Interview with Jessica Byrum

July 7, 2016
I’m sitting down with the amazing Jessica Byrum of Jessica Bryum -photographer.  I’ve followed Jessica’s work for some time now.  Her work always makes me laugh, and every time I see a photo I think to myself, that’s totally my life.  She has an amazing sense of humor, produces stunning images, and is as real and kind as they come.
1. Jessica, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 30 years old.  I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 3.5 years and we have 3 amazing children that are 7 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years old.  We live in Big Sky Country, also known as Montana.  I don’t think that we’ll ever call another place home.
2.  What sparked your interest in photography?
This will be cliche, but I’ve always loved photography.  I was always good at it, and loved sharing my life with others, so it  all kind of went hand in hand when I had my first daughter and became a stay-at-home mom.  I enjoyed taking pictures for clients, but when I had my daughter and we moved into our first house as a family, that’s when I truly started to see the light and fell in love with documentary photography.  I wanted my children to be able to hold their childhood in their hands when they are older.
3.  If you could have one photographer photograph your family who would you choose and why?
I would say Elise Meador.  I love how she captures everything exactly how it is, and when you see an image, it’s like you’re there.  You can see the love in her wedding couples’ eyes, and feel the warmth of the arms surrounding a brand new baby.  Her work makes my heart smile, and what else can you ask for in a photographer?
4. Is there any new piece of equipment you’ve been dying to get your hands on, or a new technique you’ve been wanting to try?
I think my next investment will be an ice light.  Here in Montana the days are short and gloomy in winter, and I’m interested to see what I could do with one.
5.  What’s in your camera bag?
I shoot with  a Canon 5d Mark III and my Sigma 35mm Art probably 75% of the time.  For overhead shots (which I love and shoot often)  I use my 60D, because of the flip out screen.  I have my 24-70 that I use mostly for weddings, and old Canon 35mm 2.0 that I love to free lense with, and my trusty 50mm.
6.  Where do you see yourself in 3 years from now in your photography journey?
I would actually like to scale back my client work a little.  I see myself having very limited bookings, so that I can focus on documenting our children.  They’ll be able to do so much more stuff in 3 years and I look forward to the adventures we will have.
7.  Who are some of your more recent photographers to follow?
8.  If you could photograph one thing, that is out of the norm for you, what would it be and why?
I would love to go to another country, meet someone that doesn’t speak any English, and document a day in their lives.  I think it would be so beautiful to communicate solely with photographs.
9. Your photography has such a sense of humor to it.  What do you think draws your eye to the shots you capture?
I’ve always used humor to hide my insecurities.  I was always overweight and didn’t have name brand clothes, but I could make people laugh and that made people like me.  Now, as a mom, I try to show the humor in every situation that really could easily overwhelm me.  I like to capture those moments in all of their hilarity, rather than focusing on whatever mess they made or what they broke.  I hope when other moms see my images, they can relate and know that we all kind of suck at parenting sometimes, but if your kids are happy and healthy, it doesn’t really matter.
10. If you could give one piece of advice to both seasoned and new photographers what would it be?
Be kind, learn when you can, and take advice as often as you give it.
Thank you so much Jessica for sitting down with me today.  It was such a pleasure to get to know you better.  To see more of Jessica’s work please click on her links below.
Rebecca Wang is a documentary and lifestyle photographer that lives on the beautiful central coast of California. She has 2 boys, ages 3 and 7, and an amazing supportive husband whom supports all of her ideas. Rebecca is a military spouse, so traveling and change is very common for their family and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Rebecca is inspired by her daily life and the adventures and traveling her family do. She has had many blog interviews and guest appearances, a spread and cover photo on beyond the wanderlust photography magazine, had an honorable mention and two nominee photos in the child photo competition, and is currently doing her first 365 photo project. She is so happy to be apart of the Light Inspired team, and can’t wait to find, meet, and showcase inspiring artists for you all to meet.

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