That’s a wrap!

Boy oh boy have these last few months been a total whirlwind!  I can’t even believe it’s time to say good bye 🙁  Tomorrow is our very last day of sessions and then I have one sweet baby boy that is due to arrive any day.  I have to say I love that I’ll be ending with a newborn.  Seems fitting I think.  These last few months have been spent tying up a million lose ends and for the first time probably since the day I opened my business my email is actually empty.  I’m so thankful for my awesome assistant Felicia for coming in this week to help me check off every last little project that needed to be finished before closing our doors. 

Before I go though I want to say a great big thank you.  Thank you a million times for all of the sweet words and gestures that you all made to me.  I knew *I* was emotional but I truly was not anticipating all the tears from clients.  Had I known that was going to happen I would have just scheduled a big cry party and we could have all cried together the day I announced I was closing.  Since that day though my email has been flooded with kind words and I have loved all the hugs and sweet moments I’ve had in the studio.  Those words helped me get through some dark days and I will treasure those forever.

Thank you for trusting me to capture once in a lifetime moments with your family.  I’m truly honored to be a small part of your family’s story.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I’m going to miss seeing all these families grow.

And of course before I go I want to answer all of the questions I’m getting over and over!  First of all if you’re out of the loop and want to know why we’re closing you can read about it HERE.  I answered a lot of questions there and the answers pretty much remain the same.  I do want to be sure though that everyone understands that we truly did everything we could to keep our doors open.  Five years ago this would have been a tiny blip on our radar but the photography market is so saturated now that we were having to be much more aggressive in our marketing efforts than in years past.  Unfortunately this was just too big of a punch to come back from and it took us down.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are a lot of things that had we grasped what was really happening we would have handled it differently.  That said we went as far as our resources allowed us to.  We explored a lot of avenues and everything I tried was just a dead end and when I had exhausted every effort we agreed that closing was the only option left.  I have to believe that there is a reason for this that I just don’t see.  It was way too crazy of a story and I tried way to hard to save things for this not to have a bigger story that I just can’t see yet.  Because of that I have been at peace.  I get asked a lot if I’m excited and I would definitely say I’m still more in the devastated camp but I am very excited to have the burden lifted.  Every day I get closer to the end of this month I feel like I’m breathing easier and I realize now how long it’s been since I’ve felt like I could really breathe.  It’s been a tough year.

SO…what IS next?  First off I want to reiterate that I will NOT be taking pictures on the side.  For two reasons….one I am super excited to announce I have accepted a job at Vroman Orthodontics as a Treatment Coordinator.  Dr. Vroman is one of my clients and approached me about an opening in their office and while I was skeptical at first because I’ve never done anything in the medical field when I read the job description it looks an awful lot like the one I have now.  I’ll still get to work with families and kids (although most of them older!) only I’ll be walking them through the process of getting braces instead of custom portraiture (so if your kids need braces you should really call me!!).  The second reason is even though I won’t have the big big overhead of a huge studio and awesome staff I would still have things like insurance and taxes and different computer and program related expenses.  There is always a cost to doing business and because the hours at my new job will be longer and more strict than the ones I’m currently keeping I would have to fill most of my time off doing sessions just to pay for the remaining overhead I would have.  As you can imagine with the busy ages my kids are at I will have my hands full juggling them and my new job.  There just aren’t enough hours in the week to also juggle doing sessions on the side and the pressure of having a set number to pay for business expenses!  I’ve had a lot of people say “well let me know if you ever open up again”….please know that while I suppose you should never say never I have absolutely zero plans to ever go into business as a photographer again.  At this point in time I truly cannot imagine a scenario that would allow that to happen.

Which of course leads to the last thing to talk about before I go….what am I going to do with all that stuff!?  We are liquidating EVERYTHING!!  Our public sale will be held on Sunday Nov 27th from 4-7 pm and Monday Nov 28th from 6-8 pm.  We’ve had a LOT of questions on pricing.  We did put together a list of prices for photographers looking to buy us out but unfortunately those did not pan out.  If you received that price list you would see that we averaged a lot of things.  Since we are having a public sale we will be pricing everything individually based on value and condition.  I’m not comfortable quoting prices because there is Just.So.Much.Stuff.  We do not have anywhere to store anything and we want it all to go so just know that prices will be based on the condition of the item, if it is handmade or an antique and the value/revenue we think it will bring another photographer but above all else to get it sold so we don’t have to somehow store it long term.  Our intent is to use the proceeds of the sale to pay off all remaining business related debt and our hope is to close debt free.  We will begin packing and pricing things next week and we would love to see all of you at our sale, the cool thing about our stuff is that so much of it works very well for home decor not just for photographers!

I’ll leave you all with a fun family picture of my family from this fall.  Felicia was fantastic enough to let me be all bossy on her awesome little farm.

Those are her animals and KC would have smuggled that goat home if he could have!!

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Final “Monther” post!

Thank you all SO MUCH for your amazing patience!  This project used to be Felicia’s baby and with everything else going on this year she was greatly missed and it was hard for me to juggle this all by myself!  Hopefully you see your baby here and if not let me know and I’ll go on a hunt and see if I can find what is missing!  Also…when they fixed our website the new update of our “blog theme” took away the option to scroll to the bottom and look at past posts.  I have no idea why but it’s extremely frustrating.  The only work around we can think of is I’m going to have to go in on the back end and find what you’re looking for and send you a link.  So if you need to go back and choose old months let me know which ones and I’ll work on sending you a list of links.

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Business Closing

It is with great sadness that we announce today that Jennifer Jayne Photography is closing.  In March of this year our website was hacked which led to the complete shut down to inflow of new business causing JJP to no longer keep our doors open.  What we initially thought was just a nuisance quickly turned into months of frustration.  In June we learned that google had essentially “blacklisted” our website because it was considered compromised and it was affecting how we came up in searches (or if we did at all).  While we had always used many forms of advertising clients doing online searches was our best way of gaining new clientele.  You would think after twelve years and being as established as we were that hackers wouldn’t be able to take us out.  Unfortunately that’s exactly what  happened. We also want to be really sure to communicate this was NOT at the hands of a competitor (we’ve been asked this too many times to count).  We had excellent traffic and search engine optimization on our website and it was done by hackers essentially stealing our traffic hits or stats.  The website was down again as recently as in the last two weeks so unfortunately it continues.

Our final day of business will be November 30th.  Our final week for sessions will be the week of Nov 13th.

FAQ

Here are some answers to the main questions we’ve been getting this week as we’ve begun to share with friends and colleagues.

1.Will you go back to working out of your home?

No, we moved last year to a new house and there isn’t a good space to do that.

2. Will you work for another photographer?

At this time that is not a plan and no studio comes to mind that is in a position to hire Jennifer.  If that were to happen that would be amazing and we’ll be sure to let you know.  It’s not something we’re pursuing though.

3.Will you do some photography “on the side”?

No, our home does not have a dedicated space and Jennifer’s passion is studio work with babies.

4.What will you do with all your stuff?

There will be a huge sale at the end of November, stay tuned for more details as we get closer.

5. What will you do now?

Mostly wander around like a lost puppy?  This has been Jennifer’s passion and career for twelve years and closing the studio right now is like having the rug ripped from under her.

Choosing another career wasn’t on her mind in any way so while finding a job is necessary we don’t know where that will be.

Some housekeeping:

-If you placed an order but never picked it up PLEASE contact us to do so asap.  We want to be sure everyone gets their orders and some of these things have been sitting here for over two years!  Call first (309-736-0030) as we are not here set hours.

-If you purchased something but never got back to us with an image number etc. please complete your order by Nov 13th.  After November there will be some vendors we will not have access to as we won’t be placing volume orders with them.

-If you booked a session for November yes we will still have a Christmas set available for you to use!

On that same note if you have a session scheduled with us please know there will be NO changes to your session.  We’re so excited to finish out with some of our favorite clients and will cherish these last few sessions.

-If you have a gift certificate or coupon we will do our very best to accommodate everyone.  We no longer have our staff so our session times are very limited as we work hard behind the scenes to tie up loose ends and take care of the clients already booked.  Remaining session availability will be available first come first serve and please understand we will do our very best to get everyone in.

And finally thank you.  Thank you for twelve amazing years and for bringing the cutest babies the Quad Cities has ever seen to see us.  Jennifer has loved every minute of capturing your baby’s memories.

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Jennifer in action at her most recent newborn session.