Heller Ritz Photography
A day without Sunshine is like, you know, night. ~Steve Martin


Thank you for stopping by! Here, you can join me in my eternal quest for sunshine. You will find posts of my latest photography ventures, peek into the lives of my private sunshine subjects, and learn about my quest for spreading kindness Because of Heller. I would love it if you left a comment to let me know you were here, and to share your sunshine too! If you would like to follow my journey, scroll down to Spread Some Sunshine and join me.

xo Hayley

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fairy Tales

We gently placed our beans into the soil and waited for the magic...

Nicholas and the Beanstalk_Tagged

...and now we dream of limitless clouds, far-off lands, thrilling giants, singing harps, and golden eggs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dexter the Brave

This little guy braved the great outdoors today. As he happily grazed upon my newly-sodded lawn, we gathered closely around him. Our neighborhood friend asked, "What do we do if a hawk or owl comes?" Jenny and I looked at one another. "Wave farewell!" we both replied.

Yard Play_TaggedYard Play 2_Tagged

Because we love our Dexter so much, the comment encouaged us to take him in shortly thereafter. And, it had nothing to do with the fact that he was beginning to eat my new hibiscus plant.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Heart Faces - Slice-of-Life

TBall_Dad Experiences Separation Anxiety

Although he has been preparing for this moment from the very instant he heard the words, “It’s a Boy!” Daddy clearly isn’t ready. You see, we have come to that bitter-sweet slice in our life where Daddy finds himself on the opposite side of the fence. It’s called Little League, and the rules are clear. NO PARENTS ON THE FIELD OR IN THE DUGOUT.

(As I stood beside him, documenting my little guy’s momentous t-ball beginnings for a photo series I like to call, “Through the Fence,” I looked over and found that, in the moment, Daddy’s face told a better story.)

Check out others’ Slice-of-Life captures this week at I Heart Faces here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Heart Faces - Sunflare

The Dichotomy of Jenny!

di·chot·o·my: n. 1. Division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions.
"The dichotomy of the college girl who is still a child at heart."

Dichotomy of Jenny_Tagged

Check out other I Heart Faces sunflare photos this week here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2 Kids/12 Times/12 Colors

You thought I forgot, didn't you? I promised 2 kids/12 times /12 colors and I completely let February slip by. Right? Wrong.

Alas, February (and now March) proved to be quite busy. In between t-ball, school, vacation planning, portfolio building, and doctor visits (see below), I found very little time to shoot two!

We couldn't decide whether this shoot was a blue or brown one, so we will determine that in the coming months. We also couldn't decide whether this impromptu shoot at Nicholas's four-year doctor checkup qualified as a "2/12/12." Because it is now March, we decided it does!

Four Year Checkup_Tagged

How many big sisters do you know that will climb right up on the table with you for your doctor checkup? Nicholas is one lucky kid, and he knows it!

Big Sister and Me at the Doctor

No Fear with Big Sis Here_Tagged

A Kiss from Big Sis_Tagged

If she could have, Jenny would have taken Nicholas's six shots for him that day. No--not really.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Another year--another pair of Chucks! They just keep getting bigger and bigger. Nicholas calls these, "Eleven Tall."

Take a Picture Converse_Tagged

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best Money Ever Spent - Strider Bike!

The Strider™ PREbike website claims, "Bike riding becomes a breeze when you teach your child balance and coordination before pedaling." I am pretty confident this is true, but we haven't yet converted to a pedal-less bike. Our Strider Rider is so much fun!

(Scroll to bottom of page to pause site music before clicking PLAY)

After several attempts to circle the neighborhood for our evening walk, with Nicholas riding his training-wheeled bicycle, we gave up and encouraged him to walk with us. The over sized bike with trainers was cumbersome and slow, and managed to get stuck in minor cracks and tip over at a moment's notice. Nicholas didn't seem to mind putting the bike aside. In truth, he wasn't having much fun anyway.

In November, his grandparents bought him a Strider for his 4th birthday.

Day One with the Strider was slow-and-go. As with any bike, it took a little while to get used to. Day Two was better. We navigated the neighborhood, without any falls, but Nicholas remained tentative, and his feet mainly stayed on the ground. At the end of Day Two, we checked out videos at the Strider Bike website and Nicholas decided that he wanted to try to do "tricks." I told him we should give it try, so we headed right back outside and gathered up his bike.

Immediately, Nicholas walked his bike to the top of the driveway, lifted his feet, and glided to the bottom. My heart was in my throat as he hit the lip at the bottom of the driveway and seemed to lose balance for a moment. Without hesitation, Nicholas righted his wheels and continued his glide.

"Wow, Mommy! Did you see that 'trick'?!" he asked me.

He spent the rest of the day telling everyone what an amazing bike rider he was.

Balance AND confidence with one blow!

Thanks Strider!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Heart Faces - Anything But a Face!

Chalk Artist_Tagged

This week's I Heart Faces challenge is Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes...Anything but a Face. I am so excited to submit Nicholas's Chalky Chucks. This capture goes down as one of my all time favorites.

I captured the photo after reading
Chris Orwig's Visual Poetry book. If you haven't read it, it's a must! After I uploaded the print to Flickr, the photographer/author, himself, commented that he "loved" this "No Faces" shot--specifically the moment and colors. How cool is that?! A poster-sized version hangs on Nicholas's bedroom wall.

About the photo:

You will notice that a three-year-old Nicholas is standing in his "house." This was the first time that I realized my little guy may have artistic ability. Perhaps one day he will join the ranks of 3-d Street Painter,
Tracy Lee Stum. For now, I am enjoying his pretty accurate diagrams of our house, roller coasters, animals, and various locations around town.

And when he uses chalk as his medium, I actually take pleasure is scrubbing his knees.

Check out other captures at I Heart Faces this week here.