Legacy Sessions- A Day in the Life

There is something magical about taking someone’s portrait during that “golden hour”. The light pouring over their shoulders, the sun heating their skin and flooding into my camera lens so much that it almost sets the image on fire… There is warmth.

There is something magical about taking someone’s portrait on an overcast morning. The dramatic clouds and the soft even light that makes every spot a great one to stop and use. There’s the quiet, tender mood that the little bit of gray creates that makes us want to grab a book, a cozy blanket, and someone to snuggle with… There is emotion.

But oh, there is something so magical about taking someone’s portrait in their home. In their own space. Where there is comfort and familiarity and ease. Where your story unfolds day in and day out. Where you and the love of your life have created your own little piece of heaven on earth, whatever that may look like. Where your children feel safe and secure. Where they have something that is their own, even if it’s a collection of favorite stuffed animals and their latest piece of artwork hanging on the fridge. Where you rock your babies and feed your babies and grow your babies. Where their childhood memories will have deep roots. Where the legacy you will leave them begins.

A legacy that is full of all the best things…

A legacy full of bedtime stories and quiet lullabies repeated night after night…
A legacy full of holding hands around the dinner table to pray, and realizing that it’s a holy space…
A legacy full of messes and laundry piles and day old glasses of milk on the counter, because marveling at their latest lego creation or playing dress up was just more important…
A legacy that demonstrates that your marriage is always ALWAYS worth fighting for…
A legacy where your family will all know phrases like “I’m proud of you”, “I’m sorry”, and “you are more than enough” as a common part of their vocabulary…
A legacy that says that being close and time spent together is never time wasted…
A legacy full of choosing to continually date your spouse, and picking them above everyone else…
A legacy that is full of compassion, tenderness, laughter, teaching, forgiveness, creativity, compromise, courtesy, and love…
A legacy that teaches that being present, really present, is so very worth it…

And that all of those little moments that you show up for every day are absolutely worth remembering.

I don’t want to wait until the lighting and outfits and setting are all “just right” to photograph your family. It’s about SO much more than that. I want the real, raw, honest moments. The ones full of giggles and the ones full of bumps and bruises. The dancing and the mourning and everything in between. If there are tears, embrace it. How many moments during the day do you spend wiping little tears and holding them close? Why should this be any different?

The rocking and the wiping and the brushing and the chasing and the working and the dancing and the cooking and the playing and the teaching and the embracing… I want it all.

I want to trade the staged for the genuine. Foreign for the familiar. Perfection for sincerity.

Sometimes I think we don’t even know how incredible and holy all of those things are, until we see it through someone else’s eyes. And then OH my gosh, how it makes us stop and stare and soak it all in.

That is the goal with these legacy sessions- to help show the genuine, honest to goodness beauty that exists in your world. To allow YOU to really see it. Because I believe that each chapter is more beautiful than the last, and so worth documenting. From the “rise and shine!” to the “goodnight, moon!” and everything in between. What are those little things that you cherish about this particular season for your family that might look different a year from now? The pile of laundry that will one day be too small for those little people you adore. The early morning snuggles on the couch that remind you they’re not “too big” to come curl up on your lap, thank goodness. The bed time stories that they will one day read to YOU, instead of the other way around. Time flies way too fast, and this season is worth being present for. It’s worth telling the story of the early mornings and the cold cups of coffee (that you’ve reheated twice already) and days where nap time can’t come soon enough…

It’s worth it. Your life is worth documenting. Because it will change before you know it.


I am thrilled to be launching these “Legacy Sessions- A Day in the Life”. I feel my clients embracing this concept more and more, and I am committed to delivering the most genuine, authentic images I can every time someone steps in front of my camera. These sessions will be completely documentary; I will merely be a fly on the wall as you go about your day, whatever that looks like. I won’t interfere or direct, but simply come along side of you as you go through your normal routine. Legacy sessions can either be 6 hours long, either morning/afternoon or afternoon/evening, or a full day start to finish with your family. My favorite sessions have always been the ones where my clients simply invite me into their lives, and trust that I’m going to see the same beauty in it that they do, and trust me when I say there is always more than enough beauty to be found in those little in between moments that fill your days.

I have been DYING to share this session with you all for weeks now! The Warlick Family was generous enough to allow me into their world for one of the half day legacy sessions (and the first 24 hour session is coming to the blog soon too!) and i truly left my time with their family on cloud 9! It filled my heart SO much being able to do a session like this! Seeing how Hillary and Ryan love their boys, love each other, and what they are pouring into their sons every hour of the day was so sweet to witness. The morning started with some quiet moments for just Hillary and Liam, and then their favorite time of day: family breakfast together! Hillary explained that she has the kindest, most hard working husband, so the mornings when they are all able to make breakfast together is their favorite time of day. Typically after that they all go to the gym, which always ends with one of Liam’s favorite activities: shooting baskets in the big court! There was homemade pizza, trips to the park, potty training, diaper changes, wiping noses, lots of baby giggles, getting dressed, coaxing dad out of bed, playdoh time, races down the sidewalk, learning to make the bed, trips to time-out followed closely by chats and kisses from his mama, good morning kisses, naptime kisses, and lots of anytime kisses… and so SO much more. I am so thrilled to share these images from my time with them, Hillary and Ryan (and Liam and Asher!), thank you for opening up your home and your lives to me for the day. Thank you for letting me into the lovely, the messy, the real, the genuine, and everything in between….Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick06bwThe rest of the text in this post is all from Hillary and her thoughts after the session… “We have created our home to be our family’s sanctuary. It contains our most precious people, treasured things, and cherished memories. These walls have bore witnessed to Liam’s first wobbly steps, my husband’s graduation, the celebration of landing his first nursing job, the joyful bringing home of our sweet Asher, and the most growing season of our marriage. Those memories are each important and noteworthy, and are accordingly photographed, documented, and displayed in our family’s yearly photo books…Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick13bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick14bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick20bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick27Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick32Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick39bw“I would argue that the truly scared moments are the ones that didn’t take the time to pause and wait for our hair to be perfectly styled or our best angles to be found and highlighted. They are the snippets of time that build up to amount to life itself. We are four very flawed people striving to fight a good fight, while running our race. Our race just happens to include family breakfasts, potty training, digging for worms, and happily stolen kisses. This story is ours to write, and it is beautiful…”Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick41Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick50Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick65Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick66Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick70Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick74Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick80

“Having Jessie capture our raw moments was such a treasure. Her pictures allow us to have a personal time capsule of this exact time in our lives. The artistry of her talent captured the full array of emotions that generate our day. She met us in our most comfortable place, and documented the most pure version of ourselves…”

Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick117bw(this next one is one of my favorites from the session- this is Hillary saying “Liam, I’ve asked you three times now to please put on your shoes so we can leave..” I think disciplining and correcting your kids can be such a tough thing to navigate for a parent, and I loved watching Hillary teach her boys with such a sweet combination of strength, authority, and gentleness)Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick128Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick139bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick142Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick157bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick159bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick163Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick164Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick165“I am especially drawn to the definitively unglamorous shots: the picture of our toddler trying to coax my husband out of bed, the kiss my son readily accepts after “serving time” in time out, our family all gathered around the silverware drawer debating the best utensil to pair with our eggs…because these things are important to Liam. Therefore, they are important to me…”Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick177Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick188Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick205bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick208bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick210bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick213bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick221“The love I have for my family is immeasurable. Jessie gave us such a gift through her talents. They are beyond good photographs; they are little chunks of emotion. These morsels matter. They are the framework for the lasting legacy of our lives.”Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick226Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick229Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick246Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick248Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick254Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick257Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick263Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick270bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick274bwNorthern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick284Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick285Northern_VA_Lifestyle_Photographer_Warlick289

I’ve watched this more than a dozen times and each time I love it more than the last. Here’s a little slideshow with even more of my favorite images from my time with their family. Hope you love it as much as I do :)
If you’d like more information on scheduling a “Legacy Session” for your family, I would LOVE to talk with you! Feel free to fill out the contact form on my NEW WEBSITE and lets connect :)

Share This Post

  1. KC

    April 7th, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Jessie, This is beautiful. Such a wonderful gift for this family to have in capturing the little moments of life that truly end up being the big moments :)

  2. The Wharton Family- A 24 Hour Legacy Session: A Day in the Life

    April 13th, 2015 at 6:19 am

    […] week I announced the official launch of these “Legacy Sessions” and I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude by the response! Thank you all so much for taking […]

  3. The Roche Family- Northern VA Family Photographer | Wedding Photography | Wedding Photographer | Northern VA

    September 29th, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    […] of their favorite saturday morning activities was baking together. as soon as i explained my ‘legacy session‘ approach, she jumped on board and said that would be a great way to start their session! i […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *