Hello everyone. Welcome to Handsome and Pretty.
As you know, most Wednesdays we introduce someone who we love, and whose work we admire. Today we have a real treat for you – in the form of wonderful photographer Jenny Smith.
I’m a photographer based in North London taking natural portraits of babies, children and families…the best job in the world. I live in Muswell Hill with my husband and 6 year old son and manage to fit my career around being a full time mummy and I can’t ask for better than that. The reason I chose this photo is that my son took it of me when he was only three, I think he’d finally had enough of being the other side of the camera!
How and where are you today?
I’m very well thank you. I’m at home in Muswell Hill today finishing off editing a lovely little newborn that I photographed last week.
How would you describe the journey that has brought you to this place? And were these the roads you expected to take?
My journey into photography has been a bit of a winding road. I have always loved photography, right from when my Dad trusted me with his new and quite expensive compact camera to take away on a school trip. I was only 10 and I remember loving it straight away. After I graduated in a completely non related degree I fell into a job in the media, doing PR for various TV and radio shows but even then, whenever there was an opportunity to take photos I always volunteered. As a result I have loads of photographs of various DJs or indie bands that came into the radio station. I then decided to do a 2 year evening course in photography which helped to satisfy the photography itch but it was only when I had my son in 2007 that I decided to take it up full time. So I left my job, and very tentatively started to practice on my own son and friend’s babies until I felt like I was in a position to start charging. Leaving my job in PR was the best decision I ever made.
Do you have a process to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to create?
Not really, once I start taking photos I love it straight away, so even if I don’t think I’m in the mood that day, as soon as the camera is in my hand I’m away.
How do you think your background and culture influences your creations?
Well, I come from a very loving and fun family which meant I had a fantastic childhood. I guess this has influenced my choice to photograph babies, children and families. My Dad died when I was 21 and all we have left now are our memories of him and of course our photographs. I don’t think I can stress enough how privileged I feel when somebody asks me to document their family, knowing first hand how precious a photograph can be.
What does beauty mean to you?
If we had interviewed you when you were 11, what would you have told us you wanted to be when you grew up?
So many things it’s hard to remember them all. At one point I wanted to be a forensic scientist, I don’t think I realised at the time that you have to actually be good at science for that particular career!
What advice have you received that you want everyone to benefit from?
My friend Tracy has a little saying, ‘How hard can it be?’
Aren’t these images just beautiful? The perfect way to capture those family memories.
Jenny can also be contacted by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so very much Jenny, and welcome to the Handsome and Pretty family, so great to have you here!
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