• Sharon Spall is an on-location, natural light, portrait and lifestyle photographer specializing in families, children, babies, newborns, and maternity.

    Sharon Spall Photography serves Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Vail, and Sahuarita, AZ.

    Sessions are also available in the Phoenix metro and surrounding areas, including Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise.
    Please contact me for details and availability for the Phoenix metro area.

I am thrilled to be participating in a blog circle entitled Songs of Life with a group of talented photographers whom I am happy to consider friends. For this series, we use a song each month as inspiration to capture everyday moments in our own lives. We will be taking a lifestyle approach to our photography, as we document our own families living our own lives. Lifestyle photography attempts to capture real moments, taking more of a documentary approach rather than posed portraits. I enjoy incorporating lifestyle photography within my client sessions, and I am so excited to participate in this monthly project that focuses on my own family.

This month’s inspiration was the song “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan. If you would like to listen to this wonderful song as you read through the blog circle, click here.

This month, my mom and I took my daughter to Disneyland to celebrate her (finally) reaching 40 inches in height, and therefore a whole new world of rides opening up to her.  We also had Disneyland tickets that were about to expire, so I built a Disneyland trip in the middle of my fall season insanity.  Slightly crazy, but also just what I needed.  I can think of no other place in the world that encompasses the idea of being forever young.  It is my happy place, and taking Bella there and experiencing it through her eyes is even more magical than all of the Disney magic that I have experienced there myself growing up.  And photographing my daughter in the place that makes me feel the magic and happiness that I experienced in my own childhood is pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world.  As you can see by this sampling of images that I have taken over previous years.  😉

I had so many visions of images that I wanted to capture this time.  And… that didn’t happen.  haha   This trip was a bit different from years past.  In previous trips, I have been able to sneak in some time to get pictures of my girl.  This time though, all she wanted to do was run back and forth between Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain and Space Mountain.  She even rode Tower of Terror.  I did not get very many pictures this time, but the ones that I captured will forever take me back to this visit, when she chose to leave behind the rides of Fantasyland and move on to the “big girl” rides.  (We did sneak in a couple of old favorites though). It was a bit sad for me as her mama, her not wanting to ride Dumbo or Peter Pan with me.  But at the same time, my ride world has been reopened again!  We had so much fun.  Disney keeps me feeling forever young, and watching my daughter experience the magic of Disneyland brings me a joy that I cannot put into words.  It truly is our happy place, our favorite place to be, and this trip felt like a whole new Disneyland with my girl – introducing her to so many of my own favorite rides.  Just…  magic.

We ran into one of Bella’s best friends in her kindergarten class!  We always seem to run into people here.  haha


Please continue on in the circle to see the talented Lucy Sandeen of Lucy Elayne Photography and how she interpreted this month’s song.

I am thrilled to be participating in a blog circle entitled Songs of Life with a group of talented photographers whom I am happy to consider friends. For this series, we use a song each month as inspiration to capture everyday moments in our own lives. We will be taking a lifestyle approach to our photography, as we document our own families living our own lives. Lifestyle photography attempts to capture real moments, taking more of a documentary approach rather than posed portraits. I enjoy incorporating lifestyle photography within my client sessions, and I am so excited to participate in this monthly project that focuses on my own family.

This month’s inspiration was the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. If you would like to listen to this wonderful song as you read through the blog circle, click here.

This song has special meaning for me with my girl.  Over one year ago, my daughter had to have a heart procedure to attempt to close a small hole in her heart that she had had since birth.  Thanks to the marvels of science, this procedure did not involve open heart surgery.  Rather, a smaller outpatient surgery, where they were able to insert a small coil in through her leg and up through the blood stream and into her heart.  Because my daughter has a general anxiety disorder, she worries and frets over things much more than the average kid.  Even small things can be massive for her, and when she has an anxiety attack, it becomes very difficult for her to calm down.  So, we put off telling her about this procedure for as long as we could.  However, in the weeks leading up to it, we did have to tell her.  She was pretty scared and nervous, and the song “Brave” became our mantra that summer as we prepared for her surgery.  She did not think that she was very brave because she was so scared.  But I would tell her over and over again that you can be scared and still be brave.  The brave part comes in when you do what you are scared of even though you are scared.  When “Brave” would come on the radio, I would turn up the volume, and we would sing it together in the car (loudly).  So, this song still makes me think of my brave girl whenever I hear it.

It’s been over a year since her heart procedure.  There is still a small leak in her heart, but she’s doing great and it is not affecting her.  With the issues that she faces with her anxiety, however, I still find meaning in the song “Brave” for my girl.  With her anxiety, she also is a bit of a perfectionist.  She is bold and outgoing, although cautious, and many people are surprised to discover that she has any anxiety issues at all.  They tend to occur most often when Bella is trying something new where she doesn’t have the confidence within herself that she can succeed.  Or that if she tries, she will fail or it will not be perfect.  In these instances, she tends to completely shut down, refusing to try, and often becoming hysterical to the point that it can take an hour for her to calm down.  Whenever I see her trying new things, being brave, and finding her strength from within, my heart fills with so much love and pride. With her being as outgoing as she is, she loves keeping busy with activities.  Our days are spent going from school to gymnastics or dance classes.  She loves her activities, but sometimes they can be a source of anxiety (particularly with gymnastics, where she has to be up on the tall beam or trying to master bridge kick overs).  She is brave though, and she talks herself through her fears.  She climbs up on the tallest beam and walks across it.  She flips over on the bar, even if it sometimes scares her.  And I am especially proud of my brave girl for continuing to find ways to cope with her anxiety and not allow it to stop her from walking across that beam.  It may be difficult at times for her to build up the courage to try new things – at gymnastics, at school, or anywhere.  But when she does, and she succeeds when she previously thought that she couldn’t, her proud smile beaming across her face is everything to me.

I wanna see you be brave.

Everybody’s been there
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty.
Don’t run.
Just stop holding your tongue.

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is.

Please continue on in our blog circle to see Kelly Gifford’s interpretation of “Brave.”

  • Kelly - Fantastic pictures 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lucy Sandeen - Isn’t it inspiring and amazing how brave our little ones can be? They have so much to teach us.
    That Bella is a rockstar. It’s not easy dealing with anxiety and she does it so gracefully. She is going to grow up to do some great things, that one.
    The shot of her solo on the big beam seems to sum up her bravery at gymnastics. That’s no small feat. She must be so proud of herself!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Heather Simpson McDonald - Adorable pictures, Sharon! She is such a strong and brave girl!
    ReplyCancel

  • Betty LaDue - I heart this girl (and her mommy and auntie) with everything I have.. I am so grateful for every bit of her.. !!
    ReplyCancel

I am thrilled to be participating in a blog circle entitled Songs of Life with a group of talented photographers whom I am happy to consider friends.  For this series, we use a song each month as inspiration to capture everyday moments in our own lives.  We will be taking a lifestyle approach to our photography, as we document our own families living our own lives.  Lifestyle photography attempts to capture real moments, taking more of a documentary approach rather than posed portraits.  I enjoy incorporating lifestyle photography within my client sessions, and I am so excited to participate in this monthly project that focuses on my own family.

This month’s inspiration was the song “We Are Gonna Be Friends” by The White Stripes.  If you would like to listen to this wonderful song as you read through the blog circle, click here.

This song is all about the excitement of back-to-school in the fall.  The innocence of childhood school days: new friends, carefree playtime, and the wonderment of learning new things and exploring the world around you.  School started last month for my daughter, as she began kindergarten this year.  I was initially nervous about her transition from preschool to kindergarten, switching from half days to full days, and afternoons of homework.  However, Bella is thriving at her new school.  She loves her teacher.  She loves learning new things.  She is making new friends (and even has a good friend of hers from preschool in her class).  Each day when I pick her up from school, she has a huge smile on her face as she excitedly tells me about her day.  In the morning, she can’t wait to get to school so that she can see her teacher and play with her friends.  She has even adapted well to homework each day and has fun writing her letters, practicing her sight words, and especially loves number sentences.

This song seems to perfectly encapsulate the joy and wonderment that I see in my daughter each day as she goes to school.  I hope that this love of school and love of learning stays with her throughout her life.

Numbers, letters, learn to spell

Nouns, and books, and show and tell.

Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed
when silly thoughts go through my head
about the bugs and alphabet.

It is amazing to watch your child learning and discovering the world around her.  At night, we read books to her still.  Soon she will be reading them to us.  It’s an exciting journey.

And now please continue along in our blog circle and see how Erin McCombie interpreted this month’s song.

  • Lucy Sandeen - Gorgeous images!! Love it. ReplyCancel

  • Christine Sinclair - Sharon, These photos are beautiful! You can actually SEE her learning in them! Love them all! The alphabet reminded me of the book about the LMNO-peas; hope she’ll want to read that one some more. Can’t wait to read with her again. One of my favorite things! <3ReplyCancel

  • Emily Spall - These pictures are great! She is getting so big! ReplyCancel

I am incredibly excited to be rebooting the lifestyle photography blog circle, Songs of Life, which I was fortunate enough to be a part of with several talented photographers.  As the craziness of life seemed to consume us last year, this project sadly fell to the wayside.  However, we are reviving this wonderful project, and I am looking forward to being a part of it once again.

For this series, we will be using a different song each month as our inspiration, while capturing everyday moments in our own lives.  We will be taking a lifestyle approach to our photography, as we document our own families living our own lives.  Lifestyle photography attempts to capture real moments, taking more of a documentary approach rather than posed portraits.  I am hoping to incorporate more lifestyle photography within my client sessions, and I am so excited to participate in this monthly project.  This month’s inspiration was the song “Radiate” by Jack Johnson.  If you would like to listen to this fun, happy song while you read through the blog circle, click here.

When I hear this song, I can’t help but smile.  It makes me think of the fun, happy magic of childhood.  Children seem to radiate a certain kind of innocent bliss.  They see the wonderment and joy in even the simplest of things.  Watching children play and laugh, especially when it’s your own child, is a joy in itself.  Initially, I had a few ideas for how I wanted to interpret this song.  However, it it was spontaneous fun at a birthday party for one of our friends that ultimately inspired me the most.  I was in their back yard, watching the kids playing in the water.  They were  having the time of their lives,.  The sun was radiating behind them – beautiful summer evening light.  I wanted to capture them in that moment – the glee and laughter of the sweet magic that is childhood play.  Children radiate light.  They radiate joy.  They even radiate nostalgia.  They allow us to see life as we once did – when we were children ourselves, splashing and playing in the water on a hot summer evening without a care in the world.

 

 

 

 

We should all endeavor to see the world as children do.  To find joy in the simplest of things.  To play more. To radiate more.

Please continue along in our blog circle and visit Casey McCauley Photography to see her interpretation of this song!

  • Sue Mistretta - Great photos Sharon! The first one truly captures the moments of childhood! ReplyCancel

  • Casey McCauley - Sharon, I just want to jump in! Love everything about this:) Summer light is so dreamy. Love the last shot so much!
    ReplyCancel

  • Lucy Sandeen - Wow! That first photo really did take me back and remind me of the joys of childhood! So simple, but so beautiful. There is a certain kind of happy that children are in the water, I think, and you captured that beautifully. Love the lighting and the happiness in these. 🙂 ReplyCancel