Judy contacted me for an obituary photograph. She wanted something that would be a nice photo of her in real life, particularly after a very recent 65-lb weight loss. Instantly when I met her I knew this session could be so very much more than that.
This is my calling in life – to help women celebrate themselves and to create a legacy in portraits for their family. I was so absolutely thrilled to create these images for Judy, to help her see herself as the beautiful, strong woman she is.
What I can tell you is that Judy not only loved her images so much that she took them all home, but she also wrote the most beautiful write-up on her experience, and it left me in tears last night after reading it. This is exactly why I do what I do. It’s what gives my life so much joy and purpose.
And now a bit from Judy on her experience:
“I came to see Jenn for a good portrait for an obituary some day in the future. Simple as that. I did not have a good picture that would be used one day to portray who I was during my lifetime. Too often I see funeral notices with photos that are of =============, and I wanted to be remembered with a really nice looking photograph.I started by looking at local department store specials, where for $24.95 and a Groupon I could get 32 copies of one pose in front of a standard background. It was a deal! Then, I happened to come across Jenn’s Website. I was blown away! The before and after pictures were amazing. She made every woman beautiful. She was who I wanted to do my portraits. I have recently lost 65 pounds and I wanted to celebrate that victory. Jenn was the one to help me with this goal.We met at her studio and Jenn made me feel beautiful from the minute we met. I had just had my hair cut in a short spikey style and she was excited right away about how we could accentuate the hair. She kept “finding” things that were “great” about me: the shade of blue in my eyes, (“I have a dress that will make your eyes pop”), my eyebrows, (“Oh my gosh, your eyebrows are great”), and my shoulders. All of a sudden, I saw my self very differently. After losing the weight, it was hard to see the change that had taken place in my body, but Jenn could see it through a photographer’s eyes.When we chose the dresses for my photo shoot, Jenn asked me to go to one side of the wardrobe and choose dresses that I might want to wear, and she went to the other side to make her choices for me. We met at the end of the rack with very different choices. She had a velvet green dress that was cut low, a sequined dress that was an undefined color, and a tight form-fitting “flappper” dress with about 8 inches of black fringe on the bottom. I couldn’t imagine what she was thinking. She asked me to have an open mind and try the dresses on and I said that I would but in my mind I knew that it was a waste of time. Not only were they articles of clothing that I would never dream of wearing, they were all too small for me. Well, as you can see by my photos, they all fit and I loved the dresses when I tried them. I felt beautiful! We both go a little emotional and had watery eyes. Jenn knew exactly how I was feeling.She sent me home that day with information regarding the next steps and what I needed to do for the upcoming photo shoot. I decided to follow her advice and I pampered myself, I drank lots of water, did stretching exercises, moisturized my skin, got a facial, waxed my brows, and had a manicure and pedicure. I couldn’t wait for the day of the photos.Finally, the day arrived. Jenn greeted me with excitement and introduced me to Theresa, the hair and makeup extraordinaire. We got right to work. Theresa styled my hair and transformed me with her makeup skills. I didn’t look in the mirror until she was all finished and I loved how she made me look glamorous, but not over the top. It was just right for the dresses that I would be wearing. Theresa was awesome, she helped bring out my best attributes.Then came the photo shoot itself. Jenn made me very comfortable giving me total guidance on posing. We laughed throughout the whole session and before you know it, 5 wardrobe changes and three hours were gone; we were finished. We had already set up the Reveal date, so just needed to go home and wait for the big day.I felt like a little kid waiting for Christmas, the Reveal date couldn’t come soon enough. The studio was quite, the viewing area was dimly lit, and Jenn started the video. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Twenty one photos of me. Pictures that I couldn’t believe WERE me. There was a shot of me serious, one laughing, one sassy, one sexy…they were all so awesome. She caught my essence, totally who I am.I saw my mother and my daughters in those pictures. Again, the emotions were crazy and again, the tears started. Jenn found the most beautiful parts of me and captured them forever in these pictures. I can”t thank Jenn enough for this wonderful experience.It’s crazy, as I think about my whole experience with Jenn and my photo shoot. As I said, I started out with this project thinking about obituaries and what I ended up with is a whole new outlook on my life.When I look at my photographs, I feel as though I am just starting out a new life, a beautiful life.Maybe in 15 or 20 years I will come back for the picture to go in the paper.” ~Judy