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As a child, the Arizona desert provided the rugged, blissfully quiet and expansive backdrop for many a sun-drenched day full of adventure, mischief and excitement when I played outdoors daily from dawn to dusk. I now have my own little girl, whose soul lights up every time we embark into the great wide open together — the fresh air and the anticipation of the unknown infusing her with the same unquenchable desire I had to explore every crevice of my small corner of the earth. While she won’t stay this age forever, or always exude the same undying curiosity and endless wonderment for all that nature has to offer, I can capture these beautiful memories in photos.


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Having spent most of her childhood soaking up the lush, verdant landscape of Portland, OR, my daughter’s affinity for the outdoors, from the slithering worms and snails to the towering trees, fluttering butterflies and hovering eagles, is evident every time she lets go of my hand to boldly forge her own path into the unpredictable backdrop. Watching her walk ahead of me fills me at once with pride, joy, hope, and even a bit of melancholy at her burgeoning independence. Whenever I look at the photo above, I am reminded of these feelings.

I am forever taking snapshots of her solo strides into the scenery, which are so marked by the stoic, inherent wisdom that children and Mother Nature share. My favorite photos are the ones in which I capture her tiny little body blazing a trail beneath a canopy of larger than life trees that stand by as gentle guardians. My little soul mate. Taking the road less traveled, as I have done my whole life, will never be lonely again now that she’s just a few steps ahead of me.

Do you capture your favorite family memories through photography, too? If so, share them with us! We’re partnering with Federated Media to challenge you to send us your favorite photo memory showcasing a special family moment, and we’re especially interested in seeing how you’re sharing your love for green design with your little ones. We’ll pick our favorite photo based on creativity, image quality and its ability to tell your story and the winner will take home a fabulous $500 Best Buy gift card! It’s easy to enter, and just think about how nice it would be to have an extra $500 to spend on your friends and family this holiday season, or maybe just buy an iPad for yourself!

TO ENTER TO WIN A $500 BEST BUY CARD

1. Upload your favorite design photo(s) to Flickr.com and tag them #CapturedPhotoContest_Inhabitat.

2. Important note: Be sure to make your pics “public” so that we can see them.

3. Comment below with a link to your Flickr photo and a short description of what it is.

4. You may submit up to FIVE photos between now and December 24th. We’ll be judging them based on creativity, image quality and storytelling-through-photography. The contest ends on December 24th at 11:59PM EST and we’ll be contacting the winner through Flickr Mail around January 16, 2012.

TIPS on how to win:

– Pick creative, funny, thought-provoking photos that capture a favorite design memory

– You MUST include the hashtag #CapturedPhotoContest_Inhabitat

– Mark your photos “public” or else we can’t see them

This Captured Series is brought to you by Best Buy. Get unbeatable prices on all digital cameras to capture your family memories this holiday season!