Jennifer Wannen

My Story

Having come to photography as a teacher and writer, I've long understood the grounding power and deep clarity of the visual. During a period of major transition several years ago, I turned to photography as an unexpected spiritual practice. Making pictures became a means to witness cycles of transformation in my own life by studying and framing those around me. 

As I chose to revisit and photograph the same areas over the course of months and years, my intimacy with these landscapes deepened. As a result, the images held an extended story of my relationship to each setting as well as my present moment's interplay with it. 

In the last few years, this practice has lovingly extended into an ongoing creative vision. It's a journey I find even richer as I l apply more technical dexterity to my intuitive process. For me, it's a continual apprenticeship of both skill and spirit. 

This connection is even more meaningful now as I bring contemplative photography to my practice as an interfaith spiritual director. I share more on this blog and soulchapters.com.

From the beginning I've been drawn to photographing wild spaces and natural elements, and I've maintained that focus in my work but also extended into narrative photography. Whether I'm framing a sweeping vista or a portrait, for me it's always about the quality of my own attentiveness. Am I willing to offer a non-directed, open-minded desire for discovery? Can I let go of creative agenda and allow a landscape or person to distinctively reveal something new to me? Can I encounter a person or setting from a place of fascination and reverence? It's an approach I relate to (and retain from) my beginning experiences with photography—letting intimacy be the root of art. 

My work has appeared in Capture Minnesota, Vol. XI, the PhotoPlace Exhibition Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont, the Southeast Center For Photography in Greenville, South Carolina, A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas, as well as the Chateau de LaLande in Crozon-sur-Vauvre (Indre) and Chateau de Lomenie in Montpouillan (Lot and Garonne) in France for the Photos de Femmes 2020 seeingWOMEN exhibitions (October 2020). 

In addition to creating fine art photography, I do book cover photography and magazine work.

All images © 2016-2020 Jennifer Wannen. All rights reserved.

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