I had some great sessions on Saturday and I’m busy editing all the gems I captured! More to come…
Did you ever see that movie The Family Stone? Remember how Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, the fiance no one in the family really likes, gives everyone a framed portrait of their mother when she was pregnant? The mom looked happy, radiant, genuine. That gesture finally won SJP some credibility within her soon-to-be in-laws. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, it’s worth a watch. My point is, mothers deserve to be photographed. Think about it. Do you have a photograph that shows how your mom loved you? Don’t you wish you could go back in time and see your mom rocking you to sleep as a baby, or reading you your favorite story, or making your favorite treat together, or trimming your hair, or helping you with your homework, or tucking you in bed, or giving you a bath, or just cuddling you? These are the things moms do that may not seem photo-worthy, but most definitely are. And they can be photographed in an honest, artful way.
A lot of women are self-conscious of being in pictures, and I am one of them. I try pretty hard not to be photographed unless I have properly primped. And yet, when it comes down to it, I’d rather be documented with no makeup and grown out roots than not documented at all. To make my point, I’m willing to share with you one of the most unflattering pictures I have of myself in full-on mom mode:
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my family and my photography. As a young girl my mom taught me that motherhood was the most important job in the world. While I went to college and earned a Master’s degree, I had little interest in pursuing a career. I knew I really wanted to be a mom. Over the past year I’ve devoted most of the finite time I have for photography to my own family. When we’re little, it seems everything we do is important enough to be photographed, from first steps to receiving a diploma. But if my mom was right, that the most important–and most joyful–work I will ever do is in my own home, then certainly those acts ought to be documented visually as well. And so I’ve made sure to get in some of those pictures, even though it means setting up the cumbersome tripod or sweet-talking my husband into clicking the shutter.
This is a lengthy post, and I’ve stayed up entirely too late composing it. Here is the bottom line. In thinking about the kind of photography sessions I’m willing to give up my family time for, I decided I want to create images that aren’t just beautiful, they matter. I want to capture you and your family, doing what is most important and authentic for you, and I’ll make sure you look good doing it. If you are a mother reading this, then share it with your husband and tell him to pretty please give you a Jen J photo session for Mother’s Day. If you are a father reading this, then consider your wife worthy of being beautifully and honestly documented in all her matronly glory. Hop on over to this page to get started.
And now I’ll leave you with some more, ahem, intentional images…
Family image above shot by the lovely Katie Baldi
A sweet session at home with Mom, Dad, big sister, and little brother. Here are a few of my favorites. Thanks for looking!
You may remember this family. They are kind of hard to forget. Sure, the ‘stache and spiky hair help you pick them out of a crowd, but I’m talking about something less tangible. If you were to spend any amount of time with them, the following would be no less apparent to the naked eye. These guys:
a) have a great time together
b) are as authentic as they come
c) are parents whose children will never doubt they love them
d) make FANTASTIC kids. Had to say it.
Sometimes while editing a session I think I build up a tolerance for beautiful images. I know it sounds weird–hear me out. When you’ve turned out TONS of great shots because the chemistry was all there in the making, you sort of don’t appreciate the full value of the individual gems. I burned the disc and sent the family happily on their way. Fast forward a few months, and I’m getting ready to post some images to the blog, and I’m kind of blown away. I had forgotten how GOOD these pictures are. I’m not intending to toot my own horn here (okay maybe a smidge), but I have to say it. When I see these images, I see this family genuinely. I GET them. That’s when I know I’ve done my job well–when I can see in pictures what their love feels like. Yes, I can work the f-stops and shutter speeds, but it’s pretty tough to capture something that isn’t there in the first place. Especially with kids–they don’t fake happy. What I’m trying to say is, when you come to a photography session, bring the love. Then I’ll make sure you see what it looks like.
Remember that time last fall when I was shooting a lot but not blogging a lot? Well this time of year is a bit slower in the shooting department, so I’m catching up in the blogging department. I did a stack of sessions at Stanford campus when the leaves were changing and the sun was shining and all was right in the world. Thanks for looking. Enjoy.