Welcome Baby Hayes! Newborn Photography
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 I met Tess almost 14 years ago.  I was a newly married Colorado transplant from the east coast.  She was a junior in high school at FVS, and one of the returning players on the field hockey team.  She was one of the quietest but sweetest girls I'd ever coached, and I loved spending two years coaching her.  Years later, her younger siblings would follow her to FVS, but after she graduated, and then we left FVS, we lost touch.Fast forward a few years and we reconnected on Facebook.  Tess was now the newlywed, and I was the mother of three.  Thousands of miles separated us, but it was wonderful to have reconnected.  Fast forward a few more years, and there we were, hugging on her front porch, me with my camera, and her with a precious new baby in her arms, and an adorable toddler at her feet.  Funny how time flies by, bringing you to moments that have you reminiscing and celebrating.This is where I found myself last week.  Back at Chico Basin Ranch, where Tess and her siblings grew up, where some of them now live and work themselves.  We spent a beautiful morning together, where I had the pleasure of photographing Tess and her husband, David, along with their two sons, Woods and Hayes.  We got lots of great portraits, as you can see below, but even more wonderful was watching Tess with her boys, and enjoying the sight ...

Happy Summer!
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 We are finally here!  Tomorrow marks our kids' last day of school, the hubby and I have a day or two more of faculty meetings, and then we've got the entire summer vacation ahead of us.  This is definitely my favorite time of year.I'm anticipating lots of family fun this summer.  We've got hikes and bike rides plans, some Colorado day trip adventures, and a road trip across the country back to MA and NY.  I could not be more excited.In looking ahead, what I'm not anticipating is a lot of time to blog!  And so I've decided to scale back the blog posts for the summer months.  I'll still be planning a post once, MAYBE twice a week, but I'm implementing some "summer hours" for sure.Here's to one fantastic summer!  I hope yours will be wonderful too! 

Celebrating the Graduates
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 It's that time of year, and this weekend many of us will be celebrating the graduates in our lives.  Commencement for our seniors here at Fountain Valley School is tomorrow, and the campus is bursting with energy, excitement and joy.I'm so excited to be here to celebrate with our wonderful students, and yet my heart is somewhere else.  A little further east and south.  Today, my little baby niece, Hannah, is graduating from high school, and so while I am here at FVS soaking up all the joy, I am a little sad to not be there with her, celebrating this day with her. As anyone who knows me knows, Hannah holds a special place in my heart.  From the moment she made me "Aunt Jen", I have been smitten with her.  We have shared giggles, secrets, and pen-pal letters, but my favorite shared tradition with her is (of course) our photo sessions.When Hannah was about 9 or 10 we began this tradition.  Whenever I would come to visit, I would take her out for a special photo shoot, just the two of us.  We'd plan outfits and choose a location, then head out usually during the morning hours.  Afterwards, we'd go out for a breakfast date.  It was a highlight of every trip. The years passed, and Hannah grew into the most beautiful, kind, and wonderful teenager.  She developed passions and talents and got busier and busier, as all ...

The Top Tips Round Up
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 On Monday, I mentioned the chaos of this past month.  I'm betting that many of you are experiencing that same chaos.  Graduation celebrations are looming, the last day of school is drawing near for our little ones, and summer is on the horizon.  It's a crazy wonderful time.And a busy one!So today, I'm slacking again.  But even though I have no new thoughts for you today, I did want to treat you to some "oldies but goodies".  For you today, I've got my Top Five Blog Posts on Photography.  If you've never read them, here's your chance.  And if you already have, go back and check them out again.  Like I said, summer is looming and it's time to bring out those cameras! HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS TOGETHER WITHOUT HAVING A BREAKDOWN  TEN MUST-HAVE PICS OF YOUR DAUGHTER  MY CRAZIEST PORTRAIT SESSION EXPERIENCE  THREE GREAT POSES FOR GIRLS (AND ONE BIG NO NO!) IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BY REFOCUSING: THE WORKSHOP Hope these Five Fave Blog Posts have sparked a desire in all of you to get out and get shooting!  Did I miss any favorite blog post of yours?  Let me know!  I'd love to share more!    

Some Words of Wisdom to Live By
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 It's been a crazy month and a crazy spring.  Between the end of school, the launch of the 2016 JLP Reps, and the start of a new endeavor, there's been little time to write.  So this morning I simply want to share a few words with you.  Perhaps you will carry them in your heart today.  Perhaps always. May your day be filled with the joy of knowing you are loved by dear friends.  And may your heart be encouraged to be the kind of friend every girl needs. 

Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 Meet Courtney!  This lovely lady is another rising senior at Fountain Valley School, and another young lady I have had the joy of teaching this year.  Courtney and I had a blast shooting her spring portraits right on the campus at FVS, along the front prairie.  I asked Courtney to share a little bit about herself today, as it's always so much more fun to hear the voice behind the beautiful face.Here's Courtney! WHAT I LOVE TO DO IN MY FREE TIME IS….What I love to do in my free time is to read (mostly plays),  run and hike, and cook and bake.  I have always loved to read, but ever since I started being a part of the theatre I love reading plays.  I currently have a stack of plays on my bedside table waiting to be read.  I like to run because I can be in my own space.  I'm not particularly amazing at running, but I use it as a chance to get away from everyone else.  I like to hike not so much because I enjoy the actual act of hiking but because there are so many pretty things to be seen while hiking.  I love food.  I'd say I enjoy baking more than cooking because I definitely have a sweet tooth but either way I find being in the kitchen very relaxing. THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME ARE...These are always hard.  Whether it's yourself or someone else, three words aren't easy to come up with.  ...

The Workshop You Cannot Miss!
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 The last month has been quite exciting for Avery and me, as we've partnered up to create Valley Girls Photography, and to bring you the first of what we hope are many workshops geared towards empowering girls of all ages through photography.Have no idea what I'm talking about?  Catch up on the blog posts HERE, HERE, and HERE. We are MOST excited about today, the launch of our VERY FIRST WORKSHOP! The Portrait Power Workshop is for girls, ages 10-13, and their moms, and we are preparing a jam-packed and powerful afternoon for all.  With an emphasis on photography, we hope to educate, encourage, and empower mothers and daughters to celebrate their authentic beauty.We're talking dynamic group activities, outdoor portrait lessons and application, even take home swag bags to continue the conversations afterwards.The cost is ONLY $50 for each daughter.  Mothers attend free as the guest of their girls.And if you register by FRIDAY, MAY 13, you'll enjoy a TWO FOR ONE GIFT!  Bring a friend and her mother.  Or bring two daughters for the price of one!   CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE OR TO REGISTER TODAY! 

Reaching New Heights With Brook Raney
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 Brook Raney is an educator and a fire starter.  She is the Dean of Students at Kimball Union Academy, in New Hampshire, and runs the Girls' Leadership Camp for middle schoolers in the summer.Recently, Brook came to speak to the faculty here at Fountain Valley School.  She spoke about empowering and encouraging the girls at our school and in our lives.  In doing so, she inspired many of us.  And for Avery and I, she ignited a new business partnership, and a new endeavor, Valley Girls Photography, and the workshops soon coming to empower girls of all ages through photography.Since Brook was the spark which ignited us, I wanted to share a little bit with you today about what makes Brook so… well, sparky!  So here's a little Q&A with this amazing and empowering woman.  WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THE GIRLS' LEADERSHIP CAMP AND TO BEGIN TRAVELING AND SPEAKING OUT FOR GIRLS EVERYWHERE?Like all great inspiration and focus, GLC and empowering young women came to me out of the beautiful crashing of multiple events and moments in my life.  I was nannying a girl who was experiencing body image issues, bullying, and all kinds of mean girl business at school.  The Dove campaign had come out, and there were billboards blasted all over NYC with full-figured gorgeous women rocking their underwear like champions.  I ...

A Tribute To Mom
Welcome Baby Hayes!  Newborn Photography

 Taking the time today to send a very special HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the beautiful mothers I know.  And to all the beautiful mothers YOU know!What a gift to be surrounded by so many amazing moms.  Mothers who are just starting out on this crazy awesome ride called parenthood, and mothers who have become grandmothers, and great-grandmothers.  So many precious examples of how to raise our kids, of how to encourage each other, and of how to enjoy the ride.Here's to all of you amazing moms out there.And especially to the special mothers in my life: my sisters-in-law, Tara and Dani, my wonderful mother-in-law, Carol, and my precious mother, Mary Jane.  I'm so thankful for each of you.HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! 

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