Featured Artist: Jenni McCarty

I do not tread lightly when I say I would absolutely not be the artist I am today without the friendship and mentorship of this week's featured artist, Jenni McCarty of Jenni M Photography.  Jenni "found me" in the parking lot of Cosco, where we almost instantly clicked, forming a bond over coffee, motherhood, faith, and all-out camera geekery.  I don't know if she's benefited nearly as much as I have from our relationship, but I can assure you she has been a powerful influence on me in so many beautiful ways, stretching and pulling me (sometimes against my will), encouraging me and at times just putting up with my grumbling and complaining.  She's a tough gal with a heart of solid gold, and I am very thankful for her friendship.

Jenni, tell us about yourself.  Who do you share your life with?  What is a typical "day in the life" at home?  Do you have any hobbies or interests?

A day in the life of "me"? Well... Sticky fingers, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, friends, dishes, Bible study, teaching, laundry, 4 kids (one more on the way), kisses, toys, cooking, naps, dress up, field trips, Awana, family, editing, holding, hugs, sadness, happiness (Especially when my husband gets home from work!) and lots of just trying to keep up! I have been happily married for 13 years and a while back we decided that I would home school our kids. We take it year by year but so far it is working really well for our family and as much as they drive me crazy sometimes, I really love getting to spend the extra time with them. (I also love getting to sleep in!) ;-)

Can you tell us about your art?  What do you do?  What is your artistic process?

I am a photographer... Simply put, I take pictures. UN-simply put, I create images that bring you back to the moments that make your heart the happiest. The little details that you never want to forget and the emotion that reminds you of your simplicity and the beautiful every day moments. My favorite images are always the ones where no one is looking at my camera but instead completely immersed in the moment. I use a lot of prompts, games and movement to accomplish this.

Everyone wants to know:  where do you get your ideas?  What fuels your passion?  Are there other artists who inspire you?

My muse? Well, the reason I started down this crazy path of entrepreneurship was because of my kids! I was so tired of not having or forgetting those gorgeous every day moments that disappear so quickly. As I got better (and sucked a little less) friends and family started asking me to take photos for them. It kind of snowballed from there. I would say that some of the people who have influenced me the most are Sarah Hill (posing/light), Sarah Cornish (posing), Meg Loeks (editing), Jacky Acosta (editing) and Dan Rohrer (business). I personally feel that you can't talk about making money with art without talking about business as well. Honestly, sometimes I feel like that side takes more creativity than the photos do...

What are your "credentials"?  Do you have a degree or specialized experience doing what you do?  How did you get your start?

I have taken art classes in all different mediums over the years. I affectionately refer to it as ADCD (Attention Deficit Crafting Disorder. I just love creating, however, I have found that I love learning even more. Once I would get "it" figured out and it wasn't challenging any more I tend to loose interest and move on to the next learning curve. Knitting, crochet, dying processing and spinning yarn, stained glass, scrap booking, quilting, sewing, origami, jewelry making, bead weaving and drawing... I love them all and proudly carry the skills I have learned from them all to be used as needed. Photography has been the only one that has held my interest ... I still, even after 4 years of constant immersion feel that there is so much to learn. While I was going to college for my Business Administration degree, I took a black and white photography class. It was there that I fell in love with the editing process. The dark room was like magic to me. It was many years later (5 years ago) when I got my first DSLR and an editing program on my computer that my love of post processing and my passion for my children collided and it all came together.

What makes you excited to "go to work" each day?  What are the specific challenges in your field or expertise?

I love not having to go to work! lol One of the biggest perks that this business has provided is an extremely flexible schedule. It has allowed me to be a full time mom and teacher to my children while also allowing me to invest in my creativity. My biggest challenge is also what I listed above. It is a constant intentional effort to maintain balance just to keep it all working together smoothly.

Who is your ideal client?  What kind of product is this client looking for?  What does she need or want from you?

My ideal clients are Moms that want to remember their kids/family just as they are. Moms that want to see how their family looks at them. Real women who aren't looking for a magazine cover, but instead, something more personal and unique to their family's own beauty. They want a time capsule for their memories. I work very hard to give them images that will trigger those memories as often as they want to relive them.

Do you incorporate any spiritual practices in your daily life?  What keeps you sane?  Favorite comfort food or hot beverage?  What is your "center"?  What is your higher purpose or calling?

Without Jesus none of this would matter. I often have long running conversations with him throughout the day. Sanity? Who said anything about being sane? I will soon have 5 kids, home school, run my own profitable business and my husband is finishing up his degree... Everything comes at a cost and sometimes I think my sanity is the currency I am making payments with. lol Comfort food --> Iced Coffee <3 My calling? Is being a compulsive "helper" or "fixer" count?

Can you give us one to three "random facts" or juicy tidbits about yourself?

I lived in Alaska for 12 years before moving to Alabama.  I was home schooled.  I am a nerd when it comes to spreadsheets and Excel.

Where can we find your business online? Please include your social media links and e-mail address as well!

Every Friday, Lauren Bee's the FINE ART of becoming features a sister artist -- and her amazing work.  Who is she?  Of what does her soul sing?  Why does she do what she does?

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