WALDO — Jenn Marie Thompson has been working as a professional photographer for five years out of a spare bedroom in her Waldo home, but now, a spacious new studio will allow her many more opportunities.

As a self-described “Maine wedding and life photographer,” Thompson enjoys capturing moments with newborns, families, expectant mothers, engaged couples and high school seniors. To further personalize her clients’ experiences, she offers photography packages — for example, her “Baby and the Bump” session package includes a maternity and newborn shoot, as well as photography for a milestone and first birthday photos.

Thompson’s new studio was formerly a storage building adjacent to her house, but she started clearing it out in February, and moved in her wide array of props. The space used to be her husband’s flooring business showroom 22 years ago; then it became a storage catch-all. With the help of family and friends, Thompson transformed it into the space it is now.

She has 82 backdrops in the new space alone, as well as outfits and props for baby photography sessions, which are among her most popular photo shoots. One of her favorite props is a bucket that comes with interchangeable magnetic sleeves that stick on to create different patterns. She also has a friend make hair clips and headbands, which Thompson refers to as “hair pretties.”

The studio is “more about the experience,” she said, and will be perfect for photographing newborns and larger families.

The new studio can hold more than 20 people, whereas Thompson’s old space was limited to around eight. This allows her to serve more clients, since she can fit more individuals in her space. “I’ve photographed five newborns already,” Thompson said of her first week in the studio. Photographing babies holds a special place in her heart — she started getting into photography as a profession five years ago, after the birth of her first two grandsons.

“I’ve had a camera in hand since my 20s,” Thompson said, but it was more of a hobby for family and friends at that time. Becoming a grandmother helped her realize her passion for capturing life’s special moments, and she started receiving clients when she shared photos of her grandsons online. Her first official clients are people she still photographs to this day.

Jenn Marie Thompson has a large array of props for photo sessions in her new Waldo studio. Photo by Cali Warren

Prior to the opening of her new space, Thompson photographed primarily on location — for weddings, outdoor photos and senior portraits. Her spare bedroom-turned-studio couldn’t hold many individuals, so the large new studio will allow her to shoot bigger family sessions.

Additionally, she can photograph more indoor moments with even more props — perfect for cake smashes, which are another of her favorite photo shoots, and more newborn photography, which she loves.

“Some mothers don’t want their tiny babies outside (to be photographed),” Thompson explained. Since she recommends that newborns be photographed when they’re less than 2 weeks old, indoor space is a necessity. Her newborn sessions run two to three hours to allow plenty of time for diaper changes. She also offers a special session at a hospital, birthing center or home to capture the first few hours of a newborn’s life.

To celebrate the grand opening, Thompson held an ice cream social in her new studio July 18. A large number of friends and locals came to enjoy coffee, ice cream and a toppings bar, as well as to check out her brand new space. As shown on Thompson’s Facebook page, Tammy O’Brien won a raffle for a $300 certificate toward a future photo session.

Jenn Marie Photography is at 1372 Waterville Road, Waldo.



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