night swimming




I am clinging maniacally to the last seconds of Summer break. We have two more weeks until school starts, and I feel sad about it being over. I am not ready for the routine of school. Not ready for waking up to an alarm clock and going in to jiggle my smooshy kids awake. Not ready for quick breakfasts and packing lunches. For them to be away from me all day.

Soon we will be in the swing of it, and summer will be a fond memory, and I will be relishing in the quiet of my house after four kids leave. Like a vacuum of silence after their loud getting ready sounds.

This year I’ve got two eighth graders, one fifth grader, and a second grader bringing up the rear.


These night swimming images were taken in early July, on a beautiful evening at our community pool. I think they feel just perfectly like Summer.

We were the only ones there. I love when that happens.

We brought glo-sticks, purchased in the Dollar Spot at Target, and my camera. (I shot a lot of these in complete darkness, with my 50m 1.2 @ 1.2 and 3200 ISO). I thought they would love the magic of the glo-sticks underwater, and I was right.

I remember finding my first June Bug in the jacuzzi on this night, and feeling like we had all the time in the world ahead of us.

There is just something so comforting to me about an evening swim, with the water reflecting on the cement, and the sounds of cars whooshing by from the other side of the wall, and the kids glistening like slick little seals as they giggle and play.



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  1. I hear you about not wanting summer to end…I cannot believe it went so fast. My kids are in the same grades- 8th, 5th and 2nd, I had to go to 8th grade registration today…I wish I had just a little more time to fit in the things we wanted to do!

    Love your swimming shots…:)

  2. I can’t believe how early it gets dark by you guys! It is still bright as day in July at 9pm here… makes getting the littles down for bed a bit dicey, but I love how it makes the day seem just a little bit longer.

  3. Oh, Tara! These photos take me back. We used to do this same thing as I was a kid and there was something so totally magical about it. And we loved it when we were the only ones there! Even the comment on the June bug…I can remember finding them all around the pool on those summer evenings. :)

  4. glow sticks. what a fabulous idea! Why haven’t I thought of that? My kids started school a week and a half ago and NOW it is finally up in the 90’s in the Bay Area. I am fighting off the resentment I feel towards being cheated of at least a relatively warm summer. I wore pants almost everyday. We froze at the beach. Can you tell I’m bitter?

  5. I love the ones with the bracelets and the water. My 4 yo just started school proper, and my 2 yo kindergarden. our summer is officially over. I am crazy with work while they get adjusted to the change, and then, before I know it, I will come to realize how empty the house is… I can feel it coming

  6. i love these images. LOVE. and the words to go with it? *insert deep breath of fresh air here* i love summer. and i thought i hated it. for so long i thought i hated summer. (to be fair, summers in texas can be miserable.) thank you for inspiring me to soak up these last days of pool time and summer air (which is, obviously, conditioned with a different kind of magic than autumn air, winter air, and spring air – though each are beautiful in their own right). did i mention i love the images? have i ever before in my comments here told you how much i love the WAY you share about your home life? many photographers share their home life, sure, but not really. they talk about new puppies or a job change for their partner but with no emotion, no obvious attachment or appreciation for what their life really is and means. you know? i guess that could be seen as knocking others but really i just mean to give perspective. anyway. the point? i love these images. i love your words. i love your love.

  7. I don’t need to comment on the quality of the photos …. that’s a given. I love the whole idea of a community outdoor pool, don’t really have the weather for them over here in the UK even in the warmer south …

  8. tara, I just LOVE these images!
    so perfect!!! It seems like your schools in CA get out so late
    and they start pretty early for getting out so late!!!
    ours go from aug 23rd to around june 3rd or so…
    I am homeschooling this year! crazy! I have a 4th grader (ava) and a 5th grader (savannah)….getting too OLD!
    take care tara!!!
    Please share more familiy images, I am IN LOVE with your kiddos pictures!!!!!! they are just GORGEOUS! I so wish I could hire you to do my family pix. one day!
    tara pp

  9. I am dreading that summer is almost over too. I am going to miss the beach and park days so much. I don’t think I’ll miss our 100 degree + humidity weather too much. Let’s just make the best of the few last days till next year.. ;)

  10. These are the moments they will cherish. Something so simple but just awashed with magic. The one thing that struck me in these photos was Anna. She is looking more like a young girl, as she has lost that baby fat on her cheeks! WWAAAHH! My oldest daughter is now in 3rd, and I noticed last year that she also went through that transition. It causes some mixed emotions in me :D . No longer a little girl but still just as fun! I have to admit, I love to pinch little chubby cheeks! LOL!

  11. Love love love love love!!!! Did I mention LOVE!!!!!????? These photos are why I’m always drawn to your blog. You take the most amazing “moment” shots that I truly love! I’m fond of the far away one. Did you use post processing on this one to create the tilt shift affect? DIG IT!

  12. you know what I love about you Tara??? you totally “get” what its all about….AND you love you kids with the same intensity as I do my own….it makes me love you even more. I am doing the same over here as well; holding onto the last bits of summer with all my might……;) XOXOXOXO

  13. Oh the magic! And for it to be so warm at night! That is wonderful, it is too cold here for that! But I can remember it from when I was a kid living in Texas. It was so fun thanks for reminding me. I love the glow stick photos! I like the ones best where the sticks light up their faces. Cool!

  14. loooooove these summertime images! makes me want to bust out some will smith summertime lyrics. oh, I can so relate to not being ready for school, not being ready to let summer go just yet… we are less than a week away from 1st grade over here. i’m not ready!!

  15. I am totally diggin these photos. Thanks for the information on how they were shot! Almost makes me wish my kids were younger again (though seriously, you have no idea how good having grown up children feels)… someday, grandkids… though not too soon, please. :)

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