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Conversations with Jessica Priest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Priest.

Hi Jessica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always had a love for photography and creativity in general. In middle school, I snapped photos all summer with my point and shoot and couldn’t wait to get the film developed at Walmart. In high school a family member gave me a great old Minolta film camera with a bag of lenses. I took photography courses in high school and in college and loved every minute in the darkroom.

I have a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and after graduating college, interning, volunteering abroad and in the states for a couple of years, I began looking for my first ‘real’ job in 2008. This just happened to be the year of the Great Recession and landscape architects were downsizing rather than hiring. I had to dig a little to think of another profession that I could see myself in, but once the idea of photography popped up in my brain it felt right. I completely lucked out and was hired by a friend of a friend who was a super talented portrait and wedding photographer. It felt like I landed just where I was supposed to be and the rest is history.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am a pretty mellow person so life in general is fairly smooth. That said, there are always struggles and they usually equate to moments of growth. Working with other artists in the beginning taught me SO much. Running my own company is a constant roller coaster of feeling panicked about not booking enough work and then feeling completely overwhelmed with how much work I have booked for myself. My husband and I had our first and only (so far) baby in 2018 and have juggled staying home with her since. The lifestyle of mama-ing all day everyday, shooting and then editing late into the night has taken some time to settle into. 2020 sort of allowed me to take time to reflect on myself and my company. I have since been struggling and growing to feel/find/show my own personal brand and style of photography that I truly feel connected to.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a wedding and portrait photographer. I approach every session or event with the same goal to tell a story of this moment in time. The fact that I am given the opportunity to use my own creativity to document the life of others is something that I am truly honored to do. I care deeply about the people that I photograph and work with so many of them for years, some for more than a decade! It is magical to be able to photograph couples and then their own families as they grow.

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Hmmm…I am not very good at picking a favorite anything but one part of my childhood that always sticks out in my brain is morel hunting with my grandma in the woods. I have always found so much beauty and preciousness in nature and exploring the woods together was something very special to me.

Pricing:

  • Portraits begin at $225
  • Weddings begin at $2025
  • Elopements begin at $1600

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Head shot and family photo credits go to Anna Ruck Photography

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