Everyday Stories | Long Island & NYC Family Photographer

The fog is beginning to lift around our house. Logan and Lila are at the tail end of their current illnesses, and we have our sights set on Spring. My first ever order of essential oils just arrived, and although I still don't really know what I'm doing, their delicious aromas are already making the house happier. I may or may not have also ordered some sage bundles to do a little smudging around here! This mama is serious about regaining some happy and healthy balance in our home after a rough month. The gloomy weather has not been helping. I don't think I've ever really been one to have seasonal affective disorder, but the gray rainy days this winter have been downright depressing. Snow would be better than this.

A few stories from last week.



Last Sunday, although you both were still a little under the weather (little did I know Lila had strep throat!), we were determined to get out of the house. Lila suddenly came up with the idea to paint t-shirts and would not rest until we gathered supplies. I was actually looking for an excuse to get out of the house as well - I thought a little fresh air, no matter how cold, would do us all some good. And a change of scenery! Our living room sick ward was getting more than a little boring and sad. We drove to Michael's Crafts and picked up everything we needed to make shirts, and everyone's moods lifted with our little outing. Winter can be such a challenge for us - we love the outdoors and we love a daily adventure. To be confined day after day after day starts to depress the spirit. We look forward to Spring when we will be free once again.


It has only been twenty years since I left college and set out to build a career, but in that time I have seen the dynamic of the workforce change so much. Maybe it's the internet, maybe it is a perceived entitlement by young people these days, I don't know. But the art of the apprenticeship seems to have gotten lost. When I was first starting out as a stage manager, that was how we learned our craft. We apprenticed with someone older and wiser and more experienced. We listened. We deferred. We respected. We learned. We grew. We worked our way up. We earned. We paid our dues.

It doesn't really work that way anymore.

But every once in a while, I do get a glimpse of a craft or skill that is still passed on through the art of apprenticeship, and it makes my heart happy. It harkens back to a simpler time. A more selfless time. A more respectful time. There is much we can learn from those who have gone before us, if we only let go of our own egos and open ourselves up to it.

"The Yellow Balloon"

We've been stopping by the house where Daddy and Pops are working pretty frequently in the past few weeks. Partially because you love to visit their work site, and partially for a lack of better things to do in this cold, gloomy weather. Pops found a bag of old balloons, and you and Lila have been having fun bouncing them around in the dim basement of the house, which is the clearest spot for you to play. On this day you had a yellow balloon. It was another dreary day and you were struggling with a bad cough. Magically though, the yellow balloon became a little ray of sunshine on that dark day. It made you smile and laugh and jump, all things that have been a bit lacking during these weeks of sickness. Your soul was alight. It's silly that an old balloon could mean so much, but for a few minutes it became a beacon of hope, a symbol of happier, sunnier days to come. 


What is it about mom and dad's bed that makes it such a cozy safe haven? Is it like that in every house? Or is it a symbol, an extension of the relationship itself? If that is the case, I think we are muddling through okay. 

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!