24 Sep 2012

Our second family photos, like, ever. And it rained. Highly recommended.

In which I introduce you to my favorite photographer and offer you a 15% discount on one of her sessions.

I’m the mom who was terrified of having a daughter. For many reasons. One being I’d never be able to dress her properly.

I’m the mom who doesn’t take monthly photos of the first year.

I’m the mom who breaks out into a hot sweat at the thought of a family photo session.

I’m the mom who thinks fun is a late night movie and a big bowl of popcorn. NOT deciding what 5 people should wear in front of a camera.

Maybe that’s why my idea of family photos is all squishing on the couch and pressing the timer on the camera and trying to rush into the frame in time to capture the giggles and some semblance of acceptable photography.

The only time we’ve had family photos taken was three years ago. By Mallory. They were magical.

She’s based in the Pacific Northwest. But Mallory came back East for a visit this year.

And Mallory and only Mallory makes a photo session with a family of five feel like it might not be a total nightmare. And reminds me to let go of perfect and embrace the moment. The real motherhood. That is usually chaotic and frustrating and beautiful all within a thirty second arc.

Even when all we had were eight minutes.

Just eight minutes.

Before the heavens opened and a downpour of epic proportions soaked us all right down to the funny bone.

So. Much. Rain.

So. Much. Unexpected, drenched, downpour of candid beauty.

Captured by Mallory’s undaunted eye. This time with a daughter.

Fabulous, un-flappable Mallory just kept right on snapping and captured some of the most breathtaking photos I never could have expected.

Because of the rain. Not in spite of it.

Unexpected, un-posed photographs that knocked the wind right out of me.

I am a mother in the midst of a storm of small people. It takes my breath away.

Everyone should have a Mallory to take their photo. Even if just once. But if you ask me, twice is even better.

Mallory’s based in Washington. But she’s going on a little snapping tour.

I want you to meet Mallory.

If you live in Edinburgh, London, Lusaka, New York, or the Washington, D.C. area you can!

Mallory on Facebook.

Mallory’s website.

She’s lovely and talented and funny and completely relaxed. Even in a storm. Especially in a storm.

And she’s offering my readers 15% off a session! Just mention the code LISAJO and you’re good to go!

I know how stressful it can be wrangling kids for a few hours of photos. It makes me break out in hives just thinking about it. And don’t even get me started on the pain of trying to blow dry hair and put an outfit together for myself! But believe me, Mallory will make it worth it.

And she’ll bring goldfish for the kids. And show you through her lens how beautiful you’d forgotten a mother could be.


My early Christmas gift to you.

You’re welcome.



Wasn’t paid a dime to brag on Mallory. Just given 8 minutes of the most fun photos we’ve taken in years. And I would have happily paid for them.

Oh and Zoe’s baby doll is from Baby Be Blessed who have no idea I’m mentioning them but, oh my heart, you want to check out these beauties that can be personalized down to hair, eyes, skin and Bible verse. #Love




{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Your pictures? GORGEOUS. Just wonderful candids that prove life is to be lived….and lucky you got to see that captured. I wish she was coming to Southern California. Maybe next year when our sweet little girl comes home from Europe…..maybe just maybe she will be here. <3

    • 2

      Tracy — aren’t the Baker’s so full of life?!! They are just as I captured them. Joyful, engaging, and just plain fun. I am actually looking at coming to LA December 8th and 9th. Will you be around then? Reach out if you are interested in chatting or have any questions!

  2. 3

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!

  3. 4

    That one of you running through the rain with your daughter is so amazing. I love it!

  4. 5

    I don’t live in any of those places. :( So sad. But I have to say I LOVE that black & white of you and your daughter in the raindrops! It looks like it captured the day perfectly!!

  5. 7

    Love the rain photos! beautiful! How about south america? Little jungle tour? Would love for her to come here! ;-)

    • 8

      I would love to come traipsing about South America on a jungle tour! :) Where are you, Alaina? Reach out if you’re up for dreaming something up!! (nothing is outside of the realm of possibility in my book…:)

  6. 9

    those are really wonderfully taken photos, she did a great job!

  7. 10

    I can HEAR the laughter, the giggles, the sighs of contentment, the wonderful delight of the living in the moment love of your family! Thanks so much for sharing – and my favorite is the one of you and Zoe in the raindrops. Priceless!

  8. 11

    Lisa Jo these pictures are beauty-full. What an awesome family you have.

    I am so excited that she’s coming to London too, that’s close to me on the South Coast!!!

    Felicity xx

  9. 14

    Often, it is the “downer” that turns things up! My garden photos taken in the rain or on overcast days are often the best — all looks vibrant just like your family in these shots.

  10. 15

    I am bawling right now as I read this post. Beautiful pictures! The moments captured are truly remarkable. And isn’t it so like God to create the magical backdrop? Because a rain storm is life. My favorite is the black and white of you and Zoe with the raindrops. But the one that made me sob is the one with all three of the kids on you! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • 16

      Hey Becky,

      Yes I was so stunned in all the best ways when I saw them. Amazing to think we can grow so much life. What a gift to be invited to co-create in that intimate way with Christ.

  11. 17

    Lovely and precious!

  12. 18

    Oh, Lisa-Jo. This makes me want to come over and babysit RIGHT NOW.

  13. 20

    “Unexpected, un-posed photographs that knocked the wind right out of me.” Aren’t those the best! The Lord knows just what we need, and He’s an on-time God. Your family is beautiful and Mallory is outstanding. I also have a “Mallory”, whose name is Suzanne ( sbarberimages.com ), and the best part is she’s my SIL! It is amazing what an un-posed picture can capture with the right photog. =)

  14. 21

    Good family photographers are worth their weight in gold. She is able to show all the beauty you write about!

  15. 22

    that is way better than any sunny day photography session i’ve ever seen. you’re right, rainy days should be top choice for photography sessions

  16. 23

    I love the ones of the boys attacking and your daughter :-P

  17. 24

    What a beautiful way to capture your “storm.”


  18. 25

    Thanks for sharing your photos! Absolutely loved them and so wish I could get some while my three are still “little”. The one of you holding your daughter in the rain made me cry. So Beautiful!

  19. 26

    Almost wish I had some kiddles just so I could take advantage of this. How exciting to have someone coming to my home city!!!!

    PS to Mallory, if you’ve never been to Edinburgh before, I’d love love love to be your tour guide. And plenty opportunities for more rainy photos here!!

    • 27

      Laura – you are so very kind!! I will have to get your contact info, and connect with you while there. I hear wonderful things, and I can’t wait to “meet” Edinburgh, as well as the other parts of Scotland where the MacDonald clan heralds from…

      • 28

        Well, I know I have Macdonald relations! :) There’s a link to my e-mail address on the ‘About me’ page of my blogsite if you want to get in touch!

  20. 29

    They are all, every single one of them, glorious. Isn’t there something special about pictures? One day you’ll pull them out and show them to your grandchildren, and it will be such fun.

  21. 30

    I have a Mallory, but her name is Merideth. She’s beautiful, talented, and makes me feel beautiful even when I was 9 mo preggo. Love the rain–it was perfect for your family!

  22. 31

    Oh my. Imagine my delight at learning that your gorgeous photos were taken by a photographer LOCAL to me?!? Heading off to her website now, as we are looking to have photos done for our little family – our daughter just turned one. I’d be ecstatic to get just ONE like the photo of you and your daughter in the rain drops!

    • 32

      Oh YAY!! Yes yes yes call or email her. She’s ah-mazing! Promise. Low stress and lovely :) Let me know if you do – I totally will want to see your snaps!

  23. 33

    These are beautiful! I also love the one of you and Zoe in the rain :) But you have to promise me you’ll display them somehow… we got some family photos taken 1.5yrs ago, love the pictures, but have never done anything with them! And the kids have now changed so much that it seems silly to get them printed out :(

  24. 35

    Absolutely one of your sweetest blog post ever!!! Mallory is very talented. Your family is just downright beautiful and such good sports to be so soaked! :) Thank you for making me smile ear to ear this morning…you are a blessing and I love meeting you every Friday for 5 minutes! Love in Christ, a sister and big fan.

  25. 36

    Hi, I’ve never read your blog before, and happened upon it today. What beautiful pictures! It was a great day to “happen upon” your blog, and I’ll be back for more. Thanks for sharing your precious pictures :)

  26. 37

    Awesome pics! It makes me want to have our next family photo’s done in the rain. I too dread picking out outfits and getting everyone dressed. So we too have very few professional photos. Last year Christmas time crept up on me and I needed photo’s for the Christmas cards so I confess I took the kids to Chuck-e-Cheeses and had them pose in their photo booths then took them home and copied them and cut off the frame part. Yes indeed I did! My photography friend was so shocked by this that this year even though she is not doing pictures for a season she took our families. They turned out great and I think the extended family will like them better than the chuck-e-cheese ones of last year.

  27. 39

    You did a great job dressing your little Zoe. I feel the same way and I have a daughter who is now a photographer and has us dress in the matching outfits, even bought her brother a shirt to match. But I have 3 daughters and a son and I love the pictures of what they were wearing when they dressed themselves. My second daughter tells everyone she was born with a diaper and a dress and we have her “little house on the praise era” on film. My oldest wore an old cowboy hat with the bit of her favorte horse for a hat band for over a year after he died. That is a precious photo. My son had a ‘business suit’ given to him when he was five and had to wear it every week to the library reading program, with stuffed dalmation buddy, Ralphie. And my phototgrapher, my favorite pictures of her don’t matter what she is wearing…it is the photos with the childhood grin of mischief that were captured in a number of her pictures. She learned to pose like a model very young and I love those special cadid grins.
    You are blessed, I am blessed….not with amazing photos, which they are, but with amazing children. (4 here one in heaven)

  28. 40

    Beautiful photos! What a wondrous moment of fun captured. :)

  29. 41

    The rainstorm was clearly an unexpected blessing because there is sheer joy and surprise in all of your expressions. A wonderful gift.

    P.S. Mallory’s orange jeans are awesome – they appear to match her spunky and won’t-take-no-for-an-answer personality. :)

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