Taking Her Shot

Jen Pinkerton finds her passion photographing couples

Article by Chelsea Lyn Agro

Photography by MT Chic Photography, Zak Jokela Photography & Jen Pinkerton Photography

Originally published in Billings City Lifestyle

Marriage is a commitment, but so is hiring a wedding photographer. All too often we don’t have to dig too deep to find a great, juicy story from a couple who wishes they’d spent more money on a photographer, or in the least, made that part of the planning a bigger priority. Jen Pinkerton of Hysham knows all about a good photography investment, or lack thereof.

“I was absolutely heartbroken for my sister and my parents at my sister’s wedding,” says Jen. “My mom took out her little point-and-shoot camera and the photographer yelled at her and wouldn’t let her take a single picture of my sister.” Recalling how upsetting that instance was and coupling it with her own inexpensive wedding photographer feels like a double wedding whammy. But it wasn’t until Jen became a mother that the thought of picking up a camera more often, and maybe professionally, started to feel like a real possibility.

“I actually graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from North Dakota State University and pursued a career in Geotechnical Engineering until I realized that it was not my dream, not my passion,” says Jen. With the help of New York Institute of Photography, she developed a new career path and passion.

“My favorite photography is couples photography,” says Jen. “Give me all the weddings and all the engagements!” With wedding season upon us, Jen offers a healthy array of photography services stemming from one common core: love. Boudoir is another fine art that she offers, showcasing a woman in her confidence, beauty, and intimacy.

When Jen gets the chance to bejewel herself and step in front of the camera, it’s hard to remember that she grew up in a little farming community in southeast South Dakota, where ironically, her home here in the Billings area reminds her so much of. She’s a Montana girl through and through, in her heart of hearts, and so much of that country lifestyle gave her the vigor and determination that life—and photography—often requires.

“Living rurally gives me room and allows me to breathe, rejuvenate, and dream up new shooting ideas all the time,” says Jen. “I honestly believe living in a rural location is a strength and quality. It makes me a better person, not being lost in the busyness of a city, and always giving me a peaceful calm demeanor—a way that I always wish to interact and bless my clients with.” 

In addition to these wide open spaces that Jen has always known, horses and faith are two unwavering constants.

“Our horses taught us about life, responsibility, and appreciation. It was a great way to grow up and we enjoyed the valuable family time spent traveling and competing. My horses took me all the way through college, even competing at the College National Finals Rodeo in goat tying.” Her current horse, Finch, is a reliable source of laughter, inspiration, and calm. And when it comes to faith, Jen has no doubts as to who is at the helm of her life’s course.

“I believe love starts with God and ends with God, just as in the circle of life, there is a circle of marriage. I feel God placed me in this role as a couple’s photographer to carry his will, celebrate people, and love endlessly,” says Jen. “Showing that through my images and giving that feeling of grace to others. God, life, and union are gifts and I am thankful for every day!”

Jen’s infectious energy is a compliment to any wedding. She is quick to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments, slowing them down, moment by moment, to last and to be cherished for decades—and generations—to come.

Wedding Day Photography Commitment 




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