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One of the most common questions I get from clients and photographers is if I give my clients alcohol to help them relax before a shoot.

My answer is always NO! A big fat NO… but it may not be for the reasons you think.

Yes, of course I want to avoid droopy eyes, drunk clients and liability issues. That however, is not my main factor for my answer.

The real reason I say no alcohol is because I don’t want my clients to numb themselves. I want the women to feel nervous, excited anticipation and their adrenaline flowing. After all, aren’t all those feelings synonymous with experiencing something out of your comfort zone?

When you do things out of your comfort zone, you grow. You change. You are LIVING.

Why would you numb yourself from all of those amazing things?

Something to think about.

xo,
Jen

PS… this is me and my family LIVING this last week. We are all floating in the Dead Sea together. What a week of adventure it was!

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It’s 2015. It sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because of Back to the Future or maybe it’s because I am turning 40 this year… but 2015 just sounds so… modern.

It is modern. I mean look at how technology has changed. Phones, computers, TV’s, cameras. They have all exceeded what we dreamed was even possible in such a short period of time.

It’s amazing how some things change so rapidly, and others so slowly.

Feminism is changing slowly.

I have a theory on why. It may be controversial, but I don’t care. After all, if I want to be a catalyst for change I need to speak my mind. I think feminism is slow to change because women are so caught up on the definition of feminism.

fem·i·nism
ˈfeməˌnizəm/Submit
noun
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Really?

I don’ t know about you ladies, but me… I don’t want to be equal to men. In fact, we will NEVER be equal to men. We are WOMEN! 

I want to have women’s rights. I want to be able to succeed politically, socially and economically. I don’t however want to be like a man. I want my attributes as a woman to lead to my success. I want someone to hire me BECAUSE of what makes me, ME.

I want to one day vote for a female president… not because she has the balls to run the country. Because she has the feminine touch that just maybe this world needs. She has a different perspective.

Feminism isn’t right or wrong. It’s not about being like someone else; male or female. It’s about embracing your qualities and strengths as a human and being accepted for that.

I recently came across an article that spoke about #freethenipple. If you aren’t familiar with this movement I can summarize it for you quickly. It’s basically women who believe they should have a right to go topless and show their nipples because men can. This is a perfect example of old fashioned feminism in action if you ask me.

Let me say very clearly; I am not scared of nudity, and I do believe a woman should be able to go topless if she wants to. HOWEVER, is going topless successful in proving that we are equal to men? Is showing your nipples freely increasing your power and message as a woman?

My take on it….NO!

Personally, I don’t need to show my nipples to find my equality. This really made me think:

It’s 2015! It’s time that we readdress what we, as women, want feminism to be. 

I want to put the FEMININE back in FEMINISM. Let’s be women AND succeed. Let’s be caring, emotional, soft, hard, funny, strong, and all the other million things women are. Let’s EMBRACE those qualities and show the world that they are right. We are NOT like men. That however, is exactly what makes us amazing. It’s exactly WHY you should hire us, vote for us, treat us fairly.

We can’t change the world until we embrace ourselves. If we don’t love and cherish what makes us women, how can we expect the world to love and cherish us? It’s time for us to love, and be proud to be a woman.

I would love for you to share your thoughts on feminism in 2015. Please share them in the comments section below.

Happy new year everyone!

xo,

Jen

#ShamelesslyFeminine

 

  • Emily J, Photographer - Agree with you 1000000000%!! I have always hesitated to call myself a feminist because of the definitions associated with it. I don’t want to be a man! I love being a women. I have pride in my nurturing nature. A think I am AMAZING because I choose to be a mother. If feminism means I have to get a job and try to have balls then no thank you. I want to be acknowledged and applauded for the work I do in my own home to raise children who will make this world a better place.ReplyCancel

  • Jeff Jochum - holy Miley! What a powerful idea, this is… And you are the force of nature who can get it done. Your vulnerability is an inspiration, Jen. All my love.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - Well said Jen, I have often avoided talk of feminism because it really didn’t interest me. I felt that the woman who paved the road for feminism did a great job but I was not interested in carrying their torch. I don’t want or need to be equal to a man, infact I read Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s veiw in feminism recently and I agree even though it sent feminists everywhere into a tizzy. I like being a woman, I am sensitive, I am strong, I am independent and I am comfortable in the loving embrace of my husband. I love to cook, I am a stay at home wife and I run a full time business. I am #ShamelesslyFeminineReplyCancel

  • Donnamaria - You’ve summarily stated what so many of us have trouble articulating and you’ve done it perfectly. So how do you perfect perfection? You don’t. Thank you for dancing in my head and singing so loudly!ReplyCancel

  • Teri in CR - WOMAN POWER!! You said it GREAT!!ReplyCancel

  • Tim Duquette - I totally agree! I strongly believe (and am raising my children the same) that women in every sense are just as good, capable, and strong as men if not more-so in most cases.

    For the record, I don’t know a whole lot about the ‘free the nipple’ thing, but here in Ontario… it has been made law a few years ago that a woman can indeed, walk around topless just as men can. Rarely ever happens though.ReplyCancel

  • Regina Marie - How beautifully put!ReplyCancel

  • lisa - Well said! I remember the Women’s liberation movement, (reveals my age here, But even though I was only a girl I felt something was very wrong about it. We need equality, without having to lose the very attributes that make us special!ReplyCancel

  • Deryck - Great post Jen. And thank you for raising this topic
    I’ve always had an issue about women wanting to be equal to men too. Why on earth limit yourself to be EQUAL to something that you’re not? Why not do much better than that and excel as a women in every feminine way possible? During my career as an engineer in the corporate world, I used to mentor many female engineers. Whenever this question came up, I would say to them to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. If it is a woman they see, they should just celebrate every aspect of their beautiful female beings and then they will succeed in the world of business.
    A very happy and successful 2015 to youReplyCancel

    • Jen Rozenbaum - Love that you are supportive of women!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Watts - The word “feminism” carries so much baggage these days. I would like equal employment opportunities based on a persons skills,aptitude, and passion. Not based on what’s in their pants. That is SO un-modern. :-) Way to go, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • Feminism in 2015 | My Personal Photography Project to Redefine Feminism » Sarah Lehberger | Nostalgic Family Photographer | Connecticut + New York - […] friend Jen Rozenbaum had an interesting perspective on this topic recently and she said, “I want to have women’s […]ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - I so agree with you Jen that I just had to comment on this. I am a strong woman and an equal with my partner in our business. However, have never been part of burning the bra or we are better than men brigade. I personally feel that many woman have always had it sorted and there was no problem with the woman behind the man. So many women in history actually influenced what went on by just being women. In today equality of thought and mind, but nothing wrong with being a woman. I enjoy having a door opened for me, and the play of banter between man and woman. I often worry that woman are going too far and can not understand why a guy saying you look good or sexy is a problem. Celebrate the qualities of men and women and work together, then life is fun. Thanks for voicing what needs to be said.ReplyCancel

  • Yucel - The Afro lady with the white mesh top, fantastic reverse play that works. Wish I’d taken that.

    BravaReplyCancel

  • Pamela - Yesssssssss. Thank you. I feel exactly the same way — but you said it in such a graceful way yet still threw caution into the wind while saying it. I love everything you do all the more now, even though I think I always had a suspicion we agreed on these things. ReplyCancel

I love makeup. I believe lip gloss can actually change your mood, brighten your day. Sitting in front of the mirror and getting dolled up on a Saturday night makes me feel feminine, fancy.

I remember watching my Mom put on her makeup and getting ready for date nights with my Dad when I was a small child. I longed for the day that I could be grown up and be beautiful like her. Now, the times have changed and I am teaching my daughter the ropes about being a woman. Time goes so fast.

Makeup is more than just color. It’s emotional. It’s sometimes a mask. Often it’s a crutch. As much as I longed for the privilege to wear it when I was younger, I sadly find it a chore to put it on day after day.

Somewhere along the line it changed from a treat to a chore.

When I finally realized that it was a chore for me, I gave myself permission to not wear it when I didn’t want to. I am teaching my daughter that I don’t need it and neither does she. Yeah ok maybe I DO need it. I have bad skin. Rosacea, veins, and lot of ugly stuff that I shouldn’t expose other people to I guess. The truth is though, the stuff that I “should” hide – it doesn’t define me or my beauty.

What defines me… what other people see, is not my skin. It’s my strengths and weaknesses. My emotions. My love. The million other things that make up who I am, least of which is my skin.

I am not afraid to show my skin. I am not afraid of my imperfections.

I challenged other women to try the same thing. Leave the fear at the door and come in to see me. Bare and vulnerable, to let me take their photo.

What I found was amazing. Every single woman was nervous. Every woman had self doubt. Yet after a few minutes together, every single woman was SO herself. She displayed the characteristics that make her who she is. She forgot she wasn’t wearing makeup and allowed her personality shine through.

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I went into the project without any expectations, just an open mind. Working with these amazing women confirmed to me that it’s ok if wearing makeup is a treat when I want it to be and not an obligation on any given day. It moved me. So much so that I was brave enough to step in front of the camera too.

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Shamelessly Yours,
Jen

All images shot with the Sigma 50mm Art Lens and the Westcott TD6 plus the EyeLighter

  • Linda - These photos are amazing. I love that you showed so many women looking and feeling beautiful in their own skin. Bravo.ReplyCancel

A few months ago I dreamt up a new project I call #ShamelesslyFeminine. The project is all about showcasing women, their unique definition of what feminine is, and how they live it.

It’s a story telling project. My hopes are that I will shed some light on how women are all different, special and how imperative that as a society we stop shaming them. (Don’t even get me started on women shaming each other – just disgusting.)

I believe the universe is always listening. No sooner did I come up with this project did my first woman appear. She was right in front of me. The crazy thing is, I had no idea she was there.

Sandra had booked a boudoir shoot with me but had to reschedule last minute. I didn’t know why. Then one day she wrote to me that she was ready to come in and wanted to do so ASAP.
Normally I would have a pre shoot consult before a session to learn more about a client, but Sandra assured me she was ready and so I met with her a few days later.

As Sandra was getting her hair and makeup done, I was busy getting the studio ready and answering emails. I overheard a few words from her conversation with my beauty team. Words like “Seizure”, “Cancer”, “Bald spot”, caught my attention.

I asked Sandra to tell me her story.

Turns out she had to reschedule her shoot because she was hospitalized with Brain Cancer. Heart… meet throat. Her 5 year old saved her life by calling 911 after she had a seizure. Fuck.

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Then Sandra continues to tell me that in her culture, you are shamed for having cancer. WHAT? First off – she used the word “shame” which almost made me fall off my chair. Secondly, shamed for having a disease that sure as shit you didn’t ask for?! This I cannot comprehend. Shame is a more widespread problem than I thought.

Sandra came to my studio with scars, bald spots and the largest amount of bravery I have even seen in a woman. She didn’t let her scars or hair loss stop her from feeling grateful and gorgeous.

I am grateful to have met her. I asked her if she wanted to be my first #ShamelesslyFeminine shoot. She proudly agreed.

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Sadly, I recently heard from Sandra that her cancer is back. I KNOW she can fight. She has before. I believe the universe is always listening, and if we all send her love and support, it will hear us loud and clear.

Prayers and love and warmth to you Sandra. That you for being my first #ShamelesslyFeminine Story. You are beautiful.

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xo,
Jen

  • Stacey - So brave and beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - I’d take courage over “perfection” any day.

    Sandra, your strength is profound and your courage is something I want my daughter to see in me.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - This story is incredible and this work is amazing. A gorgeous tribute, Jen. Love and light to Sandra.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Zimmerman - This is incredible & inspirational.

    What an insanely beautiful woman!! You’ve got this Sandra!ReplyCancel

  • John - Keep fighting Sandra!!! Stay strong and stay positive!!! I know it’s hard. I have relatives fighting cancer. You get though the tough times with positive thinking. Negativity only begets negativity.

    You can do it!!! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Agnes - Sandra you will make it through with that gorgeous shining soul!!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Sandra, you are so beautiful and brave. You are the true definition of #ShamelesslyFeminine <3 Stay strongReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Go Sandra!! Fuck cancer, and fuck the shaming of coincidences. I hope you look at these images daily and that they are strong for you.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Absolutely beautiful. Sandra, you are gorgeous and an inspiration. Keep fighting and stay strong.ReplyCancel

  • Charisse - Sandra is freakin beautiful! Keep fighting & living my sister! Cancer may steal your hair but I’m praying it doesn’t take your joy. May you and your family be blessed with the miracle of much more time together. And Jenn these images are AhMazing! I puppy dog love them! More please.ReplyCancel

  • Waneska - Love!ReplyCancel

  • stacy - Love and the Brightest light to you SandraReplyCancel

  • Sean - You have nothing to feel shamed for! You are beautiful, strong, and brave. Keep fighting and we will keep praying and sending our love support. We might be strangers but we’re all human and cancer sucks! People beat it all the time. Don’t give up hope.ReplyCancel

  • Marney - Sandra, stay positive and strong, and know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL inside and out. Tune out the negativity, and keep fighting. Sending you love and strength!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - What a beautiful and strong woman, Sandra! Sending my best thoughts for your continued strength and for healing! Jen, as always, I’m in awe.ReplyCancel

  • beth - amazing blog and photos of beautiful Sandra…xobReplyCancel

  • Randy - Sandra you are the epitome of beauty and strength! Never stop fighting.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - thanks for your blog Jen. I am kicking cancer’s ass.. I have absolutely no intention of backing down. I’m doing well and want to book another shoot with you!!! Since this blog I traveled to the Cayman Islands, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. I’m living my life and spending time with those who I love and dismiss the cancerReplyCancel

    • Jen Rozenbaum - Sandra – I am so happy to hear from you! My thoughts are always with you my love!ReplyCancel

  • Jean-Paul - What a great story. But it still continues to strengthen and inspire the people around her including me. The meaning in her life brings a unique and powerful voice to this world and it here’s who struggle everyday, men and woman alike .ReplyCancel

In my 6 short years as a boudoir photographer I have seen my fair share of lingerie. Sadly, most of it has been ill fitted, not flattering and confusing. Not to say my clients and I didn’t make it work. A little pinning here, clipping there and boom… she looks amazing.

I can’t help but wonder though, why is lingerie so confusing? Why don’t most women know about it or how it works? If I had a dollar for every time I had to attach a clients stockings to her garter because she had never done it before and didn’t know how… or a dollar for every woman that was wearing the wrong bra size. Well, I’d be on a beach in Bali right now!

The problem doesn’t end at sexy lingerie. Basics are another whole animal. Does any woman have a great every day bra? One that flatters and is comfortable? Is it too much to ask for the straps to stay up all day?

Truthfully, I realized that even I, a woman with extensive lingerie knowledge, doesn’t always have the best fitting bra or proper foundations. Sexy lingerie? It must be a blue moon in my house for me to pull that out.

Why??

I realized it’s mostly because I never enjoy the experience of shopping for it. It never feels comfortable. The sales women either don’t know what they are doing, or they are just telling you what you want to hear to make a sale. Shopping for intimates, is far from intimate.

I want to change that!

In my photography business my goal is for every women to celebrate her unique femininity, shamelessly. Well guess what, it’s going to be exactly the same in my lingerie business.

I want every woman to experience shopping for lingerie based off these three words:

Intimate
Shameless
Feminine

I told a few friends about my new venture and their first question was… “Will you be selling online?”

The answer is no. (At least not for now). My vision is a much more personal lingerie company. You come to me, or I will come to you. I will personally fit you and help you figure out exactly what looks great on you. I will teach you how to work lingerie. How to attach your stocking (and what the proper stocking to buy are!)

I will help you find basics, and hold your hand if you want to step out of your comfort zone and try on something you never would before. I will dress you for every day, a special occasion and even a boudoir shoot. I will keep your secrets, I will tell you the truth. I will be your personal lingerie consultant, stylist and concierge.

Sounds expensive and luxurious… but it’s not. I will be carrying brands that a mid priced, so it’s a small splurge but not an investment. I believe every women deserves to treat herself to something beautiful. Let me help you find the perfect something for you.

The bonus? All my photography clients get a discount on the lingerie. All my lingerie clients get a discount when they book a shoot!

How to see the lingerie? Simple… email me at jenrozenbaum@gmail.com and we will make an appt. I will be carrying the lingerie in my Long Island City studio as well as out of my home in Long Island. Out of state? Too far away? Email me anyway… we’ll make it work.

Have a sexy day!
Jen

PS… Here is one of my favorite pieces that I bought for myself personally. Oooh La La!

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  • Elizabeth Zimmerman - WOW! This is such an incredible idea, Jen! So smart & fun. And sooo needed. Thank you for continuing to inspire me!ReplyCancel

  • Cate Scaglione - Jen you’re such an incredible businesswoman. Always in awe.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica anderson - I have no clue what to buy. I am in Texas….help!ReplyCancel

    • Jen Rozenbaum - Jessica – There are so many places online!! What is the style you are looking for?!ReplyCancel

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