CLINTON – Jennifer Freitas loves to take portraits – of children, couples, families and pets.
Freitas began his journey in photography by photo-documenting the life of his first puppy, Goliath, and then his adopted brother, Gus. When her first-born “two-legged son” Lucien came along, she took “a million pictures” of him as a baby, she said. But all these photos were “from a not so good mobile phone” and were not of good quality.
When Freitas was pregnant four years ago with her second son, Damon, she got a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera). Freitas realized he “could never go back to cellphone images.”
After her father passed away and she realized the lack of quality photos of him, documenting the love of family—no matter how many legs they had—became her mission.
“It captures a memory to look back and remember your 11-year-old dog without the gray or your son’s curls before his first haircut,” Freitas said.
After realizing how much she enjoyed using a DSLR, Freitas asked all her friends and family to help her practice and she quickly decided she wanted to pursue photography professionally.
A year after getting into digital photography, with several workshops and educational groups under his belt, Freitas received his business certificate and Emerald Moon Photography began.
Freitas grew up in Medford but moved to Clinton six years ago to her new husband’s home. She met her husband, Jody, in the Army National Guard, but they didn’t become a couple until they both left the military and stayed in touch as friends. Their sons are now a 6-year-old entering first grade and an almost 4-year-old preschooler.
“There’s almost always at least one dog and one kid in our bed,” Freitas said. But she said she wouldn’t change being a dog mom or a boy mom for the world.
She laughed and added: ‘My eldest now has ‘photographer’s child syndrome’. This is where they despise their pictures because their parent has taken an endless supply.”
As a mother, Freitas likes the control over her schedule that she has with photography and owning her own small business. But most of all, she enjoys being involved in creating images of others’ loved ones to give them memories they can look back on for the rest of their lives, “to give people something that is truly forever,” which it does not get worn, used or outdated.
The downside is that sometimes “nothing works” in getting a child, teenager or pet to engage with her or the camera; Freitas still feels bad when that happens, even though she knows “you can’t really control your subject” for portraits.
Freitas said it’s “heartbreaking when you see a beautiful person, but that person doesn’t like themselves in the photos”, although he thinks it’s “quite hypocritical”. Like many who spend a lot of time behind the camera, she feels the same way.
“But I know seeing a picture of yourself that you think looks great is an amazing feeling,” she said.
Freitas said she also likes to look at the photos she took, “oohhhhhhhhhhhhmm-out loud in my office” when she first saw them.
Freitas said there is always more to learn with photography. It’s “something you can keep learning about and improving endlessly,” she said. She enjoys “spending time learning more techniques and better ways of doing things every day.”
Her goal is to be a full-time photographer, but Freitas currently works for an environmental construction company as an inspector and project supervisor.
Freitas also does photography for charities, particularly the Clinton VFW. Both she and her husband are veterans and her husband has held positions at the city, county and state level.
“Veterans issues are important to us,” Freitas said.
She has also published photographs of children and families 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 get some displays of her photography.
Freitas advertises that she is a “woman, veteran and LGBT business owned” and is part of business associations because she is female, bisexual and has proudly served her country.
Her photography studio is in Boxborough (“just one exit up I-495,” she said).
When he’s not taking pictures or perfecting his craft, Freitas said he enjoys reading, anime, “trying to learn Japanese,” camping (especially campfires), riding motorcycles, fishing, fireworks, playing zombies, playing every Zelda ever released and “dogs, dogs, dogs.”
Freitas’ website is www.emeraldmoonphotography.com. Her Facebook is www.facebook.com/EmeraldMoonPhotographyMA and Instagram is @emeraldmoon_photography. You can email her at [email protected]