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Jenny Joy Photography sends out email newsletters on a regular basis that are full of savings, special offers, studio news and helpful tips. To be included on our email list, please enter your name and email address below. When you sign up you will automatically be entered in our monthly gift certificate drawing with values up to $150.

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Well, after a lot of late night and early morning tweaks over the past few days I finally have my new blog template up and running. I even made my first post this afternoon with some shots that I got from a wedding this weekend. Please note that I will no longer be posting or updating at this address. Please update your bookmarks and be sure to visit my new blog at www.jennyjoyblog.com.

Also, when you get there, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you think about my new design and layout. Personally, I am excited about being able to share larger images with you. Also, in addition to leaving a comment, please subscribe so that you will get updates alerting you to new content, promotions and special offers and also to be eligible to win some great prizes via random drawings throughout the year.

Looking forward to hearing from you over at my new address: www.jennyjoyblog.com

I’m sure that you all are tired of hearing me complain about my current blog theme not allowing me to post larger images. I’ve been complaining for a while now actually. Well, I’m finally going to do something about it. Stay tuned as I hope to launch my new blog in the next few days.

And, just because it doesn’t feel right to do a post without a little eye candy, here are a few portraits that I found from a session I did just after this last Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Child Playing Dress Up

Portrait of Child - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

Seattle H.S. Senior Photographer

Family Portrait - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

Portrait of Mother and Daughter - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

Portrait of Family By Fireplace - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

Portrait of Father and Daughter - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

Portrait of Mother and Daughter - Seattle Child and Family Photographer

The Jenny Joy Photography blog is turning one!

I can’t believe it but the Jenny Joy Photography Blog is going to turn one year old on Saturday, February 21st. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to give away a complimentary portrait session. So, here’s the deal, send in your nominations for either yourself or on behalf of someone else that is celebrating a first. You should submit your nominations via email to jenny@jennyjoyphotography.com with the subject line reading, “Blog Contest”. Please include the name (first name only is fine) of the person you are nominating, what their “first” is, and why you want them to experience a custom portrait photography session.

Here are some ideas of a few different “firsts” to get you started but I encourage you to be creative and come up with your own as well.

  1. Child’s first birthday
  2. Pregnant with first child
  3. Adopting first child
  4. First wedding anniversary
  5. First time entering a blog contest
  6. Insert your creative “first” idea here!

You should feel free to nominate as many different people for as many different “firsts” that you can come up with. I will collect nominations starting today through the end of day on February 28th. The winner will be announced on my blog on March 1st. Good luck!

Oh yeah, here’s the fine print:
The prize is a complimentary portrait session. This includes the time and talent of the photographer only and does not include any photographic prints or products. Photographic prints and products may be purchased per Jenny Joy Photography’s 2009 price list. Portrait session must be completed by June 1, 2009. Portrait session accommodates up to five (5) people. Additional people may be added at a cost of $50 per person. The portrait session may be used to accommodate engagement, maternity, newborn, child, high school senior, or family portrait sessions. This session may not be applied to wedding commissions. Portrait session must be within the King, Snohomish, Pierce or Thurston county areas. Sessions that are scheduled for locations beyond these areas may incur an additional travel surcharge to be negotiated and approved at the time the session is scheduled.

My neighbor and good friends from across the street recently welcomed a precious little baby girl in to their family. As a gift to them, I had offered a newborn portrait session along with a baby announcement that they could send to their friends and family to announce the good news. Well, apparently, little Baby Ella was just as excited to meet all of us as we were to meet her because she decided to arrive two weeks earlier than her due date. After getting the kids off to school on Friday, I want across the street and spent some time hanging out with them and capturing some photos. The only thing that was missing was Ella’s big brother who was off at school but hopefully, I’ll have another chance to get both of them together soon for some portraits.

In the meantime, please help me in welcoming Baby Ella, congratulating her proud parents and big brother, and enjoy just a few of the wonderful images I was able to capture during the hour I spent with them.

Baby Announcement

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A few months ago I stumbled upon the following excerpt from Steven Furtick, a young pastor from North Carolina. I think this story that he shares paints a wonderful picture of true Love in action. Enjoy!

I won’t bore you with many autobiographic details about Grandma and Papa The meat of it is: they married young and raised two children, Tommy and Faith (my mother). Papa was a Methodist preacher most of his adult life, Grandma was a professional educator and the consummate preacher’s wife. I’m sure a survey of the earlier years of their marriage would provide many object lessons on love, but I wasn’t around then. I only really observed the last decade of their marriage, and from a natural perspective it was a tragic ending. From the perspective of God’s idea of love it was a grand finale.

About ten years ago, Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. If you’ve ever watched a loved one struggle with this brutal illness, you know that it progresses little by little until, in most cases, the victim literally loses his or her mind. For the last six years of her life, Grandma lived in a constant state of terror and confusion. She often awoke in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, scared to death that an intruder was in the house. She didn’t know who I was, she didn’t recognize her children, and eventually she couldn’t even identify her own husband, who came to visit her in the nursing home every single day without fail. Papa woke up early in the morning, drove to the facility, and sat all day long with a woman who generally didn’t know who he was. Papa had developed a little daily routine which was their custom until their health prevented them from getting around: He sat by her side at the nursing home all morning, and at 11:30 on the dot they patronized the local Wendy’s fast food restaurant, where the workers knew them by name. Since they ordered the same meal every day, they didn’t even have to tell the cashier what they wanted; it was the same three items from the 99 cent value menu (Papa was quite the cheapskate) with one medium Diet Pepsi, which they shared, every single day. After sitting in Wendy’s for two or three hours watching the people (something old folks seem to love to do), they’d head back to the nursing home until visiting hours were over and the staff kicked Papa out. He’d be back the next morning, bright and early, to do it all again.

Eventually, Grandma’s health deteriorated so badly that even these simple trips to Wendy’s were impossible. Her mental faculties eventually eroded so severely that she didn’t recognize simple objects like a spoon or a fork. Papa watched his once bright and beautiful bride lose her ability to think, speak coherently, or even use the restroom. When she did speak to him, it was to curse him and tell him how much she hated him. She literally had no more control of her emotions, and all logical thought had eluded her. None of this ever stopped Papa from enduring hour upon hour in the Alzheimer’s wing of the assisted living home, brushing his wife’s hair, telling her how beautiful she was.

As I grow up, I marvel more every day at the love that enabled Papa to love his wife in those last few agonizing years of their marriage. It was a love that compelled him to sit with her in a cold, depressing nursing home for eight hours a day, even though she wasn’t completely aware of his presence, and she certainly wouldn’t remember that he’d been there. It was a love that was demonstrated again and again by the way he gently spoke to her and told her he loved her regardless of her ability to reciprocate his affection This love outlasted the jitters and butterflies that accompany newfound romance. It was not dependent on external beauty; it did not rise and fall with the ebb and flow oflife.

1 Corinthians 13, that famous chapter cited at most Christian weddings, describes this true love. Paul calls love patient, kind, humble, and a score of other things that run much deeper than surface emotions. And the chapter concludes by extolling love over all the other virtues, implying that it is the only thing that will live forever. Are you ready for real love? The kind of love that demanded of my grandfather that he comb the hair of his wife as she stared blankly into space, not even knowing he was there? Are you ready for that? Or are your prayers for true love really just fantasies of your emotional and physical needs being met?

The reason so many marriages don’t last is because most individualsdon’t have a completely functional understanding of love. 1 Corinthians 13,along with the example of my Papa, have provided me with a foundation onwhich I’m building my lifelong relationship with my wife. What does this meanfor you as you pray, date and develop in preparation for marriage? You’d better be prepared to “hang in there no matter what.” You should approach each opportunity for relationship with caution and a long term perspective. It is disheartening to me to see students enter the pattern of dating…breaking up…dating someone else…breaking up…I am concerned that this cycle develops a poor pattern for the relationship of marriage. The devastating results are evidenced by the alarming de-emphasis on the sanctity of marriage in today’s “if it doesn’t work out, give up and try somebody else” society. God’s idea of marriage is hanging in there, no matter what. His idea of love is 1 Corinthians 13. His demonstration of love was most vividly expressed on a cruel cross, giving His own life for us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

Papa died about a year and a half before Grandma. Just before Papa died, I was driving him around town one day and I asked him, “How do you do it? How do you give yourself to Grandma every day, expecting nothing inreturn?” He looked at me as if my question wasn’t worth answering. To him the answer was implicit and obvious: “She’s my wife.” Enough said. Papa had determined to finish what he started. The grace of God enabled him to do so. A few years ago, in a rare moment of clear thought, Grandma told me something about Papa I’ll never forget. Her words were slow and slurred, but their impact changed my life. We were eating at Wendy’s (of course) when she looked me in the eye, pointed to Papa, and said, “That’s a good man. He loves me no matter what. Aggravates the fool out of me sometimes, but loves me no matter what.” A relationship without regret requires real love. A love that “hangs in there no matter what.” Settle for nothing less.

While I am confident in my photography skills, the area that I continue to feel like a novice is with regards to my use of Photoshop in my post-processing workflow. This is an area that I continue to try and learn something new every day. Well, today I tried something I’ve never done before. And while I am certainly not happy with the quality of the output, I’m willing to let it slide since it was my first time ever trying this technique. Specifically, I tried to extract the subjects from the background and apply a new background. Again, I’m not happy with the results of my first attempt but it does give me hope and encouragement that if refined and done well enough, this could actually work.

While the process is relatively straightforward, it can be time consuming. I also think it would be much easier with a stylus and tablet as opposed to the wireless mouse that I used to trace around the outline of the two subjects. The first step in the process was to extract the subjects and try to not do too much damage in the process. For the second step, I didn’t have any digital backgrounds to use so I created (tried to create;-) my own. And I tried my best to make it look like a muslin backdrop that you might find in a traditional studio. Again, what I ended up with is not necessarily what I would have preferred but the point of this exercise was to simply prove out the approach and process, not necessarily the end result.

Here is the original image, straight out of camera:

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And here is the same image with a different background:

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While replacing an image’s original background isn’t necessarily my preference or in line with my style, it’s important for me to feel confident using the tools available to me in order to deliver on each individual client’s expectation. So, what do you think?

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