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Rising Stars: Meet Jill Bush

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Bush.

Hi Jill, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Hello readers! I’m Jill and I am so excited to be featured in Voyage Baltimore magazine. Thank you so much for having me!

In addition to running my own photography business, I am a proud mom to my three amazing children, Max (12), Maya (9), and William (3). They are the inspiration behind everything I do. My emotive photographic style has evolved alongside my own journey as a mother; a natural outpouring of the relationships I have with my children and an expression of those emotions through the medium of photography. I had always wanted to start my own business, but it never seemed to be the right time, until my husband Bill came along. Sometimes in life it just takes one person believing in your vision for you to also believe in yourself and make your dreams a reality. Bill has been that steadfast support for me and gave me the nudge I needed to finally take the leap.

I officially launched my own business just last year, but I have always been obsessed with photography. I have so many memories of my mother with a camera in her hand. Watching her document our lives, our family and friends, inspired me to start taking photos at a very young age. One summer, I think I was in the 5th grade, she signed me up for a photography class at the Smithsonian. It was there that I learned the basics of photography. I made my own pinhole camera and learned how to develop film in a darkroom. The whole process impressed me, from the science to the artistry. I spent the rest of my childhood taking thousands of photos on my Kodak Instamatic, dropping my film off at K-Mart, and furiously unwrapping the prints in the parking lot 24hrs later. I guess you could say I was hooked!

Like many new moms, I purchased my first DSLR camera after the birth of my first baby. I practiced and practiced, learning my camera’s manual settings, experimenting with light, and perspective, and signing up for all the photography workshops I could find. I think I watched every photography YouTube video on the internet. It was so much fun that I even started shooting family portraits for all my friends. Photography became a wonderful outlet for me to express myself artistically after working a desk job for most of my day.

After two more children and a decade of shooting just for fun, friends began recommending me to other friends and there was a lot of interest building in what I had to offer. I was at the point where I had to make a decision about my future and what path I wanted to take. I talked myself out of it 100 times, but with the full support of my family and friends, after 14 years I made the decision to leave the corporate world and pursue my true passion for photography!

So, in 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, I officially started my own photography business, Jill Bush Photography, and I could not be happier! I am so grateful to wake up every morning and do what I absolutely love to do. I’ve been able to open my mind creatively and explore so many different avenues of photography that I never would have before. This risk that I talked myself out of for years and years ultimately turned out to be the greatest blessing I could have asked for, personally and professionally.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well, life has definitely given me a few bumps in the road. After my second baby, I went through a bit of a rough patch. I suddenly found myself a single mom with two young children. I spent a lot of time wondering how I got there, what I did wrong, and how I would ever get my life back on track. The future was so unclear. I stopped practicing photography, and pretty much everything else outside of work and caring for my children. It was the lowest I had ever been. But after some time went by, something amazing happened. Somehow, I started turning the corner. It was like a switch flipped in my brain and just as suddenly as I had found myself in this dark place, I now had a clear view of what was important in life. I stopped worrying about the past and started focusing on my happiness again. I wanted a bright future for myself and my children, because what else really matters?! I dusted off my camera and started shooting again. It brought me so much joy, something I hadn’t felt in such a long time. Photography saved me. It gave me motivation to keep going.

With my new outlook on life, I was able to develop my own photographic style. I became less focused on the typical posed portraits and more focused on seeking out those special connections between families that are so very important to cherish. It’s those fleeting moments that I want to remember as a mother. I want to capture pure, heartfelt emotion. I want my photos to make you feel something. It’s that simple.

I’ve spent a good part of my life building up to this moment. I’ve invested in all the right equipment, mentorships, and training to help me succeed. And most importantly, I have invested in myself through lots and lots of practice! I plan to continue learning and growing in every possible way. The path to get here has not always been smooth, but I have learned that the hurdles and pitfalls in life aren’t there to stop you, but to grow you, each one giving you strength, resilience, and creativity to traverse the next. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing and I am so excited to see where this new road takes me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Well, I would tell them that when you have a photo session with me, I am not only your photographer, I am also your friend. I want to learn what makes you and your family special, and then I want to give you special images that truly capture your story. My specialty is working with families and children to capture authentic photographs that emanate genuine emotion and moments of sincerity. Whether it’s an in-home newborn session, family photos in the park, or even an extended family session with grandma and grandpa, I pride myself on capturing those singular everyday moments that say so much about who we are and the people with whom we spend our lives.

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is human connection. As a parent, it’s those fleeting moments with my children, the ones that both stop you in your tracks and fade before your eyes, that I want to always remember. Life moves so fast. I strive to capture pure, simple, heartfelt emotion that you can look back on when this phase of your life has passed and you are on to the next. I want my photos to make you feel something special. It’s that simple!

Pricing:

  • Photo Sessions Starting at $425

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Jill Bush Photography

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