The Gusman Family- Sterling VA Family Photographer

There are some times I sit down at my computer to write a blog post and end up staring blankly at the screen for longer than I care to admit. Because I have nothing to say? Definitely not. Its because I can’t seem to find where to begin. Ironically they are always the posts I’m most excited to share, because they are the images and people that remind me why I do what I do for a living. Joseph is a friend of mine from church and over a month ago he mentioned that he and his siblings were wanting to surprise their parents with a family portrait session for Christmas. Even though I was immediately excited and honored that he would ask me, I’ll admit I was nervous. These pictures had to be awesome. 2011 held a lot of highs and lows for the Gusman family, including an unexpected emergency surgery for Mr. Gusman over the summer, so I knew going into the session how necessary updated portraits were for their family.

Thankfully the surprise worked like a charm and neither Mr. or Mrs. Gusman suspected a thing! They didn’t know what was happening until they walked up and saw me standing there next to the rest of their family all dressed in Mrs. Gusman’s favorite color ready for pictures :0) Joseph and Johanna did such an incredible job coordinating everything from location to outfits to meaningful props to include, and it completely made my day to see how excited Mrs. Gusman was when she realized what was happening. Moments like that are what make me fall in love with this job of mine time and time again.

Last night I got to do something that doesn’t happen that often. Typically most of my clients see their images for the first time on the blog, but when I told Joseph that I had finished editing all of their images, he mentioned that they wanted to be able to all look through them for the first time together. So last night I brought their disc over to their home and got to sit with their family as they looked through their pictures. One of my favorite and definitely the most rewarding part of my job is getting feedback from my clients after seeing their images or album, so you can’t imagine how it blessed me to get to be a part of their little ‘family photos viewing party’ and see their reactions as each image came up. There were a few tears, lots of laughter, and plenty of “oh my gosh look how GOOD you look!” from all family members, and in that moment I was reminded exactly why it is I do what I do, and how precious and powerful a simple family portrait can be.

Thank you Mr and Mrs Gusman, Johanna, Joseph, Jonathan, Jay Daniel, and James for welcoming me into your home and trusting me to document your family. It was an honor to say the least! If my family is half as wonderful as yours is in 30 years, I will consider myself incredibly lucky and so very blessed. SO, on that note.. happy viewing friends!

Mr. Gusman was born and raised in Hawaii, and I love that they brought that into some of their portraits. Next time maybe we can just do family pictures IN Hawaii, okay? okay good :0)

i love everything about this next image. potentially my very favorite shot from our time together: don’t be fooled by this image, despite the looks on their faces, I’m pretty sure Johanna’s younger brothers couldn’t adore her or look up to her anymore than they already do…
Meet the tiniest member of the Gusman family, Maya! and the smiliest member of the family, Joseph and Jonathan’s puppy Tiberius! Seriously have you ever seen a happier looking puppy?? such a good looking family, even Tiberius is smiling for the camera! i’m pretty sure this picture belongs above a mantel somewhere… :0) … yep that looks about right! the Gusmen men at their finest:I knew I wanted to do an individual portrait of everyone, and these next handful of each member of their family are some of my absolute favorites. Johanna (and Maya!) Joseph: Jonathan: Jay Daniel: James:
i LOVE this next series. I thought Johanna was just going to sit down for a picture… ooooh no. definitely not. she’s got way more style than that ;0) i didn’t see it coming, but can you please note the look on all of the boys faces though, clearly they saw what was about to happen… these next four pictures all happened in about 2 seconds: best. picture. EVER.
and while I was taking those shots, Tiberius was NOT very happy at being left out of the pictures and literally chewed through his leash so he could come be in the pictures too! That shot on the right and the smile on his face is Tiberius letting us all know it was TOTALLY worth it :0) just like I believe every mama should have great pictures of her babies, I think everyone should have some pictures like these of their parents together: I told them to do a funny picture, and apparently in the Gusman family, “funny” can also be translated to ‘violent’! c’mon Jonathan, everyone else clearly thinks i’m hilarious.. When I asked if anyone else had any requests for me, Mrs. Gusman asked for a picture with Tiberius and Maya for proof that she had finally become a ‘dog mom’ after years of resisting :0)

Happy Wednesday! :0)

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  1. […] end with the last 20 facts, and a few photos from this year of me doing what I love :) thanks to Joseph for these first three photos he grabbed while he was 2nd shooting with me, I’m pretty sure I […]

  2. […] big shout out to my friend Joseph for 2nd shooting for me for the day! This was his first time officially photographing a wedding […]

  3. […] authentic worship looks like. Since I help lead worship, the next handful of pictures were taken by Joseph who is the Elementary Director at church and preaches in K.G.B. every week. but apparently if that […]

  4. […] lessons with the rest of the world :) I only met Johanna Gusman about a month ago when I did pictures for their family, and first saw her blog when she reposted the images I did. After that I spent a while reading […]

  5. Sara says:

    These are so awesome!! It totally makes me want to know this family…what a great surprise!!

  6. Ant Lis says:

    I see it; I totally see it. What a fun and happy and loving looking family! Beautiful job capturing their spirits!

  7. evelyn says:

    i love the one of the dog with the leash chewed up. how awesome is he?!?! you did such a great job this family looks like they are so much fun!

  8. Nicole says:

    Jessie these are fantastic… my favorite family portraits that I’ve seen of yours thus far!

    I’m sure you can guess my favorites, but the series of her jumping—er, FLYING onto the boys is AWESOME. Job well done, friend.

  9. Barbara Gamble says:


  10. Wendy says:

    These are so unique and funny! Not only awesome keepsakes for the fam but what a memorable session! Awesome!! :)

  11. Jessica this is an a-MAZ-ing session! They had to be deliriously happy with them. Great job!

  12. this is my FAVORITE FAMILY SESSION EVER JESSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love them! They look like so much fun!

  13. THESE ARE SO MUCH FUN!!! Of course I love the Mac picture…and Jonathan you are a stud man!! Thanks for sharing Jess!

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