To say that I adore Jennifer James is an understatement. She has been a shining light in my blogging life. I share my highs and my lows and she gives me a shoulder, an ear and lots of great ideas. That in and of itself would be enough except that she is just plain talented.
She crafts posts that pull me in, she is constantly innovating and exploring new topics within her niche and beyond on her blog Are you there God, it’s me Generation X. She also does a weekly radio show in Oklahoma, works tirelessly for the arts in her role as Director of the non-profit organization, Oklahoma for the Arts and she is a self-taught and continually inspiring photographer.
Above and beyond all that, she is a kind and caring person and I think that is what draws me to her. We have many similarities, but also lots of differences all of which seem to complement each other, but above all she is empathetic to the human cause and just a nice person. And as we have actually never met in person, but she is the virtual version of a BFF!
As if Jennifer did not have enough on her plate with her family, her work and her blogging, she has recently launched a new project that has become near and dear to my heart and I wanted to share it with you in my second edition of my J’adore supplement where I focus in an expanded view on one thing, product, person, company that is near and dear to my heart. It is like an open love letter to these people, places and things that I admire and adore and I want to share it with you. You can catch my love letter to AFAR last week to get a taste of how these posts are going to work.
Photos and Generations is a photo project that is an extension of the very heart and soul of Jennifer. Not just because the photos are beautiful, and they are, but what they represent and the intentions behind them. I am a big fan and I want you to be too! Besides just telling you how I feel, I wanted Jennifer to share some responses to questions that I posed to her to learn a little more:
(1) What motivated you to do Photos & Generations?
I was inspired to start Photos & Generations because of the work of Little Brown Pen and the Paris Color Project. I wondered if I could create something similar, focusing on Oklahoma. Everyone knows to love Paris, but people don’t know to love Oklahoma. This is a state with a lot of challenges, but there is wonderful life and adventure here. Your frequent posts about Little Brown Pen as well as your own love for Paris has caused me to look deeper within Oklahoma to find the nuances and what makes it special.
You frequently write about travel and adventure, and I’ve read your blog for about four years now. So, I have wanderlust, naturally, but I am always landlocked here in OKC. I feel a little stuck and so taking pictures and finding the beauty is my way of accepting my current station in life. I have three children, 14, 5 and 7. Travel is difficult and expensive. So, I set out to cultivate an appreciation for this journey. I know travel is in my future, but I feel challenged by the adventure of seeing a city I’ve lived in for 25 years, in a completely new light. Plus, OKC has changed so much in those 25 years.
(2) You go into very specific detail on the finish and production of the prints, what was your process in determining these specific details?
I received a KLOUT perk one time from Moo.com. It was for some business cards; an entire set I was able to create using multiple images I’d shot of Oklahoma subjects. I didn’t think much of it, but when the cards arrived, I was stunned by the quality of print and paper. I knew then that Moo would be my choice vendor if I ever decided to do the cards. They made it so easy. I could probably get the printing done in OKC using those same specs, but for now, I’m just sticking with Moo. Truly, they help me create such great cards, I want to kiss their paper. =)
[I adore Moo as well, my blog cards were created with Moo and their products are amazing.]
(3) What are your photo inspirations?
Regarding my aspirations, I want to live more and more behind the lens of my Nikon. Great pictures take enormous time and devotion. People often ask me what settings I use on my camera. There is no easy way to tell them it isn’t about the settings. It’s about seeing. It’s about not being blind or obtuse or preoccupied. It’s about not being judgmental; not being overcome with preconceived ideas about beauty.
Settings matter a little; seeing matters most of all. This “seeing” takes time, energy, passion, love, acceptance, forgiveness, effort. Nurturing all these things in myself are part of my aspirations because they help me “see” the world. When I am busy, stressed, tired or upset, I don’t reach for my camera. Even then, behind the lens, all I can see is me and my problems.
So, with that, my aspiration is to capture pictures that help people see all that is right and perfect in the world and in their lives. That is exactly what I was trying to do when I started taking pictures. The big picture of life would get me down, but when I’d take pictures and come back and look at them, sheer perfection would leap off the page. So, I started studying those perfect moments like the way the light falls between two trees. Ansel Adams said 12 significant photographs in a year is a good crop. I’m sure he was right!
See, isn’t she amazing?
I want you to have the opportunity for you to see for yourself. I am giving away some of her beautiful prints for one lucky person.
To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know which photo from Jennifer’s site is your favorite and why.
I will use Random.org to select one commenter and provide them with $75 to spend in Jennifer’s store. That can be used to buy a variety of postcards, greeting cards or prints.
You have until midnight PST Thursday, October 4th to leave your comment.
Good luck and I hope you take the time to explore and enjoy the amazing images taken by Jennifer.