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"My" Day in the Life Experience

As a matter of principle, I believe it is essential to practice what you preach. For two years now, I have been promoting and selling our day-in-the-life sessions.  The interesting thing however, is that I never actually took the time to do one myself. So, to solve that, I decided that it was time for me and my family to do one as well. There is no need in selling a product that I myself have not invested in.  With that said, here is my day in the life session.

I reached out to a photographer friend of mine, Eva from Dulles Photography,  For our session, my family and I were going to decorate our Christmas tree and later, have some close friends over to decorate gingerbread houses. I have to tell you, it was completely different on the other side of the camera. I was a lot of fun, but there are some things that I learned as a client that has definitely helped shaped how I approach sessions from now on.

The first thing is comfortability. During the session, I was reminded of the anxiety one feels when pretending that the camera isn’t there, while the camera is steady snapping away and making sure you are staging yourself for great photos. This is particularly challenging when you have 2 suspicious children. My 8-month old handled it beautifully, given that she smiles at everything, but every so often, my oldest daughter would be distracted by the photographer. “Mommy, who is that?” “Mommy, what is she doing” “Mommy, she has your camera.” Or, if it wasn’t her curiosity, it was her charisma. This part was hilarious. While my husband and I were trying to act as candidly as possible, my daughter who is supposed to be helping to hang ornaments, would see the camera and immediately strike a pose.  Us: “Natalie, hang the ornament baby”…Her: “Cheeeeesssseee” (blindly reaching the ornament out to the tree but missing it altogether). She was adorably frustrating.

Second, I learned that it imperative that everyone relaxes. Life is tough enough, but photo sessions should be easy. Once we relaxed, we were able to forget that the photographer was even there and had the best time. Day-in-the-life sessions are by far, the best thing a photographer can offer. After a quick break, and a nap for the babies, my friends had come over. Chaos ensued.  We had all types of candy. We had Kit Kats, M&Ms, Sour Patch Candies, Sweedish Fish, Peppermints, Christmas-colored Nerds, Dots, Frosting to tie it all together, and of course the gingerbread houses. Once we were all gathered together, to get everyone involved, we had a gingerbread decorating contest.  There chocolate doors, licorice walkways, Sweedish Fish window shutters, and more. Unfortunately for me however, I quickly learned that a fun time decorating gingerbread houses meant sugar highs for the children. I don’t think they calmed down for the next hour and a half, but I’ll tell you this; we had some amazing shots. Even now as I look at them, I know I will treasure them for a long time.

That is what I want for you. As you look at my pictures from my day-in-the-life session, think about what experience you would like to remember. Think through the quality of the photos. Imagine how awesome it would be if someone else was capturing your entire day. Afterwards, give us a call and let us help you finalize your vision and capture your experience in a professional way. Days may come and go, but experiences can last a lifetime through professional imagery. We at Dee Jestene Photography would love to help you do that. Take care.

How to Choose the Best Family Photographer

Looking for your photographer can be a daunting process. While there are many capable photographers, there is no real certainty that they can provide you the tailored service that you need. So, in a bottomless ocean of talent, how do you find YOUR photographer? I think these five steps are the best way to go.

First: Check out there work. As you may have guessed, you really do want examine your potential photographer's work to make sure that it is what you are looking for. If you don't like their work, ten times out of ten, you won't like your pictures. 

Second: Choose your style. When looking for a photographer, you want to choose someone that specializes in the style you are looking for. You may like a photographer's portrait work, but this does not mean that they will do well documenting your wedding or vice versa. 

Third: Appropriate pricing. The old saying is true. You really will get what you pay for! This means, you have to decide that your memories are an investment. How much that is up to you. I am not saying you need to take out a second mortgage or anything, but you want to get bang for your buck. It is better to pay for quality service, than to get a discounted mess. Do your research on what the going rate is for quality photography and go from there. As a photographer, I will tell you; it isn't cheap, but for good reason. A quality photographer (such as the ones at Dee Jestene Photography...plug) are appropriately priced for quality. 

Fourth: Look for someone who will meet your needs and at the same time demonstrate their skill by leading the shoot..  Do you want one photographer or two? Do you want a particular photographer? What do you want to wear? Where do you want your session? How many pictures are you looking for? How long do you want your session to be? In the end, knowing what you want from a photographer, helps you narrow down who you select. If your potential photographer is unwilling to compromise to ensure you both get what you want, then they are not for you. In my experience, when a photographer doesn't have a plan, they lack inspiration which will impact their work. 

Lastly: In the end, go with your gut.! You are the only one who will have to live with whom you choose. For us at Dee Jestene Photography, we want you to know that whether it is us or someone else, what we care about is you finding exactly who you need to tell your photo story. Take care.

How Much do you Really Love Your Family?

I love my family.  I know this because I have found myself in situations that test "that" love.  Nothing bad, but there are moments that make you ask yourself “How much do I really love my family”.  For example: If you are at a barbecue and your family tasks you with the job of standing out near the entrance to the amusement park to direct latecomers to the party, how much do you really love your family? Or how about this?  You are at a family gathering and in some warped reversal of musical chairs, you are left to talk to grandpa who is in his 90s.  It’s not that he is boring, it’s just that the story you know he is about to tell you has been told at least seventeen times, and while you are sitting there saving face, all you are able to do is to try to drown out the sounds of all of the fun around you that you are missing out on.  While other family is bending over in belly laughs, you are reminded of what life was like in the 40s.  In this case, how much do you really love your family?  For me, I REALLY love my family. 

I have learned that it is not a menial task to direct latecomers, but it is being the helpful one and showing them love.  I am the first person they meet when they show up, and I love that. It’s not that pop pop is boring, but it is that he is instilling values in me that have long been forgotten and it takes more than one lesson.  My encouragement for you is that if you ever find yourself in a situation that makes you question the love for your family, change your perspective.  When you do, you will realize that the experiences that you may find mundane, are often the most insightful and beneficial

Now Offering: Gift Cards!!

What do you buy for the person that has everything?

Answer: Memories.

Regardless of how much or how little someone has, time is their most precious commodity and the only way we can hold onto our time is by capturing it.

That's why what we do and how we do it is so important. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a Dee Jestene Photography Gift Card.  Be the star of the family when you give them the gift that cannot be quantified: love. Love that is found in a memory captured through quality photography. 

Our gift cards are conveniently sold on my website and can be given in any amount you require.

Pickup the perfect gift for any occasion today!