When Cassandra wrote to me about getting a family and engagement session, she mentioned that she’d love to have it at her home because her backyard was really beautiful in the fall. What I didn’t realize was that her backyard had a river, sweeping cliffsides and vibrant honey colored soaring trees. I felt like I had stepped into a dream-scape. And seriously, how cute is this blended family? Now that fall is giving way to winter, I thought a little more autumn color would be just perfect on this Thanksgiving weekend. XO Jess
It’s been a month since my daughter Finney turned one. I’ve often thought about how I could write a blog post about it and what I wanted to say. Tonight I asked myself, how do you measure a year? I giggled a little and immediately started singing the RENT song “seasons of love”. That song has always been able to make my lower lip quiver, but my subconscious answered my question for me with song lyrics. You measure a year in love.
I wasn’t allowed to hold Caddie right after he was born. For his safety, he was taken straight to the NICU and I didn’t get to see him until maybe 10 hours later. Finney, on the other hand, was put in my arms. What a gift! I stared at her, and she was warm and small. Her skin was new and soft…i studied every inch. I felt like the only thing I could say was “she’s so beautiful.”
When we took her home and slept with her in our room for the first time, we were thrown because she grunted like an old man the entire night. At first, I was concerned that she wasn’t alright. But she was. And that was just who she was. While she doesn’t grunt in her sleep anymore, she does make so many different noises at us. She loves to growl. And she’s smart. One of the first things she ever said was “thank you”. She can also say “good girl”. In fact, she says more two-word combinations than she says any individual words. She has a fierce and loud little temper if she doesn’t get what she wants. Mostly, however, she spends her days greeting people with a smile and a cuddle. She hasn’t learned the difference between kissing and biting and has drawn blood on all three of our faces.
She is loved. Caddie adores her and helps her when she needs it. He gives her hugs daily and tells her how much he loves her. We all do. Her cheeks are very full and just beg to be kissed. Scott and I feel so blessed that Caddie and Finney are ours. We have never felt so much love in one place.
As a photographer, I, of course, felt obligated to do a professional mini-shoot with her each month. Some months this was more challenging to schedule in than others. Somehow they all just flew. Overall, there’s no rhyme or reason to them… just cute outfits I had in her closet.
For her first birthday, we had a small family party with a “watercolor” theme. I can’t take credit for any of the ideas as I Pinterested them all. I was, however super excited with the way it all turned out. She has made our life so colorful and bright so I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her.
My baby is already gone and in her place is a smiley little toddling angel. I can’t wait to see who she becomes and I am cherishing every step along the way.
Welcome to Babypalooza day 4!! I have been excited to share these photos since the day I took them. Alison and Mark have grown to be friends and I couldn’t wait to photograph their son Rhys as he turned the big ONE! This session actually turned into an all-morning hang-out session where we talked about everything from babies to life and got jacked up on way too much caffeine (basically my dream shoot). We started downtown at the Roosevelt Coffeehouse. For those of you who have never been there, they serve not only coffee but all sorts of coffee “mixed drinks” and flavored teas. As we sat and talked, Rhys loved to play with keys and make faces at his daddy. He just loved sticking his tongue out and it was so cute! His whole face would light up and he gives new meaning to the phrase “baby blues”. Gah, I love this age!
From The Roosevelt, we went over to The Joseph and had a mostly photodocumentary shoot of Rhys scurrying all over the place! He’s right at the moment of life before you can walk really well but you can crawl like a torpedo. Pretty soon there’ll be no containing him! I left this shoot feeling a natural high (In addition to all the caffeine). I feel so lucky to know these three and I can’t wait to watch as Rhys grows up and see how their family evolves. So without further ado, here is Rhys and his amazing parents!
Babypalooza is in full swing- welcome to day 3 on the blog!!! I love this family and the shoot I’m sharing today. I photographed Kristin and David’s Via Vecchia wedding a few years back and to this day, I use those images in my sample albums. As it happens, life comes at you fast. Today, they have grown their family with two beautiful daughters.
I love this session for lots of reasons, but I think mostly it was so refreshing to have a family session downtown! I usually do family sessions in parks, but walking on the streets and having more of an urban backdrop made for a fun nontraditional collection! Parts of the building details even seemed to frame them in the first few you’ll see below. Kristen and David‘s two daughters are so sweet and charasmatic. They both have so much energy, charm, and spunk. And look at those sunglasses! Thank you so much, Kristin and David, for having me out this summer! It was so good to catch up with you both and see your beautiful family. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you all!
Welcome to Babypalooza day 2!!!!
Today’s family is near and dear to me! I photographed Jess and Randy’s wedding a few years back. Since then, they have grown their family with the addition of their beautiful daughter Brooklyn.
Jess entered my “Celebrate Life” giveaway earlier this year and won a free family session! It was so good to see them again and I’m obsessed with the mommy and daughter matching dresses Jess picked out for her and Brooklyn! This day was no joke- it was well over 90 degrees outside. It was easily the hottest session I’ve ever photographed. So a huge thank you to Jess, Randy, and Brooklyn for bearing the heat with me. We made our way to the Whetstone Park of Roses. If you read my blog, you’ll know this is one of my favorite spots to do family photos. There’s a lot of variety and I have yet to see the park in any season where it’s not photogenic and beautiful. Brooklyn loved being tossed up in the air by daddy and twirl her dress for mommy. She has the sweetest face and cheeks you just want to nuzzle your face against. I’m so excited to show off these precious photos today!! Enjoy! XO Jess
Welcome to the second annual Jessica Miller Photography Babypalooza week on the blog!! This year I’ve had the honor of photographing the sweetest families and I can’t wait to share them !! First up is a session that was almost like 5 mini-sessions rolled into one.
I knew there were going to be a lot of people at this extended family photo shoot so when I arrived I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This family immediately made me feel so at ease and welcome. The whole session was a dream! They had the shoot on their parent’s property which was just a beautiful backdrop for the photos. We did one large family photo and then broke it down by each family. I even made sure to get some photos of just the parents together, as I feel like that’s an opportunity missed at most family shoots. Couples spend so much time thinking about the kids, it’s really nice to have a few photos (and moments) of just you and your significant other.
In all five family units, there were 9 grandchildren including one set of triplet girls! I was so impressed at how the kids were totally into getting their photo taken, as that can be a crap shoot sometimes.
Erin and Lindsay, thank you so much for having me out to photograph your incredible family!!
Being a photographer has brought so many blessings to my life, but meeting this family has to be among the top 10. I have been lucky enough to photograph two of their Weddings, a ton of family sessions, become super close friends with Christina (who did my makeup for my wedding and countless other shoots), and now today I’m excited to share with you their extended family photo session from last month! We all met up downtown at the Scioto Mile riverfront in downtown Columbus, where we are quite literally spent an hour and a half just laughing our butts off. I guess that’s the wrong use of the word “literally”, but you get it.
Everyone in this group is so easy going, funny, and ready for anything. They speak to you so naturally and make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world at that moment. They never passively hug, but grab you and wrap you up and hold you in an embrace that’s so genuine and true. In other words, I wish they would adopt me. Especially because I hear they make some killer Lebanese food for family gatherings. Why does my brain always land on food? Before I start writing Haikus about Baklava, let me finish telling you about this shoot.
From the Scioto Mile, we crossed the Main Street Bridge and took some more photos in front of COSI. It was Earth day, so a festival was going on. It seems like there’s always a festival going on in Columbus these days! There’s a grand staircase there that we used as an elegant backdrop for some tickles, hugs, and embarrassing mom moments (you know, when mom wants to grab and kiss you on camera, ewww!). As I was leaving this shoot, their mom hugged me, looked me in the eyes and said: “God bless your hands”. I remember doing what I do whenever someone gives me a compliment, and I thought oh, she’s crazy. But that comment has stayed with me. It was so loving, unexpected and poetic. Thank you all for being in my life, trusting me with your photographs and for letting me hang out with you from time to time! So without further ado, here are the photos from this electrifying shoot! XO Jess
Please help us welcome our new beautiful daughter, Finley Roux! She was born with 1/2in. of strawberry blonde hair, blue-grey stormy eyes, and a cute button nose. She is calm and patient and almost never cries. We are so blessed!
It’s rare when you can pinpoint an exact moment that changes your entire life. What you feel in those moments is such raw emotion and after only a few seconds its past. I’ve had a heightened sense of everything- every feeling for everything and everyone I hold dear. I also feel a little sadness in that this is our last baby because I know how quickly they grow up. I find myself staring at her, trying to memorize every little feature and nuance of her face and little body. My heart feels like its going to overflow at any minute.
She is our second child, so we’ve been through this stage before. It’s been so overwhelming to have her snuggle up to me. You go on with your day to day and you forget- you forget the way their little head rests right up to your cheek so you can smell their fresh baby scent. You forget the deep relaxation that you feel in your soul when you hold them. You forget how little and vulnerable they once were. You forget how much they needed you. It’s entrancing. It’s euphoric and its nothing short of magical and miraculous. And, its a little scary. Life all of a sudden feels fragile, vulnerable and uncertain. And when they lay on you, the world stops, even just for a moment.
Finley failed her in-hospital hearing test in her left ear and had some follow up testing two weeks ago. We were praying it was just liquid in the ear that needed time to dry up. To our shock, there wasn’t liquid in there and she actually does have a mild hearing loss in her left ear. I’m not going to lie, this left me feeling deflated and scared of the unknown as it relates to our daughter’s health- a feeling I had prayed I’d never have to experience with her. We have to go back for more definitive testing next month (to know what kind of hearing loss) when we’ll already be in the hospital with Caddie for his open heart surgery, how convenient! *sarcastic voice implied. Scott nor I have any family history of congenital hearing loss or heart disorders, so I think the main feeling through all of this has been confusion. One of my personal goals for 2018 was to trust more in the universe and the unknown. I didn’t know I’d be tested on this goal so soon in the year. We are anticipating her possibly needing a hearing aid, but my prayer is that the mild hearing loss she does have is not progressive and will be a minor factor in her life. Caddie has blessed our lives with the gift of perspective. Even though Finley’s hearing is less than perfect, she has a healthy heart, healthy organs, and the sweetest disposition, and for that, we’re so thankful.
Little Finney has helped us take time to be a family. It’s been so fun discovering the differences between the two kids. Caddie was a very relaxed baby, or so we thought until we met Finney. She grunts a lot and kind-of sounds like an old man who’s smoked for years. She deals with her brother’s temper tantrums like a champ! She loves eating, snuggling, and being held. Caddie has surpassed any realistic expectations with how he’s adjusted to a family of four. He loves her so much! He kisses her on the head each and every time he walks by her. He’s so empathetic as well. When she cries, he gets upset. Scott and I feel like he’s shown us a whole new side to himself, as he doesn’t seem to be jealous at all.
Thank you so much for the outpouring of love we’ve received in the last couple of months. Scott and I have felt very humbled by all of the congratulations, gifts, and cards. Life is such a beautiful and magical journey. Always hug your family so close! XO Jess
Welcome to Babypalooza Day 3! And welcome to the world, Rhys!
When I met Rhys, he was so excited to have his photos taken that he hadn’t slept all that day! It’s so rare to see a newborn this awake and even smiley! He was super chill and go-with-the flow. He only gave me a sad face once, which I included below because I think it might be my favorite. He has the cutest outfits, but I made sure we showed of those chunky baby biceps as well. Towards the end of the shoot, our little model was worn out, so we were able to get some super adorable snuggly sleepy photos as well. Alison and Mark, thank you so much for having me as a part of your life’s most memorable moments. This little man is so lucky to call you both his parents! XO Jess
I had the incredible surprise and honor of swapping out an engagement shoot for a newborn shoot earlier this year. Madelynn’s parents are getting married this weekend and I truly couldn’t be more excited! Little Madelynn was born with a serious Congenital Heart Disease. She has already undergone one open heart surgery and will undergo another one shortly after her parents tie the knot. Because of the open heart surgery, she now carries a “zipper” scar up her chest, just like my son. I happen to think these scars are so beautiful. They are a testament to human courage, both for the child, the parents, and the medical teams that treat these beautiful little babies. I felt it was important to show it off a little, and not hide it. Her life story is so much more exceptional because of it. When we found out our son had congenital heart defects, the surgeon we initially met with described the situation in such poetic terms, and I often revisit what he said in my mind. He said something to the effect of, everyone has their own mountain to climb. While some people’s path is lined with stairs, some other peoples’ is lined with sand. The people who have sand need a little help along the way to reach the top, but they can still reach it.
And can we just talk for a minute about how freaking adorable she is? Have you ever seen such radiant eyes in a child? And SO much beautiful brown hair! I’m so honored this family came into my life and I can’t wait to watch her grown and thrive. Please say some happy prayers for this family as June will be a huge month for them in so many ways!