Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Rivera Velez.
Hi Jennifer, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My name is Jennifer and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and by the time I was 17, we moved to the United States. I have struggled with some traumas, and different health conditions my whole life and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. When I moved to the United States, I had nothing, starting in a new place, senior year, no friends, no house, no nothing.
I went through a really rough time in my life, I felt alone and struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. My whole life I loved to see people smiling, and editing, anything artsy and being able to create with my own hands made me happy. I started taking pictures on my phone and editing them with some apps I found, I remember I would even be hours on my phone just playing with pictures I had taken.
I love nature so I would take walks in the woods and take pictures of everything, from leaves to branches, sky, animals, and everything I could see because I could just see the beauty of everything around me and it made me happy. In 2016, I got married to an amazing man who has always supported me in every step I take. I got my first camera in 2017 and since then I started to teach myself how to do photography and edition.
I used to research on the internet, watched YouTube videos to improve, and also was introduced to other programs I could use to edit like Photoshop or Lightroom. It has been my passion and something that helped me go through bad moments in my life. I try to help others with my story and to let them know that no matter what you go through in life, you can still make your dreams come true.
Today, I have my own business, JeinPhotography, where I’ve been able to photograph the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen. It has been a pleasure to meet new people with amazing stories and to learn that behind every picture there is a story to tell.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It hasn’t been an easy road at all, I battle with suicidal thoughts for a while, I thought I was just a burden, that I didn’t have a purpose in life and that I only came to this world to suffer.
My dad left me when I was a baby I didn’t grow up with him, I knew him and saw him a couple of times, but he was not in the picture most of my life, by the time I was 15, he reached out to me because he found out he had cancer and didn’t have to much time left, I grew up with so much anger towards him and it was so hard for me to forgive him.
It took me a while but I finally did, and it was like a heavy lift was taken away from me. Struggling with traumas, abandonment, health and mental conditions has been rough but today I advocate that there is always a rainbow after the storm.
If I would have ended my life, I would have never experienced the good times thinking I was always gonna be stuck in the bad times.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I taught myself to do a bunch of different things, but my main job is photography, not a job but my passion, which makes me happy.
One of my businesses is JeinPhotography and I love that I get to meet new people with amazing stories, I get to see their smiles and love between families and couples.
I also have a side business where I do graphic design, print tees, and keychains called ArtisanInspo.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
If you wanna support me, you can follow me on my Instagram page JeinPhotography. I would love to get to meet you and if you would like to it would be my pleasure to take pictures of you and your loved ones.
- Instagram: @JeinPhotography