JaneCane Photography » Duluth, Minnesota based Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer

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Four years ago, I was approached by a client to take her boudoir photos. I blushed, not knowing what to say or how to react – immediately thinking this was such a provocative request (and one I would never do) I myself was the opposite of sexy, why would she ask me? How could I ever capture something so intimate and what would people think of my business?  But after a bit of research, and finding myself more intrigued by how to pronounce the word than how to photograph it, I decided to try it out and announced my very first boudoir mini sessions. At the time, it was hard to find hotels that would allow such events – as most were nervous about the idea or simply had no clue what it entailed. I also had no idea how to explain it or normalize this seemingly scandalous word that I felt almost needed to be whispered. It felt so private, so hush-hush. And it wasn’t easy to photograph. Those first sessions pushed me and forced me outside of my comfort zone, creating challenges I hadn’t faced in Wedding or Lifestyle photography. As a female who felt like I had zero experience in the world of sex appeal, I had to learn how to make others feel sexy. How to make my clients feel comfortable and able to laugh, to have an experience that was incredible from start to finish. And I quickly realized that it wasn’t all about the sexiness – but instead, the confidence.

As I continued to offer boudoir sessions over the next few years, I had the honor of connecting with so many incredible women – and getting to hear all of their stories. Stories of loss and struggle and self-doubt. Stories of heartache and challenges and darkness. But also stories of empowerment and victory and self-love. After almost every single session I was receiving emails from my clients sharing happy tears and feelings of confidence being restored. For me, I was seeing each woman as strong and brave, but they weren’t always able to see that in their own reflection. These boudoir sessions became so much more than work – they became a love language for me. A way to give back to women in my community, to empower and raise up my clients. It no longer felt embarrassing when someone would ask me about what Boudoir was – it became a topic of Pride for me. Something I could passionately and openly talk about, rave about, share about. It became bigger than the photos, it became a way to cultivate a community of women who unapologetically loved their bodies, imperfections and all. And it was incredible.

In the process of all of this, I had met another local photographer and convinced her that we should probably be BFFs – realizing that not only did we live uncanny parallel lives, we also both were crazy passionate about empowering women. So, it only made sense that we would eventually team up to open The Boudoir Suite last Winter. While we decided to continue to operate our own boudoir businesses out of this space, we share the gorgeous studio and both offer boudoir sessions year-round.

Each session I get to be a part of only further confirms that this is what I am supposed to be doing. That this was truly a calling for me. Nowadays you can find me sharing and posting all about boudoir photography on my social media – writing about my own boudoir session experience and always staying transparent with my personal self-love journey, while continuing to encourage others to do the same. The more open I am about body image and the power of boudoir, the more I realize how many women out there face the same struggles, the same frustrations with their body and confidence levels.

I don’t claim that Boudoir changes lives, but I do think that it can change a day or a day somewhere down the line or how you feel in that moment, in that studio, in front of the camera. And it definitely allows me, as a photographer, to share with each client how the world really sees them: beautiful exactly as they are. So if you have always thought about booking a session, but weren’t sure what it entailed or how to take the leap – just ask. I would love nothing better than to start a conversation with you about whether or not boudoir is for you, right now. I can’t promise I won’t shoot down all your excuses (No, you don’t need to lose weight. Yes, Mommas do it too. No, I don’t alter your body – because, shocker – I think it’s pretty incredible just as it is) But I will walk you through the process of what to expect and how amazing it can really be.

If you are interested and want to hear more, full experience boudoir sessions with JaneCane Photography are offered year round – always including professional hair + makeup, as well as your carefully edited images in a password protected gallery with digital downloads and the print release. Luxury albums and print products are available with additional investment, but not required with booking.

Thinking “Hell Yes, Sign me Up!” or simply just want to see the details? Feel free to email me at info@janecanephotography.com // Want to stay in the loop + get boudoir announcements in your inbox? Sign up for the JaneCane Photography newsletter! And if you want to see studio sneak peeks and gorgeous boudoir images, make sure to follow along on Instagram: JaneCane Photography

 

 

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  • February 22, 2017 - 11:26 am

    Sydnee Bickett - I’m so happy that I did a mini session with you earlier this year! Holy smokes, the empowering feelings I still feel when I look at those images are just phenomenal. You’ve given me such a gift and I could never say thank you enough! 🙂 XOXOXO love you, lady!ReplyCancel

There is something oh so special + intimate about getting to capture first moments together as a family for my clients – getting to see them love on each other so fiercely, seeing them start this new part of their new adventure together. For some, it’s the first baby they have welcomed – their excitement shining through as they hold that tiny babe with so much pride. For others, it’s the second or third or fourth and big siblings are anxiously awaiting their turn to hold the newest addition. In every case, it’s a complete blessing to witness each new life brought into the world, surrounded by overwhelming love.

It was no different when I met the Celebelinski Family at the hospital last week – big sister Amelia greeting me, overjoyed to be showing off her new little Brother Wyatt. She excitedly grabbed the stuffed animal she had brought for him, chatting about what she would name him and how their stuffed animals would be friends. All the while, Wyatt cozied in with Mom + Dad, allowing Amelia to hug and squeeze and hold him. So sweet to see this family of three become a family of four // A true Valentine’s Day blessing.

Wyatt Bradley Cebelinski / Born Feb 14, 2017
8lbs 4oz
20 inches long

 

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Last Fall, my gal pal Bailey called to tell me that she and her husband Hutch had decided to start fostering dogs through Animal Allies. It didn’t surprise me really – they both have hearts of gold, a love of everything regarding pups, pup drool + puppy snuggles and had just moved to the country, so they had endless space to run and play for those four-legged friends. What was a surprise was their first placement: a momma and her eight (yes, EIGHT) puppies. They were 3 days old, could fit in the palm of our hands and were the sweetest things ever.

But it wasn’t all cute, cuddly awesomeness – Bailey was great about being transparent and so honest in their journey with the puppies. They had their fair share of tough days and as time went on it only became more challenging. But I am so in awe of both their stubbornness to not give up and their insane ability to give fully, never expecting anything in return. Fostering pups is no small task, but fostering a whole liter for over 50 days – that is borderline sainthood.

When their time with the puppies came to an abrupt end, it was no shock that Bailey + Hutch (and big brother Summit!) had decided to adopt sweet Mowgli from the crew. He is so snuggly and loves hanging with Summit, who has been so patient and kind to the new kid on the block. // And if you want to hear all the goodness about Mowgli’s journey – hop on over to Bailey’s blog and read the details!

So now I think I can successfully put “puppy newborn session” on my resume. Because really, what is better than puppy snuggles and big bro Summit’s sloppy kisses? (And high five to Bailey + Hutch for putting up with my baby voice and ridiculous antics to get Mowgli to look at me) This family is one of my very favs and it is such a joy to watch this new season in their life unfold!

 

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To the woman who sent me an anonymous letter in the mail yesterday:

I am, first and foremost, a believer in the first amendment. It is a privilege to live in a country where our freedoms and rights allow us to have personal choice and opinions. I have, over the past few months, chosen to voice some of my own opinions on my personal social media outlets – always keeping an open mind to other’s voices that may not look or sound or have any resemblance to my own. I was raised to always welcome discussion, remaining honest and respectful, and to converse but never yell. It is not my job to change opinions. As it is not yours to tell me what my opinions should be.

By sharing a piece of myself online, I am also very aware that I then open up the door to feedback (both positive and negative) and choose to do so, even while being a business owner. I understand the risk this presents.

While I actively try to separate business from personal, I also have tried to remain transparent in my social media – sharing the mess, the ugly, the imperfect. Making sure each post is done with the intention of spreading empowerment and encouragement. Never intending to make anyone feel less than or wrong. Never intending to hurt anyone.

So when I opened your hand addressed letter yesterday, it took me by surprise to find an entire page of content that attacked me, my business and my voice. It was even more surprising to realize that you took the time to type the letter and send it to my home – but excluded a return address or your name. You felt so strongly about my words that you had to go out of your way to let me know how upset you were – but not brave enough to reveal who you were. You questioned my voice, while not revealing your own.

You left clues, of course – an apparent “customer and acquaintance”, a mother of three young children and a small business owner. I read your words, at first becoming angry and upset. Crying and feeling so discouraged – racking my brain for how I could have negatively affected someone this much. What words had I shared that were so horrible, so negative, that someone was compelled to bring their anger to my doorstep?

You assumed a lot about me in this letter. You bashed my views on reproductive rights and gave me a lesson about pro-life and the dignity of every life (not realizing of course, that I am Catholic. That I believe that life is sacred. That I ache to be a mom, but face my own struggles along that path. That while I am pro-life in my own home, I am a fierce fighter for all woman to have the privilege of making that choice.) I believe that my God still loves me, even if you don’t.

You assumed that I want our President to fail. You assumed I hadn’t given him a fair chance.
Believe me, I would love nothing more than to see our President succeed. To see a nation divided come together. I do not question whether he is our elected leader, I question the integrity behind decisions being made that are harmful to the betterment of our neighbors, our friends, our family – our country.

You claimed I spread negativity, you expressed your disappointment in my “increasingly political slant” and reminded me that simply – my voice is wrong. “Amanda, I encourage you to weigh carefully the opinions of those who differ with you for right may lie in the other scale”

You signed the typed letter in pen as “an average college-educated, caring, hard working woman”. Now, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you meant no harm – that you weren’t trying to hurt me or taunt me or make me feel inferior. But, you did. You went out of your way to make me feel completely inadequate. You negated my beliefs – or at least, the assumptions you made about my beliefs. You questioned my integrity and attacked my business. You mocked my mission behind the Making Waves Project and told me that I do not practice what I preach. I would have liked nothing better than to have an open conversation with you about how my social media was causing you such anguish – but you didn’t give me that opportunity. You didn’t give me the chance to learn from you, from your opinions and your words. To discuss why we feel so differently and how we can work towards betterment. You anonymously threw your hateful words in my face and sat in the comfort of your home, while I cried on my kitchen floor.

You did harm. You hurt me. You caused pain.
All because you felt that my social media presence was too political and that I was too vocal, too opinionated, too loud.

So dear anonymous woman: While you attempted to silence me and make me feel inferior for having an opinion that differed from yours, know this – I will continue to be a voice for the voiceless. I will continue to be an ally, an encourager, a fighter and a supporter of all human rights.

You did not succeed. Your bullying did not break me. In fact, it has only made me stronger.

Sincerely,
An average, college-educated, caring, hard working woman

 


// Photo by the ever so talented Bailey Aro Photography //

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Two years ago, I nervously packed my bags and traveled alone to North Carolina for an intensive called Making Things Happen. I remembering being unsure of what the trip would bring + quite frankly – lost in my own business, lost in my own life. I had left the safety of my well-paying corporate job, started my own photography business without any experience and now what? I was floating, just stumbling along, unsure of what my purpose was.

Let me stress that now, looking back, that I cannot properly put into words the immense effect this weekend had on my life. It was life. changing.

So after three days of soul searching, goal setting, late night talks with strangers who felt like family, heartache and tears and prayers and empowerment and the most incredible group of women I have ever been surrounded by – I left feeling Brand New. Refreshed. Ready to run. I left re-affirming my place in this world, my purpose of helping others and creating change. I felt it in my bones, in my very being. This was my calling – but I had no idea what it looked like or how it would unfold.

So I took this momentum, these incredible experiences, and I flew home to Minnesota – convinced I was going home this brand new person.

And then nothing happened. There were no lighting bolts. No big ‘ah ha’ moments. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

A few weeks passed, then months. I would have an idea that I would dive into for hours, frantically trying to create something BIG. And then I wouldn’t like it, It wouldn’t feel “right” and it would get scrapped – a ball of paper thrown away. Looking back, some of them are funny and weird and plain ol’ insane. But, unknown to me, each failed idea was pushing me to keep going, to keep dreaming and thinking and creating.

As this past Fall rolled around, I felt a great weight. A darkness. It crept into my every day life, then my work and my business. I felt lost again. I felt so unmotivated to create art or really, do anything. More than ever I questioned what I was doing – why I had left a good job? A comfortable salary? My degree? What was my purpose? Social media only left me more disheartened as I allowed others’ lives to make me feel less than and unworthy. I was ready to give up my dream, walk away. Close shop.

And then, in the middle of a season of doubt and worry – It kind of just fell into my lap. In the process of working hard to be transparent in my own business and social media presence, sharing the ugly and the hard, I started to realize that so many others felt the same way I did: unworthy. So here we all were, floating aimlessly around each other, each feeling completely alone. We were literally Together feeling Alone (WHAT?!) The irony smacked me right in the face. How was this happening?

How were so many incredible, talented individuals feeling so inadequate? Whether a business owner or mom of friend or wife or student or husband or complete stranger – my social media filled with people reaching out to me to say YES. I’M IN THE SAME BOAT. And as much as a relief it was to know I was, in fact, never alone to begin with – it brought a much bigger question to mind: How could I create change? How could I do GOOD in my own community?

Lucky for Duluth, the groundwork of an amazing support system has already been laid. Our small business community is booming, and in the process is creating a network of encouragement for each other. Groups like Duluth Loves Local + our Duluth Rising Tide Society chapter (run by Bailey Aro) provide spaces and resources for collaboration + endless empowerment.

So using the building blocks of community over competition as a base, I am thrilled to announce the launch of a very special adventure: The Making Waves Project.

A project that was formed from a deep love of snail mail and the want to pass encouragement, love, support, high fives and endless positive vibes to all. The goal is to cultivate a community of empowered + confident individuals who value their own worth and are continuously raising each other up.

So what is The Making Waves Project? Simply put – cards with a purpose.

I designed each unique card, using an image of Lake Superior to start with. The cards have different messages on each one – some have quotes, some have phrases or words – but each has been designed to inspire and cheer on someone in your life. It could be a quick Hello, a simple note of thanks, a “Hang in There” message or the pat on the back they might just need. Simple words on a card could Be The Change. They could make all the difference.

With each purchase, 10% of that sale goes directly back into our community – a different local non-profit being the recipient of that donation each month.

And as this project gets started (and has it’s growing pains and inevitable kinks) I ask for patience + grace as I welcome feedback, always looking at ways to improve reach and growth – as well as seeking out local organizations you feel would be a good fit for a monthly donation. If you have one in mind, please email me at info@janecanephotography.com / As I move forward with the Making Waves Project, I will also introduce new cards – always keeping the images local, grounded in this hillside city we call home.

I am so thankful for my friends and peers and even complete strangers that offered love + support + encouragement on days they didn’t know I needed it the most – they saved me from crumbling and giving up. They saved my dream. From those small acts of kindness, those moments taken from their busy lives to raise me up – comes the Making Waves Project. Proof that small ripple actions, they can create BIG WAVES. // Ready to order? Click HERE!

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