Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

So who has been with me for this February Portrait Challenge?  How is it going?  Are you frustrated by the weather?  Or are you going strong and loving it?Well how about joining me in the Refocus Facebook Group so we can share our Portrait Challenge photos?IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING US OVER ON FACEBOOK, CLICK HERE! We've got a nice little group started over there, and it can be a great place to share this challenge together, to encourage each other and to hold each other accountable!Who's with me?!  Alright, see you over there!

Understanding The Rule of Thirds
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

We are three days into our February Photo Challenge!  How is everyone doing?  Are you still going strong, or have you lost steam after only three days?By the way, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, CHECK OUT THE BLOG POST ON THE FEBRUARY PHOTO CHALLENGE!So in keeping with the photography theme, I thought it would be fun to share with you a simple rule of composition that can take your photos from mediocre to powerful.  It's called THE RULE OF THIRDS, and it's pretty simple to visualize.  Imagine your photo cut into three equal parts, both vertically and horizontally.  This would create equally sized rectangles on your photos.  The Rule of Thirds simply says to line up your subject along one of those lines, or to line up a point of emphasis on a point where two of the lines intersect.  This rule is simple, but improves your image drastically.  First of all, it's boring to have your subject smack in the middle of your image.  But even more so, it can be confusing to the reader.  Studies have shown that a viewer's eyes naturally fall to one of the imaginary lines or points along the Rule of Thirds.  Having your subject in the middle will confuse the viewer's natural tendencey to rest along a line of thirds, and so you will be working against her, not with her.Consider horizons as well.  Have you ever taken a ...

How To Decide What To Wear For Your Next Portrait Session
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

How many of you have had this scenario on the day of a portrait session?  Panic sets in about mid-day when you realize you haven't really decided on what the family is going to wear for pictures!  And of course, Mom, this is falling on you.  After all, Dad couldn't really care less about what these portrait will look like (it's kind of a miracle that you got him to agree to even go, right?), and the kids are no help.  So it's all on you.  And before you know it, your bed is a pile of clothing, from toddler size to daddy size, all colors, prints, and textures.  And you are no closer to making a decision.  And maybe you're ready to quit.Well, I've been there!  And I can help!  So take a deep breath and consider the following tips as they can be a big help in deciding your family's wardrobe for your next portrait session. 1. PICK MOM'S CLOTHES FIRSTThis is my number one, go to, must-have tip for all moms.  Consider this truth.  Your husband doesn't really care what you ask him to wear- at least if he's anything like my husband.  Within reason, you can put anything in front of him and he'll just put it on.  No arguments.  And the kids?  Well, we all know that you can put them in trash bags and you'll still look at these portraits and think they are the cutest kids you've ever seen!  (because they ...

Are You Ready For A Portrait Challenge?
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

Who's up for a challenge?  A portrait challenge!We've spent the last month learning about helpful tips, must have photos, some go-to poses.  Some of you have even downloaded my free Mini Workshop on Refocusing.  (By the way if you haven't yet done so, you can download the FREE WORKSHOP here!)Why don't we have a little portrait challenge.  Not a competition, but rather a friendly challenge to get ourselves motivated to get out there and get shooting.Here's what I'm proposing:February is our shortest month, even this year with 29 days.Let's take and share ONE PORTRAIT A DAY.  And that means portrait- not a picture of the cat, or of our journals, or of the snow outside.  But of a person.This is not to compete over who has the best lighting, or the prettiest posing, or who has the cutest models.  This is just to get us inspired to go out and photograph the people we love.And that's it.  One portrait a day.  And share it.I can offer two options to share:1. FACEBOOK- Don't forget to tag me or Jen Lebo Photography or tag your photo #JLPphotochallenge2. INSTAGRAM- Again, feel free to tag me or tag your photo #JLPphotochallengeHere is a list to guide you through the month:I'll be sharing a daily photo (probably just with my phone to keep it simple) with the hashtag to both FB and Instagram, so join me!  Let's have some fun this month!

Five Must-Haves For Every Camera Bag
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

I LOVE my camera bag!  It was a gift from my super duper awesome husband for my fortieth birthday, and it was exactly what I was hoping for (he's learned over our 17 years together to STICK TO THE LIST! Hee hee!)Now I'm guessing you might not have a designated "camera bag".  Maybe you don't even have a bag to house your camera.  Maybe you don't even have a camera yet, and just use your trusty smart phone.  That's ok.  You still can benefit from carrying these "must haves" whenever you head out to take photos, especially of your kids.  Whether you have a fancy camera bag, or a purse, or your pockets, here are my top five MUST HAVES for any photo outing. 1. TISSUES OR WET WIPESThis is really a must for kids of all ages- and for some of us grown-ups too!  We all know that kids find messes like it's their job, so having a few tissues can go a long way.  A quick wipe of the face can make for a cleaner face, and cleaner images, which means less time on the computer cloning out boogies, or mud, or food (for those who understand Photoshop).  Some photos look cute with a messy face and create a great story (like the one below, taken by Aunt Dani), but sometimes a quick moment with a tissue can go a long way. 2. LOLLIPOPS OR A SWEET TREATAgain, this is a good idea for kids, but maybe we all could use a sweet treat now and then. ...

The Free Refocus Workshop Community
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

As we approach the end of January, I've been thinking a lot about the Mini Workshop I created at the start of the month, and year.  With a new vision at the forefront of Jen Lebo Photography, I loved the idea of creating content for women to help them see the beauty in others, and in themselves.  This first workshop, called "Refocusing" was aimed to help women improve their photography by looking at things a little differently.  It was a step away from what I normally do, and a first attempt at combining a few of my loves- photography, teaching, and encouraging women.You can read my blog post about this Mini Workshop by clicking here.So here we are, almost a month later, and I'm curious as to whether this little goodie has been helpful to any of you.  Have you implemented the six lessons?  Have you shared your images?  Are you struggling to get started?  To get motivated?  Is something holding you back?These questions (and more) play in my mind often, and I've considered that perhaps a virtual community would help us get the most out of this Workshop.  So I've created one on Facebook.  WELCOME TO THE FACEBOOK GROUP FOR THE REFOCUS WORKSHOP COMMUNITY!Within this Facebook Group you will find:* A safe and encouraging community where you can ask questions about the Refocus Workshop lessons, go deeper with the Workshop's assigments, ...

Ten Must-Have Pics Of Your Daughter
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

January must be the "daughter kick"!  I'm thinking so much of our girls these days.  I'll be sure to get to the boys soon enough, I promise.  But I've been so aware lately of how important it is for us to pour into our little girls (or no-so-little-anymore girls) and treasure who they are, and who we are to them.  Before we even know it, they'll be bombarded with the lies that the world has to tell them- lies that they're not beautiful enough, not perfect enough, not worthy enough.  I want to be the one major influence in my daughter's life that tells her she is valuable, and she is beautiful, and she is worthy.And of course, I like to do that with portraits.I thought it would be fun today to create a list of the "must have" photos for every mother to have of her little girl.  I would LOVE to hear comments below of any photo ideas that I may have missed!  Let's create a master list together! 1. YOUR DAUGHTER SMILINGThis might be a given, but if your daughter is anything like mine, this might not be as easy as you think.  At the tender age of 10, my daughter is already questioning her smile.  It's so beautiful to me.  But she's at that age.  Adult teeth in a child's mouth.  Some aren't perfectly straight.  Sometimes she asks if they're white enough.  It's a source of insecurity for her right now, and ...

Three Great Poses for Girls (And One Big NO NO!)
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

I love photographing girls!  Little girls and older girls.  High school seniors, or real life seniors.  Girls solo, best friends, or the whole crew!  Girls are so beautiful and so fun, so aware of the gift of portraits.  And it just makes my job the best in the world.I'm getting ready to photograph a wonderful group of girls tomorrow.  Perhaps my favorite kind of group.  A group of mothers and their daughters.  Over the last few months, my business vision and mission have changed, and come into great focus.  My eyes have been opened to the importance of sharing our beauty as women, and the great importance of leaving our legacy of beauty for the girls we call our daughters.  This weekend's portrait session is one of the first of many exciting plans I have for moms and women everywhere.  And so, as I begin preparing for the session, and considering the best poses for the ladies who will be in front of my camera, I thought I'd share with you my favorite "go to" poses for the girls in your photos.  And maybe one "NO NO" for posing girlsBy the way, you can read about the new vision for Jen Lebo Photography RIGHT HERE IN THIS BLOG POST. 1. THE ELEVATED POSEI prefer to photograph almost every girl from an elevated position.  This doesn't mean I need to get on a step ladder.  It just means maybe I get a few ...

Simple Tricks To Avoid Blurry Photos Without A Tripod
Daily Portrait Challenge: The Facebook Group

I own a tripod and I love it.  It assures me that there will be absolutely no camera shake when I'm capturing my precious moments.  But ask any one of my clients if they've ever seen me shoot with my tripod.  I believe 99% of them would say NOPE.  I never take it out of it's case.  In fact, I've pretty much just stopped bringing it.  Because as much as I love the idea of eliminating blurry photos, I also live in the reality that I'm photographing moving children on a regular basis.  And I actually prefer photos that portray the fun-loving spirit of childhood.  I prefer real over "posey posey".  So a tripod never shows up in my sessions.That said, I still want clear, crisp, sharp images.  So what's a girl to do?  Well, over the years, I've discovered a few simple tricks to getting sharper images without the tripod.  A tripod is always the best option for sharper images, but it's not always the most realistic.  Here are my favorite alternatives. 1. CREATE A TRIPODI'm guessing you might not have a tripod lying around at home.  I'm also guessing you have little intention of setting one up simply to get some cute photos of the kids around the house.  But did you know that you can use a few simple household items to keep your camera more stable while capturing moments at home?  Got a bag of rice? ...

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