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  • Writer's pictureJenn Bakos

Finally Blogging again | New Hampshire Food and Lifestyle photographer

Wow welcome to 2023!!

I'm starting off with a little review of the last 6 months of business, since that is where I left off in my email newsletter, and though it's been a while on the blog I thought it made sense to highlight all the great stuff I did before moving into 2023.

Also, as you can see, there is a major update here : new website!! It's been a long time coming and need for a big refresh and simplification. Welcome!

2022 held a great balance of work and play for me, which was incredibly needed after 2021. It's funny how when the balance is restored, it I'm so used to the hustle and grind, that I forgot what it was like to have more of a life. I wanted to bring more fun into this past year and I leaned in. So much adventure and great times. Lots of new people and new places. Weddings as a guest (finally!) where I got to dance and sing and lose my hearing. I ate great food, I laughed so much, I experienced incredible views. I felt conflicted in a way for having fun and not focusing on work so much, but I also had brain space to be creative and try new things with photography, which I hadn't had before. Balance is a funny thing...I like to say that it's more of a pendulum swing.

This year was an experiment to see if I could survive off a lesser income and still do what I wanted to do. So far so good, a little stress about money in the slower months, but we are making do. Manifestation and a good mindset are key in my world. We'll see what this next year brings.

In 2023 I'm hoping to bring more focus and maybe that means paring down a bit, getting more niche, and carving out a better understanding of my brand and who I want to be for my clients. I'm focusing on what jobs I want more of and rethinking who my ideal client is. I am also hugely in need of a new website! This one is outdated and broken. It needs a refresh! Winter projects...

Some big news at the end of the year was that me and my boyfriend, Matt, got a house! Lots of time and energy has been focusing on getting the house all set up and organized. I am glad it's the slow season so I may do it all this winter I hope. My other winter activities I hope to do is more knitting, and maybe some sewing projects! I also got a lot of embroidery materials and books for Christmas so perhaps some of that too.

Onto the photos!


Around the end of summer this year I was asked to photograph another chef's dinner. This time with the Aaron Sanchez Impact Fund. I got to photograph the chefs creating cuisine for Hispanic heritage month at the lovely Pickering House inn in Wolfeboro, NH. Thanks to Emshika of Chang Thai Cafe for hiring me and all the chefs who were there and making amazing food!

A little while back I began work with Zephyr & Ore Design Group to create imagery for the new website. We continued that process of photos showcasing some of their new work with clients and photographing some finished work in different spaces. Lots of beautiful woodworking and architectural design to behold, as well as some green wooden benches to accent a fun Boston restaurant.

Going in no particular order here, which is fine by me! Me and Matt went up to Acadia and Schoodic Point at the end of summer to camp and enjoy the beauty that area holds. Me and my family have been trying to get to the Bold Coast each summer and there happened to be an open weekend in September so we jumped on it since we hadn't been. Matt and I biked and hiked and enjoyed the peace of the area. We watched a full blood moon rise over the peninsula one evening which was incredibly beautiful. We jumped in the ocean and saw seals and porpoises. It was lovely!

Upon our return home from Schoodic and Acadia, I came down with Covid which was such a bummer. It finally got me after 2 years of avoidance. When I was quarantining and feeling okay, I did experiment with some food photography and lighting. I had been wanting to play around and do some personal work for a bit, and I was grateful to feel okay enough on some days to do so. I've been playing with a new light and soft box I got, as well as messing with some hard light and shadows a bit more, since it's trendy right now!

It had been a bit but I was excited to work with Maine Street Bee again! They had opened a new location and needed new website photos updated from what we had done last time and to make their website look more consistent. I really love how they all came out and hope you check out the site! Maybe because it's all yellow and warm and happy looking, but I really enjoyed these images and creating them. I also just love their branding !

Had a quick shoot day with 27 Teas, a client and business friend of mine who I've worked with here and there over the years. Margaret just opened up her own shop space as well, and it's so exciting to see the growth that many of my business friends have experienced thankfully even after the pandemic! We had fun creating a few updates and some holiday imagery.

I've worked with El's Cards here and there through out the years too! We did some photography of some of her new designs and products which is always so fun to see. El is one of the sweetest people I know, and she also has the funniest cats. It's so fun going to her house to shoot ! Her watercolor art and designs are really popular around New England. We have some big projects coming up that I'm excited for.

A new client of mine, Lilibridge bags, was a bit of a collaboration with the model Holly, who needed some new portfolio work. We wandered around Wagon Hill Farm in Durham and created some photos for the bag brand, something I've never done! But it was fun! I enjoyed playing with the colors of her outfits with the designs and the background of the farm in fall.

King Arthur Flour! I don't get there as much anymore, but I love when I am called upon! Their studio is my dream studio, and who wouldn't love being surrounded by baked goods and seeing step-by-step instructions on baking specific items. This shoot was all about decorating cupcakes! They were gorgeous, and yes I got to try some! (so good).

For a delayed birthday gift for Matt we headed to Vermont and I surprised him with a Hobbit Hole stay in the hills. It was seriously incredible! Way better than what was shown online. It was soooo cozy and cute and the details were incredible. It even had a private pub inside that we could enjoy and play darts and things. The property and surrounding area was so beautiful at the height of foliage. We truly loved every minute of it!

I've been going monthly to Tamworth Distillery still and I always love to see what is on the shortlist and what fun stuff we will get up to. I also enjoy seeing what new libations are coming out. They have lots of great cocktail making classes, and now a weekly food and cocktail night! Doing cocktail photography has been super fun, especially with some beautiful lighting. I also love that the food is usually local and you can even peep a Vernon Family Farm chicken pot pie in there!

A fantastic new sandwich shop opened up in Exeter, NH. The Takeout Station is right by the Amtrak station in town. It's SO GOOD. I was impressed by the unique twists on classics and the flavors are just perfect. I recommend the cuban! It's takeout only and they have specials every day :) I worked with Skyhouse Creative on this shoot.

Ever tried vegan bacon? Ever tried mushroom vegan bacon? This stuff seems to be the closest you can get to pork haha. Mushrooms are super trendy right now, possibly because they are fascinating and hold such amazing medicinal properties. The mycelium can be used to create so many things! MyForest Foods has evolved from vegan products to the food industry and creating this really interesting vegan bacon. We are working on photos of packaging and product so they can continue to build up their brand and launch more soon. It's not quite in stores, though I think you can find some out in Albany, NY where the company is based. Stay tuned!

Another experimental studio shoot using hard light. I used some citrus and wanted to create a sunny day feel but also just play with the light and editing and the reflections in the glass, it was interesting to notice how the light changed and what worked and didn't work and seeing the difference between strobe lights and continuous lights.

While I still lived in Newmarket, going to Deciduous Brewery for work was such an easy commute! It was a rainy day and the cozy space inside was very welcome. I love the fireplace and wood accents. The outside seating with lighting is great too. It's a great local beer spot if you're ever in town! I worked with Maine Fox Marketing on this as they create a new website for Deciduous.

Good old Vernon Family Farm! Their farm nights were so fun this year. The food, the music, the community! Things are winding down now for the winter but I know they always have fun things planned. It was nice to spend some quiet moments photographing the animals and the farm one morning.

After the launch of Shear 2 at Harrisville Designs, we wanted to showcase Wellscroft Farm a bit more, and will continue to do so overtime. This day was sheep shearing day! I believe there were over 100 sheep getting shorn and given their yearly meds and medical exams. Working farms are harsh and beautiful. It was amazing to see the different colors of wool underneath the topcoat each sheep had. Sheep shearing is quite beneficial to the animal, because they have been bread for wool many years over time, if you let them go, it would basically consume them and become so heavy over time. Shearing them is helpful and the wool is lovely.

In December we took a trip up to Quebec and stayed in a little off-grid A-Frame cabin on a hill in Lac-Beauport. I had stayed here last year and immediately knew I needed to come back. There's something about watching that view everyday and the weather and light changing that bring so much peace and awe. I also feel like we have been lucky to see so many beautiful moon rises this year. It was a great way to kick of winter and get cozy by the wood stove. We went to the old city and enjoyed going around to the German Christmas Markets and do some holiday shopping!

I mentioned in my last Newsletter I would catch up on weddings! I cut back on weddings a ton this year, and it was so needed. The large weddings and long days took a toll on my last year since they were on top of working every day pretty much. I needed a break and not to mention needed time to edit. While I enjoy weddings, I think I will still keep them at limit and certain time frames each year. I also prefer small weddings and elopements but I will still be taking a few large weddings!

Margaret and Vincent got married officially back in 2020 when they had a small ceremony with immediate family. This was their bigger celebration with more people and while I remember it being one of the most humid days ever, it was so fun to see everyone come together on the Seacoast and enjoy a party and great food. They had a nice renewal ceremony facing the ocean surrounded by friends and family, and while rain threatened the day, it ended up being a beautiful sunset and even a rainbow appeared in the clouds. There were children running around laughing and playing games and guests walking around the rocky coast enjoying the view. It was a lovely way to celebrate!

Rachel and Harrison got married at one of my favorite venues, Josias River Farm in York, Maine. While it feels hidden in the woods, it's super close to the coast and all the iconic spots. We went around town a bit and took photos in different spots on one of the trollies. Then they had a gorgeous autumn accented ceremony on the back lawn by the barn. I think it was one of my favorite weddings of the year because it reflected a lot of the things I love and being at a barn with the slight autumn coloring was just perfect. Please note the image with the birds flying in at the perfect moment by the ocean!

My last wedding of the year was at Cold Spring Farm, a new to me venue in Alton, NH. Christen and Brandon had an intimate ceremony with mountain views. For October it was a beautiful warm day with that glowy golden autumn light. It had a little bit of a boho vibe with outdoorsy accents. Also, one of my favorite florists did the flowers : Fruition Flowers.

I am thankful for another great wedding season that came without too much stress. My clients are truly great people who create beautiful days for themselves and their families. Knowing how much work goes in, I am always impressed!

I'll leave you with some fun film photos I took at the end of summer into autumn. We went out to Montana for a wedding and had a blast. Some photos are from foliage in Vermont and some from Acadia and the reds just really pop with fuji film! I love it. Can't wait to shoot more film for fun, it's a great way to slow down and get a little surprise each time you develop it.

Well that is all for my little year-end wrap up! More posts and shoots coming soon! I am hopeful for another abundant year and more adventure! Wishing you all the best for 2023 too. Cheers!!


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