where stories are told
3/30/2020 0 Comments
The COVID-19 crisis has affected us all in some way. Myself and my family are doing our part to flatten the curve. Unfortunately, that means not taking on any clients. Photography is not an essential business and is not vital to life (although my soul would disagree). This is totally uncharted territory for us all.
My heart especially breaks for those mother's in their 3rd trimester, due to deliver any day. They won't be able to have maternity, birth, Fresh 48, or newborn photos- among a whole host of other things. All of these are once in a lifetime events. My heart truly breaks that I won't be there to capture these moments for you so that you can focus solely on your baby and your family. Remembering to take photographs during this time is just one more thing a new mama will have on her plate.
So, I've been thinking and I've tried to come up with some tips and tricks to help you document these precious days. Whether you have an iPhone or a DSLR or a point and shoot camera, the principles are the same.
DIY Fresh 48 Shot List
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I just wanted you to have a helpful resource and something to help guide you through. Everyone is tired after labor. The adrenaline wears off and everything becomes hazy and dreamlike. This is part of the appeal of having a professional photographer come in and do this for you- you don't have to think about it. Hopefully having a guide will help you get those once in a lifetime shots. Use your imagination. Everyone's story is a different and unique, just like them. Did this blog help you at all? Did I leave anything out? Want me to add something? Tell me in the comments below!
I wanted to take a moment to share with you a gifting idea/concept that I originally saw from my friend over at Marla White Photography's Instagram account. I asked her if I could share her idea and she graciously said yes. But, as I sat on it a while, I decided to add my own flair to it.
She suggested that when you give someone a gift certificate, especially for a photo session, that you add a cute frame, a keepsake journal, and journaling supplies. After all, presentation is everything! I immediately fell in love. I absolutely love the idea of a journal to jot down your feelings, milestones, funny things your kids say...
I thought to myself, "What would I like as a gift basket?" and it came to me. If I were pregnant or a new mom, I would love something for me and something I could enjoy with my new bundle of joy. So, in my version I added a plant (string of pearls to those who are curious) in a simple, timeless terra cotta pot and books for baby. What's better? Add a sweet note or wish for baby inside the cover of the book. Not only will you be helping to build a library for baby, but the book, plant, and photo session gift certificate are gifts that keep on giving. The books become keepsakes, along with the gift certificate/photo session. You're giving the gift of making memories- preserving memories. And of course, the frame can be repurposed with a beautiful image from their session. I could not think of a more thoughtful gift than this. Moms deserve to be in the pictures too...not just cell phone selfies. Real, authentic, beautiful portraits of motherhood. This is the greatest journey she will ever embark on, it deserves to be preserved for her and her little one.
If you'd like to purchase a gift certificate for someone special in your life, click the contact link above or find me on Facebook or Instagram. Gift certificates are available in any amount and a gift basket/goodie box presentation option can be added on for an additional fee. Goodie boxes/Gift Basket can be easily customized for anyone! The options are endless.
Thank you so much for supporting small business and shopping local!
I have always considered myself a creative. Before I found photography, I knew I had this incredibly restless creative spirit just stirring in my soul, but I had no outlet for it. I am not a painter. I'm not really a crafter (I mean, I do when necessary, but I often think the mess is not worth the finished product!). I am not a poet and I can't carefully string words together in beautiful prose. I am not a dancer and I'm not an actress. So, where does one fit in when they know in their heart of hearts that they have this creative spirit, but who doesn't know what in the world to do with it?
I remember the first time I truly and intentionally picked up a camera with the sole intent on creating something that I thought was beautiful. And it's crazy, because I never put it back down. I never looked back. There was a spark and I felt like "This. Finally. Yes. THIS."
So fast forward a few years and here I am. Still with a camera in hand, acting as an extension of my soul. Showing my work can often feel very vulnerable, because I truly do put so much of my heart into it. It all just feels a little raw and exposed. But, again, here I am.
I thought I would share a few of the things that really inspire me and keep me going when I feel like I have hit the proverbial "creative rut". Sometimes it really pays to just get back to the root of it all and keep diving into the things that truly move you.
1.) Other Artists/ Art Museums
I am so lucky and so thankful that here in Hampton Roads, Norfolk boasts the Chrysler Museum of Art and it is FREE to the public. I often go with the baby to take in the beautiful masterpieces housed within it's walls. It's peaceful, inspiring, and it never gets old to me. Art is vital to our world and our culture. It refreshes my spirit each and every time I go. They also have a glass blowing studio and those artisans absolutely blow my mind (see what I did there? They "blow" my mind! ha!) Go watch them if you have a chance, you won't regret it. It's a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
With light also comes shadows. I am constantly analyzing and appreciating the light in any given space. The most important aspect of a good photograph is light. If you don't have the light, you don't have anything. And I hate shooting in flat light or artificial light. I love dramatic lighting and moody shadows. If you've been with me a while, I'm sure you've heard me make the off-hand comment, sometimes mid conversations, "Oh, what pretty light!" and it's because my brain is always seeking it out.
Color is everywhere, if we just know how to find it. My friend Jennifer over @jc_vaughan on Instagram is crushing it when it comes to finding color in the most unexpected ways. I look forward to her posts every day and I'm always so inspired by where she finds color and how she photographs it. Color is highly influential on our emotions and I love seeing pops of color. Living in a costal community, I'm never at a loss for seeing unique and vibrant colors- every hue and shade imaginable- in nature and manmade.
4.) Street Photography
A few months ago I wrote a blog about things I wish I did more often (you can read that here) and one of the things I wish I did more often was take pictures of strangers and street photography. I LOVE street photography, but I often feel so intimidated by it. I follow so many street photographers on Instagram and it's so inspiring. I love seeing a scene through their eyes. It could be a scene we see every single day of our lives, but do we actually stop and see it? Truly see it? My guess is no. Otherwise, it wouldn't be so impactful. It's incredibly diverse, it's real, it's raw, it's honest. Some street photographers focus on buildings, shapes, colors- they focus on the environment that they are in. Others (like me) tend to photograph life and how we as a society interact within that environment. I've got a lot left to learn when it comes to street photography, but I love it and I love being inspired by it.
5.) My Family
What could I say about this that isn't insanely obvious? My family (all of them) inspire me every single day. They inspire me to be the best I can be, to be compassionate, to be loving, and to always look from someone else's perspective. The way my children explore the world around them- they are fascinated by the smallest wonders of the world. They've taught me to get down close and observe them too. My husband works hard and sets amazing goals (and accomplishes them!). When I'm feeling in a creative rut, all I have to do is stop- and yes, I mean literally stop everything- and be present and mindful of what's going on around me. I have to turn off my brain and just pay attention to these little miracles. Seeing the world through their eyes is absolutely incredible and fantastical. There is magic in the everyday and they help me to find it.
So, what inspires you?
The takeaway is this- if you find yourself lacking inspiration and you feel you need your creativity fueled, do something that makes YOU happy- not what others expect you to do. Henri Matisse said that "Creativity takes courage." So do create something unexpected, even if you don't show it to anyone. Do it for yourself and feed your soul.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.
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