Hi Everyone! How are you!!!?
I feel like I have completely dropped the ball on keeping in touch with anyone. Since Covid-19, and my long stint of not working, I got in a bit of a funk when it came to showing up outside of my bubble. Can any one relate to that? I’ve been motivated to change all that and so I put together a 7 part mini series to briefly talk about and expand on the different photography that I do, what what I hope to shoot more of this year, as well as some of the products I currently offer, and also take some time to share why photography is important to me.
So today is day 1/7! I wanted to take today to reintroduce myself to those of you who haven’t worked with me before, either as a client or as part of a wedding day team, and to hopefully give you a sense of who I am and what Im all about, which I feel is a super important factor to weigh in before stepping in front of someone’s lens.
So I’m Jennifer, sometimes Jenny, but am most comfortable as Jen, (please just call me Jen). I eventually need to consider changing my page name and links, but right now it’s fine. I mean, if you follow on instagram you will know I use my spiritual name, Shanti Kirtan.
But if you dont use the gram, Im hoping that by the end of this post that you do have a better sense of what working with me will be like. As an extra measure to get to know me, Ive added 5 things Im loving right now down below, something I used to do years ago on my blog. “Fab 5” Let me know in the comments if you love any of these things too!
Alright, so when I’m not with clients I’m generally a bit of a homebody. I live with my husband, and our 3 young boys on our 9 acre homestead in West Grey. We raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Indian Runner Ducks and laying hens, and its basically a dream come true. We moved here 3 years ago and it was the best decision ever. We love spending our days making this place ours, and building our legacy. I love taking care of people and animals, and working with the earth – plus the views are outstanding… My neighbours are amazing too.
I have 3 grown children as well, 2 biological boys, and a daughter that Im blessed to have in my life as well. Below is the youngest showing us how the dog days of summer are done.
Above photo: My 2 remaining (surviving) male and female Indian Runner Ducks. We also have 19 babies in the brooder.
As for my photography career, Im proud to announce that this coming October marks my 10th year in business (!). With covid it’s a much slower year with a lot of downtime, which gave me a chance to reflect on what my goals are, what I want to see for my business and what I want to shoot more of.
The experts will tell ya that the secret to success is to niche down – pick one genre and stick to that; and here’s the thing – I did that, and it did have its advantages. I have spent good chunks of time dedicating myself to specializing in newborns, and a couple years later boudoir and weddings, and then more recently, personal brand photography. Each of these brought a unique skill to the table, such as honing my skill sets in posing and lighting, but one of the “aha moments” I had this year is that it’s not the ‘what’ that I’m shooting, it’s the who. The people I meet through photography are truly amazing, and I feel blessed to remain connected to them.
The realization that the single most important reason why I have a business, (any of my businesses) is that I love creating and nurturing connections. This is far more important to me than the transaction, and so In the next couple of weeks Im launching a very special project that for months has been a secret while Ive been bringing it to life. Im calling the project “Gift with Heart 365 – Transaction to Trust”. This is a gift economy, or sacred economy experiment, that I’ll be really excited to share once I have it all put together.
Above photo: Me and one of the little guys and client-turned-friend Danielle of Active Radiance.
I think that’s about it for today,thanks for joining me for day one. Tomorrow I’m going to share with you how I approach family sessions, what has changed since reopening during covid, and why I’m offering more of these sessions; and until then as promised here are 5 things that I love for a fun way to close.
Jen’s Fab 5
1. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos for Life
Sweet potato and black bean tacos. I could seriously eat them every night, and often make extras so that the next day I can do a veggie bowl with spinach as the base, the leftovers on the top, topped with an avocado cilantro dressing, and fresh cilantro on top. Hands down, favourite meal since going vegetarian over a year ago.
2. Hand Made Accessories
I love unique, one of a kind pieces, and love supporting small business. My friend Meka out of California makes beautiful clay and beaded earrings, I have a few pieces from my friend Hattie out of Caledon Ontario, and I get my more woo woo jewelry with crystals and healing stones from Michelle at Spirited Earth Designs in Collingwood.
3. Bloem Rose Serum
This stuff is new, brand new botanical skin care and wellness line in Ontario. I grabbed a few things when the line launched and love them all, but especially love how hydrating this serum is around the eyes. Very good stuff, its become a part of my very minimalist skin care routine, and again, love supporting small business.
4. magnolia journal
This would probably make my list every time. I love Jo and Chip even though Ive never watched fixer upper; so you could say Im a newer fan, but I love their mission and what they stand for. I love their letters in this magazine, and always find the content so relatable, and the theme always resonates with me in terms of where Im at… love it. Just look at the summer edition. Courage. They just get me every time!
5. cold (home brew) tea
Its my latest craft obsession – if tea can be a craft that is. Im turning it into one if its not. I love trying different teas and infusing different fruits into the teas, and well, after failing immensely at sourdough bread in the spring, I needed something a little more manageable to smooth over my ego. Right now Ive got two on the go – a mint one that I’m thinking of infusing some raspberries into, and also a blueberry hibiscus. Delish!