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“If you feel your value lies in merely being decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the inner workings of your mind: your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you. I so wish I could give my girls a more just world. But I know you’ll make it a better place.”
– Louisa May AlcottLeesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman01I have had lots of “little friends” throughout my life, I have always LOVED being around kids and truly value the little friends I have the privilege to know. Well Jenn was one of the very first little ones that I was particularly attached to. I have known this beautiful young lady since she was first born, as her family lived right next door to me when I was growing up! Pretty much any photo of me from those few years includes Jenn and her sisters! It was SO surreal to me when her mom contacted me about photographing Jenn’s SENIOR pictures! She has grown into the most beautiful young lady with the sweetest spirit, and it was so much fun to have such a great excuse to get together! and! who knew Lansdowne had such pretty cherry blossoms! who needs DC anyway?! ;)Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman05Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman09Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman10bwI truly could have photographed this girl all day… SO so gorgeous!Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman11Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman17doesn’t she have the best smile?!Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman22bwLeesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman25Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman28Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman29Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman33Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman39Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman42bwLeesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman43Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman49Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman52Leesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman55bwLeesburg_VA_Senior_Portraits_Freeman57and just for fun… here are a few throw back photos!! it’s really not fair that Jenn is completely adorable in BOTH the old photos AND these senior pictures, and I am right in the midst of that horrible elementary/middle school awkwardness… but Jenn is too cute not to share :)Untitled-1Happy Friday! :)

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“can’t believe you’re here now
tiny dream come true
the answer to a prayer now
i’m so in love with you”
-matthew west
Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford14Emily and Nate are another couple that have so very thankfully made me their ‘photographer for life’ and I about melted to pieces when I met their sweet Olivia Mae last week!  I was lucky enough to photograph their engagement session back in 2008, their beautiful wedding in 2009, and even some extended family/anniversary portraits last summer! but safe to say, this was my favorite portrait session with them yet! i’ve never seen them so happy! :)  I am so excited to be able to have them as my newest ‘Baby’s First Year’ family! it’s gonna be a GREAT year, i can already tell :)
Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford07Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford09Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford11Olivia had no intention of missing any of the action! She was so alert and engaged and showed off those pretty blue eyes for a good chunk of the session!Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford12Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford16baby toes are the very best :)Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford21Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford22Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford24she’s got those fists locked and loaded and ready to go! Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford28Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford36Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford37she has the sweetest features! truly such a beautiful little girl:Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford41this seems to be her favorite spot in the world :)Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford45love love love the shot on the right of her looking at Nate!Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford54Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford57Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford61Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford62Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford64Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford67love those sleepy little newborn smiles :)Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford69Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford73thankfully it was warm enough that we were able to take some photos on the back deck, their favorite room of the house!Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford79Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford80I think Olivia’s little bottom lip sticking out was her way of saying “aaaand that’s a wrap!” :)Northern_VA_Newborn_Photographer_Wallingsford82Can’t wait to see you guys again in just a few short months! Congratulations again!

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“When the stars line up
and you catch a good break
people think you’re lucky
but you know its Grace.”
– Garrett Hedlund
Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette01My favorite place for an engagement session is always somewhere that actually MEANS something to the couple, and as Mike and Lynnsey shared pieces of their story with me there was one central place that kept popping up: Annapolis! Even as we walked around during their engagement session it seemed like every corner of this town held some special meaning to them. “This is where we went to eat the first time we came here!”… “This is where he helped my family with the boat!”… “This is the exact spot where he PROPOSED!” I love that we were able to do their session in a place that plays such a big part in their story! These two were so. much. fun. to photograph! Couples that will play, be goofy, and laugh together are my faaavorite to have in front of my camera :) I am already counting down til their wedding this August!!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette03Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette07this is the spot where Mike proposed to Lynnsey, so of course we had to stop here for a few for a few pictures :)Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette12Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette13bwwe had a pretty incredible evening for their session, the weather couldn’t have been any nicer!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette14one of many (many!) favorites!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette16M+L, i told you two there would be a few of the “outtakes’ mixed in with the rest of the blog post ;)Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette17Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette18love love LOVE the shot on the left! another favorite for sure!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette20Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette21Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette26Mike had a few ideas of his own to mix into the session… I think the guys on the bike in the background totally make these next two photos…Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette30Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette33Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette36Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette42Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette43oh man, i just adore the two of you ;)Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette52Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette55Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette56Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette58this little sneak attack is what Lynnsey calls “KOALA!!!!!!” ;)Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette64Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette68Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette71I think this building was painted just to match Lynnsey’s outfit!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette77Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette79Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette81Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette84bwAnnapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette87and then came the moment that Mike, i mean ALL of us, had been waiting for! ;) He drove his bike all the way up to Annapolis so we could do some portraits with it at the end of the session and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! these are some of my absolute favorite portraits from their session!Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette92bwAnnapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette95bwAnnapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette97Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette103bwAnnapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette107Annapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette114bwAnnapolis_Engagement_Photos_Audette119Can’t wait for August!! :) Happy Wednesday!

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Last week I announced the official launch of these “Legacy Sessions” and I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude by the response! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read about my vision for these sessions and my heart moving forward with this business. If you missed that post, I would love for you to go back and read through it and enjoy lots of images of my time with the Warlick Family.

Todays legacy session holds such a special place in my heart. I got to live life along side the Wharton family for a full 24 hours, and what a perfectly FULL 24 hours they were. I arrived around 9:00PM and got to spend a couple hours with Rachel and Heath just getting aquainted and sharing more of my heart and why I believe in these sessions so much. We had talked a lot more the session, and I had actually photographed their family almost SIX years ago, but this session was going to be different and we all knew it walking into it. I watched Rachel fight back the thoughts of “what is so special about our home? what kind of great photos could she really get here?” and i knew that this session was going to come at such a perfect time for their family. They are getting ready to pack up their home, load their favorite people (and one sweet dog) into an RV, and have an adventure this summer on the way to their new life in Colorado. They are taking a big leap, and it’s so encouraging to see their faith in every step. Every season looks SO different than the one before, but I knew for Rachel and Heath that this session was coming at just the right time. To document this particular season for their family before it changes.

They explained that they start every morning with a coffee date before their little ones wake up and the day really begins. Rachel homeschools their 5 children and somehow manages to cook, clean, fold laundry, read books, teach lessons, fix hurts, play games, and spend intentional time with each one of them on a daily basis. I have no idea how she balances it all with such ease, but I am surely going to be a better wife and mother one day because of my time with her. The thing I noticed all day long was that no matter the task at hand, she constantly had a smile on her face. She was the perfect example of what it means to serve and love with a JOYFUL heart. Whether she was getting a snack for someone (again) or going over math problems, she did it all with a joyful attitude. It was so beautiful to witness.

and Heath is clearly the hero of their family, his children and his wife could not adore him any more. He explained to me that he has learned that his boys especially really need to both wake up and go to bed with a laugh. That it helps to set the pace for the day. So he sets an alarm to make sure that right at 6:40 on the dot, that he is able to go in their room and wake them up with a laugh, pray with them, and help them start their day right. That just shows you the kind of dad he is: present, loving, and intentional. Some of my favorite photos from my time with them are of Heath with his children, specifically snuggling with his daughters and praying with his sons.

Nothing was staged, nothing was directed, everything was simply observed. They allowed me to come in to the real moments; the moments of joy and the moments that are harder than the rest. The moments that make up their lives together, and the values they are instilling in their children. It was an honor, to say the least.
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton01Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton13Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton17Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton21Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton31she’s developing more and more of her mama’s servant heart every day… Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton43Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton57Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton61each of their children truly have such a love of learning…Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton68Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton76Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton80Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton87Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton97Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton98Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton102Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton110Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton113meet Mason, the newest baby of their family and the recipient of 1291388123 hugs each day :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton121Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton138Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton140Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton144we made a quick trip to the library, since these kids speed through their books! I think Hannah had already finished her new stack of books about an hour after we got home!
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton151Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton159Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton161whether they were learning how to read or how to make pancakes, each day is packed full of “new” for each of them:Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton173Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton181Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton192I got to see each of the kids really in their element; doing the things that make them truly come alive:Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton204Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton220Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton227Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton229Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton234Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton263I absolutely love this portrait of Hannah. She brings such an element of calm and peace to their family. Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton264one of the things Rachel said they love best about this house is the back porch, and even more specifically the sweet conversations and heart-t0-hearts that she is able to have with her older kids:Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton266Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton274think she’s excited that her daddy is home from work? :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton279man learning how to ride a bike with no training wheels is tough work!Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton289Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton296Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton311Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton321Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton328thankfully we got the warmer evening we had been praying for so they were able to have dinner as a family in their favorite room of the house:Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton340the kids were beyond excited to show me their new RV and home for the summer:Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton346Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton353Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton358this was the one item that they asked we incorporate into the photos, as it means so much to their family. whenever they experience a big answered prayer, they write it on a rock and keep it in this basket, as a constant reminder of ways that God shows up for them on a daily basis. It was so sweet to see each one of the kids pull on their own rock (or two!) and explain to the rest of us how God showed up and provided for them personally. Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton387Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton398Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton399Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton414Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton417Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton430Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton439Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton444Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton456Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton472Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton476Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton488Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton489Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton491Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton492Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton500and their day ends just the way it began: a cup of coffee and the love of their life.
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Wharton506Below is a slideshow of almost 200 images from my day with them, the images above don’t completely do these 24 hours justice. I would love you to take a look, and read a few thoughts from Rachel and Heath after their session…

“When we first heard about Jessie’s Legacy Sessions idea, we didn’t think photos of our day-to-day life would be that compelling because most people are accustomed to perfect settings with perfect poses and perfectly dressed kids when they think about family photos. We sit still for a few moments, hope everyone smiles, and then hang these sanitized images of our lives on the wall or on the web.  However, we’d never considered the idea of opening up our home for a day to allow a professional photographer to capture the real essence of this time in our lives. 

On any given day, our time is full of action and adventure, quiet thoughts, deep sorrow, and wonderful victories.  It is amazing how we lose touch with the true beauty and meaning that exists every day–the carefree play in the backyard, little girl giggles and preteen smiles, the homeschool chaos or first rides without training wheels.  These moments are more precious to us than sanitized images, so why not trust them to a professional photographer for a day?  With Jessie’s help, we overcame the sense of vulnerability–and saw these intimate family moments in new light and in new ways. 

She brought to life the real beauty that is our legacy, our life.  It reminded me of a quote I once heard that went something like, “The way you live your life every day, is how you live your life.”  That’s what we wanted to capture–a keepsake of our family legacy, distilling all the character and chaos that is our family in this moment…at this time of great transition.  As with every great risk, there is great reward, and we couldn’t be more pleased with this collection of photos and the video that Jessie produced. These still pictures–the essence of our days– will become a masterpiece in our home and a great reminder of the legacy–the struggles, worries, and victories–of our lives during this season.”

-Heath and Rachel Wharton

To help celebrate the launch of these sessions, I’m offering 25% off the first FIVE legacy sessions booked!!

Sessions can either be a half day or the full day like you see here! If you’d like more information on scheduling a Legacy Session please drop me an email and we can connect!

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  • Brooke Brame

    Jessie-loving the Legacy session with this beautiful family. You have an amazing eye and you are truly an artist. Thank you Wharton family for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Barton

    I am Rachel’s older sister. This I just WOW!
    I so wish you could be a fly on the wall here. It is such a special, eye opening way to appreciate the little moments we so quickly forget. Amazing job and a perfect idea for special life time moments!!!
    If you are EVER in Florida- look us up!


  • Holly

    Ahhhhh Jessie! I am just loving these!!!! I can’t wait to see more!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel wharton

    With tears in my eyes, I have watched this video many, many times. A time capsule for our family from this season, a reminder of what our days looked like while they were young, a glimpse at the ordinary that God sees as beautiful, and photos that capture the emotion of those beautiful gifts God gives us everyday. Thank you Jessie.ReplyCancel

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone01 ooooh these two handsome boys, they hold a very special place in my heart :) I’ve been photographing Benjamin since he was still in his mama’s belly and then all throughout his first year, and to see him now love his baby brother Harrison is just the best thing! and gosh Harrison just has the sweetest personality. they’re best buds already :) their family is actually getting ready to move to a new house in just a few weeks, so it was really special that we were able to do these portraits in the boy’s first home! enjoy WAY too many favorites, as always :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone04 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone05 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone06 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone09 he was SO excited to show me his room, and all of his many (many!) books and his many (many!) stuffed animals :) don’t you just love that smile?!Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone10i really love that Ben’s bear has made it into multiple sessions over the years :) Ben said that Bear sleeps with him every night…
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone14… along with just a FEW other friends too ;) I said “Ben! Where do YOU sleep in this bed with all those animals?!” and he pointed to the one little empty spot right at the end of the bed and said very matter of fact, “right there!” :) Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone20 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone23reading a few of his favorite books while Harrison took a little snooze :)
Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone25another favorite for sure :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone28 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone29 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone30 Benjamin’s one request was a photo in Harrison’s bed with his brother… done and done!Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone31 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone34 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone36 LOVE this portrait of Carolyn and her boy. so SO much!Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone38 such a happy boy!Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone39 this kid canNOT get enough of his books! he was even quite insistent that I sit down and read a few with him :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone40 love love love these next few photos of Mike and Ben! Benjamin read that entire “Daddy Kisses” book to Mike :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone44 he knew what was coming in the end! :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone45 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone47 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone59 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone60 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone66 Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone69 love how Harrison is looking at Mike in this last one :)Northern_VA_Family_Photographer_Stone71Can’t wait to see you all again in just a few short months! :)

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