Tag archive for : Amsterdam


Buh-bye winter, hello spring! Can I hear a Schwing!?


Sorry guys, that’s my slightly naughty nerdy-girl joke-a-quote from Wayne’s world because I like to “Party down!” But I try and keep it family friendly because I’m “Excellent!” (or atleast I like to think so!) If you got that joke, you might be my new best friend! And… let’s be honest, maybe because my obsessive compulsive quote collecting has become a borderline serious addiction, but back to my BIG news!


 This right here folks is how excited I am for Spring!!!


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Along with my trusty side kick “Click-Canon” also known as my super-duper awesome camera (Which is totally worth mentioning because Click and I are like stroop and waffles, pickles and herring, bicycles and baskets full of Tulips!) we’d like to invite YOU (yes you!) out for Mini Session Madness! 


Why is it Madness you ask? Because I am jumping into Spring full swing with my most favorite Mini sessions: Mini Cherry Blossom Sessions, Mini Tulip field sessions, and Mini Amsterdam Spring Sessions!


These Mini Sessions are 30 min long and are only €100!!! Afterwards you purchase only the best portrait products that you absolutely love! Perfect for Couples, Families, Kids, and as a gift! Mother’s day is right around the corner!


But that’s not all!


For a limited time I am offering my products, gift prints, canvas collections, and hand made wood block collections at a savings of 25-50%


So, are you up to “Spring”into a little Mini Session Madness? Sign up below to begin and reserve your space!



Filled Under : Blog

I made one of these for my oldest when he was a baby and have been having way too much fun making one for baby blue No. 2.

The great news is, you can easily make one for your child too and it only takes about 20 minutes! Whether they are a baby, toddler, or 5 year old going on mini teenager, this is a truly sweet way of capturing your child’s expressions to see and compare as they grow! Just read below for a few helpful tips!

Liam expressions_mr

First, start off having your baby or child sitting down. Have a look around for a good place that is accessible with lot’s of natural light if you can as using a flash can be both distracting and sometimes flatten your image.

If your baby is not sitting up on their own yet, you may need another person to help by holding them. High chairs will do the trick and for toddlers that like to be on the run, sitting on the edge of a table or counter top is also a good way. You may also want to have another parent or person on stand by for photographing on the table just incase they get carried away and loose their balance, or are training to be a base cliff diver.


Next, you are going to want to try and get on their level. This helps to keep their eye contact and unleash the magic of those captivating eyes, smiles, and all the silly faces in between. Save your back, and pull up a chair.

You are of course going to need your handy dandy camera. It can be a DSLR, SLR, simple digital camera, even your phone will work! Make sure you have plenty of space and battery. You DO NOT want to miss out on some of those adorable expressions!


Now it’s time to converse with your child. Tell a story, ask them questions, or talk about something, happy, spooky, silly, sad, sweet, or dreamy. Make sure you are expressive in your talking too because they will naturally mimic your facial expressions. And just in case all else fails, have their favorite toy on hand. You can ask them questions about it, balance it on top of your head, or play peek-a-boo and tickle tickle with it.

All the while talking, remember you’re on the hunt to capture those unique expressions of your child, so get shooting. It can be a bit of a juggling act so it’s good to plan every thing above ahead of time to make things run smooth and easy.


After you’ve snapped 30 photos it’s time to sort through them. Pick out your favorite 9 or 12, or 30 (because let’s face it, your kid really is that stinking cute!). You can use photoshop, gimp, or even a free downloaded picture collage ap on your phone to create the collage.

Next you’re going to mix your favorites up. This helps the viewer’s eye to really take in each separate expression and see the differences in expressions rather then to just glance through.

I personally like to add a black and white filter as I find it to be more iconic and it reminds me a bit of the old fashioned photo booths but that’s just my personal tastes.

And lastly print that baby out! You’re going to want to share this with your friends and family, or start your own little collage book and do one each year until they are 15 or 20. It will be fun to look back and see how much they’ve changed but are also still in essence the very same expressive little person you know and love!


Wishing you Happy hunting and capturing!

Did you make your own iconic collage? I’d love to see! Share it in this facebook post’s comments, tag @Melody Rae Photography, or hash tag #Melody_Rae on twitter!



Filled Under : Blog , Uncategorized

Dear my sweet busy bumble B,

I can’t believe another year has passed. Really, I just can’t believe it. Now looking back, almost all the journals I’ve written for you this year start out saying just that and how busy we’ve been. Things just seem to be happening all so quickly for us. This year also contained so much for us. So many…changes. We both got our diagnoses (you with your autism and epilepsy and me with my narcolepsy). While knowing this has helped us to better our lives we of all people should especially remember to be kind to those we meet because every one really is fighting a battle of some sort, whether it be with their health or something else. I know things have not been easy for you. I feel like I haven’t been the best mom because I was often too busy thinking and viewing our situation from my own perspective that I rarely look at things from yours. I wish I had more energy but I need to remember to prioritize to get more time with you. That’s why this year I will be practicing more unplugged parenting. And when things do go wrong, when you do act differently or have a melt down, and people “tisk” me and make comments I’m just going to let it slide right off my back, because ultimately that stuff really is about as important as I let it be.

Be who you are and say what YOU feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Theodor S. Geisel a.k. Dr. Seuss
What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes

As I was making your special birthday French toast this morning I was thinking about the word “autism”. I realized how much I hate they way people seem to use it with such a negative connotation. And how over the last year we’ve had people we know tell us not to label you, or that you don’t ”look” like you have autism, or a ton of other advise that is usually meant to be a sort of positive pep talk. It is what it is. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.


3 years ago today, late in the evening I was feeling much like I am now. Emotionally and physically worn out. But the moment I first saw you, my very first thoughts were “My whole world is different now and you’ve changed everything the moment you arrived”. And the truth is, you did. You see, you changed me inside and out, and I was all to happy to experience it. Then year 1 passed. Your birthday was literally a circus and we jet set off to the good ole’ US of A. Everything seemed so picturesque when I look back. You were walking everywhere strutting your stuff in your first pair of walking shoes, and then you got that cold, which led to that fever, which led to the emergency room. 2 injections and a day later you had utterly changed and the little boy I thought I knew so well just didn’t seem there anymore. By birthday number 2 you had gone almost a whole year with out a word. No baby babble, “no mama”, “no papa”. We suspected something was off after returning home and had been diving into the system to get you checked out. We had read up on the diagnosis that you may be autistic and there were so many similarities that it made sense. And then just 2 weeks before your birthday you started counting. Counting out loud to 20. Counting everything, steps, blocks, chopsticks. You still weren’t eating normally or playing with your toys normally but change was a foot and that felt good.


And now you are 3. And you are uniquely you. You are bright, funny, and sweet. You are blonde, you have blue eyes, and you are autistic and an epileptic. You have likes and you have dislikes. You have high points and you have struggles. You are finding your own way. You like classical music, shapes and can read more than 150 words. You display some signs of echolia and can repeat back a whole television show. We don’t get to have silly massive conversations like I played out in my head before you were born. As a matter of a fact not very much has played out like I thought, but I of all people should know how life can go unexpected.

Today you are YOU, that is truer than true! There is no one alive more youer than you! Dr. Seuss

I see so many Auti parents using the anecdote from “Welcome to Holland“. It makes so much sense for parents of disabled children to relate to this. Things for us are such a struggle, and yes, your autism can be some what disabling in areas of your life at times, but I’m not sure if I can call it ”your disability”. I can relate all to well to “welcome to Holland” because my life is literally the analogy! I honestly hated Amsterdam when I first came. It was cold, and sometimes unfriendly, and difficult because it was full of change for me. I couldn’t understand what people were saying and didn’t always understand the cultural rules. I thought maybe I had made a mistake in being here. But I stuck it out, and for all the things I disliked about it, I now find twice the amount of things I do love about it. For all the grey days the sunny ones on a bike here are worth it. The people and our friends have a richness to them that can be determined in money and the creative vibe here is enough to light up the whole city! It’s the place for me, where I belonged all along.


I know the word Autism is supposed to mean something about “auto” and “into one’s self”. That could be used very much to describe you at times although I don’t think you get a choice in the matter. But when I hear the word “autism” I instantly think of the word “optimism”. And when I think of you, the word in itself is “Awe-tism,” because every day I am in awe of you. Even those really hard, no good, grey, frustrating rough days when nothing seems to go “right” or as planned. We celebrate every little milestone because you struggled and fought to get there. Most of the negative things are a blur but I remember with exact clarity the 3 times you’ve said “Mommy” or the moment you first discovered the moon. You make me smile and laugh every day. I wouldn’t change a thing about you and our crazy little quirky family. Because just like my Welcome to Holland, I believe all our struggles will be worth it one day.



Filled Under : My Life style

Before there was photography there was art. Drawings, painting, sculpting. Some days I think we live in such a camera obsessed world that we forget to actually take the time to lower the technical gadgets between our faces and the world and just see what’s really all around us. That’s one of the things I love about Joseph Segaran, but I will get to that later. When I met Joseph it was actually at an ASBN networking event. I took an instant like to him. He’s super friendly, funny, with a great smile. As a creative mind myself, I loved his drawings and paper cuts. They are all done by hand, no rulers, and no room for mistakes. His drawings are structural with an attention to detail and his lines give to just a little whimsy that really captures the city of Amsterdam. And his paper cuts are well, so bold if I may say, that I have a hard time deciding whether I like the paper cuts or drawings more. What’s not to love?


You see, I like to look at ceilings (apologies for the short tangent that is Melody’s mind). The simple fact that people can live and work under a ceiling for 5, 10 years and never actually take a moment to look up completely boggles me. Are you looking up yet? One of the things I loved about Joseph on our shoot is that I kept catching him looking up. He thought I was busy setting up camera equipment but I caught him looking up sneaking a peak. I loved the wonder in his eyes like he’s seeing something for the first time all over again.



The next thing I loved about Joseph was his super trusty pen cups. No seriously. It’s another thing we had in common and I believe how you prefer your working utensils can say a lot about you (I too favor a mug for pens). It was actually a reminder that in today’s digital age where art and everything are becoming more digital that it’s easy to forget what’s real. But Joseph and his art is as real as it gets and he brings a fun twist of that special old school feeling. His artworks really tell the story of a building and a whole city. And did I mention that he does custom work! It’s such a wonderful way to commemorate a place where you lived or a great gift to give a special colleague to remind them of where they worked. I’m so lucky to have gotten to know the guy behind the art and to have photographed him. While we’re on it, check out those peepers! He’s got some serious brows on top of the windows to his soul wouldn’t you say? I honestly don’t know how I get so lucky in having such great looking clients.

Be sure to check out Joseph’s website and follow his work on facebook. His daily drawings are super entertaining and he’s one Amsterdam talent to keep an eye on as his works become more published on books and famous buildings!

Filled Under : Read more