Portrait Series | July

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A portrait of my family once a month in 2017

Willy: Filled the piñata with carrots causing Van to cry at his own birthday party.

Hooper: Asked me if the tooth fairy comes to the elderly when they lose their teeth. Also things ‘sea urchins’ are called ‘sea urgent’ and that ‘mohawks’ are called ‘mohogs’.

Van: Was about to eat strawberries in the fridge but brought them to me first to show me the ‘ice’ on them. It was mold.

Sonny: Pooped on the floor in the sunroom while walking around naked after coming home from the beach. And found it funny.

Me: Celebrated another year around the sun.

Jimmie: Took Willy’s spot in bed one night while Willy was away and got sucker punched for snoring, me forgetting there was a dog next to me and not a punchable human that I love so dearly. Though to be fair, I probably would’ve sucker punched him all the same.

Portrait Series | May

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Willy: Had to have his side of the bed cropped out of the shot because, well, #men. Also went to Austin for a 4 day long bachelor party which puts me in the worst mood and makes me want to punch the organizer of such in the face.

Hooper: Started wiping his butt after he peed. When I inquired why he was doing so he said, “because we had to leave earlier and I didn’t have time to wipe it real good”. We had left 6 hours prior.

Van: Asked me, while in a very public restroom, why grown ups have hair on their ‘peeps’. Which, to be honest, doesn’t make me skip a beat — it’s the matter-of-fact stuff in parenting, for me, that’s the easy stuff.

Sonny: Was more fussy than usual on Memorial Day when my mom pointed out that he seemed hungry and Willy and I looked at each other and realized we never fed him lunch.

Me: Dyed my hair for, get this, the first time ever. Minus squeezing lemon juice in my hair in high school.

Jimmie: Loves me more than anyone else. This past month more so than usual.

Portrait Series | April

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A portrait of my family once a month in 2017

Willy: Had me hold a lighter to his butt when he farted and was then surprised when it blew up and singed his butt hair. For a guy that has done all the tricks in the book, it came as a surprise to me that he had a) never done it and b) believed it was a myth.

Hooper: Hard a stomach bug (which started inconveniently on our way home from Arizona). He told me, “Mom, don’t worry, I used the nometer (aka thermometer) and held it to my tummy and it said 99. I’ll bet tomorrow it’s 100, because I’m feeling much better”. As if the reading is in percentages. Bless him.

Also, disclosed that he’s been peeing in a plastic container in the backyard and revealed to us his, um, collection.

Van: Examined my armpit and asked why I have so many splinters.

Sonny: Farted and laughed, which we all translated to mean that he gets what it means to be a part of our family.

Me: Had my electric toothbrush run out of power mid-brush and for a split second thought, “well, how am I gonna brush my teeth now?”.

Jimmie: Got caught one on one with Sonny offering his paw in hopes of Sonny sharing a piece of his cracker.

A Family Session | The Potter Family

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There usually is no rhyme or reason to nerves before a shoot; sometimes I feel total confidence and other times I feel timid about knocking on the front door and inviting myself in to take charge in a home I’ve never been that belongs to people I’ve never met. I didn’t have nerves going into this shoot so much as I felt pressure on myself; Kelsey confiding beforehand that she’s followed my work on instagram for sometime and never imagined actually getting a session with me ::gush gush:: . Though, in hindsight, I like the challenge of living up to a perception someone may have of me (when it’s a good one, of course). In any event, any pressure quickly dissipated; the way it does when met with warmth and sincerity. This family, they’re kind and gentle and bashful and humble and yet, somehow, still natural even with a camera in their faces.

We had plans of heading to the beach for the second half of the shoot but given the unpredictability of the beach weather this time of year, the wind had other ideas and we ended up staying at their house for the full session; which I really think was best anyways. Shooting in-home being far-and-wide my favorite location.

Interested in booking me for a session? Shoot me an email: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com.

Portrait Series | January

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A portrait of my family once a month in 2016

Willy: Used some choice four letter words to a woman who gave us the stink eye, followed by the finger, after Sonny let out a few ridiculously excited, albeit loud, sheiks at a restaurant we love but will no longer be returning to.

Hooper: Sported pull-ups during his third bout with a stomach bug cuz, hashtag shits, no giggles. Two days after he recovered he made himself lunch that consisted of moldy sandwich meat and proceeded to tell me, “don’t worry, I ate around the dark circles”.

Van: Attests that if you put onion in your eye it makes your eyes ‘sour’.

Sonny: Pooped out a small green lego.

Me: Got hit on at the 99 cent store while visiting a friend in the Valley. It’s worth noting.

Jimmie: Refuses to eat his own barf despite my encouragement for him to do so.

A Family Session, with The Tajvaris

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One of these days I’ll get caught up — so many posts in my draft folder, so many sessions waiting to be shared. The holidays got the better of me so several of the sessions I shot during that time are buried somewhere on my hard drive. Who am I kidding, much of what I shot in 2016 is buried. Alas, here is one of a beautiful family on the brink of welcoming their third, shot in their home in Los Angeles.

Interested in booking a session? Email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com. 

A Family Session, with The Carlsons

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I used to think that in the photography business, referrals were where it was at. Then I got a few a few referrals and changed my mind completely. It’s a totally different experience shooting someone that is familiar with your work versus someone who only hired you because their friend said you were good.

Tish has been a long-time supporter of my work and I think this shoot goes to show the value in that. She gave me just what I always yearn to receive and she did so effortlessly. It was such an easy and carefree session filled to the brim with love.

The Carlson Family, Arizona

You can see Tish’s work by clicking here

Portrait Series, 2016 | February

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A portrait of my family once a month in 2016

Willy: Celebrated turning another year older this month. We drove to LA to see Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard only to walk up to the concert hall and learn that the show had been rescheduled. Ho hum.

Hooper: Has started leaving his dumps in the toilet so that others, namely Willy and I can find them. When we asked about this new habit he said, “I wanted you to smell it”.

Van: Has a new found interest in Wonder Woman, namely because he “likes her boobies”. Also asked what would happen if his “peep” (boy parts) grew as big as a tree.

Me: I’ve been a snoring machine, according to Willy. I’ve also woken myself up due to the amount of drool coming out of my mouth. 39 weeks pregnant, you sure are becoming on a women. Okay, the drool may not be related. But whatever.

Jimmie: First thing he does when getting into the car is to scour the boys’ car seats for leftover or discarded food. He also celebrated his second birthday this month. Hooper asked if we were going to be having his dog friends over to celebrate and was a bit disappointed when all we gave him was a new bone.

You can view this ongoing series by clicking here

A Family Session, with The Simons

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I met the Simon family just before the holidays and was quickly transported back-in-time to when my boys were younger. Even though most days still feel like a defeat, I was reminded that there were times where nearly every single day was a battle; a battle I didn’t even realize was as much at the time… When you’re simply going through the motions and taking care of what needs to be taken care only to get to the end of the day and realize that taking-care-of part of the day never really included yourself. Not to say that Jamie in any way fit this description, she most certainly did not. In fact, she seemed oblivious to the fact that her days are surely harder than mine. I suppose it’s just the territory that comes with having a 5 month old and a 2 year old. Shit’s just hard.

Sweet baby Kaia was a dream, however, to photograph. Intrigued by my camera and go-with-the-flow. And Kane was all-systems-go and rock n’ roll, which truthfully makes for a welcomed challenge; no choice but to capture him as he is, on his terms, which is what I strive to do anyway. And Jamie and Brad were relaxed and natural, making the shoot rather seamless and effortless.

We spent the first hour shooting in their beautiful, newly remodeled, home in Seal beach before heading out to catch a bit of the sunset just a few blocks from their house.

I stopped at a local florist shop on the way home and bought some flowers, something I never do, and made a promise to myself that Willy and I’s next date will take place in Seal Beach because it’s just as cute as can me.

Many thanks to the Simon family for having me. If you, too, are interested in hiring me for a session, email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com. You can also check out my website by clicking here.

A Family Session, with The Yungs

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Mary and I were both once part of Childhood Unplugged and had the opportunity to meet in person at one of the instameets I put together with my friend Cindy some time back. It made it all the more sweeter when she contacted me about doing some family photos.

Their home is filled with so much laughter and, for me, there’s something extra special about watching a mama be grossly outnumbered and yet so abundantly loved. And by the same token, I enjoyed watching Winston interact with his three boys. I came home telling Willy not to fret; that there will come a day when the boys will enjoy watching football with him, or at least there is hope.

This session had such a natural flow to it; none of it felt forced and I could tell immediately that laughter is something that fills this home on a regular basis.

Forty One

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A Portrait of my family once a week, most weeks, in 2015

Willy: Has begun asking me if he’s having good hair days. It’s awkward.

Hooper: Came upstairs to request a new shirt because the one he had on was soaking wet. When I inquired about the wet shirt he told me, “it’s a very, very, very, verrrrrrry long story”. Apparently I’m pretty good at summarizing long stories because I can tell this long story in just one sentence: I was playing with the water in the downstairs bathroom.

Van: Spun around in a bunch of circles and then told me, “Look Mama, the house is tipping”, expecting me to be just as dizzy as he.

Me: Stood up on the bed only to be hit by the blades of the fan, which are spinning quite fast on these hot summer (I mean fall, hashtag: ?) days. If parenting alone doesn’t kill a few braincells, the fan definitely did.

Jimmie: Had an upset stomach and shit on the rug I bragged about thrifting for $35. It wasn’t the kind of shit that could be cleaned off, if you catch my drift. Y…yay. 52weekproject-b

 

Thirty Four

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Willy: Stepped in dog poop. It wasn’t Jimmie’s.
Hooper: Killed a moth, by accident, then sadly said, “I’m gonna put him here on the rock so he can grow back”.
Van: Learned how to use a pencil sharpener and referred to his pencil as “getting a haircut”. Speaking of haircuts, he needs one.
Me: Gosh it’s hard to write about yourself without saying how much you have to do or how tired you are. Who’s with me? My heart is happy, my desk is messy. How’s that?
Jimmie: Has the fastest tongue in the west, no doubt. Also is able to lick his butt. You do the math. 52weekproject-b

 

 

A Family Session

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Studio City, California
Interested in booking a session? Email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com. Also a reminder that I’ll be in the PNW August 5-10 and have just a couple slots left if anyone is interested in booking in that area. Thanks.

 

Twenty Five

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Willy: Spent Father’s Day alone with the boys because I had to work. Also bought himself a new gun, so, well, retail therapy. 
Hoop: Killed a moth, by accident. Then sadly said, “I’m gonna put him here on the rock so he can grow back”. 
Van: Insisted on wearing his backpack into a restaurant because his back “could get cold”. Also insisted on wearing his hiking boots to bed because, well, his feet could get cold. Ooooobviously. 
Me: Plucked three grey hairs. I can account for the birth of each one. I can account for the birth of a million more, I’m just waiting to find them. 
Jimmie: Stayed with my lovely parents while we were in Montana and enjoyed all the extra walks and attention. That’s not to say he didn’t greet us with an anxious / nervous barf… because he did and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be Jimmie. 52weekproject-b

Twenty Two

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A portrait of my family once a week, most weeks, in 2015
Willy: Cleaned out several things from the garage; old door panels we took parts from for the Jeep, an extra windshield, an old weight bench, and several other odds n’ ends. He packed it all up into the back of the truck, where it sat all week. I hoped someone would come by and steal some of it, but I’ve become more and more convinced of the goodness in people because every time I hope something gets stolen, it never does. I thought I’d be writing this update and that the stuff would still be in the back of the damn truck, but lo and behold Willy finally got around to calling a hauling company to come pick it up.
Hooper: Will be starting transitional kindergarten in the fall at a new school. He’s not stoked about leaving his friends and when I confirmed the fact that his best buddy won’t be at his new school he whimpered and told me, “mama, water’s coming out my eyes”. And, it was.
Van: Got upset with Hooper for taking his sticks, declaring “Imma gonna remove your bones and blood”. Also, refuses to eat certain meals and with a plate of food in front of him declares he is “full” and goes on to request a snack in the same sentence. Snacks > meals, in the world of Van. And me, too, if you’re asking.
Me: Hand dyed the dress I’m wearing in this picture because Madewell is not made so well. In any event, my hands would lead you to believe I’m part smurf from all the dying I’ve been doing lately.
Jimmie: Has been officially kicked off our bed due to his middle of the night antics.

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Nineteen

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Playing catch up here…
Willy: Caught more crabs than we had buckets for.
Hooper: Pronounces “lobster” as “whompster” and “hibiscus” as “hibiscuit”. Also told me he needed a tissue because a booger was coming out and it was “running fast”. Told a stranger on the beach a long and embellished story about a “mean whale” that comes and eats buckets on the beach when no one is looking… only the story was much longer, included lots of hand motions, and was told as one run-on sentence.
Van: I asked Van, as I periodically do, what he wants to do when he grows up. He said he wants to be a cowboy, which he’s said before, after he gave up on his dreams of becoming a turtle. But when asked what he wanted to do as a cowboy, he said he wanted to pick pumpkins.
Me: Spent the kids’ nap time poolside, everyday.
Jimmie: Per the photos we saw, enjoyed his dog sitter. He greeted her (after we got home and she came over to drop off the key) by peeing on her leg.
Weekly Resolution: We resolved to enjoy our vacation. It wasn’t hard. 52weekproject-b

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Twelve

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A portrait of my family once a week, every week, in 2015
Willy: Got stuck juggling working from home and caring for Van, who spent much of Wednesday morning throwing up. I suppose it’s all but forgotten at this point as he got the hell outta dodge and is spending March Madness in Vegas.
Hooper: Has a growing stick collection that he has been toting around with him for weeks. It’s been growing by the day and as I watched him carry his load up to his room in preparation for bedtime, I thought he looked more like someone prepping to build a fire. He also has a sinus infection; the coughing has kept us all up and I think it’s fair to say we’re all exhausted. Taking a family portrait this week was a challenge. We are all grumps right now.
Van: I turned around, my mouth open with wild anticipation, as I watched him try his first strawberry milkshake from In n’ Out. From his backseat car seat, he told me to “turn my face around” and “put my teeth away”. It was the latter that I don’t want to forget. Who tells someone to put their teeth away?
Me: I knew I was in trouble when Willy gave my number to the people at 24 hour fitness. I’ve probably fielded at least 20 calls over the past two weeks. This week, I used my best foreign accent and told them they had the wrong number. I haven’t gotten anymore calls.
Jimmie: Got into the can of dirty diapers.
Weekly resolution: We potted many plants that needed to be potted on our patio this week. Our goal was one plant a day but we potted multiples on a few days. If everyone is feeling better tomorrow and I have the energy, I’m going to tackle the remaining ones. 52weekproject-b

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Eleven

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A portrait of my family once a week, every week, in 2015
Willy: Has been told a lot as of late that he resembles Chris Hemsworth. I had to google who that was.
Hooper: Has been calling himself out on his own farts.
Van: Was playing with a roly poly when Willy noticed it mysteriously disappear. When he asked Van about it he said, “I put it in my nose”. Sure enough, when Willy asked him to blow his nose, out came a roly poly and a booger. Also, first words out of his mouth the other morning were, “Mama, you so pretty”.
Me: Got out of a traffic ticket by going to court. The cop that wrote the ticket didn’t show up so my case was dismissed. I can’t really argue with the fact that I was going over the speed limit – I probably was – but never have I been met with such disrespect and attitude from a person of authority. I went with the intent in mind to urge her to treat people with common courtesy. It seemed rather fitting that she didn’t show.
Jimmie: Has never officially been invited into these family portraits but ends up on the bed with us every time, without fail.
Weekly Resolution: We made an effort not to check our phones while driving. I’m guilty of checking things on my phone at red lights and I annoy myself with this behavior; when did time sitting at a red light become time wasted? A reminder, for me, to slow down; metaphorically, not literally, though I suppose the literal sense would be beneficial too.

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Nine

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A portrait of my family once a week, every week, in 2015
Willy: Got a gym membership and is now out of commission with a pulled muscle in his back. This comes right on the heels of me pulling a muscle in my back. We look like two hunched over elderly people walking around and have spoken often of the good ol’ days when we used to do soccer (him) and gymnastics (me); pretty much we’re getting older.
Hooper: While eating his peanut butter and jelly sandwich paused and inquired about the jelly coming from jellyfish.
Van: Had a large amount of snot coming out of his nose, fell, and stood up with dirt caked on to the snot and a blood coming out of the other nostril. His first bloody nose is in the books. Also, he has poop in his pants in this picture.
Me: Spent most of the week in Utah with Janet where we learned that nothing is as easy as it was before kids.
Jimmie: Enjoyed the one on one treatment he received from Willy while the kids and I were in Utah. I received several text images of him and Willy engaged in some serious canoodling.
Weekly Resolution: We skipped doing a resolution this week because we were away from home. We picked from the jar for next week, however, and will be asking the boys to pick up all of their toys before bed. Cheers to (hopefully) a clean (er) house. 52weekproject-b