• Jessie Hardy

fanny packs + chest bumps

Since I am technically a “travelling” photographer, I figured I would show you what a typical working weekend looks like for me. Every month or so I will take a trip down to Billings or Bozeman (Missoula doesn’t happen quite as often) for photo shoots in my green jeep I named Timber. She's the best. I try to book as many shoots as I can to make it worth my entire weekend- let alone the 10 hour (round trip) drive. Shoots that are in Glasgow, Fairview, Culberston, and Sidney- I usually make that a day trip even though some people think I’m nuts. I love driving. I have always loved driving. Except I’m not one of those people who love driving because of the hours of soul-searching or the scenic views. I need to stay occupied while driving in order to love it. I know, high maintenance.

WHAT THAT ENTAILS:

  • 2 hours of 90’s music played louder than my own singing because I am tone deaf and can't stand to hear the noises leaving my mouth.

  • Switching over to “true crime” podcasts like Serial, Dirty john (I’m not one for self-care, self-improvement, or business-ey type podcasts, which is ironic because I obviously own a business and probably SHOULD be listening to those like 95% of the women I follow on Instagram).

  • Getting bored of that and trying a book on tape. Hunger Games, Twilight, Nicholas Sparks, basically anything 16 year olds like, I LOVE. Does that mean I am at the same level as a tween? Maybe. But I’ll save that for another blog.

  • I am also a road-trip-binger. I usually eat pretty healthy, especially during the week, but while I’m driving, I will drink 3 coffees, 2 diet Pepsi’s, and a Full Throttle on special occasions when I’m feeling like getting really crazy. Of course, there are lots of snacks, but I feel like this blog is getting way off topic, so back to the point.

I take pictures. I like to drive. I like to drive to take pictures.


The last road trip I took was to Billings a couple of weeks ago. I went straight from a high school track meet in Miles City to a photo shoot in Billings. I had about half an hour to spare once I got to Billings, so I drove around to scout out a few spots for the shoot.



In the end, I chose the one and only location with pine trees. Duh. It was an engagement shoot, and the main thing I was wanting to try during this shoot was playing music through my new, portable speaker which attaches to my fanny pack (I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. I’m a serious nerd). I played music during this session and really loved it. It set the mood for some sweet moments Kelsey and Jake shared with eachother, while also making Kelsey dance and laugh during some booty-shakin songs I have on the playlist. I’m not sure how it will work during family sessions, but I know that for engagement/anniversary sessions it will be BOMB.

I had two maternity sessions left- one on Sunday, the other on Monday. They are actually sisters, and the cutest freaking sisters you’ve probably ever seen. My own sister and I were really good friends with them throughout high school and college, and people would ALWAYS think the four of us were sisters. Moral of the story: they are such cool, jesus-loving, fun girls who I had the pleasure of growing up with and NOW taking their photos. I had so much fun with them, and even though I only see them about once a year, we always pick up right where we left off- feeling like we’re 16 years old, driving to Tiger Town during football games, getting Full Throttles and thuggin to “Smack That” in my ’82 Ford Escort. Ahhhh sweet nostalgia.



I, of course, did separate family/maternity shoots for each of them, but we also did some sister pictures which were hilarious and awesome, and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Let me just say, chest bumps by super-preggo sisters are amazing and I will remember it for the rest of my life.



The best part about these travelling sessions is that I always make the point to hang out with friends and family while I’m not shooting. I had drinks with one friend, dinner with another, coffee, brunch and shopping with my family, and got to have so much fun hanging out with people I’ve either known forever, or just met, capturing some pretty special moments. People ask me why I bother to travel for photo shoots. This. This opportunity to make connections, laugh with life-long friends, cry with people I just met, all while growing my new business. The people I spend time with bring me joy, editing and caring for these photos gives me passion, and knowing that these photos will be hung on walls and admired every day, reminding someone of the fun and often intimate experience they had, gives me contentment for the choice I’ve made to become a photographer.

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