Jessica Risinger's Blog bio picture
  • My Photography Style

    Natural, relaxed, and sprinkled with character...all about who you are on the inside (where it really matters.)
  • Why Lifestyle Photography?

    I love, love, love snapping photos that tell a STORY. In the same manner, I love antiques because they have a hiSTORY to them--a family that once enjoyed them and left a mark on them. Through my photography, I hope to show the marks you are leaving on your family. Marks of love and the joys of real life.

Bouncing Baby Boy {Collierville Photographer}

The score is 3-2, boys are still outnumbered.  Doll houses and fairy gardens still account for most of the toys in the house.  But I know he’ll be able to handle it.  The girls in the house are some of the most imaginative I’ve ever met.  I sense they will be able to provide this bouncing baby boy with endless opportunities to ward off the “bad guys”.  They will fill his armory with bows and arrows, swords and shields.  They’ll drape the most rugged cape around his neck and wait in their castle to be rescued by him.

His parents, though short on sleep, still glow with the newness of parenthood.  They thrive in the challenges of raising children.  If they’re anything like me, it may be in part because seeing the way their children push the limits, and knowing how much they still love them, gives a glimpse into how our heavenly father sees us.  It reveals our weaknesses and reminds us of how God still loves us and wants better for us.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.”
Proverbs 1:8-9

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The Family Pet {Collierville, TN Photographer}

I’m not sure what I’ve seen more of in our house:  dog hair, or vet bills.  But regardless, this hairy pickle (as we affectionately call her) is one of the sweetest, most gentle, and smart dogs I have ever met.  We chose her because she was the smallest in the litter,and she didn’t demand our attention when we came to pick her out like her brothers and sisters did.  She has remained a steady part of our daily routine.  She lets us know when the delivery truck drives by and rings her bell when she wants to go outside to potty or play in the snow.  She takes her spot on the kitchen floor and guards me while I prepare dinner.  She even tries to sneak into the boys’ room to rest after they have gone to bed.  Sometimes we take that for granted.  And I will be the first to admit I complain about the Chloe hairs I find everywhere.  (Ok, I’m the only one who complains about it.  The three boys in the house don’t seem to mind.)  But no matter how much I have to vacuum, I’m so glad for the way she nudges her way into our family and has been the best real live, stuffed animal we could ever hope for.

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Rollerblading {Collierville, TN Photographer}

I am about to do it.  I’m about to roll up the garage door and bare the messy chaotic contents of our garage for the whole world to see.  Brace yourself.  It is messy.  And as a documentary style photographer, I’m ok with it.  As a person who likes order, well, I’ve just somehow formed a blind eye when I walk through it.

In an artistic way, I love how my boys get lost in some of these photos because there is so much stuff around them.  All the color, all the clutter, yet still my eye is drawn to them.  It’s drawn to the the shadows the sun is casting in one of the most dreary Januarys that I can remember.  What I’ll remember more than the clutter is how the boys are eating after school snacks, dancing and being goofy, and enjoying time together.  They are actually hugging and helping each other when they fall.  But let’s be honest, just like my garage is less than tidy, our lives are not always this jolly and joyous.  I’m still learning to let my son wear shorts when it feels like 9 degrees outside.  We still have daily meltdowns when things don’t go our way (myself included).  And while I love order, I also like to enjoy what’s happening in front of me.  So join me in letting things get a little messy so you can enjoy the moment.  Call your mess “art” and see what you can create today that might make a cold, dark January day feel like the sun is shining and casting beautiful shadows all around you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Locks of Love {Memphis, TN Photographer}

There is a common theme running through my photography.  It may appear as a background thought that doesn’t necessarily jump off the pages at first, but it’s there, and it’s on purpose.  I like to photograph character.  Not in the sense of a person who plays a role.  But character as in the manner in which someone conducts himself.  What is going on on the inside that makes them do what they do.    How they act.  How they respond.  It flows from the heart.  We’ve all heard that the content of someone’s character is a much better judge than what they look like on the outside.  That’s where I see the beauty.

When this childhood friend told me what she had planned, I could already see the beautiful story in front of me.  She wanted me to tell her story about hair.  Long hair, short hair, and no hair.  It sounds crazy, even weird at face value.  But the strand that weaves through this story is about love.  About how a daughter, with the weight of her hair lifted,  loves her mother so much, she stands along side her as she battles cancer yet again.  The two of them have proven their strength individually over the years in ways neither knew they had in them.  Put them together on a team, and I’m sure the forces of cancer better look out.

My prayers to this family for many times of joyous laughter with short hair.  Deep, meaningful hugs with no hair, and the opportunity to grow it all back as bountiful locks of love.

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Thanksgiving Dinner {Olive Branch, MS Photographer}

Courtney asked me if I would consider photographing her “large and loud” family at one of their gatherings.  She didn’t want “anything posed and formal, just looking to capture her special family moments and interactions.”  Well basically I screamed “YES” over our online messaging.  She was speaking my language for sure.  While I was so excited that it just fit into my schedule before we headed out of town for our super-secret Thanksgiving surprise for our boys, she was keeping this a secret from most of her family.  I managed to arrive a bit early (earlier than Courtney), rang the doorbell and was greated by one of the most hospitable families I have ever met.  Nana invited me in from the gloomy rain.  She was not at all alarmed that an extra guest whom she had never met had just showed up to participate in her family’s Thanksgiving.  She introduced me to everyone else, I was handed a cup and a Sharpie marker to put claim on my own drink, and then was engaged in conversation with people I have never met before.  How in the world was that interaction not awkward?  I just showed up to their Thanksgiving dinner.  A complete stranger!  Courtney’s cute niece let me know she was in on the surprise.  We giggled as everyone continued to welcome me as “Courtney’s neighbor.”  Then Courtney arrived.  As they gathered together, hand in hand to introduce new friends, family, a new fiancé, and then say the blessing, Courtney revealed that in fact I was her neighbor.  And while I did have my own cup and was told to eat probably a dozen times, I was there to photograph their family.  To capture this special time for them.  A lot has changed for them in the last several months, the loss of a precious Papa, and Courtney wanted to remind them of the blessing that family is.

Nana let me know what a wonderful man her husband was.  I believe it too.  The way this family gathers often to celebrate each other, it is evident that they were led by example.  Nana and Papa are leaving a legacy to their children, testifying to the importance of family, of community, and of opening their doors and arms to anyone who shows up on their front step.

 

 

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