Last week I had the special opportunity to meet a local photographer, Jessica Adaway. As some of you know, I’m new to the magazine, and I was really excited for my first interview, with a fellow photographer. I was a little nervous knowing I would also be taking photos for the interview. (A photographer taking photos of a photographer? Who wouldn’t be a little nervous?) Our art director, Marilynn Howe, was kind enough to lend me her camera for the interview, since mine is a couple years old. We walked into a local coffee shop, and found a perfect corner to sit. I held up the camera and Jessica let out a little laugh and said, “I’m not used to being on this side of the camera.” I laughed because this is something I’ve heard myself say a thousand times.
Jessica is in an exciting new season of life as a wife and mom, while also running her own small business. I asked her to describe in her own words what she does for a living.
“I photograph families, individuals, and events. I used to specialize in weddings, but now since I have a family of my own, my time is limited. I like to concentrate a little more on things that are really familiar to me. Right now that’s everyday life and family.”
As a photographer, I understand the thrill of looking at everyday life behind a lense, and turning it into art. I love the excitement of an extraordinary picture coming from something ordinary.
“I think it’s really important to remember the mundane things that people don’t really think are important, because five years from now, those are going to be really special memories.”
I asked Jessica what kind of an impact she wants to make with her photography and she said,
“As a photographer, I love capturing candid moments; all of the in between laughs and giggles. There’s a lot of truth in our everyday lives that points back to how great our God really is. It gets overlooked. These moments are so much more than parents playing with their children. I love getting to capture and give families those moments because they are a gift.”
Ever since I started taking photos in 2013, I’ve had a special love for the whole experience, because I recognized the beauty I was capturing was from the Lord. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord.” Hearing that Jessica had the same outlook on taking photos made me smile.
Jessica and I talked a little more about faith, family, and community. Here at UrbanWell, we like to end our interviews by asking, “What does living URBANWELL mean to you?” Jessica replied,
“Right now my life looks very different than it did ten years ago. I started out in photography wanting to consult ministries needing media aid. I was traveling a lot, and I really thought that was the life the Lord was calling me toward. That’s when one of my trips got cancelled, I came back home, and from that point on my personal business took off from here. Being a part of trips all around the world, let me see how faith is always such a huge part of people’s lives. Being a kind person and resembling Christ has always been really important to me.
A big part of my community is the small group we host in our house once a week. I really believe in engaging with them, and really anyone I come in contact with in the community. Lately I’ve been going to the same supermarket, and checking out in the same lane with the same person every week…I’m working on building relationship, being kind, and resembling Christ. Those are things that are important to me.
It feels small sometimes, but those small relationships can make a big impact.”
I loved the opportunity to meet Jessica, and get to share her heart for community, family, and photography with all of you. Jessica is making an impact in ordinary everyday life, one small conversation at a time. She is inspirational, kind, (and after checking out her photography on facebook I’ve discovered), and an extraordinary photographer.
Follow Jessica for images that will make you smile, and contact her if you’re in need of some photos – @Jessica_adaway