Everyday Stories | Nassau County Family Photographer

Last week was truly excellent because my best friend of twenty years came for a visit. It is bizarre to think its been twenty years. Twenty-one years, actually, because we met in 1996. We've worked together, lived together, traveled together. But now she lives an ocean away. These visits are too few and far between, but I treasure the time when we get it. Here's a look at a few "stories" from the week.


Woman seated at the National Arts Club portrait gallery.

"To Georges & Henri"

Your mom and I went to the National Arts Club last week to check out a photography exhibit. After we left the gallery, we spied this little lounge with a three big walls of portraits. The light was so good over by the window I made your mom go and sit down for me so I could take a picture. We weren't really sure if we were supposed to be in there or not, and we were definitely not sure if we should be sitting on the furniture, but I asked your mom to do it anyway, and she did. Of course she did. She has always been up for an adventure, and I have always been up for an adventure with her. It is the greatest blessing in life to have her as a best friend. Someone I can lean on, laugh with, drink wine out of jam jars with, take the train across the country with, cook Thanksgiving dinners with, get up to mischief with, embark on crazy adventures with, and depend on to always be there for me. Not even oceans can keep our hearts apart. I know you look at her and see your "maman", but let me tell you a few more things about who she is: kind, funny, talented, passionate, artistic, nurturing, caring, loyal, protective, a teacher, a stage manager, a photographer, a gardener, a really good cook, a wife, a daughter. My best friend. We are so lucky.

"Forward in time"

I kept having this weird time-traveling sensation this week when I saw Michele with the two of you. Almost like I wasn't 42-year-old me, but rather 22-year-old me seeing into the future. 22-year-old me was working backstage with Michele at a 1000-seat theater in San Francisco. 42-year-old me was watching Michele build a finger puppet theater with you in our living room. It was surreal. I had always sort of hoped that my future would look like this, but I wasn't sure that it ever would. Dreams do come true.

Woman playing hide-and-seek with two small children.

"Mom, can we go to Michele's world one day?"

"Michele's world?"

"Yes. And see her and her boys."

"Yes, yes, I would love if we could all go there one day."

"Mom, I miss Michele."

Me, too, my love. Me, too.

Kids walk around fountain at Hicks Nursery.

"The Fountain"

A true sign of Spring is when Hicks' Nursery finally turns the water back on in their outdoor fountain. All winter we have been waiting for it. This week the jets made their triumphant return. Lila and Logan ran in giddy circles around and around the fountain in celebration. All hail, "Spring is here, spring is finally here!"

Little girl rests on her scooter in the middle of the sidewalk.

"The Decision"

Lila takes after me: she is not very athletic. She's been in physical therapy for the past year to work on gross motor skills. We have a variety of ride-on toys, bikes, etc., that never get much use. But on Sunday it was beautiful out, so I brought them all up to the driveway to try to encourage the kids to try them. Lila decided she was going to master her scooter. She rode it in the driveway, and then she decided to ride it all the way to the park. And then she rode it the whole time we were at the park instead of playing on the playground equipment. And then she decided she was going to ride it the whole way home as well! She got tired on the way back, but she refused to give up. I was so proud of her. On Monday she said she couldn't wait until after school so that she could ride her scooter again. And she did. And again today. As they say with so many of the skills that kids need to learn, they will decide when they are ready. I guess Lila decided.

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!