• 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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Category Archives: children

four years of more happy.

Four years ago my life changed when I had my third little boy. It’s no secret to those who know me that I was thinking (dare I say hoping) that I was having a girl. When he arrived all smooshed face and wrinkly, let’s just say it didn’t take long for my heart to turn into complete mush over him.

My little blond haired beauty….I can’t believe he’s four. Such a big boy- taking after his big brothers, but still such the cuddly baby. I cherish this time.

Normally I do a portrait session for the kids’ birthdays since we don’t have “school portraits” in home school. ;)  I haven’t had a chance to do a session yet for Gabe, so these are just some recent moments in his life.

At the beginning of May we decided to try him out on a two-wheeler. All of our other kiddos rode before their 4th b-day, so we decided to try even though he had not asked for his wheels off like the others had.

Brett held his seat, went around a few times, and after a couple times of letting go and him falling a bit Gabe was tired of it.  I chocked it up to him being the baby. It’s really no secret that we have noooo problem letting him take his sweet time at growing up.;)

A week or so later Brett and I looked out the window to the scene below. We were a bit scared, but decided not to intervene. Come to find out Adin asked Gabe if he could try and help him on the bike. After about 5 minutes, Gabe was riding all over…..like a mad man!!

I’m so proud of Adin. For his loving heart. For his patience with his baby brother.

Playing outside, drawing, playing with friends ( below is Betsy’s Miles), painting, shooting baskets, and cuddling….these are some of Gabe’s favorite things. :)

Somewhere along the way this spring amongst crazy Ohio storms, tornado sirens, and trips to the basement, Gabe formed a habit of sneaking into his sister’s room for comfort. He just adores her. I adore how much they love each other.

Whenever Brett or I have a bad day, we scoop up Gabie and he just loves to love on us. On any given day if Gabe’s not playing, he is found like this:

From Priya, the brothers, to Mama and Baba….we are utterly smitten with you Gabriel. I thank God every night for the precious time I have with you. Can’t wait to watch you grow into who you will become, Lord willing.

So blessed to have you, little sweetheart.

yours ~mama & baba

June 9, 2011 - 1:19 pm

Betsy - Happy Birthday precious boy!

Miles MISSES you so much! He needs a lesson in bike riding! So cool!!!

June 9, 2011 - 1:41 pm

Gabe - amazing!! really can’t say much else. happy birthday little man!! (oh and you..with a doubt..have the best name one could ask for :) )

June 9, 2011 - 1:49 pm

Shannon - So sweetness! You made me cry…

June 9, 2011 - 2:10 pm

melanie - dang time flies! hbd gabe!!

June 9, 2011 - 2:14 pm

Ashie - I cannot believe he is 4!! This post is so precious. Love you Gabey Baby (and love you too Sissy)!

June 10, 2011 - 8:32 am

Gail - If I didn’t already have every reason to adore your family, this post would pretty much seal the deal.

What a SWEETIE!!

PS – You know this already, but your kids are so beautiful!!!!

June 10, 2011 - 10:31 am

meredith - He is such a nugget of goodness..

June 11, 2011 - 11:38 am

lucy - happy birthday gabe…happy birthday to all beautiful years of you, precious baby boy!

June 11, 2011 - 2:03 pm

Donna - The photos of your boys – the oldest teaching your baby to ride a bike made me cry!!! How wonderful to see such love – kuddos girl, you are doing something right!!!!

June 11, 2011 - 8:48 pm

gina - such a wonderful wonderful post for your littlest guy. he is a sweetie and i always think of him as a happy little birdie taking blueberries out of my hand…nonstop;) xo happy birthday to you gabe!

June 11, 2011 - 11:14 pm

Char - This post makes my heart melt. Reminds me of my boys. I LOVE the way your photos capture so much emotion and realness!!!

June 12, 2011 - 8:01 am

Holly - i love that boy. such a sweet little flirt! :)

June 12, 2011 - 6:21 pm

Shannon Selim - I love the way you love him, it is so precious! :)

June 14, 2011 - 6:21 pm

patty - he is beautiful, truly.
happy birthday to him!

the old dead grasses {film}

This spring we were cutting down the old dead grasses from last year and the boys were working on it with me.  I suggested they make a fort in the back woods with the grasses.  They asked me to help them out and I gladly accepted.  Our boys help us remember what it is like to be young, carefree spirits.  Deep inside of us all there is the little child we once were that has somehow been overshadowed by the man/woman we have become.  Having these children to cherish, hold, and watch grow up helps us remember what it was like to be young and to stay young in spirit ourselves.  It helps us to realize how fragile and dependent upon one another we all are.  We need to get inside their little world from time to time and learn from them.  We can learn to have a more humble and contrite spirit and lean on each other for support as they do.  Never lose touch with your inner child.  ~brett {baba}

May 26, 2011 - 9:40 am

Cassie - This looks straight out of Where the Wild Things Are. Love it.

May 27, 2011 - 2:53 pm

Patty Mabry your cousin - That last picture of your little boy; what is it? Both my boys sucked those fingers! I love your comment about playing. We forget that we should let go and remember the “child” inside us sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

May 27, 2011 - 4:07 pm

Katie - It’s so wonderful getting to know your beautiful family through jess’s point of view on this blog. Seeing the same sense of love and wonder coming through in your voice is so sweet. Thanks for posting Brett. It’s so easy to fall in love with the Z family :) (oh yeah, and your film work is gorgeous!!)

May 30, 2011 - 8:30 pm

Gabe - great images and wonderful words. thanks for sharing this Brett.

June 7, 2011 - 8:40 pm

Rachel B. - Oh, wow! How did I miss these? These are so pure and beautiful. Makes me almost long for fall since these have a very autumnal feel to them.

film {experiment in light}

This is Brett, the other half of studio3z, writing my first, hopefully not last, blog entry.  Hello all!

So, we’ve decided to start shooting film again and I took my first roll of medium format film a couple of weeks ago.  I’m calling this my first “film experiment in light.”  There is something about film that draws us in to the images…something I can’t amply describe, but I like to call it “The Van Gogh Effect” because film grain and blur reminds me of his amazing textures and I love how it seems so much more pure, raw, and organic than digital.  And, I am an organic purist at heart.  There is  something deeply emotional about film in that it requires more time, effort, and patience.  Film also requires us to have a deeper connection with the subject that is elsewise absent.  This is what I love.

Well, I decided a few months back that I wanted to get back full circle to where this all began, but was dragging my heels on it.  When Jessica and I first started shooting together, I shot a lot of film.  Some of those photographs are still some of my favorites to date, but I could never get past the ease and convenience of digital.  This all met with a crescendo upon attending the WPPI conference this year.  This is where I became friends with a kindred spirit, Gabe McClintock, the incredibly talented man behind the camera of Perspectiveye Photography. Gabe was instrumental in my decision to start shooting film again and he was very helpful and graciously in lending me his ear on this venture.  If you haven’t checked out his work before, then indulge your senses and visit his blog here.  He shoots a lot of film these days and was one of my biggest inspirations for this endeavor…thank you Gabe!  I was also privileged to hear a couple of excellent and inspiring film artists speak at WPPI this year, Elizabeth Messina of Kiss The Groom Photography and Jose Villa.

Looking back, here is one of my 35mm film shots from the first wedding Jessica and I ever photographed:

Now, coming full circle, I’m shooting with my new (old) Contax 645 medium format camera.  This frame below is one of my favorites from the first roll I ever shot a couple weeks ago:

The water and light were so wondrous that I couldn’t stop shooting, so here are a few others…

That same day, the kids and I hung out with Grandma “Nanny” Beth, my mom, at Waffle House.  The vintage Waffle House feel and the beautiful light pouring through the windows all added up to what I felt was “film ready”…well, I’m actually getting addicted to it and now everything is seeming “film ready” these days:

We look forward to sharing more of our film experiments in light with you in the upcoming weeks.

brett & jess

April 27, 2011 - 7:46 am

Gail - GORGEOUS!!! You’re great with the film camera Brett! I look forward to seeing what else you capture in the months to come!

April 27, 2011 - 8:05 am

Bobbi - Loooooove!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 27, 2011 - 8:38 am

Mama - Aaaaahh…YES.. Spending time with family – there is NOTHING like it on this planet! Your children and grandchildren grow up way to fast… capture/cherish/inhale every moment you can… it is fleeting!

April 27, 2011 - 8:46 am

Stephanie Lyell - Beautiful. Film does have such a wonderful aura around it. I look forward to seeing more!

April 27, 2011 - 1:30 pm

Gabe - Brett these are incredible. The depth the film adds to your images is beautiful. I can’t wait to watch you and Jess’s journey with this medium…I know it’s going to be amazing!!

April 27, 2011 - 4:43 pm

Sarah - I’m taking a film class in school and am discouraged because it seems useless yet awesome. I’m glad to see that there are others out there who can make it worth something still, thanks for the inspiration!

April 27, 2011 - 5:30 pm

Jess W. - Those shots of Gabe are incredible, especially *love* that first one. Very much looking forward to seeing more! Oh, and who is that dapper couple in the first photo? ;)

May 4, 2011 - 11:21 am

amanda reynolds - Love these!!! Yay for shooting film again, isn’t it amazing?!?! Just sent 5 rolls off yesterday, the suspense alone makes it all worthwhile! ENJOY :)

birthday pie

It was my Uncle J’s birthday. I was sitting with Baba, enjoying my blackberry pie with my yummy coconut milk ice cream, when all of the sudden Uncle J swooped in and tried to steal some from me! I screamed and shoved him…..then Baba got in my face too, and I was smooshed. I just wanted to eat!

Then I realized that if I kissed them, they would leave me alone. So I did.

And I finished my pie. It was good.

~Gabe

March 16, 2011 - 7:30 pm

Cassie - So sweet. Is March 5th Uncle J’s birthday? If so, it’s mine as well. And a lovely day for a birthday.

March 16, 2011 - 8:23 pm

Gail - Ahhh…I always think these “Uncle J” posts are so incredibly sweet. ALmost as sweet as that little Gabe man of yours ;) Great shots!

PS – Who drew the cartoon on the blackboard? I like him ;)

March 16, 2011 - 8:42 pm

becca~capturingsimplejoys - such a cute triumphant face at the end ~ and it is GOOD ice cream so he had reason to want it all :)

March 16, 2011 - 11:31 pm

brenda - mmm pie! ha! your child is so cute! as cute as my kitten, who is VERY cute! a table with a map and a chalk board behind it, very cool! now i want pie and ice cream.

March 17, 2011 - 6:58 am

meredith - You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Luna and Larry’s coconut milk ice cream. Try it. Love it. Then we’ll talk.

March 17, 2011 - 9:21 am

Tina - Your kids are TOO CUTE! Love these shots:)

March 17, 2011 - 11:56 am
March 18, 2011 - 12:41 am

Clary - Oh Gabe you are just the cutest!