It's also great timing, because as the trees begin to change their colours and the air begins to crisp up, what more of a perfect backdrop could you ask for, for a photo shoot of any kind. Time to get those pictures for that Christmas card to send to the relatives. :)
Today's feature photographer, and our first of the week, is j.sterk photography. Located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Jenae Sterkenburg runs her professional photography business from her own home, affording her the ability to continue working her craft while also raising her beautiful daughter, Alice.
I myself had the pleasure of having j.sterk photography shoot my little girl, Lalaith, when she was just two weeks old.
For as long as Jenae could remember, she found joy in taking pictures. "As a child, I had this little hot pink camera that was my very own, and used to do things like dress up my little brother in glasses and slicked hair and pose him with a big book. Or get my friends to model a parade of outfits, and pretend that we were doing a photo shoot for the upcoming Sears catalogue."
But even through all this, Jenae never grew up dreaming of becoming a professional photographer.
At first Jenae decided to pursue journalism. She earned a degree in Communications and Media. "I thought it would be perfect, combining my loves of writing and photography into one perfect career", however, life would take her in a different direction.
It was kind of by accident that all Jenae's post-grad experience ended up being child-related. During her summers, between semesters, she worked at the YMCA as a day camp leader and eventually found herself in the role of preschool program director. Jenae then spent two years living in Nanaimo, B.C., working in a middle school as an aide for kids with cognitive and learning disabilities. "It was a gradual process for me, but to my mild surprise, I found not only did I truly enjoy working with children and youth, but I was good at it too! I was told more then once that kids seemed to really respond to my gentle and easy-going personality."
It was just a couple years ago that everything came together for Jenae and she decided to make her foray into the world of professional photography. She had worked for a short time at a local studio and learned a little bit about the photography businesses while there. More recently she had started doing a few sessions for friends and family.
"There's a quote that talks about how, if you can find work doing what you love, you'll never work a day in your life, and I thought, well, why not?" Thus Jenae stepped out and began advertising for j.sterk photography and it wasn't long before people, perfect strangers, liked her portfolio and began hiring her for shoots.
Jenae decided to promote herself as specializing in family and child photography, based on her past experience with children. "Photographing young children can be difficult, but all of my past work experience has well prepared me to relate to them and make getting their photo taken a fun experience, as opposed to some ordeal requiring promises of ice cream or new ponies when it's all said and done."
Every photographer finds their inspiration through some means, be it literal, physical, imagery, story or even fabrication. It seems to be the very essence of their being and what gets their creative juices flowing.
Here's a little inside view on Jenae's inspiration…
"Why I love [photography] and what inspires me:
I love photography as an art form. I enjoy finding things as they are, a street scene, a wooded glen, you know, things that are just there. Not there together with the purpose of being art, but with the right framing and the click of the shutter, it becomes a piece of art. And then of course incorporating people, my clients, into that scene, and they become a part of that art too. I think that this is why I favour on location photography over in the studio. It's textures, colour, and light that inspire me in my work. Any time I go somewhere, I am constantly, subconsciously, evaluating it on an artistic level - I think to myself things like, the way the light filters through those leaves, or that weathered door from this angle, or that quirky, brightly coloured wall, would look great in a photograph, and I would stand somebody right there, in this pose!"
Jenae is also inspired by those she photographs, as well, her clients. She always tries to meet up with them before a session, so she can get to know them a little, and through that introduction, she's then able to choose locations and poses that will fit with their individuality and style.
"It's all about the "hunt" for that perfect photograph, and the little thrill that comes when the light and the textures in the photo combine with just the perfect facial expressions, and I know I've got something good, something that I think is just beautiful, and that I know the people in the photo will really love."
Jenae specializes in fun, relaxed family and children photography, however she also does baby bumps, newborns (just like my little cutie up top), couples/engagement, weddings and even small school and class photography.
J.sterk photography currently takes the yearly photos for Cornerstone Christian School, in Medicine Hat, as well as Hit the Floor School of Dance. Both are a little different then the normal shoots for Jenae, but she finds them fun.
Jenae also has a selection of prints that are available for order on her website. They are a smattering of pictures she's taken through her travels that she finds beautiful, interesting, or evocative (not to be confused with provocative!!) in some way. Jenae believes that if she finds them beautiful, interesting and evocative, maybe someone else will too! Check her prints out here. They're really quite amazing.
For more information and details on pricing, packages, further contact information etc, please check out j.sterk photography's website http://jsterkphotography.com.
(There is a contact page, with a form you can fill out, on the website for inquiries and bookings.)
You can also take a look at and "like" j.sterk photography's facebook page here.
For inquiries and bookings you can email Jenae at:
or phone: 403-594-4223
And now, the Growing Green Feature Special for you alone, my readers.
j.sterk photography is offering a PROMO CODE just for you! Simply mention Growing Green when you book your session and choose one of the two following options:
Option A: Get 20% off your session.
Option B: Receive 5 additional photos (25 photos are included in the regular package) when you book a session.
This PROMO CODE expires August 31st, 2013
Stay tuned for tomorrow's featured photographer: RedRock Photography
Enjoy this week with me as we celebrate the beautiful art form of photography :D