too caught up in being perfect...the whole idea here is to start.

  • Just start. Don't feel bad that you didn't start on January 1st...don't think you need to wait until the 1st of the next month. Just download the app and start today.

  • Stay consistent with your video orientation...I always shoot in landscape mode.

  • You can choose 1.5 seconds or 1 second per day

  • You can add titles and music over your finished product, mine is pretty raw (I'd love to take the time to add a title) but I love the little voices that I hear throughout the video, so for me for now, no music.

  • You can use the app to create custom "freestyle" videos - think about a video of snitpits of your vacation, or a sports season or any other great event in your life. You can have several timelines going at once and create some really awesome projects.

  • Get your kids and family involved. My kids know when I pull out my phone (especially in landscape mode) that I'm taking a video. Sometimes I get the hand in front of the face and other times I get great cooperation. Both are good - that's where we are in life right now. I also have kids asking at times - "what will you do today for your 1 second?" It's great to get them to buy in.

I would love to see what you come up with for your video or if you have any fun ideas for this favorite app of mine.

xo, c

olw | january


One Little Word is a concept made very popular by the talented Ali Edwards. She has incredible content on her blog explaining her process and shows examples over the years. She also teaches a year long class based on this idea of living with a word for the year. Head on over to her blog to get more details about One Little Word.


Resolutions are great - and I do still do a lot of goal setting and planning for the year. I typically find that over the course of a year I tend to struggle in one particular area or another...sometimes is needing to lean on my inner strength more, sometimes it's needing to focus on the task at hand more, sometimes it's needing to work smarter...and this year I just want to remind myself to begin.


Instead of focusing on the things that I wanted to stop doing or the things that I might want to change in my life, I decided that the best thing for me going forward in 2017 was to begin. To begin to do the things that brought me more joy. To begin to do the things that I need to do in order to have a happier home. To stop waiting for the right time and just begin.

it has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. they went out and happened to things.
— leonardo da vinci

I'm looking forward to this year, to the new possibilities, to achieving the goals that I set out for myself...I know the only way to get there is to just begin.

instagram recap | july edition

July wasn't too heavy in the instagram department and I think that is directly related to my inability to stick to #thebethadillychallenge. Also, it was a busy month with a trip to Lake Powell - yay! - and the Utah State Swim Meet for my kids. I had been doing great with this project for months and I love it...but for some reason I've really slowed down and have become entirely too inconsistent.

Here's the collage of my favorite photos from July:

Now that we're a couple weeks into August I can say that I'm somewhat back on track. But come September, I'm challenging myself to really focus! I love the challenge that Beth has put together and I find that it really does push me creatively on my photography. Who's going to join me? It's not too late to pick up and start any time. Make sure that when you post you use the hashtag #thebethadillychallenge on instagram when you post your image - and if you've got some time, scroll through the feed to find some great inspiration!!

Happy Instagramming!

xo, c

ps...are you already following me on instagram? If not - I am cophotography on Instagram

photo tips + ideas for vacations

Summer is in full force and that means vacations and staycations are as well. For my family that means our annual trip to Lake Powell in southern Utah, one of my favorite locations to photograph.

My husband's family has been going to Lake Powell nearly every year since the lake opened in 1963 (it's a man-made lake) and he has been going most of his life as well. We also spent some of our honeymoon there and a week nearly every summer since we have lived in Utah (I think we missed the summer our daughter was born, but I remember bringing my boys there when they were each just six months old).

If you want to see one of our past trips click on the photos below for last year or check out this post: 2013 lake powell family trip

my top three vacation photo tips

  • The most important thing to remember is to bring a camera...but don't get too caught up in making sure you have the best of the best. The best camera you have (as I always say) is the one that you have with you. I usually will bring a "big" camera (I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark ii) and will take a lot of photos with that, but I always make sure to shoot with my phone as well. This year I'll be bringing a GoPro as well...what about video?
  • Think about the story you are trying to tell. You want to get images of the people that you're with on your vacation as well as the little details - don't forget the details!!
  • Look at the overall scene...environmental shots are so important as the landscapes (urban and otherwise) change so much over time.

vacation photo ideas

Struggling with what to photograph? Here are some must get shots while on vacation and don't forget - get a variety of images, close ups and overall environmental images:

  • planning materials
  • packing all the stuff
  • how are you getting there? Road trip?? Get photos along the way
  • what happens when you get there?
  • what are your accommodations?
  • what about the food?
  • where do you go? excursions?
  • where and how do you sleep?
  • the people that you're with
  • how people entertain themselves
  • the big sights that you're there to see
  • the local people and culture - make sure to get as much of this as you can!
  • with the days of digital you can err on the side of too many photos, that's ok...delete when you get home
  • details, details, details!! textures, close ups, signage and anything else that might help tell your's all important

some of my vacation + travel photos

Looking back over these posts above it makes me so happy that I've been able to travel to these places. There are many other trips that I've been on where I've only taken my phone to capture the events and I'm just as happy with those images. For me, the most important thing about vacation photos is telling the story of the ones that I love. And someday soon there will be Norway photos to share :) I can't wait to get through those!

xo, c

    ordinary everyday | me + them

    This is a tough one for me. I am great...overly taking photos of my kids. They would probably argue that I might just take too many photos of them.

    But I think that someday they will be grateful for that. I know that my mom took a ton of photos of me, she even got teased about it, but I am so grateful for those images. I love being able to look back at my childhood through her eyes and to be able to share those visual memories with my kids today.

    Even with as good as I am about documenting my kids, I really struggle with images of myself. I'm not so great at getting photos of me. Or of us together. Not so great at all. But I am trying. Last year I did a month long series on Documenting your Everyday Life and a friend of mine asked me about part way through when the day about documenting ourselves was going to be posted. I hadn't even really considered that one. I don't like being in front of the camera. But I knew that she was right. So I created a post about documenting you and made a promise to myself to get in more of the images.

    I think that I've done better. Still not great. On my trip to Norway I watched my cousins snapping selfies left and right and finally joined in...when in Rome (Norway?). I also took some selfies with my mom - so grateful for those. And when I got home, I continued the trend with the kids...for a little while. I've slipped again.

    Time to get back to it.

    what's stopping you?

    I know for me, I feel really silly taking selfies. Today's teens are so great at it, but I kind of feel like an old lady taking a selfie...but it's a good habit to get into. Master the selfie. I also (as many women do) feel a bit self conscious about my appearance. "When I lose 20 pounds I'll take more photos with the kids" and similar thoughts. I need to tell myself what I tell my clients: This is important. Your family loves you for you. Think about the love you have for your family and that joy will shine through in your images.

    what can you do to get in photos?

    • I’m going to ask someone to take a photo…either my husband or a kid, whoever.

    • Master the art of the selfie. Elsie Larson has some great tips on selfies

    • Use the timer feature on my phone and my big girl camera.

    • Continue with the feet…I must admit, I like the feet images.

    • Get over myself and my insecurities. Easier said than done, but if I’m expecting my kids to let me take photos of them, I can’t very well say no.

    My challenge to myself...and to those that are up for to try and get in at least one image this week. At least one. And if you have kids, get in an image with them. It's so important to live their lives with them and to document that.

    xo, c

    good stuff | after they fall asleep

    Remember when your children were little and you would look in after they've fallen asleep? Do you still do that? Check in on them, tuck them in, fix their blankets...

    Just because they're 14 it doesn't mean you have to stop. In fact, if you get the chance, there might even be a good story to tell.

    why I love this image

    This image tells such a great story for my little family. I love that my son fell asleep with his light on, that tells me he was pretty beat, staying up later than he (and probably I) intended. I love seeing his football cards, all organized in their sleeves and carefully arranged for him to look at and study. I love thinking about this big kid, so happy that I've had the opportunity to watch him grow in to this football loving teen. I love that his white bear from before he was born still has a spot in his room and is perfectly illuminated by the light.

    What everyday things can you document today?

    xo, c

    ordinary everyday | shoes

    I know 14 years is a long time. I get that. But when I look at my oldest it's still crazy to think about how much he's grown. It feels like he was just this young, just this little...and all at the same time it feels like I've known him forever.

    Why do they grow so fast?

    I have to admit...I do love this age. This age where I can talk and relate to them and I know that the memories that we're making now are ones that we will all remember. These are good years. Just full of lots of changes. Changes that I'll forget if I don't start documenting them.

    What's changing fast at your home? Are you making sure that you're telling the story? I had this idea in mind when my big brought home these football cleats - he loved them so much, they were his first orange and black cleats and I wanted to tell the story of how much he loves them. And I was floored at how huge they were. Just like his dad...size 14 shoes at 14 years old.

    xo, c