Before anything else, I'm Jessica Peterson, wife of Trevor, and mama to Abigail and Waldron. I've been a whole lot of things in my life (waitress, middle school teacher, Barnes & Noble bookseller, blackjack dealer…), but this is what I was meant to be doing. I always wanted to be an artist – I had that burning something inside telling me to CREATE, but I couldn't draw or paint or sculpt. Photography had been a hobby since college, but it wasn’t until my daughter was born that I really embraced it as a creative outlet.
Before setting out on my own, I worked for one of those busy photo studio chains. There were things I liked and things I didn't, but I learned a lot about what is really important to me as a photographer. (Hint: it's not about getting the perfect smile.) I've also learned that while I can't draw, I CAN see. My artistic gift is my vision, and it's made even stronger as a mother. There is beauty in everything – in eyes and details and gestures and glances. I'd love to share some of what I see with you.
Hey mamas! Mother’s Day is coming up and to celebrate, I’m offering Mama Mini Sessions. These sessions are geared toward making mamas happy! What would make you happy? Photos of you playing with your kiddos? Snuggling? Nursing? Or maybe just some shots of you and your special someone? Just the kids? Just YOU? I’d love to make that happen.
The dates and locations for these sessions will be semi-flexible. We’ll talk about what would make YOU happy and go from there. Eight spots are available. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your session.
Oh how I love this session! Emmeline is now four years old. It’s hard to believe I’ve known her since she was a peanut in her mama’s belly – and have been photographing her regularly since then. Angel, Emmeline’s mama, always makes the cutest outfits for her girls, and this year, with the Flying Heritage Museum as our location, Angel mades some incredible 40s/aviation-inspired outfits. She outdid herself once again, as you’ll see.
The Flying Heritage Museum in Everett was a super fun place for this session. Cool light, amazing aircraft and history, and floors with a little shine. This session was extra special because Eric’s grandfather, Larry, a WWII veteran and airman, was able to join us. What must it be like for him to be surrounded by aircraft from his past? And with his grandson and great-granddaughters? So cool!
Emmeline had a great time zooming around the museum.
And of course we had to get some shots of Larry and Emmeline together. That’s Larry’s jacket Emmeline is wearing/studying.
The whole family was involved. Eighteen month Penelope was also sporting Angel’s handiwork. Amazing, right? And we couldn’t leave Angel and Eric out. I ADORE that last image.
This is a hard session to beat. It was fun, beautiful, different, and meaningful. But you know, I do believe Angel could find a way.Happy birthday, Emmeline! (PS. This session occurred ON Emmeline’s birthday, back at the end of January. Yes, I’m that far behind.)
I’m going out of order here. I’ve photographed three births in the last three months (which I’d say is a lot for having my own little baby only four months ago!), and they ALL have great stories and images that I’m excited to share. But I’m going to start with Graehl’s birth story since it’s in front of me now.
Torie’s first child, Emery, was born five days before her due date, so since I believe that babies generally like to cook for a similar amount of time as their siblings, I was not surprised when Torie texted at 5:30pm five days before her due date to say that she had been having mild and sporadic contractions throughout the day. At 9pm she said I could head on over. When I got there, the candles were glowing, the tea was steeping, and the tub was filled and ready. Torie was chatty and laughing, pausing just a bit during contractions, and breathing beautifully through them. I thought I was probably there a bit early, but second-time moms can progress really quickly, so I wasn’t too worried. But then Trevor texted me to tell me I had forgotten to take my medicine (blood thinners that have to be taken at the same time every day). Heather, Torie’s midwife, thought I’d be fine to go home for a bit, so I left, though rather reluctantly. I asked Torie and Alex to call if/when things changed, and in hindsight, it probably was a good thing to have left instead of making Torie feel like a watched pot.
Around 12:30am, Alex called and said it was time to come back. When I walked through the door, I could tell the atmosphere had changed. THIS was labor. In the tub now, Torie still smiled between contractions, but she was definitely working hard. Alex held her hands and lent her his strength while she was in the tub and on the tablecloth-covered couch. Emery woke up toward the end and their neighbor Robin came over to be with her as she watched her mama work to get baby Graehl out. At 4:19am, squatting with Alex supporting her, Torie pushed Graehl AND his bag of water out into Heather’s hands. Once his head was out, Heather slipped a finger inside the amniotic sac and pulled it back over his head. I had never seen an en caul birth before and it was pretty amazing — and extra hard for Torie! Being born in the caul is a good omen in many cultures; Graehl was off to a wonderful start!
After the newborn exam and a successful nursing session, the whole family made their way upstairs to bed. I love saying goodnight to a newly expanded family like that! One of the great things about home birth is that you don’t have to GO anywhere and can just relax and snuggle and rest in the comfort of your own bed. It’s fabulous! Here are some images from that night/morning:
And here is the whole story. Keep an eye out for THE BEST dad reaction to his baby being born.
Congratulations, Torie and Alex! I’m so, so happy for you!
Every time I photograph a newborn baby it’s special. Getting to see a new little life and the family adjusting around her is an honor. But when the newborn is the second child of clients whose first I’ve photographed since those newborn days, well, that’s something else. I met Jenn and Grady when Calum was eight days old. Now he’s three and a half and a big brother. Little Emerson joined the family on February 17th (the same day as Colin from the last post!) and I photographed her at seven days old. It was so great to see this new family of four, and to watch Calum marvel over Emmy’s little feet (and refuse to hold her if her bellybutton was showing). Emerson is another little peanut, and I could see the resemblance between her and her big brother right away. Such a little sweetie. I adore this first shot of her looking up at the camera. An old soul, don’t you think?
And how perfect is that little smile on Emmy’s face as she’s held by her mama? I’ve been liking black and white quite a bit lately – especially for those dramatic or moody window shots.
We ended with some more dreamy shots on white. Love the spit bubbles in that first shot.
I’m so looking forward to watching Emerson grow. She’s got lots of trips to Rattlesnake Lake ahead of her, with a big brother who can show her what it’s all about. Jenn and Grady, I’m so happy for you, especially knowing that Emerson is a bit easier than Calum was at this age. Juggling two kids definitely has its challenges, but one day soon, Emmy will be laying on the floor laughing at Calum’s antics and you’ll be amazed at the bond that is between them. Congratulations!
Get ready for some newborn photo overload! I tried and tried to narrow down the photos from Colin’s newborn session to a blog-appropriate amount, but it was too hard. So feast your eyes on Colin and his parents in all their day six glory. I could probably have shot the entire session around Meghan and Brian’s gorgeous home; I was in a gray/cream/blue heaven. Colin’s nursery and Meghan and Brian’s bedroom made great settings for images, don’t you think?
There’s something so special about watching a couple with their first baby in those early days. Meghan and Brian seem so calm and happy. It probably has something to do with Meghan being a NICU nurse. She knows babies! These images of Meghan and Brian adoring their little boy are my favorite. Can’t you just feel the love? These are the kinds of images you can’t really do on your own, and these are the ones that Colin will look at over and over as he gets older. I wish we could all see how our parents looked at us in those early days. Talk about adoration.
Before each newborn session, I ask my clients what colors they are drawn to and how they see their baby’s “style”. It really helps me to plan out our time together. Meghan told me that her home had lots of grays, blues, and greens, and that her vision of Colin’s style was classic and sweet. I think we nailed it.I can already see these images hanging on their walls.
Meghan’s twin sister, Colleen, also came over with her daughter, Elizabeth, who is just twelve days older than Colin. Those two are going to have so much fun growing up together. The quilt they are laying on was made by Meghan and Colleen’s mother when she was expecting THEM. So cool. Look at little six pound-something Colin smiling at his nine-ish pound cousin. Love!
Meghan and Brian (and Colleen and Elizabeth), congratulations! I’m so happy for you!
PS. Brian makes a killer grilled cheese with pesto. Thank you!