I would probably have been on the spectrum if they had one sorted when I was younger. I have talked to myself and with myself since I could speak, excitement makes me levitate, and I can’t keep my hands out of the conversation.
For the most part I can control all of these things now and maintain a certain decorum in public. But leaving a shoot, usually wet, dirty/snowy, and fully charged, it all sneaks out. I get a high from shooting that I’m not even sure I can put into words. It’s all feelings, so many feelings. There are the images I can see in my mind before I’ve even loaded them.
There’s the thrill of finding them, the way the light hit a subject, what happened when the shutter clicked, but there is also the exchange between artist and subject, it’s huge. It’s not always a person but there are is always emotion. Emotion that finds me lifting off my heels, fingers tingly, and this light inside that feels like its bursting through my chest. I have so much gratitude for the fact that I get to do this thing that brings me so much joy and it brings other people joy too, and it keeps my family fed.
I love shooting in all kinds of situations. I do a lot of portrait work, some magazine work, some food, weddings and events as well as my own artistic projects. My favourite thing though is when I have someone who wants to do a bit of personal exploration, revelation, and we have time to do that in a thoughtful, playful, empowering way. It is my goal to allow an individual to see a reflection of themselves in an image and love what they see.
I want people to feel my work as much as see it.
Sometimes I feel like I have something important to say, sometimes it feels big and validating. Mostly though, I feel like a kid in clothes three sizes too big trying to stand tall so no one will notice. Mostly, I’m playing with someone else’s toys and hoping they don’t get taken from me. I feel like I am getting away with doing my most favourite thing until someone gets wise to it and I have to grow up and be a real adult.
Words and photos by Jessica Crandlemire