In the fall John Ryan, owner of J&J Studios, sent me a message via Instagram. He found me under #phillyjeweler, which is a hashtag I was hoping would come in handy at some point. 2020 wasn't a great year for many of us. For me, it was the year I was set to begin attending my first high-end craft shows, but Covid obviously prevented the shows from taking place. Knowing that I really won't get exposure until I'm able to attend shows, all my pieces were sitting in the safe for the post part. What John had contacted me about was using my jewelry as part of a styled engagement and wedding shoot. I was beyond thrilled at the opportunity! I loved the idea of being able to collaborate with another business in the area, plus it was a joy to know my pieces were being put to use and there was an opportunity for exposure.
Prior to the shoot John put me in contact with Hollie Roberts, the model who was going to be wearing the pieces that day. Hollie's boyfriend, Evan, joined her for the shoot. Since the shoot in November, both Hollie and Evan have been part of a number of sessions led by John. I asked Hollie what she appreciates in regards to knowing John as both a photographer and person.
The photoshoot in November took place at the beautiful Hickory Run State Park. I know it sounds funny, but I didn't exactly know what to expect when it came to the end result. I tend to look at many pictures on Instagram and other outlets online. I've learned over the years that finding a photographer who knows how to properly photograph jewelry is extremely hard to come by. I had gone through a number of them myself, even receiving negative feedback on photos taken by photographers that have been highly recommended by the jewelry industry. I could say John is a fantastic photographer simply by the fact he knows how to properly photograph jewelry.
First I will show a short highlight clip I uploaded to Instagram. Here you will see exactly what it looked like outside. This was prior to John arriving. When the actual shoot took place at the Boulder Fields there were even more people present on the boulders.
Throughout the day John used various methods to achieve the perfect lighting, all prior to the editing process.
Some of the finished photos from the Boulder Field area:
Not only does John know how to enhance the photos using different editing and lighting techniques, he has the ability to highlight every detail. I'm not sure if it is due to the lack of skills when it comes to other photographers, but so many times I've seen wedding pictures where different parts are blurred out, washed out, or they look like basic photos I could have taken using my phone. When a bride wears jewelry it is supposed to become a part of her, not be blurred out or softened in photos as if there was no purpose in wearing it. This is especially true when it comes to the engagement and wedding rings, after all they are an integral part of an engagement and wedding ceremony. I often come across photos of engagement rings and wedding bands that look nothing like what they do in person. When a photographer is hired the client is expecting the photos to do the jewelry justice along with the excitement of the overall day. During the wedding portion of the shoot with Hollie, her dress was equally as decorative as the jewelry itself. John made sure each and every jewel on the dress, as well as the jewelry, popped with their natural color and shine. I have yet to come across another photographer that pays so much attention to such details. I must say, John's turnaround time is impeccable given the meticulous process he goes through to deliver such a prestigious end product.
A few more examples are shown below. You can view video and more from the photoshoot by clicking here.
Within the month following the photoshoot at Hickory Run State Park, John contacted me about taking part in another one. This new shoot was a bit different in that it was for a local flower store, NE Flower Boutique, to promote their products. Once again, the end result did not disappoint anyone who was part of the collaboration. I wasn't able to be present for the shoot, but I had seen the video footage from behind the scenes. What Hollie stated, about John making his clients feel comfortable and at ease, was very true for this shoot. Those who were part of the shoot didn't have modeling experience, as they worked for the boutique, but you would have never known it when the video and photos were released. Just like the shoot with John prior, there was the attention to detail in making each element of the photo stand out. The viewer's attention would be drawn to the flowers being shown, yet at the same time the jewelry was highlighted along with the joy on the faces of those taking part in the shoot. The result was top-notch and on the same calibrator as a high-quality commercial you would see on television, or an ad in a magazine.
Below is the commercial from the shoot. There is also an informational video and photos that you can view by clicking here.
I highly recommend John Ryan of J&J Studios if you want the real deal! I've been blown away by what I've seen him deliver thus far. Not only am I thankful to him for allowing my jewelry to be part of the shoots, but I've connected with some amazing people since then as a result. These folks, as well as those who have seen his work, all agree that he is the premier photographer to go to for all your photography and video needs.