In Front of the Camera


Last week I had the opportunity to engage in a portrait session with a local photographer.  He had reached out to me via Instagram and asked if I was interested in a session to help him build his portfolio.

At first I was very skeptical thinking that this may be some sort of ploy, but after some due diligence to make sure that I was not corresponding with an individual with poor intent, I agreed.  I thought it would be a unique opportunity to get in front of the camera rather than behind it. Jon Meadows, the photographer and owner of High End Headshots here in DC, is wonderfully talented and he is currently working to expand his portfolio from headshots into high end portraits, geared towards women.

I found this to be somewhat ironic, because in what feels like a previous life in Florida I had specialized in both headshots and beauty portraits. I had always wanted the opportunity to get dolled up and have my portraits taken by someone else.  And now I had the chance!

We discussed outfits, time, location and once all was squared away all I had to do was show up! I made my way down to the studio via metro, completely anxious about being the subject of the photos. The majority of images I have of myself are self taken through a timer and tripod rather than another individual – or taken years ago by my dear friends who are also photographers.   

I got there and Jon was incredibly sweet. We talked about his career and family and he put me at ease regarding my total awkwardness behind the camera. It is ironic that once upon a time in my teens and early twenties I had hoped to have some sort of career in front of the camera – mainly through acting – and yet, here I was at 38 beyond awkward. I am awesome at posing others, but I could not for the life of me figure out what to do with my body, hands, or even my facial expression. The  look he was going for in the session was more serious or pensive rather than my normal toothy grin – so I found it a little more challenging. I tried to channel my inner most Tyra Banks and “smize”, but to be honest, when I peeked through the gallery I had myself in stitches over some of the images where I was trying to nail the look – total fail. Oh well – perhaps I need to get some practice under my belt.

Jon was patient with me however and guided me through the process, even allowing me to look at the images on his tethered laptop and adjust as needed. In the end he captured some really great images. The experience was one that I feel incredibly grateful for. It was a little humbling, but it left me with a handful of wonderful and priceless images that I would have otherwise never had.  It also has reminded me of how far I have come in regards to my own health and wellness journey – and still how far I have to go in regards to self confidence and continual self love.

It is odd, because often I feel a lot younger than I actually am and my confidence a lot lower than I let on to be – especially as I feel knee deep in the journey of self discovery – but yet, when I look at the images I see a woman, not a child –  and a confident woman at that. A mother, a wife, and overall a woman who is capable of what she puts her mind to. This session gave me so much more than pictures and I am forever thankful for that.

Without further ado, here are my portraits.


If you are interested in finding out more about Jon and his work, check out his website at

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  • Reply Stefanie 03/15/2019 at 9:29 pm

    This: “It is odd, because often I feel a lot younger than I actually am and my confidence a lot lower than I let on to be”. It’s like you can read my mind. Channel that inner confidence – you rock!!

    • Reply Jess 03/18/2019 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks lady – right back at you! And we may have to grab a coffee one of these days. 😉

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