Dad from this session was a friend of mine from high school who I probably haven’t seen in close to twenty years. This was the first of what I’m sure will be many photo sessions out at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio. It was a gorgeous, crisp morning, and this family was a joy to spend time with. And how gorgeous are they? They will always have a special place in my heart as my first family in Columbus. I hope you love them as much as I do.
This is the last of the sessions from the I Heart Faces conference this month, and I’m so happy to have gotten to shoot this family. I think integrating a maternity shoot in with a family shoot is such a lovely idea, and how gorgeous is this mama?
I shot this session early in July and have had to resist sharing it so I wouldn’t “scoop” the family on their big news! I was still very, very pregnant myself and the heat made it a bit challenging for two mamas on opposite ends of their pregnancies. But we made it through and the results are just gorgeous. They are the sweetest family and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of how they share their wonderful news. Miss H is going to be a phenomenal big sis!
We took a short family vacation to Surfside Beach this weekend, and I was pretty determined to get some sunset photos of the girls on the beach before we left. The final night we were there, everything came together in just the right way. We ate at a wonderful restaurant in Garden City that was right on the water. The night was clear and the sunset was lovely, and despite some tired and cranky girls (and a magnificent ketchup stain on Olivia’s shirt that needed some elegant Photoshopping), I got the shots that I was hoping for. Isn’t she lovely? Now that the baby is here and the weather is getting cooler, I’m really looking forward to photographing folks other than my children! I’ll be doing some mini sessions in Ohio at the beginning of October, and possibly offering some locally as well, so stay tuned on the JHP Facebook page for news about that. Happy September, all!
I almost can’t believe that this photo shoot actually happened! This family contacted me back in late February to do a combined family and one-year shoot for their precious daughter, and we scheduled for mid-May. Little did we know that we were going to have an extremely rainy late Spring here in the Carolinas! After a few rain-outs and scheduling conflicts, we split the session into a one-year session for sweet Little A, and a family session…and the family session happened a month after the originally scheduled date! With my due-date looming and thunderstorms in the forecast for nearly every date that we rescheduled, it didn’t seem like I’d ever get these lovely folks in front of my camera again. We had a major thunderstorm forecast for this evening’s session, complete with hail and strong winds, but it wasn’t supposed to start until an hour or so after we’d made our most recent reschedule attempt, so we decided to go for it. The wind was blowing, the bugs were harassing them, we were racing the clock, and there were thunderclouds looming on the horizon, but this family brought their love and smiles to the photos. Everyone was a trooper, even […]
My June 2013 submission for the Rock The Shot June Photo Challenge! This month’s theme is appropriately “Summer Fun”. When I originally blogged this image of my extraordinarily handsome and sweet nephew, I think I even said that I felt like it was the embodiment of summer! This was taken in my grandparent’s back yard, after some romping through the sprinklers and fun with water guns with extended family. The bliss on his face completely captures every child’s emotions regarding summertime.
This is my second time heading to my husband’s hometown to do mini-sessions, and I’ve been so delighted by the people that I’ve met and the beautiful little places that I’ve gotten to shoot. I’ve learned that when people say “The Lake”, they are referring to the lovely Lake Marion, which is, the largest lake in South Carolina, and where a lot of Manning folks have summer houses. I’ve been to a few of his family’s reunions there before (not nearly as many as I would like), and every time I go there, I tell Keith when I leave that someday, I need to have a lake house. I love the sound of boats on the water and lapping waves on the docks, and the smell of campfires, sun and sunscreen-warmed skin, and cool, shimmery evening air. When these sweet girls’ grandmama asked me to photograph them again, I was delighted…and I was even more delighted when she asked me to do it just before sunset at the lake! Here are a few of my favorites. They’ve both changed so much from the first time that I photographed them back in October, but their sweetness was the same.
This session was some of the most fun that I’ve had behind a camera in a long time. I absolutely love photographing babies and toddlers, but it is a special treat photographing older kids and teens. It was also particularly poignant for me since I will someday have two older daughters. Part of me is so eager to see them like this…to see the young women they will become, and part of me wants to slow down time so I can keep them tiny forever. I know that once they are this age, I’m going to feel like I blinked for just a second too long, and they grew up without my even noticing. I hope that my girls are as poised and loving and lovely as these two. I discovered a fun tip with this session that I will carry over to all older child and teen sessions for the rest of my career…if you want a natural smile from your teens, just tell them to not smile! There was so much silliness, giggling, and love during this beautiful session…I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the photos. Here are my favorites…I’m sharing a lot, because it is […]
When I read the I Heart Faces photo challenge for June, this photo immediately came to mind. I took this on a chilly November morning of my lovely friend Laura’s beautiful daughters on their grandparents’ property. We got an early start to take advantage of buttery morning light for the session, but a lot of the morning was cloudy and cool. This photo was taken at the very end of the session, and both girls were starting to get cold. This shot is the result of their sisterly cuddling against the chill. It is such a beautiful image, both symbolically and artistically; darkly beautiful, but filled with the warmth of their love. I think it will always be one of my favorites.
We’ve had some pretty rainy days for the past few weeks here in the Carolinas, and it seemed like this little one’s photo session was never going to come to be a reality! We kept having to delay because of rain, but the wait was worth it. We got lucky with a beautiful rain-free evening session at Glencairn Garden in Rock Hill to mark Miss A’s first birthday. Happy birthday, cutie! Can’t wait for her beautiful, sweet family’s session next weekend. Here are a few of my favorites.
I’m not going to lie, folks…this silhouette of my eldest daughter at sunset in a soybean field in October was a complete accident. Regardless, it is one of my all-time favorites! I’m submitting it for the Rock The Shot May Photo Challenge
Last Fall, I discovered a beautiful gem of a location called The Ivy Place, just a few minutes from my house. Just 15 miles south of the bustling Ballantyne area of Charlotte in Lancaster, SC, it is tucked away from the world, but easy to find and easy to get to. It is a very popular venue for weddings, as well as engagement and bridal photo sessions. The owners, Terry and Genie, are fantastic folks that very obviously go the extra mile to make sure everyone’s experience is top-notch. I wish I could do all of my family portrait sessions out there! This Saturday we went out there to pick strawberries in their new fields. Peanut was 20 months old on the 27th, and the weather was too pretty not to go. Strawberry fields have to be planted in the direct sunlight, but for photography purposes, bright afternoon direct sunlight isn’t friendly, so the fact that it was a bit overcast was perfect for a day of pickin’ berries and posin’ for some cute pictures. After we picked two big boxes of berries, Terry graciously invited us to go over to the gardens (even though my daughters “stole” several strawberries […]
This is the second family from Ohio that I have photographed here in the Carolinas since moving to the South in 2005. It is so funny how life moves people in similar circles. I have known dad since I was a child…we actually grew up down the street together in Ohio, and I’ve known mom since high school. Now they are living in Greenville, SC, and since mom and I are in touch on Facebook, one thing led to another, and they decided to make the drive to Rock Hill for me to do some family photos for them. I’m so glad they did! The evening was a bit cooler than it has been for the past few weeks, and we had a little bit of wind, but the park is positively gorgeous this time of year, with blooming azaleas and rhododendrons. An added bonus was that hundreds (if not thousands) of geometer moth larvae were creeping around all over the place, much to the delight of the three oldest boys. Those little inchworms really helped break the ice! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed spending time with this family. I hope this isn’t the […]
I have been spoiled in that I get to see this little sweetheart every few months…it had been since December that I saw him last, and I was itching to get my Mr. C fix! We had a mini session at The Green in Uptown Charlotte; a beautiful little nature nook across the street from the Mint Museum. We’ve had gorgeous weather lately, and I was hoping for some pretty sunset light, but it was overcast most of the day in preparation for a late evening rainshower. But while the weather didn’t cooperate with me like I’d hoped, we still had a great session and Mr. C was as charming as ever. I can’t believe he is almost 16 months old.
The vincas are in full bloom here in the Carolinas, and we have a beautiful patch of them right down the road from us. The property is about an acre and a half, and is set on a pond. It is currently for sale. Every time we drive by there, I wish we could buy it and build there! The weather was beyond beautiful this afternoon, so my big girl and I went to have a little mini session in the grove. My Spring schedule is finally starting to fill up with clients, so I wanted to get some time in with her before I’m too busy to do so. I hope you love them. And this candid one after the session…just too sweet to not share.
A new babe will be joining the Jenny Hooks Photography family in July of 2013! This will be my third pregnancy with a summer third trimester. My first was born in August, and my second was born in September. We are very, very excited, but it’s gonna be a hot one!
It is so appropriate that this session was my last one of the year. I’ve been photographing this baby boy since he was 12 weeks old, and it was a bit of a bittersweet session. He was walking! His mommies have been committed to making sure that each of his three-month milestone birthdays have been documented with a photo session, and now that the one-year mark has been hit, I know that I’m not going to see him or them as often now. Living in a big city with small kids is a funny thing; you may live in the same city, but being 40 minutes apart with young kiddos, you might as well live on other sides of the state! The photo sessions made us MAKE time, and I’m so happy we had it. Enough sentimentality…on to the photos! He really does get cuter and cuter every time I see him, and he’s a dream to photograph. And how gorgeous is the light inside of their home?
For folks that live in the South Charlotte area, the ginkgo trees on each corner of the Ballantyne quad are hard to forget once you’ve seen them after they start turning yellow in the fall. The first time I noticed them with a photographer’s eye was last year, and in a very interesting coincidence, this year I took my girls there on the same day as I did last year; November 22nd! My husband and I took our girls on that morning, as it was Thanksgiving, and I assumed that it would be relatively deserted, since it was the morning of a holiday. When we got there, there were already two other families taking photos, and by the time we left, there were a half a dozen groups there! I think several were other professional photographers, taking photos of their own families. It was neat to be a part of it. I hope we stayed clear of other folks’ bokeh! We used some of these photos for our holiday cards this year. I just love them.
Some sweet kiddos came up from Columbia, SC today to play with me in the lovely ginkgoes in Ballantyne. We’d rescheduled the shoot what must have been a half a dozen times, for weather, or the leaves hadn’t changed enough. Mother nature is a difficult collaborator at times, but goodness is she beautiful! And aren’t these adorable little cousins the best? So thankful for such a sparkling morning for this photo shoot.
You know it is a good session when one of the kiddos gives you a spontaneous hug at the end of it! This fun family came out to The Ivy Place in Lancaster to capture some of the last of the beauty of fall for their family portraits. I’d only just discovered the venue, and I’m so glad I did. In addition to being relatively close to my home, the place is simply made for photographers. Lovely landscaped gardens, rural beauty, open and natural spaces. I can only imagine what it looks like in the Spring and Summer when all of the flowers are in bloom. I’ll be heading out there then, for sure! My only regret is not starting the session sooner. We started at 4:00 pm, but because of heavy cloud cover that day, our effective shooting window was cut relatively shorter than usual. I could have easily spent an entire afternoon with this beautiful family.
When I first met this gorgeous family (seriously, don’t they belong in a j. crew catalog?), they were only a family of three (including Miss Lucy the pooch, of course) about a month shy of a year later, I had the pleasure of photographing them with their darling little new addition, Miss M. We had a sparkling, beautiful fall afternoon for our shoot, and the wind that was forecast really never showed up. Here are some of my favorites from the session. I hope you love them as much as I do.
My little Peanut is fourteen months old as of the 27th of October. I love her so very, very much. They’re only little for a little while. Thank goodness for photographs.
Just a few of my beautiful little Miss O in the late summer sunshine.
I started photographing this adorable baby boy when he was only 12 weeks old, and every time I see him he has changed so much! He is just on the verge of walking, it seems…and he wanted to play, play, play! Here are a few of my favorites from our session out at Aw Shucks Farms out in Monroe, North Carolina.
What do you get when you put a darling, good-natured baby girl and her spirited, adorable cousin into matching smocked dresses, and photograph them on a glorious autumn evening in South Carolina? Magic, of course! These little girls were so much fun; Baby C was barely three months old and already working the camera like a seasoned professional. And little Miss L was full of spunk and sweetness…I think we became fast friends in the short hour that we spent with each other. Here are my favorites from their session.
I had such a wonderful time with this family. This session followed the B Family featured in the previous blog post, and I think I smiled the whole time. Little Miss I is seven going on seventeen, and just as darling as she can be.
You know you’re in for an exciting photo session when your clients lead you off-road through multiple fields of crops and into some pretty wild woodland. This session took place in New Zion, South Carolina, on some old family property. There were old barns and outbuildings, and beautiful morning sunshine streaming through the branches of trees and Spanish moss. The family couldn’t possibly be any sweeter (both the kids and the parents alike), and I know that it shines through in these photos.
My schedule is about to get crazy with mini sessions and other sessions this Fall, so I wanted to get out and do a personal shoot that I’ve been meaning to do with my oldest daughter for a few weeks now. On our drive home, there is a field with huge hay bales lined up against the woods, and I’ve been dying to take her there for some photos. Since my husband was home today and the baby was napping, Miss O and I decided to head out and take advantage of the beautiful overcast autumn day. Special thank you to Ms. Ruby and her sister for allowing me to photograph my lovely little girl on their lovely property!
I’ve had the privilege of photographing Mr. C since he was a wee 12 weeks old. We had an evening of blissfull early autumn weather at Glencairn Gardens in Rock Hill, South Carolina, for his nine month shoot. The kiddo just keeps getting cuter and cuter, and his eyes keep getting bluer and bluer. I have the best job in the world.
Each of my little girls are rather wildflowers themselves, I think. Beautiful, spirited, resilient, luminous. Uninhibited! I wish I knew what these tiny pink blossoms were. Hopefully someone will read my blog that knows. These were taken in an abandoned lot near some million-dollar homes here in South Charlotte. Keith and I pass by there frequently, and there are two chimneys on the property that are still standing from where I think a house burned down. We originally went there to shoot near the chimneys, but I was delighted to find these flowers right near where I parked my car. When we headed further into the lot, I was disappointed to find that the chimney area wasn’t nearly as lovely as it looked from the road, and it was overrun with poison ivy. Since I get poison ivy from just thinking of the words “poison ivy”…we stayed away. I hope we weren’t trespassing! I didn’t see any signs posted, but you never know. These photos are my favorite photos of Miss O to date. The colors are just so rich; they evoke every emotion related to late summer that I can think of. Enjoy them. I do.
The beautiful gal in these photos has been my best friend since we were in the fourth grade together. She lives in Ohio and I live in South Carolina, so we only see each other a few times a year (if we’re lucky.) During my extended trip to Ohio this summer, I got to see her twice in a one-week period, which is virtually unheard of! Just being around her makes me feel like I’m filled with sunshine and fizzy laughter, like I’m 15 again and the world is all of the perfect things that teenagers think it should be. She is a part of me, and even if we don’t share DNA, she is my family. I got tears in my eyes while I was editing her session, seeing the joy and laughter in her face when she was with her family. I got to shoot this session about a week after their one-year wedding anniversary, so it was a very special time for them. I love you, M! Here are just a few shots from the evening. I hope you love them as much as I do!
These photos are from my very own impromptu family session that I did while I was visiting in Ohio this summer. These feature my brother, sister-in-law, and darling nephew Mr. W…and one with my daughter Miss S. and her Uncle M. She quickly became his little buddy, which was touching, since she is usually very shy around new people, and hadn’t seen him since she was much younger. The photos were taken at Sherman Park in Sidney, Ohio…a place where I played on a weekly basis as a child. I love being able to go back to these places and they are still mostly just as I remember them. What a blessing to still be so connected to the place where you grew up! And yes…my sister-in-law’s eyes really are that green.
This family was such a treat to photograph for so many reasons. For one, the kids were pros in front of the camera. Really, they made my job so easy I probably could have just set the camera on a tripod and pretty photos would have appeared spontaneously on my memory card. The location was fantastic; a farm with John Deere equipment bursting at the proverbial seams, gorgeous summer evening light, and laughter. Lots, and lots of laughter. This one is going to be hard to beat!
Unless you do a “Trash the Dress” session, the last time you see your wedding dress is probably in the days after your wedding that you picked it up from the dry cleaner, and packed it away in a closet. For most women, the dress is a symbol of many different emotions; excitement, anticipation, nerves, dreams of the future, and most of all; love. When the bride becomes a mother, those same emotions are involved. My cousin’s wife introduced me to the concept of photographing daughters in their mommy’s wedding dress when she asked me to do this session with her daughter. What a special use of a special garment! Miss A was so tickled to put her mommy’s dress and veil on, and you can see the joy in her face in these photos.
This session took place at Creekside Park in Gahanna, Ohio, and what a gorgeous place it was! It is a small park located right off of the main street in the tiny town of Gahanna. The evening was perfect for photographs…we even shared space with another photographer doing a session for a couple and their young boys. I’ve since learned that it is a pretty popular place to shoot family sessions and engagement sessions. Photographing these lovely girls is always a pleasure. They are all as pretty as a picture, with personalities to match, and it is obvious that they love the camera! I always love the chance to see their lovely mama as well.
I challenge you to look at these photos and not crack a smile! I just can’t stop looking at them.
I first got to photograph the handsome Mister C when he was only 12 weeks old…we had a lovely in-home session. This time, we adventured out to Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC, to soak up some of the lovely summer evening sunshine. The only thing bluer than the sky were this little boy’s beautiful eyes!
If I had to choose one photo that I have ever taken to represent the feel of summertime, it would be this one. Can you feel the sunshine on your face when you look at this photo?
I don’t even know where to begin writing this blog post! “Little M” actually stands for “Maximum Cuteness”, and I had a hard time containing my excitement to shoot this little boy in order to get the job done! I actually lost count of the number of times I exclaimed “Are you serious?!” to my Lightroom window as I was editing this shoot. Have you seen more precious brown eyes than these…ever? His mommy is an old friend of mine from college; another sorority sister, to be exact! I hadn’t seen her in at least a decade (oh my goodness, we are showing our age), so the opportunity to be with her, even just for a little while, was an added bonus. This was another shoot that I did while I was home visiting family in Ohio. We went up to our old alma mater, the campus of Bowling Green State University. It was June 1st, and it felt like it was the end of October! The light was grey, the wind was blustery, but nothing could dampen this little boy’s enthusiasm and obviously exuberant spirit. His mommy has portraits done for his July birthday every summer, and she joked […]
When a Grandmother says that there haven’t been enough photos of the grandkids lately, you oblige her! These were taken of sweet Miss S. just a week or so shy of her big nine month birthday. I also wouldn’t take photos of someone else’s child crying, but I have the rather ambitious goal of photographing all of my little ones’ expressions; happy, sad, and everything in between. My sweet girl tends to be a bit on the dramatic side (anyone else have a babe that holds their breath while they cry?), and the crying photos are because I temporarily tried to take the bear away during the shoot. I think they’re precious, and she and I will have a giggle over them when she’s got babies of her own, I’m sure. I hope you love them. I love her so.
Last week, my big girl and I found a pretty grove with an enormous old magnolia tree…it was the kind of place where fairies would live. I told her to be on the lookout for them, and rather than being excited and playful, she was quintessentially Miss O; intensely intent on spying a fairy! She took it so seriously, bringing all of her usual intensity to the search for a twinkly winged creature. There was even one moment where she broke down and nearly cried because she couldn’t spot one; of course I captured it on camera. I think that she wanted to see one so badly, her imagination wasn’t enough to satisfy her. Poor little sweetheart. On the same afternoon, we also found a lovely little field with Queen Anne’s Lace blooming with many other tiny white flowers. Both sets of photos are included here. I hope you love them as much as I do!
This in-home family session was casual and completely unscripted, and totally fun! I showed up at the door with my camera, and within about 30 seconds, I was upstairs in the playroom where the kids were, and we were off! This session is exemplary of the fact that you don’t need a special wardrobe or props or location to have beautiful, meaningful photos taken. I absolutely love this family for so many reasons. The oldest little girl is poised and lovely, the twins are as sweet as can be, and the youngest is a bundle of energy; the embodiment of what it means to be a boy. Their parents are wonderful, genuine folks, and good friends to boot. The eldest daughter had her first communion this weekend, so the day called for some family portraits and fun!
I was so inspired by the buttery, bright light streaming through my bedroom windows earlier this week that I got out my camera and just photographed my girls playing in the bed. I never really need an excuse to take photographs, really…but when the light is perfect and the babies are playful, I get an urge to break out my camera that is pretty difficult to fight. These photos were taken around 9:00 in the morning in completely natural light coming through the windows in my bedroom. It was definitely one of the “golden hours” of the day. I think it is probably my favorite time to shoot. I love this session because it embodies one of my core philosophies as a photographer; you don’t need an event or a gathering or even a reason to have professional photography done. These moments in time with my girls at two-and-a-half and just-over-eight-months are now on permanent record and the memories won’t have to fade completely. These photos exemplify when you should hire a professional photographer (any random Tuesday morning with buttery light streaming in the windows) and why you should hire a professional photographer (to remember that random Tuesday, and when […]
We went out on May Day to celebrate the Spring, celebrate the flowers, and celebrate the sunshine. I’ll let this beautiful poem say the rest. “Let us take our baskets early To the meadows green, While the wild-flowers still are pearly With the dewdrops’ sheen. Fill them full of blossoms rosy, Violets and gay Cowslips, every pretty posy Welcoming the May. Then our lovely loads we’ll carry Down the village street, On each door, with laughter merry, Hang a basket sweet. Hey-a-day-day! It is spring now, Lazy folks, awake! See the pretty things we bring now For the May-day’s sake!” “May Baskets”, by Evaleen Stein
The way the sun is kissing my little girl’s head in these photographs just breaks my heart into a million little pieces. What a beautiful day, what a beautiful child, and what beautiful photos resulted. Perhaps the most adorable thing is how curious she is about her surroundings! A nature girl in the making?
There’s a huge field that alternates soybeans and corn as crops near our house, and my big girl and I find the opportuniy every once in a while to sneak over there for some quick photos. Couldn’t resist this beautiful day with a crystal blue sky and sea of green!
Everybunny loves a bare baby butt, right? Happy Easter from JHP!
The colors of spring with some Easter eggs and my gorgeous curly-haired girl.
Sunday’s photo session was a very special one for me. When I was in college, I was a member of Kappa Delta sorority, and I met a lot of remarkable women in the short time that I was a part of it. Missy was my “Big” sister, and regrettably, our paths diverged after college. I have been so fortunate to get back in touch with many of my sisters via Facebook, and Missy was one of them. Imagine my surprise when I found out that she had actually moved to the Charlotte area (from our native Ohio) several years before I did! We had been in touch on Facebook for a while, but with the demands of professional lives and families, we never managed to get together. I was delighted when she asked me to photograph her twelve-week old darling baby boy Carter. I was equally delighted to get to meet Carter’s other mommy, Missy’s beautiful partner of seven years, Andrea. It was so clear how crazy about him that they are, and how equally head-over-heels Carter is for them. Yesterday was a trifecta of awesomeness; reconnecting with an old friend, gaining a new friend, and getting my hands (and […]
I teach two days a week, and the rest of the week, I usually have the girls at home with me. Some days drone on so slowly, I can only watch so much Little Bear, do so many puzzles, and have my “temperature taken” with Pumpkin’s little plastic thermometer from her doctor kit so many times. Some days, we go outside and draw with sidewalk chalk when it is warm enough outside for Peach to be outside too. Some days, it is a long bubble bath for Pumpkin in the middle of the afternoon. Some days, it is photo session time. Pumpkin is essentially completely over having mommy’s camera in her face, but Peach is still a perfect little model. Pumpkin was playing in her room the day that I took these of Peach, and came into the office to see what the excitement was. She, of course, wanted to get in on the action, and I managed to get some cute shots of her. Love the light in this room!