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I myself am not a mother, but my older sister Alicia is – she has a 3-year-old daughter Emma. Spending time with my sister and my niece is my favorite thing to do, but unlucky for me I live in Brooklyn and they live in Florida. We do whatever we can to see each other as often as possible, and during the times when we’re apart, I have to live vicariously through the pictures and videos that are sent my way. It’s probably aunts and grandparents just like me that cherish these photos the most, and I often flip though them on my computer or phone when I’m feeling “off” and need an extra dose of love.



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With all the photos and moments that have been captured over the past three years I can look back at all of the silly, wonderful things Emma and I have done together. I also get to see what she’s up to when I’m not around. These memories however are not just time spent with Emma, they are also some of the best moments I’ve shared with my sister. Alicia is seven years older than I am, so when she first got pregnant my obvious response was, “We’re having a baby!” Like all new moms, Alicia had a lot to learn and right from the beginning I was there to help as often as possible. From watching how-to videos on getting your newborn to stop crying (by the way, this entails a combination of swaddling and making sounds like a womb while simultaneously swaying and rocking), to building a crib and Molly Dolly’s first New Year’s (one of Emma’s dolls deemed our honorary guest) there’s never been a shortage of laughter.

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In addition to working for Inhabitat, I’m also an artist; I studied illustration in college and have been painting ever since. Alicia recently sent me some Emma pics that are now hanging on my refrigerator. Of course they were adorable like all of the others, but in these photos Emma is head to toe covered in chalk. From her face to her finger tips my little Monet had made her mark. She’s always been a girl after my own heart, but these pictures prove (just as I had suspected) that we’re kindred spirits.

Whether it’s capturing a fleeting moment or making new ties through sharing, photos can be a record of what holds families together. It’s hard to imagine not having the convenience of a digital camera or a phone to just take a quick snapshot, but we should try not to take this technology for granted, because without it we might haved missed out on some really good stuff.

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. 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!