Meet a Mom – Jody Gianni | Essex County Moms


1.How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

We have 1 daughter, Anabella Mayim and she is 13.


  1. How long have you lived in Short Hills/Millburn/Livingston and what made you decide to live here?

My husband was born and raised in Livingston. Even though I am from Philly, we both knew we would end up here. We moved to Livingston in 2006 after living in California for 10 years. Bella was born in California and we moved home less than 1 month later! We have been so happy in Livingston and are so proud to call it home.


3.Tell us about your business and what other local things you are involved in!  And how did you get started?

The amazing thing about this town is that word-of-mouth goes a long way. There are a LOT of photographers in Livingston but we all have our own following of loyal clients who have become like family. We see them for major life events like engagements, maternity, the birth of newborns, milestone birthdays, holiday photos, pre-mitzvah/confirmation and eventually Sr. Graduation. To be trusted with preserving precious moments in time in the form of photographs is an absolute honor.

I will never forget how I got started here. I was on Maternity leave from my main job and I was taking Bella to For You Two, which was a “mommy and me” weekly get together. One of the activities was a mommy/baby photo shoot and after it was over I approached the owner and I told her I could do a better job shooting. She really didn’t know me but she put all of her faith in me and allowed me to shoot the next session. From there, I started to meet my first personal clients, some of whom I still shoot today! That was 13 years ago.


4.Favorite thing to do when you need “me time”? 

“Me” time. That’s funny. When I do have some time just for me, I would say that a pedicure is my favorite way to stop and take a breath and zone out completely.


5.Favorite place for dinner with kids? 

The one place that my whole family consistently enjoys, and can always agree on, is Panevino.  The food is great, the environment is wonderful, and the staff makes you feel like family. Also, best Iced Tea ever!


6.Most enjoyable place to hang out?

If I am hanging with my bestie you will find me at the bar at Nero’s. If I’m hanging with my daughter and husband it is on the couch in our den, relaxing by the fire.  And if it is just me, I like to meander through a mall, without a plan.


7.How do you balance your career and being a mom?

I don’t. It is scary to actually admit that out loud but I still need to learn the art of balance. Knowing when to step away from the computer to take a break has always been an issue. Most of my private shoots happen on weekends and that is the time that I should be with my family but that is the nature of having a photography business. My husband and daughter have always been extremely understanding and supportive though.


8.Proudest mommy moment?

Wow that’s a tough question.  How do you pick just one? I think my most recent proud moment was when Bella chanted her Torah portion for her Bat Mitzvah.  She worked really hard to prepare and she made our whole family so proud.


9.Can’t believe that happened mommy moment!

I am still in awe that Bella walked for New York fashion week. I still can’t believe that happened!


10.Best advice you have gotten from a mom?

The best advice I have ever received, and I continue to give to other moms is “choose your battles.” There are enough MAJOR issues to worry about so if your child wants to wear one red sock and one blue sock, let them. If something isn’t posing a danger to your child or to anyone else, then just give in. Save the big arguments for something that could be a true threat. It just makes for a more peaceful atmosphere.


11.Best piece of advice you can give other moms!

I don’t think I am qualified to give anyone else advice but if I had to I would say, ask for help. Don’t try to be a hero all the time, it is ok to lean on friends and family when you need it.


12.One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

In college I wanted to be an outdoor photographer so I spent a lot of time taking Nature Workshops out West. I trekked with Llamas through Montana and photographed bear, birds of prey and wolves. I’m not such a big fan of nature anymore.



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