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Instagram Storytellers with @JessicaThomasonPhotography

In volume 3 of Instagram Storytellers, we are talking to Jessica Thomason. Read about the inspiration behind her beautiful documentary images of everyday life,

I remember the first time that I saw some of Jessica Thomason’s work on the ClickinMoms forum. It was around the time when the word “real” was a buzzword in photography. People were starting to move away from the stylized perfect lifestyle type photos and realize that photos of real life unfiltered were beautiful too.  I remember her being hesitant because it was different. I was drawn to her work because I had always felt like I just couldn’t DO the posed perfect shot, and here was someone DOING that I wanted to do!  There is something so tangibly real about Jessica’s photos. Her photos are like being a fly on the wall in her life. Just raw, beautifully captured and yes, real.   I love her work and I’m so glad she agreed to answer a few questions for this series.

All photos courtesy of @jessicathomasonphotography

Instagram storytellers with Jessica Thomason Photography

Tell us about yourself and your background

Hi! I’m Jessica, a 35 year old wife, mother, pharmacist and documentary photographer. I live 15 minutes from the beach and 5 minutes from a Starbucks drive through so basically you could say I’m “living the dream”. I also teach The Documentary Approach, an online workshop, at Clickinmoms.




instagram storytellers with jessica thomason photography

How did you first get into photography?

I’ve had a love for documenting life since I was in high school – first with point and shoot disposable film cameras quickly followed by the advent of the incredibly high-tech Kodak Advantix (remember those?!) In 2009, my husband and I went on a trip to South Africa so I bought a Nikon D90 and scoured the internet for advice on how to use it. I read a little about composition and settings but ultimately I kept it on some kind of semi-automatic mode most of the time.  Like so many other photographers, with the birth of my first daughter in 2011, I became full on obsessed with mastering the camera so that I could document every precious little moment of her life. At that point I started to read anything I could find on mastering my D90, stumbled upon Clickinmoms forum in 2012, threw my camera in manual and never looked back.


Instagram storytellers jessica thomason

Tell me about your Instagram journey: How did you get started?

I don’t actually remember signing up for an IG account but my first post was in 2012. I think I avoided it at first because I don’t “see” in squares. But as I began to use it I loved the simplicity — nothing but pictures. 100% visual. And I quickly came to love looking back at my old posts and seeing little snapshots of life all stacked like tiles, one memory on top of the other.

 Instagram Storytellers with Jessica Thomason photgraphy

What is the story that you hope your Instagram tells?

I hope it tells a story of what life is really like. It’s hard to know when you’re in it. Life feels one way and then when you look back a year later with some perspective, you might feel something different. And so I’m careful not to cut out all the bad and only include the very best parts. Yes, I love a cute baby and nice light and happy faces – who doesn’t?! But at the same time, there are dark parts of life. Confusing parts. Utterly boring parts. Those people, places and things that you feel like you see and do every single solitary day of your relentlessly boring life until one day you wake up and realize you don’t do that thing anymore. And ‘what did my old office even look like?’ and ‘what was that thing the girls used to do in the bathtub that was so funny?’. I want to scroll through my IG and find the answers.


instagram storytellers Jessica thomason photography

What was on of your favorite photos that you took recently. Why?

I love this picture because it represents so much about my daughter’s personality at this stage in her life (she’s obsessed with performing and looking at her reflection) and it’s also an excellent lesson in accepting imperfection.
I wanted to capture our reflections but the wind was making it impossible for me to 1) hold still and 2) keep focus from landing on her hair. I didn’t think I got the shot I wanted but when I looked at the captures I realized this image completely encapsulated everything about how that moment felt. It couldn’t have been better if the shot turned out exactly as planned. And I realize more and more my accidents are some of my favorite images. It’s humbling when you realize that but also liberating.


Instagram storytellers with jessica thomason photography

Who or what inspires you?

I’m currently so inspired by Mark Manson whose new book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is rocking my world!

I’m inspired by things that make me uncomfortable or stressed. Things like aging and shame. I’m inspired by my children of course but particularly the way they see themselves in the world. Their perfectly unwavering sense of self worth. Their total confidence. The humor within the chaos is another aspect of life I’m drawn to and I think that finds its way into my photography.


instagram storytellers with jessica thomason

What is your favorite thing to photograph?

My kids at home. It’s where we do the majority of our living. And I’m a sentimental kind of girl. As much as I love to document our adventures I care the most about preserving the memories that take place within these four walls.

 instagram storytellers with Jessica thomason

What do you shoot with?

Most of IG is with my iPhone 5s and my DSLR is a Nikon D750

instagram storytellers jessica thomason photography

Favorite App to edit with?

Instagram storytellers with jessica thomason

Black and white or color?

I could never choose just one but I probably edit 75-80% in color. Maybe even 90%.

Instagram Storytellers with Jessica thomason
Where else can we find you?

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  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    December 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I love how raw and real these photos are! They are all beautiful. I also love this story because I started out with a Nikon D90 (I still love that thing!) and now I shoot with a D750.

  • Reply
    Tatanisha Worthey
    December 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Good for her! It’s hard to be different in a world that screams perfection. I love her shots and I love that she’s OK with being real!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I absolutely love candid photos of “real” life! So relatable and so many precious memories worth saving. Awesome post!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    You have the best of both world the beach and starbucks near by. Your photos are adorable and it is a pleasure to scroll through and look at them. Not staged at all just life happening and be caught in action.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    December 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Oh my goodness what some amazing captures – they are just so creative and real absolutely stunning eye for photos. x

  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I love that her Instagram tells what life is really like while still being beautifully styled. Instagram is such a fun medium for storytelling.

  • Reply
    Cai Cansino
    December 2, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Such wonderful photos! Will follower her on Instagram.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I always like to peruse photos from other moms to see their perspectives. My kids are a bit older ow, but boy, do I remember those days of many little people i diapers.

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    Angelic Sinova
    December 3, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I love how “real” and in the moment these photos are! Nowadays so much of social media seemed “staged” so it’s refreshing to see photos/IG accounts like this!

  • Reply
    Nancy L
    December 3, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Love all your photos! I wish photography and social sharing would have been around when my kids were younger. Internet was just starting back then and Instagram and Facebook didn’t exist. What a great way to document their childhood – how quickly they grow! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I really love the photos – they are so colorful and real! Have to go and check out the Instagram account too!

  • Reply
    Christina Aliperti
    December 4, 2016 at 2:24 am

    This is what made me love IG! Seeing these beautiful photos really makes you feel as if you are there experiencing all of these moments.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I love this! I guess my Instagram would be similar to Jessica’s. Documenting our real life. By the way, 10 minutes from the beach and 5 minutes from a Starbucks drive-thru? YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

    This is a great pos! I think my Instagram tells the story of a girl who loves to eat and take selfies! HA!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I love the amazing images we see on instagram. I’ve definitely become more choosy with what I post. These are some wonderful shots.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    December 6, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Jessica Thomason’s photos are indeed awesome. I do believe that the real photos are the best because they are more memorable in my opinion anyway. This is a great interview with Jessica and thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Love this. I need to get out my camera more and take some photos. I just wished we had more natural light.

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