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.

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

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.