Everyday Stories | New York Documentary Photographer

February is here! A new month, a few steps closer to spring! At school, Lila made a groundhog on a popsicle stick that you push out of a toilet paper roll on Groundhog Day haha :) Supposedly that little bugger saw his shadow, but I am pretending that we are not in for another six weeks of winter. Today it supposed to get up to 60 degrees here, and then tonight night we are supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow! What the what? We'll see what happens.


"In need of..."

This is a pretty accurate portrayal of our January. Two bored children, stuck in the house. I have been weighed down by so much anxiety between your health and the state of our country at the moment that I'm afraid I haven't been much fun. Winter break is coming up and I think a ban on social media might have to take effect that week. A blackout week, where we just live in our own little world, playing games, doing projects, being silly and hopefully getting some fresh air. A reset. I think we all could use it.

"For the love of the nap"

Naps have been few and far between since school started in September. Over the summer I lazily let Logan nap later and later so that we could go out and do things during the day. Unfortunately that meant when school started up, Logan's naps were no longer lining up with Lila's afternoon school schedule. Which meant NO BREAK FOR MOMMY. It has been rough, I am not going to lie. This introvert needs her down time. Her quiet time. Her ME time. Well, this week, we finally moved into the second half of the pre-K year, which means an extra hour of school everyday. Which means, TIME FOR LOGAN TO NAP WHILE LILA IS IN SCHOOL! It has only been three days, but so far it is bliss. And Logan is happier too! No more meltdowns at 5:00pm! Ahhh - already I am feeling a balance return.

"Follow the leader"

I love watching the dynamic of the two of you. Lila likes to be the boss. She comes up with the games, the stories, she makes the rules. And sometimes Logan goes along with them . . . but sometimes he walks to the tune of his own drum. He's a stubborn one! And then there are the times when Lila is feeling shy - like when there are other kids around. Then she leans on Logan, looks to him to be the leader. She hides behind "my brother!". Whatever the dynamic, I am glad that the two of you have each other. 


On Saturday I got away for an hour and a half to run some errands, alone. It is only when I am away from my kids and I know that they are taken care of, that I feel my shoulders relax. Even when they are sleeping I feel like I am always bracing for one of them to wake, for one of them to need me. When Lila is at school, I am always waiting for my phone to ring saying I need to come and get her (even though it never has). Does everyone feel that way? Is it this way forever? Or am I just an anxious freak?? It's really exhausting.

I remember being in Fort Lauderdale about a month after going out on tour for the first time. I had my own rental car. I rolled the windows down and just drove, and I have never felt so free. I didn't have to worry about money, I had no responsibilities to anyone or anything, except for showing up to work.  It was the greatest feeling. I wish I could have bottled it. One day I hope to feel that again.

For now, I'll take these small breaks when I can.

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!