• I’m Jess!

    LIFE. PASSION. ADVENTURE. JOY. Standing beneath streams of golden light, he’s telling you a secret, your arms are wrapped around his neck and that secret results in a burst of wide open LAUGHTER. This is my goal as a photographer, to constantly seek moments of beauty in light, color and emotion......to capture your colorful life.

    As a result of my love for people and art, I graduated from Sonoma State in 1993 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in ART. Living with my husband in Northern California, we’re recent empty nesters, resulting in two over-indulged, naughty hound dogs who enjoy running our show.

    Tell me about yourself... Are you a hard-working mama, putting everyone before yourself and needing a reminder of who you are; a little glimpse back into that inner SPARKLE? Perhaps you have a vision your family cuddled up on a blanket in a grassy, sun dappled field, knowing these moments together are so, so fleeting, wanting to remember things that are SIMPLE and pure. Are you starting your new life with THE ONE that gets your heart beating fast, who will one day know you to your core and be your biggest fan anyway? Write me a little note, share your vision and together we’ll help you REMEMBER. DISCOVER. CAPTURE.

Or as we like to also say, ‘We’re going Bali to the wall (ie) …. so much rhyming, so little time. We’re dumb like that. Har Har.

Traveling to Bali, specifically Ubud, has been a dream of mine for over 25 years. Since meeting a vendor at a market in Sebastopol, CA in the early 90’s who traveled to Bali and brought back her wares, I’ve been intrigued by the beauty, the culture and the art.

Jim and I celebrated our silver anniversary and we decided to honor it here in gorgeous Indonesia.  We’re traveling with our good friends, Chuck and Jenny who are also celebrating 25 years!

We started with a few days in Singapore and then flew an additional 2 hours to Denpasar. It’s a feast for the eyes with hustle and color and temples galore.  My head was on a swivel trying to take everything in. From ladies carrying bunches of bananas on their heads to motor bikes covered in chicken cages, it’s not like anything I’ll ever see in Roseville! We traveled straight to the spiritual mecca of Ubud and are staying a week at the Capung Sakti Foundation house. 100 percent of proceeds go to providing medical care to the needy. It’s a beautiful little villa set in the jungle with a pretty pool and very friendly service.

We’ve gone to the Sacred Monkey Forest, have seen traditional Balinese dancing, experienced Babi Guling, gone to the Sacred water temple, gone to a waterfall, eaten the best banana pancakes ever and shopped in the Ubud market.

We have a lot more to do and see and I wake up excited every morning to see what the day holds. Today on the menu, pool time and massages!

 

 

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Streets of Denpasar

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This beautiful woman brings daily blessings.

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cute, cute, cute baby monkey with mama

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Little rascal monkey trying to get into Jim’s backpack.

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Monkey family grooming .

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Sacred Monkey Forest temple

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Sacred water temple

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This cute guy REALLY wanted to sell Jim a fan.

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Tegenungan waterfall

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Traditional Balinese Dancers at the Ubud Center

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Famous Warung Babi Guling… amazing pork with crispy skin.

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‘Magical!’ I couldn’t stop saying it. As soon as I came across Bywater Lavender Farms, I’ve been wanting to shoot there. It was even more beautiful than I imagined.  Scents of lavender wafting everywhere, horses, light, water, seriously MAGICAL! Top that amazing location with the cutest family ever and it’s a dream session. Look at these gorgeous head bands made by Lincoln Florist. Anna was definitely goddess status here.

Little Kendall was a delightful ball of energy and kept us laughing the whole time. That little one is a runner and promises of lollies and ice cream made her smile.

Looking forward to meeting the newest baby girl in August and know Kendall is going to be the best big sister!

 

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Need a smile? Visit a mini donkey farm!

This week has been hard. ..for a lot of us, I think. Inundated with tragedy, politics, disagreements, and frustrations. Sometimes you have just go looking for a little bit of happiness. Fortunately for me, my good friend Marianna has a friend with a mini-donkey farm.  YES! A whole farm of the cutest, cuddliest, love-able baby donkeys.

Lucie at Mossy Oaks is dedicated to the care and raising of healthy, happy, donkeys with a good disposition.   “Happiness is hugging a miniature donkey and feeling that hug in return.” So true. These little guys and girls are the best huggers, listeners and a little bit of happiness in donkey form. It’s interesting… one will pick you as their ‘person’. The little white ball of fluff, ‘Calypso’ decided I was her person and followed me everywhere and gave me little love nips if I gave too much attention to her friends. She even followed us to the end of the road and man, was I ever tempted to put her in my car!

If you want to see best donkey photo bomb, scroll down a few. See if you can find him. Haha! Totally cracked me up.

 

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Have you even seen such a sweet baby face?!  Blue, blue eyes and the softest skin; this little cutie, his mom and dad, and I headed to Sailor Bar in Fair Oaks.  What a pretty little spot with lots of blooms, golden light and a gorgeous river. We are documenting Baby Beckett first year and he was a delight in every way with smiles for days and such a good personality.

Photographing this beautiful family and watching them grow is an honor and a pleasure. I sure can’t wait to meet Beckett’s baby brother or sister in December.

 

O O O O family portraits, sweet baby, natural light portrais O O O O O O O O

EVERY TIME we travel, (we’re leaving for Bali in 2 weeks) without fail, people ask us, “is it safe?” Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Is it safe to go to Bali? Is it safe to sail here or there? My answer is pretty much the same, I think it’s as safe as anywhere. (keeping in mind we’re not traveling to hot zones and when we were in Nigeria years ago, we had military protection). For me though, there are worse things than not feeling safe. I can feel safe here at home but I can also feel stuck, feel bored, feel like life is getting away from me, feel like I’m wasting precious time.  Overcoming fear is necessary if you want to achieve your dreams and live a big life.

Each day I try to not shy away from being a little scared; sometimes going to a social mixer where I may not know anyone, maybe complimenting a stranger or writing a blog post about something personal.  Getting out of my comfort zone helps me become a well-rounded person and what scares me might not necessarily scare someone else. But I like to challenge myself, I like to see if I can do hard things.

 

In 1999 I climbed Mount Shasta.

In 2000 I slept alone in the woods (on purpose).

In 2000 I started my photography studio.

In 2003 I traveled to Nigeria.

In 2004 I climbed Mt. Whitney.

In 2009 I sailed through the Bermuda Triangle.

In 2011 I joined a roller derby team (go Sacred!)

In 2012 I swam with sharks.

In 2014 I held a snake.

In 2016 I will jump out of a plane… OMG NOOO!

 

“Do shit that scares you”… or practice fear. For whatever reason, it’s my mantra. Why I adopted this one out of all the mantras in the world, I don’t know. I actually never wanted to climb a mountain, I didn’t want to sail through the triangle or swim in ‘shark attack alley’ and I DEFINITELY didn’t want to hold a snake, but I do know this, when I do things that scare me, my life gets bigger; my comfort zone expands and I grow as a person. I learn I can do scary things.

Yes, I’ve cried multiple times in my life followed by, “I don’t want to die!”  However,  I didn’t die coming down Mt. Shasta’s ice shoots, I didn’t die circling in a tiny plane in a storm over Belize, I didn’t mysteriously disappear in the Bermuda triangle, I wasn’t eaten by a shark (they were harmless Nurse sharks but STILL) and I wasn’t run over by a logging truck riding my tandem bike down the coast with my husband. That gives me conviction and it gives me the knowledge, I can climb a mountain, I can sail, I can ride a bike and BE OKAY.  In return, I get confidence,  joy and a zest for life that just couldn’t occur if I was sitting in my safe little Roseville bubble.

I’m compelled to write this because if you’re not already, I want you to force yourself out of your comfort zone, do things you’ve never imagined yourself doing.  Start the business, talk to the stranger, travel to the distant land, and jump out of that plane! You’ll never learn more about yourself as you do when you let yourself get uncomfortable. You get to learn how strong you are, you get to see yourself as a person that can do hard things. Don’t wait for the perfect time, or the windfall of cash. Do little things everyday that scare the shit out of you and you’ll see the times you are terrified are the times you grow. I’d love to hear what you already do that scares you or what you plan to do! I came across a great quote… “If you’re scared to death, you’re doing it right.”

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Thank you Jeremiah Miller for snapping this photo of me with the thing I fear most and even though we were there capturing you doing shit that scares YOU… you made me do it too! haha