where stories are told
This Virginia Beach family will probably always hold a special place in my heart. You know when you meet someone and you think to yourself "These are my people." Well, these are my people.
This family hired me for the newborn session of their littlest one- and during that session, I snapped one of my very favorite photos. The second to the littlest greeted me at the door in his diaper and a pajama shirt (how cute is that?!) and ran up the stairs. I slipped off my shoes and crept up the stairs behind him...and I found him in a dark hallway, standing perfectly illuminated in the doorway of the bathroom. That was my shot.
I know that the story they hired me to tell is that of the newest babe, but the story evolves and develops with other characters, highs and lows, action, conflict and resolution.
So when they scheduled another session a few weeks ago, I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to see how the littlest had grown and to witness his role in the family. What story was waiting for me?
Needless to say, the little one established his role and he fits in just fine.
But what I really, really loved about their session is the fact that they just get it. They are so unapologetically themselves and it shines in their images. That is a truly beautiful thing.
I hear lots of mothers say that their little wildlings can be a lot to handle- they can be kind of rambunctious, a little loud, a little whatever. But I am here to tell you- it's okay and I see you, mama. I embrace little ones and the adventurous sense of curiosity. I love it. I look for it. This is your story and it's unique to your family. And wouldn't it be so boring if we were all the same?! I promise I go with the flow and the session will be a piece of cake- there's nothing to stress about.
Throughout the course of our day, there were cuddles, loud moments, mischievous moments, a little chaos, with some quiet and introspective moments sprinkled in. All of it is beautiful- the range of human emotions is an incredible thing to witness.
Are you interested in scheduling your own in home session with me? Do you have questions before you book? Reach out to me via the Contact tab above or simply just click here and I will be happy to talk with you more about my process and booking your family storytelling session.
Toddlerhood is such a unique time in your life as parents. Yeah, I said unique. I choose my words carefully, because toddlerhood can go from one extreme to the other in about 2 seconds. It can be all cuddles and sloppy kisses one minute and 30 seconds later be an epic, bring-down-the-house meltdown. It's a wild, yet beautiful ride.
Toddlers are such interesting little creatures. They are growing, learning, and exploring at a crazy fast pace. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back from all the crazy, climb up on the trampoline, and watch the clouds go by.
So, that's what we did.
I love seeing the family connection here.
I heard this quote from another podcast by Marie Masse (one of my favorite photographers) and her special guest was Nick McArthur. I'm paraphrasing what he said, but basically it was something like this "I'm not here to make you pretty. I'm not going to photoshop you skinny or shoot your perfect house. I'm going to take your mess and show you the beauty in that."
That resonates so much with me. I feel like if you are here and reading my blog, then it probably does you too.
It's not about the pinterest perfect life. Who lives that way? I mean, really?! It's about the life that you have created. The people you love the most. Who you do life with.
And this, my friends, this is what life looks like. This is what capturing the moments that matter looks like. And if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times here on my blog, real life is beautiful.
So climb up on the trampoline today or spread out a blanket on the grass, take your shoes off, and just watch the clouds go by.
Naptime. That magical period of the day when the house is quiet, mothers can eat lunch, shower, or finally get that load of clothes out of the dryer that have been dried 8 times. Maybe catch a nap too...
That sweet, precious little one is sleeping so peacefully. And strangely, you begin to miss them. And you just want to wake them up and snuggle them and kiss them- but you don't. Because that would be insane. And no one wants that kind of crazy.
But on this day, during this particular naptime, I was invited to document naptime.
I love a sleeping baby. I don't think there is anything more precious than seeing their chest gently rise and fall, their long eyelashes resting on their plump little cheeks, and hearing the sweet sighs they make every now and then while dreaming of some milky, cuddly dreamland. I do wonder what they dream of...
And when he wakes up, he knows his mommy will be there with open arms and a big smile on her face ready to play the day away until daddy comes home.
Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs anyone could possibly have. The sleepless nights, the seemingly endless days of teething, cuddling a cranky baby for hours, forgetting to eat, and a mountain of laundry- everything is worth it when those big eyes look up at you with all the love and adoration in the world. And these little naptime moments are the ones that are in danger of slipping away from us, so easily forgotten are the "ordinary" days of sitting on the floor reading a book. We get caught up in these big moments and these extraordinary events that these little moments often don't get documented. The memory fades. But on this day, they were documented and we will always remember this particular naptime on a Sunday afternoon in February, in a little house in Chesapeake, Virginia.
If you live in the Chesapeake or Hampton Roads area of Virginia and would like to schedule your own documentary family session, please contact me using the Contact tab above. I'd love to hear from you!
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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