• 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.

    Coming here from ProPhoto blog?

    Click HERE to read more info that may answer your questions, and give you a discount!

Monthly Archives: September 2010

weekend in the city

Brett and I are always thrilled when we have the opportunity to travel.  We have both visited New York City, but this past weekend was our first time to visit the Big Apple together!  My good friend Jessica moved out there years ago, and I had yet to have the opportunity to make it out there to see her.  Since moving there, she has met her husband, Tony (you may remember their wedding), and over the weekend they celebrated their 2 year anniversary together!

Jessica was so great at planning out loads of places to go, things to do, and great things to EAT.  As soon as we arrived we all went out for a nice walk and saw a beautiful sunset.  “Walk” became a familiar word on this trip, and by the end I was ok if the word was removed from my vocabulary. ;)

The next morning we had the most beautiful skies, the air was cool and crisp, and I silently gloated that we had chosen the most beautiful weekend to visit.;)

If you have seen our posts from Los Angeles in the past, then you know that FOOD is our favorite thing to explore while visiting places, and we often photograph where and what we eat.  For some reason in New York, the restaurants were very unwelcoming of cameras (unlike LA), so we were not able to take photos of the great restaurants. BUT MAN, were they GOOD.  So here we are outside of one, which will remain nameless, because they were not nice to my baby camera.

Now these guys didn’t care about photos.  This is one of the oldest (or Tony, is it the oldest?) bars in the city.  They have the chair inside where Abe Lincoln sat, and they have a firm policy of “drink or get kicked out.” They only began allowing women in the establishment in the 1970′s.

The original dust from over the years….I kid you not (followed by their excellent home brewed beer, the only kind for sale there,  and original table with original carvings).

That night we had two of our other friends who live in New York come over and hang with us on Jess and Tony’s amazing rooftop.

The next morning we went over to Governor’s Island, and we had such an amazing view of the city.  We were also very impressed by some of the city’s architecture (see Flat Iron below).  Brett got such GREAT shots, and I am just thrilled at the thought of making one a canvas someday.

We split up with Jessica and Tony to give them some alone time on their anniversary.  First we did a scheduled shoot (coming soon!) and then went to a great dinner.

That night we were a little blown away from this view from our floor to ceiling windows from the 17th floor of our hotel room.  If you follow Brett on his twitter, then you know all about it!  He was SO (overly) good at explaining everything we did all weekend. :)

This is Indy, Jess and Tony’s doggie.  I’m not a big dog person, but I adore this little guy.  He was so worth the Claritin I had to take. ;)  As I was packing, this is what he came over and did….

Special thanks to Brett who did the majority of shooting.  I found that I just wanted to soak things in through my eyes, in the moment, but he was so good about whipping out the camera, and I am so thankful he did. Also, BIG BIG thanks to Jess and Tony!  We had an incredible time, and they were positively the best hosts, in one of the most amazing cities.  It is so easy to see how this city wins over so many hearts.

More from NYC next week. :)

September 10, 2010 - 9:27 am

Gail - Ahhhhh…LOVE this post Jess! Your visit sounds SO much like my May visit to NYC – great weather AND a trip to McSorley’s! (and were you as equally grossed out not just at the dust but that those are WISHBONES coated in them? Ewwwwwww…..I felt like I needed my neti pot after an hour in there, but so worth it!) And then, drinks on a NYC rooftop?! I think I could put up with the high rent and walk-up apartments for a view like that whenever I wanted a glass of wine ;)

Love your processing here too. Got a bit of an HDR vibe going on — perfect for the city! That Flatiron shot is amazing!

September 10, 2010 - 9:29 am

Shawna - Love these pics! Makes me want to visit the city!

September 10, 2010 - 10:41 am

Laure - Wonderful pictures!! Thanks for sharing!!! It makes me wanna be there!!! xoxo

September 10, 2010 - 10:44 am

Tony - WOW! Thanks for making our home look so beautiful. Having you guys up here reinforced the fact that we live in an amazing city and I love exploring the city with friends. I love the shot outside your hotel room, the pierogi guy, the flatiron (clouds are amazing), Jess Z standing on top of the stairs of the Wall St subway (love the 2 reflections of her on both sides), and all of the others.

You guys were excellent visitors and the invite is open in the future wherever we’ll be!

September 10, 2010 - 2:12 pm

Betsy - What an awesome post!!

First of all, you guys are an inspiration that you can still get out and do adult things, even with kids. Secondly, you look HOT!!! Thirdly, this trip and the photos are amazing.

You guys are some of the coolest cats I know! (and i’m a huge nerd for saying cool cat..) ;-)

September 10, 2010 - 3:07 pm

edie - love that you got some away time.
love the scenery.
but mostly love your outfits!
happy weekend.

September 11, 2010 - 1:01 am

wrecklessgirl - ahhhh .. so amazing. honestly, since i first got back to the states, i’ve been thinking about moving to new york; i don’t know what it is. something about the movement of the city, the quiet in unexpected places.

September 13, 2010 - 2:53 pm

jess - this is my 2nd fav city (next to toronto being #1!) and i love that i get to see it from your point of view. great shots!!

September 13, 2010 - 9:31 pm

shahroll photo - Hello guys! nice set photos and i am Shahrul from Malaysia, browsing the web for pre-wedding photos and got your web.

Cool web/blog! =D cheers..


September 17, 2010 - 12:33 am

Kylee - so, i’m in love with the photo of you at the top of the stairs. (your dress is great.) and the reflection of you holding hands. thanks for sharing your trip!!

September 18, 2010 - 2:21 pm

gina - great shots of what looks like a great trip!
we lived on governor’s island for 6 years…woke up to amazing views of the city everyday!

September 18, 2010 - 2:22 pm

gina - great shots of what looks like a great trip!
we lived on governor’s island for 6 years…woke up to amazing views of the city everyday!

September 20, 2010 - 8:16 am

two years later. | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] good friends Jess and Tony jam packed our 3 1/3 days in the big city, and we had SUCH a fun time. (Click HERE if you didn’t see our full post.) During that weekend, they also celebrated their 2 year anniversary, so Brett and I made sure to [...]

sorry blog.

Dear sweet blog,

I never meant to neglect you so badly this week.  We went to visit friends in New York over the holiday weekend, and then NYC so kindly gave me a gift to bring home, in the form of a nasty cold.  I have felt downright miserable until today, nearly hacking up a lung up at the drop of a hat.  Wait, wasn’t I just here a couple weeks ago!? Man-o-man, I hope this just means we’re getting this out of the way now, before winter arrives (fingers crossed).

Tomorrow, dear sweet blog, you will have a full post all about our NYC trip. Loads and loads of goodies coming to make up for lost time.

Here’s one for now….

September 9, 2010 - 2:15 pm

Gail - Sorry you’re feeling so yucky!! Get better soon ‘kay? :)

September 9, 2010 - 4:56 pm

Jessica - I was in Julia & Josh’s wedding and have been following you guys ever since. Love this blog and I lived in new york last year SO I cannot WAIT to see what you guys captured of my fave city!!

September 10, 2010 - 12:03 pm

Kelly (Daphne Photo Studio) - Beautiful pictures! Glad you had a great time :)

mid-week schooling banter

My life changed this week as my schedule went from a relatively relaxed pace, to a non-stop schedule.  Although I was a bit anxious for Monday morning to roll around, I knew my kids were at that point at the end of summer where they are walking around seeking some sort of direction and discipline.  They were tired of having too much freedom….although they may not have been able to pinpoint this as their frustration and boredom. Does that make sense? Well, it did to me. ;) 

We’ve been gearing up for a new year of home schooling, and for me, a new year of added dedication now that my kids are getting older, and the work is getting harder.  Home schooling is a LOT of work, and requires more patience than I ever dreamed I could possibly possess. But on the flip side….I get to be with my kids, I get to be challenged, and I get to be a critical part of their growth. But with all the effort, I have to say, I get to have one of the most gratifying jobs possible! 

I’ve had people who have written me about the constant struggle with BALANCE in their lives, and since this is a topic on my mind for literally hours of my day every day, I have decided to make it a more prominent topic on my personal posts.  One question I am asked often is what a normal home school/work/family life day is like.  Below is a look at a “normal” weekday for us.  (Weekends are full of photo shoots, editing, sports, and breathing.) 

Of course, it hasn’t gone exactly like this, but close! Obviously, on certain nights we have shoots where we have to change it up a bit.  On occassion, we actually DO leave our house (ha!), but this is the general idea.  I am still working on the bedtime thing for me…but I have improved this week, so I have hope! 

7:00 – Up and making breakfast 

7:30 – Eat, clean up, kids do chores 

8:45 – School books out ready to go/ get a drink, use bathroom (excuses they always have to stop working) 

Practice memory work, then Math, Writing, Grammar, Science or History depending on day 

11:30 – If time we read together aloud 

12:00 – Lunch with Brett 

1:00 – Quiet time for everyone (I use this time to grade work, figure out lesson plans, catch up on emails, make phone calls) 

3:00 – Spelling and Vocab, then daily journaling 

4:00 – Review or catch up on something that needs to be completed 

4:30 – Begin thinking about dinner (I am really bad at this part!).  Kids put things away and have free time. 

5:00 – Brett reviews work and does math with kids

6:00 – Dinner 

6:45 – Family bible reading time 

7:00 – Gabe goes to bed 

7:45 – The rest of the kids go to room to read, and then sleep! 

7:45 – I GO TO WORK  :) 

10:15 – I go up for the night to read and preview the books the kids will be reading, and then SLEEP 

Weekends – Brett does school with kids (math, reading, language arts)

I had hoped to take some fun photos to show you some of the things we have done this week so far, but I guess grabbing and loading a camera in between teaching 3 kiddos, and distracting a 3 year old just wasn’t the easiest.  Maybe next week I’ll be more prepared. :)  So here are a few shots we took playing around as a family: 

As of last week Priya is obsessed with making duct tape purses.  Here she is teaching her brother Adin, and her friend Josie. 


Brett is reading a little “Beowulf” to the boys. 


Adin doing some pipe jumping tricks.  Dad if you are seeing this, I will put a helmet on him next time!!  (My dad is a dentist, and my boys scare him to death.) 


Gabe’s version of the “pipe trick.” 


Riah decided to POGO it up! 


We took a family bike ride the other night up to a local elementary school to play…. 

Again, my boys are half daredevil monkey. 


Priya was with her Grandma, so I just had my crazy boys (including Brett)!! 

I love this picture, minus the fact I look like I’m 12. ;) 


So now we are three days into on our school year and it has been going well for the most part!  A couple of nights ago at dinner Priya said, “I was really nervous that school was going to be really tough this year and I was not going to like it, but it hasn’t been that bad.  I actually had fun.”  I literally jumped to my feet from the dinner table screaming, “STOP THE PRESS!! STOP THE PRESS!!!!  Priya, could you please repeat that for the family to hear?”  It made this hard working Mama a teeny bit happy.  “She’s not hating it…I must be doing OK,” I thought. 


September 2, 2010 - 9:40 am

Mr. Blonde - FANTASTIC action shots of your boys. Seems our homes having strikingly similar energy!

September 2, 2010 - 9:56 am

Mel - You’re crazy, woman. Super mom.
And, on my phone (viewing smaller), I swear that’s priya, not u!!:)

September 2, 2010 - 10:20 am

rebecca-linh rodgers - can i come live with you? it sounds much more organized than my semi organized madness.
i’ll help grade papers. :)

September 2, 2010 - 10:20 am

Kim newsom - You amaze me girl!

September 2, 2010 - 10:47 am

edie - well, i think you and brett are an amazing duo of creavity and life but i have to say that one of the things i love most about you is that you homeschool. it’s such a strange, unique and wonderful experience and you can’t know it until you do it. and then you feel this inexplicable connection to others who are on the same journey—a certain admiration and mutual respect that some kindred spirit has chosen the same hard path.
our days are so similar, even down to lunch with dad. and i love that priya is finding her groove. my girls are so much more motivated and at ease this year. a lot less lamenting what they might be missing.

i see beautiful signs of them learning contentment and empathy and how to channel those creative energies.

this is such a privilege. and knowing you’re there too—-is just kinda comforting.
love to you all~

September 2, 2010 - 11:08 am

Betsy - You are amazing!!! LOve this post!!!

September 2, 2010 - 10:22 pm

Margaret - From one homeschooling mom to another – you go mama! Your day sounds very familiar, except I never get to bed that early! Love your photos, as always…

September 2, 2010 - 10:40 pm

gina - boy, and i thought my life was hectic and full and not a moment to spare in between! wow, you got it together girl.
do you foresee a break for lunch? a really quick lunch?

September 3, 2010 - 7:30 am

meredith - Of all of the sappy, meaningful things I could (and should) say about this.. cos you guys have got this whole “life experience” thing figured out, and I’m so happy that we can share in a little piece of it- this is what I’m gonna say:

Duct tape art rocks. We’re obsessed. Check this book out:


September 3, 2010 - 12:56 pm

Maya Laurent - I love seeing how you run your day. I have so much respect for you and home schooling!

September 7, 2010 - 12:40 pm

Maggie - I love everything about this post. You are a crazy-awesome woman Jessica!

September 15, 2010 - 6:59 am

Dina - beautiful family! encouraging to see another mama raising monkey/children! ;) one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is to be with them all day everyday. first time visiting….