With Love – nj newborn photographer

The easiest way to dissect success is though gratitude. Giving thanks for that which we do have, for what is working, appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted. We give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocates, creating more to be thankful for.

-Matthew McConaughy, 13 Lessons learned

Sometimes when I’m in the midst of a crisis of faith — in this case, faith in what I do, the work I produce and most importantly, faith in my chosen profession — I try to find things for which to be thankful.  Here is the thing — I don’t consider myself to be a success. But I do feel that I have been graced by luck. 8 years ago I was able to leave a full time job and transition to my own business — a business that afforded me the luxury of watching my own children grow. How am I lucky? I fell into this career through a series of small, well-timed (some would say lucky) connections. I was lucky to have a husband who supported me and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I was lucky that he was able to take a leap of faith with me when I left my job — and a belief that I could and would be successful. I have been lucky to have clients who appreciate me and acknowledge the value of my work and to continue to find clients who appreciate me and see value in my work.  I am lucky to have children who will know, through beautiful pictures, just how much they are loved. I am lucky because I have many friends who rally around me when the struggle to persevere weighs heavily on my shoulders.

My problem has always been that I do not know how to define success in the long term. I can define it in small increments – i.e. today I had a successful session – but not in the “I have lived a successful life” way. So when I read the above quote (and I would be remiss if I didn’t add that the whole essay is wonderful) I knew I had to reframe my feelings about success. All those things I was lucky to have are just some of the reasons for which I am so very grateful. My problem as I see it is that I was defining success the wrong way. Instead of success being a lifelong endeavor, every day is an incremental success. Because every day I have something for which to be grateful, even if I don’t always recognize it at the time.

With love, is another newborn post — another client who acknowledged the value of my work and so for today, is why I am a success.



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Amy Johnson - June 10, 2015 - 10:12 pm

I find you so inspiring Janine. You live your truth out loud in a very honest and candid way. Success is such a personal thing – it can be hard to feel “successful” when the demands of life pull at you in a way that is unrelenting. Please know how grateful I am to have met you – and how happy I am to call you my friend.

Maria - June 27, 2015 - 10:27 pm

Very nice photographs. the black and white with the basketball is my fave out of this batch

Welcome (part 2) – nj newborn photographer

Capturing little boys with their newborn baby brother or sister can be a unique challenge.  Anyone who has a boy — especially one between the ages of 2-5 year old –  will tell you that the ability to move fast is important because they are never still. For me the key is always to get them involved. I have my own little boy (who is now not so little) so I get how  important it is to always be ready. Of course when a toddler is done, there is no arguing otherwise. Even the best bribe won’t matter.  I’ve seen many a mom whip out the big guns (m&ms, gummies and other forms of chocolate) only to have them dig in their heels. That’s when I move on to the newborn and give them a break. After all, even highly paid models need some time alone  :)

We got about an hour or so from this little guy and as you can see, it was all we really needed. We broke it up and let him play (while his newborn brother ate) and then we finished up with the family pictures. I have to say, he was a really good boy 9and a great big brother) so I truly enjoyed the session. Sometimes I think it can be harder on the parents. Of course I remember well what it was like when my son was born. Big sister Emma was NOT happy she had to share the spotlight and when he was 3 months old, she decided to ride him like a pony. I wish I could say that’s all changed but well, it hasn’t.  I always need to bring out the big bribes when I want to capture them together and these days those bribes are usually in the form of IPAD apps, large ice cream sundaes and even cold hard cash. Boy do I miss the days when all they needed were some m&ms!



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Welcoming – nj newborn photographer

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a wonderful assortment of little newborn clients welcomed into the world by not just their parents but an older sibling. I have to admit — capturing sibling shots during a newborn session is never easy, especially when the siblings are close in age. I remember when my son was born less than 2 years after my daughter arrived and it never even crossed my mind to try to photograph them together. Aside from the fact that I was sleep deprived and overwhelmed — even capturing them in the same frame seemed impossible! So when I approach the sibling shot, I try to have a plan. I always discuss my ideas with my clients. Certain poses work better than others and let’s face it, sometimes you need more than 1 possibility. With this particular session, I knew after I looked through the first set of images that I would need to go back. I had a few sibling shots but none I truly loved and I know that if I don’t love them, chances are mom won’t either. Luckily mom was open to having me return and the 2nd visit went much better than the first.

I try to keep my newborn sessions as natural as possible. Mom chose some beautiful headbands and wraps for the baby but in general, my favorite part of a newborn session is capturing the relationships. These are moments that pass so quickly and I believe this is what makes my work more meaningful. mendham-newborn-photographerchester-nj-newborn-photographer

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Summer sessions

Summer is such a wonderful time of year to schedule your family portraits — everyone is happy and healthy (and tan!) and more importantly, much more relaxed than during the hectic fall season. I have a number of wonderful locations with beautiful rolling hills and fields for families as well as some sweet little lakes for the little ones to splash in. Summer is a magical time of year and I would love to capture your family and children in a natural and beautiful way! Visit my site at www.savinggracephotography.com call me at 646-932-3904 or email me at savinggrace@savinggracephoto.com to schedule your session! I am booking July and August!

nj baby photography

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In Praise of the Smile – nj baby photographer

A few days ago I was walking through the grocery store. I usually find food shopping pretty enjoyable —  I like good food and I love to cook — but this was not one of those days. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I was having a grumpy, negative moment. Some days things are tougher than they need to be and on this day, small problems seemed insurmountable and the big ones, well the big ones were just weighing on my soul.

Let’s face it, moods are contagious. No one wants to be around you when you’re unhappy so my goal was to get in and get out and wallow in my crankiness alone in my office. I kept to myself and concentrated on what I needed to buy. But then I turned a corner and glanced up at the person coming toward me. She looked up too and smiled at me. It was not your typical — pass someone in the aisle and smile to be polite — it was a big, hearty, happy, beautifuly contagious smile. It was the kind of smile that made me wonder if I knew her (I didn’t). It was the kind of smile that made me want to know her. I turned around and watched her go by. I don’t have many “stop me in my tracks” moments but this was one of them. I wanted to follow her and ask her what her secret was but I didn’t. Instead, I continued to shop, my mood changed for the better. My day wasn’t perfect but my attitude was much more positive and I can thank this person for helping to make that happen. All because of a simple smile.

So many photographers will tell you that they love a serious look on a child. Don’t get me wrong, I do too. But there is no replacement for the genuine, heartfelt and radiant smile. So this post is in praise of the smile — the happy, joyous,, authentic smile. The kind of smile that can turn your day around.


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