The vendors in Chicago are amazing! Not only are there so many that are talented and passionate about their craft, but they’re also so friendly, and open to collaboration. I had the opportunity to meet with a few of the lovely ladies who make up the Chicago wedding industry on my last trip, one of whom is Jessie Stevens of Simply Jessie Photography. She was one of the very first vendors I approached about featuring her work on Middle of the Map. I was so taken by her and her husbands (they’re a team), beautiful portraits. They capture their subjects in a natural, relaxed way, while incorporating epic landscapes and beautiful details that really creative a narrative. I’m so happy to have them on the blog today as a Featured Vendor!Jaclyn Simpson and Jennifer Kathryn Photography.
Where do you live and work?
We are a husband wife duo that live and work in the heart of the cute neighborhood Lincoln Square in the great city of Chicago. It is a darling community bustling with independent shops and cafes. During the summer months there is live music in the square, great eats and always something to do.
When did you first become interested in photography and what sparked your interest? (Jessie answers)
My dad was always the guy with a camera at every childhood event. He would be the only parent standing up waving his arms with camera in tow at every sports events, musical performance and school dance. I acted embarrassed but I really loved it. He’s what started it all. He’d say ” just one more Jess” . My parents bought my first quality camera for me as my high school graduation gift.
When did you start your business, and have you been shooting weddings from the very beginning?
We opened the doors in 2008 after six years learning from other talented photographers and being a part of as many weddings as we could. Yes, weddings have always been my thing. My very first job was a black and white film associate photographer back in 2002. It was perfect to learn and take the backseat and learn while developing my own style.
What’s your favorite subject to photograph (other than weddings)?
Nature is where I glean all my inspiration from both professionally and personally. You’ll find my computer riddled with images of all things green and in bloom. I like to take daily walks to take a deep breath away from my computer to enjoy the every day. Beauty in the ordinary is kind of a motto for me.
What’s your favorite part of being a wedding photographer?
Hands down it is the people I have met. I can not get over being invited into other people’s lives in such a honest way. I really love not only each couples story but seeing through the lens why they connect, why they are together, and who they want to be. The originality of each relationship makes my mind spin with new ideas of how to communicate through imagery.
A big thank you to Jessie for answering all my questions, and for sharing her beautiful work with us!