In October had the amazing opportunity to photograph a fellow photographer. I used to be so nervous to photograph other artists but recently I started LOVING IT! Other artists know what they want, they put a lot of time and effort into their session and they are usually the easiest to photograph [for me anyway]. Sandy is the amazing artist behind Wild Prairie Photography . I couldn't have been more thrilled when she contacted me. I am already dreaming of summer when I can open up my summer lake sessions!
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So I am beyond behind in blogging my 366 images! So here I am playing catch up! I haven't been posting consistently to my Facebook so here you can see all go my images! Shooting this for myself has been the best thing I have ever done. It has really opened my eyes and made me change my perspective so I don't have the same image day by day! Are you working on a 366? I actually have no plans of ever stopping shooting daily.. I am really excited to see how long I document daily!
Here is February in pictures!
I had the honor of spending a day with the Ramp Family recently to kick off the launch of my "Your Story" sessions! These sessions can be partial days or full days but they are always so much fun. Your ordinary is worth documenting and remembering. My Your Story sessions are currently discounted for anyone that books in the month of February. You do not have to have your session in February. These sessions can take place in Colorado Springs, Denver Metro, and Fort Collins CO. They can also take place when I am in Tucson in March.
All sessions include your edited digital gallery as well a video slideshow set to music!
I have known Ian for many years. When he told me that he and his girlfriend Katie were expecting, I couldn't be more thrilled. Ian and Katie found out when she was around 18 weeks and little did they know that they would be meeting little Theo just a few short weeks after finding out. Theo is considered a Micro Preemie - Born before 26 weeks or weighing less than 1lb 12oz, Theo fit both of those criteria. He was born at 24 weeks 4 days and weighed 1lb 10oz.
I was able to visit Theo in the NICU with Ian when he was 2 days old. Let me tell you.. it takes a special kind of person to be a NICU nurse. I was in awe of everything that was going on around me. I spent about an hour with Ian and Theo before we headed out to visit Katie who was recovering from her emergency C-Section. I am so honored that they let me into their very personal space during this crazy emotional time.
Theodore James was born at 24 Weeks 4 days weighing 1lb 10oz. Today he is 50 days old and weighs 2lbs 14oz. From all of the updates I have been getting he is such a strong little fighter. I can't wait to visit him again when I am back in Tucson in March.
Photo: Art by Jessica offers free NICU sessions for those families currently in the NICU that would like this time in their lives to be documents. Please email me for more details.
Just a small recap of our year so far. This month I decided to just blog my favorite images of the month. I think from here on out though I will be blogging my entire month :)
Being a military spouse, military homecomings are very near and dear to me. I was really excited when Candi messaged me and asked me to come document her husbands homecoming on the flight line. The weather was gorgeous for us and her husband arrived right on time... which is unheard of!! I also love being able to document families reuniting. I am now available for homecomings in the Denver Metro Area.
I have known Jessie and Jon for several years. I have documented a lot of major milestones in their adult life together. I was so honored and excited when Jessie asked me to be in the room to photograph the birth of their son Jacob. Their birth was a wonderful reminder how it's so important to have someone at your birth that can be your advocate. Someone that is familiar with your birth plan and your wishes, someone that can be your voice while you are in labor. Although Jessie didn't have her picture perfect labor, she did get the beautiful unmedicated water birth that she so badly wanted.
The past month and a half has been a time of transition for my family as we move from Tucson AZ to Denver CO. I have been documenting my family through this transition to remember this crazy time in our life.
Like I said, September was a really busy month. We had this crazy idea that we would go to Disneyland THREE days after Luke got home from his month long trip. We all had 1 day left on our 3 day tickets so we decided not to waste them! We sent Lilian to school on Monday morning, packed up the car and picked her up from school. Then we just left. We told her not to ask questions about where we were going or how long it was going to take. About 3 hours into our trip the girls were hungry and our food choices were limited so we stopped at McDonalds and prayed no ones stomach would get upset on the way (no issues thankfully). We somehow convinced Lilian that McDonalds was her special treat.. and oddly enough she was totally ok with that.. shows you how frequently she gets McDonalds... haha. She did ask why we had to drive for 3 hours just to go to McDonalds because we have one less than a mile from our house, we just told her this one tasted better. We hopped back in the car and continued West. We arrived in Anaheim around 10:30pm, we told her we got lost and had to stop at a hotel cause we were tired. In the morning we all got up, got dressed and went for a walk. She did notice that all the buses said 'Disneyland' but it didn't even phase her. We walk in the entrance and were walking to the gate where they check bags/strollers and we had her read a sign.. her response.. "This does NOT look like Disneyland..." It wasn't the the super excited reaction we were hoping for but when she got to the main gate she really got excited.
We spent our day doing whatever she wanted, we utilized fast passes and stroller passes (this is super awesome for those with little ones that can't ride the rides and a parent has to stay behind!! When you go on a ride ask for a stroller pass and they let you return at another time with up to 3 people and use the fast pass lane. Lilian got to ride all of the big rides twice, once with me and once with Luke). We had a mid-morning Character Breakfast with Minnie and Friends (SUPER AMAZING) The food was great, and it was a buffet so we ate enough for breakfast and lunch. Lilian declared the Matterhorn her favorite ride this time! Last time it was a tie between Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. It seems like she has a thing for Mountains. Ultimately we had a blast, there was zero stress and it was a just overall an amazing day! I also didn't strive to document our entire day like last time, I took roughly 200 shots on our entire trip. Most were with characters too.
September was busy! We started the month off without Luke, and were counting down the days until he was home again. You can tell in this blog that we had a reoccurring theme in our summer this year. WATER!! Seriously, water was involved whenever it was possible. Pools, Splash pads, Sprinklers.. you name it we used it and it was such a blast! Sorry for the huge share this month. We also snuck in another trip to Disneyland but that will be a blog on it's own.
At the beginning of the month we has a BBQ at my step-sisters house. The girls loved playing and swimming with their cousins. The next day we went to my aunt and uncles house and swam there. A few day's later, Lilian's sister Charlotte came over for a visit and we played in the splash pad. So much water!! It seemed like it rained all the time.. I played with some long exposures and got some "ghost" Arias. I also found out that I love taking photos of Aria's little tiny feet... All in all it was a good month. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me when we picked Luke up from the airport, it was a bit anticlimactic anyway. But they sure were glad to have him home. Aria didn't leave his side for days. So here are my images, enough with my rambling.. :)
I was graciously inviting in the Emery home. Kelli is an amazing photographer here in Tucson and she reached out for an in home documentary session because their pup Lulu was going to undergo surgery the following day. So much of their session was focused on her. This was the very first time a family invited me into their home for a documentary session that didn't involve a newborn- I was really nervous.. not to mention she is an awesome photographer her self and it's always new wracking to photograph another photographer.
Towards the end of our session Kelli asked for a few 'posed' (and I use that term really lightly) photos on their bed with their family surrounding their pup with love. E. Family, I know you are surround your sweet pup with love while she recovers from her surgery! Thank you so much for inviting me into your home!
I have a very small preview of Rowan's beautiful birthday. She was born covered in amazing birthday frosting and was the sweetest, quietest, most serene baby I have seen in a long time. I can't wait until I am able to share her whole birth story with the world! She was born with a True Knot in her Umbilical cord! Thank you so much Jonea and Josh for letting me be there with you for this amazing night!
Like I have said before, I LOVE everything related to birth photography, including maternity and in home newborn sessions. I truly love lifestyle newborn sessions. There is just something magical about those first few days at home with a new little one. The Randall family invited me into their home two weeks after little Ireland was born, brother and sister are still getting into the swing of having a new sibling and little Ireland was seriously as sweet as could be. Thank you so much Randall Family for letting me be part of this wonderful time in your lives!
I love nursing sessions.. Heck I love feeding sessions in general. Watching a family member nourish their baby is such an amazing thing. Kiersten is an amazing mama who is currently nursing her 1 and 3 year old. We only had about 20 minutes of shooting time in the orchard this evening, the mosquitoes were unbearable, I left the orchard with over 30 bites all over the place. I am so honored that Kiersten asked me to take these shots for her to commemorate her nursing. She is one client/friend I am going to miss terribly once I move to Colorado. She has been with me since the very beginning and when I look back on her first set of images I took I can definitely see how much growth there has been within myself and my photography. I am so proud to have those images to look back on. We all start somewhere and I am so glad that she has stuck by me through the years.
To book your feeding session with me please email Hello@photoartbyjessica.com. I would really enjoy adding a few more sessions to my portfolio. These sessions are not limited to nursing, I would be honored to photograph you bottle feeding you child or even pumping for your child.
“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Last week my husband went away for work for a week so the day he left we went and cooled off with my aunt and uncle and took advantage of the pool in their neighborhood. Lilian was working on diving, Aria was working on well... being a toddler in a pool. We have been working with her on flipping to her back in the water and this day she finally did it! I was super proud of her! I really love documenting my family and finding beauty in the everyday things in our lives. It wasn’t until relatively recently where I discovered how much I love documentary photography, and by recently I mean in the past year or so. I rarely picked up my camera in our home because it was always cluttered or a little bit of a mess and then one day I just did it. Who care if my house is a mess or I have a pile of laundry on my couch.. this is my life and it is so beautiful! Now there is rarely a day where I don’t pick up my camera. I take it everywhere with me. My kids will definitely have a wonderful story to share with their kids when they grow up.. Speaking of that, do yourself a favor and take some time and print your images from the past year. I am really excited for our move to Denver Colorado later this year and I will be changing my business to a Full Service, Print and Product based business model.
If you're interested in a Documentary Family Session I have some availability before we make our big move!
Haylea is a fellow photographer here in Tucson and I was so honored when she asked me to be part of their homecoming. When we first connected a few months ago I knew we would become friends. Haylea is so wonderful and up lifting. Her husband Ryan had been gone since the beginning of the year and I had yet to meet him. Our evening started off a little bit crazy, we decided to head out about 30 minutes early to sneak in a mommy and me session of her and her beautiful son at sunset but she called me because she locked her keys in her car! I was luckily by her friends house that had her spare and I was able to get it to her in time. By the time we made it to my open desert the sun was nearly gone but we had about 5 minutes of light left. It was totally worth it. I am glad we decided to head out early because if we hadn't we may have missed Ryan's flight! We got to the airport with about 30 minutes to spare and we had some fun playing around before Ryan arrived. That night there were several service members coming home, it was a really wonderful night. I am so glad this little family is reunited again and I hope they have quite sometime before they are separated once more.
So here we are.. it's August and soon we will be moving our little family up a little bit north to Denver Colorado. July was a really wonderful month for our family. I spent a lot of time experimenting with my Black and White images... I have recently been drawn to dark and moody images. I am really in love with embracing the shadows right now... it also helps that I rarely can get my children to give me their real genuine smile on camera. Tomorrow Lilian starts school as a SECOND GRADER!!! Holy Moly!! Life seems to be going at this extremely rapid pace and keeping up with it can be really draining. I am happy that this summer has been relatively calm- in terms of client sessions. It has given me time to really focus and refine who I am as photographer... for now... because it seems that I am always changing and evolving. I can't stay stagnant with my work for long.. I have to be growing and changing. So here is a little peek of my personal images/personal growth.
Every year we try to head out to Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona at least once for the Peach Picking Festival. It's always a lot of fun picking about 20lbs of peaches with the girls. This year Aria was tall enough to reach some of the lower branches and she was able to get her own sweet peaches. They encourage you to try the peaches while picking them, especially the soft ripe ones. Their peaches never disappoint. This year we froze about 15lbs of peaches and I made peach turnovers and a peach and blueberry cobbler.
After we picked our peaches we headed down the road to their farm and hit up their veggie patches to get some fresh zucchini, squashes, peppers, egg plant and corn. We left the farm with a beautiful rainbow of fresh food. We always encourage our kids (and ourselves) to eat as close to nature as possible. I have often been asked how I get my kids to eat fresh vegetables, the answer is simple, it's what we eat at home. It's the food they know. We also help them along by encouraging them to pick their own food so they can see where their food comes from. Don't get me wrong they eat their fair share of junk and processed foods too but somehow along the way, I believe we found a nice balance.
You might remember my last birth back in May, when little Norah graced us with her presence a few weeks early. She spent about a week in the NICU before she was allowed to come home and ever since then she has been growing like a weed! She is so sweet and I definitely got my share of baby snuggles in during our in home Newborn and Family Session. In home Documentary sessions are my favorite type of family session. I love documenting and telling your story.
After we went to Disneyland we decided to head down to San Diego for a day of sandy wet fun before we headed back to Tucson. All 3 girls really love being at the beach and playing in the sand and water.. I however have learned that the adult version of Jessica doesn't enjoy sand AT ALL. But I did only spend about 15 minutes with my camera and spent the rest of our few hours with my kids and husband. I am trying to find that special balance of documenting/storytelling and actually being in the moment with my family. It's definitely not as easy as I thought it would be.