One of my favorite things to photograph is a lazy-ish Sunday afternoon. This particular session was felt really comforting. It looked a lot like what I think many of our lives look like, just family hanging out together. Just enjoying the time spent together. Because together is enough.
I was able to photograph a bit of their morning routine, which included a eating a frozen sausage straight from the freezer and the delicious warm pastry, we all know and love, Toaster Strudel. Gosh, I remember getting SO excited when my mom bought these at the store!
They love Legos and did a friendly guys vs. gals building competition. And of course, the kids showed me all of their pets. Little brother showed me his wiggly tooth too! What better way to spend a rainy, freezing cold Sunday afternoon?
Warm, inside, hanging out with the people you love- that's what it's all about.
To schedule your in home Family Storytelling Session, click here to send me a message. I'd love to talk to you about capturing what's important to you.
Also, if you'd like to learn more about in-home sessions, check out these blogs:
Is an In Home Session Right for You?
What to Expect on Your In Home Session
I wrote a blog a while back that has been one of my most popular blogs to date. I think it's because we can all relate to the sadness of loss and the bittersweet life we live. It's about those places and people that only exist in our memory, it's for those who are no longer with us. You can read that blog here.
I was at a session recently and I climbed into an old cottage in quite a state of disrepair. But, I love old things and I could feel it's history. It was speaking to me. I climbed in to shoot my subject through the tattered and torn curtains. It was clear that no one had been inside for a long, long while.
As my eyes traveled over the space, I took a moment to take it all in. You can tell a lot about the people who live in a space by their belongings and the things they hold space for...or in this case, the ones who used to live here. There were relics, memories, and old possessions stacked everywhere.
I turned to my left and I saw it there, tucked into the corner next to the window. The light cast it in a romantic glow and the thick layer of dust covered it like a veil. A piano with the most beautiful, intricate carvings on the front. It had books and papers stacked around it and old lamps sitting on top.
My breath caught in my chest and the most vivid memory washed over me. I knew this piano, my grandparents had one very similar in their 100 year old home, also filled with relics like this one. I could instantly hear my grandmother playing old hymns and singing along softly, as she picked out the tune. She only played by ear. I could see her hands there hovering over the keys. I could smell something wonderful and warm cooking in the kitchen. I could hear the Braves game in the background. My whole body could remember the feeling of being there in their home. Honestly, it was the sweetest memory.
And, it's funny how these things trigger a memory. That blog I wrote that I mentioned above? It talks about what I would do if I could go back just for one day with my camera and how I would document it...how I would honor that space. But I can't go back, so instead, I shot this moment in the here and now because it reminded me of them.
And surprisingly enough, all of this happened in an instant. Just the tiniest blip of time in my day. That's usually the way these things go, isn't it?
I'm here to present you with this- a new take on family portraits.
Throw away the notion that everyone has to be dressed in perfectly coordinated outfits. Throw away the notions that everyone needs to be still and smiling and acting happy in a golden field of wildflowers. Toss aside the doubts that may creep into your mind that revolve around the idea of perfection...it exists, but not in the way that it is bombarded at you on social media.
Because although there is nothing wrong with golden fields of wildflowers and expertly coordinated outfits (they make for gorgeous pictures for sure!), that's not what I am here for. I'm here to offer you an alternative, something real. Something pure. Something that lends itself to nostalgia and legacy building. Something low key, but entirely beautiful. Something that speaks to the season of life you are in this very second. Something that is unique to your family and is your brand of perfect.
Something worth remembering.
When I look back at our family photos, I want to feel a sense of romanticized nostalgia. I want to see a picture of my toddler clinging to my legs, face covered in peanut butter and jelly. I want to see us laughing over a book in the midst of pillows and blankets. I want to see them in their old Halloween costumes and rainboots (What is it with toddlers and rainboots? I don't know, but I love it!) I want to see our family gathered around the kitchen table talking and laughing, enjoying the food prepared with so much love. I want to see their artwork hung haphazardly on the walls and I want to see their favorite toys being played with. I want to see the messes and the chaos, the entire range of emotions that we go through in a day. I want to see our afternoon bike rides and to be reminded of the pretend games we played.
I want to be able to hear the pictures, to smell them...to truly remember them in my heart.
I want to have a reaction to them.
I feel like if you are here and you are reading this blog, this may be something you want too. Something that speaks to your heart.
So, how do we get there? How do we achieve this?
It's simple. You invite me into your home and you live your life the way you always do, and I take care of the rest. There's no stress and zero judgement from me. I'm not worried about the messes we will create and I'm not worried about seeing meltdowns. This is life... and it's beautiful. I want to blend into your family like an old friend and share these experiences with you. I want to create art out of your ordinary, every day moments that you will treasure more with each year that passes. Life is short. Sometimes it's too short. Take the time to be present in these moments and let the pictures speak for themselves.
To schedule your session or to have a chat about what your needs are, you can contact me here or by clicking the Contact tab above. I am happy to pop on a video call with you or email some additional information.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.