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