Jen Madigan Photography: Life Cycle Photographer

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I started out this year promising myself that fear would no longer rule my life. Well...I can say that I'm making progress at the very least, but I haven't conquered it completely just yet (does anyone ever completely rid themselves of it? Probably not). I've been contemplating the future of my business recently, and after talking with a very wise woman (the amazing, intuitive Jess Lively), I can see a bit more clearly.

Throughout my photography career so far, clients and friends (and even fellow photographers) have asked, "what's your favorite type of photography?" I know that they expected me to decide between all of the genres...weddings, newborns, families, children, etc. I always had a difficult time answering that seemingly simple question, and despite gentle pushing from other photographers I've met, I could never narrow down to a "specialty". Of course I went through phases at the beginning where I said that I only want to do weddings, or I only want to focus on children's portraits...but deep down none of those ever seemed like "the one". I liked them all, I told myself, I don't like to be bored.

Over the past couple of years and trying out several types of photography, I learned a lot about myself, including what I love most about life and what taking photos really means to me. Maybe it's my small town roots coming to the surface, or maybe I've just watched too many Cheers reruns, but the best feeling for me is to go where everyone knows my name. I want to go to the coffee shop (Corridor, best frozen lattes ever!!) and be greeted like an old pal, and I want the local sandwich shop to know my order before I even place it (Her Soup Kitchen is the best btw, seriously, check it out). There's nothing better than going to get your hair cut and leaving energized because you felt pampered and special, like you were their only client of the day (and let's also be real, you just told the stylist all your secrets, so you pretty much got a therapy session in there too!). I figured since I love this type of personal attention, there must be others that appreciate it too.

When I couldn't possibly narrow down to a "specialty", I decided to give a name to the type of photography I wanted to do, combined with my love of getting to know people on a more personal level. So, with Jess Lively's help, the name Life Cycle photography was born to describe the genre of photography I want to focus on (for clarification, my business name will stay the same). You see, for awhile now I've been telling Josh that I just want to photograph people's lives. I want to document their wedding, but then I want my clients to call me when they have their first baby...and their second. I say this often on the blog, but I truly think of all of my clients as friends, and I treat them as such. Life Cycle photography, in a nutshell, is documenting the love in life's big and little moments. It's about the connection between an engaged couple embarking on a journey to spend the rest of their lives together, and about the adoration and excitement new parents feel when they bring home their first baby. I want to tell your story, to capture emotions from this time in your lives, so that you can look back on these images in 50 years and remember how you felt at that very moment.

You may ask, will anything change? Overall no - I basically just gave a name to a genre I'd been doing already (and felt as though lifestyle photography was too broad of a category and wasn't quite the right description of what I want to be doing), however I will be moving away from the posed newborn sessions and instead focusing in on the family as they navigate this new area of their lives, and continuing to use the family's home as a backdrop rather than the beanbag/draping for individual baby photos. Moving forward, I hope that my work will continue to reflect photos filled with love, adoration, and a genuine reflection of who you and your family truly are. I hope you will join me on this journey!

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