I'm pleased that you want to know more about me!
I love relationships, and enjoy nurturing the ones that are genuine. I say that I have a bleeding heart because I hate watching people that I know suffer. I have a giving nature and love to surprise other people, for their benefit, not mine.
I like to push the envelope just to see what happens in all aspects of my life. What if I try wearing pointed shoes? What if I ask someone for their soda in a movie theater? What will I look like if I shave most of my hair off, myself?
I am always singing along to music when I drive in my car. Sometimes I'll even belt out notes when I'm with other people to make them chuckle! I want to spend my time enjoying life. We are here on Earth for only a short while, so let's have some fun, shall we?
I'm a photographer who loves sarcasm and making
Images by Tori Kelner.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet
your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
Drag around the images below to learn about some of my favorite things!
Double click an image to learn more about it.
RANDOM facts ABOUT ME
★ I was born during a full moon.
★ I've had reoccurring nightmares about bears
chasing me my entire life. I've never had an
experience like that!
★ Things I say I hate, I often end up loving (Miley
Cyrus, One Direction. But I am still holding
strong on seafood!).
★ I am absoloutely horrible at drawing. The worst.
★ My first name, Jessica, was influenced by the
actress Jessica Lange.
★ I've been wearing the same ring on my pinkie
★ I've proudly never seen The Notebook or any of
the Pirate of the Caribbean or Twilight Series
movies (even my husband has seen The
★ My dad wanted to name me "Wendy" after a
woman that he worked with. Over two decades
later, the same woman was one of my
★ I secretly wish I could sing on stage like a
★ I can cross one eye at a time, raise one eyebrow,
and wiggle one ear at a time as well!
★ To date, I have met two other girls named Jessica
Rose. I share the same birthday as one and the
same middle name as the other!
★ I have never tried & do not want to try Nutella.
★ I own a Volkswagen Beetle, just like both of my
parents did earlier in their lives!
I definitely come from a creative family. My parents met in a color printing lab in New York City. My mother was working there and my father was there making prints. My mom said that one of the machines broke in the darkroom and she told my dad. Since color photography cannot be done with a safelight, it was pitch black in the room. She said their hands met so she could show him what was wrong and he could help her fix it. I love this story! It’s such a great conversation starter. On the other hand, my father says that is not how it happened at all! He said that he saw her around the studio and thought she was good looking. Either way, I find it so amusing. What a romantic place to meet! Some have called me a “darkroom baby” implying that…well, you know!
My parents did photography together, both shooting and printing. They developed their own film and even printed in their apartment! My father ended up working for Ilford for over two decades. My parents have always been so loving of me and supportive of any adventure I wanted to take. The first time I got a chance to pick a class in school that I actually wanted to take was freshman year of high school. I picked photography. I loved, loved, loved the grain, the tinted safe lights, the continuous running water, and even the tongs! It felt like home. I was able to use my parents’ equipment and took photography for the next few years in high school. When I was a senior, one of my photographs was chosen to be the cover of that year’s curriculum guide! I was also nominated for and won a Fine Arts award! Creativity is in my blood. Photography came naturally to me. I've been told throughout my life that I have an eye for photography, but I am often dismissive of compliments, feeling as if they are just from a polite viewpoint. I will always continue to develop my skills. We are never finished learning, and if anyone tells you otherwise, run!
When I was in college, I was afraid to choose photography as a career due to the challenges of finding work as the digital age progressed. I decided on writing because I believed I would be able to find more work in that field. Before I chose my classes, I realized that I should stay true to myself and do what I loved, even if it meant having complete uncertainty as to what my future could even possibly look like. I never imagined that I would be developing 35mm and sheet film in my bedroom, just like my parents did in their apartment. I never thought I could shoot rolls of film indoors the first time I used a Rolleiflex and no light meter or flash, and they all came out.
Ever since I chose to pursue photography professionally, I knew that I made the absolute correct decision. God has been blessing my journey every step of the way. I have had so many amazing people and opportunities come into my life. I feel that he is continually showering his love upon me and my desire to create. This is why I do what I do, because in my heart, I am being 100% true to myself, and God sees that the direction is good, and he is paving the way for me to plow forward.
I adore photography. I use to to express my personality; how I see things. I look at certain corners and at different angles that surprise others. To me, it seems normal. Only through this art form could the way that people view life be expressed. Photography is such an integral part of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. It’s used everywhere; from cell phone snaps, to advertising, to abstract closeups, to weddings. It is the quickest way to tell a story and is the most widely used art form in the world.
It's more than just pushing a button; it's capturing moments and feelings for us to hold onto for the rest of our lives. We can revisit these times whenever we'd like. We can showcase them on our walls, plop them on our desks, and keep them nearby in our wallets. With photographs, the possibilities are endless.
of my story
It was classroom 117 in Northern Highlands Regional High School in 2006. This guy kept coming over to me in homeroom before the bell rang, just to make conversation. I didn’t know much about him but he seemed nice. I’m not sure if he could tell that I wasn’t really a morning person at the time. We ended up becoming friends and I had no idea that he was so well known in our school. Sometimes I can just truly be oblivious. Everyone knew him as “the Christian kid.” I had minimal experience with peoples’ personal believes regarding faith and religion, so I wasn’t irrationally offended by his presence. We spent time together and got to know one another better. He ended up asking me to prom, and I had kind of already made plans to go with someone I had been seeing at the time. He was still cool about it and we all danced together at prom! While our friendship continued to blossom, I ended up having a really big crush on him! He seemed like such a good boy and I was a bit of a troublemaker in my own world in high school. I suppose I was reading the signals wrong; he told me he just wanted to be friends, and that he couldn’t be with someone without the same beliefs as him. I dealt with this the best I could, knowing nothing would ever happen between us. Throughout our friendship, he shared his views on God, Jesus, and the Bible with me. It kind of just went over my head at the time; I didn’t really have the depth perception to comprehend it.
Right after senior graduation in 2007, I was going through some tough times. I also felt extremely alone and just wanted to spend time nourishing my being. I pushed anyone that wanted to be around me as far away as I could, including my friend from homeroom. I was worried that he would be judgmental of me and make me feel terrible about myself and never speak to me again. I shut him out as if to protect myself from the “what if’s.” He tried to keep in contact with me without being too invasive. Whenever I was online, he would message me, but I never answered. He would call my cell phone, but I never picked up. He would text me, but I never responded. As time went on, I felt more and more guilty. Like look at how caring this person is regardless of my behavior. For Christmas that year, I wanted to try and reconnect with him and get him a present, but I didn’t actually know what he would want. He seemed to have really simple needs that he could manage himself. I knew that he liked cars, but I knew absolutely nothing about them! I knew he liked Christianity. I ended up finding a ring with a Bible verse on it. It read “PHIL 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” I hoped that he would like it. I wrapped it in a tiny bag along with a long, hand-written note explaining that I pushed him away and there was nothing that he did wrong and I was sorry.
My mother and I went to drop it off at his house, but when I looked up his address in the curriculum guide, there was just a P.O. Box number. I had never been to his house and had no clue as to where it was. I got all tense and had no idea how to surprise visit him without any awkward initial confrontation if I didn’t have his address. And at that moment, he messaged me online. I couldn’t believe it. This time I responded. He said he was having a Christmas party and invited me over. I told him that I wanted to drop off a present for him. My mother drove me to the address and there was a giant illuminated cross on such a tall tree in the front yard, and that’s how we knew it was his house! My mother was beside herself! I nervously went up to the door and rang the doorbell. I saw him and not only did he not mention anything about me cutting over a foot of my hair off, he didn’t seem the least bit upset that I went M.I.A.! I gave him the present and reassured him that I was just dropping by. He went inside and immediately opened it. He apparently loved it and it fit his ring finger! I was beyond thrilled!
He insisted on treating me out to dinner at TGIFriday’s in return for the gift. He asked me if I had given any more thought to Christianity and I uncomfortably dismissed the topic. He never asked me after that. We became great friends again and I got to a place where I felt like I was okay being just that. Several months later, I began asking a lot of questions about life, Christianity, and God. He said that he told me the same exact things in high school, but I just wasn’t ready to hear it yet. I now had issues in my life that I felt I needed resolved, whereas in high school, I had no comprehension about seeing outside of the matrix or desire of dealing with cause and effect. This is how I came to be saved by Jesus. Fast forward several years later, and I married the boy from my homeroom, and he used the ring that I gave him as a wedding ring!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Images by Tori Kelner.