Michaela – 10/5/08

Some kids are just born to be in front of a camera. Michaela is one of those kids! She was so much fun to take pictures of! She has a beautifully expressive face and a great imagination and was an absolute joy in front of the camera. We were out at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We wandered down among the rocks and tide pools and then back into the woods for a few more formal portraits. I barely worked – I just followed her lead! Here are a few of my favorites from that day (there are even more up on my flickr account).

Michaela 01

more tidal pools


Yes.  It is a BEAUTIFUL day.

Michaela 03

Michaela 06

Music Together – 9/23/08

So here is another in the very long list of why I love what I do: Kids + Music + a chance to dance and be silly = So Much Fun. I got to photograph a Music Together class in Belfast taught by the lovely and talented Laura Donnelly. She is one of those people you just want to know and be around even when she is not singing and dancing. For once, I never had to even think about how to get these kids to smile – they were having so much fun, they couldn’t STOP smiling! Photographing events like this can barely be called work for me. It was hard not to join in and sing along!

Music Together - keeping the beat

Music Together - mother and son

Music Together - Laura clapping

Music Together - Laura singing

Music Together - happy baby

Music Together - WOW!

Music Together - all together now!

Music Together - danceing

Music Together - flying baby!

Music Together - triangle

Music Together - into the groove

Music Together - big hug!

Tis the season to have family portraits taken!

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting some family portraits taken for this year!  Some of you reading this will very shortly receive a little present from me in the mail.  I’ve just sent out reminder postcards that include a special gift – a $10 off coupon good towards a family sitting fee with me!  If you are interested in receiving one of these postcards or being on my mailing list for future goodies, please email me through the “Contact Me” portion of this website!  I promise I will NEVER EVER NEVER sell your name or information to any other company.  Ever.  And I only send a hand full of mailings a year and I also promise that they will all be worth your while! And really, in this age of email and instant messages, isn’t it kinda fun to still get snail mail every once in a while?

Family Postcard

Even if you aren’t interested in getting mail from me, I am still available for family portraits.  All my sittings are at the location of your choice – I will come to you!  Call or email me for more information or to make an appointment.  I can also help you make greeting cards in a variety of shapes and sizes.  But as with most things around the holidays, the sooner the better!

Fall 2008 Senior Class Portraits

Here are a few of my favorites from the senior portraits I took this year.

These were taken at the lovely Ft. Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.

Stephanie 01

Stephanie 02

Stephanie 03

Stephanie 04

We went to Reid State Park which is in Georgetown, ME (near Bath and Woolwich) for these next photos.

Tim 01

Tim 02

Tim 03

Dustin and Hilary, 7/19/08

This summer our dear friends Dustin and Hilary finally tied the knot! I was so honored to be photographing the event!

Down the road of life (or something equally smooshy)

They chose the beautiful Mill Pond Center for the Arts in Durham, New Hampshire as the site for the wedding and the reception. The weather just barely cooperated with us, but we managed to get some beautiful photos in the brief moments of not-rain we had!

Exchanging rings

The lovely ladies

Stella finally smiled!

The first dance!

To see more photos from this amazing wedding, please check out my flickr site.

Welcome to the new website!

Welcome to the new jessleclair.com website!  It’s finally here!  There are still a few minor tweaks to be made and a bit more information to update, but for the most part it is done!  I hope you all enjoy it!  And please let me know if something isn’t working or you find a dead link or whatever!  As I said, still working out some of the bugs!

I’ll update more in the next few days with some of my latest photos!  For now, feel free to head on over to my flickr page and check out some photos from my big trip to Japan this past August!

sacred tree

New Website Coming Soon!

Greetings and Salutations all!

Well, its been a very full summer here at JLP.  Lots of weddings and new babies and even a few vacations tucked in there too!  I hope you all have had half as much fun as I have!

I also wanted to let you all know that this website is in the middle of a big re-design!  The web-elves have been scurrying around, coding their little fingers off and hopefully the new site will be up in the next week or so!  I’m very excited about it and hope you all will enjoy it!

Speaking of re-designing things, I’ll leave you all with a photo of something else doing some redesigning.  This little (or not so little) bugger took it upon himself (herself?) to redesign our tomato patch.  The patch is now entirely free of tomatoes!  The hornworm was delighted about the redesign.  We were not so much.

The thing that was eating our tomatoes.

Photo-A-Day: The Best of Week 10

Another tough week to pick from! More fun with polaroid, some good Callithump! stuff, but in the end, Day 58 had to win out:

Day 68

I’ve loved this whole idea of light painting for a while. Ever since I did the teapot earlier, I’ve been kicking around an idea for a series. Something about the secret life of things. There is an energy in everything, literally (as in those things that require electricity to function) and figuratively. And I started thinking about what that would look like and how that would be expressed. Its still in the early stages as far as ideas go, but its really fun to play around with.

Photo-A-Day: The Best of Week 9

This was a hard week to pick from! I liked each photo for different reasons. But finally, my sentimental side won out and I chose Day 58, February 27th:

Day 58

This is Morgan! I’ve mentioned his mom Laura before on this site. I couldn’t be happier for her and Shane (his dad!) and his big brother Jackson and big sister Abby (two of my favorite people and photographic subjects). He is a mere 6 days old in this photo and destined to be the star of many many more. He’d been sleeping all day when I got there and only opened his eyes for the few photos I managed to get in! As with his siblings, I’m sure his early memories of me are just going to be big flashes of light.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love this job, but I’ll say it again. I LOVE THIS JOB. I get to watch life unfold around me and help keep the record of it. How cool is that?

As always, you can see more of my photos from this and every other week over at my flickr site.

Photo-A-Day: The Best of Week 8 and Save Polaroid

I keep changing my mind about how I’m going to keep track of this whole Photo-A-Day project! I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with posting my images to flickr, but less about the blog! So I think that what I am going to start doing is posting my favorite photo of the week here! All the rest will still be available over at my flickr site!

Okay, so my favorite from this week has to be Day 52:

Day 52

Recently I pulled out one of my old Polaroid cameras and have been playing with the double exposure feature! Not all Polaroid cameras have this feature and in fact most don’t! But Minolta made a camera in 1990 called the Minolta Instant Pro that used Polaroid Spectra film. It’s become highly sought after by artists now because of the degree of control it allows the user to have over the image. The best thing about mine? I got it for free! I found it at the dump in my hometown and picked it up on a whim. In its day it sold for more than $200!

You may have heard that on February 8th of this year, Polaroid announced its plan to cease production on all instant films. I found the news deeply saddening. And I started thinking about what Polaroid film has meant to me. Seems a strange to think of film as meaningful, but Polaroid has always been a part of my life. Gigi (my father’s mother) has had a Polaroid camera since I can remember – quite literally since I was born.

1979 - Jess with Gramps

Every time the family got together, out came the Polaroid. By the end of the visit, there was always a stack of photos on the kitchen counter documenting the entire visit. If we came late to a family event, we always knew that we could find the stack and catch up on anything we may have missed. And always at the end of the visit, we’d gather for a group photo which was always taken at least twice. That way we could take a copy home with us right then.

1981 - Jess with her Godfather Har

One year, Gigi got a new Polaroid camera and gave the old one to my brother. I think I used it as often as he did! Each box of film was a treasure. She sometimes gave them to us for Christmas or our birthdays and we knew that we had to make them last. They were so expensive! $10 for 10 pictures seemed like it may as well have been a million dollars. But it was SO HARD not to just rip through the film as soon as we got it.

1983 - Jess and cousin Becca

Polaroid was to me what digital cameras are to kids today. A way to instantly re-live and review events as they are happening. I taught an after-school art program recently and as a treat one afternoon, brought my polaroid cameras with some old film for the students to work with. I was so excited to share this opportunity to use the film (which is still fairly expensive) with them. And they just looked at me so blankly. I realized it was meaningless to them. Instant film? Why bother? We have digital cameras! Of course, as soon as they played with them a little, the magic of the thing was obvious. And by the end of the afternoon, they all wanted to know where they could rush out and buy one for their very own!

When I graduated from college in 2000, Gigi gave me a small photo album with a silver cover engraved with my name. In it were photos she’d taken of me – mostly polaroids. My entire life so far. It was such a treat – such an amazing gift to have these images. In a moment of extreme generosity (or weakness, I’m not sure which), I’ve decided to share some of them with you. The first ones are posted above, labeled with Gigi’s awesome calligraphy (I can’t even call it handwriting, though it is how she writes all the time!). I have many more, but these are some of my favorites and show the spread of years quite nicely.

Keep in mind some of these images are more soul baring than others, so be nice!! Not all of us had the good sense not to go with fashion trends as they were happening…

1988 - Jess with Crimped Hair

1994 - Jess (with Mom in the background)

1997 - Jess with her Uncles

2000 - Jess with college friends

One last note and then I’ll stop. There is a wonderful website out there called Save Polaroid. These lovely folks are doing their best to convince another company to take up where Polaroid is leaving off and start producing instant film again. They have a great “action pack” with things you can to to help their cause. If you have a second, check them out and see what you can do to help!