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Everyone has a Story {J Family}

This is the second in the series of portrait stories. To see all of the stories so far follow this link.

I met with the J family at a local park that they recommended for our sunset shoot. The kids seemed to appreciate my bad jokes and the evening turned out to be quite fun. Here is the story in Mrs. J’s own words:
We have photos taken at regular intervals – when our babies are five months old, for example, and we have a family portrait taken when we add a new member to the family. We’ve always used a portrait studio from a major department store, but last year, we were fortunate enough to cross paths with Daryl Everett.
It had been a secret wish of mine to use a photographer outside of a studio, on location. I had tried to work with one before with no success, and so I was unsure of what to expect this time around. I was thrilled with Mrs. Everett’s professionalism and character. She put everyone at ease right from the start and was able to capture some amazing shots.
I knew before our session that Daryl’s work would be of excellent quality; I had seen samples of her work on her website. However, to say I was thrilled with the results of her work on *our* photos would be an understatement. Of course I loved the photos she took of shots we’d mentioned we wanted, but the impromptu photos were exceptional as well, made more so from the fact that her keen eye caught something memorable out of seemingly ordinary moments.

On your Feet Photo challenge

I love feet so almost all of my sessions have a foot shot in them. This makes choosing one for the contest extra difficult. I have some dirty feet pictures, some baby feet pictures and some toddler feet pictures. Those are kind of standard though so I decided that although they may be better technically this shot has a better story.

This is a shot of the feet of six of the family’s seven children created as part of an anniversary surprise!Image This photo has been entered in a contest on

Animal Therapy {a day at the zoo}

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{all of the above images are ©Daryl Everett 2011 and were taken at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. }

This past week was incredibly busy for me. We left the house at least once a day and usually for at least three hours each time.

As the week progressed, I was able to feel the stress wearing me. By Sunday evening I had turned to “Facebook Therapy.”

I started thinking of when I could get in some Mama-to-Mama time with a friend which led me to thinking of all the things that needed to be done this week and in only two days since it’s Thanksgiving week! The list was overwhelming and it was still growing.  All of my fellow mamas appeared to be busy this week and I needed a quick intervention.  I considered a few things and they all seemed like they would contribute to my stress levels increasing rather than to my feel-good hormones increasing. Scenes of laughing with an excited toddler played in my head. Then I got it: the zoo.

When you go to the zoo you write off the whole day to strolling in nature and enjoying the animals, in my case with a little boy who loves animals. What could be more healing for a Mama with increasing fight-or-flight hormones? Me thinks, nothing. (Save a long soak in a candle-lit tub with soft music and a personal masseur.)

And with that the decision was made to take a day off and go to the zoo. No “to do” list, no dishes, no laundry, no portrait edits, no cooking, no cleaning, just the train, the animals, the child and the camera.

While the day wasn’t some ethereal experience, but it was restorative. It’s quite amazing just how exciting the reptile house is when you’re almost two.

I had to remind myself a few times that the agenda for the trip was to have no agenda, not to see every animal at the zoo. We loitered in the aviary  because those double doors are just so cool. We looked at all the snakes at least twice, just in case one of them decided to do something really neat. We chatted with the goats and looked into the eyes of the gorilla, wondering who was really on exhibit!

And one of us slept all the way home.

All in all it was a great experience.

Hands {contest entry}

Toddler looks sad as she and siblings touch mother's pregnant belly.

I recently started following Iheartfaces and today they have a contest that’s right up my alley: hands!  I love hands. They tell such great stories.

This picture is from a maternity session about six weeks before the baby was due to arrive. It was impromptu and that was a good thing! Little did we know baby would arrive within two weeks!

The joy of the older two children is contrasted by the reflective look on the face of the toddler who seems to be mourning her impending lose of being the baby. Yet it’s mingled with a bit of love for this new baby in Mommy’s tummy.  So sweet.

If you’d like to enter the contest go over to, read the rules and enter!

Photography Challenges & Photography Tutorials
” Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials