The 52 Project ~ Heather Molina

**Addendum for 2015** Last year I had trouble choosing themes & sort-of just “froze.” lol… So this year, a photographer friend invited me to join her #52moments challenge. I will be posting them below & then beyond that, you’ll see my 2014 attempt. I will post the new ones first so you don’t have to scroll back all the way to see the new ones. ;)

2015 – 52 Moments Photo Challenge:

Photo #23 Helpers

A super sweet moment I caught on my cell phone. We were at my hubby’s grandmother’s house & my twins were quiet for awhile. When I went looking for them, my hubby told me that they had been washing the dishes. Then I found them wiping counters & sweeping the floor. No one told them to do it…I think things were just their size, so they “had at it.” :) So sweet!!!

52 moments, 52 photo project
Photo #22 A Day at the Museum

Matthew & Maya were NOT thrilled to have to hold hands. I have a photo without too, but I thought it would be cute & I KNOW they’ll appreciate it one day…especially with the story of her MAJOR attitude when she let go & turned around. And his slouching? Yeah, he was pouting about holding hands. lol. heart emoticon heart emoticon

This was at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Awesome place. Cannot wait to make another trip back there.


lifestyle photography, documentary photographer

Photo #21 A Sunset with Sissy

“Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there’s something good about both.” ~Amy Grant

sunset photo, sisters, quiet

Photo #20 Little Girl, Big Heart

I recently read a quote by Evander Holyfield that said, “It is not the size of the man, but the size of his heart that matters.” Apply that to my baby girl here. She is teeny, tiny…but she’s got heart. I love seeing her apply it to a sport she loves.

family photographer riverside california
Photo #19 The Haircut

My hubby decided to give my son a haircut the other day…and this was one of my fave shots (as well as the hand one below). Loved this angle. There are more…perhaps I will make an official blog post.

haircut, 52 moments, 52 week photo project
Photo #18 Hands

“My hand can’t hold the moonlight.
Can yours?
My hand can’t hold a sunbeam.
It’s gone
When I carry it indoors.

My hand can’t hold the rushing wind
From the moors.
My hand can’t hold night silence
So still.
But my hand can hold yours.

This is to remind you
When I have grown so tall
That once I was quite little
And my hands were very small.”

~Modwena Sedgwick

I adore this photo of my son’s hands. He held them so sweetly in his lap while his papa gave him a haircut. I love his tiny, little “man hands.” They are still so small, yet built so much differently than my girls’ delicate hands.  I will miss these tiny lil hands when he grows up. I will miss holding them.


Photo #17 Explore

I had the opportunity to get out of town for a few days to visit some family with the kids. We took one day to head over to Yosemite with some cousins/aunt/uncle. When we got to the giant sequoia trees, we enjoyed exploring a bit & taking some photos near a fallen tree. This is my lil one.

yosemite, fallen giant sequoia tree, tree roots

Photo #16 Library Day

We absolutely love going to our local library. The architecture, the rows & rows of books. Good ole paper books. There is an amazing kids’ section that my youngest ones love to stay in. They can sit on the rug & read or browse through tons of books to take home for later reading. They also have a computer, but I tell the kids that we don’t go to the library for computer games (though I do occasionally let them play because they are learning games). There are beautiful stained glass windows with childhood story characters, such as Cinderella. There are is a lovely outdoor garden area with benches to sit & read as well…or just enjoy the fresh air. Here is an indoor shot that I loved of one of my girls looking for something to suit her interests.

library, books, lifestyle photographer
Photo #15 Sisters

I haven’t been doing a very good job following the themes over the last few weeks. As a matter of fact, it’s been 3 weeks since I took one of these. So I chose one of my favorite shots from an impromptu beach visit for this week’s theme. My older three girls looked so beautiful & had so much fun in the water under the pier that day.

huntington beach photographer

Photo #14 Do Your Best

My 7-yr. old daughter is in gymnastics. She started about 4 months ago after imploring us for quite awhile. Watching The Gabby Douglas Story did not help our case. lol… I took my camera the other night & I just loved the way she did this move (or whatever you’d call it) once…but then re-did it on her own to get her form & that arch in her back just right. No one told her to do it. She just wanted to do it right. Now then, don’t think I’m some crazy perfectionist (if you’d see my house after last week’s chaos, it’s still a mess), but when it comes to sports or things I’m very passionate about, I am a competitor 100% & in those things I do strive to be the best. So I just thought it was cool that she is working hard to do her best & not settle for less when it comes to the thing she is passionate about. Trust me, she DOES get a lil silly there sometimes! Anyway, my lil gymnast. P.S. I know the girl in the background is a bit of a distraction, but it was in the moment & I couldn’t move to get a better angle. Plus, that girl in the background is pretty legit…she has a broken ankle & she was still doing flips at practice! lol. Sometimes you have to settle for less than perfect to get the moment! See? Look at me! I’m not always a perfectionist!! ;)

52 moments, 52 photo project
Photo #13 Chaos
Our life is filled with chaos, but last week had a different kind of chaos. Our home was having some walls/ceilings retextured & painted so we were not using our kitchen for most of 4 days & we had to switch rooms & do homestudy in a totally different area of the house. We had to sleep in different areas too because of the smell & because a few bedrooms were painted (nothing fancy, just cleaned up after repairs). Not to mention people were sick during that week & afterward. Soooo fun. This is an iPhone photo of part of the chaos.
Photo #12 Wonder

I spend much of my time following my children around, so I see an awful lot of the backs of their heads. But it’s fun to walk behind them, because I get to see the wonder of all of their discoveries! This was a sweet moment at a hotel where my twins were looking at the city below. I love how my son’s ears stick out a bit & how my daughter constantly tucks her hair behind her ears. I also loved that you could see a bit of her reflection in the window as they looked on in wonder at the sights before their eyes. Such a small moment, but isn’t that what life is full of? Small moments, full of wonder?

52 moments, 52 photo project
Photo #11 Sickies

I didn’t get the theme of the week in time, so I made up my own for this week since I had three sick kids. One of them ended up in urgent care after her ear infection caused her to break out in hives all over. Poor lil thing felt miserable. So I took an iPhone snap of my little lovely waiting for the doctor.

52 moments, 52 photos project, urgent care
Photo #10 Pulling Teeth

It was an up & down situation. He kept the loose teeth a secret from his papa for about two months. Then one night, his world came crashing down at dinner when his twin sister ratted him out. He cried & cried. He did NOT want papa to pull it (though it was hanging by a thread). Finally, papa cajoled him into letting him give it one “wiggle and a tug.” In an effort to distract my son, I asked him if I could photograph him “being brave.” He said it was fine & even told me we should videotape it! Yessssss… Every photog mama’s dream! Now we have photo AND video. And it was precious. He wanted to be brave. He tried so hard. But he still got a bit scared. He wanted to plug his ears & open his mouth really wide. There were too many emotions to count and that’s why I’m SO glad I finally caught one of these childhood “rights of passage” on camera. Because I think every kid goes through the emotions of being terrified, nervous, excited (for the money from the tooth fairy), shock (that the parent ACTUALLY pulled the tooth), and more. Here is one of about 60 images I took (yes, I’m sure it’s a bit excessive, but I really liked seeing the gamut of emotions & I remember going through that as a child too! lol). Tears followed this photo. Let me just say that he didn’t even realize the the tooth had even come out (no pain…it was practically out anyway!!), but as soon as he realized it was out, he started to cry. My sweet boy. After a minute or two, he composed himself, rinsed his mouth & went on his happy way. :)

redlands photographer, riverside family photographer, pulling teeth, lifestyle photographer

Photo #9 Lashes

Boys get all the luck {and lashes}. My lil guy was sick and dozed off in the morning after having been awake since about 4am. He was too precious. It was the perfect time to get this week’s theme of eyelashes. Handsome boy.

52 moments, 52 week photo project, lashes
Photo #8 Friendship

This is a throwback to about a year ago when some friends stayed at our house for the weekend. These two little lovelies hit it off. I’m lovin’ their retro look. Nothing says friendship like blankies & shades.

Friendship, shades, friends, 52 project, 52 moments project
Photo #7 Smile

Last week’s theme: SMILE. I missed it because I was in Taiwan, so it seemed fitting to use a photo from there. This wonderful granny spoke to me in Chinese as though I spoke the language! lol… Although I didn’t understand her words, I understood her smile, her cherishing, & her love for Jesus.

52 moments, 52 photo project, smile, Taiwan
Photo #6 Morning

I had a very hard time choosing this week’s photo…I got several that I LOVED!!! The light in their room wasn’t great…at least from the angle I wanted to shoot. It was fairly dark in the room, with the bright morning light coming from one side. But I don’t care. I LOVE these photos so much. Silly, silly kids. Here are two of my five kiddos.

52 project, 52 moments, photo of the week
Photo #5 Study-Time

I was on my own for a theme this week, and my daughter was hard at work studying, so I simply chose study-time. It’s so much a part of our lives right now that I thought I should document it fairly frequently. I love capturing my lefties at work (I have two lefties) & I also really like seeing that glow from a cell phone or tablet (while I don’t love them to be on those devices too much, the glow makes an interesting photo. lol…). Here is my baby girl, working hard on her school work.

studytime, 52 moments, 52 project, redlands photographer


Photo #4: Silly

So, I didn’t have much in the way of creativity on this one. We tried a few things, but trying to be silly as opposed to just being silly, doesn’t always work. lol… We tried. Tree hair was the best we had today. Perhaps on another day, I would’ve had something more fabulous. This’ll do for now. ;)

Silly, 52 moments, 52-week project


Photo #3 Quiet

For photo #3, my amazing mama-in-love was in town, and after she woke up she had a field day trying to save our plant-life. I don’t know how she does it, but that woman can plant & save just about anything. I’m about the opposite…I am not very good at keeping plants alive. Anyway, she went about at her task & the kids joined her. She even repurposed our pumpkins from Thanksgiving (which really were about to be thrown out). She let the kids plant their flower cuttings in them & she said we could plant them (or more like bury them) when the time comes & that later this year we might get some more pumpkins out of them since the seeds are still in them. Told you. She’s amazing. This was my Emme-girl planting her flowers in a mini-pumpkin. Absolutely love it. Thanks, Grammy.


Photo #2  Bedtime

My son somehow got two features in a row. haha. He was the unlucky one to be around for the “Bedtime” theme. And did I tell you my son was Bat/Spider Man (If it was in color you would have seen that his shirt was Batman & his pants were Spiderman. lol… Boys…). Anyway, Bat/Spider Guy brushes his teeth with a comb. Duh.

Batman & Spiderman

Photo #1 Hair

This is a photo of my son when he was soooo little. It’s from spring of 2011, just a few months after I got my very first dslr camera, which was a used Canon Rebel xti. I used a 70-300 lens for this shot. It wasn’t perfect, but it fits this week’s theme so well…HAIR! lol… I’ve taken many more photos of my son’s crazy hair since then, but for some reason I couldn’t find any recent ones. He has the BEST bedhead, but in this one his very fine hair was just bouncing all over the place while he ran toward me. So fun!

52 Moments Photo Challenge



2014 – The 52 Project:

I decided to challenge myself this year by doing a personal project. I’m calling it The 52 Project…one photo per week all year. I know it’s been done before…I’m not reinventing the wheel. BUT I felt that it was important to challenge myself in certain ways…for example, attempting self-portraits for the first time, using light/shadows to create more dynamics photos & more. So, with that…here you go.  I’ll talk about what I was thinking (if anything) about the photos. If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear them!

Photo #1

Sooo…I’ve never attempted an official self-portrait. I’ve always thought others would think I’m just being self-absorbed or something. But honestly, as a photographer, it helps you think of how to pose others…it helps you see what posing works/doesn’t work and honestly, it gets you out of your comfort zone when you are forced to focus on yourself.

Now then…about this particular photo…I didn’t have a trigger, so I was focusing, setting the 10-second timer & running to get into the spot where the teddy bear was prior (so I could try to get the focus). It wasn’t easy & I’m not the most patient person. This is obviously focused on the wrong spot…my elbow instead of my eyes. I also could have used a reflector to even out the light, but again I was not being very patient. In the end, I kinda liked how it turned out. It looks like the way I see myself. Just a girl…not too fancy…in my jeans & new fave sweater…simply me. So, in spite of the mistakes in the photo…here is Photo #1 for my 52 Project.

First Self-Portrait


Photo #2

This morning, when my hubby was heading out for work, I ran a cup of coffee out to him at his car. That’s when I knew I had to grab my camera. I could see the tiniest bits of light coming up from the east & I KNEW it was going to be a gorgeous sunrise! I ran in, grabbed my camera, started waking up children & headed up to the area of our property that our children call “Pride Rock” because of this one particular large rock that juts out from the landscape in a way that resembles Pride Rock in the movie… But I digress. I took some typical sunrise photos, but then wanted to try to capture it in a different way. Not just a horizon full of lovely sunlight (although I did get some of those too)…but I’m trying to force myself to see things a bit differently for this project. So…here’s my So Cal Sunrise for you. Hope you like it as much as I enjoyed seeing it happen!

Good morning, Sunshine! A lovely sunrise...

Photo #3

After doing the silhouette/sunrise above, I decided to work on silhouettes for awhile. I asked some fans about it & one fan mentioned I should do a silhouette of each of my five kids doing something they like to do. I LOVED the idea. So here is my youngest child (well, younger than his twin sister by 5 whole minutes!!), Matthew. He was playing with a toy car & a Lego guy (hidden by his leg). He was making crashing car noises as many boys do while playing cars. Love his little, protruding lips.

Silhouette shot of a boy

Photo #4

Maya’s silhouette shot. I wanted to try to use different lighting/backgrounds to make each silhouette shot a bit different. In this shot, I decided to try using my car’s headlights for the first time to backlight (or actually, sidelight) a shot. Here is Maya blowing bubbles. I REALLY like how this turned out. And it was fun trying something new for the first time.

girl blowing bubbles silhouette

Photo #5

Emma didn’t really have any thoughts about her silhouette, so we just decided to grab a teddy bear, a mini tea cup & go out for a “spot of tea.” Nothing like a So Cal teddy bear tea party on a winter’s day… ;)

Sunset Tea Party southern california photographer

Photo #6

I don’t know why, but when I thought of doing Sophia’s silhouette, I thought it would be fun to dress her like Mary Poppins…only using a silhouette. She happened to have just the right clothing & I had the purse & umbrella. It turned out really fun! If I was into composited images, I could have made this even prettier with the sunset that came a bit later. But all in all, we liked this one best for it’s simplicity.

Heather Molina Photographer Mary Poppins style silhouette

Photo #7

Caitlin & her sisters are avid fans of soccer. Caitlin has played since she was four years old. So it seemed fitting for her to do a soccer silhouette. This was probably the most difficult one for me as we were short on time & it took me awhile to determine what moves looked better on camera. I probably should’ve tried again, but since I’m late, I’m choosing an image & moving on! ;) Here is the one I chose of my baby kicking the soccer ball around…

Heather Molina Photographer soccer silhouette kids