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Photo courtesy of Masquer8 Photography

Edited with Summerana’s

Painted Desert Digital Background







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?

Nikon D750

35mm 1.4

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

Jessie Wire.








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…





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

about that.

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

was doing.

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

make it.





Photo courtesy of

Shannon Squires Photography

Edited with Summerana

Butterfly Whispers Overlays

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