Chanson Triste

If I could pick a song to lull me sweetly to sleep every night, it would be Kate playing CHANSON TRISTE. It is so beautiful, especially when she plays it. We attended Kate’s recital after Sophie’s tumbling meet today. As she was packing up, one of the other parents of a younger student said to Kate, “people should pay to hear you play.” It was so sweet to take the time to say something so uplifting to her. It meant the world to her. We did loudly applaud the adult cellist who performed TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR, the first song in the Suzuki repetoir. I wish I had audibly told him how impressed I was with his performance (it was precise and clear!) with his wife and two children cheering him on, with the proudest faces. I sometimes focus on the hardship and stress of music on my kids. Tonight I was reminded what is so beautiful and worthwhile about it. And I am always thrilled to hear Kate play. 🙂

Nana came too, so it was a great excuse to go to dinner after. Nana wanted the Old Spaghetti Factory and we didn’t complain one bit.

State Tumbling Meet

The focus landed on the floor in this shot…but I love how Sophie is so graceful in the image. It represents how she has handled the season. I have been so impressed with the grace she demonstrates, regardless of the score. She has never been extremely showy with a high score, or upset with last place. Setbacks in score have never brought tears to her eyes. She has outstanding sportsmanship, which makes it a greater joy to enjoy this journey with her.

On this particular meet she ranked:

  • floor: 13th out of 17 (age 13, level 7)
  • double mini: 7th out of 23 (age 13, level 6)
  • trampoline: 2nd out of 8 (age 13, level 7)

She noted that she did best this meet in the event she likes the least (trampoline), and scored worst (toppled over after landing her second pass) in her best event (floor). She really hasn’t liked tramp most of this season, and even asked, before it started this year, if she could opt out of competing in trampoline. I am grateful that she sticks with this sport and loves it like she does. She is a great example to me.

waiting to hear her rank on double-mini
Utah State double mini champions: age 13 level 6

Utah State trampoline champions: age 13 level 7


Teaching beginner photography is something I would do every day. I love it that much! Saturday my attendees showed up with cameras in hand so anxious to learn. They all brought their enlarged photo, their first homework assignment, to share with the class. That is how I have started every workshop I have taught over the last almost ten years. I am always impressed with how far every student has come in their photo journey before they sit in my seat.

Do you have a camera and equipment you want to learn how to use? Do you want to document your life as you see time moving so quickly? Come join me!

My next class is:

MAY 11, 2019 from 12-4 pm

You will also have 4 weeks of additional follow-up and assignments

What you will learn:


You will receive 4 hours of personal instruction from me, working as a group of no more than 10 individuals. A book for reference filled with images from my personal life and projects and the details of how they were created. It also includes the equipment I use. Then 4 weeks of additional instruction, assignments and access to ask all the questions you might run into as you go. The tuition is $300.

To hold your spot: send your tuition via Venmo @Carin-Davis and an email of your contact information to

AND if you have attended any of my past workshops and would like to come again you have a discounted tuition ($100 savings) for $200.

IF couples want to come together it is $500 for the couple. I hope I see you on May 11th!

a knock at the door

35mm | f2.2 | 1/160 | iso1000

On Sunday afternoon there was a knock at the door. I opened it and saw my friend and neighbor Jaxson on the other side. He was holding a bouquet of tulips and a card. He handed them to me and said “thank you for taking my pictures.” I gave him a hug, thanking him for the flowers and he ran back to the car with the sweetest smile on his face. Jaxson is 8 years old. I took some photos of him as a church assignment. It was an absolute pleasure. His mom had already thanked me in person and via text. Despite that, which was already so nice, he picked out these flowers (his mom told me) and in his own writing thanked me in a card. Jaxson reminded me how good it feels to be filled with gratitude, and express it!

I love this quote by Thomas S Monson:

“To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble…to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.”

I see those qualities in Jaxson. Having these flowers in my home this week has made it feel a bit more like heaven too. Thank you Jaxson for your kindness and example. I am grateful that we are friends.

#1 trait in a great photo-artist

It was 15 minutes before my workshop attendees would be arriving. The doorbell rang and a flat package from @blurbbooks was sitting on the doormat. I hadn’t expected it until Wednesday. It arrived several days early and right in time to share with my friends how much printing your work means to me. That was the first homework assignment I gave them, enlarge one of your images to 16×20 or larger. I have given that assignment for every workshop I have taught over the many years I have taught it. The last slide of my workshop that day said: “The #1 trait in a great ‘photo-artist’ is that they value their work.” If there is anything that I want my students to really learn and know-IT’S THAT! Printing the images you take, whether for yourself or a gift, for a book or for a wall-takes you in a giant leap to realizing it’s value” 

Now, I obviously need some training is self portraiture! 🙋🏼‍♀️ The cover photo of my book was taken by @heycnyn – thanks Canyon! It’s one of my all time favorites! 


35mm | f1.8 | 1/3200 | iso100

Ellie turned SEVENTEEN this month. Her birthday was filled with Kate’s lacrosse game and her own bass lesson. We finally met up for dinner, a late dinner. She picked SAPA in Salt Lake. The sun had set several hours before but we were grateful to celebrate one of our favorite days together!

With a day off from school Monday, we finally had free schedules during daytime hours. We headed to Salt Lake and decided to do our birthday photoshoot at Trolley Square. I am so grateful my girls participate in these traditions with me. They are the best!

My favorite things that Ellie brings to our lives:

her smile…whether she is laughing, joking and especially trying not to smile, but can’t help herself

her independence…she LOVES to drive, and drive her own car, even if a “nicer” car is offered to her.

hard work…she loves her jobs (she has two part time jobs!), earning her own $, she is paying for the majority of her humanitarian trip to Tonga this summer. She pays for her own gym membership…and GOES!

her heart…she is a loyal friend, a sweet daughter and contentious to do her best in the world. I love our evening talks and the life she is choosing for herself.

I am lucky to be her mom. ❤

50mm | f5 | 1/500 | iso100
50mm | f2 | 1/800 | iso125
35mm | f5 | 1/250 | iso125
35mm | f4.5 | 1/250 |iso250
35mm | f1.4 | 1/2500 | iso125

10-10-1 as a family

50mm | f2.0 | 1/160 | iso320

We have a money system in our house where our girls pay for their own clothes, entertainment with friends, shoes, spending money for gas, to go out to lunch, etc… Part of earning money within our finances, is to complete checklists. They hate them. They rarely do them. SO their desire for money can be a motivator to do things they might otherwise roll their eyes at…like life coaching. I am drawn to self help resources of all kinds. SO I often find things I know not only benefit me, but really could help all five of us. Danny and I decided a bit ago that we would pay our girls $5 a week to participate in some type of life coaching activity. We have mainly listened to podcasts (like Brooke Castillo, Better Than Happy, and their new favorite, Show Up).

Like I mentioned yesterday, I love the 10-10-1 concept Rachel Hollis teaches in her book GIRL STOP APOLOGIZING so we listened to chapter 12 together around the dining room table. I had pens and paper on the table. As the audio book played, they were taking notes! We paused after Rachel spoke about envisioning your life in ten years. We did the exercise right then together. My girls pushed back a bit on writing about life that far in the future and we encouraged them to pick a year. When two of my girls said, “nothing we are doing today will matter in 10 years” we had a great discussion. I explained how my inattention and lack of drive in high school and the first few years out of high school effected my ability to graduate college in a timely manner. I did it. I graduated at 30, but what could I have accomplished if I had believed in myself earlier? They were back on board. We finished the chapter.

10 dreams…then 1 goal. They were writing their dreams with absolutely no input from us. We actually cautioned about sharing them if they thought they would be influenced by other’s opinions. (who isn’t influenced by other’s opinions…ugggh!) These are YOUR dreams. We did dangle a carrot. If you write down your 10 dreams everyday like Ms. Hollis suggests there will be NO MORE CHECKLISTS…we will pay you your “checklist money.” They were IN!

Their checklists consist of practicing instruments, household responsibilities, exercise, etc… They will still be helping around the house, and taking their turn with what MO needs but they don’t have to spend anytime or energy tracking it. That energy can go toward remembering their dreams and rewriting their goal daily. In my opinion, that will be much more powerful than any checklist we have ever created. The checklists felt like a list of what they haven’t accomplished. Their dreams brighten their futures and motivate them today.

I wasn’t sure if they would like it, or need reminders. The next day two of them had already rewritten their dreams that morning, without any prompt from Danny or I. (YAY!) The other completed it excitedly in the evening. I am so excited for us. Some daily goals are hard, but when it is something that feels so good to do, there is a bit more motivation behind it.

the sign is found here and the letters are found here

I am amazed by all of the fantastic resources out in the world that are free, or very inexpensive. The tools and motivation found in podcasts and audio books are incredible. I could listen all day. I have tried to make sure they are off when my girls are in the car…that we are talking or listening to music so I don’t oversaturate that for them. As Rachel said in this chapter, “If everything is important, nothing is important.” Even though I love all of theses resources I am learning to slow down…and instead of consuming too much, start listening less and putting into practice more. If I only have these on for my girls during our “life coaching time” they will be more likely to listen and take it seriously. Having said all of that, are there any podcasts or audio books that you know I would LOVE?