If you would like to set up a photography session, or have any questions, contact me via email: betsy@betsyjophotography.com. Thank you!

Saturday, January 30, 2010



I may have mentioned once or twice that winter is not my favorite of seasons. However, I do sometimes like winter Saturdays. Especially when they start with Paul's pancakes in the morning, family errands later on, and library visits midday. And they continue, slow-paced, in front of a wood stove.

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

*Note: Nora is a busy little girl, and had a previous engagement; thus she was unable to be a part of our Saturday excursion.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 284.

The other evening, I realized I had forgotten to get the mail. As I was ready to walk outside, I noticed some beautiful golden light reflected on the brick in our sunroom. So I grabbed the camera, took some images, and got the mail. Then I turned around to come inside. And what I saw from the outside-looking-in made me happier than golden evening light ever could.

I wasn't happier than golden light just because they were all playing together without arguing. (For once.) Not just because the expressions on Connor's face tend to make me giggle. I wasn't happier than golden light just because I love them with everything I've got. I was also happy because it was Checkers they chose to play. Because it's my game. The game I played constantly with my Grandpa Ryan when I was a little girl. Some of my happiest memories involve those alternating black and red squares. I smiled, and realized how important and long-lasting simple time spent with children can be. And then I realized that I don't do those kinds of things enough. So I opened the door, and sat down to play. I won't say who won. [But I will say that all that Checker playing with Grandpa Ryan paid off.]

"Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now."

~William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"

The back-story behind the "Day" posts can be found here: Inspire.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is it.

Just popping in to remind my readers that today is the last day to use your 15% off coupon for your gallery orders. For those of you who would still like to take advantage of the sale, the coupon code is: BETSYJO15. The coupon expires today (Thursday 1/28) at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time. The coupon is also valid on Prints for a Purchase items, with all profits being donated to our current charity, Autism Speaks.

Thanks for your support!

And because a photography blog needs a photo in each post (well, I think so, anyway) - here's a little memory of the beauty from a Connecticut summer:

Oh, I can't wait to be outside in the sun again, feeling its heat on my back as I try to catch up with little toddlers, camera at the ready. I can't wait to run down to Harkness on a weekday with the kids, packing up sand toys and soccer balls, sunblock and sandals overflowing their tote. I can't wait for long evening walks with no rush to get the kids into bed since it's not a school night. I can't wait for the dirt to slide between my fingers as I pull weeds in our garden. I can't wait for the sunlight to warm the lavender in my flower beds, so I can run my hands along the stems, smelling its heady fragrance as it moves in the breeze.


It's January. So, I'll just have to wait with happy anticipation.

For now.

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

~Henry James

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'll look back and wonder where it went. The pink sleeping bag she would take to bed every night. How she'd wrap it around her shoulders when she was sick and just look at me with big blue eyes.


I'll look back and wonder where it went. That little stuffed dog that she would bring to 1st grade for the first three months as she tried to deal with Connor not being in her class for the first time. How she'd always hunt for her "Little Garth" puppy before she (literally) hopped up into bed each night.


I'll look back and wonder where it went. The set of tie-dyed knit pajamas she'd wear on days when she felt "so gross, Mom." How she wore them for about three years because she grew so slowly.


I'll look back and wonder where it went. The paper I'd find with slanting note written in her little left hand. How she'd love to copy Paul by leaving little notes around the house for us to see.

"How is everyone? I am glad to be better and going back to shcool. It is a plesher. Love Nora."


I'll look back and wonder where it went. The time.

And so, I photograph.

My girl.


Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Site. A Print Sale. A Happy Friday. All at once.

It's hard to believe that I'm finally able to post about this project that I've been working on over the past months, but here it is at last. I'm thrilled to announce that I have done something I've never done before: I now have a real, live, breathing website, which can be found here: www.betsyjophotography.com. To say I'm happy and relieved is an understatement. I used ShowIt to create my site, and really enjoyed the creative process. I loved being able to have complete control over every thing that I wanted to put on each page, all the way down to the most nitty-gritty little detail. I had heard it was possible to truly create your own site all on your own, and I wasn't sure I really would be able to, knowing I have no technical web experience. Well, if I can do it, anyone can. I have been very happy with the software, as well as their customer service. So, for you photogs out there, I highly recommend looking into ShowIt.

In honor of this rather momentous occasion (well, momentous for me, anyway), I have decided to do something else I've never done before-- a print sale! For all of you who have been wanting to order additional gallery prints, now is the time! I am offering a 15% off coupon for any prints or products in your gallery. The coupon code is: BETSYJO15. So if you've been waiting to get an enlargement, or have been eyeing that canvas for your wall, be sure to take this opportunity. The sale only lasts until Thursday, January 28th at 11:59 pm. The coupon code is also valid for Prints for a Purpose, the Fine Art print gallery, with 100% of the profits going to our current charity, Autism Speaks. If you need the link to your personal online gallery, email me here: betsy@betsyjophotography.com, and I will send it right to you.

Speaking of doing things I've never done before, here's another-- having a solo photo shoot of my own for my contact page. (Thanks to my wonderful husband for being my personal phtoographer!) Now I have a greater understanding of how it is for my clients to be on the other side of the lens. Let's just say I prefer to be the one taking the photos. Paul did a wonderful job, though, especially because he had to put up with me telling him which aperture I wanted, which ISO to set it at, where to put the focus point, etc. (Yes, you should feel badly for him!) I'm so thankful he had the day off so we could chase some fabulous daylight!

I know this is a lot of business info in one blog post, but I have just one more thing to make you aware of: I am getting lots of emails regarding bookings for this spring, summer, and even fall, too. (I know...) So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you have been thinking about a portrait session, or senior photos, or are planning a wedding, now is really the time to contact me. For 2010, I am planning on taking a limited amount of sessions each month, and don't want anyone to be disappointed if I'm not available. There are a number of people out there with gift certificates, so I want you to be able to get a date set up, too. Email me for our new 2010 package prices and additional info. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

*I have to add a note of thanks to all my wonderful clients, many of whom I now can call my friends. You have made me smile, going back in time to our photo sessions, as I added them to the website. Thank you for your business and trust in me. I am so privileged to share your memories.

Now be sure to check out my new site ... feel leave a comment or two here with your thoughts; your feedback is important, and appreciated!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doing something halfway.

There are times when doing something halfway can say more.

All I know is I love these 3 children. With my whole being.

"My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected."

-Anna M. Uhlich, author

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm working diligently on a very big project-- so this little spot is being slightly neglected. I can promise that it will be worth it, though. For now, it's under wraps until I can announce it, but for the time being, I leave you with this. It's hard to believe that it was once warm enough in CT to make my flowers bloom. But here's a little proof from our sun room back in May. 'Hope it gives you a little slice of hope and anticipation, while making you smile.

(This trunk was Paul's great-grandfather's (or great-great,I think? Not sure.) He brought it over from Europe when he came to the States. And I love it.)

And though it's very long- (this is just a small piece of the whole poem), it's worth a read. I leave you with this writing from Walt Whitman, penned in honor of Abraham Lincoln's untimely passing:

WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west, 5
And thought of him I love.


O powerful, western, fallen star!
O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me! 10
O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!


In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard, 15
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break.


In the swamp, in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.

Solitary, the thrush, 20
The hermit, withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.

Song of the bleeding throat!
Death’s outlet song of life—(for well, dear brother, I know
If thou wast not gifted to sing, thou would’st surely die.) 25


Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities,
Amid lanes, and through old woods, (where lately the violets peep’d from the ground, spotting the gray debris;)
Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes—passing the endless grass;
Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprising;
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards; 30
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
Night and day journeys a coffin.


Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
Through day and night, with the great cloud darkening the land,
With the pomp of the inloop’d flags, with the cities draped in black, 35
With the show of the States themselves, as of crape-veil’d women, standing,
With processions long and winding, and the flambeaus of the night,
With the countless torches lit—with the silent sea of faces, and the unbared heads,
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn; 40
With all the mournful voices of the dirges, pour’d around the coffin,
The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—Where amid these you journey,
With the tolling, tolling bells’ perpetual clang;
Here! coffin that slowly passes,
I give you my sprig of lilac. 45

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Boy.

He's so quickly turning into a little young man. It scares me and gives me hope all in one breath. He's observant and quiet, and then in the next moment enjoying a hearty laugh. He's inquisitive and curious, and asks more questions than I sometimes care to answer. He makes us smile, and can aggravate me to no end when he acts like a normal 10-year-old boy. In those moments, it is painfully obvious to me that I know nothing about raising a son. Coming from a family of 5 girls with no brothers leaves me feeling inexperienced, bewildered and often inadequate. At best.

We'll sometimes banter back and forth; he'll tease me for talking about some new information that I learned at school, ranking on me for using big "medical" words. ("C'mon, Mom!") While trying not to smile, he'll interject a little rolling of the eyes here and there, and it works for us. I have to tease him when he summarizes his entire new World War II book to me while we run errands after school. But he knows I secretly love to hear about his adventures in print, even if he does seem to drone on and on about some little detail that I confess to being uninterested in. I'll interject a little "uh-hmm" here and there, and it works for us. I admit that even when I frustratingly call him 3 times to empty the dishwasher or have to harp on him to bring out the trash, I am (sometimes) glad to find that once again it's a book that has garnered his attention.

I think my favorite thing is to see the look on his face when he's so engrossed in a plot that everything else recedes in his world, and he's completely unaware of life around him. As much as he may be a good older brother to his siblings (sometimes), I don't think I could ever leave him with them as a babysitter. I always tell him that the house could be falling down, but if he was in a book, it would escape his notice. When I see that look on his face, I always tell myself I should get a picture of it, because it won't be long before he won't be wanting to sit in the recliner and read a good book. Each time I see him reading, I keep saying to myself, "I should get the camera..." After telling myself that too many times, I finally did.

I see so many things in his face here, a little piece of the tiny baby I once knew-- and a small glimpse into the man he will become. There are things about him that remind me of so many people in his life from both sides of our family. Little mannerisms from older generations that seem to show on his face while he soaks up the printed words. I love how his face is at rest, so smooth, free from care or worry. I see all the little unique things that make up this boy I love. And then I smile.

“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.”

-Louis L'Amour, American author 1908-1988

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family: (n) a group of related things or people.

Here's a quick share from a session done before Christmas. I had to keep most of the photos under wraps until gifts were given and cards sent out:

See how the above photo is all adorable, both happy and smiling? So cute, right? But I absolutely love the next photo in black and white. They're looking dead on, neither smiling, but there's something almost noble in their bearing. And I love it. It reminds me of a really old photograph. My favorite. (And it doesn't hurt that they are absolutely adorable little boys.)


These were a gift for the grandmother of these children. Easy to photograph, for sure!

Thanks again, L family! It was fun to revisit these!

Monday, January 4, 2010


This little image is of a group of cousins that are quite dear to my heart. The story goes like this: my mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, always giving of herself, caring so deeply for others, and so easy to be with. So when it comes time for a gift, it's important to all of us that we do with something that will be meaningful and make her smile. It's also important that it be a separate gift from her Christmas present, since her birthday is December 23rd.

About a week and a half before her birthday, my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and Paul and I got the kids together for a snowy photo for Mom H. It was positively FREEZING. And there was not one complaint out of the children, since they knew it was being done as a surprise for their very special Grammy.

We gave her the enlarged, frame print on Christmas Day. It has a humorous little story, though: right before we finished our dinner, Mom mentioned that we needed to make sure to get a snapshot of all of the kids sometime in the evening. We all just kind of went along with her, and Nora pipes up, "Oh! Like we did before?!" I gave her the "shush" look with my widened eyes, and my mother-in-law assumed that Nora was referring to a picture from last year at Christmas. (Whew.) So it was rather enjoyable to give Mom the gift and watch her happiness and surprise upon seeing her adorable grandchildren!

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you.

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still she will cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsel to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."

-Washington Irving. author, essayist, historian (1783-1859)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A walk in the woods.

It was cold, and snowy. Dislike for the inclement tendencies of winter made me want to refuse. I didn't.

I'm glad.

The ground was white. Soft.
Snow blanketed the brown earth and hushed all attempts at sound. Muffled.
No engines. Birds twitted.
Leaves moved slightly, and small clumps of snow fell from them, but no ear heard their landing. Soft.

We watched. And saw. Birds in flight. Clouds turning yellow in twilit preparation.

Moisture fell from spring's future blossoms. And children ran.

Our children.

They laughed, and smiled. They skidded, and jumped. Cheeks grew pink, eyes ran from the windswept chill. Still they skipped. Heavy boots unable to break through the muffled barrier. Such quiet.

We stopped. Absorbed. Noticed.

I thought. Full. Glad. Ours. This moment.

I thought. This, the first day of a new year.

A good start.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. "

-John Muir, Scottish naturalist and preservationist (1838-1914)