2017 California Favorites – Jessica Michelle Photo – Long Island Family Photographer

Again this October over the Columbus day weekend I had the pleasure of getting to go back to California from Long Island and see all of my favorite west coast families! This year a majority of the sessions I did were shot at China Camp Village in San Rafael. I can’t believe I had never shot there before! It was gorgeous and truly picturesque at all hours of the day.

It was so much fun to catch another year with all of these great families and meet a few new families too! I’m already thinking about and planning for 2018 – where I’ll have a new little assistant with me helping out, or just looking super cute. Any suggestions CA families on where we should shoot?! I’m thinking Stafford Lake in Novato, A Nicasio location or Cavallo Point in Sausalito – comment below and let me know what you think!

NOW here are my 2017 California favorites from the sessions that took place this year.

Enjoy! portrait of family with two sibling kids playing portrait session by jessica michelle photoportrait of family with two sibling kids playing portrait session by jessica michelle photobeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location father and son session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerportrait of little girl in bright patterned dress druing photo session by jessica michelle photobeautiful on location mother and daughter session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location mother and daughter session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbrothers together beautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location mother and son session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location mother and son session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographerbeautiful on location family session port jefferson new york long island family photographer

Golden Hour Self Portraits – Port Jefferson, NY – Jessica Michelle Photo

I’ve been doing self portraits every other week to document this final pregnancy and last weeks was so magical and came out exactly how I wanted and above my expectations of doing self portraits! Here is 24 weeks, a little over half way done and growing by the second it seams. I feel like I was showing a little extra since these were done the day after Thanksgiving where I think I devoured about 34 meals over a one and a half day period.

I want to take someone here to shoot soon, before they mow it down! SO lets set up a session for you, your family or your sweet little one – you won’t be disappointed.

golden hour sunset maternity self portrait in golden dress jessica michelle photo long island photographerA golden hour sunset maternity self portrait in golden dress jessica michelle photo long island maternity photographergolden hour sunset maternity self portrait in golden dress jessica michelle photo long island photographergolden hour sunset maternity self portrait in golden dress jessica michelle photo long island photographer

 

More maternity sessions can be seen on the Maternity tab

Moe’s Fall Maternity Session – Stony Brook, NY Long Island – Jessica Michelle Photo

I had the pleasure of getting to capture Moe & Ignace at Avalon Nature Preserve and Duck Pond in Stony Brook a few weeks ago. Moe thought that she had missed her chance at 37 weeks pregnant to do maternity photos but took a chance and gave me a call. I was so happy I was available to squeeze them into my schedule. They were both so fun to work with and Ignace was quite a funny guy! We decided on an evening session and the park was absolutely beautiful when we arrived. The golden hour sun made all the fall colors really pop and shine. After a little walk though the park we decided to get Moe into one of the dresses I have and do just a few more near the pond. She was STUNNING!! And we even had some guest waddle into a couple of shots.

outdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New YorkOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature PreserveOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature Preserveoutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in stony brook long island new yorkOutdoor fall materntiy session jessica michelle photo in Stony Brook Long Island New York at Avalon Nature Preserve

Tips to capturing the Holidays! – Jessica Michelle Photo – Long Island Photographer

You can’t always be so lucky to be married to a photographer like my husband – so here are some tips to capture your holiday festivities! Wether it with your smart phone or dslr you got as a gift this past year make sure to take it out and really capture the family moments together.

Follow the light

Nothing is worse than a poorly lit photo! Take the time to stop, observe and adjust the exposure to make sure your getting what you want before moving on. On your phone this can easily be done by tapping on the screen and moving the exposure slider up or down. Light can come from so many different options – like your bright christmas tree. Explore your surroundings and really take it all in.

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Capture the candid moments 

Sure the kids holding up their presents with big smiles on their faces is a great memory too, but the best is watching them open them and seeing how they react when that is going on. Watching grandma & grandpa interact with the kids, big hugs upon arrival, reading a book or just sitting together taking in the time together. Capturing the unposed can be just as good or better as the posed ones that everyone always gets.

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Take an adventure & play

Getting outside or doing something not only yields better light but makes for fun memories had and captured! Last year during our winter break it SNOWED! For us the kids had never seen, touched or played in the snow having lived in California on the coast. Watching them suit up and dig in and have a blast was something i’ll never forget. Don’t limit yourself though getting out also means meeting santa, taking a fun holiday adventure to the tree farm to cut down your own tree or getting hot cocoa at the local coffee shop. Cocoa mustaches are completely adorable.

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Change up the perspective

Take the chance and give your little ones a moment to capture what they want – you may be surprised when they come back with at least one or two cute shots. Get down low and on their level and shoot. Shoot from above, though a window or door. Get creative and change it up a little.

jessica michelle photo 365 day project documenting everyday port jefferson long island new york january

Get in it the frame

I have to admit this is a really hard one for me a lot of the times. Not because I don’t want to be in the frame but because I get SO caught up in taking all the pictures! So while everyone is gathered around take a moment to set up your camera and set a timer or hand it off to another person and hop in the frame. Because you were there too!

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You might even be surprised when you do hop in the frame and can’t monitor whats going on!


Lastly at the end of the day, the best photos are the ones you take…the ones just for yourselfAll of the happiness captured, the meals shared, and the time spent together they are the memories that make up this season. So, do your best to take the photos that matter to you, but more importantly — also take time and put the camera down to experience it for yourself.

Olivia and Dillon – A girl and her puppy – Jessica Michelle Photo

I have know Olivia and her amazing family for 10 years now! It all began when I had just moved to San Francisco after graduating from photography school and happened upon getting a nanny job with their family. Olivia was just two and a half and I had never nannied before or driven around San Francisco. Let’s just say they both took some adjusting to. I ended up nannying for them for FIVE years and they became like family to me. I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter family to work for and grow close too. After moving on we always kept in contact and close – Miranda was one of the first to come hold my Emily after she was born even. Olivia later accompanied Emily in being a flower girl at my wedding. Now living on opposite coast it’s harder to see each other ( thank goodness for Facebook!). When I was in the Bay Area last month for holiday sessions I was able to squeeze in a little session and hang with Olivia and her sweet little labradoodle puppy Dillon. I could not be happier with how they turned out – these two are like peas in a pod!

portrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoblack and white portrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoportrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoportrait of teen girl hugging her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoportrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoportrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at home by jessica michelle photoportrait of a golden labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photoportrait of teen girl and her labradoodle puppy at park by jessica michelle photo

Ada’s Fall Themed 1st Birthday Party – Stony Brook, NY – Jessica Michelle Photo

Ada had her adorable fall themed first birthday party last month at Old Field Club in Stony Brook. Big sister Mable and her were dressed in rose gold and white coordinating outfits that were just the cutest! It was so fun to see how much Ada had grown up since her Fresh 48 session I had done when she was just born, Mabel too! Mom really went all out with the festive pumpkins and fall themed center pieces to the amazingly done cake that looked like a basket of apples. Ada had a great time celebrating her first year of life with all of her wonderful family and friends.

portrait of one year old baby girl with mom at first birthday jessica michelle photoportrait of one year old baby girl with sister at first birthday jessica michelle photoportrait of one year old baby girl at fall themed first birthday party jessica michelle photoportrait of one year old baby girl at first birthday party jessica michelle photoportrait of one year old baby girl at first birthday party jessica michelle photoportrait of bigh sister with grandpa at first birthday party jessica michelle photoportrait of one year old baby girl with family at birthday party jessica michelle photoimage of fall themed first birthday party decorations jessica michelle photoimage of fall themed first birthday party decorations jessica michelle photoimage of fall themed first birthday party decorations jessica michelle photo

Getting to know Jessica – The girl behind the lens – Long Island Photographer

20 getting to know you questions – some fun little facts about the girl behind the lens 

I found this 20 Getting to Know You Questions questionnaire over on another photographers blog and thought it was perfect since I am not great at creating about me facts! Usually these are done on Friday’s as #fridayintroductions but I’m posting today so…

let’s get started! Enjoy!

  1. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
    Elf! I mean I watch it year round and can’t think of any other christmas movie that makes me laugh every single time I watch it.
  2. If you could live in any period of history, what would it be?
    Defiantly the 50’s – 60’s. I love most things about that time period and if you look at my house you would totally know what I mean. I have almost all vintage furniture in my house and am always listing to the “oldies” station here. I have always loved the music from that time period – it used to be the only thing my mom played in the car – so I know the words to almost every song that comes on.

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    Us on our honeymoon in Las Vegas 

  3. What’s your dream occupation – the one job you’d love to have if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now? I would have to say some type of chef or baker. I love to cook and eat really yummy food. Though in the years since my kids have entered the world I have not been doing it as much aside from the usual meals of the week. Sometimes I like to get fancy and it’s usually well received other times not so much – like my mushroom risotto last week. “MOM why couldn’t you just have left it plain!” I also love food photography and was my main concentration before solely doing babies, kids and families! sweet_pistacho_35
  4.  Describe your first car and what you loved or hated most about it.
    I had a 90’s something Pontiac Sunfire – it was white. I saved up for about a year after having my learners permit by working at Target ( which is were my slight obsession began)
  5. What one accomplishment are you most proud of?
    Not giving up this year – I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to close up shop and never shoot another picture again. Moving cross country was HARD on me and my business. But thanks to my supporting husband and family & friends I kept on going and not letting the hard parts of business get me down.
  6.  How do you take your coffee?
    Light and sweet so it doesn’t taste much like coffee and I love when summer rolls around because iced is even better for me!
  7. What has been the hardest part about your motherhood journey?
    Not being perfect. It’s the hardest thing for me and I focus a lot on the un-perfect parts. Before kids I had ideas about how I would raise kids and for the most part I have stuck to them but life, pregnancy and PPD really like to throw wrenches into that perfect plan.
  8. What has been the best part?
    Watching them both grow and learn. Everyday I look and think weren’t you just my tiny little baby that I could just carry around and now they are both wild little minions running around causing all sorts of mayhem. edit2026day152__2jessicamichellephoto_365dayproject
  9. What is something you collected or are still collecting?
    There are 2 things I collect – Franciscan Wear (Coronado pattern) and all things Elvis! The Elvis thing kicked off at birth – because we share a birthday and my grandma was a big fan. I have long been collecting Elvis memorabilia since I was a little kid and my grandma gave me an original photograph of Elvis from a concert he did at Ft. Hood in TX. Then she took me to Memphis, TN to visit Graceland. My husband and I collect the Franciscan Wear together after finding a HUGE set at an antique store when we were looking for a dish set for our first place together. And since then we have been collecting pieces as we find them, which has become harder since being on the east coast.

    365 day project port jefferson new york long island child photographer friday introductions

    First Elvis piece can be seen on the right in silver frame & that is only about 1/2 of our dish collection other half is in boxes for when we need 30 tea cups or ice cream dishes 

  10. If you were hosting a dinner party who are the 5 people (alive or dead) you would invite? 
    Elvis (obviously), Adele, The Beatles, My BFF Brandie & Will Ferrel
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
    Really bad TV shows like the Kardashians, Botched, My 600 Lb. Life etc etc. I don’t know why but I get sucked in and can’t turn it off!
  12. What’s on your Bucket List?
    To travel outside of the US- In my 31 years I have only traveled within the US and dream of going to see so many more places.
  13. What’s on your most played playlist?
    Pandora – I don’t have time for playlist… We listen to a lot of Cake radio and Adele radio
  14. Whats your favorite book(series)?
    I’m not a big book reader aside from reading to the kids. Usually only business type books or cookbooks. So really I guess I could say my favorite would be “Pure Vanilla” by Shauna Sever  or the one Emily can read all by herself now called “Emily’s Balloon”
  15. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    San Francisco – not going to lie, I REALLY miss it. SF/Marin was such a great space for us but sadly the cost to live and survive there just wasn’t possible. I thrive on the busyness of the city and the constant change and urban setting.

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    Taken on the way to the hospital in labor with Emily

  16. Are there things that you sometimes don’t understand, but pretend you do?
    Politics – I just can’t keep up. I know its important to know but it stresses me out so much.
  17. What will you never give up on?
    My business – like i said before I always want to give up but I don’t. I worked really hard to get here and I won’t quit easily.
  18. If you could have one superpower – what would it be?
    Cleaning with the snap of a finger. I mean who really gets excited to clean… I don’t and truly despise it.
  19. Have you ever had a nickname? What was it?
    Yeah, everyone used to call me Red in high school.
  20. What makes you laugh the most?
    My daughter Emily says the most hilarious things lately and watching her dance to different music really makes me giggle. Then my husband he’s always been a funny guy doing funny things and thats where she gets it from. day172_jessicamichellephoto_365dayproject.jpg