Friday, September 28, 2018

Why This Lifestyle Portrait Session Brought Me to Tears

After 11 years of standard school pictures of your child, don't you agree that high school senior portraits should be so much more? At this stage, the "kids" have a definite personality, sense of style, defined likes, and aspirations for their future.

This young man has always loved the city and aspires to be an architect. He's handsome, witty, sweet, smart, and brought me to tears when editing his images! Well...the tears part is because...he's my son! We were having so much fun at his lifestyle portrait session, it wasn't until I was editing the images after when it hit me out of nowhere, this is MY high school senior! Holy cow!! How did he grow up so fast? Where's that little baby? In about nine more months, we'll be at his graduation and he'll be starting the next chapter of his life (enter pause for tissue here).

But truthfully, it's why I do what I do! I want all kids and their parents to have something to look back on, not only to remember this phase, but as a fun reference when they've achieved that aspiration. Can you imagine in 10 or 20 years, when he's a big city architect, how fun it will be to look back on the high school senior on the pages of this album and say "remember when" and "look how far you've come!"? Not only will he enjoy it, but so will his kids!
I can't wait!

Even if this was not my son, editing his images and creating his lifestyle portrait album may have actually brought a tear (just not as many perhaps) because of my connection as a parent. If I hadn't realized before, I did in that moment that THIS is why I choose to be a family portrait photographer. It fills my heart to know that I'm helping families create heirloom keepsakes with storybook portrait albums and handcrafted portrait prints. Without printed portraits, how will we look back? We are so caught up in our day-to-day, we forget what our kids were like 5 years ago, 10 years ago, etc. We forget what they looked like compared to now. Photographic prints help remind us, and bring us together to reminisce. There is nothing like flipping through the pages of an album and remembering...

They're only a high school senior once! Do more than just have a picture taken. Remember life is not a snapshot, but a story to be told for generations.

The fun thing about a Lifestyle Portrait Session is that once you've met the yearbook picture requirement, you can do these any time, anywhere to have for yourself! Just be sure to bring a tissue!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Passion Times Two

Hobby versus career, how does one know? Did you ever ask yourself that question? This has come up often in my mind over the years as I've contemplated various career paths. It's important to me to be doing something that I enjoy; and as I get older, it is equally as important to be doing something meaningful for people. Photography has always been a passion, and after enjoying landscape and nature photography as a hobby for years, my kids were born and shifted my interest to portrait photography. They made me realize how important it was to capture our loved ones in portraits. Thus...the inception of Jean Wozniak Photography.

As life would have it, after 16 years in a full-time marketing position at a civil engineering firm, I was laid off. My photography business had been building along-side my day job, and as my manager's words were unfolding about my layoff I remember thinking, "this is chance to launch my business full time." And that's exactly what I did, enjoying the past eight years as a full-time portrait photographer. 

But wait! I really enjoyed and missed the design portion of my job. Luckily, my business needed marketing material, providing the initial outlet I needed. Various people and organizations also needed these materials and I happily offered to help them graphically with their needs. This included several book and policy manual design projects that have kept me busy over a number of years.

It wasn't until two years ago, though, when I accepted a position with the Professional Photographers Association of New England that I realized how much fun I was having with design. The position started as a newsletter editor but quickly transformed to a publications editor as their newsletter converted to a full magazine. What fun, exploring new styles, new designs, new layouts, developing and researching new content, etc.! For me, it was the perfect compliment to photography. Passion times two! 

Both my photography services and design services developed from two important things: 1) a desire to help others fulfull a need, and 2) a desire to visually create something meaningful whether to strengthen a memory or provide insight. Why did I share this story? To inspire others to find meaning and purpose in what makes them happy. Let life unfold, always keep an open mind and your path will take you to pleasant places. May you have the good fortune of finding passion times two!

Graphic design samples are now housed at