Jody McKitrick » ody McKitrick is a lifestyle portrait family and child photographer located in Northern Virginia.

Masthead header

Letters to Our Daughters | April 2012

Letters to DaughtersLetters to Our DaughtersLetter to Our DaughtersLetters to DaughtersLetters to Daughters


Here’s a bit of advice: when you are in a class and your instructor asks you to sit in a circle, never ever sit right next to the instructor. Inevitably, the teacher will ask a question and will want everyone to go around the circle and give an answer. If you are sitting right next to her, then you are either going to be first or last. If you are first, you’ll find yourself caught off-guard and struggling to come up with an answer that doesn’t make you sound like a bafoon. If you are last, by the time it’s your turn, all of the good answers will have already been taken and really, no one is listening to you at that point anyway. I know this from experience. Being the goodie-goodie that I am, at your father’s and my first parenting class, I, of course, sat right next to our instructor (apparently I hadn’t learned my lesson). Sure enough, she begins the session by asking, “What trait of your spouse, do you most want your child to have?” Panicking (because I was first) I blurted out “His lips!”…


His lips?

That was the best I could come up? I’m sure at that point all the other parents-to-be were thrilled because, come on, any answer after that had to better than mine. To be fair, your daddy has very nice lips, but there are so many other qualities your father has that I hoped you would have. For example, his ability to always know the location of his car keys and iPhone (unlike your mother who will lose them 30 seconds after frantically tearing apart the house looking for them). His dedication to exercising regularly no matter how late he stayed up watching Archer and eating Thin Mints. His grammar skills (minus his tendency to correct me—unless I’m asking him to proofread this and then yes, please correct me). His pro-activeness; when your dad makes up his mind to do something, he GETS.IT.DONE. This can drive me crazy but it’s a good balance to my procrastinating ways. He would have had this letter written weeks ago and the next one already drafted. I hope you have his brains (but my common-sense please), his idealism, his dance moves (definitely not mine!), and his laugh… well not exactly HIS laugh because that would be weird coming out of your tiny body but how about his love to laugh?

Mostly though, I hope you inherit your dad’s love of family. I realize that this isn’t exactly a trait, but when I watch your dad with you, I want this for you and your children too. We had no idea at this parenting class what we were getting ourselves into. How you would change our lives. How you would make us better. And no idea of the amazing person you would become—how could we ever?

I guess if I could go back to the parenting class I would say the exact same thing: “His lips!” because I wouldn’t want you any different than you are today.


P.S. I think you may have gotten your Dad’s lips after all.


Please click over to the next blog to follow the circle of blogs starting with the magical work of Jess Sandager and read her birthday letter to her daughter. Do yourself a favor and grab box of tissues first: Olive Avenue Photography by Jess Sandager | Minneapolis Photographer.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So, you may be wondering, “What’s with the letter Jody?” I was thrilled (and lets just say… a wee-bit-nervous) to be invited to participate in a blog project called “Letters to Our Daughters” with a talented and beautiful group of photographers. Each month we will be writing a letter to our daughters and posting them on our blog. While I am nervous about my photography, I am most nervous about my writing. There is a reason I listed this quote as my favorite on my Facebook page: “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” ~ Lewis Hine. However, I could not turn down the opportunity to be a part of this. I am awful at writing down anything for my kiddos (I think Stella’s baby book stopped at year one and let’s not talk about the other two) and I know as time passes these posts will mean more and more to our family regardless of my writing skills. Please take a look at the stunning work and beautifully written letters of the other photographers. I’ve admired their work from afar; some for months and some for years. To be included in this group makes my heart swell.

♥ Participating Photographers ♥

Stephanie Beaty :: Sarah Lynn Cornish :: Kirsty Larmour :: Amy Lockheart
Rashmi Pappu
:: Jess Sandager :: Valeria Spring :: Julia Rodgers Stotlar :: Emma Wood

Amy Lucy Photography - April 25, 2012 - 11:03 am

[...] Jody McKitrick | Northern Virginia Family Photographer [...]

[...] to read more Letters to Our Daughters from some of the most amazing women I know.  Starting with Jody McKitrick.  She is a total inspiration to me, and manages to capture those precious moments so naturally and [...]

Rashmi - April 25, 2012 - 11:34 am

She does have his lips. :)
Jodes.. i am never going to believe you ever again. You need to write more. Your writing skills are amazing and the photos that go with.. well you already know how I feel about your unique talent. Stella is going to treasure these words and advice. xoxo

Kirsty-Abu Dhabi - April 25, 2012 - 12:06 pm

Oh gosh how you make me smile… I LOVE this letter in so many ways – and those images.. could they be any more perfect?

Val Spring - April 25, 2012 - 3:17 pm

OMG Jody, you had me laughing out loud to tearing up all in a matter of seconds. Love your authenticity. Love that you answered “His lips” on your parenting class and that you came up to the conclusion of never sitting next to the teacher. I love getting to know you through your amazing photography and seriously awesome writing style. Cause yes, you have a writing style all of your own and it’s fabulous!

Leilani - April 25, 2012 - 4:27 pm

I am just in awe every time you post pictures of your children. You have the most amazing genes.. you have a stunning family!! This is a lovely idea too. I love your writing and this letter was beautiful. Your girls will love love love these when they are older!

Emma Wood - April 25, 2012 - 7:57 pm

Jody, So much love in your images and words. I love that your daughter will have this to keep and read and she does have the most perfect lips…<3

stephanie beaty - April 25, 2012 - 9:30 pm

Such gorgeous images…and lovely words to your sweet girl.

julia - April 26, 2012 - 8:30 am

Jody! I’m so crazy about this letter and your images – I laughed so much (and I think you and I may have been separated at birth), and poured over each image. SO beautiful – all of it. You’re off to a fantastic start and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy being a part of this project with you.

Amy Lucy Lockheart - April 27, 2012 - 2:18 am

Wow, Jody. These images and your words are incredible. You already know that I have admired your work for years, and now I admire your writing as well. Your letter was so touching and heartfelt, full of detail and emotion. I am already looking forward to your next letter. Thank you so much for everything. xoxoxo

Jil Anderson - April 27, 2012 - 7:58 am

Wow! These photos are so beautiful! I am amazed at your ability to capture the mood in each photo. You are so talented!! And, I love your letter too. Very cute but the photos take my breath away.

Julie - April 27, 2012 - 8:41 am

beautiful, daughter, pictures and letter! So bold of you…I would be to terrified to take on such a revealing project (especially because I’m not so good with writing…). Good luck!

Megan Cieloha - April 30, 2012 - 1:52 pm

Jody, your family is truly beautiful, inside and out.

Sarah Cornish - May 2, 2012 - 2:38 pm

What gorgeous gorgeous images of your gorgeous girly! I totally cracked up reading this and am so beyond touched at the same time! I totally would have said something like “his lips” too lol!! Or possibly his freckles lol! I seriously love your honesty and can only imagine how much your daughter is going to treasure these. Honestly I feel like I have known ya forever just by reading this little bit and am so excited to follow you in this project!!

Bridgette Davis {BDphotography} - May 21, 2012 - 11:00 pm

finding this project tonight, on the eve of my first born daughter’s birthday (10th???!!). just wanted to say PLEASE stick with your incredible writing style! it’s been my favorite of the night. what a beautiful project, beautiful girls, mamas, words and hearts. beyond inspiring, thank you.

[...] an amazing artist and writer, and I know that you will enjoy her post. Blog circle list    Jody McKitrick | Jess Sandager | Rashmi Pappu | Julia Stotlar | Stephanie Cribbs Beaty | Amy [...]

“This” continued…

Arlington Child PhotographerArlington Virginia Child PhotographerLifestyle PhotographyArlington Virginia Lifestyle PhotographyChild Photographer Northern VirginiaPhotographer North ArlingtonWestover PhotographerLacey Woods Arlington PhotographerArlington PhotographerWashington DC PhotographerArlington PhotographerArlington Candid PhotographerLifestyle Arlington PhotographyFamily Photographer Arlington VirginiaChild Photographer Arlington VirginiaMother Child Photographer Arlington Virginia

I did a sneak preview of this session a few months back and titled it “This”. Why This? Because THIS is the type of family photography that I really love to do. THIS is they type of photography where I think I do my best. This session was done in the midst of the craziness of my fall sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fall sessions but I was so happy when Leah wanted to do a relaxed and fun in-home session with her and her kiddos (Dad was away on business travel). And who wouldn’t love a session like this? Gorgeous Mom, adorable sweet kids (did you see those curls?!) and a beautiful light-filled home. I didn’t want to leave! Seriously. If you ask me to do a session like this with you, you’ll probably have to kick me out.



Brandie - April 10, 2012 - 12:47 pm

Oh Jody this is gorgeous!!!!! Everyone should have pictures like this of their family. You do it so well!

Lauren - April 10, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Alll of it….gorgeous. I love these sessions and you have found your sweet spot. Beautiful!

julia - April 10, 2012 - 8:02 pm

Agreed. My favorite kind of session as well. You do this beautifully, Jody; they’re all gorgeous, but that last one in particular *swoon*.

Tamara - April 10, 2012 - 8:19 pm

*perfection*, Jody. absolute perfection :) I like + love your lifestyle sessions a whole, whole lot xo

megan - April 10, 2012 - 9:16 pm

LOVE, Jody. I think these are amazing, I love your sessions like this. I need you to come up here and do one for me! :)

Julie Bullock - April 11, 2012 - 8:06 pm

‘This’ is the type of photography all family photoragers should do…but I’m biased. Canned sessions capture a beatuiful picture but these capture a day, a moment. I look back on my newborn session (with Linda Crayton) with my first which was done like ‘this’ and I can recall the emotion, the chaos, the uncertainty of being a new mother. I would happily hire you to do ‘this’ repeatedly for my family. Do you travel to Silver Spring MD? (please say yes)

i know this post is too big.

Arlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Maternity PhotographerArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity PhotosArlington Virginia Maternity Photos

I know this post is probably too big and yes, I realize some of my processing is inconsistent, but I couldn’t help myself. As I was editing these (last Fall!) I felt like the mood of a few of the photos needed something a little different. This was the third time I photographed this beautiful mamma and I’ve photographed her two more times since this session. Eventually I’ll get those up on my blog too and explain why I’m lucky enough to be able to do this with her (hint: she is a very talented interior designer). And why so many? I simply couldn’t choose! I wish I was this beautiful and relaxed when I was pregnant.

Karin - March 17, 2012 - 10:02 am

Beautiful photos Jody, I’m sure her little ones will cherish these. (btw, you are beautiful, pregnant or not)

jennifer - March 17, 2012 - 11:39 am

These are breathtaking! You did beautiful work. She is so gorgeous!

Megan Cieloha - March 17, 2012 - 1:24 pm

Gorgeous, Jody. Though the processing varies, your point of view and voice is a quiet strand that ties this entire set together with a sense of honesty and happy expectancy for the Mama to be. What a beautiful pregnant person she is!

Meg Sexton - March 17, 2012 - 2:15 pm

Jody, these are beautiful. You have such a gift. And I wish you lived closer.

Susan Bartolini - March 17, 2012 - 3:45 pm

Absolutely stunning Jody. And I LOVE your processing. So well done.

Rashmi - April 25, 2012 - 7:36 pm

How on earth did i miss these gorgeous photos of Marya?? Absolutely STUNNING!!!

Marya - June 18, 2012 - 2:10 pm

Jody! My cousin just told me this was on your blog – I don’t know how I missed this. I love these and am so excited to share them with Theo & James when they are older. Thanks again!!!

Alexandra - July 23, 2012 - 4:12 pm

Oh soooo gorgeous. Amazing and captivating photos. I can see why you didn’t want to leave any of them out. Beautiful color, beautiful mama.

Reflections and Fun in Great Falls

great falls family photographerGreat Falls Family PhotosChild Photographer Great Falls VirginiaGreat Falls PhotographyChild Photographer VirginiaFamily Photography Great Falls
Great Falls Photography LakePhotographer Great Falls VirginiaFather and Son Family PhotographerGreat Falls Virginia Photography

This is another session from last Fall. As you’ve probably noticed, I have a lot of family sessions at the lake in my neighborhood. This however is not in my neighborhood, but it’s another private lake in a neighborhood in Great Falls. It’s smaller, but you can swim, fish, and boat in it just like ours. The reflections on the lake and the Fall leaves were crazy beautiful and cast this very golden light over everything. This family was SO much fun. Many of my clients have very young children and the parents and I spend a lot of time during our sessions trying to get their attention, keeping them from getting too dirty or out of harms way. With this family it was just all fun sprinkled with some very sweet moments. I feel like I am in a “sweet spot” with my own family right now; things are much easier than they were even a year ago, but looking at these photos and remembering how much fun they were having and how close they all are is making me look forward to a few years down the road with my own kiddos.

(Side note to any photographers: I had a lot of sessions last fall (well for me–not compared to most of you I’m sure) and I was experimenting with different processing. Looking at these 5 months later, I am realizing how different they look from my norm!)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Shelley - February 16, 2012 - 11:04 am

Beautiful…I love how much you captured the fun between them all. Yes, a little different processing, which I like, but I still see your lovely tones and your style still sings through.

Rashmi - February 22, 2012 - 8:36 am

What Shelley said! Love these. xo