Monday, March 30, 2009

Winning image in WPJA contest! and, last chance for March Album Discount

I'm an award-winning member of the Wedding Photojournalism Association, but I'm always so happy to see one of my images place. In this case, it's in the "Food and Drink" category for the most recent contest! Here is the winning shot (11th place, I'm not complaining) and the nice comments about the photo:

The full comments read:
"JUDGES COMMENTS: Color. I admit it. I fell in love with the color. The shallow depth-of-field. The composition. The light. I love it all. Great found situation. After looking at all of the pictures in this category, I believe the key is not to photograph merely the food or beverages, but to look for said subjects being consumed or those moments, such as this, of the moments in between consumption. There were a ton of pictures of cakes and drinks, but most of them didn't offer much else. This picture does."

I almost didn't enter this image, but I love the saturated colors, so it was exciting to see that the judges enjoyed it, too. These crazy-fun drinks were at Joelle and Chris's reception last fall.

The same morning I found out that this image placed in the WPJA contest, I received information telling me that I've been nominated for a 2010 Sonoma County Artist Award for Emerging Visual Artists! Phew, that's a mouthful. And a lot of work, since I will be up against dozens of other great artists, and will need to come up with a new project, an artist's statement, and more for the application. I've got some ideas and will be sharing more about this as I go through the process of applying... It sounds so cheesy, but it really is just such an honor to be nominated.

Finally, tomorrow (March 31st) is your last day to save 10% on placing a custom final album order. I'm getting great response to my new line of Couture Books, and am happy to answer any questions you have, so feel free to download my album information here, drop me a line at, and we can get moving on an album for you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mini Portrait Day at Cast Away Yarn Shop!

I'm so excited to announce the first ever Portrait Day at Cast Away Yarn Shop!

Here's the official press release, with all the details:

"Cast Away Yarn Shop in Santa Rosa (111 4th Street, Railroad Square, Santa Rosa, CA - and Jessamyn Harris Photography ( are teaming up for a day of fun, offbeat portraiture and craftiness! On April 25th, Cast Away will be hosting a Mini Portrait Day for crafters and non-crafters alike. Come by to check out the new shop, and have a unique professional portrait taken.

The mini portrait sessions include 20 minutes of shooting time, your choice of backdrops and crafting props to choose from, online hosting of all the best images, a 5x7" print credit, and a 10% in-store discount for the day at Cast Away. Portrait appointments are limited. Email or call 707-235-8953 to schedule your mini portrait session for only $40.

Photo session ideas include: babies, families and kids (in time for Mother's Day, Sunday May 10th!); couples; pets; and a Knitter's/ Crafter's Portrait. Bring your current project, favorite scarf or sweater, knitting needles, or incorporate some of Cast Away's fun and unique props, and get fierce and crafty for the camera!

Cast Away is a cozy, modern craft and knitting shop, with yarn, needles, notions, books, magazines and gift items for sale. They offer classes and party rental space.

Jessamyn Harris is an internationally award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based in Santa Rosa."

You can see photos I took of the shop back in December here, and a few more:

And here are some more of the quick test shots I did last week, to give you a sense of what the portrait day will be like.

Kids with props and background options:

Justine's beautiful daughter, Cleo, helped me by knitting for some portraits. I'm hoping people of all ages and genders will be interested in having a unique knitter's/ crafter's portrait taken to show their crafty pride!

Here are Justine and Cleo together, seeing who is taller:

Here are some of the many chair and background options we will have available at the store:

The lighting and backdrop setups will be upstairs, in the party and class room. I just love this party table with the cutest ever flags:

We'll also have knitting and crafting props available:

If you're interested in having your portrait taken, email or call me, the sooner the better, to make your appointment! There will be a very limited number of sittings available, and I hope to involve past clients, new clients, couples, pets, children, parents... Anything we can think of!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Engagement Session Giveaway winners! - Mo and Kent, Chinatown, San Francisco

Mo and Kent are the winners of my recent Engagement Session Giveaway Contest! I had a hard time picking a wedding idea - truly, because there were so many fabulous ones - but theirs got me the most excited, both visually and in my tastebuds! Here is a little excerpt from Mo's entry email, about their first date:

"... He charmed me with his dimples and soft spoken demeanor, and I somehow woo-ed him with my Buddy Holly glasses and fierce dedication to Bruce Campbell... we ended up eating a late-night dinner at a grimy hole in the wall noodle shop. Like any legitimate Asian eatery, it was dirty, cramped, and after you left the place, you (and your clothes) smelled like the food. It was teeny tiny so there were only two swivel chairs and a counter by a large window overlooking the street. We sat there eating noodles and talking until 2 in the morning, and I knew after that night that I had found someone special.

I would love to take our engagement pictures in one of the noodle restaurants in Chinatown... I think it'd be a nice commemoration of that night 7 years ago, and also a fun and kitschy way to have pictures of one of our shared interests: food. Because despite being two very different people, Kent and I completely bond over food...
It would also be fun to take some shots in Chinatown should the restaurant get super boring/smelly/uninspiring. We could even expand on the food idea...milk tea...dim boxes from the Chinese bakery..."

I loved everything about this email! :)

We were planning to meet up to talk about their June 2010 wedding while they were in the Bay Area, anyway, so once I announced that they won, we decided to combine the wedding photography meeting with the engagement session, all in SF's Chinatown. Then, it seemed like it was going to start pouring, so we moved the exact meet up time around several times. Mo and Kent were wonderfully patient, mellow, and fun to get to know, and I think the shoot worked out perfectly! It was so much fun, and a great excuse for me to snack on some of my favorite Chinese treats: steamed sweet bean buns. Yum!

We wandered around a bit, dashing out in between cars to get some portraits with those lovely lanterns strung over the streets.

The sidewalks were busy with locals and tourists. Right after Mo asked if I often got asked questions about what I was doing when I shoot in public (and I said, "no, not often"), we had two separate strangers ask something about my camera! It was almost overwhelming to be photographing amongst the crowd, but it also kept us on our toes in a fun and unique way. I think I need to make it out of my little country town more often, to shoot in more urban environments.

I like this shot a lot for that reason - it was just a cool little moment of expression amid all of the hubbub:

This one too - Kent looks so happy and open, while Mo keeps a lookout for cars!

Mo had the cutest outfit on - they both looked fantastic! - and I particularly loved the big green belt with the poofy skirt. She had gotten several "superhero" comments from friends, but I thought it was perfect. Nothing wrong with a superheroine element now and again!

After wandering up Grant Avenue, we popped into Eastern Bakery, the first bakery in Chinatown. Yum, yum, yum!

Then we found this orange brick wall and did some more straightforward portraits to round out the day:

Kent got eager for some pastry before Mo had a chance to share:

So cute. I love the shots with the lanterns and bustling Chinatown streets, but these closer-up shots are some of my favorite from the day. Simple, colorful and adorable!

Thank you, Mo and Kent, for such a wonderful day! I enjoyed meeting you, and our shoot, and all of our delicious snacks!