Day in the Life sessions make my heart sing. This family of 4 in Chesapeake, Virginia hired me for 8 whole hours to document their daily life and their weekend routine.
This particular weekend, they had prepared to camp at a local state park. As fate would have it, a few weeks before their session they had to cancel the reservation. They shifted perspective a bit and decided to camp in the backyard and asked if I would be okay with the switch...um, yes- a resounding yes! Weekend routine and backyard camping sounded absolutely dreamy to me.
We headed to the local garden center to pick up a few more pumpkins (I mean, honestly, is there such a thing as too many pumpkins? I think not. Especially where heirloom varieties are concerned!). And, we also had a very special mission- we were on the search for the elusive Wither Rose.
Because I'm old, and not cool, I had no idea what a Wither Rose was, but the littlest guy kindly informed me that they were black roses in Minecraft. And because his parents are awesome and supportive, they were proudly planting black pansies (aka, Wither Roses) in the front garden bed.
The afternoons for most families have a bit of downtime. Watching some TV, reading a book, catching up on some homework, maybe even a nap. Not to worry, this is all normal and there's still a lot to be said and shot during this time. One of my favorite pictures from this session is this one below, of mom and dad talking through a little window in the kitchen. It's such a statement of parenting and sneaking in these quick, quiet. little conversations whenever you can.
By late afternoon, we were carving pumpkins and setting up for dinner and camping. Just because they had to cancel their camping plans at the campground and do it at home, doesn't mean you get a free pass to use the kitchen, right? They cooked their dinner over the fire and roasted hot dogs. It all made for the most delicious, most nostalgic aroma ever. And of course, as the night began to fall, they made s'mores.
I know that this family will cherish their record of this experience and over time, their children will be ever so grateful for it too. It's such an honor to have been included in their family for the day and to witness their love. Your day doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be you.
To schedule your Day in the Life Session or to learn more, click here or on the Contact tab above. I'm happy to send you a digital information packet straight to your email with all the good and juicy details on what I offer and how it all works.
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.
I'm getting a little sappy, a little sentimental. I feel like the summer has flown by. Do I say that every year? Is it something crazy that happens in your 30's where life begins to go at super-sonic speed?
This summer has looked so drastically different for us... and I'm sure it has for ya'll too. While there is a big part of me that sad, I guess hindsight is 20/20 and I'm seeing things in a little bit of a different light now that we are entering the fall season. We've spent all of our time together and I will never, ever regret that.
You see, I look forward to summer every year. I get so excited. I usually have the kids make a "summer bucket list" and we check their items off one by one. Not only that, but we buy season passes to Busch Gardens and Water Country and we visit the theme parks weekly- even in the blistering heat! We love it!
But other items include beach days, zoo days, aquarium days, the summer reading challenge at the library, lazy days, walking around Colonial Williamsburg, picnics at the park, splashing around at the Botanical Gardens and walking "the long trail", kayaking, swimming, hiking at the state park, shell hunting, and visiting local ice cream shops.
I try to jam pack all the fun I possibly can into our summer. They've worked so hard at school and I've missed hanging out with them, so I plan as much family time and family activities as possible. Sadly, we've only been able to do a few of those things. We've spent a lot of time at the beach, riding bikes, and having those lazy days.
It seems only fitting though that we say farewell in such a sweet way, right? We visited the iconic Lolly's Creamery near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. We took in the artwork of the vibe district, ate delicious ice cream, and let the salty ocean breeze whip through our hair.
I love supporting local small businesses and it doesn't get much more local than Lolly's. They handmake their ice cream and come up with the most delicious flavors! This evening, we enjoyed Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookie Monster, and their limited edition Blueberry Lemon bar (which may have been the best ice cream flavor I've ever tasted in my whole life!!).
For a few minutes we experienced something that almost felt normal. Ice cream on a summer evening. Sticky kids sitting at a picnic table, stealing bites of each other's ice cream, smelling the "beach" smell, the setting sun...for a few minutes the pandemic didn't exist and we felt normal. That just doesn't happen much these days- and that's priceless.
Visit Lolly's at 414 Virginia Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach, near 17th Street Surf Shop. Here's Lolly's website if you want to check it out.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.