Autumnal changes

And a big announcement: I'm officially launching personal branding photography services!

Autumnal changes
Photo by Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

📝 Notes from Jenn:

Source request: I’m looking to talk to coffee people who experienced temporary or permanent sensory loss due to COVID—especially those with sensory jobs (and people I haven’t interviewed before). Feel free to forward!

🛠 Current project: the tl;dr of the below tanjennt is that I now offer personal branding photo services to creatives.

🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received a September project update, which was a look at my new personal branding service’s proposal & client worksheet.

🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on:

At Violet’s: Grilled Corn on Toast w/ Cotija Cheese & Crema. NA cocktail: Faux Collins - Grapefruit, Lemon, Pink Peppercorn Soda

Autumnal changes

September is a weird month.

In San Francisco, it’s historically been one of the “summer” months, when the months-long fog has lifted, and we finally get warmth and sunlight. Three months after everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere already experienced it. Everyone else is ready for fall, and I’m here, happy that I can finally wear a tank top outside.

In the last week, I re-colored my hair, layering over what was already bleached. This time, I told my stylist that I wanted mermaid/galaxy hair. He delivered this spectacularly. Someone complimented me later that day and said it looked like a [peacock] feather.

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It’s a little difficult to see this without video, but it’s a vivid teal intertwined with purple.

Hair changes as an indicator of A Big Thing happening is not new. The “post-breakup haircut,” according to this Harper’s BAZAAR article, “can signal four possible emotional responses; a loss of control, an avoidance mechanism, a desire for reinvention or a confidence boost craving.” Ever since I learned about the drastic hair change, I’ve seen it all over the TV shows I watch. It’s almost expected now: a woman has a terrible breakup? She suddenly has a bob. Or really poorly cut bangs.

Anyway, I find this funny because my biggest reason for doing this was to take full advantage of the existing bleached hair. I went through eight hours, and can never bleach the currently bleached hair again, so of course, I’m going to want to do more stuff with it. It looks purposeful, but the black hair that shows up between the colors is actually hair regrowing after it fell off from the bleach.

I have a very strong desire for control. When you juxtapose this with me feeling down about nearly everything for a long while, it makes sense that I would want this change. I also took some fresh photos with it to update my bio, so I’m excited to see how those turn out. I’m ALSO in the process of reinvention, which I talk about further below.

This weekend is the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of my favorite holidays because I love mooncakes, and the holiday is squarely centered around food. It has been extremely strange to see what felt like a relatively unknown thing in the US to it being a more commercialized sensation. Starbucks has mooncakes, and I receive far more “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, here are some clothing deals!” emails than I expect. They were also my first paid sub photo essay in this newsletter.

I will be making mooncakes this weekend, though I’m not sure what flavor yet. I still have ube and salted egg, but I think a black sesame paste or lotus seed filling would be tasty, too.

In the same vein of talking about changes, I’m very relieved and excited to release a project baby out into the world. It has been six months of active work and at least a year of thinking about it.

I am now offering personal branding photo sessions for creatives, solopreneurs, freelancers, and anyone else who wants more than a white wall background in their bio photo. You can check out the service page below, and if you know anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area who could use this service, but hates having their photos taken, send them to me!

In numbers, it’s been 8 forms and 6 automation workflows in Dubsado, 2 new pages on my website, 5.5 pages that needed an overhaul, and many, many late nights of frustration. I had a page that failed to save five times, and I eventually resolved it: it was an emoji that crashed it. I used a freaking emoji in one of my page modules, and the site just flipped out (it took me 1.5 hours to hone in on this).

Don’t worry, I’m still in coffee! I’m continuing my writing and photography in coffee, but I am also interested in helping creative people build their personal brands. Both writing and photography fulfill a need in me to support people and help them shine in the best light possible. I know they seem like two totally different disciplines, but to me, the approach is the same. I interview many first-time interviewees, and sometimes, when it’s an emotionally deep subject, it almost feels like a therapy session. This space of trust is necessary for both interviews and portrait photography, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

My mentor ran an astrology report on my new service being birthed (her analogy, not mine), and it’s spot-on in several areas (it’s a Libra baby):

The Moon in Pisces brings emotional sensitivity and empathy into your thinking, making it more intuitive and imaginative. While your logical and analytical nature is strong, you are also deeply attuned to the emotions and moods of others. This makes you a compassionate listener and a thoughtful communicator who seeks to foster understanding and connection.

One potential issue to be aware of is the tendency to overanalyze your emotions and become trapped in your own thoughts. This can make it difficult for you to fully trust your instincts and allow yourself to experience the depth of your emotions. However, it is important to find a balance between your analytical mind and your intuitive heart.

Now that this is out in the world, I’m working on getting my portraits-only, business branding, and event photo services set up and optimized.

purple bracket, full-width, facing up

👀 interesting reads

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D’Armas also identifies a mismatch in the speed at which his generation expects change versus the bureaucratic nature of institutions. He says many brewers in his cohort share his desire for more efforts to recruit women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people to beer, as consumers and workers. But there is also a skepticism that longstanding trade groups and businesses are prepared to move quickly on these issues.
As a McKinsey spokesperson emphasized in response to questions for this article, many offices hold an entire “Values Day” each year. But when I was there, none of these values addressed McKinsey’s role in, and effect on, the world. They focused instead on doing right by your clients and colleagues.
artful leaf outlines on left, "plant update" immediately to the right
Oxalis vulcanicola burgundy—it closes up when it’s taken in enough light and the leaf colors range from light green to dark purple. Super easy to grow and propagate. I’ve also seen a few growing outside as weeds!