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The Body Beautiful: Jessie Cowan

Background: I grew up across the sound from Seattle and currently reside in Los Angeles.

Has your perspective and point of view changed since becoming a mom? And if so, how? I would say that it has changed. It’s made me be even more conscience of these little moments I experience each day with my children. I’m capturing a split-second in time that will never be the same. It’s literally brought me closer to the ground … and of course it’s made me never neglect how easy it is shooting before the toddler days!

What do you find most rewarding about motherhood? I just love watching my children from a distance as their own sweet personalities blossom. I love seeing them experience new moments of discovery and awe of their own self and the beautiful world around them.

What do you find the most challenging or surprising? The most challenging would be lack of sleep but it’s all worth it. The only “me” time and creative time I have is when they are sleeping so I usually have to decide between the two.

How do you store/organize/display/showcase your photographs? I store all my shoots on hard drives but know I need to update to the smaller sleeker ones. Technology moves so fast. I officially can’t keep up anymore ... the day has come. For my personal photography (family pics), I swear by iPhoto on my Mac. It truly is a great organizer and I love the timeline aspect of the organization. As far as display, it’s too easy to run out of room on your walls … although I do love a good gallery wall photo display. I have to say my favorite display would be in books/coffee table albums.

Any recommendations for moms trying to capture those beautiful moments? Get down on their level and see eye to eye.

Any situation (good or bad) where you wish you had your camera? Oh, where to begin? Since becoming a mom, I have been a little crazy and often have my kids nearby when I’m shooting. It’s literally made for a lot of “sticky” situations. Anywhere from having a lens dropped in a dog's water bowl, having props eaten or slobbered on, having to stop to clean up potty messes that got ALL over the house … and, most recently, on a beach shoot, my little guy turned into a sand monster and between that and the 30 seagulls that decided to eat my food props … well, it was a challenging day. Regardless, it’s worth it for my kids to see what I do and expose them to photography and the creative arts. I want them to know what Mommy does and how much I love what I do. If I can pass that down to them in whatever profession they decide to do, I can say I’ve done a good job.

What makes you feel beautiful as a mother? I would have to say my arms and hands. This image is an example of that. Wrapping my arms around them and feeling their soft cheeks on me. My arms are my strength, my healing embrace, my support, my soft hugs, my drooled on, burping, cradling arms. They can lift almost anything and everything ... even two kids at once, if needed. They are stroller-pushing, swing-launching, baby-rocking muscles. My hands are my a soft touch, a healing touch, my "you are awesome" high-five, my washing, my tickling, my waving, my "I love you" signing tools for motherhood. I think of the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter when I think about a mother's arms. Nothing is stronger and more beautiful.

What advice can you give other mothers who might not feel beautiful in their bodies? I think, most of all, knowing that your children think you're beautiful. However I know that we need to really feel our own beauty boost sometimes. Make sure you do little things to pamper you and your inner and outer beauty. We all have different things that do that for us, whether it’s having cute, clean feet or feeling sexy with our curves. Make sure you make time to focus on you. Every now and then you need to get that mani-pedi, or get that sitter for your yoga class … splurge on those jeans that make you feel sexy or that bra that is the perfect lift for the girls. However, I know that this is a time in my life where it’s not about me, so I have given in to that. I don’t worry about the mirror so much these days. Yup, rocking toothpaste in my hair today and I know the day will come where I look back and miss these times.

Where you can find Jessie:

Website: Jessie Cowan



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