CLINTON – Jennifer Freitas loves taking portraits — of children, couples, families and pets.
Freitas started her journey in photography by photo-documenting the lives of her first puppy, Goliath, and then his adopted brother, Goose. When her firstborn “two-legged son” Lucien came along, she took a “bajillion photos” when he was a baby, she said. But all of these pictures were “from a not-so-great cell phone” and weren’t great quality.
When Freitas was pregnant four years ago with her second son, Daemon, she was given a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. Freitas realized she could “never go back to cell phone images.”
After her father died and she realized the lack of quality pictures of him, documenting the love of family — no matter how many legs they have — became her mission.
“It captures a memory for you to look back on and remember your 11-year-old dog without the grays or your son’s curls before his first haircut,” Freitas said.
After she realized how much she enjoyed using the DSLR, Freitas asked all of her friends and family to help her practice and she quickly decided she wanted to do photography professionally.
A year after starting digital photography, with some workshops and educational groups under her belt, Freitas received her business certificate and Emerald Moon Photography began.
Freitas grew up in Medford, but moved to Clinton six years ago into her new husband’s home. She met her husband, Jody, in the Army National Guard, but they didn’t become a couple until both had left the military and kept in touch as friends. Their sons are now a 6-year-old rising first grader and an almost-4-year-old preschooler.
“Our bed almost always has at least one dog and one kid,” Freitas said. But she said she wouldn’t change being a dog mom or a boy mom for anything in the world.
She laughed, adding, “My eldest already has ‘photographer’s child syndrome.’ It’s where they despise getting their photos taken because their parent has taken a never-ending supply.”
As a mother, Freitas likes the control over her schedule she has with photography and owning her own small business. But, most of all, she likes being involved in creating images of others’ loved ones to give them memories they can look back on for the rest of their lives, “getting to give people something that really is forever” that doesn’t get worn, used up, or outdated.
The downside is that sometimes “nothing works” in getting a child, teen or pet to engage with her or the camera; Freitas still feels bad when that happens, even though she knows “you really can’t control your subject” for portraits.
Freitas said it’s “heartbreaking when you see a beautiful person, but that person doesn’t like themselves in photos,” even though she feels that’s “quite hypocritical.” Like many who spend a lot of time behind the camera, she feels the same way.
“But I know that seeing a photo of yourself that you thinks looks great is an amazing feeling,” she said.
Freitas said she also loves looking at the photos she’s taken, “ohh-ing and aww-ing out loud in my office” when seeing them the first time.
Freitas said there’s always more to learn with photography. It’s “something you can continue to learn about and improve in infinitely,” she said. She likes “spending time learning more techniques and better ways to do things every day.”
Her goal is to be a full-time photographer, but Freitas currently works for an environmental company in the construction field as an inspector and as a project monitor.
Freitas also does photography for charity, particularly for the Clinton VFW. She and her husband are both veterans and her husband has held positions at the town, district and state level.
“Veteran issues are important to us,” Freitas said.
She has also had pictures of children and families published in magazines, such as Designer Child, Youthful Talent, Brand Model, Rising Model and Pretty Little Poser. Now that COVID is less of an issue, Freitas would love to do some showings of her photography.
Freitas advertises that she’s a “woman, veteran, and LGBT-owned business” and is part of business associations for being female, bisexual and having proudly served her country.
Her photography studio is in Boxborough (“only one exit up I-495,” she said).
When not taking pictures or honing her craft, Freitas said she enjoys reading, anime, “trying to learn Japanese,” camping (especially campfires), motorcycle riding, fishing, fireworks, zombies, playing every Zelda that has been released and “dogs, dogs and dogs.”
Freitas’ website is www.emeraldmoonphotography.com. Her Facebook is www.facebook.com/EmeraldMoonPhotographyMA, and her Instagram is @emeraldmoon_photography. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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