• studio3z photography {the blog}

    If you have landed here...bless your soul.  Welcome to our little tiny corner of the cyber world, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Below you will see favorites from our sessions we do professionally, and also loads of personal nonsense that we hope at least will entertain you.  If nothing less, you can keep up on our adorable children.  Really, they are worth the trip back here time and time again in and of itself.

    My name is Jess.  My hubby is Brett.  We are crazy about each other, our 4 babies, and our art.  Welcome to our world.

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Monthly Archives: July 2009

greg laswell {music}

If you know me, you know I love music.  And almost just as much as I love music, I  love taking photos of artists at work- especially musicians.

This is not the first time our friend Greg Laswell has been featured here on the blog.  You may remember our photos of his show last fall, or us mentioning that his song was on our new Senior website.  We were happy that his latest tour had a stop in Columbus.  We headed up there, hung out a couple hours with Greg (I talked his ear off about how much our kids love him), and then we watched the show.

Oh, and just when I think the passion of my love for my Canon Mark II may be calming down, I get to shoot something like this…no flash, no lights but a few stage lights.

I {heart} you Mark II. :)


Love this shot….



This one too.


Brandon, rocking it out.





through the crowd…


And if you haven’t heard Greg’s music, go and get acquainted HERE.  You can thank me later. :)

P.S.  Happy Birthday today to my baby sister, and best friend in the world Ashley.  Here is a photo I took of her last summer, in all her gorgeousness.

Love you ASHIE!!!


July 31, 2009 - 10:56 pm

lucy - love the laswell shoot…love that pic of ash even more. she looks like such a rockstar! happy bday ashey!

August 1, 2009 - 2:22 am

jason - great shots, as usual.
so glad you all got to spend some quality time together in OH.


August 1, 2009 - 4:56 am

Dana Halvorson - I want to hang shot #7 on my wall.

August 1, 2009 - 6:11 pm

Igor Tchounkovskii - Wow! Those are some awesome photos of GREG! I was at his concert in SF in June! Were you at Cafe du Nord venue too?? Awesome shots!!

August 3, 2009 - 8:58 am

Gail - Thanks for introducing me a few months ago to Greg Jess! I LOVE this music. I love when I can find (or someone helps me to it) an artist who hasn’t hit it HUGE yet and then when he does, can say, “Oh yeah, I knew about him!” I feel like with Greg, that’s DEFINITELY going to be the case. Glad you got to see the show!

August 4, 2009 - 3:43 pm

Sandy - absolutely brilliant…such beautiful kids…

August 4, 2009 - 3:44 pm

Sandy - doh, and Laswell isn’t bad either, sorry stepped away and forgot what page I was on…lol

August 3, 2010 - 9:36 am

micki + troy {the wedding} | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] this would be the case….from the very first time she emailed me and talked about our similar musical tastes, to their uber cute engagement session in the little town of Yellow Springs, we knew they both had [...]

happy 5th birthday {to our Riah boy}

Little Riah,

Today you turn 5, and I catch my breath.  Where have these years flown?  I look at this picture below, and remember the most sweet pregnancy.  I felt happy, energetic, and at times forgot I was even pregnant.  You would scare me at times with how calm you were.  I wondered during those nine months if it would be a direct reflection of who you would be.


You joined our world, you enhanced our family.

We took a week and a half to name you.  It drove people crazy.  Since you loved to be swaddled constantly, we lovingly named you, “Burrito Joe” for that first week. :)

After much time and consideration (and nearly going insane on my part), you were named Xavier Yuriah Zwolinski (XYZ).  We wanted to call you Yuriah (light/flame of God), and we did for the first couple months.  Since Adin was two, he could only say “Riah.” It kinda stuck.


You had this amazing black hair that usually stood straight up.

We were all so crazy about you.


I found this photo archived and it was titled, “family chaos.”

Having our new “3z” was a new dynamic, but you made it seem so easy.  You were mild mannered, calm, and loved to sleep- which was the exact opposite of your older sister and brother.

I spent a lot of time in prayer…thanking God for his mercy. :)


Did I mention that we fell in love with you?  We did.  Madly.


This is the day you got the nickname “chip.”  Moments after I took this photo, Priya held you, and then accidentally dropped you.  Your front tooth still has the little chip in it.


And now….

you are still the same baby to me.

Happy, sweet, carefree (with a dash of rambunctious.)  And I don’t know that I would call you “calm” anymore….maybe “bouncy” would replace that. :)


You have such a generous heart….always wanting to give, rarely making a fuss about not getting the same as someone else.


Your best friends are your family, and they love you just as much.  And even though you are third in line, you always seem to teach us a lesson or two.


You are a permanent smile, and a walking sunshine.

I can’t tell you how many days your simple smile has changed my outlook on life.

You are an incredibly special boy.


Happy birthday to you Riah, my 5 year old sweetie.  My prayer is that you grow up with the same sweet spirit, compassion, and loving smile that you have today.

love you,


July 29, 2009 - 3:33 pm

betsy - This is so precious.

July 29, 2009 - 5:47 pm

Gail - You have SUCH a beautiful family Jess; I know you already know this, but you are VERY blessed :)

July 29, 2009 - 6:43 pm

mitchbaby - this is too precious. God bless you guys. and Happy Birthday, Riah! See ya’ll soon ;)

July 29, 2009 - 8:15 pm

Dana Halvorson - Jess, thank you for sharing with us. I really do feel like I know you and your family. Love to you.

July 29, 2009 - 10:25 pm

Konul - Happy Birthday precious nephew! Sorry I couldn’t see you today on your birthday but I want you to know that you are on my and Leyla’s thoughts and conversations all the time! See you on Sunday!

Jessie, I can’t believe it was 5 years ago today I met and held him first time in the hospital. Now Riah looks so much like your brother Billy. We have a saying – lucky nephew will look like his uncle but Riah doesn’t need luck – he is one of the most blessed children I know!

July 29, 2009 - 11:22 pm

lucy - happy 5th birthday ri ri! you are one of the most loving and giving kids that i know. so full of energy, so full of laughter. and your cuteness factor? well, that just makes me want to eat you. lucy loves riah.

July 30, 2009 - 3:56 am

wrecklessgirl - i just fell in love with him, all over again.

July 30, 2009 - 9:48 am

Bonnie - Just wanted to let you know I gave you a blog award. Nothing big (my blog is just a little thing) but I had to pass it on and your blog is truly one of my favorite blogs. Your pictures are inspiring and your writing just as good. So, there you go!

July 30, 2009 - 9:17 pm

Maya Laurent - Girl, you are stunning pregnant!!!! So cute, have I mentioned that you are a great mom?

July 31, 2009 - 12:42 pm

Amber - This entry made me cry!! What a sweet boy! I love your family!

August 4, 2009 - 12:49 am

holly - go ahead, make me cry. you are the loveliest.

asher {six months} + his family.

I love this sweet little family!  Not only are they good friends, but they have been long time supporters of studio3z, and for that, we are so incredibly thankful.   If they look a bit familiar, you may have seen them on the blog a few times…actually MANY times!  *hold on a minute….*  Ok, I just went and counted back to when they first started with us in 2006, and this was their 9th session with us!!!  (Thank you guys so much!)

Here are a few recent sessions:

Asher’s newborn session (which has one of my FAVORITE family photos I have ever taken!!)

Family when Asher was  in the belly

Meet Jessica and Michael….they have been making babies at warp speed, and with how flipping cute they are I don’t blame them!! :)  From oldest, to youngest we have Alayah, Jade, and sweet little Asher.

This shoot was mainly to focus on Asher, who is 6 months old now.  Of course we had to get his sisters and Mom and Dad in on the mix as well.  We had such a good time, and shot the whole thing in our backyard. :)

Mr. Smiley.  He is about the most precious little guy ever.


Holding Daddy’s hand….


This child is beyond BEAUTIFUL….I told Jess he is too pretty to be a boy. ;)


Standing up like a big boy!


And then with some help from Daddy.



Editing this photo, I realized you can see Brett taking this shot, with me dancing in the background- in his eyeball!!


He loved grabbing this grass. :)



Then Alayah and Jade jumped in!  Alayah is 4, and Jade is 2.



Sweet little family!!


Mama with her Asher boy!


He looks like such a big boy here- very independent.


I LOVE this!!

(Sorry Jess, tattoos are showing….but it is sooo them.)


Alayah had a laughing fit!


Love the pat on the head…. :)


Oh!  Let’s stick the baby in the rusty pot!  Of course!



Jade’s a sweetie.


At the end, they were jumping in the car to leave, and the sun decided to peak out as it set….I made Jess + Michael hop out, so I could grab a couple of the two of them. :)

Jess said, “Ok, make us look like all those cute couples on your blog!”

Jess, no need to “make” that happen.  You guys are adorable.


Here are some behind the scene shots- Brett was taking feet shots, like the one at the top of the blog.


I love how Jade is “turning” her brother’s head. :)


Even Priya took some shots!!  (I’m getting this family business started YOUNG!)


Jess and Michael, thanks again for allowing us to capture these beautiful times in your lives.  We love your little (but bigger than last year!) family. ;)  Can’t wait to watch your kiddies grow.

July 24, 2009 - 4:57 pm

mel - adorable. just wanna say…MAMA- you look WAY too good after having 3 kids so close!! and especially one being 6mths!! inspiration! the laughing shot is my fav. :)

July 26, 2009 - 8:47 am

jess - thank you…. and thanks Jessi and Brett for capturing all of this. I really love these shots!!!!!! I love the one of Michael and myself and Bubby in the pot is too much!!! great stuff….

July 30, 2009 - 8:27 pm

Jenny - These pics melt my heart!

August 17, 2009 - 9:20 am

Chloe - Oh my, what a sweet little head!! He is absolutely gorgeous and really well captured. You can see his personality in these photos. What a cute one.

my heart. {in a photograph}

I’m uploading cards tonight from some recent shoots and was floored by this image.  Looking at this photo, my heart hurt with sheer joy.  As I began to edit it I realized more and more why I reacted so strongly to this simple photo file….

I am often asked what caused me to get into photography, and what inspires me.  This photo would sum it up.  Almost 10 yrs. ago when I had my first child, I saw a beauty in her that I wanted to share with the rest of world.  This is why I love photographs. I wanted something that could point me back to that day-that moment, and that feeling I had when I spent time with her.  Just she and I, laying in the grass, playing with her toys…..a very simple everyday scene, but seeing her face as she discovered and learned, was a place where my heart would love to live.  You parents out there know…..if it were possible to bottle it up for later, we would.

Taking my daughter to the local department store for a photo brought us both to tears, and I almost always hated the photos.  So I quit going.  One day I picked up my point and shoot, I quit making her look at me and smile, and I waited for those moments.  I fell in love with watching and waiting for those moments.  And the rest as they say, is history.

When you look at this photo what do you see?  Being the mother, the power of this photo is quite different for me, I’m sure.

I see a photo that 20 years from now will be posted in my house, and a cute moment that Adin and Riah will look back on fondly.

I see:

a summer day

the warmth of the sun

a beautiful place

two precious boys

a relaxed moment

a big brother’s love

a proud little brother

and the stillness of life.  simple + sweet.

I find it an incredible joy, honor, and an absolute dream to be able to capture these moments for others that perhaps can help them feel an *inkling* of what I feel for this little photo.

Thank you for being a part.


July 22, 2009 - 11:07 pm

Erica - I love this post…really touching, and truly you…

July 22, 2009 - 11:10 pm

lucy - precious baby boys. how i love them! i also remember those days when you took priya and adin to department store photographers. those days were painful….for all of us. thank you for picking up your camera and vanquishing those days into sunflowers and fields of gold.

July 23, 2009 - 7:45 am

Amanda - Gorgeous, both the writing and the photo! That sums us up too, except we’re not nearly so skille, just that portrait studio situations aren’t us, so we turned to our own camera and trying to capture those everyday moments. Then of course, we upgraded our camera. ;) HAHA. THANKS for sharing!

July 23, 2009 - 9:11 am

Briony - just lovely

July 23, 2009 - 9:44 am

Candice - powerful!

July 23, 2009 - 10:45 am

Nanny/Beth/Mama - Yes the two GRANDSONS are GORGEOUS as is their sister PRIYA and little bro. GAB. They all touch my heart and my soul ALWAYS and FOREVER!

July 23, 2009 - 1:25 pm

jason - beautiful photo. beautiful words.

July 23, 2009 - 1:43 pm

Ellee - That thought was beautiful, perfect and transparent. Thank you for sharing – it blesses me. :)

July 23, 2009 - 6:20 pm

Sandy - Just beautiful…these times go so fast…good to see you enjoying it to the fullest.

July 23, 2009 - 9:54 pm

Mark Lee - Perfect photo. Jess, you have the touch. –Best from, Mark

July 23, 2009 - 11:32 pm

billy - love it!

July 24, 2009 - 2:48 pm

Liz - WOW!! Transending Words & Epic Shot!

July 27, 2009 - 11:21 pm

Maya Laurent - I love that you are thinking about this photo 20 years from now! How true for all of us who capture these moments. Thanks for the reminder Jess!

July 29, 2009 - 9:31 am

Liz - Your words are beautiful
This image…wow….an image to treasure for all of eternity

September 23, 2009 - 10:28 pm

Ronni - I love this post. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m a photographer that doesn’t take as many photos of my kids as I should. Great inspiration. You have two handsome boys! Keep up the personal blogs.

August 11, 2009 - 9:56 am

flower power. {our sunny babies} » studio3z photography - [...] I did a whole post about this photo a couple weeks ago.  You can see it HERE. [...]

November 10, 2010 - 8:05 am

new favorite | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] it, my new favorite, because I am just smitten. This is another one of those images that I am can imagine myself looking back on with such emotion and [...]