We’ve been trying Ashley Rodriguez’s recipes from Not Without Salt for years now but today we get to hear from her better half: photographer husband Gabe Rodriguez. Gabe’s captures of couples in love plus his own family’s sweet moments stole our hearts and his take on fatherhood today did no less.
See more of Gabe’s work here.
What three words would you use to describe your parenting style?
Caring, laid back, and transparent.
Tell us about the moment your wife first told you she was pregnant.
Oh man. It was crazy for us. We were in disbelief (happy disbelief). We were living in Los Angeles at the time and I think we went back to the store to buy more pregnancy tests because we didn’t believe the 99.9% accuracy. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I remember my In-Laws happened to be in town at a small hotel on our block. We called to wake them up and burst in their room to tell them. We all just laughed and cried. Somewhere there’s a photograph of me all wide-eyed and grinning uncontrollably.
Your kids are starting to get older. How has parenting changed as they leave the baby stage behind?
It’s really a lot of fun. There’s a lot more dealing with emotions and feelings. It’s really teaching me to be open with my emotions and helping them voice their feelings instead of running away and hiding, or building up resentment when someone hurts your feelings. Learning to talk about it.
Tell us about your parents. How did they influence the way you raise your kids? How do you feel parenting is different today than when you were a kid?
My parents are very loving and generous people. They provided a good example of love and support. They’ve been quick to be our cheerleaders and support us, even when we’ve made difficult choices like leaving a (perfectly good) job to start a small business.
Your wife’s cookie mix knocked our socks off. As both of your businesses grow, what works for you two as you balance work/home/kids/marriage?
Yeah totally, her Not Without Salt cookies are amazing. It’s really important to share goals and dreams with each other and then come together to support each other. Ashley has been supportive to me when my aspirations have been front and center, and conversely I’ve supported her with cool projects like the cookie mix business. We are fortunate to work doing what we love to do and we try to share that with our children. Hopefully they see that they can do whatever they want. And how a family supports those dreams.
What are some of your favorite family activities to do in Seattle?
Anywhere we can sit outside and eat food, you’ll find us. And we love the beach. Seattle beaches may not have the soft sand like in Southern California, but we have mountain views on our beach. Hard to beat that!
We love the way you photograph your family. What tips do you have for getting good shots of your kids?
1. Go out and have adventures. Whether it’s walking up the street to get coffee or heading to the beach, hanging out together is where the fun moments come and that’s what you want to remember.
2. Be natural. I’m not usually a stickler on smiles or posed shots. It’s more important to me that the kids are themselves. If they’re posing, it’s not natural and it’s not usually a memory because it’s forced.
3. Find good light. Quality over quantity here. Good light will give nice skin tone which is paramount in portraits. Again, I’m not usually asking the kids to pose, but I will ask them to be in good light, and then let them be natural.
What does an ideal Father’s Day look like to you?
Well, usually it starts up the street at the Original Pancake House. No better way to start Father’s Day than a 3x1 w/ some diner coffee! (That’s three pancakes, 1 egg over medium, and nice thick bacon). And then we’ll usually hang out together, either catching a Seattle Mariners game or just enjoying sitting in my Adirondack chair in the sun while the kids run around. Ashley usually encourages me to get out on a hike or local fishing trip with a friend sometime around Father’s Day, which is always great to clear my head.