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.

Summer Vacation–at the Lake

As I mentioned before, we managed to squeeze in a lot of fun while we were on vacation.  This is Part 2.  (Click here to play catch up and see what we did the first part of the week.)

At the Lake
I could probably walk blindfolded through this home and not bump into a single thing.  I could probably also describe most of the duck decor, or the glass sailboats that adorn the not-so-kid-friendly shelves.  I can hear the grandfather clock chime in my memory, see the weather gauge fluctuate from sunrise to sunset, feel the tiny sharp stones as I tiptoe across the gravel driveway in my mind, and taste my grandmother’s pies as if I just took a bite–all from memory.  But I am so thankful that I get to see them still with my own eyes.  And what’s more–I get to gift those same memories to my children.  I really feel like it is a gift that I spent every Summer of my childhood dipping my toes, knees, waist, shoulders, and head into this lake, and running through the green grass on my way to the backdoor of the little brown cottage my grandparents call home.  And now my boys have a piece of that memory too.  Things there have slowed down quite a bit, but the concept is still the same.  We enjoy time with family.  We watch while the sky turns into colors of soft pink cotton candy  as the sun sets.  We enjoy the soothing motion of the boat as we cross back and forth along the lake.  It holds too many memories to even retell.  So sit back and look over the shoulder of a pair of great-grandparents.  See what they see–enjoy their crystal clear lake, rolling hills, green grass, and giggling great-grandchildren…

Bobby & Gigi with their great-grandkids

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Artastic Art Camp

Maybe I’m living vicariously through my children, but I sent them to Art Camp this week.  The good news is, they loved it, and were not just telling me that to make me happy.  I share the sentiments of this fellow artist when she says she is inspired by her everyday life.  Her long-term goals are also pretty inspiring.  Enter through the door to see what this week’s Art Camp looked like, and read on below to hear what artist LeAnne DeShazo has to say about her passion for art.

What inspires you to create art?
LD:  I am such a busy mom. Not only do I have a two year old,(that says enough in itself) but he has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. So everything is extreme! When I do finally get a chance to sit down at my desk, I am overwhelmed by the many things I have learned during my busy day. So needless to say, inspiration comes easy for me. Wether it’s the bible story I read to my son while he’s in the bath, or the flower he picked (then tore completely apart) on our walk up and down the scenic road we love on, I am inspired by my everyday life.

Why did you decide to start an Art Camp?
LD:  The art camp was an idea given to me by a friend. She has some artistic kids herself. So we came together on a plan to do a small camp. She is helping me get started, so in the future I can continue on and hopefully make this a long term gig!

Why do you think art is so important?
LD:  Art is my therapy. My son’s as well. Art is a very important tool in the world of creativity! When we sit at the table and go crazy with paint or crayons (whatever he picks) we have a blast! We laugh, we smile, and we also create a visual memory. I hang all his masterpieces on one wall. (More inspiration)  My biggest dream is to teach handicap children art. Who knows, it may be the one thing they look forward to.

What can we learn from art?
LD:  The list goes on and on for what we can learn. I have illustrated everything from children’s books to painting cars! Each time it’s different. I learn new angles and ways of looking at the same things over and over. I am a self taught artist from a young age, and oh the things I have taught myself. I am able to see things in major detail when I am building my chicken coop, cutting my grass, and even decorating my house. Some folks are just naturally gifted while others have to work hard at it. Just sitting down once a week and painting, mixing colors, or going step by step on YouTube, will help!

What is your favorite form of art to create?
LD:  I’m 100% in love with watercolors. For me they are the easiest and most fun. There is no wrong way of creating a watercolor painting. That’s what “art” is. Messy, fun, and full of your personality!

How would you encourage “non-artistic” parents to cultivate an interest in art in their children?
LD:  My own mom has no creativity WHATSOEVER! Although, she did love to sit with us and color while we were camping. I think if you start your kids at a young age, it will build their creative mind to want to do more in the art sense. Who knows, maybe they will teach the parents. It’s not about being perfect. There is no rhyme or reason to my 2yr olds art, but he loves it. I LOVE IT TOO!!!

Visit LeAnne’s Facebook page here.

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Summer Vacation–Ocean City

I don’t know if I’ve ever packed so much into one trip.  Jam packed.  Just like our single orange suitcase holding clothes for 4 people, we were busting at the seams full of good food, visiting favorite spots, trying new things, enjoying slow and peaceful places and bustling, chaotic places.  It’s too much even for one blog post.  So…we start at the beginning–waiting for our flight (because we’ve tried driving before, and trust me, this is much better for our family.)  Within 24 hours we hit one of our favorite places.  We’re off to the shore:  Ocean City, NJ!

Some people don’t get it.  The Jersey Shore?  Yes, the Jersey Shore.  Maybe it’s because I grew up eating the best pizza and ice cream on the boardwalk, or perfecting the knack of locating the best “off the beaten path” beach entrance, but boy does it hold a special place in my heart.  You Jersey folks–can I get an “Amen!”  You know what I’m talking about.

Each year, I do my best to ingrain the proper beach etiquette to my boys.  First, you must roll down the windows when the bay and bridge are in sight so you can start to smell the salty sea air.  When eating boardwalk pizza, you fold the thin crust in half while scarfing it down, and always order your ice cream with rainbow or chocolate jimmies (not sprinkles.)  When it comes to the drive home, you can never complain that you have sand stuck to your skin or that it piles up in the trunk of the car after you get your beach chairs and buckets out, because where we live, you can’t drive this quickly to the beach.

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Rain showers, and rules out the window

Part of my job is to be able to answer the same question over and over again without blowing my lid.  Let’s be honest–doesn’t always happen.  But today, I literally stopped in my tracks as I got a question for the umpteenth time.  I was about to explode.  Then something came over me.  I laughed out loud and realized how funny it actually is that these boys actually think it’s worth asking over and over again.  Then I prayed to God to help me continue to see the humor in it.

We went about our evening–ate an early dinner (because we were “starving”.)  Then I sent the boys out in the neighborhood to play with their friends while I kept one eye on them and one eye on the line I was following with the mower wheels.  Before long, chores were done, playtime was over, met new neighbors, apologized for how my son hit another boy, then we retired to the front porch for haircuts at Mommy’s Salon.  We set up shop, then suddenly, golden raindrops shimmered like glass beads as they fell to the ground.


(So here is where that laughing out loud and realizing how amusing life can be, grabbing it by the horns and holding on for the ride of my life comes into play.  Sometimes my husband thinks I’m crazy when I, Ms. Organized, Ms. Schedule, Ms. Rule-follower, throw caution to the wind and break my own rules.  It happens more and more every day.  I’m not sure what is going to become of me.  Maybe even more enjoyment out of the people around me.  Doesn’t sound so bad!)


What do we do?  Of course we finish haircuts and I tell them to go out in the rain to wash the itchy hairs off their necks.  It magnifies into adding fresh, itchy grass clippings to Eli’s white tummy, a few ninja moves, and finally splashing and bathing in the street puddles.  And it couldn’t have been more fun.  But then I threw in a couple of pieces of chocolate to finish off throwing rules out the window.  It was a beautiful combination.  Magical in fact.  Because somehow they didn’t reject my orders of taking a “real” shower inside and getting ready for bed.  Not one complaint.  I may try it all again tomorrow.  We’ll see.  But for now, carpe diem!



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A secret for mom

As a mother, I’m pretty sure one of the biggest joys for me in the future is going to be seeing my children holding on to the bond they’ve created over the years.  Seeing them smile at the thought of being together, hanging out.  I know the mother of these three children feels blessed to be experiencing that joy now.  Her joy must have been bursting at the seems when her children revealed to her that they came up with the idea of a photo shoot of the three of them just for her on Mother’s Day.

To this great crew–thank you for thinking of your mom.  For not only gifting her with these memories but for also daily living in a way that makes her proud.



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