• 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: February 2011

our typical winter family day.

When my boys’ hair starts getting long, I can run my hands through it, and give it the most awesome “poof” that we fondly call, Jimmy Neutron hair. They are blessed (or maybe cursed) with thick, semi-course hair.

A month or so ago we were enjoying a fantastic “no plans” family day. Don’t you just love those kind of days? We hung out together, and Gabe was laying around with me while I kissed him up and played with his hair.  Lately he has been my biggest ham, letting me take his picture whenever I want. ;)

Riah came in asking if we could all draw together….I think this is the last photo of Riah sporting his two front baby teeth. About a week after this shot, his big brother grabbed a blanket out of his mouth, ripping tooth #1 out. Boys. The next tooth was accidentally kicked out by Gabe a week later. Boys. Yes, I have three.

We did some drawing together as a family, read some library books, and Priya and I knitted. We’ve done a lot of that this winter, although we have slowed down over the last few weeks.

Brett made his AMAZING winter squash soup.

I love winter days when there is snow outside, while we are warm and cozy inside with not much to do….yummy food cooking, and a fire crackling in our wood burning stove.  As much as I can’t WAIT for spring to come, I honestly wouldn’t mind one more day like this before we say good-bye to winter. We’ll see if we get it. ;)

February 18, 2011 - 11:32 am

Gail - AHHHH…LOVE this post Jess! And I always like to see Riah on the blog — he’s just such a little cutie.

Love that shot of Brett with the kiddos, reading!

PS – I’d love to sit and knit with you and Priya!!!

February 18, 2011 - 11:47 am

Morgan - What a beautiful family, and a wonderful to spend the day!! I think that hair is someday going to give “The Beibes” a run for his money!

February 18, 2011 - 12:03 pm

Myriam - come on your blog is always wonderful, magic. I love really your work, the way you see things, your inspiration. And Your family is really endearing.
I like to stroll through your pictures and travel. SO thank you.

February 18, 2011 - 1:50 pm

Stephanie Lyell - What a sweet post! I like the positive attitude about Winter…I am starting to get really antsy for spring and annoyed with winter…but what a good reminder to enjoy where you are! The photos are awesome too…I love the first couple with the crazy hair :)

February 19, 2011 - 9:29 am

becca~capturingsimplejoys - i love days like that with the kids! so relaxing and fulfilling. I want the squash soup recipe!

March 9, 2011 - 3:15 pm

chriStina e - Hi! Just leaving you some comment love… I like the ones of your boy with that “jimmy neutron” hair. My nearly one year old, always gets comments on his blonde “electric” hair… and I can’t help but run my fingers through it, too! I like your work.


the photos the Rhoads’ took of you guys are something sweet!

free to a good home.

Yes, I know it’s already February.  And yes, this is a fresh, brand-spank’in new calendar that is looking for someone to love it. You see, I ordered a few calendars at the beginning of the year and somehow the company goofed up and forgot to mail them to me.  When I called not only did I get a new shipment, but a couple weeks later I received the original shipment as well. I now have a nature inspired calendar that I would hate to sit here unused.  He’s much too purdy. So…here’s the scoop:

I want to hear want inspires you. I am floating around these days on inspiration highs about changes that are happening in our company, and changes I am making around my house (trying to control my spring home makeover fever)….I have folders and folders of photos, words, and mental bits and pieces of what I find inspiring.  And it’s no question (if you follow our blog) that we are HUGELY inspired by the magnificence of God’s nature.  So what makes you tick?  What drives you?  What can you not get enough of?  What fuels your creative side?  Make it GOOD, and leave a detailed comment explaning.  No one-word answer business!!  I will randomly draw a winner next Monday. :)

Here’s the calendar, and a snippet of the included photos…..

The calendar is regualr sized (I think 11×17?) and the REALLLLY cool part?  When the year’s over, you can cut and frame nature prints!!!

I can’t wait to hear what you share. :)

February 16, 2011 - 11:00 am

kelly summers - good music.

i sing and write and play a little guitar, and the thing that always makes me want to stop what i’m doing and write or create something new is hearing the work of someone else. i’m always inspired by beautiful words, unusual stories and songs with a good message.

February 16, 2011 - 11:44 am

Melanie - Family. Family makes me tick and fuels my creativity and encourages me to be the best (and sometimes silliest) Melanie I can be. They’re there to eat dinner and play board games, help you make clothespin people, and help you make up songs and dances. You can listen to the wisdom of a four-year-old and see new life radiating from a newborn. You can heed the wisdom of your mother and your grandmother and spark new love planning a wedding with your fiance.

February 16, 2011 - 11:51 am

Shawna - I think for me inspiration comes from getting out of my house. If I just sit at home I can get in a funk, but even just going for a drive and noticing the smallest thing can get my creative juices flowing. It might be a beautiful sunset, or it could be the way the light hits my daughter’s face, or the run down house I drive past, or seeing a bird out my kitchen window. That’s the cool thing about inspiration…you never know when it’s going to hit you.

February 16, 2011 - 12:03 pm

Aubry - Most of my inspirations comes from other people. A combination of projects I’ve seen will spark an interest to try something of my own, etc. Seeing arts and crafts and then altering them to fit my needs is how I get most of my inspiration.

February 16, 2011 - 2:05 pm

Abby - Healing Autism. When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism 4 years ago, I was devestated. Now I’m inspired! He is my reason for being, my reason to be better, my reason to appreciate every little thing in life. He inspired me by how hard he fought to come out of his world and into ours. He inspired me when he said his first words, when he said his first sentence, when he was no longer sick all the time, when he made his first friend, when he lost his autism diagnoses. Because of him I am stronger, more appreciative, and more hard working. He inspires me to capture all the precious blessings in this world!

February 16, 2011 - 2:08 pm

Cindy - Travel! Nothing inspires me more. It’s my chance to learn about new cultures, people, ways of live and thought. It always leaves me appreciative of the life that I have and gives me admiration for others. It helps me to revel in the vast diversity of the world whether it’s in people, ideas or nature. It also never ceases to challenge me and make me challenge my beliefs. Oh, and it’s always an inspiration for interesting new photos!

February 16, 2011 - 3:35 pm

erin - my new inspiration is growing inside of me. i can’t believe someone i haven’t met yet could change me and my point of view so drastically. i want everything she comes into contact with to be beautiful, magical, happy, serene. i get to meet my muse in 6 short weeks! eeeeeks!
i love the studio 3z blog and can’t wait to hear the new name!

February 16, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Betsy - When I feel down about the sad things that have happened in my life, I am picked up and restored when I remember how much my heart has been able to heal and expand through loss and of course, as my family and my friendships grow. Our hearts are truly boundless. We have the ability to love and grow as much as want. It’s easy to get caught up in the world and forget that.

Sometimes I see so many cool creative things people are doing “out there” in the world and I get a little freaked out. “Oh no! I should be doing that!” I think to myself. So I just close my eyes and look inward and see all that awesome growth and healing I’ve done and I’m chilled and ready to move forward in a creative way that is unique to my own path.

Beautiful calendar girl. Your photographs always make me want to slow down and see the beauty in the world. I go too fast to see it most of the time!

February 16, 2011 - 4:26 pm

Aly - Nothing inspires me more than children! Kids are so full of life. They are so carefree and happy. Capturing little fingers and toes, a baby’s smile, a toddlers overly large grin when they’re “hamming it up” in a photograph, girls or boys playing with each other and sharing their favorite doll or truck, little boys playing Tonka Trunks in the yard, or little girls dressed up in their Sunday best while they have a tea party with their dolls; those things inspire me! I love everything about photography and taking pictures of kiddos, capturing their smiles and pure innocence that only kids can have, those things are what inspire me to continue doing what I love :)

February 16, 2011 - 4:37 pm

christina thompson - What inspires me? USMC…the men and women who are over seas fighting so that we can do what we do everyday. My brother is a US marine and in Jan. was sent to Afganistan. He is over there protecting all that inspires us each and every day, so we can have more days together. Family is very important and for us is the base component of everything we are. Things get put into perspective more when life becomes more real and your very actions can save someones life.

February 16, 2011 - 4:41 pm

christina thompson - P.S. your blog and photos have also inspired me too. Seeing you both do something you love so much is amazing. I am too going to begin to do what I love which is also photography. I see the love and care in each photo you both take and it makes me want to share my photos with people too. So thank you.

February 16, 2011 - 6:25 pm

Fran - I am inspired by a sunrise or a sunset. It make me happy to start/end my day that way. Truly God’s magic at work.

February 16, 2011 - 7:02 pm

Kellie S. - I love art and I love the written word.

I often feel overwhelmed by nature and the beauty that no man has had a hand in creating. That’s when I most feel like drawing or painting.

Relationships make me want to write. Always. I love to observe relationships and the emotion that makes them thrive/shrivel.

So there you have it. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I’ve subscribed for a while. And, can I just say, I SO wish you were from my neck of the woods. You two are by far my favorite photographers because you appreciate nature and relationships the way I do. I’d have given just about anything to have you photograph my wedding last year. Maybe someday…if you’re still in the biz when my husband and I have our umpteenth wedding anniversary and decide we want photo documentation…maybe… ;)

February 16, 2011 - 11:58 pm

Lacey E. - George Washington. No joke. As historian Joseph Ellis wrote, “Franklin was wiser than Washington, Hamilton was more brilliant, Jefferson was more intellectually sophisticated, Adams was more engaging … Madison was more politically astute, but Washington was still the greatest. And they would all agree to that.”
The brand new United States of America was minted with Gen. George Washington’s victory at Yorktown in 1781. A lesser man may have used this victory to seize power – Washington didn’t. He went back to Mount Vernon and farmed. There’s something very inspiring about a good person doing a good thing for no more reason than it was the right thing to do.

February 17, 2011 - 8:43 am

Kendra - I am inspired by spending time with my sister. We are always brainstorming and throwing ideas off of each other. I have started a small photography business, and growing up, she was always my guinea pig. She’s a good sport!

February 17, 2011 - 12:38 pm

Kate - Children. To look through child eyes and really “see” the world. Everything is an adventure and an inspiration.. there are no unrealistic expectations because everything is so new. When I look at children, their hunger for life and new experiences is contagious! (and always a great giggle!) My inspiration is to have that child-like perspective. When I shoot, I shoot as if I am seeing it for the first time! If I can keep in mind that I’m not promised tomorrow and that every moment is unique in its own way, life will never be boring or expected! That leaf that you see might be its last day before the wind takes it away, that sunset and the colors with the snow lightly falling might never have the same “glow”, that little baby who discovers his/her laugh for the first time… the list could go on and on… :)

February 17, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Melody - I have found that there are a million things that inspire me…I find it everywhere. Sometimes it is as simple as watching our children live out their young faith…they take it in with such ease. Other times I am inspired by individuals (past and present) who have remained solid even when life goes awry. I could go on and on. The older I get the more I realize that inspiration can be found when the door to your mind and heart are open. It may be the simplest of things. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable to receive what’s out there, then you will find the greatest fulfillment with life…and truly be inspired.

Such a fun idea! Thanks for challenging me to put it into words. ;)

February 17, 2011 - 4:01 pm

Barb F. - i am inspired daily by the colors and textures of life around. by the love of God, by the daily rituals that i sometimes dislike, but that make life so lovely and wonderful. i am inspired by my step-daughter’s spirit, by my man’s positivity, by the trees, oh the trees. i am inspired by the trees. and mostly my blessed, life that family and friends always remind me of when they tell me they love and miss me so. especially my nephew and his “i looooove you aunt baaaaabs (in his 23 month old voice). :)

February 17, 2011 - 4:06 pm

barb f. - the trees, God, my man’s positivity, my stepdaughter’s 9 year old spirit, my blessed life, the colors of michigan skies at dusk, nature’s wonder (especially plants), oh the colors. i am always inspired by the colors. :)

February 17, 2011 - 5:29 pm

meredith - Wow. Where to even begin with this one..

Nature. I am amazed by its ability to humble me with its graceful complexity. And when I stand in front of a mountain or an ocean, to remind me of my smallness. I need that sometimes.

Light. For all of its warmth and in all of its forms. Moonlight, sunsets, sunrises. It transforms objects with such ease. The way it silhouettes. The ways it glows off of the snow, sparkles on the water.. shows me new ways of looking at things.

Which brings me to the next thing.. Anything that helps me to see something out of someone else’s eyes. This may be anything from watching my babies playing with a bug for the first time, to reading a book that really captures me, to a conversation with a friend, to a really great photograph :) . This is what wakes me up the most in life, to have the opportunity to stand in someone else’s shoes, if only for a moment.

Music. It can speak more words than words themselves will ever be able to alone.

Lessons. The ones that life presents me with, unexpectedly, yet so perfectly timed. And sometimes KEEPS presenting me with, until I catch on.

Resilience. Learning about the hardships that others have faced in their lives and how they have coped, regardless of how successful they’ve been. We are such amazing creatures.

And last, but definitely not least.

Serendipity. I’m not sure this one requires an explanation, but it sure does make me giddy.

This is by no means a complete list. I could go on, but I’ll stop here before it seems like I’m trying to take over the blog :)

February 17, 2011 - 6:48 pm

Mary - I find inspiration in His grace upon grace upon grace.

Jesus Christ. The Good News. Romans 14:7-8. Boom goes the dynamite.

Everything else falls in line.

February 17, 2011 - 11:41 pm

LaTonya - When I’m feeling the need to be inspired, I first take a much needed break … drop everything, let everything go, and just breath. Once I can clear my mind and thoughts, I’m ready to fill it back up with things that make me smile – surfing some of my favorite blogs (this one included!!) cooking, yes cooking is often a great way for me to develop new ideas and inspirations :) Also magazines and antique stores … I love all things old and vintage, and love finding new ways to use them.

February 17, 2011 - 11:45 pm

LaTonya Hull - wow … not sure what happened above??? Instead of typing all of that again, I’m going to sum it up :)
Once I can clear my mind and get ready to refuel on things that inspire me, I turn to my favorite blogs (this being one of them!!), cooking, magazines, and antique shops – all of which make me smile and stir up new ideas :)

February 18, 2011 - 8:35 am

Melissa - A simple smile. I’m pursuing a career in education and being able to help someone understand something that he or she thought was hopeless before and seeing him or her smile fuels my desire to teach. It even happens with friends and family. A smile can convey such a simple message such as “I love you”,”I’m so proud of you”,”keep up the good work” or millions of other positive things. A smile is all the thanks and praise I need. Even though it’s so simple and everyone can do it, smiles really do help change the world around us.

February 18, 2011 - 11:53 am

Kelsey - beauty. it thrills me. it makes me tick. the beauty that one can see in a world where others see the bad. i love when people choose to see beauty in the ugly.to simply see it, embrace it,capture it, and share it. finding raw beauty in your life. the struggles and the joys that you encounter daily they way that we cope with them and find the love that is in that beautiful moment. beauty in grace, and the way we have so undeservedly received such a beautiful gift. there is beauty in the lives of your friends, their internal beauty that exudes on the outside. there is beauty all around; in your family, friends, strangers. in your home, neighborhood, or an unknown land. in art, photography,music,nature. in laughter, tears, and moments where you feel numb. see the beauty, it will make you tick.

February 18, 2011 - 4:07 pm

Ann - I am inspired by so many things- God’s creation, a warm day in February (!), and rest. With little kids, I find that most of my inspiration comes when I can finally stop for a moment and just rest. Some of my best ideas come to me when I have my eyes closed right before sleep.

February 18, 2011 - 7:45 pm

martha robinson - these pictures remind me that the greatest things in life are free!!!! i love nature pictures and your beautiful work!!!!

February 18, 2011 - 11:43 pm

Matt - My inspiration lies in people doing things for other people unconditionally that make them smile. When I watch someone do something as simple as open a door it can be a huge momentum shift in their lives and it really inspires me to do something to help others.
I also get inspired when people become a part of something greater than themselves. Maybe it’s being a part of a team (I coach basketball) and working towards a common goal, or maybe it’s a nurse who is a blessing to a little one who is in the hospital. These are the people that inspire me to want to do more.
I also get inspired by seeing other people succeed that you have helped along the way. I have always heard that the more you help others, the more you help yourself.
The small things in life inspire me too; the things that God has placed for us here that are truly miraculous. Sunsets, starry nights, dew drops, frost, fall colored leaves, and lightning bugs come to mind.
And who is not inspired by sitting in a rocking chair on a porch?!

February 19, 2011 - 12:50 am

Sharon - I find inspiration in many things. Finding new meaning in something I have known all along. A breath of fresh air (literally), means a new beginning to me. Watching God’s touch in the healing of the body gives me hope for the future. The first bit of green to sprout up from the ground in late winter/early spring — represents a new season in life where the opportunities are endless. New life = rebirth. But truly, if you are looking for inspiration, you don’t have to look farther than the mirror, everyone is an inspiration to someone.

February 20, 2011 - 8:06 pm

Casey - Just Listen.

I’ve never been more inspired than by sitting down with another person and really listening to them. I’m amazed at how real, open, & sharing people of all ages are if you actually bless them with the time and effort to just hear what they are interested in telling you.

I’ve heard stories of love had, love lost, families, friends, animals, music, nature, books, poems- you name it. And I couldn’t spend better quality time doing anything else. It reminds us that we are all human. We all have our stories- and there is enough experience, love & inspiration out there for each and every one of us to share and feed off of :)

Truly rewarding.

February 20, 2011 - 8:07 pm

Casey - Just Listen.

I’ve never been more inspired than by sitting down with another person and really listening to them. I’m amazed at how real, open, & sharing people of all ages are if you actually bless them with the time and effort to just hear what they are interested in telling you.

I’ve heard stories of love had, love lost, families, friends, animals, music, nature, books, poems- you name it. And I couldn’t spend better quality time doing anything else. It reminds us that we are all human. We all have our stories- and there is enough experience, love & inspiration out there for each and every one of us to share and feed off of :)

Truly rewarding.

February 21, 2011 - 8:26 am

Keaton - The thing that gets me going is a Christian band called “Owl City” and they are absolutely amazing. They use alot of metaphors for nature and things around them that get you really thinking about the world we’re living in. The singer says in their song Dear Vienna: “I recorded the world is such a sad sight, until I viewed it in black & white. Then I reviewed every frame, and basic shape, and sealed the exits with caution tape.”

Although our world has so many wonders in itself that God has created for us, what if you tried in your mind to picture it all in black & white? You would miss all of the colors of the wind, all of the beauty that comes with the changing seasons, and a very important activity (which I see in your post above), coloring. :)

You two are inspiration enough for us all, keep up whatever you’re doing because it’s magnificent.

- Keaton of Webb Focus Photography

March 1, 2011 - 10:24 am

inspiration {a little give and take} | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] surprised at how much fun I had. I also realize that I still haven’t posted the winner of the calendar/inspiration contest, so I plan to do that [...]

the wedding of debbi & chris

Our year began on a super high note with the beautiful wedding of Debbi and Chris.  On January 1st, the weather was looking rough as we headed out that morning.  The dark clouds were above, and a fine (and very cold), misty rain was in the air.  We had hoped and prayed that we would have some dry time for this wonderful couple, even though the forecast called for a very gray day.  And it was a gray day in fact….that is, until the moment these two love birds met for their first look.  It was a bit unbelievable.  Chris had his back to Debbi, and we pulled up in the car.  As we walked over, the clouds were parting and sunshine shone for the first time of the day.  It was so unbelievably PERFECT for these two, who are so in love, and were beyond thrilled to FINALLY be saying their “I dos.” :)

Big congrats to you Debbi and Chris!  Your gorgeous Manor House wedding, surrounded by such loving family and friends, was so incredibly perfect for you two. We were so honored to be a part.  Wishing you love and laughter together for many years to come.  ~jess & brett

February 7, 2011 - 11:32 am

Gail - BEAUTIFUL you guys! And I know (since I, too, was in a tank dress the night before) that you could not have HAD better weather for a new year’s wedding!

Beautiful! (love that b&w of them kissing too!)

February 7, 2011 - 11:55 am

Stephanie Lyell - Beautiful wedding post! I really loved the portraits of the bride with the back of her head…they are very elegant

February 7, 2011 - 1:13 pm

Jessica - I LOVE the photo at the alter… probably the best that I’ve seen. Beautiful photos!

February 8, 2011 - 1:59 am

Holly - so pretty! i loved how much her joy came through in the photos!

made me happy.

Working on a wedding post this morning, when I stumbled across this image.  It is so awesome to be able to witness brides and grooms on what may be one of the best days of their lives.  With some couples, the joy is overflowing and crazy contagious.  Debbi (pictured below), is one such bride.  Sweet as can be, and completely, positively, overjoyed to be marrying her true love.

This morning, seeing this photo brought a huge smile to my face. :)Can’t wait to share more!

February 3, 2011 - 10:58 am

Jenny Walters - Happiness in Abundance – BEAUTIFUL!

February 3, 2011 - 11:31 am

Betsy - She is so cute and sassy!

February 3, 2011 - 11:33 am

Chelle Nicole - lovely!