Day in the Life

"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.

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.