Welcome to my website!
I’m Jolene, a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. I began studying photography at the University of Toledo where I became so smitten with the craft that after finishing my first year, I transferred to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I was able to be commit every waking moment to creativity. It was there that I earned my Associates Degree in Photography/Multi-media.
Shortly after graduation, amidst a restless summer—I was in-between jobs and apartments, when my friend Valerie informed me that Greyhound was offering a special—$66 for a one-way ticket ANYWHERE in the United States. She suggested we visit LA. I suggested we move there… And we did.
I settled in LA for a while. During my time there, I held various jobs—I worked in Hollywood at both a camera store and a photo lab, where I was able to observe renowned photographers as they made their purchases and dropped off their precious rolls of film. I also worked in the hospitality industry as a waitress, and as a film-production caterer. While I was not working as a professional photographer at that time, I did continue to take courses in photography and graphic design at Glendale Community College. In the interim, I traveled to Europe often and fell in love with The Netherlands where I lived briefly.
There is no limit to my love of storytelling…I am also a writer and am a bit obsessed with documentation and nostalgia. I published a YA memoir in 2005 (Go Ask Ogre) which made the annual list, “Books for the Teen Age” from The New York Public Library in 2006. This prompted a few visits to NYC, where I felt that I needed to be—perhaps even forever! I sold my car, half of my belongings and purchased a one-way ticket on Jet Blue to move to here—despite much discouragement from friends and family who warned me about how difficult it would be to “make it” in NYC.
Truth be told, they weren’t wrong. I moved 5 times during my first year in NYC, but I did find a fun job working as a waitress at Soho House, while I pursued creative endeavors on the side. I took some digital photography courses at The School of Visual Arts and Photo Manhattan and I eventually purchased professional photography gear.
Ten years to the day that I started working at Soho House, I took a giant leap of faith and I left my job to do photography full-time. And this is where you find me now.
As a freelancer, I work as a newborn photographer at local hospitals (Fresh 48 sessions), I cover fun events such as book launch parties and premiere parties for ABC-TV. I also document many summits, panel discussions and red carpet events. The bulk of my work is with private clients, photographing portraits and milestone events such as Birthday Parties, Baby Naming Ceremonies, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and of course, Weddings.
I love that I am able to combine my hospitality skills with my creative passion. I get to connect with people, while documenting important life events and I love every minute of it.
Thank you for stopping by, have a peek my little video introduction for a more personal touch!