Photo courtesy of Masquer8 Photography
Edited with Summerana’s
Painted Desert Digital Background
10 MINUTES WITH JENNA ELIZABETH
OF JENNA ELIZABETH STUDIOS
Hey Jenna, please tell us more about
yourself. How did you become a photographer?
It started when I made my daughter,
she was around 3 months old at the
time, an Instagram account to model
clothing for small shops. When I would
post images of my daughter, friends of
mine would ask me if I could take
photos of their children. This was all
done while I was using an iPhone. I
eventually ended up getting my first
DSLR camera as a Christmas gift from
my parents 3 1/2 years ago, and the
rest is history.
If for any reason you couldn't become
a photographer, what career path
would you have chosen?
Well, I would probably still be a full
time hairstylist. I am currently still
working at a salon, but I am only there
1 day a week. I have been behind a
chair for 13 years, I’m not quite ready
to let that career go.
What was your biggest fear when you
decided to start this journey?
Probably not getting a return on
everything I invested in my business.
There was so much time and money I
put into becoming better. I was fearful
at points that I would never take off and
make a profit.
Describe your style in a few words and
tell us what inspires you to create such
beautiful pieces of art.
Whimsical with a touch of vintage.
My inspiration mostly comes from
visions in my head. I also put an enormous
amount of pressure on myself to
always deliver images that are better
then my last.
If you had an unlimited budget and you
could create your dream session what
would it look like? Who would model
for you? Where would that session take
Well, that’s top secret! My followers will
just have to wait and see. I will say this
though.... it will be called “Stairway to
Heaven” and It would not cost much.
What is the funniest thing that has ever
happened to you during a photoshoot?
Nothing too funny, but I’ve done a few
sessions where moms are naked in the
tub and I’m up close and personal
basically doing the most awkward
positions over them to get “the shot”
holding my breath so I don’t fall down.
Both of us usually laugh because, well
it’s just awkward and looks crazy!
What is in your camera bag?
24 -70 mm 2.8
70-200 mm 2.8
105 mm 2.8
Describe your life using a movie title.
“The Pursuit of Happyness”
Sometimes my life is an emotional roller
coster, but at the end of the day all I
want to is find my happiness.
Do you listen to music while editing? If
so, what kind of music?
ALWAYS. Music is everything to me! I
guess it really depends on my mood,
but I really like to get deep when I edit,
so the more depressing the better
(usually with a nice glass of wine).
A few of my pandora stations are:
Hope,Sia ,Sara Bareiells, Sade, and
WORDS YOU LIVE BY
“BE THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WOULD WANT TO MEET!”
CONFESSIONS OF A PHOTOGRAPHER
BY AMY PHIPPS
I need to share these thoughts and actions with you. Why? Because you’re going to understand. Only fellow photographers will understand the
depth of my guilt and the ways in which I’ve been wrong. At some point, you have either done one of these or you will do one of these. My hope is
that you never will. But if you do, just know that someone else has been there and feels your pain. Okay, I’m ready now...
Here are my nine confessions!
1. When I first went into business 6 years ago, I felt like I was totally ready...The
wide range of people I could reach out to made it easy to book sessions immediately.
I worked on my posing, getting contracts in order and I learned a few
things about editing. My camera was constantly in AUTO mode and that
worked really well, except for those times it didn’t. But shooting in any other
way was way too hard to learn and I was too busy learning how to have a business,
I didn’t have time to learn how to shoot in manual. That was wrong! So
wrong! I honestly thought that shooting in manual was a personal choice and
couldn’t be that much different than shooting in AUTO. After all, these digital
cameras were pretty fancy, surely it knew more than I did.
2. I’ll pay you $20.00 if you can guess which camera I used when I started my
business.The original Canon Rebel. THE ORIGINAL! I even shot a few weddings
with that camera. It was what I had at the time and I didn’t think you
needed to have a $3,000 camera to have a business. Looking back, I can say
this. I still don’t think you need a $3,000 camera to start a business, nor do you
need a full frame body to start a business. But you do need a camera that can
handle low light situations if you will be shooting indoor events, you need a
camera that produces large files so that your clients receive quality digital
files/prints and you need a camera that won’t put you in debt buying it.
3. About a month ago, I had the worst thing imaginable happen. I lost the
SOOC files of a session that I hadn’t exported the edited images for. I was up
late organizing files on my hard drive because it was getting full. The next day I
went to edit a senior session and it had the exclamation mark in the corner,
meaning the files weren’t synced up anymore. I figured I must have moved
them somewhere else. I certainly did…to the recycle bin that I emptied. And of
course, I didn’t back them up either. The night of that session I had been tired
and figured I would back them up the next day. Nope. Didn’t happen. As soon
as I knew there was no way to recover the files, I called the mom and let her
know what happened. I had to be honest and tell her the truth and I was prepared
to make it up to her in any way she wanted. Now I know I lost the files
from her daughter's session but I had another session scheduled for her son
(they are high school, senior twins). To be honest I wasn’t sure if she would trust
me again. The next day she asked if she could not pay for her son’s session and
I still reshoot the daughter and do the son as well. I was so relieved! The mom
was so sweet and so forgiving. BUT, had this been a wedding, I would have had
a lawsuit on my hands. Lesson learned…
BACK UP YOUR FILES AS SOON AS YOU DOWNLOAD THEM!
4. The first time I photographed a newborn, I thought to myself “How hard can
this be, it’s just a baby and all they do is sleep". But it turns out, when you want
to take pictures of a baby, they don’t sleep. They also want to eat, pee and poop
on everything and stay curled up like a ball. I no longer photograph babies.
Turns out, the only babies I really like are my own. No more needs to be said
5. I used to look at backgrounds all the time.I wanted that background that was
really going to stand out and be cool but I was looking for the wrong thing.
What I should have been looking for is light. Light is what makes a photo truly
beautiful. You can have the most amazing clients, they can be gorgeous and
well dressed, but if you don’t have the right light or know how to use the light
around you, your image won’t ever reach its full potential.
6. For about the first 4 years of owning my business (it’s now been 9 years total),
I wouldn’t show a client the back of my camera.I would laugh it off and say
something lame like you can’t see until I post a sneak peek for you. The truth
was that I wasn’t confident in my SOOC image that I didn’t want them to see
what it looked like. And I don’t do a ton of editing! But I couldn’t handle them
looking at that image in the camera and being worried that I didn’t know what I
7. Three days ago I showed up to a session without a memory card in my camera.I
often times just run out the door with a water bottle, my phone, and my
camera. I get to the location and look atmy camera and just about died. The
worst part…the session was with one of the twins mentioned in confession #3.
No lie. Put your card back into your camera when you’re done downloading
photos. Keep extra cards in your bag. Take your bag with you!
8. Communicate with your clients. This year I have finally put together great
looking guides for my clients. When they inquire about booking or when they
book, I send them a Welcome Guide and a Pricing Guide. Once we get about 2
weeks away from the session, I send them a "What to Wear Guide", as well as a
Guide that goes over everything they can expect. This helps them get all the information
they need and you look awesome. Why am I so thorough now? Because
I spent a few years of not being thorough.
9. Every January I get scared. Typically people don’t book a whole lot of sessions
in January because they’re still paying for Christmas and they just did pictures
in the fall.I know this, yetwhen I look at an empty calendar in January, I
still get scared. I worry that maybe this is the year that people stop calling me.
Maybe this is the year that all the people that wanted photos doneby me have
had them and that’s it, I’m done. Maybe raising my prices was the worst idea
I’ve ever had. But then halfway through January people start booking again and
by April I’m so busy I don’t have any free time.
I’m confident in who I am as a person and as a photographer.Now I let people
look at the back of my camera and this January wasn't terrifying. I’ve been
scouting for new locations to shoot at and I’ve upgraded my camera 3 times already
since starting with my Rebel. Of course I got a few more memory cards
and I don’t plan to ever lose files again.Also I still don’t photograph babies... I
know what I love to shoot and what I don’t. I’ve worked hard to be able to say
no. I try hard and I have loyal clients because of it. Please learn from my mistakes!
And know that whatever mistake you make, you aren’t the first one to
Photo courtesy of
Shannon Squires Photography
Edited with Summerana
Butterfly Whispers Overlays