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{low down, throw down with Jennifer Pinkerton}

Tonight, dear readers, a treat. Presenting our very own Jen Pinkerton of The Maternal Lens! Jen is our very own in-house queen of crafts. She is a very creative force in our group. She is an outspoken, multi-talented, always up to something mother of three and super talented photographer to boot. Within this sampling of photos, we have included some photos showing off Jen's crafty side!
Name: Jennifer Pinkerton

Business name: Jennifer Pinkerton Photography, The Pink Pooka (etsy shop)

Location: Bellevue, Nebraska

Website/blog: http://www.jenpinkertonphotography.blogspot.com/ and http://www.etsy.com/shop/pinkpooka

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:
My photography is colorful and unpretentious.

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?
My relationships are the most important things to me. Family, friends…even my facebook friends, are my top priority.


How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started?
I started shooting with my first slr camera in high school, almost 15 years ago. After I graduated, I got serious about it and started taking photos for others, starting with headshots for a friend’s pageant.

What is your best post processing tip?

Well, a little trick of mine is to use the heck out of the lasso tool! With most of my portraits, I lasso the face and bump up the curves just a tad to brighten things up. I also use it loosely around my subject, select the inverse and use levels to darken the edges slightly for a natural looking vignette.

golden - explored!  woot!

Explain to us your dream vacation:

Somewhere I haven’t been before and no agenda! I love to visit new places, taking everything in as I get to it. I’d love to stay in a hut over the ocean or maybe visit somewhere full of history, like Jerusalem. And of course, Texas is always high on my list too! I’m not particular.

the {D} fam

What type of sessions are your favorite (children, family, newborns....) and why?

I love shooting boudoir. It’s my absolute favorite, followed by engagement sessions and seniors. I also love doing bridal portraits, but I just do get the chance very often. These are my favorites because I love making people feel beautiful! I have struggled with my self image over the years and nothing makes a woman feel more beautiful than seeing herself in a gorgeous photo, especially when she's in love!

How long is your average session? How many pics do you take vs how many you show your client?
It depends on the type of session, but they average around an hour and a half. For something like a senior shoot, I’ll take around 300 photos and end up with about 150 final images (some of them duplicates in b&w.)

What was your biggest stuggle in starting up?
Confidence and being a procrastinator. I’ve been working to start my business for 10+ years and right now I’m questioning whether I even want to be in business! I’d much rather shoot as I please, just taking opportunities as they come to me. I can barely find time to edit my photos, much less do any kind of marketing right now.

Do you think textures, sun-flare, vintage looking photos are a phase/fad that will fizzle out?

I think that they are certainly trendy looks, but I think they will be around for a while, maybe just in different ways. There are so many different ways you can use textures and vintage treatments! I have just recently had a breakthrough with textures and the way I use them and I’m getting completely different results than I was just a few months ago.

Have you ever had a photo session bomb?

When I was 18, I shot a wedding for some folks who knew I didn’t have a lot of experience, and it was a disaster! I can say from experience, you should never shoot a wedding or important event unless you know what you are doing and have the proper equipment AND a backup plan!

How heavily do you rely on editing as opposed to quality photography itself? Do you feel actions are genuinely increasing the artistic quality of photos or just dating them for the future?

Over the past few years, I’ve learned to shoot in manual and have worked really hard to get great exposures SOOC. Most of my edited images closely resemble the SOOC version. I love to use actions (with almost everything!) but by the time I’m done tweaking them, I end up with what I hope is a relatively natural result.


Must have or favorite action?

I use Florabella’s Vintage Summer action (reduced to 30% opacity) on almost all my color photos right now.

Do you give free or discounted sessions to your friends and family or charge them the same as clients?

I rarely charge friends or family for photos. I do it because I enjoy it and it’s a gift I can give to them that’s a little part of me. I also enjoy bartering with friends. For example, I did a boudoir shoot in exchange for a birthday cake one year. Best darn cake ever!

What is your take on “everyone thinks they are a photographer because they have a nice camera?”

I think that the people who complain about it need to just get over themselves! With things being digital now and cameras for purchase everywhere you turn, photography is much more accessible now than it once was. I think if you love it, you should learn it and do it! The only thing I have an issue with is people who really have no clue what they are doing trying to be in business. You don’t have to have a business to be a good photographer and vice versa. Those of us who have been around a while need to be patient with those who are learning and remember that we all have to start somewhere.

pumpkin muffin heaven

What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?

I shoot primarily with my Nikon D80 and a 50mm 1.8 lens. I have loved my camera and lens for a long time and I’m ready to upgrade!

Christmas dresses, finally finished!

As a mom and photographer, how do you balance your life?

I struggle with balancing things and that is a huge reason for why I am not big on having a full fledged business right now. Just the little bit of shooting I do now keeps me so busy that I don’t have time for anything else. It’s hard! My plan is to back off a little and wait until my kids are in school before I really get things going.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I can pretty much guarantee you I’ll be doing pretty much the same things I am now! I don’t think my life will ever be anything other than chaotic, creative and busy! The biggest difference between then and now is that I’ll have a house full of teenage attitude instead of toddler attitude.

felt camera love ornament

What song inspires you? You know, the one that can lift your spirits no matter what?
Right now, it’s Free Fallin’ sung by John Mayer. I have always loved that song, but his version is a whole other experience. I love acoustic music, especially classic country and rock.

If we surprised you at your house today, what would be the first thing we would notice?

It’s a disaster! I am not exaggerating! It’s always a mess and we are only half way moved into our house after living here a year!

{s} the bat!


  1. jen i adore you. your talent behind the lens, behind the sewing machine, behind the scenes inspires me daily. you're fabulous. period. xo

  2. What an awesome interview! I love your outlook and your images...now I'll have to visit your crafting! I love the bartering idea...I've been toying with going professional for a long while now too...I'm always afraid that it will become "work" and I want it to stay as something I love! This was great to read! :)

  3. Love the DoF and the rich colors in her work. Nice!!

  4. you inspire me everyday!!! wonderful interview!

  5. love the interview...honest talent!

  6. love the interview!
    btw that john mayer song, Love it!! perfect song to sing while driving down the road w/your windows down!

  7. I love Jen! And her photography. Im. Always telling her how someday I will have photos done bye her :)

  8. Melissa9/15/2010

    Jen, you are wonderful and all you do is wonderful!

  9. Jen's photos are just gorgeous! And I am a proud owner of 10 of those adorable camera ornaments show above. Cutest things hangin' on my tree :)

  10. Jen you know I love you, thank you for letting me bug you with questions! I look up to you in so many ways and relate to you in so many other ways!! :)

  11. Absolutely fabulous--the interview + the fabulous Jennifer!!! Love you, girl!! I enjoyed seeing these gorgeous images of yours. :)

  12. I loved reading this, Jen! I feel like I identify with you, especially the part about living in your house for a year and only being halfway moved in.....glad I'm not the only one :-) haha

  13. I'm so happy to have hooked up with Jen, twice now, when she was passing through town. Shannon would be so jealous, we even had Starbucks once!


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