Why portraits?

Why portraits?

Adding a portrait side to my business is a labor of love and anxiety. It has taken me a while to get here because, even though I know in my head and heart it’s right, my brain sometimes likes to throw up roadblocks. I am very much an introvert and a bit on the shy side. I loathe small talk on public transportation or in the elevator to the office. I’d much rather make a connection with someone and have meaningful conversations. My brain keeps telling me I can’t make connections and have deep conversations with portrait clients. That I have to chit chat about the weather. I keep telling myself I want my art to have meaning and to me small talk doesn’t carry much weight in the meaningful department.

But, I am moving forward and I am making portraits my way.

portraits

I was raised to be strong and confident in who I am, to accept myself. Everything I do is because I want to love who I am, what I am. I believe that being beautiful comes from who you are, not what you look like. What does this have to do with portraits you ask? Don’t worry, I am getting there but I have to do it my way, which sometimes isn’t necessarily the straightest path but I get there eventually.

I believe we all need to see how beautiful we are. How strong. How brave. I want to work mainly with women to show them you are beautiful. You are strong. And you most certainly are brave. We all have an inner strength and I want to bring that out in each and every one of you and capture it. Forever. And I want you to take that moment and display it. On your walls, in an album and look at it whenever you feel a bit down. Cherish it. Pass it on to your children. Show them how amazing you are. Show them how to be awesome.

I’ve lost confidence before. We all have. I know what it’s like to feel overweight, sad and needing to change. But you know what didn’t help me feel better? Sitting around feeling sorry for myself! I knew I had to change and I did. I am still not where I’d like to be but I am working on it. Will I ever get there? Maybe, maybe not. But I have to find my confidence now. I have to own who I am at this moment. Running, lifting weights, and eating better help me feel more confident. Maybe those aren’t for you. Maybe reading a book or relaxing in the hot tub make you feel happier. Do those things. Become happier. Build your confidence. And have your photos taken along the way!

Do not hide.

Strong, beautiful women don’t hide, even if they aren’t at their goal weight or living their dream life. We tighten our boot straps, smack a smile on our face and fake it. Sometimes it takes a little bit of faking to start to feel the real thing.

I cringe when I hear women say they hate their thunder thighs, or their love handles. You are not your body. I was still the same person when I was 20 pounds heavier. I was still me. No matter my weight or the status of my thunder thighs, I will always be me. And you know what? I am pretty awesome. I think you are pretty awesome. Being strong and confident, no matter your weight, is what is important. Society wants us to think we have to be thin and perfect to be pretty. You know what I say? Screw society norms and standards. You rock those love handles and be beautiful.

I want to show you that you don’t need to lose those last five pounds. You don’t need to hide behind over-sized shirts. I used to hate being into fashion. I thought I was above it and wore cargo pants and over-sized shirts. I’ve discovered fashion is another way I can express myself and be creative. I discovered that getting dressed can boost your confidence. But you have to find your voice. If you don’t love your clothes, it will show. So if you are a jeans and leather jacket wearing mama, rock it. If you prefer flowy hippie dresses, wear it! Yes, dressing your body is important but it is more important to wear what you love. What feels right. What feels comfortable to you.

We all struggle with our abilities, looks and confidence. I truly believe inside every woman is a bad ass. Why not show that through photography?

Art and creativity drive me. They bring me joy and make my heart sing. Photography is my passion but I am also passionate about supporting other women. I want to connect with you in a meaningful way. I want to have a real conversation and show you what I see when you talk about what your passionate about. Your eyes light up and you don’t worry about how you look in that moment. You don’t get that when you talk about the weather or how the traffic was. I want you to remember that feeling every time you look at your images rather than thinking, “my arms are so big” or “my stomach looks so huge”.

I want to take your photo while you do what you love. Are you a baker? Invite me into your kitchen. Do you live hiking? Let’s go explore. Do you love Sunday brunch with your significant other? I will capture those moments. The moments that may seem everyday and mundane but truly reflect who you are and what makes you happy.

You can be in the photos with your kids and significant other. You don’t have to hide. You are beautiful because you are kind, strong and most of all… loved.

What are you passionate about?

Tell me what drives you to keep going. Tell me what makes you happy. Tell me what you most look forward to doing on the weekends.

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Jenna Volden studied photography in high school and college but ultimately ended up with a business degree. After spending 10-plus years in the rat race she returned to her first love, photography by starting her own photography company. She can be found either chasing sunsets around the globe or making women feel like rock stars in her home studio. She is currently based out of Phoenix, AZ.

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