DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER | Feature by Jessica Miles


Dear Present Me,

I’d like to start out by saying…Congratulations! Writing this letter is an accomplishment in and of itself. If you have learned anything recently, it is to celebrate the small victories! Looking back on your life, you have achieved a lot, don’t you think? Every hurdle you climbed, the success you embraced and challenge you conquered, has brought you closer to where you are now.

I know life has thrown you some curveballs this past year and regardless of how weak you feel on this very day, know that you are strong. You are a fighter, and everything will work out as it should. You will get through this tough time, even though it seems as if the struggle will never end. It’s okay to take a break, breathe, cry, to put your head down and fall…as long as you do your best to get back up and keep the faith.

You are your worst critic. Accept things that make you unique and remember that you are perfect, especially with your flaws. Despite the trials and tribulations that have occurred, you are a woman who has learned how to love selflessly and unconditionally. There is no reason you should be so hard on yourself. Keep being genuine and humble. You are your only one true enemy, but also your own biggest cheerleader so believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Don’t take everything so personally and try not to let others get you down. You are not meant to please everyone. Try not to be overshadowed by the pressures and demands of society. Overthinking just steals your time and energy. The stress that you create because of worry and doubt will only harm your future, not help it.

Quit judging your work so harshly and comparing yourself to others. Remove your ego and continue to sharpen your craft but remember to protect your timetable with your life. Stop trying to squeeze in too much at one time. You have learned this lesson the hard way many times over. Be kind to your body and keep moving carefully forward at your own pace.

Lastly, remember what is truly important in your life. Relax and be in the moment for it will never come back. Take one day at a time…the past will remain history and the future still awaits.

Love, Me




I live in sunny Bradenton, Florida with my husband, two teenage boys and 2 Maltese furbabies.  I am a Registered Nurse, nationally certified in Inpatient Obstetrics with a passion for women’s health and birth photography.  Due to illness, over the past year, I stopped doing direct patient care and after a long leave of absence from work, recently returned to work with the hospital’s education department on a limited basis.  I also discovered a love for self-portrait photography during this time. It took me a while to admit that without feeling vain, but I realize it’s been cathartic and has given me a creative outlet all the times I have been unable to leave my home.  I have an unhealthy addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies…even in July and cannot function without my morning cup of coffee. I shop mostly from flea markets and thrift stores and have a deep appreciation for all things vintage.


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