hi, I’m Jessamyn! *
(*It’s pronounced phonetically – “Jess-uh-min” – and, nope, I didn’t make it up; it’s a type of jasmine flower.)
-been called an honorary bridesmaid
-had a client’s baby named after me (no joke!)
-won various industry (wedding and non-) awards
-been shooting as a professional wedding and portrait photographer for over 12 years
-photographed well over 100 weddings (probably over 200 by now, but I’m afraid to count)
-licensed my lifestyle work through several stock agencies, including Workbookstock, Jupiter Images, and Getty Images
– shot for magazines and other publications from Wine Spectator, to the Knot, to Punk Planet
-been actively photographing for almost 20 years
-graduated from Bennington College in 2000.
-traveled to photograph weddings in Oregon, New York (city and state), Southern California, and more.
-had my weddings, lifestyle, and portrait work featured on blogs and websites such as Style Me Pretty, Grey Likes Weddings, Carats and Cake, Glamour and Grace, A Practical Wedding, Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled, and so many, many more.
-worked at a professional, custom color photo lab in San Francisco during the height of the dot com boom/ bust. (There I got crazy good at/ pretty specific about perfectly balanced color. You print color photos in the pitch dark, when you print by hand, so I also got extremely good at navigating in complete darkness. I still sometimes imagine the world around me through +5 magenta or -10 cyan filters in my mind, and I can still load a roll of 120 film onto a reel in the pitch black!)
-married to Devon, a lovely man I met when he was 14 and I was 16, in high school. (I mean, we were physically in high school when we met, under the tree where the ‘alternative kids’ hung out.)
-the mother of a precocious and highly photogenic (particularly with sassy and silly faces) daughter named Symphony Susanna Rose. Everything I want to say about her feels cliche, because she really is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, so I try to say it with photos instead.
-a native Sonoma County girl, and so happy to spend my life here in Northern California/ Wine Country/ the Bay Area/ the Redwood Empire.
-a redhead, with natural streaks of bright red mixed in. (My mother’s a painter: maybe she somehow painted my colors crazy when I was in utero? I also have one eyebrow/ eyelash side blonde, and the other brown. Ask me, and I’ll show you my stripes.)
-daughter, niece, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, etc., to many artists – all Bay Area natives.
-totally inspired by children’s books; sunshine/ moonlight; flowers; my daughter; music (Beyonce to Led Zeppelin to Sleater Kinney & Bikini Kill to Kendrick Lamar to Nick Cave to Aphex Twin to Bat for Lashes and on and on); listening to podcasts while I edit; feminism!; bodies of water (swimming is my favorite! well, floating lazily, really); reading; traveling; Sonoma County and the larger Bay Area… this list of inspiration could go on possibly infinitely.
-6th generation San Franciscan. Sadly, while I was technically born in SF, I’ve never lived there, sticking only to Sonoma County my whole life (with brief stays in Vermont, London, and Paris/ the South of France).
-a smartass, goodhearted goofball who takes silly things seriously, and likes to imbue silliness into the serious stuff.
-passionate about being a queer friendly, the-wedding-industry-is-ridiculous, feminist, fierce woman who is just as happy to shoot your radical, “gender-is-so-over”, secret elopement in the redwoods as your high-end, fairytale dream wedding in the vineyards. I am thrilled when people find each other, no matter how that match comes together, or what it looks like to “the mainstream”. How boring my job would be if it all looked the same!
-really, very friendly and nice, and as a natural born people pleaser, I work hard to get the smiles from anyone from an un-napped 2 year old who needs a snack to an out-of-her-element 80 year old New Yorker in the dust of wine country’s vineyards. I have my ways, and I am told constantly what a great job I’m doing, how good I am with people, and how much fun clients have with the photos.
-comfortable to work with, with a gentle, quiet exuberance, a ton of smiles, enthusiasm for photographing ‘real people’ (not models) in a way that makes them joyful; a people person, easy to laugh along with and very willing to laugh at myself; patient and polite but commanding and bossy when needed.
-to photograph offbeat, quirky, radical, gender-exploding, woman-empowering, unique and amazing (as well as traditional, classic, loving) weddings and events!
-to photograph newborns at their most beautiful: in their parents’ arms (whether they’re crying, pooping, nursing, sleeping, or grin-grin-grinning, it’s all real, and it can all be beautiful… especially once you’re past it, looking back!), not as props. I also want to help nurture and honor new mothers as much as possible, and I want to hear your birth story while we’re shooting, if you want to share it.
-to travel the world on big journey kinds of shoots, as well as to photograph the infinitely subject-rich area 50 miles around my home as though it’s all new to me.
-to make people feel happy, loved, honored, and seen (in more ways than just the literal).
-to capture the tiny subtleties in expressions as they change, and I believe that those minute changes can mean a world of difference.
-to let you be yourself, and help you to feel naturally beautiful; to honor your personality and essence without trying to impose my vision on you; to help give you confidence, just as you are.
-to draw you out naturally, so that maybe you don’t notice that Big Scary Camera in your face as much.
-to notice new things through my camera lens, and to be delighted and surprised.
-to embrace how thorough of an editor I am, and take my time to pull together hundreds and hundreds of well-curated and balanced images you’ll love.
-to talk to you about what you’re looking for, what I do, and how those two intersect.