elisalou designs & photography » Columbus, Ohio photographer | child and family photographer | senior portrait photographer

Masthead header
    • about elisa
    • my bag
    • shoot details


Hearing about the three people that have been attacked by sharks off the coast of NC yesterday made me sad, then scared, then sad again. We were just in that same area.


The ocean- it’s a crazy beast that’s for sure.


Most of go there for relaxation, for tranquility, for a break from the crazy of life.


I can’t imagine going and having tragedy strike.

But it does.

And not just with shark attacks.


Growing up we went to the beach all the time and I remember one day getting caught in a rip tide that took me far far out and then shot me back in faster than I could control. I just let go. I think I was in 4th grade. I was wearing a t-shirt because I was sunburned and when I pulled myself out of the water it was gone. my swimsuit was full of sand and I had swallowed so much salt water that I couldn’t stop coughing in an effort not to puke everywhere.


That turned me off the beach for a while. But also made me respect it as well.

Yesterday Blake and I were running errands and I said, “imagine going to the beach for a fun time and getting your arm bit off. That would just be awful.”

And in true Blake response he said, “yeah, especially if it was your good arm.”

Then he realized that he needs both his arms to play guitar so he really has no good arm.

Blake logic.


I still love the beach, and we are headed back there next month for Cousin Camp. But I will admit I am happy we are headed to a place where the water is very clear and you can see if any danger is lurking!

Elizabeths07 - LOL never a dull moment with Blake. Too funnny. Great beach shots.

Gretchen P - we are headed to Charleston on Friday. The water is never clear, but we are always so careful. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter. While the ocean is scary, I will always love it and have a ton of respect for it.

Tiffany - FYI…two sharks in Seaside last week. Super scary they come in on calm days. Russ loves to swim way out…scared me too.


Hannah - I find the beach scary too. I fear it enough to respect it…but I still love it.

Blake reminds me a lot of Dmitry. The logic is a little weird sometimes, but they make life fun :)

More from Bald Head Island

Don’t try this at home


They do their own stunts


Good thing this was the ultra slow golf cart




There was a point on this trip where Andy and I found ourselves with just the younger two and he pointed out to them that before we knew it that is how our trips would be. 4 instead of 6.


To say this makes me a bit sad would be an understatement. Even if we had a bunch more kids there is never getting past the ones that fly the coop and no longer are around on a regular basis.


I have been thinking about this A LOT lately. I mean A. Lot.


It has already somewhat happened. We don’t see much of Austin. And when he is here he is always studying. Yes, even in the summer. Dude is driven. He just got a letter from Ohio State inviting him to take classes there next year (his senior year in High School) it’s a special program for overachievers. Don’t hate. Blake will probably live in my basement until he finds a girl that will take care of him for the rest of his life so he can just hang and play guitar. And I’m not being mean- ask him. That’s his goal. They are all different


I love them allso much it is sometimes hard to take.


But that’s what makes life so sweet isn’t it? That raw feeling of living it to the fullest? Because you move forward and yet still feel SO MUCH for what is already in the books- your story.


I can’t imagine not capturing all my life’s moments with my camera. But it is for sure bittersweet.


There are no doubt times when I wonder if it would be easier to not have all these thoughts and memories and pictures to reflect on. Just to live in the present.


And I am pretty sure that is perfect for a lot of people.


But for me I am ok with the heartbreak that come with a look back on old pictures, or a blog post from last year when their faces were just a bit chubbier.


I’m not gonna lie. It makes me cry. Pretty much every time. And those that have followed my blog for a while- well you know. My kids got big fast. I’m sure yours did too. It’s not fair. But yet it is. It’s life. That’s the way it goes.


So I try to remind myself to stop dwelling on how things once were. Those days were great, and I most certainly miss them. But these days are fun too. And if I spend too much time thinking about how much I missed the way things were I would be missing how great things are now


Like when we chase down the over-achiever and harass him


As we are off to play at a “howl at the moon” party, while he runs…


My kids are all so different. And each has had their issues and challenges. Some easy, some not so easy.


But I am learning to embrace the good in each kid- like Cole’s ability to make friends wherever we go. This guy happened to be from Chapel Hill so they had stuff in common.


We had a rainy day and went to climb the lighthouse- Old Baldy


There were so many great pirate stories at the light house


the boys were so into it


I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t a very hot day but that light house felt like a sauna. And for someone that doesn’t like small spaces or heights it was a bit of torture for me.


But I did it because that is what you do for your people. But I was the first one back down! That’s Cole up there. If you can’t tell.


You know how it takes a few days to get into vacyay mode- and then before you know it it is time to go home, right as you were getting your grove. Next year it’s going to be two weeks. Which is what we found most people on the island do.


Since the weather was a bit weird we had the pool to ourselves


I was in love with all the flowers there


lame boys


pool boy


Crazy clouds. I miss it.


And these two- cherishing every moment….


Tracy Kiser - Elisa, I love these pics. Don’t be sad; they always come back for a dose of Momma. I love that I now have adult daughters that have become friends. Each stage in their lives is so much more of a blessing than the last. Embrace their independence. They are exceptional people! You are correct that your children are different from each other, but each one has wonderful gifts. We love them all, and hope to see you soon!!

Jodi - i love everything about this post. And I can so relate! XO Jodi

Elizabeths07 - What a great post!! The Blake comments are hilarious! Wonderful pics too.

Hannah - “But that’s what makes life so sweet isn’t it? That raw feeling of living it to the fullest? Because you move forward and yet still feel SO MUCH for what is already in the books- your story.”

Seriously. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I am SO trying to live like that…but man it gets hard. I feel like I am on a count down now. My best friends children are all getting married, graduating, moving to the other side of the US…it’s crazy. I know my boy is next too. It hurts, but things are still so awesome. It makes me cry tears of joy and I know that means the next step is going to hurt even more. Life to the fullest.

Gretchen P - this made me tear up. I was having the same conversation the other day. The time just goes by way to fast. I love seeing mine find his gifts and use them. After all, we want them to be happy. You and Andy have done a great job, and have amazing children! We leave for the beach on Friday, and I can’t wait. The salt air is calling my name!

Snapshots from Bald Head Island

I brought my small Samsung NX300 on this beach trip because it is so easy to throw in my bag. Also it’s so easy to give it to the kids to take pictures with as well. Even if they come out blurry 😉

We started the trip off with a night in Chapel Hill where Austin got to see old friends. The next morning we drove the 2 1/2 hours to Southport to catch the ferry to Bald Head Island.


I always love the marina and the anticipation of the week ahead.


We bought some snacks while we waited for the boat. Some make better choices than others…


This little girlie was very excited to catch the boat and start our vacay


There are no cars on the island but our house has two golf carts to get around.


We got in late afternoon and hit the beach


There are a few different beaches on the island, we went to the one by the Shoals Club so the youngers could swim. There was a wedding reception going on and lots of music and dancing.


The pool was pretty much empty since most people were just checking in for the week


The next morning I took the youngers to the beach near our house. Eva wanted to catch fish.


She didn’t find any so she buried Cole instead. Monday she started an adventure camp and loved it. It goes until lunch and then it was back to the beach where we spent the rest of the day


She built Old Baldy (the lighthouse) and then added dead sand crabs for decoration on top



I love that she loves the beach as much as I do:)


Cole showed up to get money for pizza at the club.


He has been preferring the pool this time, not sure why as I think the ocean water is actually warmer than the pool water!


Back home we hung out on the screened porch while Andy made us all tacos


The weather has been absolutely perfect so far. I think it’s supposed to rain tomorrow though.


Cole needs to work on his focusing skills…


But I will take what I can get!


Gretchen P - looks like vacation is off to a great start. We are counting down the days until we get to Isle of Palms. can’t wait to get my feet in the sand.

Elizabeths07 - What great pics!! I love the beach. Have a wonderful time

Hannah - I need a beach vacation. Like right now.

We keep going back and forth on what to do or if we should even go. It’s hard right now because of mom but I’d love to take a great vacation and just soak up everyone I can. I keep telling Greg, I want to go somewhere with no cell service so they are 100% mine all week.

An ordinary weekday night


We used to take lots of trips down the street to the river


These days I feel we are so consumed with getting our house back together


I tried to explain to someone the other day about how once you get done with your house there is still a weird time when you are numb and you just don’t want to unpack or think about your house.


That’s kinda where I am right now. I am waiting for it to pass


I know it will. Just giving myself time.


I look at the boxes that I have packed and unpacked 5 times over the last three years and I just can’t do it right now. I will wear the same thing over and over.


And now we round out the end of yet another school year I have been thinking a lot about the days to come.


This Spring was crazy town with my 3 boys and their sports. Especially the older two. It wasn’t all that enjoyable.


I am craving a slower paced life. I hated the non-stop every night we had this Spring.


I can tell you first hand that the years with my kiddos have flown


If I could let my olders graduate from their comfort school I would totally pick up my youngers that love traveling and meeting new people and settle on some east coast beach island.


I think of slower days, that are not consumed by non-stop academics and sports. Especially sports. Because heres the thing- how many people that you know went on to be pro athletes? Yeah not many.


So as I shuffle down the line of 4 kids and realize how much time we spent doing things that really didn’t matter much in the long run… well I am rethinking things for the last two.

Can we all just revisit for a minute what is important?


Because this is time you don’t get back


So I am hear to tell you that it is ok if your kid isn’t playing every sport. Sports are great for teaching them how to be a team player, and of course to exercise their body. But after almost 18 years of being in the throw of it I am ready to back off a bit. It’s ok to have kids with more interests than sports. And at the end of the day it makes for a better paced life.


Jenn Breuklander - I needed this tonight! Thank you:))

Jenny - Well said! Thanks!

Bald Head Island

We are headed back there soon and I cannot wait.

It’s so weird to think of it as a place where bootleggers and pirates like Blackbeard used to hang out. My older kids love reading about all that kind of stuff. North Carolina has a history that is pretty cool.

It has been such a crazy spring. I don’t think we have ever been so busy every single night. I have been dreaming about a slower paced life. Wish I could spend the whole summer on the island.

If you have never been there you really need to check it out!

Hannah - And now I want to go on vacation.