Documentary Family Photographer » Serving Koblenz, Wiesbaden, Limburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and beyond.

We’re Buying a Fachwerkhaus? Say what?

Every time we visit the new place, I have to wonder how I came to own a house with a barn. It’s overwhelming at times to think about the responsibility we’ll have. After renting for the past three years, we became pretty accustomed to not having to do anything. On weekends, we’d eyeball one another from across the kitchen table and wonder what projects we need to work on. Weekend after weekend, the answer was, “none.” Which, yeah, you may be thinking sounds amazing, but it’s really been boring.

fachwerkhaus

We want projects and a reason to spend all day outdoors. We want to have something to call our own.

This house will be a huge responsibility and it will limit our ability to travel for long periods of time. It will require our weekends and I’m sure we’ll pour a lot of money into it. However, this house will be ours and will represent us. It will force us to work together on a common goal, the entire family, not just Chris and I.

fachwerkhaus

Regardless of the commitment, we are so happy to have a place that has so much potential and will assist us in realizing some of our long-awaited goals and dreams. For example, where will I put my studio? I’m imagining some cozy, home-like newborn sessions like this one in this new space.

However, the most important thing to us is sharing it with our friends and family. After all, there is plenty of room!

And as for the kids, Annabelle is counting down the days until she gets to enjoy the new yard with her dog and Logan was happy to discover that our house is a Pokéstop.

fachwerkhaus

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My sister and I both shared the dream of living next door to one another and raising our kids side-by-side. As most of you know, me living in Germany and her living in Virginia hasn’t really facilitated that dream unfortunately, however as much as we can afford to, we try our best to have the cousins spend as many days together as possible. This summer, we were lucky enough to have 28 days together!

I normally film my family with my DSLR, but this summer I didn’t have the desire to lug my heavy camera around for 4 weeks. Rather than not taking any video at all, I decided to use my iPhone instead. Of course, it’s sad for me to lose the quality and control that comes with using the DSLR, but I am so incredibly grateful to have this video regardless.

I really hope it reflects the absolute love and affection I have for my family. This summer was exactly what I had envisioned. It was full of laughter, games, adventures, nature, yoga, quiet, sleep, food, animals, sun, travel, books, love, and G + T’s.

I hope you enjoy watching it! I had such a great time creating it!

 

SUMMER_2017_JENNAREICH from Jenna reich on Vimeo.

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[Freelensed]

An Awakening

I’m gonna go ahead and be melodramatic. The workshop in Paris was an awakening.

I didn’t learn many technical skills (although I did learn some) or gain expert business advice, however what I did gain was much more valuable.

First, let me begin by stressing how much I admire Alain Laboile’s work. I found his work on Flickr about 7 years ago when Logan was just a toddler and I had just learned how to turn on my first DSLR. That’s all I knew how to do 7 years ago. I searched for “documentary children’s photography” on Flickr in hopes to find some inspiration on how to document my first-born’s daily adventures. When I came across Alain’s page for the first time, I felt an instant and undeniable connection to his work. Every single image struck me. His work was magical. His ability to make the most normal everyday moments look riveting and jarring at the same time fascinates me.

After following his work for so long, you can imagine how much anticipation that was building up inside me as my workshop with him drew closer.

After a beautiful slide show of his most characteristic work, he explained how he shoots his images and why. THIS is where my head began spinning and all the light bulbs were illuminating. His technique was so different from my own and I soon realized why his work is so intriguing. He made me think about the capture in a new and invigorating way. He shared with us so many tips on what to include and not include in the image and gave me the BEST constructive criticism on my work. He saw my strengths and weaknesses, even though I was blind to them.

One of the most mind-blowing revelations I had, (even though it’s so simple!) is where to shoot. By that, I mean where I take my photographs. I have felt compelled to take my camera EVERYWHERE since the beginning. Although it’s gained me some much-needed practice and beautiful images, I have never felt comfortable shooting away from home.

Right there, in my chair, at the workshop, I realized I don’t have to shoot everywhere. I CAN pick and choose where I want to shoot. The concept was eye-opening, ladies and gentlemen. I know I could have learned that without having gone to a workshop, but there’s something about your favorite photographer validating it for you. I DO NOT HAVE TO PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING! There, I said it out loud. I don’t have to photograph our trip to the zoo. I don’t have to photograph our time at the pool. I don’t have to photograph our library visit. But, you know what, the content I REALLY enjoy shooting only takes place when we are alone as a family, in our own yard, house, space.

I have put a lot of pressure on myself to capture amazing photos everywhere we go. And yes, I do enjoy photographing my kids when we are at a secluded beach or in the middle of the forest. But I guess I like privacy. When I’m forced to shoot with an audience, (whether people are actually paying attention to me or not) I just can’t perform at my best. Because of that, I’ve been reluctant to share my images and haven’t felt pride in my work in a long time.

A Plan

So, after this awesome realization, I’ve decided to shoot when and however I want. I pledge to spend my summer sorting my images and giving my fine art photography its own space. On my blog, you will continue to find personal images and stories, (which I will still likely take from time to time just for my kid’s sake) but the majority of my fine art work will be shared in a dedicated space on Facebook and on a new website. (Both are in the works)

I’m excited to finally have direction and a new set goals for my work. Internal dialog about my artistic purpose has plagued me for far too long and has discouraged me from shooting and sharing my images.

Perhaps some of you photographers I know out there can relate. As an artist, staying true to yourself can be a struggle. However, challenges are never overcome without a little perseverance.

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Jenna Reich Fine Art Photographer

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The sun has returned and so has my photography spirit. It’s been difficult teaching and still setting aside time for photography.

I feel like sharing my last two weeks as I emerge from the deep dark depths of photographic depression.

After next week’s workshop with Alain Laboile I’m certain to feel passionate again. (at least that is my wish of all wishes) He’s been my favorite since the very beginning. After following his work for the past 7 years, I will finally have his words to accompany the images I’ve so admired. It’s going to be life-changing, I know it.

Paris, I’m ready for you.

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