As a documentary photographer, sessions like these make my soul sing. Literally. This family invited me into their Norfolk home for a Sunday afternoon jam session. They are an incredibly talented family and they do it all. Dad plays piano, sings, and produces his own music. Mom sings (and writes her own lyrics) and plays guitar.
Each child is encouraged to follow their own artistic aspirations and given the freedom to explore many instruments. They have access to keyboards, microphones, tambourines, drums, ukuleles, and more. As I sat down on the living room floor with them, I was even handed a maraca. I was so caught up in the music and watching their little girl- she was absolutely incredible. She's going to blow this world away with her voice.
Your yearly family sessions don't have to be generic and posed. They can be as unique as your family and just as beautiful. You've got a story to tell.
Tell it your way.
Capture the little moments that make up your day, the moments that often go unnoticed- these are the ones that make our life rich. And don't worry, I reserve 10 minutes at the end of every session for a posed photo with everyone together.
Click here to get more information about booking your session.
You've had traditional family portraits before, I'm sure you've even been to a studio before- or even an overgrown field at golden hour all dressed up in beautiful coordinating outfits.
But, now you're here. I feel like you probably want something a little more. A little more meaningful. Something different. Something more than pretty. Something that speaks to you on a deeper level. Something that looks a whole lot different from what everyone else is doing. Something that is unique to your family. Something that tells a story. Something that give you the freedom to be yourself.
Well friend, you've come to the right place.
I'm a professional storyteller. I'm here to help you tell your story and to give you a visual representation of that story. Something tangible, something that transcends spoken or written language.
A Storytelling session is a 1.5 hour session with me in your home or in a place of significance to your family. I come, I listen to you, I see you. I document your time together. Your love, the way you interact together, the connections your share. I'm not here to judge. I'm not here to point out our differences or tell you how to live your life. If you have a pile of laundry on the floor, I'll step right over it without a second glance. If your kid finds several week old cheerios under the couch and eats it, I don't even know that it would phase me because I've been there done that and my kids do it too. If you are a self proclaimed clean freak - can't function in clutter- and your house is spotless- that's okay too. These are all things that are part of your story, it's your setting. And I look at it as just that. The setting to your story. There's no judgement there from me. This is where you are in your life right now and that is okay.
Also, I need to point out that this is a stress free experience. No need to clean up, you don't need to dress the kids up, you don't need to get everyone dressed (including yourself!), fed, clean, and be somewhere at an exact time. No sitting and smiling and posing. And if your kid starts melting down, that's okay too. We don't need to calm them down so they can smile at the camera- instead you get really beautiful pictures of you dealing with a meltdown - pictures of you being a mother. Your children will appreciate these and value these SO MUCH when they have a family of their own.
Just think of how relatable and comforting these pictures will be to your son or daughter as a new parent facing all the struggles of parenthood?
You just simply open the door for me and be yourself. That's all I ask.
A Storytelling Session is pretty quick compared to my Day in the Life Sessions and in that same respect, I'm only getting a quick look into your life. For this reason, I'd encourage you to think about a certain aspect you want me to photograph.
One recent family had me come on a Sunday afternoon because as a musical family, they hold jam sessions on Sunday afternoons. This is an important time of family connection, creativity, and de-stressing from the week for them.
Another family had me come on a Sunday morning because they like to sit on the porch and drink coffee together before they start their morning routine. So, we leisurely drank our coffee on the porch and then they played with their baby on the couch.
Another family asked me to come to document their weekend brunch in the city.
Another asked me to come and document morning playtime with this dog.
Another family asked me to document their early morning routine and getting their kids off to school.
The important thing to remember when booking a 1.5 hour Storytelling Session as opposed to a full Day in the Life is that it's only a small portion of your day. Choose one thing you want me to see and capture. Let it come naturally. Just be yourself. Let go of your previous experiences with other photographers and let go of the idea of perfection. That's not what we are here for.
We're here to live.
We're here to love and be loved.
Did any of that resonate with you? Are you ready to start telling your story? Are you ready for zero stress, judgement free, meaningful, and beautiful artistic family portraits? If you're ready to book your session, click here to on the contact tab above. Each Storytelling Session comes with a set of 10 beautiful 5x7 prints for you to keep, display, or share with loved ones.
I'm excited to get to know you and for the honor and privilege of telling your stories.
Some say that Friday is for fun, but this family goes all out on Sunday. Due to work schedules, Sunday is their day to be together with nothing on the agenda except what they want to do. Sometimes that means Dad makes pancakes from scratch and they hang around the house, but more times than not it means that they pack in the fun with their daughter and squeeze a week's worth of fun into a single day.
This session captured one of the activity filled Sundays. I've worked with this family several times in the past and I was so over-the -moon thrilled that they decided on a Day in the Life Session!
When I arrived, everyone was finishing up getting dressed and we were headed out the door for fresh, gourmet coffee (and the best cup of Earl Grey for me!) at The Cure in downtown Norfolk. Then we strolled down the streets of this charming district, took in the beautiful water views, watched sailboats, and ended up at the "Pirate Park" to play.
As lunchtime neared, we headed to Taste for the best sandwiches and salads in all of Hampton Roads. (Seriously, if you're coming to visit the area- this is the place you want to go!) They decided to dine at home because friends were stopping by to say hi and for a quick play date. And of course, we don't want to miss that, do we?
They played, enjoyed the day to it's fullest, fed the birds, made brownies, and even had time to throw together an amazing lasagna before bath and bed time.
I have to say, sessions like these are my absolute favorite. I'm with you for your whole day and I love the freedom it gives me to truly capture your family. It gives me ample opportunity to see the heart of your family and to understand your "why". There's no pressure. There's no posing or saying cheese. You don't have to be "on". You just have to be. I try to blend right into the family and just enjoy the day right along with you.
If you're on the fence about booking a session, just do it. You won't regret it. You'll love the memories captured and you'll treasure them for years to come. Even your ordinary days are really magical, you've just got to see it.
Click here to inquire about booking your session or click the contact tab above. I can't wait to talk to you about your memories.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.