Recently I was asked to speak about my work at an event in New York City, and I invited a good friend of mine to accompany me.

The first question she asked me is, "What should I wear?"

Then she asked me what I was going to wear. And so I called up the event curator and asked her what she was going to wear!

My sister met up with me before I went on stage to give me a hug and to remind me "You got this." Then she complimented my dress and said, "You look like You."

Best. Compliment. Ever.


It was very important to me that I show up authentically when I spoke about my work, and why I do it. And the fact that someone close to me felt that my clothing choice reflected that was freakin' awesome!

The way that we dress is so important, because it projects valuable information about us - even before we speak.

That's why one of the biggest questions I get asked by clients when we're prepping for their session is "What should I wear?"

It's a big stress point for a lot of people, so I always send a checklist over to help clients get their choices in order.

And since I'm getting my own head shots done this month (yay and eek!), I took a look at my checklist decided to put together a short video for you on some of the options I'm considering from my own wardrobe.

In this video I talk about things you should look for in your own closet, why they work, and how you can pair them with other items to create variations and interest!




Hopefully this video provides you with a good starting point, and a checklist that you can take to your own closet when you're getting ready to step in front of the camera.

Is there anything else that you might add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Women don't give themselves enough credit for how amazing they are.

There, I said it.

 We, as a gender, take ourselves for granted; when we do that, that beautiful, soulful, fun-loving goddess inside goes to sleep. So when women step in front of my camera and let her out, it is magical!

And I got to photograph a pretty amazing goddess recently!

Claudia got in touch with me looking for a headshot. She's nearing the end of her teaching career and has decided that the next chapter in her life will be about pursuing a new dream: acting.

I had seen her speak at a Q&A after a local performance of the Vagina Monologues, so when she called me up I already knew what a powerful and passionate woman she is!

About a week before our shoot she got in touch with me and said, "I'm terrified."

Experiencing fear before being photographed is totally normal, so I decided to call her up for a chat and get to the root of the fear.


Essentially it came down to this: she was investing money in herself and she was afraid that the investment wouldn't pay off. She didn't know if she would walk out of the session with pictures that she was happy with, and that unknown made her very nervous.

So I gave her my pep-talk on self love and showing up authentically for the camera, and assured her that I would be there to support her and do my best to bring out her best.

The day of the shoot she was so excited, she said she literally rolled out of bed and hopped in the car to get to the studio.


I think you can tell that the enthusiasm didn't diminish during the shoot!Headshot sessions with Jen Kiaba Photography are about capturing your authentic self and letting your inner light shine!
It's important to me that every portrait and headshot gives a glimpse of the person's amazing energy, personality and inner light!
Authentic Beauty Portraits by Jen Kiaba Photography in Kingston, NY
One of the fun things we got to do in the session was create a beauty portrait for Claudia's husband. She wanted to keep this a secret so that she could surprise him after the session.
This was the portrait that she chose to give him, and she said "Hubby was very happy!"
Headshot sessions with Jen Kiaba Photography are about capturing your authentic self and letting your inner light shine
Once we had had some fun together, it was easy for Claudia to be totally alive and present for the camera! I love how confident and sexy she looks!
Headshot sessions with Jen Kiaba Photography are about capturing your authentic self and letting your inner light shine
We wound down the session with a few more fun, off-beat images where Claudia was able to let her range and comedic side shine! (And I wanted to highlight her auh-mazing shoes!)
Head shots by Jen Kiaba Photography in Kingston, NY
At the end of the session I told her that I felt as though I had just photographed a Hollywood legend. She brought that much range and confidence to her session and I was incredibly impressed.

Through out the session I like to make sure that clients get to see highlights of their shoot. So when they nail a pose or an expression, I invite them to take a look at what I'm seeing on camera.

After one particularly awesome shot, I brought the camera over to Claudia to give her a peek and she said, "Is that me?"

And the wonderful thing is that those images were her. It's not about hair and makeup changing someone; we just use that as polish in my studio. It's all about that inner beauty and gorgeous soul radiating for the camera!

On her way out the door Claudia said, "Jen, I feel like a new woman!"

When she got to see her photos a few days later she said, "I wanted to cry. [Jen] photographed someone I haven't seen in a long time...or EVER."

So to those of you who are afraid of stepping in front of the camera, Claudia says: "Do it. Don't be afraid. You will see the real 'you.'"

Are you ready to let the Real You shine for my camera? Drop me a line! I would love to hear from you!

Every week I talk about the journey of loving yourself more, and embracing your unique beauty.

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What is the most important thing you need to do when you're preparing for a photo shoot?

The answer may surprise you.

Because this is such a big topic, I'm venturing into new territory and am covering it in video! (Hooray and Eek!)

It's a very weird thing to see myself on camera and edit these, but this is another big step for me in walking the walk, so I am letting myself be seen in a big way!

So today's video topic is very near and dear to my heart.

Most of my clients want to know what they can do to prepare for a photo shoot in terms of wardrobe, hair and makeup, and skin regimes leading up to the big day.

Those are awesome questions and I love to talk about the answers - BUT I also feel like if I focus on those topics then we miss a KEY area that is waaaay more important than the clothes we pick together for a shoot.

So grab a mug of your favorite tea, tune in for about five minutes, and let's have a heart to heart about what really needs to happen before your photo shoot.

When you practice this one tip, the camera will love you!



Now I want to hear from you!

Do you feel a little bit better prepared to get in front of the camera? Do you have a story like mine that you'd like to turn around?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for watching!



Jen

PS: If you loved this post, please share it with a friend who might be needing a love injection!

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This year, celebrate Mother's Day by getting in front of the camera and celebrating your special mother and daughter connection!

It's so important, and I want to share a little something that I learned:

My mom's birthday was a few weeks ago, and the one thing that she wanted was a nice family portrait.

You see, there are five kids in my family, and now that we're grown it can be difficult to get everyone together at the same time. And every year she tries to get a photo of all of us kids together, but usually it means that she's not in the image.

For me, it's very important to have photographs of my mother.

So this year I wanted to make sure that I gave her a real family portrait with all of us in it! It took a little bit of time to plan, and some technical know-how on my part, but we did it!

For Mother's Day I will be doing the same thing, but this time it will be with just us girls! And I wanted to offer you the wonderful opportunity to have this experience with your mother, your grandmother or your daughter!

If you can believe it, Mother's Day is only a month away. So for the first time ever I am offering a special Mother-Daughter Mini Session in my Kingston, NY studio!

This is a great opportunity to bring Mom or Grandma in for an heirloom generational portrait!

These sessions can include up to four people, so this is a wonderful chance to get a generational portrait of the amazing women in your family:
A special Mother's Day Mini Session Portrait offer by Jen Kiaba Photography in Kingston, NY


Unlike our regular sessions, hair and makeup will not be included in these Mini Sessions. But don't worry! When you book, I can recommend some amazing local salons where you can get pampered before your session!

These sessions will allow for one wardrobe choice, and as soon as you've booked I'll send a wardrobe guide to help you plan your outfit!

Two digital images will come with your Mini Session package, and you will be gifted a $50 print credit towards any print products that you wish to purchase! Would you like to preview the beautiful products that we offer? Check them out here!

Payment is due at the time of the booking in order to hold your space.

Simply contact me here, or give me a ring at (914) 721-0137 in order to book your session!

Please note, only Mother - Daughter sessions will be booked for this offer. I am so looking forward to photographing you!


Jen

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Here in the Hudson Valley we have an amazing wealth of artists and writers who help make this region a wonderful place to live!

Recently I had the opportunity to invite New York Times Bestselling Author & Memoirist Koren Zailckas into my studio to chat about that community, and why she chose to make the Hudson Valley her home.

The article was published in this month's Hudson Valley Mercantile, which is on newsstands now.

Here's a juicy little preview:

For author and memoirist Koren Zailckas, moving to the Hudson Valley from Park Slope in 2010 was a kind of homecoming. After publishing the New York Times best seller, Smashed: Confessions of a Drunken Girlhood, and following it up with the raw memoir Fury, Zailckas was looking for a creative community of writers to return to. “It is a very bookish community in Park Slope,” said Zailckas. “But you would see publishers or agents and the talk was about book as business. That’s not what I wanted.”

After settling with her young family in High Falls, Zailckas met Martha Frankel, the Executive Director of the Woodstock Writers Festival, and found her way into the Hudson Valley tribe of creatives. “Writing became a much more collaborative process after that,” she says. “It’s been great being a part of the Woodstock Writers Workshop and getting involved in local libraries with their community of writers and readers. The transition has been incredible.”

Working with a community of writers has also helped Zailckas with her process, she says. “You realize that they struggle with the same things that you do. It’s helpful to talk about that with other writers, and just to talk about the process itself.”

The writing process, particularly as it pertains to fiction, is a topic that Zailckas will be discussing as she joins the Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival for the first time this year. The festival was started in 2011 as a partnership between the Red Hook Community Arts Network (RHCAN) and Oblong Books as a way to bring attention to the richness of the local literary arts.

Author Koren Zailckas' Headshot taken by Jen Kiaba Photography in Kingston, NY
Here is the headshot that I took for Koren that ended up in the article!
And I recently finished reading Koren's first memoir, Smashed, which I highly recommend!
This was one of my favorite shots of the morning. It didn't make it into the article, but I love how soulful Koren looks in this headshot!

The Read Local Festival begins on Friday, April 11th, and Koren will be participating in the Fiction Panel on April 12th.

If you'd like to read the whole article and get the entire schedule for the Read Local Festival, check out my article here on the Hudson Valley Mercantile Website!

Looking for head shots for your own upcoming project? Please get in touch with me and let's chat!



Jen

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I tend to get kind of emotional about things that are important to me. When I work with women in my photography studio, their experience is the most important thing to me!

By the time we have had our viewing session, they've ordered their gorgeous products, and then I've delivered them, I have probably seen their photos hundreds of time.

You would think I wouldn't cry, right? (Wrong!)

But the other day I got Christine's album in the mail from my lab. It's a brand new Little Black Book Keepsake Album and I had fallen in love with it when I found it.

Christine was the first one to order it after her boudoir photography session, and even though I had made a sample and knew how amazing the final product was, I was unprepared for how much emotion welled up in me when I opened hers.

This was something that we had created together to honor struggles and successes in her life. From the moment that we had cupcakes and tea together in our pre-consultation, to the moment that I get to deliver this album to her, this will have been an amazing collaborative process.

So, this is pretty damn important to me. And I'm allowing myself some room to get emotional! =)
Hudson Valley Boudoir Photography Album from Jen Kiaba in Kingston, NY
The album comes in a gorgeous pearl-black case, which protects it and also helps make the boudoir album a little more discreet! It comes with your choice of wording on the front, and I love the heart-lifting greeting here!
Hudson Valley Boudoir Photography Album from Jen Kiaba in Kingston, NY
When you pull the book out of it case, you'll see a spot for your crystal flash drive, which is a stunning way to keep the images that you've ordered for your album!
Hudson Valley Boudoir Photography Digital Product from Jen Kiaba in Kingston, NY
And for those of you who love the traditional folio boxes that I've been offering, I'm now including little black keepsake boxes to store your crystal usb drives.
Hudson Valley Boudoir Photography Digital Product from Jen Kiaba in Kingston, NY

Aren't they lovely?

So I just wanted to share something that I am super excited (and just a tad emotional) about right now!

Love the idea of having a Little Black Keepsake Book of your own? Please get in touch with me! I'd love to hear about your own amazing journey thus far and talk about seeing up your dream photo shoot!

❤ Jen

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This morning I want to recommend an amazing, soulful author who helps you dig in deep to your heart and find the cores of your personal love and joy.

Daniel LaPorte is the author of the Firestarter Sessions and the Desire Map, both of which I highly recommend. I personally love the audiobook versions - she has the most wonderful, poetic delivery of her material.

 If you subscribe to her email list you have the option to receive daily #Truthbombs delivered to your inbox.

Today's was one that I wanted to share with you, because I truly believe that this is key in living a happy, fulfilled life:

Truthbombs by Danielle LaPorte

Mmmm, I just love this one!

Why, you might ask?

Because I believe that when we speak of our joy, we not only begin to manifest more (which is awesome) but we begin to realize just how damn amazing we are and our lives are.

It's really easy to get on the complain bandwagon. Most of the time we tend to behave like that scene in Mean Girls, where they stand in front of the mirror talking about all of the things they hate.

When we turn that around and shift our awareness to the things in our lives that are wonderful, the celebration can finally begin.

And for you fellow Law of Attraction ladies, that's when we get to place our order for more of the same.

So I want to share with you a little bit of my joy today:
Authentic contemporary portraits of women by Jen Kiaba in Kingston, NY

I am so joyfully grateful for the amazing relationships that I have with the women in my life that I get to photograph. Each and every one inspires me!

Their trust and collaboration with me in creating amazing, authentic, beautiful and meaningful images makes my world go around. That, in short, is my mission in life.

So, you are my joy! Every single one of you who steps in front of my camera! I know that it takes courage and a lot of soul digging to be ready.

I'm grateful for that and grateful to be able to share the experience of that connection and celebration.

So here's to you. Celebrate you.

And remember: Speak of your Joy. Often!

SO in the comments below I would love for you to share what your joy is, and I hope that they return to you a thousand-fold!

If you think that your joy would be served by a celebratory experience in front of the camera, please get in touch with me! I'd love to hear about your own amazing journey thus far and talk about seeing up your dream photo shoot!

❤ Jen

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This month I had a real treat when I got to visit Behida Dolić's amazing millinery shop in Hudson, NY to write an article and do business portraits.

The article appears in this month's Hudson Valley Mercantile magazine, which can be found on newsstands now!

One of my favorite things about Behida, besides her infectious enthusiasm about her craft, is that she seeks to celebrate each woman and her uniqueness through the craft of millinery.

 Not every hat will work for every woman. Behida recognizes that, and seeks to create or find a hat that will make each woman feel amazing about herself and her style.

Does it get any better than that??

Here's a little snippet from the article I wrote:

Across from the 7th Street Park, a tiny treasure of a store has made a place for itself in the city of Hudson. Stepping into Behida Dolić Millinery on Warren Street is like walking into an exuberant memory of the past. Jazz plays quietly in the background while an array of jewel-toned hats, reminiscent of the 1920s and ‘30s, greet the curious visitor.

Behida Dolić, the eponymous owner of the millinery, is as enthusiastic about her handcrafted creations as the colors of her hats suggest. And that enthusiasm is infectious. Marking her third year as a business owner in Hudson, the community has supported what many might assume has become a lost art.

Originally from a small village of craftspeople in Bosnia, handmade was a way of life for Dolić. Her father made furniture and mother made kilim rugs. Dolić moved to the United States in 1998 and went on to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. “I’ve always been an artist, and always had creativity in me,” says Dolić. “But millinery was a very specifically chosen craft.”

Behida Dolic greets all customers to her Hudson Store with a smile. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
Behida Dolić greets all customers to her Hudson Store with a smile.
An original handmade Behida Dolic teal 1930's inspired hat. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
An original handmade Behida Dolić teal 1930's inspired hat.
Behida Dolic Millinrey's adorable Hudson Shop, where customers can enjoy jazz and gorgeous vintage inspired hats. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.

Behida Dolić Millinrey's adorable Hudson Shop, where customers can enjoy jazz and gorgeous vintage inspired hats. 


Hand-carved hat forms are used to drape all of Behida Dolic's original designs. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photogaphy.
Hand-carved hat forms are used to drape all of Behida Dolić's original designs.
A peek behind the scenes in Behida Dolic's shop, where  a cocktail hat awaits its finishing touches.  Photo by Jen Kiaba photography.
A peek behind the scenes in Behida Dolić's shop, where  a cocktail hat awaits its finishing touches.
Tracy Young measures material for the beginnings of a new hat. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
Tracy Young measures material for the beginnings of a new hat.
Behida Dolic, in one of her original designs, explains that each woman' is unique and that a hat should be chosen to fit her face shape, hairstyle height and overall personal style. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
Behida Dolić, in one of her original designs, explains that each woman is unique and that a hat should be chosen to fit her face shape, hairstyle height and overall personal style.
Behida Dolic makes a minor adjustment to one of her designs while enjoying the view out of her shop window on Warren Street in Hudson. Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
Behida Dolić makes a minor adjustment to one of her designs while enjoying the view out of her shop window on Warren Street in Hudson.
The vintage inspired sign on Warren Street promises nostalgic delights inside of Behida Dolic's Hudson shop.  Photo by Jen Kiaba Photography.
The vintage inspired sign on Warren Street promises nostalgic delights inside of Behida Dolić's Hudson shop.

To read the entire article check out the magazine on newsstands now, or visit http://www.hvmercantile.com/

Are you looking for a feature for your business, or portraits to set your brand apart?

Contact me today and let's talk about your dream shoot!