They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I'd argue that pictures of our kids are in fact priceless. That's why I believe investing in the occasional professional photo session is a must. Friend, neighbor and momtrepreneur Jennifer Neuman has a real gift for capturing the joy and vibrancy of children. There is nothing stuffy or posed about her work.
When you meet Jen, you can instantly see her passion. She knows how to talk to kids and how to set them at ease--thus guaranteeing a great portrait. I caught up with the busy Brooklyn mom of two to learn more about her business and the art of the photo.
Why did you launch your business?
I have always admired a childs ability to be uninhibited and free in their spirit regardless of their surroundings. In a childs mind, the world is ready to receive anything that they put out there. This observation inspired me to capture it on film. Photography allowed me to extend that interest. Whether it is a birthday party or a family playing on the beach, I have been invited to not only take pictures but to capture genuine moments that are happening within those relationships. I love the psychology behind what I do, I continue to learn and grow from each photo shoot that I have.
How did your first shoot go?
My first shoot went well but it was my second shoot that was not so great. I learned very quickly that each person has a different vision for what they want as their final product. Communicating all of that up front by detailing the expectations is imperative.
What are some of your favorite places to shoot?
Shooting in an environment that is most comfortable to the family is my favorite. There is nothing like watching my clients together in a genuine way and being able to capture it for them to preserve forever. For me, it is very difficult to manufacture moments therefore the best place to take photos is where the family feels their best. With that said, if I had to pick one place in particular, I love the aesthetics of DUMBO, Brooklyn. There is so much beauty to incorporate in to the photos. DUMBO is a very special place and can be documented in an artful way while incorporating what is happening for the family at any given time.
What surprises you about customers?
How different each customer is. Family dynamics are so unpredictable so when I feel like I have it, something happens to surprise me and take me down a different path. I like that, it keeps it exciting.
Kids are notoriously impatient with photos
. What is your trick?
Patience! You must wait for the moment instead of trying to create it. The second thing I would say is that I love it. I love taking photos so the kids love it too. They feel comfortable with me and I sense that they feel my playfulness so they just go along for the ride. The last thing I will say is that I never ask the kids to smile for the camera. The best photos are the candid ones. I allow the kids to do what they like to do and from there I shoot.
What do you love about working from home?I love being able to edit my photos on my own time with my own things around me. I like playing my favorite music, having my tea and relaxing while doing what I love to do.
Any tips for other parents looking to grow a biz in this recession?
Find something you love and do it. I believe that no matter what the timing is within our economic climate, if you are passionate enough and genuinely love what you are doing, people will buy it. There is nothing more reliable than genuine passion.
What do you love about your NYC neighborhood?
Where do I start? I love the community. I love the family energy that surrounds it. I love the water, the taxi boats, and the parks. I love the restaurants (even though we need more). I love walking down the streets and knowing faces and names. I feel a part of something very special here in DUMBO. We are a community of people growing together with a common goal to make it work. We share this common interest, which creates a positive environment for all of us.
To learn more about her work and top book a session, visit www.jenniferneumanphotography.com