Post #4 in a 5 part series - Stories from my quarantine life... been posting little stories on my Instagram instead of blogging.
Enjoy! (Continued from last week's blog post...)
Copied from Instagram, April 30th:
Mama love. So so important to document. In addition to pictures of babies (which of course are important and warm my heart) I try to include mamas and daddies in all my photoshoots. That connection, that touch - those are the pictures that stay in the frames.
I can’t really photograph myself with my kids in a natural moment these days... but I’ll settle for doing little things for them (all. day. every. day... 😜). Although I do feel like a personal secretary to my kids these days, I’m going to take a little thing like the other day’s haircut for Annie as my #BBPwinfortheday because I want to remember the good stuff when I look back at this time. Memories of her smile after her haircut, not memories of the endless arguing over who should fill the dishwasher. 🤷♀️ (will post a pic of the completed ‘do soon!)
Copied from Instagram, May 1st:
I’ve taken to focusing on food more than I ever had before. It just seems like something I can control, you know? When so much seems out of control, getting a meal made is something I can accomplish on a daily basis.
Before all this, I loved the fun of creating kitchen wall art for families - whenever someone would let me include a meal as part of our photoshoot at home, I’d imagine how fab those eating pictures could be as art in a family’s kitchen. 🍝
So now I find myself cooking and preparing food for everybody a lot around here... as I know we all do. But there are still days when I’m not in the mood to do even that. You know? Where even making a meal feels like it’s too much? Enter my master-of-the-smoker brother-in-law @brentleelowder - the girls and I made masks for them a few weeks ago and as a thank you, he delivered the most decadent, incredible gift: an absolutely fall off the bone, perfectly smoked and deliciously seasoned rack of ribs. This meant that I 1) didn’t need to cook dinner that day, and 2) still had a really happy husband & family, no work required. #bbpwinfortheday
Copied from Instagram, May 2nd:
Last May, I posted this photo. Parents loving on their girl, all snuggled in.
Fast forward to coronavirus times, and I’m grateful to the essential workers who allow my family to do this same kind of loving on our girls, tweenager-style. 🍿
Appreciating the opportunity to stay home and watch an important movie trilogy, back to back. #BBPwinfortheday
Copied from Instagram, May 3:
A few years ago I launched my tween girl empowerment project for 10-12 year old girls. I called it The Who I Am Project, and the cool part about it is that it’s not just about gorgeous pictures of her - in addition to the photos that I always take in her bedroom - her safe space, I also interview people who love her, and combine those quotes with the photos for a really impactful slideshow. Some families do their slideshow reveal a few weeks later privately, and some families do it in other ways. Last year at this time of year I posted this photo from a birthday party slideshow reveal session - every time they just absolutely melt my heart.
Because these projects are time consuming in a different way than my regular photoshoots, I only offer them two months of the year - in January and June. I don’t know what this June will bring, and my stomach feels stressed out every time I imagine it, honestly. We’ll see if the June round of Who I Am Project sessions can happen this year. At this point we’re moving week by week, day by day.
For now, parties are over zoom for us. Painting a fish tutorial with faraway friends gave us all such a boost the other day. So we focus on the good, the nights painting with friends from afar... it’s the only thing we can do to make this feel ok. Focus on the good. Because laughing together, even over zoom, that’s good stuff. #bbpwinfortheday
Copied from Instagram, May 4th:
We watched Tangled last night as a family (for my littler’s birthday - pics to come) and we were all stunned by how many of Rapunzel’s tower activities are ones we take part in at our house during quarantine. 😂
She paints all over her tower room walls in the movie - and there’s shot after shot of her flouncing around the room sweeping, then painting more... 🎨
We’re all in this together. Even the cartoon characters. #BBPwinfortheday
Copied from Instagram, May 5th:
When I document birthday celebrations for my clients (in the before times) so much of what I do is about making sure that all the love that is on display for the birthday kiddo is captured. This means, of course, I’m working to grab those moments when grandparents hug him, when daddies light her candles, when mamas land that kiss on his head... it’s those moments that make me just adore my job and know that what I’m capturing is something to hold on to, forever.
We’re all experiencing coronavirus birthdays differently now, and for now these moments of touch and family love aren’t happening. But you know what we found? That love is still there. It can’t be stopped. Grandmothers still love their granddaughters on their birthday now, it’s just harder for me to take a picture of it. So my #BBPwinfortheday has to do with that love, the love from Sunday, from Sadie’s family and friends, because it’s still warming my heart, days later. They all showed their love in a different way - they sent me video messages before the birthday and I compiled them into a long video for her... (much more this quiet girl’s style than the birthday parades - she was not into the idea of one of those). But these messages to her, strung together? They were just absolutely perfect and now this (66 minute!) video exists - a total time capsule of this time for us - with all the faces of our loved ones in one place. Because birthday love can’t be stopped.
Copied from Instagram, May 6th:
There’s one more day of voting! Link in bio.
If I can’t hang out with smooshy babies like this gorgeous girl today, I’m just going to take the fact that I’m nominated by the Boston Parents Paper as one of the Top 8 Family Photographers as my #BBPwinfortheday - I’m excited about being nominated.
Could I ask you to take a minute to vote for Boston Baby Photos at the link in my profile? Voting is open until EOD Thursday the 7th.
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2018 marked my 15th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
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- Westwood, MA: Senior Photos, sixteen years after the baby photoshoot October 21, 2020
- Scholarships for trainings with Adriana of Doula Philosophy October 14, 2020
- Charlestown, MA – Maternity photos and a social distancing walk September 23, 2020
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