Hi there, I'm Jessica. I'm a Quad Cities photographer and professional makeup artist based in Bettendorf, Iowa. Ready for travel! I am a mom to one teenage daughter and girlfriend of 9 years to the best guy ever! We live together in a house full of rescued furbabies...and a turtle, Frank.
I have always worked in a creative field. Right out of college, I was a music teacher. When I was a teenager I wanted to be on Broadway when I grew up. Not like, "oh it'd be cool to be on Broadway", like I really thought that was what I would do. I even got an invite to a special school in NYC where they train you to do just that. But, 18-year-old girls from tiny towns in Iowa don't do that. So, I took the "safe" route and went to college to be a music teacher. After college, it didn't take long for me to figure out that teaching middle school and high school choir wasn't the path for me and in 2004 my career took a shift.
Maybe I’ll tell the story in a blog someday soon, but let’s just say I had a major “aha moment” and decided to go for it and follow my gut. I had a calling to to work in makeup, and I worked my way in to a position with Estee Lauder in 2004. Working for one of the most influential beauty brands in the industry, and among some of the most talented executives and Regional and National Makeup Artists was the BEST training I could have ever gotten to start my career in beauty. I ultimately worked a number of positions for Estee Lauder, including as an Account Coordinator where I managed several locations throughout Iowa and Illinois, as well as traveling as a Freelance Artist.
In 2010, while working as a Freelance Artist for Estee Lauder, I began my own freelance makeup artistry business called Polished and Pretty. I quickly became very busy with makeup jobs in bridal, event, corporate and television. In the Fall of 2011 I was offered a full time position with a distributor of professional salon products, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The stability (and paid for health insurance) as a single mom, was something I had to say yes to. This was another great experience that allowed me to immerse myself in the beauty industry in the QC area, as well as throughout Iowa and Illinois. But…keeping up with a great full time job, a freelance career and a then busy 9-year-old was just not going to work. I began to cut back on makeup.
Where does photography come in? I have always loved photography. I have a terrible memory (like really, really bad). In fact, I remember very little of my childhood. I think I've always been the person taking photos at every event, well before everyone in the room was doing that. After my daughter was born in 2001, I used to set up my own little shoots with her at home. I didn’t love the "expected" annual big box pictures where she would stand next to a giant number of whatever age she was and cheese it up. I have those photos of Emma, I cherish them, and I'll keep them forever. But, the ones that are my favorites and I still have on the walls to this day, are the ones where I took her out to the park or my parents house in the country. I would follow her around with my Father-in-law's film SLR and take pictures of her playing in the flowers and running in the grass. You can see her little personality and those are my favorites.
In 2014 I began to pursue photography as a business, with a focus on pets. After a while, I realized that I was doing myself a disservice and limiting myself by not being open to other areas of photography. I was getting just as much interest in taking family photos without pets and in 2017 I shot my first wedding. I was hooked.
Let’s connect it all! I never completely left makeup. I always stayed a little busy with bridal work or event makeup, but I wasn’t putting it out there because I quite honestly was too busy to do more. Then, a funny thing happens when your only child is suddenly a driving teenager - the time I previously didn’t have, I now had again. I began to pick up more makeup jobs and fell in love all over again in 2018. By the Spring of 2019 I was very busy and ready to dive all the way back in again. You may even see me out and about working as a Freelance Artist for another major cosmetics brand these days!
I love moments. I love connection. I love telling stories through photography and I LOVE making people feel beautiful with makeup. And so, the next chapter of J Friedrichs begins FALL 2019 with the opening of our studio. I am beyond grateful and SO excited to share what we have planned, putting it all together in one space. I hope to see you on location or in studio very soon. :)
For more about me, my life, my shooting style and the wine I'm probably drinking, follow me on Instagram. Shoot me a message to let me know you're there!!