I first met Jana at a networking meeting. Sitting at the eatery in Wegman’s she blew in like a whirlwind… in a good way! Her smile was instantly mesmerizing and made me feel totally at home. We chatted about the things we do … me the photographer and she the content writer and Intimacy Coach. We shared about our kids and how proud we were of them. I will never forget the annoying chair squeals each time someone scooted their chairs in and out! LOL
I have always been fascinated by content writers and wondered how in the heck they were able to write for other people. I mean… how could someone possibly write something that sounded like my voice? She explained it as best she could. She certainly seemed like she knew what she was talking about. It was clear she had a love for the English language… and French. ;)
We stayed in touch as all good networkers do. We “friended” each other on social media and followed each other on LinkedIn. I pondered a couple of times about the blog writing bit. I’d love to have a consistent blog going but sometimes it is just really hard to write about yourself. I’m fine with writing about other topics. But to write about me just feels plain weird.
One day shortly after our lunch meeting, she sent me a message over LinkedIn asking if I’d consider an exchange of skills. She was rebranding herself and was working on updating her website and needed some photos. She offered to write a few blog posts for me in exchange. SAY WHAT??!! Um… YES!
We chatted over Zoom and continued to get to know each other. One thing is very clear… Mother Jana is truly a grounded, soulful gypsy girl who I think was a Parisian in a past life. I was still trying to figure out how the heck she was going to write something that sounded like me though. We talked about random stuff, the same as before. Kids, family, jobs, why we do what we do, and my love of tea.
A few days later I received a link to a Google Doc and OMG! Her first blog post about me and my love of tea was SPOT ON! Somehow in the process of that fun conversation over computer monitors, she was able to take what I shared and turned it into a blog post that was most definitely a written picture of me.
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Jana in her home. It was time for me to repay the favor. One of the things I love about my job is helping business owners identify the story they want to tell with their branded images. I love seeing that light bulb moment come on in our consultations as they gain clarity on their true brand. Maybe it’s my superpower. I mean, I do usually photograph each female entrepreneur in the “wonder woman” pose. Lol But I do really enjoy helping guide someone through the process.
Jana already had an idea of the messaging she wanted to convey. We talked about the story she wanted to tell with her photos on her website. Jana believes that water needs to be drunk from a wine glass to keep mental clarity. This is something she always advises her clients when she’s coaching and guiding them through the world of dating, relationships, and intimacy. The more I think about that philosophy, the more I think it’s absolutely genius! Her meditation practices at her beautiful altar filled with beautiful stones, incense, and palo santo are a big part of the being of Mother Jana. Jana LOVES to write. From blog posts for herself or her clients to little notes of affirmation and encouragement to photographer assistants… her command of language has a soothing yet powerful quality.
Madamsolleile Jana with her red beret, curly hair and cowboy boots truly has a Je Ne Sais Quoi about her that is simply captivating! Her magic box of questions is full of cards with thoughtful questions that help her gain insight into your soul.
Europeans are often found sitting on their stoop watching the world go by, chatting with neighbors and enjoying the fresh air. We finished our session with her in her beautiful white coat, white beret and blue scarf on her front stoop enjoying the outside and a cup of coffee. The scent of palo santo in the air as we chatted, laughed and wrapped our session. It is refreshing to hang out with someone who truly profite de la vie and is grateful for all that life brings!
About the author: Lori Keefer is an entrepreneur, Jerry’s other half, avid bird watcher, band mom, lover of a good cup of hot tea, and your guide in personal branding photography. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her personal website, her business website, on Facebook or Instagram.