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I just finished packing the last of my bags, which included stuffing a purple wig, pink leggings and pink and yellow fishnet gloves into it. I’m about to head out the door as soon as I’m done with this post to go to an all women’s summer camp. There’s a mix of emotions coursing through me right now that are making me a little giddy and light headed. I’m SO excited to get to go canoeing, hiking, sing around a campfire, 80’s night, and do morning yoga with a bunch of women. The high ropes course is something I’m nervously looking forward to, I can’t wait to test my courage and feel the adrenaline pumping.
But then there’s this other thing going through my mind, the part that’s left over from grade school. What if I don’t fit in? Most of the women going to camp are going with friends, and I’m flying solo. I feel like I’m a bit socially awkward, especially when it comes to meeting new people, especially if these new people already know each other and are in groups. Eek! These is me spilling my vulnerability out into the interwebs right now. I feel so raw and open. Like I’m heading into the lions den of my anxiety. Though, deep down I know the next blog post will be about how wonderfully excepting everyone was, and how many amazing new friends I’ve made… and yada yada. And that’s why I jumped at this opportunity. I knew when I signed up that this was something that was really going to push me, and I want to be pushed in this way. I want to know I can make it through. And I’m doing it by myself. I’m challenging myself, and I feel so alive. Even if that aliveness is coming from anxiety, I’m alive damn it! And in the end I know that I’m definitely not going to regret going. This is going to be awesome. =)
This totally vulnerable and open blog post was brought to you by Brené Brown. I started reading The Gift of Imperfection recently and she was talking about being vulnerable. So here’s to a new and exciting chapter!!!
Wish me luck at summer camp! And join me next year so I’m not going solo!!! Click the banner below and sign up to get an email about when tickets go on sale.
Thursday Max and I are leaving on a jet plane and heading to Asia! We’ll be visiting Hong Kong, Xiamen, Okinawa & Nagasaki. I won’t be able to answer calls or emails while we’re gone, but please feel free to call me and email me anyways! I’ll be thrilled to come back to all of your messages wanting to book shoots!!!
I’ll be back on the 27th. Until then I’ll be sending my love from the other side of the world!!!
Charlottesville Virginia Here We Come!!!
First things first, as I have mentioned in a previous blog Max and I are expanding our boudoir photography to Charlottesville, VA. Our official move date to set up our Virginia location is April 6 (EEK, so close!). It’s getting closer and closer and we’re getting more and more excited! We’re already meeting amazing people in the Charlottesville area and can’t wait to meet so many more! We’re currently looking for a professional hair stylist & makeup artist, so if you are one or know one get in touch! I’ll also be on the lookout for businesses to partner with such as salons, dance studios, and lingerie companies to name a few.
(I’ll also be in need of a yoga studio for my personal life, so bring on your recommendations!)
Don’t worry, Louisiana, I’ll be back as soon as June for shoots as well as throughout the year! This isn’t goodbye by a loooong shot!
After 4 and a half years of working side by side with the love of my life, we recently decided that I would take the business over and run it as a solo endeavor.
The reasons are diverse, the most important of which is a personal decision. When you work side by side with your partner / lover / husband, your life can become 100% about business, 100% of the time. There were many nights when we would discuss how we wanted to do things late into the night. There were some points where the business was literally every conversation we had for a week at a time. It was really quite amazing how much of ourselves we’ve put into this business. Would I change how we started this business? No way. Starting this business with the love of my life was the best thing I’ve ever done. We built the best business we wanted to build. We literally created a dream in reality and have been living it for the past few years. In one part of our life we couldn’t be happier.
However, our personal life needed some tender loving care. So last year we thought it would be a good idea if I took over the business and Max pursued some of his many interests (fine art photography, gardening, music production, and cross country motorcycle adventures to name a few) and I would take the business into new directions with the body acceptance and women empowerment movements. This is good news all around!!! We’re both going to continue to pursue our dreams!!!
I feel like working with women in a meaningful way is finally coming full circle. When I graduated high school I went to college to get a degree in psychology so that I could help women with self esteem and body image issues. After a very sudden and tragic shift in my life, I strayed away from that dream. Years later when I went back to school for photography I had no intention of pursuing the same dream, the thought never even crossed my mind. While I was in school my focus gravitated towards photographing women, which would eventually lead to a business with Max and helping women with accepting their bodies! It was the most beautiful accident I’ve ever witnessed! I found another way to pursue my passion.
I’ll be updating the website to reflect these changes in the upcoming weeks.
P.S. Max and I are just fine, we’re shifting the balance of priorities and investing ourselves in new projects and directions. Here’s what he’s been up to with his fine art project. (My own shoot with him will be this weekend!)
I was about 17 years old when my then boyfriend convinced me that shaving my pubic hair was a good idea. He was a bit of an ass, rough around the edges kinda guy. Don’t get me wrong, he loved me, as much as you can love someone at that age. His ways of showing it weren’t all that healthy, which I didn’t realize until many MANY years later. At that age I hadn’t considered shaving ALL of my pubic hair. Literally. I gave it no thought. I trimmed it on the edges so that it wouldn’t be seen in a bikini, but I didn’t give it much thought beyond that. That is, I didn’t until he mentioned it. Then I was mortified. “You should shave your pubes, you look like a hairy monkey”. He would call it… it being my lovely vulva… a gorilla. He teased me about it. I was admittedly quite meek in my youth. I can’t remember my response, but I know I didn’t say what I should have said, which is “Go to hell”.
After I had had enough torment, I shaved my pubic hair. It was TERRIBLE!!!! I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the hell anyone would ever do that more than once! There was intense itching, when I scratched I got angry red bumps. Once the hair started growing back it tore at the inside of my tender labia, which became sore because it wasn’t used to such abuse. Not to mention it looked like I had reverted back to my pre-pube days, my vulva looked like it belonged to a 12 year old. I hated it. He loved it. Of course. But when we had sex it hurt, the friction rubbed me raw on the mound where the hair used to protect it. I was exposed. I swore I would never do it again. But of course… I did.
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Please excuse me while I get real for a minute…
It’s been one of those days, actually, one of those months. I’ve just been feeling really down on myself, not liking what I see in the mirror, yada yada yada. Self esteem is something I’ve struggled with for my entire life. This is one of the reasons I do what I do with boudoir photography. I know how much low self esteem can affect different aspects of your life. It’s such a gift to be able to give women that little boost of confidence and let them know just how beautiful they are. These past few weeks when I’ve been down have been really getting to me, I’ve been in a bad mood, irritable towards Max, not able to focus on tasks, etc. To be frank, I’ve just felt like crap. And tired.
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“Today you’re going to learn how to do this” says the instructor as she grabs the pole and her body glides through the air with her feet pointing straight up towards the ceiling, head to the floor. “it’s called an inversion”…. “Ha! Yeah…. right!” was my first thought. Continue reading →
After 5years and 8 moths of being together, Max and I are tying the knot! Our wedding will take place in Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach, Florida on June 24. Many of our clients are brides with upcoming weddings fast approaching, I totally understand all of their excitement now that it’s our turn! Our wedding is less than 2 weeks away and I seriously couldn’t be any happier at this time in my life. I’m marrying my best friend, and a wonderful business partner! We can’t wait to celebrate with our friends and family!
That being said, we’re taking off a month for our wedding! We will be out of the country from June 16 to July 16. We will be home a few days in between, but we will be on our honeymoon time so we won’t be working. 😉
Even writing this blog is making my heart race with excitement! I can’t wait to share all the wonderful details of the wedding with you all!
Jen & Max <3
Discovering Femininity marries old notions of beauty from the Renaissance era with modern photography and an antique printing method. Celebrating the curves of women’s bodies, Discovering Femininity showcases the soft, classical beauty of the female form through expressive poses.
My preferred printing method is salt prints because of its timeless qualities. By using a historical process, I feel I am keeping the art of the handmade photograph alive.
Through my work, I have come to love my own body and accept the way it is. This is a feeling I strive to instill in women everywhere and of every age. It is not until we learn to love ourselves and feel comfortable in our own skin that we will appreciate who we are, as we are. I am not only looking to redefine beauty, but to reaffirm that we are beautiful.
Discovering Femininity – Artist Statement
Discovering Femininity focuses on the beauty of the female figure. It is important that women see the beauty in themselves no matter their body type, young, old, big, or thin. The definition of beauty has been deformed over years by advertisements that depict stick thin models with pounds of makeup on, and exorbitant amounts of retouching done to every inch of their body. My goal, through photography, is to show that women do not have to look that way to be beautiful. Beauty comes in many forms. Continue reading →
Last semester I had the privilege of taking a class with Thomas Neff (www.thomasneffphotographer.com) on Alternative Processes. Ever since my first photo class at LSU when I saw some students with images that had beautiful brown and blue brush strokes I had been DYING to take that class! Finally I was able to take it and it was all that I had hoped for, plus so so much more. I could not have possibly foreseen how much I would fall in love with the handmade organic nature of all these processes. Each and every print is unique.
Before I get too carried away, let me explain what “alternative processes” means so we can all be on the same page. Alternative processes are the processes that were used in the beginning era of photography to produce prints. There’s a bunch of them out there, all ranging in difficulty level and expense. The ones I used to produce my images involved me painting light sensitive chemicals onto plain white paper and exposing it (with the negative on top) in the sun or a UV light. Continue reading →