I know what you're thinking, I've heard it a time or two.
I don't care about your clutter and neither does anyone else.
It's big enough.
It doesn't need to be spotless.
You're not boring.
You are enough. Your house is enough. It's all fine.
And while we're on the subject matter of holding back from making and documenting memories, I'm just going to go ahead and throw out there that you do not need to lose 10lbs to be worthy of being in pictures. Your body is perfect just the way it is.
I don't know about you, but I know I've never been aiming for perfection. I've never been fancy. I just want what is good and true...and real.
When I come to your home, I'm not focused on your mess or your clutter. I'm not there for that. I'm there for you, my friend.
And, I'm willing to bet that the things that fill your home now are things that will bring all the feelings of nostalgia later.
How often do we look at old family pictures and see an old toy we loved and it brings back a flood of memories and feelings? I get really excited about that stuff!
Home is a sacred place and I want to honor that and your emotional ties to this space. And believe me, I get those emotional ties to a space! I've got a few blogs already about that!
When you have an in home session, things are so different. And it's such a good thing.
We're not yelling and hurrying the kids along trying to get them out the door and to an obscure field directly at golden hour. We're not trying to force smiles and pretending to be comfortable.
There's nothing more comforting or more inviting than our own home. We feel free to just be ourselves. There's not a lot of prep work that goes into it on your end, you simply just need to let go and be. I show up and do the rest.
I'm here for the barefoot, mismatched kids.
I'm here for a little chaos, a little adventure.
I'm here for the families who, despite the hard days (and gosh, they can be hard, can't they?), acknowledge and honor this season of life that they are in.
I'm here for those seeking something more out of their family portraits, those who want their portraits to truly showcase them.
If home is where the heart is, then home is also where the story is. Each room, each piece of furniture, each space holds the weight of memories and emotions for us. We simply can't recreate that in a field at golden hour. We've all heard the phrase, "if walls could talk..." and I resonate with that. Your home adds so much depth and meaning to your photos. Your children will appreciate seeing their childhood home in this way, I can promise you that.
There's also the freedom and flexibility to do things your way. Everyone is welcome, including our furbabies. I personally love working with animals! I think they play a huge role in our lives, so I think they also deserve to be photographed with your family. I am willing to bet that for every memory made in your home, the family pet played some sort of a role in it.
Having an in home (or around home) session also allows the family members to express their hobbies and things that they love to do together. I truly believe that makes a huge difference in your photos. What better way to show who you are as a person, as a family?
If you're ready to schedule your in home session with me, I'd love to talk to you about what it could look like and what your specific needs are. I want to know what story it is you want to tell, no matter how big or small it may be. You can email be directly from the Contact tab above or simply click here to be taken to that page.
Another year is upon us. I can't help but thinking of that meme... the one that says:
" Nobody claim 2022 as "your year". We're all gonna walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Be respectful. And DON'T. TOUCH. ANYTHING."
This made me laugh out loud. I got a good chuckle. But for real, don't touch anything.
I've been reflecting a lot on 2021 and honestly, it is a lot to reflect on. So many things happened this year in my personal life and for the world as a whole. What are some of the things you have been reflecting on?
I've said it once and I'll say it again, if the past 2 years have taught us anything, it's to cherish what we have. We're not guaranteed tomorrow. This year has been especially tough. It's cliché to say and I hate to sound cheesy, but we only get this one life to live. We have to live it with intentionality and gratitude. Even in the hard days, even in the darkest times, there is hope.
This is one of my resolutions this year. I want to be better at showing those people I love how much I love them. I want to show up in the pictures and not just be behind the camera. I want to leave a physical record of my love for my family.
What are your hopes and goals for the new year?
Mine are to create a self portrait project, continue on another personal project I have been working on, several creative goals I won't bore you with, and to read 50 books this year (I did and completed this last year!). I also would like to create a community spotlight here on my blog to assist and direct locals to small businesses that would be of use to them!
I want to know what is in the works for you. Let me know here or on Instagram what you are hoping to accomplish!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph Emily for her Senior portraits. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, fun subject and the absolute best weather. It seemed a bit symbolic- with the last 2 years being the way they have been, it seemed like this was a message saying (for lack of better words) "it's going to be okay, brighter days are ahead." As it seems our world is slowly getting back to normal, it's so refreshing to be out at a charming farm celebrating the Class of 2022.
If you've been with me for a while, you know I will quietly get into my own feelings. And this session was full of them. From an unexpected flood of memories seeing an old piano, to watching Emily smile and absolutely come alive during her session, and then... I glanced back over my shoulder and saw 2 very proud parents snapping pictures on their phones and beaming with love. I can't imagine what they are feeling, seeing their baby getting ready to graduate and head off into the world- she's taking senior portraits after all! I can tell you, as I am sure everyone who has ever met Emily can say, ya'll have done a great job raising her- she is pure joy!
If I had one word of advice for the Class of 2022, and classes thereafter as well, it would be to never let go of your passions. Find what sets your soul on fire and do that. It might not be your career, but don't ever let go of those things that bring you joy in your life. Find time for them, make that a priority.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.