It is my pleasure to introduce you to my friend and our family photographer, Jessica! Be prepared, this post is loaded with family photographs and full of love and admiration for Jessica.
I LOVE photographs. I’ve been behind the camera since I received my first as a gift in fifth grade. Taking pictures is the ONE interest I developed in childhood that carried through all the years into adulthood. Others are empty handed in moments I wouldn’t think of being without a camera. Others wax and wane with pictures, years missing from the photo album, or just a few strays here and there. I’m the obsessed one, the one with camera in hand capturing every moment. I frame up pictures in my mind when I’m empty handed, and my day is thrown off if I show up to an important event and discover I have a dead battery. I keep albums for our family and each of our children, and my negatives, discs and memory cards are the only possession I’d grab in a fire (family an obvious first!). Writing and photography two careers I’ve always aspired to, but for years never thought realistic. This space, a welcomed outlet for developing both.
There are just a few things that remain of us when we pass from this world…
Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren if we’re lucky to live long enough.
Sure there are rings and heirlooms, and a rare few have published books and composed and performed songs that live for generations, but ultimately any given life is narrowed to a legacy and some photographs. With that reality in mind, I value and prioritize professional family photographs.
So you can only imagine how elated I was to discover Jessica was a photographer when we first met five years ago! Today, I honor Jessica for taking those photographs, capturing those beautiful moments in time, for me, and for my family.
For the freedom I experience every time I look at this picture from my daughter’s 4-year photo shoot, thank you Jessica.
For walking with us into the deep, capturing a photo that was one of my favorites from the second I saw it, thank you Jessica.
For a special pregnancy shoot with my sister and the picture that brought me to tears, the one in which I saw hope amidst so much uncertainty and fear, thank you Jessica.
For setting up great family photos – this will always be one of my favorites, thank you Jessica.
For taking the only picture everyone on Twitter has known me by for two years, thank you Jessica.
For a photograph that signified a fresh start after six+ years of trauma and chaos, thank you Jessica.
For this bittersweet photo, my last pregnancy and the last photograph of us as a family of four, thank you Jessica.
Today I’m grateful for you Jessica, the woman behind the camera in every one of these photographs, the woman responsible for capturing moments that will last a lifetime and beyond, the woman who has the courage to do what she loves. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
I asked Jessica to share a few words about her love of photography and she greatly exceeded my expectations with this. From Jessica, in her own words, with much heart…
I’ve always been a true extrovert, a REAL people person. I’ve always had a knack for talking and talking to anyone. What I didn’t know until maybe five years ago is that I also have a knack for photography. What started as a love for others’ work has turned into my career.
I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to capture and document the lives of my friends and family. I say “friends” because of how close I feel to a family after spending just a session with them. I know all their faces, their laugh lines, their kids’ eye sparkles, giggles, who hides behind daddy’s legs, and who is a complete ham in front of the camera. I see “my families” (that’s what I call my clients) through my lens while smiling at them. Capturing their moments warms my heart. I’ve had the opportunity to spend the day with so many different families bouncing from one feel to the next. Crazy, spunky, spirited families, to soft, gentile, emotional families. Children that LOVE the camera and those that I have to work with, sing songs to, tickle, and play peek-a-boo.
Photography has spoken to me over the years and has become something I am so proud of. It’s been a blessing for my family. I get to stay home with my boys, but when I go to work my kids know that mommy LOVES what she does. My boys peek over my shoulder while I’m editing and say “I didn’t know you took Cooper’s pictures today,” or “Wow mom, that’s a good one.”
My goal with every family is to document the real moments. The way those parents looked when they were “parenting” their children. Mom’s big smile, her soft hands, squinty glimpses, the way she looks at her babies with such love. Dad’s muscular arms, big shoes, his tight embrace while he throws his little boy in the air and catches him, and his scruffy face. One day all we will be left with is the memories of our parents. Our minds can only hold so much without a visual reminder. Photography gives us what we are missing in our memories, it fills the void, fills our walls with the smiles of our children, it fills up social media sights with what we are most fond of, and photography literally fills my heart with happiness.
*NOTE: If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and would like to hire Jessica, please send me an email or message and I will forward you Jessica’s contact information. Jessica has not paid me to speak kindly of her photography business, and we have compensated Jessica in full for every photo session you see in this post.