Why hello there and welcome to my brand new blog for Focus on Joy Photography!
My name is Jess Capozzola. I am an AVID world traveler, lover of all things chocolate, and guacamole connoisseur.
Oh, and I enjoy photography quite a bit. So much so, in fact, that in December of 2015, I quit my stable job at a non-profit in New York City and decided to pursue photography full-time.
The kicker? This huge life decision coincided with one other: it was definitely time to move off of Long Island. More specifically, time to move south.
“But Jess, why move south to pursue photography?” you ask.
Simple really. The weather.
Ok, while that’s not entirely true, New York winters cannot be discounted. The annual four months of bleak and dreary weather DID in fact play a key role in our decision to get off Long Island.
But now for the real reason.
Ok, second real reason.
My husband, Jonathan, and I, found ourselves living a lifestyle we were no longer excited and passionate about. We each commuted AN HOUR AND A HALF to work in the city (me every day, him about half the week), in order to scrape together enough money to pay our (insanely high) Long Island mortgage and taxes etc. etc. Our ridiculous commutes alone left us little time to do the things we needed to do – like laundry and dishes and food shopping – let alone to be able to relax and simply enjoy life.
And at 28, that was pretty unacceptable.
So on December 18th we quit our jobs with no real direction other than “Let’s move south,” but with the goal to settle somewhere to explore our passions. (See how we got out of New York before the “real winter” hit??) For Jon, this meant furthering his engineering career at a new firm. For me, it meant pursuing my dream to become a professional photographer. Selling our home and moving south would allow Jon to continue on the path towards his dreams, while also providing us with the financial flexibility (read: no longer paying $11,000 a year in TAXES) so that I would be able to pursue photography full-time.
But we couldn’t just get jobs, find an apartment, and MOVE SOUTH. No, that would be too easy. Instead, we embarked on the adventure of a lifetime – a 3-month, 3-continent trip which took us all the way around the world. Literally. From safari in the Masai Mara to bungee jumping over Victoria Falls, from riding an elephant in Thailand to scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, from swimming in Balinese temples to skydiving over New Zealand, we saw and did a lot.
But let’s be honest, that was only the beginning of the adventure.