I post photos of Hillsdale, NY area high school seniors and families just about daily, but I rarely post any images of myself. And I write about myself even less than that. Needless to say, this feels weird.
But, for a few reasons, I decided it was time to get some new headshots (thank you, Victoria of Kokopelli Photography!) and take this opportunity to let you all know a bit more about me.
In July, I turned 40. I was pretty excited about it, actually. I was all ready to change--to take better care of myself and to be more bold. So far, the only thing that's more bold is the red lipstick I've started wearing.
And taking better care of myself? Well, in case you don't have lots of other photographer friends in your social media feeds, perhaps you didn't know--this is an intense time of year for many of us! High school senior portraits are due to be submitted for yearbooks soon. And so many families want portraits done with golden late summer light or magical fall foliage. There is so much work to do and so little time! So sometimes I forget to really take care of myself.
Why am I telling you all this? Am I looking for sympathy? No way!
I love what I do--I love exploring with my camera, I love meeting bright seniors and sweet families, I love capturing memories and moments, I love showing people the beauty in themselves that they don't always recognize, and I love creating real, tangible products to display these beautiful images. I also love being an entrepreneur, creating a business with my own mind and hands and lots and lots of invested time. It's hard work, for sure, and I hustle every day to keep up with the high standards I set for myself. But I love it, period.
I'm writing this post because I want to show you the face behind JenniWaka Photography, and to have that face no longer just be BEHIND the business but NEXT TO it. Going forward I'm going to try to make the JEN part of JenniWaka Photography a bit more visible.
So, to start this process, I thought I'd tell you some fun facts about myself:
1. I lived in Japan for 9 years and I speak Japanese pretty fluently.
2. The longer I'm back in the US, the more I forget how to read/write in Japanese, though.
3. My Japanese husband and I have two beautiful daughters--they inspire me, make me laugh, and tire me out! I know you think your kids won't sit still for photos, but I promise they'll do better for me than my own girls!
4. Yes, I love sushi! I'm thankful there are a few places around to get some good Japanese food, but we make simplified versions at home, too. I can give you some tips if you'd like!
5. I'm obsessed with themed birthday parties. Yes, I do them for my kids but I've also been known to have them for adults in my family (i.e. an avocado-themed party for my sister-in-law!)
6. I love green and grey...and I always spell grey with an "e" for some reason.
7. I love moss. And rust. And weathered wood. And old bricks. I'm always seeking out rustic settings to use as a background for your portraits!
8. I can't sneeze just once or twice--it's always about 6-10 times in a row. So if we're at a photo session and I start sneezing, just give me a minute or two and I'll be back on track!
9. I love working with high school students! I love showing you guys how awesome you are. And starting the Mod Squad is one of the best things I've done!!
10. I'm pretty laid-back. If you have any questions or want some information to see if I'm the right photographer for you, you don't need to be intimidated in reaching out to me. I won't bite :)
Thanks for reading this far! I look forward to learning fun facts about you, too!
If you're interested in booking a senior or family portrait session, contact me here.