Hey, all! So... this week was going to be a blog showcasing a strong female business owner in our local community who lost her son (who was Jenny's age- born in 1986). Most of her family is still in India, so we were hoping that people in our local community can visit her small convenience store and make connections with her so that she doesn't feel as alone.
We still plan on showcasing and photographing this amazingly strong woman, but we were in Chicago this weekend for work and are in the midst of catching up on over 20 huge work tasks that we needed to do for our business and our clients. We haven't had a chance this week to go back and interview this woman more and capture images of her, but we plan on doing so prior to next Weekly Wednesday since this is our first weekend not working (over an hour) out of town in the past 5 or 6 weeks. We had a very intense conversation with her less than a week ago and were crying with her as we left, so it's important for us to tell her story and keep the memory of her son alive.
In the meantime since our story is postponed, we'll just take this chance to catch up with you all. We've been running around working in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana, scheduling with and sending Print Packages out to clients, and trying to juggle friendships and family. Since moving back to the Midwest last year, we've been lucky if we've been able to see each of our friends once or twice within the past 10 months. A large part of this weekend was spent meeting with couple all day last Saturday. We spent the full day exploring around the city, meeting couples, going over wedding packages, stumbling upon an awesome art festival, and finally enjoying some great food. (Forgive us for these cell phone snapshots).
We're just happy to live together and work every single day on our business that we've worked to build up for over 6.5 years. We're looking forward to moving into a new place and getting a better studio soon as well as conference room to organize all of our photo products in for our consultations. We already have all of the props, gear, products, and furniture ready, so at this point it's mainly a matter of finding the ideal place for us. We love the Victorian style of housing and shy away from modern, Ikea-feeling places. We enjoy things with character and history over new, modern things. This can also be seen in our choices of furniture and other home furnishings. It's extremely rare that we ever buy anything for our home that is new and modern. Almost all of our art and furniture are beautiful old antiques.
Speaking of antiques, Jason just recently finished restoring some antique family photos for a client of his. Even if we aren't the ones that took a photo we believe in the historic importance of photos. In this case we had a chance to bring these images back to their former glory, while helping a family remember just a few of their ancestors.
Though we haven't yet found our ideal place, we've continued to make updates to our business. We've been working on perfecting our branding lately. We already went through the business cards that we designed and ordered back in December, so we just completely re-designed our new business cards. On those included our revamped logo. Jenny had created a heart made out of 2 J's back in 2013, she paid her friend to make a graphic design of it in '13, we remade our own last year, and now we've gotten to the point where we wanted it hand drawn again like Jenny had originally sketched it... but by a professional instead of us. We paid Jason's friend/ old co-worker to hand draw our logo and only had 1 set of updates made to it before we had it finalized. We absolutely love the new personalized feel it has and love supporting fellow artists by paying others to do things that we're not professionals at!
Recently we've also been required to use a photo of us for different things such as The Knot ( bit.ly/1LpoKgg ), our payment system, at Expos wanting to market for us, our website, etc. We just realized that although we have many self-portraits that we've taken together, none of them were appropriate smiling photos. Most of them are funny art pieces that we created and photographed together. Since we had seen some beautiful flowers while driving to a Daycation at a cabin/ Amusement park, we decided that we should take our portrait within that field of flowers... in the middle of a 4-lane highway. A full week & a half went by before we were able to make it back to photograph at the location and it turns out that the area is also covered in a huge briar patch! Fun! After scouting the exact spot while Jenny drove the required 60 Miles Per Hour on the highway past it, we turned back around and parked precariously (read: possibly illegally) under an overpass and trudged for a good while through hip-high field grasses until we got to flowers. Luckily Jenny always comes prepared, so we had a couple stadium cushions to fit part of our bodies upon as the thorns jammed into our legs and backs.
Posing for your own self-portrait with your camera on a tripod is always interesting. It's difficult because generally we both photograph people intuitively and run around to capture a couple's best angle in the most flattering light while also taking into account the plethora of technical issues like camera settings, composition of the image, and best lens/ gear to utilize for the situation. In instances like this we generally move the camera around to different places surrounding us while also making the camera higher and lower depending on what is most flattering angle for our faces. We also have to find our perfect spot within the scene. After all is said and done we then have to go through and agree on what images we like of ourselves. Jenny did the first run-through of the images and chose 13 that were good of both of us. We then got it down to just 2 or 3 images and chose the one with a more flattering angle and prettier light. Jason then went through and edited the image a little further by enhancing us and our natural surroundings. We then messed with our logo a bit changing color and placement of the words so that they'd blend well with our photo. Jenny gets a little obsessive compulsive with the placement, size, and color of words on anything we design, so that's always fun. All-in-all we really love the portrait even if it does look vaguely like an old propaganda poster.
Much respect is due to anyone that specializes in awesome self portraits. There is a whole lot of trial and error that goes into getting a great shot of yourself. Here are just a few of our best failures:
We're very excited for the work that we have coming up with our couples and the other client projects, but we're also extremely excited for the annual 4th of July family festivities! Normally the holiday is celebrated for a couple days, but this year we have both of our siblings and their significant others coming in from the West to visit us as well as one of Jenny's 2 friends- a couple from Columbus, Ohio. Her friend Kristen has actually come from 5 hours away to celebrate the holiday for 5 of the past 6 years and we're all so excited to enjoy fireworks, BBQs, bonfires, beach time, the fair, and fun together! All of our favorites in 1 spot! Included will also be around 30 family members from Jenny's mom's side of the family (first cousins, their kids, parents, & aunts/ uncles), so it will be very chaotic and we have set aside a week for that vacation.
Thanks for following us on our never ending journey, and make sure to check back next week for our story on the local mother and business owner.
Jenny and Jason