Tag Archives: photography

kati dimoff- what i've learned feature pic

What I’ve Learned: Kati Dimoff, Photographer

Kati Dimoff is a Portland-based photographer.  She contributes to You Are My Wild , a weekly portrait project that brings together 14 photographers to document how they see their children.  Check out her personal site here.

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My daughter is 6 years old.  She is endlessly creative.  Sometimes it feels like our whole house has turned into her craft room!  My son is almost four.  He is so confident and has such a big heart.

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The biggest challenge I faced as a first time mom was time-management.  Where does all my time go?!  I have a to-do list that will take me years if I’m lucky!

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I don’t think becoming a mom has changed who I am.  I do think it made me more of who I am, if that makes sense… All the ways I’ve always been have been intensified.  My worries and anxieties, my hopes and joys.

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I mostly go to friends for parenting advice.  Honestly, I go to anyone I can talk to without feeling like I’m a failure (as most parenting books tend to make me feel).  You know it when you have it…  that friend who is appropriately self-deprecating without actually being too negative. But at the same time, does things just enough right, without being too amazing that you feel bad about yourself in comparison!

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My favorite thing about being a parent is watching little people that I made grow into their own real selves… and of course, naptime snuggles 🙂

Kati Dimoff Photography

I’m not the greatest blogger, in fact, I rarely blog.  It always seems like I run out of time.  But as a photographer, I thought it was important to show my recent work, so I started my blog in 2010.  I mentioned that to-do list that will take me years… blogging is somewhere on it.  At this point, I’m mostly putting recent work up on Facebook (facebook.com/kdimoffphotography) and adding to the gallery on the website.  And of course, I post weekly as part of You Are My Wild.kati dimoff photography 3

I love photographing other moms.  I love showing moms how beautiful they are when they are loving their families.


Check out another mom photographer here.

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smartmom isabel furie

What I’ve Learned: Isabel Furie, Photographer

Isabel Furie is a Boston-based lifestyle photographer and mother of 2 boys.  You can check out her website, blog, or follow her on instagram

“We have two boys. Jack is 8 and Leo is about to be 5.  Jack is my scholar: an old soul who devours books and loves our record player. Leo, on the other hand, is completely wild.  He will most definitely be either a rock star or a stunt man.  They both share my love of fashion, art, and thrifting.

Smartmom Isabel Furie What I've Learned

My first-time mom experience is a little different than some.  In January 2005 we (my high school beau and I) found out we were pregnant with Jack. I was 19 and Chris was 20. We were married in May of 2005 and the rest is history.  I had to learn a lot on my own.  Being a young mother is an incredibly alienating experience, but I really do feel like my life began when I gave birth to Jack. It was as though I was buried in the dust and he just swept away all the sand and glass. In the 8 years I have been his mother, more and more of that sand and glass is brushed away and he helps me to see who I can be, both for him and for myself. My husband and I have really been growing up along side our kids (and I mean that in the most appropriate way possible!) so it’s been a hard road, but the reward is a 9 year marriage, two beautiful thriving children, and the years we have ahead of us to keep dreaming and growing.

Smartmom Isabel Furie What I've Learned

I have never felt very comfortable in my own skin.  The visual, physical, and emotional experience of watching my body change, feeling this thing growing inside of me shaping me. I suddenly cared about his birth and breastfeeding.  I suddenly became protective of my choices before he even came.  Those were all very new thing to me. I felt certain of something and I stood behind it.  He has made me brave…that is a vast understatement.  He has made me more sure of myself, who I am and what my goals and hopes are.

I think the greatest thing that becoming a mother has taught me is that you need friends for hugs and to cry with and  commiserate with.  But at the end of the day, you need to be able to decide what works for you and your family.  There are so many conflicting voices out there telling us how to be the best mom or the best parents. My husband is so wonderful and a very present partner and father. I’ve been really lucky in that way.  But if i’m being honest, I usually get in touch with a friend to ask if it’s an appropriate time to start drinking or how not to swear at my kid to his face.

Smartmom Isabel Furie What I've Learned

I LOVE watching my kids get excited about things: new people, food, music, a hike, a good grade, or a painting. It brings me great comfort and joy that they find such pride and pleasure in a wide range of places and experiences.  It makes me hopeful that I am raising confident boys who will feel free in this world to be whoever they are. it’s all hard and bittersweet but there are moments when you can see so clearly that despite the number of days you’ve told yourself you did nothing, that you failed, that you yelled too much or said f*** too many times, they are ok. In fact, they are better than ok. They are thriving and wonderful and quirky in their own ways. They aren’t scared of home or making mistakes or the outside world.  I love that too.

Smartmom Isabel Furie What I've Learned

I guess I officially started my photography business in 2010.  I can’t say i’m one of those people who had a camera in my hand from the beginning.  Cameras were just always there. My dad was a photographer and both of my parents worked for newspapers. We always had The New Yorker or Time or National Geographic. We always brought the camera along for outings and traveling. When I was growing up as an only child, a lot of these things became a part of an obsession. I loved to study images of people in all different facets of life. Both my parents were movie and music buffs. My dad’s favorite wall art was a good movie poster. I grew up with the poster from Silence of the Lambs on the wall and it’s my absolute favorite movie of all time. I’m quirky and shy and weird and dark and I’ve always been into how you can play with images and people in these ways.

But I did the typical thing of taking a million photos of my kid/kids and wanting to make more of the images i was taking. I took a leap, spent a tax return, got some gear and started teaching myself.  Up until that point, the only SLR I had shot on was film. Learning digital was tough, and now that I know it better I feel myself being called back to film. I like to dabble in both.

Making images of people, capturing something about them that isn’t apparent on the surface- it gives me a rush.  Using light to try and show who a person truly is or what they are feeling in any given moment is what I do compulsively.  I would do it whether I had a business or not.Smartmom Isabel Furie What I've Learned

I like to blog but I haven’t written in far too long. I’m working on changing that. But this (image below) is an all time favorite post of mine, especially looking back at it now.  Leo is in school full time and this has been my first year alone while they are at school.  These little trips are what I love about being a mom; that I can do these spontaneous things that are enriching and easy and end up meaning so much more to these boys than i could ever imagine.”

smartmom isabel furie what i've learned

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jessica kraus

What I’ve Learned: Jessica Kraus, Blogger

Jessica Kraus is a blogger and mom from Southern California.  Her blog “House of Habit” documents the upbringing of her three young boys, their wily antics, and her creatively decorated home.  You can follow Jessica’s life and travel adventures on Instagram or buy a homemade teepee from her Etsy store.  They’re totally cool.

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“My son Arlo Reed is almost eight. Blessed with his father’s fierce determination, he is a skilled skateboarder and an altogether friendly, ‘cool’ kid.  Leon Thomas is five and the heart of this family. He is super sensitive and incredibly temperamental. He makes us laugh non-stop. (Usually without meaning) He can just be so odd and neurotic some times, and I just love it.  Rex Michael is our baby. At only three and a half years, he is the toughest kid on the block. He is downright fearless in every aspect of the word. He is so BOY, it’s scary, but also happens to hand out the most kisses for his mommy. So he earns plenty of bonus points there. 

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With Arlo, everything fell easily and naturally into place for me. He was a prefect baby on an ideal schedule, so I recall feeling very satisfied in my new role as a mother. With Leon, I struggled a bit because he developed and hit all the major milestones at such a different pace than Arlo. I got caught up in comparing the two, which I realize now is such a waste of time seeing that all three of my boys are so totally different- it’s hard to believe they are all raised under the same roof!  But that’s the fun in it. I love watching each of them come into their own, on their own time, in their very own way. Becoming a mom has made me frightfully aware of how fleeting life is. Watching how quickly they grow and change just floors me. I am forever reminding myself to soak up every minute of it. People say it all the time, but it really does go by in a flash.

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I go to old women for parenting advice.  And by that I mean, grannies. I appreciate a taste of their old school sensibility and their views on raising children in a time of lesser needs. As well as their looking back on the fact. So much to offer by way of reflection. And “don’t sweat the small stuff” type advice, which I really need from time to time.

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My favorite thing about being a parent is watching the bond between the boys grow stronger and therefore more complicated as they grow. It’s the neatest thing in the world to me. I also enjoy seeing babies grow into boys, and (at some point) little boys growing into men. I think it gives so much insight into understanding the male species in general.


I decided to start a blog because I wanted to freeze little moments in time, the stories of our life, if only for myself to enjoy. I’ve always been an overly sentimental person. The blog has been a nice way to document pieces of our journey as well as offer connection to other mothers raising kids around the same age at the same point in time. Plus it’s a super supportive community and has provided me an easy creative outlet for the past few years.

house of habitHonestly, my favorite blog post is probably the ones I’ve yet to actually share. Slightly more raw, honest thoughts on things I’ve yet to open up and share completely in various posts on the blog. But I’m hoping to change that at some point soon. I think it’s refreshing to find honest voices in the blog community. So much fluff and prop these days dominating the lifestyle blogs. That can really start to wear to you after a while.”

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what i've learned with oana befort

What I’ve Learned: Oana Befort, Illustrator

Oana Befort is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in Bucharest, Romania with her husband and 3-year old son Sammy.  Oana is Romanian and her husband is American; their son is a “Romerican.” Her illustrations are truly gorgeous – you can check them out on her blog here.  We asked Oana a few questions about motherhood and blogging, you can read her answers below.  

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“I have a little three year old boy named Sammy (Samuel).  He loves trains, he loves playing with them, ride them and he has to say stories about choo-choos almost on a daily basis.oana befort

 Becoming a mom definitely made me into a better person. I am learning daily to practice more patience, selflessness and responsibility while I am loving this beautiful human being that I am so blessed to call my son.

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I ask for most [parenting] advice from my mom, my mom-in-law, or close mother friends, I filter everything and also follow my own instincts.

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I think my favorite thing about being a parent is the close interaction and relationship that I am daily developing with my little one.  I love hearing what he has to say, his little stories even if not everything he says is clear yet (he’s learning two languages, and sometimes he has a language of his own, too).oana befort

I started the blog a few moths after I gave birth as a way to discipline myself in staying inspired and continuing to create.  I am documenting bits and pieces of our daily life, work and inspiration and I’ve been enjoying doing it ever since.

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My favorite  recent post that I really enjoyed writing is this one.  It’s part of my “Documenting Today” blog series.  It’s mainly because it was such a peaceful day, far away from the big world, spent with family in a very special place where I used to play when I was little.”

oana befort


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