04 Jun

T1′s 4th Birthday Cake

Posted by Jenna, Under Food

If you’re looking for a cake to make, the Diner Dream Cake I made for T1′s 4th birthday is one of the best I’ve ever had. Pinterest Fail has taught me that following the instructions exactly is crucial, and so I not only did everything Sweetapolita said, but also made cake flour using Joy the Baker’s instructions┬ásince the grocery store closest to me didn’t have any.

I was going to make myself a cake too, but my birthday is so close to T1′s (3 days apart) that I was overloaded with sugar and didn’t want any more dessert. Maybe I’ll start a new tradition, baking myself a cake for my half birthday each year. This Chocolate Espresso Cake will probably be my 2014 pick.

29 May

One Quick Take

Posted by Jenna, Under Uncategorized

The film version of an Instagram photo that I posted a few weeks ago. I love the “ankle watch” fashion statement T1 is making, even when wearing nothing but a towel after their bath.




28 May

Portfolio Session Film Shots

Posted by Jenna, Under 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!

19 May


Posted by Jenna, Under Uncategorized

I’m slowly making my way through the Portfolio Building session applications. So many wonderful ideas, and I admit that I find myself daydreaming about working with every single person who took the time to write in (17 so far!). I’m going to try to fit some in before mid-June, then I’ll be taking about 6 weeks off for travel and family, picking things back up in August/September.

These sessions will not only help me build up my portfolio with images that show my current abilities, but give me an opportunity to practice shooting film. This image is one of my first on 35mm that I really adore. This dad crooned to his wife on their wedding day, and they’ve continued the guitar-playing with their daughter as well.

san francisco guitar lifestyle


Curious about the difference between digital and film? Most of this session was digital, and this is one of my favorite shots from my dSLR. The digital shots are exposed a bit better, and the colors are edited a bit brighter, but I still prefer the film images because of the depth it has. There is a reason why photographers love film so much!


15 May

Call for Portfolio Subjects

Posted by Jenna, Under 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.


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.


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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