*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor
I hope APW readers understand how much behind-the-scenes credit they get from wedding professionals for being the best clients out there. You may not know this, but one of the most common conversations I hear when I talk to my fellow sponsors is what a joy it is working with APW readers, and how much you make our jobs worthwhile.
But the love letter our newest sponsor Jen Colborne of Jen Shoots Weddings in London, Ontario wrote for you guys today is something special. I got goosebumps all over as I nodded through her letter. Because it’s one thing to admit that you guys make our jobs awesome. And it’s something else entirely to admit that we maybe wouldn’t be doing our jobs at all without you. But before I kick it over to Jen, let me give you a brief rundown of what she’s about. Jen has mastered what I call the “Modern Traditional” wedding photography style. With an emphasis on modern interpretations of classic portraiture, Jen’s photos are clearly influenced by being a fourth-generation photographer. But what I appreciate about Jen’s take on this style is that she has a sense of humor about her work, making her pictures relaxed and fun, not staged.
Jen’s packages start at just $2,100, which includes unlimited coverage by two photographers and a disc of high-resolution images. Jen says, “I believe in keeping things simple, so I like to include as much as possible! I travel anywhere, anytime, with no travel fees in Ontario, and nominal fees elsewhere. I absolutely adore natural and fun clients that believe in naturally beautiful photos, mixing a bit of my traditional background with dramatic elements and candid moments.” And because Jen Shoots Weddings is extra passionate about the APW community, she’s offering 20% off to all APW couples and giving one lucky APW in Canada free wedding photography! Just head over to her blog for more details.
And now, I give you Jen herself:
I’ve been working as a wedding photographer for over fifteen years now. My dad was a wedding photographer, and both my grandfather and great-grandfather were professional photographers. I spent years working my butt off, taking every client that came my way, even if they weren’t the best fit for me, nor I for them. I was determined to be successful, and I had it in my head that successful just meant busy. In that aspect, I was successful. But I was also about to crash and burn, and almost wipe my hands of those fifteen years completely.
What happened? I got married. I had a big (bigger than I wanted originally, anyway) wedding with loads of super awesome details. Long before Pinterest, I was obsessed with details like a loose-leaf tea buffet, vintage brooch details (including on my super-gorgeous cake), and chalkboards. And damn it, did my wedding ever look good. The marriage itself was a sham, but I couldn’t see for the reflection of my vintage brooch bouquet. Six months later, the marriage was over, and my love for wedding photography was gone. And when I say gone, I mean, totally and completely vanished. I struggled to finish the remaining season, and then I basically went into hiding. I deleted every advertising platform, every social media account. The only thing I left up was my website, and even that rarely got updated. I drowned my sorrows in whiskey, Googled new career options, and drunkenly decided that being a private investigator sounded like a pretty good back-up plan.
And then my best friend, a fellow photographer named Eve, kicked my ass. Between the ass kicking from her, and support from my amazing partner Brian, I opened my eyes again.
What does any of this have to do with you, APW readers? A lot. It was at this point that I realized that those super-gorgeous details? They don’t matter as much as the ceremony itself. Guests may have gone home and talked about my sundae bar, but six months later, the ice cream was far from their mind when they were offering me condolences on my divorce.
Slowly, I started to realize that I didn’t want to give up something I truly loved, and that to be successful, I didn’t have to book every client—I just had to book the right ones. The ones that are getting married because they want to share their lives together. The ones that are getting married because they want to celebrate their awesome union with family and friends, or even with no one else around. The ones that are getting married first, and having a wedding second. After realizing how many couples like that exist, I knew I could find my passion again. That’s why advertising on APW means so much to me, and why people like the ones that read APW saved my business, and my sanity.
I don’t think I need to tell you that Jen of Jen Shoots Weddings is going to be someone who gets your priorities at your wedding, someone who understands that photos of your Great Aunt Phyllis are just as important as the centerpieces you slaved over. But I do want to tell you that in addition to these things, Jen is also committed to body positivity through photography (a subject near and dear to my heart). In Jen’s other life, she does kickass boudoir photography and focuses on creating powerful images of women of all sizes (as evidenced in the super hot below).
Today is one of those days I’m extra thrilled with my job, because I get to introduce you to someone who really and truly appreciates the magic this community creates for the people involved in your weddings. So if you’re in Ontario (or anywhere really; Jen loves to travel), know that you’re in good hands with Jen Shoots Weddings. And don’t forget to submit yourself to win free wedding coverage from Jen! Details over here.