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Featuring Jana Knox Vallone

Featuring Jana Knox Vallone

This week’s featured photographer is Jana Knox Vallone of Blush Boudoir & Intimate Portraits in St. Augustine, Florida

 
Where do you operate your business?

My studio in St. Augustine, Florida

Your Website

Your Facebook page

Client group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1650295518571464/

Photographers group: Room 421

Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/blushboudoir_byjanav/

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Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Canon 5d MarkII

Lens choices

50mm 1.4f

Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)

Lightroom mostly, a little PS

Do you use any actions?

Presets: Mostly DMWL (amazing)

Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc?

Portraiture

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CLIENTS:

 
What most people want to know is how you market to your clients.  Have you qualified who your is your ideal client?  

 I market mainly thru my facebook group. I have a webpage but get 95% of my clients thru referrals and my group.

I’d love to add into the article any inspiring client stories you might have.  Also have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share how you resolved them.  That is always something that can hugely benefit the readers.

This work has shown me that loving myself is essential to living an authentic life. What I love most about it is that I get to help women confront the false pretenses we all build in our minds! My most memorable client is a woman that has been completely transformed since the first time I met her. Within 5 minutes of meeting her she had expressed to me at least 5 times that she hated her body! This affected me so much that I just knew I was on a mission. I worked with her to create a new feed in her head. One that helped her make positive steps in her life. I think boudoir photography is much less about the images and much more about the molding of a mind!

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SALES:

 
This is probably one of the most important things that the readers want to know.  How do you sell to your clients?  Can you provide info on your sales process and your pricing.  I’d like to be able to provide numbers on what you charge for a session and what your range is for your products, like albums for instance, but if you don’t feel comfortable sharing to much, just give me what fits your comfort level.

 
To me selling is something that I dont generally try very hard to do. I try to be authentic in my life and in my facebook group. I also think that simply by being that light and safe place of encouragement in someones life..well..it sells itself. When you are genuine..people know it. My session fee is $200. The average client spends $1800-$2000. I sell albums, heirloom boxes, mounted prints, metals, acrylic blocks, and canvases. By far my best seller is my heirloom box!

What products perform best in your studio? 

 My heirloom Box is my top seller. Most clients buy it in a collection with a metal print and a mobile app.

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STUDIO:

 
Best describe your workspace.  Do you have a studio or work from home?  How large is your space?  What are the challenges with it?  What works really well for you?  Can you please include a photo or two of it, if possible.

My studio is located in St. Augustine, Florida. It has been converted from an old pole barn to a beautiful studio space with high ceilings. It is a work in progress always and I feel like as i change, it changes with me. It is all natural light and I am in love with the energy. It always has an impact on people.

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

We are building on a courtyard at the moment that will expand our space and allow us more freedom to shoot outside the studio.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 Not really. Im a freedom flyer. LOL. I try. But I have 4 children and a husband, so our schedule is crazy anyway!. My normal shoot days are M, W, Sat, and Sun. But I also can do make up and hair if needed so I have to option to shoot anytime!

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles?  What’s your preference?  What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?

All sunlight, all the time.

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio?  If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship.  If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

 I have a few make up artists, and I do the hair for every session. But I* can also do make up so I guess I use a combination of both! I feel like the make up is more for how the client FEELS than how she looks. I want her to feel pampered and loved.

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BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?
I have been shooting boudoir since February of this year. I was a homeschool mom before I started my family photography business in 2014. I love shooting families, babies, etc…but my heart is in empowering women.

Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?

Totally self-taught.

Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?

I just figured out what I was going to be when I grow up…this year.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 I am extremely creative, and don’t tent to follow rules or schedules well. I am also introverted for the most part.

Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre?  If you’re excusive, and/or recently went exclusive can you give the readers some insight into why you did.  If you’ve only ever done boudoir, again we’d love to hear why.

 I was a family photographer first. But as a business I focus mainly on boudoir, its my baby, but I also take other jobs that come at me in my community. But I am way more picky now than I used to be!

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ADVICE:

 
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

 Value yourself, and understand that there are times you will think you should give up and burn your camera. Don’t. Focus on the positives and if you love it, go for it! Be brave. Rebel against your negative thought process.

Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?

I haven’t done one by someone else, I do take a lot of self portraits when I travel. I do think there is value in having your own session, but I also think you can learn from others experiences also!

How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?  

 I don’t. A great boudoir photographer is a great boudoir photographer…no matter.

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

 Ummmm. every other day. I push thru it. I try to remember that I am talented and have everything I need inside of me.

What do you love about the business?

 I honestly love what this business has taught me about myself. I have learned to love myself more authentically than ever before, which opens me up to being able to live freely in my life. I also love the really great friends I have made thru the business and the art.

What do you hate about the business?

 I don’t really HATE anything about the business. there are things that I believe I could do better at… so I chase those things. I try not to focus on the negative.

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI?  What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?

 No.

Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it?  AIBP runs contests regularly.  Do you participate?  If not, is there a reason you don’t?

 I try and participate when I can. I am in my first year of business and have shot right over 100 clients….so I plan on getting better at it next year, when I get some of this business stuff more nailed down.

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SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Sushi

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Dr. Pepper

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 Black ..anything black or grandma florals. and jeans,

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 Studio : obsessed with “Gooey” by Glass Animals LIFE Playlist: Dog days are gone by Florence and the Machine is my Jam. I think I wrote it. By reggae has my heart and soul.

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 What is a movie?

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Flip flops or boots

What are you currently reading? 

 Body & Soul by Susan Eckert

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?   

 I have traveled and lived in other countries, but my heart loves the Caribbean.

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

 Absolutely Nothing. Life is a journey, when you learn, you grow.
 

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

 The person I would like to photograph would be Maya Angelou. She has such an amazing spirit and you can see the life pouring from her eyes

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

 Right now I struggle with my family/life balance. I have fallen in love with my work and have probably border lined on addicted to it.

Are you married, single, have kids, husband?  Is life a juggling act for you?

 I am married to my crazy love Jay for ummm…about 18 years. Not sure exactly. lol. We have 4 kids. 16, 14, 13, 11 and we homeschool. Crazy.
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

I take inspiration from life itself. all the people and the lessons along the way have molded the way I think and relate to the world. My children and family, my amazing friends, and the photographers everyday that make me reach a little further than I am comfortable with. Thank you.

 
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be

Always be authentic. Don’t allow yor thoughts and actions to be dictated by what you THINK you should do or are expected to do. Do what makes you happy..the rest, is cake.

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Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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