Family Photography

Beauty and Hard Work: The Gilberts

No experience in my estimation is as beautiful and as death-defying as carrying and delivering a baby. As women, we are miraculously able to carry and house another developing human for 9 months and then ensure its birth. Even now as I think about it, only God knows how such an feat is possible. In our human limitations, all we can do is enjoy it. That is why I love taking pictures of soon-to-be moms. With my camera, I am able to capture their hidden strengths and enduring perseverance as they make what is unimaginably difficult look sooo easy. Such was the case with my session with the Gilberts.

Tiffany Gilbert (8 1/2 months pregnant) her husband Stephen, and the son Stephen III met me at the beautiful Allen Pond Park in Bowie, MD. It was hot that day and if you know anything about sessions in the sun during the summer, it is wise to be prepared for fussiness and a short gas tank of patience. However I was touched because Tiffany and her husband got through the session as easy as I have ever seen it. It was really one of those moments where you could tell just how much they love each other. 

As we made our way throughout the grounds, I was glad to see just how attentive and patient Stephen was as Tiffany took picture after picture. In the end, it was all worth it. We really got some great shots. One particular moment of note was when little Stephen put a stethoscope to his mother's belly to see if he could hear his little sister to be, Savannah. This was so precious.

I must say that I enjoyed my time with the Gilberts. I left their session with two valuable lessons. First, as a photographer and customer servant, I will always be sure to carry water and a snack for outdoor maternity sessions and second, beauty is hard work. The Gilbert's were a beautiful family and I realize that that doesn't come easy. They had to work! Work to love each other, work to help each other, and work to put each other in a great light for great photos. Because of all the work that went into this, I know they will love the final results.

Documentary Family Photography

Document YOUR Family's Life

When I meet new people and I tell them that I am a documentary photographer whose passion is "Day in the Life" photography, I am often met with puzzled looks, as if to say "What is that?". I usually sum it up as photography that captures real people, real moments, real life, and real emotions. But as a photographer, what better way can I tell you about a "Day in the Life" session than to show you a story in pictures. I am proud to share this video on "Day in the Life". This is Dee Jestene Photography. Enjoy!

This is a quick video to show the experience of having a photographer in your home to document your family life. Dee Jestene Photography is available for you to be in your photos. Contact us today.

Why Albums?!?

As a professional photographer, I am well aware of all of the arguments that people tend to make concerning why people should not invest in albums, but respectfully, I believe they are doing you a great disservice when they say this.  Here are five reason why you should consider purchasing an album with us.

Technology is Volatile 

Let’s face it, technology fails and technology changes.  No matter who you are, in some shape, form, or fashion, you have learned this lesson.  Your computer or USB device had all of your information on it and for some unknown reason, what used to be there is no longer. Honestly, your family’s memories are way too important to gamble with that risk. What happens when your USB device of today becomes the floppy disk of tomorrow? Even if you have one of those online storage services, I guarantee you that you would save so much more money having a physical copy of your photographs than entrusting it to the web. Albums are a much safer way to go than only relying on technology.

Personal Connection 

Another reason to create albums is because unlike online experiences, looking at an album creates tailored personal connections. When you are flipping through your wedding album with friends, you can tell them the story of how you and your spouse met, or you can laugh about “that one time” when you were together. 

Comprehensible Quality

When you are flipping through an album, you are able to clearly see the quality that you have invested in.  As you may well know, it is immediately clear when someone has invested good money in good photography. The quality is just unmatched and here’s the thing: Albums do not depend on the quality of your computer. The quality speaks for itself.  Now when you order a digital copy, the only way you can get an accurate feel for the quality is to have a quality computer. One of the unfortunate realities of being a photographer is that my digital work may not be appreciated to the depths it deserves if it is seen though bad resolutions.  With albums, I do not have to worry about that. 

Backup to Technology  

Now with all that I have said thus far, I want to make it crystal clear that I am not against digital copies (which I sell).  I am just saying that there are pros and cons compared to albums.  One pro of an album is that in the event that you do have digital copies of your photos, albums provide a quality backup.  I often encourage my clients to purchase both digital and print copies of their sessions because of the necessity of having backups.

In sight, in mind.

Now I know what some of you are thinking…”I use digitals because it saves space.”  True. I cannot deny that, but let me ask you this: When was the last time you scrolled to the bottom of your social media feed to view your photos?  How often have you logged onto your Dropbox or another online account (if you have enough storage)?  For most of you, I would assume not so much.  You know why?  Because out of sight, out of mind. Most of the time, people rarely go past a year ago to look at photos because they don’t want to spend so much time searching through pictures while they load. Albums take up space in your home because they afford you a “bang for your buck” experience.  You are much more likely to look through an album from years ago than you are to scroll through pictures on your social media. Albums stay in sight so they are more likely to stay in mind.

Do you have gigabytes of pictures but no albums?  Contact us today and we will put some of your photos into quality album or better yet, create a new album for you that is sure to last a lifetime.

HOMEostasis: A Day in the Life with the Moshers

HOMEostasis: A Day in the Life with the Moshers

As dawn approaches, somewhere around 5:30 in the morning, Jill and Daniel Mosher stir themselves awake.  While most use this time to hit the snooze button, Jill and Daniel wait expectantly on their morning visitor. Every morning without fail, young Jonah makes his way to his parent’s room to seize some snuggle time with them before his brother Emerson wakes up. Having become used to this routine, Jill and Daniel are already prepared with open arms and space on the bed for their precious little invader. Just as they were saying this, in walks Jonah. For the next few minutes, they each take turns talking through yawns and stretches while Jonah slides into mom’s arm. Soon after that, Emerson joins the party.  

Love and Simplicity: A Day in the Life with Duane, Tamara, and baby Tyson

One of the greatest pleasures in doing what I do is seeing love shown through simplicities. No bells and whistles, just unfettered love between families. These moments often happen when I am photographing babies.  They really just need the parents.  In one instance, while Duane was holding Tyson and clipping his nails, Tyson entertained himself by gnawing away at Duane’s arm.  How funny. It was a pleasant reminder that as parents, we need not worry so much about what toy is best for our baby’s development or how long tummy time should be. We should really focus on making a connection.  Duane spent a good ten or so minutes clipping away, all the while embracing the nibbles of his drool-filled teether. They were happy.  They were loved.

As I began to interact further with the family, I noticed that I quickly became a fly on the wall.  Duane and Tamara worked together like a well-oiled machine as they managed their household. While Duane was on the computer and the phone, Tamara was with Tyson. While Tamara handled some chores, Duane was with Tyson. This mutual cooperation made for some great moments. Every time, they would switch roles from worker to caregiver, each of them relished in their time with Tyson.  In one instance, Tamara just held her son.  She didn’t say anything.  She just held him.  The only thing that broke the silence was Tysons thumb sucking and slight exhales from the two of them. 

It’s interesting.  Both Tamara and Duane are teachers by profession and even in their day off, they were still able to communicate a message.  In order to love your child to the best of your abilities, you don’t need a lot of space; you don’t need a lot of toys.  You just need each other.  Love is simple.

For more moments from this day in the life session, feel free to visit the gallery. Also, I would love to hear from you.  If you would be so kind, contact me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or send me an email at for more information and new opportunities for your very own session. Take care.