04 Sept 2018

Hey, Hi, Hello, and Welcome!

As promised earlier this summer, the journal is finally here! I haven't done this yet, so I wanted to take some time in my first official entry to introduce myself. This should be obvious already but, in case not, I'm Jesslyn, the Photographer in question. I'd like for people to get to know me a little bit better with what I do – behind the scenes with photography, creating handmade albums, my interests in outdoor adventure, other fun ideas I've got brewing on the back burner – and that's precisely what I will be doing here. And maybe you're my mom who likes to keep up with what her daughter is doing (hi, mom!). Both are good things in my book!


The image above is one of my all time favorites: me, my brother, and my sister and, as you can see, we were extremely stylish in the late 80s and early 90s. More often than not, I had on mismatched socks and a backwards/inside-out top, much to my mother's chagrin. Despite our questionable fashion choices, we were a family of creatives from day one. Both of our parents were crafty and highly talented, thankfully passing along those genes to each of us. We excelled in art classes throughout our school careers and now use those skills in our adult professions; myself a Photographer, my brother a Game Designer, and my sister an Architect.

I also grew up camping and hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire and spent many a hot summer day on the waterways of Maine. Where I'm from, green is a smell and 45° is shorts weather. I'm proud of my New England roots and try to return to them every couple of years to bask in the nostalgia where every trail, river, and road is a familiar friend welcoming me back home.

I headed west when I was 20 and moved up to Montana shortly after I turned 21, having lived here for almost a decade now, as of this posting. Sure, there are things that I miss about the northeast but nothing beats big skies, wide open spaces, and innumerable places to explore. The seeds of adventure may have been planted in the Appalachians but it has been in the Rockies were they bloomed and have spread like summer wildfires.

When I came to Bozeman at age 25 to attend the Film & Photography program through Montana State University, I started hiking whenever and wherever I could. The geographic location pretty much demands it. This passion slowly evolved into the realm of backpacking and, since summers are short, has since carried over into year-round, 4-season adventure mode. My senior thesis showcased this obsession with a series devoted to my solo trips. You could probably guess at this point that, aside from photography, backpacking is my jam!

So with all this outdoor exploration and galavanting through mountains with a camera in hand, how on Earth did I stumble into my love for wedding photography? To be completely honest, it wasn't on my radar, not even when my friend asked me to photograph her's and I said yes. It wasn't until I was in the midst of capturing her big day in 2014 that I fell madly in love with it all.

The thrum of all that is going on, even in small, intimate ceremonies, is like a rhythmic heartbeat for my soul. I tend to be more on the empathetic side of the spectrum so I feel all the feels of happiness, love, and celebration while I'm going about doing my thing. I've cried when the father-of-the-bride toasts his daughter, danced happy little jigs after the couple says "I do", and I always, always have the biggest, most stupid grin on my face as I go through and select/retouch images from wedding galleries.

All I can say is that it has been one heck of a ride so far and I'm so excited to continue capturing nature's beauty in the backcountry and the overwhelming amounts of love and joy at weddings, be they small, big, or somewhere in between. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little bit and I can't wait to meet some of you and hear your amazing love stories!