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Meet Jenn Spain of Jenn Spain Photography and Rawtography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Spain.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jenn. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I was a self-taught hobbyist photographer for many, many years while I pursued a career in education. That pursuit led me to LA where I became the director of a corporate, for-profit preschool. It was in that job that I suffered complete and total burnout. I had gotten into education because of my deep love for children and my passion for helping them learn and grow.  I left that career because I didn’t believe that being an educator should mean having to answer to shareholders.

At that job, I was spending as much time as I could taking photos of my students to hang up in the halls and I found that to be so much more rewarding than chasing down tuition. Before long, many parents were asking if they could hire me to do their family photos, so I knew I had some sort of market.

It was also during that time that I experienced the unexpected passing of my father.  While tragic and heartbreaking his death was also an incredible gift of a second chance, as I was able to use some of his life insurance money to launch Jenn Spain Photography in 2012. Then in 2015, I started shooting alternative weddings for Rawtography.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being a freelance artist and small business owner is never a smooth road! There were times when I ate oatmeal three meals a day just so I would have enough money to cover rent. But I never ever gave up, and now that my businesses are established and strong, the struggles are much different than the days when I wondered if I would ever make it as a photographer.

Last month, I came down with brutal stomach flu right as I was supposed to leave to go shoot a wedding in Big Sur. I was on my hands and knees on the side of the 5 Freeway puking my guts out, and I can honestly say that it was absolutely the biggest struggle of my career.  But I made it to my destination, put myself in quarantine, and the next day I shot my best wedding to date. Creating and delivering gorgeous imagery is always my goal and quitting is never an option.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I specialize in creative portraits & weddings, and I feel so fortunate to have my hand in two incredible companies that give me the opportunity to really explore my talents as a photographer. Portraits are my first love and remain one of my favorite things to shoot.

My work is soulful, intimate and reflective of the amount of time I spend really getting to know my clients prior to shooting them. The personal attention I give my subjects is reflected in the vulnerability and rawness they are so often willing to show me.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Sitting around the dining room table eating “Sugar On Snow” with four generations of my family on our farm in Weston, Vermont. We would boil real maple syrup down until it was incredibly thick and then pour it over fresh bowls of snow.

The snow would freeze the syrup into an almost taffy-like consistency, and we would peel it off the snow in strips. The amazing smells of that kitchen and the love that place infused me with is omnipresent in my life.

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