• 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: personal

Today.

Today I am working on the piles around our house from our renovation, organizing things here and there while singing Radiohead’s, “Everything in it’s Right Place.”

Today I am prepping the kids school drawers, filling folders with paper, lining bookshelves with their new books-trying to make some sense of the chaos that will (hopefully soon) be their schoolroom.

Today I am longing for our house to be back to normal. Please. Soon.

Today as the kids are running around screaming, tapping me on the shoulder, talking to me as I type this, I am thinking about where I was sitting earlier this week. On a dock. In Maine. In a town where no one can use cell phones. Seemingly untouched since the 1950′s. I missed the kids terribly, but….

I really liked that place.

Our kitchen is slowly being pieced back together, painting begins soon, our COMPLETE RE-BRAND is on the way (can’t wait!!!), and I begin school with the kids next week. Life is insanely busy, but incredibly blessed. Can’t wait to share more soon….

September 7, 2011 - 1:52 pm

Uncle J - LOVE this post. just seeing it.

August 2, 2017 - 9:04 am

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about a boy.

Homeschooling means no school “picture day,” therefore, I try to photograph the kids around their birthday to document their year. Here are a few of our son Adin, with a note to him.

~I always knew I would have a boy. So much of raising kids seems foggy, but I’ll never forget seeing you for the first time. Something about the reality of having a boy after Priya seemed so weird but wonderful.

I find that I spend more time trying to “figure you out” more than the other kids. You’re not as vocal- dramatic- or “in your face.” I do know you have a huge heart, but expressing it can be a bit tough at times and that can be misinterpreted. I remember getting in trouble when I was little for not “seeming remorseful” to my parents, when inside I felt like my heart was bleeding and I couldn’t breathe….I just didn’t know how to express how I felt, and it hurt. I see this in you and I can sympathize.

I see your massive determination, but typically only for what you choose. You OBSESS over things…..like when you decided you wanted a compass, so you researched online about the types and models and begged, and begged, and begged to go to the army surplus store to look at them. Two weeks later you were obsessed with something completely different. We’ve had to work with you on this, reminding you about moderation in all things. Obsessing over anything just isn’t healthy.

You are an “all or nothing” kind of guy, and it makes schooling quite the challenge for me. Convincing you that school is fun is like convincing a brick wall to speak. Sometimes I just want to cry right along with you. But, we make it.

You’ve never been a fan of the curly hair. This is something I just can’t understand- I think it’s wonderful.  You’ve begged me for years to buzz it off but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it….until this summer. Your 9th birthday was coming and you again, begged. We gave in and Baba buzzed it off. You were completely in love with it (and I have to admit, it suits you well).

You’re so tough. You have my pain tolerance. You walked over to me about a week ago calmly and said, “Um, I think I got hurt.” Your side above your hip had a gash and was bloody, and after I cleaned you up I just had to laugh…..

I see you help your little brothers. I melt. We tell you often that we know you didn’t ask to be a big brother, but God made you one, therefore there are certain responsibilities that come with that role. We remind you that there are two little guys following you around- seeking to emulate every action, every word, and your works. This is something you need to know and be reminded of.  “Character is what matters,” you hear quite a bit, and we discuss ways that this can be built up, and ways that it can be torn apart. Sometimes you roll your eyes, but most of the time I see you listening. We speak frankly with you, and your questions truly amaze us. When you are deep in thought I find it nearly tangible.

Love you little guy. Thank you for making me get off the computer and pause work to come snuggle with you before bed. You are now nine, and I know in a few years I will be the one begging you.

You are so loved and cherished, Adin.  ~ Mama & Baba

August 12, 2011 - 11:46 am

Jessica G. - I adore this letter. He is so lucky to have this note from his loving mother, this is something he will certainly cherish forever. What a great testament to motherhood, it’s real and it’s honest.
Adin will truly grow up to be a great man.

August 12, 2011 - 11:48 am

lucy - seriously jess? come over here and cry with me. beautifully said. A is so awesome…freckles, buzz cut and all….love you A!

August 12, 2011 - 11:50 am

Keaton - Probably my favorite post thus far of yours. It’s crazy what just a few photos and some words can tell you about someone. You two are extravagant parents, with love and hope and passion for God beyond some people’s wildest dreams.

Your kids will change people’s lives day after day for the good of Christ. And I am sure of this because you two already do. :-)

God bless!
- Keaton

August 12, 2011 - 12:35 pm

melanie - love the new hair adin! he doesn’t look like baba’s clone as much anymore! and he looks so much older. great post.

August 12, 2011 - 1:17 pm

meredith - he looks so grow up.. and the rest of it- I love how you embrace each of your childrens’ personalities and help them learn to channel unwieldy traits into something positive. It’s the mark of a truly great parent..

August 12, 2011 - 1:55 pm

Karla - This is such a sweet and wonderful post! It made me cry. I hope my little girl meets one of your sons in the future ;) (yeah I know, I just made “that” kind of comment). Seriously, I think you and Brett are AMAZING parents!

August 12, 2011 - 2:18 pm

Uncle J - LOVE. Absolutely love.

August 12, 2011 - 2:27 pm

Holly - love you, AJ.

August 12, 2011 - 10:00 pm

erin - He is so handsome and looks so grown-up! You are amazing parents, and that makes me hopeful.

August 14, 2011 - 2:40 pm

Rachel B. - These….ARE…..FABULOUS! Your tribute to Adin is so sweet, but I got teary-eyed when I saw the shot of his banged up legs and cut-offs. That image encapsulates boyhood like nothing else could! The time is so fleeting, but I don’t have to tell you that. I am thankful that you are able to save these memories for him and yourself and treasure them so. And those last two shots are heart-meltingly wonderful!

August 16, 2011 - 12:39 pm

gina - oh jess, i just saw this. such a beautiful post filled with mommy love for her boy. my heart was melting….xo.

August 16, 2011 - 1:22 pm

Caitlin Sullivan - I am one of four myself and am SO drawn to your beautiful writing about your family. It truly gives me chills and the way you honor each child is so awesome. Not to mention y’all are GORGEOUS. Can I photograph you guys!? :)

August 18, 2011 - 8:17 pm

Maggie - Wow…this brought tears to my eyes. Being a parent has got to be the coolest thing ever. You guys are so blessed!

August 18, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Gail - Oh my goodness does that short hair ever suit him! He looks 12 here! And don’t take this the wrong way, ’cause, you know, he’s like, a quarter of my age, but that kid? When he’s 18? He’s gonna BREAK SOME HEARTS.

August 19, 2011 - 3:52 pm

Shannon Selim - What beautiful eyes he has!!!! Lock him up :-)

August 30, 2011 - 9:16 pm

bobbi - ditto to what Uncle J said. And Adin, way dig the haircut. You look OH SO handsome!

razors and ripsticks {film}

The boys have introduced us and the whole neighborhood to ripsticks.  It has made for endless summer fun and lots of scrapes and scratches.

Sometimes Gabe thinks he’s a super hero riding his razor around…

August 10, 2011 - 12:54 pm

Betsy - Awesome! Miles is so jealous!!!!!! Coolest kids on the block, for sure!!!

August 10, 2011 - 2:17 pm

Holly - i love these photos — film suits you two. however, the ribsticks make me incredibly nervous whenever i’m around. guess i’m chicken. ;) such cute photos though! especially gabey!

August 14, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Rachel B. - My daughter loves her razor but it doesn’t love her back. LOL! She has more scars from crashing that thing. We almost threw it away, but then, it is the only toy that she misses when we are away from home.

First floor redo {week one}

I am going to do my best to keep this post concise, but I find my heart and emotions are stirred with each step as we rip out laminate flooring, scrape off popcorn ceilings, and hear the constant sound of the nail gun. You see, prior to moving into our interestingly laid-out 1982 home in suburbia Ohio, Brett and I sort of lived like gypsies. Well, that may sound extreme, but in a matter of 7 years we did live in 5 different places, and subsequently added a child on at every other stop. We journeyed from apartment to apartment, and somewhere in between even lived with Brett’s mom for a while. Towards the end of our gypsy era we lived in a townhouse for a couple years and settled. Having three kids and knowing we wanted another, we knew we had outgrown the townhouse. So, our house hunt began. After 10 months of constant searching, we found our unique home and purchased our first house! We stepped in the front door and our realtor said, “You could have 10 kids here!” Brett’s eyes lit up.;)It was SO evident it was constructed in the early 80′s (bless it’s little red cedar heart). From the red & black splash paint in the basement, to the kitchen wallpaper featuring cabins with smoke coming out of the chimney in heart shapes (seriously), we I insisted on spending the first 3 months doing a bit of “clean-up” before moving in. We knew down the road we would embark on the bigger stuff.

This kitchen redo is such a labor of love for us. My Brett is very good about handling finances (thank you Jesus for sending him into my life), and buying our home meant we had to be extremely frugal with our spending. Buying paint for rooms was about as far as our “home decorating” budget went. Interior design is something I LOVE, so this was something I just had to stifle for the time. I had major dreams of knocking out walls, evening up all the random flooring running around this crazy house, and just adding our own personal touches. One of my absolute biggest dreams was to have a nice kitchen for my hunky-chef-of-a-husband.

Surprisingly, soon after we bought this house something unexpected happened….I started a little photography business.:)  In my mind I thought, “I can make $50 here and there, and eventually buy a couple things for the house.” I was beyond thrilled. Things started going well with the biz, and the rest they say…..is history.

About 2 years ago I proposed the kitchen idea to Brett. He loved it, but the practical side of him gave me a budget to following a “mark” to reach before we ever took action. One day I called him over and showed him how I had surpassed “the mark” and I think I shocked the boy. We immediately began looking into all things kitchens. We also decided to redo the flooring on our first floor except for the carpeted living room. Would you believe our first floor had *5* different types of floors??? What was it with homes in the 80′s having tiny compartmentalized rooms that each had their own flooring? We spend so much time together as a family and really wanted a more open, flowing system here.

A little over a week ago, our project began!!

Brett believed in me and my crazy dream of starting a business….he supported me, and I am so proud to be able to take some of our earning to now reinvest into something that he is so passionate about. Cooking. Who knows….perhaps his dream will come true and he can cook for a living someday!

Our friends Lee and Wes of Allen Construction are handling the job. They are so kind and patient with my kids who want to “help.” I cracked up when the first day they began, I walked in the room to see my boys all working!

Goodbye orange tile! Goodbye parquet! Goodbye brown linoleum!

Hellooooo beautiful distressed Hickory!!

Gail (safety girl), it is splintery free. Promise.;)

Here is a before shot of the divider wall. Behind it is a little office turned storage-pile room….

Wall being deconstructed on left…..on  the right is the little odd room I mentioned that unfortunately became an easy “catch-all.”

Annnnd, it’s gone! The kitchen is SO much more open!!

On that wall we had been recording all of our heights over the years, and the guys sawed the wall to SAVE it for us!!!:)

“Priya! What do you think of our wall being gone?”

Next wall to go…..quite the famous wall on this blog.

Time to say goodbye!

The other side of the wall was our kids junk closet.

Wall down. It was freaky how open it looked at first, but also so junky in our living room that I will make you wait for the final shot. ;)

The neighborhood kids came in to see the progress. Their little jaws dropped! It’s so cute seeing and hearing all their perspectives. Most of them have spent the majority of their lives here, so the changes are HUGE!

Thanks for following along with us. Expect more updates to come. This week our kitchen is being gutted and the flooring will be completed!

Here’s to sanity in the midst of living under drywall dust with 4 kids! Cheers. ;)

July 18, 2011 - 12:43 pm

Betsy - So exciting!!! Congratulations to you for following your heart and making dreams come true for you!!! Love ya!!!

July 18, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Gail - Oh my goodness—SPLINTER-FREE AND GORGEOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Cannot wait to see the rest! Love to see how much you two have saved for those, wanted it for so long. I know it’s going to live up to your dreams!

July 18, 2011 - 1:12 pm

Maggie - Now I am excited to visit for two reasons….to see all your beautiful faces AND to see your new house!!!! YAY

July 18, 2011 - 7:58 pm

Alyson Gawrych - I LOVE THE HICKORY FLOORS!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! GREAT PICK!!!!!!!!!

July 19, 2011 - 4:52 am

nelly - I love your new floor ! So existed to see the rest.

July 20, 2011 - 7:38 am

Amber - This is great!! Can’t wait to see the finished product!!

July 20, 2011 - 3:15 pm

melanie - dude i cant even wait to see the finished result. oh, and adam wants to marry your floor.

July 22, 2011 - 1:49 pm

Lauren - Loved that you saved the height section of the wall! Perfect home decor for a different room!

July 28, 2011 - 3:10 pm

Uncle J - can’t wait to see the finished product in person.
what are you going to do with the wall height section? i’m sure you’ll think of something i’ll think is rad.

August 12, 2011 - 4:47 pm

Donna - Love those floors…can’t wait to see the rest!!!

September 15, 2011 - 10:35 am

first floor redo {week nine!} | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] It’s been a couple months since I’ve updated about our kitchen and first floor home redo. If you follow my twitter or facebook, then you have seen pictures from my phone along the way. If you missed part one, click here to get caught up!  [...]