The Power of a Smile

In my current job as a school photographer, it's my job to get the kiddies (and the faculty) to crack a smile when I take their picture. Sometimes I've been successful in this venture......sometimes not so much as the kid or teacher gives me that reminder that "they don't smile." In fact, I'll bet some of them wonder why I stress the importance of that smile. As for me, you can tell it doesn't take much to get me to crack a smile for the camera.

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me what they do in their school picture, just so long as they pose nicely and do the few, simple moves that I ask of them. I need to be able to do my job effectively so that they feel it's satisfactory to show to everyone else. But when it comes down to it, there's just that something warms me inside the minute I know that that smile was made for me (or by me). Like last week, I was taking pictures of six little preschooler girls at an academy......and they were adorable! Each one came up to me, posed perfectly, gave me their best smile, then went back to sit with their class. After calling each of them by name and interacting, they inquired my first name. I said, "my name is Jennifer," which was followed by the teacher saying, "say thank you to Miss Jennifer." In unison, they thanked me.....and I was reminded of why I love children! Just that moment that they gave me one extra smile after the camera was turned off reminded me that it's those simple moments that mean the most.

Now in the world of a rockstar, that smile still applies to my life. Since I love taking pictures at shows, I enjoy the moments where I watch the guys take in the craziness of the crowd, the intensity of a song, and smile in that moment, because I know what's on their mind. It's knowing that even in that small frame of time, they've reached their crowd.......that "it" factor that reminds them of why they got into doing music in the first place. Sometimes, it even warrants some of the funniest onstage antics I have ever seen and I can't help but be grateful to capture that very instance with a camera. Since I'm always in the midst of that crowd when they're playing, I take in that energy and let it wash over me.......breathing in that moment with them. And just like them, I give into that feeling and all the emotions that follow with it.

It's what drives me to be at shows as much as I do......aside from the opportunity to hang out with all of the new friends I've made along the way! Here's me with my friend Melissa at the Whiskey Bar in Hoboken. While I may not get to see her as much (since she lives so far away), I always enjoy knowing that when we hang out, there's a lot of laughter, stories, and good energy. It has always been said that when you are a positive person and you surround yourself with even more positivity, that that positive energy multiplies exponentially.......and it's wonderful!

Life is full of simple pleasures and I believe that a smile is one of them. Whether it be the child who looks up at me and gives me the best picture......or a friendly face onstage or in the crowd......even the way Matt smiles at me while he's up on stage watching me have a good time, all of it has a profound and positive effect on me. Smiling is the simplest form of showing someone that you're happy and enjoying their company.....or just that when they're around it makes you light up! So to smiling, I salute you.

~Jenny Rockstar~

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