Everyday Magic

jessalyn prins photography family and lifestyle photographer

He literally burst to the top of the stairs. I don’t think his feet touched the floor he moved so fast down the hallway. I was halfway down having just enjoyed a few minutes of peace using the washroom (a rarity - you mom’s can testify!). He was supposed to be in bed.

“Caden…” I began. But he stopped me.

“Mommy!” he actually stamped his foot. “It makes me very not happy when you go the bathroom and go downstairs and don’t check on me.”

This kid cracks me up.

Every night I slip into his room (as probably all moms do) and peek in on him. Watch him tucked away in pleasant dreams, cuddled with his favorite bear, light trickling in from the hallway. It always tugs at my heartstrings...tomorrow, he will be that much older.

When I tuck him in at night I always let him know that mommy comes and checks on him before she goes to bed - he is afraid of spiders and this, along with his trusty headlamp, helps him drift off.


Apparently, however, bathroom breaks will also be a new checking in point. But I don’t mind. It will only last so long. And then I will be wishing for his little voice to holler at the top of the stairs for me to check on him just one more time.


This is one of the reasons I fell in love with photography - the opportunity to document all of these little moments. The sleeping eyes, squinting from the light mommy let pour into the room for a split second, the blankie and bear he never loses sight of, the way his hair tousles against the pillow.

To me, this is magic. I am so thankful to be a family and lifestyle photographer and hold on to moments like these.

10 Things Family and Lifestyle Photographer Jessalyn Prins Loves

jessalyn prins lifestyle and family photographer

Here are ten things I really love! It was actually a little hard to make this list; there are so many things in life that bring me joy. I kept adding things to my list, taking them off, re adding trying to discover my 'favorite' things in life. Finally I just changed the title from 'my favorite things' to 'things I love!'. That was much easier! 

1. books!

 Books - I love reading. When I was pregnant with my first (and actually had time!) I would go to a local bookstore curl up and read for hours or, if time was more limited, I would just walk along, scanning book titles, reading paragraphs here and there, and always always sticking my nose in and enjoying the  new book smell .

Books - I love reading. When I was pregnant with my first (and actually had time!) I would go to a local bookstore curl up and read for hours or, if time was more limited, I would just walk along, scanning book titles, reading paragraphs here and there, and always always sticking my nose in and enjoying the new book smell.

3. conservation areas

 Conservation Areas - I am so thankful to live in Ontario and be surrounded by such  natural beauty.  I love our conservation areas (we have so many near where I live) and each one has something unique to offer. We have had so many adventures exploring, sneaking peeks of wildlife, splashing in creeks, and coming out  covered in dirt with gleeful smiles on everyone’s faces.

Conservation Areas - I am so thankful to live in Ontario and be surrounded by such natural beauty. I love our conservation areas (we have so many near where I live) and each one has something unique to offer. We have had so many adventures exploring, sneaking peeks of wildlife, splashing in creeks, and coming out covered in dirt with gleeful smiles on everyone’s faces.

5. my rocking chairs

 My Rocking Chairs - I found this pair on the  side of the road  with a free sign attached -  score for me!  They are actually super comfy and I have enjoyed many afternoons curled up watching the rain, watching the boys play, and reading some of my favorite authors.

My Rocking Chairs - I found this pair on the side of the road with a free sign attached - score for me! They are actually super comfy and I have enjoyed many afternoons curled up watching the rain, watching the boys play, and reading some of my favorite authors.

7. mounted prints

 Mounted Prints - I adore printing my work. Seeing what I have been able to capture printed and in my hands -  a tangible memory  - is such an incredible experience; so meaningful compared to just seeing it on a digital device. I love printing my work on styrene - it makes a thick print, extremely durable, and  doesn’t need a frame!  I have picture shelves that I love and have my images sitting on those, and I can swap them out without any hassle.

Mounted Prints - I adore printing my work. Seeing what I have been able to capture printed and in my hands - a tangible memory - is such an incredible experience; so meaningful compared to just seeing it on a digital device. I love printing my work on styrene - it makes a thick print, extremely durable, and doesn’t need a frame! I have picture shelves that I love and have my images sitting on those, and I can swap them out without any hassle.

9. the sound of the dishwasher

 The Sound of the Dishwasher - this might be a little weird but I always look forward to turning on the dishwasher in the evening and listening to the  swish swash as I work.  Maybe because it signifies a (finally) quiet, clean house and a chance for some me time before bed. Or maybe it’s just because I know something is working hard and  doing a job for me!

The Sound of the Dishwasher - this might be a little weird but I always look forward to turning on the dishwasher in the evening and listening to the swish swash as I work. Maybe because it signifies a (finally) quiet, clean house and a chance for some me time before bed. Or maybe it’s just because I know something is working hard and doing a job for me!

2. rain

 Rain - I have my Dad to thank for my love of rain. Whenever the clouds would open and rain would  drench the earth  he would gather us together on the porch to watch the rain come pounding down, breathe in the freshness of a newly watered world, and just  sit, all cozy together.  I carry that tradition on with my boys - though it usually involves them with  buckets  to hold over the edge of the porch and then  dumping them over top of each other’s heads.

Rain - I have my Dad to thank for my love of rain. Whenever the clouds would open and rain would drench the earth he would gather us together on the porch to watch the rain come pounding down, breathe in the freshness of a newly watered world, and just sit, all cozy together. I carry that tradition on with my boys - though it usually involves them with buckets to hold over the edge of the porch and then dumping them over top of each other’s heads.

4. 135 mm lens

 My 135 mm Lens - I love this lens so much; it allows me to be a good distance from my subject but still capturing up close images. I have captured so many of my favorite images this way;  just sitting waiting for magic to happen , out of their space, and capturing their little expressions without having to move!

My 135 mm Lens - I love this lens so much; it allows me to be a good distance from my subject but still capturing up close images. I have captured so many of my favorite images this way; just sitting waiting for magic to happen, out of their space, and capturing their little expressions without having to move!

6. babywearing

 Babywearing - We wouldn’t be able to go on half the adventures we do if it wasn’t for my Ergo baby carrier. It makes life so much easier to just settle my 1.5 year old on my back and set off. He doesn’t get exhausted and my hands are free (this isn’t true - my older son just gives me rocks, sticks and dirt to haul instead).  Plus.... baby snuggles!!

Babywearing - We wouldn’t be able to go on half the adventures we do if it wasn’t for my Ergo baby carrier. It makes life so much easier to just settle my 1.5 year old on my back and set off. He doesn’t get exhausted and my hands are free (this isn’t true - my older son just gives me rocks, sticks and dirt to haul instead).

Plus....baby snuggles!!

8. my littles

 My Littles - these little people have  captured my heart  in a way I never thought possible. They keep me on my toes, always push me towards our next adventure, and bring out the kid in me. They have taught me so much about life and so much about myself. If you want to grow and stretch as a person - have kids! They have a knack for pushing you to your limits,  filling you with crazy joy , and their little snuggles - I would hold on to those forever if I could.

My Littles - these little people have captured my heart in a way I never thought possible. They keep me on my toes, always push me towards our next adventure, and bring out the kid in me. They have taught me so much about life and so much about myself. If you want to grow and stretch as a person - have kids! They have a knack for pushing you to your limits, filling you with crazy joy, and their little snuggles - I would hold on to those forever if I could.

10. cathy marie hake

 Cathy Marie Hake - My bookcase is  crammed with books  I have read several time - but there is a special shelf reserved for this author! I have read her books dozens of times (not exaggerating) and am nowhere near tiring of her works. She makes me laugh, cry, and  her work is like a magnet  - I just can’t get away. Writing this...I think I may just go read one of her novels again right now.

Cathy Marie Hake - My bookcase is crammed with books I have read several time - but there is a special shelf reserved for this author! I have read her books dozens of times (not exaggerating) and am nowhere near tiring of her works. She makes me laugh, cry, and her work is like a magnet - I just can’t get away. Writing this...I think I may just go read one of her novels again right now.

Creating with Light

family photography belleville ontario

I love to create. It’s something born in me; something I can’t escape. I love trying out new things, new textures, new ideas.

If I couldn’t create a part of me would just shrivel up.

I love creating with photography.

There is just so much to it. Mastering photography (a dream of mine) is mastering light.

I love playing with the light, seeing how it interacts with its environment; seeing how it reflects and bounces; seeing how different light can tell a story.

You can do so much with light; you evoke emotion with light - bright and airy creates a feel of summer and laughter and joy; dark and moody can make for tender images, cozy stories. Little patches of light can highlight the pieces of the image that you want to draw the viewer's attention to, where you want them to linger.

My littles are growing so fast; I love that through photography I can capture the authentic stories of their childhood. I can create images to hang on our walls, albums they can flip through and remember - and when they are too little to remember, I can tell them the stories that go with the images. Already, with my eldest being two we cuddle on the couch and look through images and talk about four-wheeler rides, swimming in the pond, and kicking a soccer ball (rather haphazardly) around with daddy.

I can’t wait to share even more of the adventure with them; capturing it through the play of light, allowing my creativity to be a part of their story.

The Truth Behind "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

family photography individual child portrait belleville kingston cobourg

“I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living,

My baby you’ll be”

 

I don’t know many people who haven’t read this beautiful children’s book. It seems everyone has a copy tucked away on a shelf. The story always evokes some sort of emotion in the reader. Some find the mother’s love so endearing and it pulls at their heartstrings, others find the mother’s continual routine of sneaking into her sons bedroom to rock him after he is asleep a bit odd - especially once the boy enters his teen years and moves on to becoming a man.

 

I have personally always loved the story; and after having my own boys I feel the ode to motherhood and the love that never ends but only grows.

 

Recently, I discovered the reason behind the book - and I have to say, it broke my heart and made the book even more special. Knowing why something was so lovingly penned can plant something deeper in your heart.

 

Robert Munsch wrote this song after he lost his two children to stillbirth. It was a song he would sing to them in his head because singing out loud would always make him cry. He and his wife went on to create a family through adoption - welcoming three beautiful children into their homes, lives and hearts, but as anyone who has lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth knows - you never stop loving those sweet souls. Never stop missing them, never stop grieving the loss.

 

The song eventually turned into the well - loved book that it is today when Munsch, at a book reading at the University of Guelph, realized that while he could never sing the words out loud it was something he could share through a story - and so, in that theater hall, he told the story of “Love you Forever” for the first time. People really connected with it. It struck a chord. Parents bought it for grandparents, grandparents bought it for each other, kids bought it for parents, everyone gifted it to the mother-to-be.

 

I think when something is written with such heart, love, and feeling behind it people can’t help but connect. You can feel it through the song and through the words of the story. Everyone has a different way of singing the lullaby to their little ones. I know I have softly sung it to my children soothing them through the night hours. Now, knowing the why behind the story, the song becomes that much more tender, that much more dear, that much more strength of love flowing as I stare at their sweet faces.

 

Thank you Robert Munsch for sharing your story - and the reason behind it - with the world.

 

North Beach Family Photography Session

It's summer! and I don't know about you but I have one thing on my mind - the beach! Sunshine, sand, and waves. That'd make me a happy girl - and an even happier photographer! Add to the mix a crazy beautiful family with just about the cutest toddler. Okay, did you see his perfect little hair do? This family photography session doubled as a maternity session; pretty sure the new little one is going to enjoy being soaked in sunshine. 

Let me tell you a little secret - beaches are amazing (you already knew that!) but finding a location that has heart and meaning for you makes an incredible difference in your photography session. It is like sweet memories is incorporated into all your images. For this family it brought back memories of childhood adventures on the beach, seashell collections, and jumping waves; it also brought back memories of falling in love and dreaming of a family together. 

Alright, alright, I will stop talking about meaningful places for your photography session and let you enjoy this beautiful gallery!