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Art & Life with Jennifer Rakestraw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Rakestraw.

Jennifer, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Photography was my attempt at reopening a creative vein my production driven life.

I was a successful mom in my thirties, with super busy schedule, who unwittingly dulled and neglected my creative side as I did my best to focus on family, a career in insurance and running a household. My life wasn’t ‘all work and no play’, however, I was simply managing the day to day, not creating anything new. Something vital was missing so, being a pretty pragmatic person, I began searching for a creative outlet. On a trip with my son, with a cheap camera in hand, I took some pictures of flowers… That was it, I was hooked.

From flowers I moved to landscapes, then started taking pictures of my nephew and friend’s kids. I was awful at first, and my editing skills were comically bad, but I loved shooting so much I just kept going. A few crashed hard-drives and several classes later, I’m still at it!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I focus on portraiture and lifestyle photography and my singular goal is to make people feel good about themselves. I create mostly pretty and romantic imagery, hopefully inspiring people to love themselves a little bit more. I’m most happy when I can both convey the true personality of my subject, while allowing the subject to simultaneously see themselves through the world’s eyes (or, at least my eyes, since I’m holding the camera, lol).

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
1) Practice, practice, practice… Keep striving to get better and don’t be discouraged when you’re blocked creatively or technically; These speed bumps will only make you better.

2) Invite critique and be strong (not defensive) when it’s provided; Assume positivity in all feedback and do your best to learn from it.

3) Review your old work, even when it’s cringeworthy, and find ways to sharpen your skills. Don’t be afraid to re-style, re-edit or just let the piece go if you’ve gotten all you can out of it.

4) Be kind to yourself… Screwing up is part of learning, but so is being successful.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can view my work on the following web social media sites:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nikki White, Daniel Lumpkin, Ryan Lavender, Veronica Roman, Fuquan Ferrell, Caitlin Harkins, Amy & John Anderson (and family), Allie Davis, Thien Q Vuong

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