Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Exactly a year ago today, on July the 28th ,I took a step of faith and gave up my life in Portland, consisting of my friends, three jobs, living with my twin sister, my best friend Joseph, my independence, my churches Agape and Imago Dei, and an opportunity to work and live in Haiti all for a job at a photography studio/gallery called Ultra-Spective Photography. I ask myself if it was worth it and my response is YES.

Since I was a young girl I had dreamt of being a photographer but my entire life I knew that it was an impractical career to pursue. I was convicted by society that an artistic profession was not admirable or realistic. Therefore, I put on the face and mind of a college student for 4 years while studying Communication but my heart was never in it. Throughout my college years there was a void, a part of me that was missing-I was constantly overwhelmed by a sense to create and capture. Because I was so focused on my studies, I felt like I lacked the time and place to channel my artistic expression.

Portland was a Haven for artists. My friends were extremely talented and unique: my very own twin, Jodi Koski, Mariia Stein, Allan Trinidad, Jessica Moul, Heather Jenkins, Whitney Maxwell, all of the folks from Killingworth home, from Imago, Cascade folks: Karlee Hoekstra, Sarah Angel, Emily Martin, Melissa Mendenhall, Blue Sky, The Whites, The Martins, the list goes on. All of these people inspired me, but I myself was not utilitizing the gift God gave me to its fullest potential….that is until Ann Vickroy, owner of Ultra-Spective offered me an internship at her Studio/Gallery.

It was a change of pace, of environment, of people, and of weather. I have missed Portland dearly, but I do not feel like I have missed out. Home is different yes, but I am grateful for my experiences that I have had here.
I am blessed to have worked for the coolest family as a Nanny: the Faiaipau’s. I have been extremely fulfilled in caring for Manaia, Matai, and Berlin. I am thankful for KJ and Kendals generosity and care for me while I care for their kids. They are beautiful children with amazing personalities. I learn a lot from my kids. It was not hard to fall in love with them.

The Studio: I thank God every day for my job. Some days I feel guilty and overly blessed to have the opportunity to be doing something that I love while getting paid for it. I do not view the ladies at the studio as my “co-workers” but as my friends and instructors. I have taken millions of photos this past year in the studio, at weddings, events, and for personal projects. I have seen my skill progression but there is still plenty of space to grow. A recap of the past year compels me to push my abilities and creativity further.

Even Mo Experiences: Personal photo shoots, Spending time in San Francisco and Berkeley, Going to Yosemite, Seeing Mutemath, Mewithout You, She and Him, David Bazan and more. Introducing Little Yosemite to folks. Beach trips, attending Mavericks Surf Competition, visiting Portland, purchasing and filling 2 1TB passports, attending the WPPI Photography convention in Las Vegas, riding the mountains in California, meeting new friends and reconnection with old, the awkward running into people from the past experiences, being able to spend time with my cousin Jonah, vacationing in San Diego.
My bigger accomplishments: Purchasing my Canon Mark ii, hosting my very own art show, taking pictures for people, producing the Rhodes Testimonial film, and standing with my entire family to greet my brother home from Afghanista.

And though I miss Portland and those that reside there, I have been moved by the people that surround me here: my ladies at the studio: Anna, Lia, Crystal, Sabrina, Jamaica, and Nikki who are all extremely talented and impress me with their artistry, Ashley Fisher, Shawna Everard, Mark Fore, Jacob Parnell, Cash Bryan, Dillion Wall…

SO. I am not a blogger….but here is my SECOND attempt to give this blog thing a go. My hope is that through my entries I will encourage and inspire others… as so many have done for me. I figured what better piece to kick this thing off with than by the testimony of 2 individuals who have inspired me the most this year.

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark II

(Change 360 to 720 for HD better quality)


  1. Great Post Jessi! And what a beautiful video!

    Keep at the blog and post some new pictures too!

  2. I love it! You are so great at what you do Jessi. I am so happy that you finally found that place where you feel like yourself.

  3. Jessi you are the best!! You have had a wonderfully filled life doing what you love!! Plus being so talented in photography!! And we have been so lucky & blessed to have you in our lives.... Thank you for loving our children the way you do:) We love you!!

  4. I almost cried at the video. Thanks for the update. I miss seeing you around.

  5. Good blog Jessi, beautiful video! We need to shoot together again soon!

  6. It is so good to hear the updates on your life. Your blog was very well written; as was the video created. You are increadibly talented with a God centered heart. I love you. Keep up doing what you do.

  7. I am surprised that you are blogging because you aren't the blogging type but your interesting life definitely makes it worthwhile to read. You are a prime example of somebody who actually lives. Everybody has a life but not everybody lives it. Your hard work, determination, dedication, passion, creativity, and strength are admirable and inspiring. I am proud to be your twin. Keep up the good work. I love you!