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A few months ago, I was invited to share my knowledge at Unique Photo in NJ. I had never been to Unique prior to that event, but I was really blown away. Their showroom is amazing. Spacious and fully stocked. They are easy to get to (even for a NY’er like me!) and the owner, Matt, he’s really a great guy. He’s open to anything creatively and I just love that kind of freedom!

Sigma and Westcott both sponsored the event which meant the attendees and I all got to try different lights and lenses while shooting simply gorgeous models.

I taught about posing, lighting and how to make a woman look amazing (not only in lingerie!).

Here are some examples:

This is a posing technique I teach called “Out of body” and “In body” posing.  As you can see in the first photo the arms are outside the body lines and in the second photo the arms are in the body line. Both show off our models waist and beautiful curves.

In the first image here, although our model is making a gorgeous face, I find her hands very distracting. I asked her to move the hand that was facing me and boom! It’s immediately more delicate, flattering and feminine. These small touches truly turn good photos into great ones.

Shooting from different views with different lenses is sometimes something we forget when we are in the thick of shooting. This is an example of how I was able to get three different photos without really moving the model much at all.

Taryn, over at Unique,  made all these gorgeous sets for us to use. In all there were about 5-6 different set ups. Ten different models and multiple outfit changes. I only captured a few images since I was busy teaching, but I know the attendees filled up their memory cards that day.

If you are interested in joining me for my next event at Unique, it is May 3rd. Here is the link to sign up: JEN ROZENBAUM AT UNIQUE 

Special thank you to Matt (the owner), Taryn (Head chick in charge of workshops) and “The Daves” from Westcott and Sigma who work really hard to make me look good. (PS… These images were shot with the sigma 85mm and the 70-200mm and the Westcott Spiderlites and the Skylux. I recommend all of these highly – they are what I use in my studio and I swear by them!)

XO,

Jen

A few months ago I started working with a woman named Rachel. I am not sure if Rachel is a nutritionist, nutritional counselor, wholistic coach or just a plain ole lifesaver. Regardless of her title, I hired Rachel after I was dreadfully sick all winter to help me learn about food, to eat healthy, and to strive for my optimal health. (I think Rachel’s real title should be nutritional therapist, because truly that is what she was to me.)

The last few months have been a roller coaster. I have (not always so easily) learned to make much smarter choices with my food. My rosacea looks better, my energy is up and my insomnia is way down. All perfectly good reasons to say good bye to cheese doodles forever one would assume.

Except there was one benefit to all this green eating that I wasn’t seeing. I wasn’t losing those dreaded 5-10 pounds that was part of my true motivation to start eating healthier. Ok, it wasn’t my ONLY motivation… but for years, YEARS, those 5-10 pounds have been the demise of me.

Funny enough, when I was 5 pounds lighter than I am now, I would still always say I was trying to lose 5 pounds. When I was 10 pounds lighter, I wanted to lose 5 more. These 5 pounds have become part of my identity. They own me. If I get on the scale and see a good number, I have a good day. Sadly, the opposite is true too. How many days have I spent in a bad mood because of a stupid number on a cheap digital scale? Too many.

So I told Rachel 2 weeks ago that I was upset that I wasn’t an ounce thinner than I was when we started our journey together. Even though I FEEL great, I still am beating myself up over what I SEE.

Her response… “Jen, WHAT IF you just let go of those 5 pounds, what would happen?”

Truth is, I didn’t know. It never even occurred to me that I could let go of it. If I let go of it, what will be my motivation to lose it? It was kind of a mind warp for me.

Rachel gave me a few instructions. First, I was to take down the photos of me that hang on my fridge that show me 10 pounds lighter. Who needs that constant reminder? Second, shed my closet of all the clothes that are too small on me. (She assured me that since I love shopping so much she has no doubt that if I am ever that small again I would buy new jeans anyway…she knows me too well). Third, put a rubber band on my wrist and any time I think about food or myself negatively I snap the rubber band. (Sadistic, I know.)

While I was going through this mind warping, I had the opportunity to work with a gorgeous client. Her body is SICK, I mean it makes women and men drool. Sadly, she has hid her body for fear of people seeing her imperfections on her legs. I can’t emphasize enough how gorgeous this woman is. Not just on the outside, but even more so on the inside. She has a mission in life, one that requires huge guts and heart. I admire her. I only know her for a handful of hours but at the end of the session I told her how much I see in her. I said, “If anyone that knows you – even in passing – defines you by a few marks on your legs…. well, it’s just impossible – because you are SO much more than that. Trust me, no one is even seeing what you see. Your love and energy is so bright, THAT is what they see and define you by.”

I meant every word.

On my ride home that day I realized that I was being a hypocrite. No one is defining me by my 5 pounds, and if they are – well, how sad for them.

After that session I promised myself to let go of the 5 pounds. I promised to put my energy into being good to myself. Going to the gym, making juice and to STOP weighing myself. I am too strong to let a scale determine my day.

It’s been a bunch of weeks since I made this commitment. I can’t tell you how good it feels. It’s like a while new life. I am no longer a prisoner in my own flesh. I never realized how exhausting it is to put so much energy into something so negative. I have even more energy to spare now. I am lighter and more confident and just so so ready for this new way of life.

Thank you Rachel, for asking me “What if…”. It allowed me to do something that I thought was impossible.

Love myself.

So I want to ask you… What if?

I would love to open up this discussion in the comments below.

What is your what if… Maybe if you share it, you can start living it too… It’s hard work, but the benefits make you unstoppable!

xo,
Jen

  • JD - Nice post. Glad you are able to be healthy and understand how important feeling good is vs looking “good”ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Inspiring. I needed this this morning.ReplyCancel

  • alan - Wow, Jen. As much as I love your photos, I think I love the words behind them even more. A lot of what you say speaks to more than just the women in your audience. Trust me, guys out there can relate to a lot of what you say. I know I can…ReplyCancel

  • Anna - Jen, I love this post. I am going to share it on my FB page because so many of my clients feel this way. I jumped on the what if bandwagon about 4 years ago when I knew losing 10 lbs was just NOT going to happen. My body is just different now. My bone structure is wider than it was in high school and I plain ol’ had bigger breasts. I kept telling myself if I worked out I could be like I was when I was 18… yeah no I can’t. I finally learned to love who I was now. When I looked in the mirror I did feel skinny, I couldn’t quite understand where the 10lbs came from until I learned that my body structure had changed! I also work out a lot more so the increase is from my muscles. I feel good in my own skin and honestly the only time I get weighed is at the doctor’s office and even then I don’t look at the number. Thank you for sharing! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Natalie Wallace - Jen. WOW. Thank you. My “what if” is the same as your “what if”. This is very empowering… :). Thank you! Natalie Wallace, Zhush Portrait <3ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina Nicole - This is such a great post Jen!!! I couldn’t be happier for you for letting go of those 5 pounds. It’s amazing the strong effect a simple number on the scale can have on us. I stopped weighing myself a few years ago when I realized that I too was starting to have an unhealthy relationship with the scale. My “what if” is probably being scared to combine my photography company with my dream of being a personal trainer & health enthusiast.ReplyCancel

  • Bea - And here’s something else: 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 50 pounds even: if we keep judging ourselves based on the LOOK of things instead of the HEALTH of things (and that’s the emotional, mental and physical health), then we diminish ourselves, and all women, girls, and even men and boys. Because we are teaching them (and reinforcing for ourselves) that that’s the main thing we have to offer.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve made peace with those pounds, and sharing what you’ve learned.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Watts - GREAT post. No kidding….am I really going to let 10 pounds stress me out for the rest of my life? What’s the cumulative effect of that? The worry probably does more damage than the actual weight.ReplyCancel

  • Spicytee - I love, love this post Jenny. She totally had me too with that question too. What would really happen if I ever let go of the pounds that I work hard and spent a lot of money trying to shed the weight off.

    But really to think of it, I’d still be the amazing me. Though maybe more energy, prettier, and more curves 😉 but people would still see the me that is in me.

    Thanks for the great post Jenny. And you really had me at putting a rubber band on the wrist and any time one think about food or oneself negatively to snap the rubber band. Sadistic or not, I’m going to find a rubber band now NOW 😀ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - So, so true… we need to give ourselves a break!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Damn. Second time I’ve read this, and it still brings tears to my eyes. Everything you said to your client is true about you. I won’t belabor the point, but Jen, you ARE beautiful inside and outside. And through the work you do, you help so many of us get past the damage we’ve done to our psyches by absorbing and internalizing all of the messages we get from the external world. There’s so much more I’d like to say, but I’m going to the gym now, before it closes. Instead of obsessing about losing the cellulite on my legs, though, I’m going to focus instead on listening to the music I love and appreciating the power of these long, lean legs.ReplyCancel

I believe the true power of a woman

can never be taken away

by sweatpants and ponytails.

Let’s face it. We all get into some sort of rut now and again. It’s a lot of work to get dressed and do your makeup everyday. Often new moms don’t leave the house. More and more women work from home. Sometimes we simply just don’t have the time. Sweatpants and pony tails become our life. (Confession: I’m wearing both as I type!)

There’s nothing wrong with sweatpants and ponytails, until that is – we allow them to define us.

How did it happen that we let our pony tails and sweatpants override our power as women. Why can’t we be sexy, powerful and beautiful while wearing them. When did society decide that a mom that wears sweatpants is one that has “let herself go”? Why can’t I work in sweatpants and be just as smart and successful as when I wear a power suit?

Well, I am here today to tell you that I can be. You can be too. We are powerful creatures. Sweatpants and ponies can’t take that away from us unless… we let them.

Let’s STOP letting them!

Now is as good of a time as any to remind ourselves that we are not defined by our clothes, our bodies, our looks. No one or nothing can take away our power.

 

I won’t stand for that any longer.

I hope you will stand with me in showing the world that we are women,  we are beautiful. Yes, even in sweatpants and ponies.

 

Before you go…. I want to leave you with one more thing to think about.

What if?

What if you have let sweatpants and ponies define you, and take away your power.

Are you are ready to change that?

What would happen if you broke the mold of what you THINK you are and revealed the true you?

You know, the woman who deep down wants to LIVE her life, OWN her life, CELEBRATE her life…

If you took off the sweatpants and ponies…who would you reveal?

 

Certainly something to think about.

XO,
Jen

Thank you SOOO much to Toni and Diana who did an amazing job on Alina’s hair and makeup. They are both so amazing to work with in my studio and of course they do hair and makeup on their own as well. You can find them here:

Toni

Diana

  • alessandra spence - beautiful! love following your blogs!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi O - Brilliant Images! We all need to take a bit of this for ourselves and our clients!ReplyCancel

I have been having such a blast touring with the American Photo Magazine Model Shoot. I have met some amazing people from all over the country. (I am once again reminded of how blessed I am to have my job!) I have had some new foods I have never tried and I finally mastered finding the baggage carousel at O’Hare Airport. Bonus!

One of the best parts of the workshop is the ability for the attendees to borrow Sigma lenses and try them out on the spot for FREE! You can’t beat that price. (I personally love all of my Sigma lenses – they are great for boudoir!)

We use constant lights from Westcott in all the shooting bays to make it easy to see the results you get. Because flash isn’t being used, you are free to roam from one gorgeous model to the next without any technical difficulties.

There are still a few locations left on the tour. Check out all the details here:

American Photo Model Shoot

Here’s a little peek at what you can expect:

Hope to see you there!
XO,
Jen

Every year around my birthday I find myself wondering a couple of things.

1. Where did these grey hairs come from?

and

2. What have I accomplished this year and what do I want to accomplish going forward.

The answer to #1 I will never know, however the answer to 2 is a little easier for me but only a little.

This last year was filled with self discovery. As spiritual and zen as that sounds, I can assure you, it was not. In fact it was jam-packed with serious soul searching and facing some hard facts about myself. We all look in the mirror every day. How often do we really SEE what’s there.

As I learned, not often.

This year long path of self discovery was recently heightened by my participation in the Team-X fight club.

Don’t get me wrong. For 11 months I REALLY dug deep. I learned about myself as a person, how to work happy and to narrow in on the message I want to send with my business. I just felt like there was something missing. A chain, holding me back from freedom. That’s what brought me to fight club.

Fight club was everything you would expect it to be. Emotional, draining and did I say emotional? (I’m starting to figure out where I got my grey’s from!). It was worth every minute. I learned something that really has set me free.

I learned about femininity.

Allow me be more specific. I learned about MY definition of femininity. It may seem simple. I am a woman, I should know what feminine is. Surprisingly, I really didn’t. Because I didn’t, I was floundering in many areas of my life. I knew what LOOKED feminine and what FELT feminine but I couldn’t understand why I was always struggling with it in my life.

It was as simple as defining it that allows me to live it.

I believe femininity is Vulnerable not Weak.
I believe femininity is Self confident not Arrogant.
I believe femininity is Fearless and also Humble.

This is how I live. Wholeheartedly.

This is how I empower other women to live the feminine life they want to live. This is my mission.

Defining femininity has allowed me freedom and acceptance. Acceptance that the scale doesn’t define me. That I don’t have to put down other women in order to raise myself up. That I am whole and complete just the way I am.

It’s time we stop the civil war amongst ourselves and each other.

Back in March, I had a photo shoot done in Vegas. Prior to the shoot I had wished I was taller, thinner (I had gained 10 lbs afterall) and more beautiful. Now, I look at the photos and I see a woman who is wiser, more confident and certainly more feminine.

This year, I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. I feel excited just thinking about it.

This year I own being fearlessly feminine.

I dare you to join me!

xoxo,
Jen

PS… Thank you to Brian Calabrese and Craig LaMere for the beautiful photos!

  • phil - lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - You inspire me woman!! Cheers to you and all the women who meet you, and are transformed in an instant. :) I know I was. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Gord Klimchuk - I definitely wouldn’t look as beautiful if I posed for a boudoir shoot!

    Thank you for being a mentor and inspiration for my venture into the Boudoir field. I hope to also empower women by capturing their femininity. I have met many women who have a poor image of self – mostly thanks to the definition of beauty as portrayed in the media. It is such a pleasure to see their transformation when they first view their images I have taken of them. Many times they say, “I AM beautiful!”. And no longer can anyone tell them differently, because they have the proof in the prints! And you have helped me become a better photographer for these women.ReplyCancel

  • Corey Williams - absolutely stunningReplyCancel

  • Astami - Looking stunning as always! Happy birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Mark P. Henderson - As an aspiring photographer, I admire your work, especially the honesty within it. As a guy with self image issues, I find your words and purpose inspiring. The perspective you shed on such a sensitive and emotional topic is refreshing and purposeful, so thank you. Finally, as a fan of boudoir photography, these images are beautiful. On all levels, thank you for sharing. (As an added bonus, this blog entry was posted on my birthday!)ReplyCancel

  • Jodi O - Oh my! Craig’s work is stunning and good for you for sharing with us. I am once again inspired by all that you do!ReplyCancel

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