Meet Kayo & Jason’s Family from Seattle, WA

November 2, 2011 |  Category:   photography

A new family is up on the The Mixed Race Project.

I want to tell you about another reason why I was interested in doing this project – I wanted to document and photograph moms, families, dads and their homes just as they are. You know, “normal people”, not styled or staged in a way that make them appear unlike how they are in everyday life. In all of the photoshoots, I really did just drop in on these homes and start taking pictures. I gave loose instructions not to bother cleaning the house especially for the shoot or get dressed up in clothes that they wouldn’t normally wear on a weekend.

I know that at times we crave escapism and sometimes that manifests into leafing through highly stylized spreads of these beautifully designed homes that are inhabited by successful, stylish women and their equally stylish kids, however, to me that isn’t real. In reality, it’s a fantasy that many of us can’t attain or relate to. A cluttered kitchen with stuff on the counters is real. An unorganized pile of shoes. Moms in clothes that are believable on a Sunday morning, not in cocktail dresses or heels. Why do we not see more of these kinds of images? Why can we not celebrate the beauty in all families and homes? I hope that you too, can see the beauty in these families’ lives, as I discovered while photographing them.

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  • Mary November 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Hi Jenna. My husband and I actually paid the Mixed Race blog a visit last night (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and saw Kayo and Jason’s post. Thank you for putting this out there, not only for the solidarity and thought-provoking-ness, but also – like you say – for the beauty in everyday life. I definitely found myself marvelling at the little details you’ve captured that are the beauty in the chaos and rush of everyday. Thank you.

  • PInk Ronnie November 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I agree, and I think that’s one of the reasons we all love your photography so much. Your style is real and honest, and I for one really appreciate that. You’ve inspired me to take photographs in the same way.
    Ronnie xo

  • Heidi Leon Monges November 3, 2011 at 6:25 am

    That is one of the things I like the most about sweet fine day, you keep things real AND honest.

    There is so much beauty on that.

  • Laura November 3, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I love seeing the families and homes in their natural state we all have the same ikea containers,trailing wires etc

  • Faith | Ordinary Mommy Design November 3, 2011 at 7:39 am

    You are so right, Jenna. I’ve loved looking through the real-life photos of these lovely families! My sister, who was just married this Summer, married into a Vietnamese family, so I’ve especially enjoyed your Asian/Caucasian families. Wonderful!

  • Renee November 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Hi Jenna!I had emailed you about this project,but I have heard that some of my emails aren’t making it through,so if you can,let us know if you at least got the email so we can start our project,thanks!Renee

  • Amanda November 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I’m loving this project! It is so neat to get a glimpse of other people’s lives. My husband and I are both caucasian but we were raised VERY differently from one another. It has been fun to watch him wonder at our traditions and way of life, but it has been challenging at times to understand where the other is coming from. It is worth it though, the blending of two families, two lives is a beautiful thing. I’ve been so blessed by your pictures of it!

  • Cecilia Madden November 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Agreed. And you capture the beauty of the everyday with such grace and appreciation. Love this project!

  • Jessica November 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I love reading/seeing the Mixed Race Project. As a person in a interracial relationship I love reading about other peoples stories and the photos are phenomenal. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Heidi November 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Hi Jenna – I so enjoy reading your blog and the Mixed Race Project is wonderful! I am Korean and my husband is Caucasian and we have a beautiful one year old son. Our son reminds me of your daughter Claudine, who I just can’t get enough of, they both have the sweetest cheeks, lips, and face! When I see pics of your younger daughter I just want to kiss kiss kiss her cheeks, just like I do to my son! Thanks for your sweet blog – keep it up! – Heidi

  • Sue November 3, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Once again another beautiful family and pictures 🙂

  • Justine November 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Bravo and amen!

  • Atsuko November 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Like other readers, I love this project. It is very joyful to see people in their daily life. In many magazines, what we see in general is families who have very beautiful house, neat rooms, and well put together outfits. These are far from normal people’s lives. Simple everyday life has the beauty, which you capture very wonderfully. Moreover, from the Mixed Race Project I found comfort and sense of connection in your new project, especially because I and my fiance are a mixed race couple. Thank you for all your hard work.

  • Jane November 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I guess we have a different sort of mixed-race family – my aunt and uncle adopted a Chinese daughter into our otherwise all-caucasian family. It’s been a challenge for them to balance her new culture and her birth country’s culture, but they’re working it out as they go along, as we all do!

    I ABSOLUTELY agree with the idea of reality vs magazine life – all too often we beat ourselves up for not living up to imaginary standards, it’s so true that real life, with all its mess and clutter and stress, is much more beautiful than those glossy spreads!

  • wendy November 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    so true. i think this is partly why i love your photography so much – it captures the ordinary, everyday moments. real and unstaged. it takes a bit of pressure off of all of us to feel like we need to have it all together. and such a breath of fresh air from the images of perfection we see all over the internet.

  • maja November 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    nothing makes me feel more relaxed than walking into another mom’s messy kitchen.

  • kate o November 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    That was one of the first things I noticed when I checked out your project. Thank you for showing real families. I see that as well in your photos on your blog and they inspire me more than any perfectly staged home with perfect moms and children. Not to name names…cough…the Glow.

  • erin November 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Love the idea of capturing people as they are. We all need that reminder.

    I consider myself media literate, a feminist, “beyond” buying into fake images. But I tells ya… there is nothing that makes me feel better about my appearance than taking a nice long ride on the subway, surrounded by normal people with frizzy hair, messy pony tails, last year’s winter coat.

    Yep, most folks are real folks just like me. Why do we pretend otherwise?

  • Rebecca November 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Love the realism – it’s inspiring. Thank you.

  • e.belle November 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    yes exactly. like, i love the glow [dot com] but it is very very stylized and hard to relate to on some aspects. love your project!!

  • Katherines Corner November 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I love this! Big Hugs ?

  • Katherines Corner November 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    sorry don’t know why that has a ? should have been a heart

  • Rowaida Flayhan November 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Read about your new project looks amazing and very interesting. Your photos are beautiful Jenna. Best of luck. Have a wonderful weekend. xo

  • finley November 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I just looked through the site and the pictures are beautiful – more so than the highly styled shoots, because these are real. I agree with all of the other commenters – thank you for celebrating real life. (And is there anything more gorgeous than a mixed race baby? Ahem, like mine – Asian/Caucasian 😉

  • Julie and Nina from Casablanca November 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I really love your project and the things that the families told you. Yes they are all natural and I like it and kids have most of the time so many things that’s amazing here in Morocco we don’t have so many pair of shoes, so many different bikes for one or two kids wow!
    And I have to admit that Your home and your kids looks all stylish to me 🙂 in a natural and beautiful way of course!

  • Lia November 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    That is so true!! I was impressed by theglowcom, but it does make me feel depressed when I look around my place and nothing compares to those pictures. It is great to see reality, with the good and the bad, to counter the photoshop reality, that is more like a fairy tale (I like fairy tales, but they have their place)

  • Tim McMurdo November 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm


    It’s just me, one in five. I have always read your blog for the thoughtful and heartfelt writing that you put into your posts. You frequently open new doors for me, doors that I never knew existed or that I never thought to open.

    Your new project is no exception. IF thinking is what I like, then you have given me so much more.

    Thank you…

    Oh, have you thought of interviewing Karen Walrond and family over at Chookooloonks?

  • Jenna November 6, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. @Tim, you always leave the nicest comments. I so appreciate them. Thank YOU.

  • Laura November 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

    “I know that at times we crave escapism and sometimes that manifests into leafing through highly stylized spreads of these beautifully designed homes that are inhabited by successful, stylish women and their equally stylish kids, however, to me that isn’t real. In reality, it’s a fantasy that many of us can’t attain or relate to”

    This statement by you really hit home for me. This is why I read your blog…it is real and honest

  • Esther November 9, 2011 at 1:37 am

    This post summarizes why I love your blog so much and keep coming back to it again and again. Thank you for keeping it real and honest. You write beautifully as well.