Category Archives: Professional Development

unnamedI’ll just go ahead and admit it now. I am not super woman. I can’t keep up. Maybe if I had some level of predictability to my day, things would be different, but with a baby and a toddler, the only thing I can predict is that Murphy will always show up… in the form of a giant poop diaper right when we’re walking out the door, a pair of shoes put on the wrong feet, a meltdown because a sticker didn’t make it into the van and we HAVE to have THAT sticker. Isn’t that kind of the beauty of the wonderment of childhood though? The unpredictability? It’s amazing what we lose as adults that children bring back, even if only for a brief time.

Anyway, things have gotten really difficult to keep up with and when I do try to keep up, I find myself doing things half way, which isn’t who I am. To take a load off and make sure that I stop slipping through the cracks, I’ve made the leap into being an employer and I’ve hired someone awesome! I want you all to meet Kristen Tillman. She’s the Director of Marketing and Sales. Kristen and I go way back to middle school. I was the trouble child. She was the angel. Somehow that changed in high school and I became the angel and Kristen was always “grounded.” Lol! Anyway, Kristen will be working remotely from Savannah, GA and bringing some southern charm (which we all know… I can’t pull that off) to JSP. She lives there with her husband, Jon, and her daughter, Ellie. Kristen is currently going through training and I’m so excited to have her on board and taking over some areas for me. Soon, I hope to bring her in for a session and get some beautiful head shots of her.

As you can tell, things have been going on around here. From hosting issues, down time, etc, things were definitely changing. I decided towards the end of 2013 that my brand needed a fresh look; something that was more “me” and reflected the simplicity that I am drawn towards. So I set out to find a designer. Call it fate or chance, but I found Leslie Vega Design on Pinterest, of all places. I had made a list of 5 different designers, but as soon as I saw Leslie’s work, I immediately felt connected to it and knew she was the one I would hire. So, after exchanging a few emails, she was hired!

Over the last couple of months, she’s rebranded my logo with a beautiful, hand calligraphed “jen” that pulls in the elegant beauty I was hoping for while leaving the rest nice and simple… just how I’d hoped. After the logo was squared away, we started working on the web graphics, which are the pretty little accents throughout my site that I am so very pleased with! While they are not all in use at the moment, I really love the way it’s all come together to make a beautiful site that I am so proud of and can’t stop looking at.

I knew I wanted some sort of watercolor, but I didn’t want it to look the way everyone and their mom’s site is done in water colors. I wanted something more sophisticated, but relaxed; something that felt like a beautiful sunset over the water. What I love the most is how she hand calligraphed many of the titles you see around the site from “favorites,” to “favorite quote,” to “welcome” on my about page, etc. She also added some flair to my “call to action” buttons below my blog posts.

Overall, I am so happy I finally decided to hire a designer. I’ve always done things myself and have never been completely satisfied. So ladies and gents, 6 years into business, I finally hired a designer. Do yourself a favor and just hire one from as soon as you can afford one. It will make your branding come together so much quicker, easier, and more beautifully.

Leslie, seriously, I can’t even begin to thank you enough for the beautiful work you’ve done for me. I must admit, going into the process of hiring a designer and trusting them to come up with something I could truly love that I would never have known was truly “me,” I was highly skeptical. You’ve been so easy and amazing to work with. You’re so responsive and amazing at being able to tell with something is just too much to keep with the idea of simplicity. Everything you designed was so in line with your portfolio and I’m so happy to have gotten something so beautifully amazing on the other side. Thank you for being so patient with me. I know it’s not easy to work with people like me, who have a hard time letting the real designer do the work.  I will definitely continue to refer to you and look to you for my future design needs! Hopefully, in the coming months, we can work on some stationery! XOXO!

New JSP

I’m am thrilled to finally release my first commercial for Jen Shannon Photography. This has been a long, long time in the works. I wanted a video that truly reflected me from my innermost heart. This video is exactly me and I couldn’t be more proud of it. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Monica, my long time friend, colleague, and mentor. Thank you so so so so much for all of your help and work! XOXO! Without further ado, I introduce you to Legacy.

I wrote a very lengthy article about a year and a half ago about some of my tips and mistakes of second shooting for other photographers. It was coming off of a great year of second shooting a lot of weddings with some really amazing photographers. In the article, I wrote about how I had my primary photographers sign a contract because I wanted to be able to protect myself as a second shooter as well. This may turn off a lot of primary photographers, but the last thing I need is for a photographer to get published off of my images or build their portfolio site off of images that I took.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of people email and ask if I would sell my contracts that I have my second shooters sign and, when I was second shooting, have my primary photographers sign. So, without further ado, if you’d like to purchase these contracts, for what I think is a very reasonable price, they are now for sale. ***Please note that I am not a lawyer and these have not been inspected by a lawyer so what is written in here may not hold up in your state.*** Thank you so much for your purchase of the 2nd shooter contract. Please note that refunds will not be given if you purchased the wrong contract. Also, please note that I am not a legal expert and these are templates only. By purchasing this item, you hold harmless Jen Shannon and all affiliates, from any claims that arise.

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Things are looking quite a bit different around here. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll notice it’s not the same black and white color scheme anymore. After going through the creativelive course, ReSTARt with Jasmine Star, I realized my website was not reflective of me… at all… I’ve always designed my website around my logo instead of designing my website WITH my logo. I love my logo. It’s high end, simple, and sophisticated. When I thought of it, I thought black, white, and gray. No matter what I did, however, it never really felt like me. One of my photographers friends said it felt “stiff and cold” which is the LAST thing I think I am.

So I went on a photo safari. I didn’t actually go out and take pictures with my iPhone though. I went to pinterest and the google image search and just typed in words that came to mind and created a collage of things my eyes were attracted to. I was really shocked to find that my eyes were attracted to a neutral and earth toned color palette. They are definitely colors I would have NEVER chosen for myself… that is until I realized my office walls are a brownish gray color and its accents are whites and teals. Our bedroom is pretty much the same way. Why have I never noted this about myself? I have no idea.

st augustine wedding photo, the white room wedding photo, the white room, the white room st augustine, the white room wedding photographer, white room photo, jacksonville wedding photo, wedding photo, weddings, jacksonville, jacksonville wedding photographer, jacksonville wedding photographers, jacksonville wedding photography, st augustine wedding photographers, st augustine wedding photographer, st augustine wedding photography, jen shannon, jen shannon photo, jen shannon photographySo I set out to come up with a new design; something that captured my style aesthetic and personality, but still keep the simple sophistication that my brand stands for. Many of you know I have a design background. I can design for just about anyone but myself. It’s hard getting into my own mind and figuring this stuff out. There are so many things I like that it’s hard to nail down, but the photo safari really helped. I also wanted to incorporate beautiful typography without feeling too Vogue.

So, after an all nighter, several other really late nights, a ton of asking for other people’s opinions on stuff, this new design was born, but that was only the beginning.

It was time that I go through and curate my own work and whittle it down to the best of the best. This was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do with my business. I can go through every picture I’ve ever taken and tell you everything that’s wrong with it, but at the end of the day, it’s not about how I can pick it apart, it’s about how my clients love it. So with MUCH help from my good friend Monica Starr Brown, my new, curated galleries are now up as well.

My business is also going through some other changes. I’ve decided, as of a few weeks ago, to no longer offer portrait sessions. I’ve been spread so thin between so many things that I’ve had to cut back in many areas (like my life and living blog, my Etsy, store, etc) but portraits are not something I want to focus on, so I no longer offer portrait sessions. Instead, I want to focus on weddings, fashion, and fine art. This site will be solely dedicated to weddings and engagements. In time, I will also have a separate fashion site and fine art site.

I have to say, aside from all of the things I could pick apart (oh the life of an artist…) I am very proud of my work. My site is definitely reflective of me, my style aesthetics, my personality, and my brand. So, welcome to the new home of Jen Shannon Photography.

Stay beautiful.