The family's home, somewhere in Chesapeake, May 2023.
It was the rainiest of the rainiest days in Chesapeake. Seriously, the neighboring city even had a tornado. But, luckily for us, since this was an in home session and totally documentary in nature, we still just went with it. And, I was there for HALF the day! You know me, the longer the session, the better.
After all, life happens rain or shine.
In a strange turn of events, the rain broke and the brightest, warmest sun came out for about 30 minutes. It was a glorious trip to the backyard, even the big kids joined us out there. Without cell phones. What the heck? We had surely entered the Twilight Zone. Or the Upside Down.
The storm returned, more fierce than before, so they decided what better way to spend the evening than playing with the babies (yes, babies- there are two!), hanging out, and making homemade pizza.
Was there downtime? Yes. Were messes made? Yes. Were cell phones and electronics on? Yes. Does that make this day any less worthy of being documented? Absolutely not.
This is life. This is the everyday.
This is what these kids are going to look back on to remember when their memory gets a little hazy.
These are the pictures that will make up their childhood and that they will return to again and again.
These are the pictures that Mom and Dad are going to look back on and say, "Remember when..."
To schedule your Half Day in the Life Session (or Full Day in the Life Session) use the Contact tab above or just click here. I can't wait to chat with you and learn about what things are important to you.
This is a common question that I get.
"What if my kids go crazy during our session?!"
"No, really, they are wild. You don't understand..."
Mama, I understand. I get it. And trust me when I say these few things- I'm not scared, I embrace a little chaos, I think I've just about seen it all, you're in good hands, and that's what you hired me for.
I LOVE when kids act like kids!!!
I'm not scared of a little chaos.
I've got 3 kids of my own, I don't think there's much I haven't seen or heard. Not only have I got 3 of my own, but I've photographed hundreds. I'm not worried about them being crazy, it's really fun to photograph. Plus, if that's just who they are, then that's just who they are! I embrace the wild, messy, weird, barefoot kids.
As my own son would say, " A little chaos is good for the soul!"
This is what you hired me for.
I mean, you hired me to come to take pictures of your daily life and make an honest photograph of it, right? Well, that's what I am doing. I' going to do it to the absolute best of my ability. My personal philosophy is that these are the moments that I am going to want to remember when I'm an empty nester. I'm going to want to remember that spunk and that fire- and you know what else I'm learning? That maybe they will need that reminder one day too.
Tiny humans have the amazing superpower to show you all of the emotions in the span of 10 minutes.
These little, tiny humans are the best at showing the world how they are feeling and what's going through their mind. And it's the most beautiful thing to photograph. I am here for it. All emotions are valid ones and I will honor that.
You're in good hands.
You're in good hands mama, I am a safe space of zero judgement. If you go into this with me, with an open mind, together we will make some photographic magic. My advice to you is if things go sideways and stuff is hitting the fan, just go with it. Don't stress out. Just do what you would normally do. Do they need a cuddle? A snack? (let's be honest, there's not a whole lot that a snack can't fix...) Do they need a bit of quiet? (by the way, if this is the case, I will stop talking and interacting and take a fly on the wall approach- no big deal and no it won't hurt my feelings)
Whatever the case may be, I'm here for it, I'm not offended by it, and I won't judge. Heck, I'll probably enjoy it! It's a season in life and let's just ride it out mama.
One more thing to consider...this really is important...
One thing I really want you to keep in mind and consider is that unlike other photo sessions you may have had before... I'm not asking your kids to actually do anything. I'm not asking them to sit still and smile at the camera. I'm not asking them to pose and be stiff. I'm just photographing them as they are- playing and being themselves. And a 99% of the time, I get a really, really nice portrait of them because they trust me to do that.
Ready to book your session?
Are you ready to make a photographic and visual narrative of your family's life? Well, so am I! Let's connect. Let's talk about how I can get you in the frame with your loved ones and how I can help you have photographs that you will love. Click here to send me a message or click the Contact tab above.
If I can be honest with you for a second, I have always hoped that this family would want me to photograph them at some point. I just love the dynamics of their little family and their kids are incredible.
So, when it finally happened, I jumped at the chance. I did a little happy dance!
They started out playing a game of Uno in their sunroom that they love so much. It got a little rowdy and I can relate, our family gets really into games too! I love fast paced games like that. It's always fun to photograph.
Then we went to the backyard to build a fire, watch the sunset, and eat some yummy s'mores. I love when a family wants to do something a little non-traditional (obviously), but I also love the opportunity to shoot past the golden hour and into blue hour (really minutes, it fades quickly!) and beyond.
As I was shooting these, I loved the silvery blue hue the light was giving. It was so overcast and so cold outside, the tones just reflected that perfectly. I'm totally smitten with this whole set.
I mean, come on, look at these girls!
If you'd like to talk about documenting these ordinary days of yours and making the most out of your moments, let's talk- you and me.
Let's talk about how these moments are fleeting and this is the only way to preserve them. Let's talk about how to get you in the frame with your loved ones instead of always being behind the camera yourself.
Click here to send me a message or click on the Contact tab above.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.