We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Jeri Lynn a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Jeri, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What’s been the most meaningful project you’ve worked on?
There is always some sort of project in the works in my world. I have a hard time doing things that are meaningless. Most of the work I do is helping women and girls discover their actual selves, but my art is not exclusive to any gender. I have two projects in the works this year, which I hope to turn into books and gallery exhibits.
There Is No Such Thing As Ugly –
In this project, I will be collecting stories and photos of colorful, radiant individuals and groups who have a physical trait that is unusual, but that they have embraced as beautiful. Because the word ‘ugly’ is subjective, and a matter of opinion, this word should forever be eliminated for describing physical traits, and saved only for mean people whose insides aren’t so pretty.
Precious Metals – This project began as a women’s diversity project. It was to show many women, many forms of beauty. But in the climate of our world today, I decided to change things a bit. I will be taking stories from many different individuals about their experience of being a member of any marginalized community. We will include all genders, fluid genders, all colors, cultures, ages, the more different, the more we will see we are the same. There is a metallic theme that runs consistent through all portraits, showing we are all Precious Metals.
I am in application process for both projects. Anyone interested in taking part can email me with either No Such Thing As Ugly or Precious Metals in the subject line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeri, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Glamour Portrait Photographer, humanist, feminist, spiritualist, love crusader, hardcore Southern Democrat, momma & ally to all.
I specialize in anything that empowers women. I shoot glamour and beauty portraits, boudoir, maternity, engagement, head shots and social media content, It is always my goal to help each woman, teen and tween girl see herself in a way she never has, and to see her true beauty. I also capture love in any form. I shoot small weddings, minimony and elopements, engagements and all love, all the time. Love is love is love.
In any given moment, who is living better than me? Only the people with whom I am sharing the moment! I am a Georgia girl, but I have lived in Florida for almost 30 years. Being a Sagittarius, the nomad of the Zodiac, I spent a lot of years traveling and moving around, but settled and raised my kids here. I’ve got photos from all over this beautiful and diverse country, and still travel quite a bit.
I don’t remember the first time I picked up a camera, but I remember it being a little 110 size film. I also remember how I always carried it wherever I went. I have recorded the moments of my life through three children being born and growing up when we still had to develop film at the local store. I have a giant Rubbermaid box full of photos of my kids, pets, cars, where we lived and visited, family and friends. One day I will get them into albums.
When digital times came along, I bought my first “real” camera. It was a Nikon, and it had actual settings. Then, as a birthday/Christmas gift, Daddy sent me a REAL real camera. I became a Canon girl. I was already passionate, but my passion exploded from there! I have since upgraded my gear and run a big girl business. I have built my reputation on kindness, lightheartedness, authenticity and trust.
On the sad end, I also recorded the months of moments leading up to my 15 year old daughter, Leora, passing from cancer in 2003. This led me, when I opened my business, to explain to moms, aunties and grandmas, from my heart, how vital it is to exist in photos. When we are gone, our family will never care about our bad hair or cellulite. They want to see memories. I do not sell things. I sell feelings.
The moments of our lives are not always happy, but they ALWAYS matter.
I have some wonderful people in my life who help me get where my dreams go, so that I can help others capture their moments! I hope to help you catch your special moments too~
Is there a particular goal or mission driving your creative journey?
My tagline is my wholehearted mission. “See yourself through my lens”, speaks to the fact that we are each born with a lens with which we see ourselves and the world. Over time, with age, crises, rejection, criticism, abandonment and broken hearts, it can become distorted to where what we see is no longer what is really there. We are shaped much more by negativity in life than by the positive, unfortunately.
My goal is to change lives from the outside in with portraits that honestly display the humanity and glowing inner spirit.
Through my camera, as if by some crazy voodoo, I am able to show you who you ACTUALLY are…who you have always been. We don’t photograph fake smiles and phony emotions. I get to know my client. First we chat. Then we go deeper. We talk about those things that distorted their lens. They almost always tell me how somebody told them a thing that made them want to hide. We talk about their dreams, who crushed them and who encouraged them. Things that move and inspire them, plus all the things that make them belly laugh, cry and feel the warmest warm fuzzies tend to come up. We talk about embarrassing things – and I share my stories too. They start out telling me how they are not photogenic, I love proving them wrong on this! There are no fake smiles. My portraits will capture real emotions across the spectrum.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I am always about love. I have a dear friend who calls me a love crusader. I had a favorite client call me the philosopher photographer. I feel both of those pretty hard. I have built my reputation on kindness, lightheartedness, authenticity and trust. My friends laugh (and are sometimes mortified!) at the fact that I never meet a stranger. If I walk by and vibe someone, I will stop and talk to them. Sometimes I just tell a stranger that I would love to photograph them because I think they are interesting. My business card and Instagram are my main ways of connecting, and I try to connect on the spot when I can, with a follow. I am obsessed with contrast and diversity. I love the underdog, and shining a light on people who don’t get much sunlight on their face. People know my heart.
Before, during and after a portrait session, my client and I will text, talk and exchange photos to get to know each other better. I put caring and concern into their experience, as well as what in their life brought them to this place. We develop a relationship in order for us to create the masterpiece we want to convey to the world. Reputation is everything to me, because everyone needs to trust and be able to trust others. The honesty shows in the creation. I love knowing my clients, and I love that they trust me with their hearts.
- Website: www.vizziphoto.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vizziphotography
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeriLynnPortraits
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerilynnvizzi
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeriLynnTweets
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/vizzi-events-and-photography-coral-springs-4
Jeri Lynn @vizziphotography