Our children’s portraits can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com

My good friend, Pam, emailed me a link to a New York Magazine article about praising children called, How Not to Talk to Your Kids; The Inverse Power of Praise, and I really think it should be part of every parent’s reading list. I’m sure glad that she emailed it to me.

Child Portraits

The article, written by Po Bronson, brilliantly describes a study by psychologist Carol Dweckwho explored how praise affects children. Dweck studied the difference between praising a child for their intelligence or praising a child for their efforts. Now, that may seem like a little discrepancy, but Dweck found that there was a huge difference in performance, frustration and hope for each child.

After reading this article I realized that I was guilty of praising my children’s natural smarts a bit too much. I then altered my verbiage slightly with my children to reflect their trying hard and working hard to produce intelligence. I have noticed a definite difference. Not only are we more active at the family table drawing and talking about educational things, but there is more harmony.

Interestingly, I made the realization that my mother has always praised me for working hard. It’s funny when you realize that your mother knew it all along, and that she guided you and nurtured you to the person you are today.

Mother and Child Portrait, Children’s Portraits

My mother produced a daughter who has always made a big effort. I never realized until now that she did this because I have been too busy working hard. Not only do I work hard daily at being a good parent, but I work daily at being a good photographer. Does it work? I hope it does. All I know is that I have always been driven and happy.

Thank you mother. Happy Mothers Day.

Our child portraits, which include mother and child portraits, can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com

More of our Fine Art Portraits can be seen at www.LinneaLenkus.com

I love hands. So I guess you could say I have a hand portrait studio.

Portrait Photography, Relationship of Hands

Hands are subtlely defining. They represent so many parts of our psyches, so many emotions, so many moments and movements, and ultimately the weathering of time. Although I do not like to look at my own ravaged, clumsy hands, I love and visually caress the hands of extremes when I photograph – -age and youth.

Portraits, Photos with Hands

Years ago I photographed a beautiful resident of a nursing home. Her life story, her defiance, and her will were intriguing. We talked about her life while I created a portrait of her. Although she had a devilish nature and a wicked sense of humor I noticed that she was refined and kept her hands folded properly in her lap. Her delicate fingers were petals, liquid and telling. When I was in my darkroom printing her portrait, I felt that her hands were the more compelling portrait. My editor at Getty Images agreed.

Portrait Photographer, Linnea Lenkus, Hand Portrait Studio
To me, there is nothing more beautiful and revealing as hands that have worked hard, experienced life, and have aged and rippled. And yet, I am awed by the newness of touch, the exploration of new life and the contrast of that with protective parenting hands.

I guess what I am trying to say is that your hands are an honest expression of you and where you are in your life. Hands are, in themselves, a complete portrait of your life.

Portrait Photographers

More of Life Portraits can be seen here.


Check out my photography from my two portrait studios.

It was my birthday this weekend. Time to reflect. Time to go back and see how I ended up here.

I am the youngest child in my family, the quiet one. Though most people would never consider me shy today, I have the soul of a shy person. I began there, an introspective person shoved into extroversion by the force of my vision of the world. It’s a big force, ask anyone. With two very pushy sisters I have had to hold my ground.


My father created this photo of me when I was a shy four year old.

How One Aspiring Photographer Inspired Another

My father loved to photograph. He owned a Busch press camera, which I inherited from him. He was a frustrated, almost aspiring photographer. He supported our family instead. His love of photography was passed down to me along with many 4×5 negatives of my family. He gave me my first Kodak Instamatic camera which I keep at my Pasadena photo studio to remind me of where I started.

And so I began, an artist, a shy person, a photographer. I really haven’t changed.

I am a professional photographer.

Twins Photographers

I photographed twins portraits the other day. It was exquisite. I love twins photography. I delighted in these two week old babies, holding them, being with these two new lives, and watching closely each of their new movements, their first expressions, their relationship.

I’m a M.O.M. For those of you who aren’t “in the know”, that means Mothers of Multiples. It’s a special club and I am grateful for its inclusion.

My husband and I conceived Maxwell (Twin A) and Ava (Twin B) when their older brother was exactly one years old. Two years previous to that, almost to the day, I was told by the last of three top fertility doctors in Los Angeles that I would not be able to conceive a baby of my own. They were absolutely wrong. We conceived all three children naturally. What a turnaround.


Do you see why I am walking on air? I am living a beautiful dream. My beautiful babies are here, present in this world and blossoming before me. I am, also, privy to special lives of twins at my portrait studios, re-experiencing my own twins’ newborn stage through the twins photography I create at my studio.

One thing any mom of multiples will tell you is that there is an inherent sadness because you know that you are operating through complete exhaustion and enormous sleep deprivation and you can’t fully enjoy and bask in their newness- -there’s just too much to do. I remember looking down at my 2 week old twins at 3:00 a.m. and crying because I knew that my stress and exhaustion would make me remember so little about them at this very, very precious stage.

Twins Photography

So parents of multiples have a special place in my heart. I know what they’re going through. I can empathize how the babies crying can drive their stress level up, but I recommend that we treasure those cries. I can let them know, standing where I am, that it speeds by. And more importantly, I can bring back the memories to them through my art. . . and truly from my heart.


My advice to photographers is very simple:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
– Oscar Wilde

Advice for Photographers

How I Differ from Most Photographers

At my portrait studios you will always receive something that comes from my vision. In a day and age where all photographers web-surf looking for ideas, you will not be with a photographer who does that. I simply look at you for inspiration.

Our baby photography gallery is here.

Baby Photographer, Linnea Lenkus

I’m a bum squisher. I love to squish bums. My children know it. My clients know it. I guess it’s a compulsion. Can you blame me? It comes with the territory with this baby photographer.

There’s nothing quite so wonderful as a ticklish, squishy bum and this baby has it. I photographed her the other day. I indulged myself. She was a wonderful subject for a baby portrait. She has eyes that languish and a great disposition.

It was a pleasure to photograph her, not so much because of that squishable part, but mostly because her daddy is going away to Iraq. This is the farewell portrait of this father and baby. He will not see her until this winter.

Thank you, sir, for the opportunity to serve you. Sometimes a baby photographer gets to do just that.
Father Baby Portraits, Father and Infant

Our infant portraits can be seen in our main baby gallery.

I gave a lecture yesterday in my Pasadena photo studio for other professional Los Angeles photographers. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed. It was my first time speaking to a group and I couldn’t have picked a better bunch of cerebral Los Angeles photographers to start my speaking career.

I never thought I would enjoy my talk with everyone, but it was very fulfilling sharing and giving insight to other photographers and getting so much in return. I feel energized. Photographers are such lonely beasts and so it was wonderful having an “I know” moment with everyone. Connection.

Los Angeles Photographers - Baby Photographers

One of the things I mentioned at my talk was that having an artistic brain is something that usually happens at birth and that most of us grow up as the oddballs in social situations. It creates loneliness, but then, solitude is what you need to think and create.

Baby Portraits and Toddler Portraits
A portrait photographer is even odder in that he or she needs to pull into their brain, their gut and their experience and yet. . .connect. With every portrait I create, I pull in and. . .emerge with a feeling, an emotion or a moment of this family’s life. I connect, I breathe and I express. If I can let my guard done, I can see more than what is in front of me. I see the future, the past and what is, what really is, at this moment.
Pregnancy and Family Photography
Thank you to all of you who did attend.

If you are a professional photographer and are interested in hearing Linnea speak, contact us and we will let you know the next time she will hold a meeting.

Linnea Lenkus Fine Art Portrait Studios

Today, my mom skills were in full force. Yes, I vacillate between the artist brain and the mom brain, constantly (often they mingle). You children photographers know what I’m talking about.

I spent a good part of the day with my three children at the doctor’s tending to an ear infection that my 4 year old has. Being there many times, I knew what to do, was a pillar of strength coordinating my little ones through the waiting room, cuddled with my sick one, brought 3 bags of toys to occupy them and sighed when the doctor let me know what was going on.

Child Photographers

My children are gorgeous, I hate to brag. They spoil me. All three are visually interesting for me. For a photographer, a picky photographer at that, it is a sigh of relief and an ahhhhhh that I have a family that is delicious to watch. I know that’s how you feel about your own children.

Tonight I’m thinking of Dexter, who is sick and pulling at my mother strings. These child portraits I did a few months ago. In moments like this, when I am full of worry, I am glad to have these portraits to savor and make me smile.

Children Photographers
Do you see why he is a heartthrob in preschool? Check out the rest of my children photography.

Fine Art Nude

I photographed a nude woman the other day who was very beautiful and very interesting. I loved her quest to find herself and to explore new areas in her life. She is in her 40’s and still evolving. We all are, don’t you think? It’s just that some of us are willing to admit it.

She told me that the latest Dove soap ads called Pro-Age ads, which depicted the mature nude woman, proud of her body and comfortable of its extra lines and aging, inspired her to have a fine art nude portrait done of herself. I applaud her daring nature. I remember seeing the Dove soap commercials not too long ago and thinking, “Right On!” I think that every woman should have nude art done of herself.

My goal when creating these nude portraits was to capture her love of life and her solitude in being her own person. I feel good that I was able to tap into who she is.

When I create nude photography I look at the session as a great exercise in studying the human body, graphic lines and the way that light folds over the human form so lovingly.

My nude portrait sessions are comfortable because I make sure that they are. I have been photographing fine art nudes for a long time so I certainly don’t feel uncomfortable, and although it is often the subject’s first time, I am discreet, and yet matter-of-fact.

Nude Photography


Maternity Photographers

One of the most exciting things about being a portrait photographer is that I am ultimately woven into a part of people’s lives. When I create a portrait of a baby, or a pregnancy, or a child and then see my clients again for another portrait, even if it’s a few months or years, I am amazed at the changes and my creative juices flow.

In my mind they are still the same way as the pictures I created before. When they walk in the door, I feel compelled to update their photos, to find out where they are at that moment in their lives.

Even though I may spend only a short time with my clients, I attempt in that time, to understand who they are and how they feel at that moment. I feel that my job is to interpret their presence into a work of art.

Baby Photos

We, at the studio, all love to see you return, to check in and feel a part of your journey in life.

Take a look at more maternity photos and baby photos.

My idea of portrait photography is quite different from your typical portrait photographer. I guess it’s because I didn’t start out that way.

portrait photography

When I started out I had already had several years as a commercial photographer. I was frustrated with the advertising photography world. I loved the look of magazine photography, but I just didn’t like the life. (We’ll go into that life another time.)

I never really intended to enter portrait photography. True, I photographed portraits for magazines and advertisements, but I never saw myself as someone who could do a family portrait where everyone looks in the camera and smiles. Sure, I do include that sort of thing, because it’s nice to see a good smile on everyone, but I’m looking for something different. I’m usually not interested in fake smiles and stiff, uncaring poses. I insist that everyone touch and everyone look like they love each other.

My intention, always, when photographing anyone, is to capture a feeling and also to let light and shadow lead the viewer to that emotional place that we universally feel. When someone looking at your portrait can understand how you feel and see the art in your own emotions, then I know I’ve done my job. I am a professional photographer.

professional photographer

I create portrait photography for clients in Los Angeles and Orange county.
Check out my portrait studios.

When I think about black and white photography, I think of the lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s song, Shadows and Light. I am a huge Joni Mitchell fan. I have loved her music for almost 30 years. Whenever I photograph, I remember this excerpt from Shadows And Light on her “Hissing of Summer Lawns” album.

black and white photography

I like to use shadow to paint the picture.

Every picture has its shadows
And it has some source of light
Blindness, blindness and sight. . .

. . .Critics of all expression
Judges in black and white
Saying it’s wrong, saying it’s right
Compelled by prescribed standards
Or some ideals we fight
For wrong, wrong and right

-Joni Mitchell

Unlike most photographers, I don’t really focus on light, I focus on shadow. I think it’s in the shadows that our mind fills in the blanks. Visit my black and white photography that incorporates shadow and light.

These posts are from Los Angeles photographer Linnea Lenkus.

Well, there’s a first for everything. This is my very first blog.

I have been hesitant to join this trend, to be honest. My thought has been that “Who would be interested in what a photographer has to say?” Just tell this photographer to shut up and shoot, really.

As anyone who has met me will tell you, I cannot be concise. I jabber on and on. It’s a family trait, and yet I am considered the quiet one in my family. My thoughts overtake me. Some people call it cerebral. Some call it verbal vomiting. My friends call it “Oh Linnea!” My husband’s friend calls me Frank. All I know is that I have a rapid fire brain that goes off on its own tangents.

These traits of mine have finally been effective. For years they were just annoying. Okay, they can still be. But now they work for me as a photographer. I can talk about one thing and think of another at the same time, which enables me to think about my equipment and talk with my portrait subjects simultaneously. It also enables me to photograph children and talk to parents without missing a beat.

But these traits make me jump from one subject to another too rapidly. I usually leave most of my employees, friends and family in the dust, confused and not sure what just happened. Did I roll over them? Did I say something? What? I didn’t catch that.

So, please read this blog with the warning that I am whipping through this. My life is fast, my brain faster and my typing fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts.

I hope to give you many of the snippets of how my very odd brain thinks. It’s the odd brain that sees things through a small viewfinder and relishes the things that I see. I have a plan for this blog to share information and vision. I may get sidetracked. That happens with me.

Please note that I can be very critical. I don’t mean to offend, but eventually I can’t help but blurt my thoughts out. It can sound harsh, but it’s just Frank. You can call me that.

I am a Los Angeles Photographer. I am an Orange County Photographer too.