This Tuesday Introduction is a little different because I have been lucky enough to know Jenn for something like 15 years. I have long admired her work at JennV Photography and think the photos she takes can become real treasures for families. Jenn is super talented and her work stands out amongst the crowded market of photographers by celebrating the everyday lives of families. She has one of those personalities that just makes you feel comfortable and at ease from the moment you meet her which is a must have when you are inviting someone into your home!
How long ago did you start JennV Photography and what inspired you?
I started my business 9 years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago and what inspired me then and now are very different. Originally I loved capturing the details of my first born and the magic of everything that was new at the time. I wanted to share that magic with clients and their children. But in a pretty, perfectly posed way. Now I am a documentary family photographer and am inspired to capture moments that show real parents and the genuine love they have for their kids through their every day actions (even in the hard moments!) – whether that’s making pancakes, calming them after a tantrum, or heading to the zoo for a family outing. Parents work SO hard on the daily, and it’s so easy to dismiss it or not even think about it at all because we’re all so busy. I photograph it and celebrate it.
How is your photography different than other photographers?
Plainly put, I capture my clients’ legacy and their real, unposed and unfiltered memories forever. In 30 years their kids will look through an album that shows what a day in their life was like way back when. It’s the most beautiful story they’ll own. It’ll show the real chaos of life with kids, the calmness after Mom kissed their boo boo, and the love that shines through everything their parents did for them when they were young.
What is a tip you can give to a family to get ready for a day of having their photos taken?
Don’t stress! I know it’s cliche and overused but it’s true! Nothing about the day matters except your family being yourself. Even if it’s with a posed portrait photographer. Let your kids get a little wild, let them get away with stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t – you’ll be happy you did when the session is filled with laughter vs. the tension of expecting your kids to sit and smile stiffly for a stranger.
What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your kids, your husband, your home and your business?
Ha! It’s all over the place! I have three kids, the youngest of which is still in preschool so that makes my days a bit choppy. But every morning I am up at 5am and I get two solid hours of work done (and drink allll the coffee!). If I don’t have that consistency and time to myself before my kids wake up I get kind of…grumpy. I also have one full day a week to work without interruption so that helps. I do think the whole work-life balance thing is an illusion though. No woman has it all together and completely figured out. We’re all just swimming along trying to stay afloat, and beating ourselves up when one of the balls we’re juggling while swimming drops. I like to focus on a couple of things that I can do well in a week. Outsource stuff if I can and then choose to let the rest go.
Is there one piece of baby gear that you would tell a new mom she needs to have?
I LOVE a good backpack diaper bag. It was the easiest thing to grab and go when may baby was a baby – and with my third we were always on the go! I recently saw the Birch Bag from Parker Baby on a friend and fell in love. It’s so cute, functional (pockets!), and gets major bonus points for not being feminine- which means Dad’s love it too!
Life with a new baby can seem to move by so quickly so I absolutely love the idea of a documentary family photographer like Jenn coming to capture those early days filled with feedings, diaper changes and sweet baby yawns. To see more of Jenn’s beautiful portfolio and book your documentary day with her head to http://jennvphotography.com or find her on Instagram.