Jen Rozenbaum, an interview
You all remember the first interview I did with John of Hittwerk Photography? In the interview he mentioned Jen Rozenbaum a boudoir photographer in New York City. He spoke very highly of her so I went and checked out her work. Turns out she’s not such a bad photographer and I think I wrote her shortly after and asked for this interview.
Jen has been featured and interviewed by some very high level people like Good Morning America, Entrepreneur Magazine, Creative Live, and the list continues. Just google her name and you can see she has been featured multiple times by many different people.
Why though? Jen was a wonderful boudoir photographer, but then again so are Sue Bryce, Stacie Frazier, Christa Meola and a whole host of others. Why or how was Jen different? After researching this photographer to the point of creepiness I think I found my answer. In one of the interviews she had done she had referred to herself as a photogratherapist. (I hope that’s what I heard) The point being is this, there are many wonderful photographers out there, but Jen connected with her clients, she listened to them, and maybe more importantly, she knew when to not listen to them. What I mean is that when one of her clients would come in with a ridiculous pose or outfit thinking it was going to work for them, Jen knew when to steer the client in a better direction. She told the client to trust her, that she did this for a living, and that she would be happy with the final images. As a photographer myself I’ve had this happen over and over and it was great to read that Jen had found a great way to deal with this issue.
I hope you enjoy the interview I did with Jen, she was kind enough to answer my silly questions and to supply some of her wonderful images. If you are a photographer and would like to be interviewed and featured on my blog please send me a message.
Why do you focus on shooting in tight quarters?
Mostly because it’s what I do! My studio is in NYC and there isn’t much space here.
Do you read the reviews on Amazon for your book? If the review is negative do you feel the urge to respond personally to the person?
Who would leave a negative review for my book? (kidding… kinda) 😉
You’re a pretty good lookin gal, have you ever posed for your own boudoir session? Can we see?!
Lol, thank you. yes I have had a few!
With being an author, photographer, wife and mother, it seems as though all of your time is booked. How do you find time to work out, and what is your approach to fitness?
I work out 4-5 days a week. It’s not an option, it’s part of my life. Yes, during some VERY busy times I cut it out. Only when I really don’t have any other time to spare (like a week before Creative Live for example!) It’s important for me to stay healthy but also to blow off steam.
What’s your philosophy with respect to diet?
I eat really healthy during the week. On the weekends I splurge. There has to be a balance.
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be featured on Huffington Post?
I’m always excited and amazed any time someone wants to feature me.
What’s your opinion on Jewish Mysticism like the Kabbalah?
I don’t really know much about Kabbalah to tell you the truth!
We see you went to University of Albany, what was your lowest moment while attending school? How did you bounce back?
The only low moments I remember were the times where I felt pressured and stressed over exams. I work best under pressure though; still do…. so I guess I never really bounced back haha.
What type of education should beginner photographers seek out?
I love love love the book Understanding Exposure. It’s the best book money can buy for someone starting out.
Have your kids taken you to career day at school yet? How do you think that will go?
My kids understand what I do. I explain to them that I am helping women feel beautiful, worthy and powerful. My daughter is almost 10 and she is the one I have the most heart to heart conversations with about it.
Do you think it’s advisable to be a multi-genre photographer? For example, trying to be a nature photographer, child photographer, and boudoir photographer?
Personally, no. I am not saying it’s not for some people. For me though, being a specialist is the most important. I wanted to focus only on what I love.
How did you get the idea to write a book on boudoir photography?
So I had an idea for a cookbook, I told a friend who told a publisher friend… and the rest is history. I got the idea for the cookbook when posting on social media one day. I always post all the “ingredients” that go into getting the shot. I started thinking – how is this any different than cooking? Bam. Lightbulb moment.
We listened to your interview on the fireside network, the most interesting thing we heard? You wear combat boots. What’s up with that?
Haha! My point was that being a woman goes way deeper than what we see on the surface!
What’s your most memorable concert?
I recently saw Billy Joel on my 40th bday at the last show at Nassau Coliseum before they renovated it.
The perfect pizza gets delivered to your door, what’s on it?!
I’m either a purest – lots of cheese!! Or I also like olives and onions. Yumm…
Your website and blog design are great. For photographers starting out how would you recommend setting up sites and blogs? Should they even do it?
Yes of course they should have a place to showcase their work (website) and speak their mind (blog). My advice is to keep it really simple and easy to use for you and the viewer.
Sigma or Nikon lenses, and why?
I use all Sigma lenses. They are affordable, quality and have you tried an Art lens?? Like Butta!!
In high school what table would you have sat at? E.g. geek table, metal table, jock table, ect.
I was the girl who really got along with many groups but I was a little more on the academic side.
Do you read for fun? Who are your favorite fiction authors?
I mostly read business books. Motivational reading. Anything I can really learn from and grow from. Right now I am reading “You are a badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life“.
How bad did Nightmare on Elm Street scare you when it premiered in 1984?
Enough not to watch it!!! (I was 9)
What type of computer do you recommend for the type of work you do?
I use a macbook pro
What’s your opinion of the certified professional Photographer CPP certification from the PPA? Do you recommend it?
Although I don’t have it – I highly recommend it!!! Why would you say no to anything that makes you better?
What was the first camera you owned?
What kind of camera do you shoot with now?
Nikon D3s and Nikon D750
If you could shoot with anyone in the world, from any time period, who would you choose. By the way, you can’t choose Marilyn Monroe or Harry Potter!
Good question! I would actually want to shoot the women of my family that I never got to meet and the ones that passed away since I have been born. The images I have of them are so few and far between.
What type of lighting equipment do you use?
Natural light. Profoto B1 strobes and the TD6, Icelight, skylux and flex all from Westcott.
Bang for the buck wise, what lighting equipment would you recommend for the beginning photographer?
The Westcott D5 kits
Have you ever been in the military?
Have you worked much in your boudoir business with military spouses?
Here and there but there aren’t too many in NYC.
Who are some other photographers that inspire you?
I gain most of my inspiration from other industries. Music, film, etc….
What type of editing software do you recommend?
I use lightroom and photoshop CC
If you answered Photoshop, what type of plug-ins do you recommend?
I have developed my own set of actions to help me edit quickly.
Was there ever a time in your time as a photographer when you were like, “I don’t think this is going to work, I think I may have made a big mistake”? How did you overcome it?
Um – often. I think we all have the urge to quit now and again. I usually just let myself be in the moment and know it will pass!
Do you ever feel the urge to punch Scott Kelby?
I don’t know Scott, but I’d only punch him if he gave me reason to!
Portrait of Jen Rozenbaum Taken by Mike from Allebach Photography.