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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Share Hope! And Win Hope! A Giveaway

Earlier this month I blogged about a fantastic contest that is coming up!

We are so excited about this contest! It's going to be a wonderful afternoon, we are looking forward to having lots of fun sharing our passions with you and your children, and best of all, we are hoping to raise enough money for this amazing non-profit so that Lori does not have to turn any of these wonderful little children away. These bedrooms bring hope to children who desperately need hope.

And now we want to bring that hope to YOU!
We are so excited about this event, and so committed to helping these kids, that we want everyone to know about it. We want everyone in our area joining us in this, so we're offering a fantastic giveaway this week!

Enter our giveaway and receive this gorgeous HOPE bracelet from Michelle's Jewelry Studio!

Here's how easy it is to enter:

1. Share this blog post on FB (there's a link below)!
2. Tweet about this blog post (there's a link below)!
4. Share these FB pages with your FB friends by clicking on the "share" link on the bottom left of each FB page!

How easy is that!? You may enter up to four times simply by sharing this event with everyone! So get to it!

And let us know you've shared! Either comment right here on the blog, or post it on the Jen Lebo Photography page!

The drawing will end on October 30th at midnight! The winner will be chosen by and will be announced on Monday morning, October 31st!

I can't wait to hear from you!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Special Gift

My mother-in-law is quite the gifted knitter! She's been knitting for over 40 years now and she has made some absolutely beautiful pieces. Yesterday I received one of these treasures and I have to say that I think it should be up there in her top 10 best creations of all time! This wrap is cozy, it's soft, it's intricate, and it's so chic and stylish! I just had to share it with everyone!

I decided not to attempt a self portrait with it on for now. I am planning to wear it for our family portraits next month and will gladly show it off again then!

I am so excited about this beautiful gift, but even more so, I am thankful for the woman who made it. This wrap is truly a wonderful gift. But it has been the precious knitter in my life who has been the real gift to me all these years.

So thank you, Mom, for the sweater and for the love behind it.
(And for the totally awesome husband you raised for me too!)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's This Saturday!

I'm so excited for this Saturday!

Custom Christmas Card Saturday is finally here and I am so excited to spend my day creating beautiful portraits for all the families signed up! It's looking to be another beautiful autumn day and I'll be photographing these families right here in my own back yard at The Hill School!

And I'm extending my specials for just TWO MORE DAYS! Remember, you can book two sessions for the price of one, so grab a friend and make your appointments!

There are just a few more time slots open and I'll only be booking appointments for TWO MORE DAYS!

And for those of you unfamiliar with the beauty of The Hill School, I can tell you that years of living on this campus have helped me find the most beautiful pockets of light any time of day and during any season. Here are a few faves to show you the variety found on just one campus!

And finally the reason we're doing it all! The Custom Christmas Cards! How fun to take your gorgeous family portraits and create cards that suit your family and your style so wonderfully! Here are a few samples from past clients. I cannot wait to create yours for you! You'll have the cards everyone will be talking about!

You only have 2 days and sessions are limited so contact me right now!
And I'll see you on Saturday!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Monthly Monday Mommy Playdates: One Lesson Leads To Another

Yesterday I enjoyed another great morning sharing photography tips and letting my little guy explore a new playground. This month's Monthly Monday Mommy Playdate took us to Anderson Park in Collegeville. The little guy and I had never been there before, but we were not disappointed! Not only was there a wonderful play area for him to run around, climb, slide, and explore, but there was great opportunity for a wonderful lesson in open shade.
I had planned to talk to the moms about perspective and how to get at our kids from all angles. But before we went on our assignment to "think perspective" one mom asked a great question about light and how to escape those harsh contrasting highlights and shadows on her daughter's face. We talked a little about open shade, and then went off in search of fun perspectives.

I began climbing along side my little guy shooting him from crazy angles.

But I began to notice those harsh highlights and shadows. The light on the playground was just too bright.

There was no open shade near the playground, he was either in direct sunlight or running across crazy shadows. So even the fun perspectives I tried were overshadowed (pun intended) by the harsh light. Something had to give.

Then I noticed that Sedona had crawled underneath into some open shade. I shot, exposing for her face, and blew out the entire play apparatus. But it showed us something. Even at mid day hours, with harsh direct sunlight, if we can find open shade, like under a play set, we will get great exposures, and great images!

Here's the original shot, uncropped to show how harsh the light was from above compared with the nice even light in the shade.

And here it is cropped. Great image in that same harsh setting. Ah, the joy of open shade!

So I decided to go exploring and invited the others to join me. We found a wooded path with great open shade and we plopped our kids down on the path and saw the light!

After enjoying the lesson and the great images, we turned to head back to the playground. I snapped this shot just before we hit the harsh sun again. You can see where the shade drops off and the harsh light begins. Where would you want to be shooting?

Back to the playground we went and back to the harsh conditions. No matter where I took this little guy I could not find good light. It was hard enough to find the shade on this playground with no trees, but to keep a 2 year old seated in tiny pockets of shade for more than 5 seconds? Well, that's just downright impossible!

I tried and tried, but hated every shot on this playground. So I gave up on this spot, and let my little guy explore again, gently guiding him to another area with open shade, the west side of a great building, shown to the right of this image.

And there we found the light! It was gorgeous directional light, falling beautifully and evenly on us with no harsh spots. And there my little guy was able to plop down with his snacks and his choo choos and play in the grass for a while.

And there I was able to have fun with my perspective, getting down low with him, and enjoying his world for a little while.

I learned a few lessons during this hour. First, it truly is all about the light. You can work on perspective, or fun angles, or compositions all day long, but if you're not in the right light, you're just not going to get the shots you want. Second, I learned that sometimes the locations dictate the lessons learned on our mommy dates, and that is so fun for me! And that every location offers new places and pockets of light to explore if we just look around a bit. And finally I learned that sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn't matter if the light's great or not, that sometimes it's about the kids having a blast and a snapshot will do JUST FINE!

I can't wait for our next Monthly Monday Mommy Playdate! Not quite sure where it will be next, or even if it will be on a Monday (I've had some requests to mix it up a bit), but I'll let you know! And until then...
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Celebrating Autumn!

I know that God's beauty is everywhere, but I think He has showered our area with a little extra this autumn. Perhaps it is a reward for all the rain we've had to endure, or perhaps it's the last hurrah before a long and cold winter, but whatever it is, I am enjoying it to no end!

The gorgeous temperatures and colors have been perfect for getting beautiful families out to celebrate the season with me Here are a few faves from the beginning sessions of what I'm anticipating will be a fabulous portrait season!

These were all taken at different locations, each one having a beauty all its own. Which location is your favorite? Where would you go for your family portraits?
Share with me, or better yet, call me and we can go there together!

As for me, I'll be heading to my new favorite location with my family next month. I've struck up a wonderful trade with my friend and fellow photographer, Rebecca Cooper. Her work is gorgeous and we'll be shooting each other's families. I cannot wait to share both sessions here next month!
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Precious Portraits Contest! A Fundraiser for Designing 4 Hope

A few weeks ago I blogged about a friend of mine, Lori McHale. Lori runs the non profit organization, Designing 4 Hope, which helps critically ill children by giving them beautiful bedroom makeovers. I had the privilege of photographing one of these makeovers this summer and was moved by the entire experience, from the volunteers who gave so much of themselves, to the extraordinary bedroom designs created by Lori, to the talented work of her contractor, Steve. And let's never forget the amazing spirit and heart of the little man behind the mission, Gavin, who is fighting leukemia at just 4 years old.

Lori has a wonderful talent and she is using it to bring hope to children who truly need a reason to hope and a reason to smile. As a portrait photographer who specializes in all things children, I have been looking for a way to join Lori in her work, to donate my time and services to an organization that I can stand behind. And so together with Lori, and our new friend Susan, owner of Pride N Joy Hair Salon, this is what we've come up with!

Join us on Sunday, November 6th from 1-5pm at Pride N Joy Salon in Chester Springs for this super fun fundraiser!

For just $29 you will receive a complimentary styling with Susan, and a 10 minute mini portrait session for your child with Jen. The portraits created from all mini session that day will then be displayed in a protected gallery (no names given out for the safety of your children). For $1 per vote (unlimited voting) you and your family and friends can vote for the most precious portrait!

The winner of the Precious Portraits Contest will receive a FREE family portrait session with Jen Lebo Photography!

The best part? ALL proceeds from these sessions and the voting will go to Designing 4 Hope so that Lori can continue to touch the lives of children in our area.

Please join us for this special event! Let us celebrate the beautiful smiles of your children in order to bring some smiles to other precious children.

Contact Jen Lebo Photography for more information or to book your mini session in advance. We're hoping that the sessions fill completely up and you'll want to make sure you get a spot!


Lori, Susan, and I sure hope to see you there!
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Experiencing Growth: Family Portraits

One of the best things about being a portrait photographer is experiencing growth. Some days the growth I experience is on one side of my camera, that of the little ones growing up before my eyes. Like Sophia here. I first photographed Sophia when she was just 8 months old, not yet crawling away, just content to sit with me. Watching her grow from year to year has been so fun, especially during our past session as I watched her grow into the role of "big sister".

But sometimes the growth I experience is on the other side of my camera, like it was this very day. As I watched Sophia and Olivia interact with each other, and their parents with them, I began to enjoy photographing them just doing their own thing. I stopped instructing them, stopped forcing them into a connection with me, and simply photographed their connections with each other. It was a lesson I had already heard, and even shared with others. But this was the day I got it myself.

Of course I still love to connect with my families, and love to see them smiling back at me. But I think I've found that balance between interacting with them, and letting them interact with each other. And it's wonderful to be experiencing growth from both sides. Just goes to show you that you never stop growing.

I can't wait to see what the next few years with these beautiful girls will bring... for all of us!
Keep growing,

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Treat Your Friend To The Holidays!

This past weekend I enjoyed the most wonderful family portrait session! The colors were amazing and I couldn't help but smile at the thought of what gorgeous Christmas cards Joy would be sending out this year!

Let me do the same for you!

Join me for Custom Christmas Card Saturday on October 22. Remember to book this week to receive the special price on both flat and folded cards!


I'm offering extra incentive to share this with your friends!

1. Book together with a friend and SHARE ONE SESSION FEE! Both of you will receive half off your session fee if you book with a friend!

2. Share this on FB or retweet on Twitter and your name will be entered to win a session for FREE! (you must book to enjoy this! Winner announced on Monday, October 17th)

Don't wait! The season is beautiful, the cards are luxurious, and the opportunities are fantastic... but not forever!

Call or email me to book your session!

Can't wait to connect with you!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Early Christmas Gift For You!

I am so excited about Custom Christmas Card Saturday! What could be better than spending the day with wonderful families, creating beautiful portraits to go on beautifully custom designed holiday cards?

Well how about a special price for booking your session early?

These prices are only good this week, so book your session with me by October 12 to take advantage of it!

I cannot wait to hear from you!
We're gonna have a great time together!
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Loving Autumn: A September Recap

I hope your September was as wonderful as mine was. I spent my month celebrating newborns, goofing around with some great kids, and enjoying some quality time with some quality families! Here are a few of my favorites from the last month!

I was smitten with newborn Cecelia, just 4 days old here!

I hung out with some really cool kids, Graham, Sadie, Gracie, and Lucia... and their parents are pretty cool too!

Had the awesome opportunity to photograph Evan, and his sisters, Emma, and Elisabeth.

Was smitten yet again, this time with Colbie Grace, just 6 days old here!

And went out for a family session with Rich, Melissa, and their little dolls! I've been photographing this family since Sophia (now almost 3) was just 8 months old. Now she's big sister to Olivia, who turns 1 next week!

October is already booked and I'm looking forward to the great times ahead!
Happy autumn!
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