I have had a hard time putting into words how much your photos mean to me. Never before have I felt so comfortable in front of a camera, or had the images speak to me so deeply. I am usually very leery (and even downright scared) of family portraits because they didn’t feel genuine. The images you captured are so honest, true, and a real portrayal of my dear family. My daughter can be so stubborn as far as posing for photos, and you allowed her the freedom to move around, be herself, and be totally authentic. She felt completely at home in front of your camera, which is a new frontier for us. The images themselves take my breath away, they made me burst into tears because they were tiny captures of each of us and the love we have for each other. Each one is a treasured artifact that will also be proudly displayed on our walls. Everyone who has seen the photos of us has commented on your eye and your talent for the realness and warmth of your work. I can’t wait to work with you again! — Oona B. Portland, OR
We are SO lucky! Jen took our wedding photos on August 29th, 2010 at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, OR. Jen was the first thing we decided we wanted for our wedding after the venue – we found her website by chance and become OBSESSED. I believe there was a note on her website saying she didn’t do many weddings – but we knew we had to have her! So we emailed her anyway, and she was sweet and flexible enough to agree.
Working with Jen was so lovely. She was flexible, patient, warm, creative, honest, and FUN! My partner and I were both a little wary about having so many photos taken of us (between the engagement session and the wedding, there were A LOT!), but Jen made it all enjoyable and made us feel so beautiful and fantastic. She had lots of wonderful ideas, but was always willing to listen to our feedback, too. It seemed like she was always on the same page as we were – sometimes even before we got there!
We had a lot going on during our wedding, and one thing we absolutely did not have to worry about was the fact that our day would be documented with care, thoughtfulness, creativity, and love. Jen ran with our photo booth idea and truly made it one of the highlights of the day! Our wedding was almost eight months ago, and people are still raving about the wedding photos and asking to see them. Jen perfectly captured the colors, textures, expressions, and emotions of the day and even enlisted a fantastic assistant to help.
Choosing to work with Jen was one of the best choices we could have possibly made. On top of her fantastic work, she is an amazing person and has become a friend! We look forward to years of working with her and knowing her! — Katie & Stephanie, Portland, OR
The photo shoot that my family did with you is the shoot that keeps on giving. I have so many wonderful pictures that I am still discovering new ones in the batch. Your patience and creative eye find the magic in a moment. You captured the essence of me and the relationship with my husband and son perfectly. My son wasn’t into having his picture taken that day and instead of making him smile you caught me trying to get him to participate in the shoot which was 10 times more authentic and dynamic than a perfect smile on a perfect family ever could have been.
I will treasure the photos you took of my family for the rest of my life. They are by far the best photos ever taken of me and my family. They are the kind of photos that I can look back on when I’m old and remember the best moments of my life. These photos are the ultimate memento of my life. Thanks for blowing my mind with your camera! — xo,Jen Neitzel, Portland, OR
PS. Thanks for bringing the sexy in your camera. We’ve never looked so hot in pictures!
Oh. My. God. Jen Downer is so incredibly talented!!! A true artist. Our family has had the pleasure of seeing Jen work her magic a number of times. We’ve used her for family, pregnancy and new-addition-to-the-family photos. Every experience is like inviting an old and dear friend back into our home and into our lives. Jen’s ability to capture everything wonderful, stunning, unique and hilarious about our children is such an amazing gift. Her photos are amazing – her work should be hanging in a gallery. The only hard part was choosing which ones to print and frame. We often joke that as we continue asking Jen to document our lives, we’re going to need to build an extra room just to display her awesome work. — Becca U, Portland OR
Jen Downer is an amazingly talented photographer! Her gift is not only in the photography itself, but also in how she worked with us as clients. For our session my family was immediately at ease with Jen’s casual and easy-going nature. She helped us have fun while capturing some incredible shots! When our pictures were ready, we were blown away! We loved every shot! Jen was very gracious about giving us great advice on packages without pressuring us to spend more than we could afford! Now we have beautiful family keepsakes that we will always treasure. The whole experience has been fantastic! We look forward to working with Jen and She Saw Things for many years to come!
Suemi Oxford – Sacramento, CA
Our experiences working with Jen have been nothing short of magic. She photographed our family for the first time when our daughter was 11 days old, and was patient, understanding, and so sweet to both our baby and to us as we navigated feedings, crying jags, and naps throughout the course of the shoot. Since then she has photographed us three times and each time is such a pleasure we always look forward to the next. Her images are stunning – she captures moments that you are unaware of until you see them on film, and the photographs she has taken are among our most treasured family possessions. I would recommend Jen to anyone wishing to capture the beauty of their children’s formative years, and just hope she is around to take pictures of my grandchildren when that time comes!
— Grayson D., Portland, OR.
I am completely inhibited in front of the camera, mostly because I’ve been extraordinarily un-photogenic my entire life, and so when I see a camera pointed at me, I cringe at the prospect of yet another unflattering picture of me about to make its way into the universe.
Not so in front of Jen’s camera. She has a magical way of making me feel completely comfortable and at ease, as though the camera wasn’t even present. The result: pictures that actually look like ‘me’ how I imagine I look, not ‘me’ frozen in some uncomfortable, distorted pain-invoking grimace. My partner and I felt so comfortable during our photo session and happy with the results that we invited Jen to take pictures of our home birth. Again, having Jen (and her camera) present during such a personal moment felt more like hanging out with a friend than being the object of a camera lens. Seeing the pictures of the birth the first time made me cry, because they were such a moving, artistic, and raw (but tasteful) documentation of an event during which I was focused mostly inward. Seeing the pictures of it reminded me that it was real and let me be present for it in an entirely different way. Having pictures to remind me of this beautiful event is a gift that I will cherish forever. — K, Portland OR
As we celebrate his third birthday, I have been looking through Carter’s newborn photos. I am filled with joy and love each time I see them. Having you photograph our family was the best gift we gave ourselves and we still treasure those images daily. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us! xoxo — Tammy D, Portland OR
Working with Jen was a total pleasure. She was relaxed, fun, and very flexible. I started the session feeling self pressure to have the children dressed just right, the setting perfect, and everyone on their best behavior. Of course, the best laid plans were not to be – yet, Jen captured the BEST pictures I have ever seen of my kids, husband and myself. Jen makes you feel very comfortable, yet her photos capture some moments that most miss everyday. — Holly B., Portland OR