Thursday, May 19, 2011

Photographer Interview: Jessica Deane

There are some places you visit in blogland that just make you feel happy. Jessica Deane's blog is one such place. 

I went there to congratulate her on being at I heart Faces winner a couple of weeks ago and I simply fell in love. Hard. 

She has a beautiful soul. You will see it in her shots I am sure. 

You live in Virginia, do you think it is the best state on the planet? What do you love about it?

I do think its the best, especially the little town I live in. My favorite thing is the small town feeling.... example.. a trip to the grocery store that should only take me 15-20 minutes will probably take me about 40-45 because I must stop and talk to everyone I know. I'm a big talker.. and I just love that about my town...

The little girl on your blog banner is darling. Tell me about your illustrator.
Thank you! I actually dreamed my logo up.. and waited for months until I found someone to hand draw it. I think it turned out perfectly.

Obviously blog design and graphics are important to you, why?

When someone visits my blog... I want to take them back to childhood... I want them to remember warm summer nights running barefoot in the yard... This is what I want to capture and I wanted my blog to portray who I am as an artist. I think childhood is magical... and I want my blog to have that same feeling.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old and in the 4th grade?

Haha. It was between three things.. 
I could never make up my mind. 
I wanted to be a teacher, a vet or a counselor for people with drug addictions.

Who was your teacher? Did you like school when you were little?
My 4th grade teacher was actually my favorite teacher ever. Her name was Mrs. Dwyer and I loved her energy. I did not like school , hehe. I liked talking to friends at school, thats about it.

Tell me about a perfect day for you. Every detail : )

My perfect day.... It would include my family..... at the beach... my children would be happy (not fighting) .... beautiful sunset light full of flare and haze at the oceans horizon. (Where we vacation at the sun sets on the sound side, so I have no sunset shots with the light on the oceans horizon. 
I always say I'm going to go out during sunrise, but I am not an early riser. hehe.) and of course I would have my camera... and since this is my perfect day I would have a 5d2 on this day.... and would spend that time capturing my children with the most amazing light behind them and their souls full of giggles.

Tell me about getting bit by the photography bug. Don't leave any details out.
This bug bit me at a very young age.. really.. it did. I would spend hours looking through my grannies old pictures, I could never get enough. Fast forward to my teenage years - I LOVED taking pictures... of course with just disposable cheap cameras.. but I loved it. Then I had children and told my husband when I went back to work my dream job was... (you ready for this?) getting a job at olan mills. Yep! I had not even heard of natural light by this time. It was in 2007 when I happened upon and found some photographers whose work was amazing... I had not seen images like this... the light... the color... it was all so new. I spent hours writing everyone I could and asking them specific questions about this "natural light" photography. 
Some wonderful people wrote me back.... and I convinced my husband to purchase me my first DSLR camera. From that moment to this day I have not stopped learning. I joined many photo boards, read all I could and shot all I could. I have wanted to give up.. I have cried... but deep inside I could not let myself... there is something inside of me that must do this. I cannot explain it.. its just in there. I MUST do this.... I love it.... it fulfills me... I feel as though its always been there... I just had to find it. I'm sooo glad I did.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
The only time I've ever felt overwhelmed is when I was trying to please others...what they thought my pictures should look like.... etc. I had to stop trying to shoot like so and so.... and shoot like ME. I have finally found myself. I no longer feel overwhelmed.. I love it.

What do you do to relax? Do you have regular hours for your blog or your shoots?

My favorite thing to do to relax is watch a movie with my hubby. If I'm not doing that to relax, then I love just sitting back with my laptop and surfing the web. :)
I try to have my shoots on week day evenings, I will only do saturdays if the client cannot do a week day. I feel like the weekend is my family time, the kids are home from school, my husband is home from work and I have a hard time giving up that time with them. I want them to remember mom put them first....

You are self taught, can you remember the first thing you learned? if someone is just starting, what should they do first?

TAKE THAT CAMERA OFF AUTO!!! I fought it as long as I could.. and looking back.. why did I do that? Once I switched to manual and learned that.. its night and day. You will not get the results you are looking for in an image if you have that camera in auto. I also had to learn how to see the light... and now that I do.. sigh. I love that light. Its so purtyful.

Tell us about your equipment.
I have a canon 7D, 35L 1.4, 50 1.4 and 80 1.8. My favorite indoor lens is my 35, 90% of my indoor shots are taken with that lens. The 80 1.8 gives the most gorgeous bokeh.. sigh. Love that sucker.

Do you use actions or presets? Tell us what you can't live without.
haha. If you asked some of my friends about this.. they would laugh at this question. YES. I am an action junkie. I could not live without Florabella. I have my favorite actions of hers that I use on almost every image I post.
Is your family supportive? Tell us about them. Who cheers you on from the sidelines?
Yes my family is supportive. My hubby always jokes and says when I become famous I'm going to be his retirement plan. hehe My mom is my next biggest fan... bless her heart, she created a facebook page JUST to get on and look at all the images I post to facebook. (Lots never make it to the blog) 
My next biggest fan would be my best friend Candy. She's always cheered me on , tells me when I'm being too hard on myself... and tells everyone I'm the best. I love her.

What is your favorite color?

Oh man! It changes... is that even possible? I love sage, yellow, pink and lilac.

How do your kids feel about being models? Do they run when they see the camera come out.

Yes! They are so tired of the camera. I'm more after the everyday real moments now, so its better. When I was in the "sit here and smile" stage my oldest would cry everytime I got the camera out. Now I just get the camera out when they arent really paying attention and snap away. I get real moments, real expressions and those pictures are my favorites.

You are so young. So full of life. Yet, turning 30 worries you a little. How come? How come we are all afraid of getting older? Yes, yes, I am asking you this ridiculously hard question that everyone in the world wants answered : )
I dont think the number scares me.... as much as how fast time flew by to get to that point? Does that make sense? It seems like yesterday I was 15 wishing , longing for that 18 yr mark. Well- that came and went. I'm now 28, almost 29 and the years are flying by. I wouldnt go back to 18 now though.... I have matured a lot... I'm happier now than I've ever been. I have a wonderful completely blessed life. I just wish life would slow down a tad.

You spoke of once, on your old blog, how a picture box of old pictures spoke to you. Did you do anything with those pictures?
Yes. Those pictures are tucked away in my kitchen cabinet. I am making a photo wall of those old images... I am going to have copies made of my favorite ones. This idea makes me happy... to have my ancestors remembered in such a way. Not only to just be images in a box tucked away... but hanging on my walls for everyone who enters my house to see. I dont ever want to forget where I came from.

Please tell me you have your gorgeous art work hung all over your home! What do you like better? Canvases or prints?

I do, I do. In fact.. .. I really need to build a bigger house JUST to be able to hang more art work on the walls. I prefer Prints. There is just something about a frame that I love. I love to mix all different colors , sizes and ages of frames.

What color is your bedroom? Your kitchen?
Man. I wish you were asking this question once I get those two rooms remodeled. haha. Its on my honey to do list... but hasnt happened yet. My bedroom is currently a pale yellow.. and my least favorite room in the house. Its going to be a light gray and have board and batten along the bottom painted white, with pops of yellow here and there. My kitchen is currently a sage green with horrible oak cabinets that I wish I could take back. My plan for that room is to paint the walls a soft brown, and paint the cabinets. The top cabinets will be an off white color and the bottom cabinets will be black.

Do you shoot a lot of weddings?
No. I get asked all the time and have turned down many many weddings. I shot my brother and sister in laws wedding last year. While I'm happy I could capture those memories for them... I decided weddings just arent for me. I dont love them like I do capturing childhood.

What is your favorite type of event to shoot?
Is childhood an event? :)

You are a quote lover. Tell me your favorite one.

You are a quote lover. Tell me your favorite one.
“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” - Elizabeth Lawrence.

And your favorite song?
Hmm... thats another tough one! hehe. Music is such a part of my everyday life... I listen to it everyday.
If I had to pick one favorite.. I dont know if I could. I love Hands by JJ Heller and This little light of mine by Addison Road.

What is your wish for your children. When you are old and gray, what do you want for them?

I want them to be happy. I want them to be confident in who they are and not let anyone make them feel like they are less than amazing. I want them to follow their dreams. I want them to be able to look back on their childhood and know their parents did everything in their power to make them feel loved and special. I want them to know that Jesus is the only way to true happiness.

Tell me about someone that inspires you. Just one someone.

I have TONS of people who inspire me... so to be fair I will go back to one of the first blogs I ran across and my mouth dropped wide open. Sheye Rosemeyer. She is amazing. I dont just love her images I feel them. She has literally made me cry like a baby reading her words.... and I'm not an easily brought to tears.
Her facebook page: Jessica Deane Photography
(She has almost 800 fans, 
can you like her and bring her over the edge?
 Tell your friends!)


Tamar SB said...

Wow! Her pictures are stunning!! Thank you for sharing her with us this morning!!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

WOWZERS...these are truly some of my favorite photos ever. Ever! That beach w/ the starfish shot is perfection and I adore the very 1st photo. What an inspiration she is!

Mental P Mama said...

Exquisite! And Virginia is just beautiful....

Buckeroomama said...

I can't even pick a favorite. I love every. single. one. of her pictures! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Tracy P. said...

Ah, she is a quote girl. No wonder you love her, Becky!

"Is childhood an event?" Priceless answer!! Backed by gorgeous photos.

Fear not growing older, Jessica! It is a liberating experience!

Sarah said...

Wow, just wow! She takes amazing pictures. I loved her words too. Great interview!

American in Bath said...

Incredible photos and even better thoughts. I particularly like her black and whites.

Jessica Deane said...

Thank you Becky. I'm still tickled pink that anyone would want to interview me. Thank you for seeing something in me.. that you wanted to share with others.

Thank you all for your sweet comments!!!

Caseybumpinalong said...

Goodness, I see why you fell in love! Sweet, amazing photography, and this was another great interview - super questions! I'm getting really close to being inspired to switch over to manual. Almost :). Looking forward to following her blog! Thanks, Becky!

Teachinfourth said...

I love her photography, too.

Such beautiful and simple images.

Yet each tells a story...

Grandma J said...

I love her photos almost as much as I love yours! Thank you for all the beautiful works you share.

metaMOMphorsis said...

I LOVE her photos and how she captures the essence of the quotes in her pictures. I fell in love with the quote about a mother being born when a child is born - I believe that in my bones. Thanks for sharing!

Shey said...

oh babies!!! =D they are so adorable! =D

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

What a wonderful interview Becky. So much fun to read! I love the old photo next to the similar new photo... beautiful! It really struck me what she said about feeling overwhelmed only when she is trying to please others. Hello... light bulb. :) So glad she shared her heart with you! Her photos are amazing!

Carol said...

And I am completely choked up looking at your images. You capture the beauty and innocence of childhood brilliantly! Truly inspiring.

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

I am SO IN LOVE with her work!! I will sit on her blog forever just drinking it all in. It relaxes me and makes me happy!

Farmgirl Paints said...

i'm absolutely to become her new blog stalker!

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Oh my goodness, what a lovely interview. Beautiful work, beautiful spirit. Thank you Becky for sharing another true inspiration with us.

American Mum said...

Really lovely! It really does bring you back to childhood.

Whitley Pollet said...

Jessica is such an amazing photographer, mom, and friend! This was a great interview!

Cat said...

Wow...I am practically speechless after this post...such a great interview and so many amazing photos {love that "don't worry be happy" mug shot!}.

She has more talent in her pinky than I will ever have...800 fans is just the tip of the iceburg, I am sure!

xx Cat brideblu

photowannabe said...

What a delightful person and a wonderful interview.
I love her philosophy and Talk about Talent.... A++++ and 5 gold stars......
Thanks for letting us have a peak into her life.

Danelle said...

I am a quote lover too, so I am really loving these wonderful words and fabulous photos!

Sharon said...

Becky, we gotta have a talk here. You simply must stop this right now! I can't possibly add any more new favorite photography blogs to my bookmarks! This is getting out of control. There is not enough time in the day for me to look at them all!

Kara Layfield said...

Jess is an awesome photograher and artist. She is definately one talented lady! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Laura D said...

I love this interview - one of my favorites and I love her pictures...and I especially love the theme that childhood is magical and all the great quotes intertwined with her pictures...I was truly captivated by this interview.

Casey Freeland said...

What Joy! Lovely pictures. For some reason the row of shoes really hit my in my emotional gut. Loved them all. Great work.



onebadboy954 said...
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Julie Delgado said...

Jess is amazing. Love all the images. Great interview!

Laura said...

You picked an awesome photographer to interview. Her work is inspiring, and I love how in depth your interview with Jessica was. Thank you for helping me get to know her better. She's pretty amazing.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Childhood recaptured. I love this.

Kelly said...

Childhood is definitely event, especially as captured in these photos!

Rebecca said...

Terrific interview. Beautiful photography.

Skeller said...

I'm at a loss for words ... quite simply, I think she captures the beauty and SOUL of everyday life.

natalie bray photo said...

Gorgeous photos and fantastic interview! I am truly inspired by all the lovely images!

Eleanor said...

Gorgeous! I love your interviews and the photographers you chose for them! Thank you!!!

Rachel @ A Cupcake for Moose said...

Becky, you have the BEST interviews! I always get captivated by their stories and their energy. Once again, thank you for sharing Jessica. I cannot wait to visit her site!

Rachel said...

Amazing heartfelt images. I love the softness and the way I can feel like walking into a friend's home.

Thank you for sharing.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

*sweet sigh* capturing those moments to treasure forever. love love love them! YES, childhood is definitely an event!