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I really should thank 2 year old William for this whole "Iconic Set" idea.

He's a pretty fabulous kid, that William. I've been taking photos of him since he was born (I went and met him for photos in the hospital *just* after he was born, in fact). I love him with my whole heart -- he's practically family, to be honest... which means I tend to photograph him the way I photograph my own kids, and my nieces and nephews... kind of the way a mom would, you know?

I find that I photograph William with an eye toward just making sure I'm *really* documenting who he is, making sure I don't miss anything when his parents have me do a photoshoot for them... but the reality is that I tend to OVERshoot when I'm with William and his family, because I just love them so much.

When you love somebody a lot and you're photographing them, it's hard to step back and remember maybe you don't need QUITE so many photos of this experience... maybe just a few would suffice?

But, I tell myself... I just want to really make sure I get it! I want to be sure I'm documenting him properly at this age.

He's just SO cute.

I mean, you see what I mean, right?

But it made me think about a larger problem. The problem of parents and how many photos they take on their phones of their own children... and how so often, even when it was my own daughters I was photographing -- I found myself holding a phone between me and them, between me and their experiences, just hoping for that perfect shot.

Doing what we call in the industry "spray and pray". Taking a zillion photos, hoping one will be that perfect one.

Meanwhile, though, the phone was becoming a pretty constant barrier between me and my girls. I mean that as a physical, actual barrier - I was holding it up to take photos so much, that I was actually kind of missing the experiences with my girls.

As I started to think about it, I wondered...

What if someone had taken the time to think about it a lot and figure out the most important photos that I should take to take at any given age for my kids?

I realized, when I asked myself this question, that that would have been totally incredible. I would have loved for someone to say to me... oh, your baby is 20 months old? It's summertime? As long as you take a photo of this, this and this, you're good.

But I also realized that parents who don't work as professional photographers for their job might also appreciate having someone show them *how* to take those three photos, so they're worthy of putting in a frame. Because then, the idea would be...

Get those three photos and then you can put your phone down.

The more I thought about this concept, I also realized who that someone who identifies that "Iconic Set" of images should be. It should be me, the person who's been photographing hundreds of babies and toddlers every year for the last 20 years.

So I got going. And now, after working on it for about ten months behind the scenes... I'm ready to announce that this spring it's happening.

It's called the "Summer Iconic", and it's the first little class I'm publishing as part of the "Iconic Set".

I've identified three different age groups that I'm creating this program for:

-12-18 month olds

-18-24 month olds (such different skills and abilities than 2 year olds and than 12-18 month olds!)

-2 year olds

I'm starting with just this one program, and it's just for people who have one and two year old kiddos. I plan to create lots more programs teaching parents to take great photos of their kids with their phones, because I have always felt really strongly that that adage about "the best camera is the camera you have with you" is true... and we all have our camera phones with us all the time.

I'm passionate about teaching parents how they can take really great photos of their babies and toddlers with their phones.

But this spring, I'm going to be starting by asking anyone and everyone if they have any friends with children who'll be either one or two years old this summer... becauseĀ in April I'm going to launch!

I'm insanely excited about the whole thing, and if you are too, sign up at to be notified when I launch the program.

I'm aiming to send it live in April - cross your fingers with me that I can finish it in time...

Because it's really, REALLY cool.

So if you know anyone with babies who'll be one or two years old this summer, definitely send them to the site so they can sign up to hear from me when I launch the program in a few months.

xo Jess

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