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Meet Jessie Pariseau

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessie Pariseau.

Jessie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started shooting back in the film days with my mom’s camera. My family went through rolls of film (and eventually memory cards) faster than you could imagine because I had to shoot anything and everything that caught my eye. There’s always been something special about capturing real human emotion in a photo. My love of photographing everything led me to an interview process with the Brooks Institute to potentially major in photography (before they closed their doors). Ultimately, I decided to go to school for my second passion: music and audio.

I lost touch with my photography for a long time while trying to establish a solid career in audio post-production. It wasn’t until I met my rescue dog, Bodhi, and made an Instagram account for him, that I really picked up a camera with that passion again. Together, with the help of my four-legged furball, we slowly made Bandana Bodhi (@bandanabodhi) an influencer and I rediscovered my passion for the craft.

The longer I worked on taking better shots of him, the more I was able to upgrade my gear, take online courses in photography, and shoot all kinds of events for my friends. That was where I re-discovered my passion for taking candid photographs of people. My friends encouraged me to turn this hobby into a career and reminded me that it is an essential part of who I’ve always been.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle for me now, is to learn all of the things I want to know. Because I have such a depth of knowledge in my audio work, I am aware of the fact that there is so much more I can learn about photography and that excites me! There are a lot of great photographers out there but I feel that add some of my own personality to every shoot which helps me stand out to my ideal clients and really helps me connect with every family I shoot. Right now, I’m studying the craft of Elopement Photography, which is sort of a dream job for me, being that I love to travel and take photos. Learning a new specialization is always a process but learning about different areas of my craft is fun for me.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My photography leans towards lifestyle and documentary-family photography. I’ve never been a huge fan of rigid-posed photos so I try to create an experience with my families. I want it to be fun and more about capturing the dynamic of everyone’s personalities without thinking or worrying about me. I try to catch those subtle moments of joy and love that a family shares with one another. The phrase I always use on a shoot is, “Don’t look at me, be with each other” like I’m not even there so that everything is genuinely raw and real.

As I mentioned, I’ve been getting really into elopement photography. There’s something special about capturing those intimate moments in a couple’s dream location that I really love. Elopement isn’t a word that does it justice because it is really an incredibly intimate ceremony of a couple’s true love paired with the beauty and light of nature and sometimes a few friends. The beautiful thing about these ceremonies is that couples can choose a location that represents them without the pressure of being able to afford it or not. Being there, focused on each other, and without the worry can create an incredible experience for newlyweds who choose this route and the photos that come from this experience are breathtaking.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m working now on growing my clientele so that I can share these moments with more and more families. It’s been a really exciting few months researching and scouting tons of new locations and creative ideas for the next set of shoots. Some of these ideas have led me to adding on a free styling service for my clients before they arrive. Helping them choose what to wear has been a key factor in not only their looks but their confidence when they show up to shoot. I’m planning on taking all of these skills and eventually expanding into elopement photography.

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