Archives for ‘Photography’

NYIP Tutorial on Spot Metering

July 16, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Photography

My photography tutorial on spot metering is up at NYIP. Click here to read it, or on the photo below.

Spot meter for better portraits

All of my photography tutorials can be found on my Photography page.

Womanhood Beyond Motherhood

July 14, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Photography

Six months ago I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. T1 was in the throes of his thrust to childhood independence, T2 was moving out of her “multiple-naps-a-day immobile lump of baby goodness” stage, and TH was staffed on a new case that had him working every single day. I was trying to do all the things, per my usual modus operandi, and I needed more help as I swam through the long days of solo parenting. I went to therapy, got rid of obligations I was holding myself to that didn’t matter as much as I thought they did, and found a family to watch T2 for three days a week so I could work without one ear to the nursery room door waiting for the baby to start crying.

There are many reasons why this period of time was so difficult for me. One of them was that I was feeling entirely consumed by the act of mothering. It not only took up the majority of my mental energy and time spent at home, but when I went out with other adults we seemed to spend all of our time talking about my kids or theirs. Even if the kids weren’t around! It’s wonderful to brag, necessary to collaborate, crucial to have an outlet, but I couldn’t stop thinking “We are so much more than our kids.” I’ve often heard of people talking about older women who have Empty Nest Syndrome, but I can’t think of a time that label has ever been applied exclusively to a man (maybe to the parents as a unit, but never the man on his own.)

Womanhood Beyond Motherhood - mothers representing what fulfills them.

I wanted to explore this idea more, and so I decided to launch a portrait project called Womanhood Beyond Motherhood. I photograph mothers in the setting of their choice, aiming to capture who they are at this stage in their lives. Afterward I send them a list of questions asking things like why the location of their photo is meaningful to them, what fulfills them, and few other prompts to better get at who they are. The site has 17 portraits so far, including a selfie that I took in my office where I am sitting and typing this post.

My favorite image so far is of my grandmother, my mother’s mother. She’s 74 years old and hauled herself up on that fence like someone 40 years her junior. Last week we were in Washington for a family reunion and I watched my grandmother make breakfast for 40 people, clean it all up, and then head out back to use a chain to pull a calf out of a laboring cow. Magnificent! I am in awe of her strength and determination. Read more →

Old film and old cameras

June 10, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Photography

Last time I was home I asked my dad’s mom if she had any old film cameras that she wanted to give away. I’ve been emailing everyone I know to request that they give/sell me any film gear that is sitting in their garage because that’s one of the cheapest ways to get film equipment. If any of my readers have relatives who were seriously into film at one point I might be interested in what they have in storage! I have been buying lots of expired film on ebay for person use – if you have film sitting in your fridge (unlikely, haha, but a girl can dream!) or in a cupboard somewhere you can sell it to photographers like me who want to have something to play with.

My grandma gave away her old Polaroid years ago (I shed a tiny tear over this), but she had a point and shoot Minolta in her cupboard with an old roll of film in it only half-used. Score! The camera itself isn’t really what I’m looking for, but I was excited to use up the rest of the film and then send it off to discover what I might find on it. I laughed when I saw this picture of my cousin with a mohawk at a family reunion!

The film is old, and so some of the frames have light leaks or other interesting imperfections. I like how this one frames my cousin. Very artistic of you Grandma!

The rest of the roll was used up on random things throughout the house. I wasn’t even sure if anything would come of it, so I didn’t shoot anything that I felt really invested in.

Got an old camera with film in it? Use up the rest of the roll and then take it somewhere like Walgreens to get it developed. It feels like I did when I was a kid and we opened up a time capsule. If you do develop at Walgreens, make sure you understand what you are paying for. I took a roll in and ended up paying $13 for the developing, CD, and prints of all of the images. Next time I will bring the cost down by nixing the prints and asking to have the images uploaded online instead of burned to a disc (this should bring the cost down closer to $7.

Portfolio Session Film Shots

May 28, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Photography

The first film from my portfolio session push came back and I’m very excited about where this is headed! I bought a new camera, Cano EOS3, that I can use with the professional lenses I already own, and I’m looking forward to sending that film off and seeing how that looks. I did three combination digital/film sessions over the weekend, the first documenting a bike ride and picnic-in-the-park tradition of a family of three, the second was time spent playing in a treehouse by the river with a family of four, the third was a family of four kids with mo and her partner all wandering around the Little Yosemite area of Sunol Regional Wilderness. I think I forgot how much shooting makes me feel alive!

The images below are from a short session with my friend Nancy and her daughter, in their backyard. While they played and I photographed our husbands ate dinner and kept track of our kids. She likes to craft with her daughter and so I suggested that we work with a giant bowl of pom poms (her daughter likes to glue rainbows on paper using pom poms). I wanted something in their backyard (where they spend a lot of time together; Nancy is a SAHM) with lots of laughter and giggling. The photo in the middle is my favorite from the session!

Taken with the Canon AE-1, Porta 400.

Mommy and Me photography session with Jenna Cole Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area Mommy and Me photography session with Jenna Cole Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area Mommy and Me photography session with Jenna Cole Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area

This is one of the digital shots. Can you see a difference?

Mommy and Me photography session with Jenna Cole Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area

 

I’ll share more of the results of my portfolio sessions as I get the images finalized. My plan is to keep working through the applications until business picks up and I have a client base willing to pay me for my work (this WILL happen someday, right?). I’m taking a month off from mid-June to mid-July for travel plans and then I’ll be back at it in August. Hopefully with some beach sessions!

Call for Portfolio Subjects

May 15, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Photography

Jenna Cole Photography families

After my workshop with Yan I have a fishbowl’s worth of ideas swimming around in my head regarding what I can do to take the Jenna Cole ship and point it in the direction that matches my vision and desires. I’ve hired Three Fifteen Design to give my site design a revamp, and as I examine my past images looking for work to put in my portoflio I realized that I have so many pictures I love of my kids, but not many that really showcase what I can create for clients at this point in time. Little wonder, since I’ve done very little professional work since we moved to California.

jennacolephoto002

To help close that gap I’m putting out a call for subjects interested in working with a photographer with the tagline “Documenting Who You Are. Not Just What You Look Like.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area (or the Katowice area of Poland, since I’ll be there in a month) and would like to participate there are a few guidelines:

  1. I’ll have a heavy hand in selecting the location, time of day, and what you wear.
  2. No guarantee of an image with everyone smiling into the camera. We might not even attempt this at all during your session.
  3. Must write up an (honest) review of your experience. This will be shared with me and may be used on my new website. I will also have you post your review on Yelp.

Individuals, couples, and families are welcome. I’m interested in thinking outside the box, so really show me what you’ve got with your pitch.

Visit this form and tell me about the magic we’re going to make together.

jennacolephoto004

Feeling stuck when it comes to dreaming up a session? Last year I was going to do a free session for a family that was going to meet me at Half Moon Bay. We were going to get chowder bowls to go and sit outside and eat them together. Then we were going to head out to the beach. The family was going to fly kites and build sand castles while I fluttered about my with camera. We were never able to sync up our schedules and make it work but I think about that session a lot and how much I would have liked to document that memory for that family. I have some friends with fantastic style who live up in San Francisco and are going to have a baby. I would love to go into their home and document their relationship as expectant parents, and one or two small ways that they are making changes to their living space to accommodate the little one they are about to welcome into their life. I have friends who like to cook together and are learning to play guitar. I want to rent out a kitchen I know of in San Jose with a huge range next to even bigger windows. I’d love to document them preparing something simple together and crooning a few songs afterward.

Jenna Cole Photography

Now, what about you? Tell me how you would like to be photographed. If you’re in the area maybe we can meet up and make it happen. If you’re not, I would still love to hear how you would like to be documented. It might give others some ideas if they are feeling stuck!

The form for those in the San Francisco Bay Area.

*I’ll be in contact with those who are a good fit for this project, but will not plan to follow-up with each submission in order to deliver rejections.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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