Two Christmas Surprises

It was supposed to start on a cold December 15th day: a portrait session with one of the bubbliest mothers I know and her young toddler. I called Amy to make sure she didn’t have any questions and she told me that she felt it was too cold for her daughter to be out taking pictures at Liberty University’s outdoor Christmas Tree. With a high temperature of 37 degrees and a bitter wind I had to agree. I tried to convince her to have it indoors with my portable studio – and I got to admit I was anxious to try out my new studio lights – but she insisted that she wanted her daughter’s portraits taken with the LU Christmas Tree. We both happened to be free the next day and the high was 48 degrees – a lot warmer.

So the sun set on December 16, 2017 and Jack Frost was being a pill. I drove through the campus over and over again looking for a parking space but to no avail due to the basketball game. Fifteen minutes later the Parking Guard finished his post and I finally got a space. It was far from the Christmas Tree, but I was still fifteen minutes early so I put together my 6D Mark II and fled to the Christmas Tree. Ten minutes to spare.

Then it hit me. I had preprogrammed my camera for a pitch black scene with only the Christmas Tree lights illuminating the background… the actual scene was quite different with its very luminescent street lights that made the area bright. So my camera settings, especially my white balance, was completely wrong. Then Surprise Number One happened. I saw a mother and daughter walk quickly to the tree and try to take a selfie with a phone. Ugh. A beautiful scene being recorded by a camera-want-to-be. But I could clearly hear the Lord tell me to ask them if they’d like their photograph taken. My client was driving in – she had the last parking space near the Christmas Tree which was a great thing because she had her toddler with her. Surely I didn’t have time to recalculate my camera for this scene. I asked her anyways and she looked surprised and I could hear the excitement in her voice when she said yes. Then her husband and other daughter came on scene. I gave them my business card and told them I would post the photograph online for them, which is actually the point of this blog. But I was out of time. My client was preparing her toddler daughter and the temperature had dropped significantly as Jack Frost prepared to play. So, my camera settings are all jacked: it was designed to capture a purely dark scene with 1-2 subjects at the same height (mom would be holding her daughter) and now I have a very bright scene and four subjects of different heights. And the icing on the cake was that I had the tripod set up for a toddler’s height! Amy, my client, was walking across the parking lot with her already frozen daughter. Quickly I snapped four pictures and the family of four scurried away into the cold.

But my client and I had fun while Jack Frost worked his magic. The little princess did a great job posing in the freezing temperatures, and even posed when her eyes began watering down her face in protest to the cold temperature. The poor thing couldn’t even smile! We wrapped up our session with very few exposures and I wasn’t very excited about how the session went, although I was very thankful and proud of Amy’s daughter for being such a champ. I never did get to tweak my camera to peak performance under this condition because I didn’t want my clients to freeze (nor freeze myself).

I got home and edited the photographs… cue Surprise Two: one of Amy and her daughter looking at the tree is an absolute all-time favorite. I have never printed a client’s photograph for my own home, but I think I’ll get this one in a Slate Canvas. And your know what? Amy’s session turned out great overall.

So I started working on the family of four’s pictures. They turned out horrible. As I frantically tried to spruce up two very bad photographs (the other two weren’t even usable) I received the following email from them:

Hi Mr. Haefer, We [met] Saturday night at [the] Christmas Tree on Liberty’s campus. You took a picture of my family while you were waiting on a client. Thank you so much for taking the photo for us. You asked me to email you so you could send me a link to the picture.  Thank you for taking you time and taking our picture.  What you didn’t know is that we bring our girls to look at the lights and allow them to run up and down the boulevard. This is our last Christmas is Lynchburg, we are actually moving at the end of January. So thank you for commentating our last tree picture at Liberty! Merry Christmas!

I’ll be. This is truly the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Neither photograph turned out – at least not to a professional standard. Ironically enough they remind me of a cell phone pic. But the family of four is there together, together for their last Christmas in Lynchburg, together closing a family tradition and being exciting to start new ones in a new home. What better Christmas present can I have then to be part of that? Merry Christmas y’all!


2017 December 17

Newsletter: 2017 Q4

The holiday season is right around the corner and we at JN Photography have a lot to share in this final newsletter before 2018. First off, our 2017 Christmas Portrait Special. This year we’re giving away your choice of one 8×10 Print or eight Wallet Size Prints, a CD of seven photographs from a 30 minute photography session – indoors or outdoors. Plus this session includes UNLIMITED people and pets and UNLIMITED outfit changes. All this for only $40.

On October 07, 2017 we participated in the Lynchburg Police Helping Hands Foundation’s first annual Family Fun Day (that’s a mouthful!). This 501(c)3 non-profit organization was founded in 2004 to help officers, deputies, and civilian employees during hard times such as sudden illness, injury, etc. Since its conception, the LPHHF has helped twenty-six Lynchburg Police Department officers, five LPD civilian employees, four retired LPD officers, four dispatchers, one family member of an LPD officer, one Lynchburg Deputy, one Campbell County Deputy, and one State Trooper. With JNP’s help, the LPHHF was able to raise a total of $3,937.55! So thank you to the 120 people who came out to support this important charity.

So now for a bit of sad news. We’ve been planning on being a photographer for the Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene (LFCN) Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) on November 4, 2017. Unfortunately, I will be undergoing a second sinus surgery that next week so I won’t be able to finish the photos by the charity’s deadline. But Tara with LFCN MOPS has already booked JNP for the spring fundraiser – so stay tuned!

We’re always looking for ways to support local charities and local needs. If you know of a person or charity that could use professional photography then refer them to us. And now is the perfect time to refer your friends to JN Photography too. You can receive $100 off your next photography session by sharing us with your friends!

God bless!

$5 Fundraiser at Family Fun Day – October 7, 2017

I’m so excited about vending at the first annual Family Fun Day at DeVault Vineyards. This beautiful location is perfect and we’re giving away a HUGE door prize! One lucky winner will receive a gift voucher good for a free Family Reunion Photography Package, a free Youth Birthday Party coverage, a free Senior Picture Package, and a free Family Portrait session. That’s a $630 value!

Adult tickets are $20 and kids are $10, children under 5 are free. Tickets include dinner. Also on site will be bounce houses, obstacle courses, a DJ, and a special appearance from Chase of Paw Patrol. Alcoholic beverages are also available. The Vineyards are located at 247 Station Lane in Concord, Virginia.

Probably the most important opportunity presented at the Family Fun Day is JN Photography’s $5 Fundraiser. We’ll be selling individual and family portraits for only $5 and taking the photographs on site. Originally the funds were to go to a young woman who was battling an aggressive cancer. However, the Good Lord has decided to take His daughter home and now she is dancing in heaven, pain free. Therefore, 100% of the $5 Fundraiser proceeds will be going to her husband to help pay off the expensive medical bills and the beautiful celebration of life service he held in her honor.

Newsletter: 2017 Q3

A lot has happened over this last quarter and Jess and I are so excited for all of God’s many blessings. The two biggest changes are the name change and the new equipment investment. We’ve changed from JN Media Group to JN Photography. With this change we have a new and better website (, new business cards, hats, polos, and email address ( The website is secured so it’s safe for convenient debit/credit card purchases, and clients can use PayPal too. We also have a new PayPal card reader so clients can order without going online. Check out the new website and tell us what you think. On the right-side of the website you can click on the link to easily follow us on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and our upcoming YouTube channel.

The other huge change is the new equipment, specifically the new Canon 6D Mark II. This upgrade will allow us to do so much more than I can list here in this short newsletter, but the bottom line is your photographs are changing in quality from great to jaw-dropping amazing. With this camera we’ve also made several thousand dollars in equipment upgrades! So you can be the first to get the best photographs in Virginia with the newest technology available.

The JN Photography Wedding Packages now include complimentary engagement sessions. This allows couples to work with us, get to know us, and become more comfortable in front of a camera before the big day! And now we have four wedding packages that range from a budget friendly Silver Package at $462 to the elegant Platinum Package at $3,240.

And when clients invest their wedding photography with JNP we donate 10% of the investment to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And that’s not all. The Wounded Warrior Project receives 10% of all sporting event photography and the Lynchburg Human Society receives 10% of all pet portraits. With JN Photography your portraits go farther than ever!

We also want to give a special shout out to a client, Emily. She has earned the title of Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, USA 2017! What a huge accomplishment! She plans on competing in the National pageant July 29th and 30th thanks to everybody’s prayers and support.

The last announcement I want to make is about two special events that JN Photography will be attending. The first annual Family Fun Day hosted by the Lynchburg Police Helping Hands Foundation (LPPHF ) is September 09, 2017 from 3:00pm to 11:00pm. The event is at DeVault Vineyards in Concord, Virginia and they’re giving away great door prizes from the vendors – including JN Photography. That’s right, you could win a huge prize from your favorite photography company. We’re donating one gift card that includes a family reunion package, a youth birthday party, senior pictures, AND a family portraiture session – all free to the lucky winner! Want more information about the LPPHF? Visit their website:

The second event we want to highlight supports the Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program. MOPS is a fellowship time of encouragement, crafts, and food that supports mothers of young children. The details are still being worked out, but the tentative date is November 4, 2017 and participants will be having their photographs taken by local photographers for a low donation to the MOPS program. For more information about MOPS visit their website:

Thank you all for making this last year so successful for us. To show our gratitude we now offer our clients a free photography session (up to $100) when their friends choose JN Photography for their portraiture needs. By all means, this is retroactive so go ahead and give us a call to cash in.


Nathan Haefer

JN Photography

Blog One!

I’m so happy to announce that our new website,, is up and running. Of course there are some few tweaks here and there as we continue to upload our work, but it’s here and that is a huge accomplishment.

We’ve also updated our clothing line to include the new website. The polos are similar to Under Armor in feel and are extremely comfortable. The hats are flex fit, which means it will fit your head perfectly (as long as you have the right size) and you don’t have that harsh button set-up on the back of your head.

Social media upgrades are underway as well. You may see the only JN Media Group logo and website listed for a while, but we’re getting those images updated to JN Photography. This includes our Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest boards, and Instragram account. You can click on the site of your choice and it should send you over to our profile of that social media site. Make sure you follow us on them for great updates, links, hints, and special offers.

The biggest change to our business is the upcoming Canon 6D Mark II. And with that big blessing we’re blessing back. 10% of all wedding photography investments will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And 10% of all sport event coverage will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.  But we’re not forgetting our furry friends – the Lynchburg Humane Society will have a 10% donation from all pet portraits!

Of course one of the newest changes to our lineup is what you are reading. This blog is the first of thousands as we journal our exposure of the world’s beauty. We’ll add blogs about events like the upcoming Family Fun Day hosted by the Lynchburg Helping Hands Foundation, and weddings where we’ll be posted SAME DAY pictures! That’s right, the happy couple will be able to see many of their photographs as they travel to their honeymoon getaway! Stay tuned!

Blog 1 – 2017 July 11

Lynchburg Humane Society