Estate Inspired Shoot | Santa Barbara

I love California, the diversity of scenery is breathtaking and leaves you with plenty of options to shoot unique photos. While I was in Santa Barbara I had the opportunity to participate in a variety of shoots with amazing scenery. One of my favorites was one hosted by Mike Larson at a Vineyard.  
Mike Larson specializes in estate and vineyard weddings and has this field down to an art! 

It was so cool to watch him and hear from his perspective on how to capture amazing photos at these venues. 

 Thanks Mike for letting us learn from you! Here are some that I grabbed during our shoot. 

Andrew + Andrea | Engagement Session

It was Martin Luther King weekend.
Just last year. 
Andrew and Andrea were headed up North to the Sunrise Ski resort with their close friends. 

They had just arrived when Andrew asked Andrea to go for a walk. 
As they walked together amongst the beautiful mountains and snow, Andrea realized Andrew was no longer with her... she turned around to find him down on one knee. 

No. Words. 
Andrea was speechless and totally in shock. 
As Andrew asked her that amazingly small but powerful question " will you marry me", Andrea's eyes filled with tears as she realized the magnitude of the moment. 

She of course said yes and spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with their friends. 

Andrew and Andrea! You guys are so amazing and I can't wait to capture your beautiful wedding day. Your joy and love is contagious and I love being around you! Thanks for an amazing engagement session, seriously so much fun. 
Andrew you rocked the high kicks like no man I've ever seen; Andrea I want your calves! 



"We always have so much fun no matter what we do and that is what I love about Andrew. I knew I wanted to marry him the first time I went back to his hometown with him to Illinois. His environment and family was so humbling. It just made sense to me why he is so amazing! He is so much fun and easy-going. And he has such a passion for life that I admire. Seeing him in his roots, made me realize how special he is and I just knew I wanted to be with him and marry him one day. " - Andrea

"I am looking forward to all the wonderful adventures we will go on.  I can’t wait to see her mature into a mother, go on trips around the world, see our kids grow up.  I’m so curious/excited to see what beautiful children we have.  There are so many things that I can’t wait to get to.  Before we know it, we will be having our 50th anniversary! " - Andrew

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Jenn Wagner | Behind the Lens Confessions!

Okay friends, I have a confession to make. 

I've gotten pretty comfy behind the lens. 
 Sometimes, I must admit... I even think to myself.... "Its not that hard, look natural!" 

*My bad* 

I had a good reality check in the form of a photoshoot while I was in Santa Barbara and let me tell you, being behind the camera is way easier than being in front guys. 
I mean... I've seen some awkward stuff before, but I've never had clients give two thumbs up. 

What the...?

What was I thinking? Thank you Phil for including this one in my Pass Gallery, by the way, I needed some proof of how awkward I can be. :  ) I was fidgety, awkward with my arms. 
Not quite sure what to do with myself. 

LUCKILY!! I had an amazing photographer that coaxed out the natural fun playful side of me out.  Phillip Van Nordstrand is an amazing photographer and I had the pleasure of doing a shoot with him while I was in Cali a few months back. You absolutely need to check out his sweet work here:

So to all my clients, I promise I'll be nicer to you in my head, after all, I'm way more awkward than you are! : ) 

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Slowing Down the Crazy Train

This has been one of the hardest years of my life. 

I've been working full time in marketing and also running a photography business. 
And can I just be real honest? 
I love what I do; but its wearing on me. 

You always see these inspirational quotes on places like pinterest and facebook. 

Short quippy statements that make you want to get up and go to the gym. 
They look so energetic; an inspiring shot of caffeine in a quirky fun font. 

But I know the truths about working hard to get where you want to go quite personally...and it doesn't always take the form of clean and stylized typography. 

Its messy. 
Its hard. 

It looks like scheduled shoots months in advance and missing last minute family get togethers. 
Its getting up before sunrise to pack your camera gear in the car and head to a shoot. 
Its working Monday through Friday and then shooting three session on the weekends in my free time. 

It means doing taxes, learning software and taking notes. 

Its running from an 8 hour workday, to a shoot, downloading, culling and then making client calls. 
Its sacrifice in the form of time with my husband, friends and personal downtime. 
Lately its kind of turned into a crazy train doing all of it. 

Its been 2 years this month that I started Jenn Wagner Photography.
I've put my mind, heart and energy into capturing the memories of others

And I. have. loved. it. 
Through the toil and the stress, its been an amazing experience. 

The work is starting to pay off. 
And I have some exciting news; news that makes calm feel calm and sleep deeply at night. 

In two weeks I'll be going part time at my marketing position so that I can focus more on my photography, my passion and my family.
Just typing it, getting it out there, feels like such a breakthrough!!

Because its time.
Time to slow down the crazy train.
Time to sort through priorities and find balance.

I've enjoyed building up this business, but I can't lie, those quirky quotes are totally right; 
Its been some really. hard. work. 

- Jenn