Sneak peek: Jenna

Hello everyone!

Today I'm taking you to Santa Monica, CA! That beach is in my top 5 list of favorite places on the planet. I didn't know that a couple of blocks from the ocean there were be such colorful alleys with the perfect sunlight?!?! Shooting on location is always an adventure - I love scouting the area beforehand, looking for interesting corners, quiet streets, fun backgrounds - and Jenna and Sonny (my LA assistant) embraced it fully! Among the occasional car-passing breaks, cold water waves sneaking up on us, and "let's wait for the wind to make your hair fly" moments, we were able to build a folio that captures Jenna's personality and natural, soft beauty. And most importantly, we had a blast! I'm already dreaming of Chicago's summery beach photoshoots!!!

I met Jenna last year while we both worked for the wonderful Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago's West Loop. The occasional chat between a table and another, made me appreciate her unique sense of humor and laughter. A few drinks after work, made me get to know her better - her love for acting, how easily she gets absorbed into books, and we sealed our connection as we shared our life doubts, desires, and thoughts, and of course, love stories. I'm so honored I had the chance to photograph her in this new phase of her life: her recent move to her Cali-homeland, going to grad school in a few months, and new life realizations.

Here's a glimpse of her folio...

Happy weekend and lots of cherries to you!

-Elizabeth Porporato

How to look your best in a shoot...It's about these 3 factors!

Hello everyone! 

I recently photographed Genevieve; her blue eyes, magical hair, and natural elegance and grace really came through in her portraits folio. She's one of my best friends, and seeing her open up in front of my camera and knowing how much she loves her photos makes me so happy!!! I believe she said it best in the review she wrote....we're human beings, we have natural anxiety surrounding anything too vulnerable, aka being photographed. There are a lot of expectations before the shoot, we have all had previous experiences - good or less good - and we are often critical of our image. Moreover, we have no idea of what the photographer sees through her camera and there are a million questions that go through our mind during that time - am I moving correctly? should I kick my booty out more? I think my arm looks so fat in this position! is this my best side? should I tell her how I feel? can she sense how I feel? do I need to smile more? oh gosh...now I think my smile looks fake!!!

The bottom line is: it's a vulnerable experience. When we're being photographed we're asked to open up, to be ourselves, and we all want to look our best. This is why - as a photographer - I focus on these three factors:

  1. it's about you as a person: listening is key. There's no way you're going to feel comfortable if I come in with my own vision of how to photograph you and pay no attention to what you desire, your concerns, your personality, what makes your heart jump, etc. And where's the fun if I don't get to know you? Who am I photographing? You are a woman with her own unique, fabulous baggage. Meeting up with you for a pre-shoot consultation is where we dive into getting to know you and you to know me! Listening to you brings your soul into your photos. The ice is broken, and now we can ease in the day of the shoot as two women that understand each other and can't wait to spend a day together!
  2. the coaching flow: those million self-doubts pop into our heads when we freestyle. We're not supermodels, so we don't know how to pose - that's why freestyling doesn't work. My job is to coach you in every movement so that you look your best through my lens. Connecting your chin to your shoulder, shaping your body, pushing that booty out, smiling through your eyes, moving your hands - it's all micro-movements that might look awkward when seeing from far away (but nobody's watching!) but enhance your figure through the lens.
  3. having fun, feeling great: toasting, makeup and hair, lots of conversations, taking the day off from everything else and getting pampered, starring in your own shoot, dancing it off, what's better than that?!? We deserve it all!

Here's the behind the scenes of Genevieve's shoot...

With those three factors checked off, I am proud of what I do. I know that my clients lived the experience they deserve....and I assure you, there's no doubt that all of them look their best! 

...here's a glimpse of Genevieve's folio...

Happy weekend! Lots of cherries to you!

- Elizabeth Porporato 

Reviews that make my day :)

Hello everyone! It's Friday! Beautiful day here in California. It's the last day before I head to vacation and then back to Chicago. The sky is blue and with my feet up in the air kissed by the sun I'm typing this piece away... :)

These two fabulous women, Taylor and Mita, shared what their Womanly experience meant for them. Every time I read their reviews I find myself smiling! Cheers to the power of seeing our true selves in our photos!

Happy weekend and lots of cherries to you!

-Elizabeth Porporato