This was originally posted on Jessica’s social media. I am reposting it here with her permission.
See images from her portraits session by scrolling to the bottom of the page.
After reading about Jessica’s experience you can schedule your own!
A while ago Ben asked for volunteers interested in a portrait shoot via Facebook. Like most (over 250 plus people) – I liked the post. I immediately noticed the amount of attention the post was receiving and went on about my day, life really. Until … that is… I received a phone call. Ben had selected me and about 5-6 others from the hundreds who had expressed interest. Shocking, really.
We discussed some basics over the phone and set a tentative date. I instantly felt comfortable with Ben. He was warm and inviting but attentive and energetic as well. The phone call left me excited and I prepared my wardrobe for the shoot with great anticipation.
The day had arrived – and my anxiety grew as I drove to the studio. You see, in a life long past, ancient to my current person; I was a model. I was paid to wear pretty clothes, take pictures, and walk runways. Now we aren’t talking Gigi Hadid – but I made some decent money over the span of about 7 years. Those days were long gone, however, as was the body, confidence, and girl I once was. At least I thought so…
The second the studio door opened … I was at home. Ben greeted me with a huge appreciative smile and introduced me to Pam. It took only moments for Pam and me to realize we had worked together previously. She did my makeup for my first ever runway show – when I was only 15 years old. I remembered her artistry well and all the nerves disappeared. Pam went to work, painting the young fresh model I was years ago right back onto the face of the lady I am today. Ben fussed about my wardrobe and set the studio with a precise plan.
Thank you, Pam, and thank you, Ben! Everyone, I mean everyone, deserves to experience a day in the studio with the two of you and the lifetime of happiness the images allow.
One by one, we shot each look and flawlessly executed Ben’s plan. Second by second I fell effortlessly back into “modeling”. Only this time there were no big clients or art directors to please. This time there was just us. Ben, Pam, and myself – and I wasn’t a model … we were artists. As the shoot wrapped, I walked out on a high words could never have explained.
“Want to see your photos”. These five words screamed across my screen in an email from Ben just under two weeks after our shoot. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about the pictures. Once again, I was thrust back into pure bliss. I had no idea what to expect, but I should have known I was not going to be disappointed.
As I entered the studio for the reveal, a black temporary wall – think Oscar’s night curtain with some mystery celebrity and fantastic scenario hidden just beneath – covered the left-hand side. I was curious as this was not the scene previously, but I didn’t pry. Ben took my coat and offered me water … and then he asked me to close my eyes and …
Perfection! Speechless! Awed!
There she was! Covering the wall, behind that black blockade, and staring back at me. The girl I thought I had long lost. A fun easy confident beauty that life and time had stolen from me. 25 stunning images stared down. I cannot explain the rush of emotions the reveal of my images incited, or the patience Ben had as I selected and purchased my favorites over the next half hour. Nor can I count how many times I have admired these photos.
To this altering experience, I owe the greatest thank you to Pam Jean and Ben Marcum. Pam is a true artist. Her makeup (and hair) skills are out of this world. She created four entirely different looks down to the most minuscule detail. I loved working with her and she made me feel beautiful. She is a genius of her craft. And to Ben. Ben Marcum captures his subjects; not the person you see, but the people they are. He cultivated an environment that makes photographing souls a possibility. He set the studio with precision aesthetically, but his personality is his greatest skill. The laughter and comfort and ease with Ben bestowed some of the most amazing photographs I have ever seen. Thank you, Pam, and thank you, Ben! Everyone, I mean everyone, deserves to experience a day in the studio with the two of you and the lifetime of happiness the images allow.