Guest Judge//Jesica Montgomery//Forever Whimsy Photography

Guest Judge//Jesica Montgomery//Forever Whimsy Photography

Tell us about yourself...

I'm 31 years old. I am in love with Jody. We have two beautiful girls, Ava (will be 6 on July 17!) and Allie (1) and we live in a small town called Worthington, PA outside of Pittsburgh. I am a part-time behavioral health assessment nurse (RN) and actually really love my job. I started my business, Forever Whimsy Photography, in 2015. In the fall of 2016, I rebranded to lifestyle and I couldn't be happier with that decision!! I also helped to found/run Dear Photographer, but stepped away earlier this year to focus on my family and business. I feel like I'm on the path that I am meant to be on <3


What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I honestly don't know, I've always loved photography. From disposable film cameras in my teens, to my first point and shoot, to my first DSLR... I really have just enjoyed making a photograph. After Ava was born, I became more serious in my photography journey. I am a self-taught photographer (with many google searches!) and I always want to learn more. I think what fuels it now, is wanting to create not only for myself, but for others as well. I think it is so awesome to think that someone, decades from now, will be looking at an image that I created and get to see what I saw.


What's in your camera bag right now, what do you use the most? the least?

I bought a used Canon 6D in late 2015 - I honestly see no reason to upgrade. I love it. The lens attached to my body is the Sigma 24mm ART which I also bought used. I can't bring myself to use any other lens! SERIOUSLY! I do have a Canon 50mm 1.8 and 40mm 2.8 but I never use them. I have an assortment of copper tubes and prisms that I enjoy using as well. A handful of SD cards. (Oh, and my camera bag I picked up for $1 at Goodwill, can you tell I love a bargain?) :)


What's your dream project or shoot?

I don't know if I have one! I honestly feel like it is a dream come true to be able to document - so any time that I get to photograph for anyone, I am really glad!


What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

I would say that there are two. One challenge I faced the winter of 2015, which was a huge creative block. It. really. sucked. It was like, I wanted to shoot, but I couldn't. I was struggling with shooting indoors, I felt like I could only shoot outdoors. I'm happy to say that the winter of 2016, I challenged myself to shoot indoors, in artificial light!! I captured a lot of my youngest daughter's milestones this way, and had I stayed set in my ways, I wouldn't have been able to. The second challenge that I face as a photographer is feeling badly about myself because I don't have the amount of clients that I would like. I have to step back when I get down about it and remind myself that if nothing else, my family and friends will have so many moments to look back on that I was there to document. I am a very positive person, but sometimes it's hard to stay positive about the business side of my photography. I have captured some seriously awesome memories for my clients, the few that I do have :)


If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it? - I realized the other day my laptop (that again, I bought used) is over 2 years old, so I probably should be looking into new laptops soon.

How do you wish you could spend it? - Honestly, I've been seeing everyone's fisheye images and have been thinking I may need to get my hands on a fisheye lens!

How would you really spend it? - I'd plan a fun weekend with all my favorite photographer friends and use it to pay for my flight and lodging!! 


Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Don't ever feel discouraged. Everyone started somewhere, just like you are now. It seems scary right now, but one day, it will be second nature to you. Learn to trust in yourself. You are capable and you will be exactly the photographer that you were meant to be - with time.