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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pieces of the Puzzle: Part 3/ Pottstown Tween Photography

For the past few weeks I've been sharing my story about discovering the joy of photographing tweens and the vision for showing them their beauty and significance through portraits.  You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

It has been so fun to begin this journey, to learn how fun it could be to spend time with spunky tweens and be a part of their world, to connect with them and give them an experience to remember and images to encourage and empower them.

It has been so fun that I've decided to create a special package for tweens to enjoy their own portrait experience with their own best friends.

The Terrific Tween Party Package

30 minute mini-session for your special tween and her best friends!
(up to 5 friends)
15 proofs of the session
a 5x7 for each tween of the group (one chosen proof)
a mobile album for each tween's mom to share with everyone!


What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these special years with your special son or daughter.  I cannot wait to spend some time with your tweens, capturing all of the wonderful things that make them... THEM!

So grab your tweens and make a date today!
This special is only going on through August and September, so don't wait!

I can't wait to get started!
Until then,
keep smiling!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Kim, Lauren, Hailey & Baby Girl McQuade/ Pottstown Family Photography

Last month I met up with Kim and her family to enjoy a summer morning and capture some family portraits.  Kim and her partner, Lauren have one adorable little girl, Hailey, and Lauren is due with their second daughter very soon.  

Despite some humidity in the air, and some new teeth coming in for Hailey, the morning was wonderful and I had a blast with them.  Hailey was a little unsure of me at first, but with lots of love and reassurance from Kim and Lauren, she eventually forgot about me and just enjoyed herself.  What a doll!

Here are a few of my favorites from our session:

Kim and Lauren, it was so wonderful to spend the morning with you, and I loved capturing the love and joy of your family.  Lauren, I hope you are resting before Baby #2 joins you.  Keep those feet up!  And Hailey, you are an absolute delight and I think you are going to make a wonderful big sister!

Keep smiling!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

2014 JLP Seniors: Top Model Contest Ends Soon!

2014 JLP Seniors, time is almost up!  The Top Models are soon to be announced and there are only a few days left to earn more points and be awarded Top Model!

You've all been doing awesome and I have loved working with you!
I cannot wait to share with you the winners!

Remember, there will be 5 "semi finalists".
Then 3 finalists.
And  ultimately ONE Top Model.

Will it be you?

Contact me with any questions and finish strong!
I'll announce the semi-finalists here on the blog, on FB, and everywhere else, on August 1!

Good luck!
And keep smiling!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pieces of the Puzzle: Part 2/ Pottstown Tween Photography

Last week I shared my story in how I've come to love high school senior and now "tween" photography.  You can click HERE to view that post. 

I was excited about what the Lord had stirred in my heart regarding the wonderful world of tweens, and was looking forward to the group session that I had set up later that week.

Despite the heat and humidity, these six kids arrived in bright colors and even brighter personalities.  We spent over an hour together, capturing smiles and giggles, some drama and even some tricks.  We finished the night off with ice cream and a gorgeous sunset.

I came away from this experience a little unsure about it all and said as much to my husband that evening.  After an hour with six pre-teens, I was hot, exhausted, and a little disappointed.  For some reason, I felt uneasy and conflicted, as if I had not done enough to capture these awesome young people.

And then I began receiving notes from parents.  Their kids were so excited from the experience they had had and couldn't wait to do it again.  Moms thanked me for making their kids feel beautiful, and kids expressed that it was the most fun they'd ever had taking pictures!

I was reminded through these wonderful responses (thank you, Moms, for taking time to write!) that this vision was not just about creating beautiful images (which we did do, don't you think?).  Almost more so, it was about giving these young kids an experience to remember, an assurance that they are wonderfully amazing and beautiful, despite how unsure or awkward they might be feeling during this phase of life.

And I was amused to realize that I, like my awesome tween models, was feeling unsure and conflicted, and that perhaps that part of being a tween always stays with us.  And so I could relate to these kids even better.  My experience with this session and these kids confirmed in me the passion to create amazing experiences for tweens who often need to be reassured about how totally awesome they really are!

This session was much more than portraits.
For these tweens and for me.

And now, more than ever, I am convinced that this new vision is one worth pursuing with courage and enthusiasm.  I'll learn my way along with my subjects, and I'll have a blast doing it!

I can't wait to share the final post to this series.
I've got a wonderful idea about how tweens can enjoy this awesome experience with their own friends!

That's for next week!
Until then,
Keep smiling!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Blakes/ Chester Springs Family Photography

Earlier this summer, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting and photographing Jane and her beautiful family.  I knew it would be a great session after the phone calls that Jane and I shared.  She is such a lovely person and it was always so nice to chat with her.  So I knew the session would be just as lovely.  But it was even better than I had hoped.

We had the session at Jane's home in Chester Springs, along with her three beautiful children, daughter Rebecca's husband, son Sam's girlfriend, and the family dogs.  Jane's home was absolutely gorgeous!  

Topped only by her absolutely gorgeous family!

Everyone was wonderful, and we had a great time.
A few of our favorites from the evening:

Thank you, Jane, for inviting me into your home to spend an evening with your family.  It's always fun to photograph such beauty, but it's a special treat to photograph such a lovely mother, so wonderfully in love with her children.

Enjoy the rest of summer!
And keep smiling!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Galanti Triplets/ Douglassville Senior Photography

Once again I have found myself playing "catch up" with past sessions, this time with my JLP Seniors.  Paige, Courtney, and Paul Galanti are triplets at Daniel Boone HS and are about to enter their junior years.  I am excited to be working with them for the next two years.

But oh my goodness, are these three busy kids!  Between the three of them, there are sports, studies, and other wonderfully crazy activities that make nailing down a date with a teenager almost impossible.  So getting fun facts on these triplets was not in the cards.

I will however be bugging Paige during her summer friend session this month.
Until then, here are a few of my favorites from our session at Hopewell Furnace.

Thanks for the photo date guys!  You were all super fun and super patient, and it was so fun to watch you together!

Keep smiling!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pieces of the Puzzle: Part 1 / Pottstown Tween Photography

I have been thinking a lot lately about the wonderful way that God has orchestrated my passions and purposes in life.  As if often the case, it is only in hindsight that we can marvel at His work and see His guidance and clear direction.  But most recently, it has clearly moved me in new directions.  It's as if puzzle pieces are slowly falling into place.

A quick recap of the first puzzle pieces.
About 15 years ago I became a high school English teacher and field hockey coach at The Hill School.  I absolutely loved being with high school students, but never really felt the classroom part of it.  I loved connecting with teens, guiding them, building them up, spending time with them- but I hated grading papers!

On a great side note, I met my husband at Hill (he was/is also a teacher)!  

Flash forward a few years, and our family went from two to three, then four, and finally five. I stepped out of the classroom to be a full time mom and loved it!  My children were truly my passion, my greatest joy, and I loved being home with them.  People would ask if I missed teaching and I would never hesitate.  I never missed the classroom.

But I did miss the students.

As more years passed and my babies grew, I discovered a new passion- portrait photography.  I won't bore you with the story, but I quickly realized that this was what I longed to do with my professional life and that I was pretty good at it.

More than anything, I loved capturing the beauty of those around me, and I loved showing people how amazing and precious and beautiful they were.

And then the two pieces came together and I realized that God had given me these two passions to fit together- portrait photography and high school seniors.  And the match was made.  And I loved it!

It has been an awesome gift for me to spend time with teens (without having to grade papers!) and to bring out their beauty, their power, their confidence.  Capturing their spirit in portrait helps me empower them and show them how amazing they are.  With each high school session and with each senior portrait, I love this journey more and more.

Most recently though, I have had a new puzzle piece enter the picture.  My own children are growing and my oldest is entering his "tween years".  And as I watch him and all of his friends and classmates get older, I am realizing that this time of life is just as special, just as important, and often just as hard as the older teen years.  This is a time of great uncertainty, often of awkward physical changes, and a time when these kids are starting to wonder "Am I beautiful?".

And where are they looking for the answer to that question?  All too often it's the media, the teen magazines, the TV shows that tell them what beauty is "supposed to be".  And all too often, they feel they're falling short.

I so love it when God puts things like this on my heart and guides me into new discoveries like this.  Because the more I think about this and the more I watch it with my own precious children, I realize once again, that God has brought two major passions of my life together, in an awesome connection to the overall puzzle.

What a perfect addition to my work with high school teenagers to begin reaching out to tweens!  What a wonderful way to show this age group what real beauty is- not from some magazine, but from their own images!  What great lessons I can teach them about being authentic and themselves, that they need not be anything but who they are and they will be amazing!

And what better time to embrace this new path than now, as my own children approach this age!

I post this blog today as Part 1 of a multi-part blog series.  It is the story behind the new vision for Jen Lebo Photography.  To be sure I am not leaving my passion for high school portraiture behind!  No way!  Instead, I am adding to it, making it better, connecting with young kids as I have always loved to do.

And I begin with an amazing group tween session planned for this week.  I cannot wait to take this vision and put it into practice, to share with everyone my desire and my passion to empower these young tweens with the right views on beauty and confidence, with the best message I can think to teach them.  

They are amazing, just the way they are!

Stay tuned!
And keep smiling!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Ondocins: Pottstown Family Photography

A month away will do crazy things to your schedule, like put you way behind in blogging about all the wonderful people you've captured in portraits!  

But what better way to catch up on all that blogging than to start with such an adorable little baby!  Avery and her parents came up to Pottstown on the weekend of Mother's Day (yes, that long ago!  I'm so behind!) and we made a date for some family portraits.  

Despite a little chill and some breezy weather, the day was gorgeous, and so was the family!  Here are a few of my favorites from our morning together.

I had the best time playing and laughing with this little doll, and I'm so glad her parents made the trip all the way from Connecticut to do this (lucky me that her parents are our neighbors!)

Thanks, Avery, for being such a good baby!
And thanks, Mike and Amy, for sharing such a special day with me!

Keep smiling!

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