Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not Just A Broken Frame

A Young Entrepreneur Sees Beauty Through Her Lens- by Courtney Spears

  “Every time I look through the lens of my camera
I see God’s creation hand crafted”
–Jessica June Dick
What is beauty? Jessica age 16, a blooming and talented photographer, sees it through the lens of a camera.   Knowing the struggles that many young women feel when they look in the mirror and not liking what they see, inspires Jessica to reveal the beauty in each person she photographs. “When I first began photography, it was my goal to show women they are worth so much more, and the lies they hear and think when they look in the mirror, are just that…lies”.  A perspective, that perhaps comes from living with her own brokenness and physical scars.

It was “bonding night” with her younger brother, so of course trading pajamas would provide a small glimpse into what her brother’s world felt like.  Life would look much different for 6 year old Jessica at the end of that night.  A houseful of sickness, boiling water on the stove prepared for the humidifiers, and little Jessica standing nearby, wanting to help, when suddenly her Daddy is yelling “watch out”!  His hands burning on the hot handles of the iron pot, a quick reaction caused the pot to spill…all over Jessica’s right side of her body.  The small pajamas were no barrier to the scalding water, as they melted onto her skin.  A year of recovery, skin graphs and scars, Jessica’s life changed forever.
At 13, not knowing what she wanted for Christmas, she laid out the magazines on the floor, a family tradition each year.  With pen in hand, ready to make her list, there was nothing she felt she needed so she decided to spin the magazine and would ask for whatever her finger landed on…it was a camera.  Jessica began taking candid pictures of family that Christmas day, followed by pictures of nature, and what she calls “lonely things” like simple flowers.  It was at a time when Jessica was lonely, having just moved away from friends, her dad losing his job and the uncontrollable changes taking place within her.  It was those “lonely” pictures that captured the attention of an instructor who admired her work, and encouraged Jessica to keep taking pictures.  In those days Jessica found that there is beauty even in the broken things”
Her photography talent captured her first paying customer at age 14 when a casual conversation at a birthday party turned into a booking for a child’s photo shoot. “It was a lot more money than I expected, considering where I was in photography and I asked her not to pay me at all,” says Jessica, “I had never done anything like that and felt I should build my portfolio first, but I was excited to be paid for something I did, and it made me feel like my time and effort was worth something.”  Shortly after, Jessica started Broken Frame Photography, launched her page on Facebook and created her blog. “God gave us each a gift and He wants us to use it and tell His story in our own way”.
A junior in High School, Jessica is continuing to grow her photography skills and finding her own style. She improves by following photography blogs, using online resources to gain inspiration from other photographers and interning for Katie Campbell photography, which has given her opportunities to be a “second shooter”. “A second shooter follows the main photographer at the wedding or engagement and fills in the gaps.  I really like taking pictures of couples and capturing their love story,” says Jessica.  Katie has helped Jessica set up her business model and pricing based on Jessica’s experience and sees great potential in her work. “Jessica has a true eye for photography that is such a gift, she is a learner and hard worker which I appreciate and I believe she is on her way to greatness”.  Jessica is heading to Katie’s Christian photography retreat called “Pursuing The Light”, created to encourage girls ages 15-20 who are pursuing their photography dreams and passions. 
Being the oldest of five children, she has many willing, and sometimes unwilling, subjects.  However, a bribe of jelly beans to her two younger brothers makes for a winning photo.  Her parents, supportive of her dreams, drive her to photo sessions and remind her of the details to keep business running smoothly. “My next goal is to photograph my mom”, says Jessica, “because she is the most beautiful person in the world.”
Jessica tries to encourage other young entrepreneurs in that “nothing is impossible and never underestimate your worth”.  Spreading that spirit of encouragement in business, Jessica and her best friend Cheri are often found supporting each other’s entrepreneur dreams.  Most recently, Cheri was the subject of Jessica’s photo session of a stylized model. “I was so excited when I convinced my best friend that we should spend our chick flick/ice cream day outside in the rain taking pictures!” “It was cold, it was raining and I put mud on her face and she smiled anyway,” says Jessica who in turn helped Cheri with her new website as she starts her own dreams in cake making.  A friendship that started at a bedside, in a hospital, where Cheri prayed for a little girl her same age, who was badly burned. 
When not behind the camera Jessica likes to play with make-up, fishing, camping, hunting and shopping.  Her life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future. “Sometimes nothing in life makes sense, my burn, losing my house, moving, feeling depressed and lonely, but God has a plan!”
Resources  Jessica’s Website Brokenframe Photography
Katie Campbell Photography Retreat
Katie Campbell Website:


  1. Beckiee B.April 04, 2012

    Wow. Amazing!

  2. Thank you Courtney. Your words are a beautiful frame for an incredibly beautiful and most deserving young lady.

  3. Rachelle G.,April 04, 2012

    Thanks for sharing, Courtney! Great writing style. :) Is this Jason's daughter?

  4. Thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked it and yes.. Jessica is such a great person to be able to write about. :)