We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Nunn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I’d say deciding to focus on travel photography. Once we started traveling more and I started posting those pictures more, I started getting featured and published, and that’s what brought me here today. I really love travel, and I think that shows in the pictures.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For more than a decade, I had been doing portrait, product and event photography, but when my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Europe three years ago, that was when I experimented with sharing my travel photography on social media. My husband and I had an amazing time on that trip and developed this hobby of watching movies and then going to where they were filmed. So we really haven’t stopped traveling since our honeymoon.
The more we travelled, the more I shared my travel photography and the more my work was published and reshared. So I decided to make travel photography my niche, and I’m never looking back.
I think the hardest part of all of this for me has been the social media of it all. I’m my own worst critic, so showing up and staying constant on the apps has definitely been hard for me at times. I definitely still struggle with it.
But through it all, I’ve learned to experiment. I’ve changed my niche, my business name, my logo, how I edit. So I feel like my work and my editing style has definitely changed through the years. And if I just would have stayed in event or portrait photography and not expanded onto something else, I don’t know that I would have discovered my love for travel photography. Play around with things and figure out what you like.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Me and my husband are rarely home together, so when we’re there, we just like to curl up on the couch with our cats and watch some critically-acclaimed TV. But if we’re looking for a night out, we’re always down for a beer and a chili dog from Ormsby’s. And if we have friends in town, a walk along the belt line is always a must and a nice, peaceful hike in north Georgia before a delicious dinner at Henry’s Louisiana Grill.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s all about who you surround yourself with, and I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty awesome people. I don’t think I would get anything done without my best friend and my sister. They keep me positive and out of my head, and they inspire me creatively when I’m stuck in a rut. My husband is so supportive and very adventurous. I’ll say, “Hey, let’s go here next week.” and he’s always down and holds my camera bag while we’re there.
I have a great framily (friends & family) who I’ve made do some pretty crazy things for me to get the shot. One of my friends has a series of photos of me in awkward or terrifying positions to get that picture. When I say my photography has a “cinematic view,” I think that’s why because I just say, “I’m going for it,” and there is always someone in our group that says, “I got you. I’ll make sure you have the spot you need.” Or if I tell sister I want a long exposure shot in front of the Lincoln Memorial, she’ll run around with a flashlight in front of hundreds of people for me.
My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by some very creative and remarkable women. Growing up, I watched my mom raise me and my two siblings by herself. She hustled. I think that showed me you have to work. I just grew up knowing women get it done. And then there was my mom-mom, who was the tiniest lady with the biggest laugh. Growing up around her, she had such a positive attitude. She showed me how to be both small and mighty.
Growing up, my best friend’s mom ran the household with a creative job. I remember going over to her house, and she would say, “My mom is in [insert some bucket-list destination here] on a photoshoot.” That was the first time I realized you can have a successful career in the arts.
In high school is when I got very into photography and I started working for an event photo company called Button it Up and soon became the owner’s assistant. That was the first time I saw a woman own a self-made business, and it was in the photography world. She became the biggest event photography company in the southeast. Sharon showed me I could have it all: run my own business, take pictures and travel for a living.