Jennifer Blankenship Photography: Blog https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog en-us (C) Jennifer Blankenship Photography (Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Fri, 21 Jul 2023 22:09:00 GMT Fri, 21 Jul 2023 22:09:00 GMT https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/img/s/v-12/u37549844-o508238542-50.jpg Jennifer Blankenship Photography: Blog https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog 93 120 A Much Kneaded Massage https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/6/a-much-kneaded-massage

When I first met Katie (owner of A Much Kneaded Massage) we were meeting to connect about both being local business owners. We were chatting to discuss tips and networking ideas. We hit it off from the very first second. She's amazing! I was asking her about my low back problems and asked what services her office offered to help. She immediately said "lay on the table let's see what we're working with" Thats when I knew we'd be great friends. 

I have been to their office twice now and left feeling so great. I had a massage with Alex and she listened to me when I said all my muscles are tense and my lower back hates me most days. I hurt so good as I say, don't worry they won't hurt you but you know a good massage when you're like "WOW I really needed this". 

The table was heated, YES PLEASE, the calming music was exactly what my soul needed and there wasn't a sound in the group other than that. I'm sure if I wanted to chat Alex may have but she was totally professional. There were a couple times I asked questions, because well that is who I am, and she answered me with so much information. 

While I saw Alex for the massage I am in the books with Luis in a few weeks for a fantastic and much needed stretch. I am sure there is a more professional way of saying that but I'm not a professional when it comes to massage. 

If you are anything like me an don't take as much time for yourself as you should make an appointment today, you will not regret it and we all know you KNEAD to! See what I did there. This is the point of the post that my kids would be shaking their heads at me embarrassed at the person they call mom. So my job here is done! 

Here is the link! Be sure to tell them I sent you!!!! 

https://amkmtherapy.com/

Follow them on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/amkmtherapy

 

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/6/a-much-kneaded-massage Thu, 22 Jun 2023 19:04:28 GMT
What a fun wedding! https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-a-fun-wedding What a fun wedding!!!!!

I loved my wedding, it was beautiful. My husband and I got married at a winery and it was so perfect. 

That being said, this wedding was the most fun, most gorgeous and yet the most laid back wedding I have ever been to. If you had been there that day, you would have thought the same thing. The funny (well maybe not funny to the Bride) part was we were all not prepared for the crazy winter we had and all the snow Lake Tahoe received this year. I got to the site and saw FEET of snow. Like above my head snow piles! Not one time during any of it was anyone panicked that the area we had planned for the ceremony to take place had been covered in snow a day before. 

The bridal party stepped into action and cleared all the snow so there was a perfect little area for everyone to stand. YAY Everyone! 

Let's take a minute to talk about the gorgeous bride. The day I got the call from her to book her wedding with me, we just hit it off. I liked her laid back personality, her "we will wing it" vibes and the not pressure she had for the whole process. I mean if I could have 100 more brides like her I may only do weddings! Taylor you're amazing!

There was so much snow (as you can see to the left and right of her here) and it was melting from the house. I just love this shot of her coming out and the umbrella keeping her from getting dripped on. As you can tell she was totally cool with everything and I can't emphasize how amazing it was! 

Oh their little fur child! He was so excited to see his mom coming down the aisle! He was trying to run at her but I can only imagine how that would have turned out LOL But look at him, SO CUTE!!!

Who doesn't want someone playing the guitar when you walk down the aisle? I know I do! Making mental notes for when I make my husband renew our vows in a few years ! 

 

WOW, I mean WOW! I can see why the picked this site. Lake Tahoe is really one of the prettiest places I've been. I'm not sure if I can go back when the mountains are covered in snow though. I say that now but I'm sure when I got back and they're not I'll still find so much beauty out there. It really is amazing and everyone should go at least once! But what a picture perfect *no pun intended* location for a wedding! 

The wedding party! WOW SUCH A FUN GROUP OF PEOPLE

I am not joking when I say it was the best wedding ever. Everyone was so chill yet hilarious. I could go to a wedding like this every day and like I said before if every wedding was like this one I may only do weddings! 

Thank you so much for choosing me to be your photographer for this very special day and everyone, Keep Being Awesome! 

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Lake Tahoe Wedding Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer Lake Tahoe California Lincoln California Northern California Photographer Northern California Wedding Photographer photography session Rocklin California Sacramento California Photographer https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-a-fun-wedding Tue, 30 May 2023 16:25:28 GMT
Jennifer, Why Should we book with you? https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/jennifer-why-should-we-book-with-you Jennifer, I’ve seen your name or advertisement places and I wonder why I should book with you?!

This is a subject I’ve talked about in a few other blogs of mine but I’ll just put it all here in one. There are several reason I’d love to be your photographer! As a photographer not don’t do I capture those special moments in each session whether they be sweet or funny and everything in between, but I focus on emotions! I am the type of photographer that is more focused on emotions and moments than getting those posed pictures. While I do of course do iconic posed pictures because we all still love those, I just try and have fun during the session in turn make sure you and or your kids do too! 

So that’s it. Just Kidding! Another reason to book with me is because I am a create your own type of photographer. While my super efficient software sends out reminders for your session, I also send a long list of other things. For instance I send out a link with location ideas. You are not required to pick any of my locations, I am ALWAYS up to new fun locations ! Honestly some of my favorite locations are places my clients picked out! It’s a win win ! Locations are tough and I usually try and take the weight off you by trying to get a plan of what you’re looking for. For example, water, tall grass, a city look or all the above?! Ha well unless we drive in to San Francisco the last option is a bit of a challenge but believe me when I say I will work to make it happen! 

When booking with me I send a link for things to wear and things I suggest not wearing. This makes planning those outfits a little easier. I mean I still get super stressed picking out my families outfits each year LOL Pictures almost always a stressful enough but when you have to plan your own outfits without the help of anyone else it seems daunting. Let me take that off your shoulders by laying out clear plans for color schemes and patterns. I’ll even suggest you text me pictures of possible options and I’ll tell you which I feel will photograph best! I also say wear something you’re comfortable with, like don’t wear a long maxi dress if you mainly wear jeans and a hoodie and it doesn’t represent you at all! I had a session once that broke my heart because we planned their outfits and after the session she said I just feel like our outfits aren’t “Us”. Don’t let that be you, you should BE YOU for the session but maybe a little extra ;) 

Here is another part, I have a client closet. While it is limited to women and kids dresses at the moment I have several items that would coordinate with just about any other item of clothing for members of your family I don’t have sizes for. This works great for expecting moms, I can send a link to that list of dresses if you’d like. As for non expecting ladies, I have several gowns that are just fun! We all deserve to have a fun session where we wear a dress that is so awesome we want to cry! 

I may add to this blog at a later day, but these are just a few reason I’d love for you to consider me to be your go to photographer!

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) California State Capital Client Closet Folsom Lake Lincoln California Maternity Session Northern California Photographer photography session Rocklin California Roseville California Sacramento California Sacramento California Photographer what to wear for a session https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/jennifer-why-should-we-book-with-you Sat, 27 May 2023 03:10:54 GMT
What if we did membership plans?! https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-if-we-did-membership-plans Membership Plans?

Ok hear me out! 

Often people tell me "It's been 3-4 years since we last had our pictures taken, I wished we did it more often" What if I said I've been working on the plan to offer membership plans if you will. So you'd be booking and paying for those milestone sessions for the little kids in your life ahead of time. If you're expecting a new baby, you'd book that maternity session, newborn session then those milestone sessions ahead so you're not having to worry about the last time you did sessions. Families with multiple kids, each kid has a different birthday, well in most cases I have a lot of family members that share the same birthday (Hey sis, did you and I plan that?) so knowing Johnny needs pictures schedule for January, Stephanie needs pictures in March and Bobby needs pictures in August then of course family photos once a year! Who has time to plan that?! The answer is ME! Message me to work out some amazing bundle/membership/subscription however you'd like that worded DEALS! 

The way this is going to work is you pick how many sessions you want a year then we work out the discount and give the option for a monthly payment plan or bi monthly however you'd like to work it. How does it work if I cancel mid year? Well if you're already thinking that, this may not be the plan for you! This plan is meant to be kept for everyone's sake! This will keep you on track for making sure those pictures get scheduled! Let's say Stephanie gets sick right before her session and she needs to reschedule for a few weeks later, totally fine! We'll reschedule NOT cancel! Let's say you're like me and you're a military family. Guess what?! You're moving and you can't keep those 2 sessions you have scheduled for the rest of the year, but you've had two sessions already that years. We'll work out a deal to squeeze in one of those last sessions in at a discounted rate! 

Let’s get to talking about what you’re all here to find out… PRICING!

The way this is going to work out is the price will be based on the package you’d like and how many sessions a year you’d like. Let’s say you’re expecting a new baby and you’d like a maternity session, newborn session and a couple of milestone sessions after the baby arrives. The way this plan will work out is for sake of simplicity you pick my $550 package option and you want 4 sessions booked for the year so you don’t have to worry about planning last minute. Don’t worry dates are always flexible as things come up but getting in my books gets you in for my few make up days I have for sessions that are changed, delayed due to weather and so on.

Booking 4 sessions in advanced not only is easier but you’ll save some cash in the meantime. Below is a little bit of a chart breaking down it even more if you want a different amount of sessions booked for the year. If you book the $550 package once a year it’s $550. If you book 4 sessions with me each session breaks down to $475 each with a booking multiple sessions in advance discount. I am now offering payment plans too. So instead of booking four sessions and paying $475 for each session each time you can maybe monthly payments. Again for simplicity sake you can book four sessions and break it down monthly to around $158 a month. You may think why in the world would I want to pay $158 a month for pictures. Couple of reasons, ONE that $158 will most certainly remind you to check with your dates and make sure you’re still good on the dates. TWO it will really be on top of booking those yearly sessions you may almost always forget to do.  

$550 one package $550 

$525 two packages booked in advance= $1050

$500 three packages booked in advance= $1500

$475 four packages booked in advance= $1900

Well Jennifer, I’m not expecting why would I need 4 sessions a year? Well you may not. But do you have kids? If so how many? More than one? Well you’ll want milestone pictures or birthday pictures if they’re older than 1. Do you want at least one family session a year? Well there is at least 3 sessions there. 

Jennifer I have one kid and do not plan on having more. What package do you recommend ? Even with one kiddo in your life you’ll still more than likely want at least two sessions a year if you want to stay on top of birthday pictures and family photos. Let’s be real kids change so much over a year by the time you get to family photos the kids have already changed! I speak from personal experience because I blink and my kids have grown up before my eyes !

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) California State Capital Client Closet Folsom Lake Lincoln California Maternity Session Northern California Photographer photography session Rocklin California Roseville California Sacramento California Sacramento California Photographer https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-if-we-did-membership-plans Sat, 27 May 2023 02:39:37 GMT
What I'm working on (with Nicole) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-im-working-on-with-nicole What I'm working on with Nicole Eib

I should say by working on I mean I'm taking pictures why she does almost everything else! Of course the amazing contractors she's working with are doing a lot of work too. It's a fun project to be on. 

I have always loved home renovation shows. My husband and I have even redone/updated a couple of houses we've owned. This is different because I get to be part of the process but without being financially responsible for any of it! In fact I get paid to be part of it! LOL You can't beat that! Each time I've been to this house to see it from start to now in progress I get so excited because you can just see what great potential it has! Already with a couple of coats of paint it's made a drastic change. These are just the first steps to get the house looking incredible. 

Let's take a minute to talk about Nicole Eib. She's amazing, I've said that but really she is SO dedicated to everything she does. She's selling and listing houses during this and putting 110% into each thing. She is not being stretched to give 33% of herself to each project. I will even say I told her the other day that I can't believe how quickly she responds to my messages. Even though I dread calling or texting her only because I feel bad adding another task for her, she NEVER has not answered the call or text without enthusiasm and care. 

She is a realtor that knows the area and knows the business. She is incredible at what she does. Her business is built on relationships. Relationships with her clients, relationships with the contractors she works with daily and even relationships with people who may or may not be clients of hers. She is a people person first. We've talked about how she works and even after she's worked with someone with a house she still talks to them even YEARS afterwards because she becomes so close to everyone. 

Recently I was around when someone asked her if she has a "that client" story that sticks out to her, as in a moment she's dreaded working with someone or she's learned a lesson to not do again. Her response was so genuine when she said "Honestly, I have loved every person I have worked with and have never had a situation that I didn't love the client and they didn't love working with me" It was so amazing to hear, because she had an honest response to what could have been a dicey answer. 
When working with people on a daily basis we all have the opportunity to learn those moments of what not to do or what people to steer from, this hasn't been the case for her and that says a lot about her! 

 

Ok sorry let's get back to this house! I'll try and keep my posts to just a couple updates here and there to keep it simple. The big dramatic finish will be amazing! Here is a collage of the before, As I'm posting these I cannot believe how much it's already changed since I took these! 

I should be posting an update to this blog in the next few days. While I have take a round of in progress pictures it's 2nd or 3rd in line of edits. It's been a surprisingly busy couple of weeks with sessions so updates and blogs have been moving a little slower! 

 

UPDATED PICTURES ROUND ONE

Wow it's been a while since this first round of updates were done. I'm just so behind on editing and blogs lol 

I think the first round of pictures was taken almost 2 days after the before pictures, though the kitchen was already a big difference this was just about what was done in the first few days. It made such a difference ! Every day I just can't wait for the final results. I can't imagine how everyone else is feeling during this! Then again I'm sure they're all so used to renovations that it's an every day thing for them. I do know Nicole Eib is definitely as excited if not more excited to watch the progress every day! She has done such an incredible job that she makes me super happy to work with her on future projects! 

I just can't believe how fresh and bright this white kitchen is! It was outdated before but wow! This just makes the whole area seem so much bigger and brighter! Even though the new counters are already in (going to go photograph them today) this still is a huge improvement! 

 

UPDATE TWO

PAINT! Exterior paint was in progress, new floors were getting laid and more work on interior paint was being done as well. I think so far the laundry room is a big surprise of difference for me. I didn't add any before pictures of that at least I don't think so, but it seems like such a random room to be as dramatic of a change for me but it was! It makes the room feel so much bigger and of course way less outdated! Bathroom demos are coming along too! I can't wait to see what has been done when I get out there today! Stay tuned for update three in the next several days!  

UPDATE THREE

These pictures are just a small peek of the dramatic changes from this house. The front of the house was almost unrecognizable when I went by! I had to look for the house number though I've been there several times! What a difference it made to paint ! 

It has been another good minute since I've updated. All these "small changes" have made SUCH a big difference! I am looking forward to doing the final pictures soon but here are more updated images until the FINAL REVEAL!!!!

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) California State Capital Folsom Lake Lincoln California Northern California Photographer photography session Rocklin California Roseville California Sacramento Area Home Renovation Sacramento California Photographer Sacramento Realtor https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/what-im-working-on-with-nicole Sat, 27 May 2023 01:14:17 GMT
Referral Program https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/referral-program Referral Program, say what?

Hey Jennifer, What if you offered an amazing referral program?!

OK! I'll do that! So I've been thinking of setting up some amazing options for referrals programs in addition to the incredible payment plans I'll be launching. The way the referral plan is, you send someone my way I'll give you free digital images from your previous or upcoming session OR the option to stack up those referrals for a free session! How amazing is that?!

I mean I love free stuff, I love referring people so it would be a win win for me! Let's hope it's a win win for you too! First step. Share this blog! I have my form all ready to get you that credit for the referral! 

Ok Jennifer, that all sounds great but I want the details now. 

Sure enough. The way it's going to work is for every person you send my way that books a session you get a free digital image from your previous session or your upcoming session. If you send 10 referrals my way you get the choice of my middle package for free!

But Jennifer I bought the package and got all my images included so I don't need free digital images.

Well if thats the case, then I will give you a gift card to your favorite coffee shop or donut place! 

This works great for my out of state friends that send people my way too! If you can't take advantage of the free digital images or the free session I will totally send you a gift card as a thank you! 

My business most almost solely thrives on word of mouth and referrals! Being a military spouse and moving often makes my job, well hard. Rebuilding that client base is hard especially in smaller towns so referral systems like this encourage those of you to spread the word of my business!

So what do you think?! Want to help a girl out?! Don't forget to share either this blog, the post I made on Facebook that brought you here or even just my Facebook page! If someone comes to me I always have them fill out my form that will ask how they found out about me but always make sure they tell me you sent them if they don't ! 

Have a lovely day! Have you helped a small business today?  

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Northern California photographer Sacramento California https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/referral-program Tue, 09 May 2023 17:50:02 GMT
Why Copyright Contract? https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/why-copyright-contract Hey Jennifer, Why are you not giving me the copyright to my pictures?!

This is a very common question I get when people sign my contract. So I wanted to clear some things up for others who also have to sign a copyright on their contracts with other photographers. The thing is with the copyright the photographers can and may (depending on your agreement) give you digital copies of pictures to print as you wish (again this will also depend on what you agree with the photographer) BUT this does not mean YOU own the pictures. 

This is usually how I break it down to people working with me personally. I don't sell prints usually. People can order prints through my website as they please but I usually allot so many digital images with the package that they choose. With this comes the printing rights to print said pictures, this does not mean you own the copyright to OWN these pictures. So the difference here is while you can "own" prints that you've purchased and hang on your wall you don't own the rights to use those pictures and sell them as if you took them. So let's say I take pictures of some birds, and an advertising company comes in and asked me if they can buy the copyright for that image, I sell them that image and they can print and sell it as they please. If I take a picture of you and do not sell you the copyright, you can print and share as you wish but you are not allowed to go make 100 prints and sell them and claim ownership of them. 

I think the contract confuses people because they think why would I want to have services with you but then not be able to do anything with the pictures. I do give a print release with digital images, so if you go to a store and try and make prints and said company (as they should) will ask for the print release from the photographer. Sadly this isn't always the case so if you're saying this has never been asked of me, well thats sad, but thats just the way it works sometimes. 

Photographers run into people stealing their images a lot, if you ever were to join any photographer group you would see that photographers are always talking about how businesses photography related or not, steal images from websites and use the images as their own. That breaks the copyright in the contract. This is illegal and wrong! So if you see a photographer using another photographers work claiming it as their own they could get into some serious trouble. It's not only against the law but it's awful that a person will hire you thinking they're getting that quality of work but they don't. Don't be that photographer, don't hire that photographer. 

Not all photographer even allow for digital images because there is a lot of mishaps with that too. A copyright also doesn't allow a person to alter the image in any way. Which means you are not allowed to add a filter or edit the image and post it on your page. Not only does that not represent that photographers work but it's something you should discuss with your photographer on how you would like the images edited. There are a lot of photographers that edit certain ways, dark and moody, light and airy, portraits like glamour shot style (some of you may not know what I'm taking about and I'll just go feel old in the corner) so asking for light and airy from a photographer then editing it yourself dark and moody seems silly. Hire for your style type. Though if you hire a photographer and they advertise as dark and moody but edit light and airy bring it to them that their work didn't represent what they have done in the past. 

Don't get me started on screenshots and cropping. We've all been there. I'll screenshot my own work from time to time because its easier than downloading but my watermark is on there and it's known it's MY work but some people screenshot then edit out the watermark and that is stealing! I take these things very personal because you're stealing my work. If you pay for a meal but walk to the kitchen and take 2 pieces of cake on your way out, it's still stealing. 

Thank you for reading. Follow me on Facebook, if you're in Northern California and are in need of a photographer I can help you out! 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Client Closet Maternity Session Northern California Photographer photography session Sacramento California Photographer what to wear for a session https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/5/why-copyright-contract Mon, 08 May 2023 22:24:31 GMT
I have a client closet! https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/i-have-a-client-closet

Hey there! A lot of photographers have been moving over to the client closet option when booking a session with them. This has so many pros to it I don't know if I can count. If you know me, you know I'm going to try in this blog. Here goes....

1. Using a photographer's client closet is so great because you don't have to worry about picking outfits for people. There is a lot of planning when it comes to getting pictures taken. Whether it be a family session, wedding, maternity and so on. LOTS OF PLANNING. Having an option for someone else to pick out your clothes makes it SO MUCH EASIER. I for one text all my friends asking them about outfits for my family pictures so I can appreciate the help.

2. Color palettes are kind of hard to pick. Depending on the season, colors just photograph different. In the fall we all wear beautiful fall colors to go well with the background! Unless of course you live in Northern California, Arizona and a few of those desert like places and the only color in the fall is brown.... Those times we wear fall colors to be FALL haha 

3. Buying clothes isn't cheap. If you're like me and you buy nice clothes for your kids to wear for pictures they may not wear them again. I can't even stand that face my kids make when I tell them what they're wearing each year because I know it's a well I'm not wearing this again unless I'm forced to. If they have to dress up they're not wearing that $50 outfit I got them for pictures last year, thats for sure. #notcoolmom 

4. Step outside your box. Family pictures or any pictures really are a time to step outside your box for clothes. I don't wear a nice dress walking into the store or going to my sons baseball game. I am a photographer so it isn't like I need that skirt/shirt combo for the office so this may not be for everyone. People who don't have to dress up for work may not have that many trendy cute outfits to wear. Getting it from a client closet is perfect! 

5. This one is for my maternity clients. These dresses ARE EXPENSIVE!! lol Who REALLY wants to shell out $200 plus on a dress they're literally just going to wear for like an hour then try and resell in a group and get a fraction of the cost back. That's where I come in, get one from my client closet ;) 

6. Pick and choose. Let's say your husband wears one shirt type and he has a perfect one he's excited to wear for pictures...I say that because my husband says "pick out my clothes and I'll be there with my smile and then try and get this whole picture thing over with as fast as I can". His shirt is well bold, and you have no idea what to pair it with. I can show you my client closet and see what we can do to make it work. A lot of my items are neutral because it keeps it simple. Not everyone is bold. 

Ok that is really what I can think of at this time, but I'm sure there are more reasons having a client closet as an option is such a great idea for any photographer and a great opportunity for people who are getting pictures taken and really don't want to buy new clothes or just have no idea what to wear! 

Here is a link to my current client closets as I have them broken down to maternity and girls dresses though almost all of my maternity dresses can be worn by non expecting women. I also have several skirts and dresses in stock that I really need to get on my site, but I just keep forgetting! 

https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/maternitydresses
https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/p978768285

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Client Closet Maternity Session Northern California Photographer Sacramento California Photographer https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/i-have-a-client-closet Mon, 10 Apr 2023 22:18:54 GMT
Just a few pictures... https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/what-am-i-paying-for I Just Want A Few Pictures

I just want a few pictures is probably one of the most common things photographers hear. I get it. We all know we aren't going to print out 100 pictures from every session we get and we want to get to most out of our money by just getting what we want right? The thing is, and this may make you stop reading from here because this blog is not one of those blogs a lot of people want to read. Photography is a luxury, I said it. It's hard to hear because we all feel like it's one of those professions that we should pay the bare minimum for. "I just want a few images" means I don't want to pay your price, I want a discount because I just want a few pictures. 

"But Jennifer, all you do is just push a button" 

I'm sure if you're still reading this you're either a photographer or you're genuinely interested in what I have to say about this specific topic. I appreciate you. There is really a lot that goes into photography than just pushing a button, and I'll go into that after I make this side opinion.

Moving to a new place is always hard because the value placed on photography varies from place to place. Let's say I moved here from Washington D.C. (wink wink I did) and my business was BOOMING there. People booked and paid for sessions and I rarely heard "I just want a few pictures" and "I don't want to pay and arm and a leg" That one is another one that makes my skin crawl lol People knew the importance of pictures in that area because a lot of people wouldn't live there forever. It's an iconic place so pictures "appear" to be more valuable. This is where I think that's wrong. Pictures are valuable wherever you are. Genuinely! My focus in photography is to capture those moments you don't realize are as important as they are until they're gone. My kids have grown older and less into me taking their pictures. I value all the pictures I took of them when they were younger because one they were much nice then LOL and two, the memories I have of their toddler years are well less than ideal with meltdowns and demands. I can look at the pictures I took and remember there were sweet innocent kids in there I didn't see as much as I should have. 

Ok let's get back to the subject at hand. Photographer is a luxury. It's a service like a professional hair stylist or make up artist. Sure you can do those things yourself but are they REALLY going to be as good as paying a professional to do it. We all that that cousin that has a nice camera that could take pictures for us for free but are we going to LOVE them? Perhaps because they're of our kids and any picture even of them having cheerios stuck to their face are perfect. The real question is are you going to hang them on your wall or just put them on Facebook? Hiring a professional photographer is art, you hang their art of your beautiful family on your walls to display proudly. 

Well I know a photographer that is just starting out that will do them for $5 and give me 100,000 pictures. Totally hear that. We all start from somewhere but again at the end of the day, are you going to hang up those images in your house, or just post them to Facebook. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of newbie photographers out there that have gorgeous work and charge $5 for 100,000 images and I could write a whole blog for them about how their selling themselves short but thats for a different day. The point of this what seems like a very long blog stressing how important it is to value photographers because like I'm sure you've read before it isn't cheap being a photographer. My cameras, lenses alone probably would pay for my first car and then some. Then there is my website fees, credit card fees, permits, taxes, insurance, LLC and legal business fees and so much more that people don't realize we have to pay because if they're doing it right, they are a legit business with expensive business expenses. Then we have to discuss editing the images, they're not taken then uploaded directly to our websites and ready to go. A lot of HOURS go into editing images.  Now I'm fairly sure if you've made it to this point of the blog you're a photographer and you're sitting back saying "THANK YOU" but if the rare chance you're not a photographer and you got to this point you value the hard work that goes into making those perfect images! It's a passion and not a lot of photographers make a lot of money. I know a lot of photographers don't even make a living wage. They have to do it part time and work full time because well the industry is flooded with photographers and honestly flooded with the $5 photographers.

So, again if you've made it this far, next time you make a post looking for a photographer say "I value all photographers work and time but this is my budget, can anyone work with that" That comes off way nicer than "I need a photographer, I just really need a few pictures but I don't want to pay and arm and a leg". 

Have an amazing day!

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/what-am-i-paying-for Sat, 08 Apr 2023 20:57:36 GMT
I see you Small Business Owning Military Spouse! https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/i-see-you-small-business-owning-military-spouse I see you military spouse and small business owner! I see you struggle!

Being a military spouse comes with all sorts of challenges but when you add in factors like children and small business thats when it becomes a blur really. You're constantly moving to either amazing locations or places that you tell yourself every day we will move from here one day and we will take one day at a time until we do! I am a military spouse, mother and a small business owner that doesn't move well. Let's be real you can ask in any Facebook page if anyone knows a photographer (and well a realtor) and it's going to get overwhelmed with recommendations. This is a great thing for the person that is asking, but sadly unless all those comments are recommendations for you, it's a tough business to be in. Your work has to stand out, your prices have to be lower than your competitors if your work is comparable. If it's the opposite of that, business will be slow for you for a while. I speak from personal experience here. The other hard part about being a small business owner and a military spouse is not that you move to a new location and you have to figure all that out, but you're moving to a new place that you won't know a single person most of the time. This is hard for me because like most small business word of mouth is my main source of work. Once you get your name in there you're golden, but if you move and you have no word of mouth and you're up against a ton of other photographers you're lost in the mix.

I would love to say this blog is a solution to this and if you came here in hopes of a "Hey Jennifer, how can I succeed with a small business in this military life" answer, I'm sad to say I'll have some suggestions of what works and what doesn't work but I can't promise you'll leave with a sense of optimism you didn't already have.

Ok here it goes. My advice on running a small business in a new area. Again, please don't expect this to be eye opening in any way. This hopefully will be broad enough for all small businesses but I apologize as I'm a photographer so I may be biased. 

1. First step is know the rules of all the local Facebook groups. A lot of them (and for good reason) don't all marketing of any kind. Some allow it at certain times of the week or even month but others just discourage it all together.  If you can post your business on Mondays, set an alarm on your phone or a reminder every Monday to make sure you add it to the page you can. If people see your name regularly you'll be the first person they remember when they need that product or service. 

2. Connect with local people before getting there. Don't make it about business. No one likes that person that reaches out and blasts their business without getting to know a person. It's like that running joke of "How do you know you've met a (insert whatever profession here)? They'll tell you when you meet them"

It's true. There are several professionals whether it be a Photographer, Realtor, *cough* Air Force Pilot (sorry I had to), or someone who sells essential oils that will tell you immediately and it's like SLOOOOWWWWW down, I just met you. While being on the side of I somewhat get it because well you'll remember that every time you see them, which means you'll remember when you need someone that sells essential oils. That limits that personal relationship immediately though, unless they were looking, you're now just seen as that person that sells something and you're going to just always try to sell them something. Except for those pilots, they're not selling anything they're just proud of their incredible achievement as they should be. It's not easy being badass, I'm sure. 

3. Join a local marketing group. Now this one is new to me because well I've really never thought I've needed one until here. The one I joined locally has been amazing for me already and I've not been part of it long. The point of these marketing groups is to connect with other small business owners for not only ideas but to share each others businesses with the people in their lives too. So when Nicole Eib, local realtor reaches out to me and said "Hey Jennifer, you're amazing and I have this person that just bought a house and they need a GIGANTIC picture taken and hung on their new 20ft walls, can you help them!?" She thinks of me first because we connect once a week and we've become close. See there! You're going to go to the people in your life first before reaching out somewhere else because you trust their judgment better than Frank Random that recommended a super sketchy place to get new tires for your car on Facebook" Sorry if there is a Frank Random out there and you sell super sketchy tires on Facebook I had no intentions of targeting your business.  

4. Ok to be honest I typed 4 then sat here for a good 3 minutes thinking, what the heck do I type. Then it came to me! Do events! These are so fun, I've done direct sales in the past, and if I'm honest sell Tastefully Simple for fun and because I order so much of it for myself regularly why not right? Connecting with groups and businesses that do events are a great way to get your name out there. One great benefit other than meeting people you might not otherwise have is through connections from fellow vendors. Someone set up next to you may sell amazing cups and customized shirts (Shout out to Hanging by a Jerzy Thread) and she has people who ask her all the time if they know someone who sells customized birthday invitations because they're getting these awesome shirts to wear for their kids birthday party. She can say absolutely, here is a business card for Printably Perfect, she's a military spouse too and would love your support in her small business!

5. And certainly not least because honestly my recent initiative to jump start my business again was all form the help of my Business Coach John Pyron. It was a step I wasn't sure if I was ready to take but honestly I had a quick 15 minute phone call with him where we suggested we meet in person for a strategy session. After I left that strategy session with John, I left motivated to get things done. He gave me so many tips on what to do for MY business. He sat me down and worked out all the details of marketing, managing and ideas to move forward. Ideas I would have never thought of. He is a great person to reach out to if you're getting to this point in the blog and thought well I've done all the other stuff, what's next. Talk to John. I should add I get no personal gain aside from the fact that I see him once a week at our marketing meetings and he may give me a "Hey Jennifer, thanks friend!" and thats good enough for me.

 

I am not sure if I have more to add to this as it's loaded with ideas as it is but know if you're a military spouse and you're really struggling and already not looking forward to that next move because you have to start it all over again. Hang in there. We have to stick together, in all my other blogs I talk about supporting and sharing other small businesses every chance you get. 

Shout out to mentions above. Follow their instagrams or Facebook pages or check out their sites! They're amazing, I promise! 

Nicole Eib & Co. Brokered by eXp Realty in Sacramento, CA area

Jessica Jerzy- Hanging by a Jerzy Thread -https://www.facebook.com/Jerzthread

Printably Perfect - https://printablyperfect.com

John Pyron - Business Coach-https://johnpyron.com/


 

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/i-see-you-small-business-owning-military-spouse Tue, 04 Apr 2023 20:00:00 GMT
Where do we take pictures?! https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/where-do-we-take-pictures But where do we even taken pictures?!

"Jennifer, I have lived in the same town all my life but have no idea where to take pictures"

I get this question A LOT. Well really just about every session comes to me without a plan of where they want pictures taken. This is not something typically have planned and it's up to the photographer to figure that out, if the client wants of course! Sometimes I get people coming in saying I love this place are you willing to take pictures there, YES ! Well let me make sure we can. I start planning sessions by asking questions on what the overall look they're going for is. Are these pictures going to be giant and hanging on your wall in the entrance of your house? Do you want something BOLD or something laid back and mellow. I will send a list of locations with pictures included of locations I typically take pictures at to help people narrow down the look they're going for.

"Well Jennifer, I don't live near you or I didn't hire you to do my pictures"

Fair enough. If you love the outdoors you know you at least want something outdoors. Is it spring time? Are the flowers blooming? How about a session in a meadow or garden? Do you have a favorite spot in town to sit and enjoy family picnics? Or are you city people and would love a nice stroll around downtown with some neat murals in the background? 

This may be one of my shortest blogs because if you haven't booked with me and don't live in my area it really is just based on what is around you. Do you live near the ocean or a lake? How about a beautiful forest? I like to tell my clients to pick a spot in their house that they would hang a picture on the wall and see what feels right. If that doesn't make sense then you may not have a certain color scheme or decorative theme going on so your options are endless. If you have a very modern home with clean lines, you could have a pop of color at a cool art spot near you that just really draws your eye to the picture more. See what I'm saying? 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) California State Capital Client Closet Folsom Lake Maternity Session Northern California Photographer photography session Sacramento California Photographer what to wear for a session https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/4/where-do-we-take-pictures Sun, 02 Apr 2023 21:15:00 GMT
"Posing" https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/-posing I have no idea how to stand?!

"Jennifer, we have no idea how to stand for pictures?!"

100% of my sessions start with the parents telling me, you're going to have to tell us what to do because we have no idea. If I'm real, I EVEN DO THIS. Every photographer I've had take my pictures I say, "I take pictures for a living but I have no idea how to stand" I feel like Ricky Bobby "What do I do with my hands?". Seriously though, taking pictures is kind of awkward, unless you're a model but even then I'm sure it's weird. My job as a photographer is to get a vibe of the type of family that you are. Do you all like dancing? Ok everyone let's all do a little dance to shake things up! This will get everyone comfortable and less weird. If you're not comfortable for pictures, your pictures will look like you're not comfortable, makes sense right? Sure it does. I remember a session where I told the kiddos to be silly and make silly faces and the dad said "We don't do that, we aren't that type of family, kids don't make a silly face" Whoops, remove foot from mouth. Let's find a new way to give me genuine smiles that works for you all! 

Not everyone is as goofy as me and sometimes I have to remind myself of this. This is where my "posing" comes in. I'll tell mom, dad and kids to all gather together and give each other a warm hug, ok now everyone look at mom. Mom almost always says this is weird, then laughs. BAM! GOT IT! ok now look at dad! These are the moments that we take for granted. The moment of pure joy in the eyes of a kid looking at their parent. My goal as a photographer is to snap that second and freeze it forever. That way when you tuck your kids in at night and tell them you hope they have a better day tomorrow and they tell you, "I won't because you're annoying" you remember that pictures Jennifer took that reminded you that you are loved by your kids no matter how they show it. Disclaimer I am speaking from personal experience from a recent encounter with my pre-teen daughter who loves to remind me how embarrassing I am. Your welcome child, I'm not changing. 

 

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/-posing Thu, 30 Mar 2023 21:00:00 GMT
What if my kids are wild? https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/what-if-my-kids-are-wild What if my kids are wild and crazy during the session?!

Challenge Accepted! I chose the picture above because well it's my kid. I know if I put someone else's kid up there they may think I was saying they were wild. Truth kids 99% of the kids in sessions are WILD. They are running around like they have more energy than they need and the parents are STRESSED. So if you're reading this and thinking I can totally relate to that. 

"Jennifer, but really what IF THEY ARE WILD"

Ok, my point is kids are wild, it's my job to get those moments whether they're wild or not. If your child isn't wild but cries at the sight of a camera (it's a real thing) or if you have a child like mine that sees a camera and goes full Wednesday Addams, you just want to cry. I don't want pictures of my kid crying or looking like they are miserable. If you've read my other blog about lifestyle photography, this is where it pays off. I will literally run around looking like a total fool if that is what makes your kid happy. I tell jokes, they're terrible believe me, but if they laugh out of pure sadness for me, I'll take that smile. 

"Jennifer, this isn't really helpful because I still don't want pictures of my kids unhappy"

Totally get that. I mean who does right? I don't know how many sessions, well I do, ALL OF THEM, that the end of the session ends with the mom (because the dad is usually like I'm done with pictures and I'm OUT) saying, I really hope you got at least one good one. Girl, I got a lot of good ones, I promise you. I won't end a session if I don't KNOW that I got at least one key important shot of the family, each kid by themselves and all the kids together. I PROMISE. 

"Ok, let's pretend like you break your promise because my kid hasn't stopped crying since we got here and I know there wasn't a moment they smiled." 

Fair enough. That has happened. I have a guarantee that if I didn't get the shots you want, I'll do a reshoot in a different setting that you think that kid will be happier in, or at least a day they didn't get their yearly shots an hour before, kind of thing. 

"Jennifer, I'm just so scared to spend all that money and not get any good pictures"

If I haven't emphasized in my other blog enough on finding the right photographer for you, this should have set it out for you. Not everyone wants lifestyle pictures of them walking through a field all smiling like that a totally normal thing for them. Don't worry I had my family pictures taken last year in a field, that is not a jab any anyone, but really isn't if funny when you think about it? But if you have small kids, opt for a lifestyle photographer until they become grown adults and you don't have to bribe them with a new gaming system or fancy sports car. We've all been there, most of my parents at sessions use the "if you want ice cream after this, you better smile!" 

Hang in there parent you're doing a great job by the way. Below is a picture of my kids I took years ago. I'll just say my daughter does not love being right next to her brother but I got that RIGHT second where she doesn't look like she's in total pain. WIN ! 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/what-if-my-kids-are-wild Sun, 26 Mar 2023 20:45:00 GMT
What do we even wear? https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/what-do-we-even-wear What do we even wear to this thing?!

Have you booked a session with a photographer and now you're like I don't know what to wear?! Well let's hope this help you out a little bit. I hope this blog works because it's a little different because I have this set up to send out to my clients when they book so you get that experience here. 

"But Jennifer, if I didn't book with you, why are you being so nice?"

First off, that's me. Mrs. Nice. I love helping anyone and everyone in ways that I can. If it's relieving stress from your session on what to wear, that's fine with me. Here we go! Fingers crossed this all works and it isn't total waste of time for you. Perhaps it's my way to get you to cancel with your current photographer and book with me just to get access.... HA Just kidding it isn't. Support that local business ! 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope this has helped you in some small way. Outfits are something are bring a lot of stress to people, even me! Ask my friends! I text them all like crazy when I have my own family pictures done because I don't know what everyone should wear! What color scheme should we go with this year? Didn't we do similar to that last year?! The most important thing from this is do something true to you, I once had a session ask me what to wear, we picked out outfits together that would pop and be flattering, but then after the pictures she said "I just don't feel like the outfits are us..." It's tough because if you go into a session not knowing what to wear but then end up hating your outfits, you can't just photoshop them out. Stick to YOU. Not comfortable in a dress? Don't wear a dress! BE YOU! Be you for sessions and BE YOU in life! 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) Maternity Session Northern California Photographer photography session Sacramento California Photographer what to wear for a session https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/what-do-we-even-wear Thu, 23 Mar 2023 20:30:00 GMT
I am looking to book with a photographer https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/i-am-looking-to-book-with-a-photographer I am wanting to book with a photographer but I have no idea where to start?!

 

 

Is this you? Are you feeling like this and this is what brought you to me? Well whether you book your next photography session with me or not, this blog will hopefully help you make the right decision for you. 

Booking a photographer isn't easy, I get it! Even when I move and I have to find a new one, I go through so many websites looking for the "right one".

"Well Jennifer, I don't even know what the right one is... Hello that is why I asked....."

Ok ok, First let's talk about what YOUR ideal photographer is and how to find them. There are several types of photographers and photography types in general. Let's start with some basics. Do you want pictures of a special occasion like a wedding, a big birthday celebration or even a small birthday celebration. That would be an event photographer, this is where things get tricky for a lot of people because well I'm a lifestyle photographer (we'll get into that a little later) BUT I do events too. 

"Jennifer, this isn't helpful I think I'm more confused...."

Photographers often specialize in certain things but still love doing other things. This is very common. 

Ok ADHD let's get back on track here... (Oh Hey, I'm Jennifer and I have ADHD and you'll see it a lot through my writing like these parenthesis and side notes A LOT)

Good Grief. Ok. 

When looking for an event photographer for a wedding, you can google it and search for hours through millions of pictures to see what catches your eye or you can ask your wedding planner, the person who is going to stand up front with you and tell you to say "I do" whatever that may be for you. If none of those people have suggestions for you take it to friends you know who have been recently married. Next step photographers are almost solely reliant on word of mouth, which means someone was referred to me by someone I took pictures for, or someone that saw pictures I took for someone they know. They are going to be the first people to tell you the things they loved about the photographer they used. 

"Jennifer, I'm not getting married."

Cool. Totally fine. I personally specialize in lifestyle photography. This means I'll get to know you as we walk around the place we are taking pictures, I find out what you like, dislike and what makes you smile. Kids for instance, they'll be the first to tell me about the new LEGO set they built before they came to the session and I can totally relate because my teenager lives for LEGO and I know ALL about it. Finding a lifestyle photographer means you're going to get a very personal experience with your session. It will feel like you're just walking around with a friend and they say "Ok go stand over there, hold your kids hands and look at them like they just told you they loved you more than the earth loves the sun". If this sounds like what you're looking for, you need yourself a lifestyle photographer. 

"Jennifer, I do have a family but I just need some pictures of myself for my business"

GOT IT! You'll be looking out for a portrait photographer that specializes in headshots. Again most photographers do a lot of things and headshots are something I do, and something I actually love! You'll find almost all photographers will do headshots because well "simple". I say that because well not all "photographers" can take flattering pictures, GASP, I can't believe she just said that. Calm down. Photographers have different skill levels, when a person wants a headshot they're going to want an experience photographer that doesn't give them that double chin look that pops its head out from time to time. So when asking questions ask how long they've been in business, do they have examples of headshots they've done before. Newsflash. They're going to send you their BEST work, so if you look at it and think... Well hopefully they have better work out there, doubt it. If you look at a persons picture and think WOW I wished I could take a picture that makes me look that amazing, that's more than likely the person you want. Let's be real, headshots are pictures of people looking their personal best and they're trying to look their best, THAT IS THE POINT. If it looks meh... find someone else. 

"Jennifer, what if my sister wants something between lifestyle photography and headshots"

Sounds like they need a portrait photographer that doesn't really specialize in lifestyle photography. I am not going to say these types of photographers are easier to find because it's never hard to find a photographer. We are like realtors, we can sense when someone is looking for a photographer and we JUMP! These photographers are going to be found by searching for photographers in your area and they do more posed images. I just want that yearly pictures where were are all standing in a line looking at the camera. These are great photographers to have too! We like a little traditional in our lives right?

Did you make it this far? Wow this ended up being WAYYYY longer than I expected when I started it and I'd be surprised if you made it here, if you did, ice cream on me. Ok maybe not but I do have a local place I can recommend ;) See my other blog about supporting small business because I LOVE supporting small businesses.

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/i-am-looking-to-book-with-a-photographer Mon, 20 Mar 2023 20:15:00 GMT
Support Small Business https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/support-small-business I SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS! What does this even really mean?!

 

As a small business owner myself I love supporting other local small businesses! Have you taken time in your week to support at least one local small business? Did you know by supporting local small businesses you are supporting your neighbor who in turn can support you! 

The concept of supporting small business is really just one big pay it forward act. By going to your local coffee shop once a week (or more) you're doing your part to keep that business in business. Say one day you want to get your co-worker a gift card for her birthday. You take some time to think what does she like? COFFEE! I know she loves coffee, I'll get her a gift card from my favorite coffee place. She takes her gift card to this coffee shop and falls in love with their iced caramel macchiato (I speak from personal experience). She then finds herself stopping by this coffee shop on her way to work, sometimes she even brings you your favorite coffee because she knows it's going to be a hard day at work. These "small" acts of supporting and sharing small businesses is much bigger than you just going and buying that $5 coffee. The same goes for your local photographer, you book a session, you recommend me, I get more business! As a small business owner who is a photographer, I love working with other businesses because we can help each other out in so many different ways! Not only can we share the good word of our businesses but we can use each others services/products regularly. The one I support your business to more likely I'll remember to tell all my friends about it. If a friend messages me and says hey let's have lunch this week, my first thought will most likely be let's go to this restaurant I love that another friend of mine owns, one because I know it's going to be good, two because I know the owner will appreciate it, and three the friend I bought will most likely love it as well and then recommend it to friends. See where all this is going? 

Now Jennifer, this is all common sense. I support local businesses and really this has been 5 minutes out of my day reading this I wish I could have back, ok not really but come on we all THINK we support small business but we all know we are the first ones to go to those big name stores to get invitations to our kids party. Did you know that almost everything you get at a store you can support a local small business instead! Cookies, I got you! I have a great cookie lady! Shout out to Sugar Loves Flour of Lincoln, California! DA BEST!

Even if you specialize in one thing you can still support the same field. Can I take my own family pictures? Yes. I can. Is it miserable for everyone. Yes, yes it is! Do I support a local photographer? Yes I do! The wonderful Rebekah Townley Photography is my go to photographer ! Now I realize if you own a local tax firm you're really not going to hire someone else to do your taxes... BUT you can make sure to support someone else in some way! 

 

Thank you for reading this blog today, this has been a passion of mine for a while now and moving to a new place it has been my main focus for a year to try and collaborate with local businesses because we are each others biggest supports. Thank you Sugar Loves Flour and Rebekah Townley for being so amazing at what you do (and I apologize for my watermark on those images while I run and manage this site I still sometimes can't seem to figure out small details like that. I am in no way claiming I took those images as they were both taken my you!)! The picture below is one Rebekah took of my husband and myself and I love it so!  If you're a Sacramento area small business owner that would love to connect with me feel free to reach out via email at [email protected]

#SugarLovesFlour #RebekahTownleyPhotography

 

]]>
(Jennifer Blankenship Photography) https://www.jenniferblankenship.com/blog/2023/3/support-small-business Wed, 15 Mar 2023 19:30:45 GMT