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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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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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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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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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


A portrait of my family once a week, every week, in 2015
Willy: Gripped about having to be that guy with 20 things to ship at the post office. I suppose it’s time for us to figure out a better shipping method but it’s awfully entertaining watching him come home with the ‘yeah-I-was-that-asshole’ look on his face. He’s a trooper and such a help, really.
Hooper: Came home from preschool talking about going down the slide with a little girl he’s been talking a lot about as of late.
Van: I ended a phone call early when I heard Van yelling / crying downstairs. When I got down there, I found him with the oven mitt on his hand, trying to pick up his cars. He was pissed because it wasn’t working out for him.
Me: Stayed by myself in a hotel right off the freeway near a conference I had to be at for work. The back of my key had four tips; always use the deadbolt, secure your valuables, report suspicious persons, and never open the door prior to verifying ID. I was a bit sketched out until I found their magnifying mirror; then I was just pissed I didn’t bring my tweezers.
Jimmie: Found the ear plug I was looking for in his dump. Willy offered to clean it off for me. I declined his offer.
Weekly Resolutions: We were supposed to exchange 15 minute back rubs each night. I didn’t happen. Not even once. Maybe we’re not cut out for this resolution stuff.
And mad props to Janet for creating the 52 week button above. You can click on it to see the project, thus far, in it’s entirety. 


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Willy: Spent the better part of the week in Virginia for work. It’s always hard having him away. He brought the boys back a pen with a flashlight on top so they’re okay with him leaving.
Hooper: Woke up in the middle of the night because he misplaced his bag of shells he collected from the beach. This kid is serious about having his stuff organized. He is currently napping with his two favorite books under his pillows (one about things that live in the ocean and one about insects), a construction hat, his flashlight pen, and – of course – his bag of shells.
Van: Accidentally cut Hooper’s finger with a pair of kid’s scissors. Has been obsessed with band-aids ever since and also holds his belly every time he gets hurt and says, “I don’t want the blood to come out”. There was quite a bit of blood. I think they were both a little traumatized.
Me: I’m stuck in the rut of having to get up in the middle of the night to pee. I get it, on the whole scale of life’s worries, so-the-f*-what. I’m not pregnant so getting out of bed in the middle of the night in exchange for nothing other than an empty bladder pisses me off. I can almost hear my mom now, “Get ready for menopause”…
Jimmie: Spent the week sleeping in bed with me while Willy was away. He always starts out sleeping in Willy’s spot but by day three, we pretty much share a pillow. He probably prefers having Willy away. Ha.
Weekly Resolutions: We skipped this week because Willy was gone. We drew from the jar, however, and were delighted to know that for the next seven days we will be exchanging 15 minute back rubs. My back could sure use it, it’s been more sore this past week than it has for a long time.

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Willy: Celebrated a birthday and asked for nothing other than a handwritten card. I wrote him a love letter, of sorts. He also got news that the company he works for is being bought by another company, so we’re trying to think positive and are hoping for the best turnout. Change is always hard. 
Hooper: When asked what he dreams about, will always say “you”. Also, peeked under a public restroom stall to the woman next door. That was fun.
Van: Found a pair of my aviator glasses and has been sporting them everywhere, even at night, all week. He looks like he belongs alongside Eric Estrada of Chips. Oh shit, did I just age myself? He’s also had a hell of a time getting back on board with potty training since we’ve been away from home. He suddenly hates sitting on the toilet and has had a few accidents, which he still blames on the fact he “hates Christmas”, and so, we’re taking a potty training break. 
Me: Coming off my trifling in Arizona high, where I always seem to score. I came home with some awesome new-to-me dresses, some pottery, and – as always – a few things for the boys. I really am trying to buy less these days, but it’s so hard when you find something you LOVE and it only costs 4 bucks. 
Jimmie: Made it all the way through a trip to Arizona and back without coming home with the “least valuable player” award. Also peed on our dinner guests the other night, but a week wouldn’t be complete without some reminder that life is never all peaches n’ cream, and neither is Jimmie.
Weekly Resolutions: Being away from home so much as of late has made keeping up with our weekly resolutions hard. We managed to get through a week of “no soda” last week (which was harder for Willy than myself). We’ve also continued to make our bed; not everyday, but the room sure looks nicer on the days we make the effort.

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