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.

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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A family that plays together… {Germantown, TN Documentary Photographer}

I always go into a photo shoot expecting to have fun.  They way I approach photography is a far cry from the posed studio shots I endured as a child where the photographer would tickle my nose with what very well could have been a feather duster.  The way my photo shoots unfold would  likely send that photographer into a tizzy.  They are not planned out, nobody sits still in one spot, and we are very likely to acquire grass stains on our knees in the process.  It’s almost like I get to be that favorite aunt who comes to play and laughs when you stand on the furniture or when when you wrestle your sibling to the ground.  I’m really not sure who had the most fun during this shoot.  But I will take it as one of the greatest compliments when a boy asks his mom if Ms. Jessica is coming back again this weekend to take pictures in the front yard.  I think it’s safe to say he had fun.

Look at these photos.  Then look at them again and again.  Go beyond what you see at face value and study the story that unfolds.  See how they cuddle together.  How her hair cascades down her back in beautiful curls.  How their mommy and daddy have given them a safe haven to grow in, and how it is reflected in their freedom of expression and enjoyment of the moment.  It is priceless!

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Down on the farm

The contents of these photos will never get old to me.  The cuteness of a Welsh Corgi rounding up her herd, the smell of a horse barn, hair wildly dancing in the golden sunlight of an afternoon gallop, the purr of a kitten, family being together.  It is undeniable that these parents love their girls with their whole being.  And I’m happy for them that it is reflected in the beautiful young ladies they are raising.  Yes, they are quite stunning on the outside, but I am even more impressed with the sweet joys that radiate from their souls and shine in how they act with each other, and even with their pets.

Thank you K Family for allowing me to be a part of your family time, and to experience the joys of your life with you.

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My baby boy turns 5

He still has a little bit of roundness to his cheeks.  And his legs aren’t long enough to get up into the truck without crawling in first.  There is lots of grunting and asking for help buckling his seat belt.  And he still loves hanging out with me.  How is it that he is now five years old?  Five!  I’m pretty sure I will exclaim that same kind of sentence after each birthday.  But man, time just flies.  Or does it?  Some days seem like an eternity.  Then I’m suddenly reminded of how quickly the time is passing as I sit on a Tuesday at the dining room table with my 5-year-old eating lunch, and realize it won’t be like this next year.  Tears rolling down my cheeks.  Maybe home schooling isn’t such a bad idea after all.  Wait a minute, I can’t keep my kids home from school just because I’ll miss them, can I?  Maybe I’ll just have to become room-mom for two classes.  Ugh, the dilemma.  I think I’ll just try putting bricks on their heads and see if that keeps them from growing.  Wish me luck!

 

 

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Playing in the yard

You can see it when you walk up the brick sidewalk onto the wrap-around porch, that this house holds a family who knows how to have fun together.  Maybe it’s the box of Legos spread out on a table by the porch swing.  Or the clubhouse tucked back in the corner of the yard.  Or the grass worn down in the shape of a baseball diamond.  Even if you showed up on a day that nobody was outside, you could still see the proof that this family is really good at enjoying life together.  And if you showed up on a day that they were outside–well look out!  You will be welcomed with open arms, a glass of ice water with a lemon wedge adorning the rim, and your place in the batting line up.  While you wait for your turn, you can cross the street to take in the fun from the neighbor’s tree swing.  Trust me, they won’t mind.

You’d be lucky to come across a family like this in your neighborhood.  But who’s to say YOU can’t be this family in your neighborhood? Imagine how life would be if we all sat on the front porch a little more and invited people in who were passing by.  Long live porches, tree swings, and friendly neighbors;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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