Here in Hampton Roads, we (most of us) go back to school the day after Labor Day. When we first moved here, I thought it was a bit odd because back in Georgia, we always got out in May and went back to school the first week of August.
Well, I absolutely LOVE our kids going back to school after Labor Day. I can't really explain why, but it just feels like summer in August! I feel like there's so much left to enjoy!
Anyways, I have always brought out the camera and kept it handy the first day of school. It's a big day in my book and we need alllll the pictures. So, I thought it would be fun to make a little photo challenge/guide to documenting your first day of school. Now, if you've already had your first day of school, feel free to adapt this to your normal routine, because there's lots of beauty and memorable moments happening in our day to day life.
And to make it even more fun, don't be so literal. Don't take a picture of just a lunchbox. Be brainstorming ways to make the photo feel more interesting and visually compelling.
Have fun and don't forget to tag me on socials so I can see what you've created!
This family gets together every summer at the grandparent's home in Portsmouth, Virginia. What's more nostalgic than a summer vacation to Grandma and Grandpa's house? Where the whole family gets together? I'd argue nothing is quite as good as that. There's a lot of memories to be made there.
This family had me over bright and early to capture their relaxed breakfast routine and their kids waking up. I walked in to the smell of bacon frying, coffee brewing, and the sound of hushed conversations.
One by one as everyone woke up and the last piece of bacon was cooked, they gathered for breakfast at the dining room table.
After breakfast, Grandma had a craft prepared for everyone- rock painting. Not only is painting fun, but it was really nice to see that they were going to be displayed proudly in the garden.
There was also some epic cornhole games going on!
I felt right at home here, it reminded me so much of my memories of my own grandparents.
“Grandparents are a family’s greatest treasure, the founders of a loving legacy, The greatest storytellers, the keepers of traditions that linger on in cherished memory. Grandparents are the family’s strong foundation. Their very special love sets them apart. Through happiness and sorrow, through their special love and caring, grandparents keep a family close at heart.” - Author Unknown
This family in Yorktown, Virginia hired me to come to their home and do a 90-minute Storytelling Session for them. Mom and Dad were totally on board with my documentary approach and I was so excited when I walked in to see kids eating in their high chairs, in pajamas and diapers, TV on, and smiles all around.
I instantly knew that I could jive with these folks!
We hung around the house for a bit and I got a chance to hang out with the kiddos. They even showed me how their bunk beds had a slide AND a ladder. Every kid's dream, am I right? I know I would have *loved* to have one of these bunk beds in my house growing up!
After a while, we went outside to the neighborhood playground and dog park to burn off some energy and enjoy the sunshine. And to top it all off, I got some pretty cute sibling portraits on the front stoop. Be still my heart!
After the session and after I delivered the gallery to the family, Mom wrote me a sweet 5-Star Review on Google saying:
"Oh my gosh- So not only is Jess an amazing person (so chill and down to earth), her photography skills are THE best. Every picture brought happy tears. She truly captured my family, the essence of us, in her photos. For that, I will forever be grateful. :) Also, my 5y/o son kept stating how "awesome" Jess is and wanted her to stay longer so they could continue to play :)"
Remember, your family portraits don't have to be perfect- they need to be perfectly you. They don't always have to be in a field at golden hour with everyone dressed to impress. You are enough and honey, your real life is simply breathtaking...you've just got to look at it a little closer.
To schedule your free, no-pressure consult with me to see what your family's photos could look like (spoiler alert, it's a stress free experience!), send me a message. I'd love to have a little chat with you.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.