CRESTVIEW — Jennifer Garcia, a full-time nurse at Eglin Air Force Base and mother of four, runs a photography business in her spare time.
The Crestview resident started her company, Jennifer G Photography, in 2013 after some prodding from her husband, Benjamin Garcia II, a crew chief at Hurlburt Field.
"I’ve always loved taking photographs. It started out as a hobby taking pictures of my family and eventually became a business. My husband bought me my first Nikon DSLR and put the idea in my head that I could start my own business, and the rest is history," she said.
Her photography sessions are normally of weddings and family portraits, but in April she shot her first "ugly location" shoot for fun. The shoots consist of photos taken in an area not normally used or arranged for professional photos.
"No one would even think about having his or her family pictures taken at say, Lowe's or an auto body shop. These 'ugly' locations are challenging. I use whatever lighting there is at that location and I don’t move anything out of the way. I don’t take any extra lighting or equipment with me. It’s just the model, my camera, and me," Jennifer said.
Garcia's June 3 shoot was at Main Street Automotive in Crestview.
When asked how he felt about MSA being considered for such a shoot, co-owner Jason O'Daniels said, "It made me raise my eyebrows until it was explained to me that it's not necessarily an ugly establishment, but just something that's not your usual photo shoot location. I was fine with that."
The family owned, veteran-operated shop opened specifically for the shoot, the first one in the whole 25 years O'Daniels has worked there.
They didn't have to do anything in particular to prepare the space, O'Daniels said.
"They told me to leave it the way we usually have it. You know at the end of the day we clean up anyways, to a point," he said with a laugh.
"We are an auto shop, and we just made sure that it was safe and nothing for tripping hazards, and made sure that they had what they need, which wasn't much of nothing except opening doors."
And what did model Terisa Collazo think of the ugly shoot process?
"It's lots of fun. I enjoyed every bit of it," she said.