When you first meet Jen she’s exciting, interesting, and energetic. Her accomplishments never fail to impress from her wide-ranging education and volunteer work to her photography and career. She is a very busy lady and a lot of fun to chat with. She has this heartfelt laughter that places you right on the sunny side. However, I still remember when Jen talked about the devastation she saw in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and how she looked with a lingering sorrow on her face. She told me that it made her look at the realty of life in a different perspective and how she no longer sweats the small stuff.
I had been taking photos for many years of landscapes, still objects, and microphotography nothing where I had to be around too many people. I was always shy. It all changed since last year when I started to take photos of portraits, events, and weddings. Somehow I was able to come out from behind the camera and start to connect directly with people. I’m not sure what changed, maybe because the camera acts like a ‘mask’ that I can hide behind. Even though I still might hide at times, I find myself out and about nowadays capturing and connecting with people.”
This past year, Jen has become a valued member of the WaterFire volunteer team as a photographer, a wood boat crew member, a paddler on those low tide events, and a wonderful geography and cartography resource. We look forward to seeing her photography exploration grow and maybe she’ll capture a moment with you this season!
Interview and photo by Erin X. Smithers – Photographer and Jazz enthusiast!
About the author
Over the last 10+ years, alongside some incredible co-workers and volunteers, I've worked to build the organization that WaterFire Providence is today. As Director of Creative Services, my team and I work on visual communications, graphic design, the visitor experience, merchandising as well as project management for programming at the WaterFire Arts Center. Being a part of the 'Rhode Island' experience for tens of thousands of people is incredible and I have an intense pride in place for both Downtown Providence and the Valley neighborhood.
I have had the opportunity to work with Jen. I was 2nd mate in her canoe when the tide was low. She was hard working,enthusiastic, and most if all- FUN! It’s nice to see her recieve the recognition her hard work deserves!
Jen is a wonderful person who is a treasure trove of knowledge and encouragement. She is a fabulous addition to us here at Waterfire.