Spring is here in the Lowcountry! Well, don't take this as breaking news, even though my northern readers might be getting excited. Spring has been here for... at least six weeks! My azaleas have bloomed, peaked, and only a few lazy stragglers remain. This year, I didn’t get to visit the plantations like I usually do, or even go to the Flowertown Festival, due to some family trips up north, and when I was at home, I ended up with a nasty cold (of course, ugh).

So, there I was one day, working on stuff for my business but also feeling kinda, well, crappy and down. My azaleas were on their last leg (I completely missed their peak), pollen and those little sticky-spiky-whatever tree balls were all over my driveway, with their BFFs - pollen strands. I think a lot of you can just guess how easy it was to choose *not* to go outside. My itchy nose put up a good argument against any thought of this, and since I hadn’t been around to upkeep my yard (outside of mowing, I wasn’t THAT bad), I was tempted to listen to it.

My heart though? I kept feeling regret about not taking many pictures to showcase Summerville’s spring, which is by far the prettiest time of year. We don’t have beautiful snow-covered forests in the winter, and we have quite the lackluster autumn - our trees go from green, to brown, and only fall off the branches when the spring buds literally shove them off. I just couldn’t do NOTHING, and hold onto that regret for another year. So I got up off my tuchus (Charlestonian readers: this is Yiddish for your backside, pronounced “took-us”, pardon my NYC coming out, haha), grabbed my camera and my 70-200mm, and bribed my two year old to “play outside with mom, I’ll give you an Oreo.” Gear: check, somewhat willing subject: check.

I felt a bit exasperated as I looked at my yard. My front yard looked, well, awful. Not for the first time, I mentally scolded myself on not hiring a landscaper. My azaleas mostly just looked sad.

Such sad azaleas. Also, hello - time to upgrade my cell phone, eesh.

Such sad azaleas. Also, hello - time to upgrade my cell phone, eesh.

Now, I belong to a few online photography groups (I can almost justify being on Facebook - it's work-related! Right??), and a recent trend had been #noexcuses - photographers were challenged to use a fairly uninteresting location and completely rock the shot. Well. There’s nothing like a challenge to motivate me, so I got to work.

Well. WELL. #noexcuses indeed.

This is my driveway, you guys. Who knew?

This is my driveway, you guys. Who knew?

I parked my son in my driveway, where he happily played with one of his cars. I placed him such that I would have plenty of distance between him and the ready-to-fall-off-omg-so-done azaleas in the background, and got down to his level to ensure a lovely connection between us. I don’t think anyone would’ve guessed that this was my messy driveway if I didn’t admit to it (“Oh, NO, this is a not-well-known spot, pretty much exclusive to me! Hahahaha!”) so I gave it another try, this time moving him toward a bush that was just surrounded by green, and IMO fairly uninteresting. That gave me these photos.

Just a few steps away, I had one azalea bush that hasn’t given up on me yet. This time, instead of wanting to kinda hide wilting blooms, I wanted to show them off. Encouraging my son to stand on the same plane at the pink blooms (“Okay sweetie, I think I saw a caterpillar in this one, can you look for me?”), both he and my azaleas are stars of the show.

The last holdout, but such harsh lighting.

The last holdout, but such harsh lighting.

That one bush, plus an incredibly adorable, still-not-throwing-a-fit child gave me this.

summerville-child-spring-azalea-photography-02.jpg

I enjoyed this so, so much. It brought me out of a funky mood, I’ll have no regrets about missing pictures of my kids during this season, and best of all, I took an ugly (yes, ugly, guess who is going to be powerwashing this weekend? I reeeeeally need that landscaper!) location and rocked it. I hope to do a few more of these in the future, and if anyone has any great ideas for a #noexcuses location, let me know!

In the meantime, here’s my boy upon hearing that it was Oreo time. :)

Could you deny this boy an Oreo? Not unless you were looking forward to an epic tantrum!

Could you deny this boy an Oreo? Not unless you were looking forward to an epic tantrum!