this is me
Hello friends! Thank you so much for coming here to check out a little more about me and my life! I can't wait to use this platform to share more in depth parts of my life, tips for sessions, and stories about the amazing families and babies I get the honor of working with.
When you're hiring a photographer you're hiring someone to capture some of the most important parts of your life, intimate moments, and very personal emotions. I think it's only fair to let you into my life and my intimate and personal emotions so that you can get to know the person behind the camera. this is me.
I was born a big city girl, became a small town girl, and now back to being a big city girl. I was born in Kansas City, MO, moved to Frontenac, KS (near Pittsburg) when I was 12, and then to Tulsa, OK 6 years ago. I feel lucky and blessed to kind of have the best of both worlds! Most of my family still lives in KC so we get back there often, especially in the fall to cheer on our KC Chiefs. My mom and stepdad still live in Frontenac and it's nice to get away from the cities and smell the country air.
I have German/Italian roots so I'm a loud mouth that knows how to cook with garlic. Actually I'm pretty quiet most of the time unless I'm around my aunts and cousins or friends and margaritas. Speaking of aunts and cousins my family is almost all girls, which is why it was not a shock that I had all girls. Somehow it just happens.
Besides being a quiet loud mouth I'm pretty socially awkward and say really dumb things to strangers. Oddly I chose a career that requires me to interact with people and capture their lives but it works for me so I'm just going to go with it. I recently just found out I'm a type 4 so if you're into enneagram's that will tell you all that you'd ever want to know about me, and then some haha.
I was an only child for most of my life, which comes with it's own fun personality traits. My mom and stepdad got married 7 years ago and now I officially have 2 step brothers. Growing up I spent most of my free time with my grandparents, I didn't play sports, in fact PE class was my worst nightmare. I have always loved dance and did cheer in high school. My oldest daughter Maddie is exactly like me in that aspect, hopefully PE will be a little easier for her.
I went to college right out of high school at Coffeyville Community College on a cheer manager scholarship. I quickly learned I was not ready for living on my own like I thought I was and moved back home within 2 years. I took a few general education classes at Pittsburg State but had zero idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had a creative bone but also loved medicine and helping people.
While attending college I met my first husband and we married pretty young. A few months into wedding planning we found out we were pregnant with Maddie and the wedding moved up quickly. I was blessed with a daughter that is exactly like me, both personality and physically. Sixteen months later we were blessed with our Breanna. She's a spit fire and full of life and blessed with her mommas dimples.
9 months after Breanna was born my life took a different direction when my husband and I separated. I moved in with my parents and began the process of building a new life for me and my girls, figuring out who I was, and all while raising 2 toddlers. I decided to follow my medical interest and became a medical assistant. People ask me how I got through that season of my life and honestly I don't remember much of it, it was a blur, but I do know I couldn't have done it without my mom. She stepped in and helped me raise my girls and help heal her daughter at the same time.
Once I was ready for dating I decided to make an online dating profile because meeting men at bars being a mom of 2 little ones was not in my interest. I went filtered through some really BAD e-mails, went on a few BAD dates, and was feeling really defeated. I told myself I'd give it one more week and then I was calling it quits for online dating. In that one week I met my now amazing husband, Wade. He was from Tulsa which was about 2 1/2 hours from me so I never thought it would go past an online/texting relationship. God had a bigger plan for us and 14 months of driving back and forth from Tulsa to Frontenac were totally worth it. I moved to Tulsa in 2013 and we married in 2014.
At this time I continued working as a medical assistant but in my hearts of hearts I knew there was something more for me. I told Wade I wanted to pick my camera back up and maybe start this as a side gig. I watched hours of youtube videos, read tons of photography blogs, and decided I was ready for my first paid session. I did a family session for $50 and was the most nervous I had ever been my whole life. Soon after that we were blessed with our youngest daughter, Nora. I was sicker than a dog almost my whole pregnancy. I tried to do a few family session but fighting the urge to vomit was not working for me and had to put photography on the back burner.
Once Nora was born and I got through the first couple months of postpartum I decided to get back at it. I knew in my heart this was more than just a side gig and I really needed to take it serious. I found a photographer/mentor in Oklahoma City named Brandon Burton that was offering a photography seminar and it blew my mind. You mean I could actually do this and make it a career? At that seminar I learned about the opportunity for a newborn workshop and remember texting Wade saying please please please??? We saved our extra money and few months later I took the workshop. Honestly that's when my business and my heart changed, there was no turning back from that point. I spent a year building my portfolio and learning the art of newborn photography and decided to do this pretty much full time.
In April of this year this little studio space I had been eyeing became available and I worked non stop to figure out how to make it work. My husband thought I was nuts and I had to tell him to just TRUST me. He did and here we are. I have my own freaking photography studio and photograph newborns for a living. WHAT?!
My whole life I knew creativity was in my heart but didn't know what to do with it. My life plan I had for myself didn't work out and that's ok, I've learned life plans are bologna. Each season in life that got me to this point happened for a reason and molded me into the woman and photographer I am today. I'm Jennifer, a photographer, a wife, a mom of 3 beautiful girls, this is me.