Shooting Again for Jenna Cole

I mentioned somewhere that I was interested in shooting weddings again, and almost immediately I received an email from a bride who said that she hadn’t contacted me previously because she didn’t think I was going to do weddings anymore. Sounds like it’s time for me to clear that up with everyone and see if I can book some clients in the Bay Area!

Having children has pushed my photography skills in new directions because toddlers don’t pose, and they don’t always do things in the best light. I admire many photographers who focus on  sessions where clients are carefully posed in crafted settings, but that is not the direction I want to go with my work. I want to capture my clients in the places that mean the most to them, showcasing their everyday lives. We all put so much effort and resources into our homes, and I want to present photographs that document the spaces my clients have worked so hard to create. These lifestyle sessions can also take place on the streets where you walk your dog every night, at a favorite beach you visit on the weekends, or a state park that you love to camp out at. My dream session for my own family would start in our home and end at the beach because those are the things I want to remember most about our time in California.

I found a family in Washington State interested in letting me document an evening in their home with their five children. The resulting images are a blend of pure documentary and slight direction by me (I’ll ask them to stand in a certain spot and face a certain way, but don’t tell them how to pose or what expression to make) and I’m really happy with the full set I’m going to be giving them that so beautifully captures a small snippet of their life.




I would also love to take on a few weddings each year! I have always loved weddings (I was one of those girls with a planning binder full of magazine clippings that I started in high school) and the event itself is a perfect blend of posing and photojournalism. I work really hard to make sure all of my clients have realistic expectations for what I can provide and are happy with the experience working with me when it’s all said and done. It’s an honor to be asked to document such an important day. My last wedding was in Chicago in April of 2012 and I’m itching to do another.



Not only do I want to keep doing engagement sessions, but I’d love to see more Duet sessions as well. You don’t have to be getting married or have children to get your picture taken :). I want these sessions to be lifestyle based, focusing on capturing the personality and preferences of the couple, along with the way they feel about each other. The couple below lived in New York City for two years while he earned an MBA at Columbia. They lived a few block from Central Park (I stayed with them and was able to go for an early morning run through the park which I loved!) and like to get dressed up and go out on the town, so we worked together to design a session that would represent their time there.


One last session type that I am particularly interested in high school seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I could go back and capture my own senior pictures in the Jenna Cole style I would do a few pictures on my childhood bed (is there anything more iconic than a childhood bed?), some with my best friend of 18 years, and a few of me driving a tractor in the cherry orchards (it represents my background and the way I earned money in high school). These sessions will involve more posing than almost any other because you’re looking for some images that really showcase your face, shape, and smile at this time in your life. But I want to put together sessions that makes teenagers feel like rock stars and gives them something they will look back on throughout their life and say “This is exactly what I was like at this age.


I’ve slowly started revamping my gallery site so you can really see what I can do. Getting married? I want to hear from you! Want me to document your home or interests, whether you’re single, in a relationship, or parents? Send an email to jenna {at} jennacole. I’m particularly interested in doing three promotional high school senior sessions for San Francisco Bay Area teenagers (particularly those in the Fremont/San Jose/Palo Alto area) that can help spread the word about me to their friends. If you can refer a senior to me who books one of my packages I’ll do a family session for you (the referrer) for free.

If you’re reading this and you don’t live in the Bay Area but know someone who does who might be interested in working with me, please send them this post or a link to Word of mouth is the best possible way to build up a photography business and I really appreciate your help. If you’d like to follow my photography work, you can easily do so here.

14 thoughts on “Shooting Again for Jenna Cole

  1. I think you have a real talent for photography. If you are ever in the Houston area…

    Jenna Reply:

    Celeste I will actually be there in October! If you’re available between the 20th-23rd (ish) maybe we can make something work.

    Celeste Reply:

    I will email you and see if we can work something out! That would be a few days before my son’s 3rd birthday and we always try to get some shots taken of him.

  2. That family session up top is noteworthy, something I’d stop and remark on, were I browsing the Internet. You get better and better.

    Have you tried contacting some of the private high schools? My kids went to Sacred Heart, in Atherton, for example. Their senior portraits were pretty dreadful – it would have been great to know about alternatives, and be able to see online galleries.

    At the very least SEO yourself like crazy for Sacred Heart or Menlo School or Woodside Priory senior portraits…

    Jenna Reply:

    Thanks so much Lisa! I appreciate the compliments and suggestions. If you and yours kids ever get together I’d love to talk about a family style session documenting something you guys do together.

    Any chance you know anyone in that area with a high school senior? I’m really interested in photographing someone to get things started, but finding people is so hard! It’s often about what the parents are familiar with because it’s their money being spent. I’ll look into what the high schools offer to photographers though. Maybe they have some sort of newspaper that I can advertise in?

  3. Jenna, it’s not often that I’d willingly be in high school again — but this post makes me wish I could be for the prospect of Senior portraits or — ooh! — documentary style on my PROM day. So many of those were so stiff and awkward. How very special to have a Jenna Cole series of yourself for those milestones.

    These are gorgeous!

    Jenna Reply:

    Oh man, documenting prom would be AWESOME! Be with the girl as she’s getting ready, take the “he shows up at the house” photos, follow them to the prom and photograph their entry. I go home and rest while they dance away. Then I meet up with them again for the after party!

    Who wouldn’t want that???

  4. Jenna, have you ever considered freelancing at a newspaper or magazine? Your work is brilliant and your combination of posed/organic shots would be perfect for the news world where you do a lot of both — think breaking news/event/sports AND feature stories. It’d be great practice for you and I know as an editor of a small magazine myself I am ALWAYS looking for strong freelance photogs. A win-win, in my opinion.

    Jenna Reply:

    This is an awesome idea! Especially if there were events where they just cared about the pictures, and I could go with my kids/family, take some photos, and sell them to the magazine afterward 🙂

  5. if you’re ever in Los Angeles… we’d be interested in a family session. 🙂

    Jenna Reply:


  6. Jenna, your photos are simply amazing!! What part of Washington is your family in? I am about 45 min north of Seattle; maybe one of these times you are up here we can get together for a session! I’d love to get some family pics taken when we have our first child {currently ttc}!

    Jenna Reply:

    Good luck with your TTC! My parents love about 45 minutes east of Ellensburg. But my sister lives in Seattle right now so I’d love an excuse to visit. Maybe next year? I’ll send you an email if it looks like we would be able to make something happen!

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