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san diego lifestyle photographer | what the magic of first grade looks like | january 2012

I’ve been lucky to have met so many incredibly talented and wonderful photographers during this journey.  People who share the same desire to capture their own families in a real and beautiful way.  I’m teaming up with eleven of these women on a very personal and meaningful project called, “What ________ Looks Like.”

Our goal is to capture our own families in a real and beautiful way.  Some people call it “lifestyle”, some call it “real life”, some call it “unposed”.  No matter what you call it, our desire is to snatch the moments that represent the relationships, the dynamics, the reality, the beauty, the truth, and the life of our families and record them here on our blogs as well as in print at the end of the project.

Each month we will each choose to fill in the blank with our word of choice.  Some of us may choose to use the same word all year and some may choose to change it up each month.  We will each link to the next photographer until our circle is complete.

We hope this project inspires you to take more pictures of your own families so that those unique moments that make your family unique will never be lost or forgotten.Wendy VonSosen.

Each of us will put our own spin on this project, making it more meaningful to us.  I wanted my monthly post to be in the form of a letter to Brooks.  When the year is complete, I hope to compile the monthly letters and images into a book.  My gift to him and to myself.  Here is his story of January 2012.

 Dear Brooks,
This has been such an incredible month for you… one filled with many highlights.   I know if I were to ask you what your favorite part of the month was, I’m sure you would tell me the Teddy Bear sleepover at school.  Only problem … you didn’t have a teddy bear.  We have stuffies of all kinds, just not a bear, so we went to Build a Bear to make a very special bear.

After putting in just the right amount  of stuffing into your bear, it was time to add the best part .. the heart.  You were asked to give it a kiss and make a special wish.  🙂

You were also asked to rub it on your forehead to make him smart, jump up and down 3 times to make him strong, and place it over your heart to show him how much he is loved.

The next stop was a quick bath and a scrub.

It took you about 2 seconds to pick out the Darth Vader costume for your sweet bear.

On the morning of the sleepover, you raced into my room, at 5:30, and exclaimed… I can’t believe this day is finally here.  I’m so excited!


One of the best parts of the day was making ‘bear bread’.

At the end of the day, Darth Vader was happily tucked in and given lots of goodnight kisses.

When you were out at running club, I walked into the classroom the next morning and discovered the bear friends were a bit naughty during their sleepover.  And as you can see, Courduroy (from your K teacher’s class, Mrs. S) had joined the party and had a duel with Darth.  I thought he looked great in his Jedi robe.

I couldn’t wait for you to find him.

After looking through your own room for your Darth, you finally came into mine.  This set is absolutely priceless to me.  It is all about the true magic of first grade.

You paraded through the classrooms in your PJs and cuddling your bear before you sat down to enjoy the Teddy Bear picnic.

That night Corduroy came home with you and created a bit more mischief with Darth.  Before you went to bed, you set all of your pets up to play school.  You planned for a busy night filled with math and writing.

The next morning, you woke up at 5:30 again to this mess!  You came running and bouncing into my room shouting for me to come see what Corduroy and Darth did during the night.  We kept the TP up for the day and you played and played in your room.

You’re growing up so fast!  I’m very thankful to have this project so I could document this special time in your first grade life.  I know this magic won’t last forever … but I’ll embrace it and run with it for as long as it’s here.

I love you so much and I couldn’t be more proud of you!



This month I’m so happy to continue with my talented, dear friend Nichole Van | Utah Wedding and Portrait Photographer.

I want to welcome Becky Earl and Shalonda Chaddock (of Chubbycheek Photography) to our group.

If you missed the beginning, you can catch up on…
What Responsibility Looks Like
What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like
What Almost 7 Looks Like
What Making Memories Looks Like
What December Traditions Looks Like

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January 30, 2012 - 6:12 am

shalonda - HOLY WOW!!!!! i love everything about this experience for mr b…but umm hello how awesome that those bears were such party “animals” at their sleepover, hahahaha!

January 30, 2012 - 6:25 am

jodie - so super cute! i love this series you girls do! i think my favorite shot is him kissing the heart, those freckles kill me! 🙂

January 30, 2012 - 6:51 am

Jasmine Sargent - What an exciting time for him! He looks like he had so much fun!

January 30, 2012 - 8:13 am

Amy C - Love, love, love!!! These are so precious. Just priceless! My boys, 8 and 6, still love their stuffed animals and love going to Build A Bear 🙂

January 30, 2012 - 8:25 am

Jennifer N - you are such a wonderful mother. These lifestyle posts show all the great things you do for Brooks.

January 30, 2012 - 8:56 am

tamsen - you are the best mom! seriously! and the fact that it’s all captured for him is even better! love his expression when he shows all his friends what his teddy is doing!

January 30, 2012 - 9:03 am

MomMom - This is just too wonderful. The bear, especially his outfit which was so perfect, and then the mischief he created with Corduroy. Too perfect and how really special for your recording of this for him to have forever. Loved it so much.

January 30, 2012 - 9:05 am

MomMom - This is a super wonderful, special post of the incrediblaly great time Brooks has had with a bear sleepover. Those two bears had a very good time together and it is so fantastic that you could record all of this to help him remember forever. I loved it all.

January 30, 2012 - 9:27 am

Renee P - This is such a heartwarming set! I loved every one of them & Brooks is too cute for words

January 30, 2012 - 9:37 am

Melanie - How fun! This is definitely something he will always remember. What a great memory for both of you!

January 30, 2012 - 9:53 am

Becky Earl - These are so special. What a fun day for your adorable little guy. Loved the last set.

January 30, 2012 - 10:17 am

crave photography - Jules this was the best! You son is adorable and it’s been so fun seeing the world through his sweet eyes and your lens!

January 30, 2012 - 11:31 am

tamara - Love it so much fun!!!!

January 30, 2012 - 6:12 pm

Nancy - Absolutely awesome Jules. The shot of him kissing the heart? Oh wow.
Great, great job, mama!

January 30, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Wendy - Jules, I absolutely adore this post. How fun that your school does this with the first graders! I love how many details you captured of B. Will would be in heaven if he could do this. Love your words too.

January 31, 2012 - 6:50 pm

Christina - Wow…you got some great shots and told the story wonderfully in pictures!

January 31, 2012 - 7:10 pm

Jobrina Hofleit - I love this whole bear sleepover, what a great idea!!!!!! And seriously Brooks expressions are beyond priceless, I can just feel his excitement through these images!!!! 😉

February 1, 2012 - 7:10 am

christy - I love the stories you tell of sweet Brooks. You did an awesome job documenting his teddy bear excursion and sleepover! That image of him kissing the heart, priceless!

February 1, 2012 - 10:27 am

Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - you’re always SO good at documenting Brooks life. I love seeing all the magic of first grade, it’s perfect. And I love your black and whites, great job this week!

March 1, 2012 - 2:15 pm

{ WHAT MAKING COOKIES LOOKS LIKE } » Crave Photography - […] the incredible work from the very talented photographers in this lifestyle group.  Starting with Jules Trandem | San Diego Lifestyle Photographer Posted in […]