Women's March in NYC [January 21, 2017]

"The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

This is quote I am sure you have read before. But yesterday, it meant a whole lot more to me. My great great grandmother, Jessie Ransom (who I was named after) was a leader of the democratic women's group in Poughkeepsie, NY. My great grandmother Adelaide Weaver became interested in politics there and became great friends with Eleanor Roosevelt and became a suffragette marching with Carrie Chapman Catt (one of the most famous American suffragette leaders) through Ohio. When my great grandmother was married and moved to Omaha, Nebraska, she opened a Planned Parenthood there.

Marching and standing up for women's rights is in my blood. Yesterday was nothing short of amazing and emotional for me. It was a day I'll never forget. I marched with so many dear friends. While everyone marched for many different reasons, what resonated with me most was we were all exercising our fundamental right as citizens of the United States. That alone is so powerful and so important. I've never participated in a march before and I know it won't be my last. And it was so peaceful. Never once, not for one second did I ever feel scared or worried about my safety - I was one of 400,00 people out there. Thank you NYPD. Even President Trump acknowledged that peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy and he recognizes the rights of people to express themselves.

I marched yesterday for myself, my two girls and their future children. I need them to know I stand for equality and inclusion. I do not stand for racism or bigotry. I need them to know that we only have one planet and that our climate needs to be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited. I do not stand for climate change deniers. I need them to know that I stand for empathy and kindness. I do not stand for bullying. These are only a few of the reasons.

One day when my kids ask me what I did to help, hopefully they will remember this day - the day I started.  

Here's to STRONG women. May we KNOW them, may we BE them, may we RAISE them.

 

Who We Become | May 2016 : Jessie Wixon Photography

Hi and happy Spring... although it feels a lot more like late fall in NYC :( I really hope it gets warm again and actually sticks around. Wishful thinking I suppose. 

This post is part of our Who We Become blog circle with my dear photography friends. After checking my page out, please take a look at my friend Sarah Davis and follow along the circle. 

This weekend is my nephew's Bar Mitzvah. It's hard to believe he is 13 years old this month. I remember the day he was born vividly in NYC. I was so proud of my first ever nephew. We are all very much looking forward to celebrating this weekend. These photos were taken at the coolest grafitti park in Welling Court, Queens. We did a photo shoot there last month as his theme is grafitti and street art. Here is a sampling of some of the photos:

Central Park after the Snow - NYC Photographer

One of my very favorite things to do in NYC is go for a walk through Central Park when it's snowing and right after it snows...especially when we get a bluebird day like yesterday. It's completely magical and makes me feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful city. Here are a few shots from my walk...

January 23-24, 2016 NYC Blizzard

This past weekend, NYC was hit was the most fun blizzard. We have all been waiting and waiting for snow to fall and our wishes finally came true! The meteorologists couldn't decide how much we were getting and the truth of the matter is - they just can't predict this kind of stuff. But, we were thrilled with how wrong they were on their estimates. Central Park ended up with 26.8 inches of the whitest, fluffiest snow of the season.  We ventured out Saturday when the blizzard started and actually attended a ballet class with the NYC ballet and as soon as it was over, Lincoln Center shut down and all performances were canceled. Mayor DeBlasio was shutting down the above ground subways and all buses! 

72nd Street Subway during Blizzard 2016

NYC Ballet Children's Workshop

NYC Ballet Children's Workshop

Lincoln Center during Blizzard 2016

From here, we had a lot of fun exploring the streets, catching snow flakes and trying to stay warm:

Sunday, January 24th was a bluebird day so we got up and out to the park early for hours of sledding and snow fun. A gorgeous sunset finished off our fun, fun weekend. Lucky us.


Who we become | January 2016

Hello & Happy New Year! Kicking off 2016 with my monthly blog group "Who we become." You can check out the full group post HERE and after reading this, continue on to my friend Julie HERE

We had a wonderful holiday season. After spending time with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in Wisconsin where we sadly only saw snow on the day we left, we packed up and headed to Florida for 5 days. This time of year can be chilly, but we lucked out with a warm front and lots of fun times on the beach and in the pool. And lucky us - we got upgraded to a fancy suite with views of the ocean. The two shots below of the beach were taken from our balcony. We saw lots of dolphins from our window, as well as thousands of people! 

I have a lot of plans for 2016 for my photography business including a new website and marketing materials so be on the look out in the next month or so. 

Here are some of my favorite photos from our trip to Florida. Thanks for looking and see you again soon!

Jessie

WWB - November 2015

It's been awhile since I've blogged but I am back. Our group at Who We Become chose November 15th as the day to start back in again and it's also the

day I will once again start blogging and sharing more personal work as well as client work. Hooray!

Here are a few favorite shots from November. You can continue along the circle and see what my friend Cheryl chose this month HERE

Letters to our Daughers | February 2015

This letter is part of my monthly "Letters to our Daughters" blog circle. After reading this, please continue in the circle and see what my friend Colie had to say to her adorable little girl Chloe HERE

Hi girls-

While this letter is for both of you, I am going to focus more on Harper this month based on an incident that happened over the weekend that I know you both of you won't soon forget and nor will I! It all started Sunday morning when we started talking about going to get haircuts. Both of your hair were getting out of hand and ragged and it was time for a cut to clean it up. You finally agreed and Harper, you were so excited. The appointment couldn't come quicker that day. "How many more minutes until my hair cut?"   While I have always suggested you cut your hair shorter, you always always wanted long hair. So, while I was surprised you changed your mind and wanted to cut your hair that morning, I went with it. You are at a stage in your life where routines are your world. You get into these habits and you can't break them. Unfortunately we are in one right now where you will only wear these ONE pair of black leggings from GAP because every other pair of leggings doesn't feel right or is too tight and restricting. And of course the GAP is currently not selling plain black leggings. The ones they do have are trimmed with lace and we can't have lace rubbing against or leg (this month).

So I digress, but you tend to always know what you want. This particular Sunday was going to be a "cut your hair short" day and you weren't going to have it any other way.  We got to the hair salon down the street and it's not our regular salon because I was sick and tired of paying upwards of $40 for a kids trim. I heard about this new place with haircuts for "only" $25 for kids so we made an appointment and headed in. I will add that it's a very deceptive practice at Dramatics because only "walk-in" appointments off the street at $25. Every other appointment that you book starts at $35 so with long hair we were back to the $40 price. Drew went first and we showed her styilist over and over again exactly how much to cut off and she went to town.  Harper loved holding all your curls on the ground!

Even though I told your stylist I didn't want to pay for a blowout (an extra $10) she did it anyway and then proceeded to straighten your hair with a straightening iron. I honestly didn't recognize you at the end and I am not sure you recognized yourself, Drew.

And then it was your turn, Harper. You loved getting your hair washed twice and conditioned and sat in your chair to show your stylist where you wanted your hair to fall. We both agreed (just above your shoulders). If only I had that on tape!

And then the cutting bagan....

And then it was a mere 30 seconds after I took the photo above that you looked up, looked in the mirror and LOST it. I mean lost it. You screamed and yelled and tore off the robe and pulled and yanked at your hair and said you never wanted to cut your hair short, you wanted long hair and you were not staying there a second longer. You jumped out of your chair and nearly face dived onto the floor with loud gasps all around. Now, I would have been ok to leave, but you see, you had those two long chunks of hair still hanging off the side of your head and I was not about to walk around town with you looking like that. The screaming and crying didn't end and your stylist didn't have a clue how to handle this situation. We may have been her first child cut. But, after A LOT of talking and maybe even a quick bribe to watch a Punky Brewster show when we got home (that show never did make it on), I held both your hands down so you wouldn't grab at your hair and your stylist managed to finish your cut.

I know I shouldn't have taken that shot abve, but I couldn't help myself and thought maybe one day you'd look back and laugh?! Well, as soon as we busted out of that salon, I had a brilliant idea to reward your lovely behavior with a giant cookie from Levain Bakery. Because, isn't that what you are supposed to do? I'd call that a parenting win!

And no, they didn't eat the whole cookie themselves. I am still working on mine and it's been 3 days! I will admit that it calmed you down, Harper. It was so sad as you said you never wanted to go to school and everyone would laugh at you and you didn't want to see any of your friends again. But, we got lucky and your best friend happened to call us for a last minute Sunday evening playdate and you couldn't get there quick enough. I think it was fate calling. Here you and Drew are waiting for the bus to go to their house:

And then you hugged me and twirled and said you LOVED your hair!

And you know what, I love your hair too. Your teacher said you looked stylish. You go in waves and there are still parts of the day when you look in the mirrow and miss your hair. But, you do seem to have come a long way from Sunday. It's only Tuesday but the progress has been huge. And no matter what, it's just hair and it will grow again and who knows - maybe you'll want to keep it short? It's your choice. Next time, I just may have to record how you want your hair cut :) For now, we love you just the way you are !

Love always, Mommy

Letters to our Daughters | January 2015

Happy New Year! I am going to attemp my annual tradition of writing notes to my daughters on a monthly basis and share some of my photography along with it! This is part of a photography circle with a group of wonderful women who all share similar passions: photography and our kids. In this case, it's our daughters. After reading this, please follow the circle and see what Bonnie Hussey had to say to her darling daughters here:

Dear Drew & Harper--

It's 2015 and we just returned from a wondeful vacation in Baja, Mexico. We were lucky enough to have your Gabba and Bubba with us. Because you both are in the dual language program at your school and know so much Spanish, we were really hoping you'd help us translate. Well, that didn't happen so much this trip. We'll call it stage fright :) It was Mexico's winter so we had a couple cool mornings, but otherwise it was the perfect temperature at the beach or by the pool. We stayed in a house on the beach that was part of a beach club so we didn't have to drive anywhere to go to restaurants or the pool. In fact, a nice little golf cart would come along and pick us up if we were lucky. You both certainly loved that. As you can see from the photos below, you both had a ball at this gorgeous beach about 20 minutes away. The water was super shallow and we could walk all the way across to the other side. You also loved playng in the pool of course but your favorite part was the hot tub. You were only given 3 minutes in it because it was so hot and kids under 11 aren't allowed, but it was your favorite way to end the day. Because we could walk to our house, Harper you especially enjoyed the independence of walking home by yourself to pick up a toy you may have forgotten. None of us got sick on anything which was a blessing, but we had heard this resort was very good about their food and were relieved that it was in fact true. We can't say the same for what is happening in our house right now though :( So while we are recovering from a stomach bug, we can look at these photos and remember the warmth of the sun and the splashing in the water. Until next time my loves...

xoxo, 


Photo 52: New Beginnings

Who We Become may be on hiatus until January, but our cameras are not. We are in the process of putting together our syllabus for our next P52 and will be launching in January. We hope to make our new project as interesting and challenging to our group members as possible and we hope you will join us for the ride. In the interim, we have decided to make good use of our lonely blog and celebrate the holiday season by posting images that speak to our hearts. While these posts will lack the structure of our usual P52 projects, we hope you enjoy our work during this interlude.

To see all the posts together, click HERE.

Here is what Fall in Central Park has looked like in 2014. Thank you for looking! 


Letters to our Daughters | October 2015

This is part of our monthly Letters to our Daughters blog circle. After reading this, please see what my friend Kami had to say to her two sweet daughters HERE

Dear Drew,

You are about to turn 7 this weekend, you are missing your two front teeth, you speak and writing more Spanish than your Dad or I can understand anymore and you would rather spend your time on the monkey bars than do just about anything else. You are changing before our eyes. Now that I am working again, things have definitely changed for all of us and it's never easy. You and Harper have a new sitter and I know how hard it is to get used to someone new. I appreciate your looking out for your sister at all times and Harper is so lucky to have you. We discovered a great little desk in your room and this has now become your quiet place to do your homework and write notes and draw.  Yes, your room is still a complete mess and you still don't know how to get dressed by yourself most days, but I love you all the same and we will work on the clothes part :)  Keep up all your great work. Your Dad and I are getting be more proud to be your parents!

Love,

Mama

 

Photo 52.2: Photographer's Choice {Week 52}

Wow. This is it. The final week of Framed. The end of our second year of a collaborative photography project. Over the course of this year we studied composition ranging from geometric framing to lines, perspectives and patterns and so much more. We grew as photographers and nurtured our individual and group stories. We appreciate all the support from our followers, and suggest you keep your eyes out for our next steps!

Please click HERE to see all the final week images - either a new creative composition or a favorite image from the year.

This is one of my favorite shots of the year. This was taken on our trip to Africa in August. This was in Deadvlei, a white clay pan near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, insde the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. There are some species of plants remaining, adapted to surviving off the morning mist and very rare rainfall. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to be about 900 years old, are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though not petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.

We visited in the early morning when it was still quite cool out and there were a lot of sand storms, which can be seen here. We are all bundled up and covered our heads in wraps to avoid any sand in our eyes.

 

Letters to Our Daughters | September 2014

This is part of my monthly "Letters to Our Daughters" blog circle. After reading this, please visit my friend Bonnie Hussey's page to read her letter to her daughter HERE

 

Dear Harper,

This month we celebrated a huge milestone in your life: entering Kindergarten! You are finally at the same school as your sister and Mommy has one drop off location in the morning making everyone's life so much easier. You have been such a champ and you are thriving! We were lucky enough to know three other siblings from Drew's class that would be in your dual-language class so we had a foot up and planned playdates ahead of time. That definitely helped the transition. I believe it was your first day that you came home from school and said "Mom, I didn't get any homework yet!" Well, now your teacher has started giving some review homework and you have started reading and you can't get enough. It's so fun to watch your trajectory! 

I was a little worried about how Kindergarten would be without your best friend who is in a different school and am so relieved to see how well you are doing despite missing your dear friend. You talk about Maya everyday  and I miss seeing her and her mom everyday so much. But I know she's never far from our hearts or minds and it makes me so happy to see you meeting so many new friends.... even though Maya will always be your best friend. 

Things have also changed around the house with my going back to an office job for the first time in a very long time, but I know we will all get through it. There aren't enough hours in the day for snuggles so if I stay a little extra long in your bed at night to hug you, I hope you won't mind. I am so proud of you and only ask that you please please don't screech my name and beg for water and beg for food (after you have had dinner)! from your loft. I can hear you and so can our neighbors... and no, you can't have any more water!

I love you and can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings my little Kindergartener!

Love, Mama

First day of Kindergarten 2014

Photo 52.2: Creative Composition (Week 51)

This is week 51 of our Photo 52.2. This month's theme has been devoted to a breaking-the-rules approach to composition: the study of multiple exposure, as well as images that are intentionally captured out-of-focus. Breaking the rules of photographic conventions is compelling as an artist because sometimes the image is the result of a happy accident and sometimes it is the result of crafting an image with careful intent. Allowing ourselves freedom from rules gives us permission to take risks or see things in a new way. When a rules-breaking image works, it can be truly powerful and satisfying for photographer and viewer alike.

With this approach in mind, this week's theme is photographer's choice - a sort of creative free-for-all for us to share our most fun, thought-provoking or creative recent work.

Photo 52.2: Creative Composition -- Out of Focus {Week 50}

This is week 50 of our Photo 52.2. Hard to believe we are two weeks out from completing our second year of our blog circle. This month we are looking at creative compositions and this week we are looking at intentionally out of focus shots. These were taken Friday evening at Saltair, along the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City, Utah where I spent four days at a photography conference with great friends. To see all of the shots in one grid, click HERE

Letters to our Daughters {August 2014}

This post is part of my second annual monthly letter to our daughters series. After reading this letter, please head on over to my friend Nicole's page to read her letter and see her adorable photos of her daughter Chloe HERE

Dear Drew and Harper-

This is going to be a short and sweet letter to you two this month. We have had a whirlwind summer and I've seen both of you grow and change and challenge yourselves and each other, you've gone off to all 7 of your different camps with smiles on your faces and come home with new friends; you've embraced your precious weeks living together with your cousins, but most importantly I've seen your independence and confidence grow. Thanks to the small community where we spend a lot of our summer, you two can walk to camp alone with your cousins, run down the beach to play in the sand yourself and ride your bikes to and from camp. The look of confidence is priceless and this is all I can hope and wish for the two of you. To be confident and powerful is to feel secure and with this you learn to make positive choices about yourself and do positive things for others. Strong, powerful and confident girls feel good about themselves. I know you two will be this way. Of course there will always be times of self-doubt and insecurity (trust me, I still go through this daily), but I know these feelings won't stop you and you will be strong, confident girls. I love you always and forever.

Love, Mommy

 

Photo 52.2: Classic Composition -- Centered {Week 45}

Centering the subject has often been seen as a beginner technique, because the resulting composition is not viewed as being as dynamic compared to other compositions (for example, last weeks' Rule of Thirds). However, if you are deliberate with your composition, having a balanced frame with the subject at the center can be a very effective compositional technique.

A center composition can emphasize symmetry or create a sense of space. If there are distracting elements around the subject, centering may be the best way to avoid including these extraneous elements in the frame. When there are very few other items in the frame, centering can draw attention to the subject, especially when leading lines are used. Centering is particularly effective in a square crop. When used purposefully, centering can produce a very visually striking image.  Here are all of this week's center composed images: http://whowebecome.com/?p=2118




Photo 52.2: Creative Complexity: Subject Separation {Week 42}

This is week 42 of Photo 52.2 and we are looking at Subject Separation. We are exploring different ways of emphasizing the subjects of our images, making sure that they stand out sufficiently from the background to communicate our intention to the viewer. There are a variety of methods to achieve this aim. Keeping the background free of distracting elements is a most basic approach, which can be further enhanced with other techniques: shallow depth of field, selective focus, careful placement of light (such as rim light from back or side lighting), or a pop of color are just a few examples. In a busier scene with a number of elements, calling attention to the main subject is all the more important and challenging. The same techniques are relevant but others, such as framing the subject or having the subject break a pattern, are also options. One effective technique is to have physical separation between the subject and other people or objects, also making sure that there is space between the background elements as well. 

Here is my choice for this week. Click HERE to see all the images together in one grid.


Letters to our Daughters {July 2014}

This is my part of my monthly "Letters to our Daughters" photography blog circle. After reading my letter, please see what my sweet friend Kami had to say to her two daughters HERE.

Hi girls,

We are in the middle of our summer of adventures. We've spent a week on Cape Cod, about 10 days in Madison and we will be heading back to Cape Cod, NYC for a week and onto Africa yet again. This month's letter is more for me than it is for you, but I thought it might be helpful for you to read as well one day. Beginning today, Momma has to learn to let you two be yourselves. It will be very hard at times, but I know in the bottom of my heart, you both have strong personalities and it's more important for you to explore at your own pace then for me or your Dad to tell you or encourage you to do something you aren't ready for yet. Drew, you are a beautiful, stubborn, shy, hilarious, inquisitive, sharp little girl and while we want you to take risks and we want you to try every sport and go on every fun ride, I know you will do it all on your own time. You are a beautiful, strong girl and we love you to pieces.  And, Harper you are our wild child and we often wonder where your crazy personality comes from. One minute you are in the fetal position on my lap and the next minute you are running around like a wild hyena! We love you to death and know this is just a phase (let's all hope) but I will let you be who you want to be and I know you will turn out just fine in the end :) You are a very beautiful, strong girl and we love you to pieces as well! You are both so unique and so special and we want you to be who you want to be, as long as you are both healthy, strong and full of love.

Here are some shots we took one night in Wisconsin in a restored prairie full of wildflowers. While the shoot did not go as planned and you both, along with your cousin were done before we began, I was able to capture a few nice shots from our evening in this very special place.

Love, Momma


Photo 52.2: Creative Complexity: Filling the Frame {Week 41}

This is week 41 of Photo 52.2. While the setting is often important in a photograph, sometimes our artistic intention is to draw full attention to our subject. Filling the frame edge to edge by moving closer, zooming in, or cropping the image in post-processing eliminates background distractions and forces the viewer to examine the subject in close detail. The technique can be used to great effect with a single subject occupying the entire frame, but we might also fill the composition with multiple elements, ensuring that there is a minimum of unused space within the borders. In a portrait, filling the frame with the subject—particularly close-ups of the face—can capture personality or mood that would get lost at more of a distance. Non-human subjects also benefit from this close inspection of all or part of the object, and filling the frame is often used in macro photography to isolate important details. While filling the frame is a compositional technique in itself, combining it with other techniques, such as repetition or rule of thirds, can lend even more impact to the image. Click HERE to see all the images together.