Studio 122
Thursday, July 19, 2018
By Newtown PA photographer, Brenda Jankowski of brenPhotography
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You don’t have to go it alone! (Choosing your favorite photos that is)

 

One of the most exciting parts of your portrait experience has nothing to do with the lights and camera. It involves you, the photographer, and only the very best images from your session. It’s when you get to see them for the first time.

 

I have heard from many of my clients that they have never sat down with their photographer when they are looking at their photos. And it makes me sad because you are not being properly serviced and the very last thing you remember about your whole experience is your frustration, even if the photos are amazing.

 

How does it help you to have me with you?

 

1.  The process becomes less intimidating.

 

Sifting through a gallery of images yourself can be very daunting. After a while they all begin to look the same and you are ready to give up.  So you keep telling yourself you will get back to it.  But you never do, and you have this decision hanging over you for months, when sitting with me rarely takes more than an hour. And it’s done. No more clutter in your head and you can start using those images.

 

2.  Analyzing the nuances between similar (to you) images is faster.

 

How overwhelming is it to look at images that, to you, essentially look the same? We can put these images side by side so you can see the nuances rather than jumping from one image to the one 5 spaces down (or was it 6 spaces) which makes the decision easier. 

 

Rather than rushing through reviewing your images to just get it over with (or avoid it all together), this allows you to gain insight into why I selected each particular image for you to see, and that helps you to make your decisions. Things you might not realize on your own (because sometimes we cannot get past that 1 thing about ourselves…) Certain insights about your appearance, expression, posture, how your outfit works, composition, and how/or where you might want to use this photo (especially with professional branding headshot types). This alone can go a long way to helping you choose the most appropriate photos for your needs.

 

So instead of being confused and giving up you are making a more informed decision.

 

 *Thanks to Laura Templeton for the photo of Doris Robinson & me at the computer.

 

 

3. How and where to use the images becomes clearer.

 

We have our pre-session consultation, where we design your portrait session, but there is always a bit of free-styling that happens. Which at the time feels like a bonus, but now it becomes, “But what am I going to do with them?”

 

Talking about your life style, décor, upcoming events or if they are branding/headshot photos talking about all of your media needs can help you decide on how many images you really do need or might need in the future. For instance, you may not be on the speaking circuit this year, but you’ve been thinking it might be a good thing to do…. So take one to have just in case.

 

Or it just might be a good photo to show a different side of your personality.

 

4.  Help balance vanity vs value.

 

And sometimes I am part therapist (and not just when you show up for your session and want to run in the other direction). Most often, I am injecting you with positive thoughts because you have decided you are “just not photogenic” and you start looking for that one thing you dislike (that one eye that is smaller than the other that you are sure everyone can see, but they are too polite to point out).

 

I can help you see that these images possess more value than just the aesthetics.

 

Conversely, if you go on a “like” binge I can point out which are better suited for your needs. I don’t want you to have a ton of images that you can never use and enjoy.

 

Alternatively, we can talk about what you don’t like about an image and see if we can find one that suits. It’s the most difficult when you are first seeing yourself - after you see a few, you start to see yourself as those around you do and become less focused on your “thing".  

 

Especially if it is self conscious based – I look fat, I look old, my smile is crooked, etc – I let you complain, but also tell you that people like you for you and they don’t see the same issues about you that you do. Your tribe doesn’t care that your eyes aren’t symmetrical – they care about the love and expertise that you give, that gets them through their day.

 

As you can see there is a lot of value to having your photographer there when you choose your photos. And selfishly, for me, it’s like Christmas morning when I get to see you discover yourself!


Have you had any disaster experiences trying to choose your photos? Comment here and tell me about it. What do you wish had happened? What could have made it better?

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in working with someone who doesn’t just let you fend for yourself after your photo session….

Schedule a studio tour and see if I’m the one for you.

 

 

If you have any questions, I am happy to talk image selection (and most other things…) so go ahead and give me a call at 215.208.5803 or send me an email HERE and we can chat more.

It's about shining from the inside...

 

Want more great tips? Subscribe to this blog, Studio 122 using the button on the right. Be the 1st to know about special events and offers!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

 

 xoxo


brenPhotography is honored by your referral of family and friends. 

Thank you.


 
Thursday, July 12, 2018
By Brenda Jankowski -Newtown PA photographer
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OMG - What have I done? I don’t belong IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA ! 

 

Why did I book my own photo shoot?  In Paris?

 

Have you ever dreamed feeling like a model, feeling great about a photograph of yourself but let that voice in your head talk you out of it?

 

This is my journey experiencing the same emotions and thoughts you have when thinking about having your picture taken - the insecurities, the objections. All the reasons NOT to do it.

 

Today:  They're here! My folio box of photos is here!

 

Part 1: Explored if I am worth it. Just me, not the girls. Not to mention the $$$.  Find the full post HERE

 

Part 2: Wait! WEIGHT! Who doesn't consider this when they are about to be photographed?  Find the full post HERE.

 

Part 3: Wait! I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR! Even though I have a closet full of things, do I really want to wear any of these? Find the full post HERE.

 

Part 4: The Photo Shoot: What it’s like to feel like a model for a day. Who thought it was a good idea to be photographed at dawn?! But it was at the Eiffel Tower… Find the full post HERE

 

Part 5: It’s reveal day. Time for me to actually see the photographs that we created. Time for me to choose my favorites. Find the full post HERE.

The hard part was over (for me) actually seeing how I look in my photos. I knew I was going to love the epic images with the Eiffel Tower and thank goodness I liked, even loved, many of the others. 

 

I had brought 3 wardrobe pieces that I have in my collection for my clients to dress up in - my big ole tulle skirt paired with a lace shirt as well as an “Infinity dress” (Do you know about these? Check out my description at the end.) in a burgundy, my branding color. (I always advise my clients to bring something– anything- clothing or accessories- in their colors to create some cohesiveness with their branding photos and their marketing – website, social media, collateral pieces, etc). I also brought a strapless deep purple hombre gown (which we didn’t end up using) that had been donated from a friend’s closet for the studio wardrobe collection. 

 

Wondering what would make me look long and lean for another branding photo look, I purchased a black romper (I grew up calling it a jumpsuit) and a purple patterned dress (very out of character for me and a “wear with caution” in the Style Guide I provide my clients at our consultations). Truth be told, it’s my least favorite look, so I still say proceed with caution if choosing patterns for your photo shoot.

 

So, I was anxiously (in a good way) waiting for my folio box to get here. I love the folio box. For me, it’s a safe place to store my photos and it’s more useful than an album, because it looks nice on a bookshelf and I can swap out what photos I feel like displaying either in a frame on the wall or on an easel. 

 

Originally, I thought I was just going to have them in the studio because after all “what am I going to do with all these photos of myself?” But now that I have them I am going to put the 16x20 that came with my package outside my closet in my bedroom, put another with my collection of photos of my girls and 1 or 2 in my office . And of course, the box will be in the studio so you can have a look!

 

Anyway, I know you all have been asking when you can see the photos, so….

 

Be honest, did you read anything or just skip to here?

 


My Photo Session in Paris

I wanted to experience what my clients experience during a photo session with me. So I took it to Paris. See my photos from in and around Paris including in front of the Eiffel Tower!


I have already changed the headshot that is on the magazine that I give to potential clients that come in for a studio tour/consult as well as added the epic Eiffel Tower in there. Now that I have had the public reveal, you can get a better look as they are sprinkled throughout my social media.

 

What are my feelings now that I have the photos in my hands?

 

1. Funny, but my first thought was that they are too small. I know, right? I was like everyone who talks to me about getting a photo shoot during my initial conversation with Ashleigh, my photographer. “Oh, an 8x10 matted print will be plenty big enough. How big do I need a photo of me?” But now, looking at the 16x20, I feel like it’s just approaching an appropriate size. 

 

2. Confidence. I think that like most of us, I can sense when I feel like I look good. And like most of us I put that out of my head, because we are taught that it is not good to spend time absorbed in our own virtues and that outer looks are superficial. But we really want to know how other people see us. And we look for validation both ways, positive and negative. I have a new confidence in the way I feel I am perceived and now, how I carry myself. What we put out, we get back. If we don’t allow ourselves to appreciate ourselves, how can we expect others to treat us well? (Preach, girl! Can you tell I have been doing a lot of self-value work lately?)

 

3. Repeat. (Different than do over). I need to do this with my girls. I need to have photos of the 3 of us. And they need to have photos of the 3 of us. And of themselves. They need to discover this appreciation of themselves that I now have of myself, waaaaaay before they reach my age, so they can confidently go out, make a difference in whatever way is right for them and live their lives and make choices for them, not for “should” or avoid things out of fear.

 

4. Grateful. Grateful that I have grown so much in the last few years that I could even do this for myself. Grateful that I have the resources to do this. Grateful that I have the encouragement of my husband, children (and tribe) who want me to keep growing and learning. We think that we are not important enough to be in photos WITH our kids and certainly not FOR our kids, but even if they don’t say it, these photos are valuable to them.

 

Luckily, I have one that says it.


So tell me, what do you think. Which photos do you like? Did you like the series? It is so rare for me to be this vulnerable even with my trusted few, let alone in public.

 

 (1) OMG do you know about infinity dresses? They are one piece, made up of a circular skirt, available in long or short lengths, with 2 long, very long, pieces of fabric attached that serve as the bodice, so you can create dozens of looks from. And they are only $35! And they take up so little room in a suitcase and don’t wrinkle! So I have one in black and one in cream for the studio in addition to the burgundy, but I am looking for an excuse to get the forest green and navy blue. (Anyone want to help a girl out and volunteer to wear one of these in a portrait?)


It's about shining from the inside...

 

Want more great tips? Subscribe to this blog, Studio 122 using the button on the right. Be the 1st to know about special events and offers!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

 

 xoxo

brenPhotography is honored by your referral of family and friends. 

Thank you.

 
Thursday, July 05, 2018
By Newtown PA photographer, Brenda Jankowski of brenPhotography
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Headshot. Portrait. What’s the difference anyway?

Can a headshot be a portrait? Can a portrait be a headshot? There is often confusion. And before I settled in as a professional photographer, I shared the same confusion, so I get it.

 

See if this helps:

 

A Headshot is a type of portrait – a very specialized portrait – captured in a controlled environment, such as a studio, with the subject staring at the lens of the camera, creating a connection with the viewer.

 

These images are best used as profile photos, website “About Me” photos, speaker sheets and other type of press related materials.

Notice, there are 2 important characteristics when viewing these images and these are very important details.

 

  • They are very “clean”. They have a uniform background, solid colored clothing, subtle makeup and jewelry.

 

  • The crop is very tight and centered around the head and face, with little room for the rest of the body.

 

 

Your profile photo is your virtual handshake, it’s your unofficial introduction to potential clients, so it is vital to make a great impression. Make sure they can look you in the eye so they can get a sense of who you are.

 

It is so much harder to make that connection if the image is a wider shot, where your face is difficult to see in that small profile picture space, or if you are wearing distracting clothing, accessories and lots of makeup.

 

Portraits, on the other hand have looser guidelines and restrictions.

 

These are where you can let yourself go and really show your personality. These are great for everything else related to your image content needs – social posts, sales vehicles, your newsletter, blog, sponsorship signage, book covers and other marketing materials.

 

Wear outfits that underscore your brand. Head to toe framing. Looking away from the camera. Actions such as walking, talking, in conversation, at your computer. All great ways to show who you are.

So now it gets confusing again. YES portraits can be used as a headshot, BUT you

 

  • Must crop it tightly to your face.

 

  • Must be looking at the camera.

 

  • Distractions must be kept to a minimum.

 

 

Make sense?

If you have any questions, I am happy to talk image content (and most other things…) so go ahead and give me a call at 215.208.5803 or send me an email HERE and we can chat more.

It's about shining from the inside...

 

Want more great tips? Subscribe to this blog, Studio 122 using the button on the right. Be the 1st to know about special events and offers!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

 

 xoxo


brenPhotography is honored by your referral of family and friends. 

Thank you.


 
Monday, June 18, 2018
By Brenda Jankowski -Newtown PA photographer
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OMG - What have I done? I don’t belong IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA ! 

Why did I book my own photo shoot?  In Paris?

 

Have you ever dreamed feeling like a model, feeling great about a photograph of yourself but let that voice in your head talk you out of it?

 

This is my journey experiencing the same emotions and thoughts you have when thinking about having your picture taken - the insecurities, the objections. All the reasons NOT to do it.

 

Today:  The Reveal (I get to see the photos) (eeek!)

 

Part 1: Explored if I am worth it. Just me, not the girls. Not to mention the $$$.  Find the full post HERE

Part 2: Wait! WEIGHT! Who doesn't consider this when they are about to be photographed?  Find the full post HERE.

Part 3: Wait! I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR! Even though I have a closet full of things, do I really want to wear any of these? Find the full post HERE.

Part 4: The Photo Shoot: What it’s like to feel like a model for a day. Who thought it was a good idea to be photographed at dawn?! But it was at the Eiffel Tower… Find the full post HERE

It’s reveal day. Time for me to actually see the photographs that we created. Time for me to choose my favorites.

 

For me, this is more nerve wracking than the photo session. At least during the photo shoot I can imagine how great I look. Now I face the truth.

 

What if I don’t like what I see? What about all the mental work I have done on self acceptance, self love, self forgiveness. Will this create a downward spiral?

 

I can’t even pick out eyeglasses for myself because that is too much mirror time.

So- I had a crutch. Older daughter to the emotional rescue. We planned the reveal around 3 schedules, no wonder it took so long to happen….

 

Since Ashleigh is in California, we had to do the reveal via zoom, not in person. As a photographer, I love being in the same room as my client for the reveal because (selfishly) it is like Christmas morning for me. I get to watch my client unwrap herself and I get to feel the energy when she re-discovers herself and her beauty.

 

Fingers crossed….

 

Ashleigh opens with a video of the day starting with me getting my makeup done. OK, give yourself grace, it is before dawn and you are without makeup, it’s about the transformation….

 

Then, as we move on to the photos from the rest of the locations I am starting to relax. Happy with the photos on the Trocadero in front of the Eiffel Tower – in the dancing stills and video I look like I am having fun. Because I had no mirror the whole time (I was making outfit changes in the car) I didn’t really know how I looked, I was depending on Ashleigh (photographer), Cheryl (hair & makeup) and my daughter. As we progressed I was thrilled with the 30 or so photos that I saw of me. Even some of the closer up ones.

 

But this was a 2 minute video, what will I see when we start going over them one by one. You know, the time when we go right to the parts we don’t like and then nit-pick ourselves to death.

 

 

Surprise! I ended up with 20 photos that I love and will be proud to use both personally and for branding. They are a little skewed toward the epic Eiffel Tower photos, and I love the composition and the different looks, but I did get a balance between all the locations and outfits (even the dress that I wasn’t sure I was going to like). And I was surprised at how many of the closer up ones I liked.

 

Discoveries:

 

1. When I saw photos of myself side by side, I learned why I usually dislike photos of myself. I could compare all my angles and I figured out what, to me, is my best side. We are not models by profession, and once I got past age 12, I stopped spending a lot of time examining myself in the mirror, so how could I possibly know the best way for me to look in snapshots?

 

2. Trust the team. I had to trust everyone around me to make sure that I was looking good, especially because there was no mirror. I didn’t have the resources to edit myself, or double check what they were doing or telling me. And after all, I hired Ashleigh because I liked her portfolio.

 

3. Put a lot of thought into what to wear. Not only because I had to pack outfits for a foreign destination, but because if my outfits didn’t fit well, or flatter me- well Ashleigh can only do so much with posing & lighting. Bulky, ill- fitting clothes won’t do me any favors. As I was waiting for the reveal, in retrospect, I was wishing I had brought a jacket for the jumpsuit, a scarf for the dress (what was I thinking getting so many photos with bare arms?)

 

4. Be open to a new view of myself. So much of this was me pushing my comfort zone, it was interesting to see how others saw me. And there are a few things in these photos that are driving me a little nutty, but I am going to leave them and try to embrace and respect a new view of myself (externally as well as internally).


NEXT: The prints. Funny, now I am excited to receive my 20 printed photos (about 4 weeks) in a folio box with a canvas cover with the epic Eiffel Tower photo on the front.

 

And I’m planning where I am going to be scattering them around the house and studio. One is definitely going outside my closet.

 

Next up- the unveiling!

 

PHOTO CREDIT- My daughter who thought to capture screen shots of the reveal. She has captured moments of this whole adventure. (Thank heavens for the millennials who always think to capture EVERYTHING!)


It's about shining from the inside...

 

Want more great tips? Subscribe to this blog, Studio 122 using the button on the right. Be the 1st to know about special events and offers!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

 

 xoxo

brenPhotography is honored by your referral of family and friends. 

Thank you.

 
Monday, June 11, 2018
By Newtown PA photographer, Brenda Jankowski of brenPhotography
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Creating Authentic Selfie Portraits for Your Social Feeds

I bet you’ve been told that you need a professional photographer to make photos that will resonate with your followers?

 

Q: Do you really need a professional photographer to make photos that will resonate with your followers?

 

 Normally, I say you do, but….

 

 A: Sometimes all you need is your phone and a strategy.  Not every photo that you post needs to be created by a professional who has tons of equipment worth an untold sum of money.

 

 

It's always a great idea to post photos of your day to day activities especially 1 to 1 meetings to give prospective clients a feeling of what it is like to work directly with you.

 

Well, you could always just grab your phone and hold the camera out with your arm, or use one of those terribly intrusive selfie sticks (sorry if you love yours), but then it’s just another selfie. How can you capture yourself in action in order to paint a picture for a potential client that would allow them to picture themselves working with you?  Especially if you need to have your hands in the image, and therefore not available to work the camera…

 

If you have no one around who can take a photo for you, it’s a great time to use the 10 second timer on your phone.

 

Here’s how:

 

First pick a spot in the room where there is good lighting – facing the light coming through a window is best, avoid the flash if you can. Then set up your shot.

 

Next, set up your camera making sure you fit everything into the shot that you need - don’t forget to leave room for yourself! Lay the phone the long way (landscape) on the ground, on a desktop, on some books in front camera mode (so you can see what you are shooting) and lean it against something (a book, water bottle, you don’t need a fancy tripod) so that it is fully upright and parallel to you. 

 

            Open the camera app on your phone

            Tap on the camera icon

            Tap on the clock icon in the camera 

            Choose between the 3-second or 10-second timer

 

Tap the shutter release and wait for the countdown to finish (your iPhone camera's flash will blink as the timer counts down) before the photo is taken. This should allow you time to get yourself in the picture or stabilize your phone to avoid shaky images.

There you go! Not only does this give a potential client a glimpse od what a session with you looks like, but it also give you a solid piece of image content that can complement a story that shows your knowledge and expertise.

 

So how about it? How can you create some interesting selfie portraits for your business?

 

Post your “timed selfies” in the comments here or on my page- let’s see what you can do!

It's about shining from the inside...

 

Want more great tips? Subscribe to this blog, Studio 122 using the button on the right. Be the 1st to know about special events and offers!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

 

 xoxo


brenPhotography is honored by your referral of family and friends. 

Thank you.