Photographer Spotlight… Jennifer CarverApr. 18th

Many of you may have seen some of her fabulous images throughout our site.  Jennifer Carver of Jen Carver Photography, has enthralled me with her photography style.   She manages to capture children in their natural character with such vivid expressions and enchanting poses.   Jennifer , an award winning photographer, has a background in commercial photography and specializes in professional child portraits.  I have really enjoyed working with Jennifer over the last year, and have gotten to know her as a thoughtful, kind and extremely talented woman.  With the use of natural light, her wonderful choice of landscapes and vintage surroundings Jen creates imagery that is amazing.  You will see by our interview, she truly loves her career in the art of Photography.

A few questions for Jennifer:

1. If you could choose to photograph any time period using the technology of today, when would that era be and why?

Gosh. There are so many different era’s that I would love to photograph, but if I had to choose one it would probably be the 18th century, preferably the early years! I am just addicted to vintage inspired anything!! I love how the colors were so soft and delicate and the fabrics were of such fine quality. It was such a period of change.. that photographing the people during that time frame to me would be so fascinating.. It was such a time for change in the fashion world as well as people were looking for comfort factor as well as style. I really think this era still influences the fashion world today! I also see lots of parallels between kids of that era and kids of today.

2. What was your most memorable photo shoot and why?

 My most memorable sessions are certainly with my girls. Sometimes they are planned often times they are not.. but too see them grow and change through the lens of my camera is just a gift that is unmeasurable.

3. What is your favorite saying?

 ”When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell.

4. When you look back ,what do you consider to be the most important moment in your career?

 Probably the day I purchased my first camera. Something came over me that day… I remember contacting and old Commercial Photographer that I had worked with and asked him to review some of my work to see if he saw any potential.. and when his response was positive..without a second of hesitation I literally hung up the phone and purchased a new camera, software, the works without consulting my husband , family, friends…. Something inside me took over and I just went for it, without any hesitation and fear. That has pretty much been my approach to photography ever since! It was like falling in love.. and taking a leap of faith. Now I can’t imagine my life without it.

5. What tips would you give people on how to balance work with life?

I’m not sure I should be giving any tips in this department! I admit, I am not the best at balancing… it is so difficult to balance when you have a passion for something.. but seeing my kids suffer a bit from my time in front of the computer over the past seasons forced me to realize what is really important, and to make some changes. I decided to put together a long term plan and really determine where my strengths were as a photographer and what i enjoyed the most. With that, came some tough decisions, but decisions that opened up lots of new possibilities … I no longer photograph newborns or family sessions. I am focusing my work on children 1 and up, as well as commercial projects. I also really enjoy teaching other photographers. So this year I launched “The Workshop” where I will be traveling to different cities teaching other photographers everything from marketing, styling and processing and we will go on location to shoot… With these new changes, I will be doing limited client sessions so that I am able to manage my time more efficiently and be present in my family life.

6. When and why did you choose to become a photographer?

In a sense I think Photography chose me! I worked alongside photographers for about 18 years as a Marketing/Art Director never thinking to step behind the camera myself at least a professional one.. It wasn’t until after I left the commercial Industry and had my two girls that I looked at photography in a whole new light.. Although I had documented the better part of my life through the years, it had new meaning when I started photographing my girls…I was so inspired by them and didn’t want to miss capturing one second of their little lives. From there it has turned into so much more… through Photography I have met so many wonderful people and developed so many friendships. It has been a life changing experience. I could kick myself all of those years for not doing it back then, when I was working with such incredible talent, and had more time …but I realize everything happens for a reason.. you go through this path in life not knowing what door will open next.. it has been such a wonderful adventure so far!

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Thank you Jennifer!

Featured Photographers… Sassyfras StudiosMar. 27th

I am in love with the talented artwork of these two sisters.  Welcome Sassyfras Studios!  I had the pleasure of working with Christen Lucas and Lauren Wagoner a few weeks ago. As you will see in the interview below, they are quite an inspiring duo. They put together an amazing set and used a couple of our newest pieces to create a magical and enchanting land.   These gals see the world in technicolor and this definitely shows in their images.  Stories are told, love is felt and beauty is seen in every detail…

1.  If you could choose to photograph any time period using the technology of today, when would that era be and why?

We definitely both agree it would be around the 1940s-1950s for a bazillion different reasons…. but i’ll limit it to just 3 :)

1. The CLOTHES! aaaah… so many days I daydream of dusting my home in a “twirl”worthy dress, babies cooing in the background with the roast in the oven. <— like a dress could do all that. Seriously, though, we love the fashion of that time period. There is something so romantic about post-war dresses and their adorable hats.

2. The MOVIES! Cryssi and I were raised on old movies. The girls in our family would snuggle under the blankets on a Friday night, being swept away by Carey Grant, Jimmy Stewart and James Garner. Some of our favorites were and still are Pillow Talk, The Thrill of It All, You Can’t Take it With You, or Arsenic and Old Lace. We now make our hubbies watch them with us ;)

3. The MUSIC! There is something about the music of that era that just makes you want to get up and do the jitterbug. Favorites like Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley {a huge fave of Cryssi’s- she even had a life size poster in her room for years, yup, it’s true} the McGuire sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra…. on and on and on. My hubby still sings When I fall in Love to me while we dance.

2. What was your most memorable photo shoot and why?

Cryssi- Before Sassyfras was even begun, Cryssi did a photoshoot of our meemaw and peepaw for a project in college.  Those pictures will probably always be out favorites of them… two precious souls snuggled up at their home on the lake.  It was the last photo shoot ( and one of the only) of our best friend meemaw Margie, before she passed away.  When we began Sassyfras, we knew she was such a huge part of it and would have loved the name.

Lollie- Cryssi recently took my birthing pictures of baby Adelveis.  It was the first birth she had been a part of and in my opinion, she captured my favorite pictures she has ever taken.  I am a huge sucker for photojournalistic photography… and she did just that.  She captured every single emotion of the day from pain to fear to extreme joy.  Every time I look through the pics I cry :)

3. What is your favorite saying?

OK, just for fun these are a bit silly

Lollie- “Modest is Hottest!” :) Yes, I sometimes say this at shoots. I think it is important for our young ladies to know that you do not have to show it all off to be gorgeous. I say it to my youth girls at church and have said it quite often at shoots {as Cryssi laughs and shakes her head in embarrassment}

Cryssi- “Just Sayin”… she literally says “just sayin” after everything she says :) “this picture looks awesome, just sayin”…”I love your outfit, just sayin” “you have a booger in your nose, just sayin”

4. When you look back ,what do you consider to be the most important moment in your career?

Honestly when we took the huge leap of faith and began Sassyfras. Both of our hubbies were financially making next to nothing. Cryssi quit her job and we watched children during the day and did shoots in the evenings and every weekend. Our hubbies let us drain our savings to buy all the equipment we needed… some weeks I would just sit and pray that God would send shoots our way, and He always did. Our goal was to go full time in 5 years and we did it in 8 months. We have never done without or had a need too big that it was not met by our precious Father. Some people would just say that God had nothing to do with it, it was all of our talent… But, I have seen His hand at work through so many precious people He has sent our way. I have to give Him credit!

5. What tips would you give people on how to balance work with life?

Bahahaha… for some reason this question made me laugh. I {Lollie} am a new mother of 2 and have no idea what the word Balance means! Both of our hubbies are youth pastors so we basically are either living at the church or on a shoot. The thing that has worked best for us is from the beginning we sat down and discussed our priorities. We always wanted God to be first so we try to never miss our Monday and Wednesday evening youth services… plus, we do not shoot on Sundays. That is a huge deal because we only shoot 2 hours prior to sunset and can only shoot 1 session a day… SOOOOO, 3 of our days are pretty much off limit to shoots. Then on the other days we schedule sessions, DIY projects, design props, etc… The thing I wish I could tell people {and am constantly telling myself} is there is no job in the world that should replace your relationship with God and your family. ALWAYS, put Him and the ones you love above it. There are days I have to push the computer aside and just play or paint with my girls… or Cryssi has to just get away for a date night and it is always worth it. I know I will never regret these moments I spend with my family.

6.  When and why did you choose to become a photographer?

We have always loved taking pictures… but really wanted to become a storyteller about 4 or so years ago. We have been taking pictures for years but just wanted more from it. We are huge dreamers and have big ideas for our sessions… and I hope we continue to dream. We want more than anything to tell people’s stories in unique ways. We love anything fun and different and are constantly inspired when someone says “go out of the box with us” There is something magical about capturing those precious moments {baby’s first breath, saying “I-Do”, family’s snuggling under the clouds…} it is just an honor and in my opinion, the best “job” in the world.



Hats off to both of you, and your talent that you are sharing with the world. Thank you so much Christen and Lauren!

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