A Fresh Start

Something I have been considering for a while now is a name change. I felt like my “brand” was not really growing in the direction that I saw myself headed. Kind of like that moment when you realize you have outgrown your Hotmail account and are kind of embarrassed to tell people your email address, lol! I felt like my business was growing up in a way, and with the name that I had I felt restricted to do that.

It was hard for me to make the switch. Everly was the inspiration behind the Little Pickle business name, as well as the logo. I felt a strong emotional attachment. But, I felt confident that she would need a mama who was focused on growth and development more than a business named after her.

I had a few ideas in my head. I consulted various groups of people (clients, other members of my field, social media mavens, and two creative powerhouses). In the end they all said the same thing, go with your name, you are your brand. The hesitation I felt towards this was funny. I thought my name sounded funny as a business name, because, well, it was my name! (I wonder if the Hiltons had the same problem? ha ha!). But it grew on me. And so now, here I am:

Jessica Bender Photography

And, because no post to a photography blog is complete without a photo… here is my girl, my constant source of inspiration to be the best example of a woman that I can be.

Day 12: December

Day 12, the last day! This was a HUGE project, and I am really proud of myself for sticking with it. I am so happy that I have these pictures to look back on. I am making an album of the year, and I was looking at the January 2012 images in shock; my babies were so little! Time sure does fly when you have a family. Document your family as much as you can. Don’t forget to print, make albums, and canvases; use your images to create pieces of art to decorate your living space. This year I am taking on a project 52, and I am going to post it on New Years Eve 2013. The goal is for an image with the two kids together each week. But honestly, I will settle for two individuals side by side as well. Living with these two has taught me to go with the flow when need be.

While in the process of designing our album, I am reminded of the year that we have had. Of the year that I have had as a businesswoman, mother, wife and human being. I have learned so much. This project taught me a lot about the art of photography, and the art of the family.

Vanessa - March 16, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Thanks so much for sharing the kids picture on your site! Your winter sessions were phenomenal! The kids looked amazing in your pictures and they had a lot of fun performing for the camera :) will have to set up pictures again next winter!

Day 11: November

Technically November “Day in the Life” did not happen. Somehow, I made it to December 2 before I realized that I hadn’t done a photo day. I say somehow, but really it’s not a mystery- I have just been that busy. Days have blended to weeks, and weeks have blended to months. I can believe the second weekend of December is approaching. I feel like September just arrived!

So my kids were photographically neglected this month as I recorded time, and memories for other people’s families. I like to think that Evie and Matty will understand, and maybe even be proud of me.

This post is short and sweet. A few snaps from a few moments of our day. With over 6000 images taken this month, I didn’t have the physical capability to do a full days worth of shooting and editing on top of my professional workload. My I injuries from the car accident last year are really starting to make themselves known since I went back to full time work. Muscle relaxers, tea, a heating pad, ice, and fresh baked cookies have been my support!

I promise that December will be great! My final month of this project!

Day 10: October

October was unseasonably warm at the start. It was heaven. And I feel that it was owed to us since we had a really crappy start to summer. Photo day was HOT. We were all sweating!  It was even warm enough for ME to sit in a tank top (that’s saying a lot!). The photos in this post were taken on Thanksgiving Sunday; Evie, and Matty’s older cousins were in town for a visit, and we had so much fun! We went to the pumpkin patch, the beach, a yummy family dinner, and then watched Madagascar 3 with some popcorn before bed.

The rest of October went by in a blur! I was counting down the days until my trip to Hawaii, and can you blame me? By the time I left, the rain had arrived:(Hawaii was amazing, aside from the whole Tsunami issue. Yeah, that was a smidgeon more than mildly annoying! Back home, everyone survived without me (the nerve of them). My husband had help from some of the amazing women in my family. I am not a religious person, but I feel blessed to be surrounded by such generous hearts.

October brought some serious word gains for Matthew. He repeats nearly any simple word now, and has started pairing some words together. He is always reading books, and chattering away. This leads me to further believe that gender sterotypes are crappola! Here is my boy, sitting down and reading books, and talking. Sure, he also digs in dirt, throws food on the floor, and climbs quite proficiently (agggghhh! so scary!), but he is quite capable of sitting down to learn. Everly was the same. They are becoming very, very similar. So I think it’s more personality than biological sex.

Everly is loving preschool, gymnastics, dance, and swimming! Yes, that might sound like a lot, but it’s almost exactly what she needs to keep her energy manageable.Now that I think of it, we could likely add something else! She is really asking some challenging questions these days: what are policemen, what’s law, what are condoms, how she got out of my belly when she was born, why orange peppers are orange. The condom conversation went like this:

Evie picks up condom packet in doctor’s office, says: mama what’s this?

Me: um, well, that’s for mommies and daddies to use.

Evie: why?

Me: it’s so that they don’t have any more tiny babies

Evie: do you need some mama

Me: well, we are about four years too late for that question, but no, I don’t.

Everyone else in the office thought this was hilarious. I was flustered, and red faced… which does not happen to me a lot. I have a feeling that I had better get used to this.

And, here’s some photos…

Monster’s Ball

This Halloween party was inspired by my children; The Wicked Witch of the West, and Frankenstein. They wanted to throw a party at their castle, for their spooky friends!

The decor was inspired by a monster’s castle, and Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. There table is encased in heavy castle stones, and topped with witch hat steeples. Framed pictures of lovely castles hang on the walls, which are covered in bats of course. Colourful little pumpkins sit atop tiny pedestals, because even monsters like sparkly things! You will find magic potions, slimy bugs, a laboratory scale, and of course spooky black feathered birds watching over top.

Some of the treats paid homage to the Wicked Witch: broomstick kebabs, cupcakes, cake pops. While others paid tribute to Frankenstein’s monster: forest berries, pudding cups, rice krispy treats, and a yummy brain cake. The green veggies played up the lovely green hue of both ghoul’s skin!

The drink table held a lime punch, with festively ribboned jars. Apothecary jars held some of the trappings of a true mad scientist’s laboratory; witches whiskers, monkey bones, nuts & bolts, and a monster munch popcorn mix. Little monster friends were sent home with broomstick bags, filled with cut finger bubbles, scary stickers, and a yummy lollipop.

Guests danced to a Halloween mix, and played pin the hat on the witch when they weren’t noshing on the spooky food and drinks. There were children with a lot of energy- which is why the wicked witch was caught jumping in more than one photograph!



Brain Cake: Cakes by Beth-Ann

Witch Hat Cake pops: Serena Silchenko (email available upon request)

Witch Hat Cupcakes: Schur to Please

Poppy and Bolt Cookies: Marcia Sedola of Double Trouble Creations (email available upon request)

Witch Fingers: home made using a Wilton mold purchased at Michael’s Craft Store

Paper straws: Green Munch

Party concept and Design: Little Pickle Parties, thank you to Serena for help with some of the crafting!

Photography: Little Pickle Photography

Sign design: Little Pickle Photography and Design, using characters from Stockberry Studios

Black shape cutouts and broom treat bags: Martha Stewart, purchased from Michael’s Craft Store

Everly’s witch costume: beautifully made with a vintage Simplicty pattern, by Grandma Maureen.

Matthew’s frankenstein costume: Jacket from Joe, pants from Baby Gap, black shirt from H&M, shoes by Tiny Toms, and his hat was lovingly made by his auntie with a pattern purchased from Crochet Ever After


Vanessa - November 3, 2012 - 10:42 pm

What an amazing party! Love how the theme flows-right down to the gift bags! The cupcakes look amazing too! Bet your daughter had an amazing time :)

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