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Art & Life with Jenny Collen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Collen.

Jenny, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I always knew I wanted to tell stories. But it wasn’t always clear for me what my calling was. I originally went to college for film thinking I would make documentaries. Luckily, it was there that I took my first photo class. It was an old school b+w film photography class, dark room and all. I absolutely loved it. Afterwards, I went out and bought a fancy DSLR camera and took it with me traveling, mostly taking landscape photos. It wasn’t until a friend asked me to take their engagement photos that I found how much I loved photographing couples. When I looked at those photos afterward, I could feel the connection between them.

Each image told me something about their life together. I couldn’t get enough. I started practicing how to direct people to get them to feel really comfortable and able to act like themselves in front of me. That’s when the magic happens. You can really capture how people feel about each other when they forget there’s a camera on them. This was a new type of storytelling for me. I felt way more connected to telling love stories than I had with any other form.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I capture love stories all over the world shooting elopements & weddings for the adventurous and nontraditional. I love to incorporate my background in landscape photography to get epic backdrops. I have also found embracing the adventure brings out the most genuine emotions. Nature inspires me every day. I can go to the same place 100 times and see something different each time I’m there. The thing that really keeps me going though, are the amazing people I get to meet. Everybody truly has their own story and it’s such an honor to be trusted to tell those stories. I’m always trying to serve my client and show their uniqueness the best I possibly can.

I will never put people in stiff or awkward poses because that’s not showing who they are. Instead, I get to know my couples. I keep them moving through the whole session by giving them things to do and stories to tell. My goal is for them to look at their photos today and fifty years from now and feel exactly how they felt when the photos were taken.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I see a lot of artists sacrificing their vision in order to make money. I understand the financial hardships, but it’s terrible when this leads to burnout. Often it means leaving behind their creative endeavor altogether. My biggest piece of advice is to just do what you love. Don’t compromise that for anyone. If you stay true to yourself, people will want what you have to offer.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Follow along on Instagram for my latest work! You can also visit my website for full galleries and stories. The easiest way to support my work is to tell your friends about me when they need their love story captured.

Contact Info:

  • Website: jennycollen.com
  • Email: hello@jennycollen.com
  • Instagram: @jennycollen

Image Credit:
Jenny Collen Photography

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