Family

I am grateful for the wonderfully unique families I have the honour to photograph!

Happy Fall and Thanks Giving everyone.

#fallminiphotoplaysessions #applestarphoto #celebratefall #celebratefamily #gratitude #thanksGiving #vancouverphotographer #candidfamilyportraits #troutlake

Apple Star Learning outdoor class….

My photography informs my mentoring work with children. Inspired by the Reggio model of education, I use loose parts, arts supplies, and an engaged, observant, curious, experimental, inspired approach to my outdoor education classes. I believe fundamentally that attachment to place, creative learning, and compassionate child raising and educational practices go hand in hand. I use my photography as an observational tool, an art form, and a celebration of what my students and I engage with, leaner from and create.

Fall is well on it’s way with its wonderful shifts of temperature, air pressure, colour, and more! Isn’t it amazing how these seasonal changes engage us and invigorate our senses inviting us to touch, explore, connect deeply? When it comes to outdoor education, Summer and Spring are wonderful for their ease, light clothing, or none at all, making it easy to go on hikes, access the water, enjoy the outdoors, whether running, swimming, climbing, or lazing around studying shadows. However, there is nothing like Fall and Winter to keen our senses, and propel us like sticky burrs into a state of survival….seeds fall, their textures and secrets calling to us, telling a story, birds migrate south, scribing the air with their graphic presence, waters begin to flow, moulding the landscape, light and colour become precious, poignant, rain, cold and wind mean we need to take stock, take care, carry our load. Did you know, that children come alive in these settings? Their bodies tingle with belonging, with competence, with awe….

I am excited to be heading int my second Fall and Winter Sessions of Art~Play at Trout lake with a small group of students for our place and inquiry-based, free-range play classes that combine Forest School Tinkering and Reggio elements, all the while centring around compassion, heart-centred and non-violent com munition and problem-solving.

These classes are a wonderful small student-to-teacher ratio group for children aged 6-8 who love to move-to-think, use their hands, hearts, entire bodies and imaginations to engage with learning; and, who benefit from a gentle, attached, mentor-teacher style. Here they can safely explore connecting with self, other children and their natural surroundings without pressure t conform or produce. Here their unique ideas, suggestions and divergent learning styles are honoured.

Also, if your child is new t home learning, or is even still in school, but needs an outdoor, more embodied, activated break from the four-walled classroom, Art~Play could be perfect! It introduces the concept of child-lead learning to both student and parent, while allowing a lot of freedom of movement, association, thinking and creative styles. With my extensive experience working with children of many learning backgrounds, i can help both your child and you get a more integrated understanding of how she/he/they learn.

Don’t let the cold wether scare you! Even children who have less experience carrying their own weight, and toughing it through the hard weather, grow immensely in this setting, gaining incredible self-confidence and mutual care with the group.

We have space for one more student, maybe two depending on the individual. I am open to sliding scale fees, and parent=participation. Please con act me here on Apple Star Learning on Facebook or at applestarlearnimg@gmail.com to register for a trail class or for more information.

I look forward to hearing from you and to sharing some glorious days playing, creating and learning outdoors this Fall!

Kindly,
Belinda

#fall #applestarlearning #artplay #forage #forestschool #reggio #tinkering #outdoorlearning #outdooreducation #artoutdoors #artclasses #atelierforestschool #letthemplaywithsticks #rewild #riskyplay #playlearning #playwork #bigimpactplay #placebased #inquirybased #steam #hansdon #divergentlearningstyles
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Embodied Learning

Holding space, Belonging to Place and Letting Play!

I love children!

I have worked with babies, children and youth as a teacher, caregiver, nanny and mentor for over 20 years now.  Throughout this time, and especially over the last 12 years since I gave birth to my son, I have also enjoyed observing and photographing children of all ages (including adults) learning through play, through attachment and belonging to place, to land, to community and to loved ones, thriving through this freely chosen, autonomous engagement with each other, and with their surroundings.

On this journey, my photography has been an incredible resource for me, as a document and testimony to the power of play and attachment.  I am coming to name this, just now, embodied play, embodied learning.  Enriched by my studies of Forest School, Coyote Mentoring, Play Work, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, Tinkering School, Peak Experience, and Parkour or Big Impact Play, I am stunned daily by the lack of movement, the lack of engagement with place, with space, with natural environments, rural, farming work, chores, and urban architecture, design and landscape.   All around as teachers are struggling to get student sot stop moving and pay attention, students with diagnosis, get special chairs.  Meanwhile, adults and children alike sign themselves up for sports, yoga, martial arts, contact dance, bouldering, indoor parkour, pilates and more to compensate for our sedentary, crib, car-eseat, desk, sofa life-styles.

What is embodied play learning?  Why do we exist in space, with all of ours muscles, tendons, bones aching to move, our nervous system tingling and alice, our sense attuned to so many external stimulus?  And, yet we send them to school…..

Waldorf education spas of proprioseption…

Montessori of the prepared environment…

Reggio Emilia of the environment as third teacher…

We pay big money to get our over-active children into bouldering, martial arts or parkour, why not just let them climb trees?

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to be payed to hold space for children’s embodied play, children’s innate exploration and creativity outside of the classroom!  I love, love, love doing Mini Photo Play Sessions, where the whole family gets into some embodied play, and those eyes sparkle and natural smiles ignite as the endorphins  flush through….

But I thought I’d just let you all know that alongside this work with children and families, my other passion is to tell stories, to shift perception, to get more of us out there in the big old work, wild, rural, or urban to play, full-bodied, embodied, attached to place.

 

 

#ForestSchool #CoyoteMentoring #PlayWork #Montessori #Waldorf #Reggio #TinkeringSchool #PeakExperience #Parkour #BigImpactPlay #applestarlearning #applestarphoto

 

It’s that time of year again….

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…time for Fall Mini Photo Play Sessions!

What a pleasure to welcome this sweet family back again.   How much their little one has grown and matured.  And this time around they are welcoming a second wonder.  yay!

Fall is a great time of year to get cosy, cuddle up and play.  A time to focus on all our precious gifts, share gratitude and celebrate nature’s last flashes or vibrant colour!

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Why ‘Play’ sessions?

When it comes to gorgeous family portraits, there are two ways to go: formal posing or candid.  I much prefer the second option.  The trick is how to get everyone happy and smiling at the same time.  Play is the answer!  I encourage the whole family to climb, jump, snuggle, kiss…this gets everyone feeling silly and warm, and helps the children relax.

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Contact me for more information or to book a session at http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto or text 604 441 6913

warmly, Belinda White

Apple Star Photo

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#AppleStarPhoto #Shiningfromtheinsideout #fallminiphotoplaysessions #playsessions #whyplay? #candidportraits #Vancouverphotographers

Forage: The Rose and the Hip

What is Forage? A kind of inner tracking, a wild wander, observing how the gifts in the wild or garden reflect the gifts within.

I realize now, that the idea for the name of both my photography business and my educational business comes from a  kind of ‘forage’ experience.   In what ways does a ‘fruit’ or example from Nature mirror or symbolize a human process?  The Apple Star, is the core revealed, not cut out, the seeds of future creations intact, the beauty honoured!

The Rose and the Hip

It’s easy to admire the rose, in full glory, full sent and splendour, isn’t it? but not so easy the haw, the seed, the hip. Hard, blood red, seedy and itchy to boot, this little bounty has it’s treasure well hidden. She’s thorny too, marking territory, entwined in an never-ending dance with the Black Berry Briar, we watch those once juicy black nuggets drying on the vine, and marvel at their simple giving of themselves to us, compared to the complex extraction needed to taste the healing of the rose hip! A what is this weird, puff of a hairy nest? Is it true a wasp lies within? This is what Rose hips bring up for me:

“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.”

Kahlil Gibran

Thank you Omi Grace for walking with me, listening to me, and gathering with me.  Thank you too, for standing your ground and expressing your boundaries, and making the tea, that I couldn’t make!!  Belinda White

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#forage #wildwander #wildwomen #rosehip #innertracking #pinions #Kahlilgibran

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” To love my body fiercely is truly revolutionary.”

“oh, my breats are uneven! Mama breats!” Even when her youngest daughter is not here beside her, that bond of breast-feeding is present in the body of mama Omi Grace as she embraces her own power feet washed by the river, our great earth mama’s breast, nursing us with the waters of life; arms stretching high like the Cedar trees to the sky, Goddess rising! You are so beautiful Omi.

 

#awildwomanproject #wildwomanproject #rewildingphotography #goddessrising #lovemybodyfeircely

Announcing:

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Spring Mini Photo Play Sessions

This is what I love to do.

Celebrate Spring!

I do mini sessions as a way of offering accessible, affordable, gorgeous, pro family portraiture to all. No one turned away fro lack of funds. :)

$20 for a 10-15 minute mini session and 2 pro-edited digital images from 8-10 or

$35 for 5 pro-edited digital images from 12-20.

Contact me at http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto, or call 604 441 6913 to get details on the next Mini Sessions, bring three other families or groups, and get yours FREE!

Ask about arranging another Mini Session in a location of your choice.                        Warmly, Belinda White, Apple Star Photo, Shining from the Inside Out!

#Springminiphotoplaysession #Springminis #Naturalphotography #Familyphotography #Funphotography #Applestarphoto

Firemaker,

Filling the Myth Gap,

and  The Importance of Story-telling

I’m editing Firemaker photos finally. I’ve been asked to use some on the website. As I go through them, my heart singing with beauty and belonging, I am greatful for what i have encountered about myself and how I fit in this big picure. Slowly, but surely, I am circling in, weaving my own tale of me: I am a story-teller. I use my gifts of sight of watching, observing, gathering, my passions for life-long learning and honouring our unique gifts, and my voice to share storeis like this with the world. This is my job, my greatest yearning. This is how we fill the Myth Gap, tell the stories that count, and the stories that bind us together. Thank you Firemaker for holding that space for me, for linking hands around the circle and allowing me to stand firmly with an open heart in this beautful space, and give my gifts.

Trust

Can you guess what time of year this is?
Yes, March last year…the gorgeous deep Spring emerging is coming!
As some of you already know my love of photography is deeply intertwined with my love of learning, and observing learning.  For me noticing, and then painting the pictures for all to see, telling the story of Free Range Learning, Wilderness Play, Un schooling, honouring learning styles, and weaving strong attachments to community and place is gorgeous, yummy stuff.  its what I do.  That is why I started Apple Star Photo and Apple Star Independent Learning.  It’s all about trust, being present, and opening your heart. Of course, as a parent I have learned so much from my own child, Daniel, quiet man that he can be, thinker-tinker, explorer, runner. We are both so lucky to have access to Denman Island’s wonders.  Here at Maresia, my parents place, and the beaches surrounding, Daniel has been able to discover the very palpable silence of still waters, slowly drifting air, suddenly brought to life by a soaring flock of sea birds…he’s marvelled at that, and seen the Divine in it.  I always say nature is the great equalizer…She gives us space, space to be ourselves, space to collect, to gather, to disperse, to go slow, to quicken like a pulse excited by discovery.  Space to feel small, and huge all at once.  Space to belong.  She shows us unconditional, bountiful love by holding us to her boossom, and at the same time she shows us clear boundaries – the waters edge, the flight of a wild animal at our approach, the unclimbable tree, the polluted waterway.  Here, with her gifts and her storms, her softness and her edges, we encounter ourselves, our own capacity to love unconditionally, our own boundaries and limitations, lour very own resilience.  This is why free range learning with access to nature, time, self exploration, and freedom of movement and association are so vital.  While I have not been able to give my son the home learning, un schooling I would have liked.  I have done every thing I could to allow for these times.  Watching him grow up with this brings me so much joy.  I am so proud of us.  Dan taught me at the age of 3 to hold baby crabs for the first time.  Dan has been leaping over this stream every year since he was two!  Dan loves to crack these slate like slabs to make natural puzzles.  Dan and his friends run through the tunnel under the road, where, during high river salmon return upstream!  With his walking, sword, drum sticks in hand, my son plays!

 

Fall Mini Photo Play Sessions

I’ve really been enjoying doing these.  Fall is such fantastic time for family photos with Mama nature’s last colourful display before Vancouver’s rain takes over and Winter arrives, the earlier sunset offering it’s golden glow, and the brisk air inviting warm jackets, scarves and fuzzy hats, and a good reason to runs around and then get cuddly and warm! :)  I’m grateful for all the lovely families, large and small, each one unique, that I get to meet and photograph.  The fast, fun pace, tied in with the invitation to play, run, jump, brings us all together having fun and offers some pretty delightful images.  My aim is to capture you and your family at ease, having fun, naturally close, and engaged with each other in a way that is more natural rather than posed.  I hope you like what you see.   If you are interested in capturing some lovely memories like these, contact me at http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto

What makes a great candid family portrait?  I feel that its more than just a nice picture of the whole family, with everyone smiling and looking their best.  Who are you as a family?  How to you connect to each other?  How do you who love?  What if one of you feels awkward in front of the camera?  Or what about if you have many family members, or your child is shy or won’t sit still?

I feel that a good family photo session allows for the family to express itself naturally.  In short 15 to 20 minute sessions how can that happen?  How can I capture a genuine sweetness and natural togetherness of a family small or large?  For me space to explore is needed, a beautiful and inspiring setting, and freedom to move, especially for the little ones or shy pre teens to approach and gain trust or ease in a way that suits them.  Play is important, using your body, moving away from your family, doing your own thing, regathering to hug, play, joke around.  I sometimes try to explain that I’m like a wildlife photographer who specializes in the human animal, with a special fondness for children and youth.  I have worked with children as a nanny and tutor as well for over 20 years.  I have learned from both research and many hours with kids and families that we all thrive when we’re having fun, whether thats learning, trying something new, or getting over some fears, shyness or hurdles.  Photo Play Sessions are all about this!   Working with children over the years, one of the things I have loved most is watching them shine, watching their eyes sparkle as they come alive engaged in something they love, watching them gain trust as the adults in their life really listen, really show interest in what they care about….all this has added to my photographic style. I hope you like it.

 

What happens after play is amore relaxed pose, where hopefully each member of the family can really sit comfortably with who she or he is, and the family bonds show up naturally.  Everyone feels good, and therefore looks good too.  Beautiful, natural, candid shots, as well as some sweet stolen treasures!

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