Archive for 'Children'

I’ve been saying I was going to do

Themed Mini-Sessions

for a while.

But I didn’t think it would take me quite this long to get it together:)

I’ve teamed up with another great photographer,

Jennifer Simpson Photography,

and with both of us putting our heads together

we are going to ROCK this!

There’s only limited availability,

so reserve your spot today!


Several years ago my friend and talented photographer, Tina,

encouraged a group of colleagues to use our talents to

bring more awareness to families living with Down Syndrome.

From the day I saw Tina’s session, I’ve wanted to do just that.

October is Down Syndrome awareness month.

It’s also my busiest month of the year.

So, every year, it sneaks up on me and passes me by.

This year I vowed to do it, and I did…

though it’s almost the end of the month and I almost let it sneak by.

Almost.  But not quite.

Aiden’s mom, Jennifer, and I went to middle school and high school together way back when.

I won’t tell you exactly how long ago – but it was a long time ago:)

We went to a small high school where everyone felt like family.

That’s the bad thing about growing up and moving away

you lose a bit of your family.

I was honored to invade Jennifer’s life for a few hours,

to catch up, meet her boys and just see her beautiful smile

(she always had the best smile – even in high school)

So, anyway, Aiden.  I loved meeting Aiden and his big brother Gavin.

Jennifer and Lee have some awesome boys.

Aiden goes to a public school and is in Kindergarten.

Gavin told me that when they pick up Aiden from school

he and mom get the best hugs, that Aiden acts as if he hasn’t

seen them in year.

He was right.  Big hugs and huge smiles.

I thought Aiden would be ready to leave right  away – but nope,

he had no problem showing us his work.

After school, we went to one of Aiden’s favorite places.

The family hardware store

where Jennifer said he gets 1 scoop of ice cream

but he gets a bunch of scoops of LOVE.

I love Aiden’s routines in the store.  First he has to run through the storage room

and hit the attic string.

Then he gets ice cream

and then he hangs out in the office.

Turning the light on and off and on and off again:)

After another attic string attack – he’s ready to go!

At this point, Aiden was ready for me to leave.

He didn’t quite understand why I was following him around.

But I followed him home anyway.

Then it was time to play outside.

Jeeps, trampolines, forts, slides.  Fun, fun, fun.

 After playing, Aiden was ready to go in

and took me in his room to show me his favorite things.

I love his room.  I want Jennifer to come decorate my house.

I’m glad Silas didn’t see Gavin’s room – he would have been jealous.

Then finally, Aiden was ready for some down time.

After wrestling with Gavin.

If you know Aiden, you know he LOVES the Wiggles.

I mean, LOVES them.

What a treat that 2 new movies arrived in the mail that day.

I was impressed with how quickly Aiden picked up their dance moves

and loved that Jennifer and Gavin hung right with Aiden as he enjoyed his show.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your day and your boys with me.

The slideshow shows many, many more images

from my day with Aiden.  It’s just 3 minutes long.

3 minutes of Aiden’s Day.

 There doesn’t have to be a special occasion to capture the events in your life.

Contact Dana Jackson Photography today.

I love it when large families remember to document

their time together on vacation.

I love it  when they ask me to capture their life.

And I love it even more when they want to

move away from mostly posed shots

and just play.

We did a lot of playing.

A lot of laughing.

I had fun.

Those are my favorite kinds of sessions.

There’s no better compliment than to be asked to photograph a family again.

This time, instead of Carolina Beach,

I met the family in Holden Beach.

And although it was windy, the weather was perfect (what’s not to love about a windy beach).

Because the whole family couldn’t be there

the focus this time was on the grandchildren.

We had a good time, a real good time.

I love it when parents let their kids just be, well, kids.

Since I know the family will be able to view this while they are still together,

I wanted to make it a little more enjoyable.

I wish I were with them now, as they watch for the first time.  Enjoy!

Oh, and by the way, the kids give the BEST hugs.

Life Celebrated.

It’s not often that I get asked to photograph a birth.

Whether it’s just not on a mom’s radar to hire a photographer

or because I just haven’t marketed myself as a birth photographer.

Either way, I am honored beyond words when

a family trusts me enough to share the most intimate event in their life.

And a home birth seems even more intimate to me.

For two weeks before and after a moms due date

like the rest of the family, I’m on pins and needles waiting for the call.

You never know what to expect –

what time you’ll get the call,

how long you’ll be there

where “there” will actually be.

From a photographers perspective, we always think about light.

Will there be beautiful window light?

Will we end up in the hospital with lots of florescent lights,

or in this case, will it be in the middle of the night with just a single lamp for light.

Several years ago – the last scenario would have stressed me out

but I can just roll with the punches now.

Celebrating life is what I do.

Emily and Rob were not only completely ready

they had an amazing team.

Olivia and Candace work so seamlessly together

I loved listening to them guide Emily and Rob through the night.

I’m looking forward to working with them again very soon.

Don’t rush through this post

Savor every portrait

And enjoy the slideshow at the end.

I promise – it’s worth it.

Emily worked hard – she was super woman. Her strength just amazed me.

And Rob was always right there.  Always.

All through the night he would look at me and say, “I just love her – isn’t she just amazing?”

Melt.  Just melt.


And now for the slideshow.

Seriously, it’s worth it.

3 minutes, 15 seconds.  Worth it.

I’ll be surprised if your eyes are dry at the end.

Please know – this is a birth slideshow – so while I assure you it is PG rated

there is obviously some implied nudity.

I’d be surprised if you notice – you’ll be watching the emotion – just like I was.

Oh, and Emily – there’s a little surprise in there for you:)

Thank you to Renee and Jeremy for the use of the beautiful song.

Photographers – check them out – seriously great stuff for slideshows.

 If you are interested in Birth Photography, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to leave congrats to Emily and Rob here – they’ll be watching!

Earlier this summer, one of my favorite clients brought a mermaid costume to the session.

I was skeptical at first – because you guys know I’m not a “proppy” kind of photographer.

But this was not any mermaid costume – this was very tasteful and beautiful.

After sharing her portraits on facebook – I was flooded with interest in more mermaid sessions.

I was fortunate enough that she let me keep them for a year.  Them – yes – more than 1 – there are 2!

While shell hunting with my family one day, I found the perfect location for these mermaid sessions.

I put out a casting call for 2 little girls when I knew the tide would be low.

The moms were not only willing, they pulled their girls from school to make the shoot!

And how about this – the youngest – it was her 5th birthday!  How cool is that?!

Anyway – it was absolutely FUN!  Not the most ideal conditions.  The sun was brighter than I wanted it to be,

the wind was blowing waaaay harder than I wanted it to be, and the seas were rougher than I wanted, too.

But I can’t always get what I want.

I did however, have two VERY cooperative girls that made my day with their giggles.

Within 5 minutes they acted as if they’d known each other forever.

I can’t wait to do some mermaid sessions in the spring.

Contact me if you are interested in your own mermaid session.


I feel like I’m a member of this family.  And I like it.

I remember when I delivered the portraits from  Abbey‘s newborn session

mom hugged me and said, “We’ve found our photographer for life.”

She really meant it and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m lucky enough to photograph Abbey 2x a year at her daycare

and anytime I’m having a mini-session special

mom is one of the first ones to book.

A photographer changes a lot in 3 years – I know I have.

Always, photography for me has been more about the connections between family members

and I love seeing it in this session.


 Without telling mom that I was doing it

I tried out a little fusion during our session.

Fusion is the combination of video and portraits during the same session.

I’ve played around with it some during other sessions

and I really love it.  More and more.

I love it so much, I might have to just start including it in all newborn sessions!

So, Cameron, sit back and grab a tissue.  Everyone else, sigh and smile

at this beautiful family I’m so happy to be part of.

Contact me for your next newborn or family session.

And don’t forget to leave congratulations messages to the family!

Several years ago, I met MB for the first time.  We met at Ft. Fisher for her Sweet 16 portrait session.

I love that mom continued the tradition for her son, several years later.

But, you can’t really call it a Sweet 16 for a boy, can you?

So, how about a Super 16?

We met again at the same location.  Mom had her hopes on

another canvas to compliment MB’s.

The only thing we were missing was MB herself.  Hopefully we’ll get a few of her

when she comes home from college.

He really is an awesome kid (can you call a 16yr old a kid?)

And such a trooper to do this for his mom.

He was so easy to work with and so handsome!

He’s a Junior this year, so look for his senior portraits some time next year!


If you’d like to celebrate a special birthday or occasion – portraits are the perfect opportunity.  Contact me for your next session.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

This session is one of those instances where I was meant to be their photographer.

No one else.

It started with a phone call coming in into my landline.  I don’t answer the landline anymore.

It’s actually hooked to a fax machine and the main ringer turned off so I rarely even hear it anymore.

When I do hear it – I ignore it – except this time.  It was meant to be.

The call was from this mom – saying Cori had sent her to me (thanks, Cori).  That she had already had another photographer picked out

for the job – but was calling me just because.  It was meant to be.

She told me that she was almost 40 and her only child, a son, is 9 (instant chills – my exact story in 2 years).  It was meant to be.

She wanted me to capture her and her son – their friendship, their laughter, their love – as her

40th birthday present to herself.   I’m almost in tears.  It was meant to be.

I assured her she came to the right place.  I WAS the photographer for her.  I wanted this for her

as much as I would want this for myself.

It was awesome.  Everything I could want it to be.

The weather was perfect.  The tide was perfect.  The North End was gorgeous.

Their relationship…………….much like mine and my sons.  I’m doing this for me one day, soon.

It was meant to be.

mother_son_beach_8 (1).jpg

Moms, please take time to celebrate yourself.  Please take time to have portraits done WITH your children.

Contact me so I can make it happen for you.  It would be the perfect gift to yourself.

This is a picture heavy post – get a cup of coffee – and enjoy!

Mini-sessions are the best way for families to get quick updated portraits.

While not quite as in depth and not nearly as many connections as I get with a full session,

I’m always pleased at the end of the day.

These are crazy fun sessions.

The other thing I love about these sessions are the history I have with these families.

Each one of my families that I’m sharing today has been photographed by me before.

I love, love, love seeing them again.  I love watching their children grow up behind my lens.

I met this family last year when Hampton wasn’t even standing well on his own.

Mom had missed one of my breastfeeding sessions so hired me for a family mini-session followed by a breastfeeding session, too.

I just love how animated Hampton is.

I don’t think I blogged his last session:(


This family is one of my most loyal customers.  She first hired me when I was JUST starting out – 5 years ago.

Our first session Julian was only about 6 months old.  It was a VERY cold beach session.

Over the years I’ve really gotten to watch them grow up.  It’s the highlight of my year!

Here’s an old post from when she was pregnant with Elsa

This year I was able to squeeze in some of mom and her kids – Ulrica – you are just radiant!


I photographed the boys for the first time last year.  I met mom through my very awesome dentists, Karen and Brent of Bush Family Dentistry.

The office staff bought a gift certificate from me for them for a gift 3 Christmas’ ago (how cool is that?)

And I’ve been with the family ever since!

I was so happy that mom and dad jumped in on this session.  I LOVE seeing families together.

I don’t know if I ever blogged their session last year (I was getting slack then)


Cori and I have known each other for a long time.  We were pregnant with our boys at the same time.

In fact they are exactly 1 month apart in age.

I photographed the family just before Cori and Dan got married (one of my favorite sessions ever – check it out HERE)

and just the boys last year.  It’s great seeing them all together!

Oh, and if you’re looking to buy/sell a house – check out Cori – soon you’ll even see a new headshot from this session:)


I was in contact with this mom while she was pregnant with her twins.  They just celebrated their 3rd birthday

and I love photographing them each year.  We’ve done full sessions and minis over the years.

Our last full session we did using Grandma’s field in Southport – such an awesome location.

The year prior to that – they weren’t even sitting up on their own – we met just before Orton Plantation closed.

We’re already in the planning phases of a “Day-in-the-Life” session – can’t wait for that!


And folks – please leave comments!  Not only do the families love it – but it actually helps me

reach out to new families.  It makes me more searchable

and google likes it:)  So, thanks in advance for comments.

Businesses are harder to keep track of on Facebook – so if you want to make sure you don’t miss updates – subscribe to the right!

I’ve been fielding a lot of e-mails and phone calls from parents wanting last minute sibling portraits

and family portraits for Christmas cards and gifts.  I have something up my sleeve Nov 27-Dec 2.

Contact me.