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Life & Work with Jessica Madsen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Madsen.

Hi Jessica, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, I moved to Arizona in 2011. I am a teacher at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and do my photography business on the side. I started my passion for photography when I was a young little girl. I took photography classes in high school and college.

I did not start my own business until 2015, and thanks to a friend; I was able to open the door to a new creative side when she asked me to do a photoshoot with her family. I have two beautiful children that I capture their moments in sports, events, and special moments. My husband has supported me through my journey as a photographer.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As a Deaf photographer, I face some challenges with hearing clients. I am fortunate to have the Deaf community because I get the support I need from them. I have worked with both Deaf and Hearing clients using ASL or other communication methods to make a photo shoot successful. I have started doing styled/content shoots to build connections with other photographers. Often they can be challenging because I’m the only deaf photographer there and other photographers might talk too quickly or leave me out of conversations. Sometimes they are surprised to see a deaf photographer and are unsure of how to communicate with me.

When I work with hearing clients or photographers, communication can be a barrier but I see it as an opportunity to show what deaf photographers can do. I always show up to shoots with ideas but sometimes have a hard time sharing them or have to find other ways to show my ideas.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a Deaf natural-light lifestyle photographer based in Peoria, Arizona. I do photo shoots of families, children, seniors, maternity, lifestyle newborn, and lifestyle shoots.

I really love meeting new people and capturing their happy moments. Photography is a way of storytelling and capturing special moments. I love creating timeless photos that people will be able to treasure for a lifetime.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I was always playing with cameras and was fascinated with different photography mediums. I had different kinds of cameras- polaroid, disposable cameras, and digital cameras. You’d never see me without a camera to capture the story of my life, my family, and my friends.

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