Merry Christmas from the Ratcliffs!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! See my three kids there? They’re so happy you come to the blog and, in so doing, help out the family! I love photography,and I love the family, so I can’t think of a better thing to share with you on Christmas.

And thank you so much for sharing the site with your friends and family. It’s helped us to grow to hundreds of thousands of monthly readers. Some come to just look at photos. Some come to learn more about photography. So whether you’re just browsing around for fun or here to get more goodies, I’m thankful! I hope you have a great holiday.

This is the first photo I ever took with my Nikon D3X. If you want to know more about this style of photography, see my HDR Tutorial (it’s free!). If you want to know more about this camera, I have it listed on my HDR Camera page here on the site.

In this photo are my three kids… See the older Ethan in the picture? He said, “Dad, that looks just like your old camera.” I tousled his hair and told him to just be quiet and pose for the photo and be as neoRockwellian as possible with the rest of my brood.

Have a good holiday week!

Christmas HDR Photo

The tree in front of our home as autumn falls to winter

We have these amazing trees in front of our house, and they explode in color right around this time of year. I took Ethan out front to pose under the tree while I set up across the street to try to capture the mood.

I live in the Hill Country of Texas, just 20 mins (no traffic!) to downtown Austin. I don’t think this photo has captured how hilly it is (or how much pain I feel when I jog up this hill in front of the house!) But, at least you can see the sprinkles of red as the first of the trees turn for winter.

The tree in front of our home as autumn falls to winter (by Stuck in Customs)

an afternoon with her little boy

And now for something a little different. I rarely do this sort of thing… People ask me all the time to come take family pictures (or weddings and these sorts of things) — I always regretfully say NO because, well, I never really have a great excuse other than it takes too much energy to do something interesting. Also, sometimes I pretend to be too busy like George in that one episode of Seinfeld.

So I had an idea to make something unique and vintage and the muse here was up for it… and she had similar ideas around capturing some moments with her little boy. I’m happy with how these things are turning out…

sometime in late afternoon 1

sometime in late afternoon 2

A Muse in the Forest

sometime in late afternoon 4

Vintage Series

Isabella the Princess on Halloween

We just finished yet another Halloween. We have this fun little neighborhood picnic at the top of our street before the festivities begin. I asked Isabella if she wanted to act like a princess for the camera, and guess what?

Isabella the Princess on Halloween

Vacancy at the Bel Air Motel

This is one of those places that I always drive by in Austin but never took the time to shoot… Finally, one day the clouds seemed right for the kind of shot I wanted, so I pulled over to make it happen!

Vacancy at the Bel Air Motel

Saturday

My son Ethan hits the soccer field every Saturday morning. Yesterday I grabbed this one of him sitting with his friend Zach, who I coached last year. He’s a good player that responds well to a bit of good coaching… like most kids, methinks… However, this year I am happy to be behind the lens rather than behind the lines.

Saturday

Attack of the Summer!

Here is Ethan out with his friend on a hot summer Texas day. It was a good water fight for dad to keep a distance with the 200mm VR to capture the action and stay dry.

Attack of the Summer!

The V8

I spent a steaming hot Saturday at the hot rod show in Austin… there was so much to shoot… I hardly knew where to begin! I figured you couldn’t go wrong with one of these red numbers…

The V8

I tend to get what I want from my Daddy

Here is Isabella at Ethan’s piano recital. I don’t remember exactly what she wanted at the time, but she probably got it.

I tend to get what I want from my Daddy

Wild About Music

This is the coolest music store in the world! It’s called “Wild About Music” and it’s right in the middle of downtown Austin on 6th street. The store has everything on its various levels and I can’t even begin to describe all the memorabilia and music-themed goods inside. Be sure to have a look if you are ever in the neighborhood and you’re a music fan!

You can visit their store directly at this link.

Wild About Music

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